The IT Law Wiki


Telecommunications law[]

Radio communication means

the transmission by radio of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all kinds, including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus, and services (among other things, the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of communications) incidental to such transmission.[1]


"There are two telltale indicia of a 'radio communication.' A radio communication is commonly understood to be (1) predominantly auditory, and (2) broadcast. Therefore, television — whether connected via an indoor antenna or a satellite dish — is not radio, by virtue of its visual component. A land line phone does not broadcast, and, for that reason, is not radio. On the other hand, AM/FM, Citizens Band (CB), 'walkie-talkie,' and shortwave transmissions are predominantly auditory, are broadcast, and are, not coincidentally, typically referred to as 'radio' in everyday parlance. Thus, we conclude that 'radio communication' should carry its ordinary meaning: a predominantly auditory broadcast.[2]


  1. 47 U.S.C. §153(33).
  2. Joffe v. Google, Inc., 2013 WL 6905957 (9th Cir. Dec. 27, 2013).