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25 April 20212 minute read

FCC publishes new cost-based license application fee schedules, but new fees will not take effect quite yet

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published a Report and Order (FCC 20-184; MD Docket No. 20-270) adopting new cost-based license application fee schedules in the Federal Register.   

Normally, items published in the Federal Register become effective in 30 days.  However, the new fee schedules – which were published on March 19, 2021 – will not take effect until after the required notice period to Congress has passed and the FCC updates its database systems to reflect the new fees. 

We understand the FCC will implement the new fees on a staggered basis across the various communication services and databases, and the earliest date for any of the new fees to take effect would be mid-May.  Further, the FCC will announce the effective dates for the new fees in future Federal Register publications.

Accordingly, companies seeking to take advantage of the lower applications fees, such as those for satellite services, will need to wait a little longer.  Below is a list of a few of the satellite application fee changes:

  • Geostationary orbit satellite application fees will decrease from roughly $137,000 to $4,000
  • Non-geostationary orbit satellite application fees will decrease from approximately $472,000 to $15,000
  • Streamlined small satellite application fees will decrease from $30,000 to approximately $2,000

If you have questions or would like more information about this matter, please contact any member of our Telecommunications team.