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No Bad Regulatory Radio Fee Surprise

However, FCC considering applying fee to expanded AM band stations

It doesn’t appear as if the FCC is proposing any increase in radio regulatory fees for the next fiscal year, according to Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth.

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. Radio is below TV on the FHH chart.

In its proposed rulemaking, the commission indicates the agency is thinking of applying a fee to expanded AM stations for the first time. 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. In 2008, the commission had concluded there was “no compelling reason” to continue that exemption, according to FHH. However, the exemption has continued and now the FCC “appears to be serious” about closing the loophole, says FHH.

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.

The changes are contained in the FCC’s NPRM, which the commission is seeking public input on. Comments to MB Docket 14-92 are on the due July 7 and replies July 14.