Big Tech to FCC: Drop Inquiry Into Assessing Regulatory fees

The FCC building in Washington, D.C. (Image credit: N/A)

Powerful computer companies told the Federal Communications Commission it would be a waste of the the agency’s — and stakeholders’ — time and money to continue trying to make them pay a regulatory fee to the FCC.

Editor's note: This story initially said that the filing was on Universal Service Fund fees rather than FCC fees. We regret the error.

Currently, edge providers such as Google, Facebook, Apple and others who benefit from unlicensed spectrum do not pay, as to broadcasters, cable operators and satellite operators, who are all FCC licensees. But the FCC has asked whether that needs to change.

Also: Who Should Pay for Universal Broadband Connectivity?

In a resubmission of previous comments, INCOMPAS, the Computer & Communications Industry Association and the Digital Media Association said that since the time of that first comment submission last year, there is overwhelming opposition to considering adding Big Tech to the fee categories and no justification for imposing new levies on “large technology companies.”

To sum it up, they said, INCOMPAS, CCIA and DiMA believe it is time for the FCC to close this aspect of the proceeding “so as not to waste any additional resources of the Commission or stakeholders.”

Separately, the Consumer Technology Association led a group of associations, including INCOMPAS, in a letter to the FCC this week pointing to the economic harm of imposing regulatory fees on unlicensed spectrum users and also asking the FCC to terminate the proceeding.  ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.