WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU FEE FILING GUIDE
EFFECTIVE: March 02, 2023
The authority for the Federal Communications Commission to impose and collect fees and associated charges is contained in Title III, § 3001 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-39), § 8, revising 47 U.S.C. § 158, which directs the Commission to prescribe charges for certain types of services it provides to communications entities over which it has jurisdiction.
The RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018, Title I, § 103 (Public Law 115-141) requires that the Commission adopt application fees sufficient to recover the administrative costs to process applications. The revised fees in this wireless fee guide reflect the new application fee schedule implemented in R&O FCC-20-184A, released December 29, 2020.
Application and Regulatory Fees
Personal Service and Amateur Licenses
Personal licenses include Amateur Radio Service licenses (used for recreational, noncommercial radio services), Ship licenses (used to operate all manner of ships), Aircraft licenses (used to operate all manner of aircraft), Commercial Radio Operator licenses (permits for ship and aircraft station operators, where required), and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licenses (used for short-distance, two-way voice communications using hand-held radios, as well as for short data messaging applications).
- Part 13 Restricted Radiotelephone (RR, CM)
- Part 80 Ship Radio Service (SA, SB, SE)
- Part 87 Aircraft Radio Service (AC)
- Part 95 General Mobile Radio Service (ZA)
- Part 97 Amateur Radio Service (HA, HV)
Site-based licensed services include land mobile systems (one or more base stations communicating with mobile devices, or mobile-only systems), point-to-point systems (two stations using a spectrum band to form a data communications path), point-to-multipoint systems (one or more base stations that communicate with fixed remote units), as well as radiolocation and radionavigation systems.
- Part 22 Paging and Radiotelephone Service (CB, CD, CA, CG, CO, CR, CL)
- Part 74 Broadcast Auxiliary Radio Service (AB, AI, AS, LV, TB, TI, TP, TS, TT)
- Part 80 Marine Coast Radio Service (MA, MC, MK, MR)
- Part 87 Aviation Ground Radio Service (AA, AF, AR)
- Part 90 Land Mobile Radio Service (IG, YG, GB, GI, GJ, GO, GU, YB, YI, YJ, YO, YU, GL, GM, GR, GX, YL, YM, YS, YX, NC, QD, QO, QT, QQ, LN, LW, IK, RS, YK, GS)
- Part 101 Microwave Service (CT, CF, MG, MW, MM, CE, PE, WA, WM, WR)
Geographic Service Application Fees
Geographic-based licenses authorize an applicant to construct anywhere within a particular geographic area's boundary (subject to certain technical requirements, including interference protection) and generally do not require applicants to submit additional applications for prior Commission approval of specific transmitter locations. Geographic-based licensing services include the 220-222 MHz Service (used for flexible wireless services over narrowband frequencies), 24 GHz Service and Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (used for a variety of data services), Multilateration Location and Monitoring Service (used to locate and monitor remote radio units), Multiple Address System (used for supervisory control and data acquisition services), Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (used for TV programming and Internet connectivity), Paging and Radiotelephone Service (used for narrowband one-way and two-way land mobile communications), VHF Public Coast Stations (used as a maritime mobile service to address the distress, navigational, and business communications needs of vessels), and 800 MHz and 900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Service (used for flexible wireless services to businesses and consumers).
- Part 22 Paging and Radiotelephone Service (CJ, CP, CZ, GC)
- Part 24 Broadband Personal Communications Service (CN, CW, CY)
- Part 27 Miscellaneous Wireless Communication Services (AD, AH, AT, AW, BA,BR,ED, WS, BB, BS, PK, PM, WT, WU, WY, WX, WZ)
- Part 30 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UU)
- Part 80 Marine Coast Radio Service (PC)
- Part 90 Land Mobile Radio Service (LS, QA, YC, YD, YH)
- Part 95 218-219 MHZ Radio Service (ZV)
- Part 96 Citizens Broadband Radio Service (PL)
- Part 101 Microwave (DV, LD, MS)
The following transactions are commonly referred to as secondary markets for radio spectrum and that allow and encourage licensees to make all or portions of their assigned licenses available to other entities and uses. Under Section 310(d) of the Act, all licensees must seek and obtain FCC consent before assigning or transferring control of FCC-issued licenses or permits.
Assignment of Authorization
An assignment of authorization is a transaction in which the license/callsign is assigned by one entity to another. An assignment of authorization involves a complete transfer of ownership in the license and generally involves a change in the Licensee name.
Transfer of Control
A Transfer of Control is a transaction in which controlling interest in the ownership of a licensee entity transfers to another party or parties. A Transfer of Control involves a transfer of controlling interest in ownership but generally does not involve a change in the Licensee name.
Total application fees due for all applications are always a combination of:
Applications fee(s) + regulatory fee(s) (if paid upfront) + waiver fee (if applicable) = Total application Fees
Spectrum leasing is also part of the FCC’s secondary market initiatives designed to remove regulatory barriers and increase access to spectrum. Licensees that hold “exclusive use” licenses can lease spectrum to third parties using the following two arrangements:
Spectrum Manager Leases
Under the Spectrum Manager arrangement, the licensee must retain both de jure control and de facto control over the spectrum that is leased. Spectrum Manager Leases are either short-term (a period of less than a year) or long-term (a period of more than a year).
De Facto Transfer Leases
In a De Facto Transfer leasing arrangement, the licensee retains de jure control of the license while transferring de facto control of the leased spectrum and the associated rights to the spectrum lessee. De Facto Transfer Leases are either short-term (a period of less than a year) or long-term (a period of more than a year).
Information on how to file spectrum leasing arrangements, as well as subleases and private commons arrangements, is located in the spectrum leasing guide.