FCC Issues License To Massage Data

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The FCC has launched its new online License View tool, which provides
snapshots of the agency's licensing process, including numerical breakouts
and pie charts.

The tool is part of the FCC's Data Innovation Initiative to reform its data collection and dissemination process in line with an Obama administration goal of making government information accessible and useable online.

The FCC lists over 3 million licenses -- 2 million are active -- and provides info on "the number of different licenses across services, the number of licenses owned by particular entities, and how many licenses are up for renewal in the future."

The information is in five databases and three forms, HTML pages, raw data and API's (application programming interfaces), which will allow the data to be re-used in various ways.

According to the new portal, the information comes with a number of caveats, including that it "has not been relied upon by the Commission to analyze the competitive marketplace or assessing the spectrum holdings of service providers in any particular geographic area."

According to the data, Sprint Nextel is tops among commonly held licenses with 45,840, followed by Clearwire with 12,832, AT&T with 8,808 and Verizon with 8,073. As an industry, broadcasters hold 30,390, plus about as many more for support services like relays and studio-to-transmitter links.

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