IMPACT OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION — FCC IN ACTION
FCC CONTROLLING COMMUNICATION IN THE U.S.
This agency has an incredible impact on our lives, our politics, our future and our access to information. The political positions taken and the regulations developed will make it possible for us to maintain free and open communications as part of a functioning democracy or make it possible for the basic communication channels to be concentrated in the hands of a few.
This topic, and agency, will be more fully developed as part of the media discussion and tracking the current administration’s actions to roll back regulation and to constrain a free and open communication infrastructure.
See Daily News posts for current activities under FCC and the Internet. The new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, is rapidly dismantling all of the progress made in establishing net neutrality. His actions are being touted as an excellent example of how to demolish the “administrative state”, per Steve Bannon and other conservative think tanks.
WIKIPEDIA AND FCC DESCRIPTIONS
The FCC as described by Wikipedia . . .
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government, created by Congressional statute (see 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154) to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security, and modernizing itself.
The FCC was formed by the Communications Act of 1934 to replace the radio regulation functions of the Federal Radio Commission. The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Territories of the United States. The FCC also provides varied degrees of cooperation, oversight, and leadership for similar communications bodies in other countries of North America. The FCC is funded entirely by regulatory fees. It has an estimated fiscal-2016 budget of US$388 million. It has 1,720 federal employees.[2
The FCC’s mission, specified in Section One of the Communications Act of 1934 and amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (amendment to 47 U.S.C. §151) is to “make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.” The Act furthermore provides that the FCC was created “for the purpose of the national defense” and “for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications.”
Consistent with the objectives of the Act as well as the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the FCC has identified six goals in its 2006–2011 Strategic Plan. These are:
- “All Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services. Regulatory policies must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment, and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have sufficient incentives to develop and offer such products and services.”
- “Competition in the provision of communication services, both domestically and overseas, supports the Nation’s economy. The competitive framework for communications services should foster innovation and offer consumers reliable, meaningful choice in affordable services.”
- “Efficient and effective use of non-federal spectrum domestically and internationally promotes the growth and rapid development of innovative and efficient communication technologies and services.”
- “The Nation’s media regulations must promote competition and diversity and facilitate the transition to digital modes of delivery.”
- Public Safety and Homeland Security
- “Communications during emergencies and crisis must be available for public safety, health, defense, and emergency personnel, as well as all consumers in need. The Nation’s critical communications infrastructure must be reliable, interoperable, redundant, and rapidly restorable.”
- Modernize the FCC
- “The Commission shall strive to be highly productive, adaptive, and innovative organization that maximizes the benefits to stakeholders, staff, and management from effective systems, processes, resources, and organizational culture.”
The FCC describes itself as follows . . .
“The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress, the commission is the United States’ primary authority for communications law, regulation and technological innovation. In its work facing economic opportunities and challenges associated with rapidly evolving advances in global communications, the agency capitalizes on its competencies in:
Promoting competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities
Supporting the nation’s economy by ensuring an appropriate competitive framework for the unfolding of the communications revolution
Encouraging the highest and best use of spectrum domestically and internationally
Revising media regulations so that new technologies flourish alongside diversity and localism
Providing leadership in strengthening the defense of the nation’s communications infrastructure”