Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2007, 46010-46014 [E7-15606]

Download as PDF 46010 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 158 / Thursday, August 16, 2007 / Proposed Rules Authorization Coordinator (6PD–O), Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, at the address shown below. You can examine copies of the materials submitted by the State of Louisiana during normal business hours at the following locations: EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202–2733, phone number (214) 665–6444; or Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, 602 N. Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884–2178, phone number (225) 219–3559. Comments may also be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier; please follow the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the immediate final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alima Patterson (214) 665–8533. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For additional information, please see the immediate final rule published in the ‘‘Rules and Regulations’’ section of this Federal Register. Dated: July 25, 2007. Lawrence E. Starfield, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6. [FR Doc. 07–4000 Filed 8–15–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 1 [MD Docket No. 07–81; FCC 07–140] Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2007 Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Proposed rule. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: In this document, we seek comment on proposed changes to the section 9 regulatory fee structure for Broadband Radio Service (BRS). DATES: Comments are due September 17, 2007, and reply comments are due October 15, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MD Docket No. 07–81, 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. 07–81 in the subject line of the message. • Mail: Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:19 Aug 15, 2007 Jkt 211001 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. • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 418–0530 or TTY (202) 418–0432. 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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, MD Docket No. 07–81, FCC 07–140, adopted on August 2, 2007 and released on August 6, 2007. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY–A257), 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of this document also may be purchased from the Commission’s copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY–B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at http:// www.fcc.gov. Pursuant to §§ 1.1206(b), 1.1202 and 1.1203 of the Commission’s rules, CFR 1.1206(b), 1.1202, 1.1203, this is as a ‘‘permit-but-disclose’’ proceeding. 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 twosentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required.1 Additional rules pertaining to oral and written presentations are set forth in § 1.1206(b). Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, 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 1 See PO 00000 47 CFR 1.1206(b)(2). Frm 00063 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Portal, or (3) procedures for filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998), 13 FCC Rcd 11322 (1998). • 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 email 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. • 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 messengerdelivered 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. E:\FR\FM\16AUP1.SGM 16AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 158 / Thursday, August 16, 2007 / Proposed Rules • People with Disabilities: To request information in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 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). Summary of Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 1. In WT Docket No. 03–66 (the BRS/ EBS Proceeding), the Commission sought comment on proposed changes to the regulatory fee structure for BRS.2 In 2006, the Commission adopted a new regulatory fee structure for BRS (the 2006 Decision).3 Specifically, as noted in the FY 2007 NPRM, the Commission adopted a megahertz-based approach for BRS regulatory fees and, using a concept similar to the Commission’s annual scale of regulatory fees for broadcast television stations, established in the 2006 Decision three rate tiers based on the BTA ranking of each license.4 2. In the FY 2007 NPRM, we sought comment on the implementation of the new BRS fee structure. Specifically, we invited commenters to suggest a simple method of calculating BRS regulatory fees that incorporates the complexity of using both elements of the 2006 Decision, namely, the three rate tiers, to be based on the BTA ranking of each license, and the per megahertz fee. In particular, we invited comment on a formula or method for calculating regulatory fees that incorporates the 2006 Decision in a manner ‘‘sensitive to rural operators in less densely populated areas.’’ 5 WCA, the only commenter addressing this issue, does not object to the Commission seeking rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS 2 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, WT Docket No. 03–66, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 14296, para. 357 (‘‘BRS/EBS Report and Order and FNPRM’’). 3 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, WT Docket No. 03–66, Order on Reconsideration and Fifth Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Second Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 5606, 5756–59, paras. 367–376 (2006) (‘‘2006 Decision’’). 4 See FY 2007 NPRM, 22 FCC Rcd at 7978, para. 8 n.8, citing The 2006 Decision. The three tiers are based on three categories of Basic Trading Areas (‘‘BTA’’) population rankings: BTAs 1–60, BTAs 61–200, and BTAs 201–493. For BRS licensees that are licensed by geographic licensed service area (GSA), the BTA is the geographic center point of where its GSA is located. See The 2006 Decision, 21 FCC Rcd at 5759, para. 376. 5 FY 2007 NPRM, 22 FCC Rcd at 7978, para. 8. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:05 Aug 15, 2007 Jkt 211001 comment on the methodology to use in feeing BRS.6 3. We clarify that our questions about BRS regulatory fees in the FY 2007 NPRM as well in this Further Notice are to implement the 2006 Decision, and not to revisit the three-tier approach adopted in the 2006 Decision. 