Chapter 10A - Chapter 10A Rules Regulations Rationale...

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Chapter 10A - Rules & Regulations Rationale Scarcity Theory: electromagnetic spectrum is limited and a national resource; government reserves the right to impose obligations & regulations on those allowed to broadcast (traditional rationale) Pervasive Presence theory: TV and radio so pervasive and potentially intrusive that the public is entitled to some protection from unwanted or offensive messages (recent rationale) History How did government get involved in regulation? Wireless Ship Act (1910): Large at-sea vessels must be equipped with wireless sets Radio Act of 1912: Post-Titanic regulation said radio operators had to get license from Secretary of Commerce and assigned frequencies and hours of operation to prevent interference at sea 1920s: Spectrum interference; change was needed History 1927 Radio Act: Principles of scarcity theory Spectrum is publicly owned, not private Stations to operate in the public interest Government censorship is prohibited Federal Radio Commission (FRC) created to grant licenses, make rules subject to judicial review FRC eliminates interference problem - strengthens idea of the “public interest” The Communications Act of 1934 Expanded FRC from 5 to 7 members Renamed, “Federal Communications Commission” FCC now includes wireless and telephone Bulk of 1927 legislation included and strengthened in Title III of the Communications Act Found as part of Title 47 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Communications Act of 1934 Important sections of the Act Section 301: Spectrum users must be licensed Section 312: Federal candidates must have access to facilities Section 315: Equal Time section is important Section 326: FCC prohibited from censoring radio & TV content Remained flexible and influential broadcasting law for nearly 70 years CA 1934 (Do not need to memorize) Title I -- Defines Terms
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Title II -- Common Carriers Title III -- Broadcast Licensing, General FCC Powers, Public Broadcasting, Program Controls Title IV -- Hearings and Appeals Procedures Title V -- Penal Provisions Title VI -- Cable TV Title VII – Misc. Provisions Cable Regulation & the FCC 1950s: FCC refuses to regulate it for lack of on-air use 1960s: pressure from broadcasters slows cable growth 1970s: pressure from Cable wins favorable legislation Local regulations differ by locale (contrast w/Fed regulations) Local governments offer a particular cable provider, right of “exclusivity” Telecommunications Act of 1996 The most significant piece of electronic legislation in more than 60 years Intent - create competition between cable & phone companies Removed limits on number of radio stations one could own Liberalized rules covering local ownership Could own multiple stations if combined viewership is less than 35% of nation’s homes (up from 25%) Created 8-year, license renewals for both radio & TV Required new TV sets to carry “V-Chip”: parental access control Regulatory Forces: 8 Key Components 1. Federal Communications Commission
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