FCC Seeks Comment on Regulatory Fees FY2018 Order and NPRM

On May 22, 2018, the Commission released a Report and Order (“Order”) and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2018. In the Order, the Commission (1) adopts new tiers for calculating regulatory fees for submarine cable systems; (2) declines to adopt a new regulatory fee for international section 214 authorizations; and (3) retains the optional bulk rate calculation for determining the number of subscribers in multiple dwelling units used in the calculation of cable television regulatory fees. The item also includes procedural information for filing FY2018 fees.

Payment of Regulatory Fees

For wireless services (CMRS cellular, mobile, and messaging services), regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2017. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2017, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of permit or license as of the fee due date. The number of subscribers, units, or telephone numbers on December 31, 2017 will be used as the basis from which to calculate the fee payment.

For wireless services with multi-year fees, such as microwave licenses, regulatory fees are paid in advance for the entire period covered by the five-year or ten-year terms of their initial licenses, and then paid again when the license is renewed.

Appendix A of the item includes the calculations of FY2018 revenue requirements and pro-rata fees for types of entities, and Appendix B lists the proposed regulatory fees for FY2018. The Commission sets the proposed rounded FY2018 regulatory fee for CMRS Mobile Services at $0.20 per telephone number (subscriber) count, and for CMRS messaging services at $0.080 per telephone number (subscriber) count.

  • The Commission will compile data from the NRUF report based on “assigned” telephone number (subscriber) counts that have been adjusted for porting to net Type 0 ports (“in” and “out”). Subscriber counts will be posted on Fee Filer along with the carrier’s Operating Company Numbers (“OCNs”), where carriers can revise counts, provided they supply supporting documentation. For carriers that have not filled out the NRUF report, fee payments should be calculated using the standard methodology used currently for CMRS Wireless services (i.e., compute telephone number counts as of December 31, 2017), and submit fee payments accordingly.


In the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on the proposed regulatory fees for FY2018, and specifically proposes to collect $322,035,000 in fees for FY 2018. The Commission projects approximately $20.13 million (6.25% of total FTE allocation) in fees from International Bureau regulatees; $84.70 million (26.3% of total FTE allocation) in fees form Wireless Bureau regulatees; $103.99 million (32.29% of total FTE allocation) from Wireline Competition Bureau regulatees; and $113.22 million (35.16% of the total FTE allocation) from Media Bureau regulatees. These regulatory fees are due in September 2018.

The NPRM also seeks comment on how it should measure the actual market served by broadcast television stations and any alternative methods of calculating fees and markets for these stations. It also seeks comment on whether it should adopt a new regulatory fee category for small satellites.

Comments on the NPRM are due June 21, 2018.

Reply comments on the NPRM are due July 6, 2018.

Please Contact Us if you have any questions.

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