TITLE 47—TELEGRAPHS, TELEPHONES, AND RADIOTELEGRAPHS

Chap.
Sec.
1.
Telegraphs
1
2.
Submarine Cables
21
3.
Radiotelegraphs [Repealed]
51
4.
Radio Act of 1927 [Repealed or Omitted]
81
5.
Wire or Radio Communication
151
6.
Communications Satellite System
701
7.
Campaign Communications [Repealed]
801
8.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
901
9.
Interception of Digital and Other Communications
1001

        

CHAPTER 1—TELEGRAPHS

Sec.
1 to 8.
Repealed or Omitted.
9.
Subsidized companies required to construct and operate lines.
10.
Equal facilities to connecting lines; discrimination in rates.
11.
Powers of Federal Communications Commission.
12.
Interference with liens of United States.
13.
Violations; punishment; action for damages.
14.
Contracts filed with Federal Communications Commission; reports; failure to make.
15.
Reservation of power to alter, amend, or repeal act; power to fix rates and purchase lines.
16.
Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System; money transfers; portion of receipts withheld.
17.
Establishment of telegraph or cable lines by foreigners prohibited.

        

§§1 to 6. Repealed. July 16, 1947, ch. 256, §1, 61 Stat. 327

Section 1, R.S. §5263, related to use of public domain.

Section 2, R.S. §5264, related to use of materials from public lands.

Section 3, R.S. §5266; acts June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101; Mar. 6, 1943, ch. 10, §6, 57 Stat. 12, related to Government priority in transmission of messages.

Section 4, R.S. §5267; act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101, related to purchase of lines.

Section 5, R.S. §5268; act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101, related to acceptance of obligations to be filed.

Section 6, R.S. §5265; act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101, provided that rights were not transferable.

Effective Date of Repeal

Section 3 of act July 16, 1947, provided that: “This Act [repealing sections 1 to 6 and 8 of this title] shall take effect on the tenth day following the enactment date thereof [July 16, 1947].”

Authority of Federal Communications Commission; Effect of Repeal

Section 2 of act July 16, 1947, provided that: “Nothing in this Act [repealing sections 1 to 6 and 8 of this title] shall limit the authority of the Federal Communications Commission under the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended [chapter 5 of this title], to prescribe charges, classifications, regulations, and practices, including priorities, applicable to Government communications.”

§7. Omitted

Codification

Section, act June 23, 1879, ch. 35, §1, 21 Stat. 31, was dependent upon and incorporated by reference in sections 1 to 6 and 8 of this title which were repealed by act July 16, 1947, ch. 256, §1, 61 Stat. 327.

§8. Repealed. July 16, 1947, ch. 256, §1, 61 Stat. 327

Section, R.S. §5269; acts Feb. 27, 1877, ch. 69, §1, 19 Stat. 252; June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101, related to refusal to transmit dispatches.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective on tenth day following July 16, 1947, see section 3 of act July 16, 1947, set out as a note under sections 1 to 6 of this title.

Authority of Federal Communications Commission; Effect of Repeal

See note set out under section 1 of this title.

§9. Subsidized companies required to construct and operate lines

All railroad and telegraph companies to which the United States has granted any subsidy in lands or bonds or loan of credit for the construction of either railroad or telegraph lines, which, by the acts incorporating them, or by any act amendatory or supplementary thereto, are required to construct, maintain, or operate telegraph lines, and all companies engaged in operating said railroad or telegraph lines shall, by and through their own respective corporate officers and employees, maintain, and operate, for railroad, governmental, commercial, and all other purposes, telegraph lines, and exercise by themselves alone all the telegraph franchises conferred upon them and obligations assumed by them under the acts making the grants as aforesaid.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §1, 25 Stat. 382.)

Cross References

Federal Communications Commission, jurisdiction of, see section 601 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 10, 11, 12, 15, 601 of this title.

§10. Equal facilities to connecting lines; discrimination in rates

Whenever any telegraph company which shall have accepted the provisions of sections 1 to 6 and 8 1 of this title, prior to the effective date of the repeal of such sections, shall extend its line to any station or office of a telegraph line belonging to any one of said railroad or telegraph companies, referred to in section 9 of this title, said telegraph company so extending its line shall have the right and said railroad or telegraph company shall allow the line of said telegraph company so extending its line to connect with the telegraph line of said railroad or telegraph company to which it is extended at the place where their lines may meet, for the prompt and convenient interchange of telegraph business between said companies; and such railroad and telegraph companies, referred to in section 9 of this title, shall so operate their respective telegraph lines as to afford equal facilities to all, without discrimination in favor of or against any person, company, or corporation whatever, and shall receive, deliver, and exchange business with connecting telegraph lines on equal terms, and affording equal facilities, and without discrimination for or against any one of such connecting lines; and such exchange of business shall be on terms just and equitable.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §2, 25 Stat. 383; Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1263, §48, 68 Stat. 1243.)

References in Text

Sections 1 to 6 and 8 of this title, referred to in text, were repealed by act July 16, 1947, ch. 256, §1, 61 Stat. 327.

Amendments

1954—Act Sept. 3, 1954, amended section to make it clear that the rights and obligations of companies which accepted benefits under former sections 1 to 6 and 8 of this title, which have been repealed, continue irrespective of the repeal.

Cross References

Federal Communications Commission, jurisdiction of, see section 601 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 12, 15, 601 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§11. Powers of Federal Communications Commission

If any railroad or telegraph company referred to in section 9 of this title, or company operating such railroad or telegraph line shall refuse or fail, in whole or in part, to maintain, and operate a telegraph line as provided herein, for the use of the Government or the public, for commercial and other purposes, without discrimination, or shall refuse or fail to make or continue such arrangements for the interchange of business with any connecting telegraph company, then any person, company, corporation, or connecting telegraph company may apply for relief to the Federal Communications Commission, whose duty it shall thereupon be, under such rules and regulations as said commission may prescribe, to ascertain the facts, and determine and order what arrangement is proper to be made in the particular case, and the railroad or telegraph company concerned shall abide by and perform such order; and it shall be the duty of the Federal Communications Commission, when such determination and order are made, to notify the parties concerned, and, if necessary, enforce the same by writ of mandamus in the courts of the United States, in the name of the United States, at the relation of either of said communication commissioners. The commissioners may institute any inquiry, upon their own motion, in the same manner and to the same effect as though complaint had been made.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §3, 25 Stat. 383; June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101.)

Transfer of Functions

Duties, powers, and functions under this section relating to operation of telegraph lines by railroad and telegraph lines granted Government aid in construction of their lines imposed on and vested in Federal Communications Commission by act June 19, 1934. See section 601 of this title.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Application, see rule 81, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effect of rules on this section, see note by Advisory Committee under rule 81.

Writ of mandamus abolished, see rule 81(b).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 12, 15, 601 of this title.

§12. Interference with liens of United States

In order to secure and preserve to the United States the full value and benefit of its liens upon all the telegraph lines required to be constructed by and lawfully belonging to railroad and telegraph companies referred to in section 9 of this title, and to have the same possessed, used, and operated in conformity with sections 9 to 15 of this title, it is made the duty of the Attorney General of the United States, by proper proceedings, to prevent any unlawful interference with the rights and equities of the United States under all acts of Congress relating to such railroads and telegraph lines, and to have legally ascertained and finally adjudicated all alleged rights of all persons and corporations whatever claiming in any manner any control or interest of any kind in any telegraph lines or property, or exclusive rights-of-way upon the lands of said railroad companies, or any of them, and to have all contracts and provisions of contracts set aside and annulled which have been unlawfully and beyond their powers entered into by said railroad or telegraph companies, or any of them, with any other person, company, or corporation.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §4, 25 Stat. 383.)

Cross References

Federal Communications Commission, jurisdiction of, see section 601 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 15, 601 of this title.

§13. Violations; punishment; action for damages

Any officer or agent of said railroad or telegraph companies, or of any company operating the railroads and telegraph lines of said companies, who shall refuse or fail to operate the telegraph lines of said railroad or telegraph companies under his control, or which he is engaged in operating, in the manner herein directed, or who shall refuse or fail, in such operation and use, to afford and secure to the Government and the public equal facilities, or to secure to each of said connecting telegraph lines equal advantages and facilities in the interchange of business, as herein provided for, without any discrimination whatever for or adverse to the telegraph line of any or either of said connecting companies, or shall refuse to abide by or perform and carry out within a reasonable time the order or orders of the Federal Communications Commission, shall in every such case of refusal or failure be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall in every such case be fined in a sum of not exceeding $1,000, and may be imprisoned not less than six months; and in every such case of refusal or failure the party aggrieved may not only cause the officer or agent guilty thereof to be prosecuted under the provisions of this section, but may also bring an action for the damages sustained thereby against the company whose officer or agent may be guilty thereof, in the district court of the United States in any State or Territory in which any portion of the road or telegraph line of said company may be situated; and in case of suit process may be served upon any agent of the company found in such State or Territory, and such service shall be held by the court good and sufficient.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §5, 25 Stat. 384; Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §289, 36 Stat. 1167; June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101.)

Codification

Words “circuit or” which preceded “district court” were omitted in view of the abolition of the circuit courts and the transfer of their jurisdiction to the district courts by act Mar. 3, 1911.

Transfer of Functions

Duties, powers, and functions under this section relating to operation of telegraph lines by railroad and telegraph lines granted Government aid in construction of their lines imposed on and vested in Federal Communications Commission by act June 19, 1934. See section 601 of this title.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Continuation of section under rule 4, see note by Advisory Committee under rule 4, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Process, see rule 4, Title 28, Appendix.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 12, 15, 601 of this title.

§14. Contracts filed with Federal Communications Commission; reports; failure to make

It shall be the duty of each and every one of the aforesaid railroad and telegraph companies annually to report to the Federal Communications Commission, with reasonable fullness and certainty, the nature, extent, value, and condition of the telegraph lines and property then belonging to it, the gross earnings, and all expenses of maintenance, use, and operation thereof, and its relation and business with all connecting telegraph companies during the preceding year, at such time and in such manner as may be required by a system of reports which said commission shall prescribe; and if any of said railroad or telegraph companies shall refuse or fail to make such reports or any report as may be called for by said commission, or refuse to submit its books and records for inspection, such neglect or refusal shall operate as a forfeiture, in each case of such neglect or refusal, of a sum not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000, to be recovered by the Attorney General of the United States, in the name and for the use and benefit of the United States; and it shall be the duty of the Federal Communications Commission to inform the Attorney General of all such cases of neglect or refusal, whose duty it shall be to proceed at once to judicially enforce the forfeitures herein before provided.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §6, 25 Stat. 384; June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §601, 48 Stat. 1101.)

Codification

A provision in the original enactment of this section requiring filing of copies of contracts, agreements, etc., within 60 days from passage of act Aug. 7, 1888 was omitted.

Transfer of Functions

Duties, powers, and functions under this section relating to operation of telegraph lines by railroad and telegraph lines granted Government aid in construction of their lines imposed on and vested in Federal Communications Commission by act June 19, 1934. See section 601 of this title.

Cross References

Exclusive jurisdiction of district court of the United States of action for recovery of forfeiture, see section 1355 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 12, 15, 601 of this title.

§15. Reservation of power to alter, amend, or repeal act; power to fix rates and purchase lines

Nothing in sections 9 to 15 of this title shall be construed to affect or impair the right of Congress, at any time hereafter, to alter, amend, or repeal sections 1 to 6 and 8 1 of this title; and sections 9 to 15 of this title shall be subject to alteration, amendment, or repeal as, in the opinion of Congress, justice or the public welfare may require; and nothing herein contained shall be held to deny, exclude, or impair any right or remedy in the premises now or hereafter existing in the United States, or the authority of the Federal Communications Commission under the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended [47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.], to prescribe charges, classifications, regulations, and practices, including priorities, applicable to Government communications.

(Aug. 7, 1888, ch. 772, §7, 25 Stat. 385; Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1263, §49, 68 Stat. 1244.)

References in Text

Sections 1 to 6 and 8 of this title, referred to in text, were repealed by act July 16, 1947, ch. 256, §1, 61 Stat. 327.

The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, referred to in text, is act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 5 (§151 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1954—Act Sept. 3, 1954, corrected references and struck out obsolete material.

Cross References

Federal Communications Commission, jurisdiction of, see section 601 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 12, 601 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§16. Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System; money transfers; portion of receipts withheld

On and after May 20, 1926, such amount of money as may be authorized by the Secretary of the Army may be withheld temporarily from the receipts of the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System by the auditor of said system as a working balance from which to make payments of money transfers from and to Alaska and between points within Alaska, to be accounted for accordingly.

(May 20, 1926, ch. 345, 44 Stat. 576; July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title II, §205(a), 61 Stat. 501; June 6, 1972, Pub. L. 92–310, title III, §233, 86 Stat. 214.)

Amendments

1972—Pub. L. 92–310 struck out provisions which permitted the expenses of procuring necessary official bonds of certain enlisted men to be paid from the receipts of the system.

Change of Name

Department of War designated Department of the Army and title of Secretary of War changed to Secretary of the Army by section 205(a) of act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title II, 61 Stat. 501. Section 205(a) of act July 26, 1947, was repealed by section 53 of act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 641. Section 1 of act Aug. 10, 1956, enacted Title 10, Armed Forces, which in sections 3010 to 3013 continued Department of the Army under administrative supervision of Secretary of the Army.

§17. Establishment of telegraph or cable lines by foreigners prohibited

No telegraph or cable lines owned or operated or controlled by persons not citizens of the United States, or by any foreign corporation or government shall be established in or permitted to enter Alaska.

(May 26, 1900, ch. 586, 31 Stat. 206.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 302a of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Cross References

Alaska communications disposal, disqualifications of aliens, see section 782 of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works.

CHAPTER 2—SUBMARINE CABLES

Sec.
21.
Submarine cables; willful injury to; punishment.
22.
Negligent injury to submarine cables; punishment.
23.
Injury to submarine cables in efforts to save life excepted.
24.
Vessels laying cables; signals; avoidance of buoys.
25.
Fishing vessels; duty to keep nets from cables.
26.
Duties of commanders of warships.
27.
Offending vessels to show nationality.
28.
Penalties not to bar suits for damages.
29.
Master of offending vessel punishable.
30.
Definitions.
31.
Summary trials.
32.
Application.
33.
Jurisdiction and venue of actions and offenses.
34.
Licenses for landing or operating cables connecting United States with foreign country; necessity for.
35.
Withholding or revoking of licenses by President; terms and conditions of licenses.
36.
Preventing landing or operating of cables; injunction.
37.
Violations; punishment.
38.
“United States” defined.
39.
Amendment, modification, etc., of rights granted.

        

§21. Submarine cables; willful injury to; punishment

Any person who shall willfully and wrongfully break or injure, or attempt to break or injure, or who shall in any manner procure, counsel, aid, abet, or be accessory to such breaking or injury, or attempt to break or injure, a submarine cable in such manner as to interrupt or embarrass, in whole or in part, telegraphic communication, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine not exceeding $5,000, or to both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §1, 25 Stat. 41.)

Short Title

Act Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, 25 Stat. 41, which enacted sections 21 to 33 of this title, is popularly known as the “Submarine Cable Act”.

International Convention

The protection of submarine cables was made the subject of an international convention between the United States and Germany, Argentine Confederation, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Spain, United States of Columbia, France, Great Britain, Guatemala, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Netherlands, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Salvador, Servia, Sweden and Norway, Uruguay, and the British Colonies. It was concluded Mar. 14, 1884, ratified Jan. 26, 1885, ratifications exchanged Apr. 16, 1885, proclaimed May 22, 1885, and entered into force for the United States May 1, 1888. Its provisions were set forth in 24 Stat. 989 to 1000.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 23 of this title.

§22. Negligent injury to submarine cables; punishment

Any person who by culpable negligence shall break or injure a submarine cable in such manner as to interrupt or embarrass, in whole or in part, telegraphic communication, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding $500, or to both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §2, 25 Stat. 41.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 23 of this title.

§23. Injury to submarine cables in efforts to save life excepted

The provisions of sections 21 and 22 of this title shall not apply to a person who breaks or injures a cable in an effort to save the life or limb of himself or of any other person, or to save his own or any other vessel: Provided, That he takes reasonable precautions to avoid such breaking or injury.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §3, 25 Stat. 41.)

§24. Vessels laying cables; signals; avoidance of buoys

The master of any vessel which, while engaged in laying or repairing submarine cables, shall fail to observe the rules concerning signals that have been or shall be adopted by the parties to the convention described in section 30 of this title with a view to preventing collisions at sea; or the master of any vessel that, perceiving, or being able to perceive the said signals displayed upon a telegraph ship engaged in repairing a cable, shall not withdraw to or keep at distance of at least one nautical mile; or the master of any vessel that seeing or being able to see buoys intended to mark the position of a cable when being laid or when out of order or broken, shall not keep at a distance of at least a quarter of a nautical mile, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month, or to a fine of not exceeding $500.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §4, 25 Stat. 41.)

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, are set out in Appendix A to Part 81 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 31 of this title.

§25. Fishing vessels; duty to keep nets from cables

The master of any fishing vessel who shall not keep his implements or nets at a distance of at least one nautical mile from a vessel engaged in laying or repairing a cable; or the master of any fishing vessel who shall not keep his implements or nets at a distance of at least a quarter of a nautical mile from a buoy or buoys intended to mark the position of a cable when being laid or when out of order or broken, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten days, or to a fine not exceeding $250, or to both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. Fishing vessels, on perceiving or being able to perceive the said signals displayed on a telegraph ship, shall be allowed such time as may be necessary to obey the notice thus given, not exceeding twenty-four hours, during which period no obstacle shall be placed in the way of their operations.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §5, 25 Stat. 42.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 31 of this title.

§26. Duties of commanders of warships

For the purpose of carrying into effect the convention described in section 30 of this title a person commanding a ship of war of the United States or of any foreign state for the time being bound by the convention, or a ship specially commissioned by the Government of the United States or by the government of such foreign state, may exercise and perform the duties with respect to requiring exhibition of documents evidencing the nationality of offending vessels and making reports of infractions vested in and imposed on such officer by the convention.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §6, 25 Stat. 42.)

Codification

The original enactment of this section did not contain the words, “with respect to requiring exhibition of documents evidencing the nationality of offending vessels and making reports of infractions,” which are inserted in view of the powers conferred on commanders of vessels of war contained in article 10 of the Convention, 24 Stat. 996, set out as a note under section 27 of this title.

§27. Offending vessels to show nationality

Any person having the custody of the papers necessary for the preparation of the statements provided for in article 10 of the said convention with respect to reports of infractions, by officers commanding vessels of war or vessels especially commissioned, who shall refuse to exhibit them or shall violently resist persons having authority according to article 10 of said convention to draw up statements of facts in the exercise of their functions, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding two years, or to a fine not exceeding $5,000, or to both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §7, 25 Stat. 42.)

Codification

The original enactment of this section did not contain the words, “with respect to reports of infractions, by officers commanding vessels of war or vessels especially commissioned,” which have been inserted in view of article 10 of the Convention, referred to in text, and set out as a note below.

Provision of International Convention

Article 10 of the International Convention for the Protection of Submarine Cables, made at Paris on May (March) 14, 1884, and proclaimed by the President of the United States on May 22, 1885, 24 Stat. 996, referred to in this section, read as follows:

“Evidence of violations of this convention may be obtained by all methods of securing proof that are allowed by the laws of the country of the court before which a case has been brought.

“When the officers commanding the vessels of war or the vessels specially commissioned for that purpose, of one of the High Contracting Parties, shall have reason to believe that an infraction of the measures provided for by this Convention has been committed by a vessel other than a vessel of war, they may require the captain or master to exhibit the official documents furnishing evidence of the nationality of the said vessel. Summary mention of such exhibition shall at once be made on the documents exhibited.

“Reports may, moreover, be prepared by the said officers, whatever may be the nationality of the inculpated vessel. These reports shall be drawn up in the form and in the language in use in the country to which the officer drawing them up belongs; they may be used as evidence in the country in which they shall be invoked, and according to the laws of such country. The accused parties and the witnesses shall have the right to add or to cause to be added thereto, in their own language, any explanations that they may deem proper; these declarations shall be duly signed.”

§28. Penalties not to bar suits for damages

The penalties provided in this chapter for the breaking or injury of a submarine cable shall not be a bar to a suit for damages on account of such breaking or injury.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §8, 25 Stat. 42.)

§29. Master of offending vessel punishable

When an offense against this chapter shall have been committed by means of a vessel, or of any boat belonging to a vessel, the master of such vessel shall, unless some other person is shown to have been in charge of and navigating such vessel or boat, be deemed to have been in charge of and navigating the same, and be liable to be punished accordingly.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §9, 25 Stat. 42.)

§30. Definitions

Unless the context of this chapter otherwise requires, the term “vessel” shall be taken to mean every description of vessel used in navigation, in whatever way it is propelled; the term “master” shall be taken to include every person having command or charge of a vessel; and the term “person” to include a body of persons, corporate or incorporate. The term “convention” shall be taken to mean the International Convention for the Protection of Submarine Cables, made at Paris on the 14th day of May [March], 1884, and proclaimed by the President of the United States on the 22d day of May, 1885.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §10, 25 Stat. 42.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 24, 26 of this title.

§31. Summary trials

The provisions of sections 391–396 of title 33 shall extend to the trial of offenses against the provisions of sections 24 and 25 of this title.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §11, 25 Stat. 42.)

§32. Application

The provisions of this chapter shall be held to apply only to cables to which the convention for the time being applies.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §12, 25 Stat. 42.)

§33. Jurisdiction and venue of actions and offenses

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction over all offenses against this chapter and of all suits of a civil nature arising thereunder, whether the infraction complained of shall have been committed within the territorial waters of the United States or on board a vessel of the United States outside of said waters. From the decrees and judgments of the district courts in actions and suits arising under this chapter appeals shall be allowed as provided by law in other cases. Criminal actions and proceedings for a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be commenced and prosecuted in the district court for the district within which the offense was committed, and when not committed within any judicial district, then in the district court for the district within which the offender may be found; and suits of a civil nature may be commenced in the district court for any district within which the defendant may be found and shall be served with process.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, §13, 25 Stat. 42; Jan. 31, 1928, ch. 14, §1, 45 Stat. 54.)

Codification

Words “and writs of error” after “appeals” deleted in view of section 1 of act Jan. 31, 1928, which abolished writs of error and provided for similar relief by appeal.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Special venue provisions of section as not affected by rule 18, see Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules set out under rule 18, Title 18, Appendix, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Cross References

Venue in civil actions generally, see section 1391 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§34. Licenses for landing or operating cables connecting United States with foreign country; necessity for

No person shall land or operate in the United States any submarine cable directly or indirectly connecting the United States with any foreign country, or connecting one portion of the United States with any other portion thereof, unless a written license to land or operate such cable has been issued by the President of the United States. The conditions of sections 34 to 39 of this title shall not apply to cables, all of which, including both terminals, lie wholly within the continental United States.

(May 27, 1921, ch. 12, §1, 42 Stat. 8.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of the Submarine Cable Act which comprises this chapter.

Delegation of Functions

For delegation of functions, vested in President by sections 34 to 39 of this title, to Federal Communications Commission, see section 5(a) of Ex. Ord. No. 10530, eff. May 10, 1954, 19 F.R. 2709, set out under section 301 of Title 3, The President.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 36, 37, 38, 39 of this title.

§35. Withholding or revoking of licenses by President; terms and conditions of licenses

The President may withhold or revoke such license when he shall be satisfied after due notice and hearing that such action will assist in securing rights for the landing or operation of cables in foreign countries, or in maintaining the rights or interests of the United States or of its citizens in foreign countries, or will promote the security of the United States, or may grant such license upon such terms as shall be necessary to assure just and reasonable rates and service in the operation and use of cables so licensed. The license shall not contain terms or conditions granting to the licensee exclusive rights of landing or of operation in the United States. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to limit the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission with respect to the transmission of messages.

(May 27, 1921, ch. 12, §2, 42 Stat. 8; June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title VII, §702(c), formerly title VI, §602(c), 48 Stat. 1102; renumbered Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–549, §6(a), 98 Stat. 2804.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of the Submarine Cable Act which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

1934—Act June 19, 1934, substituted “of the Federal Communications Commission” for “heretofore granted the Interstate Commerce Commission”.

Delegation of Functions

For delegation of functions vested in President by this section to Federal Communications Commission, see note set out under section 34 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 34, 36, 38, 39, 308 of this title.

§36. Preventing landing or operating of cables; injunction

The President is empowered to prevent the landing of any cable about to be landed in violation of sections 34 to 39 of this title. When any such cable is about to be or is landed or is being operated without a license, any district court of the United States exercising jurisdiction in the district in which such cable is about to be or is landed, or any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the parties, shall have jurisdiction, at the suit of the United States, to enjoin the landing or operation of such cable or to compel, by injunction, the removal thereof.

(May 27, 1921, ch. 12, §3, 42 Stat. 8.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of the Submarine Cable Act which comprises this chapter.

Delegation of Functions

For delegation of functions vested in President by this section to Federal Communications Commission, see note set out under section 34 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 34, 38, 39 of this title.

§37. Violations; punishment

Whoever knowingly commits, instigates, or assists in any act forbidden by section 34 of this title shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(May 27, 1921, ch. 12, §4, 42 Stat. 8.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of the Submarine Cable Act which comprises this chapter.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 34, 36, 38, 39 of this title.

§38. “United States” defined

The term “United States” as used in sections 34 to 39 of this title includes the Canal Zone and all territory continental or insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States of America.

(May 27, 1921, ch. 12, §5, 42 Stat. 8; Proc. No. 2695, eff. July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352.)

References in Text

For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in text, see section 3602(b) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Codification

Words “the Philippine Islands” deleted on authority of Proc. No. 2695 issued pursuant to section 1394 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, which recognized independence of Philippine Islands as of July 4, 1946. Proc. No. 2695 is set out under section 1394 of Title 22.

Section was not enacted as part of the Submarine Cable Act which comprises this chapter.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 34, 36, 39 of this title.

§39. Amendment, modification, etc., of rights granted

No right shall accrue to any government, person, or corporation under the terms of sections 34 to 39 of this title that may not be rescinded, changed, modified, or amended by the Congress.

(May 27, 1921, ch. 12, §6, 42 Stat. 9.)

Codification

Section was not enacted as part of the Submarine Cable Act which comprises this chapter.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 34, 36, 38 of this title.

CHAPTER 3—RADIOTELEGRAPHS

Cross References

Communications Act of 1934, see section 151 et seq. of this title.

§§51 to 63. Repealed. Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §39, 44 Stat. 1174

Section 51, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §1, 37 Stat. 302, required license for operation of apparatus for radio communication and transmission of radiograms or signals, revocable for cause, described its interstate, foreign and local aspects, exempted the United States from its requirement and provided for special call letters for every Government station and penalties and forfeiture of offending apparatus. See sections 301, 305, 312, 501, and 503 of this title.

Section 52, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §2, 37 Stat. 303, related to form of license, United States citizenship of licensee, and contents of license, including statement of restrictions, ownership, location, purpose, wave length, and hours for work of station, subjection to rules and regulations and to closing by the President in time of war, public peril or disaster or Government use or control with payment of just compensation. See sections 307 to 309 of this title.

Section 53, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §3, 37 Stat. 303, required that operators of radio apparatus be licensed, provided for one year period of suspension of license for noncompliance with rules and regulations, declared the employment of unlicensed operators to be unlawful and provided penalty therefor and authorized the issuance of temporary permits in emergencies by collector of customs to operators on a vessel. See sections 308 and 318 of this title.

Section 54, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §4, 37 Stat. 304, subjected private and commercial stations to certain specific regulations, provided for enforcement and waiver of regulations, for grant of special temporary licenses to conduct radio tests and experiments, and prescribed general penalty for violation of regulations and reduction and remittance of such penalty and suspension or revocation of license. The Regulations, numbered First-Nineteenth, related to: (1) normal wave length; (2) other wave lengths; (3) use of a pure wave; (4) use of a sharp wave; (5) use of a standard distress wave; (6) signal of distress; (7) use of broad interfering wave for distress signals (see section 321(a) of this title); (8) distance requirement for distress signals; (9) right of way for distress signals (see section 321(b) of this title); (10) reduced power for ships near a Government station; (11) intercommunication (see section 322 of this title); (12) division of time (see section 323(a) of this title); (13) Government stations to observe divisions of time (see section 323(b) of this title); (14) use of unnecessary power (see section 324 of this title); (15) general restrictions on private stations; (16) special restrictions in the vicinities of Government stations; (17) ship stations to communicate with nearest shore stations; (18) limitations for future installations in vicinities of Government stations; (19) secrecy of messages and penalty for violations (see sections 501 and 605 of this title). See also sections 502 and 504 of this title.

Section 55, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §5, 37 Stat. 308, required license to prescribe that operator shall not willfully or maliciously interfere with any other radio communications and provided penalty for such violations. See sections 308 and 501 of this title.

Section 56, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §6, 37 Stat. 308, defined radio communication. See section 153(b) of this title.

Section 57, act of Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §7, 37 Stat. 308, prohibited uttering or transmitting false or fraudulent signals and prescribed penalty therefor. See sections 325 and 501 of this title.

Section 58, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §8, 37 Stat. 308, related to restriction of use of apparatus for radio communication on foreign ships. See section 306 of this title.

Section 59, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §9, 37 Stat. 308, related to jurisdictions of offenses. See section 505 of this title.

Section 60, act Aug. 13, 1912, ch. 287, §10, 37 Stat. 308, declared radiotelegraph provisions to be inapplicable to Philippine Islands. See section 152 of this title.

Section 61, act June 5, 1920, ch. 269, §1, 41 Stat. 1061, related to use of Government-owned radio stations and apparatus for official business, compass reports, and safety of ships. See section 305 of this title.

Section 62, acts June 5, 1920, ch. 269, §2, 41 Stat. 1061; Apr. 14, 1922, ch. 132, 42 Stat. 495; Feb. 28, 1925, ch. 378, 43 Stat. 1091, related to use of Naval stations for commercial messages and rates thereof. See section 327 of this title.

Section 63, act June 5, 1920, ch. 269, §3, 41 Stat. 1061, declared radiotelegraph provisions to be applicable to Government owned stations, except as otherwise provided therein. See section 305 of this title.

CHAPTER 4—RADIO ACT OF 1927

Cross References

Communications Act of 1934, see section 151 et seq. of this title.

§§81 to 83. Repealed. June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §602(a), 48 Stat. 1102

Section 81, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §1, 44 Stat. 1162, related to regulation of interstate and foreign radio communications and grant of license. See section 301 of this title.

Section 82, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §2, 44 Stat. 1162, related to division of United States into five zones.

Section 83, acts Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §3, 44 Stat. 1162; Mar. 28, 1928, ch. 263, §2, 45 Stat. 373; Mar. 4, 1929, ch. 701, §2, 45 Stat. 1559; Dec. 18, 1929, ch. 7, §2, 46 Stat. 50, related to creation of Federal Radio Commission, composition, qualifications, appointments, meetings, employees, seal, reports and compensation. See sections 151 and 154 of this title and section 5311 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§§83a to 83e. Omitted

Codification

Sections 83a to 83e were omitted in view of abolition of Federal Radio Commission by act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title VI, §603, 48 Stat. 1102, which was classified to former section 603 of this title.

Section 83a, act June 30, 1932, ch. 314, §511, 47 Stat. 417, abolished Radio Division of Department of Commerce and transferred its powers and duties to Federal Radio Commission.

Section 83b, act June 30, 1932, ch. 314, §512, 47 Stat. 417, transferred officers and employees of Radio Division to Federal Radio Commission.

Section 83c, act June 30, 1932, ch. 314, §513, 47 Stat. 417, provided that orders, rules, regulations, and laws of Radio Division have continuing application until modified, amended or repealed by Federal Radio Commission.

Section 83d, act June 30, 1932, ch. 314, §514, 47 Stat. 417, transferred unexpended appropriations from Radio Division to Federal Radio Commission.

Section 83e, act Mar. 28, 1934, ch. 102, title I, §1, 48 Stat. 513, related to adjustment of classification or compensation of employees.

§84. Repealed. June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §602(a), 48 Stat. 1102

Section, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §4, 44 Stat. 1163, defined powers and duties of Federal Radio Commission. See sections 154(g), 303, and 409 of this title.

§§84a, 84b. Repealed. Pub. L. 89–554, §8(a), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 647

Section 84a, act Mar. 4, 1929, ch. 701, §5, 45 Stat. 1559, provided for appointment and pay of general counsel, assistants to general counsel, and other legal assistants to Federal Radio Commission.

Section 84b, act Dec. 18, 1929, ch. 7, §3, 46 Stat. 50, provided for appointment and pay of chief engineer, assistants to chief engineer, and other technical assistants to Federal Radio Commission.

§§85 to 119. Repealed. June 19, 1934, ch. 652, §602(a), 48 Stat. 1102

Section 85, acts Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §5, 44 Stat. 1164; Mar. 28, 1928, ch. 263, §1, 45 Stat. 373; Mar. 4, 1929, ch. 701, §1, 45 Stat. 1559; Dec. 18, 1929, ch. 7, §1, 46 Stat. 50; May 19, 1932, ch. 192, 47 Stat. 160 related to powers and authority of Secretary of Commerce, appeals to Federal Radio Commission, grant of station license, and waiver affecting wave length. See sections 155, 303(l) to (p), 304, and 307 to 309 of this title.

Section 86, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §6, 44 Stat. 1165, related to government radio stations, regulations, control of all stations by government in national emergency and stations on vessels. See sections 305(a), (b) and 606(c) of this title.

Section 87, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §7, 44 Stat. 1165, related to compensation by government for use or control of stations during national emergency. See section 606(e) of this title.

Section 88, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §8, 44 Stat. 1166, related to special call letters for stations and application of former section 81 of this title to foreign ships. See sections 305(c) and 306 of this title.

Section 89, acts Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §9, 44 Stat. 1166; Mar. 28, 1928, ch. 263, §§3, 5, 45 Stat. 373; Mar. 4, 1929, ch. 701, §3, 45 Stat. 1559, related to grant and renewal of station licenses and period thereof. See section 307 of this title.

Section 90, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §10, 44 Stat. 1166, related to application for station license and conditions and restrictions therein. See section 308 of this title.

Section 91, acts Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §11, 44 Stat. 1167; Mar. 28, 1928, ch. 263, §1, 45 Stat. 373; Mar. 4, 1929, ch. 701, §1, 45 Stat. 1559; Dec. 18, 1929, ch. 7, §1, 46 Stat. 50, related to issuance, renewal or modification of station licenses, hearing, form and terms of license. See section 309(a), (b), (d) of this title.

Section 92, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §12, 44 Stat. 1167, related to restrictions on grants and transfers of station licenses. See section 310 of this title.

Section 93, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §13, 44 Stat. 1167, related to refusal of station license to persons guilty of monopoly and liability to prosecution under laws against monopoly. See section 311 of this title.

Section 94, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §14, 44 Stat. 1168, related to revocation of station license, notice of revocation and hearing. See section 312 of this title.

Section 95, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §15, 44 Stat. 1168, related to application of laws against monopolies to radio combinations and revocation of licenses. See section 313 of this title.

Section 96, acts Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §16, 44 Stat. 1169; July 1, 1930, ch. 788, 46 Stat. 844, related to appeals in matters affecting permit and licenses. See section 402 of this title.

Section 97, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §17, 44 Stat. 1169, related to control by radio interests of cable, wire, telegraph or telephone system and prohibition thereof. See section 314 of this title.

Section 98, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §18, 44 Stat. 1170, related to use of broadcasting stations by legally qualified candidates and censorship over material for broadcast. See section 315(a) of this title.

Section 99, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §19, 44 Stat. 1170, related to broadcasting matter for valuable consideration and announcement of person furnishing. See section 317 of this title.

Section 100, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §20, 44 Stat. 1170, related to operation of transmitting apparatus in radio station and operator's license. See section 318 of this title.

Section 101, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §21, 44 Stat. 1170, related to permits for construction and licenses for operation of stations. See section 319 of this title.

Section 102, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §22, 44 Stat. 1171, related to stations interfering with distress signals of ships and regulation thereof. See section 320 of this title.

Section 103, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §23, 44 Stat. 1171, related to radio stations or ships and equipment and regulation thereof. See section 321 of this title.

Section 104, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §24, 44 Stat. 1171, related to shore stations and ships stations and exchanging radio communications and signals. See section 322 of this title.

Section 105, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §25, 44 Stat. 1172, related to proximity of Government and private or commercial stations causing interference and regulation thereof. See section 323 of this title.

Section 106, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §26, 44 Stat. 1172, related to limit on amount of power used at stations. See section 324 of this title.

Section 107, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §27, 44 Stat. 1172, related to divulging and publishing radio communications. See section 605 of this title.

Section 108, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §28, 44 Stat. 1172, related to false and fraudulent signals of distress and communications and rebroadcasting programs without authority. See section 325(a) of this title.

Section 109, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §29, 44 Stat. 1172, related to censorship over radio communications and signals, protection of free speech and obscene language. See section 326 of this title.

Section 110, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §30, 44 Stat. 1173, related to use of United States owned radio stations and apparatus by Secretary of Navy for transmission of press messages, etc. See section 327 of this title.

Section 111, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §31, 44 Stat. 1173, defined radio communication. See section 153(b) of this title.

Section 112, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §32, 44 Stat. 1173, related to penalties for violation of rules of licensing authority, etc. See section 502 of this title.

Section 113, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §33, 44 Stat. 1173, related to penalties for violation of statutory provisions and perjury. See section 501 of this title and section 1621 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Section 114, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §34, 44 Stat. 1173, related to jurisdiction of offenses. See section 505 of this title.

Section 115, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §35, 44 Stat. 1174, related to application of section 81 et seq. of this title to Philippine Islands and Canal Zone.

Section 116, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §36, 44 Stat. 1174, related to administration of radio laws in Territories and insular possessions. See section 329 of this title.

Section 117, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §38, 44 Stat. 1174, related to invalidity of part of chapter and effect as to remainder. See section 608 of this title.

Section 118, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §39, 44 Stat. 1174, related to repeal of sections 51–63 and effect of repeal on existing rights.

Section 119, act Feb. 23, 1927, ch. 169, §41, 44 Stat. 1174, related to citation of section 81 et seq. of this title as “Radio Act of 1927.”

§§120, 121. Omitted

Codification

Section 120, act July 5, 1932, ch. 421, §1, 47 Stat. 576, related to equipment necessary on ocean-going vessels using ports in the Canal Zone. See section 361 of Title 2, Canal Zone Code.

Section 121, act July 5, 1932, ch. 421, §2, 47 Stat. 576, related to jurisdiction of violations and penalties for ocean-going vessels not properly equipped. See section 362 of Title 2, Canal Zone Code.

Pub. L. 96–70, title III, §3303(b), Sept. 27, 1979, 93 Stat. 499, redesignated the Canal Zone Code as the Panama Canal Code. See also section 3602(d) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

 10

CHAPTER 5—WIRE OR RADIO COMMUNICATION

SUBCHAPTER I—GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec.
151.
Purposes of chapter; Federal Communications Commission created.
152.
Application of chapter.
153.
Definitions.
154.
Federal Communications Commission.
(a)
Number of commissioners; appointment.
(b)
Qualifications.
(c)
Terms of office; vacancies.
(d)
Compensation of Commission members.
(e)
Principal office; special sessions.
(f)
Employees and assistants; compensation of members of Field Engineering and Monitoring Bureau; use of amateur volunteers for certain purposes; commercial radio operator examinations.
(g)
Expenditures.
(h)
Quorum; seal.
(i)
Duties and powers.
(j)
Conduct of proceedings; hearings.
(k)
Annual reports to Congress.
(l)
Record of reports.
(m)
Publication of reports; admissibility as evidence.
(n)
Compensation of appointees.
(o)
Use of communications in safety of life and property.
155.
Commission.
(a)
Chairman; duties; vacancy.
(b)
Organization of staff.
(c)
Delegation of functions; exceptions to initial orders; force, effect and enforcement of orders; administrative and judicial review; qualifications and compensation of delegates; assignment of cases; separation of review and investigative or prosecuting functions; secretary; seal.
(d)
Meetings.
(e)
Managing Director; appointment, functions, pay.
156.
Authorization of appropriations.
157.
New technologies and services.
158.
Application fees.
(a)
Assessment and collection.
(b)
Review and adjustment of Schedule by Commission; notification to Congress; judicial review.
(c)
Additional application fee; assessment as penalty; amount; dismissal of application or other filing.
(d)
Inapplicability of application fees to certain radio services; waiver or deferment of payment.
(e)
Deposit of moneys in general fund; reimbursement of United States for administration of chapter.
(f)
Rules and regulations.
(g)
Schedule of Application Fees.
159.
Regulatory fees.
(a)
General authority.
(b)
Establishment and adjustment of regulatory fees.
(c)
Enforcement.
(d)
Waiver, reduction, and deferment.
(e)
Deposit of collections.
(f)
Regulations.
(g)
Schedule.
(h)
Exceptions.
(i)
Accounting system.

        

SUBCHAPTER II—COMMON CARRIERS

201.
Service and charges.
202.
Discriminations and preferences.
(a)
Charges, services, etc.
(b)
Charges or services included.
(c)
Penalty.
203.
Schedules of charges.
(a)
Filing; public display.
(b)
Changes in schedule; discretion of Commission to modify requirements.
(c)
Overcharges and rebates.
(d)
Rejection or refusal.
(e)
Penalty for violations.
204.
Hearings on new charges; suspension pending hearing; refunds; duration of hearing; appeal of order concluding hearing.
205.
Commission authorized to prescribe just and reasonable charges; penalties for violations.
206.
Carriers’ liability for damages.
207.
Recovery of damages.
208.
Complaints to Commission; investigations; duration of investigation; appeal of order concluding investigation.
209.
Orders for payment of money.
210.
Franks and passes; free service to governmental agencies in connection with national defense.
211.
Contracts of carriers; filing with Commission.
212.
Interlocking directorates; officials dealing in securities.
213.
Valuation of property of carrier.
(a)
Hearing.
(b)
Inventory.
(c)
Original cost.
(d)
Easement, license or franchise.
(e)
Improvements; changes in condition.
(f)
Additional information; access to records and data.
(g)
State commissions.
214.
Extension of lines or discontinuance of service; certificate of public convenience and necessity.
(a)
Exceptions; temporary or emergency service or discontinuance of service; changes in plant, operation or equipment.
(b)
Notification of Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and State Governor.
(c)
Approval or disapproval; injunction.
(d)
Order of Commission; hearing; penalty.
215.
Examination of transactions relating to furnishing of services, equipment, etc.; reports to Congress.
(a)
Access to records and documents.
(b)
Wire telephone and telegraph services.
(c)
Exclusive dealing contracts.
216.
Receivers and trustees; application of chapter.
217.
Agents’ acts and omissions; liability of carrier.
218.
Management of business; inquiries by Commission.
219.
Reports by carriers; contents and requirements generally.
220.
Accounts, records, and memoranda.
(a)
Forms.
(b)
Depreciation charges.
(c)
Access to information; burden of proof.
(d)
Penalty for failure to comply.
(e)
False entry; destruction; penalty.
(f)
Confidentiality of information.
(g)
Use of other forms; alterations in prescribed forms.
(h)
Exemption; regulation by State commission.
(i)
Consultation with State commissions.
(j)
Report to Congress on need for further legislation.
221.
Consolidations and mergers of telephone companies.
(a)
Notification of State Governor and State commission; public hearing; certification.
(b)
State jurisdiction over services.
(c)
Determination of property used in interstate toll service.
(d)
Valuation of property.
222.
Repealed.
223.
Obscene or harassing telephone calls in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communications.
(a)
Prohibited acts generally.
(b)
Prohibited acts for commercial purposes; defense to prosecution.
(c)
Restriction on access to subscribers by common carriers; judicial remedies respecting restrictions.
224.
Pole attachments.
(a)
Definitions.
(b)
Authority of Commission to regulate rates, terms, and conditions; enforcement powers; promulgation of regulations.
(c)
State regulatory authority over rates, terms, and conditions; preemption; certification; circumstances constituting State regulation.
(d)
Determination of just and reasonable rates; “usable space” defined.
225.
Telecommunications services for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals.
(a)
Definitions.
(b)
Availability of telecommunications relay services.
(c)
Provision of services.
(d)
Regulations.
(e)
Enforcement.
(f)
Certification.
(g)
Complaint.
226.
Telephone operator services.
(a)
Definitions.
(b)
Requirements for providers of operator services.
(c)
Requirements for aggregators.
(d)
General rulemaking required.
(e)
Separate rulemaking on access and compensation.
(f)
Technological capability of equipment.
(g)
Fraud.
(h)
Determinations of rate compliance.
(i)
Statutory construction.
227.
Restrictions on use of telephone equipment.
(a)
Definitions.
(b)
Restrictions on use of automated telephone equipment.
(c)
Protection of subscriber privacy rights.
(d)
Technical and procedural standards.
(e)
Effect on State law.
(f)
Actions by States.
228.
Regulation of carrier offering of pay-per-call services.
(a)
Purpose.
(b)
General authority for regulations.
(c)
Common carrier obligations.
(d)
Billing and collection practices.
(e)
Liability.
(f)
Special provisions.
(g)
Effect on other law.
(h)
Effect on dial-a-porn prohibitions.
(i)
“Pay-per-call services” defined.
229.
Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act compliance.
(a)
In general.
(b)
Systems security and integrity.
(c)
Commission review of compliance.
(d)
Penalties.
(e)
Cost recovery for Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act compliance.

        

SUBCHAPTER III—SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO RADIO

Part I—General Provisions

301.
License for radio communication or transmission of energy.
302.
Repealed.
302a.
Devices which interfere with radio reception.
(a)
Regulations.
(b)
Restrictions.
(c)
Exceptions.
(d)
Cellular telecommunications receivers.
303.
Powers and duties of Commission.
303a.
Standards for children's television programming.
(a)
Establishment.
(b)
Advertising duration limitations.
(c)
Review of advertising duration limitations; modification.
(d)
“Commercial television broadcast licensee” defined.
303b.
Consideration of children's television service in broadcast license renewal.
303c.
Television program improvement.
(a)
Short title.
(b)
Definitions.
(c)
Exemption.
(d)
Limitations.
304.
Waiver by license of claims to particular frequency or of electromagnetic spectrum.
305.
Government owned stations.
(a)
Frequencies; compliance with regulations; stations on vessels.
(b)
Vessels of Maritime Administration or Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service.
(c)
Call letters.
(d)
Stations operated by foreign governments.
306.
Foreign ships; application of section 301.
307.
Licenses.
(a)
Grant.
(b)
Allocation of facilities.
(c)
Terms.
(d)
Renewals.
(e)
Operation of certain radio stations without individual licenses.
308.
Requirements for license.
(a)
Writing; exceptions.
(b)
Conditions.
(c)
Commercial communication.
309.
Application for license.
(a)
Considerations in granting application.
(b)
Time of granting application.
(c)
Applications not affected by subsection (b).
(d)
Petition to deny application; time; contents; reply; findings.
(e)
Hearings; intervention; evidence; burden of proof.
(f)
Temporary authorization of temporary operations under subsection (b).
(g)
Classification of applications.
(h)
Form and conditions of station licenses.
(i)
Random selection.
(j)
Use of competitive bidding.
310.
License ownership restrictions.
(a)
Grant to or holding by foreign government or representative.
(b)
Grant to or holding by alien or representative, foreign corporation, etc.
(c)
Authorization for aliens licensed by foreign governments; multilateral or bilateral agreement to which United States and foreign country are parties as prerequisite.
(d)
Assignment and transfer of construction permit or station license.
(e)
Administration of regional concentration rules for broadcast stations.
311.
Requirements as to certain applications in broadcasting service.
(a)
Notices of filing and hearing; form and contents.
(b)
Place of hearing.
(c)
Agreement between two or more applicants; approval of Commission; pendency of application.
(d)
License for operation of station; agreement to withdraw application; approval of Commission.
312.
Administrative sanctions.
(a)
Revocation of station license or construction permit.
(b)
Cease and desist orders.
(c)
Order to show cause.
(d)
Burden of proof.
(e)
Procedure for issuance of cease and desist order.
(f)
“Willful” and “repeated” defined.
312a.
Revocation of operator's license used in unlawful distribution of controlled substances.
313.
Application of antitrust laws to manufacture, sale, and trade in radio apparatus.
(a)
Revocation of licenses.
(b)
Refusal of licenses and permits.
314.
Competition in commerce; preservation.
315.
Candidates for public office.
(a)
Equal opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition; allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public interest; public issues discussion opportunities.
(b)
Broadcast media rates.
(c)
Definitions.
(d)
Rules and regulations.
316.
Modification by Commission of station licenses or construction permits; burden of proof.
317.
Announcement of payment for broadcast.
(a)
Disclosure of person furnishing.
(b)
Disclosure to station of payments.
(c)
Acquiring information from station employees.
(d)
Waiver of announcement.
(e)
Rules and regulations.
318.
Transmitting apparatus; operator's license.
319.
Construction permits.
(a)
Requirements.
(b)
Time limitation; forfeiture.
(c)
Licenses for operation.
(d)
Government, amateur, or mobile station; waiver.
320.
Stations liable to interfere with distress signals; designation and regulation.
321.
Distress signals and communications; equipment on vessels; regulations.
322.
Exchanging radio communications between land and ship stations and from ship to ship.
323.
Interference between Government and commercial stations.
324.
Use of minimum power.
325.
False, fraudulent, or unauthorized transmissions.
(a)
False distress signals; rebroadcasting programs.
(b)
Consent to retransmission of broadcasting station signals.
(c)
Broadcast to foreign countries for rebroadcast to United States; permit.
(d)
Application for permit.
326.
Censorship.
327.
Naval stations; use for commercial messages; rates.
328.
Repealed.
329.
Administration of radio laws in Territories and possessions.
330.
Prohibition against shipment of certain television receivers.
331.
Very high frequency stations and AM radio stations.
(a)
Very high frequency stations.
(b)
AM radio stations.
332.
Mobile services.
(a)
Factors which Commission must consider.
(b)
Advisory coordinating committees.
(c)
Regulatory treatment of mobile services.
(d)
Definitions.
333.
Willful or malicious interference.
334.
Limitation on revision of equal employment opportunity regulations.
(a)
Limitation.
(b)
Midterm review.
(c)
Authority to make technical revisions.
335.
Direct broadcast satellite service obligations.
(a)
Proceeding required to review DBS responsibilities.
(b)
Carriage obligations for noncommercial, educational, and informational programming.

        

Part II—Radio Equipment and Radio Operators on Board Ship

351.
Ship radio stations and operations.
352.
Exemptions.
(a)
Vessels excepted.
(b)
Radio station unreasonable or unnecessary.
(c)
Unforeseeable equipment failures.
(d)
Radio direction finding apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary.
353.
Radio equipment and operators.
(a)
Two radio officers required.
(b)
One radio officer required.
(c)
Required watches.
(d)
Hours of watch.
(e)
Operational status of auto alarms in open sea.
353a.
Operators and watches on radiotelephone equipped ships.
354.
Technical requirements of equipment on radiotelegraph equipped ships.
354a.
Technical requirements of equipment on radiotelephone equipped ships.
355.
Survival craft.
356.
Approval of installations by Commission.
357.
Safety information.
(a)
Transmission of information concerning safety at sea.
(b)
Charges for transmission of safety information.
(c)
Reimbursement by Commission.
(d)
Charges for transmission of distress messages.
(e)
Free services.
358.
Master's control over operations.
359.
Certificates of compliance; issuance, modification, and cancellation.
360.
Station licenses; inspection of equipment by Commission.
361.
Control by Commission; review of decisions.
362.
Forfeitures; recovery.

        

Part III—Radio Installations on Vessels Carrying Passengers for Hire

381.
Vessels transporting more than six passengers for hire required to be equipped with radiotelephone.
382.
Vessels excepted from radiotelephone requirement.
383.
Exemptions by Commission.
384.
Authority of Commission; operations, installations, and additional equipment.
385.
Inspections.
386.
Forfeitures.

        

Part IV—Assistance for Planning and Construction of Public Telecommunications Facilities; Telecommunications Demonstrations; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; General Provisions

subpart a—assistance for planning and construction of public telecommunications facilities

390.
Declaration of purpose.
391.
Authorization of appropriations.
392.
Grants for construction.
(a)
Applications for grants.
(b)
Amount of grant.
(c)
Information and assurances.
(d)
Studies.
(e)
Rules and regulations.
(f)
Minorities and women.
(g)
Recovering funds.
(h)
Recordkeeping requirements.
(i)
Accessibility of records.
392a.
Repealed.
393.
Criteria for approval and expenditures by Secretary.
(a)
Construction and planning grants.
(b)
Basis for determination.
(c)
Noncommercial radio broadcast station facilities.
393a.
Long-range planning for facilities.

        

subpart b—national endowment for children's educational television

394.
Establishment of National Endowment.
(a)
Purpose.
(b)
Establishment; contracts and grants.
(c)
Criteria for contracts and grants; applications for contracts and grants.
(d)
Amount of grants.
(e)
Advisory Council on Children's Educational Television.
(f)
Recordkeeping relating to grants; audits.
(g)
Issuance of rules and regulations.
(h)
Authorization of appropriations; availability.
(i)
Definitions.

        

subpart c—telecommunications demonstrations

395.
Assistance for demonstration projects.
(a)
Authorization for grants and contracts.
(b)
Application approval.
(c)
Contract with applicant.
(d)
Use of funds.
(e)
“Nonbroadcast telecommunications facilities” defined.
(f)
Funding.
(g)
Summary and evaluation.
(h)
Recordkeeping requirements; accessibility.
(i)
Rules and regulations.
(j)
Assistance.
(k)
Authorization of appropriations.

        

subpart d—corporation for public broadcasting

396.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
(a)
Congressional declaration of policy.
(b)
Establishment of Corporation; application of District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act.
(c)
Board of Directors; functions, duties, etc.
(d)
Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman; compensation of Board members.
(e)
Officers and employees; term of office, compensation, qualifications, and removal; political party affiliation, political test or qualification when taking personnel actions.
(f)
Nonprofit and nonpolitical nature of Corporation.
(g)
Purposes and activities of Corporation; powers under District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act.
(h)
Free or reduced rate interconnection service; access to facilities.
(i)
Report to Congress.
(j)
Repeal, alteration, or amendment.
(k)
Financing restrictions.
(l)
Financial management and records.
(m)
Needs of minorities and other groups.

        

subpart e—general provisions

397.
Definitions.
398.
Federal interference or control.
(a)
Prohibition.
(b)
Equal opportunity employment.
(c)
Control over content or distribution of programs.
399.
Support of political candidates prohibited.
399a.
Use of business or institutional logograms.
(a)
“Business or institutional logogram” defined.
(b)
Permitted uses.
(c)
Authority of Commission not limited.
399b.
Offering of certain services, facilities, or products by public broadcast station.
(a)
“Advertisement” defined.
(b)
Offering of services, facilities, or products permitted; advertisements prohibited.
(c)
Use of funds from offering services, etc.
(d)
Development of accounting system.

