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Other FCC Enforcement Functions

The FCC’s authority differs greatly regarding standard broadcast television stations and other types of television channels such as cable television. Cable television channels are available by subscription only; they cannot be received over the air. Consequently, cable operators are subject to a different set of FCC rules than broadcast television stations. A broadcast television station on a cable system is regulated as a broadcast station.

The FCC enforces regulations designed to promote competition among cable companies, satellite companies, and other firms offering video programming services to the general public. This competition-promotion function includes a variety of issues such as the following:

  • commercial availability of set-top boxes
  • commercial leased access
  • mandatory carriage of television broadcast signals
  • open video systems
  • over-the-air reception devices
  • program access
  • the accessibility of closed captioning and video description on television programming

More specific information about these functions can be found on the FCC’s website,

Inside Other FCC Enforcement Functions