Online Public File Plans Crunched

Sequestration, the across-the-board package of federal budget cuts that went into effect in March, is affecting the FCC in different ways.

Fewer agency staffers came to the NAB Show. Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle appeared at a regulatory panel here in Las Vegas via Skype, for example.

Sequestration also has “greatly reduced” the commission’s IT budget, according to Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake, though he didn’t get into specifics. Asked during a regulatory session about the effect of sequestration on the agency’s relatively new online television station public file system, Lake said, “It won’t affect the ability of the consumer today to use various files. But our ability to fix problems in the future or whatever might want to do, we might not be able to do in the future.”

We’ve reported that the FCC at some point wants to extend the requirement to use its online public file system to radio. Asked how sequestration affects those plans, Lake told Radio World it won’t happen anytime soon. “We just don’t have the technical capability.”

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