FCC Launches APIs and Development Engagement Platform

The Federal Communications Commission is adopting the notion of making government as platform as it reboots for the 21st Century. Yesterday at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington, FCC Chairman Genachowski and FCC Managing Director Steven VanRoekel announced a new developer initiative that will offer unprecedented opportunities for companies to integrate government data into their services and civic hackers to build new applications with licensing information.

"Today's announcement marks a major step towards our goal of reimagining the dot gov experience to better serve the 21st-century citizen," said Chairman Genachowski. "These new online tools will empower innovators and developers across the country to leverage government data in ways never imagined, creating immense value for the American public. This is an important part of institutionalizing change in government." Video of their presentation is embedded below.

Embracing the platform approach to government, the FCC also launched a number of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for developers across a broad range of industries, including federal, state, and local government. "These tools are designed to maximize the value of government data for citizen shareholders," said VanRoekel. "Their release is part of a larger effort aimed at running a dot gov more like a dot com, with the same kind of agility, responsiveness, and innovation we expect from leading commercial websites."

There are four news APIs now available for developers to work with at

  • The Consumer Broadband Speed Test API - this API returns statistics for a U.S. county given the a submitted latitude and longitude.
  • Census Block Search API - this API returns the U.S. Census Bureau Census Block number given a passed latitude and longitude.
  • FCC Registration Number (FRN) Conversion - this API takes the FRN of a broadband provider and returns information about it.
  • FCC License View - this API provides information about licensees, including number of licences or renewal information.
For more on the FCC's new initiatives, read: