Portland FCC Field Office To Remain Open

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    Bill Cooper

    According to Barry Mishkind’s BDR Newsletter (http://www.thebdr.net/articles/ongoing.html), the Portland FCC office has gotten a reprieve from the chopping block, but a few others were not as lucky:

    6/9/15 – Just ahead of the hearing scheduled for the 11th, the FCC backed down a bit on the “reality” of the closings. The Commission and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have reached an agreement that would keep an additional 7 field offices open.

    According to the agreement: The FCC will maintain field offices and/or personnel presences in Portland (OR), Denver, Boston, New Orleans, Hawaii, Anchorage and San Juan, previously slated for closure. (NYC, Columbia (MD), Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, LA, and SF were already “prodected.”)

    Still planned for closure: Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, Norfolk, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa.
    Kansas City will get a “rotation” of FCC field staff visiting once a month for a few days.

    Equipment will be prepositioned in KC, SLC, PHX, SEA, and Billings, MT.

    The FCC will deploy two “tiger teams,” one on the East Coast and a second team in Denver.

    The FCC will employ a new, defined escalation process for RF complaints.

    Chairman Wheeler has agreed to step up enforcement on pirate radio stations, including holding a roundtable with broadcasters within 30 days.

    Any money saved by the closing of field offices will go to field operations.

    Dan Packard

    Great to hear the Portland office has been spared from the chopping block. I see that tomorrow’s FCC oversight hearing has been canceled (chaired by Oregon’s Greg Walden, US House of Representatives).

    Paul Tilton

    I didn’t even know there WAS a Portland office.


    Actually, I think Binh works out of Vancouver.

    Andy Brown

    The Portland Field Resident Office is in Vancouver.

    Portland Resident Agent Office
    PO Box 61469
    Vancouver, WA 98666-1469
    (360) 696-6707


    The Seattle District Office is vacant, at least there is no current director there and I can’t find an address for an office post 2008.




    “Seattle” office was on a high point in a low bid building in suburban Kirkland. I worked next door to them for several years. The monitoring antennas are still on the roof, but don’t remember seeing anyone there the past couple years.

    11410 NE 122nd Way, Suite 312, Kirkland, WA 98034-6927

    Guess it doesn’t matter now, anyway. Your guy will have a lot of turf to cover.


    I remember the FCC in the Federal Building in downtown Seattle circa 1970’s. This is where I obtained my 3rd class license, back then important to operate radio stations, but even that was not enough to operate the big sticks, where you needed a first class license, which was a much higher skill level.

    I remember that in the late 70’s you could not be a solo operater of certain stations at night unless you had that first class ticket. I never achieved it, and as history turned out, it was never really important after the 1980’s.


    That is good news. Doesn’t Portland only have the one agent though?

    Andy Brown

    “certain stations at night unless you had that first class ticket.”

    Any AM directional or 50 kW.

    “it was never really important after the 1980’s.”

    Not for disc and cart jockeys but it remained and still is a valuable credential for some engineering positions in broadcasting. It was still required in TV through the 80’s. Many Master Control Operators in TV stations had what was then titled a General Class License. All First Class tickets were grandfathered into a General in the early 80’s, initially for a three year term and then a lifetime license.

    Although no longer required for Broadcast Chief Operators (which are still required see: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=267f483610d31fbc2927bdb70248cae3&mc=true&node=se47.4.73_11870&rgn=div8 ) the General Radio Operators License is still required for other services under the jurisdiction of the FCC. It is required to adjust, maintain, or internally repair FCC licensed radiotelephone transmitters in the aviation, maritime, and international fixed public radio services. It is also required to operate the following:
    •any compulsorily equipped ship radiotelephone station operating with more than 1500 watts of peak envelope power.
    •voluntarily equipped ship and aeronautical (including aircraft) stations with more than 1000 watts of peak envelope power.


    Of course, with the advent of computers and advanced automation techniques in combination with unlimited ownership rules, air “talent” is barely a job category anymore. But there is plenty of need for engineers who are versed in radio frequency amplifiers and tuned circuits in the various wireless services, so GROL’s or PG’s as they are known nowadays are still of value to some.


    I got the First Phone in 1977. I was in the Air Force and stationed at a NORAD radar site on the Washington coast.

    Someone from the Seattle Field office was driving out to the base to offer the exam to us radar and radio techs.

    The other guys told me, “You need to get an FCC license. It’ll look good on your resume when you get out.”

    Little did I know, how many doors it would open and I would end up with a life time career working with RF.

    By the way, driving all the way out to the coast to test us, that’s what I call customer service.


    Wonder if the Kirkland site is just a remote station?
    Back around 1980 I called the Washington monitor station at 10 PM & someone actually answered! They gave me the phone # for Livermore and someone also answered the phone at that hour.

    Andy Brown

    Kirkland was the Seattle district office.

    Vancouver is the Portland field office. It used to be in downtown Portland in the Federal Building.

    Monitor stations are not the same. The Washington monitor station is in Ferndale.

    Here are the protected monitoring stations (protected in the sense that you have to respect them when siting antenna for broadcast use)


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