Updated: Feb 9, 2018

The Commission has released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the assessment and collection of regulatory fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, and seeks comment regarding fee adjustments pursuant to the FY 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Report and Order. The Commission proposes to collect $384,012,497 in regulatory fees for FY 2016.

As required by Congress, the Commission assesses regulatory fees each year in an amount that can be reasonably expected to equal the amount of its appropriation. To calculate regulatory fees, the Commission allocates the total collection target across all regulatory fee categories. The allocation of fees to fee categories is based on the Commission’s calculation of full time employees (FTEs) in each regulatory fee category.  The total FTEs for each fee category includes the direct FTEs associated with that category, plus a proportional allocation of the indirect FTEs.

This release by the FCC details the changes that have already been adopted for regulatory fees in FY 2016, as well as proposals and comments for further regulatory fee reform.

In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,

  • The Commission proposes to collect $384,012,497 in regulatory fees for FY 2016. (In FY 2015, the Commission proposed $339,844,000 in regulatory fees).
    • Of this amount, the Commission projects approximately $21.4 million in fees from the International Bureau regulatees, $81.9 million from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau regulatees, $133.97 million from the Media Bureau regulatees, and $146.8 million from the Wireline Competition Bureau regulatees.
  • The Commission includes a proposed regulatory fee adjustment for Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS).
    • The Commission seeks comment on a higher regulatory fee of 27 cents per subscriber per year for FY 2016. This fee includes a 24 cent per subscriber baseline with a proportional adjustment of 3 cents per subscriber associated with facilities reduction costs.
    • In 2015, the Commission adopted the initial regulatory fee for DBS of 12 cents per year per subscriber and stated in the FY 2015 Report and Order and FNPRM that it would update the fee in FY 2016 as necessary.
  • The Commission seeks comment on proposed regulatory fees for AM and FM radio broadcasters and adjustments to the tables used to assess regulatory fees. The proposed fee adjustment tables are available in Appendix B to the NPRM.
    • The Commission tentatively concludes that the FY 2015 proposal for Top 10 radio stations to pay twice that of 26-50 market stations will make fees more reasonable.
  • The Commission seeks comment on whether to distinguish common carrier terrestrial circuits from non-common carrier terrestrial circuits for regulatory fee purposes.
  • The Commission declines to combine the Wireline Competition Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau regulatory fee categories. However, it seeks comment on whether some or all of the direct FTEs that devote time to universal service and/or numbering issues should be reallocated as indirect FTEs and what the appropriate proportion should be.

The proposed regulatory fee schedule is available in Appendix B of the NPRM.

Comments are due June 20, 2016.Reply Comments are due July 5, 2016.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.