Thanks to broadcast attorney David Oxenford for simplifying this one for us. In his latest blog, Oxenford points out that the FCC is asking for comments on its proposed new fees, and the proposed fees go up significantly for broadcasters. The fees are meant to recoup the costs of the FCC’s regulation of the industries that it oversees.
This year, the FCC’s lease is expiring and its operational costs include not just the normal expenses of the FCC’s operations, but also the added expense of the probable relocation of the agency. This one-time expense results in a major increase in the fees being charged.
For radio (see below) Oxenford charts out the fees. Where they are based on the class of the station and the population covered, the FCC has adjusted the differential between each of its categories of stations to make the steps somewhat more even. He also says the Commission has added a new fee category for each class of station if that station serves more than six million people.