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COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934, AS AMENDED AN ACT To provide for the regulation of interstate and foreign communication by

wire or radio, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

TITLE I-GENERAL PROVISIONS

PURPOSES OF ACT, CREATION OF FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

COMMISSION SECTION 1. [47 U.S.C. 151] 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 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 communication, 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 hereby 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 Act.2

APPLICATION OF ACT

SEC. 2. [47 U.S.C. 152] (a) The provisions of this act 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

1 The provision relating to the promotion of safety of life and property was added by “An Act to amend the Communications Act of 1934, etc.” Public Law 97, 75th Congress, approved and effective May 20, 1937, 50 Stat. 189.

2 Section 202 of Public Law 97-259, 96 Stat. 1087, 1099, Sept. 13, 1982, provides:

(a) The National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall conduct a comprehensive study of the long-range international telecommunications and information goals of the United States, the specific international telecommunications and information policies necessary to promote those goals and the strategies that will ensure that the United States achieves them. The Administration shall further conduct a review of the structures, procedures, and mechanisms which are utilized by the United States to develop international telecommunications and information policy.

(b) In any study or review conducted pursuant to this section, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shall not make public information regarding usage or traffic patterns which would damage United States commercial interests. Any such study or review shall be limited to international telecommunications policies or to domestic telecommunications issues which directly affect such policies.

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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 Act 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 pro vided in title VI.*

(b) 4 Except as provided in section 224 and subject to the provisions of section 301 and title VI,* nothing in this Act 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 vire 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) 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 through 205 of this Act, both inclusive, shall, except as otherwise provided therein, apply to carriers described in clauses (2), (3), and (4).

DEFINITIONS

SEC. 3. [47 U.S.C. 153] For the purposes of this Act, unless the context otherwise requires

(a) “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.

3 The words “the Philippine Islands or” preceding "the Canal Zone” are omitted on authority of Proc. No. 2695, effective July 4, 1946, ii Fed. Reg. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352, recognizing the inde pendence of the Philippine Islands.

So in original. Should refer to title VII. * Subsection 2(b) was amended by adding the words "Except as provided in section 224 and" at the beginning of the subsection by section 5, Public Law 95–234, approved February 21, 1978, 92 Stat. 35. The subsection was previously amended to read as above by Public Law 345, 83d Congress, 2d Session, approved April 27, 1954, 68 Stat. 63. This subsection formerly read as follows:

(6) Subject to the provisions of section 301, nothing in this Act 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 of any carrier, or (2) any carrier engaged in interstate or foreign communications 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, except that sections 201 to 205 of this Act, both inclusive, shall, except as otherwise provided therein, apply to carriers described in clause (2).

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(b) “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.

(c) "Licensee" means the holder of a radio station license granted or continued in force under authority of this Act.

(d) “Transmission of energy by radio" or "radio transmission of energy" includes both such transmission and all instrumentalities, facilities, and services incidental to such transmission.

(e) "Interstate communication" or "interstate transmission" means communication or transmission (1) 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, (2) from or to the United States to or from the Canal Zone, 5 insofar as such communication or transmission takes place within the United States, or (3) between points within the United States but through a foreign country; 6 but shall not, with respect to the provisions of title II of this Act (other than section 223 thereof),? 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.

(f) “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.

(g) "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.5

(h) “Common carrier" or "carrier" means any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or in interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy, except where reference is made to common carriers not subject to this Act; but a person engaged in radio broadcasting shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be deemed a common carrier.

(i) "Pergon" includes an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation.

(j) “Corporation” includes any corporation, joint-stock company, or association.

(k) "Radio station" or "station" means a station equipped to engage in radio communication or radio transmission of energy.

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6 See note 3.

• The part of section 3(eX3) which follows the semicolon was amended to read as above by Public Law 345, 83d Congress, 2d session, approved April 27, 1954, 68 Stat. 64. This part of section 3(eX3) formerly read as follows: but shall not include wire coinmunication between points within 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.

? Public Law 90-299, approved May 3, 1968, 82 Stat. 112, amended subsection (eX3) by insert ing "(other than section 223 thereof)'' immediately after "title II of this Act.”

(1) “Mobile station” means a radio-communication station capable of being moved and which ordinarily does move.

(m) "Land station" means a station, other than a mobile station, used for radio communication with mobile stations.

(n) “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 both one-way and two-way radio communication services.8

(0) “Broadcasting” means the dissemination of radio communications intended to be received by the public, directly or by the intermediary of relay stations.

(p) “Chain broadcasting” means simultaneous broadcasting of an identical program by two or more connected stations.

(q) “Amateur station” means a radio station operated by a duly authorized person interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

(r) “Telephone exchange service” means service within a tele phone exchange, or within a connected system of telephone exchanges within the same exchange area operated to furnish to sub scribers intercommunicating service of the character ordinarily furnished by a single exchange, and which is covered by the exchange service charge.

(s) "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.

(t) "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.

(u) 9 "Connecting carrier" means a carrier described in clauses (2), (3), or (4) of section 2(b).

(v) "State" includes the District of Columbia and the Territories and possessions.

(w) 10 (1) “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.

(2) A ship shall be considered a passenger ship if it carries or is licensed or certificated to carry more than twelve passengers.

(3) A cargo ship means any ship not a passenger ship.

(4) A passenger is any person carried on board a ship or vessel except (1) the officers and crew actually employed to man and operate the ship, (2) persons employed to carry on the business of the ship, and (3) persons on board a ship when they are carried, either because of the obligation laid upon the master to carry ship

8 Section 3(n) was amended to read as above by Public Law 97-259, approved September 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1087, 1097. Section 3(n) formerly read as follows:

(n) "Mobile servicemeans the radio-communication of service carried on between mobile sta. tions and land stations, and by mobile stations communicating among themselves.

• Section 3(u) was amended to read as above by Public Law 345, 83d Congress, 20 Session, approved April 27, 1954, 68 Stat. 64. Section 3(u) formerly read as follows:

"Connecting carrier" means a carrier described in clause (2) of section 2(6).

10 This subsection was added by “An Act to amend the Communications Act of 1934, etc.” Public Law 97, 75th Congress, approved and effective May 20, 1937, 50 Stat. 189.

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