International and Satellite Services Fact Sheet
Federal Communications Commission
FACT SHEET445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
September 5, 2013
WHAT YOU OWE INTERNATIONAL AND SATELLITE SERVICES
LICENSEES FOR FY 2013Each year, the Commission is required to collect regulatory fees. Licensees and regulatees are
assessed fees as set forth in Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2013,
Report and Order 78 FR 52433, (August 23, 2013) ("FY 2013 Regulatory Fees Report and
Order"). The Commission also publishes industry-specific guidance in Who Owes Fees & What Is
My FY 2013 Fee, which can be found on the Commission website at
The Commission's automated filing and payment system ("Fee Filer") is now available for filing
and payment of FY 2013 regulatory fees.
Regulatory fee payments must be RECEIVED by the
Commission no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on September 20, 2013.
geostationary space station licensees (Part 25) and direct broadcast satellite licensees (Part 100),
non-geostationary orbit satellite system licensees (formerly low earth orbit satellite systems) (Part
25), and submarine cable licensees (see also, Public Notice: Submarine Cable Systems FY 2013).
Licensees owe regulatory fees for each license held as of October 1, 2012, and payment is due even
if a license expired after October 1, 2012. In instances where a license or authorization is
transferred or assigned after October 1, 2012, the fee must be paid by the party that is the licensee or
holder of the authorization on the date that the fee payment is due.
If an earth station's license limits its operational authority to a particular satellite system that is not
yet operational, a regulatory fee payment for the earth station is not due until the first satellite in the
system becomes operational pursuant to section 25.121(d) of our rules.
Who Must Pay:VSAT and Equivalent C-Band Antennas: These facilities are earth station
systems comprising very small aperture terminals making up authorized networks operating in the
12 and 14 GHz bands that provide a variety of communications services to other stations in the
network. Each system, authorized pursuant to blanket licensing procedures in Part 25 of the
Commission's rules, consists of a network of technically-identical small fixed-satellite earth stations
which often includes a larger hub station. Entities holding these types of authorizations will be
assessed a regulatory fee per authorization or registration, as well as a fee for each associated Hub
Mobile Satellite Earth Stations: Mobile satellite service providers operate under blanket licenses for
mobile antennas (transceivers) which are smaller than one meter and provide voice or data
communications, including position location information, for mobile platforms such as cars, buses
Earth Station Antennas: Transmit/Receive and Transmit-Only Antennas: These licensees include
private carriers and common carriers that operate fixed-satellite earth station antennas to provide
telephone, television, data, and other forms of communication, including antennas used to transmit
and receive and transmit-only. Also included in this category are telemetry, tracking and control
(TT&C) earth stations and transportable earth stations.
Earth Station Antennas: Receive-Only Antennas: The Commission does not assess regulatory fees
for receive-only earth station antennas.
Notice of Billing:Earth Station licensees will not receive a pre-completed regulatory fee bill (FCC
Form 159-B) in the mail for their Earth Station licenses. A regulatory fee bill will be created, but
this bill will be available for viewing only by accessing Fee Filer. Earth Station licensees are also
required to make regulatory fee payments for all other regulatory fees that they owe.
Fee Calculation:$275 per license or authorization, and $275 for each associated Hub Station.
Geostationary Orbit Space Stations and Direct Broadcast Satellite Service
Notice of Billing:Geostationary orbit space station and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) licensees
will not receive a pre-printed regulatory fee bill (FCC Form 159-B) from the Commission for their
satellite space station authorization(s). A regulatory fee bill will be created, but this bill will be
available for viewing only by accessing Fee Filer. Geostationary space station licensees are also
required to make regulatory fee payments for all other fee categories as well.
Who Must Pay:Entities authorized to operate space stations in geostationary orbit1 in accordance
with section 25.121(d) and direct broadcast satellites (Part 100).
Fee Calculation:$139,100 per operational space station in geostationary orbit in accordance with
section 25.121(d) as of October 1, 2012. A fee payment is required "upon the commencement of
operation of a system's first satellite as reported annually pursuant to sections 25.142(c), 25.143(e),
25.145(g), or upon certification of operation of a single satellite pursuant to section 25.121(d)."
Multiple technically identical geostationary satellites collocated at the same orbital location will be
considered one station for the purpose of per-space station regulatory fee calculation.
