Review of the Commission's Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2024, 89 Fed. Reg. 53276 (2024)

Table of Contents
AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: DATES: ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Administrative Matters II. Introduction III. Background IV. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Assessment of Regulatory Fees 1. Methodology for Assessing Regulatory Fees a. Indirect FTE Reallocations b. Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fee Rates 2. Adjustment of Reallocations, for Regulatory Fee Purposes, of Certain Indirect FTEs as Direct FTEs B. Elimination of the International Bureau 1. Office of International Affairs 2. Space Bureau C. Broadcast Television Stations D. Digital Equity and Inclusion E. Temporary Relief Measures Due to Economic Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic F. Non-Operating Broadcast Stations G. Improving the Regulatory Fee Process H. New Regulatory Fee Categories V. Procedural Matters List of Tables Table 5—Sources of Payment Unit Estimates for FY 2024 Table 6—Factors, Measurements, and Calculations That Determine Station Signal Contours and Associated Population Coverages AM Stations FM Stations Table 7—Space Station Satellite Charts for FY 2024 Regulatory Fees Listing of Satellites Under Existing Methodology Space Station Satellite Charts for Proposed FY 2024 Regulatory Fees Table A—Space Stations Potentially Subject to Regulatory Fees in FY 2024 Table B—FY 2024 Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Calculations if Proposals To Amend the Existing Fee Methodology are Adopted and Effective Table C—FY 2024 Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Calculated if the Proposed Alternative Fee Methodology is Adopted and Effective Table 9—FY 2023 Schedule of Regulatory Fees VI. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules B. Legal Basis C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered F. Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules VII. Ordering Clauses References

AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on revising the fee schedule of FY 2024 regulatory fees and on several additional regulatory fee issues, as described in the text below.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before July 15, 2024. Reply comments must be submitted on or before July 29, 2024.

ADDRESSES:

Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments identified by MD Docket No. 23-159, by any of the following methods below. Comments and reply comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings,63 FR 24121 (1998).

1. Comment Filing Procedures. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

  • Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the internet by accessing the ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/.
  • Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing.
  • Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial courier, or by the U.S. Postal Service. All filings must be addressed to the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
  • Hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary are accepted between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. by the FCC's mailing contractor at 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.
  • Commercial courier deliveries (any deliveries not by the U.S. Postal Service) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
  • Filings sent by U.S. Postal Service First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express must be sent to 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554.

2. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

1. Pursuant to section 1.49 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.49, parties to this proceeding must file any documents in this proceeding using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS): http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

2. Materials in Accessible Formats. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice).

3. Availability of Documents. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. When the FCC Headquarters reopens to the public, these documents will also be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Roland Helvajian, Office of Managing Director at (202) 418-0444.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 24-68, MD Docket No. 24-86, adopted on June 12, 2024 and released on June 13, 2024. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. When the FCC Headquarters reopens to the public, these documents will also be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice).

I. Administrative Matters

4. Ex Parte Information. The proceeding initiated by this NPRM, in which we seek comment on proposals as described below, shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with section 1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules. In proceedings governed by section 1.49(f) of the Commission's rules or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format ( e.g.,.doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

5. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice and comment rulemakings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” Accordingly, we have prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) concerning the potential impact of rule and policy change proposals on small entities accompanying the NPRM. The IRFA is set forth in Section VII of this document.

6. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis. This document may contain proposed new or modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and OMB to comment on any information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the PRA. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

II. Introduction

7. For fiscal year (FY) 2024, the Commission is required to collect $390,192,000 in regulatory fees, an amount equal to our annual salaries and expenses (S&E) appropriation, pursuant to section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act or Act), and the Commission's FY 2024 Further Consolidation Appropriations Act. In this annual Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), we seek comment on the Commission's proposed methodology and regulatory fees for FY 2024, as set forth in Tables 3, 4, and 7. In 2023, the Commission eliminated the International Bureau, established a new Space Bureau and a new Office of International Affairs, and reallocated the authorities and functions of the International Bureau to the Space Bureau and the Office of International Affairs. In light of these actions, we reviewed the FY 2023 reallocations to determine if any changes are warranted, and propose to slightly revise the FY 2023 reallocations to the core bureaus, including the new Space Bureau and the new Office of International Affairs, for FY 2024, as further detailed below.

8. We also seek comment on several additional regulatory fee issues, including: (i) the calculation of television broadcaster regulatory fees; (ii) how our proposals may promote or inhibit advances in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; (iii) the end of temporary relief measures we implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; (iv) our proposal to discontinue the Commission's presumption that broadcast stations that are dark or were recently dark or bankrupt are experiencing financial hardship sufficient to justify waiver of their regulatory fees; and (v) ways in which the Commission might assist regulatory fee payors in meeting their annual regulatory fee obligations.

III. Background

9. Section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934 obligates the Commission to assess and collect regulatory fees each year in an amount that can reasonably be expected to equal the amount of its annual S&E appropriation. Thus, the Commission has no discretion regarding the total amount to be collected in any given fiscal year. For FY 2024, the Commission must recover $390,192,000 as set forth in the FY 2024 Further Consolidation Appropriations Act. Regulatory fees recover all of the Commission's direct costs, such as salaries and expenses; indirect costs, such as overhead functions; statutorily required tasks that do not directly equate with oversight and regulation of a particular regulatee, but instead benefit the Commission and the industry as a whole; and support costs such as rent, utilities, and equipment. Regulatory fees must recover the total amount of the appropriation; therefore, they also cover the Commission's costs incurred in oversight and regulation of entities that are statutorily exempt from paying regulatory fees ( i.e., governmental and nonprofit entities, amateur radio operators, and noncommercial radio and television stations), entities that are exempt from payment of regulatory fees because their total assessed annual regulatory fees fall below the annual de minimis threshold, and entities whose regulatory fees are waived. Pursuant to section 9(d) of the Communications Act, the Commission's methodology for assessing regulatory fees must “reflect the full-time equivalent number of employees within the bureaus and offices of the Commission, adjusted to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities.”

10. In section 9 of the Communications Act, Congress prescribed a method of collecting an amount equal to the full S&E appropriation by keying the regulatory fee assessment to the Commission's FTE burden. As a result, the fee assigned to each regulatory fee category relates to the FTE burden associated with oversight and regulation of each regulatory fee category by the relevant core bureaus. Because the total amount the Commission must collect in an offsetting collection generally changes each fiscal year, payors' regulatory fees will also typically change each fiscal year as a mathematical consequence of the changes in the total amount to be collected, the number of FTEs, and projected unit estimates for each regulatory fee category. Beyond those changed collection requirements, in considering changes, additions, or deletions to the regulatory fee schedule the Commission focuses on direct FTE cost burden related to the regulatory fee category at issue within each core bureau. The Commission has explained that, consistent with its statutory directive, it bases regulatory fees on the direct FTEs in core bureaus. The Commission has stated that, given the Communication Act's explicit language that fees must reflect FTEs, the FTE counts are by far the most administrable starting point for regulatory fee allocations.

11. The Commission does not assign direct FTEs within a bureau to specific fee categories by rote or at random, but rather in a manner that reflects the time spent by FTEs on a regulatory fee category, which is in itself a reflection of “benefit” to the fee category. Thus, we apportion regulatory fees across fee categories based on the number of direct FTEs in each core bureau to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the payor's benefits.

12. Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Allocation and Fee Calculation. The Commission allocates FTEs according to the nature of the work performed by its different organizational units. If the work performed by a group or office is directly related to our oversight and regulation of a regulatory fee category or categories in one of the five core licensing bureaus, then such FTEs are counted as a direct FTE. If the work cannot be allocated to one of the bureau's designated regulatory fee categories, the work performed is counted as an indirect FTE. Under this framework, the Commission, therefore, assesses the allocation of FTEs by first determining the number of direct FTEs, those non-auctions FTEs that work in each of the Commission's core bureaus ( i.e., the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Media Bureau, part of the Wireline Competition Bureau, the Office of International Affairs, and the Space Bureau). Regulatory fees are initially apportioned across the regulatory fee categories based on the number of direct FTEs in each core bureau whose time is focused on a particular industry segment and then is adjusted “to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities.”

13. The FTE time devoted to developing and implementing the Commission's spectrum auctions is not included in the calculation of regulatory fees and is not offset by the collection of regulatory fees. Instead, such FTE time is offset by the auction proceeds that the Commission is permitted to retain pursuant to section 309(j)(8)(B) of the Communications Act and the Commission's annual appropriation. Thus, spectrum auctions FTEs are not included in the calculation of regulatory fees and the Commission's methodology excludes all spectrum auction-related FTEs and their overhead from the regulatory fee calculations. To the extent that FTEs within core bureaus spend a portion of their time on auctions issues and a portion of their time on appropriated issues, their time is split and only the non-auctions portion of their time is reflected in the relevant core bureau's FTE count.

14. Early in each fiscal year, the Commission receives FTE data from its Human Resources Management office and identifies FTEs at the core bureau level ( i.e., direct FTEs), which is then used to determine the FTE allocations for the five core bureaus. This FTE data is then validated through consultation with the bureaus and apportioned to the various fee categories within each core bureau based on FTE time spent on each fee category. After the number of direct FTEs is determined for each core bureau of the Commission, the direct FTE numbers are used to calculate the percentage of the total amount of regulatory fees to be collected for a given fiscal year. We allocate appropriated amounts to be recovered proportionally based on the number of direct FTEs within each core bureau. Those proportions are then subdivided within each core bureau into fee categories among the regulatees served by the core bureau. Finally, within each regulatory fee category the amount to be collected is divided by a unit that allocates the regulatee's proportionate share based on an objective measure.

15. In prior regulatory fee proceedings, the Commission has categorized the FTEs in the Enforcement Bureau, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Chairwoman's and Commissioners' Offices, Office of the Managing Director, Office of General Counsel, Office of Inspector General, Office of Communications Business Opportunities, Office of Engineering and Technology, Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Workplace Diversity, Office of Media Relations, Office of Economics and Analytics, and Office of Administrative Law Judges, along with some FTEs in the Wireline Competition Bureau and the International Bureau as indirect for regulatory fee purposes. Unlike the work of direct FTEs, the work of indirect FTEs in the non-core bureaus and offices is not focused on the oversight and regulation of a specific category of regulatory fee payors, but instead benefits the Commission, the telecommunications industry, and the public as a whole. The Commission's high percentage of indirect FTEs demonstrates that many of our activities and costs are not limited to a particular fee category.

16. Adjustments and Amendments to Regulatory Fee Schedule. In accordance with the statute, each year, in an annual fee proceeding, the Commission proposes adjustments to the prior fee schedule under section 9(c) to “(A) reflect unexpected increases or decreases in the number of units subject to the payment of such fees; and (B) result in the collection of the amount required” by the Commission's annual appropriation. The Commission will also propose amendments to the fee schedule under section 9(d) “if the Commission determines that the schedule requires amendment so that such fees reflect the full-time equivalent number of employees within the bureaus and offices of the Commission, adjusted to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities. Pursuant to section 9A(b)(1) of the Act, the Commission must notify Congress immediately upon adoption of any adjustment. Pursuant to section 9A(b)(2) of the Act, the Commission must notify Congress at least 90 days prior to making effective any amendments to the regulatory fee schedule.

17. In implementing our section 9 authority, we consider the adoption of a new regulatory fee category or a change in an existing regulatory fee category only when we develop a sufficient basis for making the change, and we work to ensure that all changes serve the goal of ensuring that our assessment of regulatory fees is fair, administrable, and sustainable. The Commission has adopted new regulatory fee categories and new methodologies for calculating regulatory fees when there is a sufficient basis for doing so under the relevant statutory provisions and precedent, and based on the record. Most recently, in 2020, the Commission included non-U.S. licensed space stations with U.S. market access grants in the existing “Space Stations” fee category. The Commission concluded that assessing the same regulatory fees on non-U.S. licensed space stations with U.S. market access as assessed on U.S. licensed space stations would better reflect the benefits received by these operators, i.e., the adjudicatory, enforcement, regulatory, and international coordination activities by the Commission's FTEs in the International Bureau.

IV. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

18. In this NPRM, we propose and seek comment on regulatory fees for FY 2024 as set forth in Tables 3, 4, and 7. We also seek comment on several additional regulatory fee issues, including: (i) the calculation of television broadcaster regulatory fees; (ii) how our proposals may promote or inhibit advances in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; (iii) the end of temporary relief measures we implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; (iv) our proposal to discontinue the Commission's presumption that broadcast stations that are dark or were recently dark or bankrupt are experiencing financial hardship sufficient to justify waiver of their regulatory fees; and (v) ways in which the Commission might assist regulatory fee payors in meeting their annual regulatory fee obligations.

A. Assessment of Regulatory Fees

1. Methodology for Assessing Regulatory Fees

19. In FY 2024, the Commission is required to collect $390,192,000 in regulatory fees. Section 9 of the Communications Act requires us to set regulatory fees to “reflect the full-time equivalent number of employees within the bureaus and offices of the Commission adjusted to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities.” Our first step in establishing our regulatory fee schedule is to take into consideration the adjustments necessitated by the more apparent changes from the prior fiscal year regulatory fee proceeding, e.g., changes in the (i) FY appropriation, (ii) FTE levels, and (iii) relevant unit measures for each regulatory fee category. Such adjustments are often considered ministerial. Our second step is a more substantive review where we look to the core bureaus within the Commission in order to identify the number of direct non-auction FTEs in each core bureau for purposes of the regulatory fee calculation. After we determine the number of direct FTEs for each core bureau, we use these numbers to start our calculations of the percentage of the total amount of regulatory fees to be collected for a given fiscal year from each regulatory fee category within each core bureau. These proportional calculations allocate all Commission non-auction related costs across all regulatory fee categories.

a. Indirect FTE Reallocations

20. In FY 2023, the Commission found that the Commission's general methodology for establishing regulatory fees has been, and continues to be, appropriate and consistent with section 9 of the Communications Act. The Commission therefore implemented this same methodology, but, in addition to looking at the current allocation of direct FTEs within the core bureaus, it also conducted a high-level analysis of the work of the Commission's indirect FTEs in non-core bureaus and offices and, where the Commission could determine with reasonable accuracy for FY 2023 that such work was spent on the regulation and oversight of a regulatory fee payor, the Commission reallocated the burden of that work as direct to a core bureau, solely for regulatory fee purposes. As a result of this analysis, for FY 2023, 63 indirect FTEs located in the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Economics and Analytics, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau that were previously considered to be indirect FTEs were allocated as direct FTEs to a core bureau, for regulatory fee purposes, based on the Commission's evaluation of the burden of their work. In the FY 2023 Report and Order, the Commission explained that, while the Commission will continue to evaluate whether any FTEs should be reallocated for regulatory fee purposes each year when reviewing and validating the FTE data, the Commission will exercise its discretion regarding where to focus its analytical efforts each year to best respond to changes in the Commission's substantive work and organization, and changes in the telecommunications industry itself. The Commission therefore indicated that where its analysis merits inclusion of proposed reallocations, it will seek comment on any such potential reallocation of FTEs in an annual proceeding.

21. For FY 2024, we propose to employ the same methodology the Commission employed in FY 2023. We conclude, however, that changes within the Commission's organizational structure and additional staff resources merit a review of the FY 2023 reallocations. Specifically, effective on April 10, 2023, the Commission eliminated the International Bureau, established a new Space Bureau and a new Office of International Affairs, and reallocated the International Bureau's authorities and functions between the Space Bureau and the Office of International Affairs. In light of these organizational changes, we reviewed FTEs that were previously allocated to the International Bureau as direct for regulatory fee purposes and we analyzed the work done by those FTEs to determine whether such FTEs should be allocated to the Office of International Affairs or to the Space Bureau. In addition, FTE levels in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau have increased during this fiscal year. In light of these changes, we analyzed the work of the new staff in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to determine whether any of their work should be allocated as indirect FTEs or allocated as direct FTEs to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes. We also analyzed the work of the FTEs in the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Economics and Analytics, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau that we reallocated in FY 2023 as direct FTEs to core bureaus for regulatory fee purposes to determine whether their work assignments continue to merit allocation of those FTEs as direct to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes.

22. Also, in instances where an FTE was previously allocated to the International Bureau as direct for regulatory fee purposes, we analyzed the specific work done by the FTE to determine whether such FTE should be allocated to the new Office of International Affairs or the Space Bureau. We limited our analytical efforts for FY 2024 to address the specific changes within the Commission and did not conduct a high-level analysis this fiscal year of all FTEs within the Commission as we believe the adjustments we make for FY 2024 reasonably reflect the major changes in the burden of work within the Commission. We thus utilize our discretion to ensure that we conduct our annual review in a manner that is fair, manageable, and sustainable. As described in more detail below, we propose that, for FY 2024, approximately 69 indirect FTEs should be reallocated as direct FTEs to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes, based on our evaluation of the burden of their work. We find that these proposed reallocations are consistent with section 9 of the Communications Act, which requires us to base our methodology on the number of FTEs in calculating regulatory fees.

b. Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fee Rates

23. On March 13, 2024, the Commission released the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM seeking comment on proposed changes to the regulatory fee methodology used for assessing space and earth station regulatory fees for FY 2024. In this NPRM, we propose regulatory fee rates in Tables 3 and 4, based on our existing methodology, and regulatory fee rates in Table 7 based on the proposals set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM. Our proposed space and earth station regulatory fee rates are, however, estimates because we recognize that, ultimately, final space and earth station regulatory fee rates are dependent upon the outcome of the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM proceeding. We also recognize that there could be a combination of the proposals based upon commenters' feedback and the outcome of the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM. Accordingly, we do not seek comment again in this proceeding on the specific proposals to adjust our existing methodology for assessing space and earth station regulatory fees, or to adopt an alternative methodology for assessing space station regulatory fees, which were set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM. Instead, comments pertaining to the proposals set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM regarding the categories and allocation of fees for space and earth stations should be submitted in the proceeding, MD Docket No. 24-85, and need not be submitted again in response to this NPRM. In this item, we specifically seek comment on the proposed regulatory fee rates for space and earth station payors for FY 2024 based on the proposals set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM.

24. The existing schedule of regulatory fees for space and earth station payors is contained in section 1.1156 of the Commission's rules. There are four current categories of space station payors: Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit); Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Less Complex; Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other; and Space Station (Small Satellites). “Less Complex” NGSO systems are defined as NGSO satellite systems planning to communicate with 20 or fewer U.S. authorized earth stations that are primarily used for Earth Exploration Satellite Service (EESS) and/or Automatic Identification System (AIS). “Small Satellites” are space stations licensed pursuant to the streamlined small satellite process contained in section 25.122 of the Commission's rules. The Space Stations (Small Satellites) category also includes “small spacecraft” licensed pursuant to the analogous streamlined procedures of section 25.123 of the rules. In addition, there is a single category of earth station payors—Earth Stations: Transmit/Receive & Transmit only. Since our fiscal year 2020 proceeding, non-U.S. licensed space stations granted market access to the United States through a Petition for Declaratory Ruling or through earth station licenses are subject to regulatory fees.

