FCC Website to Be Redesigned; Expected Launch on December 10, 2015
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:12:00 -0500
The Federal Communications Commission is performing a large-scale redesign of its website (FCC.gov) to improve usability. The switch to the new site is scheduled to begin on December 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM EDT and be completed by 12:00 AM December 10, 2015. While the transition to the revamped site is expected to be completed almost instantaneously, there will be an ongoing process following this transition that will continue to involve user feedback, fixes by the FCC’s Information Technology team, and content updates by policy bureaus and offices.
The new website is designed to provide better functionality, an improved design, and better searchability and navigability. Extensive user research revealed how the FCC could improve the website’s information architecture to make content easier to find. The new website is responsively designed and improves interoperability with tablet and mobile device browsers, with the display optimizing based upon the device being used to view the site. The site utilizes a “toggle” navigation that allows visitors to browse either by “Category” or “Bureau and Office.”
As part of this transition, the current website will no longer be available. Webpages and files that are on transition.fcc.gov that have not already been migrated to the new site will remain available. Existing bookmarks will be redirected to the appropriate content on the new site. The Commission has worked to ensure that all web addresses that users might have bookmarked or otherwise utilize on an ongoing basis will remain connected to the relevant content. In addition, while the Commission has already upgraded some of its interactive systems (including the Consumer Help Center) and is working toward improvements on other such interactive systems (including the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS)), these systems will not be directly impacted by the migration on December 10.
This migration will impact the look and functionality of webpages that are coded in html and managed through a content management system, such as the homepage and individual bureau pages. The move is in part necessitated by the Commission’s need to begin using a more modern, open-source content management system both to directly upgrade the website’s look and architecture, and to begin using a system that is compatible with the latest website innovations.
Currently, the text on most Commission webpages is being updated, reformatted, and migrated to the new site. This content migration project is expected to be completed by the time the Commission switches to the new site. While our expectation is to switch to the new website on December 10, there may be some specific pages – generally deep within the site’s map – that will need format, content, or functional improvements after the change-over date. We encourage users to send feedback and to alert us to any content that needs to be updated, or other “bugs” through this interface: https://prototype.fcc.gov/eform/submit/feedback
This transition follows a robust outreach process during which user research gathered information from regular FCC practitioners, the general public, and other users. The Commission’s CIO has written blog posts about this process in order to inform the public and regular users, and the prototype of the site has been publically available and soliciting feedback since April 2015 at https://prototype.fcc.gov.
In addition, there will be two public outreach sessions before the December 10th change-over which will enable interested stakeholders to learn more about the new site and its functionalities.
'Alison & Adam Memorial Fund' Raises Nearly $90,000 to Support Families of Roanoke TV Victims
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:54:00 -0500
NAB announced that the “Alison & Adam Memorial Fund” established to support families of the victims of this summer’s Roanoke TV shooting has raised $88,175. The National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Television Digital News Association launched the fund to accept donations from broadcasters on behalf of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, who were tragically killed August 26 by a former employee of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, a CBS affiliate owned by Schurz Communications.
Donations will be accepted for the fund until November 30.
Before year end, all proceeds from the fund will be distributed evenly in four contributions: 25 percent each to the families of Parker and Ward; 25 percent to Vicki Gardner, executive director, Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, who suffered gunshot wounds during the on-air shooting; and 25 percent to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). CPJ is a New York-based organization dedicated to press freedom and protecting the rights of reporters to work without fear of reprisal. NAB previously donated $10,000 to CPJ following the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, American journalists abducted and murdered while covering the Syrian Civil War.
"We're thankful for the tremendous outpouring of support from broadcasters across America for the families of these two young journalists," said NAB President Gordon Smith. "Alison and Adam will live forever in our memories."
Those wishing to contribute online before November 30 can do so at http://www.nab.org/donate.
Consumer Technology Association Applauds FAA's Drone Registration Report
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:18:13 -0500
The following statement is attributed to Douglas Johnson, vice president, technology policy, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM - formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® - and member of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) UAS Registration Task Force regarding completion of the Task Force's report with recommendations concerning drone registration:
"We thank the FAA for creating a diverse stakeholder task force and appreciate the opportunity for the Consumer Technology Association and several of our members to serve on it. We applaud the spirit of collaboration and consensus-building that defines the task force and its set of recommendations to the FAA."
