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So When are the Comments Actually Due?

An interesting, to me at least, public notice appeared on the endlessly cluttered FCC website today. At first glance its gist is quite simple:

On May 20, 2010, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released a Public Notice (Notice) seeking to gather information on the feasibility of instituting usage alerts and cut-off mechanisms similar to those required under the European Union (EU) regulations that would provide wireless voice, text, and data consumers in the United States a way to monitor, on a real-time basis, their usage of a wireless communications service, as well as the various charges they may incur in connection with such usage (e.g., roaming services, voice service “minute plans,” text message plans). Specifically, the Commission sought comment on whether technological or other differences exist that would prevent wireless providers in this country from employing similar usage controls as those now required by the EU.

The Notice was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2010. Therefore, comments are due on July 6, 2010, and reply comments are due on July 19, 2010. Comments should be filed consistent with the instructions provided in the Notice.

Great! But what about the other umpteen ongoing FCC proceedings? How do we find out their comment dates? The bureaucratic response is to keep searching the Federal Register for the docket number and the due date which relative to the FR publication date- maybe a week after FCC release of the document, maybe a month later. Another way is the regulations.gov website which isn’t mentioned on the FCC homepage. It has many, perhaps all, the comment dates of pending FCC proceedings.
However, it does not appear to give reply comment dates directly since reply comments are not required by law and some agencies don’t use them. However, this site does give you access to the Federal Register notice of the docket where you can look for the dates.

At one time OET tried to keep track of the comment dates of its dockets in order to ease the task of the public. But this web page is now way out of date and other parts of FCC never even tried to help the public with this task until FCC/CGAB issued this PN.

So rather than increase the clutter on the FCC homepage with special PNs on topics of special political interest, why not have a general solution to this problem, possibly like a generalization of the OET attempt?
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