Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Homepage: http://www.fcc.gov/
February 2002: "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions." http://www.fcc.gov/aboutus.html
November 2012: In 1985, the conservative organization Fairness in Media, backed by Senator Jesse Helms, tried to arrange a takeover of CBS and “become Dan Rather’s boss.” It failed, but two years later conservatives set the stage for an even bigger triumph. For decades, radio and television broadcasters had been required to present multiple viewpoints on contentious public debates on the grounds that they were stewards of the public airwaves. But in 1987, members appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Federal Communications Commission abolished this “fairness doctrine.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/opinion/the-real-loser-truth.html
February 2012: "Under the new rules, telemarketers would have to get permission in writing before placing an automated call to a consumer. Currently, companies that have an established business relationship with a particular consumer can call them without permission. For example, the FCC official said, a bank could robocall one of its checking account customers to try and sell them insurance. These new rules stop that without written permission."http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/15/politics/fcc-robocalls/index.html
February 2011: "WWOR-TV is the subject of an unusual investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, which is looking into charges that the station’s owner, the News Corporation, misrepresented the station’s number of employees and amount of programming. The investigation is gaining attention in part because WWOR is a rarity: it is effectively the only big commercial station licensed to the state of New Jersey."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/business/media/21wwor.html
December 2010: 'At the commission meeting in Washington, Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, said the steps were historic. “For the first time,” he said, “we’ll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness.”'http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/f-c-c-approves-net-rules-and-braces-for-fight
June 2010: "Just kidding. More seriously, the Federal Communications Commission took note of the European Union’s action and decided this year to study whether bill shock rules would be a good idea in this country. Yes, appears to be the answer. A survey conducted by the commission found that one in six cellphone users — about 30 million people — had experienced bill shock at least once. Nearly a quarter of those said the shock involved sums greater than $100."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/your-money/27haggler.html
May 2010: 'The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the "Selective Output Control" technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theater depending on what you're watching. And it sucks. As Dan Gillmor notes, "Fans of old TV science fiction will remember the Outer Limits. Given Hollywood's victory today at the FCC -- they'll be able to reach over the lines and disable functions on your TV -- the intro to the show takes on modern relevance."'http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/07/fcc-hands-hollywood.html
May 2010: "The Federal Communications Commission ordered Comcast to stop the blocking. Comcast challenged the ruling. On April 6, an appeals court in Washington sided with the operator, saying the F.C.C. could not tell Comcast how to manage its network."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/technology/internet/03neutral.html
October 2009: 'A boatload of smaller telcos and bigger broadband users are cheering yet another probe launched by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday—this one on the impact of "special access" rates on broadband availability in general.'http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/fcc-to-investigate-gating-role-of-middle-mile-access.ars
September 2009: 'Indeed, in November of 2003, our own Ofcom equivalent, the Federal Communications Commission, tried to push through a bonafide "broadcast flag" mandate for device makers. All gadgets able to pick up digital TV streams would have had to abide by codes embedded into video content signaling that a program was copyright protected, the FCC ordered, limiting the ability of consumers to copy and record. But an appeals court ruled in May of 2005 that Congress never gave the agency the authority to act on the question, and it shut the FCC's order down.'http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/09/drms-tentacles-snare-british-hdtv.ars
August 2009: 'The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has just thrown out the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule limiting each cable provider to no more than 30 percent of the overall video marketplace. In the words of the justices (PDF), the rule was "arbitrary and capricious," and the FCC's "dereliction in this case is particularly egregious."'http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/court-tosses-arbitrary-fcc-cable-market-share-cap.ars
July 2009: "Other programs are rejected because they duplicate (or potentially compete with) Apple's iPhone software. On July 31 the Federal Communications Commission sent a letter to Apple questioning its rejection of Google Voice, a telephony application. Many analysts believe the service was blocked because it could have snatched revenue from Apple's exclusive wireless service provider, AT&T (T), by providing cheap call rates over Google's (GOOG) lines. AT&T denies any involvement in the move. Among the FCC's questions: Why was Google Voice rejected? What are the standards for acceptance and rejection?"http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jul2009/tc20090731_732921.htm
