The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government created by legislative statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC was formed by the Communications Act of 1934 and regulates Amateur Radio under part 97 of the regulations. The FCC’s mandated jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Territories of the United States.
The FCC’s mission is to “make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, nationwide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.”
The Communications Act furthermore provides that the FCC was created “for the purpose of the national defense” and “for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications.
The FCC is directed by five commissioners appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate for five-year terms. The U.S. President designates one of the commissioners to serve as chairman.
Amateur radio operators in the United States must be licensed by the FCC before transmitting. While the FCC maintains control of the written testing standards, it no longer administers the exams, having delegated that function to private volunteer examiner (VE) organizations. No amateur license class requires examination in Morse code as was once a requirement. Currently, only written multiple choice answer tests are required. The exact questions and exact multiple choice answers are all published in study guides and individual test questions are chosen from these pools of published questions.
More information regarding the FCC and its data base of license information is available under the subtabs of this section of the webpage.