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Bill to Beef Up FCC Engineering Head Count Advances

S. 2881 clears committee

Sen. Olympia Snowe’s bill to beef up the technical resources at the Federal Communications Commission is on a fast-track in Congress, says the SBE.

“The FCC Commissioners’ Technical Resource Enhancement Act” has cleared the Senate Committee Committee with one amendment. Now S. 2881 includes language from another measure by the Republican senator from Maine that provides for a National Academy of Sciences study on the technical policy decisions and technical personnel at the FCC.

If passed, S. 2881 would add one electrical engineer or computer scientist position to each of the offices of the five FCC commissioners. It now goes to the full Senate for a future vote.

Barry Thomas, chairman of the SBE Government Relations Committee, said the measure advances one of the SBE’s most longstanding and important goals and will help ensure that broadcast technical regulation is based on sound technical reasoning.

After lobbying by the SBE, Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., has introduced a companion resolution in the House. That measure, R.4809, may soon go to the Senate as well, SBE officials tell Radio World.

SBE President Vinny Lopez said all broadcasters — not just SBE members — should contact their senators or representatives and urge them to vote for the legislation.