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Proposed Rule

Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees For Fiscal Year 2006

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Commission will revise its Schedule of Regulatory Fees in order to recover the amount of regulatory fees that Congress has required it to collect for fiscal year 2006. Section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, provides for the annual assessment and collection of regulatory fees under sections 9(b)(2) and 9(b)(3), respectively, for annual “Mandatory Adjustments” and “Permitted Amendments” to the Schedule of Regulatory Fees.

DATES:

Comments are due April 14, 2006, and reply comments are due April 21, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by MD Docket No. 06-68, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​ecfs. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: ecfs@fcc.gov. Include MD Docket No. 06-68 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail, and Priority Mail, must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.
Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Roland Helvajian, Office of Managing Director at (202) 418-0444 or Rob Fream, Office of Managing Director at (202) 418-0408.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Adopted: March 22, 2006.

Released: March 27, 2006.

By the Commission.

Table of Contents

Heading

I. Introduction

II. Discussion

A. FY 2006 Regulatory Fee Assessment Methodology

1. Development of FY 2006 Regulatory Fees

a. Calculation of Revenue and Fee Requirements

b. Additional Adjustments to Payment Units

2. Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Messaging Service

3. Regulatory Fees for Direct Broadcast Service (DBS) Providers and Cable Television Operators

4. Broadband Radio Service (BRS)/Educational Broadband Service (EBS)

B. Administrative and Operational Issues

1. Mandatory Use of Fee Filer

2. Proposals for Notification and Collection of Regulatory Fees

a. Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSPs)—Billed

b. Satellite Space Station Licensees—Billed

c. Additional Service Categories for Billing or Assessing

d. Media Services Licensees—Assessed

e. Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Cellular and Mobile Services—Assessed

f. Cable Television Subscribers—Assessed

3. Streamlined Regulatory Fee Payment Process for CMRS Providers

4. Future Streamlining of the Regulatory Fee Assessment and Collection Process

III. Procedural Matters

A. Payment of Regulatory Fees

1. De Minimis Fee Payment Liability

2. Standard Fee Calculations and Payment Dates

B. Enforcement

C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

D. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

E. Ex Parte Rules

F. Filing Requirements

IV. Ordering Clauses

Attachments

Attachment A Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

Attachment B Sources of Payment Unit Estimates for FY 2006

Attachment C Calculation of FY 2006 Revenue Requirements and Pro-Rata Fees

Attachment D FY 2006 Schedule of Regulatory Fees

Attachment E Factors, Measurements, and Calculations that Determine Station Contours and Population Coverages

Attachment F FY 2005 Schedule of Regulatory Fees

I. Introduction

1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), we propose to collect $288,771,000 in regulatory fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, pursuant to section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act). These fees are mandated by Congress and are collected to recover the regulatory costs associated with the Commission's enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities.[1]

II. Discussion

2. In this NPRM, we seek comment on the development of FY 2006 regulatory fees collected pursuant to section 9 of the Act. For FY 2006, we tentatively propose to retain the established method, policies, and priorities. In addition to the assessment methodology, the Commission typically seeks comment on various administrative and operational issues affecting the collection of regulatory fees. For the FY 2006 regulatory fee cycle, we propose to retain the same administrative measures used for notification and assessment of regulatory fees in previous years, such as generating pre-completed regulatory fee assessment forms for certain regulatees. Consistent with past practice, we invite comments and suggestions on ways to improve the Commission's administrative processes for notifying entities of their regulatory fee obligations and collecting their payments.

3. The Commission is obligated to collect $288,771,000 in regulatory fees during FY 2006 to fund the Commission's operations. Consistent with our established practice, we plan to collect these regulatory fees in the August-September 2006 time frame in order to collect the required amount by the end of the fiscal year. In addition to the $288,771,000 amount above, pursuant to section 3013 of the Deficit Reduction Act (Public Law 109-171), the Commission is required to assess and collect an additional $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2006 as offsetting receipts.[2] Start Printed Page 17411We seek comment on how the Commission should implement this provision. Specifically, we seek comment on whether the Commission should assess the additional $10,000,000 on application fees, on regulatory fees, or from some other form of assessment.

A. FY 2006 Regulatory Fee Assessment Methodology

1. Development of FY 2006 Regulatory Fees

a. Calculation of Revenue and Fee Requirements

4. We propose to use, for the purpose of our FY 2006 regulatory fee assessment, the same section 9 regulatory fee assessment methodology adopted for FY 2005. Each fiscal year, the Commission proportionally allocates the total amount that must be collected via section 9 regulatory fees. The results of our proposed FY 2006 regulatory fee assessment methodology (including a comparison to the prior year's results) are contained in Appendix C. For FY 2006, we propose to use the receipts collected through the FY 2005 regulatory fees as a base for calculating the amount the Commission must collect in FY 2006. To collect the $288,771,000 required by law, we propose to adjust the FY 2005 amount upward by 3.1 percent.[3] Consistent with past practice, we propose to divide the FY 2006 amount by the number of payment units in each fee category to determine the unit fee.[4] As in prior years, for cases involving small fees (e.g., licenses that are renewed over a multiyear term), we propose to divide the resulting unit fee by the term of the license. We propose to round these unit fees consistent with the requirements of section 9(b)(2).

b. Additional Adjustments to Payment Units

5. In calculating the FY 2006 regulatory fees proposed in Attachment D, we further adjusted the FY 2005 list of payment units (Attachment B) based upon licensee databases and industry and trade group projections. Whenever possible, we verified these estimates from multiple sources to ensure the accuracy of these estimates. In some instances, Commission licensee databases were used, while in other instances, actual prior year payment records and/or industry and trade association projections were used in determining the payment unit counts.[5] Where appropriate, we adjusted and/or rounded our final estimates to take into consideration variables that may impact the number of payment units, such as waivers and/or exemptions that may be filed in FY 2005, and fluctuations in the number of licensees or station operators due to economic, technical, or other reasons. Therefore, when we state that our estimated FY 2006 payment units are based on FY 2005 actual payment units, the number may have been rounded or adjusted slightly to account for these variables.

6. Additional factors are considered in determining regulatory fees for AM and FM radio stations. These factors are facility attributes and the population served by the radio station. The calculation of the population served is determined by coupling current U.S. Census Bureau data with technical and engineering data, as detailed in Attachment E. Consequently, the population served, as well as the class and type of service (AM or FM), determines the regulatory fee amount to be paid.[6]

2. Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Messaging Service

7. Since FY 2003, the Commission has maintained the CMRS Messaging regulatory fee at the rate that was established in FY 2002 (i.e., $0.08 per subscriber). We have maintained, rather than increased, this rate to account for the messaging industry's declining subscriber base.[7] We note that between FY 1997 and FY 2005, for example, the CMRS Messaging subscriber base declined 75.3 percent from 40.8 million to 10.1 million, respectively.[8] We seek comment on whether we should continue the same approach for regulatory fees applicable to the messaging industry. Specifically, should we maintain the industry's regulatory fee at $0.08 per subscriber in FY 2006?

3. Regulatory Fees for Direct Broadcast Service (DBS) Providers and Cable Television Operators

8. We seek comment on the appropriate regulatory fee structure for both cable operators and DBS providers. Since the inception of the Commission regulatory fee program, we have assessed section 9 regulatory fees on cable operators using a per-subscriber approach, which is consistent with the statute. By contrast, section 9 regulatory fee assessments for DBS providers are based on a per-license approach. In the FY 2005 regulatory fee proceeding, the cable industry generally argued that the Commission should modify the regulatory fee assessment for DBS providers to a per-subscriber approach.[9] In the FY 2005 proceeding, we concluded that no changes were warranted at that time and therefore retained the regulatory fee assessment methodology used for DBS providers since FY 1995. We seek comment on whether we should retain the existing regulatory fee assessment methodology for cable operators and DBS providers for the purposes of our FY 2006 regulatory fee assessment. Commenters proposing a fee change should identify the Commission rulemaking proceeding(s) or change(s) in law that they believe warrant a modification of our fee assessment methodology for DBS operators. To the extent parties argue Start Printed Page 17412the regulatory fee assessment process should be changed, they should identify the legal basis that would justify a change and explain how the benefits of the proposed change outweigh the costs of the established assessment methodology.

4. Broadband Radio Service (BRS)/Educational Broadband Service (EBS)

9. We are exploring regulatory fee issues for BRS/EBS in a separately pending BRS/EBS proceeding.[10] To the extent that any changes to our regulatory fee rules are adopted in this separate BRS/EBS proceeding, we propose not to implement such regulatory fee changes in the FY 2006 schedule of section 9 Regulatory Fees.

B. Administrative and Operational Issues

10. We invite comment on the administrative and operational processes used to collect the annual section 9 regulatory fees. Although these issues do not affect the amount of regulatory fees parties are obligated to submit, the administrative and operational issues affect the process of submitting payment. We generally invite comment on ways to improve these processes.

1. Mandatory Use of Fee Filer

11. We continue to encourage regulatees to use the Commission's online electronic Fee Filer application. Since this application was introduced in 2000, entities who will be submitting more than twenty-five (25) Form 159-Cs have been strongly encouraged to use Fee Filer when sending their regulatory fee payment. We seek comment on the impact to the public if the Commission was to institute the mandatory use of Fee Filer for large-volume section 9 regulatory fee payers. Mandatory use of Fee Filer by large-volume payers could ease both the Commission's administrative burden and those of high-volume payers, as well. We seek comment on whether any such mandatory usage requirement should be based on a pre-determined dollar amount, or on the number of transactions necessary to make payment. If mandatory usage were to be based on a dollar amount, what amount should be pre-determined? If based on the number of transactions conducted by a single entity, at what threshold should mandatory usage be established? Commenters should be aware that, for FY 2006, the Commission seeks solely to establish a record on this topic. In the event that, after receiving comments, the Commission deems this proposal to be an improvement, the use of Fee Filer would only become mandatory in FY 2007 or later.

2. Proposals for Notification and Collection of Regulatory Fees

12. In this section, we seek comment on the administrative processes that the Commission uses to notify regulatees and collect regulatory fees. Each year, we generate public notices and fact sheets that notify regulatees of the fee payment due date and provide additional information regarding regulatory fee payment procedures. Consistent with our established practice, we propose to provide public notices, fact sheets and all other relevant material on our Web site at http://www.fcc.gov/​fees/​regfees.html for the FY 2006 regulatory fee cycle. As a general practice, we will not send such material via surface mail. However, in the event that regulatees do not have access to the Internet, we will mail public notices and other relevant material upon request. Regulatees and the general public may request such information by contacting the FCC Financial Operations HelpDesk at (877) 480-3201, Option 4.

13. Although we will not send public notices and fact sheets to regulatees en masse, we will send specific regulatory fee bills or assessments via surface mail or e-mail to the select fee categories discussed below.[11] We are pursuing our billing initiatives as part of our effort to modernize our financial practices. These initiatives also serve the purpose of providing licensees with notification of upcoming regulatory fees. Eventually, we intend to expand our billing initiatives to include all regulatory fee service categories.

a. Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSPs)—Billed

14. In FY 2001, we began sending pre-completed FCC Form 159-W assessments to carriers in an effort to assist them in paying the Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) regulatory fee. The fee amount on FCC Form 159-W was calculated from the FCC Form 499-A report, which carriers are required to submit by April 1st of each year. Throughout FY 2002 and FY 2003, we refined the FCC Form 159-W to simplify the regulatory fee payment process.[12] Beginning in FY 2004, the pre-completed FCC Form 159-W was sent to carriers as a bill, rather than as an assessment of amount due. Other than the manner in which Form 159-W payments were entered into our financial system, carriers experienced no procedural changes regarding the use of the FCC Form 159-W when submitting payment of their ITSP regulatory fees. For FY 2006, we propose to continue our Form 159-W billing initiative for ITSPs. We seek comment on this proposal and on ways that we could improve our billing initiative for ITSPs.

b. Satellite Space Station Licensees—Billed

15. Beginning in FY 2004, we mailed regulatory fee bills via surface mail to licensees in our two satellite space station service categories. Specifically, geostationary orbit space station (GSO) licensees receive bills requesting regulatory fee payment for satellites that (1) were licensed by the Commission and operational on or before October 1 of the respective fiscal year; and (2) were not co-located with and technically identical to another operational satellite on that date (i.e., were not functioning as a spare satellite). Non-geostationary orbit space station (NGSO) licensees received bills requesting regulatory fee payment for systems that were licensed by the Commission and operational on or before October 1 of the respective fiscal year.

16. For FY 2006, we propose to continue our billing initiative for our GSO and NGSO satellite space station categories. We emphasize that the bills that we propose to generate for our GSO and NGSO licensees will only be for the satellite or system aspects of their respective operations. GSO and NGSO licensees typically have regulatory fee obligations in other service categories (such as earth stations, broadcast facilities, etc.), and we expect satellite operators to meet their full fee payment obligations for their entire portfolio of Start Printed Page 17413FCC licenses. We seek comment on our proposal to generate regulatory fee bills for our two satellite space station service categories.

c. Additional Service Categories for Billing or Assessing

17. We are currently exploring the feasibility of expanding our section 9 regulatory fee billing or assessing initiatives to three additional service categories in FY 2006. The service categories are Earth Stations, Cable Television Relay Service Stations (CARS) and the Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS). We believe that billing or assessing can be accomplished for these categories because they are comprised of relatively few payment units (in comparison to many other categories in our Schedule of Regulatory Fees), and because the Commission maintains licensing databases for each of the three categories. Depending on progress made throughout this year, we may be in a position to generate bills or assessments for Earth Station, CARS and LMDS licensees in FY 2006. Any assessment initiative may occur solely online, whereby licensees would be instructed to visit a Commission-authorized Web site to view their regulatory fee obligations. Licensees would then be able to update or correct any information concerning their license, or to certify their fee-exempt status, if appropriate. The web site would be available to licensees throughout this summer. We seek comment on our intent to expand our billing/assessment initiatives to these service categories.

d. Media Services Licensees—Assessed

18. Beginning in FY 2003, we sent fee assessment postcards via surface mail to media services entities on a per-facility basis. The postcards notified licensees of the date when fee payments were due; provided the assessed fee amount for the facility, as well as other data attributes that we used to determine the fee amount; and, beginning in FY 2004, provided licensees with a telephone number to call (Financial Operations Help Desk) in the event that they needed customer assistance. We propose to continue our assessment initiative for media services licensees this year in a similar fashion.[13]

19. Consistent with procedures used last year, we propose to mail a single round of postcards to licensees and their other known points of contact listed in CDBS (Consolidated Database System) and in CORES (Commission Registration System), the Commission's two official databases for media services. By doing so, licensees and their other points of contact will all be furnished with the same information for each facility in question so that they can designate among themselves the payer of this year's fee. Mailing postcards to all interested parties at different addresses on file for each facility also encourages all parties to visit a Commission-authorized Web site to update or correct any information concerning the facility, or to certify their fee-exempt status, if appropriate. The Web site will be available to licensees throughout this summer.[14] We seek comment on our proposal to generate fee assessment postcards for media services entities.

