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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB035 (2015)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB035
ARLB035 Revamped FCC Website Expected to Debut on December 10

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ARRL Bulletin 35  ARLB035
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 25, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB035
ARLB035 Revamped FCC Website Expected to Debut on December 10

The FCC has announced that its large-scale website redesign will be
completed by December 10. The switch to the new site is set to begin
on December 10 at 0100 UTC and will be completed about 4 hours
later.

"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 FCC said in a
November 24 Public Notice.

The FCC said the new website has been designed to provide "better
functionality, an improved design, and better searchability and
navigability." Earlier this year the Commission's IT Department
opened a beta-test version of the site, located at
https://prototype.fcc.gov/, and has been gathering user comments at,
https://prototype.fcc.gov/eform/submit/feedback .

"Extensive user research revealed how the FCC could improve the
website's information architecture to make content easier to find,"
the Public Notice said. The FCC said its new website has been
designed to operate on tablet and mobile device browsers with the
display optimization based upon the device. The site utilizes a
"toggle" navigation that allows visitors to browse either by
"Category" or "Bureau and Office."

When the new site comes online, the familiar current FCC website
will no longer be available. The FCC said web pages and files on
transition.fcc.gov that have not already migrated to the new site
will remain available, and existing bookmarks will be redirected to
the appropriate content on the new site. While the Commission has
already upgraded some of its interactive systems, including the
Consumer Help Center, and is working toward improvements on similar
systems, including the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS),
these systems will not be directly impacted by the December 10
migration.

"This migration will impact the look and functionality of web pages
that are coded in HTML and managed through a content management
system, such as the homepage and individual bureau pages," the FCC
Public Notice said. The FCC said the change to a new website design
was, in part, driven by a need to start using a more modern,
open-source content management system to upgrade the site's look and
architecture, and to transition to a system that is compatible with
the latest website innovations.

FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray has written blog posts
about the website development process, and the beta site has been
publically available and soliciting feedback since April. Two
additional public outreach sessions will be held before the December
10 changeover to explain the new site and its functionality to
interested stakeholders.
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