Non-Geostationary Orbit Satellite Systems
Notice of Billing:Non-Geostationary orbit space station and DBS licensees will not receive a pre-
printed regulatory fee bill (FCC Form 159-B) from the Commission for their satellite space station
authorization(s). A regulatory fee bill will be created, but this bill will be available for viewing only
1 Domestic and international satellites, positioned in orbit to remain approximately fixed relative to the earth, authorized
to provide communications between satellites and earth stations on a common carrier or private carrier basis in
accordance with section 25.121(d).
by accessing Fee Filer. Non-Geostationary space station licensees are also required to make
regulatory fee payments for all other regulatory fees that they owe.
Who Must Pay:Entities authorized to operate systems of satellites in non-geostationary orbit
under Part 25 to provide communications between satellites and earth stations on a common carrier
or private carrier basis.
Fee Calculation:$149,875 per operational system in non-geostationary orbit.2 A fee payment
is required "upon the commencement of operation of a system's first satellite as reported
annually pursuant to sections 25.142(c), 25.143(e), 25.145(g), or upon certification of operation
of a single satellite pursuant to section 25.121(d)."
International Bearer Circuits
Who Must Pay:In a Second Report and Order ("Submarine Cable Order") released on March 24,
2009, the Commission adopted a new submarine cable bearer circuit methodology that assessed
regulatory fees on a per cable landing license basis, with higher fees for larger submarine cable
systems and lower fees for smaller systems, without distinguishing between common carriers and
non-common carriers.3 For the other categories of international bearer circuits - common carrier
and non-common carrier satellite facilities and common carrier terrestrial facilities - the Submarine
Cable Order retained the existing regulatory fee methodology of assessing fees on a per 64 kbps
circuit basis. For these categories of bearer circuits, the fee amount should be based on active
circuit counts (used or leased) as of December 31, 2012.
International Terrestrial and Satellite. Regulatory fees for International Bearer Circuits are to be
paid by facilities-based common carriers that have active (used or leased) international bearer
circuits as of December 31, 2012 in any terrestrial or satellite transmission facility for the provision
of service to an end user or resale carrier, which includes active circuits to themselves or to their
affiliates. In addition, non-common carrier satellite operators must pay a fee for each circuit sold
or leased to any customer, including themselves or their affiliates, other than an international
common carrier authorized by the Commission to provide U.S. international common carrier
services. "Active circuits" for these purposes include backup and redundant circuits. In addition,
whether circuits are used specifically for voice or data is not relevant in determining that they are
2 A LEO system consists of one or more satellites operating in a non-geostationary satellite constellation. Payment is
required for any LEO System that has one or more satellites operating pursuant to sections 25.142(c), 25.143(e),
25.145(g), or upon certification of operation of a single satellite pursuant to section 25.121(d) as of October 1, 2009.
3 See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2008, Second Report and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 4208,
1 (May 12, 2009) ("Submarine Cable Order").
Fee Calculation:$0.27 per active 64 KB circuit or equivalent.
TYPE OF FEE
International Bearer Circuits:
$0.27 per active (used or leased)
Terrestrial Common Carrier; Satellite
64 KB circuit or equivalent
Common Carrier; and Satellite Non-Common
Carrier. Capacity as of December 31, 2012
Submarine Cable SystemsSubmarine Cable: Regulatory fees for submarine cable systems will be paid, per cable landing
license, for all submarine cable systems operating as of December 31, 2012.
TYPE OF FEE
Submarine Cable Systems
(capacity as of December 31, 2012)
< 2.5 Gbps
2.5 Gbps or greater, but less than 5 Gbps
5 Gbps or greater, but less than 10 Gbps
10 Gbps or greater, but less than 20 Gbps
20 Gbps or greater
International Public Fixed Radio and International (HF) Broadcast StationsAfter a 90-day Congressional notification period in which we did not receive any objections, the fee
categories of International Public Fixed Radio and International High Frequency (HF) Broadcast
Stations were eliminated from regulatory fee assessment on August 18, 2009. The elimination of
these two categories is based on the Commission's actions in the FY 2009 Regulatory Fees Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking and Order and the FY 2009 Regulatory Fees Report and Order.4 Hence,
there is no regulatory fee obligation for licensees holding International Public Fixed Radio and
International (HF) Broadcast Station licenses.
