Each year, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is required to collect regulatory fees. The following is from the FCC’s public notice regarding submarine cable systems and their regulatory fees date September 11, 2019.

The full public notice can be accessed here

Licensees and regulatees are assessed fees as set forth in Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2019, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, (released August 27, 2019) (“FY 2019 Regulatory Fees, Report and Order”). The Commission also publishes industry-specific guidance in Who Owes Fees & What Is My FY 2019 Fee, which can be found on the Commission website at http://www.fcc.gov/regfees.

The Commission’s automated filing and payment system (Fee Filer) is available for filing and viewing of FY 2019 regulatory fees. While FY 2019 regulatory fees will not become effective until them rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, regulatees at their own discretion may submit payments at any time before the effective due date of FY 2019 regulatory fees. Regulatory fee payments MUST BE RECEIVED 1 by the Commission no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on September 24, 2019.

The FCC calculates regulatory fees for international submarine cable operators licensed and operating on December 31 of the prior year on a per cable landing license basis and, as identified in the FY 2019 Regulatory Fees, Report and Order and the below table, assesses a fee that increases with the amount of lit capacity in the licensee’s submarine cable system.

This methodology does not distinguish between submarine cables operated on a common carrier basis and those operated on a non-common basis. The licensee is responsible for determining and certifying to the accuracy of the amount of lit capacity in its system

To calculate your submarine cable regulatory fees, you are required to sum up your submarine cable “lit” capacities by cable system (on a Gbps basis), and determine your regulatory fee amount and payment type code using the table below. Then enter this fee amount and payment type code in the Commission’s Fee Filer system. The Commission will only accept a single payment for the full regulatory fee obligation for each international submarine cable license. Therefore, it is important for submarine cables with multiple licensees to determine amongst themselves the portion of the fee that each owes and how they will make a single regulatory fee payment. Each licensee of a submarine cable is equally responsible for the payment. In the event of a non payment or underpayment, the Commission will hold each and every licensee equally responsible for the regulatory fee obligation.

TYPE OF FEE: Submarine Cable Systems (capacity as of December 31, 2018)



< 50 Gbps



50 Gbps or greater, but less than 250 Gbps



250 Gbps or greater, but less than 1,000 Gbps



1,000 Gbps or greater, but less than 4,000 Gbps



4,000 Gbps or greater



The use of the online Fee Filer system for filing regulatory fees has not changed since the process was first initiated in FY 2009: licensees and regulatees must first enter the Commission’s Fee Filer system with a valid FRN and password, and follow the online prompts to review their data and submit an electronic fee payment. Use of the online Fee Filer system is mandatory, and payments in the form of checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks will not be accepted.