        

SUBCHAPTER IV—PROCEDURAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

401.
Enforcement provisions.
(a)
Jurisdiction.
(b)
Orders of Commission.
(c)
Duty to prosecute.
402.
Judicial review of Commission's orders and decisions.
(a)
Procedure.
(b)
Right to appeal.
(c)
Filing notice of appeal; contents; jurisdiction; temporary orders.
(d)
Notice to interested parties; filing of record.
(e)
Intervention.
(f)
Records and briefs.
(g)
Time of hearing; procedure.
(h)
Remand.
(i)
Judgment for costs.
(j)
Finality of decision; review by Supreme Court.
403.
Inquiry by Commission on its own motion.
404.
Reports of investigations.
405.
Petition for reconsideration; procedure; disposition; time of filing; additional evidence; time for disposition of petition for reconsideration of order concluding hearing or investigation; appeal of order.
406.
Compelling furnishing of facilities; mandamus; jurisdiction.
407.
Order for payment of money; petition for enforcement; procedure; order of Commission as prima facie evidence; costs; attorneys’ fees.
408.
Order not for payment of money; when effective.
409.
Hearings.
(a)
Filing of initial decisions; exceptions.
(b)
Exceptions to initial decisions; memoranda; determination of Commission or authority within Commission; prohibition against consideration of own decision.
(c)
Notice and opportunity for participation by parties; applicability of administrative procedure provisions.
(d)
Applicability of administrative procedure provisions.
(e)
Subpenas; witnesses; production of documents; fees and mileage.
(f)
Designated place of hearing; aid in enforcement of orders.
(g)
Contempts.
(h)
Depositions.
(i)
Oaths; testimony in writing.
(j)
Foreign depositions.
(k)
Deposition fees.
(l)
Repealed.
(m)
Penalties.
410.
Joint boards and commissions.
(a)
State joint boards; reference of communication matters; composition; jurisdiction, powers, duties, and obligations; conduct of proceedings; force and effect of joint board action; members: nomination, appointment, and rejection; allowances for expenses.
(b)
State commissions; conferences with Commission regarding matters of carriers subject to their jurisdiction; joint hearings; cooperation with Commission.
(c)
Federal-State Joint Board; reference of proceedings regarding jurisdictional separation of common carrier property and expenses between interstate and intrastate operations and other matters relating to common carrier communications of joint concern; jurisdiction, powers, duties, and obligations; recommendation of decisions; State members; presence at oral arguments and nonvoting participation in deliberations; composition; Chairman.
411.
Joinder of parties.
412.
Documents filed with Commission as public records; prima facie evidence; confidential records.
413.
Designation of agent for service; method of service.
414.
Exclusiveness of chapter.
415.
Limitations of actions.
(a)
Recovery of charges by carrier.
(b)
Recovery of damages.
(c)
Recovery of overcharges.
(d)
Extension.
(e)
Accrual of cause of action for transmission of message.
(f)
Enforcement petition.
(g)
“Overcharges” defined.
416.
Orders of Commission.
(a)
Service.
(b)
Suspension or modification.
(c)
Compliance.

        

SUBCHAPTER V—PENAL PROVISIONS; FORFEITURES

501.
General penalty.
502.
Violation of rules, regulations, etc.
503.
Forfeitures.
(a)
Rebates and offsets.
(b)
Activities constituting violations authorizing imposition of forfeiture penalty; amount of penalty; procedures applicable; persons subject to penalty; liability exemption period.
504.
Forfeitures.
(a)
Recovery.
(b)
Remission and mitigation.
(c)
Use of notice of apparent liability.
505.
Venue of trials.
506.
Repealed.
507.
Violation of Great Lakes Agreement.
508.
Disclosure of payments to individuals connected with broadcasts.
(a)
Payments to station employees.
(b)
Production or preparation of programs.
(c)
Supplying of program or program matter.
(d)
Waiver of announcements under section 317(d).
(e)
Announcement under section 317 as sufficient disclosure.
(f)
“Service or other valuable consideration” defined.
(g)
Penalties.
509.
Prohibited practices in contests of knowledge, skill, or chance.
(a)
Influencing, prearranging, or predetermining outcome.
(b)
“Contest” and “the listening or viewing public” defined.
(c)
Penalties.
510.
Forfeiture of communications devices.
(a)
Violation with willful and knowing intent.
(b)
Seizure.
(c)
Laws applicable to seizure and forfeiture.
(d)
Disposition of forfeited property.

        

SUBCHAPTER V–A—CABLE COMMUNICATIONS

Part I—General Provisions

521.
Purposes.
522.
Definitions.

        

Part II—Use of Cable Channels and Cable Ownership Restrictions

531.
Cable channels for public, educational, or governmental use.
(a)
Authority to establish requirements with respect to designation or use of channel capacity.
(b)
Authority to require designation for public, educational, or governmental use.
(c)
Enforcement authority.
(d)
Promulgation of rules and procedures.
(e)
Editorial control by cable operator.
(f)
“Institutional network” defined.
532.
Cable channels for commercial use.
(a)
Purpose.
(b)
Designation of channel capacity for commercial use.
(c)
Use of channel capacity by unaffiliated persons; editorial control; restriction on service; rules on rates, terms, and conditions.
(d)
Right of action in district court; relief; factors not to be considered by court.
(e)
Petition to Commission; relief.
(f)
Presumption of reasonableness and good faith.
(g)
Promulgation of rules.
(h)
Cable service unprotected by Constitution.
(i)
Programming from qualified minority or educational programming sources.
(j)
Single channel access to indecent programming.
533.
Ownership restrictions.
(a)
Persons owning or controlling television station licensee; cable operators holding license for multichannel distribution or offering satellite service.
(b)
Common carriers; direct video programming; exception; waiver.
(c)
Promulgation of rules.
(d)
Regulation of ownership by States or franchising authorities.
(e)
Holding of ownership interests or exercise of editorial control by States or franchising authorities.
(f)
Enhancement of effective competition.
(g)
Combination of interests under prior law.
(h)
“Media of mass communications” defined.
534.
Carriage of local commercial television signals.
(a)
Carriage obligations.
(b)
Signals required.
(c)
Low power station carriage obligation.
(d)
Remedies.
(e)
Input selector switch rules abolished.
(f)
Regulations by Commission.
(g)
Sales presentations and program length commercials.
(h)
Definitions.
535.
Carriage of noncommercial educational television.
(a)
Carriage obligations.
(b)
Requirements to carry qualified stations.
(c)
Continued carriage of existing stations.
(d)
Placement of additional signals.
(e)
Systems with more than 36 channels.
(f)
Waiver of nonduplication rights.
(g)
Conditions of carriage.
(h)
Availability of signals.
(i)
Payment for carriage prohibited.
(j)
Remedies.
(k)
Identification of signals.
(l)
Definitions.
536.
Regulation of carriage agreements.
(a)
Regulations.
(b)
“Video programming vendor” defined.
537.
Sales of cable systems.
(a)
3-year holding period required.
(b)
Treatment of multiple transfers.
(c)
Exceptions.
(d)
Waiver authority.
(e)
Limitation on duration of franchising authority power to disapprove transfers.

        

Part III—Franchising and Regulation

541.
General franchise requirements.
(a)
Authority to award franchises; public rights-of-way and easements; equal access to service; time for provision of service; assurances.
(b)
No cable service without franchise; exception under prior law.
(c)
Status of cable system as common carrier or utility.
(d)
Informational tariffs; regulation by States; “State” defined.
(e)
State regulation of facilities serving subscribers in multiple dwelling units.
(f)
Local or municipal authority as multichannel video programming distributor.
542.
Franchise fees.
(a)
Payment under terms of franchise.
(b)
Amount of fees per annum.
(c)
Itemization of subscriber bills.
(d)
Court actions; reflection of costs in rate structures.
(e)
Decreases passed through to subscribers.
(f)
Itemization of franchise fee in bill.
(g)
“Franchise fee” defined.
(h)
Uncompensated services; taxes, fees and other assessments; limitation on fees.
(i)
Regulatory authority of Federal agencies.
543.
Regulation of rates.
(a)
Competition preference; local and Federal regulation.
(b)
Establishment of basic service tier rate regulations.
(c)
Regulation of unreasonable rates.
(d)
Uniform rate structure required.
(e)
Discrimination; services for the hearing impaired.
(f)
Negative option billing prohibited.
(g)
Collection of information.
(h)
Prevention of evasions.
(i)
Small system burdens.
(j)
Rate regulation agreements.
(k)
Reports on average prices.
(l)
Definitions.
544.
Regulation of services, facilities, and equipment.
(a)
Regulation by franchising authority.
(b)
Requests for proposals; establishment and enforcement of requirements.
(c)
Enforcement authority respecting franchises effective under prior law.
(d)
Cable service unprotected by Constitution; blockage of premium channel upon request.
(e)
Technical standards.
(f)
Limitation on regulatory powers of Federal agencies, States, or franchising authorities; exceptions.
(g)
Access to emergency information.
(h)
Notice of changes in and comments on services.
(i)
Disposition of cable upon termination of service.
544a.
Consumer electronics equipment compatibility.
(a)
Findings.
(b)
Compatible interfaces.
(c)
Rulemaking requirements.
(d)
Review of regulations.
545.
Modification of franchise obligations.
(a)
Grounds for modification by franchising authority; public proceeding; time of decision.
(b)
Judicial proceedings; grounds for modification by court.
(c)
Rearrangement, replacement, or removal of service.
(d)
Rearrangement of particular services from one service tier to another or other offering of service.
(e)
Requirements for services relating to public, educational, or governmental access.
(f)
“Commercially impracticable” defined.
546.
Renewal.
(a)
Commencement of proceedings; public notice and participation.
(b)
Submission of renewal proposals; contents; time.
(c)
Notice of proposal; renewal; preliminary assessment of nonrenewal; administrative review; issues; notice and opportunity for hearing; transcript; written decision.
(d)
Basis for denial.
(e)
Judicial review; grounds for relief.
(f)
Finality of administrative decision.
(g)
“Franchise expiration” defined.
(h)
Alternative renewal procedures.
(i)
Effect of renewal procedures upon action to revoke franchise for cause.
547.
Conditions of sale.
548.
Development of competition and diversity in video programming distribution.
(a)
Purpose.
(b)
Prohibition.
(c)
Regulations required.
(d)
Adjudicatory proceeding.
(e)
Remedies for violations.
(f)
Procedures.
(g)
Reports.
(h)
Exemptions for prior contracts.
(i)
Definitions.

        

Part IV—Miscellaneous Provisions

551.
Protection of subscriber privacy.
(a)
Notice to subscriber regarding personally identifiable information; definitions.
(b)
Collection of personally identifiable information using cable system.
(c)
Disclosure of personally identifiable information.
(d)
Subscriber access to information.
(e)
Destruction of information.
(f)
Civil action in United States district court; damages; attorney's fees and costs; nonexclusive nature of remedy.
(g)
Regulation by States or franchising authorities.
(h)
Disclosure of information to governmental entity pursuant to court order.
552.
Consumer protection and customer service.
(a)
Franchising authority enforcement.
(b)
Commission standards.
(c)
Consumer protection laws and customer service agreements.
553.
Unauthorized reception of cable service.
(a)
Unauthorized interception or receipt or assistance in intercepting or receiving service; “assist in intercepting or receiving” defined.
(b)
Penalties for willful violation.
(c)
Civil action in district court; injunctions; damages; attorney's fees and costs; regulation by States or franchising authorities.
554.
Equal employment opportunity.
(a)
Entities within scope of coverage.
(b)
Discrimination prohibited.
(c)
Equal opportunity programs; establishment; maintenance; execution; terms.
(d)
Revision of rules; required provisions; annual statistical report; notice and comment on amendments.
(e)
Annual certification of compliance; periodic investigation of employment practices.
(f)
Substantial failure to comply; penalties; notice to public and franchising authorities.
(g)
Discrimination complaints; investigation; enforcement.
(h)
“Cable operator” defined; owners of multiple unit dwellings.
(i)
Regulatory powers of States and franchising authorities; nonexclusive nature of remedies and enforcement provisions; covered franchises.
555.
Judicial proceedings.
(a)
Actions to review determinations by franchising authorities.
(b)
Available relief.
(c)
Review of constitutionality of sections 534 and 535.
555a.
Limitation of franchising authority liability.
(a)
Suits for damages prohibited.
(b)
Exception for completed cases.
(c)
Discrimination claims permitted.
(d)
Rule of construction.
556.
Coordination of Federal, State, and local authority.
(a)
Regulation by States, political subdivisions, State and local agencies, and franchising authorities.
(b)
State jurisdiction with regard to cable services.
(c)
Preemption.
(d)
“State” defined.
557.
Existing franchises.
558.
Criminal and civil liability.
559.
Obscene programming.

        

SUBCHAPTER VI—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

601.
Interstate Commerce Commission and Postmaster General; duties, powers, and functions transferred to Commission.
602, 603.
Repealed.
604.
Effect of transfer.
(a)
Orders, determinations, rules, regulations, permits, contracts, licenses, and privileges.
(b)
Availability of records.
605.
Unauthorized publication or use of communications.
(a)
Practices prohibited.
(b)
Exceptions.
(c)
Scrambling of Public Broadcasting Service programming.
(d)
Definitions.
(e)
Penalties; civil actions; remedies; attorney's fees and costs; computation of damages; regulation by State and local authorities.
(f)
Rights, obligations, and liabilities under other laws unaffected.
(g)
Universal encryption standard.
(h)
Rulemaking for encryption standard.
606.
War powers of President.
(a)
Priority communications.
(b)
Obstruction of interstate or foreign communications.
(c)
Suspension or amendment of rules and regulations applicable to certain emission stations or devices.
(d)
Suspension or amendment of rules and regulations applicable to wire communications; closing of facilities; Government use of facilities.
(e)
Compensation.
(f)
Affect on State laws and powers.
(g)
Limitations upon Presidential power.
(h)
Penalties.
607.
Effective date of chapter.
608.
Separability.
609.
Short title.
610.
Telephone service for disabled.
(a)
Establishment of regulations.
(b)
Hearing aid compatibility requirements.
(c)
Technical standards.
(d)
Labeling of packaging materials for equipment.
(e)
Costs and benefits; encouragement of use of currently available technology.
(f)
Periodic review of regulations; retrofitting.
(g)
Recovery of reasonable and prudent costs.
(h)
State enforcement.
611.
Closed-captioning of public service announcements.
612.
Syndicated exclusivity.
613.
Repealed.

        

Chapter Referred to in Other Sections

This chapter is referred to in sections 15, 312a, 702, 721, 741, 921, 923, 925, 926 of this title; title 7 sections 923, 1932; title 15 sections 44, 5625, 5656; title 17 section 119; title 18 section 2511; title 22 section 1465bb; title 40 section 791; title 41 sections 43, 356; title 49 sections 24902, 24904, 70117.

SUBCHAPTER I—GENERAL PROVISIONS

§151. Purposes of chapter; Federal Communications Commission created

For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications, and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority heretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is created a commission to be known as the “Federal Communications Commission”, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §1, 48 Stat. 1064; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §1, 50 Stat. 189.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, as amended, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1937—Act May 20, 1937, inserted “for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communication”.

Study of Telecommunications and Information Goals

Pub. L. 97–259, title II, §202, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1099, provided that:

“(a) The National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall conduct a comprehensive study of the long-range international telecommunications and information goals of the United States, the specific international telecommunications and information policies necessary to promote those goals and the strategies that will ensure that the United States achieves them. The Administration shall further conduct a review of the structures, procedures, and mechanisms which are utilized by the United States to develop international telecommunications and information policy.

“(b) In any study or review conducted pursuant to this section, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall not make public information regarding usage or traffic patterns which would damage United States commercial interests. Any such study or review shall be limited to international telecommunications policies or to domestic telecommunications issues which directly affect such policies.”

Commission on Governmental Use of International Telecommunications

Act July 29, 1954, ch. 647, 68 Stat. 587, established the Commission on Governmental Use of International Telecommunications to examine, study and report on the objectives, operations, and effectiveness of information programs with respect to the prompt development of techniques, methods, and programs for greatly expanded and far more effective operations in this vital area of foreign policy through the use of foreign telecommunications. The Commission was required to make a report of its findings and recommendations on or before Dec. 31, 1954, and the Commission ceased to exist 90 days after submission of its report to the Congress.

Communication Privileges to Participants in World Telecommunication Conferences

Act May 13, 1947, ch. 51, 61 Stat. 83, provided that nothing in this chapter, or in any other provision of law should be construed to prohibit United States communication common carriers from rendering free communication services to official participants in the world telecommunications conferences which were held in the United States in 1947.

Executive Order No. 10460

Ex. Ord. No. 10460, eff. June 18, 1953, 18 F.R. 3513, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 10773, eff. July 1, 1958, 23 F.R. 5061; Ex. Ord. No. 10782, eff. Sept. 8, 1958, 23 F.R. 6971, which related to the performance of telecommunication functions by Director of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, was revoked by section 4 of Ex. Ord. No. 10995, eff. Feb. 16, 1962, 27 F.R. 1519.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 225, 309, 332, 607, 925 of this title.

§152. Application of chapter

(a) The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all interstate and foreign communication by wire or radio and all interstate and foreign transmission of energy by radio, which originates and/or is received within the United States, and to all persons engaged within the United States in such communication or such transmission of energy by radio, and to the licensing and regulating of all radio stations as hereinafter provided; but it shall not apply to persons engaged in wire or radio communication or transmission in the Canal Zone, or to wire or radio communication or transmission wholly within the Canal Zone. The provisions of this chapter shall apply with respect to cable service, to all persons engaged within the United States in providing such service, and to the facilities of cable operators which relate to such service, as provided in subchapter V–A.

(b) Except as provided in sections 223 through 227 of this title, inclusive, and section 332 of this title, and subject to the provisions of section 301 of this title and subchapter V–A of this chapter, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply or to give the Commission jurisdiction with respect to (1) charges, classifications, practices, services, facilities, or regulations for or in connection with intrastate communication service by wire or radio of any carrier, or (2) any carrier engaged in interstate or foreign communication solely through physical connection with the facilities of another carrier not directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with such carrier, or (3) any carrier engaged in interstate or foreign communication solely through connection by radio, or by wire and radio, with facilities, located in an adjoining State or in Canada or Mexico (where they adjoin the State in which the carrier is doing business), of another carrier not directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with such carrier, or (4) any carrier to which clause (2) or clause (3) of this subsection would be applicable except for furnishing interstate mobile radio communication service or radio communication service to mobile stations on land vehicles in Canada or Mexico; except that sections 201 to 205 of this title shall, except as otherwise provided therein, apply to carriers described in clauses (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §2, 48 Stat. 1064; Proc. No. 2695, eff. July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352; Apr. 27, 1954, ch. 175, §1, 68 Stat. 63; Feb. 21, 1978, Pub. L. 95–234, §5, 92 Stat. 35; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–549, §3(a), 98 Stat. 2801; Nov. 21, 1989, Pub. L. 101–166, title V, §521(2), 103 Stat. 1193; July 26, 1990, Pub. L. 101–336, title IV, §401(b)(1), 104 Stat. 369; Dec. 20, 1991, Pub. L. 102–243, §3(b), 105 Stat. 2401; Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6002(b)(2)(B)(i), 107 Stat. 396.)

References in Text

For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in subsec. (a), see section 3602(b) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Codification

Words “the Philippine Islands or” were omitted from this section on authority of Proc. No. 2695, issued pursuant to section 1394 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, which recognized the independence of the Philippine Islands as of July 4, 1946. Proc. No. 2695 is set out under section 1394 of Title 22.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–66 inserted “and section 332 of this title,” after “inclusive,”.

1991—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–243 substituted “Except as provided in sections 223 through 227 of this title, inclusive,” for “Except as provided in section 223 or 224 of this title”.

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–336, which directed substitution of “sections 224 and 225” for “section 224”, could not be executed because of the intervening amendment by Pub. L. 101–166 which substituted “section 223 or 224” for “section 224”. See 1989 Amendment note below.

1989—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–166 substituted “section 223 or 224” for “section 224”.

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–549, §3(a)(1), inserted provision making this chapter applicable with respect to cable service, to all persons engaged within the United States in providing such service, and to the facilities of cable operators which relate to such service, as provided in subchapter V–A of this chapter.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–549, §3(a)(2), inserted “and subchapter V–A of this chapter” after “section 301 of this title”.

1978—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–234 substituted “Except as provided in section 224 of this title and subject” for “Subject”.

1954—Subsec. (b). Act Apr. 27, 1954, made it clear that intrastate communication service, whether by “wire or radio”, would not be subject to the Commission's jurisdiction over charges, classifications, etc., and added cls. (3) and (4).

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Section 521(3) of Pub. L. 101–166 provided that: “The amendments made by this subsection [probably should be “section”, which amended this section and section 223 of this title] shall take effect 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 21, 1989].”

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–549 effective 60 days after Oct. 30, 1984, except where otherwise expressly provided, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 98–549, set out as a note under section 521 of this title.

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Section 7 of Pub. L. 95–234 provided that: “The amendments made by this Act [enacting section 224 of this title, amending this section and sections 503 and 504 of this title, repealing sections 510 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 609 of this title] shall take effect on the thirtieth day after the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 21, 1978]; except that the provisions of sections 503(b) and 510 of the Communications Act of 1934 [sections 503(b) and 510 of this title], as in effect on such date of enactment, shall continue to constitute the applicable law with the respect to any act or omission which occurs prior to such thirtieth day.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 153, 225, 332 of this title.

§153. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires—

(a) “Wire communication” or “communication by wire” means the transmission of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all kinds by aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the points of origin and reception of such transmission, including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus, and services (among other things, the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of communications) incidental to such transmission.

(b) “Radio communication” or “communication by radio” means the transmission by radio of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all kinds, including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus, and services (among other things, the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of communications) incidental to such transmission.

(c) “Licensee” means the holder of a radio station license granted or continued in force under authority of this chapter.

(d) “Transmission of energy by radio” or “radio transmission of energy” includes both such transmission and all instrumentalities, facilities, and services incidental to such transmission.

(e) “Interstate communication” or “interstate transmission” means communication or transmission (1) from any State, Territory, or possession of the United States (other than the Canal Zone), or the District of Columbia, to any other State, Territory, or possession of the United States (other than the Canal Zone), or the District of Columbia, (2) from or to the United States to or from the Canal Zone, insofar as such communication or transmission takes place within the United States, or (3) between points within the United States but through a foreign country; but shall not, with respect to the provisions of subchapter II of this chapter (other than section 223 of this title), include wire or radio communication between points in the same State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, through any place outside thereof, if such communication is regulated by a State commission.

(f) “Foreign communication” or “foreign transmission” means communication or transmission from or to any place in the United States to or from a foreign country, or between a station in the United States and a mobile station located outside the United States.

(g) “United States” means the several States and Territories, the District of Columbia, and the possessions of the United States, but does not include the Canal Zone.

(h) “Common carrier” or “carrier” means any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy, except where reference is made to common carriers not subject to this chapter; but a person engaged in radio broadcasting shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be deemed a common carrier.

(i) “Person” includes an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation.

(j) “Corporation” includes any corporation, joint-stock company, or association.

(k) “Radio station” or “station” means a station equipped to engage in radio communication or radio transmission of energy.

(l) “Mobile station” means a radio-communication station capable of being moved and which ordinarily does move.

(m) “Land station” means a station, other than a mobile station, used for radio communication with mobile stations.

(n) “Mobile service” means a radio communication service carried on between mobile stations or receivers and land stations, and by mobile stations communicating among themselves, and includes (1) both one-way and two-way radio communication services, (2) a mobile service which provides a regularly interacting group of base, mobile, portable, and associated control and relay stations (whether licensed on an individual, cooperative, or multiple basis) for private one-way or two-way land mobile radio communications by eligible users over designated areas of operation, and (3) any service for which a license is required in a personal communications service established pursuant to the proceeding entitled “Amendment to the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal Communications Services” (GEN Docket No. 90–314; ET Docket No. 92–100), or any successor proceeding.

(o) “Broadcasting” means the dissemination of radio communications intended to be received by the public, directly or by the intermediary of relay stations.

(p) “Chain broadcasting” means simultaneous broadcasting of an identical program by two or more connected stations.

(q) “Amateur station” means a radio station operated by a duly authorized person interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

(r) “Telephone exchange service” means service within a telephone exchange, or within a connected system of telephone exchanges within the same exchange area operated to furnish to subscribers intercommunicating service of the character ordinarily furnished by a single exchange, and which is covered by the exchange service charge.

(s) “Telephone toll service” means telephone service between stations in different exchange areas for which there is made a separate charge not included in contracts with subscribers for exchange service.

(t) “State commission” means the commission, board, or official (by whatever name designated) which under the laws of any State has regulatory jurisdiction with respect to intrastate operations of carriers.

(u) “Connecting carrier” means a carrier described in clauses (2), (3), or (4) of section 152(b) of this title.

(v) “State” includes the District of Columbia and the Territories and possessions.

(w)(1) “Ship” or “vessel” includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance, except aircraft, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, whether or not it is actually afloat.

(2) A ship shall be considered a passenger ship if it carries or is licensed or certificated to carry more than twelve passengers.

(3) A cargo ship means any ship not a passenger ship.

(4) A passenger is any person carried on board a ship or vessel except (1) the officers and crew actually employed to man and operate the ship, (2) persons employed to carry on the business of the ship, and (3) persons on board a ship when they are carried, either because of the obligation laid upon the master to carry shipwrecked, distressed, or other persons in like or similar situations or by reason of any circumstance over which neither the master, the owner, nor the charterer (if any) has control.

(5) “Nuclear ship” means a ship provided with a nuclear powerplant.

(x) “Radiotelegraph auto alarm” on a ship of the United States subject to the provisions of part II of subchapter III of this chapter means an automatic alarm receiving apparatus which responds to the radiotelegraph alarm signal and has been approved by the Commission. “Radiotelegraph auto alarm” on a foreign ship means an automatic alarm receiving apparatus which responds to the radiotelegraph alarm signal and has been approved by the government of the country in which the ship is registered: Provided, That the United States and the country in which the ship is registered are parties to the same treaty, convention, or agreement prescribing the requirements for such apparatus. Nothing in this chapter or in any other provision of law shall be construed to require the recognition of a radiotelegraph auto alarm as complying with part II of subchapter III of this chapter, on a foreign ship subject to part II of subchapter III of this chapter, where the country in which the ship is registered and the United States are not parties to the same treaty, convention, or agreement prescribing the requirements for such apparatus.

(y)(1) “Operator” on a ship of the United States means, for the purpose of parts II and III of subchapter III of this chapter, a person holding a radio operator's license of the proper class as prescribed and issued by the Commission.

(2) “Operator” on a foreign ship means, for the purpose of part II of subchapter III of this chapter, a person holding a certificate as such of the proper class complying with the provisions of the radio regulations annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention in force, or complying with an agreement or treaty between the United States and the country in which the ship is registered.

(z)(1) “Radio officer” on a ship of the United States means, for the purpose of part II of subchapter III of this chapter, a person holding at least a first or second class radiotelegraph operator's license as prescribed and issued by the Commission. When such person is employed to operate a radiotelegraph station aboard a ship of the United States, he is also required to be licensed as a “radio officer” in accordance with chapter 71 of title 46.

(2) “Radio officer” on a foreign ship means, for the purpose of part II of subchapter III of this chapter, a person holding at least a first or second class radiotelegraph operator's certificate complying with the provisions of the radio regulations annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention in force.

(aa) “Harbor” or “port” means any place to which ships may resort for shelter or to load or unload passengers or goods, or to obtain fuel, water, or supplies. This term shall apply to such places whether proclaimed public or not and whether natural or artificial.

(bb) “Safety convention” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea in force and the regulations referred to therein.

(cc) “Station license”, “radio station license”, or “license” means that instrument of authorization required by this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Commission made pursuant to this chapter, for the use or operation of apparatus for transmission of energy, or communications, or signals by radio, by whatever name the instrument may be designated by the Commission.

(dd) “Broadcast station”, “broadcasting station”, or “radio broadcast station” means a radio station equipment to engage in broadcasting as herein defined.

(ee) “Construction permit” or “permit for construction” means that instrument of authorization required by this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Commission made pursuant to this chapter for the construction of a station, or the installation of apparatus, for the transmission of energy, or communications, or signals by radio, by whatever name the instrument may be designated by the Commission.

(ff) “Great Lakes Agreement” means the Agreement for the Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio in force and the regulations referred to therein.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §3, 48 Stat. 1065; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §2, 50 Stat. 189; Proc. No. 2695, eff. July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §2, 66 Stat. 711; Apr. 27, 1954, ch. 175, §§2, 3, 68 Stat. 64; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §3, 68 Stat. 707; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 735, §1, 68 Stat. 729; Aug. 6, 1956, ch. 973, §3, 70 Stat. 1049; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §1, 79 Stat. 511; May 3, 1968, Pub. L. 90–299, §2, 82 Stat. 112; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §120(b), 96 Stat. 1097; Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6002(b)(2)(B)(ii), 107 Stat. 396.)

References in Text

For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in subsecs. (e) and (g), see section 3602(b) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Part II of subchapter III of this chapter, referred to in subsecs. (x), (y), and (z), is classified to section 351 et seq. of this title. Part III of subchapter III of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (y), is classified to section 381 et seq. of this title.

Codification

In subsec. (z)(1), “chapter 71 of title 46” substituted for “the Act of May 12, 1948 (46 U.S.C. 229a–h)” on authority of Pub. L. 98–89, §2(b), Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 598, section 1 of which enacted Title 46, Shipping.

References to Philippine Islands in subsecs. (e) and (g) of this section omitted on authority of Proc. No. 2695, issued pursuant to section 1394 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, which proclamation recognized the independence of Philippine Islands as of July 4, 1946. Proc. No. 2695 is set out under section 1394 of Title 22.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 103–66, §6002(b)(2)(B)(ii)(I), inserted cl. (1) designation and added cls. (2) and (3).

Subsec. (gg). Pub. L. 103–66, §6002(b)(2)(B)(ii)(II), struck out subsec. (gg) which read as follows: “ ‘Private land mobile service’ means a mobile service which provides a regularly interacting group of base, mobile, portable, and associated control and relay stations (whether licensed on an individual, cooperative, or multiple basis) for private one-way or two-way land mobile radio communications by eligible users over designated areas of operation.”

1982—Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 97–259, §120(b)(2), substituted “a radio” for “the radio”, inserted “or receivers” after “between mobile stations”, and inserted provision that “mobile service” includes both one-way and two-way radio communication services.

Subsec. (gg). Pub. L. 97–259, §120(b)(1), added subsec. (gg).

1968—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 90–299 inserted “(other than section 223 of this title)” after “subchapter II of this chapter”.

1965—Subsec. (w)(5). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(1), added par. (5).

Subsec. (x). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(2), among other changes, substituted “radiotelegraph auto alarm” for “auto-alarm” wherever appearing, “receiving apparatus which responds to the radiotelegraph alarm signal” for “receiver” in two places, and “country in which the ship is registered” for “country to which the ship belongs” and for “country of origin”.

Subsec. (y). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(3), struck out “qualified operator” from pars. (1) and (2), and substituted “country in which the ship is registered” for “country to which the ship belongs”.

Subsec. (z). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(4)(D), (E), added subsec. (z) and redesignated former subsec. (z) as (aa).

Subsec. (aa). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(4)(A), (D), redesignated former subsec. (z) as (aa) and former subsec. (aa) as (bb).

Subsecs. (bb) to (dd). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(4)(A), redesignated former subsecs. (aa) to (cc) as (bb) to (dd) and former subsec. (dd) as (ee).

Subsec. (ee). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(4)(A), (B), redesignated former subsec. (dd) as (ee), and repealed former subsec. (ee) which defined “existing installation”.

Subsecs. (ff), (gg). Pub. L. 89–121, §1(4)(B), (C), redesignated subsec. (gg) as (ff) and repealed former subsec. (ff) which defined “new installation”.

1956—Subsec. (y)(2). Act Aug. 6, 1956, substituted “parts II and III of subchapter III of this chapter” for “part II of subchapter III of this chapter”.

1954—Subsec. (e). Act Apr. 27, 1954, §2, obviated any possible construction that the Commission is empowered to assert common-carrier jurisdiction over point-to-point communication by radio between two points within a single State when the only possible claim that such an operation constitutes an interstate communication rests on the fact that the signal may traverse the territory of another State.

Subsec. (u). Act Apr. 27, 1954, §3, inserted reference to clauses (3) and (4) of section 152(b) of this title.

Subsecs. (ee), (ff). Act Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, added subsecs. (ee) and (ff).

Subsec. (gg), “Great Lakes Agreement”. Act Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 735, added another subsec. (ee) which for purposes of codification was designated subsec. (gg).

1952—Subsecs. (bb) to (dd). Act July 16, 1952, added subsecs. (bb) to (dd).

1937—Subsecs. (w) to (aa). Act May 20, 1937, added subsecs. (w) to (aa).

Effective Date of 1956 Amendment

Amendment by act Aug. 6, 1956, effective Mar. 1, 1957, see section 4 of act Aug. 6, 1956, set out as an Effective Date note under section 381 of this title.

Effective Date of 1954 Amendment

Amendment by act Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 735, effective Nov. 13, 1954, see section 6 of act Aug. 13, 1954, set out as an Effective Date note under section 507 of this title.

Effective Date of 1952 Amendment

Section 19 of act July 16, 1952, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 1343 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, amending this section and sections 154, 155, 307 to 312, 315, 316, 319, 402, 405, 409, and 410 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 609 of this title] shall take effect on the date of its enactment [July 16, 1952], but—

“(1) Insofar as the amendments made by this Act to the Communications Act of 1934 [this chapter] provide for procedural changes, requirements imposed by such changes shall not be mandatory as to any agency proceeding (as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act) [see sections 551 et seq. and 701 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees] with respect to which hearings have been commenced prior to the date of enactment of this Act [July 16, 1952].

“(2) The amendments made by this Act to section 402 of the Communications Act of 1934 [section 402 of this title] (relating to judicial review of orders and decisions of the Commission) shall not apply with respect to any action or appeal which is pending before any court on the date of enactment of this Act [July 16, 1952].”

Great Lakes Agreement

The Great Lakes Agreement, referred to in this section, relates to the bilateral Agreement for the Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio, signed at Ottawa, Canada, Feb. 21, 1952; entered into force Nov. 13, 1954, 3 UST 4926. A subsequent agreement for Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio, 1973, was signed at Ottawa, Canada, Feb. 26, 1973, and entered into force May 16, 1975, 25 UST 935.

Safety Convention

The United States was a party to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, signed at London May 31, 1929, entered into force as to the United States, Nov. 7, 1936, 50 Stat. 1121, 1306. For subsequent International Conventions for the Safety of Life at Sea to which the United States has been a party, see section 1602 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, and notes thereunder.

Cross References

Charges or services, see section 202 of this title.

Contest for purposes of provisions relating to prohibited practices in contests of knowledge, skill, or chance, see section 509 of this title.

Employee as used in provisions relating to franks and passes, see section 210 of this title.

Line, see section 214 of this title.

Listening or viewing public for purposes of provisions relating to prohibited practices in contests of knowledge, skill, or chance, see section 509 of this title.

Overcharges as used in limitations of action provisions, see section 415 of this title.

Service or other valuable consideration as used in provisions relating to disclosure of payments to individuals connected with broadcasts, see section 508 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 225, 332, 541, 556, 557, 741 of this title; title 7 section 924; title 15 section 78c; title 18 section 2510; title 22 section 1465ff.

§154. Federal Communications Commission

(a) Number of commissioners; appointment

The Federal Communications Commission (in this chapter referred to as the “Commission”) shall be composed of five commissioners appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, one of whom the President shall designate as chairman.

(b) Qualifications

(1) Each member of the Commission shall be a citizen of the United States.

(2)(A) No member of the Commission or person employed by the Commission shall—

(i) be financially interested in any company or other entity engaged in the manufacture or sale of telecommunications equipment which is subject to regulation by the Commission;

(ii) be financially interested in any company or other entity engaged in the business of communication by wire or radio or in the use of the electromagnetic spectrum;

(iii) be financially interested in any company or other entity which controls any company or other entity specified in clause (i) or clause (ii), or which derives a significant portion of its total income from ownership of stocks, bonds, or other securities of any such company or other entity; or

(iv) be employed by, hold any official relation to, or own any stocks, bonds, or other securities of, any person significantly regulated by the Commission under this chapter;


except that the prohibitions established in this subparagraph shall apply only to financial interests in any company or other entity which has a significant interest in communications, manufacturing, or sales activities which are subject to regulation by the Commission.

(B)(i) The Commission shall have authority to waive, from time to time, the application of the prohibitions established in subparagraph (A) to persons employed by the Commission if the Commission determines that the financial interests of a person which are involved in a particular case are minimal, except that such waiver authority shall be subject to the provisions of section 208 of title 18. The waiver authority established in this subparagraph shall not apply with respect to members of the Commission.

(ii) In any case in which the Commission exercises the waiver authority established in this subparagraph, the Commission shall publish notice of such action in the Federal Register and shall furnish notice of such action to the appropriate committees of each House of the Congress. Each such notice shall include information regarding the identity of the person receiving the waiver, the position held by such person, and the nature of the financial interests which are the subject of the waiver.

(3) The Commission, in determining whether a company or other entity has a significant interest in communications, manufacturing, or sales activities which are subject to regulation by the Commission, shall consider (without excluding other relevant factors)—

(A) the revenues, investments, profits, and managerial efforts directed to the related communications, manufacturing, or sales activities of the company or other entity involved, as compared to the other aspects of the business of such company or other entity;

(B) the extent to which the Commission regulates and oversees the activities of such company or other entity;

(C) the degree to which the economic interests of such company or other entity may be affected by any action of the Commission; and

(D) the perceptions held by the public regarding the business activities of such company or other entity.


(4) Members of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, profession, or employment while serving as such members.

(5) The maximum number of commissioners who may be members of the same political party shall be a number equal to the least number of commissioners which constitutes a majority of the full membership of the Commission.

(c) Terms of office; vacancies

commissioners 1 shall be appointed for terms of five years and until their successors are appointed and have been confirmed and taken the oath of office, except that they shall not continue to serve beyond the expiration of the next session of Congress subsequent to the expiration of said fixed term of office; except that any person chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the commissioner whom he succeeds. No vacancy in the Commission shall impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the Commission.

(d) Compensation of Commission members

Each Commissioner shall receive an annual salary at the annual rate payable from time to time for level IV of the Executive Schedule, payable in monthly installments. The Chairman of the Commission, during the period of his service as Chairman, shall receive an annual salary at the annual rate payable from time to time for level III of the Executive Schedule.

(e) Principal office; special sessions

The principal office of the Commission shall be in the District of Columbia, where its general sessions shall be held; but whenever the convenience of the public or of the parties may be promoted or delay or expense prevented thereby, the Commission may hold special sessions in any part of the United States.

(f) Employees and assistants; compensation of members of Field Engineering and Monitoring Bureau; use of amateur volunteers for certain purposes; commercial radio operator examinations

(1) The Commission shall have authority, subject to the provisions of the civil-service laws and chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, to appoint such officers, engineers, accountants, attorneys, inspectors, examiners, and other employees as are necessary in the exercise of its functions.

(2) Without regard to the civil-service laws, but subject to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, each commissioner may appoint three professional assistants and a secretary, each of whom shall perform such duties as such commissioner shall direct. In addition, the chairman of the Commission may appoint, without regard to the civil-service laws, but subject to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, and administrative assistant who shall perform such duties as the chairman shall direct.

(3) The Commission shall fix a reasonable rate of extra compensation for overtime services of engineers in charge and radio engineers of the Field Engineering and Monitoring Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission, who may be required to remain on duty between the hours of 5 o'clock postmeridian and 8 o'clock antemeridian or on Sundays or holidays to perform services in connection with the inspection of ship radio equipment and apparatus for the purposes of part II of subchapter III of this chapter or the Great Lakes Agreement, on the basis of one-half day's additional pay for each two hours or fraction thereof of at least one hour that the overtime extends beyond 5 o'clock postmeridian (but not to exceed two and one-half days’ pay for the full period from 5 o'clock postmeridian to 8 o'clock antemeridian) and two additional days’ pay for Sunday or holiday duty. The said extra compensation for overtime services shall be paid by the master, owner, or agent of such vessel to the local United States collector of customs or his representative, who shall deposit such collection into the Treasury of the United States to an appropriately designated receipt account: Provided, That the amounts of such collections received by the said collector of customs or his representatives shall be covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts; and the payments of such extra compensation to the several employees entitled thereto shall be made from the annual appropriations for salaries and expenses of the Commission: Provided further, That to the extent that the annual appropriations which are authorized to be made from the general fund of the Treasury are insufficient, there are authorized to be appropriated from the general fund of the Treasury such additional amounts as may be necessary to the extent that the amounts of such receipts are in excess of the amounts appropriated: Provided further, That such extra compensation shall be paid if such field employees have been ordered to report for duty and have so reported whether the actual inspection of the radio equipment or apparatus takes place or not: And provided further, That in those ports where customary working hours are other than those hereinabove mentioned, the engineers in charge are vested with authority to regulate the hours of such employees so as to agree with prevailing working hours in said ports where inspections are to be made, but nothing contained in this proviso shall be construed in any manner to alter the length of a working day for the engineers in charge and radio engineers or the overtime pay herein fixed.

(4)(A) The Commission, for purposes of preparing any examination for an amateur station operator license, may accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of any individual who holds an amateur station operator license of a higher class than the class license for which the examination is being prepared. In the case of examinations for the highest class of amateur station operator license, the Commission may accept and employ such services of any individual who holds such class of license.

(B) The Commission, for purposes of administering any examination for an amateur station operator license, may accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of any individual who holds an amateur station operator license of a higher class than the class license for which the examination is being conducted. In the case of examinations for the highest class of amateur station operator license, the Commission may accept and employ such services of any individual who holds such class of license. Any person who owns a significant interest in, or is an employee of, any company or other entity which is engaged in the manufacture or distribution of equipment used in connection with amateur radio transmissions, or in the preparation or distribution of any publication used in preparation for obtaining amateur station operator licenses, shall not be eligible to render any service under this subparagraph.

(C)(i) The Commission, for purposes of monitoring violations of any provision of this chapter (and of any regulation prescribed by the Commission under this chapter) relating to the amateur radio service, may—

(I) recruit and train any individual licensed by the Commission to operate an amateur station; and

(II) accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of such individual.


(ii) The Commission, for purposes of recruiting and training individuals under clause (i) and for purposes of screening, annotating, and summarizing violation reports referred under clause (i), may accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of any amateur station operator organization.

(iii) The functions of individuals recruited and trained under this subparagraph shall be limited to—

(I) the detection of improper amateur radio transmissions;

(II) the conveyance to Commission personnel of information which is essential to the enforcement of this chapter (or regulations prescribed by the Commission under this chapter) relating to the amateur radio service; and

(III) issuing advisory notices, under the general direction of the Commission, to persons who apparently have violated any provision of this chapter (or regulations prescribed by the Commission under this chapter) relating to the amateur radio service.


Nothing in this clause shall be construed to grant individuals recruited and trained under this subparagraph any authority to issue sanctions to violators or to take any enforcement action other than any action which the Commission may prescribe by rule.

(D)(i) The Commission, for purposes of monitoring violations of any provision of this chapter (and of any regulation prescribed by the Commission under this chapter) relating to the citizens band radio service, may—

(I) recruit and train any citizens band radio operator; and

(II) accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of such operator.


(ii) The Commission, for purposes of recruiting and training individuals under clause (i) and for purposes of screening, annotating, and summarizing violation reports referred under clause (i), may accept and employ the voluntary and uncompensated services of any citizens band radio operator organization. The Commission, in accepting and employing services of individuals under this subparagraph, shall seek to achieve a broad representation of individuals and organizations interested in citizens band radio operation.

(iii) The functions of individuals recruited and trained under this subparagraph shall be limited to—

(I) the detection of improper citizens band radio transmissions;

(II) the conveyance to Commission personnel of information which is essential to the enforcement of this chapter (or regulations prescribed by the Commission under this chapter) relating to the citizens band radio service; and

(III) issuing advisory notices, under the general direction of the Commission, to persons who apparently have violated any provision of this chapter (or regulations prescribed by the Commission under this chapter) relating to the citizens band radio service.


Nothing in this clause shall be construed to grant individuals recruited and trained under this subparagraph any authority to issue sanctions to violators or to take any enforcement action other than any action which the Commission may prescribe by rule.

(E) The Commission shall have the authority to endorse certification of individuals to perform transmitter installation, operation, maintenance, and repair duties in the private land mobile services and fixed services (as defined by the Commission by rule) if such certification programs are conducted by organizations or committees which are representative of the users in those services and which consist of individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government.

(F) The authority of the Commission established in this paragraph shall not be subject to or affected by the provisions of part III of title 5 or section 1342 of title 31.

(G) Any person who provides services under this paragraph shall not be considered, by reason of having provided such services, a Federal employee.

(H) The Commission, in accepting and employing services of individuals under subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), shall seek to achieve a broad representation of individuals and organizations interested in amateur station operation.

(I) The Commission may establish rules of conduct and other regulations governing the service of individuals under this paragraph.

(J) With respect to the acceptance of voluntary uncompensated services for the preparation, processing, or administration of examinations for amateur station operator licenses pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph, individuals, or organizations which provide or coordinate such authorized volunteer services may recover from examinees reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs. The total amount of allowable cost reimbursement per examinee shall not exceed $4, adjusted annually every January 1 for changes in the Department of Labor Consumer Price Index. Such individuals and organizations shall maintain records of out-of-pocket expenditures and shall certify annually to the Commission that all costs for which reimbursement was obtained were necessarily and prudently incurred.

(5)(A) The Commission, for purposes of preparing and administering any examination for a commercial radio operator license or endorsement, may accept and employ the services of persons that the Commission determines to be qualified. Any person so employed may not receive compensation for such services, but may recover from examinees such fees as the Commission permits, considering such factors as public service and cost estimates submitted by such person.

(B) The Commission may prescribe regulations to select, oversee, sanction, and dismiss any person authorized under this paragraph to be employed by the Commission.

(C) Any person who provides services under this paragraph or who provides goods in connection with such services shall not, by reason of having provided such service or goods, be considered a Federal or special government employee.

(g) Expenditures

(1) The Commission may make such expenditures (including expenditures for rent and personal services at the seat of government and elsewhere, for office supplies, law books, periodicals, and books of reference, for printing and binding, for land for use as sites for radio monitoring stations and related facilities, including living quarters where necessary in remote areas, for the construction of such stations and facilities, and for the improvement, furnishing, equipping, and repairing of such stations and facilities and of laboratories and other related facilities (including construction of minor subsidiary buildings and structures not exceeding $25,000 in any one instance) used in connection with technical research activities), as may be necessary for the execution of the functions vested in the Commission and as may be appropriated for by the Congress in accordance with the authorizations of appropriations established in section 156 of this title. All expenditures of the Commission, including all necessary expenses for transportation incurred by the commissioners or by their employees, under their orders, in making any investigation or upon any official business in any other places than in the city of Washington, shall be allowed and paid on the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the chairman of the Commission or by such other member or officer thereof as may be designated by the Commission for that purpose.

(2)(A) If—

(i) the necessary expenses specified in the last sentence of paragraph (1) have been incurred for the purpose of enabling commissioners or employees of the Commission to attend and participate in any convention, conference, or meeting;

(ii) such attendance and participation are in furtherance of the functions of the Commission; and

(iii) such attendance and participation are requested by the person sponsoring such convention, conference, or meeting;


then the Commission shall have authority to accept direct reimbursement from such sponsor for such necessary expenses.

(B) The total amount of unreimbursed expenditures made by the Commission for travel for any fiscal year, together with the total amount of reimbursements which the Commission accepts under subparagraph (A) for such fiscal year, shall not exceed the level of travel expenses appropriated to the Commission for such fiscal year.

(C) The Commission shall submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress, and publish in the Federal Register, quarterly reports specifying reimbursements which the Commission has accepted under this paragraph.

(D) The provisions of this paragraph shall cease to have any force or effect at the end of fiscal year 1994.

(E) Funds which are received by the Commission as reimbursements under the provisions of this paragraph after the close of a fiscal year shall remain available for obligation.

(3)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in furtherance of its functions the Commission is authorized to accept, hold, administer, and use unconditional gifts, donations, and bequests of real, personal, and other property (including voluntary and uncompensated services, as authorized by section 3109 of title 5).

(B) The Commission, for purposes of providing radio club and military-recreational call signs, may utilize the voluntary, uncompensated, and unreimbursed services of amateur radio organizations authorized by the Commission that have tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of title 26.

(C) For the purpose of Federal law on income taxes, estate taxes, and gift taxes, property or services accepted under the authority of subparagraph (A) shall be deemed to be a gift, bequest, or devise to the United States.

(D) The Commission shall promulgate regulations to carry out the provisions of this paragraph. Such regulations shall include provisions to preclude the acceptance of any gift, bequest, or donation that would create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.

(h) Quorum; seal

Three members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum thereof. The Commission shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.

(i) Duties and powers

The Commission may perform any and all acts, make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may be necessary in the execution of its functions.

(j) Conduct of proceedings; hearings

The Commission may conduct its proceedings in such manner as will best conduce to the proper dispatch of business and to the ends of justice. No commissioner shall participate in any hearing or proceeding in which he has a pecuniary interest. Any party may appear before the Commission and be heard in person or by attorney. Every vote and official act of the Commission shall be entered of record, and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of any party interested. The Commission is authorized to withhold publication of records or proceedings containing secret information affecting the national defense.

(k) Annual reports to Congress

The Commission shall make an annual report to Congress, copies of which shall be distributed as are other reports transmitted to Congress. Such reports shall contain—

(1) such information and data collected by the Commission as may be considered of value in the determination of questions connected with the regulation of interstate and foreign wire and radio communication and radio transmission of energy;

(2) such information and data concerning the functioning of the Commission as will be of value to Congress in appraising the amount and character of the work and accomplishments of the Commission and the adequacy of its staff and equipment;

(3) an itemized statement of all funds expended during the preceding year by the Commission, of the sources of such funds, and of the authority in this chapter or elsewhere under which such expenditures were made; and

(4) specific recommendations to Congress as to additional legislation which the Commission deems necessary or desirable, including all legislative proposals submitted for approval to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(l) Record of reports

All reports of investigations made by the Commission shall be entered of record, and a copy thereof shall be furnished to the party who may have complained, and to any common carrier or licensee that may have been complained of.

(m) Publication of reports; admissibility as evidence

The Commission shall provide for the publication of its reports and decisions in such form and manner as may be best adapted for public information and use, and such authorized publications shall be competent evidence of the reports and decisions of the Commission therein contained in all courts of the United States and of the several States without any further proof or authentication thereof.

(n) Compensation of appointees

Rates of compensation of persons appointed under this section shall be subject to the reduction applicable to officers and employees of the Federal Government generally.

(o) Use of communications in safety of life and property

For the purpose of obtaining maximum effectiveness from the use of radio and wire communications in connection with safety of life and property, the Commission shall investigate and study all phases of the problem and the best methods of obtaining the cooperation and coordination of these systems.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §4, 48 Stat. 1066; Jan. 22, 1936, ch. 25, 49 Stat. 1098; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §§3, 4, 50 Stat. 190; Mar. 23, 1941, ch. 24, 55 Stat. 46; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §3, 66 Stat. 711; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 735, §2, 68 Stat. 729; June 29, 1960, Pub. L. 86–533, §1(24), 74 Stat. 249; July 12, 1960, Pub. L. 86–619, §2, 74 Stat. 407; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §2, 74 Stat. 889; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1251(b), 95 Stat. 738; Sept. 8, 1982, Pub. L. 97–253, title V, §501(b)(1)–(3), 96 Stat. 805, 806; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§102–104, 96 Stat. 1087–1089; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–214, §§10, 11, 97 Stat. 1471; Apr. 7, 1986, Pub. L. 99–272, title V, §5002(b), 100 Stat. 118; June 6, 1986, Pub. L. 99–334, §1(a), 100 Stat. 513; Nov. 3, 1988, Pub. L. 100–594, §3, 102 Stat. 3021; Sept. 28, 1990, Pub. L. 101–396, §§3, 4, 104 Stat. 848, 849; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §§201, 208, 106 Stat. 3542, 3543; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(1), 108 Stat. 4294.)

References in Text

Level III and level IV of the Executive Schedule, referred to in subsec. (d), are set out in sections 5314 and 5315, respectively, of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

The civil-service laws, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), (2), are set forth in Title 5. See particularly, section 3301 et seq. of Title 5.

Part II of subchapter III of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), is classified to section 351 et seq. of this title.

For definition of Great Lakes Agreement, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), see section 153(ff) of this title and Great Lakes Agreement note set out under that section.

Provisions of part III of title 5, referred to in subsec. (f)(4)(F), are classified to section 2101 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Federal law on income taxes, estate taxes, and gift taxes, referred to in subsec. (g)(3)(C), is classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Codification

In subsec. (f)(1), (2) “chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5” substituted for “the Classification of 1949” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

In subsec. (f)(4)(F), “section 1342 of title 31” substituted for “section 3679(b) of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C. 665(b))” on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, §4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “overtime extends beyond” for “overtime exceeds beyond”.

1992—Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 102–538, §201, substituted “1994” for “1992”.

Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 102–538, §208, added par. (3).

1990—Subsec. (f)(5). Pub. L. 101–396, §3, added par. (5).

Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 101–396, §4, substituted “1992” for “1989”.

1988—Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 100–594 substituted “1989” for “1987”.

1986—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–334 substituted “five years” for “seven years”.

Subsec. (g)(2)(D). Pub. L. 99–272, §5002(b)(1), substituted “1987” for “1985”.

Subsec. (g)(2)(E). Pub. L. 99–272, §5002(b)(2), added subpar. (E).

1983—Subsec. (f)(4)(E) to (I). Pub. L. 98–214, §10, added subpar. (E) and redesignated existing subpars. (E) to (H) as (F) to (I), respectively.

Subsec. (f)(4)(J). Pub. L. 98–214, §11, added subpar. (J).

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–253, §501(b)(1), substituted “five” for “seven”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–259, §102, amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “Each member of the Commission shall be a citizen of the United States. No member of the Commission or person in its employ shall be financially interested in the manufacture or sale of radio apparatus or of apparatus for wire or radio communication; in communication by wire or radio or in radio transmission of energy; in any company furnishing services or such apparatus to any company engaged in communication by wire or radio or to any company manufacturing or selling apparatus used for communication by wire or radio; or in any company owning stocks, bonds, or other securities of any such company; nor be in the employ of or hold any official relation to any person subject to any of the provisions of this chapter, nor own stocks, bonds, or other securities of any corporation subject to any of the provisions of this chapter. Such commissioners shall not engage in any other business, vocation, profession, or employment. Any such commissioner serving as such after one year from July 16, 1952, shall not for a period of one year following the termination of his services as a commissioner represent any person before the Commission in a professional capacity, except that this restriction shall not apply to any commissioner who has served the full term for which he was appointed. Not more than four members of the Commission shall be members of the same political party.”

