ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB048 (1996)

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ARLB048 Electronic filing update

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ARRL Bulletin 48  ARLB048
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  July 24, 1996
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB048
ARLB048 Electronic filing update

The FCC has announced plans to open a proceeding to allow electronic
filing of formal comments in rulemaking proceedings and on-line
access to those comments. The FCC said the announcement ''begins a
process of revising outdated rules and clearing the way for the
expanded use of new technologies at the FCC.''

The action followed a Notice of Inquiry (PP 96-17) in February that
asked how computer technology and the Internet could be used to
improve FCC procedures. ''The vast majority of commenters advocated
expanded use of electronic filing,'' the Commission said. Current
rules require formal comments be filed on paper, so a rulemaking
proceeding is needed to permit comments filed via e-mail or on
diskette to be treated the same as paper comments. These rules do
not apply to comments filed in regard to WRC-97 preparations, which
already may be filed electronically.

The Commission said ''the challenge of meeting the workload and
deadlines of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has prompted the FCC
to seek ways to make it easier for the public to file and review
comments'' and is consistent with efforts elsewhere in the
government to expand the use of electronic filing by agencies.

FCC Chairman Reed Hundt said the proceeding ''will allow us to
eliminate outdated restrictions, and to use the Internet to better
serve the public.''
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