"Collaboration and innovation contribute to the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace. CTA and several other organizations continue to support the "Know Before You Fly" consumer safety campaign encouraging responsible use of drones. Innovators are also taking the lead when it comes to safety, as shown by recent industry partnerships, making it easier for drone operators to get real-time information about no-fly zones."
"This is a crucial time for public policy concerning drones. For the U.S. to stay competitive, and for drone-related businesses and startups to thrive, we need regulatory as well as non-regulatory solutions that support both safety and innovation. Duplicative or conflicting federal, state and local policies will encumber innovators, confuse the public and limit growth."
Consumer Technology Association market research expects 2015 to be a defining year for drones and forecasts that 400,000 consumer drones will be sold this holiday season.
NBC Sports Offering Dual-Network Coverage For NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 17:30:05 -0500
The NASCAR Sprint Cup season comes to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday as four racers – Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. – are still in the hunt for the championship at the Ford EcoBoost 400 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET). NBC Sports Group is looking to put a big exclamation point on their first campaign back in the NASCAR saddle by offering dual-network coverage of the race from Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Game Creek Video’s PeacockOne production unit is on-site to support 80 cameras deployed around the track, including handhelds, robotics, super slow-mos, a jib, a blimp, 23 Sony HDC-4300 cameras with 4K capabilities, and more. More than 28 miles of fiber cable has been laid down and a crew of more of the 230 NBC Sports personnel have been in Miami throughout the week preparing for the festivities.
In addition to the main race coverage on NBC, the network is offering special simulcast coverage of the event called HotPass, that focuses exclusively on the four racers in the mix for the title. Available on NBCSN, the channel will be programmed by a second mobile production truck on site that will be taking the feeds for the four cameras locked on each driver, three cameras in each of the racers’ cars, the on-board audio, in addition to specialty graphics and exclusive announcers.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the four drivers that are fighting for the championship,” says Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “So it’ll be a multi-screen experience…that’s going to give you the opportunity to follow these drivers if you want, and you also have the option of obviously watching the primary coverage on NBC, which will be the more traditional coverage.”
“Our goal is to have this be one-stop shopping,” says Jeff Behnke, VP of Production for NBC Sports Group. “Obviously we’ll be dialed in on the championships drivers on our full race coverage as well, but this is just a unique offering.”
FCC Proposes Enhancements to Wireless Emergency Alerts
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 16:40:55 -0500
The Federal Communications Commission today proposed rules to strengthen Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), a system that delivers critical warnings and information to Americans on their wireless phones. The proposals are intended to promote the wider use and effectiveness of this lifesaving service, especially for state and local authorities to convey important information to their communities.
Since its launch in 2012, WEA has informed Americans about severe weather, missing children, and other emergencies via text-like alerts to their wireless phones. Now that the FCC has three years’ experience with the service, and in light of stakeholder feedback and technological advancements since the FCC adopted technical and procedural requirements for WEA in 2008, the agency is seeking comment on potential enhancements.
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted today, the Commission proposed changes to improve WEA message content, ensure that the messages reach only those people for whom an alert is relevant, and to establish a WEA testing program that will improve the effectiveness of the system for public safety officials and the public. The NPRM includes proposals to:
- Increase the maximum length of WEA messages (from 90 to 360 characters) in order to convey more information;
- Enable alerts to contain embedded phone numbers and URLs to improve message quality and accessibility;
- Create a new class of WEA alerts (“Emergency Government Information”) as a means of sending action-oriented public safety advisories (such as “boil water” messages or information on shelter locations during weather emergencies) to communities;
- Require participating wireless providers to deliver the alerts to more granular geographic areas; and
- Make it easier for state and local authorities to test WEA service and train personnel.
The Commission is also seeking comment on a variety of other potential improvements, including the technical feasibility of implementing multilingual and multimedia alerting. In addition, the Commission is seeking comment on steps it can take to promote Americans’ participation in WEA, including options for personalizing the display and receipt of WEA messages. Taken together, these proposals are designed to ensure that WEA keeps pace with evolving technologies and empowers communities to initiate these lifesaving alerts.
For more information on Wireless Emergency Alerts, visit www.fcc.gov/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea.