The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that outlines the fiscal year (FY) 2019 regulatory fees and proposes changes to the FY 2020 regulatory fees. In total, the FCC proposes to collect $339,000,000 in regulatory fees in FY 2020. Specifically, given the significant changes in submarine cable system active or lit capacity and usage since 2009, the Commission proposes to attribute 95% of the fees to submarine cables and 5% to the terrestrial and satellite circuits. Additionally, the FCC proposes to base regulatory fees, for television broadcast stations, on the population covered by a full-power broadcast television station’s contour. It proposes adopting a factor of .78 of one cent, per person served, for the assessment of regulatory fees on broadcast television stations.
Although the Commission cannot decrease the amount of the regulatory fees, it will offer extended payment terms at nominal interest rates for those who can demonstrate they are experiencing significant financial challenges due to COVID-19.