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FY 2015 FCC Budget in Brief

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Released: March 4, 2014




Fiscal Year 2015 Budget In Brief

March 2014

Table of Contents


• Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 1

• Summary of Request .......................................................................................................... 3

• Proposed Appropriation Language .................................................................................... 4

• Legislative Proposals ......................................................................................................... 5

• Summary of FY 2013-FY 2015 FTEs and Funding Comparison...................................... 6

• Summary of Changes ......................................................................................................... 7

• Narrative Explanation of Changes ..................................................................................... 8



The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) is pleased to present its fiscal year
(FY) 2015 budget request. The FCC is requesting a budget of $375,380,313 to carry out the FCC’s
functions and meet the expectations of Congress.

The FCC’s FY 2015 budget submission includes requests for funding to:
(1) support reform of the Universal Service Fund Support Program;
(2) provide resources for mission-critical systems to ensure that they are operational during a
Continuity of Operations (COOP) event;
(3) create a Do-Not-Call registry for telephone numbers used by Public Safety Answering Points
(4) to replace Enforcement Bureau’s Equipment;
(5) support Commission-wide information technology improvements through new FTEs; extending
the enterprise storage; big data cybersecurity analytics; and cybersecurity authorization,
admission, and education; and
(6) improve the evolution of the Broadband map.

In furtherance of these objectives and the FCC’s mission, the FY 2015 budget request will be used to
support the following Strategic Goals:

Strategic Goal 1: Connect America

Maximize Americans’ access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband where they live,
learn, work, and travel.

Strategic Goal 2: Maximize Benefits of Spectrum

Maximize the availability of spectrum in order to provide diverse and affordable communications
services to consumers.

Strategic Goal 3: Protect and Empower Consumers

Empower consumers by ensuring that they have the tools and information they need to make informed
choices in their use of communications services; protect consumers from harm in the communications

Strategic Goal 4: Promote Innovation, Investment, and America’s Global Competitiveness

Ensure that all lawful content can be provided, and accessed, without artificial barriers; promote
innovation in a manner that improves the nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, creating a
virtuous circle that results in more investment and in turn enables additional innovation.

Strategic Goal 5: Promote Competition

Ensure a competitive market for communications and media services to foster innovation, investment,
and job creation, and to ensure consumers have meaningful choice in affordable services.

Strategic Goal 6: Public Safety and Homeland Security

Promote the availability of reliable, interoperable, redundant, rapidly restorable critical
communications infrastructures that are supportive of all required services.

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Strategic Goal 7: Advance Key National Purposes

Through international and national interagency efforts, advance the use of broadband for key national

Strategic Goal 8: Operational Excellence

Make the FCC a model for excellence in government by effectively managing the FCC’s human,
information, and financial resources; by basing decisions on sound data and analyses; and by
maintaining a commitment to transparent and responsive processes that encourage public involvement
and best serve the public interest.

The FCC’s FY 2015 budget submission also includes a request for the spending of Auctions funding at
$106 million to support the timely implementation of the Incentive Auctions program.

As in prior years, the FCC is submitting its FY 2015 budget request information at the organizational
level to show the proposed use of resources. In addition, the FCC’s budget request also shows the
proposed use of funds by key accounts within each bureau or office. This format provides a detailed
view of the FCC’s proposed use of budgetary resources. We welcome the budgetary process and stand
ready to provide Congress with the information to ensure effective oversight of the FCC.

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requesting a FY 2015 appropriation of $375,380,313. We project the FCC will employ
1,790 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in FY 2015 from requested resources.

The FCC will use the FY 2015 funds to carry out its fundamental mission to ensure that the American people have available, at reasonable costs and
without discrimination, rapid, efficient, Nation - and world-wide communications services whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable.
($ in thousands)

FY 2014

FY 2015










Budget Authority to use Offsetting Collections:

Regulatory Fees - Commission
Regulatory Fees - OIG

Total Offsetting Collections


Authority to spend Other Offsetting Collections:

Economy Act/Misc. Other Reimbursables
Auction Cost Recovery Reimbursements - Commission
$98,033 1/
$105,481 1/
Auction Cost Recovery Reimbursements - OIG
$706 1/
$519 1/

Subtotal: Budget Authority Offsetting Collections


Subtotal: Offsetting Collections


Other Budget Authority:
Credit Program Account

Universal Service Fund (USF)
$3,315 2/
$4,130 2/

Subtotal: Other Budget Authority


Total Gross Proposed Budget Authority

1,790 3/
1/ The Auctions request of $106M in FY 2015 represents a increase of $7.3M from FY 2013 & FY 2014 for Incentive Auctions of $98.7M.
2/ The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-161) authorizes use of $21.5M to be used by the Office of the Inspector General for USF Audit Support. In FY 2008 -
FY 2013, $13.9M was obligated. The remaining $7.6M has been carried forward, as follows $3.3M is estimated to be used in FY 2014 and $4.3M will be used in FY 2015.
3/ The total request of 1,790 FTEs is increase of 55 FTEs, of which includes 10 new FTEs to support the IT Center and 45 new hires for the USF support oversight.