Pub. L. 97–253, §501(b)(2), amended last sentence of subsec. (b), prior to the general amendment by Pub. L. 97–259, by substituting language identical to that contained in par. (5), as added by Pub. L. 97–259.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(a), struck out “The” before “commissioners” at beginning of subsection, immediately thereafter struck out “first appointed under this chapter shall continue in office for the terms of one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven years, respectively, from the date of the taking effect of this chapter, the term of each to be designated by the President, but their successors”, and substituted “been confirmed and taken the oath of office” for “qualified”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(b), amended subsec. (d) generally, relating to the annual salary rate for the Chairman and Commissioners.

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(c), substituted “three professional assistants” for “a legal assistant, an engineering assistant,”.

Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 97–259, §104, added par. (4).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(d), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 97–253, §501(b)(3), substituted “Three” for “Four”.

Subsec. (k)(2). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(e), struck out proviso after “its staff and equipment”, relating to the content of first and second annual reports after the enactment of the Communications Act Amendments of 1952.

Subsec. (k)(3). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(f), redesignated par. (4) as (3).

Subsec. (k)(4), (5). Pub. L. 97–259, §103(f), (g), redesignated par. (5) as (4) and substituted “Office of Management and Budget” for “Bureau of the Budget”. Former par. (4) redesignated (3).

1981—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 97–35 substituted requirement respecting authorizations under section 156 of this title, for provisions respecting appropriations from time to time.

1960—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 86–752 struck out provision that permitted commissioners to accept “reasonable honorarium or compensation” for “the presentation or delivery of publications or papers”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–619 provided for continuation in office of the commissioners upon termination of their term until their successors are appointed and have qualified, not beyond expiration of next session of Congress subsequent to the expiration of said fixed term of office.

Subsec. (k)(3). Pub. L. 86–533 repealed par. (3) which required the report to contain information with respect to all persons taken into the employment of the Commission during the preceding year, together with the names of those persons who left the employ of the Commission during the year.

1954—Subsec. (f)(3). Act Aug. 13, 1954, substituted “engineers” for “inspectors” and “Field Engineering and Monitoring Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission” for “Field Division of the Engineering Department of the Federal Communications Commission” and extended provisions to include inspections required pursuant to the Great Lakes Agreement.

1952—Subsec. (b). Act July 16, 1952, §3(a), prohibited commissioners from engaging in any other work except that they may present or deliver papers for an honorarium, and prohibited any commissioner from appearing before the Commission in a professional capacity for 1 year after termination of his services except that this prohibition would not apply where commissioner has completed his full term.

Subsec. (f). Act July 16, 1952, §3(b), authorized Commission to appoint employees, allowed each commissioner to appoint a legal assistant, and a secretary, and allowed the Chairman to appoint an administrative assistant.

Subsec. (g). Act July 16, 1952, §3(c), authorized Commission to acquire land for monitoring stations and related facilities.

Subsec. (k). Act July 16, 1952, §3(d), required Commission to make more detailed reports to Congress.

1941—Subsec. (f). Act Mar. 23, 1941, designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

1937—Subsec. (k). Act May 20, 1937, inserted provisions that the Commission report to Congress annually at the beginning session of the Congress whether new wire or radio communication legislation is necessary and make specific recommendations thereof to Congress.

Subsec. (o). Act May 20, 1937, added subsec. (o).

1936—Subsec. (f). Act Jan. 22, 1936, inserted references to a chief accountant and three assistants.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Section 1(b) of Pub. L. 99–334 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) of this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [June 6, 1986, except that—

“(1) upon the expiration of the term of office prescribed by law to occur on June 30, 1986, any person appointed as a member of the Federal Communications Commission to fill such office for the term following such date shall be eligible to serve until June 30, 1990, and any person appointed as a member of the Federal Communications Commission to the term of office prescribed by law to expire on June 30, 1987, shall be eligible to serve until June 30, 1989; and

“(2) notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section [amending this section], persons appointed as members of the Federal Communications Commission to terms of office prescribed by law to expire on June 30, 1988, June 30, 1991, and June 30, 1992, shall be eligible to serve until the expiration of the term of office on June 30, 1988, June 30, 1991, and June 30, 1992, whichever is applicable.”

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Section 501(b)(4) of Pub. L. 97–253 provided that: “The amendments made in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection [amending this section] shall take effect on July 1, 1983.”

Effective Date of 1954 Amendment

Amendment by act Aug. 13, 1954, effective Nov. 13, 1954, see section 6 of act Aug. 13, 1954, set out as an Effective Date note under section 507 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

All offices of collector of customs, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), in Bureau of Customs of Department of the Treasury to which appointments were required to be made by President with advice and consent of Senate ordered abolished with such offices to be terminated not later than Dec. 31, 1966, by Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1965, eff. May 25, 1965, 30 F.R. 7035, 79 Stat. 1317, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. All functions of offices eliminated were already vested in Secretary of the Treasury by Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

Older Americans Program

Section 6 of Pub. L. 100–594, as amended by Pub. L. 101–396, §5, Sept. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 849; Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §212, Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3545, provided that:

“(a) During fiscal years 1992 and 1993, the Federal Communications Commission is authorized to make grants to, or enter into cooperative agreements with, private nonprofit organizations designated by the Secretary of Labor under title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056 et seq.) to utilize the talents of older Americans in programs authorized by other provisions of law administered by the Commission (and consistent with such provisions of law) in providing technical and administrative assistance for projects related to the implementation, promotion, or enforcement of the regulations of the Commission.

“(b) Prior to awarding any grant or entering into any agreement under subsection (a), the Office of the Managing Director of the Commission shall certify to the Commission that such grant or agreement will not—

“(1) result in the displacement of individuals currently employed by the Commission;

“(2) result in the employment of any individual when any other individual is on layoff status from the same or a substantially equivalent job within the jurisdiction of the Commission; or

“(3) affect existing contracts for services.

“(c) Participants in any program under a grant or cooperative agreement pursuant to this section shall—

“(1) execute a signed statement with the Commission in which such participants certify that they will adhere to the standards of conduct prescribed for regular employees of the Commission, as set forth in part 19 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations; and

“(2) execute a confidential statement of employment and financial interest (Federal Communications Commission Form A–54) prior to commencement of work under the program.

Failure to comply with the terms of the signed statement described in paragraph (1) shall result in termination of the individual under the grant or agreement.

“(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit employment of any such participant in any decisionmaking or policymaking position.

“(e) Grants or agreements under this section shall be subject to prior appropriation Acts.”

Expiration of Commissioners’ Terms

Pub. L. 97–253, title V, §501(a), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 805, provided that: “Upon expiration of the term of office as a member of the Federal Communications Commission, which is prescribed by law to occur on June 30, 1982, any member appointed to fill such office after such date shall be appointed for a term which ends on June 30, 1983, and such office shall be abolished on July 1, 1983. Upon expiration of the term of office as a member of such Commission, which—

“(1) is prescribed by law;

“(2) is in effect before the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 8, 1982]; and

“(3) is to occur on June 30, 1983;

no person shall be appointed to fill such office after such date, and such office shall be abolished on July 1, 1983.”

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Effect of Rule 44 on this section, see note by Advisory Committee under rule 44, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Proof of official records, see rule 44.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 607 of this title; title 5 section 5549.

1 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

§155. Commission

(a) Chairman; duties; vacancy

The member of the Commission designated by the President as chairman shall be the chief executive officer of the Commission. It shall be his duty to preside at all meetings and sessions of the Commission, to represent the Commission in all matters relating to legislation and legislative reports, except that any commissioner may present his own or minority views or supplemental reports, to represent the Commission in all matters requiring conferences or communications with other governmental officers, departments or agencies, and generally to coordinate and organize the work of the Commission in such manner as to promote prompt and efficient disposition of all matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission. In the case of a vacancy in the office of the chairman of the Commission, or the absence or inability of the chairman to serve, the Commission may temporarily designate one of its members to act as chairman until the cause or circumstance requiring such designation shall have been eliminated or corrected.

(b) Organization of staff

From time to time as the Commission may find necessary, the Commission shall organize its staff into (1) integrated bureaus, to function on the basis of the Commission's principal workload operations, and (2) such other divisional organizations as the Commission may deem necessary. Each such integrated bureau shall include such legal, engineering, accounting, administrative, clerical, and other personnel as the Commission may determine to be necessary to perform its functions.

(c) Delegation of functions; exceptions to initial orders; force, effect and enforcement of orders; administrative and judicial review; qualifications and compensation of delegates; assignment of cases; separation of review and investigative or prosecuting functions; secretary; seal

(1) When necessary to the proper functioning of the Commission and the prompt and orderly conduct of its business, the Commission may, by published rule or by order, delegate any of its functions (except functions granted to the Commission by this paragraph and by paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of this subsection and except any action referred to in sections 204(a)(2), 208(b), and 405(b) of this title) to a panel of commissioners, an individual commissioner, an employee board, or an individual employee, including functions with respect to hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting, or otherwise acting as to any work, business, or matter; except that in delegating review functions to employees in cases of adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5), the delegation in any such case may be made only to an employee board consisting of two or more employees referred to in paragraph (8) of this subsection. Any such rule or order may be adopted, amended, or rescinded only by a vote of a majority of the members of the Commission then holding office. Nothing in this paragraph shall authorize the Commission to provide for the conduct, by any person or persons other than persons referred to in clauses (2) and (3) of section 556(b) of title 5, of any hearing to which such section 556(b) applies.

(2) As used in this subsection the term “order, decision, report, or action” does not include an initial, tentative, or recommended decision to which exceptions may be filed as provided in section 409(b) of this title.

(3) Any order, decision, report, or action made or taken pursuant to any such delegation, unless reviewed as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, shall have the same force and effect, and shall be made, evidenced, and enforced in the same manner, as orders, decisions, reports, or other actions of the Commission.

(4) Any person aggrieved by any such order, decision, report or action may file an application for review by the Commission within such time and in such manner as the Commission shall prescribe, and every such application shall be passed upon by the Commission. The Commission, on its own initiative, may review in whole or in part, at such time and in such manner as it shall determine, any order, decision, report, or action made or taken pursuant to any delegation under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(5) In passing upon applications for review, the Commission may grant, in whole or in part, or deny such applications without specifying any reasons therefor. No such application for review shall rely on questions of fact or law upon which the panel of commissioners, individual commissioner, employee board, or individual employee has been afforded no opportunity to pass.

(6) If the Commission grants the application for review, it may affirm, modify, or set aside the order, decision, report, or action, or it may order a rehearing upon such order, decision, report, or action in accordance with section 405 of this title.

(7) The filing of an application for review under this subsection shall be a condition precedent to judicial review of any order, decision, report, or action made or taken pursuant to a delegation under paragraph (1) of this subsection. The time within which a petition for review must be filed in a proceeding to which section 402(a) of this title applies, or within which an appeal must be taken under section 402(b) of this title, shall be computed from the date upon which public notice is given of orders disposing of all applications for review filed in any case.

(8) The employees to whom the Commission may delegate review functions in any case of adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5) shall be qualified, by reason of their training, experience, and competence, to perform such review functions, and shall perform no duties inconsistent with such review functions. Such employees shall be in a grade classification or salary level commensurate with their important duties, and in no event less than the grade classification or salary level of the employee or employees whose actions are to be reviewed. In the performance of such review functions such employees shall be assigned to cases in rotation so far as practicable and shall not be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of any officer, employee, or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for any agency.

(9) The secretary and seal of the Commission shall be the secretary and seal of each panel of the Commission, each individual commissioner, and each employee board or individual employee exercising functions delegated pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(d) Meetings

Meetings of the Commission shall be held at regular intervals, not less frequently than once each calendar month, at which times the functioning of the Commission and the handling of its work load shall be reviewed and such orders shall be entered and other action taken as may be necessary or appropriate to expedite the prompt and orderly conduct of the business of the Commission with the objective of rendering a final decision (1) within three months from the date of filing in all original application, renewal, and transfer cases in which it will not be necessary to hold a hearing, and (2) within six months from the final date of the hearing in all hearing cases.

(e) Managing Director; appointment, functions, pay

The Commission shall have a Managing Director who shall be appointed by the Chairman subject to the approval of the Commission. The Managing Director, under the supervision and direction of the Chairman, shall perform such administrative and executive functions as the Chairman shall delegate. The Managing Director shall be paid at a rate equal to the rate then payable for level V of the Executive Schedule.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §5, 48 Stat. 1068; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §4, 66 Stat. 712; Aug. 31, 1961, Pub. L. 87–192, §§1, 2, 75 Stat. 420; Oct. 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96–470, title I, §116, 94 Stat. 2240; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1252, 95 Stat. 738; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §105, 96 Stat. 1091; Apr. 7, 1986, Pub. L. 99–272, title V, §5002(c), 100 Stat. 118; Nov. 3, 1988, Pub. L. 100–594, §§4, 8(a), 102 Stat. 3021, 3023; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(2), 108 Stat. 4294.)

References in Text

Level V of the Executive Schedule, referred to in subsec. (e), is set out in section 5316 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Codification

In subsec. (c)(1), (8), “adjudication (as defined in section 551 of title 5)” substituted for “adjudication (as defined in the Administrative Procedure Act)”, and in subsec. (c)(1) “section 556(b) of title 5” substituted for references to “section 7(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act”, on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1994—Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 103–414 redesignated subsec. (f) as (e).

1988—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 100–594, §8(a), inserted “and except any action referred to in sections 204(a)(2), 208(b), and 405(b) of this title” after “and (6) of this subsection” in first sentence.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 100–594, §4, struck out subsec. (g) which required an annual report to Congress and specified its contents.

1986—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 99–272 substituted “March 31” for “January 31”.

1982—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–259, §105(a), substituted “From” for “Within six months after July 16, 1952, and from” at beginning of subsection, and struck out “thereafter” after “time to time”.

Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 97–259, §105(b), (c), redesignated subsecs. (d) and (e) as (c) and (d), respectively, and in par. (1) of subsec. (c), as so redesignated, substituted “two” for “three” after “employee board consisting of”.

1981—Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 97–35 added subsecs. (f) and (g).

1980—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 96–470 struck out “; and the Commission shall promptly report to the Congress each such case which has been pending before it more than such three- or six-month period, respectively, stating the reasons therefor” after “hearing cases”.

1961—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 87–192, §1, repealed subsec. (c) which provided for establishment of review staff, its composition, responsibility and duties.

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, substituted provisions which authorized the delegation of functions by published rule or by order to a panel of commissioners, and individual commissioner, an employee board, or an individual employee, and of review functions to an employee board of three or more employees, enumerated the functions to be delegated, with stated exceptions, and prescribed majority vote for order delegating review functions for former provision which authorized the assignment of reference of work, business or functions by order to an individual commissioner or commissioners or to a board of one or more employees and eliminated provision concerning force, effect and enforcement of orders, now incorporated in par. (3) of this subsection.

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, added par. (2). The subject matter was formerly covered by the introductory words of former par. (1) of this subsection which read “Except as provided in section 409 of this title.” Sentences 1 and 2 of former par. (2) redesignated pars. (4) and (6), respectively.

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, redesignated second sentence of former par. (1) as par. (3) and substituted therein “report, or action made or taken pursuant to any such delegation, unless reviewed as provided in paragraph (4), shall have” and “other actions” for “report made, or other action taken, pursuant to any such order of assignment or reference shall, unless reviewed pursuant to paragraph (2), have” and “action”, respectively. Former par. (3) redesignated (9).

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, redesignated first sentence of former par. (2) as par. (4), included “action” in enumeration, and inserted provision for review on initiative of the Commission.

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, added par. (5).

Subsec. (d)(6). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, redesignated second sentence of former par. (2) as par. (6), inserting “for review” after “applications” and substituting “the Commission”, “the order”, “it may order” and “in accordance with” for “it”, “such order”, “may order” and “under”, respectively.

Subsec. (d)(7), (8). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, added pars. (7) and (8).

Subsec. (d)(9). Pub. L. 87–192, §2, redesignated former par. (3) as (9) and made it applicable to each panel of the Commission, each employee board instead of each board, and each individual employee.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, amended section generally to provide for the organization of the staff, integrated bureaus, and for a review staff.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 405, 409 of this title.

§156. Authorization of appropriations

(a) There are authorized to be appropriated for the administration of this chapter by the Commission $109,831,000 for fiscal year 1990 and $119,831,000 for fiscal year 1991, together with such sums as may be necessary for increases resulting from adjustments in salary, pay, retirement, other employee benefits required by law, and other nondiscretionary costs, for each of the fiscal years 1990 and 1991.

(b) In addition to the amounts authorized to be appropriated under this section, not more than 4 percent of the amount of any fees or other charges payable to the United States which are collected by the Commission during fiscal year 1990 are authorized to be made available to the Commission until expended to defray the fully distributed costs of such fees collection.

(c) Of the amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section for fiscal year 1991, such sums as may be necessary not to exceed $2,000,000 shall be expended for upgrading and modernizing equipment at the Commission's electronic emissions test laboratory located in Laurel, Maryland.

(d) Of the sum appropriated in any fiscal year under this section, a portion, in an amount determined under section 159(b) of this title, shall be derived from fees authorized by section 159 of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §6, as added Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1251(a), 95 Stat. 738; amended Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–214, §2(a), 97 Stat. 1467; Apr. 7, 1986, Pub. L. 99–272, title V, §5002(a)(1), 100 Stat. 117; Nov. 3, 1988, Pub. L. 100–594, §2(a), 102 Stat. 3021; Sept. 28, 1990, Pub. L. 101–396, §2(a), 104 Stat. 848; Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6003(b), 107 Stat. 401.)

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–66 added subsec. (d).

1990—Pub. L. 101–396 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “There are authorized to be appropriated for the administration of this chapter by the Commission $107,250,000 for fiscal year 1988 and $109,250,000 for fiscal year 1989, together with such sums as may be necessary for increases resulting from adjustments in salary, pay, retirement, other employee benefits required by law, and other nondiscretionary costs, for each of the fiscal years 1988 and 1989.”

1988—Pub. L. 100–594 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “There are authorized to be appropriated for the administration of this chapter by the Commission $98,100,000 for fiscal year 1986 and $97,600,000 for fiscal year 1987, together with such sums as may be necessary for increases resulting from adjustments in salary, pay, retirement, other employee benefits required by law, and other nondiscretionary costs, for each of the fiscal years 1986 and 1987.”

1986—Pub. L. 99–272 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “There are authorized to be appropriated for the administration of this chapter by the Commission $91,156,000, together with such sums as may be necessary for increases resulting from adjustments in salary, pay, retirement, other employee benefits required by law, and other nondiscretionary costs, for each of the fiscal years 1984 and 1985.”

1983—Pub. L. 98–214 substituted provisions authorizing appropriations of $91,156,000 for each of the fiscal years 1984 and 1985 for provisions authorizing appropriations of $76,900,000 for each of the fiscal years 1982 and 1983.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Section 2(b) of Pub. L. 100–594 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) of this section [amending this section] shall apply with respect to fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1987.”

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Section 5002(a)(2) of Pub. L. 99–272 provided that: “The amendment made by paragraph (1) of this subsection [amending this section] shall apply with respect to fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1985.”

Effective Date of 1983 Amendment

Section 2(b) of Pub. L. 98–214 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1983.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 154 of this title.

§157. New technologies and services

(a) It shall be the policy of the United States to encourage the provision of new technologies and services to the public. Any person or party (other than the Commission) who opposes a new technology or service proposed to be permitted under this chapter shall have the burden to demonstrate that such proposal is inconsistent with the public interest.

(b) The Commission shall determine whether any new technology or service proposed in a petition or application is in the public interest within one year after such petition or application is filed. If the Commission initiates its own proceeding for a new technology or service, such proceeding shall be completed within 12 months after it is initiated.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §7, as added Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–214, §12, 97 Stat. 1471; amended Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(1), 108 Stat. 4296.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–414 struck out “or twelve months after December 8, 1983, if later” after “petition or application is filed” and after “12 months after it is initiated”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 225, 925, 927 of this title.

§158. Application fees

(a) Assessment and collection

The Commission shall assess and collect application fees at such rates as the Commission shall establish or at such modified rates as it shall establish pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Review and adjustment of Schedule by Commission; notification to Congress; judicial review

(1) The Schedule of Application Fees established under this section shall be reviewed by the Commission every two years after October 1, 1991, and adjusted by the Commission to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. Increases or decreases in application fees shall apply to all categories of application fees, except that individual fees shall not be adjusted until the increase or decrease, as determined by the net change in the Consumer Price Index since April 7, 1986, amounts to at least $5.00 in the case of fees under $100.00, or 5 percent in the case of fees of $100.00 or more. All fees which require adjustment will be rounded upward to the next $5.00 increment. The Commission shall transmit to the Congress notification of any such adjustment not later than 90 days before the effective date of such adjustment.

(2) Increases or decreases in application fees made pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to judicial review.

(c) Additional application fee; assessment as penalty; amount; dismissal of application or other filing

(1) The Commission shall prescribe by regulation an additional application fee which shall be assessed as a penalty for late payment of application fees required by subsection (a) of this section. Such penalty shall be 25 percent of the amount of the application fee which was not paid in a timely manner.

(2) The Commission may dismiss any application or other filing for failure to pay in a timely manner any application fee or penalty under this section.

(d) Inapplicability of application fees to certain radio services; waiver or deferment of payment

(1) The application fees established under this section shall not be applicable (A) to governmental entities and nonprofit entities licensed in the following radio services: Local Government, Police, Fire, Highway Maintenance, Forestry-Conservation, Public Safety, and Special Emergency Radio, or (B) to governmental entities licensed in other services.

(2) The Commission may waive or defer payment of an charge 1 in any specific instance for good cause shown, where such action would promote the public interest.

(e) Deposit of moneys in general fund; reimbursement of United States for administration of chapter

Moneys received from application fees established under this section shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury to reimburse the United States for amounts appropriated for use by the Commission in carrying out its functions under this chapter.

(f) Rules and regulations

The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(g) Schedule of Application Fees

Until modified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Schedule of Application Fees which the Federal Communications Commission shall prescribe pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be as follows:

SCHEDULE OF APPLICATION FEES

Service
Fee amount

        

private radio services

 1. Marine Coast Stations

a. New License (per station)
$70.00
b. Modification of License (per station)
70.00
c. Renewal of License (per station)
70.00
d. Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
100.00
e. Assignments (per station)
70.00
f. Transfers of Control (per station)
35.00
g. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00

        

 2. Ship Stations

a. New License (per application)
35.00
b. Modification of License (per application)
35.00
c. Renewal of License (per application)
35.00
d. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00

        

 3. Operational Fixed Microwave Stations

a. New License (per station)
155.00
b. Modification of License (per station)
155.00
c. Renewal of License (per station)
155.00
d. Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
35.00
e. Assignments (per station)
155.00
f. Transfers of Control (per station)
35.00
g. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00

        

 4. Aviation (Ground Stations)

a. New License (per station)
70.00
b. Modification of License (per station)
70.00
c. Renewal of License (per station)
70.00
d. Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
100.00
e. Assignments (per station)
70.00
f. Transfers of Control (per station)
35.00
g. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00

        

 5. Aircraft Stations

a. New License (per application)
35.00
b. Modification of License (per application)
35.00
c. Renewal of License (per application)
35.00
d. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00

        

 6. Land Mobile Radio Stations (including Special Emergency and Public Safety Stations)

a. New License (per call sign)
35.00
b. Modification of License (per call sign)
35.00
c. Renewal of License (per call sign)
35.00
d. Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
35.00
e. Assignments (per station)
35.00
f. Transfers of Control (per call sign)
35.00
g. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00
h. Reinstatement (per call sign)
35.00
i. Specialized Mobile Radio Systems-Base Stations
(i) New License (per call sign)
35.00
(ii) Modification of License (per call sign)
35.00
(iii) Renewal of License (per call sign)
35.00
(iv) Waiting List (annual application fee per application)
35.00
(v) Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
35.00
(vi) Assignments (per call sign)
35.00
(vii) Transfers of Control (per call sign)
35.00
(viii) Request for Waiver
(1) Routine (per request)
105.00
(2) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00
(ix) Reinstatements (per call sign)
35.00
j. Private Carrier Licenses
(i) New License (per call sign)
35.00
(ii) Modification of License (per call sign)
35.00
(iii) Renewal of License (per call sign)
35.00
(iv) Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
35.00
(v) Assignments (per call sign)
35.00
(vi) Transfers of Control (per call sign)
35.00
(vii) Request for Waiver
(1) Routine (per request)
105.00
(2) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00
(viii) Reinstatements (per call sign)
35.00

        

 7. General Mobile Radio Service

a. New License (per call sign)
35.00
b. Modifications of License (per call sign)
35.00
c. Renewal of License (per call sign)
35.00
d. Request for Waiver
(i) Routine (per request)
105.00
(ii) Non-Routine (per rule section/per station)
105.00
e. Special Temporary Authority (Initial, Modifications, Extensions)
35.00
f. Transfer of control (per call sign)
35.00
 8. Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit
35.00
 9. Request for Duplicate Station License (all services)
35.00
10. Hearing (Comparative, New, and Modifications)
6,760.00

        

equipment approval services/experimental radio

 1. Certification

a. Receivers (except TV and FM receivers)
285.00
b. All Other Devices
735.00
c. Modifications and Class II Permissive Changes
35.00
d. Request for Confidentiality
105.00

        

 2. Type Acceptance

a. All Devices
370.00
b. Modifications and Class II Permissive Changes
35.00
c. Request for Confidentiality
105.00

        

 3. Type Approval (all devices)

a. With Testing (including Major Modifications)
1,465.00
b. Without Testing (including Minor Modifications)
170.00
c. Request for Confidentiality
105.00
 4. Notifications
115.00
 5. Advance Approval for Subscription TV System
2,255.00
a. Request for Confidentiality
105.00
 6. Assignment of Grantee Code for Equipment Identification
35.00

        

 7. Experimental Radio Service

a. New Construction Permit and Station Authorization (per application)
35.00
b. Modification to Existing Construction Permit and Station Authorization (per application)
35.00
c. Renewal of Station Authorization (per application)
35.00
d. Assignment or Transfer of Control (per application)
35.00
e. Special Temporary Authority (per application)
35.00
f. Additional Application Fee for Applications Containing Requests to Withhold Information From Public Inspection (per application)
35.00

        

mass media services

 1. Commercial TV Stations

a. New or Major Change Construction Permits
2,535.00
b. Minor Change
565.00
c. Hearing (Major/Minor Change, Comparative New, or Comparative Renewal)
6,760.00
d. License
170.00
e. Assignment or Transfer
(i) Long Form (Forms 314/315)
565.00
(ii) Short Form (Form 316)
80.00
f. Renewal
100.00
g. Call Sign (New or Modification)
55.00
h. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00
i. Extension of Time to Construct or Replacement of CP
200.00
j. Permit to Deliver Programs to Foreign Broadcast Stations
55.00
k. Petition for Rulemaking for New Community of License
1,565.00
l. Ownership Report (per report)
35.00

        

 2. Commercial Radio Stations

a. New and Major Change Construction Permit
(i) AM Station
2,255.00
(ii) FM Station
2,030.00
b. Minor Change
(i) AM Station
565.00
(ii) FM Station
565.00
c. Hearing (Major/Minor Change, Comparative New, or Comparative Renewal)
6,760.00
d. License
(i) AM
370.00
(ii) FM
115.00
(iii) AM Directional Antenna
425.00
(iv) FM Directional Antenna
355.00
(v) AM Remote Control
35.00
e. Assignment or Transfer
(i) Long Form (Forms 314/315)
565.00
(ii) Short Form (Form 316)
80.00
f. Renewal
100.00
g. Call Sign (New or Modification)
55.00
h. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00
i. Extension of Time to Construct or Replacement of CP
200.00
j. Permit to Deliver Programs to Foreign Broadcast Stations
55.00
k. Petition for Rulemaking for New Community of License or Higher Class Channel
1,565.00
l. Ownership Report (per report)
35.00

        

 3. FM Translators

a. New or Major Change Construction Permit
425.00
b. License
85.00
c. Assignment or Transfer
80.00
d. Renewal
35.00
e. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00

        

 4. TV Translators and LPTV Stations

a. New or Major Change Construction Permit
425.00
b. License
85.00
c. Assignment or Transfer
80.00
d. Renewal
35.00
e. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00

        

 5. Auxiliary Services (Includes Remote Pickup stations, TV Auxiliary Broadcast stations, Aural Broadcast STL and Intercity Relay stations, and Low Power Auxiliary stations)

a. Major Actions
85.00
b. Renewals
35.00
c. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00

        

 6. FM/TV Boosters

a. New and Major Change Construction Permits
425.00
b. License
85.00
c. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00

        

 7. International Broadcast Station

a. New Construction Permit and Facilities Change CP
1,705.00
b. License
385.00
c. Assignment or Transfer (per station)
60.00
d. Renewal
95.00
e. Frequency Assignment and Coordination (per frequency hour)
35.00
f. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00

        

 8. Cable Television Service

a. Cable Television Relay Service
(i) Construction Permit
155.00
(ii) Assignment or Transfer
155.00
(iii) Renewal
155.00
(iv) Modification
155.00
(v) Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00
b. Cable Special Relief Petition
790.00
c. 76.12 Registration Statement (per statement)
35.00
d. Aeronautical Frequency Usage Notifications (per notice)
35.00
e. Aeronautical Frequency Usage Waivers (per waiver)
35.00

        

 9. Direct Broadcast Satellite

a. New or Major Change Construction Permit
(i) Application for Authorization to Construct a Direct Broadcast Satellite
2,030.00
(ii) Issuance of Construction Permit & Launch Authority
19,710.00
(iii) License to Operate Satellite
565.00
b. Hearing (Comparative New, Major/Minor Modifications, or Comparative Renewal)
6,760.00
c. Special Temporary Authority (other than to remain silent or extend an existing STA to remain silent)
100.00

        

common carrier services

 1. All Common Carrier Services

a. Hearing (Comparative New or Major/Minor Modifications)
6,760.00
b. Development Authority . . . Same application fee as regular authority in service unless otherwise indicated
c. Formal Complaints and Pole Attachment Complaints Filing Fee
120.00
d. Proceeding under section 1008(b) of this title
5,000

        

 2. Domestic Public Land Mobile Stations (includes Base, Dispatch, Control & Repeater Stations)

a. New or Additional Facility (per transmitter)
230.00
b. Major Modifications (per transmitter)
230.00
c. Fill In Transmitters (per transmitter)
230.00
d. Major Amendment to a Pending Application (per transmitter)
230.00
e. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Call Sign on Application
230.00
(ii) Each Additional Call Sign
35.00
f. Partial Assignment (per call sign)
230.00
g. Renewal (per call sign)
35.00
h. Minor Modification (per transmitter)
35.00
i. Special Temporary Authority (per frequency/per location)
200.00
j. Extension of Time to Construct (per application)
35.00
k. Notice of Completion of Construction (per application)
35.00
l. Auxiliary Test Station (per transmitter)
200.00
m. Subsidiary Communications Service (per request)
100.00
n. Reinstatement (per application)
35.00
o. Combining Call Signs (per call sign)
200.00
p. Standby Transmitter (per transmitter/per location)
200.00
q. 900 MHz Nationwide Paging
(i) Renewal
(1) Network Organizer
35.00
(2) Network Operator (per operator/per city)
35.00
r. Air-Ground Individual License (per station)
(i) Initial License
35.00
(ii) Renewal of License
35.00
(iii) Modification of License
35.00

        

 3. Cellular Systems (per system)

a. New or Additional Facilities
230.00
b. Major Modification
230.00
c. Minor Modification
60.00
d. Assignment or Transfer (including partial)
230.00
e. License to Cover Construction
(i) Initial License for Wireline Carrier
595.00
(ii) Subsequent License for Wireline Carrier
60.00
(iii) License for Nonwireline Carrier
60.00
(iv) Fill In License (all carriers)
60.00
f. Renewal
35.00
g. Extension of Time to Complete Construction
35.00
h. Special Temporary Authority (per system)
200.00
i. Combining Cellular Geographic Service Areas (per system)
50.00

        

 4. Rural Radio (includes Central Office, Interoffice, or Relay Facilities)

a. New or Additional Facility (per transmitter)
105.00
b. Major Modification (per transmitter)
105.00
c. Major Amendment to Pending Application (per transmitter)
105.00
d. Minor Modification (per transmitter)
35.00
e. Assignments or Transfers
(i) First Call Sign on Application
105.00
(ii) Each Additional Call Sign
35.00
(iii) Partial Assignment (per call sign)
105.00
f. Renewal (per call sign)
35.00
g. Extension of Time to Complete Construction (per application)
35.00
h. Notice of Completion of Construction (per application)
35.00
i. Special Temporary Authority (per frequency/per location)
200.00
j. Reinstatement (per application)
35.00
k. Combining Call Signs (per call sign)
200.00
l. Auxiliary Test Station (per transmitter)
200.00
m. Standby Transmitter (per transmitter/per location)
200.00

        

 5. Offshore Radio Service (Mobile, Subscriber, and Central Stations; fees would also apply to any expansion of this service into coastal waters other than the Gulf of Mexico)

a. New or Additional Facility (per transmitter)
105.00
b. Major Modifications (per transmitter)
105.00
c. Fill In Transmitters (per transmitter)
105.00
d. Major Amendment to Pending Application (per transmitter)
105.00
e. Minor Modification (per transmitter)
35.00
f. Assignment or Transfer
(i) Each Additional Call Sign
35.00
(ii) Partial Assignment (per call sign)
105.00
g. Renewal (per call sign)
35.00
h. Extension of Time to Complete Construction (per application)
35.00
i. Reinstatement (per application)
35.00
j. Notice of Completion of Construction (per application)
35.00
k. Special Temporary Authority (per frequency/per location)
200.00
l. Combining Call Signs (per call sign)
200.00
m. Auxiliary Test Station (per transmitter)
200.00
n. Standby Transmitter (per transmitter/per location)
200.00

        

 6. Point-to-Point Microwave and Local Television Radio Service

a. Conditional License (per station)
155.00
b. Major Modification of Conditional License or License Authorization (per station)
155.00
c. Certification of Completion of Construction (per station)
155.00
d. Renewal (per licensed station)
155.00
e. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Station on Application
55.00
(ii) Each Additional Station
35.00
f. Extension of Construction Authorization (per station)
55.00
g. Special Temporary Authority or Request for Waiver of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
70.00

        

 7. Multipoint Distribution Service (including multichannel MDS)

a. Conditional License (per station)
155.00
b. Major Modification of Conditional License or License Authorization (per station)
155.00
c. Certification of Completion of Construction (per channel)
455.00
d. Renewal (per licensed station)
155.00
e. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Station on Application
55.00
(ii) Each Additional Station
35.00
f. Extension of Construction Authorization (per station)
110.00
g. Special Temporary Authority or Request for Waiver of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
70.00

        

 8. Digital Electronic Message Service

a. Conditional License (per nodal station)
155.00
b. Modification of Conditional License or License Authorization (per nodal station)
155.00
c. Certification of Completion of Construction (per nodal station)
155.00
d. Renewal (per licensed nodal station)
155.00
e. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Station on Application
55.00
(ii) Each Additional Station
35.00
f. Extension of Construction Authorization (per station)
55.00
g. Special Temporary Authority or Request for Waiver of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
70.00

        

 9. International Fixed Public Radio (Public and Control Stations)

a. Initial Construction Permit (per station)
510.00
b. Assignment or Transfer (per application)
510.00
c. Renewal (per license)
370.00
d. Modification (per station)
370.00
e. Extension of Construction Authorization (per station)
185.00
f. Special Temporary Authority or Request for Waiver (per request)
185.00

        

10. Fixed Satellite Transmit/Receive Earth Stations

a. Initial Application (per station)
1,525.00
b. Modification of License (per station)
105.00
c. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Station on Application
300.00
(ii) Each Additional Station
100.00
d. Developmental Station (per station)
1,000.00
e. Renewal of License (per station)
105.00
f. Special Temporary Authority or Waivers of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
105.00
g. Amendment of Application (per station)
105.00
h. Extension of Construction Permit (per station)
105.00

        

11. Small Transmit/Receive Earth Stations (2 meters or less and operating in the 4/6 GHz frequency band)

a. Lead Application
3,380.00
b. Routine Application (per station)
35.00
c. Modification of License (per station)
105.00
d. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Station on Application
300.00
(ii) Each Additional Station
35.00
e. Developmental Station (per station)
1,000.00
f. Renewal of License (per station)
105.00
g. Special Temporary Authority or Waivers of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
105.00
h. Amendment of Application (per station)
105.00
i. Extension of Construction Permit (per station)
105.00

        

12. Receive Only Earth Stations

a. Initial Application for Registration
230.00
b. Modification of License or Registration (per station)
105.00
c. Assignment or Transfer
(i) First Station on Application
300.00
(ii) Each Additional Station
100.00
d. Renewal of License (per station)
105.00
e. Amendment of Application (per station)
105.00
f. Extension of Construction Permit (per station)
105.00
g. Waivers (per request)
105.00

        

13. Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Systems

a. Initial Application (per system)
5,630.00
b. Modification of License (per system)
105.00
c. Assignment or Transfer of System
1,505.00
d. Developmental Station
1,000.00
e. Renewal of License (per system)
105.00
f. Special Temporary Authority or Waivers of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
105.00
g. Amendment of Application (per system)
105.00
h. Extension of Construction Permit (per system)
105.00

        

14. Mobile Satellite Earth Stations

a. Initial Application of Blanket Authorization
5,630.00
b. Initial Application for Individual Earth Station
1,350.00
c. Modification of License (per system)
105.00
d. Assignment or Transfer (per system)
1,505.00
e. Developmental Station
1,000.00
f. Renewal of License (per system)
105.00
g. Special Temporary Authority or Waivers of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
105.00
h. Amendment of Application (per system)
105.00
i. Extension of Construction Permit (per system)
105.00

        

15. Radio determination Satellite Earth Stations

a. Initial Application of Blanket Authorization
5,630.00
b. Initial Application for Individual Earth Station
1,350.00
c. Modification of License (per system)
105.00
d. Assignment or Transfer (per system)
1,505.00
e. Developmental Station
1,000.00
f. Renewal of License (per system)
105.00
g. Special Temporary Authority or Waivers of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
105.00
h. Amendment of Application (per system)
105.00
i. Extension of Construction Permit (per system)
105.00

        

16. Space Stations

a. Application for Authority to Construct
2,030.00
b. Application for Authority to Launch & Operate
(i) Initial Application
70,000.00
(ii) Replacement Satellite
70,000.00
c. Assignment or Transfer (per satellite)
5,000.00
d. Modification
5,000.00
e. Special Temporary Authority or Waiver of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
500.00
f. Amendment of Application
1,000.00
g. Extension of Construction Permit/Launch Authorization (per request)
500.00

        

17. Section 214 Applications

a. Overseas Cable Construction
9,125.00
b. Cable Landing License
(i) Common Carrier
1,025.00
(ii) Non-Common Carrier
10,150.00
c. Domestic Cable Construction
610.00
d. All Other 214 Applications
610.00
e. Special Temporary Authority (all services)
610.00
f. Assignments or Transfers (all services)
610.00
18. Recognized Private Operating Status (per application)
610.00
19. Telephone Equipment Registration
155.00

        

20. Tariff Filings

a. Filing Fee
490.00
b. Special Permission Filing (per filing)
490.00

        

21. Accounting and Audits

a. Field Audit
62,290.00
b. Review of Attest Audit
34,000.00
c. Review of Depreciation Update Study (Single State)
20,685.00
(i) Each Additional State
680.00
d. Interpretation of Accounting Rules (per request)
2,885.00
e. Petition for Waiver (per petition)
4,660.00

        

22. Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Systems

a. Application for Authority to Construct (per system of technology identical satellites)
6,000.00
b. Application for Authority to Launch and Operate (per system of technologically identical satellites)
210,000.00
c. Assignment or Transfer (per request)
6,000.00
d. Modification (per request)
15,000.00
e. Special Temporary Authority or Waiver of Prior Construction Authorization (per request)
1,500.00
f. Amendment of Application (per request)
3,000.00
g. Extension of Construction Permit/Launch Authorization (per request)
1,500.00

        

miscellaneous application fees

 1. International Telecommunications Settlements Administrative Fee for Collections (per line item)
2.00

        

 2. Radio Operator Examinations

a. Commercial Radio Operator Examination
35.00
b. Renewal of Commercial Radio Operator License, Permit, or Certificate
35.00
c. Duplicate or Replacement Commercial Radio Operator License, Permit, or Certificate
35.00

        

 3. Ship Inspections

a. Inspection of Oceangoing Vessels Under Title III, Part II of the Communications Act (per inspection)
620.00
b. Inspection of Passenger Vessels Under Title III, Part III of the Communications Act (per inspection)
320.00
c. Inspection of Vessels Under the Great Lakes Agreement (per inspection)
75.00
d. Inspection of Foreign Vessels Under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (per inspection)
540.00
e. Temporary Waiver for Compulsorily Equipped Vessel
60.00

        

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §8, as added Apr. 7, 1986, Pub. L. 99–272, title V, §5002(e), 100 Stat. 118; amended Nov. 3, 1988, Pub. L. 100–594, §5, 102 Stat. 3021; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3001(a), (b), 103 Stat. 2124, 2131; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §209, 106 Stat. 3544; Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6003(a)(2), 107 Stat. 401; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §§302, 303(a)(3), (4), 108 Stat. 4294.)

References in Text

Parts II and III of title III of the Communications Act, referred to in subsec. (g), mean parts II and III of title III of the Communications Act of 1934 which are classified to parts II (§351 et seq.) and III (§381 et seq.), respectively, of subchapter III of this chapter.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(3), substituted “payment of an” for “payment of a”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(4), substituted “Additional Application Fee” for “Additional Charge” in item 7.f. under heading “equipment approval services/experimental radio” in Schedule of Application Fees.

Pub. L. 103–414, §302, added item 1.d. under heading “common carrier services” in Schedule of Application Fees.

1993—Pub. L. 103–66, §6003(a)(2)(A), substituted “Application fees” for “Charges” as section catchline.

Subsecs. (a) to (e). Pub. L. 103–66, §6003(a)(2)(B)–(D), substituted “application fees” for “charges” and “Schedule of Application Fees” for “Schedule of Charges” wherever appearing, and substituted “application fee” for “charge” in subsec. (c).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–66, §6003(a)(2)(D), in text substituted “Schedule of Application Fees” for “Schedule of Charges”.

Pub. L. 103–66, §6003(a)(2)(E), which directed amendment of schedule by substituting “Schedule of Application Fees” for “Schedule of Charges”, “Application fees” for “Charges”, “application fee” for “charge”, and “Application fees” for “Charges” was executed by substituting “SCHEDULE OF APPLICATION FEES” for “SCHEDULE OF CHARGES” in heading, “miscellaneous application fees” for “miscellaneous charges” in last subheading, and “application fee” for “charge” in two places in text of schedule, to reflect probable intent of Congress.

1992—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–538 in Schedule of Charges added twenty-second category, relating to Low-Earth Orbit Satellite Systems, under heading “common carrier services”, and substituted “75.00” for “360.00” in item 3.c., relating to inspection of vessels under the Great Lakes Agreement, under heading “miscellaneous charges”.

1989—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–239, §3001(b)(1), struck out at end “The Schedule of Charges established under this subsection shall be implemented not later than 360 days after April 7, 1986.”

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101–239, §3001(b)(2), substituted “October 1, 1991” for “April 1, 1987”.

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 101–239, §3001(b)(3), substituted “(A) to governmental entities and nonprofit entities licensed in the following radio services:” for “to the following radio services:” and inserted “(B)” after “Emergency Radio, or”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–239, §3001(a), added subsec. (g).

1988—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 100–594 substituted “two years after April 1, 1987,” for “two years after April 7, 1986,”.

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Section 3001(c) of Pub. L. 101–239 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 19, 1989], and the Schedule of Charges required by the amendment made by subsection (a) of this section shall be implemented not later than 150 days after the date of enactment of this Act.”

Schedule of Charges

Section 5002(f) of Pub. L. 99–272 established the Schedule of Charges which the Federal Communications Commission is required to prescribe pursuant to subsec. (a) of this section. See subsec. (g) of this section as added by Pub. L. 101–239.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 309 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be “an application fee”.

§159. Regulatory fees

(a) General authority

(1) Recovery of costs

The Commission, in accordance with this section, shall assess and collect regulatory fees to recover the costs of the following regulatory activities of the Commission: enforcement activities, policy and rulemaking activities, user information services, and international activities.

(2) Fees contingent on appropriations

The fees described in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be collected only if, and only in the total amounts, required in Appropriations Acts.

(b) Establishment and adjustment of regulatory fees

(1) In general

The fees assessed under subsection (a) of this section shall—

(A) be derived by determining the full-time equivalent number of employees performing the activities described in subsection (a) of this section within the Private Radio Bureau, Mass Media Bureau, Common Carrier Bureau, and other offices of the Commission, adjusted to take into account factors that are reasonably related to the benefits provided to the payor of the fee by the Commission's activities, including such factors as service area coverage, shared use versus exclusive use, and other factors that the Commission determines are necessary in the public interest;

(B) be established at amounts that will result in collection, during each fiscal year, of an amount that can reasonably be expected to equal the amount appropriated for such fiscal year for the performance of the activities described in subsection (a) of this section; and

(C) until adjusted or amended by the Commission pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3), be the fees established by the Schedule of Regulatory Fees in subsection (g) of this section.

(2) Mandatory adjustment of schedule

For any fiscal year after fiscal year 1994, the Commission shall, by rule, revise the Schedule of Regulatory Fees by proportionate increases or decreases to reflect, in accordance with paragraph (1)(B), changes in the amount appropriated for the performance of the activities described in subsection (a) of this section for such fiscal year. Such proportionate increases or decreases shall—

(A) be adjusted to reflect, within the overall amounts described in appropriations Acts under the authority of paragraph (1)(A), unexpected increases or decreases in the number of licensees or units subject to payment of such fees; and

(B) be established at amounts that will result in collection of an aggregate amount of fees pursuant to this section that can reasonably be expected to equal the aggregate amount of fees that are required to be collected by appropriations Acts pursuant to paragraph (1)(B).


Increases or decreases in fees made by adjustments pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to judicial review. In making adjustments pursuant to this paragraph the Commission may round such fees to the nearest $5 in the case of fees under $1,000, or to the nearest $25 in the case of fees of $1,000 or more.

(3) Permitted amendments

In addition to the adjustments required by paragraph (2), the Commission shall, by regulation, amend the Schedule of Regulatory Fees if the Commission determines that the Schedule requires amendment to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1)(A). In making such amendments, the Commission shall add, delete, or reclassify services in the Schedule to reflect additions, deletions, or changes in the nature of its services as a consequence of Commission rulemaking proceedings or changes in law. Increases or decreases in fees made by amendments pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to judicial review.

(4) Notice to Congress

The Commission shall—

(A) transmit to the Congress notification of any adjustment made pursuant to paragraph (2) immediately upon the adoption of such adjustment; and

(B) transmit to the Congress notification of any amendment made pursuant to paragraph (3) not later than 90 days before the effective date of such amendment.

(c) Enforcement

(1) Penalties for late payment

The Commission shall prescribe by regulation an additional charge which shall be assessed as a penalty for late payment of fees required by subsection (a) of this section. Such penalty shall be 25 percent of the amount of the fee which was not paid in a timely manner.

(2) Dismissal of applications for filings

The Commission may dismiss any application or other filing for failure to pay in a timely manner any fee or penalty under this section.

(3) Revocations

In addition to or in lieu of the penalties and dismissals authorized by paragraphs (1) and (2), the Commission may revoke any instrument of authorization held by any entity that has failed to make payment of a regulatory fee assessed pursuant to this section. Such revocation action may be taken by the Commission after notice of the Commission's intent to take such action is sent to the licensee by registered mail, return receipt requested, at the licensee's last known address. The notice will provide the licensee at least 30 days to either pay the fee or show cause why the fee does not apply to the licensee or should otherwise be waived or payment deferred. A hearing is not required under this subsection unless the licensee's response presents a substantial and material question of fact. In any case where a hearing is conducted pursuant to this section, the hearing shall be based on written evidence only, and the burden of proceeding with the introduction of evidence and the burden of proof shall be on the licensee. Unless the licensee substantially prevails in the hearing, the Commission may assess the licensee for the costs of such hearing. Any Commission order adopted pursuant to this subsection shall determine the amount due, if any, and provide the licensee with at least 30 days to pay that amount or have its authorization revoked. No order of revocation under this subsection shall become final until the licensee has exhausted its right to judicial review of such order under section 402(b)(5) of this title.

(d) Waiver, reduction, and deferment

The Commission may waive, reduce, or defer payment of a fee in any specific instance for good cause shown, where such action would promote the public interest.

(e) Deposit of collections

Moneys received from fees established under this section shall be deposited as an offsetting collection in, and credited to, the account providing appropriations to carry out the functions of the Commission.

(f) Regulations

(1) In general

The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(2) Installment payments

Such rules and regulations shall permit payment by installments in the case of fees in large amounts, and in the case of fees in small amounts, shall require the payment of the fee in advance for a number of years not to exceed the term of the license held by the payor.

(g) Schedule

Until amended by the Commission pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Schedule of Regulatory Fees which the Federal Communications Commission shall, subject to subsection (a)(2) of this section, assess and collect shall be as follows:

Schedule of Regulatory Fees
Bureau/CategoryAnnual Regulatory Fee
Private Radio Bureau
Exclusive use services (per license)
Land Mobile (above 470 MHz, Base Station and SMRS) (47 C.F.R. Part 90) $16
Microwave (47 C.F.R. Part 94) 16
Interactive Video Data Service (47 C.F.R. Part 95) 16
Shared use services (per license unless otherwise noted) 7
Amateur vanity call-signs 7
Mass Media Bureau (per license)
AM radio (47 C.F.R. Part 73)
Class D Daytime 250
Class A Fulltime 900
Class B Fulltime 500
Class C Fulltime 200
Construction permits 100
FM radio (47 C.F.R. Part 73)
Classes C, C1, C2, B 900
Classes A, B1, C3 600
Construction permits 500
TV (47 C.F.R. Part 73)
VHF Commercial
Markets 1 thru 10 18,000
Markets 11 thru 25 16,000
Markets 26 thru 50 12,000
Markets 51 thru 100 8,000
Remaining Markets 5,000
Construction permits 4,000
UHF Commercial
Markets 1 thru 10 14,400
Markets 11 thru 25 12,800
Markets 26 thru 50 9,600
Markets 51 thru 100 6,400
Remaining Markets 4,000
Construction permits 3,200
Low Power TV, TV Translator, and TV Booster (47 C.F.R. Part 74) 135
Broadcast Auxiliary (47 C.F.R. Part 74) 25
International (HF) Broadcast (47 C.F.R. Part 73) 200
Cable Antenna Relay Service (47 C.F.R. Part 78) 220
Cable Television System (per 1,000 subscribers) (47 C.F.R. Part 76) 370
Common Carrier Bureau
Radio Facilities
Cellular Radio (per 1,000 subscribers) (47 C.F.R. Part 22) 60
Personal Communications (per 1,000 subscribers) (47 C.F.R.) 60
Space Station (per operational station in geosynchronous orbit) (47 C.F.R. Part 25) 65,000
Space Station (per system in low-earth orbit) (47 C.F.R. Part 25) 90,000
Public Mobile (per 1,000 subscribers) (47 C.F.R. Part 22) 60
Domestic Public Fixed (per call sign) (47 C.F.R. Part 21) 55
International Public Fixed (per call sign) (47 C.F.R. Part 23) 110
Earth Stations (47 C.F.R. Part 25)
VSAT and equivalent C-Band antennas (per 100 antennas) 6
Mobile satellite earth stations (per 100 antennas) 6
Earth station antennas
Less than 9 meters (per 100 antennas) 6
9 Meters or more
Transmit/Receive and Transmit Only (per meter) 85
Receive only (per meter) 55
Carriers
Inter-Exchange Carrier (per 1,000 presubscribed access lines) 60
Local Exchange Carrier (per 1,000 access lines) 60
Competitive access provider (per 1,000 subscribers) 60
International circuits (per 100 active 64KB circuit or equivalent) 220

(h) Exceptions

The charges established under this section shall not be applicable to (1) governmental entities or nonprofit entities; or (2) to amateur radio operator licenses under part 97 of the Commission's regulations (47 C.F.R. Part 97).

(i) Accounting system

The Commission shall develop accounting systems necessary to making the adjustments authorized by subsection (b)(3) of this section. In the Commission's annual report, the Commission shall prepare an analysis of its progress in developing such systems and shall afford interested persons the opportunity to submit comments concerning the allocation of the costs of performing the functions described in subsection (a) of this section among the services in the Schedule.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §9, as added Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6003(a)(1), 107 Stat. 397; amended Oct. 27, 1993, Pub. L. 103–121, title I, 107 Stat. 1167; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(5), (6), 108 Stat. 4294.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(5), designated second sentence of par. (1) as par. (2) and inserted par. (2) heading.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(6), inserted “95” after “(47 C.F.R. Part” in item pertaining to Interactive Video Data Service under Private Radio Bureau in Schedule of Regulatory Fees.

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–121 designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added par. (2).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 156 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER II—COMMON CARRIERS

Subchapter Referred to in Other Sections

This subchapter is referred to in sections 153, 332, 503, 504, 522, 533, 541, 741, 753 of this title.

§201. Service and charges

(a) It shall be the duty of every common carrier engaged in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio to furnish such communication service upon reasonable request therefor; and, in accordance with the orders of the Commission, in cases where the Commission, after opportunity for hearing, finds such action necessary or desirable in the public interest, to establish physical connections with other carriers, to establish through routes and charges applicable thereto and the divisions of such charges, and to establish and provide facilities and regulations for operating such through routes.

(b) All charges, practices, classifications, and regulations for and in connection with such communication service, shall be just and reasonable, and any such charge, practice, classification, or regulation that is unjust or unreasonable is declared to be unlawful: Provided, That communications by wire or radio subject to this chapter may be classified into day, night, repeated, unrepeated, letter, commercial, press, Government, and such other classes as the Commission may decide to be just and reasonable, and different charges may be made for the different classes of communications: Provided further, That nothing in this chapter or in any other provision of law shall be construed to prevent a common carrier subject to this chapter from entering into or operating under any contract with any common carrier not subject to this chapter, for the exchange of their services, if the Commission is of the opinion that such contract is not contrary to the public interest: Provided further, That nothing in this chapter or in any other provision of law shall prevent a common carrier subject to this chapter from furnishing reports of positions of ships at sea to newspapers of general circulation, either at a nominal charge or without charge, provided the name of such common carrier is displayed along with such ship position reports. The Commission may prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary in the public interest to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §201, 48 Stat. 1070; May 31, 1938, ch. 296, 52 Stat. 588.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original “this Act”, meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, as amended, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1938—Subsec. (b). Act May 31, 1938, inserted proviso relating to reports of positions of ships at sea.