25. Under the existing methodology of calculating regulatory fees for space and earth station payors, the Commission multiplies the space station and earth station FTE allocation percentages by the target goal of collections (overall total amount to collect), respectively, to determine the amount to be collected from each regulatory fee category. Since 2020, the space station allocation percentages reflect an 80/20 split between the GSO and NGSO regulatory fee categories, respectively. The amount to be collected by the space station and earth station regulatory fee categories, divided by the projected number of units, determines the fee rate. There are several space station regulatory fee categories—GSO, NGSO “other,” NGSO “less complex,” and small satellites—and each of these regulatory fee categories has its own respective FTE allocation percentage to determine the fee rate. The small satellite fee rate is calculated by taking the average of the calculated fee rate for space stations in the NGSO “other” and NGSO “less complex” categories. The average fee rate is then multiplied by 5% (1/20) and rounded to the nearest $5 to determine the small satellite fee rate. The small satellite fee rate is then multiplied by the number of small satellite units, and the amount derived is divided by an 80/20 split and reduced from the target goals of NGSO-Other and NGSO-Less Complex, respectively. After reducing the NGSO “other” and NGSO “less complex” target goal amounts, the fee rates for both of these NGSO regulatory fee categories are re-calculated (dividing the revised target goal by its respective unit count) to reflect a slightly lower fee rate. We calculate the proposed regulatory fees for space and earth station payors for FY 2024 under this existing methodology in Tables 3 and 4, taking into account the changes in the Commission's S&E appropriation for FY 2024, as well as the change in the percentage of direct FTEs allocated to the Space Bureau as a result of the elimination of the International Bureau and the establishment of a new Space Bureau and a new Office of International Affairs. We seek comment on these proposed regulatory fee amounts.

26. In the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM, we sought comment on a range of proposed changes related to the regulatory fee methodology for assessing space and earth station regulatory fees. The space and earth station regulatory fees calculated under our existing methodology could change substantially if these proposed changes are adopted, in part or in whole, and are effective for FY 2024. For example, if the proposal is adopted to amend the existing fee methodology to change the allocation of regulatory fee assessments for GSO and NGSO space stations from the current 80/20 split to a 60/40 split, the proposed regulatory fees for NGSO space stations will be greater than the amount calculated under the existing methodology, and the proposed regulatory fees for GSO space stations will be less. Similarly, the change proposed in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM to assess regulatory fees on authorized, not just operational, space stations may increase the number of units of space station payors, which in turn could decrease the calculated per unit regulatory fee for GSO and NGSO space station payors. This and other proposed changes, such as the proposal to adopt regulatory fees for Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO), On-Orbit Servicing (OOS), and Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV), could assess fees on space station regulatees that may not be assessed regulatory fees under the existing methodology. Furthermore, the earth station regulatory fees calculated for FY 2024 under the existing methodology would increase substantially if the proposals of the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NRPM were adopted and effective for FY 2024, which could also result in a decrease in the amount of regulatory fees calculated for space station payors. Finally, the alternative methodology for assessing regulatory fees proposed in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM would replace the existing four categories of space station regulatory fees for GSO and NGSO space stations with a single fee category for all space stations and a fee for small satellites. This would also substantially change the regulatory fees calculated for FY 2024 under the existing methodology.

27. We provide calculations of possible space and earth station regulatory fees if the proposals of the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM were adopted and effective for FY 2024 in Table 7. We acknowledge the difficulty of making these calculations while the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM proceeding is still ongoing and it is unknown whether the proposals will be adopted, in part, in whole, or a variation thereof, in time to be effective for FY 2024. In addition, the number of units per fee category depends on whether certain proposals in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NRPM are adopted or not. To address these difficulties, we explain, as part of our calculations within Table 7, the methodology and the underlying assumptions for arriving at the calculated regulatory fees in order to provide as much information as reasonably possible at this time to potential commenters. We seek comment on these calculations and the methodology and underlying assumptions that went into them.

28. Based on the foregoing, we seek comment on these proposals and on the proposed FY 2024 regulatory fees as set forth in Tables 3, 4, and 7. We recognize that, due to the potential variations to our proposals as described in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM, there could be slight changes to the proposed regulatory fee rates upon adoption of the regulatory fee rates in a subsequent Report and Order. Any proposals or comments requesting a change or modification to our proposed methodology in this NPRM and regulatory fees for FY 2024 should include a thorough analysis showing a sufficient basis for making the change. Commenters should also provide alternative options for the Commission to meet its statutory obligation to collect the full amount of the appropriation by the end of the fiscal year, and indicate how such proposed alternative options are fair, administrable, and sustainable.

2. Adjustment of Reallocations, for Regulatory Fee Purposes, of Certain Indirect FTEs as Direct FTEs

29. According to information provided by our Human Resources Management office, there currently are 404 direct non-auctions FTEs for FY 2024 that are distributed among the core bureaus. In FY 2023, the Commission reallocated 63 indirect FTEs from the Office of Economics and Analytics, the Office of General Counsel, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and added those FTEs as direct to the relevant core bureau solely for the purposes of collecting regulatory fees. Today, we revisit those reallocations in light of the elimination of the International Bureau and the creation of the Space Bureau and the Office of International Affairs, and additional hires in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. As a result of our analysis, for FY 2024 we proposed to reallocate 69 indirect FTEs from the Office of Economics and Analytics, the Office of General Counsel, and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and add those FTEs as direct to the relevant core bureau solely for the purposes of collecting regulatory fees.

30. Our calculations of direct FTEs under our proposal, which are more fully detailed below, would be as follows: Office of International Affairs (8), Space Bureau (51), Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (121), Wireline Competition Bureau (153.25), and Media Bureau (140). Based on these proposed reallocations and after adjustments are made to these direct FTE counts to implement Commission precedent, we would collect approximately $6.59 million (1.69%) in fees from the Office of International Affairs regulatory fee payors; $42.14 million (10.80%) in fees from the Space Bureau regulatory fee payors; $100.05 million (25.64%) in fees from Wireless Telecommunications Bureau regulatory fee payors; $126.69 million (32.47%%) in fees from Wireline Competition Bureau regulatory fee payors; and $114.72 million (29.40%) in fees from Media Bureau regulatory fee payors.

31. For purposes of this determination for FY 2024, we used the same analysis as was done in FY 2023 and evaluated whether measurable FTE time for FY 2024 is primarily being spent on the regulation and oversight of regulatory fee payors. Specifically, where the amount of work under consideration equaled .5 FTE or less, we rounded down to the nearest whole FTE and only proposed our reallocations in one full FTE increments. The Commission concluded that less than a full-time FTE demonstrates that the work being done is appropriately considered to be indirect and should not be reassigned. The table below summarizes the FY 2023 reallocations and the proposed FY 2024 reallocations.

Table 1—Core Bureau FY 2023 FTE Percentages With FY 2024 Proposed FTE Reallocation Adjustments

Core BureauFY 2023 FTE % with FTE reallocationsFY 2023 amount with FTE reallocations (millions)FY 2024 proposed FTE % with adjusted FTE reallocationsFY 2024 amount with FTE reallocations (millions)
FY 2023 appropriation was $390.192FY 2024 appropriation is $390.192
Wireline Bureau35.91$140.1232.47$126.69
Media Bureau31.76123.929.40114.72
Media Bureau; subcategory Broadcasters14.1255.1013.0951.08
Media Bureau; subcategory Cable17.6468.8316.3163.64
Wireless Bureau24.5695.8325.64100.05
International Bureau7.7730.32N/AN/A
Office of International AffairsN/AN/A1.696.59
Space BureauN/AN/A10.8042.14

32. Based upon our re-evaluation of indirect FTE time in the Office of Economics and Analytics, the Office of General Counsel, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, we propose that 69 indirect FTEs should be reallocated as direct FTEs because they devote their time to the oversight and regulation of regulatory fee payors. We therefore propose to reallocate the FTE time as direct to the relevant core bureaus and office for calculating regulatory fees. Consistent with the Commission's determination in FY 2023, we propose to continue to reallocate two direct FTEs from the Media Bureau as indirect because the nature of their work is sufficiently linked to work that is similar to that performed in the Enforcement Bureau, which has previously been categorized as indirect. We find no reason at this time to alter this determination and conclude that the time of two FTEs in the Media Bureau should continue be considered indirect. We seek comment on this conclusion. Below, we discuss our analysis for the Office of Economics and Analytics, the Office of General Counsel, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

33. Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA) FTEs. In FY 2023, the Commission reallocated 30 indirect FTEs from OEA as direct to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes as follows: two to the International Bureau, eight to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, 13 to the Wireline Competition Bureau, and seven to the Media Bureau. Consistent with the Commission's analysis in the FY 2023 Regulatory Fee Report and Order, we continue to find that there is measurable work done by OEA that is being done directly in furtherance of the oversight and regulation of regulatory fee payors in certain industry segments. For FY 2024, staff analysis of OEA's work, however, has slightly changed from FY 2023 to FY 2024 and rather than reallocating two FTEs as direct for regulatory fee purposes as was done in FY 2023, based on OEA staff analysis, specifically one FTE is reallocated to the Space Bureau based on OEA's work on satellite service related issues. We therefore propose to adjust the FY 2023 allocations for OEA and allocate 29 indirect FTEs from OEA as direct to a core bureau for a regulatory fee purposes for FY 2024 as follows: one to the Space Bureau, eight to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, 13 to the Wireline Competition Bureau, and seven to the Media Bureau. We seek comment on this proposed allocation for FY 2024.

34. Office of General Counsel (OGC) FTEs. In FY 2023, the Commission reallocated five indirect FTEs from OGC as direct to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes as follows: one to the Wireline Competition Bureau, two to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, one to the Media Bureau, and one to the International Bureau. Consistent with the Commission's analysis in the FY 2023 Regulatory Fee Report and Order, we continue to find that the majority of OGC's work is appropriately categorized as indirect, however, certain aspects of OGC's work are sufficiently linked to the oversight and regulation of individual regulatory fee categories such that, for FY 2024, four FTEs from OGC should be reallocated as direct FTEs to a relevant core bureau for regulatory purposes. For FY 2024, staff analysis of OGC's work has also slightly changed from FY 2023 to FY 2024 in that no OGC indirect FTEs will be reallocated to what was formerly the International Bureau (now, the Office of International Affairs and the Space Bureau). We make this proposal because OGC FTE time devoted to the Office of International Affair's efforts is for FY 2024 focused on Office of International Affair's matters other than the Office of International Affair's regulatory fee payors (satellite and international bearer circuits and submarine cables). We therefore propose to adjust the FY 2023 allocations for OGC and allocate four indirect FTEs from OGC as direct to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes for FY 2024 as follows: one to the Wireline Competition Bureau, two to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and one to the Media Bureau. We seek comment on this proposed allocation for FY 2024.

35. Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) FTEs. In FY 2023, the Commission reallocated 28 indirect FTEs from PSHSB as direct to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes as follows: 13 to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, nine to the Wireline Competition Bureau, and six to the Media Bureau. PSHSB advises and coordinates within the Commission on all matters pertaining to public safety, homeland security, national security, cybersecurity, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management, and related matters. Consistent with the Commission's analysis in the FY 2023 Report and Order, to the extent that the bureau leads initiatives that strengthen public safety and emergency response capabilities enabling the Commission to assist the public, first responders, law enforcement, hospitals, the communications industry and all levels of government in times of emergency, we continue to conclude that the majority of its work is best categorized as indirect. In FY 2023, the Commission, however, concluded that specific aspects of the FTE work within PSHSB's three divisions—the Policy and Licensing Division, the Operations and Emergency Management Division, and the Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division—is sufficiently linked to the oversight and regulation of individual regulatory fee categories such that certain FTE time should be reallocated as direct to a relevant core bureau for regulatory purposes. For FY 2024, we continue to conclude that certain aspects of the of the FTE work in these divisions of PSHSB can be allocated as direct to a core bureau because such work provides direct oversight and regulation of specific regulatory fee categories. Staff therefore analyzed the work of the 28 indirect FTEs which were allocated as direct to a core bureau in FY 2023 and their analysis of the work performed of the 28 indirect FTEs remains unchanged. Since FY 2023, PSHSB has 11 additional FTEs. Consistent with the Commission's analysis in the FY 2023 Regulatory Fee Report and Order, we analyzed the work PSHSB was able to accomplish with the additional 11 FTE resources and determined it was directly in furtherance of the oversight and regulation of regulatory fee payors of a core bureau. We therefore propose to adjust the FY 2023 allocations and allocate a total of 38 PSHSB FTEs as direct to a core for regulatory fee purposes for FY 2024 as follows: 16 to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, 11 to the Wireline Competition Bureau, and nine to the Media Bureau, and two to the Space Bureau. We seek comment on this proposal.

36. Conclusion of the Proposal to Reallocate Certain Indirect FTEs from OEA, OGC, and PSHSB as Direct FTEs to a Relevant Core Bureau. As represented above, FTE time associated with the proposed reallocations for regulatory fee purposes would be added to the relevant core bureau. Such a reallocation for regulatory fee purposes would result in increasing the number of direct FTEs in a core bureau and reducing the total number of indirect FTEs within the Commission. Because our underlying methodology for calculating regulatory fees remains unchanged, we conclude that our fee regulatory fee calculation continues to be consistent with section 9 of the Communications Act, which requires us to base our methodology on the number of FTEs in calculating regulatory fees. We seek comment on this conclusion.

37. We continue to be mindful that our treatment of FTEs as direct or indirect can change over time based on our evaluation of the FTE burden associated with the Commission's work assignments, fluctuations within industry segments, and needs of specific regulatory fee payors. As depicted in the table below, the percentage of regulatory fees allocated to each core bureau has generally decreased due to the increase in the number of FTEs from FY 2023 within the core bureaus. The only exception to this is the FY 2024 allocation of direct FTEs to the Space Bureau. Because there are more direct FTEs in the Space Bureau attributable to space and earth station fee payors than there were in the International Bureau, the percentage of regulatory fees allocated to the Space Bureau in FY 2024 is larger than the FY 2023 allocation to the International Bureau. The table below shows the proposed reallocations of a total of 69 FTEs to each of the core bureaus, as discussed above. Such reallocations, for regulatory fee purposes, would be proportionally distributed within the core bureau. We seek comment on these reallocations for FY 2024.

Table 2—FTE Allocations: FY 2023 and FY 2024

Core bureau/ officeFY 2023 FTE reallocationsTotal # of direct FY 2023 FTEs With FTE reallocationsFY 2023 % after reallocationsTotal # of direct FY 2024 FTEs Without FTE reallocationsFY 2024 FTE reallocationsTotal # of Direct FY 2024 FTEs With FTE reallocationsFY 2024 % after reallocations
International Bureau (Reorganized in April 2023)+2 from OEA + 1 from OGC Total additional FTEs +3317.77N/AN/AN/AN/A
Office of International Affairs (Submarine Cable and International Bearer Circuits)N/AN/AN/A8+0 from OEA +0 from OGC Total additional FTEs +081.69
Space Bureau (Space and Earth Stations)N/AN/AN/A48+1 from OEA +2 from PSHSB Total additional FTEs +35110.80
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau+8 from OEA +2 from OGC +13 from PSHSB Total additional FTEs +239824.5695+8 from OEA +2 from OGC +16 from PSHSB Total additional FTEs +2612125.64
Wireline Competition Bureau+13 from OEA +1 from OGC +9 from PSHSB Total additional FTEs +23143.2535.91128.25+13 from OEA +1 from OGC +11 from PSHSB Total additional FTEs +25153.2532.47
Media Bureau+7 from OEA +1 from OGC +6 from PSHSB −2 from MB Reallocated as Indirect Total additional FTEs +1212831.76125+7 from OEA +1 from OGC +9 from PSHSB −2 from EB Reallocated as Indirect Total additional FTEs +1514029.40
Total63400.25100404.2569473.25100

38. As reflected in the table above, our proposals to adjust the reallocation of 63 indirect FTEs as direct for regulatory fee purposes in FY 2023 to 69 indirect FTEs as direct for regulatory fee purposes in FY 2024 will result in a 17.1% increase in our overall direct FTE count for FY 2024, and an increase of 18.2% in the overall direct FTE count from FY 2023. We continue to make these proposals consistent with our long standing regulatory fee methodology and conclude that our determinations are reasonably accurate for fiscal year 2024. We seek comment on our proposals and this tentative conclusion. While our proposals adjust the reallocations for regulatory fee purposes for FY 2024, we are mindful that FTE's work in OEA, OGC, and PSHSB can change from year to year and we want to avoid any unplanned shifts in regulatory fees on an annual basis that would undermine the goals of having a fair, administrable, and sustainable program. In light of the creation of the Space Bureau and Office of International Affairs and the expanded number of FTEs in PSHSB, it was necessary to review the Commission's FY 2023 allocations to ensure a reasonably accurate allocation of direct and indirect FTEs to the core bureaus for the calculation of regulatory fees for FY 2024.

B. Elimination of the International Bureau

39. In January 2023, the Commission eliminated the International Bureau and established: (1) a Space Bureau to handle policy and licensing matters related to satellite communications and other in-space activities under the Commission's jurisdiction; and (2) an Office of International Affairs to handle issues involving foreign and international regulatory authorities as well as international telecommunications and submarine cable licensing. The reorganization became effective on April 10, 2023. When the Commission adopted regulatory fees for FY 2023, it noted that it would be the last year for doing so for the International Bureau. The Commission anticipated that the elimination of the International Bureau and the creation of the Space Bureau and the Office of International Affairs, could result in a change in the number of FTEs, due to increased oversight of various relevant industries. Accordingly, the Commission stated that it would closely review the Space Bureau and Office of International Affairs FTEs to determine the appropriate number of FTEs in each entity as a result of the reorganization and how they will be apportioned among the different services. Accordingly, for purposes of FY 2024 and going forward, we discuss the functions and FTE allocations of the Office of International Affairs and the Space Bureau below.

1. Office of International Affairs

40. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is responsible for the Commission's engagement of foreign and international regulatory authorities, including multilateral and regional organizations. OIA also facilitates through rulemaking and licensing the Commission's development of policies regarding international telecommunications facilities and services, including submarine cables, and advises and makes recommendations to the Commission on foreign ownership issues. In undertaking these functions, OIA implements Commission policies to facilitate competition and foreign investment in U.S. international telecommunications markets while ensuring, in consultation with relevant federal partners, that national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy concerns are addressed. OIA also is responsible for intergovernmental leadership, negotiation and international and inter-agency representational functions. Additionally, OIA oversees and coordinates the Commission's global participation in international and multilateral conferences, regional organizations, cross-border negotiations and international standard setting efforts. Further, OIA also oversees bilateral meetings with other countries and foreign government officials.

