FCC Will Keep Repack, 28 GHz Auction Moving During Shutdown

The FCC will continue to work on the post-incentive auction TV station transition during the government shutdown.

The FCC has spelled out in greater detail just what will have to be shuttered or scaled back Thursday (Jan. 3) if the partial government shutdown, currently in day 12, continues. That is when the FCC's money runs out for all but public safety and auction functions, for which there is still funding.

In a public notice on the "potential lapse in funding," the FCC said it will continue to work on the repack as well as the current 28 GHz spectrum auction, including live links on the web site, though other web site content will not be updated.

The FCC will extend filing deadlines—except for filings related to auctions—that come due during the shutdown to the second day it has resumed normal operations, with the FCC's partial day Jan. 3 not counting as a business day.

The FCC isn't yet extending any of the deadlines that fall outside the shutdown, but reserves the right to do so once it resumes those normal operations. It will still consider waivers, but under normal practice—rather than some blanket shutdown dispensation, for example.

The commission will extend comment deadlines for those filings, except auction-related, by the same number of days, and will extend special temporary authority deadlines to the same "second day of normal operations."

Any fees due—civil monetary penalties, miscellaneous debts, and installment payments—will still be due unless they can only be submitted via the FCC's Fee Filer System, which will not be available during the shutdown. Otherwise licensees should use US Bank.

The FCC's shot clock on current merger reviews—T-Mobile/Sprint, for example—will be suspended for the duration of the shutdown starting Tuesday (Jan. 2).

The FCC will continue to accept discrimination complaints during the shutdown, but will not be able to investigate them.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.