FCC Moves Its Comments System to the Cloud

Jessica Rosenworcel
FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel (Image credit: FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission said it has upgraded its electronic comment filing system (ECFS), which is how the public and stakeholders weigh in on agency issues and proposed inquiries and regulations.

According to FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the regulator has transitioned to a cloud-based architecture that will allow it to upgrade and expand features and functions and allow it to scale up as needed.

The system now also employs a reCAPTCHA engine to protect against fraud and abuse.

During the comment cycle on the FCC’s 2017 network neutrality proceeding in particular, the agency took heat over the number of bogus or bot-generated comments.

For example, New York State conducted an investigation into comments in the FCC's net neutrality rule proceeding, concluding millions of fraudulent comments were submitted by lead generators employed by broadband companies, thought it found no evidence those companies had direct knowledge that the lead generators were engaging in fraud.

A Pew Research report also found that many of the 21.7 million comments in the net neutrality docket “seemed to include false or misleading personal information.”

“Our comment filing system is a critical avenue for public input that we need to keep up-to-date,” Rosenworcel said. “Today’s effort is a start to do just that and I want to thank the FCC staff and contractors who have made this possible.” ■

John Eggerton

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.