4. Briefly, under the 2006 Decision, BRS regulatory fees will use a MHzbased formula with three tiers of fees by markets. Instead of a flat fee amount per BRS license, BRS licensees will pay a fee in one of three fee categories based on Basic Trading Areas (‘‘BTA’’) ranked by population size.7 The highest fee will be assessed to licenses in BTAs ranked 1–60, licenses in BTAs ranked 61–200 will have a lesser fee, and licenses for BTAs ranked 201–493 will pay the lowest fee.8 Although the revised framework for assessing BRS regulatory fees was adopted in the 2006 Decision, the implementation of this new formula will require us to specify how each of the three BTA tiers should be weighted (in terms of fee amounts) relative to the others. We propose to use a weighted average approach based on the 2006 Decision to establish three tiers of regulatory fees using a 3:2:1 ratio, i.e., 3x for Tier 1, 2x for Tier 2, and 1x for Tier 3, where x equals the base fee amount (Pro-rated FY Revenue Requirement for BRS divided by the weighted total number of BRS payment units). In adopting three fee tiers for BRS, the Commission considered that BTAs ranked 1–60 generally have a population of greater than one million, BTAs ranked 61–200 generally have population of 250,000 to one million, and BTAs ranked 201–493 have a population of less than 250,000.9 The Commission also concluded that the current methodology for assessing regulatory fees for BRS is particularly onerous for rural operators.10 We seek comment on our proposal and specifically invite commenters to address whether it accurately implements the tiered approach adopted in the 2006 Decision. 5. The second element of the 2006 Decision involves setting a fee per megahertz of licensed BRS spectrum. However, throughout the nation, BTAby-BTA, the BRS radio service and its licensees are in the midst of a multi-year transition to a new band plan that, among other things, is modifying the amount of spectrum designated and 6 WCA Comments at 1–2. The 2006 Decision, 21 FCC Rcd at 5759, para. 376. 8 Id. 9 Id., 21 FCC Rcd at 5759, n. 947. 10 Id., 21 FCC Rcd at 5758, para. 374. 7 See PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 46011 licensed for BRS.11 Given the complexities associated with this ‘‘moving target,’’ we tentatively conclude that the public interest would be best served by implementing the fee per megahertz approach after the BRS transition concludes nationwide. We seek comment on this tentative conclusion. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 6. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (‘‘RFA’’),12 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 this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (‘‘FNPRM’’). 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 herein. The Commission will send a copy of the FNPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.13 In addition, the FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.14 I. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules 7. On April 12, 2006, the Commission adopted a number of changes in the rules governing the 2500–2690 MHz band, for the Broadband Radio Service (‘‘BRS’’) and the Educational Broadband Service (‘‘EBS’’).15 Among other things, the Commission adopted a megahertz (‘‘MHz’’)-based formula for BRS licensees with tiered regulatory fees 11 The transition plan creates a process for relocating Educational Broadband Service (‘‘EBS’’) licensees and BRS licensees from their current channel locations to their new spectrum blocks in the Lower Band Segment (‘‘LBS’’), Middle band Segment (‘‘MBS’’), or Upper Band Segment (‘‘UBS’’). The transition occurs by BTA and is undertaken by a proponent or multiple proponents. A proponent(s) must pay the cost of transitioning EBS licensees. The transition occurs in the following three phases: the Initiation Phase, the Transition Planning Phase, and the Transition Completion Phase. 12 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 No. 104–121, 110 Stat. 847 (1996) (‘‘CWAAA’’). Title II of the CWAAA is the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (‘‘SBREFA’’). 13 5 U.S.C. 603(a). 14 Id. 15 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, Order on Reconsideration and Fifth Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Second Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 5606 (2006) (‘‘The 2006 Decision’’). E:\FR\FM\16AUP1.SGM 16AUP1 46012 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 158 / Thursday, August 16, 2007 / Proposed Rules based on market size. The FNPRM seeks comment on a new regulatory fee schedule for BRS, based on the tiered structure set forth in The 2006 Decision. II. Legal Basis 8. 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 (‘‘the Act’’).16 III. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply 9. 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.17 The RFA generally defines the term ‘‘small entity’’ as having the same meaning as the terms, ‘‘small business,’’ ‘‘small organization,’’ and ‘‘small governmental jurisdiction.’’ 18 In addition, the term ‘‘small business’’ has the same meaning as the term ‘‘small business concern’’ under the Small Business Act.19 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.20 A small organization is generally ‘‘any not-forprofit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.’’ 21 Nationwide, as of 2002, there were approximately 1.6 million small organizations.22 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.’’ 23 The term ‘‘small governmental jurisdiction’’ is defined generally as ‘‘governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.’’ 24 Census Bureau data for 16 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and (j), 159, and 303(r). U.S.C. 603(b)(3). 18 5 U.S.C. 601(6). 19 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.’’ 5 U.S.C. 601(3). 20 15 U.S.C. 632. 21 5 U.S.C. 601(4). 22 Independent Sector, the New Nonprofit Almanac & Desk Reference (2002). 23 5 U.S.C. 601(5). 24 5 U.S.C. 601(5). rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS 17 5 VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:19 Aug 15, 2007 Jkt 211001 2002 indicate that there were 87,525 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States.25 We estimate that, of this total, 84,377 entities were ‘‘small governmental jurisdictions.’’ 26 Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small. Below, we discuss the total estimated numbers of small businesses that might be affected by our regulatory fee proceeding. 