Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape [December 6, 2011]   [open pdf - 255KB]

"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent federal agency with its five members appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate. It was established by the Communications Act of 1934 (1934 Act) and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The mission of the FCC is to ensure that the American people have available--at reasonable cost and without discrimination--rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communication services, whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable. […] Most of the FCC's budget is derived from regulatory fees collected by the agency rather than through a direct appropriation. The fees, often referred to as 'Section (9) fees,' are collected from license holders and certain other entities (e.g., cable television systems) and deposited into an FCC account. The law gives the FCC authority to review the regulatory fees and to adjust the fees to reflect changes in its appropriation from year to year. It may also add, delete, or reclassify services under certain circumstances. The FY2012 budget is included in H.R. 2434, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2012. The House Appropriations Committee reported the bill on July 7, 2011. For FY2012, the House Appropriations Committee approved $319,004,000 for agency salaries and expenses with no direct appropriation (all funding will be obtained through the collection of regulatory fees). This level is $16,790,000 less than FY2011 and $39,797,000 less than the request. Additional details of the budget can be found in CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report R41340, 'Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2011 Appropriations.'"

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32589
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