You are here: > Resources > Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Self Description

February 2002: "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions."

Third-Party Descriptions

June 2016: 'Here’s Barr: “The FCC’s rule is nonsensical. They’re saying you can’t have exclusive agreements, but, at the same time, a landlord gets to say yes or no to anyone coming into the building, and you have to have the landlord’s permission. So, a landlord certainly can sign an agreement with one company and say ‘No’ to everybody else, thereby creating an exclusive agreement. So that’s what they do. They’re under no obligation to let everyone in, so they’ll extract a rent payment from one provider.”'

August 2014: "The FCC is still working through the public comments about their current net neutrality proposal, and it will be many months still before any final rule is made. But one industry veteran, with over four decades of experience in defining the digital world, suggests that maybe we want to slow down and rethink this a bit. What if, he suggests, true net neutrality isn’t actually everything we think it’s cracked up to be?"

July 2013: "So in Google’s version of net neutrality, the FCC was the right to force Apple to let iPhone users connect to their home servers, but the FCC has no right to force Google to let its broadband subscribers run a home server."

November 2012: In 1985, the conservative organization Fairness in Media, backed by Senator Jesse Helms, tried to arrange a takeover of CBS and “become Dan Rather’s boss.” It failed, but two years later conservatives set the stage for an even bigger triumph. For decades, radio and television broadcasters had been required to present multiple viewpoints on contentious public debates on the grounds that they were stewards of the public airwaves. But in 1987, members appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Federal Communications Commission abolished this “fairness doctrine.”'

February 2012: "Under the new rules, telemarketers would have to get permission in writing before placing an automated call to a consumer. Currently, companies that have an established business relationship with a particular consumer can call them without permission. For example, the FCC official said, a bank could robocall one of its checking account customers to try and sell them insurance. These new rules stop that without written permission."

February 2011: "WWOR-TV is the subject of an unusual investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, which is looking into charges that the station’s owner, the News Corporation, misrepresented the station’s number of employees and amount of programming. The investigation is gaining attention in part because WWOR is a rarity: it is effectively the only big commercial station licensed to the state of New Jersey."

December 2010: 'At the commission meeting in Washington, Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, said the steps were historic. “For the first time,” he said, “we’ll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness.”'

June 2010: "Just kidding. More seriously, the Federal Communications Commission took note of the European Union’s action and decided this year to study whether bill shock rules would be a good idea in this country. Yes, appears to be the answer. A survey conducted by the commission found that one in six cellphone users — about 30 million people — had experienced bill shock at least once. Nearly a quarter of those said the shock involved sums greater than $100."

May 2010: 'The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the "Selective Output Control" technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theater depending on what you're watching. And it sucks. As Dan Gillmor notes, "Fans of old TV science fiction will remember the Outer Limits. Given Hollywood's victory today at the FCC -- they'll be able to reach over the lines and disable functions on your TV -- the intro to the show takes on modern relevance."'

May 2010: "The Federal Communications Commission ordered Comcast to stop the blocking. Comcast challenged the ruling. On April 6, an appeals court in Washington sided with the operator, saying the F.C.C. could not tell Comcast how to manage its network."

October 2009: 'A boatload of smaller telcos and bigger broadband users are cheering yet another probe launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday—this one on the impact of "special access" rates on broadband availability in general.'

September 2009: 'Indeed, in November of 2003, our own Ofcom equivalent, the Federal Communications Commission, tried to push through a bonafide "broadcast flag" mandate for device makers. All gadgets able to pick up digital TV streams would have had to abide by codes embedded into video content signaling that a program was copyright protected, the FCC ordered, limiting the ability of consumers to copy and record. But an appeals court ruled in May of 2005 that Congress never gave the agency the authority to act on the question, and it shut the FCC's order down.'

August 2009: 'The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has just thrown out the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule limiting each cable provider to no more than 30 percent of the overall video marketplace. In the words of the justices (PDF), the rule was "arbitrary and capricious," and the FCC's "dereliction in this case is particularly egregious."'