10. BRS, previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service (‘‘MDS’’) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (‘‘MMDS’’) systems, and ‘‘wireless cable,’’ transmit video programming to subscribers and provide two-way high speed data operations using the microwave frequencies of the BRS and Educational Broadband Service (‘‘EBS’’) (previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (‘‘ITFS’’)).27 In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the previous three calendar years.28 The BRS auctions resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic Trading Areas (‘‘BTAs’’). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations authorized prior to the auction. At this time, we estimate that of the 61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees that are considered small entities.29 After adding the number of small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees not already counted, we find that there are currently 25 U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Section 8, page 272, Table 415. 26 We assume that the villages, school districts, and special districts are small, and total 48,558. See U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, section 8, page 273, Table 417. For 2002, Census Bureau data indicate that the total number of county, municipal, and township governments nationwide was 38,967, of which 35,819 were small. Id. 27 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, MM Docket No. 94–131 and PP Docket No. 93–253, Report and Order, 10 FCC Rcd 9589, 9593, para. 7 (1995). 28 47 CFR 21.961(b)(1). 29 47 U.S.C. 309(j). Hundreds of stations were licensed to incumbent MDS licensees prior to implementation of section 309(j) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 309(j). For these pre-auction licenses, the applicable standard is SBA’s small business size standard. PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 approximately 440 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA or the Commission’s rules. Some of those 440 small business licensees may be affected by this regulatory fee proceeding. 11. In addition, the SBA has developed a small business size standard for Cable and Other Program Distribution, which includes all such companies generating $13.5 million or less in annual receipts.30 According to Census Bureau data for 2002, there were a total of 1,191 firms in this category that operated for the entire year.31 Of this total, 1,087 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and 43 firms had receipts of $10 million or more but less than $25 million.32 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of providers in this service category are small businesses that may be affected by the regulatory fee decisions we will reach in this proceeding. This SBA small business size standard is applicable to EBS. There are presently 2,032 EBS licensees. All but 100 of these licenses are held by educational institutions. Educational institutions are included in this analysis as small entities.33 Thus, we estimate that at least 1,932 licensees are small businesses. EBS is a non-profit nonbroadcast service. We do not collect, nor are we aware of other collections of, annual revenue data for EBS licensees. IV. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements 12. 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 Remittance Advice, and pay a regulatory fee based on the number of licenses or call signs.34 Interstate telephone service 30 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517510. Census Bureau, 2002 Economic Census, Subject Series: Information, Table 4, Receipts Size of Firms for the United States: 2002, NAICS code 517510 (issued Nov. 2005). 32 Id. An additional 61 firms had annual receipts of $25 million or more. 33 The term ‘‘small entity’’ within 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 EBS licensees. 34 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 nonlicensed services (e.g., Personal Radio, part 15, ship and aircraft). Governments and non-profit (exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code) 31 U.S. E:\FR\FM\16AUP1.SGM 16AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 158 / Thursday, August 16, 2007 / Proposed Rules rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS 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. 13. 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. 14. BRS licensees currently are subject to the Commission’s regulatory fees. This FNPRM seeks comment on how to revise the current regulatory fee schedule to comply with the tiered regulatory fee schedule required by the Commission in the BRS/EBS Second Report and Order. As a consequence of any new regulatory fee structures adopted in this proceeding, BRS licensees may have to provide additional information than they have 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 noncommercial educational stations. Emergency Alert System licenses for auxiliary service facilities are also exempt as are Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (previously referred to as 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. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:19 Aug 15, 2007 Jkt 211001 provided in the past and the regulatory fee schedule for these licensees will be modified. 15. 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.35 If payment is not received, new or pending applications may be dismissed, and existing authorizations may be subject to rescission.36 Further, in accordance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (‘‘DCIA’’), Public Law 194–134, 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.37 Nonpayment of regulatory fees is a debt owed the United States pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3711 et seq., and the DCIA. 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.38 16. 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.39 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 17. 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 35 47 CFR 1.1164. CFR 1.1164(c). 37 Public Law 104–134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996). 38 31 U.S.C. 7701(c)(2)(B). 39 47 CFR 1.1166. 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.40 18. The Commission is obligated to collect regulatory fees each fiscal year to fund the Commission’s operations. For example, the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2007, Public Law 109–383, 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 Act, has required the Commission to collect for FY 2007.41 With respect to BRS licensees, we are required to implement a tiered regulatory fee schedule based on market size and bandwidth. For this reason, we are seeking comment on an appropriate regulatory fee schedule for these licensees, to be implemented in the next fiscal year. Such a fee structure, when adopted, should result in a lower regulatory fee burden for smaller licensees, based on the licensees’ market size and bandwidth. 