20. In the past, some media services licensees have mistakenly mailed their postcards back to the Commission stapled to payment checks. We emphasize that under our proposal, licensees must still submit a completed FCC Form 159 Remittance Advice with their fee payments, despite having received an assessment postcard. The postcards may not be used as a substitute for a completed Form 159. We cannot guarantee that a licensee's regulatory fee payment will be posted accurately against the licensee's account if the licensee does not submit a completed Form 159 along with its fee payment.

21. We also emphasize that the most important data element that media services licensees need to include on their Form 159 is their facility ID number. The facility ID number is a unique identifier that remains constant over the course of a facility's existence. Despite the fact that we prominently display a facility ID number on the facility's postcard, and our Form 159 filing instructions require payers to provide their facility ID number (and associated call sign) for the facility in question, we continue to receive many incomplete Form 159s that do not provide the facility ID number for the facility for which the fee is being paid.

e. Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Cellular and Mobile Services—Assessed

22. As in FY 2005,[15] we propose to send an assessment letter to Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers using data that is based on the Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (NRUF) form, which includes a list of the carrier's Operating Company Numbers (OCNs) upon which the assessment is based. Consistent with existing practice, the letters will not include OCNs with their respective assigned number counts, but rather, an aggregate total of assigned numbers for each carrier. We also propose to continue our procedure of giving entities an opportunity to amend their subscriber counts by sending two rounds of assessment letters—an initial assessment and a final assessment letter.

23. If the number of subscribers on the initial assessment letter differs from the subscriber count the service provider provided on its NRUF form, the carrier can correct its subscriber count by returning the assessment letter or by contacting (a telephone number will be provided) the Commission and stating a reason for the change, such as the purchase or the sale of a subsidiary, including the date of the transaction, and any other information that will help to justify a reason for the change.

24. If we receive no response to our initial assessment letter, we will assume that the initial assessment is correct and will expect the fee payment to be based on the number of subscribers listed on the initial assessment. We will review all responses to initial assessment letters and determine whether a change in the number of subscribers is warranted. We will then generate a final assessment letter that informs carriers as to whether or not we accept the changed number of subscribers.

25. As in previous years, operators will certify their subscriber counts in Block 30 of the FCC Form 159 Remittance Advice when making their regulatory fee payments. As an additional enhancement this year to this assessment process, we propose to include porting information (e.g., information on the number of “ports in” and “ports out”) in our assessment letters so that licensees can account for any differences between the data submitted in their NRUF report and the Commission's assessment count.

26. Although an initial and a final assessment letter will be mailed to carriers that have filed an NRUF form, it is conceivable that some carriers will Start Printed Page 17414not be sent any letters of assessment because they did not file the NRUF form. We propose that these carriers compute their fee payment using the standard methodology [16] that is currently in place for CMRS Wireless services (e.g., compute their subscriber counts as of December 31, 2005), and submit their payment accordingly on FCC Form 159. However, regardless of whether a carrier receives an assessment letter or computes the subscriber count itself, the Commission reserves the right, under the Communications Act, to audit the number of subscribers for which regulatory fees are paid. In the event that the Commission determines that the number of subscribers is inaccurate or that an insufficient reason is given for making a correction on the initial assessment letter, we note that the Commission reserves the right to assess the carrier for the difference between what was paid and what should have been paid.

27. In summary, we propose to (1) Derive the subscriber count from NRUF data based on “assigned” number counts that have been adjusted for porting to net Type 0 ports (“in” and “out”), which should reflect a more accurate subscriber count; (2) provide carriers with the opportunity to revise their subscriber count in an initial assessment letter, and (3) require carriers to confirm their subscriber counts on an aggregate basis using data in the NRUF report.

f. Cable Television Subscribers—Assessed

28. We propose to conduct a regulatory fee assessment initiative for the cable television industry consistent with the process the Commission used in FY 2005. Specifically, we propose to generate fee assessment letters for the cable operators who are on file as having paid regulatory fees the previous fiscal year for their basic cable subscribers. Also, as an additional means of notifying cable television regulatees of their section 9 regulatory fee payment obligations for FY 2006, we propose to send an e-mail reminder to all of the operators' e-mail addresses that are populated in the Media Bureau's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS). We seek comment on our proposed assessment initiative and on our intention to use company e-mail addresses in COALS.

29. Our assessment letter to each operator will (1) Announce the due date for payment of regulatory fees; (2) reflect the subscriber count for which the operator paid regulatory fees in FY 2005—and thus certified as having served as of December 31, 2004; and (3) request that the operator access a Commission-authorized Web site to provide its aggregate subscriber count as of December 31, 2005. If the number of subscribers as of December 31, 2005 differs from that as reported for last year, operators will be required to provide a brief explanation for the differing subscriber counts and indicate when the difference occurred. Cable operators who do not have access to the Internet will be able to contact the FCC Financial Operations Help Desk to provide their subscriber count as of December 31, 2005. We seek comment on this proposed assessment initiative.

30. Some cable operators may not have made regulatory fee payments in FY 2005 and, as a result, will not receive an assessment letter for FY 2006 regulatory fees. For example, a new company may have become operational after the first day of the fiscal year and therefore did not have a regulatory fee obligation in FY 2005; or an existing company did not make a payment because it filed a petition for waiver of regulatory fees for FY 2005 based on financial hardship. Regardless of the circumstance, we emphasize that not receiving a regulatory fee assessment letter in FY 2006 does not excuse an operator from its obligation to pay FY 2006 regulatory fees. All non-exempt cable operators, not only those that made payments in FY 2005 and/or receive assessment letters for FY 2006 fees, are required to make payments.

31. We also propose to retain the payment procedures for cable television operators that we have had in place for the past two fiscal years. That is, we will continue to permit cable television operators to base their payment on their company's aggregate subscriber count as of December 31, 2005, rather than requiring them to sub-report subscriber counts on a per community unit identifier (CUID) basis on the FCC Form 159 Remittance Advice. After providing their company's aggregate subscriber count in Block 25A of the FCC Form 159, operators will still be required to certify the accuracy of the subscriber count in Block 30.

32. Finally, regarding the cable television industry's annual payment obligation for section 9 regulatory fees, we seek comment on ways in which we could reduce the gap between the number of estimated payment units that we establish for each fiscal year and the number of actual payment units that we receive for that fiscal year. The Commission does not have a universal reporting requirement by which all cable television operators would report the number of basic cable television subscribers that they serve throughout all of their cable television systems.[17] Our estimates of the number of basic television subscribers are based on reviews of prior year regulatory fee payments made by cable operators and subscriber data published in publicly available data sources. As a result, the aggregate number of actual payment units made by the cable television industry may differ from the estimated number of units. We seek comments and/or proposals that address this situation.

3. Streamlined Regulatory Fee Payment Process for CMRS Providers

33. We propose to allow those CMRS Cellular, Mobile, and Messaging service providers that pay using an FCC Form 159 or the automated Fee Filer system to pay their subscriber totals at the aggregate level without having to identify and associate their subscriber counts with calls signs. We are requiring CMRS Cellular/Mobile providers to use the aggregate subscriber totals from their Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast report (NRUF),[18] netted for porting; therefore, it is consistent for CMRS providers (Cellular, Mobile, and Messaging) to pay their subscriber totals at the aggregate level without having to associate these subscriber counts with their respective call signs. We believe that eliminating the requirement to identify subscribers at the call sign level will improve the Commission's efficiency in processing regulatory fee payments, as well as reduce the administrative burden on licensees during the payment process. We seek comment on whether eliminating the requirement for CMRS providers to identify their call signs when making their regulatory fee payment will in any manner disrupt the processes by which providers determine and calculate their subscriber totals.

4. Future Streamlining of the Regulatory Fee Assessment and Collection Process

34. We continue to welcome comments concerning our commitment to reviewing, streamlining and modernizing our statutorily required fee assessment and collection procedures. Start Printed Page 17415Our areas of particular interest include: (1) The process for notifying licensees about changes in the annual Schedule of Regulatory Fees and how it can be improved; (2) the most effective way to disseminate regulatory fee assessments and bills, e.g., through surface mail, e-mail, online Web site, or some other mechanism; (3) the fee payment process, including how the agency's online regulatory fee filing system (Fee Filer) can be enhanced; (4) the timing of fee payments, including whether we should alter the existing section 9 regulatory fee payment “window” in any way; and (5) the timing of fee assessments and bills.

III. Procedural Matters

A. Payment of Regulatory Fees

1. De Minimis Fee Payment Liability

35. Consistent with past practice, regulatees whose total FY 2006 regulatory fee liability, including all categories of fees for which payment is due, amounts to less than $10 will be exempted from payment of FY 2006 regulatory fees.

2. Standard Fee Calculations and Payment Dates

36. The Commission will, for the convenience of payers, accept fee payments made in advance of the normal formal window for the payment of regulatory fees. Licensees are reminded that, under our current rules, the responsibility for payment of fees by service category is as follows:

(a) Media Services: Regulatory fees must be paid for AM/FM radio station and VHF/UHF television station initial construction permits that were issued on or before October 1, 2005, and for all broadcast facility licenses granted on or before October 1, 2005. However, in instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2005, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the Fee Due Date.

(b) Wireline (Common Carrier) Services: Fees must be paid for any authorization that was granted on or before October 1, 2005. However, in instances where a permit or license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2005, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the permit or license as of the Fee Due Date.

(c) Wireless Services: Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) cellular, mobile, and messaging services (fees based upon a subscriber, unit or circuit count): Fees must be paid for any authorization that was issued on or before October 1, 2005. The number of subscribers, units or circuits on December 31, 2005 will be used as the basis from which to calculate the fee payment.

The first eleven fee categories in our Attachment D, Schedule of Regulatory Fees, pay what the Commission refers to as “small multi-year wireless regulatory fees.” Entities pay these regulatory fees in advance for the entire amount of the 5-year or 10-year term of initial license, and only pay fees again at the time of license renewal. As a result, the Commission does not collect regulatory fees for these eleven fee categories on an annual basis.

(d) Multichannel Video Programming Distributor Services (cable television operators and CARS licensees): The number of basic cable television subscribers on December 31, 2005 will be used as the basis from which to calculate the fee payment.[19] For CARS licensees, fees must be paid for any license that was granted on or before October 1, 2005. In instances where a CARS license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2005, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the license as of the Fee Due Date.

(e) International Services: For earth stations and geostationary orbit space stations, regulatory fees must be paid for stations that were licensed and operational on or before October 1, 2005. In instances where a license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2005, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the license as of the Fee Due Date. For non-geostationary orbit satellite systems, fees must be paid for systems that were licensed and operational on or before October 1, 2005. In instances where a license is transferred or assigned after October 1, 2005, responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the license as of the Fee Due Date. For international bearer circuits, payment is calculated on a per-active circuit basis as of December 31, 2005.[20]

B. Enforcement

37. As a reminder to all licensees, section 159(c) of the Communications Act requires us to impose an additional charge as a penalty for late payment of any regulatory fee. As in years past, a late payment penalty of 25 percent of the amount of the required regulatory fee will be assessed on the first day following the deadline date for filing of these fees. Regulatory fee payment must be received and stamped at the lockbox bank by the last day of the regulatory fee filing window, and not merely postmarked by the last day of the window. Failure to pay regulatory fees and/or any late penalty will subject regulatees to sanctions, including the Commission's Red Light Rule (see 47 CFR 1.1910) and the provisions set forth in the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA). We also assess administrative processing charges on delinquent debts to recover additional costs incurred in processing and handling the related debt pursuant to the DCIA and § 1.1940(d) of the Commission's Rules. These administrative processing charges will be assessed on any delinquent regulatory fee, in addition to the 25 percent late charge penalty. Partial underpayments of regulatory fees are treated in the following manner. The licensee will be given credit for the amount paid, but if it is later determined that the fee paid is incorrect or not timely paid, the 25 percent late charge penalty will be assessed on the Start Printed Page 17416portion that is not paid in a timely manner.

38. Furthermore, our regulatory fee rules provide that we will withhold action on any applications or other requests for benefits filed by anyone who is delinquent in any non-tax debts owed to the Commission (including regulatory fees) and will ultimately dismiss those applications or other requests if payment of the delinquent debt or other satisfactory arrangement for payment is not made. See 47 CFR 1.1161(c), 1.1164(f)(5), and 1.1910. Failure to pay regulatory fees can also result in the initiation of a proceeding to revoke any and all authorizations held by the entity responsible for paying the delinquent fee(s).

C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

39. With respect to this NPRM, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), is contained in Attachment A of the Appendix.[21] Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM specified infra. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

D. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

40. This document does not contain proposed or modified information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified “information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,” pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4). Completion of the 159 family of forms required by the Commission's regulatory fee payment process is already approved by the Office of Management and Budget under information collections 3060-0589 and 3060-0949.

E. Ex Parte Rules

41. Permit-But-Disclose. This proceeding will be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding subject to the “permit-but-disclose” requirements under section 1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules.[22] Ex parte presentations are permissible if disclosed in accordance with Commission rules, except during the Sunshine Agenda period when presentations, ex parte or otherwise, are generally prohibited. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that a memorandum summarizing a presentation must contain a summary of the substance of the presentation and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one- or two-sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required.[23] Additional rules pertaining to oral and written presentations are set forth in section 1.1206(b).

F. Filing Requirements

42. Comments and Replies. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules,[24] interested parties may file comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (“ECFS”), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.[25]

43. Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​ecfs or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. For ECFS filers, if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response.

44. Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

  • The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.
  • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
  • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.

45. Availability of Documents. Comments, reply comments, and ex parte submissions will be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. These documents will also be available via ECFS. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Word 97, and/or Adobe Acrobat.

46. Accessibility Information. To request information in accessible formats (computer diskettes, large print, audio recording, and Braille), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This document can also be downloaded in Word and Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.fcc.gov.

IV. Ordering Clauses

47. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and (j), 9, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 159, and 303(r), this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted.

It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer Information Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this NPRM, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

Start Signature
Start Printed Page 17417

Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary.

