V-Soft Ponders Impact of CDBS Change

Company suggests FCC run the old and new systems in tandem for six months
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With the FCC planning to consolidate its online database systems, V-Soft Communications has a suggestion or two.

"We have asked the commission to run the old database in tandem with the new one for a period of six months," the software provider and consulting company run by Doug Vernier told clients in its latest newsletter.

The FCC, V-Soft said, is "well along on its plans" to make changes that will affect the familiar Consolidated Database System (CDBS). "The commission plans to include all the data from all of the various services it regulates into one common database," it noted.

"After the [previous] new format was adopted in 2000, everyone noticed that there were omissions and bad data throughout the new format. It was almost as if someone retyped in everything. Finally, after 10 years, everything is running smoothly and the data appears mostly correct. Hopefully, any new database format will keep it that way and the computer skills available to the commission have improved since 2000."

V-Soft told customers that adapting its processing programs to a new database format will require reprogramming, debugging and verification.

"Since we process more than a dozen databases each day and all week long, it will take us time to get everything done. This is why we have asked the commission to run the old database in tandem with the new one for a period of six months. In year 2000 there was no overlap between database formats, which made it all the more difficult. We have been told that there will be no overlap because you cannot have CDBS users typing in their applications twice."

If the commission is unable to keep the old CDBS going, V-Soft added, "they should write a program that will convert the new format into the old CDBS format and allow users time to compare the output of our programs."

V-Soft concluded, "The jury on what the commission will do is still out, but we hope that there will be full cooperation with the current users to make the change as seamless as possible." The company said it plans to give priority to converting the new format to run with its programs and work to make the change uneventful to customers.

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