19. We also note that the Commission’s rules provide for relief in exceptional circumstances. Persons or entities may request a waiver, reduction or deferment of payment of the regulatory fee.42 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. VI. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules 20. None. 21. Accordingly, it is ordered 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 Further 36 47 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 46013 40 5 U.S.C. 603. U.S.C. 159(a). 42 47 CFR 1.1166. 41 47 E:\FR\FM\16AUP1.SGM 16AUP1 46014 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 158 / Thursday, August 16, 2007 / Proposed Rules Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted. 22. The Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. [FR Doc. E7–15606 Filed 8–15–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1, 15, 73, 74, and 76 [MB Docket No. 07–148; FCC 07–128] DTV Consumer Education Initiative Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Proposed rule. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document proposes to require broadcasters, multichannel video programming distributors, retailers, and manufacturers to take steps to publicize the DTV transition. These would include public service announcements by broadcasters, including notices in cable, satellite, and other MVPD bills, notices from consumer electronics manufacturers, employee training by retailers, and adjustments to the DTV.gov Partners program. Because of the importance of making the benefits of the Digital Television transition understandable and available to the public, the Commission seeks comment generally on the best means of creating a coordinated, national DTV consumer education campaign. DATES: Comments for this proceeding are due on or before September 17, 2007; reply comments are due on or before October 1, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MB Docket No. 07–148, 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. • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:05 Aug 15, 2007 Jkt 211001 CART, etc.) by e-mail: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202–418–0530 or TTY: 202– 418–0432. For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information on this proceeding, contact Eloise Gore, Eloise.Gore@fcc.gov, or Lyle Elder, Lyle.Elder@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418– 2120. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 07– 128, adopted on July 21, 2007, and released on July 30, 2007. The full text of this document is available for public inspection and copying 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 (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/). (Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Word 97, and/ or Adobe Acrobat.) The complete text may be purchased from the Commission’s copy contractor, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY–B402, Washington, DC 20554. To request this document in accessible formats (computer diskettes, large print, audio recording, and Braille), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418–0530 (voice), (202) 418–0432 (TTY). I. Introduction 1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek public comment on several proposals relating to consumer education about the digital television (‘‘DTV’’) transition. From the beginning of the transition of the nation’s broadcast television service from analog to digital television service, the Commission has been committed to working with representatives from industry, public interest groups, and Congress to make the significant benefits of digital broadcasting available to the public. The digital transition will make valuable spectrum available for both public safety uses and expanded wireless competition and innovation. It will also provide consumers with better quality television picture and sound, and make new services available through multicasting. These innovations, however, are dependent upon widespread consumer PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 understanding of the benefits and mechanics of the transition. The Congressional decision to establish a hard deadline of February 17, 2009, for the end of full-power analog broadcasting has made consumer awareness even more critical. 2. While the Commission has been engaged in various DTV outreach efforts, we seek comment on whether there are additional steps which we can and should take. Representatives John D. Dingell, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Edward J. Markey, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, recently wrote to the Commission to express interest in the pace and scope of consumer education about the transition. As the Congressmen observed, ‘‘the Commission is particularly well suited to lead this effort given its existing expertise and resources.’’ Noting the particular dangers of insufficient outreach to certain communities, they proposed a number of specific actions that they believe the Commission should take. This notice requests comment on the Commission’s authority to take these actions and invites discussion of their benefits and any other measures we could take to facilitate the transition. II. Discussion 3. The Letter suggests that, as a general matter, ‘‘the Commission could use its existing authority to compel industry to contribute time and resources to a coordinated, national consumer education campaign.’’ We agree that we should take whatever steps we can to promote a coordinated, national DTV consumer education campaign and seek comment on the best means of achieving that goal. In particular, we seek comment on the potential Commission initiatives raised by Representatives Dingell and Markey. For each potential initiative, we particularly seek comment on: (1) The Commission’s authority to implement the proposal; (2) the likely effectiveness of the proposal (i.e., whether it would appreciably increase public awareness and understanding of the DTV transition); (3) the best methods of implementation; (4) the policy implications; and (5) constitutional concerns, if any. A. Broadcaster Public Service Announcements and Other Consumer Education Requirements 4. The Letter suggests that the Commission consider using its regulatory authority to ‘‘require television broadcasters to air periodic E:\FR\FM\16AUP1.SGM 16AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 158 (Thursday, August 16, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 46010-46014]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-15606]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 1

