Collapse to view only § 153. Definitions

§ 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, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, 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; Pub. L. 104–104, title I, § 104, Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 86.)
§ 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, 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; Pub. L. 95–234, § 5, Feb. 21, 1978, 92 Stat. 35; Pub. L. 98–549, § 3(a), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2801; Pub. L. 101–166, title V, § 521(2), Nov. 21, 1989, 103 Stat. 1193; Pub. L. 101–336, title IV, § 401(b)(1), July 26, 1990, 104 Stat. 369; Pub. L. 102–243, § 3(b), Dec. 20, 1991, 105 Stat. 2401; Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, § 6002(b)(2)(B)(i), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 396.)
§ 153. DefinitionsFor the purposes of this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires—
(1) Advanced communications servicesThe term “advanced communications services” means—
(A) interconnected VoIP service;
(B) non-interconnected VoIP service;
(C) electronic messaging service; and
(D) interoperable video conferencing service.
(2) Affiliate

The term “affiliate” means a person that (directly or indirectly) owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, another person. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “own” means to own an equity interest (or the equivalent thereof) of more than 10 percent.

(3) Amateur station

(4) AT&T Consent Decree

The term “AT&T Consent Decree” means the order entered August 24, 1982, in the antitrust action styled United States v. Western Electric, Civil Action No. 82–0192, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and includes any judgment or order with respect to such action entered on or after August 24, 1982.

(5) Bell operating companyThe term “Bell operating company”—
(A) means any of the following companies: Bell Telephone Company of Nevada, Illinois Bell Telephone Company, Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Incorporated, Michigan Bell Telephone Company, New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, New York Telephone Company, U S West Communications Company, South Central Bell Telephone Company, Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Maryland, The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia, The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of West Virginia, The Diamond State Telephone Company, The Ohio Bell Telephone Company, The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, or Wisconsin Telephone Company; and
(B) includes any successor or assign of any such company that provides wireline telephone exchange service; but
(C) does not include an affiliate of any such company, other than an affiliate described in subparagraph (A) or (B).
(6) Broadcast station

The term “broadcast station”, “broadcasting station”, or “radio broadcast station” means a radio station equipped to engage in broadcasting as herein defined.

(7) Broadcasting

The term “broadcasting” means the dissemination of radio communications intended to be received by the public, directly or by the intermediary of relay stations.

(8) Cable service

The term “cable service” has the meaning given such term in section 522 of this title.

(9) Cable system

The term “cable system” has the meaning given such term in section 522 of this title.

(10) Chain broadcasting

The term “chain broadcasting” means simultaneous broadcasting of an identical program by two or more connected stations.

(11) Common carrier

The term “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.

(12) Connecting carrier

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

(13) Construction permit

The term “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.

(14) Consumer generated media

The term “consumer generated media” means span created and made available by consumers to online websites and services on the Internet, including video, audio, and multimedia span.

(15) Corporation

The term “corporation” includes any corporation, joint-stock company, or association.

(16) Customer premises equipment

The term “customer premises equipment” means equipment employed on the premises of a person (other than a carrier) to originate, route, or terminate telecommunications.

(17) Dialing parity

The term “dialing parity” means that a person that is not an affiliate of a local exchange carrier is able to provide telecommunications services in such a manner that customers have the ability to route automatically, without the use of any access code, their telecommunications to the telecommunications services provider of the customer’s designation from among 2 or more telecommunications services providers (including such local exchange carrier).

(18) Disability

The term “disability” has the meaning given such term under section 12102 of title 42.

(19) Electronic messaging service

The term “electronic messaging service” means a service that provides real-time or near real-time non-voice messages in text form between individuals over communications networks.

(20) Exchange access

The term “exchange access” means the offering of access to telephone exchange services or facilities for the purpose of the origination or termination of telephone toll services.

(21) Foreign communication

The term “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.

(22) Great Lakes Agreement

The term “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.

(23) Harbor

The term “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.

(24) Information service

The term “information service” means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service.

(25) Interconnected VoIP service

The term “interconnected VoIP service” has the meaning given such term under section 9.3 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section may be amended from time to time.

