UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


Few areas of federal oversight have been as inconsistently addressed as that involving the regulation of broadcast and wire communication. Action in this realm has been all too often governed by political, rather than social or economic, imperatives. Many, no doubt, accept this situation as a necessary element of democratic decisionmaking. The deregulatory fervor of the 1980s could thus be seen as part of a long-term process of political redefinition. The consequences of regulatory neglect in this area will affect more than the traditional broadcast constituency of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For, as traditional distinctions between communications technologies continue to blur, and the information economy the technologies define expands, the need for a coherent national policy in this area becomes critical. This Article presents and evaluates a proposal to abolish the FCC and National Telecommunications and Information Administration in favor of a cabinet- level Department of Communications, concluding that such action is necessary to safeguard America's leadership in the information revolution.