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Federal Communications Commission

The U.S. Agency which governs radio and television broadcasting.
Seal Of The United States Federal Communications Commission

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government created by statute (47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154) to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC maintains jurisdiction over the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.

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 1,688 federal employees, made up of 50% males and 50% females as of December 2017.

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 the safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications."

Consistent with the objectives of the Act as well as the 1999 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the FCC has identified four goals in its 2018–22 Strategic Plan. They are: Closing the Digital Divide, Promoting Innovation, Protecting Consumers & Public Safety, and Reforming the FCC's Processes.

Key Terms

communications act
fcc
federal communications commission
independent agency
public safety
purpose
ss
statute
united states
united states government

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Acronymn

FCC

Synonymns

Federal Communications Commission
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