FCC to Hold Workshop on Consolidated Licensing System

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Washington - Mar 29, 2010 - On April 7, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a workshop to explore legal and technical challenges associated with the development and deployment of an agency-wide Consolidated Licensing System (CLS). This workshop is part of the Commission's long-term reform initiative to examine certain functions of its current licensing and application systems in an effort to improve its spectrum management and to develop a transparent, easily accessible, data driven, efficient, cost-effective and green consolidated licensing system.

The workshop will be held in the FCC's Commission Meeting Room located in Washington, DC, at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. The Commission invites input into this process so as to inform its decision making in regard to improving system functionality. Admittance will be limited to seating availability. Registration is not required unless viewing the workshop via WebEx.

The Commission will also provide streamed coverage of the meeting via www.fcc.gov/live.

During the workshop, audience members will have the opportunity to suggest questions in writing. Remote participants will be able to suggest questions via WebEx. Register for WebEx access. Questions can be submitted prior to the workshop to pat.rinn@fcc.gov (use "CLS Workshop questions" as the subject line).

A notice of proposed rulemaking will be issued after the workshops have been completed. Because of the complexity and size of this project, the Commission expects to deploy the new consolidated licensing system in phases. While the consolidated system will be implemented over a period of years, many new features will become available once a service is deployed.

The Commission has established a page for the CLS on its Reboot website.

The licensing systems and databases currently used by the Commission's bureaus and offices include:

  • The Antenna Structure Registration System (ASR) (managed by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau [WTB])
  • The Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) (managed by the Media Bureau [MB])
  • The Consolidated Database System (CDBS) (managed by MB)
  • The Experimental Licensing System (ELS) (managed by the Office of Engineering and Technology)
  • The International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) (managed by the International Bureau [IB])
  • The Universal Licensing System (ULS) (managed by WTB and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau [PSHSB])

    The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) currently does not have an online filing system and handles all license processing manually. The FCC is considering transitioning WCB's manual filing system for applications made pursuant to Section 214 of the Telecommunications Act to the new consolidated system. In addition, the Commission anticipates that other electronic applications that currently provide access to data across multiple databases will be incorporated into the CLS, e.g., General Menu Reports System's (GENMEN) search capabilities.

    Under the new CLS, the Commission envisions that users will obtain access to all applications, licenses and authorizations associated with the FRN under which the user has logged in. The information that would be available through this single sign-on will be added as each existing system is phased into the CLS.

    Currently, each system identified above requires the use of different forms to file applications and license requests. Many of these forms have the same purpose and include the same or similar questions, e.g., name, address, phone number. As part of its initiative to explore the creation of a consolidated licensing system, the Commission seeks to examine the potential of using a single form series intended for use among all applicants. The Commission foresees using a common Main Form, on which will be collected applicable information for all license and application types; Bureau-specific information for specific filing purposes and services would be collected through supplemental schedules as needed.

    Finally, the Commission is considering requiring electronic filing of all new consolidated forms used in the CLS.

    The FCC will hold additional workshops if needed to further discuss and refine system requirements. The FCC intends to focus the initial workshop on site and web-based interaction and discussions on those areas where consolidation is expected to be most challenging.

    MD Docket No. 10-73

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