Posted January 14th, 2011 by James Brown - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Today the Federal Communications Commission released two new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) on our developer page at fcc.gov/developer. The new APIs leverage data from the Spectrum Dashboard and provide the developer community with direct access to these assets.
Managing spectrum is one of the FCC's primary responsibilities. These APIs are tools that unlock our substantial databases related to spectrum ownership, spectrum use, and spectrum capabilities at different locations.
Below is snapshot of the two APIs.
When we released the first set of APIs back in September, we did so as part of our Data Innovation Initiative efforts towards better data transparency and open government. We continue with those efforts by releasing the second set of APIs today.
Your feedback has been essential to improving these API releases and making them more valuable to developers in the wild (see previous conversations here and here). Let us know what uses you might have for APIs like these, recommended tweaks, or suggest APIs you want to see in the future.Posted in Wireless Telecommunications Bureau , Wireless , Open Government , Spectrum Dashboard , Reform - Data , Data , Developer , Api
Posted December 7th, 2010 by Steven VanRoekel - Managing Director, Federal Communications Commission
In the modern federal landscape, the FCC finds itself increasingly at the intersection of technology, law, and citizen participation. It’s a challenging place to be -- these arenas change quickly, and move in ways that advancements in one ripple out and can change the others. But the opportunity to make progress on these fronts has never been greater.
Modernizing the rulemaking process -- keeping up with these changes to best serve the American public -- was the focus of an event hosted by the Brookings Institute last week. As an invited member of the Digitization – Past, Present, and Short-Term Future panel , I spoke about two key benefits that new technology offers to the rulemaking process.
First, erulemaking can make government work smarter. Moving from a largely paper-based system -- the norm very recently -- to a digital system has led to a rulemaking process that’s accessible, searchable and less weighed down by troves of paperwork.
Second, moving rulemaking online has allowed the FCC to open a process that was closed for too long. Traditionally, access to rulemaking required access to the expert legal mechanisms typically out of the reach of most citizens, yet the rules we are creating are created for all and often impact people who don’t have access to legal support. We’ve made strides on this front - You may be familiar with our online comment crowdsourcing platforms, the ability to integrate blog comments into the public record, and our other moves to make the FCC process as open as possible – there’s more to come.
Something most people don’t know: the FCC is also developing ways to help citizens that lack access to the Internet participate in rulemakings remotely via voicemail, powered by increasingly accurate speech-to-text technologies. It’s another way that the spirit of open government is pushing us to tinker with the process, open up closed structures, and empower citizen experts to meaningfully engage with rulemaking.
With the help of open technologies, agencies like the FCC increasingly find themselves as repositories of valuable insight generated by citizen experts. New technology makes that information available as data outputs that are easily shared, syndicated, and mashed-up against other data sets. As part of our team’s effort to reimagine a new FCC.gov, we’re revamping the Electronic Comment Filing System that allows for bulk download, RSS subscription to particular rulemakings, and infusing our own processes more with the web services model that’s ubiquitous in the modern Internet.
An open and participatory FCC is in line with the spirit of President Obama’s Open Government Directive -- passed one year ago today -- that is creating a more open, transparent, and participatory government.
On this anniversary, we think it is worth looking back and compiling the agency’s open government accomplishments. Take a look, then add your voice in the comments and help us continue improving the FCC’s rulemaking process.
Posted November 18th, 2010 by James Brown - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
On Wednesday, November 17, the first in a series of enhancements to the Spectrum Dashboard were released. Along with this release, we are excited to announce that the Dashboard is no longer in beta.
The response we’ve received about the Dashboard has been remarkably positive and in the eight short months since its initial release, almost 200,000 searches have been conducted. To crunch those numbers further – the Dashboard is being searched about 25,000 times a month or in other words, 800 times a day. Wow! What’s more impressive is the volume of activity has been pretty consistent month-to-month.
While this week’s release may not be the biggest or the flashiest, it is however, the starting point for bigger and better things to come. For example, in the next few months, the Dashboard will include additional releases to track leased spectrum, search for licenses across tribal lands, customize maps, and use Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to access data from the Dashboard. We don’t plan to stop there. We will continue to evaluate potential candidates for future enhancements.
Here are some of the changes to the Dashboard released this week.
• Advanced Search. The Advanced Search replaces the “License Categories” search and includes several different search criteria located at the same place, including the ability to search for licenses by channel block. For example, a user can search for all of the licenses in the 700 MHz band or can tailor a search by only searching for A-block licenses in the 700 MHz band.
• Auto Complete for Name Search. The auto complete function allows a user to search by a name and the Spectrum Dashboard will display all names that include the string of letters/characters entered. For example, by entering “Wire,” a list of all names that include “Wireless” will be displayed.
