FCC Considering Enforcement Bureau Field Office Cuts

Spokesperson: No Effect on Enforcing Net Neutrality

The FCC commissioners are considering a proposal cut of the Enforcement Bureau's field offices and staff as part of an overall effort to streamline the agency.

Radio World reported that Enforcement Bureau chief Travis LeBlanc had circulated a memo to that effect, saying that the FCC under the plan "would reduce the number of field agents from 63 to 33, reduce the number of director positions from 21 to five and cut support staff as well..."

"The commission recently completed a thorough, data-driven review of our field programs with an eye toward improving efficiency while meeting our responsibilities both today and in the future," said an FCC spokesperson. "The commissioners are considering a proposal to meet these goals."

But the FCC has just put a spotlight on the bureau through a network neutrality open Internet order that adopts a case-by-case approach to various potential network neutrality violations that it will depend on the bureau to investigate.

"The proposal under consideration would adequately equip the field to meet the enforcement needs of the Commission," the spokesperson said, pointing out that the field offices remain focused on "on radio frequency interference resolution. This role is unrelated to the bureau’s role in protecting the open internet."

The spokesperson did not comment on the numbers in the memo, but a source pointed out that the details of the proposal could change as the commissioners deliberate.