July 2009: "Other programs are rejected because they duplicate (or potentially compete with) Apple's iPhone software. On July 31 the Federal Communications Commission sent a letter to Apple questioning its rejection of Google Voice, a telephony application. Many analysts believe the service was blocked because it could have snatched revenue from Apple's exclusive wireless service provider, AT&T (T), by providing cheap call rates over Google's (GOOG) lines. AT&T denies any involvement in the move. Among the FCC's questions: Why was Google Voice rejected? What are the standards for acceptance and rejection?"

July 2009: 'The Federal Communications Commission is examining a recent decision by Apple to reject an iPhone application developed by Google. On Friday, the commission sent letters to executives at Apple, Google and AT&T, which is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the United States, saying it was “interested in a more complete understanding of this situation.”'

July 2009: "Kohl called for reforms at the FCC that would force the largest carriers to offer partnerships with smaller service providers on data roaming, so that regional-carrier customers can get smartphone service around the country. He also called for the agency to scrutinize the exclusive deals between network carriers and phone makers such as Apple and Research in Motion, which sells the BlackBerry. Smaller carriers say such deals hamper their business as customers look for the latest and fastest phones, which only run on the biggest networks."

July 2009: "A bill introduced by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and backed by Maynard would allow local and state governments to seek jamming authority from the Federal Communications Commission on a prison-by-prison basis. The bill, the Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009, has the support of Maryland's senior U.S. senator, Barbara A. Mikulski (D), and a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee is likely this month."

July 2009: "This is not the first time the PPM system has come under scrutiny. In May, the FCC initiated an inquiry, inviting comments and complaints about the new ratings system. The deadline for submitting comments is today; as of yesterday afternoon, 54 comments had been filed."

April 2009: 'The Supreme Court’s last major case concerning broadcast indecency, F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation in 1978, upheld the commission’s determination that George Carlin’s classic “seven dirty words” monologue, with its deliberate, repetitive and creative use of vulgarities, was indecent. But the court left open the question of whether the use of “an occasional expletive” could be punished.'

April 2009: "For years the cable business had acted like a typical monopoly, providing less-than- ideal customer service, skyrocketing prices, and little choice of service. Then along came the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which opened the door for competition and promised weary cable customers relief at last. Too bad that relief never came. Nearly four years after the bill was passed, a mere 286 of the 30,000 U.S. cable markets were being served by more than one provider, according to the Federal Communications Commission. And in the FCC’s most recent report, in 2005, not much had changed; only 294 out of about 33,000 U.S. cable markets were served by more than one provider—meaning that for all the effort to create change, few customers today are being served by the smaller providers that generally offer better deals."

November 2008: 'The Supreme Court appeared far from a consensus Tuesday on whether the Federal Communication Commission's crackdown on broadcasters who allow "fleeting expletives" to reach the airwaves should continue.'

October 2008: "ISPs also have run into public and government opposition just for slowing down, not blocking, some Internet traffic. The Federal Communications Commission ruled in August, on a 3-2 vote, that Comcast's limiting of BitTorrent traffic was illegal. Comcast said it was merely trying to keep the flood of peer-to-peer file sharing from slowing down the Internet for everyone else. As for CopyRouter, the company's manager said it would not slow down Internet traffic noticeably, because it's not inspecting the contents of files, merely comparing their hash values to a list, which can be done quickly."

October 2008: 'Several lawmakers and professional sports organizations are urging the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote on opening spectrum known as "white spaces" for unlicensed use.'

August 2008: "And certainly any ISP thinking about looking at what its users are doing has got to be worried given that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is on a roll -- taking on ISPs that want to or have watched what their customers do online in order to serve them targeted ads. That roll is reportedly heading towards a long-fabled online privacy omnibus bill. Add to that, this month's unprecedented decision by the Federal Communications Commission to slap down Comcast for its secret and deceptive interference with file sharing traffic."

July 2008: "Comcast is poised for legal showdown with the Federal Communications Commission as the agency moves to fine the cable giant for blocking file-sharing traffic on its Web network."

