Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
FCC Chair & Commissioners Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
- FCC 101
- Congress 101
- Law

- Telephone
- - AT&T History
- - - AntiTrust
- - - Industry : AT&T
- - CPE Carterfone
- - Long Distance
- - ILECs
- - BOCs
- Universal Service
- Timeline
- Telegraph
- Internet
- - Computer Inquiries
- - Info Services
- Common Carrier
- Telecom
- Telecom Carrier
- VoIP
- Comm Act 34
- Telecom Act 96
- FCC Chairs & Commissioners

The FCC is led by the "Commission" which is comprised of a panel of five commissioners.   Each commissioner is appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  No more than three of the commissioners may be from the same political party.  If confirmed, the commissioners serve 5-year terms and will serve until their successors have taken office - except they cannot serve in an unconfirmed or reappointed position "beyond the expiration of the next session of Congress subsequent to the expiration of said fixed term of office."  The President has the power to select the Chairman out of the currently serving commissioners. Sometimes the Commission does not have a full slate of commissioners - this is not however a problem: "No vacancy in the Commission shall impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all of the powers of the Commission." 47 USC § 154(c).

The Chair sets the agenda for the Commission and can determine which proceedings are initiated and which proceedings come up for vote. 47 U.S.C. § 155(a).

"The chairman decides when the commission will vote on final rules and whether the vote will occur during a public meeting or by circulation, which involves electronically circulating written items to each of the commissioners for approval. According to FCC officials, while it is not possible to vote on every rulemaking at a public meeting, items that are controversial or have a broad impact on the industry are more likely to be voted on during a public meeting. Of the 240 recent rules, 101 were adopted on the day the commission held a public meeting, indicating they may have been voted on at the meeting, while the other 139 appear to have been adopted by circulation." [GAO-07-1046, p 15]

The FCC is to hold an open to the public meeting at least once a month. 47 U.S.C. § 155(d). See Sunshine Act. Live and archived webcasts of FCC meetings can be viewed on the FCC website.

Policy is decided at the FCC by vote of the commissioners.  In order for a policy decision to be made, generally the commissioners will sit in a panel in a meeting that is open to the public and broadcast on C-SPAN and over the Internet in Realaudio. Matters are brought before the Commission, generally by the Bureaus, and then a vote is taken.  A simple majority of commissioners takes the day.  The dissenting commissioners will frequently attach dissenting, and at times, intriguing, opinions to the decisions of the FCC.

2008 / 09 Transition

Transition Team: The FCC transition team is being lead by Prof. Kevin Werbach (formering with the FCC's Office of Plans and Policy) and Prof. Susan Crawford.

Science, Tech, Space and Arts Team Leads

  • Tom Wheeler, on leave from Core Capital Partners, former CEO of NCTA (Overseeing review of science, tech, space and arts agencies)
  • Department of Commerce Team Leads
  • Don Beyer
  • Ralph Everett
  • FCC Review Team Leads
  • Susan Crawford
  • Kevin Werbach
  • NASA Review Team Leads
  • Lori Garver
  • Roderic Olvera Young
  • NEA / NEH Review Team Leads
  • Bill Ivey
  • Anne Luzzatto
  • Clement Price
  • NSF Review Team Leads
  • Jim Kohlenberger
  • Henry Rivera. Former FCC Commissioner. Rivera is a partner at the law firm Wiley Rein. He served as a Commiussioner at the FCC from 1981 to 1985. He has acted as Chair of the Commission's Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age. - However, as a result of the Obama anti-lobbying rules, Rivera recused himself leading the FCC transition.
  • The Obama team is apparently receiving advice from former FCC Chairs Reed Hundt and Bill Kennard. [Ars Technica 111308] Comm Daily is reporting (11/28/8) that Kevin Werbach has ask that former Ch. Michael Powell (Republican) assist with the transition.

    Kevin Martin's FCC


    Top Reasons It's Fun to Work at the Martin FCC:

    7. Agenda meetings - where will they go, what will they do, and what time will they start?
    6. FCC Carolers now sing UNC Fight song
    5. More time for margaritas because there's no need to worry about returning reporters' phone calls
    4. Your old boss works for you and your old intern is a Bureau Chief
    3. Plenty of time for Golf because there's no need to work on Wireless issues
    2. Trips to Siberia not limited to the International Bureau
    1. KGB-like atmosphere grows on you after awhile
    - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (FCBA Chairman's Dinner 2005)