(26) InterLATA service

The term “interLATA service” means telecommunications between a point located in a local access and transport area and a point located outside such area.

(27) Interoperable video conferencing service

The term “interoperable video conferencing service” means a service that provides real-time video communications, including audio, to enable users to share information of the user’s choosing.

(28) Interstate communication

The term “interstate communication” or “interstate transmission” means communication or transmission (A) 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, (B) 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 (C) 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.

(29) Land station

The term “land station” means a station, other than a mobile station, used for radio communication with mobile stations.

(30) Licensee

The term “licensee” means the holder of a radio station license granted or continued in force under authority of this chapter.

(31) Local access and transport areaThe term “local access and transport area” or “LATA” means a contiguous geographic area—
(A) established before February 8, 1996, by a Bell operating company such that no exchange area includes points within more than 1 metropolitan statistical area, consolidated metropolitan statistical area, or State, except as expressly permitted under the AT&T Consent Decree; or
(B) established or modified by a Bell operating company after February 8, 1996, and approved by the Commission.
(32) Local exchange carrier

The term “local exchange carrier” means any person that is engaged in the provision of telephone exchange service or exchange access. Such term does not include a person insofar as such person is engaged in the provision of a commercial mobile service under section 332(c) of this title, except to the extent that the Commission finds that such service should be included in the definition of such term.

(33) Mobile service

The term “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 (A) both one-way and two-way radio communication services, (B) 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 (C) 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.

(34) Mobile station

The term “mobile station” means a radio-communication station capable of being moved and which ordinarily does move.

(35) Network element

The term “network element” means a facility or equipment used in the provision of a telecommunications service. Such term also includes features, functions, and capabilities that are provided by means of such facility or equipment, including subscriber numbers, databases, signaling systems, and information sufficient for billing and collection or used in the transmission, routing, or other provision of a telecommunications service.

(36) Non-interconnected VoIP serviceThe term “non-interconnected VoIP service”—
(A) means a service that—
(i) enables real-time voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user’s location using Internet protocol or any successor protocol; and
(ii) requires Internet protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and
(B) does not include any service that is an interconnected VoIP service.
(37) Number portability

The term “number portability” means the ability of users of telecommunications services to retain, at the same location, existing telecommunications numbers without impairment of quality, reliability, or convenience when switching from one telecommunications carrier to another.

(38) Operator
(A) The term “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.
(B) “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.
(39) Person

The term “person” includes an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation.

(40) Radio communication

The term “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.

(41) Radio officer
(A) The term “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.
(B) “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.
(42) Radio station

The term “radio station” or “station” means a station equipped to engage in radio communication or radio transmission of energy.

(43) Radiotelegraph auto alarm

The term “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.

(44) Rural telephone companyThe term “rural telephone company” means a local exchange carrier operating entity to the extent that such entity—
(A) provides common carrier service to any local exchange carrier study area that does not include either—
(i) any incorporated place of 10,000 inhabitants or more, or any part thereof, based on the most recently available population statistics of the Bureau of the Census; or
(ii) any territory, incorporated or unincorporated, included in an urbanized area, as defined by the Bureau of the Census as of August 10, 1993;
(B) provides telephone exchange service, including exchange access, to fewer than 50,000 access lines;
(C) provides telephone exchange service to any local exchange carrier study area with fewer than 100,000 access lines; or
(D) has less than 15 percent of its access lines in communities of more than 50,000 on February 8, 1996.
(45) Safety convention

The term “safety convention” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea in force and the regulations referred to therein.

(46) Ship
(A) The term “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.
(B) A ship shall be considered a passenger ship if it carries or is licensed or certificated to carry more than twelve passengers.
(C) A cargo ship means any ship not a passenger ship.
(D)
(E) “Nuclear ship” means a ship provided with a nuclear powerplant.
(47) State

The term “State” includes the District of Columbia and the Territories and possessions.

(48) State commission

The term “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.

(49) Station license

The term “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.

