Broadcasters this month pressed the FCC to change course and not force TV and radio stations to pay for a portion of the FCC broadband data collection, from which they said they derive no benefit.
The National Association of Broadcasters, in meetings with the FCC's Office of Managing Director, said that should only make regulated industries pay user fees on activities that have at least minimal relevance to that industry.
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"[F]orcing broadcasters to subsidize over 15% of the costs of the Commission’s
broadband mapping activities – from which broadcasters undisputedly receive no benefit – is fundamentally unfair and runs contrary to the public interest in ensuring that broadcasters can continue to effectively serve the needs of their local communities," they told the FCC.
The FCC supports itself through annual user fees levied on broadcasters and cable operators and satellite operators and their use of licensed spectrum. The fee is calculated according to how many full time employees (FTEs) are employed to regulate the various services.
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NAB has been arguing that the FCC has boosted their fees to "unsustainable levels," in part thanks to its decision to require broadcasters to pay for some of the added funding Congress has said the FCC needs to use to create better broadband maps, maps it said have zero to do with their service.
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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.