The move is designed to let the agency formally integrate economics and analytics into its policymaking.
The FCC today voted to create an FCC Office of Economics and Analytics. This new unit, the commission said, will help ensure that economic analysis is deeply and consistently incorporated as part of the agency’s regular operations.
The Office of Economics and Analytics will use existing staff resources by bringing into one office FCC economists, attorneys, and data professionals who work on economic analysis, data policy and management, and research.
In support of and in coordination with other FCC bureaus and offices, this new office will provide economic analysis for rulemakings, transactions, adjudications, and other commission actions. It will manage the FCC’s auctions program, and it also will manage significant FCC data collections such as Form 477.
It will develop policies and strategies to manage the FCC’s data resources and establish best practices for use throughout the agency.
In addition, it will conduct long-term research on ways to improve the commission’s policies and processes.
The new office will include four divisions:
- The Economic Analysis Division will provide the commission with analytical and quantitative support.
- The Industry Analysis Division will be the FCC’s principal resource for designing and administering significant, economically-relevant data collections.
- The Auctions Division will lead the agency’s work in auction design and implementation issues, including for spectrum and universal service auctions.
- The Data Division will help develop and implement best practices, processes, and standards for data management to meet the commission’s needs.
This plan incorporates the proposals from a recent staff report by a working group which studied the idea of creating an office focused on economics.
FCC staff worked for months to put forward a comprehensive report on how such an office would function, how best to integrate it into the FCC’s work, and how to implement such a plan.
The FCC said it will be eliminating the current Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis and incorporating that team and other bureau and office staff into the new office.