FCC Regulatory Fees Likely Due in August

In July, we reported that the FCC had adopted its FY 2010 regulatory fee schedule. In past years, regulatory fees were due in September, usually in the third week of the month. However, it looks like this year’s fee will be due significantly earlier -- by August 31, 2010.

The first hint of an earlier due date appears in the FCC Regulatory Fee Order released on July 9. The order did not establish a due date for regulatory fees, but the Commission stated that it intended to collect fees during an August 2010 filing window.” (see paragraph 1). That made us curious, but not convinced. Last week, however, the FCC released a public notice concerning fees for its radio and TV licensees. That public notice states that the media services fee is due no later than 11:59 PM, ET, on August 31, 2010.” This seems a pretty good indication that fees for all filers will be due earlier than in years past.

Given that late-paid regulatory fees are subject to a mandatory, non-waivable 25% late payment penalty, carriers should plan accordingly.