The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released its triennial report on market entry barriers in the media, pursuant to section 257 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which provides:
Every 3 years…the Commission shall review and report to Congress on– (1) any regulations prescribed to eliminate barriers within its jurisdiction that are identified under subsection (a) and that can be prescribed consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity; and (2) the statutory barriers identified under subsection (a) that the Commission recommends be eliminated, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
The last report was submitted by the Commission five years ago in 2006.
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council applauded the Commission’s efforts in filing the report, noting that “these reports inform Congress and the public of the FCC’s efforts to identify and eliminate barriers to entry facing small, minority and women owned businesses.
MMTC’s statement on the Commission’s action further stated that “minority ownership of media and telecom businesses is vital to promoting competition, innovation, and (in the case of media) diversity of viewpoints.
“Access to capital, employment, and transactional opportunities are the principal entry barriers facing minority entrepreneurs. MMTC has made a number of proposals aimed at reducing these barriers. We look forward to working with the Commission to find the most effective ways to incentivize and facilitate more robust minority participation in media, telecom and broadband employment and ownership.”
According to Gautham Nagesh of The Hill, “Chairman Julius Genachowski said the issue of diversity in media ownership should be addressed more frequently than every three years, and promised more action in the coming months. The commission has been under fire from minority activists and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) for not doing enough to boost minority media ownership since President Obama took office.”