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Federal Communications Commission

Media Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, International Bureau, Consumer And Governmental Affairs Bureau

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates interstate and foreign communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and CABLE TELEVISION. The FCC oversees the development and operation of broadcast services and the provision of nationwide and worldwide telephone and telegraph services. It also oversees the use of communications for promoting the safety of life and property and for strengthening the national defense. The FCC maintains a comprehensive web site: www.fcc.gov.

The FCC was created by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C.A. § 151 et seq.) to regulate interstate and foreign communications by wire and radio in the public interest. The scope of its regulation includes radio and television broadcasting; telephone, telegraph, and cable television operation; two-way radio and radio operation; and satellite communication. The FCC is composed of five members who are appointed by the president. Only three of the commissioners may be members of the same political party at any given time. A review board and an office of general counsel assist the commission. In addition, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW judges conduct evidentiary adjudicatory hearings and write initial decisions. In January 2002, the FCC announced a major restructuring of several of its bureaus, reducing the number of bureaus from seven to six and renaming several of them.

FURTHER READINGS

U.S. Government Manual Website. Available online at <www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual> (accessed November 10, 2003).

CROSS-REFERENCES

Censorship; Fairness Doctrine.

Additional topics

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