The budget that President Barack Obama has submitted for fiscal year 2011 includes the full $352.5 million requested by the Federal Communications Commission. That figure is about $15 million more than requested for FY 2010.
The FCC’s budget priorities for 2011 include implementing the National Broadband Plan, continuing to manage the nation’s spectrum use, overhauling the Commission’s data systems and processes, continuing to improve operations using improved technology, supporting the Commission’s public safety and cyber-security role, strengthening the Commission’s consumer information programs and enhancing its role as an advocate for U.S. interests internationally.
In its budget, the FCC affirmed its support for the Universal Service Fund, which many are calling to be reformed.
The FCC’s mandate to auction spectrum actually ends in 2012. The 2011 budget request notes that the president is proposing to extend that authority indefinitely. This would be in synch with Chairman Julius Genachowski’s intent to allocate additional spectrum for wireless broadband.
A section about staffing in the FCC’s budget request announces an intent to hire network security experts to “support the cyber-security role the Commission is to undertake.”
The FY 2011 budget proposal includes these initiatives:
- Continuing the work of the National Broadband Plan and broadband map
- Implementation of a spectrum inventory initiative and emergency response interoperability center
- State-of-the-art consumer information programs, seizing the opportunities provided by new media and advanced information technology
- New investment in the people and technology necessary to overhaul the agency’s antiquated systems for data collection, processing, analysis and dissemination
- New expertise and new tools required to ensure that the FCC is able to be a model of excellence, openness and transparency domestically and internationally
- The request would also provide funds to cover mandatory increases in salaries and benefits and inflationary increases for contractual services