As we mentioned in “The Regulatory Mix” earlier today, we have provided details and answered questions that our telecom regulatory consultants are being asked regarding the impact of the government shut down and the FCC. The FCC said that while it will not be open for normal operations during any government-wide shutdown, its Operations Center it may be contacted in the case of an emergency affecting the safety of life or the protection of property at 202-418-1122.
Can I Still Make Electronic Filings With The FCC?
The FCC said that its filing window, mail room, and all electronic filing systems other than the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) will be unavailable until normal government operations resume.
- Any materials, with the exception of NORS filings, that otherwise would be required to be filed with the FCC (at its headquarters, Gettysburg, PA or U.S. Bank) during the suspension of operations or on the day of return to normal operations, will be due on the business day following the day of return to normal operations. (Thus, for example, if a lapse in funding ended on a Monday, the Commission would return to normal operations on Tuesday morning, and filings would be due on Wednesday.)
- During the period that the FCC’s electronic filing systems are unavailable, electronic filing requirements cannot be satisfied by attempting manual filing, with or without a request for waiver of filing requirements. In addition, the FCC expects that materials sent to the Commission by private delivery services may be returned to the sender.
What About Filings With Fund Administrators?
The Public Notice only affects the due dates for filings with the FCC during the shutdown or on the day the government reopens. It does not affect the effective dates of FCC actions or other events, or dates for filings with entities other than the FCC, even if such filings are also made with the FCC. Thus:
- Fund administrator (Universal Service, Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), North American Numbering Plan) filings are not affected and must still be timely made.
- Filings with entities other than the FCC (such as state commissions, U.S. Territorial or Tribal Governments) are not affected and must still be timely made.
- If such filings are also required to be filed with the FCC, they should be filed with the FCC pursuant to the deadlines discussed above.
What Happens To Pending 214 Applications And Transactions Under Review?
The FCC said that:
- Four pending domestic section 214 transfer of control applications are removed from streamlined processing and Applicants are not permitted to transfer control of the domestic lines or authorization to operate on the 31st day after the date of the public notice. Comments and reply comments addressing them that were due to be filed during any period of limited operations will be due instead on the next business day after the Commission re-opens.
- Three pending 214 discontinuance applications will not be automatically granted and comments addressing them that were due to be filed during any period of limited operations will be due instead on the next business day after the FCC re-opens.
- Its informal 180-day time clock for review of transactions will be stopped as of September 30, 2013. The informal time clocks will be restarted on the business day following the day of return to normal operations. Thus, for example, if a lapse in funding ended on a Monday, the FCC would return to normal operations on Tuesday morning, and the time clocks would be restarted on Wednesday.
What Happens to Tribal Mobility Fund Auction Applications?
The window for filing short-form applications to participate in the Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I auction, Auction 902, was suspended. The FCC said that applicants will not have access to the FCC Auction System until further notice. It will announce changes, if any, to the previously scheduled filing deadline of 6:00 PM Eastern Time on October 9, 2013, and to other previously scheduled procedures related to Auction 902 by public notice soon after resumption of regular FCC operations.
All the public notices can be accessed on the FCC’s home page: http://www.fcc.gov/