Fiscal 2013 Budgets Released For FCC, Broadcasting Board Of Governors
February 14, 2012 at 3:42 AM (PT)
President OBAMA's fiscal year 2013 budget includes $346.78 million in funding for the FCC, a cut from the $354.2 million it sought last year but more than the $339.84 million it reports that it was allocated by Congress. The Commission said that the budget would fund "continuing efforts to accelerate broadband deployment throughout the nation; implementing the FCC's reforms to the Universal Service Fund programs; improving the FCC's information technology infrastructure and continuing to enhance the security of its systems; investing in the FCC's technical and engineering capabilities to detect interference issues, plan for interoperability needs, and test new technologies; and studying participation in the communications industry."
Meanwhile, the BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS, overseer of the VOICE OF AMERICA and other international broadcasting efforts, also released its fiscal 2013 budget, with a request of over $720 million, a cut of 4.2% from this year's budget. The budget asks for $9 million in increases for new television initiatives in EGYPT and central ASIA and other content and delivery revamps, and $11.6 million for fighting censorship on the Internet.
However, the budget also includes staff and programming cuts at the VOA, RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, RADIO FREE ASIA, the MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING NETWORKS, the OFFICE OF CUBA BROADCASTING, and the INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING BUREAU, with some of the cuts involving restructuring operations and eliminating duplication. "In these times of fiscal austerity, the BBG faces tough choices," the organization's board said in a message to employees. "And we are not alone: Every branch and each element of the federal government has had to take a hard look at itself to achieve efficiencies without sacrificing its essential work on behalf of our country."