28 Facts About FCC


The FCC maintains jurisdiction over the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.

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FCC was formed by the Communications Act of 1934 to replace the radio regulation functions of the Federal Radio Commission.

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The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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The FCC's mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States.

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The FCC provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America.

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FCC is directed by five commissioners appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate for five-year terms, except when filling an unexpired term.

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FCC is organized into seven bureaus, which process applications for licenses and other filings, analyze complaints, conduct investigations, develop and implement regulations, and participate in hearings.

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The FCC first solicited bids for a new headquarters complex in 1989.

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The FCC had wanted to move into a more expensive area along Pennsylvania Avenue.

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The senator had pressured the FCC, and proved ultimately successful as the first new station came on-line a remarkable ten days after the commission formally announced the first post-Freeze construction permits.

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Public comments to the FCC indicated that the public largely believed that the severe consolidation of media ownership had resulted in harm to diversity, localism, and competition in media, and was harmful to the public interest.

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FCC first promulgated rules for cable television in 1965, with cable and satellite television now regulated by the FCC under Title VI of the Communications Act.

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Broadcast television and radio stations are subject to FCC regulations including restrictions against indecency or obscenity.

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FCC has established rules limiting the national share of media ownership of broadcast radio or television stations.

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FCC initially exempted "information services" such as broadband Internet access from regulation under Title II.

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The FCC held that information services were distinct from telecommunications services that are subject to common carrier regulation.

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However, Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 required the FCC to help accelerate deployment of "advanced telecommunications capability" which included high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video, and to regularly assess its availability.

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The FCC imposed no fine, but required Comcast to end such blocking in 2008.

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FCC chairman Kevin J Martin said the order was meant to set a precedent that Internet providers, and indeed all communications companies, could not prevent customers from using their networks the way they see fit unless there is a good reason.

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In December 2010, the FCC revised the principles from the original Internet policy statement and adopted the Open Internet Order consisting of three rules regarding the Internet: Transparency.

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The FCC declined to investigate claiming that it could not investigate due to the classified nature of the program– a move that provoked the criticism of members of Congress.

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The FCC typically obtains spectrum for auction that has been reclaimed from other uses, such as spectrum returned by television broadcasters after the digital television transition, or spectrum made available by federal agencies able to shift their operations to other bands.

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However, in recent decades the FCC has opened some spectrum bands for unlicensed operations, typically restricting them to low power levels conducive to short-range applications.

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However, unlicensed devices — like most radio transmission equipment — must still receive technical approval from the FCC before being sold into the marketplace, including ensuring that such devices cannot be modified by end users to increase transmit power above FCC limits.

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An FCC database provides information about the height and year built of broadcasting towers in the US.

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FCC has been criticized for ignoring international open standards, and instead choosing proprietary closed standards, or allowing communications companies to do so and implement the anticompetitive practice of vendor lock-in, thereby preventing a free market.

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Digital radio, the FCC chose proprietary HD Radio, which crowds the existing FM broadcast band and even AM broadcast band with in-band adjacent-channel sidebands, which create noise in other stations.

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The FCC Record is the comprehensive compilation of decisions, reports, public notices, and other documents of the FCC, published since 1986.

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