FCC Agrees To Keep 15 Of 24 Field Offices Open In Deal With House Energy And Commerce Committee
June 9, 2015 at 1:02 PM (PT)
The FCC and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have reached agreement on an amendment that would keep some of the FCC's field offices open. The Commission had proposed closing all of its field offices; the deal between Chairman TOM WHEELER and the committee will keep 15 of the 24 offices open. In addition, the deal will prevent the Commission from moving field office jobs to the agency's WASHINGTON headquarters, and will provide for improved enforcement against pirate stations and offer a process for escalating interference complaints. The agreement has led to the Communications and Technology Subcommittee canceling THURSDAY's scheduled hearing on the issue.
“Communities across AMERICA will continue to be served even as the commission becomes more efficient – it’s a win-win,” said committee Chairman FRED UPTON (R-MI). “It also demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work together to tackle the many tough issues we face.”
“We found a good solution that makes sense. These changes will keep field offices open in strategic locations and help ensure that the commission can fulfill its responsibilities to the public and public safety communities. This agreement strikes a balance between the important work of FCC field agents and streamlining field operations to ensure the efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman GREG WALDEN (R-OR). “Positive outcomes often result from collaborative work. This agreement represents just such an effort. I look forward to continued work with Chairman WHEELER and the commission.”
NAB EVP of Communications DENNIS WHARTON added, "NAB thanks the many members of Congress who expressed concern over proposed cuts in FCC field offices, and we applaud Chairman WHEELER and his staff for resolving this issue in a manner that better protects against airwave interference. We also salute Chairman WHEELER's willingness to address the rampant growth of pirate radio, which creates significant interference challenges for radio listeners who rely daily on their legally-licensed hometown stations."