A Modest Proposal To Reform the Federal Communications Commission.

by Henry Geller

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How can the political environment of the FCC be changed? The author addresses this question in terms of what he maintains is the root problem: the FCC's overidentification with the powerful elements of the regulated industries at the expense of public interest. Detailed examples are given of this root problem, in the areas of rulemaking and adjudication. Possible reasons for the FCC's overidentification with industry are discussed, and a three-step revision of the Commission's environment is recommended that would give the FCC real independence: (1) Reduce the number of Commissioners to five, and afford them 15-year terms. (2) Bar reappointment after the 15-year period. (3) Bar employment in the communications field for a 10-year period following FCC service. (Presented at the April 18, 1974 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, Airlee House, Virginia.) 52 pp.

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