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FCC contemplates postcard billing process

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice of proposed
rulemaking on its 2003 regulatory fees.

One of the changes it is proposing is a postcard collection procedure for stations and others.

Instead of having to calculate fees from public notices, stations would effectively be billed by the FCC, receiving a postcard from the FCC with the station's call sign, address, ID number and the amount owed.

The station would then check for any mistakes and "remit with payment," as it were.

The commission will test the system with a control population of media users with an eye toward expanding it if the response is positive.

The FCC also wants to stop mailing those tens of
thousands of public notices telling licensees when fees are due and how they
should calculate them, instead wanting to scrap the mailing and post them on the
commission Web site (http://www.fcc.gov/fees).

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.