huge archive of telephone company rates and Lotus .wk3 and .wk4 format

U.S. telephone companies publicly file tariff data at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). I've compiled an archive of these filings for all the larger U.S. local telephone companies and many others. A major limit on broad public review of these public data is that all the data are in Lotus 1-2-3 .wk3 and .wk4 format. Gnumeric and other widely used spreadsheets can't read this type of Lotus file. The Gnumeric project has called for help in writing import filters. Perhaps most programmers don't find writing import filters to be exciting work. But making some important, public telephone company data more publicly accessible is exciting work. It would also be an important contribution to supporting the existence of communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.

The telephone company archive consists of about 5000 Lotus 1-2-3 .wk3 and .wk4 files. For more description and links to the archive, see

Some useful tasks:

1. Convert all 5000 Lotus .wk3 and .wk4 spreadsheets to an open spreadsheet format that gnumeric and other free spreadsheets could read. The Lotus spreadsheets include macros and formulas. But conversion of just the data, without any other conversion effort, would be a major contribution.

2. Combine the TRP spreadsheets and the rate-detail spreadsheets into two separate, non-proprietary-format datasets of records indexed by company name and filing date. The TRPs have a standard format that would make doing this relatively easy. Records for the rate-detail spreadsheets could just use file name and file date, with rows of spreadsheets being records and columns defining fields (a more semantically sensitive organization of fields would be even better).

Summary of the problem: the general public can't easily read telephone company data in Lotus 1-2-3 .wk3 and .wk4. With some help from public-spirited programmers, the public can get much better access to these public data. That means more knowledge to organize efforts to secure adequate communications services at reasonable rates.

Douglas Galbi
purplemotes purplemotes net

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