Telephone Rates for Members of Armed Forces Deployed Abroad

Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §213, Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3545, provided that:

“(a) In General.—The Federal Communications Commission shall make efforts to reduce telephone rates for Armed Forces personnel in the following countries: Germany, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Italy, Philippines, Panama, Spain, Turkey, Iceland, the Netherlands, Greece, Cuba, Belgium, Portugal, Bermuda, Diego Garcia, Egypt, and Honduras.

“(b) Factors To Consider.—In making the efforts described in subsection (a), the Federal Communications Commission, in coordination with the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall consider the cost to military personnel and their families of placing telephone calls by—

“(1) evaluating and analyzing the costs to Armed Forces personnel of such telephone calls to and from American military bases abroad;

“(2) evaluate methods of reducing the rates imposed on such calls;

“(3) determine the extent to which it is feasible for the Federal Communications Commission to encourage the carriers to adopt flexible billing procedures and policies for members of the Armed Forces and their families for telephone calls to and from the countries listed in subsection (a); and

“(4) advise executive branch agencies of methods for the United States to persuade foreign governments to reduce the surcharges that are often placed on such telephone calls.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 332 of this title.

§202. Discriminations and preferences

(a) Charges, services, etc.

It shall be unlawful for any common carrier to make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services for or in connection with like communication service, directly or indirectly, by any means or device, or to make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, class of persons, or locality, or to subject any particular person, class of persons, or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage.

(b) Charges or services included

Charges or services, whenever referred to in this chapter, include charges for, or services in connection with, the use of common carrier lines of communication, whether derived from wire or radio facilities, in chain broadcasting or incidental to radio communication of any kind.

(c) Penalty

Any carrier who knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $6,000 for each such offense and $300 for each and every day of the continuance of such offense.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §202, 48 Stat. 1070; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–751, 74 Stat. 888; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(a), 103 Stat. 2131.)

Amendments

1989—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “$6,000” for “$500” and “$300” for “$25”.

1960—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 86–751 substituted “common carrier lines of communication, whether derived from wire or radio facilities,” for “wires”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 332 of this title.

§203. Schedules of charges

(a) Filing; public display

Every common carrier, except connecting carriers, shall, within such reasonable time as the Commission shall designate, file with the Commission and print and keep open for public inspection schedules showing all charges for itself and its connecting carriers for interstate and foreign wire or radio communication between the different points on its own system, and between points on its own system and points on the system of its connecting carriers or points on the system of any other carrier subject to this chapter when a through route has been established, whether such charges are joint or separate, and showing the classifications, practices, and regulations affecting such charges. Such schedules shall contain such other information, and be printed in such form, and be posted and kept open for public inspection in such places, as the Commission may by regulation require, and each such schedule shall give notice of its effective date; and such common carrier shall furnish such schedules to each of its connecting carriers, and such connecting carriers shall keep such schedules open for inspection in such public places as the Commission may require.

(b) Changes in schedule; discretion of Commission to modify requirements

(1) No change shall be made in the charges, classifications, regulations, or practices which have been so filed and published except after one hundred and twenty days notice to the Commission and to the public, which shall be published in such form and contain such information as the Commission may by regulations prescribe.

(2) The Commission may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, modify any requirement made by or under the authority of this section either in particular instances or by general order applicable to special circumstances or conditions except that the Commission may not require the notice period specified in paragraph (1) to be more than one hundred and twenty days.

(c) Overcharges and rebates

No carrier, unless otherwise provided by or under authority of this chapter, shall engage or participate in such communication unless schedules have been filed and published in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and with the regulations made thereunder; and no carrier shall (1) charge, demand, collect, or receive a greater or less or different compensation for such communication, or for any service in connection therewith, between the points named in any such schedule than the charges specified in the schedule then in effect, or (2) refund or remit by any means or device any portion of the charges so specified, or (3) extend to any person any privileges or facilities in such communication, or employ or enforce any classifications, regulations, or practices affecting such charges, except as specified in such schedule.

(d) Rejection or refusal

The Commission may reject and refuse to file any schedule entered for filing which does not provide and give lawful notice of its effective date. Any schedule so rejected by the Commission shall be void and its use shall be unlawful.

(e) Penalty for violations

In case of failure or refusal on the part of any carrier to comply with the provisions of this section or of any regulation or order made by the Commission thereunder, such carrier shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $6,000 for each such offense, and $300 for each and every day of the continuance of such offense.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §203, 48 Stat. 1070; Aug. 4, 1976, Pub. L. 94–376, §1, 90 Stat. 1080; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(b), 103 Stat. 2131; Sept. 28, 1990, Pub. L. 101–396, §7, 104 Stat. 850.)

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–396 substituted “one hundred and twenty days” for “ninety days” in pars. (1) and (2).

1989—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “$6,000” for “$500” and “$300” for “$25”.

1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–376 designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “after ninety days notice” for “after thirty days’ notice”, and struck out provision that the Commission may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, modify the requirements made by or under authority of this section in particular instances or by a general order applicable to special circumstances or conditions, and added par. (2).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 152 of this title.

§204. Hearings on new charges; suspension pending hearing; refunds; duration of hearing; appeal of order concluding hearing

(a)(1) Whenever there is filed with the Commission any new or revised charge, classification, regulation, or practice, the Commission may either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, upon reasonable notice, enter upon a hearing concerning the lawfulness thereof; and pending such hearing and the decision thereon the Commission, upon delivering to the carrier or carriers affected thereby a statement in writing of its reasons for such suspension, may suspend the operation of such charge, classification, regulation, or practice, in whole or in part but not for a longer period than five months beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect; and after full hearing the Commission may make such order with reference thereto as would be proper in a proceeding initiated after such charge, classification, regulation, or practice had become effective. If the proceeding has not been concluded and an order made within the period of the suspension, the proposed new or revised charge, classification, regulation, or practice shall go into effect at the end of such period; but in case of a proposed charge for a new service or a revised charge, the Commission may by order require the interested carrier or carriers to keep accurate account of all amounts received by reason of such charge for a new service or revised charge, specifying by whom and in whose behalf such amounts are paid, and upon completion of the hearing and decision may by further order require the interested carrier or carriers to refund, with interest, to the persons in whose behalf such amounts were paid, such portion of such charge for a new service or revised charges as by its decision shall be found not justified. At any hearing involving a new or revised charge, or a proposed new or revised charge, the burden of proof to show that the new or revised charge, or proposed charge, is just and reasonable shall be upon the carrier, and the Commission shall give to the hearing and decision of such questions preference over all other questions pending before it and decide the same as speedily as possible.

(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Commission shall, with respect to any hearing under this section, issue an order concluding such hearing within 12 months after the date that the charge, classification, regulation, or practice subject to the hearing becomes effective, or within 15 months after such date if the hearing raises questions of fact of such extraordinary complexity that the questions cannot be resolved within 12 months.

(B) The Commission shall, with respect to any such hearing initiated prior to November 3, 1988, issue an order concluding the hearing not later than 12 months after November 3, 1988.

(C) Any order concluding a hearing under this section shall be a final order and may be appealed under section 402(a) of this title.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the Commission may allow part of a charge, classification, regulation, or practice to go into effect, based upon a written showing by the carrier or carriers affected, and an opportunity for written comment thereon by affected persons, that such partial authorization is just, fair, and reasonable. Additionally, or in combination with a partial authorization, the Commission, upon a similar showing, may allow all or part of a charge, classification, regulation, or practice to go into effect on a temporary basis pending further order of the Commission. Authorizations of temporary new or increased charges may include an accounting order of the type provided for in subsection (a) of this section.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §204, 48 Stat. 1071; Aug. 4, 1976, Pub. L. 94–376, §2, 90 Stat. 1080; Nov. 3, 1988, Pub. L. 100–594, §8(b), 102 Stat. 3023; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §203, 106 Stat. 3542.)

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 102–538 substituted “a revised charge” for “an increased charge” after “a proposed charge for a new service or”, “or revised” for “or increased” before “charge, specifying by whom and in whose behalf”, “revised charges” for “increased charges” before “as by its decision shall be found not justified”, “new or revised charge, or a proposed new or revised charge” for “charge increased, or sought to be increased” before “, burden of proof to show”, and “new or revised charge” for “increased charge” before “, or proposed charge, is just and reasonable”.

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–594 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–376 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted “any new or revised charge” for “any new charge”, “in whole or in part but not for a longer period than five months” for “but not for a longer period than three months”, “after such charge, classification, regulation, or practice had become effective” for “after it had become effective”, “the proposed new or revised charge” for “the proposed change of charge”, “but in case of a proposed charge for a new service or an increased charge” for “but in case of a proposed increased charge”, “by reason of such charge for a new service or increased charge” for “by reason of such increase”, “such portion of such charge for a new service or increased charges” for “such portion of such increased charges”, “burden of proof to show that the increased charge, or proposed charge” for “burden of proof to show that the increased charge, or proposed increased charge”, and struck out “after the organization of the Commission” before “the burden of proof.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–376 added subsec. (b).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 155, 405 of this title.

§205. Commission authorized to prescribe just and reasonable charges; penalties for violations

(a) Whenever, after full opportunity for hearing, upon a complaint or under an order for investigation and hearing made by the Commission on its own initiative, the Commission shall be of opinion that any charge, classification, regulation, or practice of any carrier or carriers is or will be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the Commission is authorized and empowered to determine and prescribe what will be the just and reasonable charge or the maximum or minimum, or maximum and minimum, charge or charges to be thereafter observed, and what classification, regulation, or practice is or will be just, fair, and reasonable, to be thereafter followed, and to make an order that the carrier or carriers shall cease and desist from such violation to the extent that the Commission finds that the same does or will exist, and shall not thereafter publish, demand, or collect any charge other than the charge so prescribed, or in excess of the maximum or less than the minimum so prescribed, as the case may be, and shall adopt the classification and shall conform to and observe the regulation or practice so prescribed.

(b) Any carrier, any officer, representative, or agent of a carrier, or any receiver, trustee, lessee, or agent of either of them, who knowingly fails or neglects to obey any order made under the provisions of this section shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $12,000 for each offense. Every distinct violation shall be a separate offense, and in case of continuing violation each day shall be deemed a separate offense.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §205, 48 Stat. 1072; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(c), 103 Stat. 2131.)

Amendments

1989—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “$12,000” for “$1,000”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 152 of this title.

§206. Carriers’ liability for damages

In case any common carrier shall do, or cause or permit to be done, any act, matter, or thing in this chapter prohibited or declared to be unlawful, or shall omit to do any act, matter, or thing in this chapter required to be done, such common carrier shall be liable to the person or persons injured thereby for the full amount of damages sustained in consequence of any such violation of the provisions of this chapter, together with a reasonable counsel or attorney's fee, to be fixed by the court in every case of recovery, which attorney's fee shall be taxed and collected as part of the costs in the case.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §206, 48 Stat. 1072.)

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Judgment and costs, see rule 54, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§207. Recovery of damages

Any person claiming to be damaged by any common carrier subject to the provisions of this chapter may either make complaint to the Commission as hereinafter provided for, or may bring suit for the recovery of the damages for which such common carrier may be liable under the provisions of this chapter, in any district court of the United States of competent jurisdiction; but such person shall not have the right to pursue both such remedies.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §207, 48 Stat. 1073.)

§208. Complaints to Commission; investigations; duration of investigation; appeal of order concluding investigation

(a) Any person, any body politic, or municipal organization, or State commission, complaining of anything done or omitted to be done by any common carrier subject to this chapter, in contravention of the provisions thereof, may apply to said Commission by petition which shall briefly state the facts, whereupon a statement of the complaint thus made shall be forwarded by the Commission to such common carrier, who shall be called upon to satisfy the complaint or to answer the same in writing within a reasonable time to be specified by the Commission. If such common carrier within the time specified shall make reparation for the injury alleged to have been caused, the common carrier shall be relieved of liability to the complainant only for the particular violation of law thus complained of. If such carrier or carriers shall not satisfy the complaint within the time specified or there shall appear to be any reasonable ground for investigating said complaint, it shall be the duty of the Commission to investigate the matters complained of in such manner and by such means as it shall deem proper. No complaint shall at any time be dismissed because of the absence of direct damage to the complaint.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Commission shall, with respect to any investigation under this section of the lawfulness of a charge, classification, regulation, or practice, issue an order concluding such investigation within 12 months after the date on which the complaint was filed, or within 15 months after such date if the investigation raises questions of fact of such extraordinary complexity that the questions cannot be resolved within 12 months.

(2) The Commission shall, with respect to any such investigation initiated prior to November 3, 1988, issue an order concluding the investigation not later than 12 months after November 3, 1988.

(3) Any order concluding an investigation under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be a final order and may be appealed under section 402(a) of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §208, 48 Stat. 1073; Nov. 3, 1988, Pub. L. 100–594, §8(c), 102 Stat. 3023.)

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–594 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 155, 332, 405 of this title.

§209. Orders for payment of money

If, after hearing on a complaint, the Commission shall determine that any party complainant is entitled to an award of damages under the provisions of this chapter, the Commission shall make an order directing the carrier to pay to the complainant the sum to which he is entitled on or before a day named.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §209, 48 Stat. 1073.)

§210. Franks and passes; free service to governmental agencies in connection with national defense

(a) Nothing in this chapter or in any other provision of law shall be construed to prohibit common carriers from issuing or giving franks to, or exchanging franks with each other for the use of, their officers, agents, employees, and their families, or, subject to such rules as the Commission may prescribe, from issuing, giving, or exchanging franks and passes to or with other common carriers not subject to the provisions of this chapter, for the use of their officers, agents, employees, and their families. The term “employees”, as used in this section, shall include furloughed, pensioned, and superannuated employees.

(b) Nothing in this chapter or in any other provision of law shall be construed to prohibit common carriers from rendering to any agency of the Government free service in connection with the preparation for the national defense: Provided, That such free service may be rendered only in accordance with such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe therefor.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §210, 48 Stat. 1073; June 25, 1940, ch. 422, 54 Stat. 570.)

Amendments

1940—Act June 25, 1940, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

§211. Contracts of carriers; filing with Commission

(a) Every carrier subject to this chapter shall file with the Commission copies of all contracts, agreements, or arrangements with other carriers, or with common carriers not subject to the provisions of this chapter, in relation to any traffic affected by the provisions of this chapter to which it may be a party.

(b) The Commission shall have authority to require the filing of any other contracts of any carrier, and shall also have authority to exempt any carrier from submitting copies of such minor contracts as the Commission may determine.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §211, 48 Stat. 1073.)

§212. Interlocking directorates; officials dealing in securities

It shall be unlawful for any person to hold the position of officer or director of more than one carrier subject to this chapter, unless such holding shall have been authorized by order of the Commission, upon due showing in form and manner prescribed by the Commission, that neither public nor private interests will be adversely affected thereby: Provided, That the Commission may authorize persons to hold the position of officer or director in more than one such carrier, without regard to the requirements of this section, where it has found that one of the two or more carriers directly or indirectly owns more than 50 per centum of the stock of the other or others, or that 50 per centum or more of the stock of all such carriers is directly or indirectly owned by the same person. After this section takes effect it shall be unlawful for any officer or director of any carrier subject to this chapter to receive for his own benefit directly or indirectly, any money or thing of value in respect of negotiation, hypothecation, or sale of any securities issued or to be issued by such carrier, or to share in any of the proceeds thereof, or to participate in the making or paying of any dividends of such carriers from any funds properly included in capital account.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §212, 48 Stat. 1074; Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 874, §1, 70 Stat. 931; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(2), 108 Stat. 4296.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “It shall” for “After sixty days from June 19, 1934, it shall”.

1956—Act Aug. 2, 1956, inserted proviso that Commission may authorize persons to hold position of officer or director in more than one carrier, where carrier owns more than 50 percent of the stock of the other carriers, or that 50 percent or more of the stock of all such carriers is owned by the same person, struck out “such” before “carrier” in sentence after proviso, inserted “subject to this chapter” after that word, and substituted “carriers” for “carrier” toward end of said sentence.

§213. Valuation of property of carrier

(a) Hearing

The Commission may from time to time, as may be necessary for the proper administration of this chapter, and after opportunity for hearing, make a valuation of all or of any part of the property owned or used by any carrier subject to this chapter, as of such date as the Commission may fix.

(b) Inventory

The Commission may at any time require any such carrier to file with the Commission an inventory of all or of any part of the property owned or used by said carrier, which inventory shall show the units of said property classified in such detail, and in such manner, as the Commission shall direct, and shall show the estimated cost of reproduction new of said units, and their reproduction cost new less depreciation, as of such date as the Commission may direct; and such carrier shall file such inventory within such reasonable time as the Commission by order shall require.

(c) Original cost

The Commission may at any time require any such carrier to file with the Commission a statement showing the original cost at the time of dedication to the public use of all or of any part of the property owned or used by said carrier. For the showing of such original cost said property shall be classified, and the original cost shall be defined, in such manner as the Commission may prescribe; and if any part of such cost cannot be determined from accounting or other records, the portion of the property for which such cost cannot be determined shall be reported to the Commission; and, if the Commission shall so direct, the original cost thereof shall be estimated in such manner as the Commission may prescribe. If the carrier owning the property at the time such original cost is reported shall have paid more or less than the original cost to acquire the same, the amount of such cost of acquisition, and any facts which the Commission may require in connection therewith, shall be reported with such original cost. The report made by a carrier under this subsection shall show the source or sources from which the original cost reported was obtained, and such other information as to the manner in which the report was prepared, as the Commission shall require.

(d) Easement, license or franchise

Nothing shall be included in the original cost reported for the property of any carrier under subsection (c) of this section on account of any easement, license, or franchise granted by the United States or by any State or political subdivision thereof, beyond the reasonable necessary expense lawfully incurred in obtaining such easement, license, or franchise from the public authority aforesaid, which expense shall be reported separately from all other costs in such detail as the Commission may require; and nothing shall be included in any valuation of the property of any carrier made by the Commission on account of any such easement, license, or franchise, beyond such reasonable necessary expense lawfully incurred as aforesaid.

(e) Improvements; changes in condition

The Commission shall keep itself informed of all new construction, extensions, improvements, retirements, or other changes in the condition, quantity, use, and classification of the property of common carriers, and of the cost of all additions and betterments thereto and of all changes in the investment therein, and may keep itself informed of current changes in costs and values of carrier properties.

(f) Additional information; access to records and data

For the purpose of enabling the Commission to make a valuation of any of the property of any such carrier, or to find the original cost of such property, or to find any other facts concerning the same which are required for use by the Commission, it shall be the duty of each such carrier to furnish to the Commission, within such reasonable time as the Commission may order, any information with respect thereto which the Commission may by order require, including copies of maps, contracts, reports of engineers, and other data, records, and papers, and to grant to all agents of the Commission free access to its property and its accounts, records, and memoranda whenever and wherever requested by any such duly authorized agent, and to cooperate with and aid the Commission in the work of making any such valuation or finding in such manner and to such extent as the Commission may require and direct, and all rules and regulations made by the Commission for the purpose of administering this section shall have the full force and effect of law. Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, with the reasons therefor, the records and data of the Commission shall be open to the inspection and examination of the public. The Commission, in making any such valuation, shall be free to adopt any method of valuation which shall be lawful.

(g) State commissions

Nothing in this section shall impair or diminish the powers of any State commission.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §213, 48 Stat. 1074; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(3), 108 Stat. 4296.)

Amendments

1994—Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 103–414 redesignated subsec. (h) as (g) and struck out former subsec. (g) which read as follows: “Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter the Interstate Commerce Commission, if requested to do so by the Commission, shall complete, at the earliest practicable date, such valuations of properties of carriers subject to this chapter as are now in progress, and shall thereafter transfer to the Commission the records relating thereto.”

§214. Extension of lines or discontinuance of service; certificate of public convenience and necessity

(a) Exceptions; temporary or emergency service or discontinuance of service; changes in plant, operation or equipment

No carrier shall undertake the construction of a new line or of an extension of any line, or shall acquire or operate any line, or extension thereof, or shall engage in transmission over or by means of such additional or extended line, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require the construction, or operation, or construction and operation, of such additional or extended line: Provided, That no such certificate shall be required under this section for the construction, acquisition, or operation of (1) a line within a single State unless such line constitutes part of an interstate line, (2) local, branch, or terminal lines not exceeding ten miles in length, or (3) any line acquired under section 221 of this title: Provided further, That the Commission may, upon appropriate request being made, authorize temporary or emergency service, or the supplementing of existing facilities, without regard to the provisions of this section. No carrier shall discontinue, reduce, or impair service to a community, or part of a community, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that neither the present nor future public convenience and necessity will be adversely affected thereby; except that the Commission may, upon appropriate request being made, authorize temporary or emergency discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service, or partial discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service, without regard to the provisions of this section. As used in this section the term “line” means any channel of communication established by the use of appropriate equipment, other than a channel of communication established by the interconnection of two or more existing channels: Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall be construed to require a certificate or other authorization from the Commission for any installation, replacement, or other changes in plant, operation, or equipment, other than new construction, which will not impair the adequacy or quality of service provided.

(b) Notification of Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and State Governor

Upon receipt of an application for any such certificate, the Commission shall cause notice thereof to be given to, and shall cause a copy of such application to be filed with, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State (with respect to such applications involving service to foreign points), and the Governor of each State in which such line is proposed to be constructed, extended, acquired, or operated, or in which such discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service is proposed, with the right to those notified to be heard; and the Commission may require such published notice as it shall determine.

(c) Approval or disapproval; injunction

The Commission shall have power to issue such certificate as applied for, or to refuse to issue it, or to issue it for a portion or portions of a line, or extension thereof, or discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service, described in the application, or for the partial exercise only of such right or privilege, and may attach to the issuance of the certificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public convenience and necessity may require. After issuance of such certificate, and not before, the carrier may, without securing approval other than such certificate, comply with the terms and conditions contained in or attached to the issuance of such certificate and proceed with the construction, extension, acquisition, operation, or discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service covered thereby. Any construction, extension, acquisition, operation, discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service contrary to the provisions of this section may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction at the suit of the United States, the Commission, the State commission, any State affected, or any party in interest.

(d) Order of Commission; hearing; penalty

The Commission may, after full opportunity for hearing, in a proceeding upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, authorize or require by order any carrier, party to such proceeding, to provide itself with adequate facilities for the expeditious and efficient performance of its service as a common carrier and to extend its line or to establish a public office; but no such authorization or order shall be made unless the Commission finds, as to such provision of facilities, as to such establishment of public offices, or as to such extension, that it is reasonably required in the interest of public convenience and necessity, or as to such extension or facilities that the expense involved therein will not impair the ability of the carrier to perform its duty to the public. Any carrier which refuses or neglects to comply with any order of the Commission made in pursuance of this subsection shall forfeit to the United States $1,200 for each day during which such refusal or neglect continues.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §214, 48 Stat. 1075; Mar. 6, 1943, ch. 10, §§2–5, 57 Stat. 11; Nov. 30, 1974, Pub. L. 93–506, §1, 88 Stat. 1577; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(d), 103 Stat. 2131; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(4), 108 Stat. 4296.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “section 221” for “section 221 or 222”.

1989—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “$1,200” for “$100”.

1974—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 93–506 substituted “the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State (with respect to such applications involving service to foreign points),” for “the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy,”.

1943—Subsec. (a). Act Mar. 6, 1943, §2, among other changes inserted all after “no carrier shall discontinue”, etc.

Subsec. (b). Act Mar. 6, 1943, §3, among other changes provided notice should be filed with Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy.

Subsec. (c). Act Mar. 6, 1943, §4, extended provisions to include discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service.

Subsec. (d). Act Mar. 6, 1943, §5, amended first sentence.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 158, 721 of this title.

§215. Examination of transactions relating to furnishing of services, equipment, etc.; reports to Congress

(a) Access to records and documents

The Commission shall examine into transactions entered into by any common carrier which relate to the furnishing of equipment, supplies, research, services, finances, credit, or personnel to such carrier and/or which may affect the charges made or to be made and/or the services rendered or to be rendered by such carrier, in wire or radio communication subject to this chapter, and shall report to the Congress whether any such transactions have affected or are likely to affect adversely the ability of the carrier to render adequate service to the public, or may result in any undue or unreasonable increase in charges or in the maintenance of undue or unreasonable charges for such service; and in order to fully examine into such transactions the Commission shall have access to and the right of inspection and examination of all accounts, records, and memoranda, including all documents, papers, and correspondence now or hereafter existing, of persons furnishing such equipment, supplies, research, services, finances, credit, or personnel. The Commission shall include in its report its recommendations for necessary legislation in connection with such transactions, and shall report specifically whether in its opinion legislation should be enacted (1) authorizing the Commission to declare any such transactions void or to permit such transactions to be carried out subject to such modification of their terms and conditions as the Commission shall deem desirable in the public interest; and/or (2) subjecting such transactions to the approval of the Commission where the person furnishing or seeking to furnish the equipment, supplies, research, services, finances, credit, or personnel is a person directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with, such carrier; and/or (3) authorizing the Commission to require that all or any transactions of carriers involving the furnishing of equipment, supplies, research, services, finances, credit, or personnel to such carrier be upon competitive bids on such terms and conditions and subject to such regulations as it shall prescribe as necessary in the public interest.

(b) Wire telephone and telegraph services

The Commission shall investigate the methods by which and the extent to which wire telephone companies are furnishing wire telegraph service and wire telegraph companies are furnishing wire telephone service, and shall report its findings to Congress, together with its recommendations as to whether additional legislation on this subject is desirable.

(c) Exclusive dealing contracts

The Commission shall examine all contracts of common carriers subject to this chapter which prevent the other party thereto from dealing with another common carrier subject to this chapter, and shall report its findings to Congress, together with its recommendations as to whether additional legislation on this subject is desirable.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §215, 48 Stat. 1076.)

§216. Receivers and trustees; application of chapter

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all receivers and operating trustees of carriers subject to this chapter to the same extent that it applies to carriers.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §216, 48 Stat. 1077.)

§217. Agents’ acts and omissions; liability of carrier

In construing and enforcing the provisions of this chapter, the act, omission, or failure of any officer, agent, or other person acting for or employed by any common carrier or user, acting within the scope of his employment, shall in every case be also deemed to be the act, omission, or failure of such carrier or user as well as that of the person.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §217, 48 Stat. 1077.)

§218. Management of business; inquiries by Commission

The Commission may inquire into the management of the business of all carriers subject to this chapter, and shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same is conducted and as to technical developments and improvements in wire and radio communication and radio transmission of energy to the end that the benefits of new inventions and developments may be made available to the people of the United States. The Commission may obtain from such carriers and from persons directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with, such carriers full and complete information necessary to enable the Commission to perform the duties and carry out the objects for which it was created.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §218, 48 Stat. 1077.)

§219. Reports by carriers; contents and requirements generally

(a) The Commission is authorized to require annual reports from all carriers subject to this chapter, and from persons directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with any such carrier, to prescribe the manner in which such reports shall be made, and to require from such persons specific answers to all questions upon which the Commission may need information. Except as otherwise required by the Commission, such annual reports shall show in detail the amount of capital stock issued, the amount and privileges of each class of stock, the amounts paid therefor, and the manner of payment for the same; the dividends paid and the surplus fund, if any; the number of stockholders (and the names of the thirty largest holders of each class of stock and the amount held by each); the funded and floating debts and the interest paid thereon; the cost and value of the carrier's property, franchises, and equipment; the number of employees and the salaries paid each class; the names of all officers and directors, and the amount of salary, bonus, and all other compensation paid to each; the amounts expended for improvements each year, how expended, and the character of such improvements; the earnings and receipts from each branch of business and from all sources; the operating and other expenses; the balances of profit and loss; and a complete exhibit of the financial operations of the carrier each year, including an annual balance sheet. Such reports shall also contain such information in relation to charges or regulations concerning charges, or agreements, arrangements, or contracts affecting the same, as the Commission may require.

(b) Such reports shall be for such twelve months’ period as the Commission shall designate and shall be filed with the Commission at its office in Washington within three months after the close of the year for which the report is made, unless additional time is granted in any case by the Commission; and if any person subject to the provisions of this section shall fail to make and file said annual reports within the time above specified, or within the time extended by the Commission, for making and filing the same, or shall fail to make specific answer to any question authorized by the provisions of this section within thirty days from the time it is lawfully required so to do, such person shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $1,200 for each and every day it shall continue to be in default with respect thereto. The Commission may by general or special orders require any such carriers to file monthly reports of earnings and expenses and to file periodical and/or special reports concerning any matters with respect to which the Commission is authorized or required by law to act. If any such carrier shall fail to make and file any such periodical or special report within the time fixed by the Commission, it shall be subject to the forfeitures above provided.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §219, 48 Stat. 1077; Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 874, §2, 70 Stat. 931; Apr. 27, 1962, Pub. L. 87–444, §§1, 2, 76 Stat. 63; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(e), 103 Stat. 2131.)

Amendments

1989—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “$1,200” for “$100”.

1962—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 87–444, §1, struck out “under oath” after “require annual report”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–444, §2, struck out provisions that the periodical or special reports be under oath whenever the Commission so required.

1956—Subsec. (a). Act Aug. 2, 1956, substituted “Except as otherwise required by the Commission, such” for “Such” at beginning of second sentence.

§220. Accounts, records, and memoranda

(a) Forms

(1) The Commission may, in its discretion, prescribe the forms of any and all accounts, records, and memoranda to be kept by carriers subject to this chapter, including the accounts, records, and memoranda of the movement of traffic, as well as of the receipts and expenditures of moneys.

(2) The Commission shall, by rule, prescribe a uniform system of accounts for use by telephone companies. Such uniform system shall require that each common carrier shall maintain a system of accounting methods, procedures, and techniques (including accounts and supporting records and memoranda) which shall ensure a proper allocation of all costs to and among telecommunications services, facilities, and products (and to and among classes of such services, facilities, and products) which are developed, manufactured, or offered by such common carrier.

(b) Depreciation charges

The Commission shall prescribe for such carriers the classes of property for which depreciation charges may be properly included under operating expenses, and the percentages of depreciation which shall be charged with respect to each of such classes of property, classifying the carriers as it may deem proper for this purpose. The Commission may, when it deems necessary, modify the classes and percentages so prescribed. Such carriers shall not, after the Commission has prescribed the classes of property for which depreciation charges may be included, charge to operating expenses any depreciation charges on classes of property other than those prescribed by the Commission, or after the Commission has prescribed percentages of depreciation, charge with respect to any class of property a percentage of depreciation other than that prescribed therefor by the Commission. No such carrier shall in any case include in any form under its operating or other expenses any depreciation or other charge or expenditure included elsewhere as a depreciation charge or otherwise under its operating or other expenses.

(c) Access to information; burden of proof

The Commission shall at all times have access to and the right of inspection and examination of all accounts, records, and memoranda, including all documents, papers, and correspondence now or hereafter existing, and kept or required to be kept by such carriers, and the provisions of this section respecting the preservation and destruction of books, papers, and documents shall apply thereto. The burden of proof to justify every accounting entry questioned by the Commission shall be on the person making, authorizing, or requiring such entry and the Commission may suspend a charge or credit pending submission of proof by such person. Any provision of law prohibiting the disclosure of the contents of messages or communications shall not be deemed to prohibit the disclosure of any matter in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(d) Penalty for failure to comply

In case of failure or refusal on the part of any such carrier to keep such accounts, records, and memoranda on the books and in the manner prescribed by the Commission, or to submit such accounts, records, memoranda, documents, papers, and correspondence as are kept to the inspection of the Commission or any of its authorized agents, such carrier shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $6,000 for each day of the continuance of each such offense.

(e) False entry; destruction; penalty

Any person who shall willfully make any false entry in the accounts of any book of accounts or in any record or memoranda kept by any such carrier, or who shall willfully destroy, mutilate, alter, or by any other means or device falsify any such account, record, or memoranda, or who shall willfully neglect or fail to make full, true, and correct entries in such accounts, records, or memoranda of all facts and transactions appertaining to the business of the carrier, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject, upon conviction, to a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 or imprisonment for a term of not less than one year nor more than three years, or both such fine and imprisonment: Provided, That the Commission may in its discretion issue orders specifying such operating, accounting, or financial papers, records, books, blanks, or documents which may, after a reasonable time, be destroyed, and prescribing the length of time such books, papers, or documents shall be preserved.

(f) Confidentiality of information

No member, officer, or employee of the Commission shall divulge any fact or information which may come to his knowledge during the course of examination of books or other accounts, as hereinbefore provided, except insofar as he may be directed by the Commission or by a court.

(g) Use of other forms; alterations in prescribed forms

After the Commission has prescribed the forms and manner of keeping of accounts, records, and memoranda to be kept by any person as herein provided, it shall be unlawful for such person to keep any other accounts, records, or memoranda than those so prescribed or such as may be approved by the Commission or to keep the accounts in any other manner than that prescribed or approved by the Commission. Notice of alterations by the Commission in the required manner or form of keeping accounts shall be given to such persons by the Commission at least six months before the same are to take effect.

(h) Exemption; regulation by State commission

The Commission may classify carriers subject to this chapter and prescribe different requirements under this section for different classes of carriers, and may, if it deems such action consistent with the public interest, except the carriers of any particular class or classes in any State from any of the requirements under this section in cases where such carriers are subject to State commission regulation with respect to matters to which this section relates.

(i) Consultation with State commissions

The Commission, before prescribing any requirements as to accounts, records, or memoranda, shall notify each State commission having jurisdiction with respect to any carrier involved, and shall give reasonable opportunity to each such commission to present its views, and shall receive and consider such views and recommendations.

(j) Report to Congress on need for further legislation

The Commission shall investigate and report to Congress as to the need for legislation to define further or harmonize the powers of the Commission and of State commissions with respect to matters to which this section relates.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §220, 48 Stat. 1078; Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(f), 103 Stat. 2131; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §§303(a)(7), (8), 304(a)(5), 108 Stat. 4294, 4296.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(7), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–414, §304(a)(5), struck out “, as soon as practicable,” after “The Commission shall”.

Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(8), substituted “classes” for “clasess” after “prescribed the” in third sentence.

1989—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted “$6,000” for “$500”.

§221. Consolidations and mergers of telephone companies

(a) Notification of State Governor and State commission; public hearing; certification

Upon application of one or more telephone companies for authority to consolidate their properties or a part thereof into a single company, or for authority for one or more such companies to acquire the whole or any part of the property of another telephone company or other telephone companies or the control thereof by the purchase of securities or by lease or in any other like manner, when such consolidated company would be subject to this chapter, the Commission shall give reasonable notice in writing to the governor of each of the States in which the physical property affected, or any part thereof, is situated, and to the State commission having jurisdiction over telephone companies, and to such other persons as it may deem advisable, and shall afford such parties a reasonable opportunity to submit comments on the proposal. A public hearing shall be held in all cases where a request therefor is made by a telephone company, an association of telephone companies, a State commission, or local governmental authority. If the Commission finds that the proposed consolidation, acquisition, or control will be of advantage to the persons to whom service is to be rendered and in the public interest, it shall certify to that effect; and thereupon any Act or Acts of Congress making the proposed transaction unlawful shall not apply. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as in anywise limiting or restricting the powers of the several States to control and regulate telephone companies.

(b) State jurisdiction over services

Subject to the provisions of sections 225 and 301 of this title, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply, or to give the Commission jurisdiction, with respect to charges, classifications, practices, services, facilities, or regulations for or in connection with wire, mobile, or point-to-point radio telephone exchange service, or any combination thereof, even though a portion of such exchange service constitutes interstate or foreign communication, in any case where such matters are subject to regulation by a State commission or by local governmental authority.

(c) Determination of property used in interstate toll service

For the purpose of administering this chapter as to carriers engaged in wire telephone communication, the Commission may classify the property of any such carrier used for wire telephone communication, and determine what property of said carrier shall be considered as used in interstate or foreign telephone toll service. Such classification shall be made after hearing, upon notice to the carrier, the State commission (or the Governor, if the State has no State commission) of any State in which the property of said carrier is located, and such other persons as the Commission may prescribe.

(d) Valuation of property

In making a valuation of the property of any wire telephone carrier the Commission, after making the classification authorized in this section, may in its discretion value only that part of the property of such carrier determined to be used in interstate or foreign telephone toll service.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §221, 48 Stat. 1080; Apr. 27, 1954, ch. 175, §4, 68 Stat. 64; Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 874, §3, 70 Stat. 932; July 26, 1990, Pub. L. 101–336, title IV, §401(b)(2), 104 Stat. 369.)

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–336 substituted “sections 225 and 301” for “section 301”.

1956—Subsec. (a). Act Aug. 2, 1956, inserted provisions relating to submission of comments by parties and required a public hearing upon request, in lieu of former provisions requiring hearing upon application.

1954—Subsec. (b). Act Apr. 27, 1954, included mobile or point-to-point radio telephone exchange service within exclusions provided for in such subsection, where it is subject to regulation by a State commission or by local governmental authority, and made it clear that the Commission retains its licensing authority over the radio stations that might be involved in such service.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 214, 225, 332 of this title.

§222. Repealed. Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(6), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4297

Section, act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §222, as added Mar. 6, 1943, ch. 10, §1, 57 Stat. 5; amended July 12, 1960, Pub. L. 86–624, §36, 74 Stat. 421; Nov. 30, 1974, Pub. L. 93–506, §2, 88 Stat. 1577; Dec. 24, 1980, Pub. L. 96–590, 94 Stat. 3414; Dec. 29, 1981, Pub. L. 97–130, §2, 95 Stat. 1687, related to competition among record carriers.

§223. Obscene or harassing telephone calls in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communications

(a) Prohibited acts generally

Whoever—

(1) in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication by means of telephone—

(A) makes any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent;

(B) makes a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number;

(C) makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring, with intent to harass any person at the called number; or

(D) makes repeated telephone calls, during which conversation ensues, solely to harass any person at the called number; or


(2) knowingly permits any telephone facility under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section,


shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(b) Prohibited acts for commercial purposes; defense to prosecution

(1) Whoever knowingly—

(A) within the United States, by means of telephone, makes (directly or by recording device) any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call; or

(B) permits any telephone facility under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by subparagraph (A),


shall be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(2) Whoever knowingly—

(A) within the United States, by means of telephone, makes (directly or by recording device) any indecent communication for commercial purposes which is available to any person under 18 years of age or to any other person without that person's consent, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call; or

(B) permits any telephone facility under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by subparagraph (A), shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.


(3) It is a defense to prosecution under paragraph (2) of this subsection that the defendant restricted access to the prohibited communication to persons 18 years of age or older in accordance with subsection (c) of this section and with such procedures as the Commission may prescribe by regulation.

(4) In addition to the penalties under paragraph (1), whoever, within the United States, intentionally violates paragraph (1) or (2) shall be subject to a fine of not more than $50,000 for each violation. For purposes of this paragraph, each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation.

(5)(A) In addition to the penalties under paragraphs (1), (2), and (5), whoever, within the United States, violates paragraph (1) or (2) shall be subject to a civil fine of not more than $50,000 for each violation. For purposes of this paragraph, each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation.

(B) A fine under this paragraph may be assessed either—

(i) by a court, pursuant to civil action by the Commission or any attorney employed by the Commission who is designated by the Commission for such purposes, or

(ii) by the Commission after appropriate administrative proceedings.


(6) The Attorney General may bring a suit in the appropriate district court of the United States to enjoin any act or practice which violates paragraph (1) or (2). An injunction may be granted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) Restriction on access to subscribers by common carriers; judicial remedies respecting restrictions

(1) A common carrier within the District of Columbia or within any State, or in interstate or foreign commerce, shall not, to the extent technically feasible, provide access to a communication specified in subsection (b) of this section from the telephone of any subscriber who has not previously requested in writing the carrier to provide access to such communication if the carrier collects from subscribers an identifiable charge for such communication that the carrier remits, in whole or in part, to the provider of such communication.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), no cause of action may be brought in any court or administrative agency against any common carrier, or any of its affiliates, including their officers, directors, employees, agents, or authorized representatives on account of—

(A) any action which the carrier demonstrates was taken in good faith to restrict access pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(B) any access permitted—

(i) in good faith reliance upon the lack of any representation by a provider of communications that communications provided by that provider are communications specified in subsection (b) of this section, or

(ii) because a specific representation by the provider did not allow the carrier, acting in good faith, a sufficient period to restrict access to restrict access to communications described in subsection (b) of this section.


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, a provider of communications services to which subscribers are denied access pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection may bring an action for a declaratory judgment or similar action in a court. Any such action shall be limited to the question of whether the communications which the provider seeks to provide fall within the category of communications to which the carrier will provide access only to subscribers who have previously requested such access.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §223, as added May 3, 1968, Pub. L. 90–299, §1, 82 Stat. 112; amended Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–214, §8(a), (b), 97 Stat. 1469, 1470; Apr. 28, 1988, Pub. L. 100–297, title VI, §6101, 102 Stat. 424; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7524, 102 Stat. 4502; Nov. 21, 1989, Pub. L. 101–166, title V, §521(1), 103 Stat. 1192; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(9), 108 Stat. 4294.)

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (b)(6), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “defendant restricted access” for “defendant restrict access”.

1989—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 101–166 added subsecs. (b) and (c) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows:

“(1) Whoever knowingly—

“(A) in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication, by means of telephone, makes (directly or by recording device) any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call; or

“(B) permits any telephone facility under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by clause (i);

shall be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

“(2) Whoever knowingly—

“(A) in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication, by means of telephone, makes (directly or by recording device) any indecent communication for commercial purposes to any person, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call; or

“(B) permits any telephone facility under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by clause (i),

shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

1988—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–690 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows:

“(1) Whoever knowingly—

“(A) in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication, by means of telephone, makes (directly or by recording device) any obscene or indecent communication for commercial purposes to any person, regardless of whether the maker of such communication placed the call; or

“(B) permits any telephone facility under such person's control to be used for an activity prohibited by subparagraph (A),

shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

“(2) In addition to the penalties under paragraph (1), whoever, in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication, intentionally violates paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) shall be subject to a fine of not more than $50,000 for each violation. For purposes of this paragraph, each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation.

“(3)(A) In addition to the penalties under paragraphs (1) and (2), whoever, in the District of Columbia or in interstate or foreign communication, violates paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) shall be subject to a civil fine of not more than $50,000 for each violation. For purposes of this paragraph, each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation.

“(B) A fine under this paragraph may be assessed either—

“(i) by a court, pursuant to a civil action by the Commission or any attorney employed by the Commission who is designated by the Commission for such purposes, or

“(ii) by the Commission after appropriate administrative proceedings.

“(4) The Attorney General may bring a suit in the appropriate district court of the United States to enjoin any act or practice which violates paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B). An injunction may be granted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”

Pub. L. 100–297, in par. (1)(A), struck out “under eighteen years of age or to any other person without that person's consent” after “to any person”, redesignated par. (3) as (2) and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: “It is a defense to a prosecution under this subsection that the defendant restricted access to the prohibited communication to persons eighteen years of age or older in accordance with procedures which the Commission shall prescribe by regulation.”, redesignated par. (4) as (3) and substituted “under paragraphs (1) and (2)” for “under paragraphs (1) and (3)”, and redesignated par. (5) as (4).

1983—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–214, §8(a)(1), (2), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and substituted “$50,000” for “$500” in provisions after par. (2).

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 98–214, §8(b), inserted “facility” after “telephone”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–214, §8(a)(3), added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–166 effective 120 days after Nov. 21, 1989, see section 521(3) of Pub. L. 101–166, set out as a note under section 152 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–297 effective July 1, 1988, see section 6303 of Pub. L. 100–297, set out as a note under section 1201 of Title 20, Education.

Regulations; Disposition of Complaints Pending on December 8, 1983

Section 8(c), (d) of Pub. L. 98–214 provided that:

“(c) The Federal Communications Commission shall issue regulations pursuant to section 223(b)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (as added by subsection (a) of this section) [subsec. (b)(2) of this section] not later than one hundred and eighty days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 8, 1983].

“(d) The Commission shall act on all complaints alleging violation of section 223 of the Communications Act of 1934 [this section] which are pending on the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 8, 1983] within ninety days of such date of enactment.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 153, 228 of this title.

§224. Pole attachments

(a) Definitions

As used in this section:

(1) The term “utility” means any person whose rates or charges are regulated by the Federal Government or a State and who owns or controls poles, ducts, conduits, or rights-of-way used, in whole or in part, for wire communication. Such term does not include any railroad, any person who is cooperatively organized, or any person owned by the Federal Government or any State.

(2) The term “Federal Government” means the Government of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof.

(3) The term “State” means any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

(4) The term “pole attachment” means any attachment by a cable television system to a pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way owned or controlled by a utility.

(b) Authority of Commission to regulate rates, terms, and conditions; enforcement powers; promulgation of regulations

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, the Commission shall regulate the rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments to provide that such rates, terms, and conditions are just and reasonable, and shall adopt procedures necessary and appropriate to hear and resolve complaints concerning such rates, terms, and conditions. For purposes of enforcing any determinations resulting from complaint procedures established pursuant to this subsection, the Commission shall take such action as it deems appropriate and necessary, including issuing cease and desist orders, as authorized by section 312(b) of this title.

(2) The Commission shall prescribe by rule regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(c) State regulatory authority over rates, terms, and conditions; preemption; certification; circumstances constituting State regulation

(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to, or to give the Commission jurisdiction with respect to rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments in any case where such matters are regulated by a State.

(2) Each State which regulates the rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments shall certify to the Commission that—

(A) it regulates such rates, terms, and conditions; and

(B) in so regulating such rates, terms, and conditions, the State has the authority to consider and does consider the interests of the subscribers of cable television services, as well as the interests of the consumers of the utility services.


(3) For purposes of this subsection, a State shall not be considered to regulate the rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments—

(A) unless the State has issued and made effective rules and regulations implementing the State's regulatory authority over pole attachments; and

(B) with respect to any individual matter, unless the State takes final action on a complaint regarding such matter—

(i) within 180 days after the complaint is filed with the State, or

(ii) within the applicable period prescribed for such final action in such rules and regulations of the State, if the prescribed period does not extend beyond 360 days after the filing of such complaint.

(d) Determination of just and reasonable rates; “usable space” defined

(1) For purposes of subsection (b) of this section, a rate is just and reasonable if it assures a utility the recovery of not less than the additional costs of providing pole attachments, nor more than an amount determined by multiplying the percentage of the total usable space, or the percentage of the total duct or conduit capacity, which is occupied by the pole attachment by the sum of the operating expenses and actual capital costs of the utility attributable to the entire pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way.

(2) As used in this subsection, the term “usable space” means the space above the minimum grade level which can be used for the attachment of wires, cables, and associated equipment.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §224, as added Feb. 21, 1978, Pub. L. 95–234, §6, 92 Stat. 35; amended Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §106, 96 Stat. 1091; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–549, §4, 98 Stat. 2801; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(7), 108 Stat. 4297.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “The Commission” for “Within 180 days from February 21, 1978, the Commission”.

1984—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 98–549 added par. (3).

1982—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–259 struck out subsec. (e) which provided that, upon expiration of 5-year period that began on Feb. 21, 1978, provisions of subsec. (d) of this section would cease to have any effect.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–549 effective 60 days after Oct. 30, 1984, except where otherwise expressly provided, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 98–549, set out as a note under section 521 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective on thirtieth day after Feb. 21, 1978, see section 7 of Pub. L. 95–234, set out as an Effective Date of 1978 Amendment note under section 152 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 152 of this title.

§225. Telecommunications services for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals

(a) Definitions

As used in this section—

(1) Common carrier or carrier

The term “common carrier” or “carrier” includes any common carrier engaged in interstate communication by wire or radio as defined in section 153(h) of this title and any common carrier engaged in intrastate communication by wire or radio, notwithstanding sections 152(b) and 221(b) of this title.

(2) TDD

The term “TDD” means a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, which is a machine that employs graphic communication in the transmission of coded signals through a wire or radio communication system.

(3) Telecommunications relay services

The term “telecommunications relay services” means telephone transmission services that provide the ability for an individual who has a hearing impairment or speech impairment to engage in communication by wire or radio with a hearing individual in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of an individual who does not have a hearing impairment or speech impairment to communicate using voice communication services by wire or radio. Such term includes services that enable two-way communication between an individual who uses a TDD or other nonvoice terminal device and an individual who does not use such a device.

(b) Availability of telecommunications relay services

(1) In general

In order to carry out the purposes established under section 151 of this title, to make available to all individuals in the United States a rapid, efficient nationwide communication service, and to increase the utility of the telephone system of the Nation, the Commission shall ensure that interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services are available, to the extent possible and in the most efficient manner, to hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals in the United States.

(2) Use of general authority and remedies

For the purposes of administering and enforcing the provisions of this section and the regulations prescribed thereunder, the Commission shall have the same authority, power, and functions with respect to common carriers engaged in intrastate communication as the Commission has in administering and enforcing the provisions of this subchapter with respect to any common carrier engaged in interstate communication. Any violation of this section by any common carrier engaged in intrastate communication shall be subject to the same remedies, penalties, and procedures as are applicable to a violation of this chapter by a common carrier engaged in interstate communication.

(c) Provision of services

Each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services shall, not later than 3 years after July 26, 1990, provide in compliance with the regulations prescribed under this section, throughout the area in which it offers service, telecommunications relay services, individually, through designees, through a competitively selected vendor, or in concert with other carriers. A common carrier shall be considered to be in compliance with such regulations—

(1) with respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services in any State that does not have a certified program under subsection (f) of this section and with respect to interstate telecommunications relay services, if such common carrier (or other entity through which the carrier is providing such relay services) is in compliance with the Commission's regulations under subsection (d) of this section; or

(2) with respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services in any State that has a certified program under subsection (f) of this section for such State, if such common carrier (or other entity through which the carrier is providing such relay services) is in compliance with the program certified under subsection (f) of this section for such State.

(d) Regulations

(1) In general

The Commission shall, not later than 1 year after July 26, 1990, prescribe regulations to implement this section, including regulations that—

(A) establish functional requirements, guidelines, and operations procedures for telecommunications relay services;

(B) establish minimum standards that shall be met in carrying out subsection (c) of this section;

(C) require that telecommunications relay services operate every day for 24 hours per day;

(D) require that users of telecommunications relay services pay rates no greater than the rates paid for functionally equivalent voice communication services with respect to such factors as the duration of the call, the time of day, and the distance from point of origination to point of termination;

(E) prohibit relay operators from failing to fulfill the obligations of common carriers by refusing calls or limiting the length of calls that use telecommunications relay services;

(F) prohibit relay operators from disclosing the content of any relayed conversation and from keeping records of the content of any such conversation beyond the duration of the call; and

(G) prohibit relay operators from intentionally altering a relayed conversation.

(2) Technology

The Commission shall ensure that regulations prescribed to implement this section encourage, consistent with section 157(a) of this title, the use of existing technology and do not discourage or impair the development of improved technology.

(3) Jurisdictional separation of costs

(A) In general

Consistent with the provisions of section 410 of this title, the Commission shall prescribe regulations governing the jurisdictional separation of costs for the services provided pursuant to this section.

(B) Recovering costs

Such regulations shall generally provide that costs caused by interstate telecommunications relay services shall be recovered from all subscribers for every interstate service and costs caused by intrastate telecommunications relay services shall be recovered from the intrastate jurisdiction. In a State that has a certified program under subsection (f) of this section, a State commission shall permit a common carrier to recover the costs incurred in providing intrastate telecommunications relay services by a method consistent with the requirements of this section.

(e) Enforcement

(1) In general

Subject to subsections (f) and (g) of this section, the Commission shall enforce this section.

(2) Complaint

The Commission shall resolve, by final order, a complaint alleging a violation of this section within 180 days after the date such complaint is filed.

(f) Certification

(1) State documentation

Any State desiring to establish a State program under this section shall submit documentation to the Commission that describes the program of such State for implementing intrastate telecommunications relay services and the procedures and remedies available for enforcing any requirements imposed by the State program.

(2) Requirements for certification

After review of such documentation, the Commission shall certify the State program if the Commission determines that—

(A) the program makes available to hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals, either directly, through designees, through a competitively selected vendor, or through regulation of intrastate common carriers, intrastate telecommunications relay services in such State in a manner that meets or exceeds the requirements of regulations prescribed by the Commission under subsection (d) of this section; and

(B) the program makes available adequate procedures and remedies for enforcing the requirements of the State program.

(3) Method of funding

Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the Commission shall not refuse to certify a State program based solely on the method such State will implement for funding intrastate telecommunication relay services.

(4) Suspension or revocation of certification

The Commission may suspend or revoke such certification if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that such certification is no longer warranted. In a State whose program has been suspended or revoked, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this section, to ensure continuity of telecommunications relay services.

(g) Complaint

(1) Referral of complaint

If a complaint to the Commission alleges a violation of this section with respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services within a State and certification of the program of such State under subsection (f) of this section is in effect, the Commission shall refer such complaint to such State.

(2) Jurisdiction of Commission

After referring a complaint to a State under paragraph (1), the Commission shall exercise jurisdiction over such complaint only if—

(A) final action under such State program has not been taken on such complaint by such State—

(i) within 180 days after the complaint is filed with such State; or

(ii) within a shorter period as prescribed by the regulations of such State; or


(B) the Commission determines that such State program is no longer qualified for certification under subsection (f) of this section.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §225, as added July 26, 1990, Pub. L. 101–336, title IV, §401(a), 104 Stat. 366.)

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 221 of this title; title 42 sections 12201, 12206.

§226. Telephone operator services

(a) Definitions

As used in this section—

(1) The term “access code” means a sequence of numbers that, when dialed, connect the caller to the provider of operator services associated with that sequence.

(2) The term “aggregator” means any person that, in the ordinary course of its operations, makes telephones available to the public or to transient users of its premises, for interstate telephone calls using a provider of operator services.

(3) The term “call splashing” means the transfer of a telephone call from one provider of operator services to another such provider in such a manner that the subsequent provider is unable or unwilling to determine the location of the origination of the call and, because of such inability or unwillingness, is prevented from billing the call on the basis of such location.

(4) The term “consumer” means a person initiating any interstate telephone call using operator services.

(5) The term “equal access” has the meaning given that term in Appendix B of the Modification of Final Judgment entered August 24, 1982, in United States v. Western Electric, Civil Action No. 82–0192 (United States District Court, District of Columbia), as amended by the Court in its orders issued prior to October 17, 1990.

(6) The term “equal access code” means an access code that allows the public to obtain an equal access connection to the carrier associated with that code.

