Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
independent agency charged with regulating all interstate and foreign communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. FCC standards and regulations apply only to the technical aspects of communication systems (such as frequency and equipment), not broadcast content (although it does have rules covering obscenity and slander). It allocates frequencies; licenses stations and operators; regulates common carrier telephone, cable, and satellite systems; oversees wireless systems, including cellular phones, pagers, and mobile radios; promotes the use of communications technology for ensuring the safety of life and property; and participates in the national defense. The five-person commission is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.