The holidays are still a few weeks off, and the FCC just can’t wait.

The FCC is opening a new “Technology Experience Center.” Its purpose? To give “FCC employees and invited guests hands-on experience with the latest communications devices and solutions.”

Let us explain what this is really about.

Part of our job here at FH&H is persuading the FCC to adjust its technical rules, when needed, to accommodate new technologies. This can be a slow and difficult process.   We find it helps, when visiting the FCC, to put on the table a specimen of the gadgetry at issue, preferably smooth and shiny with blinking lights. The FCC engineers inevitably play with the item, push the buttons, and pry off the cover to see the insides. (Interestingly, most lawyers refuse all hands-on contact.) Once the staff gets a close-up, first-hand look at the technology, the rule changes seem to come more easily.

Apparently, though, people like us are not bringing in new gadgets often enough. So the FCC is asking for more.  Sure, they dress up the request by calling it a “Technology Experience Center”, whatever that is. But we think the real purpose is plain: more toys. Manufacturers and vendors who want to donate devices now have a phone number to call. Of course, the FCC tells contributors not to expect any benefit, and warns that acceptance of a gadget does not constitute endorsement. But even so, we think UPS is going to see a lot more boxes than usual headed for the Portals. We picture a big playroom with lots of shelves filled with blinking lights.

For us, the goal will be, somehow, to get on the list of “invited guests.”