What is the FCC?

The FCC was established in 1934 to oversee regulation of communications companies and related commerce. Growing out of the Federal Radio Commission, the FCC’s mission is to ensure the broadest possible access among the American people to communications-related services, including the Internet.


  1. Who they are

    The commission consists of five members appointed by the President and approved by the United States Senate. Commissioners serve five-year terms. To ensure diversity, only three commissioners can be from the same political party.

  2. What they do

    The FCC advocates for a media landscape that is fair and accessible. In practical terms, the user of a cell phone, a cable television subscriber, or a consumer using broadband Internet all have access to those services because the FCC granted companies the licenses and regulates how they operate.

  3. How they do it

    Through a web of bureaus and offices, the FCC reviews applications for broadcast licenses and mergers of communications companies with a focus on maintaining diversity of opinion presented in the media and with a check on monopolization. It also fields complaints from consumers about broadcast indecency and abusive business practices.

FCC best practices

  1. Stay on top of it

    There are hundreds of issues in front of the FCC at any given time and companies need to pay close attention to any decision that might impact their customers' ability to access information, especially Internet access.

  2. Lobby for your side of an issue

    While the FCC functions as an independent agency, it offer periods of time prior to any decision when consumers can comment and have their voices heard. Companies can reach out to consumers and request that they advocate on behalf of the company's position on any given issue. Companies can also lobby their Senators, who must approve the appointments of FCC commissioners.

  3. Educate your consumers

    The FCC has its hands in a lot of pots, and it's possible an organization's consumers don't have a full picture of how the FCC operates. In addition to joining consumers in efforts to comment on specific policies, organizations have an opportunity to educate consumers about the FCC in a way that enhances brand relationships.