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FCC Opens Door on Broadband Speed Tests, License Status

The FCC is
making it easier for John Q. Public to massage and manipulate its data
on broadband speeds and check out the status of various FCC licenses.

That is part of a just-announced suite of online tools.

At the Gov
2.0 conference, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and FCC Managing
Director Steven VanRoekel unveiled the new tools, which they said would
allow "innovators and developers" to leverage the
data in ways "never imagined."

It is part
of a larger government initiative to open up data for public inspection
and application. For example, FAA data released to the public resulted
in an online application for tracking the on-time
performance of airline flights.

Not only has
the FCC released the API's (Application Programing Interfaces) to
improve communications across databases, it has created a site for

Among the
first data/tools released for general consumption are the results from
over 1 million broadband speed tests, as well as a tool that matches
geographic locations with census block level information,
the kind of info it is now collecting on broadband availability. The
FCC points out that almost every government database uses some kind
of census block metric.