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  EB - January 2003 Presentation by Bureau Chief, David Solomon

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I. Introduction

Good morning Mr. Chairman and Commissioners.

The Enforcement Bureau is pleased to have the opportunity to report on our policy and management achievements during the last year and on our goals for the coming year. Our key achievements have been in the areas of homeland security, spectrum management, competition and broadband.

I want to mention at the outset that we don't measure our success solely by the amount of money assessed in our enforcement actions. Nevertheless, financial consequences (and the related deterrence value) are an important part of any enforcement program. In this regard, in 2002, we proposed or took about $31 million in enforcement action involving public safety, competition and consumer protection, up from about $8.5 million in 2001.

II. Policy Achievements

Homeland Security

I will start with our homeland security achievements. Much of the FCC's homeland security work is grounded in the Enforcement Bureau, especially on the operational side. We run the FCC's Communications and Crisis Management Center, which operates 24 hours a day/seven days a week. Since 9/11, we have significantly upgraded the Center's operational readiness. For example, we now house a data base that includes emergency points of contact for over 80 of the companies that we regulate and for all the agencies with which we work. In the event of a crisis, we can immediately look to this data base to reach our regulatees and sister agencies.

The Bureau's field offices have also played an important role in the FCC's homeland security efforts by reestablishing ties with local and regional FEMA offices. The FCC is now again a familiar presence in the emergency preparedness community outside the beltway. In addition, several of the Bureau's managers here at headquarters have had key roles in the agency's Homeland Security Policy Council. In particular, Linda Blair, Jim Dailey, Joe Casey and Arlan van Doorn have been very active in this area. Among other things, they have helped ensure that the agency's homeland security initiatives are properly coordinated across Bureaus, maintained FCC relationships with more than 50 homeland security-related groups across the government and industry, and worked closely with the Managing Director's Office on the FCC's Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government plans.

Finally, many of our public safety enforcement activities have important homeland security implications. We have been actively enforcing in such public safety areas as Enhanced 911, the Emergency Alert System, tower safety, RF radiation and cable signal leakage. We have also worked to ensure interference-free radio operation for aviation, law enforcement and security personnel in many situations, including the Salt Lake City Olympics and the International Monetary Fund protests.

We believe our strong public safety enforcement will have an important deterrent effect.

Spectrum Management

Turning to spectrum management, much of our public safety enforcement work ensures spectrum integrity. This includes, for example, enforcement against unauthorized operation and marketing of unauthorized equipment. Equally as important, our field offices, through special projects, have played an increasing role in the Commission's spectrum policy initiatives. Last year, 10 of our field offices conducted spectrum occupancy measurements in support of the Commission's auction policies, and we will continue the project this year in 16 cities. In support of the Spectrum Policy Task Force, we also assessed actual spectrum use below 1 GHz in five major metropolitan areas, identifying both spectrum that is not in use and heavily used spectrum.

The funding we have received for new technical equipment and for hiring new engineers played an important role in both our spectrum management and homeland security achievements.


In the competition and broadband area, we took a number of actions last year to enforce the market-opening requirements of the Act and the Commission's rules. We focused significant resources on staff-initiated investigations, and saw significant results. We concluded several competition investigations, resulting in major enforcement actions.

Of course, not every investigation uncovers a violation or leads to a forfeiture or consent decree. That doesn't mean the investigation wasn't successful. Sometimes, further action simply is not warranted. The fact that we are out there conducting investigations, however, keeps carriers on notice that if they break the rules, there will be consequences.

Several months ago, we initiated a structured section 271 compliance review program. With more Bell Operating Companies receiving long distance authorization in more states, the focus is shifting to ensuring continued compliance with section 271's market-opening requirements. Teams of Enforcement Bureau attorneys, auditors and other professionals have been assigned to each BOC region to conduct regular compliance reviews six and 12 months after approval. The compliance reviews will allow us to identify and act on problems quickly, and provide the companies with strong incentives to maintain compliance.

We also resolved dozens of significant competition issues through mediation without the burden of litigation.

In the formal complaint area, we have timely resolved many complaints involving local competition issues, sometimes ruling for the complainants (for example, in the reciprocal compensation area) and sometimes ruling for defendants. I'm also pleased to report our success in preparing decisions that withstand judicial scrutiny. Of the six court of appeals decisions involving formal complaints, the Commission has won five in their entirety and won the sixth in significant part.

We have also been very active in initiating investigations and taking enforcement action to protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior in an increasingly competitive market. In addition to continuing slamming enforcement, the Commission proposed or took strong action against companies that sent unlawful junk faxes and operator services companies that failed to give consumers proper identification or information. We've also been more active in enforcing the statutory ban on unsolicited pre-recorded telephone advertisements, and have taken a number of broadcast indecency enforcement actions. Finally in the consumer protection area, a few weeks ago, the Commission entered into a strong consent decree in the misleading advertising area.

III. Management Achievements/Modernizing the FCC


On the management front, some of our biggest success stories involve training. With help from the Managing Director's Office, we created and implemented a knowledge sharing program that involves field personnel spending time in Washington and vice versa to exchange expertise and experience. This program has worked well and we hope to continue it.

We also completed a two-year project to have our field agents attend safety training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in New Mexico, where courses ranged from defensive driving skills to reading body language well enough to determine when to terminate an interview for safety reasons. Our employees also took advantage of the Commission's increased support for training opportunities through a variety of other courses. For example, our auditors took a course on Analysis Techniques, several of our attorneys took a course on Effective Legal Negotiation and Settlement, and two of our engineers have been accepted into the Commission's Graduate Degree Program. Overall, more than 150 Enforcement Bureau employees took over 80 different specialized training courses.

Work Flow and Backlog

Regarding work flow, we had a very productive year. We issued nearly 600 orders. Moreover, we met or exceeded our speed of disposal goals in every category. For instance, although our Market Disputes Resolution Division has lost a number of attorneys through attrition, we are still resolving most complaints within about a year. In addition, Market Disputes mediated over 60 disputes last year, and resolved almost two thirds of them successfully.

I'm also pleased to report that the Enforcement Bureau currently has no significant backlog. We have only two formal common carrier complaints that have been pending for more than a year. This is down from 10 last year and over 150 when the Bureau began three years ago.

Similarly, while we inherited approximately 120 cable rate and pole attachment cases more than a year old as part of the March 2002 reorganization, we now have only nine such cases.

IV. Goals for 2003

Looking ahead to 2003, we aim to stay focused on sustaining the FCC's role as a credible enforcement agency.

At headquarters, we expect to be even more active on section 271 and E-911 enforcement. In the field, we intend to further develop and obtain the expertise and equipment needed to deal with interference in the digital age.

I am confident that EB's talented and hardworking staff will continue to do great work on behalf of the American public. Thank you.

last reviewed/updated on Wed Jan 15 18:05:53 EST 2003
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