FCC Warns Licensees of Financial System Conversion

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission sent out a flare this week to licensees whose regulatory fees are soon due. The commission is converting to a new financial system next month and will effectively be without one for two weeks. The old system is coming down Sept. 30, starting a black-out period that will last through Oct. 18, when the new system is activated. Thus, licensees and applicants won’t have access to the “red light” alerts in the FCC database that indicate when fees are due.

“During the conversion, or “blackout,” period, the commission’s licensing systems will not have full access to up-to-date payment information; nor will those systems have access to current Red Light Display System statuses,” the FCC notice reads. “Thus, applicants will not be able to view their current Red Light status or recent payment activity online during the conversion period. Similarly, commission staff will have limited ability during the conversion period to access certain files and systems that track payments, and may, therefore, be unable to verify account statuses during the conversion period.”

The FCC warns of processing delays during the conversion.

“Therefore, are urged to plan their licensing activities around the conversion period and submit any applications before commencement of the conversion or after completion of conversion to the new financial system,” the notice states.

According to the FCC’s recently launched License View Web site, 8,177 licenses are eligible for renewal in all of October.

Further details are available in FCC DA 10-1664.
-- Deborah D. McAdams