Copps Expands FCC's April Meeting Agenda

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Acting Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Copps is expanding the agency's public April 8 meeting agenda, after confining his first two sessions to DTV transition updates.

The agenda, released Thursday, tentatively includes beginning the process of coming up with a grand broadband plan, a duty Congress charged it with in the economic stimulus bill, but also a plan Copps has long argued needed to be drawn up.

The docket also covers an order improving data collection on minority and female broadcast ownership, a further inquiry related to the FCC's "annual" video competition report, as well as rural radio and public safety issues.

Copps has already signaled that he wants to build a record for boosting ownership diversity. The quote marks around "annual" above are because the FCC is actually planning to collect information for three years -- 2007, 2008, and

2009 -- and put out one report.

That is because the commission did not put out the 2006 report until January of this year because of a dispute over a finding that could have triggered new cable regulations.