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Columbia SC Chosen For Critical Information Needs Research Model Pilot

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Released: November 1, 2013


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

Released: November 1, 2013

DA 13-2126



BO Docket No. 12-30

As part of its commitment to obtain useful data about the communications marketplace, the
FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) today announced it has selected
Columbia, South Carolina to field-test the Research Design for its Multi-Market Study of Critical
Information Needs (Research Design). The site was chosen because it is a medium-sized market that is
racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse. Ease of travel for data collection, as well as having a nearby
school of communications/journalism, also made it a model site. The selection is the next step in
OCBO’s process to ensure the Commission has a vetted research tool that can subsequently be used in
markets nationwide.
The Commission is obligated under § 257 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to
review and report to Congress on: (1) regulations prescribed to eliminate market entry barriers in the
provision and ownership of telecommunications services and information services, or in the provision of
parts or services to providers of telecommunications services and information services by entrepreneurs
and other small businesses; and (2) proposals to eliminate statutory barriers to market entry by those
entities, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
In order to assess whether government action is needed to ensure that the information needs of all
Americans are being met, including women and minorities, it is necessary to understand how the public
acquires critical information, how the media ecosystem operates to provide this information, and what
barriers exist to participation. OCBO expects to complete this next phase of its Critical Information
Needs Research no later than July 2014.
For more information about the Research Design Model or the pilot study, contact Daniel
Margolis, via e-mail at or phone at 202-418-1377.

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