The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau develops and implements the commission’s consumer policies, including disability access. We serve as the public face of the commission through outreach and education, as well as through our consumer center, which is responsible for responding to consumer inquiries and complaints. CGB also maintains collaborative partnerships with state, local and Tribal governments in critical areas such as emergency preparedness and implementation of new technologies.
The Consumer Policy Division is responsible for the development of consumer policy concerning commission-regulated entities—common carrier, broadcast, wireless, satellite and cable companies—as well as other entities subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CAN-SPAM Act and other statutes for which the FCC has authority. Through rulemakings and orders, and by commenting on proceedings originated by other bureaus and offices, the division ensures that consumer interests are considered in all commission policy-making initiatives. The division is specifically tasked with issuing orders to resolve complaints about unauthorized changes in telecommunications providers (slamming); conducting rulemakings on slamming, truth-in-billing, telemarketing and fax advertising; and monitoring informal inquiries and complaints to identify trends that affect consumers.
The Disability Rights Office addresses disability-related telecommunications matters, including but not limited to: telecommunications relay service (TRS) (Section 225); access to telecommunications equipment and services by people with disabilities (Section 255); access to emergency information; and closed captioning. DRO also provides expert advice and assistance to other commission bureaus and offices, consumers, industry and others on issues relevant to people with disabilities. DRO initiates rulemakings, where appropriate, for the development of disability policy. DRO also reviews relevant agenda items and other documents while coordinating with bureaus and offices to develop recommendations and propose policies to ensure that communications are accessible to people with disabilities. In keeping with existing disability laws and policies, DRO supports the commission's goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies for persons with disabilities.
The Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division provides informal mediation and resolution of individual informal consumer inquiries and complaints consistent with controlling laws and FCC regulations and in accordance with the Bureau's delegated authority. The division receives, reviews and analyzes complaints and responses to informal consumer complaints; maintains manual and computerized files that provide for the tracking and maintenance of informal consumer inquiries and complaints; mediates and attempts to settle unresolved disputes in informal complaints as appropriate; and coordinates with other bureaus and offices to ensure that consumers are provided with accurate, up-to-date information.
The Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division develops and implements consumer outreach and education policies, goals and objectives, and ensures that the commission has the benefit of a wide spectrum of information and viewpoints in its decision-making processes. CAOD plans, develops and conducts consumer outreach and education initiatives to inform the public about important consumer-related regulatory programs. The division also coordinates sign-language interpreting requests for the commission, and assists the Web and Print Publishing Division in providing materials in alternate formats such as braille, making them available to FCC staff, bureaus and offices and members of the public.
The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs provides outreach to state, local and Tribal governments, as well as other federal regulatory agencies. IGA also promotes outreach to organizations representing those constituencies for the purpose of fostering an extensive understanding of FCC programs, policies, rules and decisions. IGA’s outreach is a beneficial and ongoing two-way exchange of information and communications on telecommunications issues of common interest, and promotes cooperation and coordination in areas of overlapping jurisdiction. IGA attends and participates in conferences, educational seminars and consumer and industry meetings to facilitate a dialogue on telecommunications issues and the commission's rules, policies, programs and plans. IGA is also responsible for overseeing the work and activities of the commission's Intergovernmental Advisory Committee and various special projects.
The Office of Native Affairs and Policy provides outreach to tribal governments and organizations representing those constituencies for the purpose of fostering a comprehensive understanding of FCC programs, policies, rules and decisions. ONAP attends and participates in conferences, educational seminars and consumer meetings to facilitate a dialogue on telecommunication issues and the commission’s rules, policies, programs and plans. In addition, ONAP is responsible for designing and implementing the commission’s Indian Telecommunications Initiatives and provides expert advice and assistance to other bureaus and offices, consumers, industry and others on telecommunications issues relevant to Tribal governments. ONAP initiates rulemakings, where appropriate, for the development of tribal policy; reviews relevant agenda items and other documents; and coordinates with bureaus and offices to develop recommendations and propose policies to support the commission's goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies on Tribal lands.
The Web and Print Publishing Division creates and maintains public-facing consumer content for the FCC website, other digital platforms and FCC print publications. The division’s work includes developing and managing content for the Consumer Help Center as well as consumer guides, articles, blog posts, graphics and interactive features. WPPD is also responsible for foreign-language translation services and producing and distributing documents in accessible formats such as braille.
The Reference Information Center serves as the official FCC custodian for designated records, including: intake processing, organization and file maintenance, reference services and retirement and retrieval of records. The RIC maintains manual and computerized files that provide for the public inspection of public record materials concerning broadcast ownership, AM/FM, TV translators, FM translators, cable TV, wireless, auctions, common carrier tariff matters,international space station files, earth station files, DBS files and other miscellaneous international files. The center also maintains time brokerage and affiliation agreements, court citation files and legislative histories concerning telecommunications dockets for public inspection. It provides the public and the commission staff prompt access to manual and computerized records and filing systems.