In September, telecommunications companies, cable systems, broadcast television stations and other companies subject to FCC jurisdiction were required to pay the FCC their annual dues — nearly $340 Million — for the privilege of being regulated. The annual assessment is mandated by Congress to recover the costs of the FCC’s “enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information and international activities.”
On October 1 visitors to the FCC’s website were greeted with the following message:
Federal Communications Commission
We regret the disruption, but during the Federal Government-wide shutdown, the FCC is limited to performing duties that are immediately necessary for the safety of life or the protection of property. FCC online systems will not be available until further notice.
REALLY? Did they have to furlough the mice who keep the website running? The FCC website contains a myriad of public information, including historical FCC orders, its rules, public comments, tariffs, licensing information, 499 contributor information, etc. It is hard to fathom why the public cannot continue to have access to this historical information during the government shut down, even if the FCC is closed for business. The website doesn’t shut down on weekends or holidays — why now?
By the way, if you need an FCC order published before October 1, TMI probably has it, so feel free to give us a call. We are open for business!