(50) Telecommunications

The term “telecommunications” means the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or span of the information as sent and received.

(51) Telecommunications carrier

The term “telecommunications carrier” means any provider of telecommunications services, except that such term does not include aggregators of telecommunications services (as defined in section 226 of this title). A telecommunications carrier shall be treated as a common carrier under this chapter only to the extent that it is engaged in providing telecommunications services, except that the Commission shall determine whether the provision of fixed and mobile satellite service shall be treated as common carriage.

(52) Telecommunications equipment

The term “telecommunications equipment” means equipment, other than customer premises equipment, used by a carrier to provide telecommunications services, and includes software integral to such equipment (including upgrades).

(53) Telecommunications service

The term “telecommunications service” means the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.

(54) Telephone exchange service

The term “telephone exchange service” means (A) 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, or (B) comparable service provided through a system of switches, transmission equipment, or other facilities (or combination thereof) by which a subscriber can originate and terminate a telecommunications service.

(55) Telephone toll service

The term “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.

(56) Television service
(A) Analog television service

The term “analog television service” means television service provided pursuant to the transmission standards prescribed by the Commission in section 73.682(a) of its regulations (47 C.F.R. 73.682(a)).

(B) Digital television service

The term “digital television service” means television service provided pursuant to the transmission standards prescribed by the Commission in section 73.682(d) of its regulations (47 C.F.R. 73.682(d)).

(57) Transmission of energy by radio

The term “transmission of energy by radio” or “radio transmission of energy” includes both such transmission and all instrumentalities, facilities, and services incidental to such transmission.

(58) United States

The term “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.

(59) Wire communication

The term “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.

(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; Pub. L. 89–121, § 1, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 511; Pub. L. 90–299, § 2, May 3, 1968, 82 Stat. 112; Pub. L. 97–259, title I, § 120(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1097; Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, § 6002(b)(2)(B)(ii), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 396; Pub. L. 104–104, § 3(a), (c), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 58, 61; Pub. L. 105–33, title III, § 3001(b), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 258; Pub. L. 111–260, title I, § 101, Oct. 8, 2010, 124 Stat. 2752.)
§ 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.
(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
(1) A commissioner—
(A) shall be appointed for a term of 5 years;
(B) except as provided in subparagraph (C), may continue to serve after the expiration of the fixed term of office of the commissioner until a successor is appointed and has been confirmed and taken the oath of office; and
(C) may not continue to serve after the expiration of the session of Congress that begins after the expiration of the fixed term of office of the commissioner.
(2) Any person chosen to fill a vacancy in the Commission—
(A) shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the commissioner that the person succeeds;
(B) except as provided in subparagraph (C), may continue to serve after the expiration of the fixed term of office of the commissioner that the person succeeds until a successor is appointed and has been confirmed and taken the oath of office; and
(C) may not continue to serve after the expiration of the session of Congress that begins after the expiration of the fixed term of office of the commissioner that the person succeeds.
(3) 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: and Provided further, That, in the alternative, an entity designated by the Commission may make the inspections referred to in this paragraph.
(4)
(A) The Commission, for purposes of preparing or 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 of license for which the examination is being prepared or administered. 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)
(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.
(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 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.
(D) 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.
(E) 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.
(F) Any person who provides services under this paragraph shall not be considered, by reason of having provided such services, a Federal employee.
(G) The Commission, in accepting and employing services of individuals under subparagraphs (A) and (B), shall seek to achieve a broad representation of individuals and organizations interested in amateur station operation.
(H) The Commission may establish rules of conduct and other regulations governing the service of individuals under this paragraph.
(I) 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) of this paragraph, individuals, or organizations which provide or coordinate such authorized volunteer services may recover from examinees reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs.
(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) Repealed. Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title IV, § 402(i)(1)(B), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1089.
(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) 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.

(l) 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.

(m) 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.