End Signature

Attachment A: Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

48. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA),[26] the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules in the present NPRM. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.[27] In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.[28]

I. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

49. This rulemaking proceeding is initiated to obtain comments concerning the Commission's proposed amendment of its Schedule of Regulatory Fees in the amount of $288,771,000, the amount that Congress has required the Commission to recover. The Commission seeks to collect the necessary amount through its proposed Schedule of Regulatory Fees in the most efficient manner possible and without undue public burden.

II. Legal Basis

50. This action, including publication of proposed rules, is authorized under sections (4)(i) and (j), 9, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.[29]

III. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

51. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules and policies, if adopted.[30] The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” [31] In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.[32] A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.[33]

52. Small Businesses. Nationwide, there are a total of 22.4 million small businesses, according to SBA data.[34]

53. Small Organizations. Nationwide, there are approximately 1.6 million small organizations.[35]

54. Small Governmental Jurisdictions. The term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” [36] As of 1997, there were approximately 87,453 governmental jurisdictions in the United States.[37] This number includes 39,044 county governments, municipalities, and townships, of which 37,546 (approximately 96.2%) have populations of fewer than 50,000, and of which 1,498 have populations of 50,000 or more. Thus, we estimate the number of small governmental jurisdictions overall to be 84,098 or fewer.

55. We have included small incumbent local exchange carriers in this present RFA analysis. As noted above, a “small business” under the RFA is one that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard (e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer employees), and “is not dominant in its field of operation.” [38] The SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small incumbent local exchange carriers are not dominant in their field of operation because any such dominance is not “national” in scope.[39] We have therefore included small incumbent local exchange carriers in this RFA analysis, although we emphasize that this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations in other, non-RFA contexts.

56. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[40] According to Commission data,[41] 1,303 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of incumbent local exchange services. Of these 1,303 carriers, an estimated 1,020 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 283 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by our proposed action.

57. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), “Shared-Tenant Service Providers,” and “Other Local Service Providers.” Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for these service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[42] According to Commission data,[43] 820 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of either competitive access provider services or competitive local exchange carrier services. Of these 820 carriers, an estimated 726 have 1,500 or fewer Start Printed Page 17418employees and 94 have more than 1,500 employees. In addition, 12 carriers have reported that they are “Shared-Tenant Service Providers,” and all 12 are estimated to have 1.500 or fewer employees. In addition, 39 carriers have reported that they are “Other Local Service Providers.” Of the 39, an estimated 38 have 1,500 or fewer employees and one has more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, “Shared-Tenant Service Providers,” and “Other Local Service Providers” are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

58. Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[44] According to Commission data,[45] 143 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of local resale services. Of these, an estimated 141 have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of local resellers are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

59. Toll Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[46] According to Commission data,[47] 770 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of toll resale services. Of these, an estimated 747 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 23 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll resellers are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

60. Payphone Service Providers (PSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for payphone services providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[48] According to Commission data,[49] 654 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of payphone services. Of these, an estimated 652 have 1,500 or fewer employees and two have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of payphone service providers are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

61. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for providers of interexchange services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[50] According to Commission data,[51] 316 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of interexchange service. Of these, an estimated 292 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 24 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of IXCs are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

62. Operator Service Providers (OSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for operator service providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[52] According to Commission data,[53] 23 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of operator services. Of these, an estimated 20 have 1,500 or fewer employees and three have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of OSPs are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

63. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for prepaid calling card providers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[54] According to Commission data,[55] 89 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards. Of these, an estimated 88 have 1,500 or fewer employees and one has more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of prepaid calling card providers are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

64. 800 and 800-Like Service Subscribers.[56] Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for 800 and 800-like service (“toll free”) subscribers. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[57] The most reliable source of information regarding the number of these service subscribers appears to be data the Commission receives from Database Service Management on the 800, 866, 877, and 888 numbers in use.[58] According to our data, at the end of December 2004, the number of 800 numbers assigned was 7,540,453; the number of 888 numbers assigned was 5,947,789; the number of 877 numbers assigned was 4,805,568; and the number of 866 numbers assigned was 5,011,291. We do not have data specifying the number of these subscribers that are not independently owned and operated or have more than 1,500 employees, and thus are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of toll free subscribers that would qualify as small businesses under the SBA size standard. Consequently, we estimate that there are 7,540,453 or fewer small entity 800 subscribers; 5,947,789 or fewer small entity 888 subscribers; 4,805,568 or fewer small entity 877 subscribers, and 5,011,291 or fewer entity 866 subscribers.

65. International Service Providers. The Commission has not developed a small business size standard specifically for providers of international service. The appropriate size standards under SBA rules are for the two broad categories of Satellite Telecommunications and Other Telecommunications. Under both categories, such a business is small if it has $12.5 million or less in average Start Printed Page 17419annual receipts.[59] For the first category of Satellite Telecommunications, Census Bureau data for 1997 show that there were a total of 324 firms that operated for the entire year.[60] Of this total, 273 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and an additional 24 firms had receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999. Thus, the majority of Satellite Telecommunications firms can be considered small.

66. The second category—Other Telecommunications—includes “establishments primarily engaged in * * * providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities operationally connected with one or more terrestrial communications systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to or receiving telecommunications from satellite systems.”[61] According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 439 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.[62] Of this total, 424 firms had annual receipts of $5 million to $9,999,999 and an additional six firms had annual receipts of $10 million to $24,999,990. Thus, under this second size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

67. Wireless Service Providers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for wireless firms within the two broad economic census categories of “Paging”[63] and “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications.”[64] Under both SBA categories, a wireless business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For the census category of Paging, Census Bureau data for 1997 show that there were 1,320 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year.[65] Of this total, 1,303 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 17 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more.[66] Thus, under this category and associated small business size standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small. For the census category Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications, U.S. Census Bureau data for 1997 show that there were 977 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year.[67] Of this total, 965 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 12 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more.[68] Thus, under this second category and size standard, the great majority of firms can, again, be considered small.

68. Internet Service Providers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Internet Service Providers. This category comprises establishments “primarily engaged in providing direct access through telecommunications networks to computer-held information compiled or published by others.”[69] Under the SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has average annual receipts of $21 million or less.[70] According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 2,751 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.[71] Of these, 2,659 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and an additional 67 firms had receipts of between $10 million and $24,999,999.[72] Thus, under this size standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small entities.

69. Cellular Licensees. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for wireless firms within the broad economic census category “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications.”[73] Under this SBA category, a wireless business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For the census category Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications firms, U.S. Census Bureau data for 1997 show that there were 977 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year.[74] Of this total, 965 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 12 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more.[75] Thus, under this category and size standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small. According to the most recent Trends in Telephone Service data, 604 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of cellular service, personal communications service, or specialized mobile radio telephony services, which are placed together in the data.[76] We have estimated that 427 of these are small, under the SBA small business size standard.[77]

70. Common Carrier Paging. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for wireless firms within the broad economic census categories of “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications.”[78] Under this SBA category, a wireless business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For the census category of Paging, U.S. Census Bureau data for 1997 show that there were 1,320 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year.[79] Of this total, 1,303 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 17 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or Start Printed Page 17420more.[80] Thus, under this category and associated small business size standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small.

71. In the Paging Second Report and Order, the Commission adopted a size standard for “small businesses” for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments.[81] A small business is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.[82] The SBA has approved this definition.[83] An auction of Metropolitan Economic Area (MEA) licenses commenced on February 24, 2000, and closed on March 2, 2000. Of the 2,499 licenses auctioned, 985 were sold.[84] Fifty-seven companies claiming small business status won 440 licenses.[85] An auction of MEA and Economic Area (EA) licenses commenced on October 30, 2001, and closed on December 5, 2001. Of the 15,514 licenses auctioned, 5,323 were sold.[86] One hundred thirty-two companies claiming small business status purchased 3,724 licenses. A third auction, consisting of 8,874 licenses in each of 175 EAs and 1,328 licenses in all but three of the 51 MEAs commenced on May 13, 2003, and closed on May 28, 2003. Seventy-seven bidders claiming small or very small business status won 2,093 licenses.[87] Currently, there are approximately 74,000 Common Carrier Paging licenses. According to the most recent Trends in Telephone Service, 408 private and common carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either paging or “other mobile” services.[88] Of these, we estimate that 589 are small, under the SBA-approved small business size standard.[89] We estimate that the majority of common carrier paging providers would qualify as small entities under the SBA definition.

72. Wireless Communications Services. This service can be used for fixed, mobile, radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite uses. The Commission defined “small business” for the wireless communications services (WCS) auction as an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years, and a “very small business” as an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three preceding years.[90] The SBA has approved these definitions.[91] The Commission auctioned geographic area licenses in the WCS service. In the auction, which commenced on April 15, 1997 and closed on April 25, 1997, there were seven bidders that won 31 licenses that qualified as very small business entities, and one bidder that won one license that qualified as a small business entity. An auction for one license in the 1670-1674 MHz band commenced on April 30, 2003 and closed the same day. One license was awarded. The winning bidder was not a small entity.

73. Wireless Telephony. Wireless telephony includes cellular, personal communications services, and specialized mobile radio telephony carriers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” services.[92] Under the SBA small business size standard, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[93] According to the most recent Trends in Telephone Service data, 719 carriers reported that they were engaged in wireless telephony.[94] We have estimated that 427 of these are small under the SBA small business size standard.

74. Broadband Personal Communications Service. The broadband personal communications services (PCS) spectrum is divided into six frequency blocks designated A through F, and the Commission has held auctions for each block. The Commission has created a small business size standard for Blocks C and F as an entity that has average gross revenues of less than $40 million in the three previous calendar years.[95] For Block F, an additional small business size standard for “very small business” was added and is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years.[96] These small business size standards, in the context of broadband PCS auctions, have been approved by the SBA.[97] No small businesses within the SBA-approved small business size standards bid successfully for licenses in Blocks A and B. There were 90 winning bidders that qualified as small entities in the Block C auctions. A total of 93 “small” and “very small” business bidders won approximately 40 percent of the 1,479 licenses for Blocks D, E, and F.[98] On March 23, 1999, the Commission reauctioned 155 C, D, E, and F Block licenses; there were 113 small business winning bidders.[99]

75. On January 26, 2001, the Commission completed the auction of 422 C and F Broadband PCS licenses in Auction No. 35. Of the 35 winning bidders in this auction, 29 qualified as Start Printed Page 17421“small” or “very small” businesses.[100] Subsequent events, concerning Auction 35, including judicial and agency determinations, resulted in a total of 163 C and F Block licenses being available for grant.

76. Narrowband Personal Communications Services. The Commission held an auction for Narrowband PCS licenses that commenced on July 25, 1994, and closed on July 29, 1994. A second auction commenced on October 26, 1994 and closed on November 8, 1994. For purposes of the first two Narrowband PCS auctions, “small businesses” were entities with average gross revenues for the prior three calendar years of $40 million or less.[101] Through these auctions, the Commission awarded a total of 41 licenses, 11 of which were obtained by four small businesses.[102] To ensure meaningful participation by small business entities in future auctions, the Commission adopted a two-tiered small business size standard in the Narrowband PCS Second Report and Order.[103] A “small business” is an entity that, together with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three preceding years of not more than $40 million.[104] A “very small business” is an entity that, together with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three preceding years of not more than $15 million.[105] The SBA has approved these small business size standards.[106] A third auction commenced on October 3, 2001 and closed on October 16, 2001. Here, five bidders won 317 (Metropolitan Trading Areas and nationwide) licenses.[107] Three of these claimed status as a small or very small entity and won 311 licenses.

77. Lower 700 MHz Band Licenses. We adopted criteria for defining three groups of small businesses for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits.[108] We have defined a “small business” as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years.[109] A “very small business” is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $15 million for the preceding three years.[110] Additionally, the lower 700 MHz Service has a third category of small business status that may be claimed for Metropolitan/Rural Service Area (MSA/RSA) licenses. The third category is “entrepreneur,” which is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $3 million for the preceding three years.[111] The SBA has approved these small size standards.[112] An auction of 740 licenses (one license in each of the 734 MSAs/RSAs and one license in each of the six Economic Area Groupings (EAGs)) commenced on August 27, 2002, and closed on September 18, 2002. Of the 740 licenses available for auction, 484 licenses were sold to 102 winning bidders. Seventy-two of the winning bidders claimed small business, very small business or entrepreneur status and won a total of 329 licenses.[113] A second auction commenced on May 28, 2003, and closed on June 13, 2003, and included 256 licenses: 5 EAG licenses and 476 Cellular Market Area licenses.[114] Seventeen winning bidders claimed small or very small business status and won 60 licenses, and nine winning bidders claimed entrepreneur status and won 154 licenses.[115]

78. Upper 700 MHz Band Licenses. The Commission released a Report and Order, authorizing service in the upper 700 MHz band.[116] This auction, previously scheduled for January 13, 2003, has been postponed.[117]

79. 700 MHz Guard Band Licenses. In the 700 MHz Guard Band Order, we adopted size standards for “small businesses” and “very small businesses” for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments.[118] A small business in this service is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years.[119] Additionally, a very small business is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $15 million for the preceding three years.[120] SBA approval of these definitions is not required.[121] An auction of 52 Major Economic Area (MEA) licenses commenced on September 6, 2000, and Start Printed Page 17422closed on September 21, 2000.[122] Of the 104 licenses auctioned, 96 licenses were sold to nine bidders. Five of these bidders were small businesses that won a total of 26 licenses. A second auction of 700 MHz Guard Band licenses commenced on February 13, 2001, and closed on February 21, 2001. All eight of the licenses auctioned were sold to three bidders. One of these bidders was a small business that won a total of two licenses.[123]

80. Specialized Mobile Radio. The Commission awards “small entity” bidding credits in auctions for Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) geographic area licenses in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands to firms that had revenues of no more than $15 million in each of the three previous calendar years.[124] The Commission awards “very small entity” bidding credits to firms that had revenues of no more than $3 million in each of the three previous calendar years.[125] The SBA has approved these small business size standards for the 900 MHz Service.[126] The Commission has held auctions for geographic area licenses in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands. The 900 MHz SMR auction began on December 5, 1995, and closed on April 15, 1996. Sixty bidders claiming that they qualified as small businesses under the $15 million size standard won 263 geographic area licenses in the 900 MHz SMR band. The 800 MHz SMR auction for the upper 200 channels began on October 28, 1997, and was completed on December 8, 1997. Ten bidders claiming that they qualified as small businesses under the $15 million size standard won 38 geographic area licenses for the upper 200 channels in the 800 MHz SMR band.[127] A second auction for the 800 MHz band was held on January 10, 2002 and closed on January 17, 2002 and included 23 BEA licenses. One bidder claiming small business status won five licenses.[128]

81. The auction of the 1,053 800 MHz SMR geographic area licenses for the General Category channels began on August 16, 2000, and was completed on September 1, 2000. Eleven bidders won 108 geographic area licenses for the General Category channels in the 800 MHz SMR band qualified as small businesses under the $15 million size standard.[129] In an auction completed on December 5, 2000, a total of 2,800 Economic Area licenses in the lower 80 channels of the 800 MHz SMR service were sold.[130] Of the 22 winning bidders, 19 claimed small business status and won 129 licenses. Thus, combining all three auctions, 40 winning bidders for geographic licenses in the 800 MHz SMR band claimed status as small business.