July 2009: 'The Federal Communications Commission is examining a recent decision by Apple to reject an iPhone application developed by Google. On Friday, the commission sent letters to executives at Apple, Google and AT&T, which is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the United States, saying it was “interested in a more complete understanding of this situation.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/01/technology/companies/01google.html
July 2009: "Kohl called for reforms at the FCC that would force the largest carriers to offer partnerships with smaller service providers on data roaming, so that regional-carrier customers can get smartphone service around the country. He also called for the agency to scrutinize the exclusive deals between network carriers and phone makers such as Apple and Research in Motion, which sells the BlackBerry. Smaller carriers say such deals hamper their business as customers look for the latest and fastest phones, which only run on the biggest networks."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/06/AR2009070603526.html
July 2009: "A bill introduced by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) and backed by Maynard would allow local and state governments to seek jamming authority from the Federal Communications Commission on a prison-by-prison basis. The bill, the Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009, has the support of Maryland's senior U.S. senator, Barbara A. Mikulski (D), and a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee is likely this month."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070202780.html
July 2009: "This is not the first time the PPM system has come under scrutiny. In May, the FCC initiated an inquiry, inviting comments and complaints about the new ratings system. The deadline for submitting comments is today; as of yesterday afternoon, 54 comments had been filed."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/30/AR2009063003855.html
April 2009: 'The Supreme Court’s last major case concerning broadcast indecency, F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation in 1978, upheld the commission’s determination that George Carlin’s classic “seven dirty words” monologue, with its deliberate, repetitive and creative use of vulgarities, was indecent. But the court left open the question of whether the use of “an occasional expletive” could be punished.'http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/us/29scotus.html
April 2009: "For years the cable business had acted like a typical monopoly, providing less-than- ideal customer service, skyrocketing prices, and little choice of service. Then along came the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which opened the door for competition and promised weary cable customers relief at last. Too bad that relief never came. Nearly four years after the bill was passed, a mere 286 of the 30,000 U.S. cable markets were being served by more than one provider, according to the Federal Communications Commission. And in the FCC’s most recent report, in 2005, not much had changed; only 294 out of about 33,000 U.S. cable markets were served by more than one provider—meaning that for all the effort to create change, few customers today are being served by the smaller providers that generally offer better deals."http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/technology/10-things-cable-companies-will-not-tell-you/?cid=1122
November 2008: 'The Supreme Court appeared far from a consensus Tuesday on whether the Federal Communication Commission's crackdown on broadcasters who allow "fleeting expletives" to reach the airwaves should continue.'http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425794221
October 2008: "ISPs also have run into public and government opposition just for slowing down, not blocking, some Internet traffic. The Federal Communications Commission ruled in August, on a 3-2 vote, that Comcast's limiting of BitTorrent traffic was illegal. Comcast said it was merely trying to keep the flood of peer-to-peer file sharing from slowing down the Internet for everyone else. As for CopyRouter, the company's manager said it would not slow down Internet traffic noticeably, because it's not inspecting the contents of files, merely comparing their hash values to a list, which can be done quickly."http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27198621
October 2008: 'Several lawmakers and professional sports organizations are urging the Federal Communications Commission to delay a vote on opening spectrum known as "white spaces" for unlicensed use.'http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10075172-94.html
August 2008: "And certainly any ISP thinking about looking at what its users are doing has got to be worried given that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is on a roll -- taking on ISPs that want to or have watched what their customers do online in order to serve them targeted ads. That roll is reportedly heading towards a long-fabled online privacy omnibus bill. Add to that, this month's unprecedented decision by the Federal Communications Commission to slap down Comcast for its secret and deceptive interference with file sharing traffic."http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/google-privacy.html
July 2008: "Comcast is poised for legal showdown with the Federal Communications Commission as the agency moves to fine the cable giant for blocking file-sharing traffic on its Web network."http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2008/07/portfolio_0728
July 2008: 'In a decision that clears CBS of any wrongdoing for airing the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that featured Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction,” a federal appeals court overturned the $550,000 fine that the Federal Communications Commission levied against the station, calling the fine arbitrary and capricious.'http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/business/media/22FCC.html