[MD Docket No. 07-81; FCC 07-140]


Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2007

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, we seek comment on proposed changes to the 
section 9 regulatory fee structure for Broadband Radio Service (BRS).

DATES: Comments are due September 17, 2007, and reply comments are due 
October 15, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MD Docket No. 07-81, 
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. 07-81 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.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 
418-0530 or TTY (202) 418-0432.

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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, MD Docket No. 07-81, FCC 07-140, 
adopted on August 2, 2007 and released on August 6, 2007. The full text 
of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal 
business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of this document 
also may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy 
and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 
20554. The full text may also be downloaded at http://www.fcc.gov.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.1206(b), 1.1202 and 1.1203 of the 
Commission's rules, CFR 1.1206(b), 1.1202, 1.1203, this is as a 
``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding. 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.\1\ Additional rules pertaining to oral and written 
presentations are set forth in Sec.  1.1206(b).
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    \1\ See 47 CFR 1.1206(b)(2).
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    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 
47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, 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) 
procedures for filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents 
in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998), 13 FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
     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.
     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.

[[Page 46011]]

     People with Disabilities: To request information in 
accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, 
electronic files, audio format), 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).

Summary of Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. In WT Docket No. 03-66 (the BRS/EBS Proceeding), the Commission 
sought comment on proposed changes to the regulatory fee structure for 
BRS.\2\ In 2006, the Commission adopted a new regulatory fee structure 
for BRS (the 2006 Decision).\3\ Specifically, as noted in the FY 2007 
NPRM, the Commission adopted a megahertz-based approach for BRS 
regulatory fees and, using a concept similar to the Commission's annual 
scale of regulatory fees for broadcast television stations, established 
in the 2006 Decision three rate tiers based on the BTA ranking of each 
license.\4\
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    \2\ 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, WT Docket No. 03-66, Report and 
Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 19 FCC Rcd 14165, 
14296, para. 357 (``BRS/EBS Report and Order and FNPRM'').
    \3\ 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, WT Docket No. 03-66, Order on 
Reconsideration and Fifth Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third 
Memorandum Opinion and Order and Second Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 
5606, 5756-59, paras. 367-376 (2006) (``2006 Decision'').
    \4\ See FY 2007 NPRM, 22 FCC Rcd at 7978, para. 8 n.8, citing 
The 2006 Decision. The three tiers are based on three categories of 
Basic Trading Areas (``BTA'') population rankings: BTAs 1-60, BTAs 
61-200, and BTAs 201-493. For BRS licensees that are licensed by 
geographic licensed service area (GSA), the BTA is the geographic 
center point of where its GSA is located. See The 2006 Decision, 21 
FCC Rcd at 5759, para. 376.
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    2. In the FY 2007 NPRM, we sought comment on the implementation of 
the new BRS fee structure. Specifically, we invited commenters to 
suggest a simple method of calculating BRS regulatory fees that 
incorporates the complexity of using both elements of the 2006 
Decision, namely, the three rate tiers, to be based on the BTA ranking 
of each license, and the per megahertz fee. In particular, we invited 
comment on a formula or method for calculating regulatory fees that 
incorporates the 2006 Decision in a manner ``sensitive to rural 
operators in less densely populated areas.'' \5\ WCA, the only 
commenter addressing this issue, does not object to the Commission 
seeking comment on the methodology to use in feeing BRS.\6\
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    \5\ FY 2007 NPRM, 22 FCC Rcd at 7978, para. 8.