(n) 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; Pub. L. 86–533, § 1(24), June 29, 1960, 74 Stat. 249; Pub. L. 86–619, § 2, July 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 407; Pub. L. 86–752, § 2, Sept. 13, 1960, 74 Stat. 889; Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, § 1251(b), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 738; Pub. L. 97–253, title V, § 501(b)(1)–(3), Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 805, 806; Pub. L. 97–259, title I, §§ 102–104, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1087–1089; Pub. L. 98–214, §§ 10, 11, Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1471; Pub. L. 99–272, title V, § 5002(b), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 118; Pub. L. 99–334, § 1(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 513; Pub. L. 100–594, § 3, Nov. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 3021; Pub. L. 101–396, §§ 3, 4, Sept. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 848, 849; Pub. L. 102–538, title II, §§ 201, 208, Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3542, 3543; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, § 303(a)(1), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4294; Pub. L. 104–66, title II, § 2051(b), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 729; Pub. L. 104–104, title IV, § 403(a), (b), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 130; Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title IV, § 402(h)(1), (i)(1), title V, § 509, Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1089, 1096.)
§ 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. Except for cases involving the authorization of service in the instructional television fixed service, or as otherwise provided in this chapter, nothing in this paragraph shall authorize the Commission to provide for the conduct, by any person or persons other than persons referred to in paragraph (2) or (3) of section 556(b) of title 5, of any hearing to which such section 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; Pub. L. 87–192, §§ 1, 2, Aug. 31, 1961, 75 Stat. 420; Pub. L. 96–470, title I, § 116, Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2240; Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, § 1252, Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 738; Pub. L. 97–259, title I, § 105, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1091; Pub. L. 99–272, title V, § 5002(c), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 118; Pub. L. 100–594, §§ 4, 8(a), Nov. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 3021, 3023; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, § 303(a)(2), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4294; Pub. L. 104–104, title IV, § 403(c), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 130.)
§ 155a. Authority of Chief Information Officer
(a) In general
The Commission shall ensure that the Chief Information Officer of the Commission has a significant role in—
(1) the decision-making process for annual and multi-year planning, programming, budgeting, and execution decisions, related reporting requirements, and reports related to information technology;
(2) the management, governance, and oversight processes related to information technology; and
(3) the hiring of personnel with information technology responsibilities.
(b) CIO approval

The Chief Information Officer of the Commission, in consultation with the Chief Financial Officer of the Commission and budget officials, shall specify and approve the allocation of amounts appropriated to the Commission for information technology, consistent with the provisions of appropriations Acts, budget guidelines, and recommendations from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title V, § 502, Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1091.)
§ 156. Authorization of appropriations
(a) Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission to carry out the functions of the Commission $333,118,000 for fiscal year 2019 and $339,610,000 for fiscal year 2020.

(b) Offsetting collections

The sum appropriated in any fiscal year to carry out the activities described in subsection (a), to the extent and in the amounts provided for in Appropriations Acts, shall be derived from fees authorized by section 159 of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 6, as added Pub. L. 97–35, title XII, § 1251(a), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 738; amended
§ 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 Pub. L. 98–214, § 12, Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1471; amended Pub. L. 103–414, title III, § 304(a)(1), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4296.)
§ 158. Application fees
(a) General authority; establishment of schedule

The Commission shall assess and collect application fees at such rates as the Commission shall establish in a schedule of application fees to recover the costs of the Commission to process applications.

(b) Adjustment of schedule
(1) In general
In every even-numbered year, the Commission shall review the schedule of application fees established under this section and, except as provided in paragraph (2), set a new amount for each fee in the schedule that is equal to the amount of the fee on the date when the fee was established or the date when the fee was last amended under subsection (c), whichever is later—
(A) increased or decreased by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index during the period beginning on such date and ending on the date of the review; and
(B) rounded to the nearest $5 increment.
(2) Threshold for adjustment
The Commission may not adjust a fee under paragraph (1) if—
(A) in the case of a fee the current amount of which is less than $200, the adjustment would result in a change in the current amount of less than $10; or
(B) in the case of a fee the current amount of which is $200 or more, the adjustment would result in a change in the current amount of less than 5 percent.
(3) Current amount defined

In paragraph (2), the term “current amount” means, with respect to a fee, the amount of the fee on the date when the fee was established, the date when the fee was last adjusted under paragraph (1), or the date when the fee was last amended under subsection (c), whichever is latest.