41. OIA is composed of the Telecommunications and Analysis Division (TAD) and the Global Strategy and Negotiation Division (GSN). Because the majority of OIA's work does not benefit specific regulatory fee payors, but rather the government as whole, consistent with Commission precedent, we conclude that the majority of the work of its FTEs is appropriately categorized as indirect. As the Commission discussed in the FY 2023 Report and Order, all FTEs in GSN are considered indirect FTEs. Specifically, GSN staff represent the Commission in international conferences, meetings, and negotiations, and manage Commission participation in the fellowship telecommunication training program for foreign officials offered through the U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) as well as the Commission's International Visitors Program. They also participate in various international and regional organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aeronautics Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission. GSN also coordinates cross-border issues with Mexico and Canada that involve a wide range of services, such as maritime, aeronautical, mobile and fixed satellite, broadcasting, mobile, and terrestrial wireless services. In addition, GSN's functions include international broadcasting station licensing and coordination of frequencies for International Broadcast licenses at the ITU. GSN's multilateral and bilateral international work ultimately benefits all fee payors by maintaining and advancing the United States' global leadership and interests, which encompasses, among others, U.S. trade, foreign policy, and national security interests. Thus, the work of GSN does not benefit a specific fee payor, but rather the government as whole and is therefore appropriately categorized as indirect. There are, however, 8 FTEs within TAD that work on international bearer circuit related issues, including the services provided over submarine cables, and their time can be appropriately categorized as direct in furtherance of the oversight and regulation of specific regulatory fee payors. Therefore, we conclude, for FY 2024, that there are a total of 47 FTEs within OIA, 8 direct FTEs and 39 indirect FTEs. We seek comment on this conclusion.

2. Space Bureau

42. The Space Bureau plays a key role in advancing the Commission's Space Innovation Agenda to meet the needs of the next generation Space Age. The Space Bureau promotes a competitive and innovative global communications marketplace by leading policy and licensing matters related to satellite and space-based communications and activities. Among its responsibilities, the Space Bureau leads complex policy analysis and rulemakings; authorizes satellite and earth station systems used for space-based services; streamlines regulatory processes to provide maximum flexibility for operators to meet customer needs; and fosters the efficient use of scarce spectrum and orbital resources. The Space Bureau also serves as the Commission's focal point for coordination with other U.S. government agencies on matters of space policy and governance, and collaborates with OIA for consultations with other countries, international and multi-lateral organizations, and foreign government officials that involve satellite and space policy matters.

43. The Space Bureau is comprised of the Satellite Licensing Division (SLD), Satellite Programs & Policy Division (SPPD), and the Earth Station Licensing Division (ESLD). These new divisions have the responsibilities and authorities for the analysis and functions that were housed within the Satellite Division of the International Bureau, including its branches, the Policy Branch, the Engineering Branch, and the System Analysis Branch. ESLD is responsible for the technical analysis, review, and licensing of applications and special temporary requests for satellite earth stations. SLD is responsible for the engineering review of satellite systems applications, and for registering FCC-licensed satellite systems with the ITU. SPPD develops and administers rules, regulations, and policies to support a competitive and innovative space-based global telecommunications marketplace. Our Human Resources Management office has provided data identifying 54 FTEs in the Space Bureau to be counted for FY 2024. The Space Bureau anticipates that 48 of these FTEs will be categorized as direct FTEs, with the exception of six FTEs that work exclusively, or nearly exclusively, on matters that do not provide oversight and regulation of a specific category of regulatory fee payors. A number of space related activities indirectly benefit the existing fee categories, including space stations, commercial mobile services, and earth stations. For example, the Space Bureau coordinates with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), State Department on space sustainability, planetary protections, and on space innovation. Staff in ESLD, SLD, and SPPD assist the Office of Engineering & Technology in reviewing applications for experimental licenses for space-based activities. Lastly, the Space Bureau works closely with GSN staff in the Office of International Affairs to help cover certain ITU World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) agenda items. These six Space Bureau FTEs would therefore be considered indirect.

44. Of these six indirect FTEs, three FTEs work with the staff of the Office of International Affairs on covering ITU World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) agenda items, and three FTEs work with the staff of the Office of Engineering & Technology on experimental licenses involving space or earth stations. Thus, we conclude that such FTEs are indirect since such work does not focus on the oversight and regulation of a specific category of regulatory fee payors, but instead benefits the Commission, the telecommunications industry, or the public as a whole, or in the case of work done on experimental licenses, is in furtherance of licenses that are not subject to a regulatory fee.

45. In addition to the 48 direct FTEs out of the 54 FTEs identified by our Human Resources Office, as indicated above, we also propose to reallocate one FTE from OEA and two FTEs from PSHSB as direct to the Space Bureau for regulatory fee purposes. We therefore conclude, for regulatory fee purposes for FY 2024, there are a total of 54 FTEs within the Space Bureau, 48 direct FTEs and six indirect FTEs, and three indirect FTEs that are designated as direct for a total of 51 direct FTEs and six indirect FTEs. We recognize that the increase in number of direct FTEs allocated to the Space Bureau will directly result in a significant increase in regulatory fees for Space Bureau regulatory fee payors between FY 2023 and FY 2024. This is true even though the amount of appropriated S&E for FY 2024 remains the same as for FY 2023 due to the significant increase in the number of direct FTEs attributed to the Space Bureau. We seek comment on this conclusion.

C. Broadcast Television Stations

46. In the FY 2020 Report and Order, we completed the transition to a population-based full-service broadcast television regulatory fee. The population-based methodology conforms with the service authorized here—broadcasting television to the American people. For FY 2024, we propose to continue to assess fees for full-power broadcast television stations based on the population covered by a full-service broadcast television station's contour. Currently, we use 2010 U.S. Census data to assess fees for full-power broadcast television stations. In FY 2024, we will use the results of the 2020 U.S. Census. As a result, there will be no need to make any population adjustments to account for reductions in the population since 2010. However, the Commission will continue to base assessments on limiting the population count of full-power television stations that rely on satellite television stations to reach terrain-limited areas. We seek comment on our mechanism, described below, for how we will calculate the regulatory fee based on the previously decided population-based methodology. We propose adopting a factor of $.006598 per population served for FY 2024 full-power broadcast television station fees. The population data for broadcasters' service areas are determined using the TVStudy software and the LMS database, based on a station's projected noise-limited service contour. The population data for each licensee and the population-based fee (population multiplied by $.006598 for each full-power broadcast television station is listed in Table 8. We seek comment on these proposed fees.

D. Digital Equity and Inclusion

47. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to advance digital equity for all, including people of color, persons with disabilities, persons who live in rural or tribal areas, and others who are or have been historically underserved, marginalized, or adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality, invites comment on any equity-related considerations and benefits (if any) that may be associated with the proposals and issues discussed herein. Specifically, we seek comment on how our proposals for collecting regulatory fees for FY 2024 may promote or inhibit advances in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, as well the scope of the Commission's relevant legal authority. We note that diversity and equity considerations, however, do not allow the Commission to shift fees from one party of fee payors to another nor to fees under section 9 of the Act for any purpose other than as an offsetting collection in the amount of our annual S&E appropriation.

E. Temporary Relief Measures Due to Economic Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic

48. During the COVID-19 pandemic and through FY 2023, the Commission provided certain temporary relief to regulatory fee payors experiencing financial hardship caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic through a combination of partial rule waivers and direction to the Office of the Managing Director in exercising its delegated authority. As we explain below, we do not plan to implement these temporary measures for FY 2024. The circ*mstances for which the measures were temporarily implemented have changed. The National Emergency COVID-19 pandemic has ended and the national economy is rebounding. We seek comment on the following proposals.

49. For FY 2023, the Commission directed the Office of the Managing Director to continue to exercise its delegated authority to partially waive section 1.1910 of the Commission's rules to allow regulatees on “red light” and experiencing financial hardship to nonetheless request waiver, reduction, deferral, and/or installment payment of their FY 2023 regulatory fees, provided that those regulatees resolve all of the delinquent debt they owe to the Commission in advance of the Commission's decision on their relief requests. For fiscal year 2024, we do not intend to direct the Office of the Managing Director to exercise its discretion in this manner in this proceeding. This means that absent grant of individual requests for waiver of section 1.1910 of our rules, the Commission would not act on a request for waiver, reduction and/or deferral of a regulatory fee filed by a fee payor on red light until full payment of the fee payor's delinquent debt and that the Commission would dismiss the request if the debt was not paid in full within 30 days of the filing of the request.

50. During FY 2023 the Commission also directed OMD to offer a nominal interest rate and waive its down payment requirement for installment payment of regulatory fee debt. For FY 2024, the Commission does not intend to direct Office of the Managing Director to fix the interest rate charged on installment debt at a nominal rate or to waive the requirement that regulatory fee debtors seeking installment payment relief make a downpayment. That means that the Office of the Managing Director will have authority to, but will not be required to, assess a minimum interest rate on regulatory fee installment debt, and will have authority to assess a higher rate of interest if it determines that a higher rate of interest is necessary to protect the interests of the United States. In addition, the Office of the Managing Director will have authority to require a down payment from a regulatory fee payor seeking installment payment relief.

51. During FY 2023, the Commission partially waived section 1.1166 of our rules to permit fee payors seeking waiver, reduction and/or deferral of their FY 2023 regulatory fees based on financial hardship to submit financial documentation supporting their requests after their underlying requests are submitted, but the Commission modified the waiver to permit only one post-filing submission of supplemental financial documents by a deadline of January 31, 2023. This was a change from FY 2022, in that we limited our rule waiver to more closely align it with the requirements of section 1.1166, anticipating a return to the normal operation of section 1.1166. For fiscal year 2024, we do not intend to direct OMD to waive any aspect of this rule in this proceeding. Absent individual waiver requests being granted, this means that parties seeking waiver, reduction and/or deferral relief to submit with their requests all such financial documentation necessary to justify the relief sought on financial hardship grounds. Documents submitted after a request is filed would not be considered, and failure to submit any supporting financial documentation with a request would result in dismissal and/or denial of the request.

52. We recognize that some regulatory fee payors may be experiencing lingering or continuing financial difficulties related to the pandemic's economic effects, but we believe that sections 1.1166 and 1.1914 of our rules, now streamlined and simplified, offer those fee payors a straightforward path to regulatory fee relief. Commenters that disagree with our proposals should explain why any continued relief based on the COVID-19 pandemic is necessary or justified, and to the extent continuation of any measure requires waiver of a Commission's rule, commenters should explain why good cause exists for, and the public interest would be served by, waiver or modification of the relevant rule.

F. Non-Operating Broadcast Stations

53. We seek comment on ending a policy of presuming that dark or silent stations have experienced financial hardship and therefore merit grant of a request for waiver of regulatory fees on the basis of financial hardship, without requiring submission of evidence of actual financial hardship. This policy was first mentioned by the Commission in 1995, observing that when a broadcast station is dark, it is “generally based on financial hardship.” The Commission then concluded that “it is unnecessary to require a licensee to make a further showing of financial hardship” when requesting a waiver of regulatory fees. In articulating this policy in 1995, the Commission assumed that most stations go dark because of financial hardship and observed that “broadcast stations which are dark must request permission to suspend operation” under FCC rules. In 1996, the Commission's Office of the Managing Director applied the presumption to regulatory fees assessed in the first year of a station's operation by a licensee that purchased a recently dark or bankrupt station.

54. The Commission has never codified this policy and it is rarely used. The policy, moreover, appears to assume that the only rationale for a dark or silent station is financial duress. There is no such limitation, however, contained in section 73.1740(a)(4) of our rules. Licensees might go dark for different reasons depending on each station's particular circ*mstances. Thus, drawing on the Commission's experience since establishment of the policy in 1995, the assumption that requiring financial information in a request for waiver of regulatory fees is unnecessary by the operators of a dark or silent station appears to be no longer accurate in 2024.

55. In considering whether a licensee is experiencing financial hardship sufficient to justify a waiver under section 1.1166 of our rules, the Commission considers the financial circ*mstances of the licensee, including all of its assets and revenue streams. In the case of a licensee with multiple stations, the silence of one of its stations does not automatically mean that the licensee's overall financial circ*mstances are such that it cannot pay its stations' regulatory fees and continue operating its remaining stations. Similarly, it is not always the case that a newly purchased station that was previously dark or bankrupt is insufficiently funded in its first year of operations such that its regulatory fees cannot be paid. A new station owner may have other revenue sources, including from its other stations it operates, or financing for the new station's start-up costs. In other words, while a station's silence or reduced operation may be the result of, or may cause financial hardship, we tentatively conclude that the question of whether that is in fact the case is more appropriately determined on a case-by-case basis.

56. For these reasons, we propose to end the assumption that stations are dark or were recently dark or bankrupt are experiencing financial distress when they file a request for waiver of regulatory fees. We propose instead to require these licensees to submit supporting financial documentation with their fee requests to prove financial hardship sufficient to justify a fee waiver, just as all other regulatory fee payors are required to do under ection 1.1166 of our rules. In order to give regulatory fee payors more time to make any necessary changes to comply with this change in policy, we propose to make the change effective for fiscal year 2025. We seek comment on this proposal.

G. Improving the Regulatory Fee Process

57. We have a statutory obligation to assess and collect regulatory fees each fiscal year to meet the Commission's S&E appropriation. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring that the regulatory fee process is administratively manageable and reasonably predictable for both the Commission and regulatory fee payors. We therefore seek comment on ways in which the Commission might improve the regulatory fee process to ensure that regulatory fee payors can timely meet their annual regulatory fee obligations. We ask that commenters explain the legal bases for any proposals they make and how such proposals fit within the Commission's statutory authorizations and our existing regulatory fee methodology.

58. Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act. Consistent with the Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act, Public Law 118-9, a summary of this document will be available on https://www.fcc.gov/proposed-rulemakings.

H. New Regulatory Fee Categories

59. Finally, we continue to seek additional comment on “whether we should adopt new regulatory fee categories and on ways to improve our regulatory fee process regarding any and all categories of service.” We invite additional comment in order to help inform our consideration of these issues.

V. Procedural Matters

60. Included below are procedural items as well as our current payment and collection methods. We include these payments and collection procedures here as a useful way of reminding regulatory fee payers and the public about these aspects of the annual regulatory fee collection process.

61. Credit Card Transaction Levels. In accordance with Treasury Financial Manual, Volume I, Part 5, Chapter 7000, section 7065.20a— Credit Card Collections, the total daily credit card transactions processed from a single customer can be no more than $24,999.99 (hereinafter the “Maximum Daily Limit”) and the total monthly transactions processed from a single customer (based on a rolling 30-day period) can be no more than $100,000.00 (hereinafter the “Maximum Monthly Limit”). Transactions greater than the Maximum Daily Limit will be rejected. If a customer initiates multiple transactions on the same day with the same credit card, those transactions causing the total charge to exceed the Maximum Daily Limit will also be rejected. This limit applies to single payments or bundled payments of more than one bill. Multiple transactions to a single agency in one day may be aggregated and treated as a single transaction subject to the $24,999.99 limit. Customers who wish to pay an amount greater than $24,999.99 should consider available electronic alternatives such as Visa or MasterCard debit cards, Automates Clearing House (ACH) debits from a bank account, and wire transfers. Each of these payment options is available after filing regulatory fee information in CORES. Further details will be provided regarding payment methods and procedures at the time of FY 2024 regulatory fee collection in Fact Sheets, https://www.fcc.gov/regfees.

62. Payment Methods. During the fee season for collecting regulatory fees, regulatees can pay their fees by credit card through Pay.gov, ACH, debit card, or by wire transfer. Additional payment instructions are posted on the Commission's website at https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/fees/wire-transfer. The receiving bank for all wire payments is the U.S. Treasury, New York, NY (TREAS NYC). Any other form of payment ( e.g., checks, cashier's checks, or money orders) will be rejected. For payments by wire, an FCC Form 159-E should still be transmitted via fax so that the Commission can associate the wire payment with the correct regulatory fee information. The fax should be sent to the Commission at (202) 418-2843 at least one hour before initiating the wire transfer (but on the same business day) so as not to delay crediting their account. Regulatees should discuss arrangements (including bank closing schedules) with their bankers several days before they plan to make the wire transfer to allow sufficient time for the transfer to be initiated and completed before the deadline. Complete instructions for making wire payments are posted at https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/fees/wire-transfer.

63. Standard Fee Calculations and Payment Dates. The Commission will accept fee payments made in advance of the window for the payment of regulatory fees. The responsibility for payment of fees by service category is as follows:

  • Media Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for initial construction permits that were granted on or before October 1, 2023 for AM/FM radio stations, VHF/UHF broadcast television stations, and satellite television stations. Regulatory fees must be paid for all broadcast facility licenses granted on or before October 1, 2023.
  • Wireline (Common Carrier) Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2023. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date. Audio bridging service providers are included in this category. For Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs) that manage Toll Free Numbers (TFN), regulatory fees should be paid on all working, assigned, and reserved toll free numbers as well as toll free numbers in any other status as defined in section 52.103 of the Commission's rules. The unit count should be based on toll free numbers managed by RespOrgs on or about December 31, 2023.
  • Wireless Services: Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) cellular, mobile, and messaging services (fees based on number of subscribers or telephone number count): Regulatory fees must be paid for authorizations that were granted on or before October 1, 2023. The number of subscribers, units, or telephone numbers on December 31, 2023 will be used as the basis from which to calculate the fee payment. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.
  • Wireless Services, Multi-year fees: The first eight regulatory fee categories in our Schedule of Regulatory Fees (first seven in our Calculation of Fees in Table 4) pay “small multi-year wireless regulatory fees.” Entities pay these regulatory fees in advance for the entire amount period covered by the five-year or ten-year terms of their initial licenses, and pay regulatory fees again only when the license is renewed, or a new license is obtained. We include these fee categories in our rulemaking to publicize our estimates of the number of “small multi-year wireless” licenses that will be renewed or newly obtained in FY 2024.
  • Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) Services (cable television operators, Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) licensees, DBS, and IPTV): Regulatory fees must be paid for the number of basic cable television subscribers as of December 31, 2023. Regulatory fees also must be paid for CARS licenses that were granted on or before October 1, 2023. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date. For providers of DBS service and IPTV-based MVPDs, regulatory fees should be paid based on a subscriber count on or about December 31, 2023. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.
  • International Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for earth stations that were licensed (or authorized) on or before October 1, 2023. Regulatory fees must also be paid for Geostationary orbit space stations (GSO) and non-geostationary orbit satellite systems (NGSO), and the two NGSO subcategories “Other” and “Less Complex,” that were licensed and operational on or before October 1, 2023. Licensees of small satellites that were licensed and operational on or before October 1, 2023 must also pay regulatory fees. Proposals have also been made to assess regulatory fees on all space stations that are authorized only (earth stations are feeable when they become licensed or authorized). Proposals have also been made to adopt regulatory fees for Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO), On-Orbit Servicing (OOS), and Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV). In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.
  • International Services ( Submarine Cable Systems, Terrestrial and Satellite Services): Regulatory fees for submarine cable systems are to be paid on a per cable landing license basis based on lit circuit capacity as of December 31, 2023. Regulatory fees for terrestrial and satellite IBCs are to be paid based on active (used or leased) international bearer circuits as of December 31, 2023, in any terrestrial or satellite transmission facility for the provision of service to an end user or resale carrier. When calculating the number of such active circuits, entities must include circuits used by themselves or their affiliates. For these purposes, “active circuits” include backup and redundant circuits as of December 31, 2023. Whether circuits are used specifically for voice or data is not relevant for purposes of determining that they are active circuits. In instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2023, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the fee due date.