82. In addition, there are numerous incumbent site-by-site SMR licensees and licensees with extended implementation authorizations in the 800 and 900 MHz bands. We do not know how many firms provide 800 MHz or 900 MHz geographic area SMR pursuant to extended implementation authorizations, nor how many of these providers have annual revenues of no more than $15 million. One firm has over $15 million in revenues. We assume, for purposes of this analysis, that all of the remaining existing extended implementation authorizations are held by small entities, as that small business size standard is approved by the SBA.

83. 220 MHz Radio Service—Phase I Licensees. The 220 MHz service has both Phase I and Phase II licenses. Phase I licensing was conducted by lotteries in 1992 and 1993. There are approximately 1,515 such non-nationwide licensees and four nationwide licensees currently authorized to operate in the 220 MHz band. The Commission has not developed a definition of small entities specifically applicable to such incumbent 220 MHz Phase I licensees. To estimate the number of such licensees that are small businesses, we apply the small business size standard under the SBA rules applicable to “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” companies. This category provides that a small business is a wireless company employing no more than 1,500 persons.[131] According to the Census Bureau data for 1997, only twelve firms out of a total of 1,238 such firms that operated for the entire year in 1997, had 1,000 or more employees.[132] If this general ratio continues in the context of Phase I 220 MHz licensees, the Commission estimates that nearly all such licensees are small businesses under the SBA's small business standard.

84. 220 MHz Radio Service—Phase II Licensees. The 220 MHz service has both Phase I and Phase II licenses. The Phase II 220 MHz service is a new service, and is subject to spectrum auctions. In the 220 MHz Third Report and Order, we adopted a small business size standard for defining “small” and “very small” businesses for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments.[133] This small business standard indicates that a “small business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.[134] A “very small business” is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years.[135] The SBA has approved these small size standards.[136] Auctions of Phase II licenses commenced on September 15, 1998, and closed on October 22, 1998.[137] In the first auction, 908 licenses were auctioned in three different-sized geographic areas: Three nationwide licenses, 30 Regional Economic Area Group (EAG) Licenses, and 875 Economic Area (EA) Licenses. Of the 908 licenses auctioned, 693 were sold.[138] Thirty-nine small businesses Start Printed Page 17423won 373 licenses in the first 220 MHz auction. A second auction included 225 licenses: 216 EA licenses and 9 EAG licenses. Fourteen companies claiming small business status won 158 licenses.[139] A third auction included four licenses: 2 BEA licenses and 2 EAG licenses in the 220 MHz Service. No small or very small business won any of these licenses.[140]

85. Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR). PLMR systems serve an essential role in a range of industrial, business, land transportation, and public safety activities. These radios are used by companies of all sizes operating in all U.S. business categories, and are often used in support of the licensee's primary (non-telecommunications) business operations. For the purpose of determining whether a licensee of a PLMR system is a small business as defined by the SBA, we could use the definition for “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications.” This definition provides that a small entity is any such entity employing no more than 1,500 persons.[141] The Commission does not require PLMR licensees to disclose information about number of employees, so the Commission does not have information that could be used to determine how many PLMR licensees constitute small entities under this definition. Moreover, because PMLR licensees generally are not in the business of providing cellular or other wireless telecommunications services but instead use the licensed facilities in support of other business activities, we are not certain that the Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications category is appropriate for determining how many PLMR licensees are small entities for this analysis. Rather, it may be more appropriate to assess PLMR licensees under the standards applied to the particular industry subsector to which the licensee belongs.[142]

86. The Commission's 1994 Annual Report on PLMRs [143] indicates that at the end of fiscal year 1994, there were 1,087,267 licensees operating 12,481,989 transmitters in the PLMR bands below 512 MHz. Because any entity engaged in a commercial activity is eligible to hold a PLMR license, the revised rules in this context could potentially impact every small business in the United States.

87. Fixed Microwave Services. Fixed microwave services include common carrier,[144] private operational-fixed,[145] and broadcast auxiliary radio services.[146] At present, there are approximately 22,015 common carrier fixed licensees and 61,670 private operational-fixed licensees and broadcast auxiliary radio licensees in the microwave services. The Commission has not created a size standard for a small business specifically with respect to fixed microwave services. For purposes of this analysis, the Commission uses the SBA small business size standard for the category “Cellular and Other Telecommunications,” which is 1,500 or fewer employees.[147] The Commission does not have data specifying the number of these licensees that have more than 1,500 employees, and thus are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of fixed microwave service licensees that would qualify as small business concerns under the SBA's small business size standard. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are up to 22,015 common carrier fixed licensees and up to 61,670 private operational-fixed licensees and broadcast auxiliary radio licensees in the microwave services that may be small and may be affected by the rules and policies proposed herein. We noted, however, that the common carrier microwave fixed licensee category includes some large entities.

88. 39 GHz Service. The Commission created a special small business size standard for 39 GHz licenses—an entity that has average gross revenues of $40 million or less in the three previous calendar years.[148] An additional size standard for “very small business” is: An entity that, together with affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years.[149] The SBA has approved these small business size standards.[150] The auction of the 2,173 39 GHz licenses began on April 12, 2000 and closed on May 8, 2000. The 18 bidders who claimed small business status won 849 licenses. Consequently, the Commission estimates that 18 or fewer 39 GHz licensees are small entities that may be affected by the rules and polices proposed herein.

89. Local Multipoint Distribution Service. Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) is a fixed broadband point-to-multipoint microwave service that provides for two-way video telecommunications.[151] The auction of the 986 Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) licenses began on February 18, 1998 and closed on March 25, 1998. The Commission established a small business size standard for LMDS licenses as an entity that has average gross revenues of less than $40 million in the three previous calendar years.[152] An additional small business size standard for “very small business” was added as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years.[153] The Start Printed Page 17424SBA has approved these small business size standards in the context of LMDS auctions.[154] There were 93 winning bidders that qualified as small entities in the LMDS auctions. A total of 93 small and very small business bidders won approximately 277 A Block licenses and 387 B Block licenses. On March 27, 1999, the Commission re-auctioned 161 licenses; there were 32 small and very small business bidders winning that won 119 licenses.

90. 218-219 MHz Service. The first auction of 218-219 MHz (previously referred to as the Interactive and Video Data Service or IVDS) spectrum resulted in 178 entities winning licenses for 594 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).[155] Of the 594 licenses, 567 were won by 167 entities qualifying as a small business. For that auction, we defined a small business as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has no more than a $6 million net worth and, after federal income taxes (excluding any carry over losses), has no more than $2 million in annual profits each year for the previous two years.[156] In the 218-219 MHz Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, we defined a small business as an entity that, together with its affiliates and persons or entities that hold interests in such an entity and their affiliates, has average annual gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.[157] A very small business is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and persons or entities that hold interests in such an entity and its affiliates, has average annual gross revenues not exceeding $3 million for the preceding three years.[158] The SBA has approved of these definitions.[159] At this time, we cannot estimate the number of licenses that will be won by entities qualifying as small or very small businesses under our rules in future auctions of 218-219 MHz spectrum. Given the success of small businesses in the previous auction, and the prevalence of small businesses in the subscription television services and message communications industries, we assume for purposes of this analysis that in future auctions, many, and perhaps all, of the licenses may be awarded to small businesses.

91. Location and Monitoring Service (LMS). Multilateration LMS systems use non-voice radio techniques to determine the location and status of mobile radio units. For purposes of auctioning LMS licenses, the Commission has defined “small business” as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million.[160] A “very small business” is defined as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $3 million.[161] These definitions have been approved by the SBA.[162] An auction for LMS licenses commenced on February 23, 1999, and closed on March 5, 1999. Of the 528 licenses auctioned, 289 licenses were sold to four small businesses. We cannot accurately predict the number of remaining licenses that could be awarded to small entities in future LMS auctions.

92. Rural Radiotelephone Service. The Commission has not adopted a size standard for small businesses specific to the Rural Radiotelephone Service.[163] A significant subset of the Rural Radiotelephone Service is the Basic Exchange Telephone Radio System (BETRS).[164] The Commission uses the SBA's small business size standard applicable to “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications,” i.e., an entity employing no more than 1,500 persons.[165] There are approximately 1,000 licensees in the Rural Radiotelephone Service, and the Commission estimates that there are 1,000 or fewer small entity licensees in the Rural Radiotelephone Service that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed herein.

93. Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service. The Commission has not adopted a small business size standard specific to the Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service.[166] We will use SBA's small business size standard applicable to “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications,” i.e., an entity employing no more than 1,500 persons.[167] There are approximately 100 licensees in the Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service, and we estimate that almost all of them qualify as small under the SBA small business size standard.

94. Aviation and Marine Radio Services. Small businesses in the aviation and marine radio services use a very high frequency (VHF) marine or aircraft radio and, as appropriate, an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (and/or radar) or an emergency locator transmitter. The Commission has not developed a small business size standard specifically applicable to these small businesses. For purposes of this analysis, the Commission uses the SBA small business size standard for the category “Cellular and Other Telecommunications,” which is 1,500 or fewer employees.[168] Most applicants for recreational licenses are individuals. Approximately 581,000 ship station licensees and 131,000 aircraft station licensees operate domestically and are not subject to the radio carriage requirements of any statute or treaty. For purposes of our evaluations in this analysis, we estimate that there are up to approximately 712,000 licensees that are small businesses (or individuals) under the SBA standard. In addition, between December 3, 1998 and December 14, 1998, the Commission held an auction of 42 VHF Public Coast licenses in the 157.1875-157.4500 MHz (ship transmit) and 161.775-162.0125 MHz (coast transmit) bands. For purposes of the auction, the Commission defined a “small” business as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding three years not to exceed $15 million dollars. In addition, a “very small” business is one that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has Start Printed Page 17425average gross revenues for the preceding three years not to exceed $3 million dollars.[169] There are approximately 10,672 licensees in the Marine Coast Service, and the Commission estimates that almost all of them qualify as “small” businesses under the above special small business size standards.

95. Offshore Radiotelephone Service. This service operates on several ultra high frequencies (UHF) television broadcast channels that are not used for television broadcasting in the coastal areas of states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.[170] There are presently approximately 55 licensees in this service. We are unable to estimate at this time the number of licensees that would qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard for “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” services.[171] Under that SBA small business size standard, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.[172]

96. Multiple Address Systems (MAS). Entities using MAS spectrum, in general, fall into two categories: (1) Those using the spectrum for profit-based uses, and (2) those using the spectrum for private internal uses. With respect to the first category, the Commission defines “small entity” for MAS licenses as an entity that has average gross revenues of less than $15 million in the three previous calendar years.[173] “Very small business” is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $3 million for the preceding three calendar years.[174] The SBA has approved of these definitions.[175] The majority of these entities will most likely be licensed in bands where the Commission has implemented a geographic area licensing approach that would require the use of competitive bidding procedures to resolve mutually exclusive applications. The Commission's licensing database indicates that, as of January 20, 1999, there were a total of 8,670 MAS station authorizations. Of these, 260 authorizations were associated with common carrier service. In addition, an auction for 5,104 MAS licenses in 176 EAs began November 14, 2001, and closed on November 27, 2001.[176] Seven winning bidders claimed status as small or very small businesses and won 611 licenses.

97. With respect to the second category, which consists of entities that use, or seek to use, MAS spectrum to accommodate internal communications needs, we note that MAS serves an essential role in a range of industrial, safety, business, and land transportation activities. MAS radios are used by companies of all sizes, operating in virtually all U.S. business categories, and by all types of public safety entities. For the majority of private internal users, the definitions developed by the SBA would be more appropriate. The applicable definition of small entity in this instance appears to be the “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” definition under the SBA rules. This definition provides that a small entity is any entity employing no more than 1,500 persons.[177] The Commission's licensing database indicates that, as of January 20, 1999, of the 8,670 total MAS station authorizations, 8,410 authorizations were for private radio service, and of these, 1,433 were for private land mobile radio service.

98. Incumbent 24 GHz Licensees. This analysis may affect incumbent licensees who were relocated to the 24 GHz band from the 18 GHz band, and applicants who wish to provide services in the 24 GHz band. The applicable SBA small business size standard is that of “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” companies. This category provides that such a company is small if it employs no more than 1,500 persons.[178] According to U.S. Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 977 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year.[179] Of this total, 965 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 12 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more.[180] Thus, under this size standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small. These broader census data notwithstanding, we believe that there are only two licensees in the 24 GHz band that were relocated from the 18 GHz band, Teligent [181] and TRW, Inc. It is our understanding that Teligent and its related companies have less than 1,500 employees, though this may change in the future. TRW is not a small entity. Thus, only one incumbent licensee in the 24 GHz band is a small business entity.

99. Future 24 GHz Licensees. With respect to new applicants in the 24 GHz band, we have defined “small business” as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average annual gross revenues for the three preceding years not exceeding $15 million.[182] “Very small business” in the 24 GHz band is defined as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues not exceeding $3 million for the preceding three years.[183] The SBA has approved these definitions.[184] The Commission will not know how many licensees will be small or very small businesses until the auction, if required, is held.

100. Multipoint Distribution Service, Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service, and Instructional Television Fixed Service. Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) systems, often referred to as “wireless cable,” transmit video programming to subscribers using the microwave frequencies of the Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS).[185] In connection with the 1996 Start Printed Page 17426MDS auction, the Commission defined “small business” as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross annual revenues that are not more than $40 million for the preceding three calendar years.[186] The SBA has approved of this standard.[187] The MDS auction resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs).[188] Of the 67 auction winners, 61 claimed status as a small business. At this time, we estimate that of the 61 small business MDS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent MDS licensees that have gross revenues that are not more than $40 million and are thus considered small entities.[189]

101. In addition, the SBA has developed a small business size standard for Cable and Other Program Distribution,[190] which includes all such companies generating $12.5 million or less in annual receipts.[191] According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were a total of 1,311 firms in this category, total, that had operated for the entire year.[192] Of this total, 1,180 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and an additional 52 firms had receipts of $10 million or more but less than $25 million.[193] Consequently, we estimate that the majority of providers in this service category are small businesses that may be affected by the proposed rules and policies.

