Federal Agencies
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Federal Agencies

What the average American should know about the FCC


What is the FCC’s specific purpose?

  • Customer privacy
  • Net neutrality
  • Broadcasting of indecency and obscenity
  • Subsidizing internet connection to rural and poor areas (LifeLine program)
  • Making communication channels available to deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled and deaf-blind. (Accessible Communications for Everyone)
  • Conducting an auction for spectrum (airwaves) between TV station providers and mobile providers

Examples of what the FCC does

Customer privacy

  • If you’ve got 5 minutes, check out what happened in 2006 with the NSA (National Security Administration), another fed agency. There’s some interesting stuff about how the NSA obtained consumer data and how legal/illegal it may have been. Google “FCC and NSA 2006” and check out the first few articles.

Net neutrality

  • If you’ve got 5 minutes, read up on this and what’s going currently. Pretty juicy stuff, in my opinion. Google “Net neutrality explained”. I recommend Business Insider’s article — it’s simple enough to get you started. This John Oliver video about the FCC helped overload the FCC with comments!

Broadcasting of indecency and obscenity

  • If you’ve got 5 minutes, check out what happened with Janet Jackson and her red lace bra on the Super Bowl halftime stage in 2004, which seems light years ago, but it was one of the most publicized happenings related to this topic, so why not? Google “FFC and Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction” Suggestion: Rolling Stone’s article gives a timeline of events following the malfunction so you’ll get an idea of how the process goes.
  • If you’ve got 5 more minutes, Google “FCC and MIA’s middle finger”, or “FCC and Bono and the F word”.



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