  • Walden Statement on FCC Process, House Commerce 8/5/2011
  • Taking a Peek Under the Hood of the New FCC.Gov, FCC 7/28/2011
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek: FCC Technology Experience Center and #SeeTheSpectrum, FCC 7/15/2011
  • FCC Ready to Share Donated Toys, CommLawBlog 7/15/2011
  • FCC commissioner blasts his agency for over-regulation, Hill 7/8/2011
  • 'No Question' Reform of FCC Process is Needed, NARUC's Ramsay Tells Congress, NARUC 6/22/2011
  • FCC Members: Don't Lobby for AT&T After Approving Merger, Wired 6/6/2011
  • FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Jonathan Zittrain as FCC Distinguished Scholar, Berkman Center 6/6/2011
  • Free Press Urges FCC to Stop the Revolving Door, Free Press 6/2/2011
  • FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Jonathan Zittrain as FCC Distinguished Scholar, Berkman Center 6/2/2011
  • Congress looks into FCC commissioner's move to Comcast, CNET 5/25/2011
  • Congress probes FCC Commissioner's departure to Comcast, Ars Technica 5/25/2011
  • Public Knowledge Asks FCC To Make Recusal Process Public, PK 5/20/2011
  • Meredith Baker's Departure, PK 5/20/2011
  • Daily Show mocks FCC's Baker for taking Comcast job, Ars Technica 5/20/2011
  • FCC Commish defends ethics after taking Comcast/NBC lobbyist job, Ars Technica 5/16/2011
  • FCC Chairman Applauds Colleague Departing to Become FCC Lobbyist, Wired 5/12/2011
  • FCC Regulator To Join NBCUniversal--4 Months After Approving Merger, Huffpo 5/12/2011
  • Regulator to join Comcast after supporting NBC deal, Globe and Mail 5/12/2011
  • Best Wishes to Commissioner Baker, USTelecom 5/12/2011
  • AT&T Statement on Commissioner Baker's Departure from FCC, AT&T 5/12/2011
  • After approving NBC buyout, FCC Commish becomes Comcast lobbyist, Ars Technica 5/12/2011
  • FCC Commissioner Baker Joining Comcast/NBCU, Telecom Law Monitor 5/12/2011
  • FCC Process Reform Hearing Date Set, CommLawBlog 5/6/2011
  • Gets A $1.35 Million Facelift, Huff 4/8/2011
  • NATOA Congratulates New NCTA President Michael Powell, NATOA 3/17/2011
  • Public Knowledge Statement on Michael Powell Appointment as NCTA President, PK 3/17/2011
  • "There's a Mercedes divide": former FCC chief now top cable lobbyist, Ars Technica 3/17/2011
  • FCC Releases ex parte Report & Order, Spectrum Talks 2/3/2011
  • Interior Implements White House's Scientific Integrity Policy:How About FCC and NTIA?, Spectrum Talks 2/3/2011
  • FCC To Fine Americans Who Don't Keep Up With TV Shows, The Onion 1/12/2011
  • From AM radio to satellite TV: seven decades of FCC regulation, Ars Technica 11/17/2010
  • This Time It is $1,595 to Hear FCC Officials Discuss Telecom Policy, PK 11/3/2010
  • FCC's "Technology Experience Center" - A Great Idea or Signs of a Deeper Problem, Spectrum Talks 11/3/2010
  • jPowell To Genachowski: 'Go Out There And Get Dirty' - Former FCC bosses give advice to under-fire Genachowski , dslreports 10/12/2010
  • FCC's Julius Genachowski struggles between roles of regulator, innovator, WAPO 10/4/2010
  • The Longstanding FCC Problem with Transparency on the Disposition of Petitions, PK 10/4/2010
  • Etc: The FCC's website overhaul will be built using the open-source Drupal content management system., Ars Technica 9/24/2010
  • Martin Blames Others for His Own Mismanagement of FCC, Tech Lib Front 1/21/2009
  • FCC Morale: A Review of New Data from OPM, PK 1/15/2009
  • FCC leadership honest? Staffers say "no", Law & Disorder 1/15/2009
  • Jules as Chairman: Louis XIV or Andrew Jackson?, Telecom Policy 1/15/2009
  • FCC Boss Kevin Martin Leaves For Think Tank - Lauds self in resignation letter to Bush..., dslreports 1/15/2009
  • FCC Reform: No longer If, But How, PK 1/7/2009
  • New FCC Reform Website, Spectrum Talk 1/7/2009
  • Sunshine Act Meeting; Open Commission Meeting Via Conference Call; Tuesday, December 30, 2008, Fed Reg 12/30/2008
  • Why Lary Lessig's FCC Reboot Will Crash., Tales from the Sausage Factory 12/30/2008
  • FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate Resigns - Will step down in January as FCC turnover begins..., dslreports 12/30/2008
  • FCC Search Page Goes Five Full Years Without An Update, Techdirt 12/16/2008
  • FCC cancels meeting after warning, CW 12/16/2008
  • House Panel Releases Report Blasting Martin , PK 12/10/2008
  • Congressional report: FCC chair abused power , CNET 12/10/2008
  • Congress: FCC Boss Martin Abused Power - Manipulated and withheld data to influece Congressional decisions..., dslreports 12/10/2008
  • The FCC and the KGB -- No Longer A Laughing Matter , PK 12/10/2008