April 2008: "The Federal Communications Commission 's (FCC) 700 MHz spectrum auction concluded on March 18 after nearly eight weeks of continuous bidding with $19.6 billion in bids. Verizon and AT&T were the big winners with Verizon winning most of the C-block. Last year, Google pushed the FCC to make the C-block open to all applications and devices. The commission granted that request, provided bidding on the spectrum reach a reserve price of $4.6 billion."http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2281382,00.asp
March 2008: "the transition to digital-only television -- the biggest change for the industry since color TV -- could leave some people in the dark....The Federal Communications Commission, which is leading education efforts about the transition, has been sponsoring workshops geared toward specific demographics. Of the more than 4,000 presentations the staff has given around the country, about 3,000 of them have been at senior centers, FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin said."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/30/AR2008033002136.html
March 2008: "Because satellite Internet, like TV, requires a clear view in the proper direction, a tree or hill can spoil your online life. Some subdivisions attempt to prohibit rooftop and balcony accessories, although Federal Communications Commission regulations preempt many such restrictions."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/21/AR2008032101641.html
March 2008: "While key players are slugging it out over ISP content filtering, the Federal Communications Commission has released a slew of decisions and announcements about broadband. They include a new public hearing on broadband network management practices and new rules for telecommunications services in apartment buildings. And one of the commissioners attempted to ease concerns of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) over the impact of net neutrality regulations."http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080320-fcc-commish-net-neutrality-shouldnt-extend-to-illegal-acts.html
March 2008: 'The [Supreme Court] will review the Federal Communications Commission's policy that even a one-time utterance of an obscene word on radio and television broadcasts during daytime and early evening hours is subject to punishment....The FCC says technology makes it easy for networks to avoid such gratuitous use of obscenity. The networks argue that the FCC has exceeded its authority when the word does not convey a sexual message...'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/17/AR2008031700842.html
December 2007: "The Federal Communications Commission approved two new rules on Tuesday that are likely to reshape the nation’s media landscape by setting new parameters for the size and scope of the largest news and cable companies."http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/business/media/19fcc.html
November 2007: The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday announced the details of his plan to relax the longstanding rule that had prevented a company from owning both a newspaper and a radio or television station in the same city.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/business/media/14media.html
November 2007: The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets — and it also pursues their users.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/technology/04jammer.html
July 2007: The Federal Communications Commission is overseeing the auction of a portion of the radio frequency spectrum once used by television broadcasters, and this week drafted rules for the sale. The auction, scheduled for January, is expected to raise at least $15 billion, with bidders ranging from start-ups to established phone companies.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/12/AR2007071202221.html
July 2007: Several members of a House subcommittee voiced agreement with a proposal that would require a portion of valuable airwaves about to be auctioned off by the Federal Communications Commission to be used for an 'open' network that would connect to any mobile device or service. Such a rule would benefit technology companies such as Google, Intel, Yahoo and Skype, who want more ways to reach their customers without going through carriers. The plan could hurt wireless carriers, who say unfettered access to their networks would undermine billions of dollars of investment for high-speed services.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/11/AR2007071102170.html
June 2007: In a 2 to 1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York ruled that the FCC went too far in issuing a 2006 decision against Fox Broadcasting for separate incidents in 2002 and 2003 after singer Cher and celebrity Nicole Richie each uttered an expletive on live television.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/04/AR2007060400875.html
June 2006: President Bush yesterday signed legislation that allows the Federal Communications Commission to slap a broadcaster with a fine of up to $325,000 per incident for airing programming the feds deem indecent.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/15/AR2006061501941.html
March 2006: Which version of 'The Bedford Diaries' do you plan to watch -- or to miss? Thanks to the FCC and its quixotic censorship bender, two are available. One premieres tonight on the WB. The other is already streaming into homes via the Internet -- a 'webisode' that is safe, for now, from the government.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/28/AR2006032802150.html
