FCC TEC teaches gadgets to agency employees

Ronny Kerr · October 26, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/130f

FCC launches Technology Experience Center to teach government workers about technology products


Do you ever feel like the people governing the technological landscape hardly have a grasp of the very technologies they’re paid to govern? The FCC seems to agree.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched Tuesday afternoon the FCC Technology Experience Center (FCC TEC), a tech playground for the U.S. agency’s employees to hone their understanding of new products emerging from Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech world. The new center will be located at the FCC's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

It’s an understandable undertaking. Any entrepreneur, investor or reporter--and we love this stuff!--would admit in a second that it’s a full-time job and a half staying on top of the latest products to emerge from the tech sphere. Movement of just the giants (think Facebook, Google) is hard enough to track comprehensively, not to mention the thousands of startups blooming with creative and groundbreaking ideas every week.

“Today’s world of technology is always changing, and we are establishing the Technology Experience Center to allow FCC employees to keep pace with this change,” said Steven VanRoekel, the FCC’s Managing Director. “The goal of FCC TEC is to promote better employee understanding of the current state of technology in the industries in which the Commission oversees.”

FCC TEC so far seems focused on tech gadgets, whether for personal or business use. We contacted the FCC to ask whether Web-based services (not just gadgets) would also be accessible from the center. (While it doesn’t cost any money to create something like a Twitter account, it might be beneficial to have a team-shared account for experimenting and testing out features.)

The FCC’s Managing Director Steven VanRoekel says FCC TEC will rely on donations from manufacturers and vendors to create “an environment designed for interaction, collaboration, and learning.

“As an avowed gadget geek myself,” VanRoekel continued, “I’m particularly excited about expanding the relationship between the FCC and our industry partners, and growing FCC TEC.”

Here’s to hoping they don’t get too cozy. The FCC promises that donations don’t earn manufacturers or vendors any “expected benefit” or “endorsement” from the U.S. government agency, but they’ll be walking a thin line. As long as donated products remain fixtures at the tech center and don’t somehow fall into the hands of lucky government employees, we have little to worry about.

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