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The FCC is an independent government agency that is overseen by Congress. The agency is responsible for managing communication processes and technology in the United States.


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Grayson Halstead

Grayson Halstead

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The FCC office is located at 445 12th Street SW, Washington DC. The office is near both the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Article: Federal Communications Co...
Source: Google Maps

Along with managing the transfer of information via communication technologies, the FCC is also responsible for setting time limits regarding the implementation of technology and services. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that the FCC does in fact have the jurisdiction to define what is a "reasonable" amount of time to construct wireless communication towers. The FCC maintains that 90-150 days was an acceptable time frame to implement the towers.

Article: Supreme Court Hears Argum...
Source: NY Times
Grayson Halstead

Grayson Halstead

6 Knowledge Cards 

Though the Supreme Court did not pass a specific ruling on the time frame established by the FCC, the fact that it didn't pass a ruling points to the conclusion that the Supreme Court probably agrees that the the time frame is at the least not unreasonable.


Another service provided by the FCC is its lifeline program, which helps provide basic phone service to low-income households to ensure phone communication in the event of an emergency. However, the program has been subject to fraud. To curb the spending on fraudulent lifeline program recipients, the FCC is limiting the phone lines it provides to one line per household which could save an estimated $400 million in 2013.

Article: FCC on Track to Save $400...
Source: Federal Communications Co...

The FCC also maintains a presence on Twitter. The FCC uses this social media outlet to update followers on actions being carried out by the organization and with advice for things such as how to communicate or get help in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

Article: The FCC on Twitter
Source: Twitter

To better accommodate the communication needs of the country, the FCC has a page on its website where people can file complaints. The webpage is broken down into various categories so that people can more accurately give their concerns and feedback to the Commission. Categories include broadcast TV, telephone services and communication services for people with disabilities, among others.

Article: File Complaint

In January of 2013, Chairman Genachowski of the FCC announced a new goal for broadband internet speed goals for the United States. Genachowski explained that he has established the "Gigabit City Challenge" which would push for at least one city in each of the 50 states to provide internet speeds of one gigabit per second. One gigabit per second is approximately 100 times faster than the average high-speed internet connection in the United States. Genachowski argues that by meeting this new goal, U.S. infrastructure will grow and allow for more business opportunities across the country.

Article: FCC's Genachowski calls f...
Source: Engadget

Though the purpose of the FCC is to regulate and manage the flow of communication in the United States, there are laws and regulations that the FCC must work within. For example, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 states that the FCC should promote the availability of advanced telecommunication technologies to the citizens of the United States. This means that the FCC is responsible for determining the best way to delegate this capability to all Americans.

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Source:  Offline Book/Journal

The FCC is led by a panel of one chairman and four commissioners. Each panel member is appointed by the President of the United States but must also be approved by Congress. The current chairman of the FCC is Julius Genachowski who was appointed in 2009. The other commissioners are Robert M. McDowell, Mignon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai. All members serve five year terms unless they are appointed to an unexpired term.

Article: FCC Leadership
Source: FCC Leadership

The FCC was established as a result of the Communications Act of 1934. The FCC serves as a federal agency that operates independently yet is looked over by Congress.

Article: What We Do
Source: Federal Communication Com...

The Federal Communications Commission is a government organization responsible for regulating communication by TV, radio, satellite and wire in the United States and US territories.

Article: What We Do
Source: Federal Communications Co...