FCC closes offices, cuts staff

But the FCC says enforcement will be aggressive! Really?

As published in the ARRL Letter,

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith Says Amateur Enforcement Will Be Aggressive

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith told a standing-room-only audience at the ARRL Pacific Division Convention (Pacificon) in October that, despite FCC cutbacks, Amateur Radio enforcement will not be compromised. Smith spoke for nearly an hour and a half on a variety of FCC issues related to Amateur Radio, and the entire presentation is available on YouTube, thanks to Bob Miller, WB6KWT, and his son Robert, KA7JKP, who recorded the forum. Smith said that with the FCC set to shut down 11 field offices across the country in January, the Enforcement Bureau has reorganized into three US regions, and she does not anticipate any significant issues for the Amateur Service as a result.

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith at Pacificon. [Courtesy of HamRadioNow]

“The amateur community will go forward,” she said, noting that amateurs have “an incredible ability to self-police.” In light of the field office closings, she has been working with ARRL to revamp the Official Observer (OO) program.

“We are going to redo the entire program,” she told the Pacificon forum. Given that the field office cutbacks have left the FCC short staffed, the OO program will step into the gap, with OOs serving as the first line of defense in Amateur Radio enforcement, she explained. Working more closely with the OOs, Smith said, will get information on problems to the field staff more quickly, so they can follow up.

Smith praised the OOs for contributing their time and effort to monitor the bands and to alert licensees both to problematic and positive behavior on the air.

She also said the FCC is more aggressively policing the Amateur Radio bands.

End ARRL article

My 2 cents…I’ll believe it when I see it. Listen to 3.908 MHz on any Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday starting at 8pm Pacific. Or check out 14.313 MHz. What you will hear will astonish you. And it’s far beyond what an OO can handle.

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