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FCC Beta Tests New Web Site

In an ongoing effort to improve its Web site, the FCC is promoting a link to a beta version of the site and is seeking public input.

In a blog post, FCC chief technology officer David Bray unveiled the new test site, saying the new site would be more "useful and accessible."

The new site features a mostly white background as compared to the dark background of the current site, and uses all the screen space rather than having black-to-blue-to-black gradient borders that enclose the current working space on the home page.

There is a definite emphasis on social media in the new site, with prominence given to the blogs and a column for the FCC's running Twitter feed, as well as even larger and more prominent boxes for filing complaints and public comment. Wheeler came into his post saying the FCC needed to focus on being a consumer agency, and the new site appears geared to be going for more consumer-friendly and less officious.

The site is Drupal-based, a free, open-source platform that claims over a million Web sites, from Fox to Lady Gaga, Greenpeace to the Dallas Cowboys, The White House and NBC. It is also "responsive," which means it is optimized for viewing on the mobile devices that use the wireless spectrum that the FCC is trying to free up for mobile broadband.

And in the interests of increased transparency, the new site will "make search easier, allow for better content discoverability across the site, and automate lists of content on a variety of topics."

All FCC content is now available on the beta site as well as the site, he said. The switchover to the new site is planned for later in the fall.

The FCC last redesigned the site in 2011.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.