Sunday, June 19, 2016

1934 :: June 19 :: Communications Act Signed into Law ~ Creating the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission was established in 1934 during Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. It was not, however, something new created out of the ether. Rather, the FCC assimilated authority from other preexisting agencies. The goal was to create one independent agency with expertise over communications. The FCC assimilated
The Communications Act allowed the FCC additional authority, including regulation of rates of interstate and international common carriers, and domestic administration of international agreements relating generally to electronic communication.

Government officials had been unhappy with the Interstate Commerce Commission's oversight of communications carriers, as the ICC has been entirely preoccupied with railroad regulation.  AT&T was also seen as growing in political power, which it was effectively leveraging at the state public utility commission level. 

In 1933, a Department of Commerce Committee recommended that "the communications service, as far as congressional action is involved, should be regulated by a single body." In February 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a special message to Congress urging the creation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Communications Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt on June 1934. 

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