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Blog Posts by James Brown

New Tools Allow Developers to Leverage Spectrum Data

by James Brown
January 14, 2011

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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.

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Spectrum Dashboard Gets An Upgrade

by James Brown
November 18, 2010

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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.

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Panel to Discuss Future of Spectrum Dashboard 2.0

by James Brown, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
May 10, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:120:height=100,width=70]]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

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Help Update the Spectrum Dashboard

by James Brown, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
April 22, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:120:height=100,width=71]]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 spectrum leases, including the common name for lessees.
  • Modify how cellular licenses are depicted in the Spectrum Dashboard by cutting off Service Area Boundaries (SABs) at the Cellular Market Area (CMA) boundaries.
  • Update broadcast data to include more current information for full power TV stations and to add data for low power TV stations.

Add search capabilities:

  • Identify spectrum licensed on federally-recognized Tribal Lands.
  • Add additional types of licenses that can be searched and add additional search options.
  • Expand the range of spectrum bands where information is available (currently the Spectrum Dashboard encompasses 225 MHz – 3700 MHz).

Improve search results:

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Customer Feedback for the Spectrum Dashboard

by James Brown, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
April 14, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:120:height=100,width=70]]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.

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Spectrum Dashboard Q&A

by James Brown, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
March 24, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:120:height=100,width=70]]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:

  • 700 MHz
  • 800 MHz Cellular
  • Advanced Wireless Service (AWS)
  • Broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS)
  • Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS)
  • 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS)
  • Full Power TV Broadcast
  • Mobile Satellite Services (MSS)

 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?

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