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9/7/2010
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Gov 2.0 Summit: FCC Offers 'Citizen Developer' Tools

As part of its open government push, the agency introduces four APIs and a website that make FCC data available as web services.




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The FCC on Tuesday introduced four new APIs that make FCC data available as web services and unveiled a community website for "citizen developers" that provides code and tools for using the data sets.

At the Gov 2.0 Summit at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, produced by O'Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced the APIs and website, FCC.gov/developer. Genachowski described the APIs and site as representing the next steps in the agency's open government plan.

One of the new web services is the Consumer Broadband Speed Test API, which provides statistics on broadband test speeds for U.S. counties, the number of tests performed, average download and upload speeds, and more. The data is refreshed daily.

The other new APIs are the Census Block Search API, which provides the U.S. Census block for a given GPS coordinate, including the county and state of that block; the FCC Registration Number Conversion API, which delivers information on the company names, parent names, and subsidiary names of broadband service providers; and the FCC License View API, which offers data such as the number of licenses that are available for different services.

In addition to the APIs, the developer site includes a discussion forum, blog, featured data sets, and links to social media.

FCC managing director Steven VanRoekel said the goal is to operate FCC.gov/developer with the same "agility, responsiveness, and innovation" as leading commercial websites. VanRoekel said a redesign of FCC.gov is in the works and should be completed by year end.

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