Federal Communications Commission
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About FCC License View Data

FCC License View includes common data across the FCC's five licensing databases (Consolidated Database System (CDBS), the Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS), the Experimental Licensing System (ELS), International Bureau Filing System (IBFS), and the Universal Licensing System (ULS)). A data element had to exist in at least three of the licensing databases to be included in License View. Currently, there are 82 data elements in License View. The data in License View is refreshed weekly and starting in October 2010, the data is expected to be refreshed on a more frequent basis.

Note: Because a data element is included if it exists in at least three of the five licensing databases, it is possible that some data elements do not exist for every record.

License View provides three distinct views of licensing data: 1) HTML Pages; 2) Raw Data File; and 3) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

HTML Pages

Licenses at a Glance

License View presents six types of data displayed under Licenses at a Glance:

  1. Total Number of Licenses
  2. Active Licenses by Category
  3. Active Licenses Identified by Common Name
  4. License Status
  5. Active Licenses Identified by Entity Type
  6. Licenses Eligible for Renewal

Total Number of Licenses

The total number of licenses at the FCC. These numbers include licenses that are both active and no longer active (e.g., expired or cancelled).

Active Licenses by Category

A breakdown, in percentages, of active licenses by category. The categories include:

  • Broadcast
  • Broadcast Support
  • Experimental
  • Fixed Wireless
  • International Broadcast
  • Land Mobile Radio
  • Mobile/Fixed Broadband
  • Paging and Messaging
  • Personal Use
  • Radar
  • Safety of Life
  • Satellite Earth Station
  • Satellite Space Station

Each radio service was rolled up into one distinct category. Categories are based on the most common use of the license and may not reflect the actual use of an individual license. See the data dictionary for the full list of FCC categories viewable in the Raw Data File.

Active Licenses Identified by Common Name

License View includes the "Common Names" of the top ten entities that hold the most active licenses. The Common Name is a hyper-link that provides additional information about the licenses associated with each entity.

The FCC issues licenses to entities under a "legal" licensee name. Where possible, License View also includes the "Common Name" of an entity. For purposes of the License View, a Common Name is an entity that either wholly owns or has majority interest in the license; is the general partner of the limited partnership or manager of an LLC that holds the license; or is the name under which the service being provided via the license is marketed to the public.

License Status

A breakdown of all licenses based on the current status of the licenses at the FCC. The statuses include:

  • Active
  • Canceled
  • Expired
  • Terminated

The statuses displayed in FCC License View are rolled up into four distinct groups. See the data dictionary for the full list of FCC license statuses viewable in the Raw Data File.

Active Licenses Identified by Entity Type

A breakdown of the active licenses held by different entity types. The entity types include:

  • Individuals
  • Businesses
  • Government Entities
  • Others

The entity types displayed in FCC License View are rolled up into four distinct groups. See the data dictionary for the full list of FCC entity types viewable in the Raw Data File.

Licenses Eligible for Renewal

Licenses that can be renewed in the next twelve months.

Total Licenses Held by Common Name

Data is also available for each of the Common Names. From the home page click on a Common Name to get data for that particular entity. Data is provided graphically on a summary view and additional data is available in a data list view.

Summary View

Total Licenses by Category

A breakdown, in numbers, of current licenses by category. The categories include:

  • Broadcast
  • Broadcast Support
  • Experimental
  • Fixed Wireless
  • International Broadcast
  • Land Mobile Radio
  • Mobile/Fixed Broadband
  • Paging and Messaging
  • Personal Use
  • Radar
  • Safety of Life
  • Satellite Earth Station
  • Satellite Space Station

Each radio service was rolled up into one distinct category. Categories are based on the most common use of the license and may not reflect the actual use of an individual license. See the data dictionary for the full list of FCC categories viewable in the Raw Data File.

Licensee Names Associated with the Common Name

The specific licensee names associated with the Common Name.

Data View

Licensee Name

The name of the license holder.

FRN

This number is a registration number assigned to the entity or individual that holds an authorization. "FRN" stands for FCC Registration Number and is assigned to the party through CORES (Commission Registration System).

Call Sign

The call sign identifies a specific authorization. A call sign consists of a combination of up to ten letters and numbers.

Category

Identifies generally the primary type of service that could be provided under the license.

Radio Service

Identifies the specific radio service of the license.

Status

The current status of the license with the FCC.

Expiration Date

The date that a license expired or will expire.

Raw Data File

License View includes raw data in two formats: 1) CSV; and 2) Text. These files include 82 data elements and over eight million records for approximately three million licenses. See the data dictionary for a complete description of each of the data elements provided in the raw data

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

License View includes seven APIs. For additional information about the APIs, visit: www.FCC.gov/developer.

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