The FCC

Will Trump abolish it?

It would be nice. I can think of a large number of federal agencies that wouldn’t be much missed, except by the rent seekers they support.

9 comments on this post.
  1. flighterdoc:

    Interesting…

    I wonder who would pick up the radio licensing part…which is required for things like boats and airplanes travelling internationally….Ham Radio?

    The control the FCC has over free speech is outrageous, though.

  2. Leland:

    Yeah, radio licensing is, in my mind, a good role for federal government. Pretty much everything else the FCC does needs to be tossed.

  3. flighterdoc:

    We could probably do away with a lot of the licensing, too…. Not all of it though.

  4. M Puckett:

    We do need a spectrum police to prevent harmful interference. What form that need take is open to debate.

  5. MfK:

    Spectrum traffic cops are indeed needed, but the FCC is way beyond that. It is an agency that grabs power at will over the First Amendment. Some of it is almost comical.

    For example, the term “airwaves” is often used in FCC regulatory parlance. That doesn’t refer to the electromagnetic spectrum, though it is intended to. It really only refers to sound waves, which FCC could easily regulate on the same basis as it does electromagnetic waves – after all, the acoustic spectrum for human communication is even more limited than is the electromagnetic spectrum. Too many people talking at the same time can easily use it up, so we obviously need a strong central government to prevent that.

    No one expects that to happen, naturally. But then, no one should expect FCC to regulate the infrared spectrum. However, they are thinking about it….

  6. Dan DeLong:

    I was an FCC licensed radio/TV engineer in 1968 through about 1975 when I worked for WGSA, WIOV and WTKO. At the time, the FCC administered tests for personnel licenses and broadcast company licenses. Among other things, they monitored commercial stations’ directional patterns (why you see multiple towers at AM stations) and frequency stability. They also did stuff like monitoring station requirements to air a minimum of “public service” items. Earlier, when I was a ham, they correctly ticketed me for transmitting off frequency.

    I think these roles are still needed, along with the need for somebody to regulate comsat slots, but the FCC has gone *far* from these actions.

    On the humor side, I got a letter from the FCC denying my application for a First Class Radiotelephone license. I had passed the test, but they said that I had submitted a fraudulent application, as my height didn’t match my previous height on my earlier Second Class license. I wrote back and told them to look at my age, and that I had in fact grown an inch between ages 15 and 16. They sent my license. 🙂

  7. Rand Simberg:

    I had a Second Class when I was seventeen. I never bothered to get the First Class because I didn’t really want to be chief engineer.

  8. Dan DeLong:

    I thought the 2nd was tougher than the 1st. The 1st was more operating rules and the 2nd was in-depth electronics. I got the 1st because that was the ticket to move inside and a pay raise up to minimum wage, as the FCC required a 1st on duty at all times when on the air. Before that I was cutting the grass.

  9. Rand Simberg:

    Well, that makes me feel better about getting the 2nd and not bothering with the first, because I’m terrible at crap like that. 🙂