102. Finally, while SBA approval for a Commission-defined small business size standard applicable to ITFS is pending, educational institutions are included in this analysis as small entities.[194] There are currently 2,032 ITFS licensees, and all but 100 of these licenses are held by educational institutions. Thus, we tentatively conclude that at least 1,932 ITFS licensees are small businesses.

103. Television Broadcasting. The Small Business Administration defines a television broadcasting station that has no more than $12 million in annual receipts as a small business.[195] Business concerns included in this industry are those “primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.” [196] According to Commission staff review of the BIA Publications, Inc. Master Access Television Analyzer Database as of May 16, 2003, about 814 of the 1,220 commercial television stations in the United States have revenues of $12 million or less. We note, however, that, in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations [197] must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. There are also 2,117 low power television stations (LPTV).[198] Given the nature of this service, we will presume that all LPTV licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition.

104. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply do not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and are therefore over-inclusive to that extent. Also as noted, an additional element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. We note that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and our estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.

105. Radio Broadcasting. The SBA defines a radio broadcast entity that has $6 million or less in annual receipts as a small business.[199] Business concerns included in this industry are those “primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public.[200] According to Commission staff review of the BIA Publications, Inc., Master Access Radio Analyzer Database, as of May 16, 2003, about 10,427 of the 10,945 commercial radio stations in the United States have revenue of $6 million or less. We note, however, that many radio stations are affiliated with much larger corporations with much higher revenue, and that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, such business (control) affiliations [201] are included.[202] Our estimate, therefore likely overstates the number of small businesses that might be affected by our action.

106. Auxiliary, Special Broadcast and Other Program Distribution Services. This service involves a variety of Start Printed Page 17427transmitters, generally used to relay broadcast programming to the public (through translator and booster stations) or within the program distribution chain (from a remote news gathering unit back to the station). The Commission has not developed a definition of small entities applicable to broadcast auxiliary licensees. The applicable definitions of small entities are those, noted previously, under the SBA rules applicable to radio broadcasting stations and television broadcasting stations.[203]

107. The Commission estimates that there are approximately 3,868 FM translators and boosters.[204] The Commission does not collect financial information on any broadcast facility, and the Department of Commerce does not collect financial information on these auxiliary broadcast facilities. We believe that most, if not all, of these auxiliary facilities could be classified as small businesses by themselves. We also recognize that most commercial translators and boosters are owned by a parent station which, in some cases, would be covered by the revenue definition of small business entity discussed above. These stations would likely have annual revenues that exceed the SBA maximum to be designated as a small business ($5 million for a radio station or $10.5 million for a TV station). Furthermore, they do not meet the Small Business Act's definition of a “small business concern” because they are not independently owned and operated.[205]

108. Cable and Other Program Distribution. This category includes cable systems operators, closed circuit television services, direct broadcast satellite services, multipoint distribution systems, satellite master antenna systems, and subscription television services. The SBA has developed small business size standard for this census category, which includes all such companies generating $12.5 million or less in revenue annually.[206] According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were a total of 1,311 firms in this category, total, that had operated for the entire year.[207] Of this total, 1,180 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million and an additional 52 firms had receipts of $10 million or more but less than $25 million. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of providers in this service category are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed herein.

109. Cable System Operators (Rate Regulation Standard). The Commission has developed its own small business size standard for cable system operators, for purposes of rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving fewer than 400,000 subscribers nationwide.[208] The most recent estimates indicate that there were 1,439 cable operators who qualified as small cable system operators at the end of 1995.[209] Since then, some of those companies may have grown to serve over 400,000 subscribers, and others may have been involved in transactions that caused them to be combined with other cable operators. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are now fewer than 1,439 small entity cable system operators that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed herein.

110. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” [210] The Commission has determined that there are 63,000,000 subscribers in the United States.[211] Therefore, an operator serving fewer than 630,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.[212] Based on available data, the Commission estimates that the number of cable operators serving 630,000 subscribers or fewer, totals 1,450.[213] The Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million,[214] and therefore are unable, at this time, to estimate more accurately the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the size standard contained in the Communications Act of 1934.

111. Open Video Services. Open Video Service (OVS) systems provide subscription services.[215] The SBA has created a small business size standard for Cable and Other Program Distribution.[216] This standard provides that a small entity is one with $12.5 million or less in annual receipts. The Commission has certified approximately 25 OVS operators to serve 75 areas, and some of these are currently providing service.[217] Affiliates of Residential Communications Network, Inc. (RCN) received approval to operate OVS systems in New York City, Boston, Washington, DC, and other areas. RCN has sufficient revenues to assure that they do not qualify as a small business entity. Little financial information is available for the other entities that are authorized to provide OVS and are not yet operational. Given that some entities authorized to provide OVS service have not yet begun to generate revenues, the Commission concludes that up to 24 OVS operators (those remaining) might qualify as small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed herein.

112. Cable Television Relay Service. This service includes transmitters generally used to relay cable programming within cable television system distribution systems. The SBA has defined a small business size standard for Cable and other Program Distribution, consisting of all such companies having annual receipts of no more than $12.5 million.[218] According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 1,311 firms in the industry category Cable and Other Program Distribution, total, that operated for the entire year.[219] Of this total, 1,180 firms Start Printed Page 17428had annual receipts of $10 million or less, and an additional 52 firms had receipts of $10 million or more but less than $25 million.[220] Thus, under this standard, we estimate that the majority of providers in this service category are small businesses that may be affected by the proposed rules and policies.

113. Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service. MVDDS is a terrestrial fixed microwave service operating in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. No auction has yet been held in this service, although an action has been scheduled for January 14, 2004.[221] Accordingly, there are no licensees in this service.

114. Amateur Radio Service. These licensees are believed to be individuals, and therefore are not small entities.

115. Aviation and Marine Services. Small businesses in the aviation and marine radio services use a very high frequency (VHF) marine or aircraft radio and, as appropriate, an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (and/or radar) or an emergency locator transmitter. The Commission has not developed a small business size standard specifically applicable to these small businesses. For purposes of this analysis, the Commission uses the SBA small business size standard for the category “Cellular and Other Telecommunications,” which is 1,500 or fewer employees.[222] Most applicants for recreational licenses are individuals. Approximately 581,000 ship station licensees and 131,000 aircraft station licensees operate domestically and are not subject to the radio carriage requirements of any statute or treaty. For purposes of our evaluations in this analysis, we estimate that there are up to approximately 712,000 licensees that are small businesses (or individuals) under the SBA standard. In addition, between December 3, 1998 and December 14, 1998, the Commission held an auction of 42 VHF Public Coast licenses in the 157.1875-157.4500 MHz (ship transmit) and 161.775-162.0125 MHz (coast transmit) bands. For purposes of the auction, the Commission defined a “small” business as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding three years not to exceed $15 million dollars. In addition, a “very small” business is one that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding three years not to exceed $3 million dollars.[223] There are approximately 10,672 licensees in the Marine Coast Service, and the Commission estimates that almost all of them qualify as “small” businesses under the above special small business size standards.

116. Personal Radio Services. Personal radio services provide short-range, low power radio for personal communications, radio signaling, and business communications not provided for in other services. The Personal Radio Services include spectrum licensed under Part 95 of our rules.[224] These services include Citizen Band Radio Service (CB), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Radio Control Radio Service (R/C), Family Radio Service (FRS), Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS), Medical Implant Communications Service (MICS), Low Power Radio Service (LPRS), and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS).[225] There are a variety of methods used to license the spectrum in these rule parts, from licensing by rule, to conditioning operation on successful completion of a required test, to site-based licensing, to geographic area licensing. Under the RFA, the Commission is required to make a determination of which small entities are directly affected by the rules being proposed. Since all such entities are wireless, we apply the definition of cellular and other wireless telecommunications, pursuant to which a small entity is defined as employing 1,500 or fewer persons.[226] Many of the licensees in these services are individuals, and thus are not small entities. In addition, due to the mostly unlicensed and shared nature of the spectrum utilized in many of these services, the Commission lacks direct information upon which to base an estimation of the number of small entities under an SBA definition that might be directly affected by the proposed rules.

117. Public Safety Radio Services. Public Safety radio services include police, fire, local government, forestry conservation, highway maintenance, and emergency medical services.[227] There are a total of approximately 127,540 licensees in these services. Governmental entities [228] as well as private businesses comprise the licensees for these services. All governmental entities with populations of less than 50,000 fall within the definition of a small entity.[229]

IV. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements

118. With certain exceptions, the Commission's Schedule of Regulatory Fees applies to all Commission licensees and regulatees. Most licensees will be required to count the number of licenses or call signs authorized, complete and submit an FCC Form 159 (“FCC Remittance Advice”), and pay a regulatory fee based on the number of licenses or call signs.[230] Interstate Start Printed Page 17429telephone service providers must compute their annual regulatory fee based on their interstate and international end-user revenue using information they already supply to the Commission in compliance with the Form 499-A, Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet, and they must complete and submit the FCC Form 159. Compliance with the fee schedule will require some licensees to tabulate the number of units (e.g., cellular telephones, pagers, cable TV subscribers) they have in service, and complete and submit an FCC Form 159. Licensees ordinarily will keep a list of the number of units they have in service as part of their normal business practices. No additional outside professional skills are required to complete the FCC Form 159, and it can be completed by the employees responsible for an entity's business records.

119. Each licensee must submit the FCC Form 159 to the Commission's lockbox bank after computing the number of units subject to the fee. Licensees may also file electronically to minimize the burden of submitting multiple copies of the FCC Form 159. Applicants who pay small fees in advance and provide fee information as part of their application must use FCC Form 159.

120. Licensees and regulatees are advised that failure to submit the required regulatory fee in a timely manner will subject the licensee or regulatee to a late payment penalty of 25 percent in addition to the required fee.[231] If payment is not received, new or pending applications may be dismissed, and existing authorizations may be subject to rescission.[232] Further, in accordance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, federal agencies may bar a person or entity from obtaining a federal loan or loan insurance guarantee if that person or entity fails to pay a delinquent debt owed to any federal agency.[233] Nonpayment of regulatory fees is a debt owed the United States pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3711 et seq., and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 194-134. Appropriate enforcement measures as well as administrative and judicial remedies, may be exercised by the Commission. Debts owed to the Commission may result in a person or entity being denied a federal loan or loan guarantee pending before another federal agency until such obligations are paid.[234]

121. The Commission's rules currently provide for relief in exceptional circumstances. Persons or entities may request a waiver, reduction or deferment of payment of the regulatory fee.[235] However, timely submission of the required regulatory fee must accompany requests for waivers or reductions. This will avoid any late payment penalty if the request is denied. The fee will be refunded if the request is granted. In exceptional and compelling instances (where payment of the regulatory fee along with the waiver or reduction request could result in reduction of service to a community or other financial hardship to the licensee), the Commission will defer payment in response to a request filed with the appropriate supporting documentation.

V. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

122. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives: (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities. As described in Section III of this IRFA, supra, we have created procedures in which all fee-filing licensees and regulatees use a single form, FCC Form 159, and have described in plain language the general filing requirements. We have sought comment on other alternatives that might simplify our fee procedures or otherwise benefit small entities, while remaining consistent with our statutory responsibilities in this proceeding.

123. The Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2006, Public Law 109-108, requires the Commission to revise its Schedule of Regulatory Fees in order to recover the amount of regulatory fees that Congress, pursuant to Section 9(a) of the Communications Act, as amended, has required the Commission to collect for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006.[236] As noted, we seek comment on the proposed methodology for implementing these statutory requirements and any other potential impact of these proposals on small entities.

124. We have previously used cost accounting data for computation of regulatory fees, but found that some fees which were very small in previous years would have increased dramatically and would have a disproportionate impact on smaller entities. The methodology we are proposing in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking minimizes this impact by limiting the amount of increase and shifting costs to other services which, for the most part, are larger entities.

125. Several categories of licensees and regulatees are exempt from payment of regulatory fees. See, e.g., footnote 230, supra.

VI. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

126. None.

Attachment B: Sources of Payment Unit Estimates for FY 2006

In order to calculate individual service fees for FY 2006, we adjusted FY 2005 payment units for each service to more accurately reflect expected FY 2006 payment liabilities. We obtained our updated estimates through a variety of means. For example, we used Commission licensee data bases, actual prior year payment records and industry and trade association projections when available. The databases we consulted include the Commission's Universal Licensing System (ULS), International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) and Consolidated Database System (CDBS), as well as reports generated within the Commission such as the Wireline Competition Bureau's Trends in Telephone Service and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast.

We tried to obtain verification for these estimates from multiple sources and, in all cases; we compared FY 2006 Start Printed Page 17430estimates with actual FY 2005 payment units to ensure that our revised estimates were reasonable. Where appropriate, we adjusted and/or rounded our final estimates to take into consideration the fact that certain variables that impact on the number of payment units cannot yet be estimated exactly. These include an unknown number of waivers and/or exemptions that may occur in FY 2006 and the fact that, in many services, the number of actual licensees or station operators fluctuates from time to time due to economic, technical or other reasons. Therefore, when we note, for example, that our estimated FY 2006 payment units are based on FY 2005 actual payment units, it does not necessarily mean that our FY 2006 projection is exactly the same number as FY 2005. It means that we have either rounded the FY 2006 number or adjusted it slightly to account for these variables.

