FCC must follow its own rules and hold the violators accountable

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report that shows that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been breaking its own rules by leaking inside information about its plans to corporate interests before the information was made public. This shows contempt inside the FCC for the principles of fairness and openness as well as a bias toward the telecommunications corporations it regulates for the public interest.

“When the FCC favors the businesses it regulates over the people that rely on telecommunications for their daily living, we have a problem,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “The FCC must follow its own rules about openness and fairness and needs to hold accountable those who broke its own rules.”

The FCC regulates the use of the airwaves used for television, radio, cell phones and other uses because the public owns those airwaves. In exchange for use of those airwaves, the businesses that do so must comply with public interest obligations and comply with FCC rules. “The airwaves belong to all of us and we need the FCC to defend the public interest use of them. It’s time to stop favoring big business over the rest of us,” Edgar said.

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