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Expanded AM Band Reg Fees Proposed

Comments on FCC regulatory fee proposals due today

Initial comments are due today to the FCC regarding its proposed station regulatory fees for fiscal year 2015.

Radio isn’t facing much in the way of increases. For example, the fees would range from $775 for a Class A in a market of 25,000 or less to $12,025 for an FM Class B, C, C0, C1 and C2 in the largest markets.

However, some AM owners may be facing a big change. In its proposed rulemaking, the commission indicates the agency is thinking of applying a fee to expanded AM stations for the first time and asks for public input.

The commission had been trying to encourage movement to the expanded band, and only charging one fee for stations that moved and also kept their original frequency for a time. At least two owners opted to keep both standard and expanded band licenses, according to the agency in 2008.

That’s when the commission had concluded there was “no compelling reason” to continue that exemption, saying “a number of those broadcasters relinquished their standard band licenses and have chosen to operate exclusively in the expanded band.” But until now, the commission hadn’t tried to implement the change.

Another change under consideration: the agency is proposing to eliminate regulatory fee categories that don’t bring in a lot of money, like broadcast auxiliaries and FM translators/boosters.

Comments are due today to MB Docket 14-92 and replies on July 14.