(7) The term “operator services” means any interstate telecommunications service initiated from an aggregator location that includes, as a component, any automatic or live assistance to a consumer to arrange for billing or completion, or both, of an interstate telephone call through a method other than—

(A) automatic completion with billing to the telephone from which the call originated; or

(B) completion through an access code used by the consumer, with billing to an account previously established with the carrier by the consumer.


(8) The term “presubscribed provider of operator services” means the interstate provider of operator services to which the consumer is connected when the consumer places a call using a provider of operator services without dialing an access code.

(9) The term “provider of operator services” means any common carrier that provides operator services or any other person determined by the Commission to be providing operator services.

(b) Requirements for providers of operator services

(1) In general

Beginning not later than 90 days after October 17, 1990, each provider of operator services shall, at a minimum—

(A) identify itself, audibly and distinctly, to the consumer at the beginning of each telephone call and before the consumer incurs any charge for the call;

(B) permit the consumer to terminate the telephone call at no charge before the call is connected;

(C) disclose immediately to the consumer, upon request and at no charge to the consumer—

(i) a quote of its rates or charges for the call;

(ii) the methods by which such rates or charges will be collected; and

(iii) the methods by which complaints concerning such rates, charges, or collection practices will be resolved;


(D) ensure, by contract or tariff, that each aggregator for which such provider is the presubscribed provider of operator services is in compliance with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section and, if applicable, subsection (e)(1) of this section;

(E) withhold payment (on a location-by-location basis) of any compensation, including commissions, to aggregators if such provider reasonably believes that the aggregator (i) is blocking access by means of “950” or “800” numbers to interstate common carriers in violation of subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section or (ii) is blocking access to equal access codes in violation of rules the Commission may prescribe under subsection (e)(1) of this section;

(F) not bill for unanswered telephone calls in areas where equal access is available;

(G) not knowingly bill for unanswered telephone calls where equal access is not available;

(H) not engage in call splashing, unless the consumer requests to be transferred to another provider of operator services, the consumer is informed prior to incurring any charges that the rates for the call may not reflect the rates from the actual originating location of the call, and the consumer then consents to be transferred; and

(I) except as provided in subparagraph (H), not bill for a call that does not reflect the location of the origination of the call.

(2) Additional requirements for first 3 years

In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1), during the 3-year period beginning on the date that is 90 days after October 17, 1990, each presubscribed provider of operator services shall identify itself audibly and distinctly to the consumer, not only as required in paragraph (1)(A), but also for a second time before connecting the call and before the consumer incurs any charge.

(c) Requirements for aggregators

(1) In general

Each aggregator, beginning not later than 90 days after October 17, 1990, shall—

(A) post on or near the telephone instrument, in plain view of consumers—

(i) the name, address, and toll-free telephone number of the provider of operator services;

(ii) a written disclosure that the rates for all operator-assisted calls are available on request, and that consumers have a right to obtain access to the interstate common carrier of their choice and may contact their preferred interstate common carriers for information on accessing that carrier's service using that telephone; and

(iii) the name and address of the enforcement division of the Common Carrier Bureau of the Commission, to which the consumer may direct complaints regarding operator services;


(B) ensure that each of its telephones presubscribed to a provider of operator services allows the consumer to use “800” and “950” access code numbers to obtain access to the provider of operator services desired by the consumer; and

(C) ensure that no charge by the aggregator to the consumer for using an “800” or “950” access code number, or any other access code number, is greater than the amount the aggregator charges for calls placed using the presubscribed provider of operator services.

(2) Effect of State law or regulation

The requirements of paragraph (1)(A) shall not apply to an aggregator in any case in which State law or State regulation requires the aggregator to take actions that are substantially the same as those required in paragraph (1)(A).

(d) General rulemaking required

(1) Rulemaking proceeding

The Commission shall conduct a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to this subchapter to prescribe regulations to—

(A) protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices relating to their use of operator services to place interstate telephone calls; and

(B) ensure that consumers have the opportunity to make informed choices in making such calls.

(2) Contents of regulations

The regulations prescribed under this section shall—

(A) contain provisions to implement each of the requirements of this section, other than the requirements established by the rulemaking under subsection (e) of this section on access and compensation; and

(B) contain such other provisions as the Commission determines necessary to carry out this section and the purposes and policies of this section.

(3) Additional requirements to be implemented by regulations

The regulations prescribed under this section shall, at a minimum—

(A) establish minimum standards for providers of operator services and aggregators to use in the routing and handling of emergency telephone calls; and

(B) establish a policy for requiring providers of operator services to make public information about recent changes in operator services and choices available to consumers in that market.

(e) Separate rulemaking on access and compensation

(1) Access

The Commission,1 shall require—

(A) that each aggregator ensure within a reasonable time that each of its telephones presubscribed to a provider of operator services allows the consumer to obtain access to the provider of operator services desired by the consumer through the use of an equal access code; or

(B) that all providers of operator services, within a reasonable time, make available to their customers a “950” or “800” access code number for use in making operator services calls from anywhere in the United States; or

(C) that the requirements described under both subparagraphs (A) and (B) apply.

(2) Compensation

The Commission shall consider the need to prescribe compensation (other than advance payment by consumers) for owners of competitive public pay telephones for calls routed to providers of operator services that are other than the presubscribed provider of operator services for such telephones. Within 9 months after October 17, 1990, the Commission shall reach a final decision on whether to prescribe such compensation.

(f) Technological capability of equipment

Any equipment and software manufactured or imported more than 18 months after October 17, 1990, and installed by any aggregator shall be technologically capable of providing consumers with access to interstate providers of operator services through the use of equal access codes.

(g) Fraud

In any proceeding to carry out the provisions of this section, the Commission shall require such actions or measures as are necessary to ensure that aggregators are not exposed to undue risk of fraud.

(h) Determinations of rate compliance

(1) Filing of informational tariff

(A) In general

Each provider of operator services shall file, within 90 days after October 17, 1990, and shall maintain, update regularly, and keep open for public inspection, an informational tariff specifying rates, terms, and conditions, and including commissions, surcharges, any fees which are collected from consumers, and reasonable estimates of the amount of traffic priced at each rate, with respect to calls for which operator services are provided. Any changes in such rates, terms, or conditions shall be filed no later than the first day on which the changed rates, terms, or conditions are in effect.

(B) Waiver authority

The Commission may, after 4 years following October 17, 1990, waive the requirements of this paragraph only if—

(i) the findings and conclusions of the Commission in the final report issued under paragraph (3)(B)(iii) state that the regulatory objectives specified in subsection (d)(1)(A) and (B) of this section have been achieved; and

(ii) the Commission determines that such waiver will not adversely affect the continued achievement of such regulatory objectives.

(2) Review of informational tariffs

If the rates and charges filed by any provider of operator services under paragraph (1) appear upon review by the Commission to be unjust or unreasonable, the Commission may require such provider of operator services to do either or both of the following:

(A) demonstrate that its rates and charges are just and reasonable, and

(B) announce that its rates are available on request at the beginning of each call.

(3) Proceeding required

(A) In general

Within 60 days after October 17, 1990, the Commission shall initiate a proceeding to determine whether the regulatory objectives specified in subsection (d)(1)(A) and (B) of this section are being achieved. The proceeding shall—

(i) monitor operator service rates;

(ii) determine the extent to which offerings made by providers of operator services are improvements, in terms of service quality, price, innovation, and other factors, over those available before the entry of new providers of operator services into the market;

(iii) report on (in the aggregate and by individual provider) operator service rates, incidence of service complaints, and service offerings;

(iv) consider the effect that commissions and surcharges, billing and validation costs, and other costs of doing business have on the overall rates charged to consumers; and

(v) monitor compliance with the provisions of this section, including the periodic placement of telephone calls from aggregator locations.

(B) Reports

(i) The Commission shall, during the pendency of such proceeding and not later than 5 months after its commencement, provide the Congress with an interim report on the Commission's activities and progress to date.

(ii) Not later than 11 months after the commencement of such proceeding, the Commission shall report to the Congress on its interim findings as a result of the proceeding.

(iii) Not later than 23 months after the commencement of such proceeding, the Commission shall submit a final report to the Congress on its findings and conclusions.

(4) Implementing regulations

(A) In general

Unless the Commission makes the determination described in subparagraph (B), the Commission shall, within 180 days after submission of the report required under paragraph (3)(B)(iii), complete a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to this subchapter to establish regulations for implementing the requirements of this subchapter (and paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection) that rates and charges for operator services be just and reasonable. Such regulations shall include limitations on the amount of commissions or any other compensation given to aggregators by providers of operator service.

(B) Limitation

The requirement of subparagraph (A) shall not apply if, on the basis of the proceeding under paragraph (3)(A), the Commission makes (and includes in the report required by paragraph (3)(B)(iii)) a factual determination that market forces are securing rates and charges that are just and reasonable, as evidenced by rate levels, costs, complaints, service quality, and other relevant factors.

(i) Statutory construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the obligations, powers, or duties of common carriers or the Commission under the other sections of this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §226, as added Oct. 17, 1990, Pub. L. 101–435, §3, 104 Stat. 987; amended Nov. 15, 1990, Pub. L. 101–555, §4, 104 Stat. 2760; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §207, 106 Stat. 3543; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §§303(a)(10), 304(a)(8), 108 Stat. 4294, 4297.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (d)(2) to (4). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(10), redesignated pars. (3) and (4) as (2) and (3), respectively, and struck out heading and text of former par. (2). Text read as follows: “The Commission shall initiate the proceeding required under paragraph (1) within 60 days after October 17, 1990, and shall prescribe regulations pursuant to the proceeding not later than 210 days after October 17, 1990. Such regulations shall take effect not later than 45 days after the date the regulations are prescribed.”

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 103–414, §304(a)(8), struck out “within 9 months after October 17, 1990,” after “The Commission,” in introductory provisions.

1992—Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 102–538 inserted “and aggregators” after “operator services”.

1990—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101–555, §4(a), substituted “90 days” for “30 days”.

Subsec. (b)(1)(J). Pub. L. 101–555, §4(b), struck out subpar. (J) which read as follows: “not bill an interexchange telephone call to a billing card number which—

“(i) is issued by another provider of operator services, and

“(ii) permits the identification of the other provider,

unless the call is billed at a rate not greater than the other provider's rate for the call, the consumer requests a special service that is not available under tariff from the other provider, or the consumer expressly consents to a rate greater than the other provider's rate.”

Subsecs. (b)(2), (c)(1), (h)(1)(A). Pub. L. 101–555, §4(a), substituted “90 days” for “30 days”.

Congressional Findings

Section 2 of Pub. L. 101–435 provided that: “The Congress finds that—

“(1) the divestiture of AT&T and decisions allowing open entry for competitors in the telephone marketplace produced a variety of new services and many new providers of existing telephone services;

“(2) the growth of competition in the telecommunications market makes it essential to ensure that safeguards are in place to assure fairness for consumers and service providers alike;

“(3) a variety of providers of operator services now compete to win contracts to provide operator services to hotels, hospitals, airports, and other aggregators of telephone business from consumers;

“(4) the mere existence of a variety of service providers in the operator services marketplace is significant in making that market competitive only when consumers are able to make informed choices from among those service providers;

“(5) however, often consumers have no choices in selecting a provider of operator services, and often attempts by consumers to reach their preferred long distance carrier by using a telephone billing card, credit card, or prearranged access code number are blocked;

“(6) a number of State regulatory authorities have taken action to protect consumers using intrastate operator services;

“(7) from January 1988 through February 1990, the Federal Communications Commission received over 4,000 complaints from consumers about operator services;

“(8) those consumers have complained that they are denied access to the interexchange carrier of their choice, that they are deceived about the identity of the company providing operator services for their calls and the rates being charged, that they lack information on what they can do to complain about unfair treatment by an operator service provider, and that they are, accordingly, being deprived of the free choice essential to the operation of a competitive market;

“(9) the Commission has testified that its actions have been insufficient to correct the problems in the operator services industry to date; and

“(10) a combination of industry self-regulation and government regulation is required to ensure that competitive operator services are provided in a fair and reasonable manner.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 152 of this title.

1 So in original. The comma probably should not appear.

§227. Restrictions on use of telephone equipment

(a) Definitions

As used in this section—

(1) The term “automatic telephone dialing system” means equipment which has the capacity—

(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and

(B) to dial such numbers.


(2) The term “telephone facsimile machine” means equipment which has the capacity (A) to transcribe text or images, or both, from paper into an electronic signal and to transmit that signal over a regular telephone line, or (B) to transcribe text or images (or both) from an electronic signal received over a regular telephone line onto paper.

(3) The term “telephone solicitation” means the initiation of a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person, but such term does not include a call or message (A) to any person with that person's prior express invitation or permission, (B) to any person with whom the caller has an established business relationship, or (C) by a tax exempt nonprofit organization.

(4) The term “unsolicited advertisement” means any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted to any person without that person's prior express invitation or permission.

(b) Restrictions on use of automated telephone equipment

(1) Prohibitions

It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States—

(A) to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice—

(i) to any emergency telephone line (including any “911” line and any emergency line of a hospital, medical physician or service office, health care facility, poison control center, or fire protection or law enforcement agency);

(ii) to the telephone line of any guest room or patient room of a hospital, health care facility, elderly home, or similar establishment; or

(iii) to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service, specialized mobile radio service, or other radio common carrier service, or any service for which the called party is charged for the call;


(B) to initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is exempted by rule or order by the Commission under paragraph (2)(B);

(C) to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine; or

(D) to use an automatic telephone dialing system in such a way that two or more telephone lines of a multi-line business are engaged simultaneously.

(2) Regulations; exemptions and other provisions

The Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement the requirements of this subsection. In implementing the requirements of this subsection, the Commission—

(A) shall consider prescribing regulations to allow businesses to avoid receiving calls made using an artificial or prerecorded voice to which they have not given their prior express consent;

(B) may, by rule or order, exempt from the requirements of paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, subject to such conditions as the Commission may prescribe—

(i) calls that are not made for a commercial purpose; and

(ii) such classes or categories of calls made for commercial purposes as the Commission determines—

(I) will not adversely affect the privacy rights that this section is intended to protect; and

(II) do not include the transmission of any unsolicited advertisement; and


(C) may, by rule or order, exempt from the requirements of paragraph (1)(A)(iii) of this subsection calls to a telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service that are not charged to the called party, subject to such conditions as the Commission may prescribe as necessary in the interest of the privacy rights this section is intended to protect.

(3) Private right of action

A person or entity may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or rules of court of a State, bring in an appropriate court of that State—

(A) an action based on a violation of this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin such violation,

(B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a violation, or to receive $500 in damages for each such violation, whichever is greater, or

(C) both such actions.


If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.

(c) Protection of subscriber privacy rights

(1) Rulemaking proceeding required

Within 120 days after December 20, 1991, the Commission shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding concerning the need to protect residential telephone subscribers’ privacy rights to avoid receiving telephone solicitations to which they object. The proceeding shall—

(A) compare and evaluate alternative methods and procedures (including the use of electronic databases, telephone network technologies, special directory markings, industry-based or company-specific “do not call” systems, and any other alternatives, individually or in combination) for their effectiveness in protecting such privacy rights, and in terms of their cost and other advantages and disadvantages;

(B) evaluate the categories of public and private entities that would have the capacity to establish and administer such methods and procedures;

(C) consider whether different methods and procedures may apply for local telephone solicitations, such as local telephone solicitations of small businesses or holders of second class mail permits;

(D) consider whether there is a need for additional Commission authority to further restrict telephone solicitations, including those calls exempted under subsection (a)(3) of this section, and, if such a finding is made and supported by the record, propose specific restrictions to the Congress; and

(E) develop proposed regulations to implement the methods and procedures that the Commission determines are most effective and efficient to accomplish the purposes of this section.

(2) Regulations

Not later than 9 months after December 20, 1991, the Commission shall conclude the rulemaking proceeding initiated under paragraph (1) and shall prescribe regulations to implement methods and procedures for protecting the privacy rights described in such paragraph in an efficient, effective, and economic manner and without the imposition of any additional charge to telephone subscribers.

(3) Use of database permitted

The regulations required by paragraph (2) may require the establishment and operation of a single national database to compile a list of telephone numbers of residential subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations, and to make that compiled list and parts thereof available for purchase. If the Commission determines to require such a database, such regulations shall—

(A) specify a method by which the Commission will select an entity to administer such database;

(B) require each common carrier providing telephone exchange service, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commission, to inform subscribers for telephone exchange service of the opportunity to provide notification, in accordance with regulations established under this paragraph, that such subscriber objects to receiving telephone solicitations;

(C) specify the methods by which each telephone subscriber shall be informed, by the common carrier that provides local exchange service to that subscriber, of (i) the subscriber's right to give or revoke a notification of an objection under subparagraph (A), and (ii) the methods by which such right may be exercised by the subscriber;

(D) specify the methods by which such objections shall be collected and added to the database;

(E) prohibit any residential subscriber from being charged for giving or revoking such notification or for being included in a database compiled under this section;

(F) prohibit any person from making or transmitting a telephone solicitation to the telephone number of any subscriber included in such database;

(G) specify (i) the methods by which any person desiring to make or transmit telephone solicitations will obtain access to the database, by area code or local exchange prefix, as required to avoid calling the telephone numbers of subscribers included in such database; and (ii) the costs to be recovered from such persons;

(H) specify the methods for recovering, from persons accessing such database, the costs involved in identifying, collecting, updating, disseminating, and selling, and other activities relating to, the operations of the database that are incurred by the entities carrying out those activities;

(I) specify the frequency with which such database will be updated and specify the method by which such updating will take effect for purposes of compliance with the regulations prescribed under this subsection;

(J) be designed to enable States to use the database mechanism selected by the Commission for purposes of administering or enforcing State law;

(K) prohibit the use of such database for any purpose other than compliance with the requirements of this section and any such State law and specify methods for protection of the privacy rights of persons whose numbers are included in such database; and

(L) require each common carrier providing services to any person for the purpose of making telephone solicitations to notify such person of the requirements of this section and the regulations thereunder.

(4) Considerations required for use of database method

If the Commission determines to require the database mechanism described in paragraph (3), the Commission shall—

(A) in developing procedures for gaining access to the database, consider the different needs of telemarketers conducting business on a national, regional, State, or local level;

(B) develop a fee schedule or price structure for recouping the cost of such database that recognizes such differences and—

(i) reflect the relative costs of providing a national, regional, State, or local list of phone numbers of subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations;

(ii) reflect the relative costs of providing such lists on paper or electronic media; and

(iii) not place an unreasonable financial burden on small businesses; and


(C) consider (i) whether the needs of telemarketers operating on a local basis could be met through special markings of area white pages directories, and (ii) if such directories are needed as an adjunct to database lists prepared by area code and local exchange prefix.

(5) Private right of action

A person who has received more than one telephone call within any 12-month period by or on behalf of the same entity in violation of the regulations prescribed under this subsection may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or rules of court of a State bring in an appropriate court of that State—

(A) an action based on a violation of the regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin such violation,

(B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a violation, or to receive up to $500 in damages for each such violation, whichever is greater, or

(C) both such actions.


It shall be an affirmative defense in any action brought under this paragraph that the defendant has established and implemented, with due care, reasonable practices and procedures to effectively prevent telephone solicitations in violation of the regulations prescribed under this subsection. If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated the regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.

(6) Relation to subsection (b)

The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to permit a communication prohibited by subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Technical and procedural standards

(1) Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States—

(A) to initiate any communication using a telephone facsimile machine, or to make any telephone call using any automatic telephone dialing system, that does not comply with the technical and procedural standards prescribed under this subsection, or to use any telephone facsimile machine or automatic telephone dialing system in a manner that does not comply with such standards; or

(B) to use a computer or other electronic device to send any message via a telephone facsimile machine unless such person clearly marks, in a margin at the top or bottom of each transmitted page of the message or on the first page of the transmission, the date and time it is sent and an identification of the business, other entity, or individual sending the message and the telephone number of the sending machine or of such business, other entity, or individual.

(2) Telephone facsimile machines

The Commission shall revise the regulations setting technical and procedural standards for telephone facsimile machines to require that any such machine which is manufactured after one year after December 20, 1991, clearly marks, in a margin at the top or bottom of each transmitted page or on the first page of each transmission, the date and time sent, an identification of the business, other entity, or individual sending the message, and the telephone number of the sending machine or of such business, other entity, or individual.

(3) Artificial or prerecorded voice systems

The Commission shall prescribe technical and procedural standards for systems that are used to transmit any artificial or prerecorded voice message via telephone. Such standards shall require that—

(A) all artificial or prerecorded telephone messages (i) shall, at the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity initiating the call, and (ii) shall, during or after the message, state clearly the telephone number or address of such business, other entity, or individual; and

(B) any such system will automatically release the called party's line within 5 seconds of the time notification is transmitted to the system that the called party has hung up, to allow the called party's line to be used to make or receive other calls.

(e) Effect on State law

(1) State law not preempted

Except for the standards prescribed under subsection (d) of this section and subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, nothing in this section or in the regulations prescribed under this section shall preempt any State law that imposes more restrictive intrastate requirements or regulations on, or which prohibits—

(A) the use of telephone facsimile machines or other electronic devices to send unsolicited advertisements;

(B) the use of automatic telephone dialing systems;

(C) the use of artificial or prerecorded voice messages; or

(D) the making of telephone solicitations.

(2) State use of databases

If, pursuant to subsection (c)(3) of this section, the Commission requires the establishment of a single national database of telephone numbers of subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations, a State or local authority may not, in its regulation of telephone solicitations, require the use of any database, list, or listing system that does not include the part of such single national database that relates to such State.

(f) Actions by States

(1) Authority of States

Whenever the attorney general of a State, or an official or agency designated by a State, has reason to believe that any person has engaged or is engaging in a pattern or practice of telephone calls or other transmissions to residents of that State in violation of this section or the regulations prescribed under this section, the State may bring a civil action on behalf of its residents to enjoin such calls, an action to recover for actual monetary loss or receive $500 in damages for each violation, or both such actions. If the court finds the defendant willfully or knowingly violated such regulations, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under the preceding sentence.

(2) Exclusive jurisdiction of Federal courts

The district courts of the United States, the United States courts of any territory, and the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil actions brought under this subsection. Upon proper application, such courts shall also have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, or orders affording like relief, commanding the defendant to comply with the provisions of this section or regulations prescribed under this section, including the requirement that the defendant take such action as is necessary to remove the danger of such violation. Upon a proper showing, a permanent or temporary injunction or restraining order shall be granted without bond.

(3) Rights of Commission

The State shall serve prior written notice of any such civil action upon the Commission and provide the Commission with a copy of its complaint, except in any case where such prior notice is not feasible, in which case the State shall serve such notice immediately upon instituting such action. The Commission shall have the right (A) to intervene in the action, (B) upon so intervening, to be heard on all matters arising therein, and (C) to file petitions for appeal.

(4) Venue; service of process

Any civil action brought under this subsection in a district court of the United States may be brought in the district wherein the defendant is found or is an inhabitant or transacts business or wherein the violation occurred or is occurring, and process in such cases may be served in any district in which the defendant is an inhabitant or where the defendant may be found.

(5) Investigatory powers

For purposes of bringing any civil action under this subsection, nothing in this section shall prevent the attorney general of a State, or an official or agency designated by a State, from exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general or such official by the laws of such State to conduct investigations or to administer oaths or affirmations or to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary and other evidence.

(6) Effect on State court proceedings

Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an authorized State official from proceeding in State court on the basis of an alleged violation of any general civil or criminal statute of such State.

(7) Limitation

Whenever the Commission has instituted a civil action for violation of regulations prescribed under this section, no State may, during the pendency of such action instituted by the Commission, subsequently institute a civil action against any defendant named in the Commission's complaint for any violation as alleged in the Commission's complaint.

(8) “Attorney general” defined

As used in this subsection, the term “attorney general” means the chief legal officer of a State.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §227, as added Dec. 20, 1991, Pub. L. 102–243, §3(a), 105 Stat. 2395; amended Oct. 28, 1992, Pub. L. 102–556, title IV, §402, 106 Stat. 4194; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(11), (12), 108 Stat. 4294.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(11), substituted “paragraph” for “paragraphs”.

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(12), substituted “national database” for “national datebase” after “such single”.

1992—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 102–556 added subpar. (C).

Effective Date; Deadline for Regulations

Section 3(c) of Pub. L. 102–243, as amended by Pub. L. 102–556, title I, §102, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4186, provided that:

“(1) Regulations.—The Federal Communications Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement the amendments made by this section [enacting this section and amending section 152 of this title] not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 1991].

“(2) Effective date.—The requirements of section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 [this section] (as added by this section), other than the authority to prescribe regulations, shall take effect one year after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 1991].”

Congressional Statement of Findings

Section 2 of Pub. L. 102–243 provided that: “The Congress finds that:

“(1) The use of the telephone to market goods and services to the home and other businesses is now pervasive due to the increased use of cost-effective telemarketing techniques.

“(2) Over 30,000 businesses actively telemarket goods and services to business and residential customers.

“(3) More than 300,000 solicitors call more than 18,000,000 Americans every day.

“(4) Total United States sales generated through telemarketing amounted to $435,000,000,000 in 1990, a more than four-fold increase since 1984.

“(5) Unrestricted telemarketing, however, can be an intrusive invasion of privacy and, when an emergency or medical assistance telephone line is seized, a risk to public safety.

“(6) Many consumers are outraged over the proliferation of intrusive, nuisance calls to their homes from telemarketers.

“(7) Over half the States now have statutes restricting various uses of the telephone for marketing, but telemarketers can evade their prohibitions through interstate operations; therefore, Federal law is needed to control residential telemarketing practices.

“(8) The Constitution does not prohibit restrictions on commercial telemarketing solicitations.

“(9) Individuals’ privacy rights, public safety interests, and commercial freedoms of speech and trade must be balanced in a way that protects the privacy of individuals and permits legitimate telemarketing practices.

“(10) Evidence compiled by the Congress indicates that residential telephone subscribers consider automated or prerecorded telephone calls, regardless of the content or the initiator of the message, to be a nuisance and an invasion of privacy.

“(11) Technologies that might allow consumers to avoid receiving such calls are not universally available, are costly, are unlikely to be enforced, or place an inordinate burden on the consumer.

“(12) Banning such automated or prerecorded telephone calls to the home, except when the receiving party consents to receiving the call or when such calls are necessary in an emergency situation affecting the health and safety of the consumer, is the only effective means of protecting telephone consumers from this nuisance and privacy invasion.

“(13) While the evidence presented to the Congress indicates that automated or prerecorded calls are a nuisance and an invasion of privacy, regardless of the type of call, the Federal Communications Commission should have the flexibility to design different rules for those types of automated or prerecorded calls that it finds are not considered a nuisance or invasion of privacy, or for noncommercial calls, consistent with the free speech protections embodied in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

“(14) Businesses also have complained to the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission that automated or prerecorded telephone calls are a nuisance, are an invasion of privacy, and interfere with interstate commerce.

“(15) The Federal Communications Commission should consider adopting reasonable restrictions on automated or prerecorded calls to businesses as well as to the home, consistent with the constitutional protections of free speech.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 152 of this title.

§228. Regulation of carrier offering of pay-per-call services

(a) Purpose

It is the purpose of this section—

(1) to put into effect a system of national regulation and review that will oversee interstate pay-per-call services; and

(2) to recognize the Commission's authority to prescribe regulations and enforcement procedures and conduct oversight to afford reasonable protection to consumers of pay-per-call services and to assure that violations of Federal law do not occur.

(b) General authority for regulations

The Commission by regulation shall, within 270 days after October 28, 1992, establish a system for oversight and regulation of pay-per-call services in order to provide for the protection of consumers in accordance with this chapter and other applicable Federal statutes and regulations. The Commission's final rules shall—

(1) include measures that provide a consumer of pay-per-call services with adequate and clear descriptions of the rights of the caller;

(2) define the obligations of common carriers with respect to the provision of pay-per-call services;

(3) include requirements on such carriers to protect against abusive practices by providers of pay-per-call services;

(4) identify procedures by which common carriers and providers of pay-per-call services may take affirmative steps to protect against nonpayment of legitimate charges; and

(5) require that any service described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (i)(1) of this section be offered only through the use of certain telephone number prefixes and area codes.

(c) Common carrier obligations

Within 270 days after October 28, 1992, the Commission shall, by regulation, establish the following requirements for common carriers:

(1) Contractual obligations to comply

Any common carrier assigning to a provider of pay-per-call services a telephone number with a prefix or area code designated by the Commission in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section shall require by contract or tariff that such provider comply with the provisions of titles II and III of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act [15 U.S.C. 5711 et seq.; 5721 et seq.] and the regulations prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to those titles.

(2) Information availability

A common carrier that by tariff or contract assigns a telephone number with a prefix or area code designated by the Commission in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section to a provider of a pay-per-call service shall make readily available on request to Federal and State agencies and other interested persons—

(A) a list of the telephone numbers for each of the pay-per-call services it carries;

(B) a short description of each such service;

(C) a statement of the total cost or the cost per minute and any other fees for each such service;

(D) a statement of the pay-per-call service's name, business address, and business telephone; and

(E) such other information as the Commission considers necessary for the enforcement of this section and other applicable Federal statutes and regulations.

(3) Compliance procedures

A common carrier that by contract or tariff assigns a telephone number with a prefix or area code designated by the Commission in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section to a provider of pay-per-call services shall terminate, in accordance with procedures specified in such regulations, the offering of a pay-per-call service of a provider if the carrier knows or reasonably should know that such service is not provided in compliance with title II or III of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act [15 U.S.C. 5711 et seq.; 5721 et seq.] or the regulations prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to such titles.

(4) Subscriber disconnection prohibited

A common carrier shall not disconnect or interrupt a subscriber's local exchange telephone service or long distance telephone service because of nonpayment of charges for any pay-per-call service.

(5) Blocking and presubscription

A common carrier that provides local exchange service shall—

(A) offer telephone subscribers (where technically feasible) the option of blocking access from their telephone number to all, or to certain specific, prefixes or area codes used by pay-per-call services, which option—

(i) shall be offered at no charge (I) to all subscribers for a period of 60 days after the issuance of the regulations under subsection (b) of this section, and (II) to any subscriber who subscribes to a new telephone number until 60 days after the time the new telephone number is effective; and

(ii) shall otherwise be offered at a reasonable fee; and


(B) offer telephone subscribers (where the Commission determines it is technically and economically feasible), in combination with the blocking option described under subparagraph (A), the option of presubscribing to or blocking only specific pay-per-call services for a reasonable one-time charge.


The regulations prescribed under subparagraph (A)(i) of this paragraph may permit the costs of such blocking to be recovered by contract or tariff, but such costs may not be recovered from local or long-distance ratepayers. Nothing in this subsection precludes a common carrier from filing its rates and regulations regarding blocking and presubscription in its interstate tariffs.

(6) Verification of charitable status

A common carrier that assigns by contract or tariff a telephone number with a prefix or area code designated by the Commission in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section to a provider of pay-per-call services that the carrier knows or reasonably should know is engaged in soliciting charitable contributions shall obtain from such provider proof of the tax exempt status of any person or organization for which contributions are solicited.

(7) Billing for 800 calls

A common carrier shall prohibit by tariff or contract the use of any 800 telephone number, or other telephone number advertised or widely understood to be toll free, in a manner that would result in—

(A) the calling party being assessed, by virtue of completing the call, a charge for the call;

(B) the calling party being connected to a pay-per-call service;

(C) the calling party being charged for information conveyed during the call unless the calling party has a preexisting agreement to be charged for the information or discloses a credit or charge card number during the call; or

(D) the calling party being called back collect for the provision of audio information services or simultaneous voice conversation services.

(d) Billing and collection practices

The regulations required by this section shall require that any common carrier that by tariff or contract assigns a telephone number with a prefix or area code designated by the Commission in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section to a provider of a pay-per-call service and that offers billing and collection services to such provider—

(1) ensure that a subscriber is not billed—

(A) for pay-per-call services that such carrier knows or reasonably should know was provided in violation of the regulations issued pursuant to title II of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act [15 U.S.C. 5711 et seq.]; or

(B) under such other circumstances as the Commission determines necessary in order to protect subscribers from abusive practices;


(2) establish a local or a toll-free telephone number to answer questions and provide information on subscribers’ rights and obligations with regard to their use of pay-per-call services and to provide to callers the name and mailing address of any provider of pay-per-call services offered by the common carrier;

(3) within 60 days after the issuance of final regulations pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, provide, either directly or through contract with any local exchange carrier that provides billing or collection services to the common carrier, to all of such common carrier's telephone subscribers, to all new subscribers, and to all subscribers requesting service at a new location, a disclosure statement that sets forth all rights and obligations of the subscriber and the carrier with respect to the use and payment for pay-per-call services, including the right of a subscriber not to be billed and the applicable blocking option; and

(4) in any billing to telephone subscribers that includes charges for any pay-per-call service—

(A) display any charges for pay-per-call services in a part of the subscriber's bill that is identified as not being related to local and long distance telephone charges;

(B) for each charge so displayed, specify, at a minimum, the type of service, the amount of the charge, and the date, time, and duration of the call; and

(C) identify the toll-free number established pursuant to paragraph (2).

(e) Liability

(1) Common carriers not liable for transmission or billing

No common carrier shall be liable for a criminal or civil sanction or penalty solely because the carrier provided transmission or billing and collection for a pay-per-call service unless the carrier knew or reasonably should have known that such service was provided in violation of a provision of, or regulation prescribed pursuant to, title II or III of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act [15 U.S.C. 5711 et seq.; 5721 et seq.] or any other Federal law. This paragraph shall not prevent the Commission from imposing a sanction or penalty on a common carrier for a violation by that carrier of a regulation prescribed under this section.

(2) Civil liability

No cause of action may be brought in any court or administrative agency against any common carrier or any of its affiliates on account of any act of the carrier or affiliate to terminate any pay-per-call service in order to comply with the regulations prescribed under this section, title II or III of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act [15 U.S.C. 5711 et seq.; 5721 et seq.], or any other Federal law unless the complainant demonstrates that the carrier or affiliate did not act in good faith.

(f) Special provisions

(1) Consumer refund requirements

The regulations required by subsection (d) of this section shall establish procedures, consistent with the provisions of titles II and III of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act [15 U.S.C. 5711 et seq.; 5721 et seq.], to ensure that carriers and other parties providing billing and collection services with respect to pay-per-call services provide appropriate refunds to subscribers who have been billed for pay-per-call services pursuant to programs that have been found to have violated this section or such regulations, any provision of, or regulations prescribed pursuant to, title II or III of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act, or any other Federal law.

(2) Recovery of costs

The regulations prescribed by the Commission under this section shall permit a common carrier to recover its cost of complying with such regulations from providers of pay-per-call services, but shall not permit such costs to be recovered from local or long distance ratepayers.

(3) Recommendations on data pay-per-call

The Commission, within one year after October 28, 1992, shall submit to the Congress the Commission's recommendations with respect to the extension of regulations under this section to persons that provide, for a per-call charge, data services that are not pay-per-call services.

(g) Effect on other law

(1) No preemption of election law

Nothing in this section shall relieve any provider of pay-per-call services, common carrier, local exchange carrier, or any other person from the obligation to comply with Federal, State, and local election statutes and regulations.

(2) Consumer protection laws

Nothing in this section shall relieve any provider of pay-per-call services, common carrier, local exchange carrier, or any other person from the obligation to comply with any Federal, State, or local statute or regulation relating to consumer protection or unfair trade.

(3) Gambling laws

Nothing in this section shall preclude any State from enforcing its statutes and regulations with regard to lotteries, wagering, betting, and other gambling activities.

(4) State authority

Nothing in this section shall preclude any State from enacting and enforcing additional and complementary oversight and regulatory systems or procedures, or both, so long as such systems and procedures govern intrastate services and do not significantly impede the enforcement of this section or other Federal statutes.

(5) Enforcement of existing regulations

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Commission from enforcing regulations prescribed prior to October 28, 1992, in fulfilling the requirements of this section to the extent that such regulations are consistent with the provisions of this section.

(h) Effect on dial-a-porn prohibitions

Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of section 223 of this title.

(i) “Pay-per-call services” defined

For purposes of this section—

(1) The term “pay-per-call services” means any service—

(A) in which any person provides or purports to provide—

(i) audio information or audio entertainment produced or packaged by such person;

(ii) access to simultaneous voice conversation services; or

(iii) any service, including the provision of a product, the charges for which are assessed on the basis of the completion of the call;


(B) for which the caller pays a per-call or per-time-interval charge that is greater than, or in addition to, the charge for transmission of the call; and

(C) which is accessed through use of a 900 telephone number or other prefix or area code designated by the Commission in accordance with subsection (b)(5) of this section.


(2) Such term does not include directory services provided by a common carrier or its affiliate or by a local exchange carrier or its affiliate, or any service the charge for which is tariffed, or any service for which users are assessed charges only after entering into a presubscription or comparable arrangement with the provider of such service.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §228, as added Oct. 28, 1992, Pub. L. 102–556, title I, §101, 106 Stat. 4182; amended Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(13), (14), 108 Stat. 4294.)

References in Text

The Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act, referred to in subsecs. (c)(1), (3), (d)(1)(A), (e), and (f)(1), is Pub. L. 102–556, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4181. Titles II and III of the Act are classified generally to subchapters I (§5711 et seq.) and II (§5721 et seq.), respectively, of chapter 83 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 5701(a) of Title 15 and Tables.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (c)(2) to (7). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(13), redesignated par. (2), relating to compliance procedures, as (3) and pars. (3) to (6) as (4) to (7), respectively.

Subsec. (c)(7)(D). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(14), which directed substitution of “conversation” for “conservation” in par. (6)(D), was executed by making the substitution in par. (7)(D) to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the redesignation of par. (6) as (7) by Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(13). See above.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 15 section 5714.

§229. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act compliance

(a) In general

The Commission shall prescribe such rules as are necessary to implement the requirements of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [47 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.].

(b) Systems security and integrity

The rules prescribed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall include rules to implement section 105 of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [47 U.S.C. 1004] that require common carriers—

(1) to establish appropriate policies and procedures for the supervision and control of its officers and employees—

(A) to require appropriate authorization to activate interception of communications or access to call-identifying information; and

(B) to prevent any such interception or access without such authorization;


(2) to maintain secure and accurate records of any interception or access with or without such authorization; and

(3) to submit to the Commission the policies and procedures adopted to comply with the requirements established under paragraphs (1) and (2).

(c) Commission review of compliance

The Commission shall review the policies and procedures submitted under subsection (b)(3) of this section and shall order a common carrier to modify any such policy or procedure that the Commission determines does not comply with Commission regulations. The Commission shall conduct such investigations as may be necessary to insure compliance by common carriers with the requirements of the regulations prescribed under this section.

(d) Penalties

For purposes of this chapter, a violation by an officer or employee of any policy or procedure adopted by a common carrier pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or of a rule prescribed by the Commission pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall be considered to be a violation by the carrier of a rule prescribed by the Commission pursuant to this chapter.

(e) Cost recovery for Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act compliance

(1) Petitions authorized

A common carrier may petition the Commission to adjust charges, practices, classifications, and regulations to recover costs expended for making modifications to equipment, facilities, or services pursuant to the requirements of section 103 of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [47 U.S.C. 1002].

(2) Commission authority

The Commission may grant, with or without modification, a petition under paragraph (1) if the Commission determines that such costs are reasonable and that permitting recovery is consistent with the public interest. The Commission may, consistent with maintaining just and reasonable charges, practices, classifications, and regulations in connection with the provision of interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio by a common carrier, allow carriers to adjust such charges, practices, classifications, and regulations in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(3) Joint board

The Commission shall convene a Federal-State joint board to recommend appropriate changes to part 36 of the Commission's rules with respect to recovery of costs pursuant to charges, practices, classifications, and regulations under the jurisdiction of the Commission.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title II, §229, as added Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §301, 108 Stat. 4292.)

References in Text

The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (e), is title I of Pub. L. 103–414, Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4279, which is classified generally to chapter 9 (§1001 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1001 of this title and Tables.

SUBCHAPTER III—SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO RADIO

Subchapter Referred to in Other Sections

This subchapter is referred to in sections 503, 741, 753 of this title.

Part I—General Provisions

§301. License for radio communication or transmission of energy

It is the purpose of this chapter, among other things, to maintain the control of the United States over all the channels of radio transmission; and to provide for the use of such channels, but not the ownership thereof, by persons for limited periods of time, under licenses granted by Federal authority, and no such license shall be construed to create any right, beyond the terms, conditions, and periods of the license. No person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio (a) from one place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States or in the District of Columbia to another place in the same State, Territory, possession, or District; or (b) from any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or from the District of Columbia to any other State, Territory, or possession of the United States; or (c) from any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, to any place in any foreign country or to any vessel; or (d) within any State when the effects of such use extend beyond the borders of said State, or when interference is caused by such use or operation with the transmission of such energy, communications, or signals from within said State to any place beyond its borders, or from any place beyond its borders to any place within said State, or with the transmission or reception of such energy, communications, or signals from and/or to places beyond the borders of said State; or (e) upon any vessel or aircraft of the United States (except as provided in section 303(t) of this title); or (f) upon any other mobile stations within the jurisdiction of the United States, except under and in accordance with this chapter and with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §301, 48 Stat. 1081; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§107, 111(b), 96 Stat. 1091, 1093.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, as amended, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1982—Pub. L. 97–259 struck out “interstate and foreign” after “channels of” in first sentence, substituted “State, Territory,” for “Territory” after “from one place in any” and inserted “State,” after “to another place in the same” in cl. (a), and inserted “(except as provided in section 303(t) of this title)” in cl. (e).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 221, 303, 305, 306, 309, 510 of this title.

§302. Repealed. June 5, 1936, ch. 511, §1, 49 Stat. 1475

Section, act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §302, 48 Stat. 1081, divided United States into five zones for purposes of this subchapter.

§302a. Devices which interfere with radio reception

(a) Regulations

The Commission may, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, make reasonable regulations (1) governing the interference potential of devices which in their operation are capable of emitting radio frequency energy by radiation, conduction, or other means in sufficient degree to cause harmful interference to radio communications; and (2) establishing minimum performance standards for home electronic equipment and systems to reduce their susceptibility to interference from radio frequency energy. Such regulations shall be applicable to the manufacture, import, sale, offer for sale, or shipment of such devices and home electronic equipment and systems, and to the use of such devices.

(b) Restrictions

No person shall manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship devices or home electronic equipment and systems, or use devices, which fail to comply with regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.

(c) Exceptions

The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to carriers transporting such devices or home electronic equipment and systems without trading in them, to devices or home electronic equipment and systems manufactured solely for export, to the manufacture, assembly, or installation of devices or home electronic equipment and systems for its own use by a public utility engaged in providing electric service, or to devices or home electronic equipment and systems for use by the Government of the United States or any agency thereof. Devices and home electronic equipment and systems for use by the Government of the United States or any agency thereof shall be developed, procured, or otherwise acquired, including offshore procurement, under United States Government criteria, standards, or specifications designed to achieve the objectives of reducing interference to radio reception and to home electronic equipment and systems, taking into account the unique needs of national defense and security.

(d) Cellular telecommunications receivers

(1) Within 180 days after October 28, 1992, the Commission shall prescribe and make effective regulations denying equipment authorization (under part 15 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any other part of that title) for any scanning receiver that is capable of—

(A) receiving transmissions in the frequencies allocated to the domestic cellular radio telecommunications service,

(B) readily being altered by the user to receive transmissions in such frequencies, or

(C) being equipped with decoders that convert digital cellular transmissions to analog voice audio.


(2) Beginning 1 year after the effective date of the regulations adopted pursuant to paragraph (1), no receiver having the capabilities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1), as such capabilities are defined in such regulations, shall be manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §302, as added July 5, 1968, Pub. L. 90–379, 82 Stat. 290; amended Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §108(a), 96 Stat. 1091; Oct. 28, 1992, Pub. L. 102–556, title IV, §403(a), 106 Stat. 4195.)

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 102–556 added subsec. (d).

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–259, §108(a)(1), (2), inserted “(1)” after “regulations” and “; and (2) establishing minimum performance standards for home electronic equipment and systems to reduce their susceptibility to interference from radio frequency energy” after “radio communications”, and substituted “or shipment of such devices and home electronic equipment and systems, and to the use of such devices” for “shipment, or use of such devices”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–259, §108(a)(3), substituted “or ship devices or home electronic equipment and systems, or use devices,” for “ship, or use devices”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–259, §108(a)(4), inserted “or home electronic equipment and systems” after “devices” wherever appearing, inserted “and home electronic equipment and systems” after “Devices”, substituted “objectives” for “common objective”, and inserted “and to home electronic equipment and systems” after “reception”.

Effect on Other Laws

Section 403(c) of Pub. L. 102–556 provided that: “This section [amending this section] shall not affect section 2512(2) of title 18, United States Code.”

Minimum Performance Standards; Home Electronic Equipment and Systems Manufactured Before September 13, 1982

Section 108(b) of Pub. L. 97–259 provided that: “Any minimum performance standard established by the Federal Communications Commission under section 302(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 [subsec. (a)(2) of this section], as added by the amendment made in subsection (a)(1), shall not apply to any home electronic equipment or systems manufactured before the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 13, 1982].”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 510 of this title.

§303. Powers and duties of Commission

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Commission from time to time, as public convenience, interest, or necessity requires, shall—

(a) Classify radio stations;

(b) Prescribe the nature of the service to be rendered by each class of licensed stations and each station within any class;

(c) Assign bands of frequencies to the various classes of stations, and assign frequencies for each individual station and determine the power which each station shall use and the time during which it may operate;

(d) Determine the location of classes of stations or individual stations;

(e) Regulate the kind of apparatus to be used with respect to its external effects and the purity and sharpness of the emissions from each station and from the apparatus therein;

(f) Make such regulations not inconsistent with law as it may deem necessary to prevent interference between stations and to carry out the provisions of this chapter: Provided, however, That changes in the frequencies, authorized power, or in the times of operation of any station, shall not be made without the consent of the station licensee unless, after a public hearing, the Commission shall determine that such changes will promote public convenience or interest or will serve public necessity, or the provisions of this chapter will be more fully complied with;

(g) Study new uses for radio, provide for experimental uses of frequencies, and generally encourage the larger and more effective use of radio in the public interest;

(h) Have authority to establish areas or zones to be served by any station;

(i) Have authority to make special regulations applicable to radio stations engaged in chain broadcasting;

(j) Have authority to make general rules and regulations requiring stations to keep such records of programs, transmissions of energy, communications, or signals as it may deem desirable;

(k) Have authority to exclude from the requirements of any regulations in whole or in part any radio station upon railroad rolling stock, or to modify such regulations in its discretion;

(l)(1) Have authority to prescribe the qualifications of station operators, to classify them according to the duties to be performed, to fix the forms of such licenses, and to issue them to persons who are found to be qualified by the Commission and who otherwise are legally eligible for employment in the United States, except that such requirement relating to eligibility for employment in the United States shall not apply in the case of licenses issued by the Commission to (A) persons holding United States pilot certificates; or (B) persons holding foreign aircraft pilot certificates which are valid in the United States, if the foreign government involved has entered into a reciprocal agreement under which such foreign government does not impose any similar requirement relating to eligibility for employment upon citizens of the United States;

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, an individual to whom a radio station is licensed under the provisions of this chapter may be issued an operator's license to operate that station.

(3) In addition to amateur operator licenses which the Commission may issue to aliens pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, and notwithstanding section 301 of this title and paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Commission may issue authorizations, under such conditions and terms as it may prescribe, to permit an alien licensed by his government as an amateur radio operator to operate his amateur radio station licensed by his government in the United States, its possessions, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico provided there is in effect a multilateral or bilateral agreement, to which the United States and the alien's government are parties, for such operation on a reciprocal basis by United States amateur radio operators. Other provisions of this chapter and of subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5 shall not be applicable to any request or application for or modification, suspension, or cancellation of any such authorization.

(m)(1) Have authority to suspend the license of any operator upon proof sufficient to satisfy the Commission that the licensee—

(A) has violated, or caused, aided, or abetted the violation of, any provision of any Act, treaty, or convention binding on the United States, which the Commission is authorized to administer, or any regulation made by the Commission under any such Act, treaty, or convention; or

(B) has failed to carry out a lawful order of the master or person lawfully in charge of the ship or aircraft on which he is employed; or

(C) has willfully damaged or permitted radio apparatus or installations to be damaged; or

(D) has transmitted superfluous radio communications or signals or communications containing profane or obscene words, language, or meaning, or has knowingly transmitted—

(1) false or deceptive signals or communications, or

(2) a call signal or letter which has not been assigned by proper authority to the station he is operating; or


(E) has willfully or maliciously interfered with any other radio communications or signals; or

(F) has obtained or attempted to obtain, or has assisted another to obtain or attempt to obtain, an operator's license by fraudulent means.


(2) No order of suspension of any operator's license shall take effect until fifteen days’ notice in writing thereof, stating the cause for the proposed suspension, has been given to the operator licensee who may make written application to the Commission at any time within said fifteen days for a hearing upon such order. The notice to the operator licensee shall not be effective until actually received by him, and from that time he shall have fifteen days in which to mail the said application. In the event that physical conditions prevent mailing of the application at the expiration of the fifteen-day period, the application shall then be mailed as soon as possible thereafter, accompanied by a satisfactory explanation of the delay. Upon receipt by the Commission of such application for hearing, said order of suspension shall be held in abeyance until the conclusion of the hearing which shall be conducted under such rules as the Commission may prescribe. Upon the conclusion of said hearing the Commission may affirm, modify, or revoke said order of suspension.

(n) Have authority to inspect all radio installations associated with stations required to be licensed by any Act, or which the Commission by rule has authorized to operate without a license under section 307(e)(1) of this title, or which are subject to the provisions of any Act, treaty, or convention binding on the United States, to ascertain whether in construction, installation, and operation they conform to the requirements of the rules and regulations of the Commission, the provisions of any Act, the terms of any treaty or convention binding on the United States, and the conditions of the license or other instrument of authorization under which they are constructed, installed, or operated.

(o) Have authority to designate call letters of all stations;

(p) Have authority to cause to be published such call letters and such other announcements and data as in the judgment of the Commission may be required for the efficient operation of radio stations subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and for the proper enforcement of this chapter;

(q) Have authority to require the painting and/or illumination of radio towers if and when in its judgment such towers constitute, or there is a reasonable possibility that they may constitute, a menace to air navigation. The permittee or licensee, and the tower owner in any case in which the owner is not the permittee or licensee, shall maintain the painting and/or illumination of the tower as prescribed by the Commission pursuant to this section. In the event that the tower ceases to be licensed by the Commission for the transmission of radio energy, the owner of the tower shall maintain the prescribed painting and/or illumination of such tower until it is dismantled, and the Commission may require the owner to dismantle and remove the tower when the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency determines that there is a reasonable possibility that it may constitute a menace to air navigation.

(r) Make such rules and regulations and prescribe such restrictions and conditions, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, or any international radio or wire communications treaty or convention, or regulations annexed thereto, including any treaty or convention insofar as it relates to the use of radio, to which the United States is or may hereafter become a party.

(s) Have authority to require that apparatus designed to receive television pictures broadcast simultaneously with sound be capable of adequately receiving all frequencies allocated by the Commission to television broadcasting when such apparatus is shipped in interstate commerce, or is imported from any foreign country into the United States, for sale or resale to the public.

(t) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 301(e) of this title, have authority, in any case in which an aircraft registered in the United States is operated (pursuant to a lease, charter, or similar arrangement) by an aircraft operator who is subject to regulation by the government of a foreign nation, to enter into an agreement with such government under which the Commission shall recognize and accept any radio station licenses and radio operator licenses issued by such government with respect to such aircraft.

(u) Require that apparatus designed to receive television pictures broadcast simultaneously with sound be equipped with built-in decoder circuitry designed to display closed-captioned television transmissions when such apparatus is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States, and its television picture screen is 13 inches or greater in size.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §303, 48 Stat. 1082; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §§5, 6, 50 Stat. 190, 191; Aug. 28, 1958, Pub. L. 85–817, §1, 72 Stat. 981; Apr. 27, 1962, Pub. L. 87–445, 76 Stat. 64; July 10, 1962, Pub. L. 87–529, §1, 76 Stat. 150; May 28, 1964, Pub. L. 88–313, §1, 78 Stat. 202; Aug. 22, 1964, Pub. L. 88–487, §2, 78 Stat. 602; Oct. 19, 1965, Pub. L. 89–268, 79 Stat. 990; Aug. 10, 1971, Pub. L. 92–81, §1, 85 Stat. 302; Nov. 30, 1974, Pub. L. 93–505, §1, 88 Stat. 1576; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§109–111(a), 113(b), 96 Stat. 1092, 1093; Sept. 28, 1990, Pub. L. 101–396, §8(a), 104 Stat. 850; Oct. 15, 1990, Pub. L. 101–431, §3, 104 Stat. 960; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §210(a), 106 Stat. 3544.)

Codification

In subsec. (l)(3), “subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5” substituted for “the Administrative Procedure Act” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (q). Pub. L. 102–538 inserted “, and the tower owner in any case in which the owner is not the permittee or licensee,” after “permittee or licensee”.

1990—Subsec. (l)(3). Pub. L. 101–396 substituted “multilateral or bilateral agreement, to which the United States and the alien's government are parties,” for “bilateral agreement between the United States and the alien's government”.

Subsec. (u). Pub. L. 101–431 added subsec. (u).

1982—Subsec. (l)(1). Pub. L. 97–259, §109, substituted “persons who are found to be qualified by the commission and who otherwise are legally eligible for employment in the United States” for “such citizens or nationals of the United States, or citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands presenting valid identity certificates issued by the High Commissioner of such Territory, as the Commission finds qualified”, and substituted provision that the requirement relating to eligibility for employment in the United States shall not apply in the case of licenses issued by the Commission to (A) persons holding United States pilot certificates; or (B) persons holding foreign aircraft pilot certificates which are valid in the United States, if the foreign government involved has entered into a reciprocal agreement under which such foreign government does not impose any similar requirement relating to eligibility for employment upon citizens of the United States for provision that in issuing licenses for the operation of radio stations on aircraft the Commission, if it found that the public interest would be served thereby, could waive the requirement of citizenship in the case of persons holding United States pilot certificates or in the case of persons holding foreign aircraft pilot certificates which were valid in the United States on the basis of reciprocal agreements entered into with foreign governments.

Subsec. (m)(1)(A). Pub. L. 97–259, §110, inserted “, or caused, aided, or abetted the violation of,” after “violated”.

Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 97–259, §113(b), inserted “, or which the Commission by rule has authorized to operate without a license under section 307(e)(1) of this title,” after “licensed by any Act”.

Subsec. (t). Pub. L. 97–259, §111(a), added subsec. (t).

