On January 2, 2019, the FCC released a Public Notice (“Notice”) detailing the impact of the potential federal government shutdown and announcing that the Commission will suspend most operations in the middle of the day on Thursday, January 3, 2019.
Shutdown procedures and systems availability are as follows:
- Databases and Systems – NORS, Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS), Public Safety Support Center (PSSC), LMS, CDBS, ECFS, ULS, EDOCS, the Auctions Public Reporting System (PRS), the Auction Application System, the Auction Bidding System, the Daily Digest, and CORES will remain available. However, no database support will be provided except as may be necessary for activities related to spectrum auctions. These systems will only be reviewed for information related to auction activities – all other filings will not be reviewed or processed during the shutdown and will be considered accepted on the day following the day of return to normal operations. All other e-filing and database systems, such as IBFS, TCNS, ASR and others not listed above will be unavailable until operations resume. Please see footnote 2 in the Notice for more information.
- Spectrum Auction Activities – FCC staff will continue to perform ongoing work related to spectrum auction activities during the shutdown, including the post-incentive broadcast transition. All spectrum auction filing deadlines will continue to apply. The Notice also provides FCC staff contact information for Incentive Auction reimbursement inquiries as well as Auction 101-related inquiries.
- Extension of Filing Deadlines – The FCC is extending the normal filing deadlines so that all submissions that would be due during the suspension, including submissions otherwise due on January 3, will be due on the second day of normal operations. Further, January 3 will not be considered a day that the FCC is open for business for calculating submission deadlines. This Notice only affects due dates for filings scheduled to occur during the shutdown – it does not extend deadlines for any comment or filing periods that occur outside of this time, but the FCC will consider requests for extension at an appropriate time once operations resume.
- Responsive Pleadings – To the extent the due dates for filings (to which reply or responsive pleadings are allowed) are extended by this Notice, the due dates for the associated reply or responsive pleadings will be extended by the same number of days. Filings submitted during the shutdown period (other than those related to spectrum auction activities authorized by section 309(j)) or on the day normal operations are resumed will be considered accepted by the FCC on the day following the return to normal operations. Therefore, for purposes of calculating deadlines for replies and responsive pleadings to these filings, it will be counted from the day after normal operations are resumed.
- Special Temporary Authority (STAs) – Any STAs expiring during the suspension of operations are extended to the day after regular operations resume except to the extent that such STA relates to the post-incentive auction transaction or other activities authorized under § 309(j). Emergency STA requests will be processed through the FCC Operations Center.
- Fee and Other Payments – The fee filer system will not be available during the shutdown, and no regulatory fee or application payments can be made through Fee Filer during this time. No deadlines for payments of any type are extended, however, except to the extent a payment can only be paid through Fee Filer, in which case the due date is extended in the same manner as due dates for other filings herein. Otherwise, the FCC expects payments to be timely made via US Bank. Auction-related payments will continue to be processed consistent with the auction guidelines.
- Transaction Shot Clocks – The informal 180-day shotclock for review of transactions is suspended as of January 2, 2019. Clocks will resume on the business day following the day of return to normal operations.
- Emergencies – The FCC Operations center will be staffed at all times and may be contacted in case of emergency at (202) 418-1122.
The Appendix to the Notice also details broadcast incentive auction transition activities during the suspension of operations.
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