On Friday, June 18th, the Colorado Broadcasters Association (CBA), along with Florida and Puerto Rico, filed Joint Reply Comments in regard to the increase of Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) Regulatory Fees for 2021.
The filing notes, that for the second year in a row, and through a worldwide pandemic nonetheless, the FCC should not be increasing fees on broadcasters. The financial impact suffered by Colorado’s broadcasters is still being felt as businesses slowly reopen and assess their marketing needs.
Justin Sasso, President and CEO of the CBA, stated, “We’re simply aghast that the regulatory fees would be increased two years in a row, while the nation was in the depths of a business crippling pandemic shutdown. Broadcasters, unlike many other industries, never had the ability to shut the lights off and go home. Our duty to serve our communities came first and it was evidenced, through the amazing accomplishments that Colorado’s radio and television stations successfully achieved. Broadcasters kept their communities informed and safe through 15 months of harrowing protests, riots and COVID-19 coverage. Many of them did it with severely reduced revenue, relying on the hope that the economy would rebound once the worst of the pandemic was over. To have a government regulatory agency put their hand out for more, when broadcasters have already given so much, is inconceivable.”
The filing further details the unfair subsidization of the wireless industry, on the backs of broadcasters. The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is funded by the same regulatory fees that only broadcasters are required to pay.
The full text of the filing can be read here.