The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the regulatory agency that oversees all broadcast media and communications. It regulates radio, television, cable and wire communication in all 50 states and territories of the United States.
FCC regulations are issued through a process called “notice and comment.” It lets people submit comments before a rule is established, amended or repealed. The rules can have a significant impact on how the public uses the airwaves and other communications services.
Broadcasting is the process of transmitting information over a network, such as radio or television. This may be over the air (as with a radio or TV station) or via cable (cable television).
One of the FCC’s primary responsibilities is to regulate broadcasting, which includes both radio and television. This involves determining which licensees are qualified to operate stations and deciding which programs will air on them.
The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, requires broadcasters to serve the public interest. Congress has given the Commission considerable discretion to determine what this standard means.
For instance, it has held that a broadcast licensee must air news reports in the public interest; they are required to be accurate and fair in their coverage of local, national, and international events. They are also required to give equal time to candidates for political office and to provide adequate space for rebuttal of controversial viewpoints. This is because as public trustees, broadcasters have a responsibility to ensure that they are covering events in a manner consistent with the interests of the general public.
The FCC is responsible for regulating all radio, TV, and satellite communications. Its decisions affect both public and private companies that use the airwaves, so its actions are watched closely by investors.
The Commission is led by five commissioners, each appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. All of them have five-year terms and cannot have a financial interest in any business that is regulated by the Commission.
In this case, the Commission is asking for comment on extending its OTARD protections to fixed wireless hub and relay antennas. This will increase competition between fixed wireless service providers and other services. It will also facilitate the offering of advanced services.
The FCC plays a critical role in determining the rules and regulations that govern telephone communications. These rules have a direct impact on how businesses communicate with their customers and the public.
The Commission adopts most rules through a process known as “notice and comment” rulemaking. The FCC publishes a draft of the rules on its website and solicits comments from the public before it finalizes them.
Under the Communications Act, the FCC regulates telecommunications in the “public interest, necessity and convenience.” It is responsible for the development and implementation of telecommunications policies.
The Commission has adopted a number of rules designed to promote competition in the wireless phone service industry. These rules are intended to promote competition in terms of rates, coverage, and service quality.
The FCC regulates cable communications, including television broadcasting and satellite services. It has many rules and regulations in its regulatory arsenal that govern signal quality, interference and other aspects of cable communications.
The best cable television signals are those that meet the basic technical quality standards defined by the FCC. Semi-annual testing is required of cable systems serving more than 1,000 subscribers to prove that their signals have met those standard.
A more detailed explanation of these standards is available on the agency’s website.
The FCC has also taken a hands-on approach to regulating cable systems, requiring them to maintain leakage control systems that minimize interfering interference with other over-the-air services and aircraft navigation channels (Federal Aviation Administration). These standards are designed to protect broadcast television and radio and aeronautical communication users by limiting individual signal leakage levels that could interfere with primary use.