Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The FCC Is Working on a Replacement for Its Terrible Electronic Comment Filing System

Dell Cameron, Gizmodo:

The Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), first launched in 1998, allows anyone to contribute input about proposed FCC rules when subject to its notice-and-comment rulemaking process. Originally, the ECFS was used primarily by industry stakeholders and telecom attorneys trying to sway FCC policymakers via written legal argument. More recently, the public at large has become aware of the system through the massive grassroots campaigns surrounding the FCC’s net neutrality proceedings.

Leaked to Gizmodo, an email by an FCC official dated this week encourages those “who comment frequently at the FCC” to attend roundtable discussions held on Tuesday and Wednesday this week regarding the creation of the new system. Two sources familiar with internal FCC correspondence regarding the ECFS confirmed its authenticity with Gizmodo.

Good start. But will the FCC actually pay attention to the system that replaces it? Or will they continue to insist that it’s just a place for the public to vent unless they’re legally trained and willing to write policy?