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Reps. Ask FCC to Table Broadcast Reg Fee Hike

(Image credit: Future Media)

A bipartisan House duo has asked the FCC to cut broadcasters some slack when it comes to regulatory fees given that TV and radio are critical components of COVID-19 response and that their ad revenue has taken a big hit.

Reps. Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah) wrote FCC chair Ajit Pai to ask the FCC not to increase annual broadcast regulatory fees during the pandemic.

The FCC recently voted to proceed with the increases. The FCC did seek comment as part of the approved Notice of Proposed Rulemaking--which is not a final order--on how the FCC could help regulated entities hammered by the pandemic.

"The FCC can take meaningful, positive action by halting the increase in regulatory fees on local broadcasters who continue to support and inform their communities during this challenging time," they said. "This action does not require an act of Congress and would have a meaningful impact on radio and television broadcasters that have been economically harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic."

John Eggerton
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.