Editorial: Show Them the Money

Related: Editorial: Just the Facts

The FCC should not have to go hat in hand to Congress to get enough money to protect the valuable spectrum of those it regulates. The news that it’s considering cutting Enforcement Bureau staff dealing with radio frequency interference—radio and TV signals, of course—was troubling to the National Association of Broadcasters, as well it might be.

The FCC is considering new ways to share spectrum among government users and perhaps with others, at the same time proposing a Rubik’s Cube of TV station repacking after the Rubik’s Cube of an incentive auction. The agency covers its own costs out of user fees and auctions. With the billions it collects, a few more million to make sure it can run an IT department and protect it from interference is not asking too much.

If the FCC “streamlining” is about efficiency and will not affect its ability to preserve and protect spectrum, fine. Otherwise, it should get the money it needs to do the job right. Period.