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FCC OCBO Announces Award of Contract For Literature Review

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Released: April 13, 2012


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 12-585

Released: April 13, 2012


BO Docket No. 12-30

Today, the Federal Communications Commission entered into a contract with the University of
Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to provide a literature
review of research into the critical information needs of the American public and the barriers to
participation in the communications industry that might limit the extent to which critical needs are met.1
The study is intended to inform the Commission’s 2012 report to Congress on barriers to participation,
also known as the Section 257 Report. The work will be managed by the FCC’s Office of
Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO). The award was made after careful review of
responses to a Request for Quotation involving a number of highly qualified applicants. USC assembled
a broad coalition of over 30 academics to inform their work.
Section 257 of the Communications Act of 1943, as amended, (Communications Act) mandates
that, every three years, the Commission review and report to Congress on (1) efforts to identify and
eliminate regulatory barriers to market entry 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. The purposes underlying the requirements contained in Section 257
are: to promote the policies and purposes of the Communications Act favoring a diversity of media
voices, vigorous economic competition, technological advancement, and promotion of the public interest,
convenience and necessity.
To develop policy that would advance the goal of diversity, including the promotion of greater
women and minority participation in media, the Commission needs to conduct or commission research
that illuminates the diversity of views available to local communities, the diversity of sources in local
markets and the diversity of critical information needs of the American public, including women and
minorities. This study is the first step, examining what prior research has been conducted with regard to
how the public acquires critical information, how the media eco-system operates to provide critical
information, and what barriers exist to participation.
For further information, contact Daniel Margolis, at (202) 418-1377. Press inquiries should be
directed to Janice Wise, Media Bureau, at (202) 418-8165.

1 See The Office of Communications Business Opportunities and the Media Bureau Announce the Release of a
Request for Quotation for Study Examining the Critical Information Needs of the American Public
, BO Docket No.
12-30, Public Notice, DA: 12-56 (BO, rel. Feb. 6, 2012).

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