The Federal Communications Commission regulates almost every part of United States’ media industries. The FCC regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. (FCC, pg 1) The FCC is a self-governing organization of the United States Government and is run by Congress, who in fact formed the agency in June 19th, 1934. Congress established the FCC by the Communications Act of 1934, and it covers the entire United States as well as frequencies that enter internationally towards the United States. Also, the FCC licenses operators of different services and governs laws based on requirements for wire and wireless communications. The Federal Communications Commission also regulates indecency on the airwaves, with consequences enforced. According to the Museum of Broadcast Journalism, the most important powers granted to the commission are powers to license, short-license, withhold, fine, revoke or renew broadcast licenses and construction permits. (Museum of Broadcast Journalism).
In 1996 another added another section to the communications act with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, this act expanded the scale at which corporations can own media and ended the cross-ownership regulations. . The newest changes being made to the FCC occurred in 2008, in which a review will be held over the FCC to make frequencies equal for everyone. The FCC has gone through many controversies one of the biggest being after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack. At one point, “the elimination of FCC public-interest policies had led to a growing reliance on “soft” over “serious” news…” (Chester, 3).
According to the FCC website, the four goals that the FCC recently published are to expand Broadband Access, ensure competition, maintain the spectrum, and give Public Safety such as Homeland security. The FCC has also faced many controversies with its existence such as Network Neutrality, which requires that networks do not restrict access to content. Also the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 is used to enforce rules for broadcasters who do not follow the FCC’s laws and regulations.