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CRS Report of the Week: The FCC: Current Structure and its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

This report provides a brief look at the FCC budget for the last three years, followed by an overview of the Commission and its mandate, structure, strategic plan, and proposals for both procedural and substantive changes.

CRS Report RL 32589, May 13, 2008

From the Report’s Summary:

Although the FCC has restructured over the past few years to better reflect the
industry, it is still required to adhere to the statutory requirements of its governing
legislation, the Communications Act of 1934. The 1934 Act requires the FCC to
regulate the various industry sectors differently. Some policymakers have been
critical of the FCC and the manner in which it regulates various sectors of the
telecommunications industry – telephone, cable television, radio and television
broadcasting, and some aspects of the Internet. These policymakers, including some
in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC.
Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC
or through Congressional action that would affect the agency’s operations or (2)
substantive policy changes requiring Congressional action that would affect how the
agency regulates different services and industry sectors.