64. CMRS and Mobile Services Assessments. The Commission will compile data from the Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (NRUF) report that is based on “assigned” telephone number (subscriber) counts that have been adjusted for porting to net Type 0 ports (“in” and “out”). We have included non-geographic numbers in the calculation of the number of subscribers for each CMRS provider in Table 3 and the CMRS regulatory fee factor proposed in Table 4. CMRS provider regulatory fees will be calculated and should be paid based on the inclusion of non-geographic numbers. CMRS providers can adjust the total number of subscribers, if needed. This information of telephone numbers (subscriber count) will be posted on the Commission's Registration System (CORES) along with the carrier's Operating Company Numbers (OCNs).

65. A carrier wishing to revise its telephone number (subscriber) count can do so by accessing CORES and following the prompts to revise their telephone number counts. Any revisions to the telephone number counts should be accompanied by an explanation. The Commission will then review the revised count and supporting explanation, if any, and either approve or disapprove the submission in CORES. If the submission is disapproved, the Commission will contact the provider to afford the provider an opportunity to discuss its revised subscriber count and/or provide supporting documentation. If the Commission receives no response from the provider, or the Commission does not reverse its initial disapproval of the provider's revised count submission, the fee payment must be based on the number of subscribers listed initially in CORES. Once the timeframe for revision has passed, the telephone number counts are final and are the basis upon which CMRS regulatory fees are to be paid. Providers can view their final telephone counts online in CORES.

66. Because some carriers do not file the NRUF report, they may not see their telephone number counts in CORES. In these instances, the carriers should compute their fee payment using the standard methodology that is currently in place for CMRS Wireless services ( i.e., compute their telephone number counts as of December 31, 2024), and submit their fee payment accordingly. Whether a carrier reviews its telephone number counts in CORES or not, the Commission reserves the right to audit the number of telephone numbers for which regulatory fees are paid. In the event that the Commission determines that the number of telephone numbers that are paid is inaccurate, the Commission will bill the carrier for the difference between what was paid and what should have been paid.

67. Regulatory Flexibility Act. The RFA requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice and comment rulemakings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” Accordingly, we have prepared an IRFA concerning the potential impact of rule and policy change proposals on small entities in the NPRM. The IRFA is set forth in the back of this rulemaking. The Commission invites the general public, in particular small businesses, to comment on the IRFA. Comments must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM indicated on the first page of this document and must have a separate and distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA.

List of Tables

Table 3—Calculation of FY 2024 Revenue Requirements and Pro-Rata Fees

Regulatory fees for the categories shaded in gray are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted at the time the application is filed.

Fee categoryFY 2024 payment unitsYrsFY 2023 revenue estimatePro-Rated FY 2024 revenue requirementComputed FY 2024 regulatory feeRounded FY 2024 reg. feeExpected FY 2024 revenue
PLMRS (Exclusive Use)1,15010300,000287,50025.0025287,500
PLMRS (Shared use)23,300101,900,0002,330,00010.00102,330,000
Microwave16,500104,000,0004,125,00025.00254,125,000
Marine (Ship)7,000101,050,0001,050,00015.00151,050,000
Aviation (Aircraft)5,80010480,000580,00010.0010580,000
Marine (Coast)2801096,000112,00040.0040112,000
Aviation (Ground)2701060,00054,00020.002054,000
AM Class A 581286,800266,1754,5894,590266,220
AM Class B 1,30513,556,6053,302,7372,5312,5303,301,650
AM Class C 78411,273,9101,182,5901,5081,5101,183,840
AM Class D 1,32514,208,2453,906,6772,9482,9503,908,750
FM Classes A, B1 & C3 3,02118,885,5608,238,3642,7272,7258,232,225
FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2 3,064110,872,94510,087,7363,2923,29010,080,560
AM Construction Permits 213,1001,1705855851,170
FM Construction Permits 14117,36014,3501,0251,02514,350
Digital Television (including Satellite TV)3.541 billion population125,463,73523,365,758.0065978.00659823,363,518
Digital TV Construction Permits 5120,40026,0005,2005,20026,000
LPTV/Class A/Translators FM Trans/Boosters6,21511,644,5001,512,193243.32451,522,675
CARS Stations1051206,400190,9631,818.71,820191,100
Cable TV Systems, including IPTV & DBS50,000,000168,880,00063,437,8811.26881.2763,500,000
Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers$22,100,000,0001135,540,000122,486,6460.0055420.005540122,434,000
Toll Free Numbers35,000,00014,511,0004,208,6970.120250.124,200,000
CMRS Mobile Services (Cellular/Public Mobile)562,000,000188,480,00090,320,2150.16070.1689,920,000
CMRS Messaging Services600,0001104,00048,0000.08000.08048,000
BRS/ 1,2001836,500870,000725725870,000
LMDS3701252,000268,250725725268,250
Per Gbps circuit Int'l Bearer Circuits Terrestrial (Common & Non-Common) & Satellite (Common & Non-Common)20,0001442,000329,71216.517340,000
Submarine Cable Providers (See chart at bottom of Table 4)71.5618,228,6056,264,53387,54287,5406,264,362
Earth Stations2,90011,667,5003,244,8371,1191,1203,248,000
Space Stations (Geostationary)134115,990,88031,112,505232,183232,18531,112,790
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary, Other)813,129,7955,975,115746,889746,8905,975,120
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary, Less Complex)61782,4301,496,939249,490249,4901,496,940
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary, Small Satellite)12185,505311,34025,94525,945311,340
****** Total Estimated Revenue to be Collected392,991,324389,916,319390,621,601
****** Total Revenue Requirement390,192,000390,192,000390,192,000
Difference2,799,324(275,681)429,601
Notes on Table 3:
The fee amounts listed in the column entitled “Rounded New FY 2024 Regulatory Fee” constitute a weighted average broadcast regulatory fee by class of service. The actual FY 2024 regulatory fees for AM/FM radio station are listed on a grid located at the end of Table 4.
The AM and FM Construction Permit revenues and the Digital (VHF/UHF) Construction Permit revenues were adjusted, respectively, to set the regulatory fee to an amount no higher than the lowest licensed fee for that class of service based on the threshold 10,001-25,000, the traditional basis for identifying the lowest licensed fee. Reductions in the Digital (VHF/UHF) Construction Permit revenues, and in the AM and FM Construction Permit revenues, were offset by increases in the revenue totals for Digital television stations by market size, and in the AM and FM radio stations by class size and population served, respectively.
The MDS/MMDS category was renamed Broadband Radio Service (BRS). See Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands, Report & Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 14169, para. 6 (2004).
The chart at the end of Table 4 lists the submarine cable bearer circuit regulatory fees (common and non-common carrier basis) that resulted from the adoption of the Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2008, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 24 FCC Rcd 6388 (2008) and Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2008, Second Report and Order, 24 FCC Rcd 4208 (2009). The Submarine Cable fee in Table A is a weighted average of the various fee payers in the chart at the end of Table 3.
The actual digital television regulatory fees to be paid by call sign are identified in Table 8.

Table 4—FY 2024 Schedule of Regulatory Fees

Regulatory fees for the categories shaded in gray are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted at the time the application is filed.

Fee categoryAnnual regulatory fee (U.S. $s)
PLMRS (per license) (Exclusive Use) (47 CFR part 90)25
Microwave (per license) (47 CFR part 101)25
Marine (Ship) (per station) (47 CFR part 80)15
Marine (Coast) (per license) (47 CFR part 80)40
Rural Radio (47 CFR part 22) (previously listed under the Land Mobile category)10
PLMRS (Shared Use) (per license) (47 CFR part 90)10
Aviation (Aircraft) (per station) (47 CFR part 87)10
Aviation (Ground) (per license) (47 CFR part 87)20
CMRS Mobile/Cellular Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24, 27, 80 and 90) (Includes Non-Geographic telephone numbers).16
CMRS Messaging Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24 and 90).08
Broadband Radio Service (formerly MMDS/MDS) (per license) (47 CFR part 27)725
Distribution Service (per call sign) (47 CFR, part 101)725
Local Multipoint725
AM Radio Construction Permits585
FM Radio Construction Permits1,025
AM and FM Broadcast Radio Station FeesSee Table Below
Digital TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF and UHF Commercial Fee Factor$.006598 See Table 8 for fee amounts due, also available at https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/fees/regulatory-fees
Digital TV Construction Permits5,200
Low Power TV, Class A TV, TV/FM Translators & FM Boosters (47 CFR part 74)245
CARS (47 CFR part 78)1,820
Cable Television Systems (per subscriber) (47 CFR part 76), Including IPTV and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)1.27
Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers (per revenue dollar).00554
Toll Free (per toll free subscriber) (47 CFR section 52.101 (f) of the rules).12
Earth Stations (47 CFR part 25)1,120
Space Stations (per operational station in geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) also includes DBS Service (per operational station) (47 CFR part 100)232,185
Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) (Other)746,890
Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) (Less Complex)249,945
Space Stations (per license/call sign in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) (Small Satellite)25,945
International Bearer Circuits—Terrestrial/Satellites (per Gbps circuit)$17
Submarine Cable Landing Licenses Fee (per cable system)See Table Below

FY 2024 Radio Station Regulatory Fees

Population servedAM Class AAM Class BAM Class CAM Class DFM Classes A, B1 & C3FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2
≤10,000$560$405$350$385$615$700
10,001-25,0009356755856451,0251,170
25,001-75,0001,4051,0158809701,5401,755
75,001-150,0002,1051,5201,3151,4502,3052,635
150,001-500,0003,1602,2801,9752,1803,4653,955
500,001-1,200,0004,7303,4152,9603,2655,1855,920
1,200,001-3,000,0007,1055,1304,4454,9007,7908,890
3,000,001-6,000,00010,6507,6906,6657,34511,67513,325
>6,000,00015,98011,53510,00011,02517,51519,995

FY 2024 International Bearer Circuits—Submarine Cable Systems

Submarine cable systems (capacity as of December 31, 2023)Fee ratio (units)FY 2024 regulatory fees
Less than 50 Gbps.0625$5,475
50 Gbps or greater, but less than 250 Gbps.12510,945
250 Gbps or greater, but less than 1,500 Gbps.2521,885
1,500 Gbps or greater, but less than 3,500 Gbps.543,770
3,500 Gbps or greater, but less than 6,500 Gbps1.087,540
6,500 Gbps or greater2.0175,080

Table 5—Sources of Payment Unit Estimates for FY 2024

In order to calculate individual service fees for FY 2024, we adjusted FY 2023 payment units for each service to more accurately reflect expected FY 2024 payment liabilities. We obtained our updated estimates through a variety of means and sources. For example, we used Commission licensee data bases, actual prior year payment records and industry and trade association projections, where available. The databases we consulted include our Universal Licensing System (ULS), International Bureau Filing System (IBFS), Licensing and Management System (LMS) and Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS), as well as reports generated within the Commission such as the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast. Regulatory fee payment units are not all the same for all fee categories. For most fee categories, the term “units” reflect licenses or permits that have been issued, but for other fee categories, the term “units” reflect quantities such as subscribers, population counts, circuit counts, telephone numbers, and revenues. As more current data is received after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is released, the Commission sometimes adjusts the NPRM fee rates to reflect the new information in the Report and Order. This is intended to make sure that the fee rates in the Report and Order reflect more recent and accurate information. We realize that by adjusting the unit counts as more accurate information is received may adjust the fee rates for certain regulatory fee categories. Certain entities that collect the fees from customers in advance in order to pay the Commission, such as Cable and DBS companies, ITSP providers, Cell Phone and Toll-Free providers, to name a few, may need to adjust their billings to customers as the Commission adjusts its fee rates. As a result, the Commission understands that these adjustments are necessary so that these regulatees can recover their fee obligations from their customers.

We sought verification for these estimates from multiple sources and, in all cases, we compared FY 2024 estimates with actual FY 2023 payment units to ensure that our revised estimates were reasonable. Where appropriate, we adjusted and/or rounded our final estimates to take into consideration the fact that certain variables that impact on the number of payment units cannot yet be estimated with sufficient accuracy. These include an unknown number of waivers and/or exemptions that may occur in FY 2024 and the fact that, in many services, the number of actual licensees or station operators fluctuates from time to time due to economic, technical, or other reasons. When we note, for example, that our estimated FY 2024 payment units are based on FY 2023 actual payment units, it does not necessarily mean that our FY 2024 projection is exactly the same number as in FY 2023. We have either rounded the FY 2024 number or adjusted it slightly to account for these variables.

Fee categorySources of payment unit estimates
Land Mobile (All), Microwave, Marine (Ship & Coast), Aviation (Aircraft & Ground), Domestic Public FixedBased on Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) information as well as prior year payment information. Estimates have been adjusted to take into consideration the licensing of portions of these services.
CMRS Cellular/Mobile ServicesBased on WTB projection reports, and FY 2023 payment data.
CMRS Messaging ServicesBased on WTB reports, and FY 2023 payment data.
AM/FM Radio StationsBased on downloaded LMS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2023 payment units.
Digital TV Stations (Combined VHF/UHF units)Based on LMS data, fee rate adjusted for exemptions, and population figures are calculated based on individual station parameters.
AM/FM/TV Construction PermitsBased on LMS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2023 payment units.
LPTV, Translators and Boosters, Class A TelevisionBased on LMS data, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2023 payment units.
BRS (formerly MDS/MMDS)LMDSBased on WTB reports and actual FY 2023 payment units. Based on WTB reports and actual FY 2023 payment units.
Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) StationsBased on cable trend data, data from the Media Bureau's COALS database, and actual FY 2023 payment units.
Cable Television System Subscribers, Including IPTV SubscribersBased on publicly available data sources for estimated subscriber counts, trend information from past payment data, and actual FY 2023 payment units.
Interstate Telecommunication Service ProvidersBased on FCC Form 499-A worksheets due in April 2024, and any data assistance provided by the Wireline Competition Bureau.
Earth StationsBased on International Bureau licensing data and actual FY 2023 payment units.
Space Stations (GSOs & NGSOs)Based on International Bureau data reports and actual FY 2023 payment units.
International Bearer CircuitsBased on assistance provided by the International Bureau, any data submissions by licensees, adjusted as necessary, and actual FY 2023 payment units.
Submarine Cable LicensesBased on International Bureau license information, and actual FY 2023 payment units.

Table 6—Factors, Measurements, and Calculations That Determine Station Signal Contours and Associated Population Coverages

AM Stations

For stations with nondirectional daytime antennas, the theoretical radiation was used at all azimuths. For stations with directional daytime antennas, specific information on each day tower, including field ratio, phase, spacing, and orientation was retrieved, as well as the theoretical pattern root-mean-square of the radiation in all directions in the horizontal plane (RMS) figure (milliVolt per meter (mV/m) @1 km) for the antenna system. The standard, or augmented standard if pertinent, horizontal plane radiation pattern was calculated using techniques and methods specified in sections 73.150 and 73.152 of the Commission's rules. Radiation values were calculated for each of 360 radials around the transmitter site. Next, estimated soil conductivity data was retrieved from a database representing the information in FCC Figure R3. Using the calculated horizontal radiation values, and the retrieved soil conductivity data, the distance to the principal community (5 mV/m) contour was predicted for each of the 360 radials. The resulting distance to principal community contours were used to form a geographical polygon. Population counting was accomplished by determining which 2020 block centroids were contained in the polygon. (A block centroid is the center point of a small area containing population as computed by the U.S. Census Bureau.) The sum of the population figures for all enclosed blocks represents the total population for the predicted principal community coverage area.

FM Stations

The greater of the horizontal or vertical effective radiated power (ERP) (kW) and respective height above average terrain (HAAT) (m) combination was used. Where the antenna height above mean sea level (HAMSL) was available, it was used in lieu of the average HAAT figure to calculate specific HAAT figures for each of 360 radials under study. Any available directional pattern information was applied as well, to produce a radial-specific ERP figure. The HAAT and ERP figures were used in conjunction with the Field Strength (50-50) propagation curves specified in 47 CFR 73.313 of the Commission's rules to predict the distance to the principal community (70 dBu (decibel above 1 microVolt per meter) or 3.17 mV/m) contour for each of the 360 radials. The resulting distance to principal community contours were used to form a geographical polygon. Population counting was accomplished by determining which 2020 block centroids were contained in the polygon. The sum of the population figures for all enclosed blocks represents the total population for the predicted principal community coverage area.

