FCC Chairman Pai announced his proposal to establish a standalone FCC Office dedicated to economics and data analysis, which would become the Office of Economics & Analytics, in an April 2017 speech at the Hudson Institute:
"The Importance of Economic Analysis at the FCC" (PDF)
Remarks Of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
The Hudson Institute, Washington, DC
April 5, 2017
Following the announcement of his proposal, the Chairman formed a working group of FCC staff to develop a plan for creating this new Office.
In January 2018, the working group released a report with its findings and recommendations:
A Plan for the Office of Economics and Analytics (PDF)
Working Group Recommendations and Report to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
January 8, 2018
On January 30, 2018, the FCC adopted an Order creating OEA. The Order amended the FCC’s rules to reflect the new organizational structure and describes OEA’s functions and delegated authority.
FCC Votes to Establish Office of Economics & Analytics
Released January 31, 2018
After receiving the required Congressional approvals and making formal notice in the Federal Register, the Commission announced the launch of OEA on December 11, 2018:
FCC Opens Office of Economics & Analytics (PDF)
December 11, 2018
The rules describing the functions of OEA can be found in section 0.21 of Title 47 the CFR: 47 CFR § 0.21.