NOTE: This post has been UPDATED and CORRECTED since it was originally published (see explanatory note, below).
As we previously reported, the Commission announced its routine cost-of-living-based application fee increases in an Order released in March. That Order has now been published in the Federal Register, as a result of which the new fees are set to kick in on June 6, 2014.
We understand that, as a practical matter, there may be some, probably minor, slippage of the actual effective date, as the Commission has to adjust its various online filing systems to reflect the changed fees. But since we know that the new fees will not in any event become effective prior to June 6, if you’ve got any applications you’re thinking about filing, you can save yourself at least a couple of bucks by filing now rather than waiting until June 6.
[Blogmeister’s Note: Nostra Culpa, Nostra Maxima Culpa – As noted, the post above has been substantially updated and corrected since it was originally published earlier today.
In its original form we referred to Section 158(b) of the Communications Act, which requires that the Commission provide Congress with any revised application fee schedule no less than 90 days before that schedule is to take effect. We suggested that that requirement might delay the effectiveness of the amended application fee schedule.
We have since been advised by Roland Helvajian, of the Commission’s Office of Managing Director, that that reporting requirement is no longer in effect. Even though Section 158(b) continues to refer expressly to that reporting obligation, it turns out that, in 1995, Congress passed the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995 (you may know that as Pub. L. 104-66), which inserted a Note to Section 1113 (“Congressional Information”) of Title 31, Chapter 11 of the U.S. Code (“The Budget and Fiscal, Budget, and Program Information”). The Note reads:
Termination of Reporting Requirements Contained in This Section
For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions of law requiring submittal to Congress of any annual, semiannual, or other regular periodic report listed in House Document No. 103–7 (in which certain reporting requirements under subsec. (e)(2)(A), (E), (3) of this section are listed on pages 9, 6, and 149, respectively), see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, and section 1(a)(4) [div. A, § 1402(1)] of Pub. L. 106–554, set out as notes below.
To interpret that example of Congress-speak: In Pub. L. 104-66, Congress (among other things) provided that all the periodic reporting requirements that had been included in a certain list would be terminated as of May 15, 2000. The list in question was compiled by the Office of Legislative Operations of the House of Representatives and submitted to the House in January, 1993. Here’s a link to that list, which is otherwise not all that easy to track down. If you peruse page 167 (that’s page 173 of the PDF version), you will find, not quite half-way down the page, Section 158(b) of the Communications Act listed. In other words, even though that particular reporting requirement appears to live on according to Section 158(b), it was in fact done away with nearly 20 years ago.
We regret our earlier misstatement (although we hope that readers will appreciate the source of our mistake). And we want to extend special thanks to Roland Helvajian, who walked us through the legislative history and provided a copy of the 1993 list for us to post.]