Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2010
Washington, D.C. 20554
May 19, 2011
Small Entity Compliance Guide
Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2010Report and Order
MD Docket No. 10-87
This Guide is prepared in accordance with the requirements of Section 212 of the
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. It is intended to help
small entities--small businesses, small organizations (non-profits), and small
governmental jurisdictions--comply with the new rules adopted in the above-
referenced FCC rulemaking docket(s). This Guide is not intended to replace the
rules and, therefore, final authority rests solely with the rules. Although we have
attempted to cover all parts of the rules that might be especially important to small
entities, the coverage may not be exhaustive. This Guide may, perhaps, not apply
in a particular situation based upon the circumstances, and the FCC retains the
discretion to adopt approaches on a case-by-case basis that may differ from this
Guide, where appropriate. Any decisions regarding a particular small entity will
be based on the statute and regulations.
In any civil or administrative action against a small entity for a violation of rules,
the content of the Small Entity Compliance Guide may be considered as evidence of
the reasonableness or appropriateness of proposed fines, penalties or damages.
Interested parties are free to file comments regarding this Guide and the
appropriateness of its application to a particular situation; the FCC will consider
whether the recommendations or interpretations in the Guide are appropriate in
that situation. The FCC may decide to revise this Guide without public notice to
reflect changes in the FCC's approach to implementing a rule, or to clarify or
update the text of the Guide. Direct your comments and recommendations, or calls
for further assistance, to the FCC's Consumer Center:
TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
Assessment and Collection of FY 2010 Regulatory FeesPer Section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act), as amended, Congress requires the
Commission to assess and collect regulatory fees to recover the costs associated with the
Commission's enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities.1
Most Section 9 regulatory fees are assessments that are paid annually, which for FY 2010 were due
no later than August 31, 2010. There is an exception to this due date for a component of Section 9
regulatory fees involving small wireless services. These service licensees are required to make
payment of all regulatory fees up front for the entire term of their licenses, as described below. For
these small wireless service licensees, regulatory fees are due at the time a new license is obtained
or renewed. Information regarding who must pay regulatory fees by service category is listed
Payment of Regulatory Fees
Media Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for initial construction permits that were
granted on or before October 1, 2009 for AM/FM radio stations, VHF/UHF television
stations, and satellite television stations. Regulatory fees must be paid for all broadcast
facility licenses granted on or before October 1, 2009. In instances where a permit or
license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2009, responsibility for payment rests with
the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date. The digital transition on June 12,
2009 eliminated the distinction between digital and analog full-service television stations.
As a result, beginning in FY 2010, all digital full-service television stations will be assessed
a regulatory fee, and the "digital-only" exemption will no longer be applicable. Also,
because this is the first year following the Commission's transition to digital full service
television, it is possible that some facilities may be operating under a Special Temporary
Authority (STA) beginning on October 1, 2009 and continuing until the digital license is
issued. For FY 2010 regulatory fee purposes, facilities operating under an STA will be
considered to be fully operational licensed facilities and will be obligated to pay the same
regulatory fee as a licensed full-service television station.
Wireline (Common Carrier) Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that
were granted on or before October 1, 2009. In instances where a permit or license is
transferred or assigned after October 1, 2009, responsibility for payment rests with the
holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.
Wireless Services: For Commercial Mobile Radio cellular, mobile, and messaging services
fees based upon a subscriber, unit or telephone number, regulatory fees must be paid for
authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2009. The number of subscribers,
units or telephone numbers on December 31, 2009 will be used as the basis from which to
calculate the fee payment.
Small Wireless Services: The first eleven regulatory fee categories in our Schedule of
Regulatory Fees (see Appendix C) pay what we refer to as "small multi-year wireless
regulatory fees." Entities pay these regulatory fees in advance for the entire amount of their
1 47 U.S.C 159(a). The Order prescribing the 2010 regulatory fees is Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for
Fiscal Year 2010, 25 FCC Rcd 9278 (July 9, 2010).
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five-year or 10-year term of initial license, and only pay regulatory fees again for the license
at the time of its next renewal. We include these eleven categories in our Schedule of
Regulatory Fees to publicize the fee amounts for each year; however, we do not actually
collect these fees on an annual basis.
Multichannel Video Programming Distributor Services (cable television operators and
CARS licensees): Regulatory fees must be paid for the number of basic cable television
subscribers as of December 31, 2009.2 Regulatory fees must also be paid for CARS licenses
that were granted on or before October 1, 2009. In instances where a CARS license is
transferred or assigned after October 1, 2009, responsibility for payment rests with the
holder of the license as of the fee due date.
International Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for earth stations, geostationary orbit
space stations and non-geostationary orbit satellite systems that were licensed and
operational on or before October 1, 2009. In instances where a license is transferred or
assigned after October 1, 2009, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the
license as of the fee due date. Regulatory fees must be paid for by terrestrial and satellite
international bearer circuits, the payments of which are determined by the number of active
(includes backup and redundant) circuits as of December 31, 2009. In addition, the FCC
adopted a new methodology for calculating regulatory fees for international submarine cable
operators in a Second Report and Order in MD Docket No. 08-65.3 The Order was publicly
released on March 24, 2009. Hence, beginning in FY 2009, regulatory fees for international
submarine cable operators will be calculated on a per cable landing license basis, with
higher fees being assessed for larger submarine cable systems and lower fees for smaller
systems. However, this change in methodology does not amend the licensing rules
regarding submarine cable systems, nor does it change the methodology on how the
Commission calculates regulatory fees for terrestrial and satellite facilities -- these facilities
will continue to be assessed on a per 64 kbps circuit basis. Beginning in FY 2009, there will
no longer be an annual regulatory fee for International Public Fixed Radio and International
High Frequency Broadcast Stations.4
Recordkeeping RequirementsLicensees are responsible for submitting all payments and payment documents accurately,
and on a timely basis, including Remittance Form 159-E where applicable, to avoid
Licensees who claim exemption from regulatory fees because of non-profit status are
required to have a current IRS Determination letter or equivalent on file with the
2 For multiple dwelling units, cable television system operators should compute their basic subscribers as follows:
Number of single family dwellings + number of individual households in multiple dwelling unit (apartments,
condominiums, mobile home parks, etc.) paying at the basic subscriber rate + bulk rate customers + courtesy and free
service. Note: Bulk-Rate Customers = Total annual bulk-rate charge divided by basic annual subscription rate for
individual households. Operators may base their count on "a typical day in the last full week" of December 2009, rather
than on a count as of December 31, 2009.
3 See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2008, Second Report and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 4208
(March 24, 2009).
4 See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2009, MD Docket No. 09-65, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 5966 (2009).
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In instances where a payment has not been accurately posted, the licensee has the
responsibility to provide proof of regulatory fee payment, including but not limited to,
copies of cancelled checks and a copy of Remittance Form 159-E.
Per Section 159(c) of the Act, we are required to impose an additional charge as a penalty
for late payment of any regulatory fee. As in years past, a late payment penalty of 25
percent of the amount of the required regulatory fee will be assessed on the first day
following the deadline date for paying regulatory fees. Regulatory fee payment must be
received and stamped at the lockbox bank by the last day of the regulatory fee filing
window, and not merely postmarked by the last day of the window. Failure to pay
regulatory fees and/or any late penalty will subject regulatees to sanctions, including the
Commission's Red Light Rule5 and the provisions set forth in the Debt Collection
Improvement Act of 1996 ("DCIA").
We also assess administrative processing charges on delinquent debts to recover additional
costs incurred in processing and handling the related debt pursuant to the DCIA and 47
C.F.R. 1.1940(d) of the Commission's rules. These administrative processing charges will
be assessed on any delinquent regulatory fee, in addition to the 25 percent late charge
penalty. In case of partial payments (underpayments) of regulatory fees, the licensee will be
given credit for the amount paid, but if it is later determined that the fee paid is incorrect or
not timely paid, then the 25 percent late charge penalty (and other charges and/or sanctions,
as appropriate) will be assessed on the portion that is not paid in a timely manner.
Our regulatory fee rules provide that we will withhold action on any applications or other
requests for benefits filed by anyone who is delinquent in any non-tax debts owed to the
Commission (including regulatory fees) and will ultimately dismiss those applications or
other requests if payment of the delinquent debt or other satisfactory arrangement for
payment is not made.6 Failure to pay regulatory fees can also result in the initiation of a
proceeding to revoke any and all authorizations held by the entity responsible for paying the
5 See 47 C.F.R. 1.1910.
6 See 47 C.F.R. 1.1161(c), 1.1164(f)(5), and 1.1910.
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Related Documents and LinksThe following Public Notices and Fact Sheets are available at http://www.fcc.gov/fees/regfees.html:
Public Notice: Payment Methods and Procedures for FY 2010 Regulatory Fees
Public Notice: FY 2010 Regulatory Fees Due No Later Than August 31, 2010, Eastern Time (ET)
Fact Sheet: What You Owe Cable Television Systems--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: What You Owe Media Services Licensees--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: What You Owe Commercial Wireless Services--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: What You Owe International and Satellite Services Licensees--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: What You Owe Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSP)--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: FY 2010 Regulatory Fees Submarine Cable Systems
Fact Sheet: Waivers, Reductions and Deferments of Regulatory Fees--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: Regulatory Fee Exemptions--FY 2010
Fact Sheet: FCC Look-up Website for Media Services Licensees--FY 2010
Licensees can also contact the Commission's Financial Operations Help Desk regarding regulatory
fees at (877) 480-3201, Option 4, or E-Mail your inquiries to ARINQUIRIES@FCC.GOV.
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