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FCC Gets Back to Business After Government Shutdown Ends

Doug Lung

Parts of the FCC website started appearing Wednesday night soon after a deal was reached to end the U.S. government shutdown. By early Thursday morning the home page had reappeared with several notices.

One of these notices announced a suspension of filing deadline, stating: “As a result of the recent shutdown of Commission services, including access to electronic dockets on the Commission’s website, due to a government-wide lapse in appropriations, we [had suspended] all Commission filing deadlines that occurred during the shutdown or that will occur on or before October 21, other than Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) filing deadlines, until further notice. The Commission will soon issue further guidance on revised filing deadlines.”

The Commission recommended that individuals refrain from submitting filings seeking additional filing relief until after further FCC guidance is issued.

Another notice on the site signaled the return of FCC employees, stating: “Employees are expected to return for work on the next regularly scheduled work day [Thurs., Oct. 17]. A liberal leave policy is in effect. You may take unscheduled leave or telework. Employees who telework may use an unscheduled telework day. Please notify your supervisor.”

A quick look showed that ULS (universal licensing system) was up and working, both for database access and electronic filing. It appears that the FCC did not delete saved applications in the ULS that had passed the 30 day limit during the shutdown. (I found some of mine last saved on Sept. 13 were still available. Thanks!)

Other agencies weren't moving out as fast as the FCC. NIST's site was still down as of 11 a.m. EDT Thursday.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.