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NAB Again Fumes Over FCC Regulatory Fees

“Unfair and likely unlawful”

“Unfair and likely unlawful” regulatory fees are putting a “stranglehold” on the broadcasting industry. So says the National Association of Broadcasters. Again.

In its comments to the Federal Communications Commission about the proposed 2020 fee schedule, NAB asked “whether the commission will continue to bury its head in the sand and fail to recognize the considerable inequities in its approach, which puts a stranglehold on the broadcasting industry.”

NAB’s arguments are that the commission doesn’t recognize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on broadcasters; that it fails to provide good explanations for how it reached its conclusions; and that it ignores the considerable commission resources” that other industries use “to the detriment of broadcasters.”

[Related: “New Jersey Broadcasters Push Harder on Fees”]

The association noted that the commission has an obligation to collect $339 million in regulatory fees this year, the same as the year before,  so it asked why, then, “many broadcasters will see their regulatory fees increase for the second consecutive year.” And the commission, it continued, fails to explain why fees are going up, “hindering the ability of stakeholders, including companies responsible for paying the fees, to provide meaningful feedback on the commission’s proposals.” Lack of explanation is a problem the NAB has complained about before.

It added that there is no telling when broadcast operating revenues will return to previous levels, and that President Trump has told regulatory agencies to examine ways they can waive or modify, regulatory burdens. The filing can be read on the NAB website. The comments were filed in MD Docket No. 20-105.