Mark your calendars! July 17 is the date,10:00 a.m. ET is the time! That’s when All Will Be Revealed about the cloud-based online system by which the FCC plans to maintain the public files of several thousand TV stations. Well, maybe it won’t be revealing everything – but the Commission will be conducting a “public demonstration” of that system.

According to a public notice released by the Commission late on July 6 (a Friday afternoon in the middle of summer, for what that’s worth), “[t]he demonstration will inform broadcasters and others of the design and content of the online file, how stations will upload information to the file, how file sharing tools like Dropbox and Box can be used for uploading, and other ways in which the FCC is working to facilitate access to its public databases.”

Also according to the FCC’s notice, “[t]he demonstration is part of the commitment made by the Commission to test the online public file . . .” Hold on there. “Test the online public file”? It’s not clear how a one-time dog-and-pony show constitutes a “test” in any meaningful sense. That’s especially so where, as here, the FCC’s filing system will have to be ready to handle a very substantial level of data upload as soon as it opens for business, i.e., barely more than two weeks after the “test”. (As we have previously reported, August 2, 2012 is currently the magic date.)

But, apparently, the FCC views this as a test of the system – and, given the scant time between July 17 and the currently anticipated start date, it may be the only test.  So we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.

You can attend the show live and in person, at the FCC’s Headquarters, or you can watch it on the Internet at