TR Daily Reports Bureau Aims to Improve Handling of Public Safety, Industry Interference

Editor’s Note: NPSTC was instrumental in a collaborative effort of stakeholders that urged the FCC to revise the original proposed plan to close FCC Field Offices. Under the revised plan, 15 field offices would remain open with monthly visits to a 16th location.  The plan involves two mobile “tiger teams” and a complaint escalation process to assure that disruptions to critical communications are resolved in a timely manner. 

NPSTC appreciates the Commission’s support to its field staff by utilizing the dollars saved to upgrade field equipment and facilities and the public safety stakeholders who reported instances of interference which NPSTC presented to the Commission. To many outside the D.C. Beltway, the FCC is the local field office.  Maintaining a presence in the remaining cities will contribute significantly to compliance with the FCC Rules and Regulations and uninterrupted communications. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has announced enhanced procedures for handling public safety and industry interference complaints. 

In its order reorganizing the bureau’s field operations, the FCC directed the bureau to establish procedures to escalate such complaints and ensure the bureau’s field offices respond to them in a timely manner.

“This Public Notice implements that direction by committing to enhance the Commission’s complaint intake and case management systems,” the bureau said.  “These procedures may be refined based on experience, the Commission’s resources, and other enforcement priorities. We are confident that this escalation process will improve EB’s responsiveness and performance for public safety and industry interference complaints.”

The bureau said it would work with other parts of the agency to establish a web portal for complaints from public safety and industry regarding interference.  “Once operational, the complaint intake system should allow such complainants to receive immediate confirmation of the FCC’s receipt of their complaints, as well as permit them to track the status of their complaints within the FCC,” it said.  “The complaint intake system also will automatically transfer complaint information from the web portal to EB’s case management database, accelerating investigations and reducing the possibility of human error. The planned complaint intake enhancements will not supersede existing methods used by public safety entities to communicate with the FCC.”

“The public safety/industry interference complaint escalation process will improve complainants’ ability to stay informed of the status of their complaint,” the bureau said.  “This process also will enable public safety/industry stakeholders to develop mutually beneficial relationships with the EB field agents in their area. By streamlining interference complaint intake and response, this process will help serve the overall efficiency and resource management goals of the ongoing field modernization effort and result in more effective enforcement for our highest priority interference complaints.” – Brian Hammond, brian.hammond@wolterskluwer.com

Read the order here:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-967A1.pdf