It’s hard to talk about telecommunications without talking about the FCC. The term “FCC” can be seen throughout the media, but many of us find ourselves wondering what exactly the FCC is and why it is often talked about. What do they do and what it is that makes them controversial at times?
The FCC, or Federal Communications Commission, is responsible for regulating interstate communications throughout the United States. This involves communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Their headquarters is located in Southwest Washington, D.C. The FCC was formed in 1934 as a part of the Communications Act of 1934 in order to replace the radio regulation functions of the Federal Radio Commission. It also regulated the wire communication that the Interstate Commerce Commission had previously regulated.
The FCC’s mission, after being amended in the Telecommunication Act of 1996, is to “make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and worldwide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.” Essentially, the FCC overlooks communication services to ensure that everything is running smoothly and everyone is being treated fairly.
Sometimes, circumstances lead people and companies to question whether the FCC is carrying out its mission properly. Many petitions have been filed against the FCC. A number of these petitions are being filed by companies who claim that the FCC is in violation of the TCPA or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Those who are unaware of Telephone Consumer Protection Act are still certainly thankful for it. According to Wikipedia, it “restricts telephonesolicitations (i.e., telemarketing) and the use of automated telephoneequipment. The TCPA limits the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines.” It’s great that an act was put in place to stop telemarketers from calling us too many times, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced those pesky calls. But it’s unfortunate that we still get so many calls, and this is why the FCC has been sued a number of times.
Some of the most recent companies to file petitions against the FCC in violation of the TCPA include Virbac Corporation and Rita’s Water Ice Franchise Company. The FCC is an important part of our society, and that’s why it’s important to ensure that the FCC carries out its mission correctly.