As part of its effort to improve its responsiveness to incidents of interference, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a significant revamping of its current practices for handling and escalating interference complaints from public safety officials and industry.
According to a Public Notice issued in August 2015, the Commission has directed the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau to establish a dedicated web portal for the filing of interference complaints. The new portal will allow parties to file interference complaints directly with the Enforcement Bureau, and to provide information that will enable the Enforcement Bureau to prioritize each complaint received for investigation and response. All complaints filed through the portal will be immediately acknowledged, and those filing complaints will be able to track the status of their filings.
The Commission says that, under the new process, field agents from the Enforcement Bureau will contact complainants that have filed high priority complaints within one calendar day of their original filing. Even in cases of low priority complaints, filers can expect to receive contact from the FCC within 5 business days of their original filing.
Under the current system for handling interference complaints, the Commission says that it has typically encouraged public safety and industry officials to exhaust all possible avenues for resolving their complaints prior to contacting the FCC for assistance. In addition, there are currently multiple methods for filing interference complaints with the FCC, often leading to confusion and duplicated efforts on the part of complainants.
The interference complaint portal envisioned by the Commission is part of its recent Field Modernization Order issued in July 2015. The Commission has not yet established a date by which the complaint portal will become operational.