Table 7—Space Station Satellite Charts for FY 2024 Regulatory Fees

Listing of Satellites Under Existing Methodology

Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit): U.S.-Licensed Space Stations

LicenseeCall signSatellite nameType
Astranis Projects USA LLCS3092ARCTURUSGSO
Open Plaza CorpS2922SKY-B1GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2640DIRECTV T11GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2711DIRECTV RB-1GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2632DIRECTV T8GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2669DIRECTV T9SGSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2641DIRECTV T10GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2797DIRECTV T12GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2930DIRECTV T15GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2673DIRECTV T5GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2133SPACEWAY 2GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS3039DIRECTV T16GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2931ECHOSTAR 18GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2738ECHOSTAR 11GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2694ECHOSTAR 10GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2740ECHOSTAR 7GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2790ECHOSTAR 14GSO
EchoStar Satellite Operating CorporationS2811ECHOSTAR 15GSO
EchoStar Satellite Operating CorporationS2844ECHOSTAR 16GSO
EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.CS2179ECHOSTAR 9GSO
ES 172 LLCS2610EUTELSAT 174AGSO
ES 172 LLCS3021EUTELSAT 172BGSO
Horizon-3 Satellite LLCS2947HORIZONS-3eGSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS2663SPACEWAY 3GSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS2834ECHOSTAR 19GSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS2753ECHOSTAR XVIIGSO
Intelsat License LLC/ViaSat, IncS2160GALAXY 28GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2414INTELSAT 10-02GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2972INTELSAT 37eGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2854NSS-7GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2409INELSAT 905GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2405INTELSAT 901GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2408INTELSAT 904GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2804INTELSAT 25GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2959INTELSAT 35eGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2237INTELSAT 11GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2785INTELSAT 14GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2380INTELSAT 9GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2831INTELSAT 23GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2915INTELSAT 34GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2863INTELSAT 21GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2750INTELSAT 16GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2715GALAXY 17GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2154GALAXY 25GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2253GALAXY 11GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2381GALAXY 3CGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2887INTELSAT 30GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2924INTELSAT 31GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2647GALAXY 19GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2687GALAXY 16GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2733GALAXY 18GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2385GALAXY 14GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2386GALAXY 13GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2422GALAXY 12GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2387GALAXY 15GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3016GALAXY 30GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3078GALAXY 32GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3148GALAXY 36GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2704INTELSAT 5GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2817INTELSAT 18GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2850INTELSAT 19GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2368INTELSAT 1RGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2789INTELSAT 15GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2423HORIZONS 2GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2846INTELSAT 22GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2847INTELSAT 20GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2948INTELSAT 36GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2814INTELSAT 17GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2410INTELSAT 906GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2406INTELSAT 902GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2939INTELSAT 33eGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2382INTELSAT 10GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2751INTELSAT 28GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3023INTELSAT 39GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3066INTELSAT 40eGSO
Ligado Networks Subsidiary, LLCS2358SKYTERRA-1GSO
Ligado Networks Subsidiary, LLCAMSC-1MSAT-2GSO
Novavision Group, IncS2861DIRECTV KU-79WGSO
Satellite CD Radio LLCS2812FM-6GSO
SES Americom, IncS2415NSS-10GSO
SES Americom, IncS2162AMC-3GSO
SES Americom, IncS2347AMC-6GSO
SES Americom, IncS2826SES-2GSO
SES Americom, IncS2807SES-1GSO
SES Americom, IncS2180AMC-15GSO
SES Americom, IncS2713AMC-18GSO
SES Americom, IncS3097SES-19GSO
SES Americom, IncS3099SES-21GSO
Silkwave Africa, LLCS3074AsiaStarGSO
Sirius XM Radio IncS2710FM-5GSO
Sirius XM Radio IncS3034XM-8GSO
Skynet Satellite CorpS2933TELSTAR 12VGSO
Skynet Satellite CorporationS2357TELSTAR 11NGSO
ViaSat, IncS2747VIASAT-1GSO
ViaSat, IncS2917VIASAT-3GSO
XM Radio LLCS2786XM-5GSO

Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit): Non-U.S.-Licensed Space Stations—Market Access Through Petition for Declaratory Ruling

LicenseeCall signSatellite nameType
ABS Global LtdS2987ABS-3AGSO
Avanti Hylas 2 LtdS3130HYLAS-4GSO
DBSD Services LtdS2651DBSD G1GSO
Embratel TVSAT Telecomunicacoes S.AS3142Star One D2GSO
Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales S.AS2956ARSAT-2GSO
Eutelsat S.AS3056EUTELSAT 8 WEST BGSO
Eutelsat S.AS3055EUTELSAT 139 WEST AGSO
Gamma Acquisition L.L.CS2633TerreStar 1GSO
Hispamar Satélites, S.AS2793AMAZONAS-2GSO
Hispamar Satélites, S.AS2886AMAZONAS-3GSO
Hispamar Satélites, S.AS3086AMAZONAS NEXUSGSO
Hispasat, S.A.S2969HISPASAT 30W-6GSO
Inmarsat PLCS2932Inmarsat-4 F3GSO
Inmarsat PLCS2949Inmarsat-3 F5GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2756NSS-9GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2870SES-6GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS3048NSS-6GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2828SES-4GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2950SES-10GSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2695EUTELSAT 113 WEST AGSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2926EUTELSAT 117 WEST BGSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2938EUTELSAT 115 WEST BGSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2873EUTELSAT 117 WEST AGSO
SES Satellites (Gibraltar) LtdS2676AMC 21GSO
SES Americom, IncS3037NSS-11GSO
SES Americom, IncS2964SES-11GSO
SES DTH do Brasil LtdaS2974SES-14GSO
Telesat CanadaS2745ANIK F1GSO
Telesat CanadaS2674ANIK F1RGSO
Telesat CanadaS2703ANIK F3GSO
Telesat CanadaS2472ANIK F2GSO
Telesat International LtdS2955TELSTAR 19 VANTAGEGSO
Viasat, IncS2902VIASAT-2GSO

Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit): Non-U.S.-Licensed Space Stations—Market Access Through Earth Station Licenses

LicenseeCall signSatellite nameType
APSTAR VIAPSTAR 6M292090GSO
AUSSAT B 152EOPTUS D2M221170GSO
Ciel Satellite GroupCiel-2E050029GSO
Eutelsat 65 West AEutelsat 65 West AE160081GSO
INMARSAT 4F1INMARSAT 4F1KA25GSO
INMARSAT 5F2INMARSAT 5F2E120072GSO
INMARSAT 5F3INMARSAT 5F3E150028GSO
JCSAT-2BJCSAT-2BM174163GSO
NIMIQ 5NIMIQ 5E080107GSO
WILDBLUE-1WILDBLUE-1E040213GSO

Space Stations (Per License/Call Sign in Non-Geostationary Orbit)

(Small Satellite)

ITU name (if available)Common nameCall signType
Capella Space CorpCapella-2, Capella-3, Capella-4S3073Small Satellite.
Capella Space CorpCapella-5, Capella-6S3080Small Satellite.
Capella Space CorpCapella-7, Capella-8S3100Small Satellite.
Capella Space CorpAcadia-1S3162Small Satellite.
Launcher, IncOrbiter SN3S3161Small Satellite.
Loft Orbital Solutions IncYAM-3S3072Small Satellite.
Loft Orbital Solutions IncYAM-5S3147Small Satellite.
Turion Space CorpDROID.001S3146Small Satellite.
R2 Space, IncXR-1S3067Small Satellite.
ICEYE US, IncICEYES3082Small Satellite.
Umbra Lab IncUmbra SARS3095Small Satellite.
ICEYE US, IncICEYE Second TrancheS3165Small Satellite.

Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Less Complex

ITU name (if available)Common nameCall signType
Planet LabsFlock/SkysatsS2912Less Complex.
Maxar LicenseWorldView 1, 2 & 3, GeoEye-1S2129/S2348Less Complex.
BlackSky GlobalGlobalS3032Less Complex.
Orbital Sidekick, IncGHOStS3139Less Complex.
Hawkeye 360HE360S3042Less Complex.
Spire GlobalLEMUR & MINASS2946/S3045Less Complex.

Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other

ITU name (if available)Common nameCall signType
ORBCOMM License CorpORBCOMMS2103Other.
Iridium Constellation LLCIRIDIUMS2110Other.
Telesat CanadaTELESAT Ku/Ka-BandS2976Other.
Kepler Communications, IncKEPLERS2981Other.
O3b LtdO3bS2935Other.
Globalstar License LLCGLOBALSTARS2115Other.
Swarm Technologies (Space Exploration Holdings, LLC)SWARMS3041Other.
WorldVu Satellites LtdONEWEBS2963Other.

Space Station Satellite Charts for Proposed FY 2024 Regulatory Fees

Table A—Space Stations Potentially Subject to Regulatory Fees in FY 2024

These charts publish a list of space stations and systems that would be subject to regulatory fees in FY 2024, including under the proposal made in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to assess regulatory fees on all authorized space stations, not only operational space stations.

Italicized entries reflect that the space station or system of NGSO space stations are authorized, but not operational for FY 2024, or are collocated with another GSO space station, and thus would be required to pay regulatory fees for FY 2024 if the proposals made in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the existing methodology or under the alternative methodology are adopted, but would not otherwise be required to pay regulatory fees under the existing methodology.

Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit): U.S.-Licensed Space Stations

LicenseeCall signSatellite nameType
Astranis Projects USA LLCS3092ARCTURUSGSO
Open Plaza CorpS2922SKY-B1GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2640DIRECTV T11GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2711DIRECTV RB-1GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2632DIRECTV T8GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2669DIRECTV T9SGSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2641DIRECTV T10GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2797DIRECTV T12GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2930DIRECTV T15GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2673DIRECTV T5GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS2133SPACEWAY 2GSO
DIRECTV Enterprises, LLCS3039DIRECTV T16GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2931ECHOSTAR 18GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2738ECHOSTAR 11GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2694/ S3093ECHOSTAR 10/ ECHOSTAR 23GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2740ECHOSTAR 7GSO
DISH Operating L.L.CS2790ECHOSTAR 14GSO
EchoStar Satellite Operating CorporationS2811ECHOSTAR 15GSO
EchoStar Satellite Operating CorporationS2844ECHOSTAR 16GSO
EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.CS2179ECHOSTAR 9GSO
ES 172 LLCS2610EUTELSAT 174AGSO
ES 172 LLCS3021EUTELSAT 172BGSO
Horizon-3 Satellite LLCS2947HORIZONS-3eGSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS2663SPACEWAY 3GSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS2834ECHOSTAR 19GSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS2753ECHOSTAR XVIIGSO
Hughes Network Systems, LLCS3017EchoStar XXIVGSO
Intelsat License LLC/ViaSat, IncS2160GALAXY 28GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2414INTELSAT 10-02GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2972INTELSAT 37eGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2854NSS-7GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2409INELSAT 905GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2405INTELSAT 901GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2408INTELSAT 904GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2804INTELSAT 25GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2959INTELSAT 35eGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2237INTELSAT 11GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2785INTELSAT 14GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2380INTELSAT 9GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2831INTELSAT 23GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2915INTELSAT 34GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2863INTELSAT 21GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2750INTELSAT 16GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2715GALAXY 17GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2154GALAXY 25GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2253GALAXY 11GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2381GALAXY 3CGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2887INTELSAT 30GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2924/ S3143INTELSAT 31/ GALAXY 35GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2647GALAXY 19GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2687GALAXY 16GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2733GALAXY 18GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2385GALAXY 14GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2386GALAXY 13GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2422/ S3083GALAXY 12/ GALAXY 34GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2387/ S3015GALAXY 15/ GALAXY 33GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3016GALAXY 30GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3078GALAXY 32GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3148GALAXY 36GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2704INTELSAT 5GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2817INTELSAT 18GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2850INTELSAT 19GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2368INTELSAT 1RGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2789INTELSAT 15GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2423HORIZONS 2GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2846INTELSAT 22GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2847INTELSAT 20GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2948INTELSAT 36GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2814INTELSAT 17GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2410INTELSAT 906GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2406INTELSAT 902GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2939INTELSAT 33eGSO
Intelsat License LLCS2382INTELSAT 10GSO
Intelsat License LLCS2751INTELSAT 28GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3023INTELSAT 39GSO
Intelsat License LLCS3066INTELSAT 40eGSO
Ligado Networks Subsidiary, LLCS2358SKYTERRA-1GSO
Ligado Networks Subsidiary, LLCAMSC-1MSAT-2GSO
Novavision Group, IncS2861DIRECTV KU-79WGSO
Satellite CD Radio LLCS2812FM-6GSO
SES Americom, IncS2415NSS-10GSO
SES Americom, IncS2162AMC-3GSO
SES Americom, IncS2347AMC-6GSO
SES Americom, IncS2826SES-2GSO
SES Americom, IncS2807SES-1GSO
SES Americom, IncS2892/ S3096/S3098SES-3/ SES-18/SES-20GSO
SES Americom, IncS2180AMC-15GSO
SES Americom, IncS2713AMC-18GSO
Telesat CanadaS2433AMC-11GSO
SES Americom, IncS3097/ S3138SES-19/ SES-22GSO
SES Americom, IncS3099SES-21GSO
Silkwave Africa, LLCS2666AfriStar-2GSO
Silkwave Africa, LLCS3074AsiaStarGSO
Sirius XM Radio IncS2710FM-5GSO
Sirius XM Radio IncS3034/ S2617/S2616/S3033XM-8/ XM-3/XM-4//XM-7GSO
Skynet Satellite CorporationS2933TELSTAR 12VGSO
Skynet Satellite CorporationS2357TELSTAR 11NGSO
ViaSat, IncS2747VIASAT-1GSO
ViaSat, IncS2917/ S3050VIASAT-3/ VIASAT-89USGSO
XM Radio LLCS2786XM-5GSO

Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit): Non-U.S.-Licensed Space Stations—Market Access Through Petition for Declaratory Ruling

LicenseeCall signSatellite nameType
ABS Global LtdS2987ABS-3AGSO
Avanti Hylas 2 LtdS3130HYLAS-4GSO
DBSD Services LtdS2651DBSD G1GSO
Embratel TVSAT Telecomunicacoes S.AS3142Star One D2GSO
Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales S.AS2956ARSAT-2GSO
Eutelsat S.AS3056EUTELSAT 8 WEST BGSO
Eutelsat S.AS3055EUTELSAT 139 WEST AGSO
Gamma Acquisition L.L.CS2633TerreStar 1GSO
Hispamar Satélites, S.AS2793AMAZONAS-2GSO
Hispamar Satélites, S.AS2886AMAZONAS-3GSO
Hispamar Satélites, S.AS3086AMAZONAS NEXUSGSO
Hispasat, S.AS2969HISPASAT 30W-6GSO
Inmarsat PLCS2932Inmarsat-4 F3GSO
Inmarsat PLCS2949Inmarsat-3 F5GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2756NSS-9GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2870SES-6GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS3048NSS-6GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2828SES-4GSO
New Skies Satellites B.VS2950SES-10GSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2695EUTELSAT 113 WEST AGSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2926EUTELSAT 117 WEST BGSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2938EUTELSAT 115 WEST BGSO
Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.VS2873EUTELSAT 117 WEST AGSO
SES Satellites (Gibraltar) LtdS2676AMC 21GSO
SES Americom, IncS3037NSS-11GSO
SES Americom, IncS2964SES-11GSO
SES DTH do Brasil LtdaS2974SES-14GSO
Telesat CanadaS2745ANIK F1GSO
Telesat CanadaS2674ANIK F1RGSO
Telesat CanadaS2703ANIK F3GSO
Telesat CanadaS2472ANIK F2GSO
Telesat International LtdS2955TELSTAR 19 VANTAGEGSO
Viasat, IncS2902VIASAT-2GSO

Space Stations (Geostationary Orbit): Non-U.S.-Licensed Space Stations—Market Access Through Earth Station Licenses

LicenseeCall signSatellite nameType
APSTAR VIAPSTAR 6M292090GSO
AUSSAT B 152EOPTUS D2M221170GSO
Ciel Satellite GroupCiel-2E050029GSO
Eutelsat 65 West AEutelsat 65 West AE160081GSO
INMARSAT 4F1INMARSAT 4F1KA25GSO
INMARSAT 5F2INMARSAT 5F2E120072GSO
INMARSAT 5F3INMARSAT 5F3E150028GSO
JCSAT-2BJCSAT-2BM174163GSO
NIMIQ 5NIMIQ 5E080107GSO
WILDBLUE-1WILDBLUE-1E040213GSO

Space Stations (Per License/Call Sign in Non-Geostationary Orbit)

(Small Satellite)

ITU Name (if available)Common nameCall signType
Capella Space CorpCapella-2, Capella-3, Capella-4S3073Small Satellite.
Capella Space CorpCapella-5, Capella-6S3080Small Satellite.
Capella Space CorpCapella-7, Capella-8S3100Small Satellite.
Capella Space CorpAcadia-1S3162Small Satellite.
Launcher, IncOrbiter SN3S3161Small Satellite.
Loft Orbital Solutions IncYAM-3S3072Small Satellite.
Loft Orbital Solutions IncYAM-5S3147Small Satellite.
Turion Space CorpDROID.001S3146Small Satellite.
R2 Space, IncXR-1S3067Small Satellite.
ICEYE US, IncICEYES3082Small Satellite.
Umbra Lab IncUmbra SARS3095Small Satellite.
Space Logistics, LLCMISSION EXTENSION VEHICLE-1S2990RPO/OOS.
Space Logistics, LLCMISSION EXTENSION VEHICLE-2S3059RPO/OOS.
Momentus Space LLCVIGORIDE-5S3144OTV.
Momentus Space LLCVIGORIDE-6S3154OTV.
Spaceflight IncSHERPA-AC1S3133OTV.
Lynk Global, IncLynk Tower 1-10S3087Small Satellite.
Outpost Technologies CorporationOutpost Mission 2S3174Small Satellite.
Odyssey SpaceWorksOSW CazorlaS3176Small Satellite.
ICEYE US, IncICEYE Second TrancheS3165Small Satellite.

Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Less Complex

ITU name (if available)Common nameCall signTypeNumber of space stations authorized
Planet LabsFlock/SkysatsS2912Less Complex566
Maxar LicenseWorldView 1,2 & 3, GeoEye-1S2129/S2348Less Complex15
BlackSky GlobalGlobalS3032Less Complex16
Orbital Sidekick, IncGHOStS3139Less Complex6
Hawkeye 360HE360S3042Less Complex174
Spire GlobalLEMUR & MINASS2946/S3045Less Complex636

Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Small Constellation)

ITU name (if available)Common nameCall signNumber of space stations authorized
ORBCOMM License CorpORBCOMMS210372
Iridium Constellation LLCIRIDIUMS211099
Telesat CanadaTELESAT Ku/Ka-BandS2976117
Kepler Communications, IncKEPLERS2981140
Myriota Pty. LtdMYRIOTAS304726
O3b LtdO3bS293542
Globalstar License LLCGLOBALSTARS211596
Swarm Technologies (Space Exploration Holdings, LLC)SWARMS3041150
Theia Holdings A, IncTHEIAS2986112
Space Norway ASARCTIC SATELLITE BROADBAND MISSIONS29782
KinéisKINÉISS305425

Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Large Constellation)

ITU name (if available)Common nameCall signNumber of space stations authorized
Space Exploration Holdings, LLCSPACEX Ku/Ka-BandS2983/S3018/4408
Space Exploration Holdings, LLCSPACEX GEN 2S30697500
WorldVu Satellites LtdONEWEBS2963720
WorldVu Satellites Limited, Debtor-in-PossessionONEWEB V-BANDS29942000
Kuiper Systems LLCKUIPERS30515236

Table B—FY 2024 Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Calculations if Proposals To Amend the Existing Fee Methodology are Adopted and Effective

The following chart provides an analysis of potential regulatory fees for space and earth stations for FY 2024 assuming all the proposals to amend the existing methodology for determining space and earth station fees in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 24-31, are adopted and effective for FY 2024. These proposals include reallocation of the split of space station regulatory fees between GSO and NGSO from 80/20 to 60/40, creation of new fee categories for Large and Small Constellations in the NGSO “other” category, assessment of fees on authorized, not just operational, space stations, establishment of a fixed fee for small satellites/spacecraft fee, assessing fees on rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO), on-orbit servicing (OOS), and orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) space stations using the fee category for small satellites, and an allocation of 20% of Space Bureau regulatory fees to earth stations. It assumes the same number of earth station payors in FY 2024 as there were in FY 2023 (2900 units). It does not incorporate the proposals included in the alternative methodology.

