Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape [Updated January 27, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Summary: "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent federal agency established by the Communications Act of 1934 (1934 Act, or 'Communications Act'). The agency is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The mission of the FCC is to make available for all people of the United States, 'without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and worldwide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.' The FCC operates under a public interest mandate first laid out in the 1927 Radio Act (P.L. 632, 69th Congress), but how this mandate is applied depends on how 'the public interest' is interpreted. Some regulators seek to protect and benefit the public at large through regulation, while others seek to achieve the same goals through the promotion of market efficiency. Additionally, Congress granted the FCC wide latitude and flexibility to revise its interpretation of the public interest standard to reflect changing circumstances and the agency has not defined it in more concrete terms. These circumstances, paired with changes in FCC leadership, have led to significant changes over time in how the FCC regulates the broadcast and telecommunications industries."
CRS Report for Congress, R45699
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/