July 2008: 'In a decision that clears CBS of any wrongdoing for airing the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that featured Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” a federal appeals court overturned the $550,000 fine that the Federal Communications Commission levied against the station, calling the fine arbitrary and capricious.'

April 2008: "The Federal Communications Commission 's (FCC) 700 MHz spectrum auction concluded on March 18 after nearly eight weeks of continuous bidding with $19.6 billion in bids. Verizon and AT&T were the big winners with Verizon winning most of the C-block. Last year, Google pushed the FCC to make the C-block open to all applications and devices. The commission granted that request, provided bidding on the spectrum reach a reserve price of $4.6 billion.",2817,2281382,00.asp

March 2008: "the transition to digital-only television -- the biggest change for the industry since color TV -- could leave some people in the dark....The Federal Communications Commission, which is leading education efforts about the transition, has been sponsoring workshops geared toward specific demographics. Of the more than 4,000 presentations the staff has given around the country, about 3,000 of them have been at senior centers, FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin said."

March 2008: "Because satellite Internet, like TV, requires a clear view in the proper direction, a tree or hill can spoil your online life. Some subdivisions attempt to prohibit rooftop and balcony accessories, although Federal Communications Commission regulations preempt many such restrictions."

March 2008: "While key players are slugging it out over ISP content filtering, the Federal Communications Commission has released a slew of decisions and announcements about broadband. They include a new public hearing on broadband network management practices and new rules for telecommunications services in apartment buildings. And one of the commissioners attempted to ease concerns of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) over the impact of net neutrality regulations."

March 2008: 'The [Supreme Court] will review the Federal Communications Commission's policy that even a one-time utterance of an obscene word on radio and television broadcasts during daytime and early evening hours is subject to punishment....The FCC says technology makes it easy for networks to avoid such gratuitous use of obscenity. The networks argue that the FCC has exceeded its authority when the word does not convey a sexual message...'

December 2007: "The Federal Communications Commission approved two new rules on Tuesday that are likely to reshape the nation’s media landscape by setting new parameters for the size and scope of the largest news and cable companies."

November 2007: The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday announced the details of his plan to relax the longstanding rule that had prevented a company from owning both a newspaper and a radio or television station in the same city.

November 2007: The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets — and it also pursues their users.

July 2007: The Federal Communications Commission is overseeing the auction of a portion of the radio frequency spectrum once used by television broadcasters, and this week drafted rules for the sale. The auction, scheduled for January, is expected to raise at least $15 billion, with bidders ranging from start-ups to established phone companies.

July 2007: Several members of a House subcommittee voiced agreement with a proposal that would require a portion of valuable airwaves about to be auctioned off by the Federal Communications Commission to be used for an 'open' network that would connect to any mobile device or service. Such a rule would benefit technology companies such as Google, Intel, Yahoo and Skype, who want more ways to reach their customers without going through carriers. The plan could hurt wireless carriers, who say unfettered access to their networks would undermine billions of dollars of investment for high-speed services.

June 2007: In a 2 to 1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York ruled that the FCC went too far in issuing a 2006 decision against Fox Broadcasting for separate incidents in 2002 and 2003 after singer Cher and celebrity Nicole Richie each uttered an expletive on live television.

June 2006: President Bush yesterday signed legislation that allows the Federal Communications Commission to slap a broadcaster with a fine of up to $325,000 per incident for airing programming the feds deem indecent.

March 2006: Which version of 'The Bedford Diaries' do you plan to watch -- or to miss? Thanks to the FCC and its quixotic censorship bender, two are available. One premieres tonight on the WB. The other is already streaming into homes via the Internet -- a 'webisode' that is safe, for now, from the government.

January 2005: The Federal Communications Commission, which had adopted the proposed rules in a hotly contested, 3 to 2, party-line vote in June 2003, now must decide whether to start anew on rules governing media consolidation or to re-argue its case before a lower court that the current proposals should be approved.

December 2004: The justices will hear an appeal of a lower-court ruling that threatened to force cable operators to share their Internet lines with competitors, much like local phone companies are required to do. The Federal Communications Commission had sought to exempt cable firms from the requirement, defining them not as telecommunications providers but as an information service.

