FCC: NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN
GOVERNMENT  CASE  STUDY  
"
IDEASCALE  


The  Federal  Communica?ons  Commission  (FCC)  is  an  independent  United  States  
government  agency. The FCC was es...
3IdeaScale  Case  Studies
dialogue will take place in the future.
"
Since launching the National Broadband Plan crowdsourc...
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Case Study: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

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As an independent government agency, the FCC is required to open up all rule-making activity to enlightenment from the public. Historically, there has always been an open window at the FCC where anyone can file their comments with the FCC.

Eight years ago, the FCC added the electronic comment window to their website where citizens could file their comments online, but it still required a lot of leg work on the part of the public to find the correct information for filing. The FCC wanted to further simplify the process as they launched their National Broadband Plan. They came to Ideascale with the primary goal of lowering the barriers to participation in the FCC's dialogue. Because of the long term impact the National Broadband Plan could affect, the FCC wanted to make sure that anyone, whether they were tech-savvy or not, could engage in the regulatory process of the FCC.

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Case Study: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

  1. 1. 
 FCC: NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN GOVERNMENT  CASE  STUDY   " IDEASCALE  
  2. 2. 
 The  Federal  Communica?ons  Commission  (FCC)  is  an  independent  United  States   government  agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. In the service of those tasks, the FCC is also in charge of promoting the National Broadband Plan which seeks to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability. " As an independent government agency, the FCC is required to open up all rule-making activity to enlightenment from the public. Historically, there has always been an open window at the FCC where anyone can bring and file their comments with the FCC. Eight years ago, the FCC added the electronic comment window to their website where citizens could file their comments online, but it still required a lot of leg work on the part of the public to find the correct information for filing. " The FCC wanted to further simplify the process as they launched their National Broadband Plan. They  came  to  IdeaScale  with  the  primary  goal  of  lowering  the  barriers  to  par?cipa?on  in  the   FCC’s  dialogue. Due to the long term impact the National Broadband Plan could affect, the FCC wanted to make sure that anyone, whether they were tech-savvy or not, could engage in the regulatory process of the FCC. " When the FCC launched broadband.ideascale.com, they saw: • Over  60,000  responses  from  the  public, an unprecedented number. • Which  topics  were  most  important  to  the  public. The site was organized around the 17 different aspects of the plan and the most relevant parts became identifiable by the conversation that bubbled-up around them. • The  highest  number  of  Public  No?ces  ever  published.  By offering the FCC an easy-to- organize platform and offering the public an easy-to- use interface, the responses were more effective and more impactful. • The feedback from the crowdsourcing site was incorporated into the discovery process that led  to  the  current  version  of  the  Broadband  Plan. In other words, those who participated in the public dialogue directly affected changes that were implemented by the FCC in the National Broadband Plan. " All of this information is now filed  as  part  of  the  public  record,  properly  labeled  and  organized. The success of broadband.ideascale.com is an excellent indicator of how public democratic 2IdeaScale  Case  Studies FCC: National Broadband Plan Lowering the Barriers to Participation
  3. 3. 3IdeaScale  Case  Studies dialogue will take place in the future. " Since launching the National Broadband Plan crowdsourcing site, IdeaScale has continued to work with the FCC on other public matters including Net Neutrality and looks forward to future projects, public participation, and feedback. " “I think IdeaScale presents a unique opportunity to government agencies. It offers them the prospect of directly communicating with their citizens and the IdeaScale platform is such a user- friendly interface that it allows any civilian the chance to truly engage with their government. It’s an incredibly important relationship to establish,” Haley Vandyck, Director of Citizen Engagement, Federal Communications Commission. " The  Importance  of  Public  Opinion   The government issues 8,000 regulations every year. Independent government agencies operate under the mandate to involve public opinion in any rule-making. This ensures the success of good programs and a better democratic operating model. According to The Manual on Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making, this best practice can also have an economic benefit: “If the public is involved in the full decision making process, their concerns may be met early on in the planning process when changes may be easier to make, rather than late in the process when even small changes may cost both time and money. [And] even if the public does not agree with the final decision, they are more likely to understand why the decision was made and thus may not oppose it.” IdeaScale is a platform that helps agencies and citizens communicate effectively to achieve all of these goals. About  IdeaScale   IdeaScale has developed an idea crowdsourcing technology that empowers communities to drive innovation. " The software allows organizations to involve people that matter to them by collecting their ideas and giving them a platform to vote. The most important ideas bubble to the top. " In late 2009, the FCC, who’s mission it is to, ”make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges,” selected IdeaScale as a partner to increase public participation and dialogue surrounding the creation of the National Broadband Plan. " As of March 31, 2010, almost all U.S. federal agencies were using the IdeaScale platform. The websites for NASA, the VA, and the FCC reported the highest participation rates.

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