Member Login

Forgot Password?
Need Login?

You are here: Home > News & Events > News > TAB Continues Push to…
Welcome, guest: Login to your account

TAB Continues Push to Revamp FCC Regulatory Fees

- Staff Allocation, New Radio Tier and Relief Plans

The push by TAB to revamp the FCC’s regulatory fee regime continues to advance with the filing of joint reply comments supporting the agency’s proposed recategorization of full-time employees, creation of a lower fee tier for smaller Radio stations, and adoption of additional relief measures for fee payors.

This follows the related announcement in late May by the FCC of a proposed regulatory fee schedule that represents a 5.4 percent reduction in regulatory fees for Radio stations as shown on this chart and a meaningful reduction in TV stations’ fees.

TAB’s FCC legal counsel, Scott Flick and Lauren Lynch Flick with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, have been working to reform the FCC’s regulatory fee-setting process since 2020 during the height of the first COVID wave while coordinating closely with NAB.

FCC Staff Categories, Reviews

TAB supports the FCC’s plan to more precisely delineate which agency employees work on non-broadcast matters and to ensure that the cost of those employees, as well as associated overhead costs of the FCC, are covered by the regulatory fees paid by the non-broadcast entities benefiting from those employees’ work rather than by broadcasters.

In addition, the comments by TAB and its counterparts across the country urge the FCC to conduct annual reviews of staff categorizations prior to issuing proposed regulatory fees, and to ensure that, as required by the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018, the costs of operating the FCC are spread across all entities that benefit from the Commission’s activities, and not just those that hold an FCC license and which are regulated by one the four bureaus the FCC deems “core”.

Lower Tier for Smaller Radio Stations

TAB also supports the FCC’s proposal to create a lower cost regulatory fee tier for smaller radio stations, and to make permanent its pandemic-era elimination – which TAB and its counterparts requested – of various administrative obstacles to those seeking relief from regulatory fee obligations.

Examples of such include making it simpler to file multiple requests for relief in a single pleading, simplifying the filing process to request an installment payment plan, and allowing electronic submission of those requests for relief via email.  

New Permanent Relief Measures

Finally, the TAB joint filing encourages the FCC to also extend and make permanent other temporary relief measures adopted during the pandemic, such as:

  • waiving its downpayment requirement for installment plans
  • partially waiving its bar on delinquent payors seeking fee relief
  • using its discretion to reduce the interest rate charged on installment plans and
  • allowing payors to supplement their requests with additional documentation to support their submissions after they are initially filed.

The FCC is slated to adopt the new regulatory fee rules this summer and then announce the payment due date which TAB will amplify to help all Texas broadcasters avoid late fees.

Questions? Contact TAB's .

« Back to News Archive
« Back to Latest News