"Telecommunications law pertains to the systems of electronic communications and broadcasting across the United States. This area is heavily regulated by federal law and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Telecommunications law received a major overhaul in 1996 with the introduction of the Telecommunications Act. The Act replaced the prior Communications Act which had been in effect for more than 60 years. It was the first time that the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment, provided for media cross-ownership, and to allow for broader competition of any communications business against another through deregulation of the converging broadcasting and telecommunications markets. While the Telecommunications Act was a huge step forward, it left many new questions as technology has developed. The Act could not contemplate the spread of wireless services, VoIP, video conferencing, and satellite/cable television services. As a result, a wide array of new and emerging legal issues continue to confront attorneys and members of the telecommunications industry." (Copyright HG.org)

Research, Reference & Dictionaries:


This list reflects a substantial number of the Law Library's current treatises. For additional works held by GMU libraries, search the GMU Library Catalog. Useful subject headings include: Telecommunication--Law and legislation, Television--Law and legislation, Radio--Law and legislation, Mass media--Law and legislation, and Internet--Law and legislation.

Westlaw (GMUSL only):

  • WestlawNext includes the Wolters Kluwer treatise Federal Telecommunications Law.

Lexis (GMUSL only):

  • Lexis Advance includes a topic & practice area: Communications Law. Within the topic, there are several good treatises, materials from the FCC, and more. Sample treatises are Communications Law and Practice and Telecommunications Regulations: Cable, Broadcasting, Satellite, and the Internet.


BNA Resources:

The Library subscribes to BNA-All electronic databases. Please see that full list for additional databases.

Legislation & Legislative History:

  • CQ Press Library - search for information about politics and Congress in many CQ Press publications.
  • Congress.gov - stay abreast of current legislation as it moves through Congress, or see legislative information for bills since 1973.
  • ProQuest Legislative Insight - to search for compiled legislative histories that include all documents, full text, in PDF format.
  • ProQuest Congressional - search for congressional documents since 1776 by title, number, keyword, and more. Documents available in PDF format.

FCC Record

FCC adjudicative decisions, Reports & Orders (R&O), and Memorandum Opinion & Orders (MO&O) are printed in the FCC Record and its predecessor the FCC Reports. A brief description of these documents is available in the three-page guide: Sara Kelley Burriesci, Introduction to Federal Communications Law Sources, 53(4) Law Library Lights 21 (2010). PDF file

The predecessor of the FCC Record is the FCC Reports (F.C.C. 1936-1965, and F.C.C.2d 1965-1986). It is available in print in the Law Library's Archives and in PDF in LLMC Digital.

Government Internet Resources:

  • FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
  • NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration)

Related Library Research Guides:

Other Libraries' Communications Law Research Guides:

Last updated June 20, 2014