1974—Subsec. (l)(2). Pub. L. 93–505 substituted provisions relating to issuance, notwithstanding par. (1) of this subsection, to an individual to whom a radio station is licensed under this chapter of an operator's license to operate that station, for provisions relating to issuance by the Commission of authorizations, under terms and conditions, for aliens licensed as amateur radio operators by their governments to operate in the United States, possessions, and Puerto Rico upon meeting specified preconditions.

Subsec. (l)(3). Pub. L. 93–505 substituted provisions relating to issuance of authorizations for aliens licensed by their governments as amateur radio operators to operate their radio stations in the United States, possessions, and Puerto Rico, under terms and conditions prescribed by the Commission and upon meeting specified preconditions, for provisions relating to issuance of licenses by the Commission, notwithstanding par. (1) of this subsection, to aliens admitted to the United States as permanent residents.

1971—Subsec. (l)(3). Pub. L. 92–81 added par. (3).

1965—Subsec. (q). Pub. L. 89–268 required abandoned or unused radio towers to continue to meet the same painting and lighting requirements that would be applicable if such towers were being used in connection with transmission of radio energy pursuant to a license issued by the Commission and authorized the Commission to direct dismantlement of such towers when the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency determines that there is a reasonable possibility that they may constitute a menace to air navigation.

1964—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 88–487 inserted “or citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands presenting valid identity certificates issued by the High Commissioner of such Territory”.

Pub. L. 88–313 designated existing provisions of subsec. (l) as par. (1), and added par. (2).

1962—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 87–445 inserted “or nationals” after “citizens”.

Subsec. (s). Pub. L. 87–529 added subsec. (s).

1958—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 85–817 authorized Commission to waive citizenship requirement in issuing licenses for operation of radio stations on aircraft.

1937—Subsecs. (m), (n). Act May 20, 1937, §§5, 6(a), amended subsecs. (m) and (n) generally.

Subsec. (r). Act May 20, 1937, §6(b), added subsec. (r).

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Section 210(c) of Pub. L. 102–538 provided that: “The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 27, 1992].”

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Section 5 of Pub. L. 101–431 provided that: “Sections 3 and 4 of this Act [amending this section and section 330 of this title] shall take effect on July 1, 1993.”

Regulations

Section 6 of Pub. L. 101–431 provided that: “The Federal Communications Commission shall promulgate rules to implement this Act [amending this section and section 330 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 609 of this title] within 180 days after the date of its enactment [Oct. 15, 1990].”

Pub. L. 100–459, title VI, §608, Oct. 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 2228, directed Federal Communications Commission to promulgate, by Jan. 31, 1989, regulations in accordance with section 1464 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, to enforce the provisions of such section on a 24 hour per day basis, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–356, §16(b), Aug. 26, 1992, 106 Stat. 954.

AM Radio Improvement Standard

Section 214 of Pub. L. 102–538 provided that: “The Federal Communications Commission shall—

“(1) within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 27, 1992], initiate a rulemaking to adopt a single AM radio stereophonic transmitting equipment standard that specifies the composition of the transmitted stereophonic signal; and

“(2) within one year after such date of enactment, adopt such standard.”

Broadcasting of Indecent Programming; FCC Regulations

Pub. L. 102–356, §16(a), Aug. 26, 1992, 106 Stat. 954, provided that: “The Federal Communications Commission shall promulgate regulations to prohibit the broadcasting of indecent programming—

“(1) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on any day by any public radio station or public television station that goes off the air at or before 12 midnight; and

“(2) between 6 a.m. and 12 midnight on any day for any radio or television broadcasting station not described in paragraph (1).

The regulations required under this subsection shall be promulgated in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code, and shall become final not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1992].”

Congressional Findings Regarding Access by Hearing-Impaired People to Television Medium

Section 2 of Pub. L. 101–431 provided that: “The Congress finds that—

“(1) to the fullest extent made possible by technology, deaf and hearing-impaired people should have equal access to the television medium;

“(2) closed-captioned television transmissions have made it possible for thousands of deaf and hearing-impaired people to gain access to the television medium, thus significantly improving the quality of their lives;

“(3) closed-captioned television will provide access to information, entertainment, and a greater understanding of our Nation and the world to over 24,000,000 people in the United States who are deaf or hearing-impaired;

“(4) closed-captioned television will provide benefits for the nearly 38 percent of older Americans who have some loss of hearing;

“(5) closed-captioned television can assist both hearing and hearing-impaired children with reading and other learning skills, and improve literacy skills among adults;

“(6) closed-captioned television can assist those among our Nation's large immigrant population who are learning English as a second language with language comprehension;

“(7) currently, a consumer must buy a TeleCaption decoder and connect the decoder to a television set in order to display the closed-captioned television transmissions;

“(8) technology is now available to enable that closed-caption decoding capability to be built into new television sets during manufacture at a nominal cost by 1991; and

“(9) the availability of decoder-equipped television sets will significantly increase the audience that can be served by closed-captioned television, and such increased market will be an incentive to the television medium to provide more captioned programming.”

Direction on Use of Funds Regarding Spectrum Allocation and Assignments for Public Safety Purposes

Pub. L. 98–214, §9, Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1470, provided that:

“(a) Funds authorized to be appropriated under section 2 of this Act [amending section 156 of this title] shall be used by the Federal Communications Commission to establish a plan which adequately ensures that the needs of State and local public safety authorities would be taken into account in making allocations of the electromagnetic spectrum. In establishing such a plan the Commission shall (1) review the current and future needs of such public safety authorities in light of suitable and commercially available equipment and (2) consider the need for a nationwide contiguous frequency allocation for public safety purposes.

“(b) Pending adoption of a plan, the Commission, while making assignments and allocations, shall duly recognize the needs of State and local public safety authorities.”

Cross References

Radiotelegraph operators licensed as ship's officers, see section 7101 et seq. of Title 46, Shipping.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 301, 305, 309, 330, 503, 923 of this title.

§303a. Standards for children's television programming

(a) Establishment

The Commission shall, within 30 days after October 18, 1990, initiate a rulemaking proceeding to prescribe standards applicable to commercial television broadcast licensees with respect to the time devoted to commercial matter in conjunction with children's television programming. The Commission shall, within 180 days after October 18, 1990, complete the rulemaking proceeding and prescribe final standards that meet the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Advertising duration limitations

Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the standards prescribed under subsection (a) of this section shall include the requirement that each commercial television broadcast licensee shall limit the duration of advertising in children's television programming to not more than 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends and not more than 12 minutes per hour on weekdays.

(c) Review of advertising duration limitations; modification

After January 1, 1993, the Commission—

(1) may review and evaluate the advertising duration limitations required by subsection (b) of this section; and

(2) may, after notice and public comment and a demonstration of the need for modification of such limitations, modify such limitations in accordance with the public interest.

(d) “Commercial television broadcast licensee” defined

As used in this section, the term “commercial television broadcast licensee” includes a cable operator, as defined in section 522 of this title.

(Pub. L. 101–437, title I, §102, Oct. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 996.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Children's Television Act of 1990, and not as part of the Communications Act of 1934 which comprises this chapter.

Congressional Findings

Section 101 of title I of Pub. L. 101–437 provided that: “The Congress finds that—

“(1) it has been clearly demonstrated that television can assist children to learn important information, skills, values, and behavior, while entertaining them and exciting their curiosity to learn about the world around them;

“(2) as part of their obligation to serve the public interest, television station operators and licensees should provide programming that serves the special needs of children;

“(3) the financial support of advertisers assists in the provision of programming to children;

“(4) special safeguards are appropriate to protect children from overcommercialization on television;

“(5) television station operators and licensees should follow practices in connection with children's television programming and advertising that take into consideration the characteristics of this child audience; and

“(6) it is therefore necessary that the Federal Communications Commission (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Commission’) take the actions required by this title [enacting sections 303a and 303b of this title].”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 303b of this title.

§303b. Consideration of children's television service in broadcast license renewal

(a) After the standards required by section 303a of this title are in effect, the Commission shall, in its review of any application for renewal of a commercial or noncommercial television broadcast license, consider the extent to which the licensee—

(1) has complied with such standards; and

(2) has served the educational and informational needs of children through the licensee's overall programming, including programming specifically designed to serve such needs.


(b) In addition to consideration of the licensee's programming as required under subsection (a) of this section, the Commission may consider—

(1) any special nonbroadcast efforts by the licensee which enhance the educational and informational value of such programming to children; and

(2) any special efforts by the licensee to produce or support programming broadcast by another station in the licensee's marketplace which is specifically designed to serve the educational and informational needs of children.

(Pub. L. 101–437, title I, §103, Oct. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 997; Pub. L. 102–356, §15, Aug. 26, 1992, 106 Stat. 954; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(c), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4296.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Children's Television Act of 1990, and not as part of the Communications Act of 1934 which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–414 substituted “noncommercial” for “noncommerical”.

1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–356 inserted reference to commercial or noncommercial television broadcast licenses.

§303c. Television program improvement

(a) Short title

This section may be cited as the “Television Program Improvement Act of 1990”.

(b) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) the term “antitrust laws” has the meaning given it in subsection (a) of section 12 of title 15, except that such term includes section 45 of title 15 to the extent that section 45 of title 15 applies to unfair methods of competition;

(2) the term “person in the television industry” means a television network, any entity which produces programming (including theatrical motion pictures) for telecasting or telecasts programming, the National Cable Television Association, the Association of Independent Television Stations, Incorporated, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Community Antenna Television Association, and each of the networks’ affiliate organizations, and shall include any individual acting on behalf of such person; and

(3) the term “telecast” means—

(A) to broadcast by a television broadcast station; or

(B) to transmit by a cable television system or a satellite television distribution service.

(c) Exemption

The antitrust laws shall not apply to any joint discussion, consideration, review, action, or agreement by or among persons in the television industry for the purpose of, and limited to, developing and disseminating voluntary guidelines designed to alleviate the negative impact of violence in telecast material.

(d) Limitations

(1) The exemption provided in subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to any joint discussion, consideration, review, action, or agreement which results in a boycott of any person.

(2) The exemption provided in subsection (c) of this section shall apply only to any joint discussion, consideration, review, action, or agreement engaged in only during the 3-year period beginning on December 1, 1990.

(Pub. L. 101–650, title V, §501, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5127.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Television Program Improvement Act of 1990 and also as part of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, and not as part of the Communications Act of 1934 which comprises this chapter.

§304. Waiver by license of claims to particular frequency or of electromagnetic spectrum

No station license shall be granted by the Commission until the applicant therefor shall have waived any claim to the use of any particular frequency or of the electromagnetic spectrum as against the regulatory power of the United States because of the previous use of the same, whether by license or otherwise.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §304, 48 Stat. 1083; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §127(a), 96 Stat. 1099; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §204(a), 106 Stat. 3543.)

Amendments

1992—Pub. L. 102–538 substituted “waived” for “signed a waiver of”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–259 substituted “electromagnetic spectrum” for “ether”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 309 of this title.

§305. Government owned stations

(a) Frequencies; compliance with regulations; stations on vessels

Radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States shall not be subject to the provisions of sections 301 and 303 of this title. All such Government stations shall use such frequencies as shall be assigned to each or to each class by the President. All such stations, except stations on board naval and other Government vessels while at sea or beyond the limits of the continental United States, when transmitting any radio communication or signal other than a communication or signal relating to Government business, shall conform to such rules and regulations designed to prevent interference with other radio stations and the rights of others as the Commission may prescribe.

(b) Vessels of Maritime Administration or Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service

Radio stations on board vessels of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation or the Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service shall be subject to the provisions of this subchapter.

(c) Call letters

All stations owned and operated by the United States, except mobile stations of the Army of the United States, and all other stations on land and sea, shall have special call letters designated by the Commission.

(d) Stations operated by foreign governments

The provisions of sections 301 and 303 of this title notwithstanding, the President may, provided he determines it to be consistent with and in the interest of national security, authorize a foreign government, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, to construct and operate at the seat of government of the United States a low-power radio station in the fixed service at or near the site of the embassy or legation of such foreign government for transmission of its messages to points outside the United States, but only (1) where he determines that the authorization would be consistent with the national interest of the United States and (2) where such foreign government has provided reciprocal privileges to the United States to construct and operate radio stations within territories subject to its jurisdiction. Foreign government stations authorized pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall conform to such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe. The authorization of such stations, and the renewal, modification, suspension, revocation, or other termination of such authority shall be in accordance with such procedures as may be established by the President and shall not be subject to the other provisions of this chapter or of subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §305, 48 Stat. 1083; Oct. 11, 1962, Pub. L. 87–795, 76 Stat. 903; Aug. 6, 1981, Pub. L. 97–31, §12(150), 95 Stat. 167.)

Codification

In subsec. (d), “subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5” substituted for “the Administrative Procedure Act” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1981—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–31 substituted “Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation” for “United States Shipping Board Bureau or the United States Shipping Board Merchant Fleet Corporation”. For prior transfers of functions, see Transfer of Functions note set out below.

1962—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–795 added subsec. (d).

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of United States Shipping Board Bureau and United States Shipping Board Merchant Fleet Corporation, see Ex. Ord. No. 6166, set out under section 901 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, act June 29, 1936, ch. 858, title II, §§203, 204, title IX, §904, 49 Stat. 1987, 2016, and Reorg. Plan No. 6 of 1949, Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950, and Reorg. Plan No. 7 of 1961, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1 OF 1970

Eff. Apr. 20, 1970, 35 F.R. 6421, 84 Stat. 2083

Prepared by the President and Transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress Assembled, February 9, 1970, Pursuant to the Provisions of Chapter 9 of Title 5 of the United States Code.

OFFICE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY

Section 1. Transfer of Functions

The functions relating to assigning frequencies to radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States, or to classes thereof, conferred upon the President by the provisions of section 305(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 305(a), are hereby transferred to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy hereinafter provided for.

Sec. 2. Establishment of Office

There is hereby established in the Executive Office of the President the Office of Telecommunications Policy, hereinafter referred to as the Office.

Sec. 3. Director and Deputy

(a) There shall be at the head of the Office the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy, hereinafter referred to as the Director. The Director shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall be compensated at the rate now or hereafter provided for Level III of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates (5 U.S.C. 5314).

(b) There shall be in the Office a Deputy Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy who shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall be compensated at the rate now or hereafter provided for Level IV of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates (5 U.S.C. 5315). The Deputy Director shall perform such functions as the Director may from time to time prescribe and, unless the President shall designate another person to so act, shall act as Director during the absence or disability of the Director or in the event of vacancy in the office of Director.

(c) No person shall while holding office as Director or Deputy Director engage in any other business, vocation, or employment.

Sec. 4. Performance of Functions of Director

(a) The Director may appoint employees necessary for the work of the Office under the classified civil service and fix their compensation in accordance with the classification laws.

(b) The Director may from time to time make such provisions as he shall deem appropriate authorizing the performance of any function transferred to him hereunder by any other officer, or by any organizational entity or employee, of the Office.

Sec. 5. Abolition of Office

That office of Assistant Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness held by the Director of Telecommunications Management under Executive Order No. 10995 of February 16, 1962, as amended, is abolished. The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall make such provisions as he may deem to be necessary with respect to winding up any outstanding affairs of the office abolished by the foregoing provisions of this section.

Sec. 6. Incidental Transfers

(a) So much of the personnel, property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds employed, held, or used by, or available or to be made available to, the Office of Emergency Preparedness in connection with functions affected by the provisions of this reorganization plan as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall determine shall be transferred to the Office of Telecommunications Policy at such time or times as he shall direct.

(b) Such further measures and dispositions as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall deem to be necessary in order to effectuate the transfers provided for in subsection (a) of this section shall be carried out in such manner as he shall direct and by such agencies as he shall designate.

Sec. 7. Interim Director

The President may authorize any person who immediately prior to the effective date of this reorganization plan holds a position in the Executive Office of the President to act as Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy until the office of Director is for the first time filled pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of this reorganization plan or by recess appointment, as the case may be. The President may authorize any person who serves in an acting capacity under the foregoing provisions of this section to receive the compensation attached to the office of Director. Such compensation, if authorized, shall be in lieu of, but not in addition to, other compensation from the United States to which such person may be entitled.

[The Office of Telecommunications Policy was abolished and its functions transferred to the President and the Secretary of Commerce by secs. 3 and 5 of Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1977, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.]

Message of the President

To the Congress of the United States:

We live in a time when the technology of telecommunications is undergoing rapid change which will dramatically affect the whole of our society. It has long been recognized that the executive branch of the Federal government should be better equipped to deal with the issues which arise from telecommunications growth. As the largest single user of the nation's telecommunications facilities, the Federal government must also manage its internal communications operations in the most effective manner possible.

Accordingly, I am today transmitting to the Congress Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1970, prepared in accordance with chapter 9 of title 5 of the United States Code.

That plan would establish a new Office of Telecommunications Policy in the Executive Office of the President. The new unit would be headed by a Director and a Deputy Director who would be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The existing office held by the Director of Telecommunications Management in the Office of Emergency Preparedness would be abolished.

In addition to the functions which are transferred to it by the reorganization plan, the new Office would perform certain other duties which I intend to assign to it by Executive order as soon as the reorganization plan takes effect. That order would delegate to the new Office essentially those functions which are now assigned to the Director of Telecommunications Management. The Office of Telecommunications Policy would be assisted in its research and analysis responsibilities by the agencies and departments of the Executive Branch including another new office, located in the Department of Commerce.

The new Office of Telecommunications Policy would play three essential roles:

1. It would serve as the President's principal adviser on telecommunications policy, helping to formulate government policies concerning a wide range of domestic and international telecommunications issues and helping to develop plans and programs which take full advantage of the nation's technological capabilities. The speed of economic and technological advance in our time means that new questions concerning communications are constantly arising, questions on which the government must be well informed and well advised. The new Office will enable the President and all government officials to share more fully in the experience, the insights, and the forecasts of government and non-government experts.

2. The Office of Telecommunications Policy would help formulate policies and coordinate operations for the Federal government's own vast communications systems. It would, for example, set guidelines for the various departments and agencies concerning their communications equipment and services. It would regularly review the ability of government communications systems to meet the security needs of the nation and to perform effectively in time of emergency. The Office would direct the assignment of those portions of the radio spectrum which are reserved for government use, carry out responsibilities conferred on the President by the Communications Satellite Act, advise State and local governments, and provide policy direction for the National Communications System.

3. Finally, the new Office would enable the executive branch to speak with a clearer vote and to act as a more effective partner in discussions of communications policy with both the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. This action would take away none of the prerogatives or functions assigned to the Federal Communications Commission by the Congress. It is my hope, however, that the new Office and the Federal Communications Commission would cooperate in achieving certain reforms in telecommunications policy, especially in their procedures for allocating portions of the radio spectrum for government and civilian use. Our current procedures must be more flexible if they are to deal adequately with problems such as the worsening spectrum shortage.

Each reorganization included in the plan which accompanies this message is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 901(a) of title 5 of the United States Code. In particular, the plan is responsive to section 901(a)(1), “to promote the better execution of the laws, the more effective management of the executive branch and of its agencies and functions, and the expeditious administration of the public business;” and section 901(a)(3), “to increase the efficiency of the operations of the government to the fullest extent practicable.”

The reorganization provided for in this plan make necessary the appointment and compensation of new officers, as specified in sections 3(a) and 3(b) of the plan. The rates of compensation fixed for these officers are comparable to those fixed for other officers in the executive branch who have similar responsibilities.

This plan should result in the more efficient operation of the government. It is not practical, however, to itemize or aggregate the exact expenditure reductions which will result from this action.

The public interest requires that government policies concerning telecommunications be formulated with as much sophistication and vision as possible. This reorganization plan—and the executive order which would follow it—are necessary instruments if the government is to respond adequately to the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid pace of change in communications. I urge that the Congress allow this plan to become effective so that these necessary reforms can be accomplished.

Richard Nixon.      

The White House, February 9, 1970.

Executive Order No. 10995

Ex. Ord. No. 10995, eff. Feb. 16, 1962, 27 F.R. 1519, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 11084, eff. Feb. 18, 1963, 28 F.R. 1531, which related to the assignment of telecommunications management functions, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 11556, eff. Sept. 14, 1970, 35 F.R. 14193, formerly set out below.

Executive Order No. 11556

Ex. Ord. No. 11556, Sept. 4, 1970, 35 F.R. 14193, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 11921, June 11, 1976, 41 F.R. 2494, which related to the assignment of telecommunication functions, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 12046, Mar. 27, 1978, 43 F.R. 13349, set out below.

Ex. Ord. No. 12046. Transfer of Telecommunications Functions

Ex. Ord. No. 12046, Mar. 27, 1978, 43 F.R. 13349, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 12148, July 20, 1979, 44 F.R. 43239; Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471, provided:

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including Section 7 of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977 (42 FR 56101 (October 21, 1977)) [set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees], the authority and control vested in the President by Section 2 of Executive Order No. 11556, as amended. Section 202 of the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 581c) [31 U.S.C. 1531], and Section 301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, and as President of the United States of America, in order to provide for the transfer of certain telecommunications functions, it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1

Reorganization Plan

1–1. Implementation of Reorganization Plan

1–101. The transfer of all the functions of the Office of Telecommunications Policy and of its Director, as provided by Section 5B of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977 (42 FR 56101), is hereby effective.

1–102. The abolition of the Office of Telecommunications Policy, as provided by Section 3C of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977, is hereby effective.

1–103. The establishment of an Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, Department of Commerce, as provided by Section 4 of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977, is hereby effective.

1–2. Telecommunications Function

1–201. Prior to the effective date of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1977, the Office of Telecommunications Policy and its Director had the functions set forth or referenced by: (1) Section 1 of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1970 (5 U.S.C. App.), (2) Executive Order No. 11556 of September 4, 1970, as amended (47 U.S.C. 305 note), (3) Executive Order No. 11191 of January 4, 1965, as amended (47 U.S.C. 721 note), (4) Executive Order No. 10705 of April 17, 1957, as amended (47 U.S.C. 606 note), and (5) Presidential Memorandum of August 21, 1963, as amended by Executive Order No. 11556 and entitled “Establishment of the National Communications System.”

1–202. So much of those functions which relate to the preparation of Presidential telecommunications policy options or to the disposition of appeals from assignments of radio frequencies to stations of the United States Government were transferred to the President. These functions may be delegated within the Executive Office of the President and the delegations are set forth in this Order at Sections 3–1 through 4–3.

1–203. Those telecommunications functions which were not transferred to the President were transferred to the Secretary of Commerce. Functions transferred to the Secretary are set forth in this Order at Sections 2–1 through 2–5.

SECTION 2

Functions Transferred to Commerce

2–1. Radio Frequencies

2–101. The authority of the President to assign frequencies to radio stations or to classes of radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States, including the authority to amend, modify, or revoke such assignments, was transferred to the Secretary of Commerce.

2–102. This authority, which was originally vested in the President by Section 305(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 305(a)), was transferred and assigned to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by Section 1 of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1970 and Section 3 of Executive Order No. 11556.

2–103. The authority to assign frequencies to radio stations is subject to the authority to dispose of appeals from frequency assignments as set forth in Section 3–2 of this Order.

2–2. Construction of Radio Stations

2–201. The authority to authorize a foreign government to construct and operate a radio station at the seat of government of the United States was transferred to the Secretary of Commerce. Authorization for the construction and operation of a radio station pursuant to this authority and the assignment of a frequency for its use can be made only upon recommendation of the Secretary of State and after consultation with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

2–202. This authority, which was originally vested in the President by Section 305(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 305), was delegated to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by Section 5 of Executive Order No. 11556.

2–3. Communications Satellite System

2–301. Certain functions relating to the communications satellite system were transferred to the Secretary of Commerce. Those functions were delegated or assigned to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by Executive Order No. 11191, as amended by Executive Order No. 11556. The functions include authority vested in the President by Section 201(a) of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962 (76 Stat. 421, 47 U.S.C. 721(a)). These functions are specifically set forth in the following provisions of this Section.

(a) Aid in the planning and development of the commercial communications satellite system and aid in the execution of a national program for the operation of such a system.

(b) Conduct a continuous review of all phases of the development and operation of such system, including the activities of the Corporation.

(c) Coordinate, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the activities of governmental agencies with responsibilities in the field of telecommunications, so as to insure that there is full and effective compliance at all times with the policies set forth in the Act [47 U.S.C. 701 et seq.].

(d) Make recommendations to the President and others as appropriate, with respect to all steps necessary to insure the availability and appropriate utilization of the communications satellite system for general government purposes in consonance with Section 201(a)(6) of the Act [47 U.S.C. 721(a)(6)].

(e) Help attain coordinated and efficient use of the electromagnetic spectrum and the technical compatibility of the communications satellite system with existing communications facilities both in the United States and abroad.

(f) Assist in the preparation of Presidential action documents for consideration by the President as may be appropriate under Section 201(a) of the Act, make necessary recommendations to the President in connection therewith, and keep the President currently informed with respect to the carrying out of the Act.

(g) Serve as the chief point of liaison between the President and the Corporation.

(h) The Secretary of Commerce shall timely submit to the President each year the report (including evaluations and recommendations) provided for in Section 404(a) of the Act (47 U.S.C. 744(a)).

(i) The Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate the performance of these functions with the Secretary of State. The Corporation and other concerned Executive agencies shall provide the Secretary of Commerce with such assistance, documents, and other cooperation as will enable the Secretary to carry out these functions.

2–4. Other Telecommunications Functions

Certain functions assigned, subject to the authority and control of the President to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by Section 2 of Executive Order No. 11556 were transferred to the Secretary of Commerce. These functions, subject to the authority and control of the President, are set forth in the following subsections.

2–401. The Secretary of Commerce shall serve as the President's principal adviser on telecommunications policies pertaining to the Nation's economic and technological advancement and to the regulation of the telecommunications industry.

2–402. The Secretary of Commerce shall advise the Director of the Office of Management and Budget on the development of policies relating to the procurement and management of Federal telecommunications systems.

2–403. The Secretary of Commerce shall conduct studies and evaluations concerning telecommunications research and development, and concerning the initiation, improvement, expansion, testing, operation, and use of Federal telecommunications systems. The Secretary shall advise appropriate agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, of the recommendations which result from such studies and evaluations.

2–404. The Secretary of Commerce shall develop and set forth, in coordination with the Secretary of State and other interested agencies, plans, policies, and programs which relate to international telecommunications issues, conferences, and negotiations. The Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate economic, technical, operational and related preparations for United States participation in international telecommunications conferences and negotiations. The Secretary shall provide advice and assistance to the Secretary of State on international telecommunications policies to strengthen the position and serve the best interests of the United States, in support of the Secretary of State's responsibility for the conduct of foreign affairs.

2–405. The Secretary of Commerce shall provide for the coordination of the telecommunications activities of the Executive Branch, and shall assist in the formulation of policies and standards for those activities, including but not limited to considerations of interoperability, privacy, security, spectrum use and emergency readiness.

2–406. The Secretary of Commerce shall develop and set forth telecommunications policies pertaining to the Nation's economic and technological advancement and to the regulation of the telecommunications industry.

2–407. The Secretary of Commerce shall ensure that the Executive Branch views on telecommunications matters are effectively presented to the Federal Communications Commission and, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to the Congress.

2–408. The Secretary of Commerce shall establish policies concerning spectrum assignments and use by radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States. Agencies shall consult with the Secretary of Commerce to ensure that their conduct of telecommunications activities is consistent with those policies.

2–409. The Secretary of Commerce shall develop, in cooperation with the Federal Communications Commission, a comprehensive long-range plan for improved management of all electromagnetic spectrum resources.

2–410. The Secretary of Commerce shall conduct studies and make recommendations concerning the impact of the convergence of computer and communications technology.

2–411. The Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate Federal telecommunications assistance to State and local governments, except as otherwise provided by Executive Order No. 12472 [set out as a note under section 5195 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare].

2–412. The Secretary of Commerce shall conduct and coordinate economic and technical analyses of telecommunications policies, activities, and opportunities in support of assigned responsibilities.

2–413. The Secretary of Commerce shall contract for studies and reports related to any aspect of assigned responsibilities.

2–414. [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

2–5. Consultation Responsibilities

2–501. The authority to establish coordinating committees, as assigned to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by Section 10 of Executive Order No. 11556, was transferred to the Secretary of Commerce.

2–502. As permitted by law, the Secretary of Commerce shall establish such interagency committees and working groups composed of representatives of interested agencies, and shall consult with such departments and agencies as may be necessary for the most effective performance of his functions. To the extent he deems it necessary to continue the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee, that Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Secretary. As permitted by law, the Secretary also shall establish one or more telecommunications advisory committees composed of experts in the telecommunications area outside the Government.

SECTION 3

Functions Assigned to the Office of Management and Budget

3–1. Telecommunications Procurement and Management

3–101. The responsibility for serving as the President's principal adviser on procurement and management of Federal telecommunications systems and the responsibility for developing and establishing policies for procurement and management of such systems, which responsibilities were assigned to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy subject to the authority and control of the President by Section 2(b) of Executive Order No. 11556, were transferred to the President.

3–102. These functions are delegated to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

3–2. Radio Frequency Appeals

3–201. The authority to make final disposition of appeals from frequency assignments by the Secretary of Commerce for radio stations belonging to and operated by the United States, which authority was vested in the President by Section 305(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 305(a)) and transferred to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1970 (5 U.S.C. App.), was transferred to the President.

3–202. This function is delegated to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

SECTION 4

Functions Assigned to the National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy

4–1. Emergency Functions

4–101. The war power functions of the President under Section 606 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 606), which were delegated to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by the Provisions of Section 4 of Executive Order No. 10705, were transferred to the President.

4–102. [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

4–103. [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

4–2. National Communications System

4–201. The responsibility for policy direction of the development and operation of a National Communications System, which was assigned to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy by the Presidential Memorandum of August 21, 1963, as amended by Executive Order No. 11556, was transferred to the President.

4–202. [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

4–3. Planning Functions

4–301. The function of coordinating the development of policy, plans, programs, and standards for the mobilization and use of the Nation's telecommunications resources in any emergency, which function was assigned to the Director of the Office of Telecommunications Policy subject to the authority and control of the President by Section 2(h) of the Executive Order No. 11556, was transferred to the President.

4–302. [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

SECTION 5

Related Telecommunications Functions

5–1. The Department of Commerce

5–101. The Secretary of Commerce shall continue to perform the following functions previously assigned by Section 13 of Executive Order No. 11556:

(a) Perform analysis, engineering, and administrative functions, including the maintenance of necessary files and data bases, as necessary in the performance of assigned responsibilities for the management of electromagnetic spectrum.

(b) Conduct research and analysis of electromagnetic propagation, radio systems characteristics, and operating techniques affecting the utilization of the electromagnetic spectrum in coordination with specialized, related research and analysis performed by other Federal agencies in their areas of responsibility.

(c) Conduct research and analysis in the general field of telecommunications sciences in support of assigned functions and in support of other Government agencies.

5–102. The Secretary of Commerce shall participate, as appropriate, in evaluating the capability of telecommunications resources, in recommending remedial actions, and in developing policy options.

5–2. Department of State

5–201. With respect to telecommunications, the Secretary of State shall exercise primary authority for the conduct of foreign policy, including the determination of United States positions and the conduct of United States participation in negotiations with foreign governments and international bodies. In exercising this responsibility the Secretary of State shall coordinate with other agencies as appropriate, and, in particular, shall give full consideration to the Federal Communications Commission's regulatory and policy responsibility in this area.

5–202. The Secretary of State shall continue to perform the following functions previously assigned by Executive Order No. 11191, as amended:

(a) Exercise the supervision provided for in Section 201(a)(4) of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, as amended (47 U.S.C. 721(a)(4)), be responsible, although the Secretary of Commerce is the chief point of liaison, for instructing the Communications Satellite Corporation in its role as the designated United States representative to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization; and direct the foreign relations of the United States with respect to actions under the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, as amended [section 701 et seq. of this title].

(b) Coordinate, in accordance with the applicable interagency agreements, the performance of these functions with the Secretary of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission, other concerned Executive agencies, and the Communications Satellite Corporation (see 47 U.S.C. 731–735). The Corporation and other concerned Executive agencies shall provide the Secretary of State with such assistance, documents, and other cooperation as will enable the Secretary to carry out these functions.

5–3. Federal Emergency Management Agency [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

SECTION 6

General Provisions

6–1. Transfer Provisions

6–101. [Revoked. Ex. Ord. No. 12472, Apr. 3, 1984, 49 F.R. 13471.]

6–102. The primary responsibility for performing all administrative support and service functions that are related to functions transferred from the Office of Telecommunications Policy and its Director to the President, including those functions delegated or assigned within the Executive Office of the President, are transferred to the Office of Administration. The Domestic Policy Staff shall perform such functions related to the preparation of Presidential telecommunications policy options as the President may from time to time direct.

6–103. The records, property, personnel, and unexpended balances of appropriations, available or to be made available, which relate to the functions transferred, assigned, or delegated as provided in this Order are hereby transferred as appropriate.

6–104. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall make such determinations, issue such orders, and take all actions necessary or appropriate to effectuate the transfers or reassignments provided in this Order, including the transfer of funds, records, property, and personnel.

6–2. Amendments

In order to reflect the transfers provided by this Order, the following conforming amendments and revocations are ordered:

6–201. Section 306 of Executive Order No. 11051, as amended [50 App. U.S.C. 2271 note], is further amended to read:

“Sec. 306. Emergency telecommunications. The Administrator of General Services shall be responsible for coordinating with the National Security Council in planning for the mobilization of the Nation's telecommunications resources in time of national emergency.”.

6–202. Executive Order No. 11490, as amended [formerly set out as a note under section 2251 of Title 50, Appendix, War and National Defense] is further amended by:

(1) substituting “National Security Council” for “Office of Telecommunications Policy (35 FR 6421)” in Section 401(27), and

(2) substituting the number of this Order for “11556” and deleting references to Executive Order No. 10705 [47 U.S.C. 606 note] in Sections 1802 and 2002(3).

6–203. Executive Order No. 11725, as amended [50 App. U.S.C. 2271 note], is further amended by substituting the number and date of this Order for the reference to Executive Order No. 11556 of September 4, 1970 in Section 3(16).

6–204. Executive Orders No. 10705, as amended [47 U.S.C. 606 note], No. 11191, as amended [47 U.S.C. 721 note] and No. 11556, as amended, are revoked.

6–3. General

6–301. All Executive agencies to which functions are assigned pursuant to this Order shall issue such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry them out.

6–302. All Executive agencies are authorized and directed to cooperate with the departments and agencies to which functions are assigned pursuant to this Order and to furnish them such information, support and assistance, not inconsistent with law, as they may require in the performance of those functions.

6–303. (a) Nothing in this Order reassigns any function assigned any agency under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended [see Short Title note set out under 40 U.S.C. 471], nor does anything in this Order impair the existing authority of the Administrator of General Services to provide and operate telecommunications services and to prescribe policies and methods of procurement, or impair the policy and oversight roles of the Office of Management and Budget.

(b) In carrying out the functions in this Order, the Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate activities as appropriate with the Federal Communications Commission and make appropriate recommendations to it as the regulator of the private sector. Nothing in this Order reassigns any function vested by law in the Federal Communications Commission.

6–304. This Order shall be effective March 26, 1978.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 923 of this title; title 14 section 829; title 22 section 1465bb.

§306. Foreign ships; application of section 301

Section 301 of this title shall not apply to any person sending radio communications or signals on a foreign ship while the same is within the jurisdiction of the United States, but such communications or signals shall be transmitted only in accordance with such regulations designed to prevent interference as may be promulgated under the authority of this chapter.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §306, 48 Stat. 1083.)

§307. Licenses

(a) Grant

The Commission, if public convenience, interest, or necessity will be served thereby, subject to the limitations of this chapter, shall grant to any applicant therefor a station license provided for by this chapter.

(b) Allocation of facilities

In considering applications for licenses, and modifications and renewals thereof, when and insofar as there is demand for the same, the Commission shall make such distribution of licenses, frequencies, hours of operation, and of power among the several States and communities as to provide a fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service to each of the same.

(c) Terms

No license granted for the operation of a television broadcasting station shall be for a longer term than five years and no license so granted for any other class of station (other than a radio broadcasting station) shall be for a longer term than ten years, and any license granted may be revoked as hereinafter provided. Each license granted for the operation of a radio broadcasting station shall be for a term of not to exceed seven years. The term of any license for the operation of any auxiliary broadcast station or equipment which can be used only in conjunction with a primary radio, television, or translator station shall be concurrent with the term of the license for such primary radio, television, or translator station. Upon the expiration of any license, upon application therefor, a renewal of such license may be granted from time to time for a term of not to exceed five years in the case of television broadcasting licenses, for a term of not to exceed seven years in the case of radio broadcasting station licenses, and for a term of not to exceed ten years in the case of other licenses, if the Commission finds that public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served thereby. In order to expedite action on applications for renewal of broadcasting station licenses and in order to avoid needless expense to applicants for such renewals, the Commission shall not require any such applicant to file any information which previously has been furnished to the Commission or which is not directly material to the considerations that affect the granting or denial of such application, but the Commission may require any new or additional facts it deems necessary to make its findings. Pending any hearing and final decision on such an application and the disposition of any petition for rehearing pursuant to section 405 of this title, the Commission shall continue such license in effect. Consistently with the foregoing provisions of this subsection, the Commission may by rule prescribe the period or periods for which licenses shall be granted and renewed for particular classes of stations, but the Commission may not adopt or follow any rule which would preclude it, in any case involving a station of a particular class, from granting or renewing a license for a shorter period than that prescribed for stations of such class if, in its judgment, public interest, convenience, or necessity would be served by such action.

(d) Renewals

No renewal of an existing station license in the broadcast or the common carrier services shall be granted more than thirty days prior to the expiration of the original license.

(e) Operation of certain radio stations without individual licenses

(1) Notwithstanding any licensing requirement established in this chapter, the Commission may by rule authorize the operation of radio stations without individual licenses in the radio control service and the citizens band radio service if the Commission determines that such authorization serves the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

(2) Any radio station operator who is authorized by the Commission under paragraph (1) to operate without an individual license shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter and with rules prescribed by the Commission under this chapter.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, the terms “radio control service” and “citizens band radio service” shall have the meanings given them by the Commission by rule.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §307, 48 Stat. 1083; June 5, 1936, ch. 511, §2, 49 Stat. 1475; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §5, 66 Stat. 714; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §3, 74 Stat. 889; Apr. 27, 1962, Pub. L. 87–439, 76 Stat. 58; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1241(a), 95 Stat. 736; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§112, 113(a), 96 Stat. 1093.)

Amendments

1982—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–259, §112, redesignated subsec. (d) as (c), substituted “ten years” for “five years” after “station) shall be for a longer term than” and “term of not to exceed”, and inserted provision that the term of any license for the operation of any auxiliary broadcast station or equipment which can be used only in conjunction with a primary radio, television, or translator station shall be concurrent with the term of the license for such primary radio, television, or translator station. Former subsec. (c), which required the Commission to study proposal that Congress allocate fixed percentages of radio broadcasting facilities to nonprofit activities and report recommendations, with reasons, to Congress not later than Feb. 1, 1935, was struck out.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–259, §112(a), redesignated subsec. (e) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (c).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–259, §§112(a), 113(a), added subsec. (e) and redesignated former subsec. (e) as (d).

1981—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–35 substituted provisions authorizing term of five years for a television broadcasting station license, seven years for a radio broadcasting station license, and five years for any other class of license, with comparable provisions for renewal, for provisions authorizing term of three years for a broadcasting station license, and five years for any other class of station license, with comparable provisions for renewal.

1962—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 87–439 inserted “in the broadcast or the common carrier services” before “shall be granted”.

1960—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 86–752 inserted last sentence dealing with the Commission's authority to grant licenses for periods shorter than 3 years.

1952—Subsec. (d). Act July 16, 1952, provided that upon the expiration of any license, any renewal applied for may be granted “if the Commission finds that public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served thereby”, and provided that pending a hearing and final decision on an application for renewal and the disposition of any petition for a rehearing the Commission shall continue the license in effect.

1936—Subsec. (b). Act June 5, 1936, amended subsec. (b) generally.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Section 1241(b) of Pub. L. 97–35 provided that: “The amendments made in subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to television and radio broadcasting licenses granted or renewed by the Federal Communications Commission after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 1981].”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 303, 309, 331, 503 of this title.

§308. Requirements for license

(a) Writing; exceptions

The Commission may grant construction permits and station licenses, or modifications or renewals thereof, only upon written application therefor received by it: Provided, That (1) in cases of emergency found by the Commission involving danger to life or property or due to damage to equipment, or (2) during a national emergency proclaimed by the President or declared by the Congress and during the continuance of any war in which the United States is engaged and when such action is necessary for the national defense or security or otherwise in furtherance of the war effort, or (3) in cases of emergency where the Commission finds, in the nonbroadcast services, that it would not be feasible to secure renewal applications from existing licensees or otherwise to follow normal licensing procedure, the Commission may grant construction permits and station licenses, or modifications or renewals thereof, during the emergency so found by the Commission or during the continuance of any such national emergency or war, in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as the Commission shall by regulation prescribe, and without the filing of a formal application, but no authorization so granted shall continue in effect beyond the period of the emergency or war requiring it: Provided further, That the Commission may issue by cable, telegraph, or radio a permit for the operation of a station on a vessel of the United States at sea, effective in lieu of a license until said vessel shall return to a port of the continental United States.

(b) Conditions

All applications for station licenses, or modifications or renewals thereof, shall set forth such facts as the Commission by regulation may prescribe as to the citizenship, character, and financial, technical, and other qualifications of the applicant to operate the station; the ownership and location of the proposed station and of the stations, if any, with which it is proposed to communicate; the frequencies and the power desired to be used; the hours of the day or other periods of time during which it is proposed to operate the station; the purposes for which the station is to be used; and such other information as it may require. The Commission, at any time after the filing of such original application and during the term of any such license, may require from an applicant or licensee further written statements of fact to enable it to determine whether such original application should be granted or denied or such license revoked. Such application and/or such statement of fact shall be signed by the applicant and/or licensee in any manner or form, including by electronic means, as the Commission may prescribe by regulation.

(c) Commercial communication

The Commission in granting any license for a station intended or used for commercial communication between the United States or any Territory or possession, continental or insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and any foreign country, may impose any terms, conditions, or restrictions authorized to be imposed with respect to submarine-cable licenses by section 35 of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §308, 48 Stat. 1084; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §6, 66 Stat. 714; Apr. 27, 1962, Pub. L. 87–444, §3, 76 Stat. 63; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §204(b), 106 Stat. 3543; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(15), 108 Stat. 4295.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–414 made technical amendment to reference to section 35 of this title to correct reference to corresponding section of original act.

1992—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–538 inserted before period at end “in any manner or form, including by electronic means, as the Commission may prescribe by regulation”.

1962—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–444 struck out requirement that applications or statements of fact were to be signed under oath or affirmation.

1952—Subsec. (a). Act July 16, 1952, §6(a), provided that the Commission may grant construction permits and station licenses, or modifications or renewals, only upon written application except that during war or emergency periods no formal application need be filed.

Subsec. (b). Act July 16, 1952, §6(b), substituted “All applications for station licenses or modifications or renewals thereof, shall set forth” for “All such applications shall set forth”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 309, 310, 312 of this title.

§309. Application for license

(a) Considerations in granting application

Subject to the provisions of this section, the Commission shall determine, in the case of each application filed with it to which section 308 of this title applies, whether the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served by the granting of such application, and, if the Commission, upon examination of such application and upon consideration of such other matters as the Commission may officially notice, shall find that public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served by the granting thereof, it shall grant such application.

(b) Time of granting application

Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no such application—

(1) for an instrument of authorization in the case of a station in the broadcasting or common carrier services, or

(2) for an instrument of authorization in the case of a station in any of the following categories:

(A) fixed point-to-point microwave stations (exclusive of control and relay stations used as integral parts of mobile radio systems),

(B) industrial radio positioning stations for which frequencies are assigned on an exclusive basis,

(C) aeronautical en route stations,

(D) aeronautical advisory stations,

(E) airdrome control stations,

(F) aeronautical fixed stations, and

(G) such other stations or classes of stations, not in the broadcasting or common carrier services, as the Commission shall by rule prescribe,


shall be granted by the Commission earlier than thirty days following issuance of public notice by the Commission of the acceptance for filing of such application or of any substantial amendment thereof.

(c) Applications not affected by subsection (b)

Subsection (b) of this section shall not apply—

(1) to any minor amendment of an application to which such subsection is applicable, or

(2) to any application for—

(A) a minor change in the facilities of an authorized station,

(B) consent to an involuntary assignment or transfer under section 310(b) of this title or to an assignment or transfer thereunder which does not involve a substantial change in ownership or control,

(C) a license under section 319(c) of this title or, pending application for or grant of such license, any special or temporary authorization to permit interim operation to facilitate completion of authorized construction or to provide substantially the same service as would be authorized by such license,

(D) extension of time to complete construction of authorized facilities,

(E) an authorization of facilities for remote pickups, studio links and similar facilities for use in the operation of a broadcast station,

(F) authorizations pursuant to section 325(c) of this title where the programs to be transmitted are special events not of a continuing nature,

(G) a special temporary authorization for nonbroadcast operation not to exceed thirty days where no application for regular operation is contemplated to be filed or not to exceed sixty days pending the filing of an application for such regular operation, or

(H) an authorization under any of the proviso clauses of section 308(a) of this title.

(d) Petition to deny application; time; contents; reply; findings

(1) Any party in interest may file with the Commission a petition to deny any application (whether as originally filed or as amended) to which subsection (b) of this section applies at any time prior to the day of Commission grant thereof without hearing or the day of formal designation thereof for hearing; except that with respect to any classification of applications, the Commission from time to time by rule may specify a shorter period (no less than thirty days following the issuance of public notice by the Commission of the acceptance for filing of such application or of any substantial amendment thereof), which shorter period shall be reasonably related to the time when the applications would normally be reached for processing. The petitioner shall serve a copy of such petition on the applicant. The petition shall contain specific allegations of fact sufficient to show that the petitioner is a party in interest and that a grant of the application would be prima facie inconsistent with subsection (a) of this section. Such allegations of fact shall, except for those of which official notice may be taken, be supported by affidavit of a person or persons with personal knowledge thereof. The applicant shall be given the opportunity to file a reply in which allegations of fact or denials thereof shall similarly be supported by affidavit.

(2) If the Commission finds on the basis of the application, the pleadings filed, or other matters which it may officially notice that there are no substantial and material questions of fact and that a grant of the application would be consistent with subsection (a) of this section, it shall make the grant, deny the petition, and issue a concise statement of the reasons for denying the petition, which statement shall dispose of all substantial issues raised by the petition. If a substantial and material question of fact is presented or if the Commission for any reason is unable to find that grant of the application would be consistent with subsection (a) of this section, it shall proceed as provided in subsection (e) of this section.

(e) Hearings; intervention; evidence; burden of proof

If, in the case of any application to which subsection (a) of this section applies, a substantial and material question of fact is presented or the Commission for any reason is unable to make the finding specified in such subsection, it shall formally designate the application for hearing on the ground or reasons then obtaining and shall forthwith notify the applicant and all other known parties in interest of such action and the grounds and reasons therefor, specifying with particularity the matters and things in issue but not including issues or requirements phrased generally. When the Commission has so designated an application for hearing the parties in interest, if any, who are not notified by the Commission of such action may acquire the status of a party to the proceeding thereon by filing a petition for intervention showing the basis for their interest not more than thirty days after publication of the hearing issues or any substantial amendment thereto in the Federal Register. Any hearing subsequently held upon such application shall be a full hearing in which the applicant and all other parties in interest shall be permitted to participate. The burden of proceeding with the introduction of evidence and the burden of proof shall be upon the applicant, except that with respect to any issue presented by a petition to deny or a petition to enlarge the issues, such burdens shall be as determined by the Commission.

(f) Temporary authorization of temporary operations under subsection (b)

When an application subject to subsection (b) of this section has been filed, the Commission, notwithstanding the requirements of such subsection, may, if the grant of such application is otherwise authorized by law and if it finds that there are extraordinary circumstances requiring temporary operations in the public interest and that delay in the institution of such temporary operations would seriously prejudice the public interest, grant a temporary authorization, accompanied by a statement of its reasons therefor, to permit such temporary operations for a period not exceeding 180 days, and upon making like findings may extend such temporary authorization for additional periods not to exceed 180 days. When any such grant of a temporary authorization is made, the Commission shall give expeditious treatment to any timely filed petition to deny such application and to any petition for rehearing of such grant filed under section 405 of this title.

(g) Classification of applications

The Commission is authorized to adopt reasonable classifications of applications and amendments in order to effectuate the purposes of this section.

(h) Form and conditions of station licenses

Such station licenses as the Commission may grant shall be in such general form as it may prescribe, but each license shall contain, in addition to other provisions, a statement of the following conditions to which such license shall be subject: (1) The station license shall not vest in the licensee any right to operate the station nor any right in the use of the frequencies designated in the license beyond the term thereof nor in any other manner than authorized therein; (2) neither the license nor the right granted thereunder shall be assigned or otherwise transferred in violation of this chapter; (3) every license issued under this chapter shall be subject in terms to the right of use or control conferred by section 606 of this title.

(i) Random selection

(1) General authority

If—

(A) there is more than one application for any initial license or construction permit which will involve a use of the electromagnetic spectrum; and

(B) the Commission has determined that the use is not described in subsection (j)(2)(A) of this section;


then the Commission shall have the authority to grant such license or permit to a qualified applicant through the use of a system of random selection.


(2) No license or construction permit shall be granted to an applicant selected pursuant to paragraph (1) unless the Commission determines the qualifications of such applicant pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and section 308(b) of this title. When substantial and material questions of fact exist concerning such qualifications, the Commission shall conduct a hearing in order to make such determinations. For the purpose of making such determinations, the Commission may, by rule, and notwithstanding any other provision of law—

(A) adopt procedures for the submission of all or part of the evidence in written form;

(B) delegate the function of presiding at the taking of written evidence to Commission employees other than administrative law judges; and

(C) omit the determination required by subsection (a) of this section with respect to any application other than the one selected pursuant to paragraph (1).


(3)(A) The Commission shall establish rules and procedures to ensure that, in the administration of any system of random selection under this subsection used for granting licenses or construction permits for any media of mass communications, significant preferences will be granted to applicants or groups of applicants, the grant to which of the license or permit would increase the diversification of ownership of the media of mass communications. To further diversify the ownership of the media of mass communications, an additional significant preference shall be granted to any applicant controlled by a member or members of a minority group.

(B) The Commission shall have authority to require each qualified applicant seeking a significant preference under subparagraph (A) to submit to the Commission such information as may be necessary to enable the Commission to make a determination regarding whether such applicant shall be granted such preference. Such information shall be submitted in such form, at such times, and in accordance with such procedures, as the Commission may require.

(C) For purposes of this paragraph:

(i) The term “media of mass communications” includes television, radio, cable television, multipoint distribution service, direct broadcast satellite service, and other services, the licensed facilities of which may be substantially devoted toward providing programming or other information services within the editorial control of the licensee.

(ii) The term “minority group” includes Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, and Pacific Islanders.


(4)(A) The Commission shall, after notice and opportunity for hearing, prescribe rules establishing a system of random selection for use by the Commission under this subsection in any instance in which the Commission, in its discretion, determines that such use is appropriate for the granting of any license or permit in accordance with paragraph (1).

(B) The Commission shall have authority to amend such rules from time to time to the extent necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection. Any such amendment shall be made after notice and opportunity for hearing.

(C) Not later than 180 days after August 10, 1993, the Commission shall prescribe such transfer disclosures and antitrafficking restrictions and payment schedules as are necessary to prevent the unjust enrichment of recipients of licenses or permits as a result of the methods employed to issue licenses under this subsection.

(j) Use of competitive bidding

(1) General authority

If mutually exclusive applications are accepted for filing for any initial license or construction permit which will involve a use of the electromagnetic spectrum described in paragraph (2), then the Commission shall have the authority, subject to paragraph (10), to grant such license or permit to a qualified applicant through the use of a system of competitive bidding that meets the requirements of this subsection.

(2) Uses to which bidding may apply

A use of the electromagnetic spectrum is described in this paragraph if the Commission determines that—

(A) the principal use of such spectrum will involve, or is reasonably likely to involve, the licensee receiving compensation from subscribers in return for which the licensee—

(i) enables those subscribers to receive communications signals that are transmitted utilizing frequencies on which the licensee is licensed to operate; or

(ii) enables those subscribers to transmit directly communications signals utilizing frequencies on which the licensee is licensed to operate; and


(B) a system of competitive bidding will promote the objectives described in paragraph (3).

(3) Design of systems of competitive bidding

For each class of licenses or permits that the Commission grants through the use of a competitive bidding system, the Commission shall, by regulation, establish a competitive bidding methodology. The Commission shall seek to design and test multiple alternative methodologies under appropriate circumstances. In identifying classes of licenses and permits to be issued by competitive bidding, in specifying eligibility and other characteristics of such licenses and permits, and in designing the methodologies for use under this subsection, the Commission shall include safeguards to protect the public interest in the use of the spectrum and shall seek to promote the purposes specified in section 151 of this title and the following objectives:

(A) the development and rapid deployment of new technologies, products, and services for the benefit of the public, including those residing in rural areas, without administrative or judicial delays;

(B) promoting economic opportunity and competition and ensuring that new and innovative technologies are readily accessible to the American people by avoiding excessive concentration of licenses and by disseminating licenses among a wide variety of applicants, including small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women;

(C) recovery for the public of a portion of the value of the public spectrum resource made available for commercial use and avoidance of unjust enrichment through the methods employed to award uses of that resource; and

(D) efficient and intensive use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

(4) Contents of regulations

In prescribing regulations pursuant to paragraph (3), the Commission shall—

(A) consider alternative payment schedules and methods of calculation, including lump sums or guaranteed installment payments, with or without royalty payments, or other schedules or methods that promote the objectives described in paragraph (3)(B), and combinations of such schedules and methods;

(B) include performance requirements, such as appropriate deadlines and penalties for performance failures, to ensure prompt delivery of service to rural areas, to prevent stockpiling or warehousing of spectrum by licensees or permittees, and to promote investment in and rapid deployment of new technologies and services;

(C) consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, the purposes of this chapter, and the characteristics of the proposed service, prescribe area designations and bandwidth assignments that promote (i) an equitable distribution of licenses and services among geographic areas, (ii) economic opportunity for a wide variety of applicants, including small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women, and (iii) investment in and rapid deployment of new technologies and services;

(D) ensure that small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women are given the opportunity to participate in the provision of spectrum-based services, and, for such purposes, consider the use of tax certificates, bidding preferences, and other procedures; and

(E) require such transfer disclosures and antitrafficking restrictions and payment schedules as may be necessary to prevent unjust enrichment as a result of the methods employed to issue licenses and permits.

