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Telecommunications Act Of 1996

             The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a bill passed by Congress due to regulatory problems on the information Super highway. It was the first major overhaul of communication laws in 60 years. It's new provisions affected broadcasters. Cable companies and telephone companies. Initially it was concerned primarily with encouraging competition within new communication technologies but radio lobbyed and was subsequently included. The final draft of the bill only had a small portion to do with radio (mainly at the end of the bill) but the results of those few sentences were huge. The bill in effect increase the numbe of stations a company could own. This caused a frenzy of buying and selling of radio stations. The bill also effected television and station ownership, it removed the number of stations that could be owned (as long as less than 35% of Americas homes were reached). Various other changes took place as well they included:.
             - Extension of length of broadcasting licenses to 8 years.
             - Allowing telephone companies to enter into cable television and vice versa.
             - Denegulated rates of many cable systems.
             - Made the television industry come up with ratings system for violence, sex and indecent materials.
             - Made law that newly made T.V. sets had a V-chip to lock out unwanted programs.
             All of the changes the bill put into effect benefit the competitive nature of T.V. and Radio as well as insure that parents have a defense against unwanted content in the home. These few new laws however will shape how business is done in T.V., Radio and cable forever.

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