December 2004: Executives at News Corp, which owns Fox, declined to comment, saying they wanted the filing to speak for itself. Executives at the other networks also declined to comment; both CBS and NBC have high-profile indecency appeals before the FCC. CBS is appealing a proposed $550,000 fine spurred by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show in February and NBC is appealing an indecency ruling caused by singer Bono's use of obscenity during a 2003 awards show.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Possible/Unclear Fairness in Media Organization Nov 7, 2012
Research/Analysis Subject Inner City Press (ICP) Organization Feb 24, 2008
Opponent (past or present) NextWave Wireless Organization Mar 1, 2008
Cooperation (past or present) Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) Organization Jul 12, 2008
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Independent Agencies Organization May 4, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Tom Allibone Person May 3, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) Mignon Clyburn Person Dec 22, 2010
Advised by (past or present) Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. David J. Farber Person Dec 4, 2006
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Prof. David "Dave" J. Farber Person
Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Gerry Faulhaber Ph.D. Person Mar 23, 2008
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Julius Genachowski Esq. Person Aug 20, 2009
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Reed Hundt Person Nov 19, 2008
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) William "Bill" Kennard Person Nov 19, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) Edward P. Lazarus Esq. Person Nov 21, 2009
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Organization Executive (past or present) Kevin J. Martin Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Robert M. McDowell Esq. Person Aug 7, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Newton Norman Minow Esq. Person May 1, 2010
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Michael K. Powell Person
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) David H. Solomon Person

Articles and Resources

178 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]

Date Resource Read it at:
Jun 27, 2016 Dear Landlord: Don’t Rip Me Off When it Comes To Internet Access When building owners get kickbacks from big providers it’s the tenants who lose

QUOTE: Water and heat are regulated utilities. But when it comes to Internet access, people in apartments (called Multiple Dwelling Units, or MDUs) often have the worst of both worlds: all the limitations of a utility framework — no competition, no choices — with zero protections for consumers. That means unconstrained pricing. Network operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, in cahoots with developers and landlords, routinely use a breathtaking array of kickbacks, lawyerly games of Twister, blunt threats, and downright illegal activities to lock up buildings in exclusive arrangements.

Aug 14, 2014 Founder Of One Laptop Per Child: Maybe Net Neutrality Isn’t Such A Good Idea After All

QUOTE: What we need, then, is some kind of middle ground, Negroponte suggests — but he also doesn’t quite suggest where that might be. Instead, he likens available bandwidth to a limited natural physical resource. If it’s immoral to use up all of the air, or water, or oil on frivolous things, is it perhaps also immoral to use up the internet?

Jul 30, 2013 Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality

QUOTE: In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network....So in Google’s version of net neutrality, the FCC was the right to force Apple to let iPhone users connect to their home servers, but the FCC has no right to force Google to let its broadband subscribers run a home server.

Nov 05, 2012 The Real Loser: Truth (Op-Ed)

QUOTE: To be sure, the Obama campaign has certainly had its own share of dissembling and distortion, including about Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and foreign aid. But nothing in it — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly or lose, the Romney campaign has placed a big and historic bet on the proposition that facts can be ignored, more or less, with impunity.

New York Times
Feb 15, 2012 FCC set to impose new limits on automated telemarketing calls

QUOTE: Under the new rules, telemarketers would have to get permission in writing before placing an automated call to a consumer. Currently, companies that have an established business relationship with a particular consumer can call them without permission.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Apr 08, 2011 House Votes Against ‘Net Neutrality’

QUOTE: But Republicans in the House maintained that the order exceeded the F.C.C.’s authority and put the government in the position of overseeing what content a consumer could see and which companies would benefit from Internet access... “This is a bill that will end the Internet as we know it and threaten the jobs, investment and prosperity that the Internet has brought to America,” Mr. Waxman said.

New York Times
Feb 20, 2011 New Jersey TV Station Is Accused of Failing Its Audience

QUOTE: The F.C.C.’s inquiry, announced on Thursday, was prompted by complaints from media activists who say that since the cutbacks, WWOR has overstated its coverage in filings to the F.C.C.