Fee categorySources of payment unit estimates
Land Mobile (All), Microwave, 218-219 MHz, Marine (Ship & Coast), Aviation (Aircraft & Ground), GMRS, Amateur Vanity Call Signs, Domestic Public FixedBased on Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) projections of new applications and renewals taking into consideration existing Commission licensee data bases. Aviation (Aircraft) and Marine (Ship) estimates have been adjusted to take into consideration the licensing of portions of these services on a voluntary basis.
CMRS Mobile ServicesBased on Wireless Telecommunications Bureau estimates.
CMRS Messaging ServicesBased on Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Competition Report estimates.
AM/FM Radio StationsBased on estimates from Media Bureau estimates, adjusted for exemptions, and actual FY 2005 payment units.
UHF/VHF Television StationsBased on Media Bureau estimates as well as actual FY 2005 payment units.
AM/FM/TV Construction PermitsBased on Media Bureau estimates as well as actual FY 2005 payment units.
LPTV, Translators and BoostersBased on actual FY 2005 payment units.
Broadcast AuxiliariesBased on actual FY 2005 payment units.
BRS (formerly MDS/MMDS)Based on Wireless Telecommunications Bureau estimates and actual FY 2005 payment units.
Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) StationsBased on actual FY 2005 payment units.
Cable Television System SubscribersBased on Media Bureau industry estimates of subscriber counts, and actual FY 2005 payment units.
Interstate Telecommunication Service ProvidersBased on actual FY 2005 interstate revenues reported on Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet, adjusted for FY 2006 revenue growth/decline for industry, and projections by the Wireline Competition Bureau.
Earth StationsBased on actual FY 2005 payment estimates and projected FY 2006 units.
Space Stations (GSOs & NGSOs)Based on International Bureau licensee data base estimates.
International Bearer CircuitsBased on FY 2005 actual units.
International HF Broadcast Stations, International Public Fixed Radio ServiceBased on International Bureau estimates.

Attachment C: Calculation of FY 2006 Revenue Requirements and Pro-Rata Fees

Regulatory fees for the first ten categories are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted along with the application at the time the application is filed.

Fee categoryFY 2006 payment unitsYearsFY 2005 revenue estimatePro-rated FY 2006 revenue requirement*Computed new FY 2006 regulatory feeRounded new FY 2006 regulatory feeExpected FY 2006 revenue
PLMRS (Exclusive Use)2,20010370,000380,5471715330,000
PLMRS (Shared use)25,000102,300,0002,365,5649102,500,000
Microwave2,000101,560,0001,604,46980801,600,000
218-219 MHz (Formerly IVDS)3101,5001,54351501,500
Marine (Ship)8,00010700,000719,954910800,000
GMRS17,0005525,000539,96665425,000
Aviation (Aircraft)6,00010370,000380,54765300,000
Marine (Coast)60010100,000102,851171590,000
Aviation (Ground)1,50010120,000123,421810150,000
Amateur Vanity Call Signs8,50010166,443171,1882.012.01171,188
AM Class A691202,950213,4313,0933,100213,900
AM Class B1,61212,467,6002,556,6551,5861,5752,538,900
AM Class C9501860,400893,691941940893,000
AM Class D1,76912,874,6252,977,8021,6831,6752,963,075
FM Classes A, B1 & C33,06816,013,8756,234,2022,0322,0256,212,700
FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C22,90817,333,4257,599,5342,6132,6257,633,500
AM Construction Permits60135,03036,24560437522,500
FM Construction Permits 159153,90055,77094555032,450
Satellite TV1231132,225136,8131,1121,100135,300
Satellite TV Construction Permit311,6051,6615545551,665
VHF Markets 1-104412,664,9252,757,38862,66862,6752,757,700
VHF Markets 11-256112,725,1752,819,72846,22546,2252,819,725
VHF Markets 26-507212,305,8002,385,80333,13633,1252,385,000
VHF Markets 51-10011812,218,4002,295,37019,45219,4502,295,100
VHF Remaining Markets2111975,8751,009,7344,7854,7751,007,525
VHF Construction Permits9128,57529,5663,2853,27529,475
Start Printed Page 17431
UHF Markets 1-108411,682,1001,742,99220,75020,7501,743,000
UHF Markets 11-257911,384,4751,435,04018,16518,1751,435,825
UHF Markets 26-5011511,155,7501,198,37810,42110,4251,198,875
UHF Markets 51-1001621992,2501,028,2866,3476,3501,028,700
UHF Remaining Markets1811312,225323,0581,7851,775321,275
UHF Construction Permits 126153,47555,3302,1281,77546,150
Broadcast Auxiliaries24,0001250,000258,6741110240,000
LPTV/Translators/Boosters2,90011,145,5001,185,2454094101,189,000
CARS Stations8501139,500144,340170170144,500
Cable TV Systems63,000,000146,800,00048,423,7840.7690.7748,510,000
Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers53,100,000,0001131,220,000135,772,8410.002556930.00256135,936,000
CMRS Mobile Services (Cellular/Public Mobile)203,000,000139,380,00041,153,6700.2030.2040,600,000
CMRS Messaging Services6,500,0001896,000519,7560.080.08520,000
BRS 21,7671459,000473,579268270477,090
LMDS330184,15088,41726827089,100
International Bearer Circuits5,300,00017,261,0007,512,9291.421.427,526,000
International Public Fixed111,8001,8621,8621,8501,850
Earth Stations3,5001697,000721,183206205717,500
International HF Broadcast513,8253,9587927903,950
Space Stations (Geostationary)8719,065,9259,380,479107,822107,8259,380,775
Space Stations (Non-Geostationary61674,550697,954116,326116,325697,950
****** Total Estimated Revenue to be Collected280,765,853290,515,198290,116,743
****** Total Revenue Requirement280,098,000288,771,000288,771,000
Difference667,8531,744,1981,345,743
* 1.030964163 factor applied based on the amount Congress designated for recovery through regulatory fees (Public Law 109-108 and 47 U.S.C. 159(a)(2)).
1 The AM and FM Construction Permits and the UHF Construction Permit revenues were adjusted to set the regulatory fee to an amount no higher than the lowest licensed fee for that class of service.
2 MDS/MMDS category was renamed Broadband Radio Service (BRS). See Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands et al, Report & Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 14169, at paragraph 6 (2004) (R&O and FNPRM).

Attachment D: FY 2006 Schedule of Regulatory Fees

Regulatory fees for the first eleven categories are collected by the Commission in advance to cover the term of the license and are submitted along with the application at the time the application is filed.

Fee categoryAnnual regulatory fee (U.S. $'s)
PLMRS (per license) (Exclusive Use) (47 CFR part 90)15
Microwave (per license) (47 CFR part 101)80
218-219 MHz (Formerly Interactive Video Data Service) (per license) (47 CFR part 95)50
Marine (Ship) (per station) (47 CFR part 80)10
Marine (Coast) (per license) (47 CFR part 80)15
General Mobile Radio Service (per license) (47 CFR part 95)5
Rural Radio (47 CFR part 22) (previously listed under the Land Mobile category)10
PLMRS (Shared Use) (per license) (47 CFR part 90)10
Aviation (Aircraft) (per station) (47 CFR part 87)5
Aviation (Ground) (per license) (47 CFR part 87)10
Amateur Vanity Call Signs (per call sign) (47 CFR part 97)2.01
CMRS Mobile/Cellular Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24, 27, 80 and 90).20
CMRS Messaging Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24 and 90).08
Broadband Radio Service (formerly MMDS/MDS) (per license) (47 CFR part 21)270
Local Multipoint Distribution Service (per call sign) (47 CFR, part 101)270
AM Radio Construction Permits375
FM Radio Construction Permits550
TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF Commercial:
Markets 1-1062,675
Markets 11-2546,225
Markets 26-5033,125
Markets 51-10019,450
Remaining Markets4,775
Construction Permits3,275
TV (47 CFR part 73) UHF Commercial:
Start Printed Page 17432
Markets 1-1020,750
Markets 11-2518,175
Markets 26-5010,425
Markets 51-1006,350
Remaining Markets1,775
Construction Permits1,775
Satellite Television Stations (All Markets)1,100
Construction Permits—Satellite Television Stations555
Low Power TV, TV/FM Translators & Boosters (47 CFR part 74)410
Broadcast Auxiliaries (47 CFR part 74)10
CARS (47 CFR part 78)170
Cable Television Systems (per subscriber) (47 CFR part 76).77
Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers (per revenue dollar).00256
Earth Stations (47 CFR part 25)205
Space Stations (per operational station in geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) also includes DBS Service (per operational station) (47 CFR part 100)107,825
Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25)116,325
International Bearer Circuits (per active 64KB circuit)1.42
International Public Fixed (per call sign) (47 CFR part 23)1,850
International (HF) Broadcast (47 CFR part 73)790

FY 2006 Radio Station Regulatory Fees

Population servedAM Class AAM Class BAM Class CAM Class DFM Classes A, B1 & C3FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2
<=25,000625475375450550725
25,001-75,0001,2259255757001,1251,250
75,001-150,0001,8251,1507751,1501,5502,300
150,001-500,0002,7501,9501,1501,3752,3753,000
500,001-1,200,0003,9502,9751,9252,3003,7754,400
1,200,001-3,000,006,0754,5752,8753,6756,1507,025
>3,000,0007,2755,4753,6504,6007,8509,125

Attachment E: Factors, Measurements and Calculations That Determine Station Contours and Population Coverages

AM Stations

For stations with nondirectional daytime antennas, the theoretical radiation was used at all azimuths. For stations with directional daytime antennas, specific information on each day tower, including field ratio, phasing, spacing and orientation was retrieved, as well as the theoretical pattern root-mean-square of the radiation in all directions in the horizontal plane (RMS) figure milliVolt per meter (mV/m) @ 1 km) for the antenna system. The standard, or modified standard if pertinent, horizontal plane radiation pattern was calculated using techniques and methods specified in §§ 73.150 and 73.152 of the Commission's rules.[237] Radiation values were calculated for each of 360 radials around the transmitter site. Next, estimated soil conductivity data was retrieved from a database representing the information in FCC Figure R3 [238] . Using the calculated horizontal radiation values, and the retrieved soil conductivity data, the distance to the principal community (5 mV/m) contour was predicted for each of the 360 radials. The resulting distance to principal community contours was used to form a geographical polygon. Population counting was accomplished by determining which 2000 block centroids were contained in the polygon. (A block centroid is the center point of a small area containing population as computed by the U.S. Census Bureau.) The sum of the population figures for all enclosed blocks represents the total population for the predicted principal community coverage area.

FM Stations

The greater of the horizontal or vertical effective radiated power (ERP) (kW) and respective height above average terrain (HAAT) (m) combination was used. Where the antenna height above mean sea level (HAMSL) was available, it was used in lieu of the average HAAT figure to calculate specific HAAT figures for each of 360 radials under study. Any available directional pattern information was applied as well, to produce a radial-specific ERP figure. The HAAT and ERP figures were used in conjunction with the Field Strength (50-50) propagation curves specified in 47 CFR 73.313 of the Commission's rules to predict the distance to the principal community (70 dBu (decibel above 1 microVolt per meter) or 3.17 mV/m) contour for each of the 360 radials.[239] The resulting distance to principal community contours were used to form a geographical polygon. Population counting was accomplished by determining which 2000 block centroids were contained in the polygon. The sum of the population figures for all enclosed blocks represents the total population for the predicted principal community coverage area.

Attachment F: FY 2005 Schedule of Regulatory FeesStart Printed Page 17433

Fee categoryAnnual regulatory fee (U.S. $'s)
PLMRS (per license) (Exclusive Use) (47 CFR part 90)10
Microwave (per license) (47 CFR part 101)60
218-219 MHz (Formerly Interactive Video Data Service) (per license) (47 CFR part 95)50
Marine (Ship) (per station) (47 CFR part 80)10
Marine (Coast) (per license) (47 CFR part 80)10
General Mobile Radio Service (per license) (47 CFR part 95)5
Rural Radio (47 CFR part 22) (previously listed under the Land Mobile category)5
PLMRS (Shared Use) (per license) (47 CFR part 90)5
Aviation (Aircraft) (per station) (47 CFR part 87)5
Aviation (Ground) (per license) (47 CFR part 87)15
Amateur Vanity Call Signs (per call sign) (47 CFR part 97)2.19
CMRS Mobile/Cellular Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24, 27, 80 and 90).22
CMRS Messaging Services (per unit) (47 CFR parts 20, 22, 24 and 90).08
Multipoint Distribution Services (MMDS/MDS) (per license sign) (47 CFR part 21)255
Local Multipoint Distribution Service (per call sign) (47 CFR, part 101)255
AM Radio Construction Permits310
FM Radio Construction Permits550
TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF Commercial:
Markets 1-1061,975
Markets 11-2544,675
Markets 26-5032,025
Markets 51-10018,800
Remaining Markets4,625
Construction Permits3,175
TV (47 CFR part 73) UHF Commercial:
Markets 1-1020,025
Markets 11-2517,525
Markets 26-5010,050
Markets 51-1006,125
Remaining Markets1,725
Construction Permits1,725
Satellite Television Stations (All Markets)1,075
Construction Permits—Satellite Television Stations535
Low Power TV, TV/FM Translators & Boosters (47 CFR part 74)395
Broadcast Auxiliary (47 CFR part 74)10
CARS (47 CFR part 78)155
Cable Television Systems (per subscriber) (47 CFR part 76).72
Interstate Telecommunication Service Providers (per revenue dollar).00243
Earth Stations (47 CFR part 25)205
Space Stations (per operational station in geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25) also includes Direct Broadcast Satellite Service (per operational station) (47 CFR part 100)111,925
Space Stations (per operational system in non-geostationary orbit) (47 CFR part 25)112,425
International Bearer Circuits (per active 64KB circuit)1.37
International Public Fixed (per call sign) (47 CFR part 23)1,800
International (HF) Broadcast (47 CFR part 73)765

FY 2005 Radio Station Regulatory Fees

Population servedAM Class AAM Class BAM Class CAM Class DFM Classes A, B1 & C3FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2
<=25,000625475375450550725
25,001-75,0001,2259255506751,1251,250
75,001-150,0001,8251,1507501,1251,5502,300
150,001-500,0002,7501,9501,1251,3502,3753,000
500,001-1,200,0003,9502,9751,8752,2503,7504,400
1,200,001-3,000,006,0754,5752,8253,6006,1007,025
>3,000,0007,2755,4753,5754,5007,7509,125
End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

2.  Section 3013 of Public Law 109-171 reads as follows, “In addition to any fees assessed under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), the Federal Communications Commission shall assess extraordinary fees for licenses in the aggregate amount of $10,000,000, which shall be deposited in the Treasury during fiscal year 2006 as offsetting receipts.”

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3.  Note that the required increase in regulatory fee payments of approximately 3.1 percent in FY 2006 is reflected in the revenue that is expected to be collected from each service category. Because this expected revenue is adjusted each year by the number of estimated payment units in a service category, the actual fee itself is sometimes increased by a number other than 3.1 percent. For example, in industries where the number of units is declining and the expected revenue is increasing, the impact of the fee increase may be greater.

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4.  In many instances, the regulatory fee amount is a flat fee per licensee or regulatee. However, in some instances the fee amount represents a unit subscriber fee (such as for Cable, Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Cellular/Mobile and CMRS Messaging), a per unit fee (such as for International Bearer Circuits), or a fee factor per revenue dollar (Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider fee). The payment unit is the measure upon which the fee is based, such as a licensee, regulatee, subscriber fee, etc.

