In a little more than a decade, we will look back on the first century of independent regulation of the broadcasting sector. As part of the so-called New Deal, and under the leadership of US President Franklin D Roosevelt, a congressional statute of 1934 created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as an independent agency in charge of regulating interstate communications (although its competencies were basically focused
on radio licensing), replacing the Federal Radio Commission. The FCC is nowadays considered one of the most important independent communications regulatory agencies and many countries look at its decisions and functioning as an example to follow.
In Europe, independent regulation of what was called the broadcasting sector started much later, during the last quarter of the 20th century. In this case, independent regulation is linked to the gradual liberalisation and opening of broadcasting markets in traditionally state-monopolised markets. Such privatisation took place in parallel with other economic sectors such as the distribution of energy, telecoms, transportation etc. Independent authorities were created to guarantee proper regulation and the protection of public interest in sectors where state operators were also in place.
Independent regulators are entrusted with the responsibility of interpreting and applying legal provisions according to high technical and professional skills. As legislation can only set general principles but is not generally able to anticipate all the issues which can be raised in highly complex economic sectors, regulators have the difficult task of creating ‘ad-hoc norms’ - that is, to transform general legal principles into appropriate and enforceable binding resolutions.
How is media policy and regulation developing in a world moving from broadcasting to audiovisual content on many platforms? Joan Barata presents the agenda.
We give innovators and regulators a forum in which to explore, debate and agree the best policies and regulatory frameworks for widest societal benefit.
Insight: Exchange: Influence
We give members a voice through conferences, symposiums and private meetings, as well as broad exposure of their differing viewpoints through articles, reports and interviews.
The new website will make it easier for you to gather fresh insights, exchange views with others and have a voice in the debateTake a look Learn more about our updates
You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The International Institute of Communications website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:Windows
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.