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Lawmakers to Review FCC Field Office Closure Plan

House Subcommittee on Communications & Technology schedules hearing

The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a hearing on the FCC’s plans to reorganize its Enforcement Bureau field offices.

The June 11 hearing is called “Oversight of FCC Field Offices.”

Members will review the plan to close 16 of 24 field offices. FCC officials have said the offices are too expensive to maintain and they need a more efficient way to monitor and enforce RF spectrum use among other things.

Subcommittee Chair Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) twice asked the commission for documents leading to the closure plan; those were due in early May. “The FCC’s field offices serve a vital role — they are on the front lines enforcing the commission’s rules protecting public safety communications from interference and acting as the local face of an otherwise centralized Washington bureaucracy. We remain skeptical of the chairman’s pursuit to close these offices and question whether the economic benefits outweigh the public safety value of the field agents,” said Walden.

Witnesses have not yet been scheduled.