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The FCC has five commissioners, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, who oversee the operations of the agency. There are various operating bureaus under the commissioners, one of which is the Mass Media Bureau. Different bureaus within the FCC regulate different aspects of telecommunications media. For example, the Mass Media Bureau regulates amplitude and frequency modulation, low-power television, and direct broadcast satellite. The Common Carrier Bureau regulates telephone and cable operations.

The FCC licenses new broadcast stations based on the needs of communities in a given region and on technical engineering considerations that prevent interference between stations. The FCC must approve a host of activities by broadcasters, including allocations of new stations and applications to build, modify, renew, or sell a station. When the FCC considers an application for any of these activities, it tries to determine if granting the request serves the public interest. This kind of review is required by the Communications Act.

Inside The FCC