Subsection (a)(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, commonly known as the FOIA, requires federal agencies to make four types of records affirmatively available for "public inspection and copying."
Agencies may satisfy this requirement by either providing the designated documents solely in an electronic Reading Room on an agency website, or in a combination of electronic and conventional Reading Rooms.
The Federal Communications Commission satisfies this requirement (Certification) through a combination of electronic and conventional Reading Rooms.
Conventional Reading Room - FCC Reference Information Center
The Reference Information Center is the official Commission custodian for many of the Commission records that meet the FOIA Reading Room requirements. The Center provides a convenient, central location for members of the general public wishing to research and obtain record information on applications, formal and informal proceedings, and FCC programs and activities.
The Reference Information Center is located in Room CY-A257 at the Commission’s Headquarters. It is open to the public Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM and from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM on Friday.
Electronic Reading Room
Listed below are links that will take you directly to the four types of information required in an Electronic Reading Room. BUT, these links are just a small taste of what is available on the Commission's web site.
Because the Commission makes so much information available on its web site, you are encouraged to thoroughly review the Commission's web site before filing a FOIA request. It's highly likely that you'll find what you are looking for on the Internet. If you need help with what is available on the Commission's web site you can either use the search function found at the top of each page of the web site.
- "Final opinions [and] ... orders" made in the adjudication of cases;
- The Daily Digest provides a brief synopsis of Commission orders, news releases, speeches, public notices and all other FCC documents that are released each business day.
- EDOCS lets you search a database of Daily Digest entries for FCC documents that have been posted to the FCC web site.
- The FCC Items on Circulation web page provides a compilation of Commission level items that have been circulated and are pending action by the full Commission. This list is updated on a weekly basis.
- The Enforcement Bureau web pages give links to citations, notices of apparent liability, and other compliance related activities of the Commission.
- The Office of Administrative Law Judges web pages provide links to administrative law decisions reached by that office.
- Specific agency policy statements;
- 1974 Children's Television Policy Statement
- 1984 Children's Television Programming and Advertising Practices
- 1991 April, Policies and Rules Concerning Children's Television Programming
- 1991 August, Revision of Policies and Rules Concerning Children's Television Programming
- 1991 Policy Regarding Character Qualifications in Broadcast Licensing
- 1992 April, Radio Rules and Policies
- 1992 November, Revision of Radio Rules and Policies
- 1992 Policy Regarding Character Qualifications in Broadcast Licensing
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Character evaluation policy statement
- Children's TV Policy Statements
- DTV Policy Statement
- FCC EEO Policy Statement
- Federal Communications Commission And Federal Trade Commission Joint Policy Statement On Deceptive Advertising Of Long Distance Telephone Services
- Forfeiture Policy Statement
- Guidance to incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) seeking to revise the deposit and payment provisions of their interstate access tariffs
- International Settlements Policy Reform & Benchmarks Policy
- Internet Policy Statement
- Minority ownership policy statement
- Policy on Call Back Services
- Policy statement concerning the height of radio and television antenna towers
- Policy statement regarding Guidance To Broadcasters Regarding Indecency Statute
- Statement of Policy on Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes
- Tender offer and proxy statement policy statement
- Time brokerage policy statement
- Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public; and
- The Office of the Secretary web pages provide links to Commission process and procedure manuals.
- The Office of Communications Business Opportunity web pages provide links to compliance guides.
- The Commission Registration System (CORES) explains the procedures necessary to receive a FCC Registration Number (FRN).
- The Commission's "Section 504 Programs & Activities Accessibility Handbook" provides information on making reasonable accommodation/disability information requests.
- Commission Meeting Room Usage Procedures
- Federal Advisory Committee Management
- Freedom of Information (FOIA) Program Management
- Privacy Act Program Management
- Regulatory Flexibility Act Program Management
- Records disclosed in response to a FOIA request that "the agency determines have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records."
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission and the American Radio Relay League, Incorporated regarding the use of amateur radio service operator volunteers
- Sinclair/Tribune Merger Follow-up Report of Investigation in response to Congressional Query
- Sinclair/Tribune Merger Report of Investigation
- Report of Investigation into alleged multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks involving the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System
- Sinclair Documents
- Response to NHMC FOIA Request
- Applications filed with the Commission
- Browse FCC Federal Digital System (FDSYS) Records
- Cell tower/antenna locations
- Chairman Pai's March 6, 2017 meeting with President Trump
- Communications with Transition Team
- Consumer complaints
- Electronic filing options
- Enforcement Bureau: Partial response to FOIA requests Re: Google Inc. in File No. EB-10-IH-4055
[ Letter Ruling RE: Confidentiality Request | Updated Release of NAL | Application for Review ]
- Equipment authorizations
- FCC Directives
- FCC FOIA Reports
- FCC Purchase Cardholders: PDF | Excel
- FCC Transition Materials 2016
- Major Information Systems
- Paying fees
- Radio, television, cable, satellite, or marine operator licensing
- Routinely Available Records in the Reference Information Center
- Spectrum auctions
- 2020 Super Bowl Complaints: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
- 2023 Super Bowl Complaints
- 2021 Grammy Awards Show Complaints: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
- 2023 Grammy Awards Show Complaints
Records Excluded from the Reading Room
Records which are published and offered for sale by the Commission are excluded from the definition of Reading Room records. These records are described at 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.411, 0.413, 0.415, 0.416, 0.420, and 0.431. Similarly, records published under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1) – the Federal Register requirement for publishing basic information about the organization of the agency – are excluded from the definition of Reading Room records. These records are described at 47 C.F.R. Part 0, Subpart A (Organization -- §§ 0.1 – 0.191); Subpart B (Delegations of Authority -- §§ 0.201 – 0.392); and §§ 0.401 and 0.402 (location of Commission offices and office hours).