SBE to FCC: Don't Close Field Offices
May 12, 2015
In March, the FCC released an internal memo that was leaked outside the agency that detailed a proposal to close a number of FCC Field Offices and reduce by half the number of field agents. The possible restructuring comes after research from a contractor that claims to have contacted a wide range of stakeholders affected by the action. To the SBE's knowledge, no contact was made with the SBE or any broadcast stations. Statements made by the FCC Enforcement Bureau Deputy Chief that operating the EB currently is too expensive and that field agents have too little to do align with the proposed restructuring.
In response, the SBE has sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler outlining the erroneous claims being made, and noting the lack of transparency in the effort, despite Wheeler's statements saying the FCC is more efficient, more transparent and more engaged with the public.
The SBE raises several points for the FCC to consider, including that the staff reduction will detrimentally affect broadcasters with increased interference problems from various sources, including pirate radio stations.
More information and details are in the SBE letter.