  • Public Knowledge Statement on House Commerce Committee Report, PK 12/10/2008
  • House Report Blasts Martin's FCC Oversight, Internet News 12/10/2008
  • Congress Slams Kevin Martin For Abuse Of Power, Techdirt 12/10/2008
  • Editorial: FCC Commisioner wants DRM, ISP filtering, new job , Ars Technica 12/10/2008
  • Rivera lobbying, Telecom Policy 12/2/2008
  • FCC's Martin Praises Self For Non-Existent Network Openness - Gives self pat on back for job not done., dslreports 11/25/2008
  • FCC Staff Liberated!, Spectrum Talk 11/13/2008
  • How an Astute Choice at the FCC Could Begin to Solve our telecom Infrastructure Disaster, Cook 11/13/2008
  • FCC Just Couldn't Stop Voting, Techdirt 11/5/2008
  • The King Can Do No Wrong, Or Do As I Say, Not As I Do, PFF 10/21/2008
  • FCC Announces Appointment of Prof. Jon Peha as Chief Technologist, Spectrum Talk 10/2/2008
  • Revolving Door Undermines FCC's Watchdog Role, Techdirt 9/18/2008
  • Barbara Esbin, "The Law is Whatever the Nobles Do: Undue Process at the FCC", PFF 8/29/2008
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Named Ranking Member on Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Senate 7/31/2008
  • House Report Shines Harsh Light on FCC's Martin , Ecommerce Times 12/10/2008
  • New FCC Boss: Julius Genachowski? - At least according to the Washington Post, dslreports 12/23/2008
  • Obama FCC Selection Team Won't Make AT&T Happy - Both pro-neutrality, lack rose colored glasses on broadband deployment, dslreports 11/18/2008
  • Obama transition team names FCC review leaders, CNET 11/18/2008
  • Transitioning, Werblog 11/18/2008
  • Obama FCC Transition Team Now Includes Totally AWESOME Additions!!!!, Tales from the Sausage Factory 11/18/2008
  • Susan Crawford, Kevin Werbach Named Obama's FCC Review Team Leads, CircleID 11/18/2008
  • Obama's Tech Team: Agency Insiders With Silicon Valleyues, Center for Internet and Society 11/25/2008
  • Obama's tech working group, Ars Technica 11/25/2008
  • Republican Nominees for FCC, Tech Lib Front 2/5/2009
  • FCC Chairman Genachowski appoints Sharon Gillett as head of Wireline Competition Bureau, muni 7/30/2009
  • CTIA Pleased FCC Nomination Process is Moving Forward for Meredith Attwell Baker & Mignon Clyburn, CTIA 7/27/2009
  • a website devoted to FCC reform comes online, Ars Technica 7/27/2009
  • Genachowski Era Opens at the FCC, Internet News 7/2/2009
  • Obama Rounds Out FCC With Baker Nomination, Internet News 6/30/2009
  • Chairman Rockefeller Statement on Nominees Confirmed, Senate Commerce 6/30/2009
  • New FCC Chair Brings Us One Step Closer to Net Neutrality, Save the Internet 6/30/2009
  • Oy, oy oy! The FCC Web site . . ., ISEN 6/9/2009
  • Levin To Help Run Government Broadband Plan - Primary architect of 1996 Telecom Reform Act returns..., dslreports 6/9/2009
  • McDowell Gets Another Term At FCC - Despite history of broadband coverage issue denial..., dslreports 6/5/2009
  • How Does FCC Compare with Other Agencies?, Spectrum Talk 5/21/2009
  • Pai and Dunn for FCC, Tech Lib Front 5/5/2009
  • Tales of the Sausage Factory: Republican Bill To Reform FCC Not A Bad Place To Start Discussions., Tales from the Sausage Factory 5/5/2009
  • Obama to Name Mignon Clyburn as FCC Commissioner, CircleID 5/1/2009
  • Obama or AT&T -- The Choice for Commissioner-Designate Clyburn as the Whitacre Era Ends, PK 5/1/2009
  • Do You Miss Kevin Martin?, Spectrum Talk 4/28/2009
  • FCC Managing Director Reportedly Dismissed, Spectrum Talk 4/16/2009
  • Knowledge@Wharton Video: "New Rules for a New Age", WERBLOG 4/2/2009
  • Off the Hook, WERBLOG 4/2/2009
  • Tales of the Sausage Factory: Adelstein To Go To RUS, But When?, Tales from the Sausage Factory 3/24/2009
  • Obama picks Net neutrality backer as FCC chief, CNET 3/5/2009
  • President Obama Announces More Key Appointments, White House 3/5/2009
  • FCC finally gets a new chief, Werblog 3/5/2009
  • Obama's FCC Pick Another Good Sign for Open Media, Save the Internet 3/5/2009
  • Net Neutrality Advocate Tapped As FCC Head, Consumer Affairs 3/5/2009
  • Where's The New FCC Boss? - Everybody's waiting on Genachowski announcement..., dslreports 3/3/2009
  • Copps: The "Public Interest" Requires Regulation of the Internet!, Tech Lib Front 2/26/2009
  • Learning from the past, Spectrum Talk 2/3/2009
  • Top Ten List of Needed FCC Regulatory Reforms, CircleID 1/29/2009
  • Copps de-Martinizing the FCC, begins internal reforms, Ars Technica 1/29/2009
  • A New Day Dawns at FCC:, Spectrum Talk 1/27/2009
  • Free at Last, PFF 1/27/2009
  • Johns Adams & Kevin Martin, Spectrum Talk 1/27/2009


    © Cybertelecom ::