Communications law is the practice of law that relates to the exchange of information using technology. It’s any law that involves the regulation and use of electronic telecommunication. Communication law includes technologies like radio, television, cable and broadband internet. It involves the creation of rules and policies that govern use of these technologies.
Communication regulations govern both public and private communications. Lawmakers create these regulations with the goal of making communication technologies accessible to all Americans at a reasonable price. Most communications law and regulation in the United States involves the federal agency the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Major areas of telecommunications law
Telecommunications law governs the way that Americans use technology to communicate. There are many requirements to meet before a telecommunications company can lawfully sign on for the first time. Here are some of the areas of telecommunications regulations:
Some of the earliest electronic telecommunication in the United States regulated radio. Radio is still popular in the United States today. Regulations govern who uses radio signals and what radio signals they can use. There are even regulations that govern the placement and use of utility poles.
The United States aggressively prohibits public broadcast material that regulators see as obscene. In addition, some broadcasters must comply with mandatory children’s programming requirements. They may have to cover local events or news. They must also make sure that they offer equal opportunity for diverse viewpoints.
Lawmakers don’t want any one telecommunications company to have too much power in a single market. For that reason, there are limits to how much of the market share any one television company can own in a single market. All broadcasters have to make sure that they comply with ownership limitations and stay wary of violating antitrust prohibitions.
Most telecommunications companies need a license to do business. Practicing telecommunications law often involves the important task of deciding who gets a license and under what terms. Lawyers help their clients apply for the necessary licenses, and government telecommunications lawyers make decisions regarding the license applications.