    \6\ WCA Comments at 1-2.
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    3. We clarify that our questions about BRS regulatory fees in the 
FY 2007 NPRM as well in this Further Notice are to implement the 2006 
Decision, and not to revisit the three-tier approach adopted in the 
2006 Decision.
    4. Briefly, under the 2006 Decision, BRS regulatory fees will use a 
MHz-based formula with three tiers of fees by markets. Instead of a 
flat fee amount per BRS license, BRS licensees will pay a fee in one of 
three fee categories based on Basic Trading Areas (``BTA'') ranked by 
population size.\7\ The highest fee will be assessed to licenses in 
BTAs ranked 1-60, licenses in BTAs ranked 61-200 will have a lesser 
fee, and licenses for BTAs ranked 201-493 will pay the lowest fee.\8\ 
Although the revised framework for assessing BRS regulatory fees was 
adopted in the 2006 Decision, the implementation of this new formula 
will require us to specify how each of the three BTA tiers should be 
weighted (in terms of fee amounts) relative to the others. We propose 
to use a weighted average approach based on the 2006 Decision to 
establish three tiers of regulatory fees using a 3:2:1 ratio, i.e., 3x 
for Tier 1, 2x for Tier 2, and 1x for Tier 3, where x equals the base 
fee amount (Pro-rated FY Revenue Requirement for BRS divided by the 
weighted total number of BRS payment units). In adopting three fee 
tiers for BRS, the Commission considered that BTAs ranked 1-60 
generally have a population of greater than one million, BTAs ranked 
61-200 generally have population of 250,000 to one million, and BTAs 
ranked 201-493 have a population of less than 250,000.\9\ The 
Commission also concluded that the current methodology for assessing 
regulatory fees for BRS is particularly onerous for rural 
operators.\10\ We seek comment on our proposal and specifically invite 
commenters to address whether it accurately implements the tiered 
approach adopted in the 2006 Decision.
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    \7\ See The 2006 Decision, 21 FCC Rcd at 5759, para. 376.
    \8\ Id.
    \9\ Id., 21 FCC Rcd at 5759, n. 947.
    \10\ Id., 21 FCC Rcd at 5758, para. 374.
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    5. The second element of the 2006 Decision involves setting a fee 
per megahertz of licensed BRS spectrum. However, throughout the nation, 
BTA-by-BTA, the BRS radio service and its licensees are in the midst of 
a multi-year transition to a new band plan that, among other things, is 
modifying the amount of spectrum designated and licensed for BRS.\11\ 
Given the complexities associated with this ``moving target,'' we 
tentatively conclude that the public interest would be best served by 
implementing the fee per megahertz approach after the BRS transition 
concludes nationwide. We seek comment on this tentative conclusion.
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    \11\ The transition plan creates a process for relocating 
Educational Broadband Service (``EBS'') licensees and BRS licensees 
from their current channel locations to their new spectrum blocks in 
the Lower Band Segment (``LBS''), Middle band Segment (``MBS''), or 
Upper Band Segment (``UBS''). The transition occurs by BTA and is 
undertaken by a proponent or multiple proponents. A proponent(s) 
must pay the cost of transitioning EBS licensees. The transition 
occurs in the following three phases: the Initiation Phase, the 
Transition Planning Phase, and the Transition Completion Phase.
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Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    6. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (``RFA''),\12\ 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 this Further Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (``FNPRM''). 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 herein. The Commission will send 
a copy of the FNPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.\13\ In addition, the 
FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal 
Register.\14\
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    \12\ 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 No. 
104-121, 110 Stat. 847 (1996) (``CWAAA''). Title II of the CWAAA is 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(``SBREFA'').
    \13\ 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
    \14\ Id.
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I. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    7. On April 12, 2006, the Commission adopted a number of changes in 
the rules governing the 2500-2690 MHz band, for the Broadband Radio 
Service (``BRS'') and the Educational Broadband Service (``EBS'').\15\ 
Among other things, the Commission adopted a megahertz (``MHz'')-based 
formula for BRS licensees with tiered regulatory fees

