Federal Communications Commission

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How to Read Comments Filed at the FCC

September 8th, 2009 by Bill Cline - Chief, Reference Information Center, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bur

Bill Cline BBThere have been over 10,000 comments filed about the National Broadband Plan. And there will be a lot more in response to the Public Notices issued by the Commission to drill deeper into specific issues.  Following are instructions on how to access and read those comments using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System, known as ECFS.

A docket number is key to using ECFS, and this link takes you to the ECFS retrieval form with the docket number for the National Broadband Plan, 09-51, already filled in.  Just hit "Retrieve Document List" to get a list of all filings.  Yes, there are lots of them, and you need to click on each individual filing to read it.  But there are many ways you can focus your search, which include:

  • Entering the name of a specific individual whose comments you want to see in Field 4 (Filed on Behalf of)
  • Narrowing your search to people in your community by using the "City," "State," or "Zip Code" fields
  • Entering "FCC" in Field 5 - (Law Firm) - to see FCC filings.
  • Clicking on the box in field 15 (Eliminate Brief Text Comments) to narrow the search considerably by retrieving only longer comments
  • Finding comments for a specific public notice by using a date range on either side of the comment due dates

If you want to file your own comments in the broadband proceeding, you can use ECFS Express (or our standard submission page if you need to attach a file).

You can contact ECFS staff during business hours at (202) 418-0193 or by email at  Join in the broadband dialogue by reading and writing comments!

Capture The Phone Numbers Using Your Camera Phone

If you have a camera and a 2D matrix code reader on your mobile phone, you can capture the FCC Phone numbers right to your phone by following these three easy steps:
Step 1: Take a photograph of one of the codes below using the camera on your mobile phone.
Step 2: Use your phone's Datamatrix or QR Code reader to decode the information on the photograph. Please note, these code readers are device specific and are available to download on the internet.
Step 3: Store the decoded address information to your phone's address book and use it with your Maps or GPS application.

Datamatrix and QR FCC Phones