User:NetworkedTogether/sandbox

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My Real Sandbox[edit]

My latest updates are at:My Real Sandbox


Minority Ownership Rules[edit]

Background[edit]

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was first first created by United States Congress through the Communications Act of 1934.[1] Ever since its inception one of the main goals of the Commission is to ensure that without discrimination, all people of the United States would have access to “rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable prices,”[2] The FCC had a mandate to monitor and distribute a limited resource, the bandwidth available for broadcast via the airwaves, in such a way that is to the maximum benefit of the people of the United States. From the very first section of the document that institutionalized the FCC was the declaration that these services would not be withheld on the basis of “race, color, religion, national origin, or sex” [3] To accomplish these goals, policies were made to ensure that consumers were able to have access to multiple voices, and that at least some of the precious resource of bandwidth would be used for to give voice to educational, nonprofit, and diverse voice. [4]

Since the FCC controlled the regulation of information that was broadcast over the airwaves or traveled by wire, this included granting licenses for television, radio, cable, and media outlets. For many years licenses were granted freely, but rather arbitrarily to organizations who were able to impress the commissioners with their ability to maximize the potential of the bandwidth they were granted. Also the FCC would give consideration to applicants by “broadcasting content, the limits placed on explicit program regulation by the U.S. Constitution,...the economic importance,” and following the goals of the FCC. [5]

From the early 1940s up until the mid 1970s the FCC had several rules in place that helped protect diversity in the media, these included that no company could own: more than one major TV network; more than one TV station in the same local media market (unless there were at least eight stations in that market); more than one AM station while at the same time owning more than one FM station in the same market; both a radio and TV station in the same market; or both a daily newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market.[6]

Pressures for Change[edit]

As more media outlets grew in number and as major companies, started to consolidate newspaper and television ownership. Over many years the traditional limitations on cross media ownership started to weaken. In the 1980s and early 1990s there was general pressure to reduce government regulation and increase market forces.There was growing pressure to have the FCC use bandwidth and the licensing of radio, television and other devices as a source of revenue for the people of the United States. In 1993, the U.S. Congress authorized the FCC to grant licenses to auction bandwidth.[7] The potential monetization of this limited resource by large corporations made it extremely valuable. To be able to compete for bandwidth brought even more pressure for large corporations to try to consolidate. It was obvious that both technology and market forces were changing rapidly. Subsequently, the U.S. Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This required the FCC to review their ownership rules every four years.[8]

Attempted Changes in Policy[edit]

In 2003, the FCC determined “that the existing rules were no longer in the public interest, repealed them, and replaced them with a single set of Cross-Media Limits using a methodological tool called the 'Diversity Index'.[9] This decision was based on treating media ownership like many business entities in a market situation where the government only has an interest to keep a competitive and free market. This would be presuming that all voices represented an equal possible strength, as in a business situation where each producer of a similar commodity has an equal chance of success and all will serve the market equally. Therefore, the FCC evaluated market concentration using a highly modified Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, which is used by the U.S. Department of Justice to evaluate proposed mergers and acquisitions to prevent monopolies. However, the FCC added their “[10]” to allow for the obvious inability of the Herfindahl-Hirschman to truly measure market concentration. [11] This ruling was challenged in court, and the resulting judgement, Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communication Commission: United States of America", found that the FCC was in violation of Congressional mandate and had failed to “consider proposals to promote minority broadcast ownership that the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council had submitted.” [12] Overall, the court found that the FCC had failed to justify their changes in cross-media ownership and the new rules were not implemented. The court stated that, “ we must hold unlawful and set aside agency findings, and conclusions that are arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion, or not in accordance with law...[or] unsupported by substantial evidence.”[13]

Further Activities by NetworkedTogether[edit]

Internet Policy Issues[edit]

Current laws allow US to reach to other countries and imprison non-citizens who are not residing in the US

Lack of media coverage of SOPA and PIPA

Lessons Learned from SOPA and PIPA protests

Why Washington Doesn't Understand Internet Policy Issues

Biggest Day ever of Online Protests

Added to Telecommunication Policy Article[edit]

In the name of public interest, a large proportion of Telecommunications policy is concerned with the economic regulation of interstate as well as international communication. This includes all communication by radio, telephone, wire, cable and satellite[2]. Telecommunications policy outlines antitrust laws as is common for industries with large barriers to entry. Other features of the policies addressed include common carrier laws which controls access to networks. While the telephone providers are required to be common carriers, there is an ongoing net neutrality debate about the obligations of ISP's.[3]


The management of Government owned resources spectrum includes such items as the electromagnetic spectrum which facilitates all wireless communications. There is a naturally limited quantity of usable spectrum that exists, therefore the market demand is immense, especially as use of mobile technology, which uses the electromagnetic spectrum, expands. One of the goals of the FCC is to best utilize this limited resource in such a way will bring about the "highest and best use".[4]. License to use spectrum was originally determined by committee, however, since 1993 it has been determined by an auction to assure that the licensee is both qualified and motivated to make best use of this commodity.[5]

Interesting articles[edit]

Growth of online education- former Stanford professor offering class on how to make a search engine How to Make a Search Engine

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States Congress. (1934). “Communications Act of 1934.” Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf
  2. ^ United States Congress. (1934). “Communications Act of 1934. Section 1.” Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf
  3. ^ United States Congress. (1934). “Communications Act of 1934. Section 1.” Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf
  4. ^ United States Congress. (1934). “Communications Act of 1934. Section 615.” Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf
  5. ^ Hazlett, T. W., Coase, R. H. (1998). “Assigning Property Rights to Radio Spectrum Users: Why did FCC License Auctions Take 67 Years?” Journal of Law and Economics. 2(2):529-580.
  6. ^ “Fact Sheets on Media Democracy.” (2012). The Free Expression Policy Project. Retrieved from http://www.fepproject.org/factsheets/mediademocracy.html#18
  7. ^ Hazlett, T. W., Coase, R. H. (1998). “Assigning Property Rights to Radio Spectrum Users: Why did FCC License Auctions Take 67 Years?” Journal of Law and Economics. 2(2):529-580.
  8. ^ United States Congress. (1996). “Telecommunications Act of 1996.” Retrieved from http://www.fcc.gov
  9. ^ United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (2011). “Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communication Commission: United States of America.” pg.9. Retrieved from http://rapidlibrary.com/files/7-7-11-thirdcircuit-decision-mediaownership-pdf_ulfvwrqn8bi89on.html
  10. ^ http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_telecom_and_utilities/000230.html
  11. ^ United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (2011). “Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communication Commission: United States of America.” pg.10. Retrieved from http://rapidlibrary.com/files/7-7-11-thirdcircuit-decision-mediaownership-pdf_ulfvwrqn8bi89on.html
  12. ^ United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (2011). “Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communication Commission: United States of America.” pg.18. Retrieved from http://rapidlibrary.com/files/7-7-11-thirdcircuit-decision-mediaownership-pdf_ulfvwrqn8bi89on.html
  13. ^ United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (2011). “Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communication Commission: United States of America.” pg.18. Retrieved from http://rapidlibrary.com/files/7-7-11-thirdcircuit-decision-mediaownership-pdf_ulfvwrqn8bi89on.html