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Media diversity, high-speed Internet on FCC agenda

23 марта 2009

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on a proposal to improve data collection on broadcasters owned by women and minorities, and open a public inquiry on a national high-speed Internet plan at an April 8 meeting.

Media diversity is important to Michael Copps, who is serving as interim FCC Chairman until President Barack Obama's pick for the job, Julius Genachowski, is installed. Genachowski has yet to be confirmed.

Copps released a tentative agenda for the April 8 meeting. It's more expansive than earlier FCC meetings under Copps which have dealt solely with the transition to all-digital television.

The broadcasting item builds on earlier FCC proposals to enhance the presence of minorities and women in broadcasting. The commission will discuss how racial and gender information should be collected from radio and TV licensees.

Last year, commissioners floated the idea of expanding the pool of licensees required to file reports.

At the meeting, the FCC also will commence its public inquiry into how it should create a national broadband Internet strategy, as instructed by the massive economic stimulus bill enacted earlier this year.

The broadband plan is a new task for the FCC, which will advise the Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in disseminating $7.2 billion in grants to states, local governments, nonprofits, and other entities for high-speed Internet networks.

The FCC also is slated to open a supplemental inquiry into how it should assess the state of competition in the video market, which covers paid TV services like cable and satellite as well as video content over the Internet.

Источник: Total Telecom

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