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For researchers, useful datasets and potential questions

by: Irene S. Wu, Senior Analyst, Policy Division, International Bureau

September 27, 2013

At the Federal Communications Commission, we publish a large amount of information and data, much of it potentially useful for research projects.  However, the FCC’s information is organized in ways that facilitate rulemakings, not research; and for those not directly involved in rulemakings, it can be difficult to find the most useful resources, even though the information is public.  To help researchers, today we are releasing a list of questions that we hope will pique the interest of researchers in the US and around the world, along with some tips as to where the public data already exist.  The list includes

  • Public datasets that could be used by researchers, such as
    • Broadcasting ownership data
    • International traffic data
    • Broadband performance data
    • Consumer complaints
  • Public information that could be used to build a dataset, such as
    • 911 calls
    • Consumer lookup tools
  • Research questions touching on issues such as
    • Interpreting broadband service quality and performance
    • Network configuration options for schools
    • Price elasticity studies for international calls
    • IP-to-IP international calling
    • Cloud computing

Of course, any efforts expended by researchers to address these topics are completely voluntary, and no funding has been obligated or is expected to be obligated for any contractual undertakings.  We hope this will continue the long and fruitful dialogue the FCC has had with the research community and generate new ideas and insights that will benefit public policy in the future.

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