[[Page 46012]]

based on market size. The FNPRM seeks comment on a new regulatory fee 
schedule for BRS, based on the tiered structure set forth in The 2006 
Decision.
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    \15\ 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, Order on Reconsideration and 
Fifth Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Memorandum Opinion and 
Order and Second Report and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 5606 (2006) (``The 
2006 Decision'').
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II. Legal Basis

    8. 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 (``the Act'').\16\
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    \16\ 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and (j), 159, and 303(r).
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III. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    9. 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.\17\ The RFA generally defines the term 
``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms, ``small 
business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' \18\ In addition, the term ``small business'' has the 
same meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small 
Business Act.\19\ 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.\20\ A small organization is generally ``any not-for-profit 
enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not 
dominant in its field.'' \21\ Nationwide, as of 2002, there were 
approximately 1.6 million small organizations.\22\ 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.'' \23\ The term ``small 
governmental jurisdiction'' is defined generally as ``governments of 
cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special 
districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.'' \24\ Census 
Bureau data for 2002 indicate that there were 87,525 local governmental 
jurisdictions in the United States.\25\ We estimate that, of this 
total, 84,377 entities were ``small governmental jurisdictions.'' \26\ 
Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small. 
Below, we discuss the total estimated numbers of small businesses that 
might be affected by our regulatory fee proceeding.
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    \17\ 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).
    \18\ 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
    \19\ 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.'' 5 U.S.C. 601(3).
    \20\ 15 U.S.C. 632.
    \21\ 5 U.S.C. 601(4).
    \22\ Independent Sector, the New Nonprofit Almanac & Desk 
Reference (2002).
    \23\ 5 U.S.C. 601(5).
    \24\ 5 U.S.C. 601(5).
    \25\ U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United 
States: 2006, Section 8, page 272, Table 415.
    \26\ We assume that the villages, school districts, and special 
districts are small, and total 48,558. See U.S. Census Bureau, 
Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, section 8, page 
273, Table 417. For 2002, Census Bureau data indicate that the total 
number of county, municipal, and township governments nationwide was 
38,967, of which 35,819 were small. Id.
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    10. BRS, previously referred to as Multipoint Distribution Service 
(``MDS'') and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (``MMDS'') 
systems, and ``wireless cable,'' transmit video programming to 
subscribers and provide two-way high speed data operations using the 
microwave frequencies of the BRS and Educational Broadband Service 
(``EBS'') (previously referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed 
Service (``ITFS'')).\27\ In connection with the 1996 BRS auction, the 
Commission established a small business size standard as an entity that 
had annual average gross revenues of no more than $40 million in the 
previous three calendar years.\28\ The BRS auctions resulted in 67 
successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 493 Basic 
Trading Areas (``BTAs''). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the 
definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations 
authorized prior to the auction. At this time, we estimate that of the 
61 small business BRS auction winners, 48 remain small business 
licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that hold BTA 
authorizations, there are approximately 392 incumbent BRS licensees 
that are considered small entities.\29\ After adding the number of 
small business auction licensees to the number of incumbent licensees 
not already counted, we find that there are currently approximately 440 
BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses under either the SBA 
or the Commission's rules. Some of those 440 small business licensees 
may be affected by this regulatory fee proceeding.
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    \27\ 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, MM 
Docket No. 94-131 and PP Docket No. 93-253, Report and Order, 10 FCC 
Rcd 9589, 9593, para. 7 (1995).
    \28\ 47 CFR 21.961(b)(1).
    \29\ 47 U.S.C. 309(j). Hundreds of stations were licensed to 
incumbent MDS licensees prior to implementation of section 309(j) of 
the Act, 47 U.S.C. 309(j). For these pre-auction licenses, the 
applicable standard is SBA's small business size standard.
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    11. In addition, the SBA has developed a small business size 
standard for Cable and Other Program Distribution, which includes all 
such companies generating $13.5 million or less in annual receipts.\30\ 
According to Census Bureau data for 2002, there were a total of 1,191 
firms in this category that operated for the entire year.\31\ Of this 
total, 1,087 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and 43 
firms had receipts of $10 million or more but less than $25 
million.\32\ Consequently, we estimate that the majority of providers 
in this service category are small businesses that may be affected by 
the regulatory fee decisions we will reach in this proceeding. This SBA 
small business size standard is applicable to EBS. There are presently 
2,032 EBS licensees. All but 100 of these licenses are held by 
educational institutions. Educational institutions are included in this 
analysis as small entities.\33\ Thus, we estimate that at least 1,932 
licensees are small businesses. EBS is a non-profit non-broadcast 
service. We do not collect, nor are we aware of other collections of, 
annual revenue data for EBS licensees.
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    \30\ 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517510.
    \31\ U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 Economic Census, Subject Series: 
Information, Table 4, Receipts Size of Firms for the United States: 
2002, NAICS code 517510 (issued Nov. 2005).
    \32\ Id. An additional 61 firms had annual receipts of $25 
million or more.
    \33\ The term ``small entity'' within 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 EBS licensees.
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IV. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other 
Compliance Requirements

