FCC Opens Door On Broadband Speed Tests, License Status


The Federal Communications Commission is making it easier for John Q. Public to massage and manipulate its data on broadband speeds and check out the status of various agency licenses.

That s part of a just-announced suite of online tools.

At the Gov 2.0 conference, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and managing director Steven VanRoekel unveiled the new tools, which they said would allow "innovators and developers" to leverage the data in ways "never imagined."

It is part of a larger government initiative to open up data for public inspection and application. For example, FAA data released to the public resulted in an online application for tracking the on-time performance of airline flights.
Not only has the FCC released the APIs (Application Programing Interfaces) to improve communications across databases, it has created a site for developers (http://www.fcc.gov/developer).

Among the first data/tools released for general consumption are the results from over 1 million broadband speed tests, as well as a tool that matches geographic locations with census block level information, the kind of info it is now collecting on broadband availability. The FCC points out that almost every government database uses some kind of census block metric.