(c) Amendments to schedule
In addition to the adjustments required by subsection (b), the Commission shall by rule amend the schedule of application fees established under this section if the Commission determines that the schedule requires amendment—
(1) so that such fees reflect increases or decreases in the costs of processing applications at the Commission; or
(2) so that such schedule reflects the consolidation or addition of new categories of applications.
(d) Exceptions
(1) Parties to which fees are not applicable
The application fees established under this section shall not be applicable to—
(A) a governmental entity;
(B) a nonprofit entity licensed in the Local Government, Police, Fire, Highway Maintenance, Forestry-Conservation, Public Safety, or Special Emergency Radio radio services; or
(C) a noncommercial radio station or noncommercial television station.
(2) Cost of collection

If, in the judgment of the Commission, the cost of collecting an application fee established under this section would exceed the amount collected, the Commission may by rule eliminate such fee.

(e) Deposit of collections

Moneys received from application fees established under this section shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 8, as added Pub. L. 99–272, title V, § 5002(e), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 118; amended Pub. L. 100–594, § 5, Nov. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 3021; Pub. L. 101–239, title III, § 3001(a), (b), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2124, 2131; Pub. L. 102–538, title II, § 209, Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3544; Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, § 6003(a)(2), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 401; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §§ 302, 303(a)(3), (4), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4294; Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title I, § 102(a), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1082.)
§ 159. Regulatory fees
(a) General authority

The Commission shall assess and collect regulatory fees to recover the costs of carrying out the activities described in section 156(a) of this title only to the extent, and in the total amounts, provided for in Appropriations Acts.

(b) Establishment of schedule

The Commission shall assess and collect regulatory fees at such rates as the Commission shall establish in a schedule of regulatory fees that will result in the collection, in each fiscal year, of an amount that can reasonably be expected to equal the amounts described in subsection (a) with respect to such fiscal year.

(c) Adjustment of schedule
(1) In general
For each fiscal year, the Commission shall by rule adjust the schedule of regulatory fees established under this section to—
(A) reflect unexpected increases or decreases in the number of units subject to the payment of such fees; and
(B) result in the collection of the amount required by subsection (b).
(2) Rounding

In making adjustments under this subsection, the Commission may round fees to the nearest $5 increment.

(d) Amendments to schedule

In addition to the adjustments required by subsection (c), the Commission shall by rule amend the schedule of regulatory fees established under this section if the Commission determines that the schedule requires amendment so that such fees reflect the full-time equivalent number of employees within the bureaus and 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. In making an amendment under this subsection, the Commission may not change the total amount of regulatory fees required by subsection (b) to be collected in a fiscal year.

(e) Exceptions
(1) Parties to which fees are not applicable
The regulatory fees established under this section shall not be applicable to—
(A) a governmental entity or nonprofit entity;
(B) an amateur radio operator licensee under part 97 of the Commission’s rules (47 CFR part 97); or
(C) a noncommercial radio station or noncommercial television station.
(2) Cost of collection

If, in the judgment of the Commission, the cost of collecting a regulatory fee established under this section from a party would exceed the amount collected from such party, the Commission may exempt such party from paying such fee.

(f) Deposit of collections
(1) In general

Amounts received from fees authorized by this section shall be deposited as an offsetting collection in, and credited to, the account through which funds are made available to carry out the activities described in section 156(a) of this title.

(2) Deposit of excess collections

Any regulatory fees collected in excess of the total amount of fees provided for in Appropriations Acts for a fiscal year shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury of the United States for the sole purpose of deficit reduction.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 9, as added Pub. L. 103–66, title VI, § 6003(a)(1), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 397; amended Pub. L. 103–121, title I, Oct. 27, 1993, 107 Stat. 1167; Pub. L. 103–414, title III, § 303(a)(5), (6), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4294; Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title I, § 102(b), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1083.)
§ 159a. Provisions applicable to application and regulatory fees
(a) Judicial review prohibited

Any adjustment or amendment to a schedule of fees under subsection (b) or (c) of section 158 of this title or subsection (c) or (d) of section 159 of this title is not subject to judicial review.