Space Bureau Share of FCC FY 2024 Appropriation$42,140,736 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals $390,192,000 times 10.8%
Earth Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden$8,428,148 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals Space Bureau Share of FCC FY 2024 Appropriation * 20% (proposed)
Per Unit Fee—Earth Stations: Transmit/Receive & Transmit only (per authorization or registration)$2,907 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals Earth Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden/2,900 units (FY 2023)
Space Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden (Includes GSO and NGS O Satellites).$33,712,589 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
Equals GSO Space Bureau Share of FCC FY 2024 Appropriation * 80% (proposed)$26,970,070 divided by 136 GSO Satellites = $198,309 per satellite.
Equals GSO Space Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden * 60% (proposed)$20,227,553 divided by 136 GSO Satellites = $148,732.
Small Satellite Share of Space Station Share$244,300 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
Equals FY 2023 small satellite fee ($12,215) * 20 estimated small satellite fee payors in FY 2024 (including RPO, OOS, or OTV space stations)NGSO—Other Revenue Portion—$195,440. NGSO—Less Complex Portion—$48,860.
NGSO Space Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden$13,485,035 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
Equals NGSO Space Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden * 40% (proposed))  NGSO—Other at 80%  NGSO—Less Complex at 20%$10,788,028 divided by 16 units = $674,252 fee.  With Small Satellite Reduction = $662,037. $2,697,007 divided by 6 units = $449,501 fee.  With Small Satellite Reduction = $441,358.
NGSO Space Station Share of Space Bureau FTE Burden$6,742,518 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
Share at 20% (proposed) Equals NGSO Space Station Share—20%  NGSO—Other at 80% NGSO—Less Complex at 20%$5,394,014 divided by 16 units = $337,126.  With Small Satellite Reduction = $324,911. $1,348,504 divided by 6 units = $224,751.  With Small Satellite Reduction = $216,607.
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Large Constellations) Share$5,394,014 divided by 50% = $2,697,007.
 Equals NGSO Other * 50%−Proposed 20%
Per System Fee—Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Large Constellations)$5,394,014 divided by 3 = $1,798,005 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals NGSO Other (Large Constellation) Share/3 authorized (SpaceX, OneWeb, Kuiper)
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Small Constellations) Share$5,394,014 divided by 50% = $2,697,007.
 Equals NGSO Other * 50%−Proposed 20%
Per System Fee—Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Small Constellations)$5,394,014 divided by 12 = $449,501 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals NGSO Other (Small Constellation) Share/12 authorized (O3b, Kepler , Swarm, Iridium, Globalstar, Orbcomm Space Norway, Theia, Viasat, Myriota, Kineis, Telesat)
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Large Constellations) Share$10,788,028 divided by 50% = $5,394,014.
 Equals NGSO Other * 50%—Proposed 40%
Per System Fee—Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Large Constellations)$10,788,028 divided by 3 = $3,596,009 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals NGSO Other (Large Constellation) Share/3 authorized (SpaceX, OneWeb, Kuiper)
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Small Constellations) Share$10,788,028 divided by 50% = $5,394,014.
 Equals NGSO Other * 50%—Proposed 40%
Per System Fee—Space Stations (Non-Geostationary Orbit)—Other (Small Constellations)$10,788,028 divided by 12 = $899,002 (rounded up to nearest dollar).
 Equals NGSO Other (Small Constellation) Share/12 authorized (O3b, Kepler, Swarm, Iridium, Globalstar, Orbcomm Space Norway, Theia, Viasat, Myriota, Kineis, Telesat)

Table C—FY 2024 Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Calculated if the Proposed Alternative Fee Methodology is Adopted and Effective

The following chart provides an analysis of potential regulatory fees for space and earth stations for FY 2024 if the alternative methodology for assessing space station fees in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 24-31, is adopted and effective for FY 2024. It assumes that the share of space station regulatory fees will be 80% of all Space Bureau fees for FY 2024 ($33,712,589), and that 20 small satellite payors (including RPO, OOS, and OTV space stations) will contribute $244,300 in collections, resulting in $33,468,289 to be collected from remaining space station payors. It also assumes that the proposal to assess regulatory fees on authorized, not just operational, space stations is adopted.

Number of GSO Units: 150 (estimate of 135 operational and 15 authorized GSO space stations for FY 2024)

Number of NGSO Units (non-small sats): 70 (using 500 space station tiers); 49 (using 1,000 space station tiers)

Total Number of Units (GSO + NGSO (non-small sats)): 220 (using 500 space station tiers); 199 (using 1000 space station tiers)

Fee per Unit/Tier: $152,129 (500 space station tier); $168,182 (1,000 space station tier) (This number would be the annual fee for all authorized GSO space stations; for NGSO space stations—other than small satellites—the fee would be calculated by taking the fee per unit for the first 100 authorized space stations per system, and adding the number of additional units, on either per 500 or per 1000 authorized space stations for each additional tier)

Licensee—call sign(s)Number of authorized space stationsNumber of units assessed (500 tier)Total estimated fee (500 tier)Number of units assessed (1,000 tier)Total estimated fee (1,000 tier)
Maxar (WORLDVIEW 1, 2, and 3/WORLDVIEW LEGION 1-12), S2129151$152,1291$168,183
Planet FLOCK/SKYSAT/PELICAN, S29125663456,3862336,365
SPIRE GLOBAL, S2946/S30456363456,3862336,365
BlackSky Global, S3032161152,1291168,183
Hawkeye 360, S30421742304,2582336,365
Swarm, S30411502304,2582336,365
Orbital Sidekick, S3139161152,1291168,183
Myriota, S3047261152,1291168,183
Kineis, S3054251152,1291168,183
ORBCOMM License Corp., S2103721152,1291168,183
Iridium Constellation LLC, S2110991152,1291168,183
GLOBALSTAR, S2115961152,1291168,183
O3b, S2935421152,1291168,183
WorldVU Satellites Ltd. (OneWeb) Ku-/Ka-band/V-band, S2963/S299427206912,7724672,730
Telesat Canada (Ku/Ka-band), S29761172304,2582336,365
Theia, S29861122304,2582336,365
Space Norway, S297821152,1291168,183
Kepler Communications, Inc., S29811402304,2582336,365
Viasat, S2985201152,1291168,183
Kuiper, S30515236121,825,54471,177,277
SpaceX (Ku/Ka-band/Gen-2), S2983/S3018/S306911,908253,803,215132,186,371
Total Number of NGSO Units7010,659,001498,240,936
Total Number of GSO Units15022,812,88915025,227,354
Totals22033,468,28919933,468,289

