Consumers Among the Commissions most important responsibilities is protecting and empowering consumers. As communications networks and technologies become increasingly complex and essential to Americans everyday lives, the Commission must be a vigilant watchdog for the consumer. In FY 2012, the FCC will ensure that Commission proceedings take account of consumer interests, that consumer protection and empowerment policies apply consistently and reasonably across technologies and bureaus at the FCC, that the public is able to engage fully in FCC processes, and that the agency enhances the publics understanding of Commission work through state-of-the-art consumer information programs, seizing the opportunities of information technology. We will continue to provide consumers with current, user-friendly publications concerning their rights, responsibilities, service options, and information to make informed decisions. The FCC will also continue its vigorous enforcement of communications statutes and regulations. Competition and Innovation In FY 2012, the FCC will continue its important work of supporting and enhancing the Nations economy by implementing the investment and competition-enhancing provisions of national telecommunications laws. A continuing priority will be ensuring the viability of the Universal Service Fund to ensure access for consumers in rural and high cost areas and to promote access to advanced services for schools, libraries, and healthcare service providers in rural areas. The FCCs efforts will include the licensing and authorization of several thousand communications products and services each year. By carrying out programs in this area the FCC will help ensure that innovative communications and video programming choices are available to all Americans. Continual Improvement To achieve the goals and programs in the FY 2012 budget, the FCC will strive to be a highly productive, adaptive, and innovative organization that maximizes the benefit to stakeholders, staff, and management from effective systems, processes, resources, and organizational culture. In June 2009, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, stated
that he wants an FCC that is transparent, that inspires public confidence and makes our digital infrastructure a model for the world. To fix the FCC, as directed by Chairman Rockefeller, the Commission must retool and refocus its existing resources, but it cannot be successful without expanding its in-house expertise in new media technologies. Much has been done with limited resources. We launched an internal website called Reboot which provided a forum to connect employees at the FCC and allow collaboration on how to best reform the FCC and increase efficiencies; we launched the first blog at the FCC to chronicle the events of the National Broadband Taskforce and to open communication between the agency and the public around the discussion of the National Broadband Plan; and we have extended the agencys presence to social networking platforms such as Twitter, and will soon include many more. This is a great start, but certainly not sufficient to satisfy the mandate that we make the Commission a model of transparency for the world. There is much to be done to reform the Commissions online operations, including the massive projects of re-engineering the fcc.gov website, modernizing the online comment filing process, and instituting electronic ex parte reform. Ushering the FCC into 21st century style communications will require extensive expansion of current Commission staff, including technologists, programmers, developers and information technology specialists, with the experience and creativity needed to develop the Commissions web site and new media presence to be the best and most innovative in all of government, both here and abroad. In addition, as part of the Commissions reform agenda for FY 2012, the FCC must have access to and base its decisions on data that are robust, reliable and relevant. As a result, the Commission must make a serious investment in the people and technology needed to overhaul the agencys antiquated systems and processes for data collection, processing, analysis and dissemination. The expertise required for this effort will involve bringing expertise in the form of highly specialized IT professionals, econometricians, economists, and statisticians that the Commission currently lacks. In addition to the necessary influx of experts, the Commission will need new tools to help develop technological platforms and engineer a fully accessible and searchable data management system that will be essential to increasing openness and transparency at the FCC. Public Safety and Homeland Security In 2006, the Commission created the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) to strengthen the agencys ability to perform its public safety, homeland security, national security, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management and related functions. By concentrating in PSHSB existing resources from seven other existing bureaus and offices, the Commission has been better able to handle its core public safety responsibilities in a more efficient, effective and responsive manner. Today, the Commission must play an expanded role in the areas of public safety and homeland security. Our evolving functions range from increasing our presence in the field to strengthening our role in government and industry cyber-security preparedness. Over the past several years, we have learned we are most effective and helpful to first responders when we are able to develop close working relationships with state, tribal and local emergency response communities. Accordingly, deploying additional personnel to the field in areas that are disaster prone will enable us to be more responsive in preparing for emergencies and be on the ground when disasters strike. In addition, to guard against increasing threats to our nations computer networks, to provide new and modified cyber-security best practices, and to increase our ability to protect our nations cyber network, the Commission will require the addition of new expertise to our work force.
International The FCC is committed to greater international engagement and cooperation in an interconnected world. During FY 2012, final preparations will take place for the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12). Preliminary views and proposals will be drafted and discussed within informal working groups and between the FCC, State Department, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. These negotiations will lead to recommendations that become part of U.S. positions and draft proposals and form the basis for discussions at bilateral, regional, and international meetings in preparation for WRC-12. In addition to WRC-12 preparations and discussions, the FCC will continue to strongly advocate for U.S. spectrum interests internationally, particularly in cross-border coordination efforts between the U.S. and Canada and the U.S. and Mexico to protect American communications licensees and consumers against interference. Consistent with its recent budget submissions, the FCC is submitting its FY 2012 budget request information at the organizational level to show the proposed use of resources. In addition, the FCCs budget request also shows the proposed use of funds by key accounts within each bureau or office. This format provides a detailed view of the FCCs proposed use of budgetary resources. We welcome the budgetary process and stand ready to provide Congress with the information to ensure effective oversight of the FCC. __________________________________________________
If you've ever seen a request for funding or a project plan that is completely, pure, corn-fed, 100% bogus, this is a perfect example.
It's the Introduction to the FCC's 2012 budget.
What a scam.
$445 MILLION for 2012.
That's a lot for an agency whose high-level purpose for existence involves things like accelerating deployment of infrastructure and modernizing itself.
Nothing is concrete and defineable, no clarity, all things that if the FCC disappeared tomorrow no one in the private sector would even realize it - and who's to say what they "accomplished" at the end of the year ?
FCC can be eliminated. There are undoubtedly a few tiny things that they do - those could simply be done by industry organizations.
Absolutely agree. The FCC is failing in most everything it’s supposed to do anyhow. The one role government should have is in managing RF spectrum, but as you suggest, this could be largely worked out by industry committees (which already do most of the work) and then submitted for approval to a very lean FCC. A few dozen staffers should be able to handle the core licensing and administrative functions; nearly every service has had to become self-regulating and self-policing anyhow due to FCC incompetence and political interference. Every commissioner in recent memory has been an abject political hack with zero qualifications or skills. Get rid of it an you’d get rid of a major impediment to deployment of new technologies, and allow bad ideas to die a natural death (i.e. BPL, HD radio, etc).
As a buddy who runs a small ISP has said all along, the Porkulus rural broadband expansion should be called the Great American Pissaway...bringing high speed porn downloading to villages and barnyards across the fruited plain...