The FCC is asking: what do you think?
The commission is asking for feedback on the agency’s updated website, which comes on the heels of a big IT upgrade.
On Friday the FCC launched a new beta version of the FCC website, said the agency’s Chief Information Officer David Bray, who wrote in a blog post on Oct. 9 that the new test site has been designed to be more useful and accessible to FCC users.
One major goal of the new site, Bray said, is to optimize the display of information regardless of whether a user is on a PC, smartphone or tablet. The new site is based on Drupal, an open-source content management system.
The agency is also improving the system’s notoriously unwieldy search features and relying increasingly on cloud-based storage, Bray said in his post. The beta test site connects to primary FCC document databases — including the Electronic Document Management System and Electronic Comment Filing System — via application programming interfaces known as APIs that allow real-time updates to be displayed.
The two versions of the FCC website — both the old and new — are simultaneously up and running. The beta site can be found at prototype.fcc.gov; the legacy site can be found at www.fcc.gov. The goal is to fully launch the new FCC.gov website later in the fall of 2015, Bray said.
Already, the comments have begun to flow in. Users are questioning everything from the laborious steps one must take to open a document to the difficulties in accessing databases.
This newest update follows the Labor Day upgrade of the agency’s IT systems, which involved physically moving more than 200 different legacy servers out of FCC’s headquarters to a commercial service provider.
That entire process was apparently a bit of an Ocean’s Eleven mission — as Bray pointed out in a three-part video on his Twitter feed, which came complete with musical interlude courtesy of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation.”
Bray talked with Radio World about the laborious process to upgrade the agency’s IT technology here.