Table 8—FY 2024 Full-Service Broadcast Television Stations by Call Sign

Facility Id.Call signService area populationTerrain limited populationTerrain limited fee amount
3246KAAH-TV1,018,897939,246$6,197
18285KAAL605,222580,5643,831
11912KAAS-TV243,984243,9471,610
56528KABB3,017,8603,000,47719,797
282KABC-TV18,303,33617,670,502116,590
1236KACV-TV383,228383,0712,528
33261KADN-TV889,583889,5835,869
8263KAEF-TV139,510124,133819
2728KAET4,867,7394,836,43431,911
2767KAFT1,294,4921,218,6708,041
62442KAID864,547857,2765,656
4145KAII-TV203,698179,4351,184
67494KAIL2,091,2882,061,17513,600
13988KAIT594,090583,7493,852
40517KAJB393,654393,3552,595
65522KAKE821,488816,8115,389
804KAKM397,237395,2412,608
148KAKW-DT3,350,8763,242,15921,392
51598KALB-TV933,915932,5006,153
51241KALO1,018,088971,6316,411
40820KAMC411,973411,9492,718
8523KAMR-TV377,485377,4102,490
65301KAMU-TV395,784392,0442,587
2506KAPP337,194298,1591,967
3658KARD680,743678,7244,478
23079KARE4,243,1454,234,43927,939
33440KARK-TV1,243,8131,230,3668,118
37005KARZ-TV1,153,5881,134,2217,484
32311KASA-TV1,198,3611,159,3507,649
41212KASN1,200,7051,185,7257,823
7143KASW4,828,2724,813,07831,757
55049KASY-TV1,182,8871,143,2587,543
33471KATC1,376,0571,376,0579,079
13813KATN95,52095,197628
21649KATU3,400,7083,238,56021,368
33543KATV1,285,4511,265,9868,353
50182KAUT-TV1,810,6541,809,42811,939
21488KAUU398,876396,4862,616
6864KAUZ-TV366,943365,1622,409
73101KAVU-TV323,202322,9612,131
49579KAWB193,767193,7051,278
49578KAWE139,854137,788909
58684KAYU-TV925,282861,2765,683
29234KAZA-TV15,481,13614,233,99393,916
17433KAZD8,087,9528,085,33953,347
776273KAZF253,785188,0571,241
1151KAZQ1,137,7031,126,9477,436
35811KAZT-TV495,353409,1122,699
4148KBAK-TV1,626,5321,363,8678,999
16940KBCA465,218465,1573,069
53586KBCB1,510,1681,478,6479,756
22685KBDI-TV4,731,7154,335,18028,604
56384KBEH18,512,09818,476,669121,909
65395KBFD-DT1,016,508887,6715,857
169030KBGS-TV176,432173,9771,148
61068KBHE-TV153,390144,914956
48556KBIM-TV226,233226,1941,492
29108KBIN-TV1,014,9181,013,0416,684
33658KBJR-TV278,564274,5721,812
83306KBLN-TV322,286145,745962
63768KBLR2,280,7302,220,87914,653
53324KBME-TV146,149146,082964
10150KBMT799,217798,2625,267
22121KBMY142,682142,622941
49760KBOI-TV869,688862,2875,689
55370KBRR154,408154,4051,019
66414KBSD-DT151,986151,9011,002
66415KBSH-DT97,88495,916633
19593KBSI730,259728,3254,805
66416KBSL-DT47,46246,328306
4939KBSV1,535,2811,424,9139,402
62469KBTC-TV4,319,6994,228,86127,902
61214KBTV-TV771,692771,6925,092
6669KBTX-TV5,354,5515,351,08935,306
35909KBVO1,911,8331,684,20611,112
58618KBVU136,908121,846804
6823KBYU-TV2,838,1812,620,44717,290
33756KBZK156,388139,258919
21422KCAL-TV18,258,91217,586,821116,038
11265KCAU-TV769,096754,3524,977
14867KCBA3,334,1762,557,08016,872
27507KCBD433,372432,6942,855
9628KCBS-TV18,628,13717,359,665114,539
49750KCBY-TV92,82577,624512
33710KCCI1,216,1461,209,2197,978
9640KCCW-TV294,831287,2461,895
63158KCDO-TV3,305,3683,160,73020,854
62424KCDT807,726762,2585,029
83913KCEB446,377445,8502,942
57219KCEC4,497,5314,237,58027,960
10245KCEN-TV2,224,4902,174,19314,345
13058KCET17,868,93316,310,676107,618
18079KCFW-TV196,292157,0011,036
132606KCGE-DT129,244129,244853
60793KCHF1,157,6281,127,2077,437
33722KCIT392,243391,6462,584
62468KCKA1,082,723906,7715,983
41969KCLO-TV150,949145,392959
47903KCNC-TV4,460,5094,175,11427,547
71586KCNS9,007,7628,012,55652,867
33742KCOP-TV18,134,02217,318,605114,268
19117KCOS1,092,9821,092,7927,210
63165KCOY-TV700,154478,7683,159
33894KCPQ5,131,1644,985,82932,896
53843KCPT2,690,1712,688,80817,741
33875KCRA-TV11,608,1077,153,84547,201
9719KCRG-TV1,174,5461,156,4357,630
60728KCSD-TV323,237323,0932,132
59494KCSG229,899220,8181,457
33749KCTS-TV4,848,4344,778,75831,530
41230KCTV2,732,1972,730,44318,015
58605KCVU700,745689,7024,551
10036KCWC-DT42,87238,501254
64444KCWE2,642,8802,641,43217,428
51502KCWI-TV1,152,1631,151,0707,595
42008KCWO-TV55,41155,383365
166511KCWV210,633210,6261,390
24316KCWX4,947,7564,941,66032,605
68713KCWY-DT85,08584,715559
22201KDAF7,951,2767,949,04052,448
33764KDBC-TV1,101,5131,097,0287,238
79258KDCK43,01042,993284
166332KDCU-DT773,823773,8085,106
38375KDEN-TV3,968,0603,943,64126,020
17037KDFI7,990,9557,989,28752,713
33770KDFW7,962,1417,959,85552,519
29102KDIN-TV1,193,7401,189,1917,846
25454KDKA-TV3,569,1623,428,19222,619
60740KDKF73,61966,137436
4691KDLH267,326264,6861,746
41975KDLO-TV214,024213,8191,411
55379KDLT-TV700,230689,3054,548
55375KDLV-TV98,10197,673644
25221KDMD394,250391,2782,582
78915KDMI1,248,4431,247,3378,230
56524KDNL-TV3,013,9243,009,24419,855
24518KDOC-TV18,264,02117,379,123114,667
1005KDOR-TV1,180,6031,177,8947,772
60736KDRV551,809469,5373,098
61064KDSD-TV65,35560,171397
53329KDSE52,77751,188338
56527KDSM-TV1,202,7021,201,8667,930
49326KDTN7,901,1337,898,92252,117
83491KDTP25,96523,729157
33778KDTV-DT8,697,7947,750,13451,135
67910KDTX-TV7,985,1887,983,67652,676
126KDVR4,301,5414,144,26827,344
18084KECI-TV228,161210,5601,389
51208KECY-TV407,175403,8482,665
58408KEDT527,343527,3433,479
55435KEET181,333161,3891,065
37103KEKE105,022101,614670
41983KELO-TV767,130715,4374,720
34440KEMO-TV9,007,7628,012,55652,867
776162KEMS55,92054,847362
2777KEMV634,060576,7583,805
26304KENS3,091,0863,077,74920,307
63845KENV-DT52,29445,932303
18338KENW85,76285,762566
50591KEPB-TV631,758574,9733,794
56029KEPR-TV515,354493,9413,259
49324KERA-TV7,984,3817,981,44052,662
40878KERO-TV1,387,2451,257,6838,298
61067KESD-TV172,302165,2141,090
25577KESQ-TV1,487,393615,8034,063
50205KETA-TV1,874,4451,860,16112,273
62182KETC2,945,2002,942,62219,415
37101KETD3,918,7763,879,69225,598
2768KETG421,357403,1792,660
12895KETH-TV7,296,6947,296,42848,142
55643KETK-TV1,072,4851,071,0977,067
2770KETS1,209,5181,191,7137,863
53903KETV1,491,6741,486,4089,807
92872KETZ505,102502,3103,314
68853KEYC-TV553,554539,8533,562
33691KEYE-TV3,533,4793,444,54922,727
60637KEYT-TV1,466,7771,275,2438,414
83715KEYU351,434351,4032,319
34406KEZI1,221,8931,166,9077,699
34412KFBB-TV96,78295,488630
125KFCT967,548960,0996,335
51466KFDA-TV394,744393,6952,598
22589KFDM770,621770,6095,084
48521KFDR672,350657,3074,337
65370KFDX-TV367,320366,5832,419
49264KFFV4,674,7584,634,96430,581
12729KFFX-TV467,787463,0063,055
83992KFJX709,125679,7974,485
42122KFMB-TV4,239,1353,914,20725,826
53321KFME442,176441,6642,914
74256KFNB84,54383,990554
21613KFNE53,05952,392346
21612KFNR9,7249,45762
66222KFOR-TV1,789,6931,789,34211,806
33716KFOX-TV1,107,4241,097,2517,240
41517KFPH-DT385,474313,7202,070
81509KFPX-TV1,072,2901,072,2227,075
31597KFQX197,918173,4951,145
59013KFRE-TV1,850,4261,835,47812,110
51429KFSF-DT7,986,8667,039,24146,445
66469KFSM-TV1,003,012978,8966,459
8620KFSN-TV1,973,8521,957,27912,914
29560KFTA-TV907,937894,5935,903
83714KFTC64,28464,250424
60537KFTH-DT7,287,9087,287,53048,083
60549KFTR-DT18,326,52616,971,273111,976
61335KFTS77,84766,866441
81441KFTU-DT109,271105,476696
34439KFTV-DT1,930,4151,914,46412,632
664KFVE91,16481,417537
592KFVS-TV867,835847,6385,593
29015KFWD7,970,3737,964,22952,548
35336KFXA914,357912,8936,023
17625KFXB-TV377,548370,3652,444
70917KFXK-TV969,012966,8686,379
84453KFXL-TV977,327976,4286,442
56079KFXV1,335,6431,335,6438,813
41427KFYR-TV153,218150,858995
25685KGAN1,121,2661,109,0067,317
34457KGBT-TV1,350,1041,350,0048,907
7841KGCW938,174935,8356,175
24485KGEB1,257,9181,224,7978,081
34459KGET-TV982,744940,0716,203
53320KGFE120,237120,237793
7894KGIN235,875233,7491,542
83945KGLA-DT1,754,8061,754,80611,578
34445KGMB1,016,756907,3815,987
58608KGMC2,076,5232,052,80813,544
36914KGMD-TV101,247100,762665
36920KGMV209,577175,9041,161
10061KGNS-TV283,777274,8771,814
34470KGO-TV9,406,0808,630,29156,943
56034KGPE1,829,9021,812,93611,962
81694KGPX-TV792,059724,5924,781
25511KGTF155,729154,4911,019
40876KGTV4,257,5683,912,03725,812
36918KGUN-TV1,479,2211,292,1838,526
34874KGW3,397,1123,239,73021,376
63177KGWC-TV84,59784,117555
63162KGWL-TV37,31437,199245
63166KGWN-TV558,685528,2373,485
63170KGWR-TV49,43549,242325
4146KHAW-TV102,381101,946673
60353KHBS610,455588,2633,881
27300KHCE-TV2,848,2892,842,69618,756
26431KHET1,022,4591,009,7726,662
21160KHGI-TV245,331244,5151,613
36917KHII-TV1,017,217907,8425,990
29085KHIN1,137,0591,135,8667,494
17688KHME196,002194,2331,282
47670KHMT193,159188,7141,245
47987KHNE-TV205,833204,9231,352
34867KHNL1,016,725907,3505,987
60354KHOG-TV862,177797,8105,264
4144KHON-TV1,016,508944,2716,230
34529KHOU7,289,6357,287,99148,086
4690KHQA-TV299,409298,0381,966
34537KHQ-TV938,773887,1845,854
30601KHRR1,298,6251,241,8188,194
34348KHSD-TV203,077199,0321,313
24508KHSL-TV634,956615,3884,060
69677KHSV2,384,8122,343,59715,463
64544KHVO101,13899,980660
23394KIAH7,307,1717,306,81648,210
34564KICU-TV8,992,7967,837,23551,710
56028KIDK351,335348,7942,301
58560KIDY126,096126,079832
53382KIEM-TV177,885166,5011,099
66258KIFI-TV370,169365,9952,415
16950KIFR2,356,1752,330,02115,373
10188KIII580,363577,6023,811
29095KIIN1,405,1031,375,8719,078
34527KIKU1,017,227920,8376,076
63865KILM18,009,85916,478,550108,725
56033KIMA-TV325,241275,5991,818
66402KIMT671,281662,8594,374
67089KINC2,320,8732,230,93314,720
34847KING-TV4,735,3864,686,75230,923
51708KINT-TV1,093,5791,093,2277,213
26249KION-TV2,602,418906,5395,981
62427KIPT190,856189,8391,253
66781KIRO-TV4,715,9944,685,38330,914
62430KISU-TV358,145353,3192,331
12896KITU-TV749,934749,9344,948
64548KITV1,016,508890,1015,873
59255KIVI-TV864,257856,9965,654
47285KIXE-TV484,629444,4052,932
13792KJJC-TV85,81384,995561
14000KJLA18,725,19817,464,578115,231
20015KJNP-TV96,26696,001633
53315KJRE15,41415,394102
59439KJRH-TV1,475,1941,458,4019,623
55364KJRR45,70744,148291
7675KJTL365,659365,2422,410
55031KJTV-TV426,315426,3022,813
13814KJUD32,08731,083205
36607KJZZ-TV2,837,6222,620,56117,290
83180KKAI1,016,756995,8596,571
58267KKAP1,002,980967,7706,385
24766KKCO218,313183,1901,209
776228KKEL396,796390,4742,576
35097KKJB780,452775,2645,115
22644KKPX-TV8,265,7757,324,47048,327
35037KKTV3,340,5052,899,50219,131
35042KLAS-TV2,421,8272,256,22514,887
52907KLAX-TV350,490350,1442,310
3660KLBK-TV409,551409,5122,702
65523KLBY29,87529,852197
38430KLCS17,868,93316,310,676107,618
77719KLCW-TV404,384404,3692,668
51479KLDO-TV267,717267,7171,766
37105KLEI149,648122,977811
56032KLEW-TV173,816158,0861,043
35059KLFY-TV1,380,4171,379,7759,104
54011KLJB1,003,676992,7636,550
11264KLKN1,295,3531,249,9138,247
52593KLML285,490232,7251,536
47975KLNE-TV124,206124,134819
38590KLPA-TV395,240395,0792,607
38588KLPB-TV749,224749,2244,943
749KLRN2,865,0592,843,30218,760
11951KLRT-TV1,206,8481,187,0157,832
8564KLRU3,404,3313,364,83122,201
8322KLSR-TV617,791555,5113,665
31114KLST205,611176,8621,167
24436KLTJ7,239,2687,239,08247,763
38587KLTL-TV438,847438,8472,896
38589KLTM-TV670,083665,2834,390
38591KLTS-TV930,704927,6506,121
68540KLTV1,125,6461,108,4037,313
12913KLUJ-TV1,304,5231,304,5238,607
57220KLUZ-TV1,122,0021,061,6837,005
11683KLVX2,368,1762,246,49514,822
82476KLWB1,066,3691,066,2487,035
40250KLWY652,057648,3014,277
64551KMAU230,508205,4101,355
51499KMAX-TV11,771,9197,828,09251,650
65686KMBC-TV2,690,4592,688,81217,741
35183KMCB71,69369,118456
41237KMCC2,384,3302,325,06215,341
42636KMCI-TV2,611,4472,610,07717,221
38584KMCT-TV270,862270,8551,787
22127KMCY80,76180,722533
162016KMDE34,04134,035225
26428KMEB239,702216,9161,431
39665KMEG763,806758,8395,007
35123KMEX-DT18,389,37116,955,856111,875
40875KMGH-TV4,484,6124,211,08227,785
35131KMID453,896453,8902,995
16749KMIR-TV3,014,399805,7955,317
63164KMIZ552,020549,9623,629
53541KMLM-DT358,819358,8192,367
52046KMLU685,717681,6604,498
47981KMNE-TV44,96341,160272
24753KMOH-TV217,161202,5131,336
4326KMOS-TV823,502819,6985,408
41425KMOT90,76488,505584
70034KMOV3,058,3563,053,44720,147
51488KMPH-TV1,871,8261,831,01112,081
73701KMPX7,985,2437,981,84152,664
44052KMSB1,390,7721,081,4547,135
68883KMSP-TV4,232,6274,200,27827,713
12525KMSS-TV1,047,3841,044,3176,890
43095KMTP-TV6,891,5295,992,18739,536
35189KMTR858,621737,8634,868
35190KMTV-TV1,482,6271,481,2139,773
77063KMTW782,241782,2335,161
35200KMVT203,865194,6421,284
32958KMVU-DT333,344255,4301,685
86534KMYA-DT181,750181,7101,199
51518KMYS2,695,9062,689,44417,745
54420KMYT-TV1,378,2641,366,9269,019
35822KMYU174,066170,6671,126
993KNAT-TV1,194,2491,164,0357,680
24749KNAZ-TV370,644251,2971,658
47906KNBC18,007,95416,466,286108,645
81464KNBN158,327149,470986
9754KNCT2,162,8132,134,34514,082
82611KNDB140,899140,846929
82615KNDM81,66981,636539
12395KNDO326,624291,8161,925
12427KNDU531,985514,6133,395
17683KNEP96,31191,722605
776145KNGF418,755418,6492,762
48003KNHL282,894282,6491,865
125710KNIC-DT2,916,8772,900,17619,135
59363KNIN-TV861,563857,0655,655
48525KNLC3,009,6693,007,12419,841
84215KNMD-TV1,175,4721,147,4317,571
55528KNME-TV1,185,9281,145,6597,559
47707KNMT3,242,9393,141,42020,727
48975KNOE-TV706,833703,4684,641
49273KNOP-TV84,99883,626552
10228KNPB684,366522,7153,449
55362KNRR24,33924,315160
35277KNSD4,176,5313,908,91625,791
19191KNSN-TV689,549521,1483,439
23302KNSO1,962,5681,942,99812,820
35280KNTV9,285,3238,743,03857,687
144KNVA3,326,1713,285,67621,679
33745KNVN497,887470,3073,103
69692KNVO1,359,7851,359,7858,972
29557KNWA-TV929,628912,6116,021
59440KNXV-TV4,836,8384,826,02831,842
59014KOAA-TV1,865,2171,422,0709,383
50588KOAB-TV254,424250,7491,654
50590KOAC-TV2,168,6401,718,55511,339
58552KOAM-TV822,738789,3855,208
53928KOAT-TV1,171,6051,145,4167,557
35313KOB1,189,8491,152,2707,603
35321KOBF198,225163,2411,077
8260KOBI595,619551,2513,637
62272KOBR227,347226,8681,497
50170KOCB1,803,1711,802,13911,891
4328KOCE-TV18,212,24217,141,918113,102
84225KOCM1,615,4931,614,92210,655
12508KOCO-TV1,890,2461,881,15212,412
83181KOCW80,29280,262530
18283KODE-TV789,082781,2515,155
66195KOED-TV1,555,3691,523,16410,050
50198KOET657,252637,0574,203
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415WUTV1,611,1281,579,26510,420
16517WUVC-DT4,224,2854,208,45327,767
48813WUVG-DT6,908,8796,834,54245,094
3072WUVN1,236,4261,156,3977,630
60560WUVP-DT10,944,73110,756,71770,973
9971WUXP-TV2,749,8272,737,09418,059
417WVAH-TV1,295,7101,222,0758,063
23947WVAN-TV1,118,5341,117,8457,376
65387WVBT1,964,1091,964,10912,959
72342WVCY-TV3,149,7733,140,71920,722
60559WVEA-TV5,324,3155,322,34335,117
74167WVEC2,189,6272,184,43514,413
5802WVEN-TV4,749,5134,749,51331,337
61573WVEO962,531803,5532,946
69946WVER903,858770,4125,083
10976WVFX688,514596,2783,934
47929WVIA-TV3,472,5012,879,99419,002
3667WVII-TV368,499348,8132,301
70309WVIR-TV2,140,1002,107,08113,903
74170WVIT5,920,2525,425,45935,797
18753WVIZ3,694,9573,687,74024,332
70021WVLA-TV1,969,0631,969,00012,991
81750WVLR1,483,4841,376,0919,079
35908WVLT-TV1,983,9741,714,78011,314
74169WVNS-TV889,675560,4723,698
11259WVNY755,448673,8284,446
29000WVOZ-TV981,832762,1822,946
71657WVPB-TV939,383910,4656,007
60111WVPT995,523887,4495,855
70491WVPX-TV4,131,6394,098,98027,045
66378WVPY995,523887,4495,855
67190WVSN2,593,1482,271,51214,987
69940WVTB468,294246,2401,625
74173WVTM-TV2,101,9472,026,89513,373
74174WVTV3,130,6643,122,63020,603
77496WVUA2,305,6212,250,33714,848
4149WVUE-DT1,759,7791,759,77911,611
4329WVUT267,636267,5551,765
74176WVVA997,556690,6514,557
3113WVXF70,67366,853441
12033WWAY1,328,3661,328,3668,765
30833WWBT2,109,2062,074,93013,690
20295WWCP-TV2,798,7172,540,10516,760
24812WWCW1,390,9081,210,4827,987
23671WWDP6,230,9645,959,06139,318
21158WWHO2,994,4002,952,76019,482
14682WWJE-DT7,755,2367,627,17050,324
65919WWJS3,798,8823,731,76824,622
72123WWJ-TV5,653,5665,653,21937,300
166512WWJX524,625524,5793,461
6868WWLP3,866,4073,097,62120,438
74192WWL-TV1,908,3351,908,33512,591
3133WWMB1,596,3201,591,50110,501
74195WWMT2,667,9862,657,01617,531
68851WWNY-TV368,613341,1012,251
74197WWOR-TV21,146,73220,904,564137,928
65943WWPB3,531,5853,086,50020,365
23264WWPX-TV2,612,0452,544,16316,786
68547WWRS-TV2,376,5492,354,44215,535
61251WWSB3,830,8383,830,83825,276
23142WWSI11,821,59411,646,43676,843
16747WWTI195,127188,5381,244
998WWTO-TV6,837,7326,837,73245,115
26994WWTV1,047,2271,032,4486,812
84214WWTW1,529,9241,528,55510,085
26993WWUP-TV114,688108,690717
23338WXBU4,219,8693,695,56824,383
61504WXCW2,000,9272,000,92713,202
61084WXEL-TV5,976,3315,976,33139,432
60539WXFT-DT10,333,09010,326,95268,137
23929WXGA-TV618,176616,8434,070
51163WXIA-TV7,067,1516,920,53445,662
53921WXII-TV3,895,8113,546,15623,398
146WXIN3,066,5893,043,02020,078
39738WXIX-TV3,033,4493,023,04919,946
414WXLV-TV4,920,1774,882,71032,216
68433WXMI2,110,0832,109,60713,919
64549WXOW433,343422,6052,788
6601WXPX-TV5,414,0685,411,83235,707
74215WXTV-DT21,842,10521,428,169141,383
12472WXTX745,811742,4384,899
11970WXXA-TV1,691,7531,553,27210,248
57274WXXI-TV1,192,1401,176,3107,761
53517WXXV-TV1,235,5201,233,5118,139
10267WXYZ-TV5,716,9675,716,63237,718
77515WYCI32,32121,447142
70149WYCW3,717,2323,549,66723,421
62219WYDC542,984435,9242,876
18783WYDN2,760,3232,697,35117,797
35582WYDO1,340,9901,340,9908,848
25090WYES-TV2,002,8062,002,45913,212
53905WYFF2,836,3762,609,54417,218
49803WYIN7,062,5117,062,51146,598
24915WYMT-TV1,144,051819,0695,404
17010WYOU2,912,4682,246,39414,822
77789WYOW94,92794,486623
13933WYPX-TV1,547,6701,434,1479,463
4693WYTV4,870,0434,522,74829,841
5875WYZZ-TV1,008,9951,002,7436,616
15507WZBJ1,603,3641,421,5099,379
28119WZDX1,714,0341,633,01910,775
70493WZME21,320,48820,875,035137,733
81448WZMQ73,78473,510485
71871WZPX-TV2,165,4132,165,33314,287
136750WZRB1,007,1721,006,7316,642
418WZTV2,743,2702,733,97818,039
83270WZVI64,18763,279418
19183WZVN-TV2,331,1552,331,15515,381
49713WZZM1,678,2201,652,09510,901
Call signs WIPM and WIPR are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WNJX and WAPA are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WKAQ and WORA are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WOLE and WLII are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WVEO and WTCV are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WJPX and WJWN are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WAPA and WTIN are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WSUR and WLII are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WVOZ and WTCV are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WJPX and WKPV are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WMTJ and WQTO are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WIRS and WJPX are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.
Call signs WRFB and WORA are stations in Puerto Rico that are linked together with a total fee of $20,455.

Table 9—FY 2023 Schedule of Regulatory Fees

Regulatory fees for the categories shaded in gray are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted at the time the application is filed.

Fee categoryAnnual regulatory fee (U.S. $s)
PLMRS (per license) (Exclusive Use) (47 CFR part 90)25.
Microwave (per license) (47 CFR part 101)25.
Marine (Ship) (per station) (47 CFR part 80)15.
Marine (Coast) (per license) (47 CFR part 80)40.
Rural Radio (47 CFR part 22) (previously listed under the Land Mobile category)10.
PLMRS (Shared Use) (per license) (47 CFR part 90)10.
Aviation (Aircraft) (per station) (47 CFR part 87)10.
Aviation (Ground) (per license) (47 CFR part 87)20.
CMRS Mobile/Cellular Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24, 27, 80 and 90) (Includes Non-Geographic telephone numbers).16.
CMRS Messaging Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24 and 90).08.
Broadband Radio Service (formerly MMDS/MDS) (per license) (47 CFR part 27) Local Multipoint Distribution Service (per call sign) (47 CFR, part 101)700. 700.
AM Radio Construction Permits620.
FM Radio Construction Permits1,085.
AM and FM Broadcast Radio Station FeesSee Table Below.
Digital TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF and UHF Commercial Fee Factor$.007799. See Appendix G of FY 2023 R&O for fee amounts due, also available at https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/fees/regulatory-fees.
Digital TV Construction Permits5,100.
Low Power TV, Class A TV, TV/FM Translators & FM Boosters (47 CFR part 74)260.
CARS (47 CFR part 78)1,720.
Cable Television Systems (per subscriber) (47 CFR part 76), Including IPTV and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)1.23.
Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers (per revenue dollar).00540.
Toll Free (per toll free subscriber) (47 CFR section 52.101 (f) of the rules).13.
Earth Stations (47 CFR part 25)575.
Space Stations (per operational station in geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) also includes DBS Service (per operational station) (47 CFR part 100)117,580.
Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) (Other)347,755.
Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) (Less Complex)130,405.
Space Stations (per license/call sign in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) (Small Satellite)12,215.
International Bearer Circuits—Terrestrial/Satellites (per Gbps circuit)$26.
Submarine Cable Landing Licenses Fee (per cable system)See Table Below.

FY 2023 Radio Station Regulatory Fees

Population servedAM Class AAM Class BAM Class CAM Class DFM Classes A, B1 & C3FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2
≤10,000$595$430$370$410$650$745
10,001-25,0009907156206801,0851,240
25,001-75,0001,4851,0759301,0201,6301,860
75,001-150,0002,2301,6101,3951,5302,4402,790
150,001-500,0003,3452,4152,0952,3003,6654,190
500,001-1,200,0005,0103,6203,1353,4405,4906,275
1,200,001-3,000,0007,5255,4354,7105,1708,2459,425
3,000,001-6,000,00011,2758,1457,0607,74512,36014,125
>6,000,00016,92012,22010,59511,62018,54521,190

FY 2023 International Bearer Circuits—Submarine Cable Systems

Submarine cable systems (capacity as of December 31, 2022)Fee ratio (units)FY 2023 regulatory fees
Less than 50 Gbps.0625$7,680
50 Gbps or greater, but less than 250 Gbps.12515,355
250 Gbps or greater, but less than 1,500 Gbps.2530,705
1,500 Gbps or greater, but less than 3,500 Gbps.561,410
3,500 Gbps or greater, but less than 6,500 Gbps1.0122,815
6,500 Gbps or greater2.0245,630

VI. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

As required by the RFA the Commission has prepared this IRFA of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the NPRM. Written comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA.

A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

68. For FY 2024, the Commission is required to collect $390,192,000 in regulatory fees, an amount equal to our annual salaries and expenses appropriation, pursuant to section 9 of the Communications Act and the Commission's FY 2024 Further Consolidation Appropriations Act. The Commission's methodology for assessing regulatory fees must “reflect the full-time equivalent number of employees within the bureaus and offices of the Commission, adjusted to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities.” The total amount the Commission must collect in an offsetting collection generally changes each fiscal year, and payors' regulatory fees will also typically change each fiscal year as a mathematical consequence of the changes in the total amount to be collected, the number of FTEs, and projected unit estimates for each regulatory fee category. In the annual NPRM, we seek comment on the Commission's proposed methodology and regulatory fees for FY 2024, as set forth in Tables 3, 4, and 7 of the NPRM. In 2023, the Commission eliminated the International Bureau, established a new Space Bureau and a new Office of International Affairs, and reallocated the authorities and functions of the International Bureau to the Space Bureau and the Office of International Affairs. In light of these actions, for FY 2024, we reviewed the FY 2023 reallocations to determine if any changes are warranted, and propose to slightly revise the FY 2023 reallocations to the core bureaus, including the new Space Bureau and the new Office of International Affairs.