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5.  The databases we consulted include, but are not limited to, the Commission's Universal Licensing System (ULS), International Bureau Filing System (IBFS), and Consolidated Database System (CDBS). We also consulted industry sources including, but not limited to, Television & Cable Factbook by Warren Publishing, Inc. and the Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook by Reed Elsevier, Inc., as well as reports generated within the Commission such as the Wireline Competition Bureau's Trends in Telephone Service and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast and Annual CMRS Competition Report. For additional information on source material, see Attachment B.

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6.  In addition, beginning in FY 2005, we established a procedure by which we set regulatory fees for AM and FM radio and VHF and UHF television Construction Permits each year at an amount no higher than the lowest regulatory fee in that respective service category. For example, the regulatory fee for a Construction Permit for an AM radio station will never be more than the regulatory fee for an AM Class C radio station serving a population of less than 25,000.

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7.  See, e.g., Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2003; Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 15985, 15992, at paragraph (2003).

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8.  The 40.8 million number represents a unit estimate from the FY 1997 regulatory fee order, and the 10.1 million figure represents the number of paid units as of fiscal year end 2005.

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9.  Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2005, Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration, 20 FCC Rcd 12259, 12264, at paragraph 10 (2005) (FY 2005 R&O and Order on Recon).

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10.  See Amendment of Parts 1, 21, 73, 74 and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 MHz Bands et al., Report & Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 14293-97, at paragraphs 351-359 (2004) (R&O and FNPRM).

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11.  An assessment is a proposed statement of the amount of regulatory fees owed by an entity to the Commission (or proposed subscriber count to be ascribed for purposes of setting the entity's regulatory fee) but it is not entered into the Commission's accounts receivable system as a current debt. By contrast, a bill is automatically recognized as a debt owed to the Commission. Bills reflect the amount owed and have a Fee Due Date of the last day of the regulatory fee payment window. Consequently, if a bill is not paid by the Fee Due Date, it becomes delinquent and is subject to our debt collection procedures. See also 47 CFR 1.1161(c), 1.1164(f)(5), and 1.1910.

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12.  Beginning in FY 2002, Form 159-W included a payment section at the bottom of the form that allowed carriers the opportunity to send in Form 159-W in lieu of completing Form 159 Remittance Advice Form.

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13.  Fee assessments are proposed to be issued for AM and FM Radio Stations, AM and FM Construction Permits, FM Translators/Boosters, VHF and UHF Television Stations, VHF and UHF Television Construction Permits, Satellite Television Stations, Low Power Television (LPTV) Stations and LPTV Translators/Boosters, to the extent that applicants, permittees and licensees of such facilities do not qualify as government entities or non-profit entities. Fee assessments have not been issued for broadcast auxiliary stations in prior years, nor will they be issued in FY 2006.

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14.  The Commission-authorized Web site for media services licensees is http://www.fccfees.com.

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15.  See FY 2005 R&O and Order on Recon., 20 FCC Rcd 12259, 12264, at paragraphs 38-44.

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16.  Federal Communications Commission, Regulatory Fees Fact Sheet: What You Owe—Commercial Wireless Services for FY 2005 at 1 (rel. July 2005).

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17.  The number of basic cable television subscribers served is the basis from which cable television operators are required to calculate their annual section 9 regulatory fee payment obligations.

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18.  For more information on our proposed regulatory fee assessment initiative for CMRS providers this fiscal year, see also Section II.B.2.E. of this NPRM.

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19.  Cable television system operators should compute their basic subscribers as follows: Number of single family dwellings + number of individual households in multiple dwelling unit (apartments, condominiums, mobile home parks, etc.) paying at the basic subscriber rate + bulk rate customers + courtesy and free service. Note: Bulk-Rate Customers = Total annual bulk-rate charge divided by basic annual subscription rate for individual households. Operators may base their count on “a typical day in the last full week” of December 2005, rather than on a count as of December 31, 2005.

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20.  Regulatory fees for International Bearer Circuits are to be paid by facilities-based common carriers that have active international bearer circuits in any transmission facility for the provision of service to an end user or resale carrier, which includes active circuits to themselves or to their affiliates. In addition, non-common carrier satellite operators must pay a fee for each circuit sold or leased to any customer, including themselves or their affiliates, other than an international common carrier authorized by the Commission to provide U.S. international common carrier services. Non-common carrier submarine cable operators are also to pay fees for any and all international bearer circuits sold on an indefeasible right of use (IRU) basis or leased to any customer, including themselves or their affiliates, other than an international common carrier authorized by the Commission to provide U.S. international common carrier services. See Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2001, MD Docket No. 01-76, Report and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 13525, 13593 (2001); Regulatory Fees Fact Sheet: What You Owe—International and Satellite Services Licensees for FY 2004 at 3 (rel. July 2004) (the fact sheet is available on the FCC Web site at: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/​edocs_​public/​attachmatch/​DOC-249904A4.pdf). On February 6, 2006, VSNL Telecommunications (US) Inc. filed a Petition for Rulemaking urging the Commission to reform the current International Bearer Circuit Fee rules and policies as applied to non-common carrier submarine cable operators. See Petition for Rulemaking of VSNL Telecommunications (US) Inc., RM-11312 (filed February 6, 2006). This Petition remains pending before the Commission, which has issued a Public Notice requesting comment on the petition. See Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, Public Notice, Report No. 2759 (released February 15, 2006). The Commission intends to resolve the complex issues presented by this Petition separately, and any comments on these issues filed in the instant proceeding will be incorporated into, and addressed, with those filed on the Petition for Rulemaking.

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21.  See 5 U.S.C. 603. In addition, the NPRM and the IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

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22.  See 47 CFR 1.1206(b); see also 47 CFR 1.1202 and 1.1203.

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24.  See id. §§ 1.415, 1.419.

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25.  See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 13 FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).

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26.  5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601-612 has been amended by the Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, 110 Stat. 847 (1996) (CWAAA). Title II of the CWAAA is the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA).

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29.  47 U.S.C. 154(i) and (j), 159, and 303(r).

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32.  5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small-business concern” in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

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34.  See SBA, Programs and Services, SBA Pamphlet No. CO-0028, at page 40 (July 2002).

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35.  Independent Sector, The New Nonprofit Almanac & Desk Reference (2002).

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37.  U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2000, Section 9, pages 299-300, Tables 490 and 492.

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39.  Letter from Jere W. Glover, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, SBA, to William E. Kennard, Chairman, FCC (May 27, 1999). The Small Business Act contains a definition of “small-business concern,” which the RFA incorporates into its own definition of “small business.” See 15 U.S.C. 632(a) (Small Business Act); 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (RFA). SBA regulations interpret “small business concern” to include the concept of dominance on a national basis. See 13 CFR 121.102(b).

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40.  13 CFR 121.201, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 517110 (changed from 513310 in October 2002).

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41.  FCC, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3, Page 5-5 (June 2005) (hereinafter “Trends in Telephone Service”). This source uses data that are current as of October 1, 2004.

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42.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110 (changed from 513310 in October 2002).

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43.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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44.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517310 (changed from 513330 in October 2002).

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45.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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46.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517310 (changed to 513330 in October 2002).

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47.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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48.  3 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110 (changed from 513310 in October 2002).

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49.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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50.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110 (changed from 513310 in October 2002).

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51.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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52.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517110 (changed from 513310 in October 2002).

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53.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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54.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517310 (changed from 513330 in October 2002).

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55.  “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3.

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56.  We include all toll-free number subscribers in this category, including those for 888 numbers.

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57.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517310 (changed from 513330 in October 2002).

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58.  FCC, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, “Trends in Telephone Service,” Tables 18.4, 18.5, 18.6, and 18.7, (June 2005).

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59.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS codes 517410 and 517910 (changed from 513340 and 513390 in October 2002).

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60.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Establishment and Firm Size (Including Legal Form of Organization),” Table 4, NAICS code 513340 (issued October 2000).

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61.  Office of Management and Budget, North American Industry Classification System, page 513 (1997) (NAICS code 513390, changed to 517910 in October 2002).

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62.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Establishment and Firm Size (Including Legal Form of Organization),” Table 4, NAICS code 513390 (issued October 2000).

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63.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513321 (changed to 517211 in October 2002).

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64.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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65.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513321 (issued October 2000).

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66.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513321 (issued October 2000). The census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is “Firms with 1000 employees or more.”

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67.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513322 (issued October 2000).

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68.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513322 (issued October 2000). The census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is “Firms with 1000 employees or more.”

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69.  Office of Management and Budget, North American Industry Classification System, page 515 (1997). NAICS code 514191, “On-Line Information Services” (changed to current name and to code 518111 in October 2002).

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70.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 518111.

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71.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 4, Receipts Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 514191 (issued October 2000).

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72.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 4, Receipts Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 514191 (issued October 2000).

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73.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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74.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513322 (issued October 2000).

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75.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513322 (issued October 2000). The census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is “Firms with 1000 employees or more.”

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76.  FCC, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3, page 5-5 (June 2005). This source uses data that are current as of October 1, 2004.

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77.  FCC, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3, page 5-5 (June 2005). This source uses data that are current as of October 1, 2004.

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78.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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79.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513321 (issued October 2000).

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80.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: “Information,” Table 5, Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997, NAICS code 513321 (issued October 2000). The census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is “Firms with 1000 employees or more.”

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81.  Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging Systems, Second Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 2732, 2811-2812, at paragraphs 178-181 (Paging Second Report and Order); see also Revision of Part 22 and Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate Future Development of Paging Systems, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, 14 FCC Rcd 10030, 10085-10088, at paragraphs 98-107 (1999).

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82.  Paging Second Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 2811, at paragraph 179.

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83.  See Letter to Amy Zoslov, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated December 2, 1998.

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84.  See “929 and 931 MHz Paging Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 4858 (WTB 2000).

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85.  See “929 and 931 MHz Paging Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 4858 (WTB 2000).

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86.  See “Lower and Upper Paging Band Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 21821 (WTB 2002).

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87.  See “Lower and Upper Paging Bands Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 18 FCC Rcd 11154 (WTB 2003).

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88.  See Trends in Telephone Service, Industry Analysis Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, Table 5.3 (Number of Telecommunications Service Providers by Size of Business) (June 2005).

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89.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517211.

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90.  Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish Part 27, the Wireless Communications Service (WCS), Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 10785, 10879, at paragraph 194 (1997).

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91.  See Letter to Amy Zoslov, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated December 2, 1998.

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92.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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93.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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94.  FCC, Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, “Trends in Telephone Service” at Table 5.3, page 5-5 (June 2005). This source uses data that are current as of October 1, 2004.

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95.  See Amendment of Parts 20 and 24 of the Commission's Rules—Broadband PCS Competitive Bidding and the Commercial Mobile Radio Service Spectrum Cap, Report and Order, 11 FCC Rcd 7824, 7850-7852, at paragraphs 57-60 (1996); see also 47 CFR 24.720(b).

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96.  See Amendment of Parts 20 and 24 of the Commission's Rules—Broadband PCS Competitive Bidding and the Commercial Mobile Radio Service Spectrum Cap, Report and Order, 11 FCC Rcd 7824, 7852, at paragraph 60.

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97.  See Letter to Amy Zoslov, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated December 2, 1998.

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98.  FCC News, “Broadband PCS, D, E and F Block Auction Closes,” No. 71744 (released January 14, 1997).

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99.  See “C, D, E, and F Block Broadband PCS Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 14 FCC Rcd 6688 (WTB 1999).

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100.  See “C and F Block Broadband PCS Auction Closes; Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 2339 (2001).

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101.  Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding Narrowband PCS, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 10 FCC Rcd 175, 196, at paragraph 46 (1994).

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102.  See “Announcing the High Bidders in the Auction of ten Nationwide Narrowband PCS Licenses, Winning Bids Total $617,006,674,” Public Notice, PNWL 94-004 (released Aug. 2, 1994); “Announcing the High Bidders in the Auction of 30 Regional Narrowband PCS Licenses; Winning Bids Total $490,901,787,” Public Notice, PNWL 94-27 (released Nov. 9, 1994).

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103.  Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal Communications Services, Narrowband PCS, Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 15 FCC Rcd 10456, 10476, at paragraph 40 (2000).

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104.  Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal Communications Services, Narrowband PCS, Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 15 FCC Rcd 10456, 10476, at paragraph 40 (2000).

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105.  Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal Communications Services, Narrowband PCS, Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 15 FCC Rcd 10456, 10476, at paragraph 40 (2000).

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106.  See Letter to Amy Zoslov, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated December 2, 1998.

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107.  See “Narrowband PCS Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 18663 (WTB 2001).

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108.  See Reallocation and Service Rules for the 698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 1022 (2002).

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109.  See Reallocation and Service Rules for the 698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 1022, 1087-88, at paragraph 172 (2002).

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110.  See Reallocation and Service Rules for the 698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 1022, 1087-88, at paragraph 172 (2002).

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111.  See Reallocation and Service Rules for the 698-746 MHz Spectrum Band (Television Channels 52-59), Report and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 1022, 1088, at paragraph 173 (2002).

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112.  See Letter to Thomas Sugrue, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated August 10, 1999.

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113.  See “Lower 700 MHz Band Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 17 FCC Rcd 17272 (WTB 2002).

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114.  See “Lower 700 MHz Band Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 18 FCC Rcd 11873 (WTB 2003).

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115.  See “Lower 700 MHz Band Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 18 FCC Rcd 11873 (WTB 2003).

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116.  Service Rules for the 746-764 and 776-794 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Memorandum Opnion and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 1239 (2001).

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117.  See “Auction of Licenses for 747-762 and 777-792 MHz Bands (Auction No. 31) Is Rescheduled,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 13079 (WTB 2003).

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118.  See Service Rules for the 746-764 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 5299 (2000).

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119.  See Service Rules for the 746-764 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 5299, 5343, at paragraph 108 (2000).

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120.  See Service Rules for the 746-764 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 5299, 5343, at paragraph 108 (2000).

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121.  See Service Rules for the 746-764 MHz Bands, and Revisions to Part 27 of the Commission's Rules, Second Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 5299, 5343, at paragraph 108, note 246 (for the 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz bands, the Commission is exempt from 15 U.S.C. 632, which requires Federal agencies to obtain SBA approval before adopting small business size standards).

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122.  See “700 MHz Guard Bands Auction Closes: Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 18026 (2000).

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123.  See “700 MHz Guard Bands Auction Closes: Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 4590 (WTB 2001).

