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FCC Seeks Feedback on 2010 Regulatory Fees

WASHINGTON: The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting public comment on proposed 2010 regulatory fees. The commission is proposing to collect more than $335 million this year from businesses it regulates. Noncommerical broadcasters are exempt.

Brendan Holland of Davis Wright Tremaine LLC says the 2010 fees are in line with those levied in 2009, with a few exceptions. Some categories of TV station fees have declined, he said. There is no change for the fees proposed for low-power TV, Class A licenses and TV translators.

“A few things to note with respect to the fees with respect to digital television stations,” he writes. “The NPRM proposes to collect annual regulatory fees from all digital full-service television stations, including any that may have been operating pursuant to Special Temporary Authority--rather than a license--on Oct. 1, 2009. With respect to low-power and Class A television stations, the FCC has proposed that if a station is operating both an analog and a paired digital signal, then only a single regulatory fee will be assessed for the analog facility and no fee would be required for the digital companion channel.”

The fee deadline is typically September, but will be determined this year through the rulemaking, Holland said. Comments on Docket No. 10-87 are due May 4; reply comments are due May 11.

Holland has details and fee structure details at the Broadcast Law Blog.