National Urban League Supports FCC Efforts to Expand Diversity and Inclusion
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW YORK, Aug. 1 -- The National Urban League issued the following news release:
National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement on today's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to expand diversity and inclusion by opening a Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Designated Entity (DE) program (*note: Designated Entities, or DEs, are small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women):
"The National Urban League commends the leadership of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who have been steadfast champions of increased diversity and inclusion in the telecommunications industry.
The recent waiver of the Attributable Material Relationship (AMR) Rule - a rule which could cause a designated entity to lose its DE eligibility if it were to lease, wholesale or resale more than 25% of its spectrum capacity to any one entity - was the first step towards ensuring some level of meaningful participation for small, minority or women-owned businesses (MWBEs) in the AWS-3 Auction slated for November. Today's release of the NPRM complements this effort and begins a process for gathering input from stakeholders on strategies for including more small businesses, particularly minority-owned business enterprises, in the historic spectrum incentive auction scheduled for next year.
Over the course of fifty-six wireless auctions during the past 20 years, very few small MWBEs have been able to participate effectively in the FCC's spectrum auctions and win licenses. To deliver on the promise of innovation, competition and universal deployment of broadband and other advanced wireless services that are changing America as we know it, the inclusion of MWBEs as licensees and facilities-based spectrum owners - not just service providers or mobile application developers - must be an integral part of the wireless industry and the policies of the FCC. Changes to the DE rules over the years have been one of many factors that has contributed to their declining participation and sustainability. We look forward to contributing to the NPRM and working with the Commission on ways to improve the DE rules in time for next year's broadcast incentive auction."
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