• Changes to Filters. The filters have been enhanced to allow a user to open and close filters, as they deem appropriate and to include an additional filter for channel blocks.
• Downloading Results. When a user downloads results by clicking on the “Export Results” link, the results will download automatically if the results are 65,000 rows or less. If the results are more than 65,000 rows a user will receive an e-mail when the results are available.
We are looking forward to improving the Dashboard even more and encourage you to continue providing feedback.
Posted May 10th, 2010 by James Brown - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Last week the FCC announced the eleven panelists for the Spectrum Dashboard public forum this Wednesday, May 12th.
With wide experience in the public and private sectors, the panelists will share their perspectives on the Spectrum Dashboard - how they currently use it and what they would like to see in a Spectrum Dashboard 2.0, anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The forum is scheduled for this Wednesday, May 12 from 10:00am to 1pm (EDT) and is open to the publi. For those attending in person, the event will take place in the FCC’s Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. Note that attendance is limited by available seating, but the event can be viewed online at http://www.fcc.gov/live or using Webex.
Meet the Panelists
For information on attending, please contact Cecilia Sulhoff at (202) 418-0587 or Cecilia.Sulhoff at FCC dot gov with your name, title, organization affiliation, and contact information. It is recommended that individuals arrive thirty minutes prior to the start of the forum to pass through security. There are two options to attend the forum online:
Posted in Wireless Telecommunications Bureau , Spectrum Dashboard
Posted April 22nd, 2010 by James Brown - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
This week the FCC announced that a public forum will be held on May 12, 2010, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm to discuss potential enhancements to the Spectrum Dashboard in anticipation of release 2.0 of the Spectrum Dashboard in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Anyone interested in providing feedback on the list of potential enhancements below, suggesting additional potential enhancements, or participating at the forum by sharing your experiences with using the Spectrum Dashboard should contact me by April 30, 2010 at James.Brown at FCC dot gov or (717) 338-2621. Final details of the forum will be announced approximately one week before the forum on this blog and in a public notice.
Potential Enhancements to the Spectrum Dashboard
Enhance license information:
Add search capabilities:
Improve search results:
Expand the information available for downloading:
Posted April 14th, 2010 by James Brown - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Last week, a customer feedback questionnaire was added to the Spectrum Dashboard. The questionnaire should take a couple of minutes to complete and will help determine how the Spectrum Dashboard is being used, and how to shape future enhancements.
After feedback from the questionnaire is collected and analyzed, a workshop will be held to discuss the feedback received, listen to public views on desired upgrades, and discuss ways to expand and improve the information and analyses contained in the Spectrum Dashboard. The workshop will be announced in a Public Notice as well as through a blog.
To access the questionnaire, click on the “Give us your opinion” link located at the top right corner of any of the Spectrum Dashboard searches (Browse Spectrum Maps, Browse Using a Map, Search by Name, and Search by FCC License Categories).
We look forward to hearing from you.Posted in Wireless Telecommunications Bureau , Spectrum Dashboard
Posted March 24th, 2010 by Pat Rinn
The FCC continued its active outreach program at CTIA – The Wireless Association on Monday, March 22, in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The convention was scheduled from March 23 – 25. The FCC participated as part of an afternoon pre-show program and as usual, heard new, different, and important comments on our licensing systems and how we could improve them.
The FCC also hosted a booth on the convention floor which featured welcoming messages from the Chairman and commissioners.
The Brainstorming Session was to solicit ideas about how to improve the current licensing systems across the FCC Bureaus, and also entertained comments on the newly released beta version of Spectrum Dashboard which allows new search functionality, downloading and mapping for some of our radio services. We also provided a high level overview of the Spectrum Dashboard beta.
Our outreach program will continue. Watch for scheduled events in early April where you will be able to join the discussion and learn more about the development of the Consolidated Licensing System.
Posted March 24th, 2010 by James Brown - Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Last week, the FCC released the Spectrum Dashboard in beta. The Spectrum Dashboard is truly an exciting new tool that allows the public to search, map, and download licensing data with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Currently, the search, map, and download features are available for licenses within 225 MHz – 3700 MHz in the following services:
Over the years, we have received similar questions from lots of different groups about who holds licenses for certain types of spectrum and where the licenses are held. The reasons for these questions ranged from an individual trying to locate a mobile phone provider in a specific area, to a company trying to acquire spectrum, to a firm trying to analyze parts of the telecommunications industry.
In the past, we were not able to point anyone to a single place at the FCC where this information could easily be found or understood. It’s wonderful to finally be able to point someone to the “Spectrum Dashboard.” Below, I will show how five fairly common questions can be answered by using the Spectrum Dashboard.
