FCC Sets Sept. 20 as Regulatory-Fee Deadline

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission has set a Sept. 20 deadline for paying regulatory fees, and some cable operators could face a big penalty for letting that deadline slip.

The agency pays for itself (its current budget is a little less than $350 million) via those regulatory fees on license-holders. The FCC encouraged licensees to start the fee filing process ASAP, pointing out that late filings are subject to a 25% penalty.

The FCC released its fee adjustments for 2013 on Aug. 12. Cable fees increased from .95 per sub to $1.02. The agency decided to make Internet-protocol TV subject to similar per-sub fees, but not until 2014.

Missing the Sept.20 deadline would mean a seven-figure fine for the largest cable operators. According to subscriber figures from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Comcast and Time Warner Cable will each pony up more than $20 million this year.

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