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FCC Confirms Enforcement Field Office Downsizing Under Consideration

NAB calls development “potentially troubling”

The FCC has confirmed the agency is considering changes to its Enforcement Bureau field offices that involve cutting or consolidating several of them.

Radio World reported earlier today the plan under consideration would reduce the number of field agents from 63 to 33 and reduce the number of director positions from 21 to five and the number of field offices would shrink from 24 to eight.

A commission spokesperson said the proposal is data-driven and designed to meet the commission’s enforcement responsibilities that exist now; the current set-up originated 20 years ago.

The spokesperson couldn’t get into details of the plan, which he said could change. He also said the proposal does not need to be decided within a certain time frame. He confirmed the plan is now under consideration by the five commissioners.

NAB EVP Communications Dennis Wharton characterized the development as “potentially troubling, particularly as the as the FCC begins encouraging spectrum sharing among different types of communications services. Having a robust interference enforcement presence in FCC field offices is critical to ensuring that consumers receive the services that they expect,” he stated to Radio World.