January 06, 2019

IMPACT OF POTENTIAL LAPSE IN FUNDING ON COMMISSION OPERATIONS

IMPACT OF POTENTIAL LAPSE IN FUNDING ON COMMISSION OPERATIONS

DA 19-10
Released: January 2, 2019
IMPACT OF POTENTIAL LAPSE IN FUNDING ON COMMISSION OPERATIONS
In the event of a continued partial lapse in federal government funding, the Commission will
suspend most operations in the middle of the day on Thursday, January 3, 2019.
During a lapse in funding, the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS), the Disaster
Information Reporting System (DIRS), 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, the Auction Bidding System, the Daily Digest, and the
Commission Online Registration System (CORES) will remain available.1
 All other
Commission electronic filing and database systems will be unavailable to the public until normal
agency operations resume.2

In addition, the Commission’s filing window and mail operations will be open only for the
purpose of receiving filings related to the spectrum auction activities authorized by section 309(j)
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 309(j), including the broadcast
incentive auction,3
 and filings necessary for the protection of life and property. Content on the
1
 While ECFS, ULS, LMS, CDBS, and the Auction Application System will be available to the public, no support
will be provided except as may be necessary for activities related to spectrum auctions authorized by 47 U.S.C. §
309(j), including the broadcast incentive auction. These systems will only be reviewed for information related to
spectrum auction activities authorized by section 309(j), including the broadcast incentive auction; all other filings
will not be reviewed or processed and will be considered accepted on the day following the day of return to normal
operations. The Daily Digest will continue to be published to notify the public of releases related to spectrum
auction activities authorized by section 309(j), including the broadcast incentive auction.
2
 The systems unavailable include, among others, the Consumer Complaint Center (including the main FCC Call
Center and the American Sign Language Consumer Support Video Line), the Consumer Complaint Data Center, the
Equipment Authorization System, the Electronic Tariff Filing System (ETFS), the Cellular Telephone Interference
Reporting System (CTIX), the Experimental Licensing System (ELS), the International Bureau Filing System
(IBFS/MyIBFS), the Section 43.62 Online Filing System, the FCC Form 477 Online Filing System, the Study Area
Boundary Data Collection System, the Study Area Boundary Data Recertification System, the Tower Construction
Notification System (TCNS), the Antenna Structure Registration System (ASR), the Electronic Section-106 System
(E-106), Fee Filer, the Part 90 Class B Signal Booster Registration System, the Urban Rates Survey Data Collection
Site, the Emergency Alert System Test Reporting System, and the 911 Reliability Certification System. This
unavailability of systems will impact the work of any entities requiring access to such systems and information. For
example, Telecommunications Certification Bodies will not be able to upload applications for equipment
authorization or issue grants of certification without access to the Equipment Authorization System.
3 See Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96, §§ 6402, 6403, 125 Stat. 156
(2012) (Spectrum Act), codified at 47 U.S.C. §§ 309(j)(8)(G), 1452. 
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Commission’s website will remain accessible to the public, but will not be updated during the
suspension of operations except as to matters related to spectrum auction activities authorized by
section 309(j) and matters necessary for the protection of life and property.
Spectrum Auction Activities Authorized by Section 309(j). During a suspension of Commission
operations because of a lapse in funding, Commission staff will continue to perform ongoing
work related to spectrum auction activities authorized by section 309(j) of the Communications
Act, 47 U.S.C. § 309(j), including the post-incentive auction broadcast transition. All spectrum
auction filing deadlines will continue to apply. Commission staff will be available to answer
spectrum auction questions and may communicate with relevant parties regarding spectrum
auction activities and requirements. Commission staff will not be available to perform work
other than the excepted activities described in this Public Notice and will not process any other
materials delivered by U.S. mail to Commission facilities or any other materials received by the
Commission electronically.4
 The Commission’s website will have active links to the electronic
systems listed above as needed. The Appendix describes ongoing work by Commission staff
related to the post-incentive auction transition that will continue during a suspension of regular
Commission operations.
During a suspension of regular Commission operations because of a lapse in funding, relevant
parties may contact the Commission about the Broadcast Incentive Auction Transition via email
at reimburse@fcc.gov. For phone calls related to reimbursements from the Relocation Fund,
parties should continue to call (202) 418-2009. For all other questions related to the Broadcast
Incentive Auction, parties should email IATransitionlicensing@fcc.gov.
For matters related to spectrum auctions, including whether an activity is authorized under
section 309(j) to continue during a suspension of operations, parties should call (202) 418-0660
or send an email to the appropriate auction-specific email address.5
 For qualified bidders in
Auction 101, the Auction Bidder Line and Auction Technical Support Hotline will remain