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) ("FY 2009 NPRM and Order"), and Assessment and Collection of
Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2009, MD Docket No. 09-65, Report and Order, 74 FR 40089 (August 11, 2009) ("FY
2009 Report and Order") .
SUMMARY OF FEES FOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICESTYPE OF FEE
REGULATORY FEE PAYMENT
$275 per station or Hub Station
Geostationary Orbit Space Stations and
$139,100 per operational station
Direct Broadcast Satellite Service Licensees
Non-Geostationary Orbit Satellite Systems
$149,875 per operational system
International Bearer Circuits: Terrestrial
$0.27 per active 64 KB circuit or
Common Carrier; Satellite Common Carrier; equivalent. *See further guidance
and Satellite Non-Common Carrier (capacity and table below.
as of December 31, 2012)
< 2.5 GBps
2.5 GBps or greater, but less than 5 Gbps
5 Gbps or greater, but less than 10 Gbps
10 Gbps or greater, but less than 20 Gbps
20 Gbps or greater
* Equivalent circuits include the 64 KB circuit equivalent of larger bit stream circuits (e.g., the 64 KB
equivalent of a 2.048 MB circuit is 30) and analog circuits such as 3 and 4 KHz circuits used for
international services. The number of equivalent 64 KB circuits for analog television channels is given by
the following table:
ANALOG TELEVISION CHANNEL SIZE (MHz)
NO. OF EQUIVALENT 64 KB CIRCUITS
in 64 Kbps Units
1 T-1 24
1 E-1 30
1 DS-3 630
1 STM 1,890
5 Gbps 60,480
10 Gbps 120,960
MANDATORY USE OF FEE FILERThe use of the online Fee Filer system for filing regulatory fees has not changed since the process
was first initiated in FY 2009: licensees and regulatees must first enter the Commission's Fee Filer
system with a valid FRN and password, and follow the online prompts to generate a Form 159-E
voucher to be submitted, with the appropriate regulatory fee payment, to the designated entity, U.S.
Bank. Use of the online Fee Filer system is mandatory, and only Form 159-E vouchers generated
from Fee Filer may be submitted with regulatory fee payments to U.S. Bank. Instructions on the
use and submission of Form 159-E payments also are available on the Commission's website in the
publication, Who Owes Fees & What Is My FY 2013 Fee, referenced above.
Licensees and regulatees paying regulatory fees by check should note that beginning on
October 1, 2013, the Commission will no longer accept checks (including money orders and
cashier's checks) and the accompanying hardcopy forms (e.g., Form 159's, Form 159-B's,
Form 159-E's, Form 159-W's) for the payment of regulatory fees.
payments must be made by online ACH payment, online credit card, or wire transfer. Any other
form of payment (e.g., checks) will be rejected and sent back to the payor. For wire transfers, a
Form 159-E should be transmitted via FAX ((314) 418-4232) to U.S. Bank so that the Commission
can associate the wire payment with the corresponding regulatory fee payment. This change will
affect all payments of regulatory fees made on or after October 1, 2013.5
LIMITATIONS ON CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONSThe U.S Treasury will no longer process credit card transactions greater than $49,999.99.
Treasury Financial Manual (TFM) No. A-2012-02
(http://tfm.fiscal.treasury.gov/v1/announc/a-12-02.html), February 2012, directs agencies to
limit credit card collections amounts not to exceed $49,999.99.
The revised policy, effective June 30, 2012, lowers the maximum dollar amount of
$99,999.99 formerly allowed for a credit card transaction to $49,999.99 and eliminates the
maximum dollar limit for a debit card transaction.
In addition, the U.S. Treasury will reject multiple credit card transactions from a single
credit card in a single day that total more than $49,999.99. The system will also reject
transactions charged to a credit card on that day that exceed the total daily dollar limit of
$49,999.00. The FCC policy will conform to the U.S. Treasury policy. Fee payors needing
to remit amounts of $50,000.00 or greater must use alternative methods of payment: check,
debit card, ACH or FedWire. Beginning on October 1, 2013, the alternative methods of
payment for amounts $50,000 or greater will be limited to debit cards and ACH or FedWire
payments. The FCC will post warnings on FCC websites to remind licensees of the U.S.
Treasury policy. Additional information can be found at
Regulatory fee payments that exceed the U.S. Treasury limit and are rejected by Treasury, causing a
payment not to meet the required payment deadline, will be subject to interest, fees, and a 25% late
5 Payors should note that this change will mean that entities that have previously paid both regulatory fees and
application fees at the same time by paper check will no longer be able to do so because regulatory fees payments by
paper check will no longer be accepted.
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