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The business and technology landscapes can change quickly. Every three years, the FCC fulfills its Congressionally-mandated review that identifies and eliminates unnecessary rules that no longer benefit the businesses we work with.This review also helps the commission promote policies that favor a diversity of media voices, vigorous economic competition, and technological advancement. Section 257 of the Communications Act of 1934 (Communications Act) requires that the FCC review and report to Congress every three years on the Commission’s (1) efforts to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulatory barriers to entrepreneurs and small businesses and (2) and identify and provide proposals to eliminate unnecessary statutory barriers to market entry by those businesses. In this 2009 Section 257 Report to Congress (2009 Report), the Commission examines regulatory actions taken to reduce market entry barriers by each rule-writing Bureau and Office within the Commission since the last triennial report. Further, in the 2009 Report, we also make recommendations for legislative action to reduce statutory barriers to market entry. In addition, as our mandate requires, we also identify other barriers which, if not addressed, have the potential to limit market entry by entrepreneurs and other small businesses. One such barrier is a general lack of data on minority participation, which could inform decisions and help the Commission gauge the effectiveness of its actions on an ongoing basis. Another barrier is a lack of outreach to the very parties who could benefit from agency actions. While the actions described in this report do not curtail these barriers, it is important to recognize them so that they may be addressed in the future. The Commission fully recognizes the role that small communications businesses play in a robust American economy. Our efforts, as detailed in this 2009 Report, evidence the Commission’s commitment to identifying and reducing or eliminating barriers that would impede the growth of such a vital sector of the industry and the economy. This 2009 Report contains information from each Bureau and Office that either conducts substantive rulemakings relevant to small businesses or that is directly engaged in advocating for regulatory policies, rules and regulations to support small businesses. However, as Chairman Genachowski noted in his statement accompanying the 2009 Report:As important as the 257 Report is, encouraging a diversity of voices, promoting entrepreneurship and fostering the growth of small businesses aren’t just things we think about once every three years when it comes time to assemble a report. They are core principles shaping our strategic direction every day.
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