FCC Announces Shut-down Plans
The FCC announced that it will suspend most operations in the middle of the day today (Thursday, January 3, 2019) if the partial lapse in government funding continues. During the shut-down content on the FCC’s website will remain available but will not be updated (except for matters related to spectrum auctions and as necessary for the protection of life and property). The FCC’s filing window and mail operations will also be closed except to receive filings related to spectrum auction activities. Many filing deadlines will also be extended, as described below.
FCC electronic systems:
The following FCC electronic systems will remain available:
- the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS),
- the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS),
- the Daily Digest,
- the Commission Online Registration System (CORES)
- the Public Safety Support Center (PSSC),
- the Licensing Management System (LMS),
- the Consolidated Database System (CDBS),
- the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS),
- the Universal Licensing System (ULS),
- the Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS),
- the Auctions Public Reporting System (PRS),
- the Auction Application System, and
- the Auction Bidding System.
All other FCC electronic filing and database systems will be unavailable to the public until normal agency operations resume. This includes the Electronic Tariff Filing System (ETFS), the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS/MyIBFS), the FCC Form 477 Online Filing System, the 911 Reliability Certification System, and the Consumer Complaint Data Center.
Extension of Filing Deadlines: The FCC is extending the normal filing deadlines under its rules so that all submissions that would be due during a suspension of operations, including submissions otherwise due on January 3, will be due on the second day of normal operations. (Thus, for example, if a lapse in funding ended on a Monday, the FCC would return to normal operations on Tuesday morning). To accommodate the orderly resumption of business, submissions due either during the suspension of operations (including January 3), or on the Tuesday when operations resumed, would instead be due on Wednesday. Also, January 3, 2019, will not be considered a day that the FCC is open for business for the purpose of calculating submission deadlines. This extension of filing deadlines does not apply to NORS and DIRS filings and filings related to spectrum auction activities.
At this time, the FCC is NOT extending the deadlines for any comment of filing periods that occur outside of the time period of January 3, 2019 until the FCC reopens. Once normal operations resume it will consider whether to grant any such extensions.
The FCC emphasized that this extension also does not affect the effective date of FCC actions or other events, or dates for filings with entities other than the FCC7 even if such filings are also made with the FCC. Thus, any filings with fund administrators (e.g., USAC, TRS, NANPA) or entities other than the FCC (such as state commissions, U.S. Territorial Governments, or Tribal Governments) still must be filed timely with such entity. These programs will continue to operate, and services such as TRS will continue to be provided, during a shutdown. If such filings are also required to be filed with the FCC, they should be filed with the FCC once it reopens.
Responsive Pleadings: To the extent the due dates for filings to which reply or responsive pleadings are allowed are extended by the Public Notice (other than those related to spectrum auction activities), the due dates for reply or responsive pleadings will be extended by the same number of days. Pleadings filed on January 2 will be counted as though the pleading were filed on the date that operations are resumed, to take into account that other parties may not have had access to that pleading until electronic systems become available again.
Other: Any Special Temporary Authority (STA) expiring during the suspension of regular FCC operations are extended to the day after regular FCC operations resume except to the extent that such STA relates to the post-incentive auction transition. The FCC’s Fee Filer System will also not be available. No deadline for payments of any type is being extended except for those that can only be paid through Fee Filer, in which case the applicable due date is extended in the same manner as the due dates for other regulatory filings. Otherwise, payments are to be timely made through use of US Bank.
The FCC’s informal shot clock for review of transactions is also suspended.
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC Announces Shut-down Plans, FCC's Pai on Failure to Pass BIAS Congressional Review Act Resolution, FCC New USAC Board Members
FCC’s Pai on Failure to Pass BIAS Congressional Review Act Resolution
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement on Congress’s failure to pass a Congressional Review Act l resolution invalidating the FCC’s Internet Freedom Order.
“I’m pleased that a strong bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives declined to reinstate heavy-handed Internet regulation. They did the right thing—especially considering the positive results for American consumers since the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. Over the past year, the Internet has remained free and open. Broadband speeds are up, with download speeds in the United States increasing more than 35% in 2018, according to a recent report from Ookla. Internet access is also expanding, and the digital divide is closing. For example, a recent report by the Fiber Broadband Association found that fiber was made available to more new homes in 2018 than in any previous year. In short, the FCC’s light-touch approach is working. In 2019, we’ll continue to pursue our forward-looking agenda to bring digital opportunity to all Americans.”
FCC New USAC Board members
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appointed six members to the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as follows:
- Representative for schools that are eligible for discounts under the E-Rate program: Julie Tritt Schell, State E-rate Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Education;
- Representative for information service providers: Olivia Wein, Senior Attorney, National Consumer Law Center;
- Representative for rural healthcare providers that are eligible to receive supported services under the E-Rate program: Brent Fontana, Technical Business Developer, Amazon Web Services;
- Representative for state telecommunications regulators: Sarah Freeman, Commissioner, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission;
- Representative for incumbent local exchange carriers (non-Bell Operating Companies) with more than $40 million in annual revenues: Kenneth F. Mason, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Frontier Communications; and
- Representative for interexchange carriers with annual operating revenues of more than $3 billion: Alan Buzacott, Executive Director, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon Communications, Inc.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.