January 2005: The Federal Communications Commission, which had adopted the proposed rules in a hotly contested, 3 to 2, party-line vote in June 2003, now must decide whether to start anew on rules governing media consolidation or to re-argue its case before a lower court that the current proposals should be approved.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42134-2005Jan27.html
December 2004: The justices will hear an appeal of a lower-court ruling that threatened to force cable operators to share their Internet lines with competitors, much like local phone companies are required to do. The Federal Communications Commission had sought to exempt cable firms from the requirement, defining them not as telecommunications providers but as an information service.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34058-2004Dec3.html
December 2004: Executives at News Corp, which owns Fox, declined to comment, saying they wanted the filing to speak for itself. Executives at the other networks also declined to comment; both CBS and NBC have high-profile indecency appeals before the FCC. CBS is appealing a proposed $550,000 fine spurred by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show in February and NBC is appealing an indecency ruling caused by singer Bono's use of obscenity during a 2003 awards show.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34112-2004Dec3.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Possible/Unclear Fairness in Media Organization Nov 7, 2012 Research/Analysis Subject Inner City Press (ICP) Organization Feb 24, 2008 Opponent (past or present) NextWave Wireless Organization Mar 1, 2008 Cooperation (past or present) Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST) Organization Jul 12, 2008 Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Independent Agencies Organization May 4, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Tom Allibone Person May 3, 2006 Organization Executive (past or present) Mignon Clyburn Person Dec 22, 2010 Advised by (past or present) Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. David J. Farber Person Dec 4, 2006 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Prof. David "Dave" J. Farber Person Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Gerry Faulhaber Ph.D. Person Mar 23, 2008 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Julius Genachowski Esq. Person Aug 20, 2009 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Reed Hundt Person Nov 19, 2008 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) William "Bill" Kennard Person Nov 19, 2008 Organization Executive (past or present) Edward P. Lazarus Esq. Person Nov 21, 2009 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Organization Executive (past or present) Kevin J. Martin Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Robert M. McDowell Esq. Person Aug 7, 2006 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Newton Norman Minow Esq. Person May 1, 2010 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Michael K. Powell Person Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) David H. Solomon Person
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Nov 05, 2012 The Real Loser: Truth (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: To be sure, the Obama campaign has certainly had its own share of dissembling and distortion, including about Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and foreign aid. But nothing in it — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly new....win or lose, the Romney campaign has placed a big and historic bet on the proposition that facts can be ignored, more or less, with impunity.
New York Times Feb 15, 2012 FCC set to impose new limits on automated telemarketing calls
QUOTE: Under the new rules, telemarketers would have to get permission in writing before placing an automated call to a consumer. Currently, companies that have an established business relationship with a particular consumer can call them without permission.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 08, 2011 House Votes Against ‘Net Neutrality’
QUOTE: But Republicans in the House maintained that the order exceeded the F.C.C.’s authority and put the government in the position of overseeing what content a consumer could see and which companies would benefit from Internet access... “This is a bill that will end the Internet as we know it and threaten the jobs, investment and prosperity that the Internet has brought to America,” Mr. Waxman said.
New York Times Feb 20, 2011 New Jersey TV Station Is Accused of Failing Its Audience
QUOTE: The F.C.C.’s inquiry, announced on Thursday, was prompted by complaints from media activists who say that since the cutbacks, WWOR has overstated its coverage in filings to the F.C.C.
New York Times Dec 21, 2010 F.C.C. Approves Net Rules and Braces for Fight (Media Decoder)
QUOTE: The new rules [approved by the FCC-- Ed.] are, at best, net semi-neutrality. They ban any outright blocking and any “unreasonable discrimination” of Web sites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers, but they afford more wiggle room to wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.
New York Times Jun 25, 2010 Cellphone Charges, Rung Up by a Thief (The Haggler)
QUOTE: When a credit card company notices spending patterns way beyond a customer’s norm, it suspends the card until it’s sure the card is in the customer’s possession. Shouldn’t a cellphone company do the same?
New York Times May 13, 2010 Recording Customer Service Calls to India
QUOTE: Last month, I wrote a Bucks post, “When and Why You Should Record Customer Service Calls,” with resources and guidelines for recording customer service calls....in this age of outsourcing, customer service representatives are often in other countries, like India or Ireland or a few other places. Which begs the question: What recording guidelines should one follow if the customer service representative is elsewhere?
