FCC will suspend most operations on Thursday if the shutdown continues

The Federal Communications Commission said on Monday that it will need to suspend most of its operations by the middle of Thursday if the partial government shutdown continues. The FCC will continue “work required for the protection of life and property,” as well as work related to spectrum auctions, since those are funded by the […]

The Federal Communications Commission said on Monday that it will need to suspend most of its operations by the middle of Thursday if the partial government shutdown continues.

The FCC will continue “work required for the protection of life and property,” as well as work related to spectrum auctions, since those are funded by the money raised by auctioning off spectrum licenses. The Office of the Inspector General, responsible for conducting internal reviews, audits, and investigations of FCC programs and operations, will also remain open until further notice.

In a document outlining what needs to happen for an “orderly shutdown,” the FCC said suspended activities will include: “Consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided.”

The FCC added that it will release more information on Wednesday about what will happen if it needs to suspend operations, including how it will affect electronic filing and database systems, filing deadlines, regulatory and application fee payments, and “shot clocks,” AKA the length of time allocated for approving or denying pending transactions.

The partial government shutdown continued into its 11th day as President Donald Trump refuses to back down on his demands for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, forcing 800,000 federal employees to go without work or work without pay. House Democrats have said they are preparing to introduce bills that will put an end to the shutdown but not include funding for the wall.