ott revenueService providers that offer paid TV using IPTV technology will be required to pay the same regulatory fees as cable TV providers as the result of a report and order adapted by the FCC on August 8 and released Monday.

The fees are designed to recover the costs that the FCC incurs in administering licenses and the like and are based on the number of full-time employees dedicated to such functions on a bureau-by-bureau basis.

Cable TV providers have been subject to these fees for years, but until now IPTV providers were not. The new order creates a new fee category that will include both cable and IPTV providers.

“By assessing regulatory fees on cable television systems, but not on IPTV, we may place cable providers at a competitive disadvantage,” wrote the FCC in the order….”we agree that IPTV providers should be subject to the same regulatory fees as cable providers.”

The commission stopped short of including another group of paid TV providers in the new category. For now direct broadcast satellite video providers are not required to pay the fees. But the FCC said it would revisit the possibility of adding DBS providers to the IPTV and cable category in the future.

Other changes included in the new order are:

• UHF and VHF stations will be consolidated into a single regulatory fee category.

• As the FCC updates how full-time employees are allocated, the increase in the regulatory fee assessment to any individual industry segment is capped at 7.50%.

• The re-allocations and caps are interim measures but the FCC said it intends to “conclusively readjust regulatory fees within three years.”

• The commission said it “shortly” will issue a second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will consider additional reforms to the regulatory fee program.



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9 thoughts on “IPTV Providers to Pay Same Regulatory Fees as Cable Companies

  1. DBS providers have been competing with CATV providers for years – far longer than the IPTV providers – and they have had this competitive advantage the whole time. But now they are assessing the IPTV providers to avoid giving them a competitive advantage over CATV? And DBS providers still don't have to pay? That makes absolutely no sense.

  2. I suspect the intended target of this is services like Verizon FIOS TV, AT&T U-Verse TV, Google Fiber TV and similar services that are very much like cable except that they use different technologies to deliver the services.

  3. Yeah. A new and maybe better service and business model comes along, and we need to protect the rent seekers by adding costs to the new way. Can't let anything new or better disturb the status quo.

  4. If these Communist cockroaches allowed fair competition by allowing any of us in the business of connected TV to access the telephone poles the same way Cable TV providers have been given free use our private property rights granted to the Communists's utility companies we might be able to take this "cable providers at a competitive disadvantage" bullsh!t seriously.

    1. Hell yeah got that right. I think my town has monopoly on cable and electric because they charge 20 bucks year and say your a member part owner. But takes twenty years get the first five bucks back .

  5. Kevin is exactly right – the DBS providers have had a competitive advantage in programming costs for years over the cable companies and still do. Now the FCC says that IPTV providers have to be on a level playing field with cable companies? What about DBS providers?
    Since football season is nearly upon us, let me compare the FCC's action to taking two 12-0 college football teams but one gets invited to a BCS Bowl while the other team plays in the Toilet Bowl – makes no sense at all!

  6. Sooner or later they will get to the DBS providers and then the rest, cable and satellite will raise their fees again. The reason that the FCC gives is as old as radio itself, the cost of administering the licensing. How many people does it take to administer licenses. I realize there are costs associated with this, but shouldn’t license fees already cover this.

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