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For necessary expenses of the Federal Communications Commission, as authorized by law,
including uniforms and allowances therefore, as authorized by 5 U.S.C. §§ 5901-5902; not to
exceed $4,000 for official reception and representation expenses; purchase and hire of motor
vehicles; special counsel fees; and services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. § 3109, $375,380,313, to
remain available until expended: Provided, That $375,380,313 of offsetting collections shall be
assessed and collected pursuant to section 9 of title I of the Communications Act of 1934, shall
be retained and used for necessary expenses and shall remain available until expended: Provided
further, That the sum herein appropriated shall be reduced as such offsetting collections are
received during fiscal year 2015 so as to result in a final fiscal year 2015 appropriation estimated
at $0: Provided further, That any offsetting collections received in excess of $375,380,313 in
fiscal year 2015 shall not be available for obligation: Provided further, That remaining
offsetting collections from prior years collected in excess of the amount specified for collection
in each year and otherwise becoming available on October 1, 2014, shall not be available for
obligation: Provided further, That, notwithstanding 47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(8)(B), proceeds from the
use of a competitive bidding system that may be retained and made available for obligation shall
not exceed $106,200,000 for fiscal year 2015, including not to exceed $518,981 for obligation by
the Office of the Inspector General: Provided further, That, of the amount appropriated under
this heading, not less than $11,090,000 shall be for the salaries and expenses of the Office of
Inspector General.

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Legislative Proposals

The Administration is proposing legislative changes in the President’s FY 2015 Budget that
pertain to the FCC and that are designed to improve spectrum management and represent sound
economic policy. The proposed legislative changes are included below.

Spectrum License User Fee

To promote efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum, the Administration proposes to
provide the FCC with express authority to use other economic mechanisms, such as fees, as a
spectrum management tool. The FCC would be authorized to set user fees on unauctioned
spectrum licenses, which could be useful in certain instances. Fees would be phased in over
time to determine the appropriate application and level for fees. Fee collections are estimated to
begin in 2015, and total $4.8 billion through 2024.

Repurpose 1675 -1680 Megahertz using Auction or Fee Authority

The Administration proposes to direct that the FCC use either auction or fee authority to
repurpose spectrum frequencies between 1675-1680 megahertz for wireless broadband use by
2017, subject to sharing arrangements with Federal weather satellites. Currently, the spectrum is
being used for radiosondes (weather balloons). A new weather satellite that is scheduled for
launch in 2015 will operate in adjacent frequencies. If this proposal is enacted, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would move the radiosondes to another frequency,
allowing the spectrum to be repurposed for commercial use with limited protection zones for the
remaining weather satellite downlinks. Without this proposal, these frequencies are unlikely to
be repurposed to commercial use. The proposal is expected to raise $230 million over the next
10 years.

Auction Domestic Satellite Service Spectrum Licenses

The FCC would be allowed to assign licenses for certain satellite services that are predominantly
domestic through competitive bidding, as had been done before a 2005 court decision called the
practice into question on technical grounds. The proposal is expected to raise $50 million from

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FY 13

FY 14

FY 15

(Dollars in Thousands ($000))









(Note 1)

Chairman and Commissioners


Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau


Enforcement Bureau


International Bureau


Media Bureau


Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau


Wireless Telecommunications Bureau


Wireline Competition Bureau


Office of Administrative Law Judges


Office of Commun. Business Opportunities


Office of Engineering & Technology


Office of the General Counsel


Office of Legislative Affairs


Office of the Managing Director


Office of Media Relations


Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis


Office of Workplace Diversity




Office of Inspector General




Note 1:

The total request of 1,790 FTEs is increase of 55 FTEs, of which includes 10 new FTEs to support the IT Center and 45 new
hires for the USF support oversight.
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($ in thousands)

FY 2014

FY 2015

Net Change From

Cong. Approp.

