The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government. It was created by the United States Congress (Communications Act of 1934) to regulate communications. This includes radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. While it is an independent agency, the FCC does report to Congress. The FCC took over wire communication regulation from the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1934.
The FCC has five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States. Their 5-year appointment is confirmed by the Senate. One commissioner is selected to serve as chairperson by the president. The rules state that only three of the five may be from the same political party. No commissioner may have any financial interest in any business regulated by the FCC.
The FCC is organized into bureaus.
- Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB): regulates consumer protection policies. This includes Native American tribal nations and people with disabilities.
- Enforcement Bureau: enforces the laws and rules of the FCC.
- International Bureau: develops international policies in telecommunications and satellite programs.
- Media Bureau: regulates policy and licensing programs relating to electronic media.
- Wireless Telecommunications Bureau: regulates domestic wireless communications.
- Wireline Competition Bureau: develops policy concerning wire telecommunications.
- Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau: was launched in 2006.
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Federal Communications Commission Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.