Since I write about radio on pretty much a daily basis, I’m more obsessed with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)’s database than your average citizen would be. Often it’s the first place where a seasoned radio reporter can find breaking news about the broadcast business. If you know where and how to search, you can find detailed information about who owns a radio station license, look up license renewal dates, find applications for license modifications and transfers, and delve into legal filings.
The FCC has been making incremental changes to its databases, but it’s still difficult for the casual user to find specific information quickly. Even though I use the FCC search tools almost daily, I have still had to get help from the FCC when I was embarking on an atypical search (looking up information about a deleted license).
Similarly, it can also be challenging for citizens and license holders to figure out how to submit various filings to the FCC. Yesterday the FCC announced that in an attempt to simplify some of these standard filings, it will now allow interested parties to file various documents electronically. These include Petitions to Deny, Informal Objections, Petitions for Reconsideration, Applications for Review and related filings. According to yesterday’s public notice by the FCC, “This feature will make electronically filed pleadings promptly available to licensees, interested parties and the general public, thereby increasing the transparency of the broadcast licensing processes.”
Those with accounts on the FCC website can submit filings related to broadcast applications by logging in to the FCC’s Consolidated Database System (CDBS). Comments on docketed proceedings can be filed using the Electronic Comment Filing System.