Our Federal Communications Commission:
The FCC was created by an act of Congress in 1934. Its purpose is to "make available to all the people
of the United States, without discrimination, a rapid, efficient nationwide and worldwide wire and radio communication service
with adequate facilities at reasonable charges."
The current power of the 5-commissioner FCC (members are appointed by the president, with Senate confirmation)
is rooted in the Communications Act of 1934, which has been amended numerous times.
The Communications Satellite Act of 1962 expanded FCC regulatory powers over radio and television,
telegraph, telephone, two-way radio, satellite communications, and cable television.
The FCC’s most important power is to license, renew licenses, and revoke licenses of broadcast
entities. Its authority is based on the idea that the airwaves belong to the public, so broadcasters should consider "public
interest, convenience, and necessity" when deciding what to air.
As with every member of Congress, the FCC is influenced by the strong and steady lobbying efforts of
the giant conglomerates of the phone and cable industries who urge legislation favoring their bottom line/stock price. The
Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a give-away to media power players.
Mergers continue in an effort to gain broadcast domination. Today, the behemoths of the media industry
control 80% of our access to information. Two-thirds of newspapers are monopolies.
Its getting worse as rampant consolidation and mega-media mergers continue at a brisk pace (2007 began
with AT&T grabbing Southern Bell).
Is our right to information being served?