(b) Notice to Congress
The Commission shall transmit to Congress notification—
(1) of any adjustment under section 158(b) or 159(c) of this title immediately upon the adoption of such adjustment; and
(2) of any amendment under section 158(c) or 159(d) of this title not later than 90 days before the effective date of such amendment.
(c) Enforcement
(1) Penalties for late payment

The Commission shall by rule prescribe an additional penalty for late payment of fees under section 158 or 159 of this title. Such additional penalty shall be 25 percent of the amount of the fee that was not paid in a timely manner.

(2) Interest on unpaid fees and penalties

The Commission shall charge interest, at a rate determined under section 3717 of title 31, on a fee under section 158 or 159 of this title or an additional penalty under this subsection that is not paid in a timely manner. Such section 3717 shall not otherwise apply with respect to such a fee or penalty.

(3) Dismissal of applications or filings

The Commission may dismiss any application or other filing for failure to pay in a timely manner any fee under section 158 or 159 of this title or any interest or additional penalty under this subsection.

(4) Revocations
(A) In general

In addition to or in lieu of the penalties and dismissals authorized by this subsection, the Commission may revoke any instrument of authorization held by any licensee that has not paid in a timely manner a regulatory fee assessed under section 159 of this title or any related interest or penalty.

(B) Notice

Revocation action may be taken by the Commission under this paragraph 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 shall provide the licensee at least 30 days to either pay the fee, interest, and any penalty or show cause why the fee, interest, or penalty does not apply to the licensee or should otherwise be waived or payment deferred.

(C) Hearing
(i) Generally not required

A hearing is not required under this paragraph unless the licensee’s response presents a substantial and material question of fact.

(ii) Evidence and burdens

In any case where a hearing is conducted under this paragraph, 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.

(iii) Costs

Unless the licensee substantially prevails in the hearing, the Commission may assess the licensee for the costs of such hearing.

(D) Opportunity to pay prior to revocation

Any Commission order adopted under this paragraph 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.

(E) Finality

No order of revocation under this paragraph 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 under section 158 or 159 of this title or an interest charge or penalty under this section in any specific instance for good cause shown, where such action would promote the public interest.

(e) Payment rules
The Commission shall by rule permit payment—
(1) in the case of fees under section 158 or 159 of this title in large amounts, by installments; and
(2) in the case of fees under section 158 or 159 of this title in small amounts, in advance for a number of years not to exceed the term of the license held by the payor.
(f) Accounting system

The Commission shall develop accounting systems necessary to make the amendments authorized by sections 158(c) and 159(d) of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 9A, as added Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title I, § 102(c), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1084.)
§ 160. Competition in provision of telecommunications service
(a) Regulatory flexibility
Notwithstanding section 332(c)(1)(A) of this title, the Commission shall forbear from applying any regulation or any provision of this chapter to a telecommunications carrier or telecommunications service, or class of telecommunications carriers or telecommunications services, in any or some of its or their geographic markets, if the Commission determines that—
(1) enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary to ensure that the charges, practices, classifications, or regulations by, for, or in connection with that telecommunications carrier or telecommunications service are just and reasonable and are not unjustly or unreasonably discriminatory;
(2) enforcement of such regulation or provision is not necessary for the protection of consumers; and
(3) forbearance from applying such provision or regulation is consistent with the public interest.
(b) Competitive effect to be weighed

In making the determination under subsection (a)(3), the Commission shall consider whether forbearance from enforcing the provision or regulation will promote competitive market conditions, including the extent to which such forbearance will enhance competition among providers of telecommunications services. If the Commission determines that such forbearance will promote competition among providers of telecommunications services, that determination may be the basis for a Commission finding that forbearance is in the public interest.

