FCC Releases FY 2024 Regulatory Fees Second NPRM

On June 13, 2024, the FCC released a Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Second NPRM”) on the assessment and collection of the 2024 regulatory fees.  For fiscal year 2024 (“FY 2024”), the FCC is required to collect $390,192,000 in regulatory fees, to reflect the “full-time equivalent (“FTE”) number of employees” at the FCC as adjusted pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the FY 2024 Further Consolidation Appropriations Act.  For FY 2024, the FCC has proposed to slightly revise the FY 2023 reallocation of FTE employees in light of the elimination of the International Bureau and creation of the Office of International Affairs and the Space Bureau.

In addition to the FTE methodology, the FCC also seeks comment on several additional regulatory fee issues, including:

  • Whether to end the temporary relief measures implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic;
  • Whether new regulatory fee categories should be adopted;
  • Ways in which the Commission might improve the regulatory fee process to ensure regulatory fee payors timely meet annual regulatory fee obligations; and
  • How the rate proposals may affect advances in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Payment Calculations

As a reminder, for wireless services, regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2023. The number of subscribers, units, or telephone numbers on December 31, 2023 will be used as the basis from which to calculate the fee payment.  Permits or licenses transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, are the responsibility of the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.

For Commercial Mobile Radio Service (“CMRS”) providers, the FCC will compile data from the Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (“NRUF”) report that is based on “assigned” telephone number (“subscriber”) counts that have been adjusted for porting to net Type 0 ports.  Non-geographic numbers are included in the proposed calculation of the number of subscribers of each CMRS provider (see Appendix B of the NPRM) and the CMRS regulatory fee factor (see Appendix C of the NPRM).  CMRS provider regulatory fees will be calculated and should be paid based on the inclusion of non-geographic numbers.   The FCC proposes to set the rounded standard fee calculations for FY 2024 for CMRS Mobile Services at $0.16 per telephone number (subscriber), and for CMRS Messaging Services at $0.080 per telephone number (subscriber).

CMRS providers can adjust the total number of subscribers, if needed.  Subscriber counts will be posted on the Commission’s Registration System (“CORES”) along with the carrier’s Operating Company Numbers (“OCNs”).  A carrier wishing to revise its subscriber count can do so in CORES by following the prompts.  Revisions to subscriber counts should be accompanied by an explanation.  The FCC will review the revised account and explanation and either approve or disapprove the request.

Comments will be due on or before July 15, 2024.

Reply Comments will be due on or before July 29, 2024.

Please Contact Us if you have any questions.

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