(5) Bidder and licensee qualification

No person shall be permitted to participate in a system of competitive bidding pursuant to this subsection unless such bidder submits such information and assurances as the Commission may require to demonstrate that such bidder's application is acceptable for filing. No license shall be granted to an applicant selected pursuant to this subsection unless the Commission determines that the applicant is qualified pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and sections 308(b) and 310 of this title. Consistent with the objectives described in paragraph (3), the Commission shall, by regulation, prescribe expedited procedures consistent with the procedures authorized by subsection (i)(2) of this section for the resolution of any substantial and material issues of fact concerning qualifications.

(6) Rules of construction

Nothing in this subsection, or in the use of competitive bidding, shall—

(A) alter spectrum allocation criteria and procedures established by the other provisions of this chapter;

(B) limit or otherwise affect the requirements of subsection (h) of this section, section 301, 304, 307, 310, or 606 of this title, or any other provision of this chapter (other than subsections (d)(2) and (e) of this section);

(C) diminish the authority of the Commission under the other provisions of this chapter to regulate or reclaim spectrum licenses;

(D) be construed to convey any rights, including any expectation of renewal of a license, that differ from the rights that apply to other licenses within the same service that were not issued pursuant to this subsection;

(E) be construed to relieve the Commission of the obligation in the public interest to continue to use engineering solutions, negotiation, threshold qualifications, service regulations, and other means in order to avoid mutual exclusivity in application and licensing proceedings;

(F) be construed to prohibit the Commission from issuing nationwide, regional, or local licenses or permits;

(G) be construed to prevent the Commission from awarding licenses to those persons who make significant contributions to the development of a new telecommunications service or technology; or

(H) be construed to relieve any applicant for a license or permit of the obligation to pay charges imposed pursuant to section 158 of this title.

(7) Consideration of revenues in public interest determinations

(A) Consideration prohibited

In making a decision pursuant to section 303(c) of this title to assign a band of frequencies to a use for which licenses or permits will be issued pursuant to this subsection, and in prescribing regulations pursuant to paragraph (4)(C) of this subsection, the Commission may not base a finding of public interest, convenience, and necessity on the expectation of Federal revenues from the use of a system of competitive bidding under this subsection.

(B) Consideration limited

In prescribing regulations pursuant to paragraph (4)(A) of this subsection, the Commission may not base a finding of public interest, convenience, and necessity solely or predominantly on the expectation of Federal revenues from the use of a system of competitive bidding under this subsection.

(C) Consideration of demand for spectrum not affected

Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent the Commission from continuing to consider consumer demand for spectrum-based services.

(8) Treatment of revenues

(A) General rule

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), all proceeds from the use of a competitive bidding system under this subsection shall be deposited in the Treasury in accordance with chapter 33 of title 31.

(B) Retention of revenues

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the salaries and expenses account of the Commission shall retain as an offsetting collection such sums as may be necessary from such proceeds for the costs of developing and implementing the program required by this subsection. Such offsetting collections shall be available for obligation subject to the terms and conditions of the receiving appropriations account, and shall be deposited in such accounts on a quarterly basis. Any funds appropriated to the Commission for fiscal years 1994 through 1998 for the purpose of assigning licenses using random selection under subsection (i) of this section shall be used by the Commission to implement this subsection.

(9) Use of former Government spectrum

The Commission shall, not later than 5 years after August 10, 1993, issue licenses and permits pursuant to this subsection for the use of bands of frequencies that—

(A) in the aggregate span not less than 10 megahertz; and

(B) have been reassigned from Government use pursuant to part B of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act [47 U.S.C. 921 et seq.].

(10) Authority contingent on availability of additional spectrum

(A) Initial conditions

The Commission's authority to issue licenses or permits under this subsection shall not take effect unless—

(i) the Secretary of Commerce has submitted to the Commission the report required by section 113(d)(1) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act [47 U.S.C. 923(d)(1)];

(ii) such report recommends for immediate reallocation bands of frequencies that, in the aggregate, span not less than 50 megahertz;

(iii) such bands of frequencies meet the criteria required by section 113(a) of such Act [47 U.S.C. 923(a)]; and

(iv) the Commission has completed the rulemaking required by section 332(c)(1)(D) of this title.

(B) Subsequent conditions

The Commission's authority to issue licenses or permits under this subsection on and after 2 years after August 10, 1993, shall cease to be effective if—

(i) the Secretary of Commerce has failed to submit the report required by section 113(a) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act [47 U.S.C. 923(a)];

(ii) the President has failed to withdraw and limit assignments of frequencies as required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 114(a) of such Act [47 U.S.C. 924(a)];

(iii) the Commission has failed to issue the regulations required by section 115(a) of such Act [47 U.S.C. 925(a)];

(iv) the Commission has failed to complete and submit to Congress, not later than 18 months after August 10, 1993, a study of current and future spectrum needs of State and local government public safety agencies through the year 2010, and a specific plan to ensure that adequate frequencies are made available to public safety licensees; or

(v) the Commission has failed under section 332(c)(3) of this title to grant or deny within the time required by such section any petition that a State has filed within 90 days after August 10, 1993;


until such failure has been corrected.

(11) Termination

The authority of the Commission to grant a license or permit under this subsection shall expire September 30, 1998.

(12) Evaluation

Not later than September 30, 1997, the Commission shall conduct a public inquiry and submit to the Congress a report—

(A) containing a statement of the revenues obtained, and a projection of the future revenues, from the use of competitive bidding systems under this subsection;

(B) describing the methodologies established by the Commission pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (4);

(C) comparing the relative advantages and disadvantages of such methodologies in terms of attaining the objectives described in such paragraphs;

(D) evaluating whether and to what extent—

(i) competitive bidding significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the process for granting radio spectrum licenses;

(ii) competitive bidding facilitated the introduction of new spectrum-based technologies and the entry of new companies into the telecommunications market;

(iii) competitive bidding methodologies have secured prompt delivery of service to rural areas and have adequately addressed the needs of rural spectrum users; and

(iv) small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women were able to participate successfully in the competitive bidding process; and


(E) recommending any statutory changes that are needed to improve the competitive bidding process.

(13) Recovery of value of public spectrum in connection with pioneer preferences

(A) In general

Notwithstanding paragraph (6)(G), the Commission shall not award licenses pursuant to a preferential treatment accorded by the Commission to persons who make significant contributions to the development of a new telecommunications service or technology, except in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph.

(B) Recovery of value

The Commission shall recover for the public a portion of the value of the public spectrum resource made available to such person by requiring such person, as a condition for receipt of the license, to agree to pay a sum determined by—

(i) identifying the winning bids for the licenses that the Commission determines are most reasonably comparable in terms of bandwidth, scope of service area, usage restrictions, and other technical characteristics to the license awarded to such person, and excluding licenses that the Commission determines are subject to bidding anomalies due to the award of preferential treatment;

(ii) dividing each such winning bid by the population of its service area (hereinafter referred to as the per capita bid amount);

(iii) computing the average of the per capita bid amounts for the licenses identified under clause (i);

(iv) reducing such average amount by 15 percent; and

(v) multiplying the amount determined under clause (iv) by the population of the service area of the license obtained by such person.

(C) Installments permitted

The Commission shall require such person to pay the sum required by subparagraph (B) in a lump sum or in guaranteed installment payments, with or without royalty payments, over a period of not more than 5 years.

(D) Rulemaking on pioneer preferences

Except with respect to pending applications described in clause (iv) of this subparagraph, the Commission shall prescribe regulations specifying the procedures and criteria by which the Commission will evaluate applications for preferential treatment in its licensing processes (by precluding the filing of mutually exclusive applications) for persons who make significant contributions to the development of a new service or to the development of new technologies that substantially enhance an existing service. Such regulations shall—

(i) specify the procedures and criteria by which the significance of such contributions will be determined, after an opportunity for review and verification by experts in the radio sciences drawn from among persons who are not employees of the Commission or by any applicant for such preferential treatment;

(ii) include such other procedures as may be necessary to prevent unjust enrichment by ensuring that the value of any such contribution justifies any reduction in the amounts paid for comparable licenses under this subsection;

(iii) be prescribed not later than 6 months after December 8, 1994;

(iv) not apply to applications that have been accepted for filing on or before September 1, 1994; and

(v) cease to be effective on the date of the expiration of the Commission's authority under subparagraph (F).

(E) Implementation with respect to pending applications

In applying this paragraph to any broadband licenses in the personal communications service awarded pursuant to the preferential treatment accorded by the Federal Communications Commission in the Third Report and Order in General Docket 90–314 (FCC 93–550, released February 3, 1994)—

(i) the Commission shall not reconsider the award of preferences in such Third Report and Order, and the Commission shall not delay the grant of licenses based on such awards more than 15 days following December 8, 1994, and the award of such preferences and licenses shall not be subject to administrative or judicial review;

(ii) the Commission shall not alter the bandwidth or service areas designated for such licenses in such Third Report and Order;

(iii) except as provided in clause (v), the Commission shall use, as the most reasonably comparable licenses for purposes of subparagraph (B)(i), the broadband licenses in the personal communications service for blocks A and B for the 20 largest markets (ranked by population) in which no applicant has obtained preferential treatment;

(iv) for purposes of subparagraph (C), the Commission shall permit guaranteed installment payments over a period of 5 years, subject to—

(I) the payment only of interest on unpaid balances during the first 2 years, commencing not later than 30 days after the award of the license (including any preferential treatment used in making such award) is final and no longer subject to administrative or judicial review, except that no such payment shall be required prior to the date of completion of the auction of the comparable licenses described in clause (iii); and

(II) payment of the unpaid balance and interest thereon after the end of such 2 years in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Commission; and


(v) the Commission shall recover with respect to broadband licenses in the personal communications service an amount under this paragraph that is equal to not less than $400,000,000, and if such amount is less than $400,000,000, the Commission shall recover an amount equal to $400,000,000 by allocating such amount among the holders of such licenses based on the population of the license areas held by each licensee.


The Commission shall not include in any amounts required to be collected under clause (v) the interest on unpaid balances required to be collected under clause (iv).

(F) Expiration

The authority of the Commission to provide preferential treatment in licensing procedures (by precluding the filing of mutually exclusive applications) to persons who make significant contributions to the development of a new service or to the development of new technologies that substantially enhance an existing service shall expire on September 30, 1998.

(G) Effective date

This paragraph shall be effective on December 8, 1994, and apply to any licenses issued on or after August 1, 1994, by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to any licensing procedure that provides preferential treatment (by precluding the filing of mutually exclusive applications) to persons who make significant contributions to the development of a new service or to the development of new technologies that substantially enhance an existing service.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §309, 48 Stat. 1085; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §7, 66 Stat. 715; Mar. 26, 1954, ch. 110, 68 Stat. 35; Jan. 20, 1956, ch. 1, 70 Stat. 3; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §4(a), 74 Stat. 889; May 14, 1964, Pub. L. 88–306, 78 Stat. 193; May 14, 1964, Pub. L. 88–307, 78 Stat. 194; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1242(a), 95 Stat. 736; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§114, 115, 96 Stat. 1094; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–549, §6(b)(1), 98 Stat. 2804; Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6002(a), (b)(1), 107 Stat. 387, 392; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §§303(a)(16), (17), 304(a)(9), 108 Stat. 4295, 4297; Dec. 8, 1994, Pub. L. 103–465, title VIII, §801, 108 Stat. 5050.)

References in Text

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act, referred to in subsec. (j)(9)(B), is title I of Pub. L. 102–538, Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3533, as amended. Part B of the Act is classified generally to subchapter II (§921 et seq.) of chapter 8 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 901 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (c)(2)(F). Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(16), substituted “section 325(c)” for “section 325(b)”.

Subsec. (i)(4)(A). Pub. L. 103–414, §304(a)(9), which directed substitution of “The Commission shall” for “The commission, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the Communications Technical Amendments Act of 1982, shall”, was executed by making the substitution for “The Commission, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the Communications Amendments Act of 1982, shall”, which for purposes of codification had been translated as “The Commission, not later than 180 days after September 13, 1982, shall”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the amendment by Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(17). See below.

Pub. L. 103–414, §303(a)(17), substituted “date of the enactment of the Communications Amendments Act of 1982” for “date of the enactment of the Communications Technical Amendments Act of 1982”, which for purposes of codification had been translated as “September 13, 1982”, thus resulting in no change in text.

Subsec. (j)(13). Pub. L. 103–465 added par. (13).

1993—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 103–66, §6002(b)(1), inserted subsec. heading, added par. (1), struck out former par. (1), and in par. (4), added subpar. (C). Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “If there is more than one application for any initial license or construction permit which will involve any use of the electromagnetic spectrum, then the Commission, after determining that each such application is acceptable for filing, shall have authority to grant such license or permit to a qualified applicant through the use of a system of random selection.”

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 103–66, §6002(a), added subsec. (j).

1984—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 98–549 substituted “section 706” for “section 606” in the original to accommodate renumbering of sections in subchapter VI (section 601 et seq.) of this chapter by section 6(a) of Pub. L. 98–549. Because both sections translate as “section 606 of this title”, the amendment by section 6(b)(1) of Pub. L. 98–549 resulted in no change in text.

1982—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–259, §114, substituted “temporary” for “emergency” wherever appearing, “additional periods” for “one additional period”, and “180 days” for “ninety days” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (i)(1). Pub. L. 97–259, §115(a), substituted “application” for “applicant” after “more than one”, and “that each such application is acceptable for filing” for “the qualifications of each such applicant under section 308(b) of this title”.

Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 97–259, §115(b), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “The determination of the Commission under paragraph (1) with respect to the qualifications of applicants for an initial license or construction permit shall be made after notice and opportunity for a hearing, except that the provisions of section 409(c)(2) of this title shall not apply in the case of any such determination.”

Subsec. (i)(3)(A). Pub. L. 97–259, §115(c)(1), substituted “used for granting licenses or construction permits for any media of mass communications, significant preferences will be granted to applicants or groups of applicants, the grant to which of the license or permit would increase the diversification of ownership of the media of mass communications. To further diversify the ownership of the media of mass communications, an additional significant preference shall be granted to any applicant controlled by a member or members of a minority group” for “, groups or organizations, or members of groups or organizations, which are underrepresented in the ownership of telecommunications facilities or properties will be granted significant preferences”.

Subsec. (i)(3)(C). Pub. L. 97–259, §115(c)(2), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (i)(4)(A). Pub. L. 97–259, §115(d), substituted “September 13, 1982,” for “August 13, 1981,”.

1981—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 97–35 added subsec. (i).

1964—Subsec. (c)(2)(G). Pub. L. 88–307 inserted “not to exceed sixty days”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 88–306 substituted “not more than thirty days after publication of the hearing issues or any substantial amendment thereto in the Federal Register” for “at any time not less than ten days prior to the date of hearing”.

1960—Pub. L. 86–752 amended section generally to revise pre-grant procedure, and, among other changes, a public notice was substituted for a mandatory notice to applicants and interested parties before hearings upon applications; the Commission was required to hold applications for 30 days before acting upon them without hearings; interested parties were permitted to file petitions to deny applications before the Commission acted upon them without hearings, in lieu of 30 days after applications were granted; interested parties were required to support their petitions with “specific” allegations of fact; the Commission was permitted to dispense with formal hearings when there are “no substantial or material questions of fact,” subject to a requirement that it issue a “concise statement of the reasons” for its action.

1956—Subsec. (c). Act Jan. 20, 1956, struck out hearings with respect to facts which, even if true, would not be grounds for setting aside the Commission's grant; gave the Commission discretion to keep in effect the protested authorization but required the Commission to affirmatively find and set forth that the public interest requires grant to remain in effect; and authorized Commission to redraft issues urged by protestant in accordance with the facts alleged in the protest.

1954—Subsec. (c). Act Mar. 26, 1954, substituted “thirty days” for “fifteen days” in fourth sentence.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, amended section generally to set forth procedure to be followed in cases of denial of applications.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–549 effective 60 days after Oct. 30, 1984, except where otherwise expressly provided, see section 9(a) of Pub. L. 98–549, set out as a note under section 521 of this title.

Effective Date of 1960 Amendment

Section 4(d)(1)–(3) of Pub. L. 86–752 provided that:

“(1) Subsections (a) and (b) of this section [amending this section and section 319 of this title] shall take effect ninety days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 13, 1960].

“(2) Section 309 of the Communications Act of 1934 [this section] (as amended by subsection (a) of this section) shall apply to any application to which section 308 of such Act [section 308 of this title] applies (A) which is filed on or after the effective date of subsection (a) of this section, (B) which is filed before such effective date, but is substantially amended on or after such effective date, or (C) which is filed before such effective date and is not substantially amended on or after such effective date, but with respect to which the Commission by rule provides reasonable opportunity to file petitions to deny in accordance with section 309 of such Act (as amended by subsection (a) of this section) [this section].

“(3) Section 309 of the Communications Act of 1934 [this section], as in effect immediately before the effective date of subsection (a) of this section, shall, on and after such effective date, apply only to applications to which section 308 of such Act [section 308 of this title] apply which are filed before such effective date and not substantially amended on or after such effective date and with respect to which the Commission does not permit petitions to deny to be filed as provided in clause (C) of paragraph (2) of this subsection.”

Deadlines for Commission Action Regarding Competitive Bidding

Section 6002(d)(1), (2) of Pub. L. 103–66 provided that:

“(1) General rulemaking.—The Federal Communications Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934 [47 U.S.C. 309(j)] (as added by this section) within 210 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 1993].

“(2) PCS orders and licensing.—The Commission shall—

“(A) within 180 days after such date of enactment, issue a final report and order (i) in the matter entitled ‘Redevelopment of Spectrum to Encourage Innovation in the Use of New Telecommunications Technologies’ (ET Docket No. 92–9); and (ii) in the matter entitled ‘Amendment of the Commission's Rules to Establish New Personal Communications Services’ (GEN Docket No. 90–314; ET Docket No. 92–100); and

“(B) within 270 days after such date of enactment, commence issuing licenses and permits in the personal communications service.”

Special Rule Regarding Subsection (i) Licenses and Permits

Section 6002(e) of Pub. L. 103–66 provided that: “The Federal Communications Commission shall not issue any license or permit pursuant to section 309(i) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(i)) after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 1993] unless—

“(1) the Commission has made the determination required by paragraph (1)(B) of such section (as added by this section); or

“(2) one or more applications for such license were accepted for filing by the Commission before July 26, 1993.”

Authority To Use the System of Random Selection With Respect to Applications for Initial Licenses and Construction Permits

Section 1242(b) of Pub. L. 97–35 provided that: “The Commission shall have authority to use the system of random selection established by the Commission under section 309(i) of the Communications Act of 1934 [subsec. (i) of this section], as added in subsection (a), with respect to any application for an initial license or construction permit which will involve any use of the electromagnetic spectrum and which—

“(1) is filed with the Commission after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 1981]; or

“(2) is pending before the Commission on such date of enactment but has not been designated for hearing on or before such date of enactment.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 311, 316, 319, 325, 532, 533, 554, 922 of this title.

§310. License ownership restrictions

(a) Grant to or holding by foreign government or representative

The station license required under this chapter shall not be granted to or held by any foreign government or the representative thereof.

(b) Grant to or holding by alien or representative, foreign corporation, etc.

No broadcast or common carrier or aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station license shall be granted to or held by—

(1) any alien or the representative of any alien;

(2) any corporation organized under the laws of any foreign government;

(3) any corporation of which any officer or director is an alien or of which more than one-fifth of the capital stock is owned of record or voted by aliens or their representatives or by a foreign government or representative thereof or by any corporation organized under the laws of a foreign country;

(4) any corporation directly or indirectly controlled by any other corporation of which any officer or more than one-fourth of the directors are aliens, or of which more than one-fourth of the capital stock is owned of record or voted by aliens, their representatives, or by a foreign government or representative thereof, or by any corporation organized under the laws of a foreign country, if the Commission finds that the public interest will be served by the refusal or revocation of such license.

(c) Authorization for aliens licensed by foreign governments; multilateral or bilateral agreement to which United States and foreign country are parties as prerequisite

In addition to amateur station licenses which the Commission may issue to aliens pursuant to this chapter, the Commission may issue authorizations, under such conditions and terms as it may prescribe, to permit an alien licensed by his government as an amateur radio operator to operate his amateur radio station licensed by his government in the United States, its possessions, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico provided there is in effect a multilateral or bilateral agreement, to which the United States and the alien's government are parties, for such operation on a reciprocal basis by United States amateur radio operators. Other provisions of this chapter and of subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5 shall not be applicable to any request or application for or modification, suspension, or cancellation of any such authorization.

(d) Assignment and transfer of construction permit or station license

No construction permit or station license, or any rights thereunder, shall be transferred, assigned, or disposed of in any manner, voluntarily or involuntarily, directly or indirectly, or by transfer of control of any corporation holding such permit or license, to any person except upon application to the Commission and upon finding by the Commission that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served thereby. Any such application shall be disposed of as if the proposed transferee or assignee were making application under section 308 of this title for the permit or license in question; but in acting thereon the Commission may not consider whether the public interest, convenience, and necessity might be served by the transfer, assignment, or disposal of the permit or license to a person other than the proposed transferee or assignee.

(e) Administration of regional concentration rules for broadcast stations

(1) In the case of any broadcast station, and any ownership interest therein, which is excluded from the regional concentration rules by reason of the savings provision for existing facilities provided by the First Report and Order adopted March 9, 1977 (docket No. 20548; 42 Fed. Reg. 16145), the exclusion shall not terminate solely by reason of changes made in the technical facilities of the station to improve its service.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “regional concentration rules” means the provisions of sections 73.35, 73.240, and 73.636 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect June 1, 1983), which prohibit any party from directly or indirectly owning, operating, or controlling three broadcast stations in one or several services where any two of such stations are within 100 miles of the third (measured city-to-city), and where there is a primary service contour overlap of any of the stations.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §310, 48 Stat. 1086; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §8, 66 Stat. 716; Aug. 28, 1958, Pub. L. 85–817, §2, 72 Stat. 981; May 28, 1964, Pub. L. 88–313, §2, 78 Stat. 202; Aug. 10, 1971, Pub. L. 92–81, §2, 85 Stat. 302; Nov. 30, 1974, Pub. L. 93–505, §2, 88 Stat. 1576; Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–214, §7, 97 Stat. 1469; Sept. 28, 1990, Pub. L. 101–396, §8(b), 104 Stat. 850.)

Codification

In subsec. (c), “subchapter II of chapter 5, and chapter 7, of title 5” substituted for “the Administrative Procedure Act” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–396 substituted “multilateral or bilateral agreement, to which the United States and the alien's government are parties,” for “bilateral agreement between the United States and the alien's government”.

1983—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–214 added subsec. (e).

1974—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 93–505 added subsec. (a). Former subsec. (a), which related to granting to or holding of required station licenses by aliens, was struck out.

Subsecs. (b) to (d). Pub. L. 93–505 added subsecs. (b) and (c) and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (d).

1971—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–81 inserted provisions empowering the Commission to issue licenses to certain aliens admitted to the United States for permanent residence, provided that the Commission notify the appropriate agencies of the Government of applications received for license, and that such agencies furnish to the Commission information bearing on the request's compatibility with national security.

1964—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 88–313 empowered the Commission to issue authorizations to permit an alien licensed by his government as an amateur radio operator to operate his station, licensed by his government, in the United States, its possessions, and Puerto Rico, provided there is a bilateral agreement between the United States and the alien's government giving similar rights to United States amateur radio operators, and provided that the Commission notify appropriate agencies of our Government of any applications for authorization, and that such agencies furnish to the Commission information bearing on the request's compatibility with our national security.

1958—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 85–817 inserted paragraph authorizing the grant of licenses for radio stations on aircraft to aliens or representatives of aliens holding pilot certificates.

1952—Subsec. (b). Act July 16, 1952, provided that construction permits and station licenses cannot be transferred, assigned, or disposed of except upon a finding by the Commission that public interest, convenience, or necessity will be served thereby, and that such transfer application will be treated the same as if made under section 308 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 309, 332, 734 of this title; title 40 section 782.

§311. Requirements as to certain applications in broadcasting service

(a) Notices of filing and hearing; form and contents

When there is filed with the Commission any application to which section 309(b)(1) of this title applies, for an instrument of authorization for a station in the broadcasting service, the applicant—

(1) shall give notice of such filing in the principal area which is served or is to be served by the station; and

(2) if the application is formally designated for hearing in accordance with section 309 of this title, shall give notice of such hearing in such area at least ten days before commencement of such hearing.


The Commission shall by rule prescribe the form and content of the notices to be given in compliance with this subsection, and the manner and frequency with which such notices shall be given.

(b) Place of hearing

Hearings referred to in subsection (a) of this section may be held at such places as the Commission shall determine to be appropriate, and in making such determination in any case the Commission shall consider whether the public interest, convenience, or necessity will be served by conducting the hearing at a place in, or in the vicinity of, the principal area to be served by the station involved.

(c) Agreement between two or more applicants; approval of Commission; pendency of application

(1) If there are pending before the Commission two or more applications for a permit for construction of a broadcasting station, only one of which can be granted, it shall be unlawful, without approval of the Commission, for the applicants or any of them to effectuate an agreement whereby one or more of such applicants withdraws his or their application or applications.

(2) The request for Commission approval in any such case shall be made in writing jointly by all the parties to the agreement. Such request shall contain or be accompanied by full information with respect to the agreement, set forth in such detail, form, and manner as the Commission shall by rule require.

(3) The Commission shall approve the agreement only if it determines that (A) the agreement is consistent with the public interest, convenience, or necessity; and (B) no party to the agreement filed its application for the purpose of reaching or carrying out such agreement.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection an application shall be deemed to be “pending” before the Commission from the time such application is filed with the Commission until an order of the Commission granting or denying it is no longer subject to rehearing by the Commission or to review by any court.

(d) License for operation of station; agreement to withdraw application; approval of Commission

(1) If there are pending before the Commission an application for the renewal of a license granted for the operation of a broadcasting station and one or more applications for a construction permit relating to such station, only one of which can be granted, it shall be unlawful, without approval of the Commission, for the applicants or any of them to effectuate an agreement whereby one or more of such applicants withdraws his or their application or applications in exchange for the payment of money, or the transfer of assets or any other thing of value by the remaining applicant or applicants.

(2) The request for Commission approval in any such case shall be made in writing jointly by all the parties to the agreement. Such request shall contain or be accompanied by full information with respect to the agreement, set forth in such detail, form, and manner as the Commission shall require.

(3) The Commission shall approve the agreement only if it determines that (A) the agreement is consistent with the public interest, convenience, or necessity; and (B) no party to the agreement filed its application for the purpose of reaching or carrying out such agreement.

(4) For purposes of this subsection, an application shall be deemed to be pending before the Commission from the time such application is filed with the Commission until an order of the Commission granting or denying it is no longer subject to rehearing by the Commission or to review by any court.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §311, 48 Stat. 1086; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §9, 66 Stat. 716; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §5(a), 74 Stat. 892; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, §1243, 95 Stat. 737; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §116, 96 Stat. 1095.)

Amendments

1982—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 97–259, §116(a), inserted provision that the Commission may not approve the agreement if it determines that a party to the agreement filed its application for the purpose of reaching or carrying out the agreement, and struck out provision that if the agreement did not contemplate a merger, but contemplated the making of any direct or indirect payment to any party thereto in consideration of his withdrawal of his application, the Commission could determine the agreement to be consistent with the public interest, convenience, or necessity only if the amount or value of such payment, as determined by the Commission, was not in excess of the aggregate amount determined by the Commission to have been legitimately and prudently expended and to be expended by such applicant in connection with preparing, filing, and advocating the granting of his application.

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 97–259, §116(b), substituted “an application for the renewal of a license granted for the operation of a broadcasting station and one or more applications for a construction permit relating to such station” for “two or more applications for a license granted for the operation of a broadcasting station”.

Subsec. (d)(3)(B). Pub. L. 97–259, §116(c), struck out “license” after “filed its”.

1981—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–35 added subsec. (d).

1960—Pub. L. 86–752 amended section generally, substituting provisions on requirements for certain applications for broadcasting service, for provisions directing the Commission to refuse a license or permit to any person whose license had been revoked by a court under section 313 of this title.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, omitted provisions relating to monopoly.

§312. Administrative sanctions

(a) Revocation of station license or construction permit

The Commission may revoke any station license or construction permit—

(1) for false statements knowingly made either in the application or in any statement of fact which may be required pursuant to section 308 of this title;

(2) because of conditions coming to the attention of the Commission which would warrant it in refusing to grant a license or permit on an original application;

(3) for willful or repeated failure to operate substantially as set forth in the license;

(4) for willful or repeated violation of, or willful or repeated failure to observe any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized by this chapter or by a treaty ratified by the United States;

(5) for violation of or failure to observe any final cease and desist order issued by the Commission under this section;

(6) for violation of section 1304, 1343, or 1464 of title 18; or

(7) for willful or repeated failure to allow reasonable access to or to permit purchase of reasonable amounts of time for the use of a broadcasting station by a legally qualified candidate for Federal elective office on behalf of his candidacy.

(b) Cease and desist orders

Where any person (1) has failed to operate substantially as set forth in a license, (2) has violated or failed to observe any of the provisions of this chapter, or section 1304, 1343, or 1464 of title 18, or (3) has violated or failed to observe any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized by this chapter or by a treaty ratified by the United States, the Commission may order such person to cease and desist from such action.

(c) Order to show cause

Before revoking a license or permit pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or issuing a cease and desist order pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the Commission shall serve upon the licensee, permittee, or person involved an order to show cause why an order of revocation or a cease and desist order should not be issued. Any such order to show cause shall contain a statement of the matters with respect to which the Commission is inquiring and shall call upon said licensee, permittee, or person to appear before the Commission at a time and place stated in the order, but in no event less than thirty days after the receipt of such order, and give evidence upon the matter specified therein; except that where safety of life or property is involved, the Commission may provide in the order for a shorter period. If after hearing, or a waiver thereof, the Commission determines that an order of revocation or a cease and desist order should issue, it shall issue such order, which shall include a statement of the findings of the Commission and the grounds and reasons therefor and specify the effective date of the order, and shall cause the same to be served on said licensee, permittee, or person.

(d) Burden of proof

In any case where a hearing is conducted pursuant to the provisions of this section, both the burden of proceeding with the introduction of evidence and the burden of proof shall be upon the Commission.

(e) Procedure for issuance of cease and desist order

The provisions of section 558(c) of title 5 which apply with respect to the institution of any proceeding for the revocation of a license or permit shall apply also with respect to the institution, under this section, of any proceeding for the issuance of a cease and desist order.

(f) “Willful” and “repeated” defined

For purposes of this section:

(1) The term “willful”, when used with reference to the commission or omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized by this chapter or by a treaty ratified by the United States.

(2) The term “repeated”, when used with reference to the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §312, 48 Stat. 1086; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §10, 66 Stat. 716; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §6, 74 Stat. 893; Feb. 7, 1972, Pub. L. 92–225, title I, §103(a)(2)(A), 86 Stat. 4; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §117, 96 Stat. 1095.)

Codification

In subsec. (e), “section 558(c) of title 5” substituted for “section 1008(b) of title 5” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1982—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–259 added subsec. (f).

1972—Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 92–225 added par. (7).

1960—Subsecs. (a), (b). Pub. L. 86–752 inserted provisions referring to sections 1304, 1343 and 1464 of title 18.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, amended section generally to provide for revocation of licenses and permits only for acts willfully and knowingly committed or for disregarding cease and desist orders, and to authorize the Commission to issue cease and desist orders.

Repeals

Repeal of title I of Pub. L. 92–225, cited as a credit to this section, by Pub. L. 93–443, title II, §205(b), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1278, has been construed as not repealing the amendment to this section made by section 103(a)(2)(A) of such title I.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 224, 335, 402 of this title.

§312a. Revocation of operator's license used in unlawful distribution of controlled substances

The Federal Communications Commission may revoke any private operator's license issued to any person under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) who is found to have willfully used said license for the purpose of distributing, or assisting in the distribution of, any controlled substance in violation of any provision of Federal law. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission may, upon the request of an appropriate Federal law enforcement agency, assist in the enforcement of Federal law prohibiting the use or distribution of any controlled substance where communications equipment within the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission under the Communications Act of 1934 is willfully being used for purposes of distributing, or assisting in the distribution of, any such substance.

(Pub. L. 99–570, title III, §3451, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–103.)

References in Text

The Communications Act of 1934, referred to in text, is act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, as amended, which is classified principally to this chapter (§151 et seq.). For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, and also as part of the National Drug Interdiction Improvement Act of 1986, and not as part of the Communications Act of 1934 which comprises this chapter.

§313. Application of antitrust laws to manufacture, sale, and trade in radio apparatus

(a) Revocation of licenses

All laws of the United States relating to unlawful restraints and monopolies and to combinations, contracts, or agreements in restraint of trade are declared to be applicable to the manufacture and sale of and to trade in radio apparatus and devices entering into or affecting interstate or foreign commerce and to interstate or foreign radio communications. Whenever in any suit, action, or proceeding, civil or criminal, brought under the provisions of any of said laws or in any proceedings brought to enforce or to review findings and orders of the Federal Trade Commission or other governmental agency in respect of any matters as to which said Commission or other governmental agency is by law authorized to act, any licensee shall be found guilty of the violation of the provisions of such laws or any of them, the court, in addition to the penalties imposed by said laws, may adjudge, order, and/or decree that the license of such licensee shall, as of the date the decree or judgment becomes finally effective or as of such other date as the said decree shall fix, be revoked and that all rights under such license shall thereupon cease: Provided, however, That such licensee shall have the same right of appeal or review as is provided by law in respect of other decrees and judgments of said court.

(b) Refusal of licenses and permits

The Commission is hereby directed to refuse a station license and/or the permit hereinafter required for the construction of a station to any person (or to any person directly or indirectly controlled by such person) whose license has been revoked by a court under this section.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §313, 48 Stat. 1087; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §5(b), 74 Stat. 893.)

References in Text

All laws of the United States relating to unlawful restraints and monopolies and to combinations, contracts, or agreements in restraint of trade, referred to in subsec. (a), mean the antitrust laws which are classified generally to chapter 1 (§1 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Amendments

1960—Pub. L. 86–752 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Transfer of Functions

All executive and administrative functions of the Federal Trade Commission were, with certain exceptions, transferred to the Chairman of such Commission by Reorg. Plan No. 8 of 1950, §1, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3175, 64 Stat. 1264, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§314. Competition in commerce; preservation

After the effective date of this chapter no person engaged directly, or indirectly through any person directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with, such person, or through an agent, or otherwise, in the business of transmitting and/or receiving for hire energy, communications, or signals by radio in accordance with the terms of the license issued under this chapter, shall by purchase, lease, construction, or otherwise, directly or indirectly, acquire, own, control, or operate any cable or wire telegraph or telephone line or system between any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States or in the District of Columbia, and any place in any foreign country, or shall acquire, own, or control any part of the stock or other capital share or any interest in the physical property and/or other assets of any such cable, wire, telegraph, or telephone line or system, if in either case the purpose is and/or the effect thereof may be to substantially lessen competition or to restrain commerce between any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, and any place in any foreign country, or unlawfully to create monopoly in any line of commerce; nor shall any person engaged directly, or indirectly through any person directly or indirectly controlling or controlled by, or under direct or indirect common control with, such person, or through an agent, or otherwise, in the business of transmitting and/or receiving for hire messages by any cable, wire, telegraph, or telephone line or system (a) between any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, and any place in any other State, Territory, or possession of the United States; or (b) between any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and any place in any foreign country, by purchase, lease, construction, or otherwise, directly or indirectly acquire, own, control, or operate any station or the apparatus therein, or any system for transmitting and/or receiving radio communications or signals between any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, and any place in any foreign country, or shall acquire, own, or control any part of the stock or other capital share or any interest in the physical property and/or other assets of any such radio station, apparatus, or system, if in either case the purpose is and/or the effect thereof may be to substantially lessen competition or to restrain commerce between any place in any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, and any place in any foreign country, or unlawfully to create monopoly in any line of commerce.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §314, 48 Stat. 1087.)

References in Text

For effective date of this chapter, see section 607 of this title.

§315. Candidates for public office

(a) Equal opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition; allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public interest; public issues discussion opportunities

If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station: Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast under the provisions of this section. No obligation is imposed under this subsection upon any licensee to allow the use of its station by any such candidate. Appearance by a legally qualified candidate on any—

(1) bona fide newscast,

(2) bona fide news interview,

(3) bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary), or

(4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events (including but not limited to political conventions and activities incidental thereto),


shall not be deemed to be use of a broadcasting station within the meaning of this subsection. Nothing in the foregoing sentence shall be construed as relieving broadcasters, in connection with the presentation of newscasts, news interviews, news documentaries, and on-the-spot coverage of news events, from the obligation imposed upon them under this chapter to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.

(b) Broadcast media rates

The charges made for the use of any broadcasting station by any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office in connection with his campaign for nomination for election, or election, to such office shall not exceed—

(1) during the forty-five days preceding the date of a primary or primary runoff election and during the sixty days preceding the date of a general or special election in which such person is a candidate, the lowest unit charge of the station for the same class and amount of time for the same period; and

(2) at any other time, the charges made for comparable use of such station by other users thereof.

(c) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) the term “broadcasting station” includes a community antenna television system; and

(2) the terms “licensee” and “station licensee” when used with respect to a community antenna television system mean the operator of such system.

(d) Rules and regulations

The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §315, 48 Stat. 1088; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §11, 66 Stat. 717; Sept. 14, 1959, Pub. L. 86–274, §1, 73 Stat. 557; Feb. 7, 1972, Pub. L. 92–225, title I, §§103(a)(1), (2)(B), 104(c), 86 Stat. 4, 7; Oct. 15, 1974, Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §402, 88 Stat. 1291.)

Amendments

1974—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 93–443, §402, struck out provisions respecting station use charges upon certification of nonviolation of Federal limitations of expenditures for use of communications media; redesignated former subsec. (f) as (c); incorporated former par. (1)(A) and (B) provisions in clauses designated (1) and (2) and struck out subpar. (C) definition of “Federal elective office” and par. (2) definition of “legally qualified candidate”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 93–443, §402(a), struck out provisions respecting station use charges upon certification of nonviolation of State limitations of expenditures for use of communications media and conditions for application of State limitations and redesignated former subsec. (g) as (d).

Subsecs. (e) to (g). Pub. L. 93–443, §402(a), struck out subsec. (e) provisions respecting penalties for violations and inapplicability of sections 501 through 503 of this title and redesignated former subsecs. (f) and (g) as (c) and (d).

1972—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–225, §103(a)(2)(B), inserted “under this subsection” after “No obligation is imposed”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–225, §103(a)(1), substituted in introductory text “by any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office in connection with his campaign for nomination for election, or election, to such office”, for “for any of the purposes set forth in this section”, added par. (1), designated existing provisions as par. (2), inserted therein the opening words “at any other time,” and substituted “by other users thereof” for “for other purposes”.

Subsecs. (c) to (g). Pub. L. 92–225, §104(c), added subsecs. (c) to (f) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (g).

1959—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 86–274 provided that appearances by legally qualified candidates on bona fide newscasts, interviews and documentaries and on on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events shall not be deemed to be use of a broadcasting station within the meaning of this subsection.

1952—Act July 16, 1952, designated existing provisions as subsecs. (a) and (c) and added subsec. (b).

Repeals

Repeal of title I of Pub. L. 92–225, cited as a credit to this section, by Pub. L. 93–443, title II, §205(b), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1278, has been construed as not repealing the amendments to this section made by sections 103(a)(1), (2)(B), and 104(c) of such title I.

Effective Date of 1974 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–443 effective Jan. 1, 1975, see section 410(a) of Pub. L. 93–443, set out as a note under section 431 of Title 2, The Congress.

Reexamination of 1959 Amendment; Declaration of Congressional Intent

Section 2 of Pub. L. 86–274 provided that:

“(a) The Congress declares its intention to reexamine from time to time the amendment to section 315(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 [subsec. (a) of this section] made by the first section of this Act, to ascertain whether such amendment has proved to be effective and practicable.

“(b) To assist the Congress in making its reexaminations of such amendment, the Federal Communications Commission shall include in each annual report it makes to Congress a statement setting forth (1) the information and data used by it in determining questions arising from or connected with such amendment, and (2) such recommendations as it deems necessary in the public interest.”

Suspension of Equal Time Provisions for 1960 Campaign

Pub. L. 86–677, Aug. 24, 1960, 74 Stat. 554, suspended that part of subsec. (a) of this section, which requires any licensee of a broadcast station who permits any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station to afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station, for the period of the 1960 presidential and vice presidential campaigns with respect to nominees for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States. The Federal Communications Commission was directed to make a report to the Congress, not later than March 1, 1961, with respect to the effect of the provisions of Pub. L. 86–677 and any recommendations the Commission might have for amendments to this chapter as a result of experience under the provisions of Pub. L. 86–677.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 335 of this title.

§316. Modification by Commission of station licenses or construction permits; burden of proof

(a)(1) Any station license or construction permit may be modified by the Commission either for a limited time or for the duration of the term thereof, if in the judgment of the Commission such action will promote the public interest, convenience, and necessity, or the provisions of this chapter or of any treaty ratified by the United States will be more fully complied with. No such order of modification shall become final until the holder of the license or permit shall have been notified in writing of the proposed action and the grounds and reasons therefor, and shall be given reasonable opportunity, of at least thirty days, to protest such proposed order of modification; except that, where safety of life or property is involved, the Commission may by order provide, for a shorter period of notice.

(2) Any other licensee or permittee who believes its license or permit would be modified by the proposed action may also protest the proposed action before its effective date.

(3) A protest filed pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the requirements of section 309 of this title for petitions to deny.

(b) In any case where a hearing is conducted pursuant to the provisions of this section, both the burden of proceeding with the introduction of evidence and the burden of proof shall be upon the Commission; except that, with respect to any issue that addresses the question of whether the proposed action would modify the license or permit of a person described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, such burdens shall be as determined by the Commission.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §316, as added July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §12, 66 Stat. 717; amended Dec. 8, 1983, Pub. L. 98–214, §4(a), 97 Stat. 1467.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 316 of act June 19, 1934, related to lotteries and similar devices, prior to repeal by act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, §21, 62 Stat. 862, eff. Sept. 1, 1948. See section 1304 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Amendments

1983—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–214, §4(a)(1), (2), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “and shall be given reasonable opportunity, of at least thirty days, to protest such proposed order of modification; except that, where safety of life or property is involved, the Commission may by order provide, for a shorter period of notice” for “and shall have been given reasonable opportunity, in no event less than thirty days, to show cause by public hearing, if requested, why such order of modification should not issue: Provided, That where safety of life or property is involved, the Commission may by order provide for a shorter period of notice”, and added pars. (2) and (3).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–214, §4(a)(3), inserted “; except that, with respect to any issue that addresses the question of whether the proposed action would modify the license or permit of a person described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, such burdens shall be as determined by the Commission”.

§317. Announcement of payment for broadcast

(a) Disclosure of person furnishing

(1) All matter broadcast by any radio station for which any money, service or other valuable consideration is directly or indirectly paid, or promised to or charged or accepted by, the station so broadcasting, from any person, shall, at the time the same is so broadcast, be announced as paid for or furnished, as the case may be, by such person: Provided, That “service or other valuable consideration” shall not include any service or property furnished without charge or at a nominal charge for use on, or in connection with, a broadcast unless it is so furnished in consideration for an identification in a broadcast of any person, product, service, trademark, or brand name beyond an identification which is reasonably related to the use of such service or property on the broadcast.

(2) Nothing in this section shall preclude the Commission from requiring that an appropriate announcement shall be made at the time of the broadcast in the case of any political program or any program involving the discussion of any controversial issue for which any films, records, transcriptions, talent, scripts, or other material or service of any kind have been furnished, without charge or at a nominal charge, directly or indirectly, as an inducement to the broadcast of such program.

(b) Disclosure to station of payments

In any case where a report has been made to a radio station, as required by section 508 of this title, of circumstances which would have required an announcement under this section had the consideration been received by such radio station, an appropriate announcement shall be made by such radio station.

(c) Acquiring information from station employees

The licensee of each radio station shall exercise reasonable diligence to obtain from its employees, and from other persons with whom it deals directly in connection with any program or program matter for broadcast, information to enable such licensee to make the announcement required by this section.

(d) Waiver of announcement

The Commission may waive the requirement of an announcement as provided in this section in any case or class of cases with respect to which it determines that the public interest, convenience, or necessity does not require the broadcasting of such announcement.

(e) Rules and regulations

The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §317, 48 Stat. 1089; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §8(a), 74 Stat. 895; Dec. 8, 1980, Pub. L. 96–507, §2(a), 94 Stat. 2747.)

Amendments

1980—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–507 conformed the reference to section 508 of this title to reflect the renumbering of that section by Pub. L. 96–507.

1960—Pub. L. 86–752 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserting proviso clause, and added subsecs. (b) to (e).

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 503 of this title.

§318. Transmitting apparatus; operator's license

The actual operation of all transmitting apparatus in any radio station for which a station license is required by this chapter shall be carried on only by a person holding an operator's license issued hereunder, and no person shall operate any such apparatus in such station except under and in accordance with an operator's license issued to him by the Commission: Provided, however, That the Commission if it shall find that the public interest, convenience, or necessity will be served thereby may waive or modify the foregoing provisions of this section for the operation of any station except (1) stations for which licensed operators are required by international agreement, (2) stations for which licensed operators are required for safety purposes, and (3) stations operated as common carriers on frequencies below thirty thousand kilocycles: Provided further, That the Commission shall have power to make special regulations governing the granting of licenses for the use of automatic radio devices and for the operation of such devices.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §318, 48 Stat. 1089; Mar. 29, 1937, ch. 58, 50 Stat. 56; July 7, 1960, Pub. L. 86–609, §1, 74 Stat. 363; July 1, 1976, Pub. L. 94–335, 90 Stat. 794; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §205, 106 Stat. 3543; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(d), 108 Stat. 4296.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–414 made technical amendments to directory language of Pub. L. 102–538, §205(1). See 1992 Amendment note below.

1992—Pub. L. 102–538, §205(2), redesignated cl. (4) as (3).

Pub. L. 102–538, §205(1), as amended by Pub. L. 103–414, struck out cl. (3) which read as follows: “stations engaged in broadcasting (other than those engaged primarily in the function of rebroadcasting the signals of broadcast stations),”.

1976—Pub. L. 94–335 substituted “engaged primarily in the function of rebroadcasting the signals of broadcast stations” for “engaged solely in the function of rebroadcasting the signals of television broadcast stations” in parenthetical provisions of cl. (3).

1960—Pub. L. 86–609 inserted “(other than those engaged solely in the function of rebroadcasting the signals of television broadcast stations)” after “engaged in broadcasting”.

1937—Act Mar. 29, 1937, inserted provisos.

Cross References

Radiotelegraph operators licensed as ship's officers, see section 7101 et seq. of Title 46, Shipping.

§319. Construction permits

(a) Requirements

No license shall be issued under the authority of this chapter for the operation of any station unless a permit for its construction has been granted by the Commission. The application for a construction permit shall set forth such facts as the Commission by regulation may prescribe as to the citizenship, character, and the financial, technical, and other ability of the applicant to construct and operate the station, the ownership and location of the proposed station and of the station or stations with which it is proposed to communicate, the frequencies desired to be used, the hours of the day or other periods of time during which it is proposed to operate the station, the purpose for which the station is to be used, the type of transmitting apparatus to be used, the power to be used, the date upon which the station is expected to be completed and in operation, and such other information as the Commission may require. Such application shall be signed by the applicant in any manner or form, including by electronic means, as the Commission may prescribe by regulation.

(b) Time limitation; forfeiture

Such permit for construction shall show specifically the earliest and latest dates between which the actual operation of such station is expected to begin, and shall provide that said permit will be automatically forfeited if the station is not ready for operation within the time specified or within such further time as the Commission may allow, unless prevented by causes not under the control of the grantee.

(c) Licenses for operation

Upon the completion of any station for the construction or continued construction of which a permit has been granted, and upon it being made to appear to the Commission that all the terms, conditions, and obligations set forth in the application and permit have been fully met, and that no cause or circumstance arising or first coming to the knowledge of the Commission since the granting of the permit would, in the judgment of the Commission, make the operation of such station against the public interest, the Commission shall issue a license to the lawful holder of said permit for the operation of said station. Said license shall conform generally to the terms of said permit. The provisions of section 309(a)–(g) of this title shall not apply with respect to any station license the issuance of which is provided for and governed by the provisions of this subsection.

(d) Government, amateur, or mobile station; waiver

A permit for construction shall not be required for Government stations, amateur stations, or mobile stations. A permit for construction shall not be required for public coast stations, privately owned fixed microwave stations, or stations licensed to common carriers, unless the Commission determines that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served by requiring such permits for any such stations. With respect to any broadcasting station, the Commission shall not have any authority to waive the requirement of a permit for construction. With respect to any other station or class of stations, the Commission shall not waive such requirement unless the Commission determines that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served by such a waiver.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §319, 48 Stat. 1089; July 16, 1952, ch. 879, §13, 66 Stat. 718; Mar. 26, 1954, ch. 111, 68 Stat. 35; July 7, 1960, Pub. L. 86–609, §2, 74 Stat. 363; Sept. 13, 1960, Pub. L. 86–752, §4(b), 74 Stat. 892; Apr. 27, 1962, Pub. L. 87–444, §4, 76 Stat. 64; Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§118, 119, 96 Stat. 1095, 1096; Oct. 27, 1992, Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §204(c), 106 Stat. 3543.)

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–538 inserted before period at end “in any manner or form, including by electronic means, as the Commission may prescribe by regulation”.

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–259, §118, struck out “the construction of which is begun or is continued after this chapter takes effect,” after “operation of any station”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–259, §119, substituted provision that a permit for construction shall not be required for public coast stations, privately owned fixed microwave stations, or stations licensed to common carriers, unless the Commission determines that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served by requiring such permits for any such stations, that with respect to any broadcasting station, the Commission shall not have any authority to waive the requirement of a permit for construction, and that with respect to any other station or class of stations, the Commission shall not waive such requirement unless the Commission determines that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served by such a waiver, for provision that with respect to stations or classes of stations other than Government stations, amateur stations, mobile stations, and broadcasting stations, the Commission could waive the requirement of a permit for construction if it found that the public interest, convenience, or necessity would be served thereby, that such waiver would apply only to stations whose construction was begun subsequent to the effective date of the waiver, and that if the Commission found that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served thereby, it could waive the requirement of a permit for construction of a station that was engaged solely in rebroadcasting television signals if such station had been constructed on or before July 7, 1960.

1962—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 87–444 struck out requirement that applications were to be signed under oath or affirmation.

1960—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–752 inserted references to section 309(d)–(g).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 86–609 authorized the Commission to waive the requirement of a permit for construction of a station engaged solely in rebroadcasting television signals if such station was constructed on or before July 7, 1960.

1954—Subsec. (b). Act Mar. 26, 1954, struck out sentence providing that a construction permit should not be required for Government stations, amateur stations, or stations upon mobile vessels, railroad rolling stock, or aircraft, such provisions being covered by subsec. (d) of this section.

Subsec. (d). Act Mar. 26, 1954, added subsec. (d).

1952—Subsec. (a). Act July 16, 1952, §13(a), (b), struck out “upon written application therefor” after “by the Commission” in first sentence, struck out second sentence, and substituted in third sentence, “The application for a construction permit shall set forth” for “This application shall set forth”.

Subsec. (b). Act July 16, 1952, §13(c), (d), struck out second sentence relating to assignment of rights under a permit, and struck out last two sentences, which are incorporated in subsec. (c).

Subsec. (c). Act July 16, 1952, §13(d), added subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1960 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 86–752 effective ninety days after Sept. 13, 1960, see section 4(d)(1) of Pub. L. 86–752, set out as a note under section 309 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 309 of this title.

§320. Stations liable to interfere with distress signals; designation and regulation

The Commission is authorized to designate from time to time radio stations the communications or signals of which, in its opinion, are liable to interfere with the transmission or reception of distress signals of ships. Such stations are required to keep a licensed radio operator listening in on the frequencies designated for signals of distress and radio communications relating thereto during the entire period the transmitter of such station is in operation.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §320, 48 Stat. 1090.)

§321. Distress signals and communications; equipment on vessels; regulations

(a) The transmitting set in a radio station on shipboard may be adjusted in such a manner as to produce a maximum of radiation, irrespective of the amount of interference which may thus be caused, when such station is sending radio communications or signals of distress and radio communications relating thereto.

(b) All radio stations, including Government stations and stations on board foreign vessels when within the territorial waters of the United States, shall give absolute priority to radio communications or signals relating to ships in distress; shall cease all sending on frequencies which will interfere with hearing a radio communication or signal of distress, and, except when engaged in answering or aiding the ship in distress, shall refrain from sending any radio communications or signals until there is assurance that no interference will be caused with the radio communications or signals relating thereto, and shall assist the vessel in distress, so far as possible, by complying with its instructions.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §321, 48 Stat. 1090; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §7, 50 Stat. 191.)

Amendments

1937—Subsec. (a). Act May 20, 1937, struck out provisions which required radio stations on shipboard to be equipped to transmit radio communications or signals of distress on the frequency specified by the Commission, with apparatus capable of transmitting and receiving messages over a distance of at least 100 miles by day or night.

§322. Exchanging radio communications between land and ship stations and from ship to ship

Every land station open to general public service between the coast and vessels or aircraft at sea shall, within the scope of its normal operations, be bound to exchange radio communications or signals with any ship or aircraft station at sea; and each station on shipboard or aircraft at sea shall, within the scope of its normal operations, be bound to exchange radio communications or signals with any other station on shipboard or aircraft at sea or with any land station open to general public service between the coast and vessels or aircraft at sea: Provided, That such exchange of radio communication shall be without distinction as to radio systems or instruments adopted by each station.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §322, 48 Stat. 1090; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §8, 50 Stat. 191.)

Amendments

1937—Act May 20, 1937, provided for radio communications with aircraft stations.

§323. Interference between Government and commercial stations

(a) At all places where Government and private or commercial radio stations on land operate in such close proximity that interference with the work of Government stations cannot be avoided when they are operating simultaneously, such private or commercial stations as do interfere with the transmission or reception of radio communications or signals by the Government stations concerned shall not use their transmitters during the first fifteen minutes of each hour, local standard time.

(b) The Government stations for which the above-mentioned division of time is established shall transmit radio communications or signals only during the first fifteen minutes of each hour, local standard time, except in case of signals or radio communications relating to vessels in distress and vessel requests for information as to course, location, or compass direction.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §323, 48 Stat. 1090.)

§324. Use of minimum power

In all circumstances, except in case of radio communications or signals relating to vessels in distress, all radio stations, including those owned and operated by the United States, shall use the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §324, 48 Stat. 1091.)

§325. False, fraudulent, or unauthorized transmissions

(a) False distress signals; rebroadcasting programs

No person within the jurisdiction of the United States shall knowingly utter or transmit, or cause to be uttered or transmitted, any false or fraudulent signal of distress, or communication relating thereto, nor shall any broadcasting station rebroadcast the program or any part thereof of another broadcasting station without the express authority of the originating station.

