Deadline to Pay FCC Regulatory Fees is September 25th

The FCC released its Report and Order on annual regulatory fees for fiscal year 2020 and, over objections from the NAB and NASBA, declined to substantially reduce radio regulatory fees, keeping in place its calculation methodology that results in a net increase from 2019 in fees assessed to radio broadcasters (a computational error led to a minor downward adjustment in radio fees from what the FCC set out earlier in the 2020 fee process).  The FCC also declined to change its methodology for calculating television fees, transitioning fully to a population-based methodology.  The Commission did acknowledge the hardships stations are facing during the pandemic and has taken steps to provide relief.  That relief for stations that can demonstrate financial hardship includes allowing stations to submit one request seeking a fee waiver and deferral of payment for hardship reasons instead of two separate requests as generally required by the Commission rules; allowing stations to submit by email a request to pay their fees in installments over time at a low interest rate; and directing Commission staff to work closely with and help stations finding it difficult to produce supporting documents that prove financial hardship caused by the virus.  See post at the Broadcast Law Blog for a deeper look at the Report and Order and see below for links to Public Notices with details about how to pay your fees and how to seek relief, all due by 11:59 p.m. on September 25.  More information and specific fact sheets for the Media Bureau payees will be posted at FCC.gov/RegFees.

o   Due Date and Fee Filer Notice

o   Fee Payment Methods and Procedures

o   Procedures for Filing Waiver, Reduction, Deferral, and Installment Payment Requests Due to Coronavirus