FCC Submits $313 Million Budget

The FCC has asked Congress for $313 million to run itself in fiscal 2008. The figure covers all commission operations, including a $1.5 million chunk for DTV transition education.

The commission said that it was looking to team up with broadcasters on public service announcements and do "radio and TV satellite media tours" to let folks know that over-the-air analog TV signals will cease to be on Feb. 17, 2009. Print and 'net outreach would be employed, as well as forums and public events.

The effort would be multicultural: "DTV outreach in 2008 will include enhanced components for producing and distributing transition information to low-income and minority consumers, as well as those who speak languages other than English, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other languages."

The FCC also asked for legislation allowing it to impose a "spectrum auction user fee" that would allow the agency to collect an estimated $3.6 billion through 2018. The commission requested authorization "to set user fees on unauctioned spectrum licenses based on public-interest and spectrum-management principles." Fees would hammered out through a rulemaking and phased in over time.

The agency's current budget is around $290 million.