69. We also seek comment on several additional regulatory fee issues, including: (i) the calculation of television broadcaster regulatory fees; (ii) how our proposals may promote or inhibit advances in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; (iii) the end of temporary relief measures we implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; (iv) our proposal to discontinue the Commission's presumption that broadcast stations that are dark or were recently dark or bankrupt are experiencing financial hardship sufficient to justify waiver of their regulatory fees; and (v) ways in which the Commission might assist regulatory fee payors in meeting their annual regulatory fee obligations.

B. Legal Basis

70. The proposed action is authorized pursuant to sections 4(i), 4(j), 9, 9A, and 303(r) of the Communications Act.

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

71. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the SBA. A “small business concern” is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

72. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our actions, over time, may affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe, at the outset, three broad groups of small entities that could be directly affected herein. First, while there are industry specific size standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of Advocacy, in general a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 99.9% of all businesses in the United States, which translates to 33.2 million businesses.

73. Next, the type of small entity described as a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses a revenue benchmark of $50,000 or less to delineate its annual electronic filing requirements for small exempt organizations. Nationwide, for tax year 2022, there were approximately 530,109 small exempt organizations in the U.S. reporting revenues of $50,000 or less according to the registration and tax data for exempt organizations available from the IRS.

74. Finally, the small entity described as a “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2022 Census of Governments indicate there were 90,837 local governmental jurisdictions consisting of general purpose governments and special purpose governments in the United States. Of this number, there were 36,845 general purpose governments (county, municipal, and town or township) with populations of less than 50,000 and 11,879 special purpose governments (independent school districts) with enrollment populations of less than 50,000. Accordingly, based on the 2022 U.S. Census of Governments data.

75. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau defines this industry as establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry. Wired Telecommunications Carriers are also referred to as wireline carriers or fixed local service providers.

76. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 4,590 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of fixed local services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 4,146 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

77. Local Exchange Carriers (LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. Providers of these services include both Incumbent LECs and CLECs. Wired Telecommunications Carriers is the closest industry with an SBA small business size standard. Wired Telecommunications Carriers are also referred to as wireline carriers or fixed local service providers. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 4,590 providers that reported they were fixed LECs. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 4,146 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

78. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Incumbent LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA have developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent LECs. Wired Telecommunications Carriers is the closest industry with an SBA small business size standard. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms in this industry that operated for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 1,212 providers that reported they were Incumbent LECs. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 916 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of Incumbent LECs can be considered small entities.

79. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. Providers of these services include several types of CLECs. Wired Telecommunications Carriers is the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 3,378 providers that reported they were CLECS. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 3,230 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

80. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA have developed a small business size standard specifically for IXCs. Wired Telecommunications Carriers is the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 127 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of interexchange services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 109 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of providers in this industry can be considered small entities.

81. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for prepaid calling card providers. Telecommunications Resellers is the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard. The Telecommunications Resellers industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Establishments in this industry resell telecommunications; they do not operate transmission facilities and infrastructure. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard for Telecommunications Resellers classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 1,386 firms in this industry provided resale services for the entire year. Of that number, 1,375 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 62 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of prepaid card services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 61 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

82. Local Resellers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA have developed a small business size standard specifically for Local Resellers. Telecommunications Resellers is the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard. The Telecommunications Resellers industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Establishments in this industry resell telecommunications; they do not operate transmission facilities and infrastructure. MVNOs are included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard for Telecommunications Resellers classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 1,386 firms in this industry provided resale services for the entire year. Of that number, 1,375 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 207 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of local resale services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 202 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

83. Toll Resellers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA have developed a small business size standard specifically for Toll Resellers. Telecommunications Resellers is the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard. The Telecommunications Resellers industry comprises establishments engaged in purchasing access and network capacity from owners and operators of telecommunications networks and reselling wired and wireless telecommunications services (except satellite) to businesses and households. Establishments in this industry resell telecommunications; they do not operate transmission facilities and infrastructure. MVNOs are included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard for Telecommunications Resellers classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 1,386 firms in this industry provided resale services for the entire year. Of that number, 1,375 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 457 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of toll services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 438 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

84. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a definition for small businesses specifically applicable to Other Toll Carriers. This category includes toll carriers that do not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service carriers, or toll resellers. Wired Telecommunications Carriers is the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms in this industry that operated for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 90 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of other toll services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 87 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

85. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The SBA size standard for this industry classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 firms in this industry that operated for the entire year. Of that number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 594 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of wireless services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 511 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered small entities.

86. Television Broadcasting. This industry is comprised of “establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” These establishments operate television broadcast studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies businesses having $41.5 million or less in annual receipts as small. 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data indicate that 744 firms in this industry operated for the entire year. Of that number, 657 firms had revenue of less than $25,000,000. Based on this data we estimate that the majority of television broadcasters are small entities under the SBA small business size standard.

87. As of March 31, 2024, there were 1,382 licensed commercial television stations. Of this total, 1,263 stations (or 91.4%) had revenues of $41.5 million or less in 2022, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on April 4, 2024, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission estimates as of March 31, 2024, there were 383 licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations, 379 Class A TV stations, 1,829 low power television (LPTV) stations and 3,118 TV translator stations. The Commission, however, does not compile and otherwise does not have access to financial information for these television broadcast stations that would permit it to determine how many of these stations qualify as small entities under the SBA small business size standard. Nevertheless, given the SBA's large annual receipts threshold for this industry and the nature of these television station licensees, we presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

88. Radio Stations. This industry is comprised of “establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public.” Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies firms having $41.5 million or less in annual receipts as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 2,963 firms operated in this industry during that year. Of this number, 1,879 firms operated with revenue of less than $25 million per year. Based on this data and the SBA's small business size standard, we estimate a majority of such entities are small entities.

89. The Commission estimates that as of March 31, 2024, there were 4,427 licensed commercial AM radio stations and 6,663 licensed commercial FM radio stations, for a combined total of 11,090 commercial radio stations. Of this total, 11,088 stations (or 99.98%) had revenues of $41.5 million or less in 2022, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Database (BIA) on April 4, 2024, and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In addition, the Commission estimates that as of March 31, 2024, there were 4,320 licensed NCE FM radio stations, 1,960 low power FM (LPFM) stations, and 8,913 FM translators and boosters. The Commission however does not compile, and otherwise does not have access to financial information for these radio stations that would permit it to determine how many of these stations qualify as small entities under the SBA small business size standard. Nevertheless, given the SBA's large annual receipts threshold for this industry and the nature of radio station licensees, we presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

90. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as “small” under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, another element of the definition of “small business” requires that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific radio or television broadcast station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which the rules may apply does not exclude any radio or television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive. An additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. Because it is difficult to assess these criteria in the context of media entities, the estimate of small businesses to which the rules may apply does not exclude any radio or television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and similarly may be over-inclusive.

91. Cable Companies and Systems (Rate Regulation). The Commission has developed its own small business size standard for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Based on industry data, there are about 420 cable companies in the U.S. Of these, only seven have more than 400,000 subscribers. In addition, under the Commission's rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Based on industry data, there are about 4,139 cable systems (headends) in the U.S. Of these, about 639 have more than 15,000 subscribers. Accordingly, the Commission estimates that the majority of cable companies and cable systems are small.

92. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, contains a size standard for a “small cable operator,” which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than one percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” For purposes of the Telecom Act Standard, the Commission determined that a cable system operator that serves fewer than 498,000 subscribers, either directly or through affiliates, will meet the definition of a small cable operator. Based on industry data, only six cable system operators have more than 498,000 subscribers. Accordingly, the Commission estimates that the majority of cable system operators are small under this size standard. We note however, that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Therefore, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

93. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS is included in the Wired Telecommunications Carriers industry which comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.

94. The SBA small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 3,054 firms operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Based on this data, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small under the SBA small business size standard. According to Commission data however, only two entities provide DBS service—DIRECTV (owned by AT&T) and DISH Network, which require a great deal of capital for operation. DIRECTV and DISH Network both exceed the SBA size standard for classification as a small business. Therefore, we must conclude based on internally developed Commission data, in general DBS service is provided only by large firms.

95. Satellite Telecommunications. This industry comprises firms “primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.” Satellite telecommunications service providers include satellite and earth station operators. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a business with $38.5 million or less in annual receipts as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 275 firms in this industry operated for the entire year. Of this number, 242 firms had revenue of less than $25 million. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2022 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2021, there were 65 providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of satellite telecommunications services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that approximately 42 providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's small business size standard, a little more than half of these providers can be considered small entities.

96. All Other Telecommunications. This industry is comprised of establishments primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Providers of internet services ( e.g., dial-up ISPs) or Voice over internet Protocol (VoIP) services, via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies firms with annual receipts of $35 million or less as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 1,079 firms in this industry that operated for the entire year. Of those firms, 1,039 had revenue of less than $25 million. Based on this data, the Commission estimates that the majority of “All Other Telecommunications” firms can be considered small.

97. RespOrgs. Responsible Organizations, or RespOrgs (also referred to as Toll-Free Number (TFN) providers), are entities chosen by toll free subscribers to manage and administer the appropriate records in the toll-free Service Management System for the toll-free subscriber. Based on information on the website of SOMOS, the entity that maintains a registry of Toll-Free Number providers (SMS/800 TFN Registry) for the more than 42 million Toll-Free numbers in North America, and the TSS Registry, a centralized registry for the use of Toll-Free Numbers in text messaging and multimedia services, there were approximately 446 registered RespOrgs/Toll-Free Number providers in July 2021. RespOrgs are often wireline carriers, however they can be include non-carrier entities. Accordingly, the description below for RespOrgs include both Carrier RespOrgs and Non-Carrier RespOrgs.

98. Carrier RespOrgs. Neither the Commission nor the SBA have developed a small business size standard for Carrier RespOrgs. Wired Telecommunications Carriers, and Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) are the closest industries with a SBA small business size applicable to Carrier RespOrgs.

99. Wired Telecommunications Carriers are establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired communications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution, and wired broadband internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this number, 2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Based on that data, we conclude that the majority of Carrier RespOrgs that operated with wireline-based technology are small.

100. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) engage in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this industry, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 employees. Based on this data, we conclude that the majority of Carrier RespOrgs that operated with wireless-based technology are small.

101. Non-Carrier RespOrgs. Neither the Commission, nor the SBA have developed a small business size standard Non-Carrier RespOrgs. Other Services Related to Advertising and Other Management Consulting Services ” are the closest industries with a SBA small business size applicable to Non-Carrier RespOrgs.

102. The Other Services Related to Advertising industry establishments primarily engaged in providing advertising services (except advertising agency services, public relations agency services, media buying agency services, media representative services, display advertising services, direct mail advertising services, advertising material distribution services, and marketing consulting services). The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a business as small that has annual receipts of $16.5 million or less. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 5,650 firms operated in this industry for the entire year. Of that number, 3,693 firms operated with revenue of less than $10 million. Based on this data, we conclude that a majority of non-carrier RespOrgs who provide TFN-related management consulting services are small.

103. The Other Management Consulting Services industry contains establishments primarily engaged in providing management consulting services (except administrative and general management consulting; human resources consulting; marketing consulting; or process, physical distribution, and logistics consulting). Establishments providing telecommunications or utilities management consulting services are included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a business as small if it has annual receipts of $16.5 million or less. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 4,696 firms operated in this industry for the entire year. Of that number, 3,700 firms had revenue of less than $10 million. Based on this data, we conclude that a majority of non-carrier RespOrgs who provide TFN-related management consulting services are small.

D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

104. The NPRM does not propose any changes to the Commission's current information collection, reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements for collecting regulatory fees from small entities. Small and other regulated entities are required to pay regulatory fees on an annual basis. The cost of compliance with the annual regulatory assessment for small entities is the amount assessed for their regulatory fee category and should not require small entities to hire professionals to comply, as they are accustomed to paying the annual fees and most should be familiar with both the Commission's current collection process as well as the process prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

105. The NPRM proposes changes to the current fee waiver process which may impact small entities. The NPRM proposes to return to normal, pre-COVID-19 pandemic operations and discontinue temporary waiver relief from regulatory fees available in the FY 2023 Report and Order that was not codified at that time. This includes reinstating the Commission's policy of requiring down payments for installment payment of regulatory fee debt. The proposed changes would also require small and other entities seeking relief through a waiver, reduction, and/or deferral of fees to submit all financial documents necessary to support their hardship request. We propose to make this change effective for fiscal year 2025 to allow regulatory fee payors more time to comply with this change in policy. Small entities that continue to have financial difficulties related to the economic impact of the pandemic may be able to take advantage of the streamlined waiver processes codified in the FY 2023 Report and Order, including permitting parties to submit a single waiver request for various forms of relief electronically, instead of separate filings.

E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

106. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that could minimize impacts to small entities it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives, among others: “(1) the establishment of differing compliance and reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for such small entities.”

107. Assessment of Regulatory Fees. For FY 2024, we propose to employ the same methodology as the Commission did in FY 2023, however, we conclude that changes within the Commission's organizational structure and additional staff resources merits a review of the FY 2023 reallocations of the FTEs located in the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Economics and Analytics, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau that were previously considered to be indirect FTEs and were allocated as direct FTEs to a core bureau. Specifically, effective on April 10, 2023, the International Bureau was eliminated by establishing a new Space Bureau and a new Office of International Affairs, and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau have since hired 11 additional staff members. We therefore analyzed the work being done by the new staff within the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to determine whether their work is being spent on the regulation and oversight of a regulatory fee payor such that their work should be allocated as direct to a core bureau, solely for regulatory fee purposes. We also analyzed the FTEs previously reallocated as direct to a core bureau in FY 2023 for regulatory fee purposes to determine whether there have been any shifts in work assignments such that the number of allocations to a core bureau for regulatory fee purposes should be adjusted. Also, in instances where an FTE was previously allocated to the International Bureau as direct for regulatory fee purposes, we analyzed the specific work done by the FTE to determine whether such FTE should be allocated to the new Office of International Affairs or the new Space Bureau. We limited our analytical efforts for FY 2024 to address the specific changes within the Commission, and while we considered conducting a high-level analysis this fiscal year of all FTEs within the Commission, we opted not to because we believe the adjustments we made for FY 2024 reasonably reflect the major changes in the burden of work within the Commission. Based on the results of our evaluation, we propose that certain indirect FTEs could be reassigned as direct FTEs and incorporate these into the count of FTEs of the relevant core bureau for purposes of calculating regulatory fees for FY 2024, which could reduce regulatory fee obligations for some small and other regulatory payees.

108. Additionally, on March 13, 2024, the Commission released the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM seeking comment on proposed changes to the regulatory fee methodology used for assessing space and earth station regulatory fees for FY 2024. In the NPRM, we propose regulatory fee rates based on the proposals set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM. However, our proposed space and earth station regulatory fee rates are estimates because we recognize that, ultimately, final space and earth station regulatory fee rates are dependent upon the outcome of the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees proceeding. Accordingly, we do not seek comment again in this proceeding on the specific proposals to adjust our existing methodology for assessing space and earth station regulatory fees, or to adopt an alternative methodology for assessing space station regulatory fees, which were set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM. Instead, comments pertaining to the proposals set forth in the Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees NPRM regarding the categories and allocation of fees for space and earth stations should be submitted in the proceeding, MD Docket No. 24-85, and need not be submitted again in response to the NPRM. If any of the proposals are adopted as part of the subsequent Space and Earth Station Regulatory Fees Report and Order, it may increase or reduce the regulatory fee burden on some satellite entities.

109. Broadcast Regulatory Fees. In the NPRM, we propose to continue to assess fees for full-power broadcast television stations based on the population covered by a full-service broadcast television station's contour which may reduce the economic impact of the regulatory fees for some small licensees. While the population-based methodology increases fees for some licensees and reduces fees for others, we believe the population-based metric better conforms with the service of broadcasting television to the American people. In addition, small licensees experiencing financial hardship will continue to have access to fee relief, such as waiver, reduction, deferral and/or installment payment of their regulatory fees and may be exempt from paying a regulatory fee if the assessed fee is below the de minimis threshold that the Commission has established.

110. Temporary Relief Measures Due to Economic Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic and through FY 2023, the Commission provided certain temporary relief to regulatory fee payors experiencing financial hardship caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic through a combination of partial rule waivers and direction to the Office of the Managing Director in exercising its delegated authority. In the NPRM, we do not plan to implement these temporary measures for FY 2024. The circ*mstances for which the measures were temporarily implemented have changed. The National Emergency COVID-19 pandemic has ended and the national economy is rebounding. We recognize that some regulatory fee payors may be experiencing lingering or continuing financial difficulties related to the pandemic's economic effects, but we believe that sections 1.1166 and 1.1914 of our rules, now streamlined and simplified, offer those fee payors a straightforward path to regulatory fee relief.

111. Non-Operating Broadcast Stations. In the NPRM, we seek comment on ending a policy of presuming that dark or silent stations have experienced financial hardship and therefore merit grant of a request for waiver of regulatory fees on the basis of financial hardship, without requiring submission of evidence of actual financial hardship. This policy was first mentioned by the Commission in 1995, and then applied by the Commission's Office of the Managing Director in 1996. The Commission, however, has never codified this policy and it is rarely used. The policy, moreover, appears to assume that the only rationale for a dark or silent station is financial duress. There is no such limitation, however, contained in section 73.1740(a)(4) of the Commission's rules. Licensees might go dark for different reasons depending on each station's particular circ*mstances. Thus, drawing on the Commission's experience since establishment of the policy in 1995, the assumption that requiring financial information in a request for waiver of regulatory fees is unnecessary by the operators of a dark or silent station appears to be no longer accurate in 2024. In the NPRM, we therefore propose to end the assumption that stations are dark or were recently dark or bankrupt are experiencing financial distress when they file a request for waiver of regulatory fees. We propose instead to require these licensees to submit supporting financial documentation with their fee requests to prove financial hardship sufficient to justify a fee waiver, just as all other regulatory fee payors are required to do under section 1.1166 of our rules. In order to give regulatory fee payors more time to make any necessary changes to comply with this change in policy, we propose to make the change effective for fiscal year 2025.

F. Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

112. None.

VII. Ordering Clauses

113. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 47 U.S.C. 4(i), 4(j), 9, 9A, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 159, 159A, and 303(r), this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted.

114. It is further ordered that the Commission's Office of the Secretary shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.Federal Communications Commission.

Katura Jackson,

Federal Register Liaison Officer.

[FR Doc. 2024-13813 Filed 6-24-24; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P

Review of the Commission's Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2024, 89 Fed. Reg. 53276 (2024)

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