New York Times
Dec 21, 2010 F.C.C. Approves Net Rules and Braces for Fight (Media Decoder)

QUOTE: The new rules [approved by the FCC-- Ed.] are, at best, net semi-neutrality. They ban any outright blocking and any “unreasonable discrimination” of Web sites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers, but they afford more wiggle room to wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2010 Cellphone Charges, Rung Up by a Thief (The Haggler)

QUOTE: When a credit card company notices spending patterns way beyond a customer’s norm, it suspends the card until it’s sure the card is in the customer’s possession. Shouldn’t a cellphone company do the same?

New York Times
May 13, 2010 Recording Customer Service Calls to India

QUOTE: Last month, I wrote a Bucks post, “When and Why You Should Record Customer Service Calls,” with resources and guidelines for recording customer service this age of outsourcing, customer service representatives are often in other countries, like India or Ireland or a few other places. Which begs the question: What recording guidelines should one follow if the customer service representative is elsewhere?

New York Times
May 07, 2010 FCC hands Hollywood the keys to your PC, home theater and future

QUOTE: The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the "Selective Output Control" technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theater depending on what you're watching. And it sucks.

Boing Boing
May 02, 2010 Web’s Users Against Its Gatekeepers

QUOTE: With the majority of Internet traffic expected to shift to congestion-prone mobile networks, there is growing debate on both sides of the Atlantic about whether operators of the networks should be allowed to treat Web users differently, based on the users’ consumption.

New York Times
Apr 24, 2010 Undercover persuasion by tech industry lobbyists

QUOTE: The influence peddlers of K Street have discovered the power of social networking on such Web sites as Twitter and Facebook. Using their own names without mentioning that they work in public relations or as lobbyists, employees of companies with interests in Washington are chattering online to shape opinions in hard-to-detect ways.

Washington Post
Nov 20, 2009 Arrests made in massive, $390/hour Video Relay Service scam

QUOTE: Dealing with some technology is challenging enough for the hearing-impaired without scammers taking advantage of federal dollars meant to help them. That's exactly what has happened with the Federal Communications Commission's Video Relay Service (VRS), however...

Ars Technica
Oct 09, 2009 FCC to investigate "gating" role of middle-mile access lines

QUOTE: As DSL or cable customers, consumers usually pay directly for that last-mile access. But large businesses and other ISPs shell out humongous sums for middle and secondary transport services to connect their networks or cell towers with the Internet backbone.

Ars Technica
Oct 09, 2009 Epicenter The Business of Tech The Empire Strikes Back: FCC Probes Google Voice (Updated) (Epicenter)

QUOTE: AT&T has just given Google a taste of its own mandated openness medicine, successfully goading federal regulators into officially looking into why Google’s Voice service blocks phone calls to certain rural numbers.

Sep 21, 2009 If spectrum isn't scarce anymore, can you say $#!% on TV?

QUOTE: the brief [filed by the Center for Creative Voices and the Future of Music Coalition] also grapples with a very sticky wicket that the Second Circuit [Court of Appeals] may or may not take up: whether there's a scarcity of broadcast spectrum any more, and whether the legal precedent empowered by that assumption—a case called Red Lion—still authorizes the FCC to regulate the airwaves.

Ars Technica
Sep 18, 2009 DRM's tentacles snare British HDTV

QUOTE: DRM watchers are sounding the alarm about a proposal to bring what they fear amounts to a "broadcast flag" to the UK's over-the-air digital Freeview television service.

Ars Technica
Sep 02, 2009 Movie studios again demand HDTV disabling powers from FCC

QUOTE: "The vast majority of consumers would not have to purchase new devices to receive the new, high-value content contemplated by MPAA's" request, the group [MPAA] assures the FCC.

Ars Technica
Aug 28, 2009 Court tosses "arbitrary" FCC cable market share cap

QUOTE: The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has just thrown out the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule limiting each cable provider to no more than 30 percent of the overall video marketplace.

Ars Technica

178 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]