The latest word is that the adjusted application fee schedule which the Commission adopted six months ago, and which was supposed to go into effect on December 30 — no, wait, make that January 29 . . . no, no, that’s not it . . . wasn’t it February 18? – will NOT be going into effect on February 18 after all. That rumor appears to have legs because the 2009 Fee Filing Guides – you know, the unofficial items that the FCC quietly posted on its site in early February, as we previously noted – have been equally quietly removed from the site. We checked this morning (February 18) and, sure enough, they had disappeared.
If we had to guess, we’d suspect that the on-going delay may have something to do with revising the automatic fee payment system in CDBS, which has to be adjusted to conform to the new fee schedule. And, of course, we do have to guess, because the FCC has not bothered to announce any of this to the public. So much for governmental transparency.
As a practical matter, the Commission’s delays on this particular front are welcome, as they postpone across-the-board fee increases. But it’s troubling that the Commission seems incapable of dealing with what should be a relatively mundane internal updating process, and it’s troubling that the Commission appears willing to ignore its own orders (e.g., its September Order expressly mandating that the new fees would become effective within a very specific time frame) without public explanation. And it’s even more troubling that the Commission hasn’t elected to let its regulatees – who, after all, are the ones most directly affected by the fee change – in on any of this.
Stay tuned. We’ll try to be your go-to site for Adjusted Fee Schedule updates.