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126.  See Letter to Thomas Sugrue, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated August 10, 1999. We note that, although a request was also sent to the SBA requesting approval for the small business size standard for 800 MHz, approval is still pending.

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127.  See “Correction to Public Notice DA 96-586 ‘FCC Announces Winning Bidders in the Auction of 1020 Licenses to Provide 900 MHz SMR in Major Trading Areas,’ ” Public Notice, 18 FCC Rcd 18367 (WTB 1996).

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128.  See “Multi-Radio Service Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 17 FCC Rcd 1446 (WTB 2002).

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129.  See, “800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Service General Category (851-854 MHz) and Upper Band (861-865 MHz) Auction Closes; Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 17162 (2000).

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130.  See, “800 MHz SMR Service Lower 80 Channels Auction Closes; Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 1736 (2000).

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131.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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132.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Establishment and Firm Size (Including Legal Form of Organization),” Table 5, NAICS code 513322 (October 2000).

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133.  Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Provide For the Use of the 220-222 MHz Band by the Private Land Mobile Radio Service, Third Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 10943, 11068-70, at paragraphs 291-295 (1997).

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134.  Id. at 11068, at paragraphs 291.

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135.  Id.

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136.  See Letter to Daniel Phythyon, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated January 6, 1998.

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137.  See generally “220 MHz Service Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 14 FCC Rcd 605 (WTB 1998).

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138.  See “FCC Announces It is Prepared to Grant 654 Phase II 220 MHz Licenses After Final Payment is Made,” Public Notice, 14 FCC Rcd 1085 (WTB 1999).

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139.  See “Phase II 220 MHz Service Spectrum Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 14 FCC Rcd 11218 (WTB 1999).

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140.  See “Multi-Radio Service Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 17 FCC Rcd 1446 (WTB 2002).

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141.  See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517212.

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142.  See generally 13 CFR 121.201.

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143.  Federal Communications Commission, 60th Annual Report, Fiscal Year 1994, at paragraph 116.

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144.  See 47 CFR 101 et seq. (formerly, Part 21 of the Commission's Rules) for common carrier fixed microwave services (except Multipoint Distribution Service).

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145.  Persons eligible under parts 80 and 90 of the Commission's Rules can use Private Operational-Fixed Microwave services. See 47 CFR Parts 80 and 90. Stations in this service are called operational-fixed to distinguish them from common carrier and public fixed stations. Only the licensee may use the operational-fixed station, and only for communications related to the licensee's commercial, industrial, or safety operations.

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146.  Auxiliary Microwave Service is governed by Part 74 of Title 47 of the Commission's Rules. See 47 CFR Part 74. This service is available to licensees of broadcast stations and to broadcast and cable network entities. Broadcast auxiliary microwave stations are used for relaying broadcast television signals from the studio to the transmitter, or between two points such as a main studio and an auxiliary studio. The service also includes mobile television pickups, which relay signals from a remote location back to the studio.

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147.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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148.  See Amendment of the Commission's Rules Regarding the 37.0-38.6 GHz and 38.6-40.0 GHz Bands, ET Docket No. 95-183, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 18600 (1997).

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149.  Id.

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150.  See Letter to Kathleen O'Brien Ham, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, SBA (Feb. 4, 1998) (VoIP); See Letter to Margaret Wiener, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Hector Barreto, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated January 18, 2002 (WTB).

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151.  See Rulemaking to Amend Parts 1, 2, 21, 25, of the Commission's Rules to Redesignate the 27.5-29.5 GHz Frequency Band, Reallocate the 29.5-30.5 Frequency Band, to Establish Rules and Policies for Local Multipoint Distribution Service and for Fixed Satellite Services, Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 12 FCC Rcd 12545, 12689-90, at paragraph 348 (1997).

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152.  See Rulemaking to Amend Parts 1, 2, 21, 25, of the Commission's Rules to Redesignate the 27.5-29.5 GHz Frequency Band, Reallocate the 29.5-30.5 Frequency Band, to Establish Rules and Policies for Local Multipoint Distribution Service and for Fixed Satellite Services, Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 12 FCC Rcd 12545, 12689-90, at paragraph 348 (1997).

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153.  See Rulemaking to Amend Parts 1, 2, 21, 25, of the Commission's Rules to Redesignate the 27.5-29.5 GHz Frequency Band, Reallocate the 29.5-30.5 Frequency Band, to Establish Rules and Policies for Local Multipoint Distribution Service and for Fixed Satellite Services, Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Fifth Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 12 FCC Rcd 12545, 12689-90, at paragraph 348 (1997).

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154.  See Letter to Dan Phythyon, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, SBA (Jan. 6, 1998).

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155.  See “Interactive Video and Data Service (IVDS) Applications Accepted for Filing,” Public Notice, 9 FCC Rcd 6227 (1994).

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156.  Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding, Fourth Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 2330 (1994).

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157.  Amendment of Part 95 of the Commission's Rules to Provide Regulatory Flexibility in the 218-219 MHz Service, Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 1497 (1999).

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158.  Id.

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159.  See Letter to Daniel Phythyon, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated January 6, 1998.

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160.  Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Adopt Regulations for Automatic Vehicle Monitoring Systems, Second Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 15182, 15192, at paragraph 20 (1998); see also 47 CFR 90.1103.

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161.  Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Adopt Regulations for Automatic Vehicle Monitoring Systems, Second Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd at 15192, at paragraph 20; see also 47 CFR 90.1103.

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162.  See Letter to Thomas Sugrue, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated February 22, 1999.

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163.  The service is defined in § 22.99 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 22.99.

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164.  BETRS is defined in §§ 22.757 and 22.759 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 22.757 and 22.759.

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165.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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166.  The service is defined in § 22.99 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 22.99.

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167.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS codes 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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168.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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169.  Amendment of the Commission's Rules Concerning Maritime Communications, PR Docket No. 92-257, Third Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 19853 (1998).

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170.  This service is governed by Subpart I of Part 22 of the Commission's Rules. See 47 CFR 22.1001-22.1037.

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171.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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172.  Id.

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173.  See Amendment of the Commission's Rules Regarding Multiple Address Systems, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 11956, 12008, at paragraph 123 (2000).

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174.  Id.

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175.  See Letter to Thomas Sugrue, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated June 4, 1999.

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176.  See “Multiple Address Systems Spectrum Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 21011 (2001).

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177.  See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517212.

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178.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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179.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Employment Size of Firms Subject to Federal Income Tax: 1997,” Table 5, NAICS code 513322 (issued October 2000).

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180.  Id. The census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have employment of 1,500 or fewer employees; the largest category provided is “Firms with 1,000 employees or more.”

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181.  Teligent acquired the DEMS licenses of FirstMark, the only licensee other than TRW in the 24 GHz band whose license has been modified to require relocation to the 24 GHz band.

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182.  Amendments to Parts 1, 2, 87 and 101 of the Commission's Rules To License Fixed Services at 24 GHz, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 16934, 16967, at paragraph 77 (2000) (24 GHz Report and Order); see also 47 CFR 101.538(a)(2).

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183.  24 GHz Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 16967, at paragraph 77; see also 47 CFR 101.538(a)(1).

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184.  See Letter to Margaret W. Wiener, Deputy Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, from Gary M. Jackson, Assistant Administrator, Small Business Administration, dated July 28, 2000.

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185.  Amendment of Parts 21 and 74 of the Commission's Rules with Regard to Filing Procedures in the Multipoint Distribution Service and in the Instructional Television Fixed Service and Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act—Competitive Bidding, Report and Order, 10 FCC Rcd 9589, 9593, at paragraph 7 (1995) (MDS Auction R&O).

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187.  See Letter to Margaret Wiener, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Bureau, from Gary Jackson, Assistant Administrator for Size Standards, Small Business Administration, dated March 20, 2003 (noting approval of $40 million size standard for MDS auction).

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188.  Basic Trading Areas (BTAs) were designed by Rand McNally and are the geographic areas by which MDS was auctioned and authorized. See MDS Auction R&O, 10 FCC Rcd 9608, at paragraph 34.

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189.  47 U.S.C. 309(j). Hundreds of stations were licensed to incumbent MDS licensees prior to implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 309(j). For these pre-auction licenses, the applicable standard is SBA's small business size standard for “other telecommunications” (annual receipts of $12.5 million or less). See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517910.

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190.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517510.

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191.  Id.

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192.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Establishment and Firm Size (Including Legal Form of Organization),” Table 4 (issued October 2000).

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193.  Id.

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194.  In addition, the term “small entity” under SBREFA applies to small organizations (nonprofits) and to small governmental jurisdictions (cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, and special districts with populations of less than 50,000). 5 U.S.C. 601(4)-(6). We do not collect annual revenue data on ITFS licensees.

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195.  See OMB, North American Industry Classification System: United States, 1997 at 509 (1997) (NAICS code 513120, which was changed to code 515120 in October 2002).

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196.  OMB, North American Industry Classification System: United States, 1997, at 509 (1997) (NAICS code 513120, which was changed to code 51520 in October 2002). This category description continues, “These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. Programming may originate in their own studios, from an affiliated network, or from external sources.” Separate census categories pertain to businesses primarily engaged in producing programming. See id., at 502-05, NAICS code 51210. Motion Picture and Video Production: code 512120, Motion Picture and Video Distribution, code 512191, Teleproduction and Other Post-Production Services, and code 512199, Other Motion Picture and Video Industries.

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197.  “Concerns are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other or a third party or parties controls or has to power to control both.” 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1).

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198.  FCC News Release, “Broadcast Station Totals as of September 30, 2005.”

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199.  See OMB, North American Industry Classification System: United States, 1997, at 509 (1997) (Radio Stations) (NAICS code 513111, which was changed to code 515112 in October 2002).

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200.  Id.

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201.  “Concerns are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both.” 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1).

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202.  “SBA counts the receipts or employees of the concern whose size is at issue and those of all its domestic and foreign affiliates, regardless of whether the affiliates are organized for profit, in determining the concern's size.” 13 CFR 121(a)(4).

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203.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS codes 513111 and 513112.

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204.  FCC News Release, “Broadcast Station Totals as of September 30, 2004.”

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206.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513220 (changed to 517510 in October 2002).

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207.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Establishment and Firm Size (Including Legal Form of Organization)”, Table 4, NAICS code 513220 (issued October 2000).

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208.  47 CFR 76.901(e). The Commission developed this definition based on its determination that a small cable system operator is one with annual revenues of $100 million or less. Implementation of Sections of the 1992 Cable Act: Rate Regulation, Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, 10 FCC Rcd 7393 (1995).

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209.  Paul Kagan Associates, Inc., Cable TV Investor, February 29, 1996 (based on figures for December 30, 1995).

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211.  See FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operator, Public Notice, DA 01-158 (January 24, 2001).

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213.  See FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operators, Public Notice, DA-01-0158 (released January 24, 2001).

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214.  The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to § 76.901(f) of the Commission's rules. See 47 CFR 76.909(b).

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216.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513220 (changed to 517510 in October 2002).

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218.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517510.

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219.  U.S. Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, “Establishment and Firm Size (Including Legal Form of Organization),” Table 4 (issued October 2000).

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220.  Id.

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221.  “Auctions of Licenses in the Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service Rescheduled for January 14, 2004,” Public Notice, DA 03-2354 (August 28, 2003).

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222.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 513322 (changed to 517212 in October 2002).

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223.  Amendment of the Commission's Rules Concerning Maritime Communications, Third Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 19853 (1998).

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225.  The Citizens Band Radio Service, General Mobile Radio Service, Radio Control Radio Service, Family Radio Service, Wireless Medical Telemetry Service, Medical Implant Communications Service, Low Power Radio Service, and Multi-Use Radio Service are governed by Subpart D, Subpart A, Subpart C, Subpart B, Subpart H, Subpart I, Subpart G, and Subpart J, respectively, of Part 95 of the Commission's rules. See generally 47 CFR Part 95.

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226.  13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 517212.

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227.  With the exception of the special emergency service, these services are governed by Subpart B of part 90 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR 90.15-90.27. The police service includes approximately 27,000 licensees that serve state, county, and municipal enforcement through telephony (voice), telegraphy (code) and teletype and facsimile (printed material). The fire radio service includes approximately 23,000 licensees comprised of private volunteer or professional fire companies as well as units under governmental control. The local government service that is presently comprised of approximately 41,000 licensees that are state, county, or municipal entities that use the radio for official purposes not covered by other public safety services. There are approximately 7,000 licensees within the forestry service which is comprised of licensees from state departments of conservation and private forest organizations who set up communications networks among fire lookout towers and ground crews. The approximately 9,000 state and local governments are licensed to highway maintenance service provide emergency and routine communications to aid other public safety services to keep main roads safe for vehicular traffic. The approximately 1,000 licensees in the Emergency Medical Radio Service (EMRS) use the 39 channels allocated to this service for emergency medical service communications related to the delivery of emergency medical treatment. 47 CFR 90.15-90.27. The approximately 20,000 licensees in the special emergency service include medical services, rescue organizations, veterinarians, handicapped persons, disaster relief organizations, school buses, beach patrols, establishments in isolated areas, communications standby facilities, and emergency repair of public communications facilities. 47 CFR 90.33-90.55.

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230.  The following categories are exempt from the Commission's Schedule of Regulatory Fees: Amateur radio licensees (except applicants for vanity call signs) and operators in other non-licensed services (e.g., Personal Radio, part 15, ship and aircraft). Governments and non-profit (exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code) entities are exempt from payment of regulatory fees and need not submit payment. Non-commercial educational broadcast licensees are exempt from regulatory fees as are licensees of auxiliary broadcast services such as low power auxiliary stations, television auxiliary service stations, remote pickup stations and aural broadcast auxiliary stations where such licenses are used in conjunction with commonly owned non-commercial educational stations. Emergency Alert System licenses for auxiliary service facilities are also exempt as are instructional television fixed service licensees. Regulatory fees are automatically waived for the licensee of any translator station that: (1) Is not licensed to, in whole or in part, and does not have common ownership with, the licensee of a commercial broadcast station; (2) does not derive income from advertising; and (3) is dependent on subscriptions or contributions from members of the community served for support. Receive only earth station permittees are exempt from payment of regulatory fees. A regulatee will be relieved of its fee payment requirement if its total fee due, including all categories of fees for which payment is due by the entity, amounts to less than $10.

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233.  Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996).

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237.  47 CFR 73.150 and 73.152.

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238.  See Map of Estimated Effective Ground Conductivity in the United States, 47 CFR 73.190 Figure R3.

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[FR Doc. 06-3201 Filed 4-5-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P