    12. 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 Remittance 
Advice, and pay a regulatory fee based on the number of licenses or 
call signs.\34\ Interstate telephone service

[[Page 46013]]

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.
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    \34\ 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 Educational Broadband 
Service (EBS) (previously referred to as 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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    13. 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.
    14. BRS licensees currently are subject to the Commission's 
regulatory fees. This FNPRM seeks comment on how to revise the current 
regulatory fee schedule to comply with the tiered regulatory fee 
schedule required by the Commission in the BRS/EBS Second Report and 
Order. As a consequence of any new regulatory fee structures adopted in 
this proceeding, BRS licensees may have to provide additional 
information than they have provided in the past and the regulatory fee 
schedule for these licensees will be modified.
    15. 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.\35\ If payment is not received, new or pending 
applications may be dismissed, and existing authorizations may be 
subject to rescission.\36\ Further, in accordance with the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (``DCIA''), Public Law 194-134, 
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.\37\ Nonpayment of 
regulatory fees is a debt owed the United States pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 
3711 et seq., and the DCIA. 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.\38\
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    \35\ 47 CFR 1.1164.
    \36\ 47 CFR 1.1164(c).
    \37\ Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996).
    \38\ 31 U.S.C. 7701(c)(2)(B).
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    16. 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.\39\ 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.
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    \39\ 47 CFR 1.1166.
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V. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    17. 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.\40\
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    \40\ 5 U.S.C. 603.
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    18. The Commission is obligated to collect regulatory fees each 
fiscal year to fund the Commission's operations. For example, the 
Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2007, Public Law 109-383, 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 Act, has required the Commission to collect for FY 
2007.\41\ With respect to BRS licensees, we are required to implement a 
tiered regulatory fee schedule based on market size and bandwidth. For 
this reason, we are seeking comment on an appropriate regulatory fee 
schedule for these licensees, to be implemented in the next fiscal 
year. Such a fee structure, when adopted, should result in a lower 
regulatory fee burden for smaller licensees, based on the licensees' 
market size and bandwidth.
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    \41\ 47 U.S.C. 159(a).
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    19. We also note that the Commission's rules provide for relief in 
exceptional circumstances. Persons or entities may request a waiver, 
reduction or deferment of payment of the regulatory fee.\42\ 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.
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    \42\ 47 CFR 1.1166.
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VI. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    20. None.
    21. Accordingly, it is ordered 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 Further

[[Page 46014]]

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted.
    22. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 
Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Report and 
Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of 
the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.
 [FR Doc. E7-15606 Filed 8-15-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P