Date: Aug 10, 2009
Volume VI, Issue 31
FCC Announces FY 2009 Regulatory Fees
On July 31, 2009, the FCC released its Fiscal Year 2009 Schedule of Regulatory Fees. Many of the filing fees for applications for new or renewal authority remain unchanged for land mobile, ship and aviation authorizations. The agency will decrease the fees for microwave stations from $660 to $560 and increase the filing fees for marine coast stations from $470 to $570. Licensees of certain facilities, such as Satellite Earth Stations, must make annual regulatory fee payments. The annual regulatory fee payment for Satellite Earth Stations increases from $195 to $210 per call sign. For many licensed facilities, licensees are only required to pay regulatory fees when filing an application for a new, renewed, or reinstated license, together with payment of the appropriate application fee.
FCC at Full Strength After Remaining Commissioners Sworn In
Meredith Attwell Baker (R) and Mignon Clyburn (D) were recently sworn in as Commissioners of the FCC, bringing the FCC to a full five Commissioners for the first time this year. Both Commissioner Baker and Commissioner Clyburn quickly moved to announce their staff, selecting individuals with significant FCC experience.
FCC Commences Another Proceeding Regarding Broadband Communications
On August 7, 2009, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry ("NOI") seeking information regarding broadband communications in the United States. A report based on the information collected through the NOI, commonly known as a "706 Report" must be delivered to Congress on February 3, 2010. This will be the sixth 706 Report the FCC has prepared since the 1996 Act. Comments regarding the NOI must be filed by September 4, 2009. The FCC has stated that it will incorporate relevant comments received in developing its National Broadband Plan into this 706 Report.
Cell Phone Jamming Legislation Moves Forward In Senate
Last week the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved legislation that would enable the jamming of illegal cell phone use by prison inmates. The Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009 (S.251), sponsored by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, would permit correctional facilities to operate cell phone jamming systems with authority from the FCC. Several groups have expressed concerns that authorizing such devices, even for a limited purpose, may create interference to public safety operations or commercial mobile radio service. Currently, signal jamming equipment is prohibited under the Communications Act of 1934.