The Assault Begins




The Beginnings

The beginnings of the massive breakup of the Bell system in 1984 can be traced to the creation of the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) in the early New Deal. The Communications Act of 1934 consolidated the radio functions of the Federal Radio Commission and the telephone functions of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) into a new independent regulatory commission that was to regulate interstate and foreign communications by wire and radio in the public interest. Like other independent regulatory commissions, the F.C.C. could act both like a court in adjudicatory proceedings and like a legislature in rule-making proceedings. The F.C.C.’s work in foreign and interstate communications ...

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