Questions that can be answered by using the Spectrum Dashboard
1) Can I see a list of all the licenses held by a company even though the company holds licenses under 100 different legal names?
Yes. The Spectrum Dashboard associates licenses held under various names to a single “Common Name.” The Common Name is available for most licenses, including the largest spectrum holders. The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license. From the results page, you can filter results by Tags or Radio Service, view individual licenses, and create maps.
2) Can I see a thematic (heat map) that shows how much spectrum a company holds throughout the country?
Yes. The Spectrum Dashboard provides a county-by-county total of how much spectrum is held by a company based on the “Common Name.” The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license. From the results page, you can filter results by Tags or Radio Service, view individual licenses, and create maps.
3) Can I see a thematic (heat map) that shows how much spectrum is licensed for a service throughout the country?
Yes. The Spectrum Dashboard provides a county-by-county total of how much spectrum is licensed for a specific service (e.g., 700 MHz or Broadband PCS). The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license. From the results page, you can filter results by Common Name or Tags, view individual licenses, and create maps.
4) Can I see a thematic (heat) map that shows how much spectrum is licensed in one or more counties within a state?
Yes. The Spectrum Dashboard shows how much spectrum is licensed in one or more counties. The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license. From the results page, you can filter results by Common Name, Tags or Radio Service, view individual licenses, and create maps.
5) Can I download the data used to answer questions 1 – 4?
Yes. The Spectrum Dashboard includes a link to download data in a spreadsheet format that includes a list of spectrum held on a county-by-county basis per license.
These are just five of the questions that the Spectrum Dashboard can answer. As you explore the Spectrum Dashboard, we hope to hear from you.
After the Commission collects and analyzes user feedback and information on how the Spectrum Dashboard is being used, the staff will announce a workshop to inform the public about the feedback received to date, listen to public views on desired upgrades, and discuss ways to expand and improve the information and analyses contained in the Spectrum Dashboard. For example, future enhancements to the software could potentially involve an increase in the types of data that can be searched, advanced mapping capabilities, advanced data export capabilities, integration with other Federal information sources, better analysis tools, and changes to the interface.Posted in Wireless Telecommunications Bureau , Spectrum Dashboard
Posted March 18th, 2010 by Mary Bucher
Welcome to the FCC’s beta release of the Spectrum Dashboard. The new Spectrum Dashboard’s versatility lets you review how spectrum bands are allocated and used and also lets you identify license holders in specific areas. The initial version we release today provides plain language information of mobile broadband service frequencies between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz. In addition, the Spectrum Dashboard contains enhanced search, mapping and data download capabilities for licenses in those broadband service bands. These enhanced research functions are currently available for licenses in 700 MHz, 800 MHz Cellular, Advanced Wireless Service, Broadband Personal Communications Service, 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service, Broadband Radio Service, Educational Broadband Service, Full Power TV Broadcast, and Mobile Satellite Service.
The primary source of information on frequency usage or spectrum allocation is Part 2 of the FCC rules. These rules often contain technical language and terms of art that may be difficult for the general public to understand. In contrast, the Spectrum Dashboard highlights important information from those rules using plain language to help the public understand many aspects of band use.
We want the Spectrum Dashboard to be a “one-stop shopping” portal for licensing information by combining the information currently available on separate electronic databases and filing systems. The Spectrum Dashboard repackages some of our existing data in order to make it easier to search and find allowing you to generate maps and export data more easily. Some of the ways this searching capability is now more user friendly include the following:
Posted in Wireless Telecommunications Bureau , Spectrum Dashboard
We are making every effort to ensure that the Spectrum Dashboard is as accurate as possible. Our plan is to update the database once a month (except for the full service television broadcast station coverage maps which are based on maps that were generated for the June 2009 DTV transition). If you would like to find out more about how we compiled the data for the Spectrum Dashboard, please take a look at the Spectrum Dashboard Details section of our on-line Help page. We also encourage licensees and other users to contact us through our eSupport link or hotline at 1-877-480-3201 or TTY 1-717-338-2824 with any questions you may have about the data in this tool.
We see the beta version of the Spectrum Dashboard as a step toward increased transparency into how spectrum is used in the United States. We need your input to help us continue developing and refining the Spectrum Dashboard. We are interested in hearing how you are using the Spectrum Dashboard and how we can improve this tool to make it more useful. Please visit our discussion links to tell us about yourself and the kinds of information you are trying to find in the Spectrum Dashboard. Let us know what functions and features in the Spectrum Dashboard you find most useful as well as what other features or functional tools you would like to see in future versions of the Spectrum Dashboard. We invite you to join the discussion and look forward to hearing from you.