NOTICE: Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) providers must pay FCC regulatory assessment fees of $0.99 per subscriber as of December 31, 2013 by 11:59 PM EDT on September 23rd. Significant penalties apply for late or missed payments.
Beginning this fiscal year, IPTV providers must begin paying regulatory fees under the newly created fee category – “cable television systems and Internet Protocol TV service providers.” The fee is to be calculated on a per subscriber basis with the number of subscribers calculated in the same method as cable television systems. That is based on the number of basic cable subscribers served on December 31, 2013.
The FCC has been considering a regulatory assessment on IPTV since 2008. Although no action was taken at that time, with a 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission sought comment on and eventually ruled on several proposals to change and reform the FCC’s policies and procedures regarding the assessment and collection of regulatory fees. Among the changes adopted last year was the assessment of regulatory fees on IPTV providers beginning FY2014.
The FCC stated in its 2013 Order that by assessing cable television systems, but not IPTV, “we may place cable providers at a competitive disadvantage.” The Commission found that IPTV providers “should be subject to the same regulatory fees as cable providers.” The 2013 Order clarifies that although the FCC was adopting regulatory fees on IPTV providers, “we are not stating that IPTV providers are cable television providers.”
The FCC is no longer accepting paper checks and all payments must be made online using the Fee Filer Online System. Regulatory fee payments must be RECEIVED by the Commission no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on September 23, 2014.
A late payment penalty of 25% will be assessed on the first day following the deadline. In addition, administrative processing charges will be assessed to recover the additional costs of processing and handling the debt. Failure to pay the regulatory fees and/or any late payment penalty can also result in sanctions by the FCC. In addition, with FY 2014, the FCC will begin transferring unpaid regulatory fees to the US Treasury Department at the end of the payment period instead of waiting for a period of 180 days from the date of delinquency to transfer the debt for further collection action.
IPTV providers may find additional information guidance from the FCC’s Regulatory Fees Fact Sheet: What You Owe – Cable Television Systems for FY 2014, posted at http://www.fcc.gov/regfees.