I’ve written a long-overdue overview of the Enforcement Action Database. It’s a pretty simple explanation of what the numbers mean (which isn’t much, really) and how they are collected and compiled. 2006 marks the tenth year of data collection, and yet the information remains so sketchy that the big picture is still pretty much inconclusive.
2005 was a record-setting year in terms of the raw number of enforcement actions, but that’s partially because the FCC’s become somewhat more transparent about its activity and now routinely makes the issuance of warning letters public (in hopes of having a deterrent effect). Additionally, field agents tend to be making multiple visits to stations before escalating the enforcement protocol.