Cong. Request

FY 2014 Request

Offsetting Collections
Offsetting Collections - OIG

Total Offsetting Collection/Spending Authority

FCC Full-time Equivalents
FCC-OIG Full-time Equivalents

Total Full-time Equivalents 1/


Explanation of Changes

FCC - Commission without Office of the Inspector


Inflationary Increases to Base:

Salary Increases - Pay Raise (1%)
Non Salary Increases (1.6%)
FERS Retirement Increase

Adjustments to the Base:

Support for Reform of the Universal Service Fund Support Program
Continuity of Operations Plan
Public Safety Answering Points - Do Not Call Registry
Broadband Map (Transfer from NTIA)
Enforcement Bureau Equipment
New FTEs for ITC Support

Programmatic Increases:

IT Storage Expansion
Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics
Cybersecurity Authorization, Admission, & Education
Cybersecurity Metrics Program
Modernization of Aging IT Systems
Broadband Map (One-time Cost)
FCC Subtotal - before the Office of the Inspector General
FCC-OIG Subtotal
1/ The total request of 1,790 FTEs is increase of 55 FTEs, of which includes 10 new FTEs to support the IT Center and 45
new hires for the USF support oversight.
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Narrative Explanation of Increases and Decreases

Inflationary Increases to Base


1. Personnel Compensation and Benefits. The requested $2,133,618 provides funds to cover the
cost of the 1% FY 2015 pay raise for 75% of the fiscal year, funds to annualize 25% of the
FY 2014 pay raise (.5%), and funds to cover the cost of pay increases resulting from actions
other than pay raises (such as time-in-grade step increases) and increases in health benefit

2. FERS Retirement Cost Increase. The requested $2,181,792 will provide funding to cover the
expected increase in FERS Retirement benefits.

3. Non-Salary Increases. The requested $1,523,902 provides expected inflationary increases for
space rentals (GSA and non-GSA facilities), phones, utilities, printing and reproduction
services, contractual services, and supplies. These increases are developed in accordance
with OMB guidelines for projected inflationary costs (1.6%).

Other Increase Base


1. Reform of the Universal Service Fund Support Program: ($10,877,000)

This request is for funds to support the Commission’s work to modernize and reform the
Universal Service Fund (USF) Support programs. Since 2009, the Commission has taken
major steps to modernize the four USF support programs with a particular emphasis on
improving broadband connectivity nationwide. In 2010, the Commission undertook
fundamental reform of the rural portion of the USF program to repurpose approximately $4.5
billion annually to provide broadband to all Americans, including the more than 19 million
unserved homes. In 2011, the Commission reformed the Lifeline program, which provides
basic phone service to low-income families, realizing cost savings of more than $200 million
in the past year and repurposing a portion of those savings to initiate a pilot program to
provide broadband to low-income families. Also in 2011, the Commission undertook reform
of the under-utilized program that provides broadband connectivity to non-profit rural health
care providers, allowing them to realize cost savings through increased use of the
telemedicine program. More resources are required to continue the Commission’s work to
modernize USF, implement reforms, increase its oversight of the newly-reformed programs
and provide for critical enforcement of the rules. This request will support funding for
additional staff including, attorneys, economists, IT specialists, program managers, and

2. Continuity of Operation Plan: ($520,000)

The Commission must provide for its mission-critical systems to be redundant and fully
operational in a Continuity of Operations (COOP) event. The Commission has many (over
20) mission-critical IT systems and is undertaking an ongoing review of such systems,
starting with the highest priority systems, to determine what actions are needed to be fully
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operational in such an event. In the past two years, the FCC has assessed two of its most
important mission-critical systems, the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and the Office of
Engineering and Technology’s Frequency Assignment System (OFACS). The ULS is an
interactive licensing database system used to track wireless licenses and to process and
approve new applications, including emergency applications during disasters. This system is
used for both commercial and public safety licenses. The ULS enables the FCC, public
safety frequency coordinators, and the public to efficiently search for application and license
information. OFACS is also essential for the conduct of the FCC’s spectrum management
and coordination responsibilities. OFACS enables FCC spectrum personnel to access all
major FCC spectrum license databases and to provide frequency assignment records to the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), our primary partner
in the conduct of the Nation’s spectrum management activities.

3. Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) Do Not Call Registry: ($500,000)

Section 6507 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requires the FCC
to create a Do-Not-Call registry for telephone numbers used by Public Safety Answering
Points (PSAPs) and to prohibit the use of automatic dialing equipment to contact those
numbers. PSAPs are facilities that have been designated to receive emergency calls and route
them to emergency service personnel. On October 17, 2012, the FCC released a report and
order to create such a registry. Under the statute, verified PSAP administrators or managers
must be able to place into the PSAP registry telephone numbers that are used for the provision
of emergency services or for communications between public safety agencies.

4. Broadband Map (Transfer from NTIA): ($3,000,000)

In FY 2014 and prior fiscal years the Broadband Map costs were included in NTIA’s
appropriations from Congress. Then, NTIA entered into reimbursable agreements with the
FCC for the work performed by the Commission staff. In FY 2015, the Commission will be
fully responsible for the Broadband Map. The modernization of FCC Form 477 will drive
an evolution of the national broadband map to further improve its utility as a key resource of
broadband deployment for consumers, policymakers, researchers, economists, and others.
The online platform will leverage previous investments with new approaches to open
government data, creating a robust and sustainable online platform. The ongoing cost of
these efforts for FY 2015 will be $3 Million. The Commission has requested $1 million as a
one-time initiative for the Broadband Map.

5. Enforcement Bureau Equipment: ($625,000)
An important part of the Enforcement Bureau's (EB) responsibilities is the enforcement of
technical rules and interference resolution, particularly in the areas of homeland security and
public safety. Emerging technology is adding increased complexity to the resolution of
harmful interference that affects both federal and local government operated public safety
services, and critical infrastructure. As radio technology evolves, manufacturers of test and
measurement equipment also follow those advances, and EB's technical capability must also
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keep pace with the evolving technology.
6. FTEs for Information Technology Center Support ($610,000)
Analysis performed in 2010 of other agencies comparable to the FCC in workforce size and
budget showed that such organizations, on average, have 72 FTEs providing IT support and
services. The FCC, in contrast, has only 37 IT FTEs. Funds are requested to support the
hiring of 10 new FTEs for FY 2015 to perform inherently governmental functions of FCC
security, IT project management, and IT contract oversight and management.
This request represents a conservative increase, recognizing the constraints of the budget, and
is necessary to meet the current demand and work of the IT office and address concerns of
under-resourcing this important work. While a larger request would allow the FCC to
perform more efficiently, even offsetting the increased funding in realized efficiencies and
reduced costs (such as reducing the number of contractors needed and better managing long-
term investment) the FCC will work to leverage this conservative increase to achieve such
goals, since, without such increase, the FCC faces significant risk. The agency’s IT
workforce has been drastically reduced in recent years. The FTEs most likely to leave the
agency are those representing the bulk of the agency’s institutional knowledge base. Without
increased resources in this critical area, the FCC faces the inability to onboard a sufficient
amount of new talent to engage in knowledge transfer from more senior FTEs before those
FTEs either retire or move on to other more lucrative careers. Loss of that institutional
knowledge could put FCC's legacy IT systems at substantial operational risk.

New Program Performance Initiatives


1. Commission-wide Information Technology: $12,565,000

During FY 2014, the Commission will continue the work of creating a more robust
cybersecurity program and upgrading mission critical systems. In FY 2015, the Commission
will need to invest additional resources in order to sustain and build upon these efforts.

IT Storage Expansion ($1.290M)
: The FCC needs to expand the tiered enterprise storage
solution to include off-site external storage providers, lower cost storage servers, distributed
file systems, and off-site backup and replication technologies. The solution will be able to
move seamlessly and access data stored in multiple locations through multiple providers
without impacting the users or business applications in the Commission. The system will be
scalable at all levels and storage locations and will provide for improved disaster recovery
and COOP capabilities.

Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics ($700K): Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics is applying
big data technologies to Cybersecurity. Current big data technologies are seeing tremendous
success in social media, intelligence, and marketing industries. These technologies will
mature through the year with acceptance by the Cybersecurity community in 2015.

- 10 -

Current big data technology includes massive data repositories, cloud technology, and the use
of unstructured data. Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics will be a disruptive technology in the
Cybersecurity arena, as traditional analysis and forensics techniques will be superseded by
automation conveniences that reduce the burden of work on the analyst. Big data will
become a platform for new methods of analysis. This will greatly increase the Commission’s
abilities to perform Root Cause Analysis.

