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FCC Seeks Comment on Critical Information Needs Research Report

FCC Seeks Comment on Critical Information Needs Research Report

Posted on May 29, 2013

The FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities has released a public notice seeking comment on a Commission report delivered to Congress that reviews:  (1) regulations designed to eliminate barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the provision and ownership of telecommunications and information services; and (2) proposals to eliminate statutory barriers to market entry by those same entities.  The Research Design for the Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (Report) was developed with the help of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and defines a range of “critical information needs of the American public and explains how these needs are met as well as the existing barriers of meeting them.”   The Report also “presents an overview of further social science and communications research that may assist the Commission in assessing the need for government action and in developing targeted policies to address existing gaps in the ability of various ‘media ecosystems’  to serve, and deliver critical information to Americans.”  Among the observations made in the Report are:  (1) there are clear and significant information needs of Americans at the community and individual level; (2) available research indicates that many of those needs are not being met; (3) access to information, as well as the tools and skills needed to navigate information, are essential to civic and democratic participation; and (4) low-income, minority and marginalized communities and ‘lower-information’ areas are likely to be systematically disadvantaged in both personal and community opportunities when information needs lag or go unmet.  Interested parties may file comments regarding the Report on or before Tuesday, July 23, 2013.

For additional information, please contact Daryl Zakov.

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