FCC Reconstituting Diversity Advisory Committee

The FCC is seeking nominees for the chairmanship and members of the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, which it plans to launch for a two-year hitch starting in the fall.

Nominations are due by the end of the day June 28. 

The mission of the committee is to "provide recommendations to the Commission on how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries, including as owners, suppliers, and employees."

It is also meant to advise the FCC on insuring such communities are not denied access to next-gen networks. 

Deploying broadband to rural and unserved communities is a priority for the FCC according to new chairman Ajit Pai. 

The FCC is looking particularly for representatives from disadvantaged communities, government—federal, state and tribal—industry (including broadcasters, MVPDs, content companies, online video distributors and broadband providers), public interest groups, academics and other stakeholders. But it will try to balance those voices.

Pai announced the creation of the new committee in April, saying: "This Committee will be charged with providing recommendations to the FCC on empowering all Americans. For example, the Committee could help the FCC promote diversity in the communications industry by assisting in the establishment of an incubator program and could identify ways to combat digital redlining." 

Pai will have the final say over the makeup since the members will serve "at the discretion of the chairman."

The FCC used to have an Advisory Committee for Diversity in the Digital Age, but it was not reauthorized, and its last meeting, according to the FCC website, was held July 1, 2013.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.