The FCC, or Federal Communications Commission, is a government agency that facilitates communication across the country on federal and state levels. Even though most people have probably already heard of the FCC, they might be wondering whether they do anything significant regarding the American people. Consider the following ways that the FCC improves the quality of life for Americans every day.
Ensuring Everyone Has Access to a Cell Phone and Internet Connection
While landlines used to be the primary method of communication, they have been phased out due to the advent of the internet and cell phones. However, it can be expensive for people to get the phone plans they need, especially if they cannot afford to maintain them due to overwhelming bills. To help with this, the FCC created the Affordable Connectivity Program. This program helps low-income individuals and families have access to a cell phone plan and reliable internet without breaking the bank. Certain companies provide phones, routers, and data plans, and those who apply for the program have to meet certain qualifications, but thanks to the FCC, the option is there for anyone who benefits from what the program offers.
They Ensure the Continued Competition Among Internet Providers
While companies are allowed to merge, they are prevented from completely monopolizing. However, that does not mean that they do not try to do so anyway. The FCC is essential in making sure that competition continues among internet providers as much as they can. While internet providers might have control over a particular area, they have to provide service comparable to that of their competitors so their clients are not tempted to bring another service provider into their territory. If the FCC were ever to fail in maintaining competition among all of the available internet providers, a lot of different things would start to happen. Prices of service would skyrocket, a lot of mergers would happen at once, and broadband internet might be purposely slowed if clients refused to pay under the new terms and conditions.
They Do Their Part to Ensure National Security
There are a lot of things that go into ensuring the national security of the United States, and the FCC has to do its part to make sure that it continues to go off without a hitch. It makes sure that everything is updated on time so there is less chance of threats received from malware and hackers. It runs supply chain reimbursement programs, inspections and reports so all of the equipment used for national and international communication is accounted for instead of being tampered with or stolen. The FCC was created in part to strengthen the nation’s defenses, and it has had a lot of time to perfect its process.
They Make Sure to Minimize Internet Discrimination
While the internet is a wonderful place, it has its downfalls, and one of those downfalls is the high rate of discrimination found online. The discrimination occurs both between internet users and between online users and the internet providers. The FCC has various tactics that they use to try and minimize this discrimination as much as possible. As far as the discrimination between online users goes, the FCC has moderators on a lot of websites that watch for any hate speech or discriminatory actions, then go through the process of banning those users. If there is anything else going on, such as attempts at grooming an underage internet user, the FCC does its best to catch the groomer and put them behind bars.
As far as the discrimination between online users and the internet providers is concerned, there are a lot of internet providers that do not want to provide service to historically impoverished or rural areas without jacking the price up to where it is almost unaffordable for the people that live there. The FCC tries its best to make sure that such discrimination is not successful, and that everyone has a fair chance to get the internet service that they need. This helps people have access to online schooling and homework assistance programs that they need to be successful. Without making sure that fair use exists, the FCC would be leaving those people at a disadvantage.
There are a lot of things that the FCC does that the average American citizen may not notice. However, those things are what ensure quality of life, especially when it comes to any form of communication. Keep these things in mind the next time you wonder what the FCC does, and see about doing some further research into this extensive government organization.