(b) Consent to retransmission of broadcasting station signals

(1) Following the date that is one year after October 5, 1992, no cable system or other multichannel video programming distributor shall retransmit the signal of a broadcasting station, or any part thereof, except—

(A) with the express authority of the originating station; or

(B) pursuant to section 534 of this title, in the case of a station electing, in accordance with this subsection, to assert the right to carriage under such section.


(2) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to—

(A) retransmission of the signal of a noncommercial broadcasting station;

(B) retransmission directly to a home satellite antenna of the signal of a broadcasting station that is not owned or operated by, or affiliated with, a broadcasting network, if such signal was retransmitted by a satellite carrier on May 1, 1991;

(C) retransmission of the signal of a broadcasting station that is owned or operated by, or affiliated with, a broadcasting network directly to a home satellite antenna, if the household receiving the signal is an unserved household; or

(D) retransmission by a cable operator or other multichannel video programming distributor of the signal of a superstation if such signal was obtained from a satellite carrier and the originating station was a superstation on May 1, 1991.


For purposes of this paragraph, the terms “satellite carrier”, “superstation”, and “unserved household” have the meanings given those terms, respectively, in section 119(d) of title 17 as in effect on October 5, 1992.

(3)(A) Within 45 days after October 5, 1992, the Commission shall commence a rulemaking proceeding to establish regulations to govern the exercise by television broadcast stations of the right to grant retransmission consent under this subsection and of the right to signal carriage under section 534 of this title, and such other regulations as are necessary to administer the limitations contained in paragraph (2). The Commission shall consider in such proceeding the impact that the grant of retransmission consent by television stations may have on the rates for the basic service tier and shall ensure that the regulations prescribed under this subsection do not conflict with the Commission's obligation under section 543(b)(1) of this title to ensure that the rates for the basic service tier are reasonable. Such rulemaking proceeding shall be completed within 180 days after October 5, 1992.

(B) The regulations required by subparagraph (A) shall require that television stations, within one year after October 5, 1992, and every three years thereafter, make an election between the right to grant retransmission consent under this subsection and the right to signal carriage under section 534 of this title. If there is more than one cable system which services the same geographic area, a station's election shall apply to all such cable systems.

(4) If an originating television station elects under paragraph (3)(B) to exercise its right to grant retransmission consent under this subsection with respect to a cable system, the provisions of section 534 of this title shall not apply to the carriage of the signal of such station by such cable system.

(5) The exercise by a television broadcast station of the right to grant retransmission consent under this subsection shall not interfere with or supersede the rights under section 534 or 535 of this title of any station electing to assert the right to signal carriage under that section.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as modifying the compulsory copyright license established in section 111 of title 17 or as affecting existing or future video programming licensing agreements between broadcasting stations and video programmers.

(c) Broadcast to foreign countries for rebroadcast to United States; permit

No person shall be permitted to locate, use, or maintain a radio broadcast studio or other place or apparatus from which or whereby sound waves are converted into electrical energy, or mechanical or physical reproduction of sound waves produced, and caused to be transmitted or delivered to a radio station in a foreign country for the purpose of being broadcast from any radio station there having a power output of sufficient intensity and/or being so located geographically that its emissions may be received consistently in the United States, without first obtaining a permit from the Commission upon proper application therefor.

(d) Application for permit

Such application shall contain such information as the Commission may by regulation prescribe, and the granting or refusal thereof shall be subject to the requirements of section 309 of this title with respect to applications for station licenses or renewal or modification thereof, and the license or permission so granted shall be revocable for false statements in the application so required or when the Commission, after hearings, shall find its continuation no longer in the public interest.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §325, 48 Stat. 1091; Oct. 5, 1992, Pub. L. 102–385, §6, 106 Stat. 1482.)

Amendments

1992—Subsecs. (b) to (d). Pub. L. 102–385 added subsec. (b) and redesignated former subsecs. (b) and (c) as (c) and (d), respectively.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Section 28 of Pub. L. 102–385 provided that: “Except where otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this Act [enacting sections 334, 335, 534 to 537, 544a, 548, and 555a of this title, amending this section and sections 332, 522, 532, 533, 541 to 544, 546, 551 to 555, and 558 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 521, 531, 543, and 554 of this title] and the amendments made thereby shall take effect 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 1992].”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 309, 402, 534 of this title.

§326. Censorship

Nothing in this chapter shall be understood or construed to give the Commission the power of censorship over the radio communications or signals transmitted by any radio station, and no regulation or condition shall be promulgated or fixed by the Commission which shall interfere with the right of free speech by means of radio communication.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §326, 48 Stat. 1091; June 25, 1948, ch. 645, §21, 62 Stat. 862.)

Amendments

1948—Act June 25, 1948, repealed last sentence relating to use of indecent language. See section 1464 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

Effective Date of 1948 Amendment

Amendment by act June 25, 1948, effective as of Sept. 1, 1948, see section 20 of that act.

§327. Naval stations; use for commercial messages; rates

The Secretary of the Navy is authorized, unless restrained by international agreement, under the terms and conditions and at rates prescribed by him, which rates shall be just and reasonable, and which, upon complaint, shall be subject to review and revision by the Commission, to use all radio stations and apparatus, wherever located, owned by the United States and under the control of the Navy Department, (a) for the reception and transmission of press messages offered by any newspaper published in the United States, its Territories or possessions, or published by citizens of the United States in foreign countries, or by any press association of the United States, and (b) for the reception and transmission of private commercial messages between ships, between ship and shore, between localities in Alaska and between Alaska and the continental United States: Provided, That the rates fixed for the reception and transmission of all such messages, other than press messages between the Pacific coast of the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, American Samoa, the Philippine Islands, and the Orient, and between the United States and the Virgin Islands, shall not be less than the rates charged by privately owned and operated stations for like messages and service: Provided further, That the right to use such stations for any of the purposes named in this section shall terminate and cease as between any countries or localities or between any locality and privately operated ships whenever privately owned and operated stations are capable of meeting the normal communication requirements between such countries or localities or between any locality and privately operated ships, and the Commission shall have notified the Secretary of the Navy thereof.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §327, 48 Stat. 1091.)

References in Text

The Philippine Islands, referred to in text, were granted their independence by Proc. No. 2695, eff. July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352, issued pursuant to section 1394 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, and set out under that section. They are now known as the Republic of the Philippines.

§328. Repealed. Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §304(a)(10), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4297

Section, act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §328, 48 Stat. 1092; Proc. No. 2695, eff. July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352, related to representation of Canal Zone in international radio matters by Secretary of State.

§329. Administration of radio laws in Territories and possessions

The Commission is authorized to designate any officer or employee of any other department of the Government on duty in any Territory or possession of the United States to render therein such service in connection with the administration of this chapter as the Commission may prescribe and also to designate any officer or employee of any other department of the Government to render such services at any place within the United States in connection with the administration of this subchapter as may be necessary: Provided, That such designation shall be approved by the head of the department in which such person is employed.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §329, 48 Stat. 1092; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §9, 50 Stat. 191.)

Amendments

1937—Act May 20, 1937, struck out provisions which prohibited designation of officers and employees in the Philippine Islands and Canal Zone and inserted provisions permitting designation of officers and employees within the United States.

§330. Prohibition against shipment of certain television receivers

(a) No person shall ship in interstate commerce, or import from any foreign country into the United States, for sale or resale to the public, apparatus described in subsection (s) of section 303 of this title unless it complies with rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to the authority granted by that subsection: Provided, That this section shall not apply to carriers transporting such apparatus without trading in it.

(b) No person shall ship in interstate commerce, manufacture, assemble, or import from any foreign country into the United States, any apparatus described in section 303(u) of this title except in accordance with rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to the authority granted by that section. Such rules shall provide performance and display standards for such built-in decoder circuitry. Such rules shall further require that all such apparatus be able to receive and display closed captioning which have been transmitted by way of line 21 of the vertical blanking interval and which conform to the signal and display specifications set forth in the Public Broadcasting System engineering report numbered E–7709–C dated May 1980, as amended by the Telecaption II Decoder Module Performance Specification published by the National Captioning Institute, November 1985. As new video technology is developed, the Commission shall take such action as the Commission determines appropriate to ensure that closed-captioning service continues to be available to consumers. This subsection shall not apply to carriers transporting such apparatus without trading it.

(c) For the purposes of this section, section 303(s) of this title, and section 303(u) of this title—

(1) The term “interstate commerce” means (A) commerce between any State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States and any place outside thereof which is within the United States, (B) commerce between points in the same State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or possession of the United States but through any place outside thereof, or (C) commerce wholly within the District of Columbia or any possession of the United States.

(2) The term “United States” means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the possessions of the United States, but does not include the Canal Zone.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §330, as added July 10, 1962, Pub. L. 87–529, §2, 76 Stat. 151; amended Oct. 15, 1990, Pub. L. 101–431, §4, 104 Stat. 961.)

References in Text

For definition of Canal Zone, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), see section 3602(b) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Amendments

1990—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 101–431 added subsec. (b), redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c), and substituted “, section 303(s) of this title, and section 303(u) of this title” for “and section 303(s) of this title”.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–431 effective July 1, 1993, see section 5 of Pub. L. 101–431, set out as a note under section 303 of this title.

§331. Very high frequency stations and AM radio stations

(a) Very high frequency stations

It shall be the policy of the Federal Communications Commission to allocate channels for very high frequency commercial television broadcasting in a manner which ensures that not less than one such channel shall be allocated to each State, if technically feasible. In any case in which licensee of a very high frequency commercial television broadcast station notifies the Commission to the effect that such licensee will agree to the reallocation of its channel to a community within a State in which there is allocated no very high frequency commercial television broadcast channel at the time 1 such notification, the Commission shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, order such reallocation and issue a license to such licensee for that purpose pursuant to such notification for a term of not to exceed 5 years as provided in section 307(d) 2 of this title.

(b) AM radio stations

It shall be the policy of the Commission, in any case in which the licensee of an existing AM daytime-only station located in a community with a population of more than 100,000 persons that lacks a local full-time aural station licensed to that community and that is located within a Class I station primary service area notifies the Commission that such licensee seeks to provide full-time service, to ensure that such a licensee is able to place a principal community contour signal over its entire community of license 24 hours a day, if technically feasible. The Commission shall report to the appropriate committees of Congress within 30 days after December 20, 1991, on how it intends to meet this policy goal.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §331, as added Sept. 3, 1982, Pub. L. 97–248, title III, §355, 96 Stat. 641; amended Dec. 20, 1991, Pub. L. 102–243, §4, 105 Stat. 2402; Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(18), 108 Stat. 4295.)

References in Text

Subsec. (d) of section 307 of this title, referred to in subsec. (a), was redesignated subsec. (c) of section 307 by Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §112(a), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1093.

Codification

December 20, 1991, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original “the date of enactment of this Act”, which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 102–243, which enacted subsec. (b), to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Another section 331 of act June 19, 1934 was renumbered section 332 and is classified to section 332 of this title.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 331, act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §331, as added Sept. 14, 1973, Pub. L. 93–107, §1, 87 Stat. 350, related to broadcasting of games of professional sports clubs, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 93–107, §2, Sept. 14, 1973, 87 Stat. 351, effective Dec. 31, 1975.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–414 amended section catchline generally.

1991—Pub. L. 102–243 inserted “and AM radio stations” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by “of”.

2 See References in Text note below.

§332. Mobile services

(a) Factors which Commission must consider

In taking actions to manage the spectrum to be made available for use by the private mobile services, the Commission shall consider, consistent with section 151 of this title, whether such actions will—

(1) promote the safety of life and property;

(2) improve the efficiency of spectrum use and reduce the regulatory burden upon spectrum users, based upon sound engineering principles, user operational requirements, and marketplace demands;

(3) encourage competition and provide services to the largest feasible number of users; or

(4) increase interservice sharing opportunities between private mobile services and other services.

(b) Advisory coordinating committees

(1) The Commission, in coordinating the assignment of frequencies to stations in the private mobile services and in the fixed services (as defined by the Commission by rule), shall have authority to utilize assistance furnished by advisory coordinating committees consisting of individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government.

(2) The authority of the Commission established in this subsection shall not be subject to or affected by the provisions of part III of title 5 or section 1342 of title 31.

(3) Any person who provides assistance to the Commission under this subsection shall not be considered, by reason of having provided such assistance, a Federal employee.

(4) Any advisory coordinating committee which furnishes assistance to the Commission under this subsection shall not be subject to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

(c) Regulatory treatment of mobile services

(1) Common carrier treatment of commercial mobile services

(A) A person engaged in the provision of a service that is a commercial mobile service shall, insofar as such person is so engaged, be treated as a common carrier for purposes of this chapter, except for such provisions of subchapter II of this chapter as the Commission may specify by regulation as inapplicable to that service or person. In prescribing or amending any such regulation, the Commission may not specify any provision of section 201, 202, or 208 of this title, and may specify any other provision only if the Commission determines that—

(i) enforcement of such provision is not necessary in order to ensure that the charges, practices, classifications, or regulations for or in connection with that service are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory;

(ii) enforcement of such provision is not necessary for the protection of consumers; and

(iii) specifying such provision is consistent with the public interest.


(B) Upon reasonable request of any person providing commercial mobile service, the Commission shall order a common carrier to establish physical connections with such service pursuant to the provisions of section 201 of this title. Except to the extent that the Commission is required to respond to such a request, this subparagraph shall not be construed as a limitation or expansion of the Commission's authority to order interconnection pursuant to this chapter.

(C) The Commission shall review competitive market conditions with respect to commercial mobile services and shall include in its annual report an analysis of those conditions. Such analysis shall include an identification of the number of competitors in various commercial mobile services, an analysis of whether or not there is effective competition, an analysis of whether any of such competitors have a dominant share of the market for such services, and a statement of whether additional providers or classes of providers in those services would be likely to enhance competition. As a part of making a determination with respect to the public interest under subparagraph (A)(iii), the Commission shall consider whether the proposed regulation (or amendment thereof) will promote competitive market conditions, including the extent to which such regulation (or amendment) will enhance competition among providers of commercial mobile services. If the Commission determines that such regulation (or amendment) will promote competition among providers of commercial mobile services, such determination may be the basis for a Commission finding that such regulation (or amendment) is in the public interest.

(D) The Commission shall, not later than 180 days after August 10, 1993, complete a rulemaking required to implement this paragraph with respect to the licensing of personal communications services, including making any determinations required by subparagraph (C).

(2) Non-common carrier treatment of private mobile services

A person engaged in the provision of a service that is a private mobile service shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be treated as a common carrier for any purpose under this chapter. A common carrier (other than a person that was treated as a provider of a private land mobile service prior to August 10, 1993) shall not provide any dispatch service on any frequency allocated for common carrier service, except to the extent such dispatch service is provided on stations licensed in the domestic public land mobile radio service before January 1, 1982. The Commission may by regulation terminate, in whole or in part, the prohibition contained in the preceding sentence if the Commission determines that such termination will serve the public interest.

(3) State preemption

(A) Notwithstanding sections 152(b) and 221(b) of this title, no State or local government shall have any authority to regulate the entry of or the rates charged by any commercial mobile service or any private mobile service, except that this paragraph shall not prohibit a State from regulating the other terms and conditions of commercial mobile services. Nothing in this subparagraph shall exempt providers of commercial mobile services (where such services are a substitute for land line telephone exchange service for a substantial portion of the communications within such State) from requirements imposed by a State commission on all providers of telecommunications services necessary to ensure the universal availability of telecommunications service at affordable rates. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this subparagraph, a State may petition the Commission for authority to regulate the rates for any commercial mobile service and the Commission shall grant such petition if such State demonstrates that—

(i) market conditions with respect to such services fail to protect subscribers adequately from unjust and unreasonable rates or rates that are unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory; or

(ii) such market conditions exist and such service is a replacement for land line telephone exchange service for a substantial portion of the telephone land line exchange service within such State.


The Commission shall provide reasonable opportunity for public comment in response to such petition, and shall, within 9 months after the date of its submission, grant or deny such petition. If the Commission grants such petition, the Commission shall authorize the State to exercise under State law such authority over rates, for such periods of time, as the Commission deems necessary to ensure that such rates are just and reasonable and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory.

(B) If a State has in effect on June 1, 1993, any regulation concerning the rates for any commercial mobile service offered in such State on such date, such State may, no later than 1 year after August 10, 1993, petition the Commission requesting that the State be authorized to continue exercising authority over such rates. If a State files such a petition, the State's existing regulation shall, notwithstanding subparagraph (A), remain in effect until the Commission completes all action (including any reconsideration) on such petition. The Commission shall review such petition in accordance with the procedures established in such subparagraph, shall complete all action (including any reconsideration) within 12 months after such petition is filed, and shall grant such petition if the State satisfies the showing required under subparagraph (A)(i) or (A)(ii). If the Commission grants such petition, the Commission shall authorize the State to exercise under State law such authority over rates, for such period of time, as the Commission deems necessary to ensure that such rates are just and reasonable and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory. After a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Commission, has elapsed from the issuance of an order under subparagraph (A) or this subparagraph, any interested party may petition the Commission for an order that the exercise of authority by a State pursuant to such subparagraph is no longer necessary to ensure that the rates for commercial mobile services are just and reasonable and not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory. The Commission shall provide reasonable opportunity for public comment in response to such petition, and shall, within 9 months after the date of its submission, grant or deny such petition in whole or in part.

(4) Regulatory treatment of communications satellite corporation

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to alter or affect the regulatory treatment required by title IV of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962 [47 U.S.C. 741 et seq.] of the corporation authorized by title III of such Act [47 U.S.C. 731 et seq.].

(5) Space segment capacity

Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Commission from continuing to determine whether the provision of space segment capacity by satellite systems to providers of commercial mobile services shall be treated as common carriage.

(6) Foreign ownership

The Commission, upon a petition for waiver filed within 6 months after August 10, 1993, may waive the application of section 310(b) of this title to any foreign ownership that lawfully existed before May 24, 1993, of any provider of a private land mobile service that will be treated as a common carrier as a result of the enactment of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, but only upon the following conditions:

(A) The extent of foreign ownership interest shall not be increased above the extent which existed on May 24, 1993.

(B) Such waiver shall not permit the subsequent transfer of ownership to any other person in violation of section 310(b) of this title.

(d) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) the term “commercial mobile service” means any mobile service (as defined in section 153(n) of this title) that is provided for profit and makes interconnected service available (A) to the public or (B) to such classes of eligible users as to be effectively available to a substantial portion of the public, as specified by regulation by the Commission;

(2) the term “interconnected service” means service that is interconnected with the public switched network (as such terms are defined by regulation by the Commission) or service for which a request for interconnection is pending pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section; and

(3) the term “private mobile service” means any mobile service (as defined in section 153(n) of this title) that is not a commercial mobile service or the functional equivalent of a commercial mobile service, as specified by regulation by the Commission.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §332, formerly §331, as added Sept. 13, 1982, Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §120(a), 96 Stat. 1096; renumbered §332, Oct. 5, 1992, Pub. L. 102–385, §25(b), 106 Stat. 1502; amended Aug. 10, 1993, Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, §6002(b)(2)(A), 107 Stat. 392.)

References in Text

Provisions of part III of title 5, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), are classified to section 2101 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(4), is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, as amended, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

The Communications Satellite Act of 1962, referred to in subsec. (c)(4), is Pub. L. 87–624, Aug. 31, 1962, 76 Stat. 419, as amended. Titles III and IV of the Act are classified generally to subchapters III (§731 et seq.) and IV (§741 et seq.), respectively, of chapter 6 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 701 of this title and Tables.

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, referred to in subsec. (c)(6), is Pub. L. 103–66, Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 312, as amended. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Codification

In subsec. (b)(2), “section 1342 of title 31” substituted for “section 3679(b) of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C. 665(b))” on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, §4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.

Amendments

1993—Pub. L. 103–66 struck out “Private land” before “mobile services” in section catchline, struck out “land” before “mobile services” wherever appearing in subsecs. (a) and (b), added subsecs. (c) and (d), and struck out former subsec. (c) which related to service provided by specialized mobile radio, multiple licensed radio dispatch systems, and other radio dispatch systems; common carriers; and rate or entry regulations.

Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Section 6002(c) of Pub. L. 103–66 provided that:

“(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 152, 153, and 309 of this title] are effective on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 1993].

“(2) Effective dates of mobile service amendments.—The amendments made by subsection (b)(2) [amending this section and sections 152 and 153 of this title] shall be effective on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 1993], except that—

“(A) section 332(c)(3)(A) of the Communications Act of 1934 [subsec. (c)(3)(A) of this section], as amended by such subsection, shall take effect 1 year after such date of enactment; and

“(B) any private land mobile service provided by any person before such date of enactment, and any paging service utilizing frequencies allocated as of January 1, 1993, for private land mobile services, shall, except for purposes of section 332(c)(6) of such Act [subsec. (c)(6) of this section], be treated as a private mobile service until 3 years after such date of enactment.”

Transitional Rulemaking for Mobile Service Providers

Section 6002(d)(3) of Pub. L. 103–66 provided that: “Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 1993], the Federal Communications Commission—

“(A) shall issue such modifications or terminations of the regulations applicable (before the date of enactment of this Act) to private land mobile services as are necessary to implement the amendments made by subsection (b)(2) [amending this section and sections 152 and 153 of this title];

“(B) in the regulations that will, after such date of enactment, apply to a service that was a private land mobile service and that becomes a commercial mobile service (as a consequence of such amendments), shall make such other modifications or terminations as may be necessary and practical to assure that licensees in such service are subjected to technical requirements that are comparable to the technical requirements that apply to licensees that are providers of substantially similar common carrier services;

“(C) shall issue such other regulations as are necessary to implement the amendments made by subsection (b)(2); and

“(D) shall include, in such regulations, modifications, and terminations, such provisions as are necessary to provide for an orderly transition.”

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 152, 309, 1001, 1002 of this title.

§333. Willful or malicious interference

No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter or operated by the United States Government.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §333, as added Sept. 28, 1990, Pub. L. 101–396, §9, 104 Stat. 850.)

§334. Limitation on revision of equal employment opportunity regulations

(a) Limitation

Except as specifically provided in this section, the Commission shall not revise—

(1) the regulations concerning equal employment opportunity as in effect on September 1, 1992 (47 C.F.R. 73.2080) as such regulations apply to television broadcast station licensees and permittees; or

(2) the forms used by such licensees and permittees to report pertinent employment data to the Commission.

(b) Midterm review

The Commission shall revise the regulations described in subsection (a) of this section to require a midterm review of television broadcast station licensees’ employment practices and to require the Commission to inform such licensees of necessary improvements in recruitment practices identified as a consequence of such review.

(c) Authority to make technical revisions

The Commission may revise the regulations described in subsection (a) of this section to make nonsubstantive technical or clerical revisions in such regulations as necessary to reflect changes in technology, terminology, or Commission organization.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §334, as added Oct. 5, 1992, Pub. L. 102–385, §22(f), 106 Stat. 1499.)

Effective Date

Section effective 60 days after Oct. 5, 1992, see section 28 of Pub. L. 102–385, set out as an Effective Date of 1992 Amendment note under section 325 of this title.

§335. Direct broadcast satellite service obligations

(a) Proceeding required to review DBS responsibilities

The Commission shall, within 180 days after October 5, 1992, initiate a rulemaking proceeding to impose, on providers of direct broadcast satellite service, public interest or other requirements for providing video programming. Any regulations prescribed pursuant to such rulemaking shall, at a minimum, apply the access to broadcast time requirement of section 312(a)(7) of this title and the use of facilities requirements of section 315 of this title to providers of direct broadcast satellite service providing video programming. Such proceeding also shall examine the opportunities that the establishment of direct broadcast satellite service provides for the principle of localism under this chapter, and the methods by which such principle may be served through technological and other developments in, or regulation of, such service.

(b) Carriage obligations for noncommercial, educational, and informational programming

(1) Channel capacity required

The Commission shall require, as a condition of any provision, initial authorization, or authorization renewal for a provider of direct broadcast satellite service providing video programming, that the provider of such service reserve a portion of its channel capacity, equal to not less than 4 percent nor more than 7 percent, exclusively for noncommercial programming of an educational or informational nature.

(2) Use of unused channel capacity

A provider of such service may utilize for any purpose any unused channel capacity required to be reserved under this subsection pending the actual use of such channel capacity for noncommercial programming of an educational or informational nature.

(3) Prices, terms, and conditions; editorial control

A provider of direct broadcast satellite service shall meet the requirements of this subsection by making channel capacity available to national educational programming suppliers, upon reasonable prices, terms, and conditions, as determined by the Commission under paragraph (4). The provider of direct broadcast satellite service shall not exercise any editorial control over any video programming provided pursuant to this subsection.

(4) Limitations

In determining reasonable prices under paragraph (3)—

(A) the Commission shall take into account the nonprofit character of the programming provider and any Federal funds used to support such programming;

(B) the Commission shall not permit such prices to exceed, for any channel made available under this subsection, 50 percent of the total direct costs of making such channel available; and

(C) in the calculation of total direct costs, the Commission shall exclude—

(i) marketing costs, general administrative costs, and similar overhead costs of the provider of direct broadcast satellite service; and

(ii) the revenue that such provider might have obtained by making such channel available to a commercial provider of video programming.

(5) Definitions

For purposes of this subsection—

(A) The term “provider of direct broadcast satellite service” means—

(i) a licensee for a Ku-band satellite system under part 100 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations; or

(ii) any distributor who controls a minimum number of channels (as specified by Commission regulation) using a Ku-band fixed service satellite system for the provision of video programming directly to the home and licensed under part 25 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


(B) The term “national educational programming supplier” includes any qualified noncommercial educational television station, other public telecommunications entities, and public or private educational institutions.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §335, as added Oct. 5, 1992, Pub. L. 102–385, §25(a), 106 Stat. 1501.)

Effective Date

Section effective 60 days after Oct. 5, 1992, see section 28 of Pub. L. 102–385, set out as an Effective Date of 1992 Amendment note under section 325 of this title.

Part II—Radio Equipment and Radio Operators On Board Ship

Part Referred to in Other Sections

This part is referred to in sections 153, 154, 158, 382, 503, 504 of this title.

§351. Ship radio stations and operations

(a) Except as provided in section 352 hereof it shall be unlawful—

(1) For any ship of the United States, other than a cargo ship of less than three hundred gross tons, to be navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, or for any ship of the United States or any foreign country, other than a cargo ship of less than three hundred gross tons, to leave or attempt to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage in the open sea, unless such ship is equipped with an efficient radio station in operating condition, as specified by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, in charge of and operated by one or more radio officers or operators, adequately installed and protected so as to insure proper operation, and so as not to endanger the ship and radio station as hereinafter provided, and, in the case of a ship of the United States, unless there is on board a valid station license issued in accordance with this chapter.

(A) Passenger ships irrespective of size and cargo ships of one thousand six hundred gross tons and upward shall be equipped with a radio-telegraph station complying with the provisions of this part;

(B) Cargo ships of three hundred gross tons and upward but less than one thousand six hundred gross tons, unless equipped with a radio-telegraph station complying with the provisions of this part, shall be equipped with a radiotelephone station complying with the provisions of this part.


(2) For any ship of the United States of one thousand six hundred gross tons and upward to be navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, or for any such ship of the United States or any foreign country to leave or attempt to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage in the open sea, unless such ship is equipped with efficient radio direction finding apparatus approved by the Commission, properly adjusted in operating condition as hereinafter provided.


(b) A ship which is not subject to the provisions of this part at the time of its departure on a voyage shall not become subject to such provisions on account of any deviation from its intended voyage due to stress of weather or any other cause over which neither the master, the owner, nor the charterer (if any) has control.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §351, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 192; amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §1(a), 68 Stat. 704; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §2, 79 Stat. 512.)

Amendments

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “radio station” for “radio installation”, broadened coverage so as to extend to vessels over 300 tons rather than 500 tons, required passenger ships irrespective of size and cargo ships over 1600 tons to be equipped with a radio telegraph station and cargo ships over 300 tons, unless equipped with a radiotelegraph station, to be equipped with a radiotelephone station, and eliminated provisions which empowered the Commission to defer the application of the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection for periods not beyond Jan. 1, 1955, and Nov. 19, 1954, respectively.

1954—Subsec. (a)(1). Act Aug. 13, 1954, broadened coverage so as to extend to vessels over 500 tons rather than 1,600 tons.

Subsec. (a)(2). Act Aug. 13, 1954, broadened coverage so as to extend to any United States flag vessel of 1,600 gross tons or over rather than any passenger vessel of 5,000 gross tons or over.

Effective Date

Section 16 of act May 20, 1937, provided that: “This Act [enacting this part, amending sections 151, 153, 154, 303, 321, 322, 329, 402, 504, and 602 of this title, and repealing sections 484 to 487 of former Title 46, Shipping] shall take effect upon approval [May 20, 1937] provided that the Commission may defer the application of all or any part of sections 351 to 355 [sections 351 to 355 of this title], inclusive, for a period not to exceed six months after approval, in regard to any ship or classes of ships of the United States which are not subject to the provisions of the safety convention, if it is found impracticable to obtain the necessary equipment or make the required installations.”

Joint Studies of Need for Safety Devices on Certain Cargo Ships; Report

Act Aug. 3, 1956, ch. 913, 70 Stat. 967, authorized the Federal Communications Commission, the United States Coast Guard, and the Federal Maritime Administration, acting jointly, to make a full and complete study and investigation with respect to the need for installing automatic radiotelegraph call selectors on cargo ships of the United States carrying less than two radio operators, and other such safety devices, and the feasibility thereof, and required a report to the Congress not later than Mar. 1, 1957.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 354 of this title; title 46 section 14305.

§352. Exemptions

(a) Vessels excepted

The provisions of this part shall not apply to—

(1) A ship of war;

(2) A ship of the United States belonging to and operated by the Government, except a ship of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation, the Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service, or the Panama Canal Company;

(3) A foreign ship belonging to a country which is a party to any Safety Convention in force between the United States and that country which ship carries a valid certificate exempting said ship from the radio provisions of that Convention, or which ship conforms to the radio requirements of such Convention or Regulations and has on board a valid certificate to that effect, or which ship is not subject to the radio provisions of any such Convention;

(4) Yachts of less than six hundred gross tons not subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention;

(5) Vessels in tow;

(6) A ship navigating solely on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to a ship leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States;

(7) A ship navigating solely on the Great Lakes of North America and the River Saint Lawrence as far east as a straight line drawn from Cap des Rosiers to West Point, Anticosti Island, and on the north side of Anticosti Island, the sixty-third meridian, or to a ship leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on such waters and within such area;

(8) A ship which is navigated during the course of a voyage both on the Great Lakes of North America and in the open sea, during the period while such ship is being navigated within the Great Lakes of North America and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the Saint Lambert lock at Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada.

(b) Radio station unreasonable or unnecessary

Except for nuclear ships, the Commission may, if it considers that the route or the conditions of the voyage or other circumstances are such as to render a radio station unreasonable or unnecessary for the purposes of this part, exempt from the provisions of this part any ship or class of ships which falls within any of the following descriptions:

(1) Passenger ships which in the course of their voyage do not go more than twenty nautical miles from the nearest land or, alternatively, do not go more than two hundred nautical miles between two consecutive ports;

(2) Cargo ships which in the course of their voyage do not go more than one hundred and fifty nautical miles from the nearest land;

(3) Passenger vessels of less than one hundred gross tons not subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention;

(4) Sailing ships.

(c) Unforeseeable equipment failures

If, because of unforeseeable failure of equipment, a ship is unable to comply with the equipment requirements of this part without undue delay of the ship, the mileage limitations set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply: Provided, That exemption of the ship is found to be reasonable or necessary in accordance with subsection (b) of this section to permit the ship to proceed to a port where the equipment deficiency may be remedied.

(d) Radio direction finding apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary

Except for nuclear ships, and except for ships of five thousand gross tons and upward which are subject to the Safety Convention, the Commission may exempt from the requirements, for radio direction finding apparatus, of this part and of the Safety Convention, any ship which falls within the descriptions set forth in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (b) of this section, if it considers that the route or conditions of the voyage or other circumstances are such as to render such apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §352, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 192; amended Sept. 26, 1950, ch. 1049, §2(a)(2), 64 Stat. 1038; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §1(b), (c), 68 Stat. 705; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §3, 79 Stat. 512; Aug. 6, 1981, Pub. L. 97–31, §12(151), 95 Stat. 167.)

References in Text

Panama Canal Company, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), deemed to refer to Panama Canal Commission, see section 3602(b)(5) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Amendments

1981—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 97–31 substituted “Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation” for “United States Maritime Commission”. For prior transfers of functions, see Transfer of Functions note set out below.

1965—Pub. L. 89–121, §3(a), added pars. (6) to (8) and struck out former par. (6) which made the provisions of this part inapplicable to a vessel navigating solely on the Great Lakes, or on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to a vessel leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on the Great Lakes, or on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(b), excepted nuclear ships and substituted “or, alternatively, do not go more than two hundred nautical miles” for “or more than two hundred nautical miles”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(c), added subsec. (d).

1954—Subsec. (a)(3). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §1(b), substituted “any Safety Convention in force between the United States and that country” for “the Safety Convention and” and inserted at end “or which ship is not subject to the radio provisions of any such Convention”.

Subsec. (c). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §1(c), added subsec. (c).

1950—Subsec. (a)(2). Act Sept. 26, 1950, substituted “Panama Canal Company” for “Panama Railroad Company”.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of United States Maritime Commission, see Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950 and Reorg. Plan No. 7 of 1961, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 351 this title; title 46 section 14305.

§353. Radio equipment and operators

(a) Two radio officers required

Each cargo ship which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station and which is not equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm, and each passenger ship required by this part to be equipped with a radiotelegraph station, shall, for safety purposes, carry at least two radio officers.

(b) One radio officer required

A cargo ship which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station, which is equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm, shall, for safety purposes, carry at least one radio officer who shall have had at least six months’ previous service in the aggregate as a radio officer in a station on board a ship or ships of the United States.

(c) Required watches

Each ship of the United States which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station shall, while being navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, keep a continuous watch by means of radio officers whenever the station is not being used for authorized traffic: Provided, That, in lieu thereof, on a cargo ship equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm in proper operating condition, a watch of at least eight hours per day, in the aggregate, shall be maintained by means of a radio officer.

(d) Hours of watch

The Commission shall, when it finds it necessary for safety purposes, have authority to prescribe the particular hours of watch on a ship of the United States which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station.

(e) Operational status of auto alarms in open sea

On all ships of the United States equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm, said apparatus shall be in operation at all times while the ship is being navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port when the radio officer is not on watch.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §353, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 193; amended July 8, 1941, ch. 278, 55 Stat. 579; June 22, 1943, ch. 137, 57 Stat. 161; July 25, 1947, ch. 327, §2(a), 61 Stat. 451; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §1(d), 68 Stat. 705; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §4, 79 Stat. 513.)

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–121, among other changes, substituted wherever appearing “radiotelegraph station” for “radiotelegraph installation”, “radiotelegraph auto alarm” for “auto-alarm”, and “radio officer” and “radio officers” for “qualified operator” and “qualified operators”, required a continuous watch to be kept when the radiotelegraph station is not being used for authorized traffic, and inserted “while being navigated in the open sea” in two places.

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, amended section to make clear that it applies only to ships equipped with a radiotelegraph installation, not those fitted with a radiotelephone installation.

1943—Subsec. (b). Act June 22, 1943, substituted “the termination of such emergency or such earlier date as Congress by concurrent resolution may designate” for “June 30, 1943”.

1941—Subsec. (b). Act July 8, 1941, inserted exception respecting national emergency.

Partial Repeal Effective July 1, 1948

Acts July 8, 1941, and June 22, 1943, which amended subsec. (b) of this section by adding the clause authorizing suspension or modification of the service requirement during the emergency, were repealed, effective July 1, 1948, by act July 25, 1947, which provided that such acts should remain in full force and effect until such date.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Approval of Operators by Secretary of Navy During War

Act Dec. 17, 1941, ch. 588, 55 Stat. 808, as amended June 28, 1943, ch. 174, 57 Stat. 244; June 13, 1945, ch. 190, 59 Stat. 259; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §101, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097, prohibiting employment of radio operators who were disapproved by the Secretary of the Navy during World War II, was repealed by act July 25, 1947, ch. 327, §1, 61 Stat. 449.

§353a. Operators and watches on radiotelephone equipped ships

(a) Each cargo ship which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelephone station shall, for safety purposes, carry at least one operator who may be the master, an officer, or a member of the crew.

(b) Each cargo ship of the United States which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelephone station shall, while being navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, maintain continuous watch whenever the station is not being used for authorized traffic.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §354, as added Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(b), 68 Stat. 706; amended Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §5, 79 Stat. 514.)

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “radiotelephone station” for “radiotelephone installation” in two places, and “one operator who may be the master, an officer, or a member of the crew” for “one qualified operator who may be a member of the crew holding only a certificate for radio telephony”, inserted “in the open sea” before “outside of a harbor”, and required a continuous watch whenever the station is not being used for authorized traffic.

§354. Technical requirements of equipment on radiotelegraph equipped ships

The radiotelegraph station and the radio direction finding apparatus required by section 351 of this title shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) The radiotelegraph station shall include a main installation and a reserve installation, electrically separate and electrically independent of each other: Provided, That, in installations on cargo ships of three hundred gross tons and upward but less than one thousand six hundred gross tons, and in installations on cargo ships of one thousand six hundred gross tons and upward installed prior to November 19, 1952, if the main transmitter complies with all the requirements for the reserve transmitter, the latter may be omitted.

(b) The radiotelegraph station shall be so located that no harmful interference from extraneous mechanical or other noise will be caused to the proper reception of radio signals, and shall be placed in the upper part of the ship in a position of the greatest possible safety and as high as practicable above the deepest load waterline. The location of the radiotelegraph operating room or rooms shall be approved by the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The radiotelegraph installation shall be installed in such a position that it will be protected against the harmful effects of water or extremes of temperature, and shall be readily accessible both for immediate use in case of distress and for repair.

(c) The radiotelegraph operating room shall be of sufficient size and of adequate ventilation to enable the main and reserve radiotelegraph installations to be operated efficiently, and shall not be used for any purpose which will interfere with the operation of the radiotelegraph station. The sleeping accommodation of at least one radio officer shall be situated as near as practicable to the radiotelegraph operating room. In ships the keels of which are laid on or after May 26, 1965, this sleeping accommodation shall not be within the radiotelegraph operating room.

(d) The main and reserve installations shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated by the Commission pursuant to law for the purposes of distress and safety of navigation.

(e) The main and reserve installations shall, when connected to the main antenna, have a minimum normal range of two hundred nautical miles and one hundred nautical miles, respectively; that is, they must be capable of transmitting and receiving clearly perceptible signals from ship to ship by day and under normal conditions and circumstances over the specified ranges.

(f) Sufficient electrical energy shall be available at all times to operate the main installation over the normal range required by subsection (e) of this section as well as for the purpose of charging any batteries forming part of the radiotelegraph station.

(g) The reserve installation shall include a source of electrical energy independent of the propelling power of the ship and of any other electrical system and shall be capable of being put into operation rapidly and of working for at least six continuous hours. The reserve source of energy and its switchboard shall be as high as practicable in the ship and readily accessible to the radio officer.

(h) There shall be provided between the bridge of the ship and the radiotelegraph operating room, and between the bridge and the location of the radio direction finding apparatus, when such apparatus is not located on the bridge, an efficient two-way system for calling and voice communication which shall be independent of any other communication system in the ship.

(i) The radio direction finding apparatus shall be efficient and capable of receiving signals with the minimum of receiver noise and of taking bearings from which the true bearing and direction may be determined. It shall be capable of receiving signals on the radiotelegraph frequencies assigned by the radio regulations annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention in force for the purposes of distress, direction finding, and maritime radio beacons, and, in installations made after May 26, 1965, such other frequencies as the Commission may for safety purposes designate.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §355, formerly §354, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 193; amended 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §§101–104, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097; renumbered §355 and amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), (c), 68 Stat. 706; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §6, 79 Stat. 514.)

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “radiotelegraph station” for “radio installation” in opening provisions.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121, among other changes, substituted “radiotelegraph station” for “radio installation”, required the main installation and the reserve installation to be electrically separate and independent of each other, and included cargo ships between 300 and 500 tons within the ships that may omit the reserve transmitter if the main transmitter complies with all the requirements for the reserve transmitter.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121 required the radiotelegraph station to be so located that no harmful interference will be caused to the proper reception of radio signals, and to be installed in such a position that it will be protected against the harmful effects of water or extremes of temperature, and will be readily accessible both for immediate use in case of distress and for repair.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–121 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d), and substituted “main and reserve installations shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated” for “main and emergency or reserve installations shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies and types of waves designated”. Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e), and inserted provisions requiring the reserve installation to have a minimum normal range of 100 nautical miles. Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (e) as (f), and substituted “electrical energy” for “power” and “operate the main installation over the normal range required by subsection (e) of this section as well as for the purpose of charging any batteries forming part of the radiotelegraph station” for “operate the main radio installation efficiently under normal conditions over the range specified in subsection (d) of this section”. Former subsec. (f) redesignated (g).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g), directed that the reserve source of energy and its switchboard shall be as high as practicable in the ship and readily accessible to the radio officer, and eliminated provisions which stated that for the emergency or reserve installation the normal range shall be at least 100 nautical miles. Former subsec. (g) redesignated (h).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (g) as (h), and substituted provisions requiring the method of communication between the bridge and the radiotelegraph room and the location of the radio direction finding apparatus to be an efficient two-way system for calling and voice communication for provisions which required an efficient means of communication. Former subsec. (h) redesignated (i).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (h) as (i), and substituted provisions requiring the apparatus to be capable of receiving signals with the minimum of receiver noise for provisions which required the apparatus to be capable of receiving clearly perceptible signals.

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(a)(1), amended credit to section by changing section number from “354” to “355” of act June 19, 1934.

Subsec. (a). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(c), provided for a “reserve radiotelegraph installation” instead of merely a “reserve installation”.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation, and functions, powers, and duties relating to Coast Guard of Secretary of the Treasury and of all other officers and offices of Department of the Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, §6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 938. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L. 89–670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of Navy in time of war or when President directs as provided in section 3 of Title 14, Coast Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of the Treasury, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of the Treasury with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, §§1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280, 1281, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. Functions of Coast Guard, and Commandant of Coast Guard, excepted from transfer when Coast Guard is operating as part of Navy under sections 1 and 3 of Title 14.

“Commandant of the Coast Guard” substituted in subsec. (b) for “Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Department of Commerce” on authority of Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1946, §§101–104, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in section 354a of this title; title 46 section 14305.

§354a. Technical requirements of equipment on radiotelephone equipped ships

Cargo ships of three hundred gross tons and upward but less than one thousand six hundred gross tons may, in lieu of the radiotelegraph station prescribed by section 354 of this title, be equipped with a radiotelephone station complying with the following requirements:

(a) The radiotelephone station shall be in the upper part of the ship, so located that it is sheltered to the greatest possible extent from noise which might impair the correct reception of messages and signals, and, unless such station is situated on the bridge, there shall be efficient communication with the bridge.

(b) The radiotelephone installation shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated by the Commission pursuant to law for the purposes of distress and safety of navigation.

(c) The radiotelephone installation shall have a minimum normal range of one hundred and fifty nautical miles; that is, it shall be capable of transmitting and receiving clearly perceptible signals from ship to ship by day and under normal conditions and circumstances over this range.

(d) There shall be available at all times a main source of electrical energy sufficient to operate the installation over the normal range required by subsection (c) of this section. If batteries are provided they shall have sufficient capacity to operate the transmitter and receiver for at least six continuous hours under normal working conditions. In installations made on or after November 19, 1952, a reserve source of electrical energy shall be provided in the upper part of the ship unless the main source of energy is so situated.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §356, as added Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(d), 68 Stat. 706; amended Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §7, 79 Stat. 515.)

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–121 limited the opening provisions to cargo ships of 300 gross tons and upwards.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121 required the radiotelephone station to be so located that it is sheltered to the greatest possible extent from noise which might impair the correct reception of messages and signals.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated” for “on the frequencies and with types of emissions designated”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “radiotelephone installation” for “transmitter” and inserted provisions requiring the installation to be capable of receiving clearly perceptible signals over the minimum normal range.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “a main source of electrical energy” for “a source of energy”, “at least six continuous hours” for “at least six hours continuously”, and “installations made on or after November 19, 1952, a reserve source of electrical energy” for “in installations an emergency source of energy”.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in title 46 section 14305.

§355. Survival craft

Every ship required to be provided with survival craft radio by treaty to which the United States is a party, by statute, or by regulation made in conformity with a treaty, convention, or statute, shall be fitted with efficient radio equipment appropriate to such requirement under such rules and regulations as the Commission may find necessary for safety of life. For purposes of this section, “radio equipment” shall include portable as well as nonportable apparatus.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §357, formerly §355, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 194; renumbered §357 and amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), (e), 68 Stat. 706, 707; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §8, 79 Stat. 516.)

Amendments

1965—Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “survival craft” for “lifeboat”.

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(a)(1), amended credit to section by changing section number from “355” to “357” of act June 19, 1934.

Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(e), provided that lifeboats be equipped with “radio equipment” rather than a “radio installation” and defined “radio equipment” as including portable as well as nonportable apparatus.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§356. Approval of installations by Commission

Insofar as is necessary to carry out the purposes and requirements of this part, the Commission shall have authority, for any ship subject to this part—

(1) To approve the details as to the location and manner of installations of the equipment required by this part or of equipment necessitated by reason of the purposes and requirements of this part.

(2) To approve installations, apparatus, and spare parts necessary to comply with the purposes and requirements of this part.

(3) To prescribe such additional equipment as may be determined to be necessary to supplement that specified in this part, for the proper functioning of the radio installation installed in accordance with this part or for the proper conduct of radio communication in time of emergency or distress.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §358, formerly §356, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 194; renumbered §358, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(19), 108 Stat. 4295.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in text, commences with section 351 of this title.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–414 struck out “(a)” before “Insofar as”.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§357. Safety information

(a) Transmission of information concerning safety at sea

The master of every ship of the United States, equipped with radio transmitting apparatus, which meets with dangerous ice, a dangerous derelict, a tropical storm, or any other direct danger to navigation, or encounters subfreezing air temperatures associated with gale force winds causing severe ice accretion on superstructures, or winds of force 10 or above on the Beaufort scale for which no storm warning has been received, shall cause to be transmitted all pertinent information relating thereto to ships in the vicinity and to the appropriate authorities on land, in accordance with rules and regulations issued by the Commission. When they consider it necessary, such authorities of the United States shall promptly bring the information received by them to the knowledge of those concerned, including interested foreign authorities.

(b) Charges for transmission of safety information

No charge shall be made by any ship or station in the mobile service of the United States for the transmission, receipt, or relay of the information designated in subsection (a) of this section originating on a ship of the United States or of a foreign country.

(c) Reimbursement by Commission

The transmission by any ship of the United States, made in compliance with subsection (a) of this section, to any station which imposes a charge for the reception, relay, or forwarding of the required information, shall be free of cost to the ship concerned and any communication charges incurred by the ship for transmission, relay, or forwarding of the information may be certified to the Commission for reimbursement out of moneys appropriated to the Commission for that purpose.

(d) Charges for transmission of distress messages

No charge shall be made by any ship or station in the mobile service of the United States for the transmission of distress messages and replies thereto in connection with situations involving the safety of life and property at sea.

(e) Free services

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any station or carrier may render free service in connection with situations involving the safety of life and property, including hydrographic reports, weather reports, reports regarding aids to navigation and medical assistance to injured or sick persons on ships and aircraft at sea. All free service permitted by this subsection shall be subject to such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe, which rules may limit such free service to the extent which the Commission finds desirable in the public interest.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §359, formerly §357, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 195; renumbered §359, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §9, 79 Stat. 516.)

Amendments

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121 directed the master of every ship of the United States equipped with radio transmitting apparatus which encounters subfreezing air temperatures associated with gale force winds causing severe ice accretion on superstructures, or winds of force 10 or above on the Beaufort scale for which no storm warning has been received to transmit the pertinent information relating thereto.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§358. Master's control over operations

The radio installation, the operators, the regulation of their watches, the transmission and receipt of messages, and the radio service of the ship except as they may be regulated by law or international agreement, or by rules and regulations made in pursuance thereof, shall in the case of a ship of the United States be under the supreme control of the master.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §360, formerly §358, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 195; renumbered §360, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706.)

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§359. Certificates of compliance; issuance, modification, and cancellation

(a) Each vessel of the United States to which the Safety Convention applies shall comply with the radio and communication provisions of said Convention at all times while the vessel is in use, in addition to all other requirements of law, and shall have on board an appropriate certificate as prescribed by the Safety Convention.

(b) Appropriate certificates concerning the radio particulars provided for in said Convention shall be issued upon proper request to any vessel which is subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention and is found by the Commission to comply therewith. Cargo ship safety radio telegraphy certificates, cargo ship safety radiotelephony certificates, and exemption certificates with respect to radio particulars shall be issued by the Commission. Other certificates concerning the radio particulars provided for in the said Convention shall be issued by the Commandant of the Coast Guard or whatever other agency is authorized by law to do so upon request of the Commission made after proper inspection or determination of the facts. If the holder of a certificate violates the radio provisions of the Safety Convention or the provisions of this chapter, or the rules, regulations, or conditions prescribed by the Commission, and if the effective administration of the Safety Convention or of this part so requires, the Commission, after hearing in accordance with law, is authorized to modify or cancel a certificate which it has issued, or to request the modification or cancellation of a certificate which has been issued by another agency upon the Commission's request. Upon receipt of such request for modification or cancellation, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, or whatever agency is authorized by law to do so, shall modify or cancel the certificate in accordance therewith.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §361, formerly §359, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 195; renumbered §361 and amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), (f), 68 Stat. 706, 707; Aug. 13, 1965, Pub. L. 89–121, §10, 79 Stat. 516.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in subsec. (b), commences with section 351 of this title.

Amendments

1965—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted “Cargo ship safety radio telegraphy certificates, cargo ship safety radiotelephony certificates, and exemption certificates with respect to radio particulars shall be issued” for “Safety Radiotelegraphy Certificates and Safety Radiotelephony Certificates, as prescribed by the said Convention, and Exemption Certificates issued in lieu of such certificates, shall be issued.”

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(a)(1), amended credit to section by changing section number from “359” to “361” of act June 19, 1934.

Subsec. (b). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(f), amended subsection generally to provide, among other changes, that certificates of compliance be issued “upon request to any vessel” and to provide that safety radiotelegraph certificates and safety radiotelephony certificates and certain exemption certificates be issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation, and functions, powers, and duties relating to Coast Guard of Secretary of the Treasury and of all other officers and offices of Department of the Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, §6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 938. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L. 89–670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of Navy in time of war or when President directs as provided in section 3 of Title 14, Coast Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.

§360. Station licenses; inspection of equipment by Commission

(a) In addition to any other provisions required to be included in a radio station license, the station license of each ship of the United States subject to this subchapter shall include particulars with reference to the items specifically required by this subchapter.

(b) Every ship of the United States, subject to this part, shall have the equipment and apparatus prescribed therein, inspected at least once each year by the Commission. If, after such inspection, the Commission is satisfied that all relevant provisions of this chapter and the station license have been complied with, that fact shall be certified to on the station license by the Commission. The Commission shall make such additional inspections at frequent intervals as may be necessary to insure compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The Commission may, upon a finding that the public interest would be served thereby, waive the annual inspection required under this section from the time of first arrival at a United States port from a foreign port, for the sole purpose of enabling the vessel to proceed coastwise to another port in the United States where an inspection can be held: Provided, That such waiver may not exceed a period of thirty days.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §362, formerly §360, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 196; renumbered §362, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Oct. 15, 1962, Pub. L. 87–811, 76 Stat. 922.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in subsec. (b), commences with section 351 of this title.

Amendments

1962—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–811 empowered the Commission to waive the annual inspection from the time of first arrival at a United States port from a foreign port, for the sole purpose of enabling the vessel to proceed coastwise to another port in the United States where an inspection can be held, and limiting such waiver to not more than a period of 30 days.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§361. Control by Commission; review of decisions

Nothing in this subchapter shall be interpreted as lessening in any degree the control of the Commission over all matters connected with the radio equipment and its operation on shipboard and its decision and determination in regard to the radio requirements, installations, or exemptions from prescribed radio requirements shall be final, subject only to review in accordance with law.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §363, formerly §361, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 196; renumbered §363, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706.)

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§362. Forfeitures; recovery

The following forfeitures shall apply to this part, in addition to the penalties and forfeitures provided by subchapter V of this chapter:

(a) Any ship that leaves or attempts to leave any harbor or port of the United States in violation of the provisions of this part, or the rules and regulations of the Commission made in pursuance thereof, or any ship of the United States that is navigated outside of any harbor or port in violation of any of the provisions of this part, or the rules and regulations of the Commission made in pursuance thereof, shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $5,000, recoverable by way of suit or libel. Each such departure or attempted departure, and in the case of a ship of the United States each day during which such navigation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) Every willful failure on the part of the master of a ship of the United States to enforce or to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Commission as to equipment, operators, watches, or radio service shall cause him to forfeit to the United States the sum of $1,000.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §364, formerly §362, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 196; renumbered §364, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Dec. 19, 1989, Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(g), 103 Stat. 2131.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in text, commences with section 351 of this title.

Amendments

1989—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–239, §3002(g)(1), substituted “$5,000” for “$500”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–239, §3002(g)(2), substituted “$1,000” for “$100”.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Admiralty and maritime rules of practice (which included libel procedures) were superseded, and civil and admiralty procedures in United States district courts were unified, effective July 1, 1966, see rule 1 and Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims, Title 28, Appendix, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Cross References

Mode of recovery of forfeitures generally, see section 2461 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Part III—Radio Installations on Vessels Carrying Passengers for Hire

Part Referred to in Other Sections

This part is referred to in sections 153, 158, 503, 504 of this title.

§381. Vessels transporting more than six passengers for hire required to be equipped with radiotelephone

Except as provided in section 382 of this title, it shall be unlawful for any vessel of the United States, transporting more than six passengers for hire, to be navigated in the open sea or any tidewater within the jurisdiction of the United States adjacent or contiguous to the open sea, unless such vessel is equipped with an efficient radiotelephone installation in operating condition.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §381, as added Aug. 6, 1956, ch. 973, §1, 70 Stat. 1047; amended Oct. 25, 1994, Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(20)(A), 108 Stat. 4295.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–414 inserted section catchline.

Effective Date

Section 4 of act Aug. 6, 1956, provided that: “The amendments made herein [enacting this part and amending sections 153 and 504 of this title] shall take effect March 1, 1957.”

§382. Vessels excepted from radiotelephone requirement