New York Times May 07, 2010 FCC hands Hollywood the keys to your PC, home theater and future
QUOTE: The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the "Selective Output Control" technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theater depending on what you're watching. And it sucks.
Boing Boing May 02, 2010 Web’s Users Against Its Gatekeepers
QUOTE: With the majority of Internet traffic expected to shift to congestion-prone mobile networks, there is growing debate on both sides of the Atlantic about whether operators of the networks should be allowed to treat Web users differently, based on the users’ consumption.
New York Times Apr 24, 2010 Undercover persuasion by tech industry lobbyists
QUOTE: The influence peddlers of K Street have discovered the power of social networking on such Web sites as Twitter and Facebook. Using their own names without mentioning that they work in public relations or as lobbyists, employees of companies with interests in Washington are chattering online to shape opinions in hard-to-detect ways.
Washington Post Nov 20, 2009 Arrests made in massive, $390/hour Video Relay Service scam
QUOTE: Dealing with some technology is challenging enough for the hearing-impaired without scammers taking advantage of federal dollars meant to help them. That's exactly what has happened with the Federal Communications Commission's Video Relay Service (VRS), however...
Ars Technica Oct 09, 2009 FCC to investigate "gating" role of middle-mile access lines
QUOTE: As DSL or cable customers, consumers usually pay directly for that last-mile access. But large businesses and other ISPs shell out humongous sums for middle and secondary transport services to connect their networks or cell towers with the Internet backbone.
Ars Technica Oct 09, 2009 Epicenter The Business of Tech The Empire Strikes Back: FCC Probes Google Voice (Updated) (Epicenter)
QUOTE: AT&T has just given Google a taste of its own mandated openness medicine, successfully goading federal regulators into officially looking into why Google’s Voice service blocks phone calls to certain rural numbers.
Wired Sep 21, 2009 If spectrum isn't scarce anymore, can you say $#!% on TV?
QUOTE: the brief [filed by the Center for Creative Voices and the Future of Music Coalition] also grapples with a very sticky wicket that the Second Circuit [Court of Appeals] may or may not take up: whether there's a scarcity of broadcast spectrum any more, and whether the legal precedent empowered by that assumption—a case called Red Lion—still authorizes the FCC to regulate the airwaves.
Ars Technica Sep 18, 2009 DRM's tentacles snare British HDTV
QUOTE: DRM watchers are sounding the alarm about a proposal to bring what they fear amounts to a "broadcast flag" to the UK's over-the-air digital Freeview television service.
Ars Technica Sep 02, 2009 Movie studios again demand HDTV disabling powers from FCC
QUOTE: "The vast majority of consumers would not have to purchase new devices to receive the new, high-value content contemplated by MPAA's" request, the group [MPAA] assures the FCC.
Ars Technica Aug 28, 2009 Court tosses "arbitrary" FCC cable market share cap
QUOTE: The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has just thrown out the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule limiting each cable provider to no more than 30 percent of the overall video marketplace.
Ars Technica Aug 28, 2009 FCC launches far-reaching investigation of cellular industry: The FCC has launched an investigation of the wireless industry that takes the agency into new, and for some, uncomfortable terrain.
QUOTE: the three Notices of Inquiry that the agency [Federal communications Commission] announced at its Open Commission meeting notably and perhaps even radically expand the array of questions that it usually asks of the wireless service sector.
Ars Technica Aug 20, 2009 FCC asks us all: what, exactly, is broadband? The FCC wants you to tell the agency what you mean by "broadband," and how the Commission should redefine the term as technology changes.
QUOTE: The FCC has put out a Public Notice asking the wise to help them define "broadband [Internet]."
Ars Technica Aug 18, 2009 Cellphones problematic for 911
QUOTE: r the millions of Americans giving up their land lines in favor of cellphones, dialing 911 may no longer mean a quick response. It can lead to misrouted calls, delayed information about the location of the caller and, most important, a slower emergency response.
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