Dish: FCC has ‘failed to explain’ need for DBS fee increases


In a meeting with FCC officials, Dish Network lawyers said the agency has done little to justify a proposal to increase the amount of regulatory fees satellite operators pay.

“Dish explained that the proposed rate increase only serves to harm consumers, who will ultimately be forced to shoulder the burden of any increased regulatory fees,” Dish said in its ex parte filing. “Among other things, the commission has failed to explain how regulatory developments in the last year justify the dramatic rate increase."

“And, the commission’s proposal leaves DBS providers – and their subscribers – vulnerable to exactly the kind of ‘sudden and large changes in the amount of fees’ paid by regulatees that the commission has sought to avoid in the past,” Dish added. “Finally, the arbitrary and unjustified nature of the commission’s proposed fee increase leaves the industry uncertain about what to expect in future years, to the detriment of consumers.”

The FCC required Dish and DirecTV to pay a 12-center per-subscriber fee for the first time in 2015. The agency has proposed upping that fee to 27 cents per sub going forward. 

The FCC wants to charge satellite operators a per-subscriber regulatory fee, just as it does for cable and telco TV companies.

In May of 2015, the FCC released a notice of proposed rulemaking, seeking comment on proposed fees of nearly $340 million in 2015. Included in the proposal is the possibility of changing the fee structure, with the inclusion of DBS fees lowering the amount cable and IPTV operators pay.

For more:
- read this Dish Network ex parte filing

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