The FCC's Modernized Comment System Is Coming Soon

The New ECFS

Excerpt from a June 2016 FCC Blog Post

By Alison Kutler | Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Dr. David A. Bray | FCC Chief Information Officer

The new cloud-based system provides the same features as the current ECFS, combined with some significant improvements:

  1. Improved usability: Improved layout and functionality based on stakeholder feedback, making it easier to file comments, check filing status, conduct research, and complete tasks faster.
  2. Greater reliability: Built on a commercial cloud platform, providing the ability to automatically adjust during periods of heavy usage.
  3. Streamlined process: Because we are no longer trying to replicate a paper-filing process, the new system is not designed to convert filings to PDF before they can be publicly viewed. Filings will be made available to the public in their native formats.
  4. Documented API: Providing outside groups the ability to submit and pull comments in bulk, with details on this API available here.
  5. Greater efficiency: More efficient model for the cost to maintain the new system, compared to a legacy “on premise” model.
  6. Increased accessibility: Ability to “read out loud” the text contained in ECFS filings, so that filings are more easily accessible to everyone.

On the final point, FCC takes web accessibility seriously and strives to set the standard for Government agencies. The new ECFS includes a combination of embedded tools providing the latest in web accessibility technology, including text-to-speech functionality, fonts for dyslexia and color blindness, and a beta voice navigation experience. Users can access these features by clicking on the accessibility icon featured on each page:

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In the coming weeks, FCC staff will be conducting web-based tutorials of the new ECFS. The next tutorials are scheduled for June 7th and June 9th from 2:00-2:45 PM EST. To participate in a tutorial of the new ECFS, please email ECFSfeedback@fcc.gov. We strongly encourage everyone who uses ECFS to participate in one of these demos to become familiar with the new system and its features. We will formally announce the final switch-over date two weeks before the transition.

A sincere thanks to all the external and internal stakeholders who provided feedback during beta testing of the new ECFS. Thanks to your help, we believe the new ECFS platform will enhance all stakeholders’ ability to engage with the Commission.

Copyright © 2016 Federal Communications Commission. All rights reserved.

Read the entire Press Release

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