Gathering and analyzing comments from the public is an important part of the FCC's rulemaking process, and it allows the public to participate in developing rules and polices that affect telecommunications and broadcast issues.

Whenever Congress enacts a law affecting telecommunications, the FCC starts a proceeding to create the rules and policies required by the new law. The commission also may start a proceeding when an outside party files a petition seeking a new law or change in existing rules.

Most FCC rules are adopted by a process known as "notice and comment" rulemaking, which gives the public notice that it is considering adopting or modifying rules on a particular subject and seeks the public's comment. The Commission considers the comments received in developing final rules.

Learn more about the FCC's decision-making processes.

Submitting Comments

When submitting comments to the FCC, be aware that:

  • Comments should include your name.
  • You must include the docket number or rulemaking number of the proceeding for the corresponding comment. The docket number or rulemaking number of the proceeding can be found on the first page of the FCC document or Public Notice opening the proceeding.
  • You can file a comment both electronically and in paper format.
    • Electronic comments must be filed by midnight Eastern Time on the date of the comment deadline.
    • Written comments must be filed by 7p.m. ET on the date of the comment deadline.
  • Comments you submit to the FCC will be made public.

Filing Electronically

The FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System allows you to submit comments via the internet for docketed or rulemaking proceedings.

ECFS Express is a simplified comment filing process for consumers that is based on topics, rather than a docket or rulemaking number. ECFS Express lists the topics considered to be of most interest. By clicking on a topic, an individual can fill in personal information, write their comments and press send to file the comments.

Generally, you will file only one copy of an electronic comment, but if you are filing comments in a proceeding that lists multiple docket or rulemaking numbers on its front page, you must use the standard upload form and not ECFS Express. See ECFS FAQs for more information.

For assistance using ECFS, send an email to ECFS@fcc.gov, or call the ECFS Help Desk at (202) 418-0193, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Filing in Paper Format

Printed copies of comments may be filed with the Commission no later than 7:00 p.m. ET on the deadline date. Please include an original (with an original signature) and four copies of your comment, and be sure to include a contact name, address, and phone number in your comments. Please type in 12-point or larger font or write legibly. Cover letters are not necessary. If your comments are confidential, label each page "Not for Public Inspection" or "Confidential" in the upper right-hand corner and provide an explanation for why you believe the filing should be confidential. See full guidelines for filing paper comments.

Address for hand-delivered documents:

Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
Office of the Secretary
236 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002
The hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

Address for U.S. Postal Service mail:

Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
Office of the Secretary
445 12th Street, SW
Room TW-B204
Washington, DC 20554

Commercial overnight mail, other than U.S. Postal Service Express mail and Priority mail, must be addressed to:

Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
Office of the Secretary
9300 East Hampton Drive
Capitol Heights, MD 20734

Comments from People with Disabilities

People with disabilities filing comments in non-print formats should include a contact name, address and phone number. Always reference the docket or rulemaking number when filing in Commission proceedings. Providing a print copy will expedite processing.  If you have questions about access for people with disabilities, send an email to FCC504@fcc.gov or call or call 1-202-418-0530 (voice), or 1-202-418-0432 (TTY).  

Acronyms and Terms

The following are some FCC-related terms and acronyms and some instructions that will help you in filing comments and understanding the FCC's decision-making processes.

  • En banc  expand and contract
  • Ex parte  expand and contract
  • Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM)  expand and contract
  • Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O)  expand and contract
  • Notice of Inquiry (NOI)  expand and contract
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)  expand and contract
  • Order on Reconsideration  expand and contract
  • Petition for Rulemaking (Petition)  expand and contract
  • Public Notice (PN)  expand and contract
  • Report and Order (R&O)  expand and contract
  • Petition for Reconsideration  expand and contract

Privacy and Online Information

If you voluntarily provide the FCC with personal information, by sending an e-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it through our website, you are indicating voluntary consent for the FCC to use the information you are submitting to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you have requested.

Your submission, including personal information, may be shared within the FCC as well as with other Federal or State agencies, or others if necessary to address matters raised in your submission as allowed by the Commission's systems of records or as otherwise required or authorized by statute, including requests from Congress, Freedom of Information Act requests from private individuals or companies, for law enforcement purposes, for routine agency uses subject to the Privacy Act, or under our access and public record rules.

The Commission works continuously to set out and implement procedures to regulate the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of Privacy Act-protected information. Visit our Privacy Act Web Page for complete information about our compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, and information on how to file a Privacy Act request.

Any comments that you submit to the FCC on a proposed rulemaking, petition, or other document for which public comment is requested will be made public, including any personally identifiable information you include in your submission. We may share non-personally identifiable information with others, including the public, in aggregated form, in partial or edited form, or verbatim.

Print Out

How to Comment on FCC Proceedings (pdf)

 

File a Complaint with the FCC

 

Visit our Consumer Complaint Center at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov to file a complaint or tell us your story.

Request Alternate Format

To request this article in an alternate format - braille, large print, Word or text document or audio - email fcc504@fcc.gov, or write the address or call the phone number at the bottom of this page.

Consumer Help Center

Learn about consumer issues - visit the FCC's Consumer Help Center at www.fcc.gov/consumers.

 

Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2018