(c) Petition for forbearance

Any telecommunications carrier, or class of telecommunications carriers, may submit a petition to the Commission requesting that the Commission exercise the authority granted under this section with respect to that carrier or those carriers, or any service offered by that carrier or carriers. Any such petition shall be deemed granted if the Commission does not deny the petition for failure to meet the requirements for forbearance under subsection (a) within one year after the Commission receives it, unless the one-year period is extended by the Commission. The Commission may extend the initial one-year period by an additional 90 days if the Commission finds that an extension is necessary to meet the requirements of subsection (a). The Commission may grant or deny a petition in whole or in part and shall explain its decision in writing.

(d) Limitation

Except as provided in section 251(f) of this title, the Commission may not forbear from applying the requirements of section 251(c) or 271 of this title under subsection (a) of this section until it determines that those requirements have been fully implemented.

(e) State enforcement after Commission forbearance

A State commission may not continue to apply or enforce any provision of this chapter that the Commission has determined to forbear from applying under subsection (a).

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 10, as added Pub. L. 104–104, title IV, § 401, Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 128.)
§ 161. Regulatory reform
(a) Biennial review of regulations
In every even-numbered year (beginning with 1998), the Commission—
(1) shall review all regulations issued under this chapter in effect at the time of the review that apply to the operations or activities of any provider of telecommunications service; and
(2) shall determine whether any such regulation is no longer necessary in the public interest as the result of meaningful economic competition between providers of such service.
(b) Effect of determination

The Commission shall repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no longer necessary in the public interest.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 11, as added Pub. L. 104–104, title IV, § 402(a), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 129.)
§ 162. Additional research authorities of the FCC
In order to carry out the purposes of this chapter, the Commission may—
(1) undertake research and development work in connection with any matter in relation to which the Commission has jurisdiction; and
(2) promote the carrying out of such research and development by others, or otherwise to arrange for such research and development to be carried out by others.
(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 12, as added Pub. L. 111–358, title VIII, § 803, Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 4043.)
§ 163. Communications marketplace report
(a) In general

In the last quarter of every even-numbered year, the Commission shall publish on its website and submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the state of the communications marketplace.

(b) Contents
Each report required by subsection (a) shall—
(1) assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver voice, video, audio, and data services among providers of telecommunications, providers of commercial mobile service (as defined in section 332 of this title), multichannel video programming distributors (as defined in section 522 of this title), broadcast stations, providers of satellite communications, Internet service providers, and other providers of communications services;
(2) assess the state of deployment of communications capabilities, including advanced telecommunications capability (as defined in section 1302 of this title), regardless of the technology used for such deployment;
(3) assess whether laws, regulations, regulatory practices (whether those of the Federal Government, States, political subdivisions of States, Indian tribes or tribal organizations (as such terms are defined in section 5304 of title 25), or foreign governments), or demonstrated marketplace practices pose a barrier to competitive entry into the communications marketplace or to the competitive expansion of existing providers of communications services;
(4) describe the agenda of the Commission for the next 2-year period for addressing the challenges and opportunities in the communications marketplace that were identified through the assessments under paragraphs (1) through (3); and
(5) describe the actions that the Commission has taken in pursuit of the agenda described pursuant to paragraph (4) in the previous report submitted under this section.
(c) Extension

If the President designates a Commissioner as Chairman of the Commission during the last quarter of an even-numbered year, the portion of the report required by subsection (b)(4) may be published on the website of the Commission and submitted to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate as an addendum during the first quarter of the following odd-numbered year.

(d) Special requirements
(1) Assessing competition

In assessing the state of competition under subsection (b)(1), the Commission shall consider all forms of competition, including the effect of intermodal competition, facilities-based competition, and competition from new and emergent communications services, including the provision of span and communications using the Internet.

(2) Assessing deployment

In assessing the state of deployment under subsection (b)(2), the Commission shall compile a list of geographical areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability.

(3) Considering small businesses

In assessing the state of competition under subsection (b)(1) and regulatory barriers under subsection (b)(3), the Commission shall consider market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the communications marketplace in accordance with the national policy under section 257(b) of this title.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, § 13, as added Pub. L. 115–141, div. P, title IV, § 401, Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1087.)