One example of such analysis is the reverse engineering of malware on computer networks.
Current techniques use a variety of mechanisms to reassemble, export, quantify, and analyze
behavior of malware. Pending capability and skill set, this task can take weeks to perform, as
it involves a number of analysis steps to retrieve a call graph of malware execution from a
disassembler. Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics will present options that automate this
capability, reduce the analyst burden, and improve the ability to quickly perform this

Cybersecurity Authorization, Admission & Education ($800K): Authorization & Admission
is going to be an evolving concern as applications like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
are installed onto our networks. This challenge is similar to those we face with physical
network access. Instead of worrying about unauthorized computers being attached to the
physical network, organizations must be concerned with virtual computers. These virtual
computers must be authorized before they may be admitted to the network enclave.

A current challenge organizations have solved is network access control for physical
computers. A favorite tactic of auditors is to sneak a computing device into a building and
plug it into the network. They use this to gain unfettered access to network resources and
demonstrate that their client’s network is vulnerable to attack. This has been solved most
recently with network access control technologies that probe new devices to make certain
they match network requirements.

With virtualization comes new challenges. Now computers can spawn within the network
and on computers already connected to the network. At this point, the computers already
have access to the network. Authorization and admission technology for virtual computers is
required to prevent this from happening. Applications must be authorized to access network
resources. This prevents attacks analogous to the physical computer. Trusted operating
systems have this as a limited capability, but this must be expanded to include networks.

As technology continues to evolve, it is becoming more important for the average user to
understand Cybersecurity and the steps necessary to protect FCC data. As the FCC moves
into a new area of VDI and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the Commission opens itself
to vulnerabilities that can be best thwarted by good user education of Security Best

Cybersecurity Metrics Program ($575K): The FCC has initiated planning efforts to collect
and analyze monthly metrics related to the cybersecurity threats addressed using data
obtained from commercial sources. For example, metrics such as the number of bot
infections across an ISP’s customer base will be provided to Cybersecurity and
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Communications Reliability Division (CCRD) for analysis and baseline tracking. Once
effective metrics begin to be voluntarily reported in FY14, the FCC will implement a
Cybersecurity Dashboard to track the commercially-obtained data to support the analysis
process. The Cybersecurity Dashboard will help the FCC track the ongoing progress of
cybersecurity initiatives.

Modernization of Aging IT Systems (9.2M): About 40% of the FCC's application portfolio is
more than 10 years old, and 70% of the IT portfolio depends on depreciated, legacy
technologies. FCC is making significant investments in FY14 in a modular, modern, open
standardized computing platform that allows reusability of IT modules across the FCC
Bureaus and Offices where appropriate. In FY15, the FCC seeks to modernize the
application environment via bottom-up, modular architecture approach to a current, secure,
open-source based, and cloud-friendly framework that is significantly more manageable and
sustainable and consistent with this modular, modern platform. Modular modernization of
legacy systems will reduce maintenance and long-term support costs of the portfolio, enable
significant application consolidation, improve security controls, enable the Commission to
move applications to an external cloud or host, and reduce the risk of a critical legacy system
failure during a national spectrum auction.

This bottoms-up, modular modernization effort also will significantly reduce/enable closure
of open FISMA findings, make ongoing remediation efforts more efficient, reduce the risk of
cyber-exploits on aged infrastructure, and greatly improve the agency’s computer security
posture. The modular approach will focus on smaller IT modules that can be reused. The
modular approach will also incorporate improvements that save time, save money, or reduce
the number of workers required to carry out the work flows of the different FCC Bureaus and
Offices. Without this modular modernization effort, FCC legacy application support and
maintenance costs will continue to increase at a much higher rate than is sustainable, as
support and maintenance for outdated technologies becomes more difficult to locate and
more costly to procure.

2. Bureaus and Offices:

Broadband Map ($1.0M): The modernization of FCC Form 477 will drive an evolution of
the national broadband map to further improve its utility as a key resource of broadband
deployment for consumers, policymakers, researchers, economists, and others. The online
platform will leverage previous investments with new approaches to open government data,
to create a robust and sustainable online platform. A one-time cost of $1 Million is required
in order to accommodate the increase in data collected under Form 477, improve access to
the public, and provide long-term stability for the national broadband map; to accomplish
this, an investment in programming code, software licensing, and cloud service expansion is
required. The Commission requested $3 Million as a base increase for the Broadband Map.

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Document Outline

  • Budget Cover
  • FY_2015_Budget in Brief 03 04 2014
    • Inflationary Increases to Base $5,839,312
    • Other Increase Base $16,132,000
    • New Program Performance Initiatives $13,565,000

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