Search This Blog

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Commander Data

Now here's news that of interest to very few people: the FCC has released some E-Rate data in delimited text files.  You can find the data here. (In the ridiculously cluttered interface on that page, hunt for a button labeled "Zip" with a raining-arrow icon, and click on that to download a ZIP file with all the files in it.)

There are 2 data files:
  1. OPENDATA_FY2010, which is mostly information available through the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
  2. FY2010_CommittedFRNs_Block4_Data, which has Block 4 data.
I was pretty excited to see the files, but the result is not as exciting as I'd hoped.

The info I can see that's in OPENDATA that was not already available in the DRT are a field showing if the FRN is under appeal, the date the 471 was cancelled (empty for almost all FRNs), the number of students or library patrons (which I assume is coming from Block 2), and some Rural/Urban info, which I think only flows through from Block 4 in cases where an FRN serves a single location.  All pretty useless.

I've been asking to be able to download Block 4 data since 2006, so that data file would be exciting, except I've already managed to collect this info by other means.  If the data were up to date, and included all funding years, then it would be useful, since it would be easier to collect than the way I'm doing it now, but as it is, I have no use for the file.

I suppose there are very few people who want any of this information and haven't already figured out how to collect it.  And no one will have all that much use for a single funding year of data.

But the FCC made it clear that they intend to expand the availability of data, so this could be the start of something great.

No comments:

Post a Comment