On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, the Commission released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order” and “FNPRM”) on the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2019 (MD Docket No. 19-105). The Order adopts a schedule of regulatory fees to assess and collect $339,000,000 in fees for FY 2019, and adopts several targeted amendments to the rules to conform with the RAY BAUM’s Act. As discussed further below, the FCC sets the FY 2019 regulatory fee for CMRS Mobile Services at $0.19 per telephone number count/subscriber, and at $0.08 per telephone number count/subscriber for CMRS Messaging Services. Payments to the FCC must be received electronically by September 30, 2019.
The Commission continues to apportion regulatory fees across fee categories based on the number of direct full-time equivalent employees (“FTEs”) in each of the four core bureau and the proportionate number of indirect FTEs, as well as other factors. The Order projects collecting approximately $25.39 million from regulatees in the International Bureau, $85.15 million from Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“WTB”) regulatees, $106.64 million from Wireline Competition Bureau (“WCB”) regulatees, and $121.82 million from Media Bureau regulatees. The Report adopts a de minimis fee exemption of $1000, as well as the FCC’s proposal to exclude multi-year regulatory fees from this exemption.
The FNPRM seeks additional comment on several issues in reforming regulatory fees for FY 2020, specifically on assessing International Bureau regulatees and adjusting TV and radio broadcaster regulatory fees.
Payment Instructions – Regulatory Fee payments must be received electronically by September 30, 2019, either paid by wire transfer, online credit card, or Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) payment. Electronic payments will be considered timely when a wire transfer is received by the Commission’s bank no later than 6:00 pm on the due date; confirmation to pay.gov that a credit card payment was successful no later than 11:59 pm ET on the due date; or confirmation that an ACH was credited no later than 11:59 pm ET on the due date. Payments by wire must be accompanied by a Form 195-E via fax so the Commission can associate the wire payment with the correct fee information. Payments by credit card may not exceed $24,999.99 – any card payments above this amount will be rejected.
Wireless Services – For CMRS cellular, mobile, and messaging services (fees based on the number of subscribers or telephone number count), regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2018. The number of subscribers, units, or telephone numbers on December 31, 2018 will be used as the basis for calculating the fee payment. In cases where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2018, the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date is responsible for payment. For wireless services with multi-year fees, entities pay these regulatory fees in advance for the entire amount period covered by the five- or ten-year terms of their initial licenses, and pay regulatory fees again only when the license is renewed, or a new license is obtained.
- Appendix B of the item lists the calculations of FY 2019 revenue requirements and the pro-rata fees by category. As proposed, the Commission sets the rounded FY 2019 regulatory fee for CMRS Mobile Services at $.19 per telephone number (subscriber) count, and for CMRS Messaging Services at $.08 per telephone number (subscriber) count. (See also Appendix C).
- The Commission compiles data from the Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (“NRUF”) report based on “assigned” telephone number (subscriber) counts that have been adjusted for porting to net Type 0 ports (“in” and “out”). This information will be posted on Fee Filer, along with the carrier’s Operating Company Numbers (“OCNs”).
- As a reminder, the Commission released an August 9, 2019 Public Notice announcing that FY 2019 ISTP and CMRS subscriber count data is available to view on Fee Filer. Any revisions to subscriber count information submitted after today’s deadline (August 28, 2019) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For more information on regulatory fees, visit http://www.fcc.gov/regfees.
The Order will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
Comments on the FNPRM are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Reply comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
On August 28, 2019, the Commission released a Public Notice announcing that Fee Filer is open for regulatory fee payments and that regulatory fees for 2019 are due September 24, 2019, rather than September 30, 2019 as originally published in the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The Commission also released an Erratum on August 30, 2019 correcting the item’s previously listed date of September 30, 2019 to “September 2019.”
All regulatory fee payments must be received electronically by September 24, 2019. There were no other corrections made to the regulatory fees or instructions.
On September 23, 2019, the Commission released a Public Notice extending the due date for 2019 regulatory fee payments to 11:59 PM, Friday, September 27, 2019. This three-day extension applies to all annual regulatory fee payors.
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