available.6
 If an activity is determined by Commission staff not to be authorized by section
309(j), staff will not take any further action on that activity during the suspension of regular
Commission operations. As described below, parties should contact the FCC Operations Center
at (202) 418-1122 for emergencies affecting the safety of life or the protection of property.
Extension of Filing Deadlines: We are extending the normal filing deadlines under the
Commission’s rules so that all Commission 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
Commission would return to normal operations on Tuesday morning. To accommodate the
orderly resumption of business, submissions due either during the suspension of operations
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Wednesday. We hereby waive the Commission’s rules to the extent necessary to effectuate this
extension. Further, in order to avoid confusion due to the shutdown of operations in the middle
of the business day, we clarify that January 3, 2019, will not be considered a day that the
Commission 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 authorized by section 309(j), including the broadcast incentive
auction. If the Commission is unable to restore electronic filing systems on the day the
government reopens, the Commission may issue another Public Notice further extending filing
deadlines.
This Public Notice affects only the due dates for filings with the Commission that are scheduled
to occur during any shutdown, including on January 3, or on the day the agency reopens, as
described in the preceding paragraph. We are not automatically extending the deadlines for any
comment or filing periods that occur outside of this time period, but we will consider whether it
is appropriate to do so once normal operations resume, and requests for extension of time will be
considered consistent with the Commission’s normal practice. This Public Notice also does not
affect the effective date of Commission actions or other events, or dates for filings with entities
other than the Commission,7
 even if such filings are also made with the Commission.8
 We stress
that filings related to spectrum auction activities authorized by section 309(j), including the
broadcast incentive auction, can and must be made by or before the previously announced
deadlines.
Responsive Pleadings: To the extent the due dates for filings to which reply or responsive
pleadings are allowed are extended by this Public Notice (other than those related to spectrum
auction activities authorized by section 309(j), including the broadcast incentive auction), the due
dates for reply or responsive pleadings shall be extended by the same number of days. As noted
above, filings (other than those related to spectrum auction activities authorized by section
309(j)) submitted during the shutdown period (including January 3) or on the day normal
operations are resumed will be considered accepted by the Commission on the day following the
return to normal operations.9
 Where due dates for reply or responsive pleadings to such filings
would normally be counted from the date the underlying submission is filed, such due dates will
be counted from the day after normal operations are resumed. 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. Due dates for pleadings in reply or response to filings due or submitted
prior to January 2 are not at this time extended beyond the day after the resumption of normal
operations.
7
 During the period that the E106 system is not in operation, FCC Forms 620 and 621 may be submitted directly to
the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) as provided in the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement (NPA), 47
C.F.R. Part 1, App. B, to the extent the SHPO will accept such filings. The deadlines set forth in the NPA for
responses to the applicant or the SHPO shall be measured from the date of filing with the SHPO.
8
 Any filings with fund administrators (Universal Service, Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), North
American Numbering Plan) or entities other than the Commission (such as state commissions, U.S. Territorial
Governments, or Tribal Governments) still must be filed timely with such entity, even if the Commission has
suspended operations. 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 Commission, they should be filed
with the Commission pursuant to the deadlines established in this Public Notice.
9 See supra notes 1 and 4.
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Special Temporary Authority (STA): Any STAs expiring during the suspension of regular
Commission operations are extended to the day after regular Commission operations resume
except to the extent that such STA relates to the post-incentive auction transition or other
activities authorized by section 309(j) as described herein. Emergency STA requests involving
potential risks to life or property will be processed through the FCC Operations Center ((202)
418-1122) while the Commission’s electronic dockets and other online resources are unavailable.
Fee and Other Payments: The FCC’s Fee Filer System will not be available while operations are
suspended, and therefore no regulatory fee or application fee payments can be made through Fee
Filer during such a period.10 No deadline for payments of any type is being extended by this
Public Notice, however, except to the extent a payment 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 herein. Otherwise, we expect payments to be timely made through the use of
US Bank. Any payments made through US Bank, such as for civil monetary penalties,
miscellaneous debts, and installment payments, will continue to be processed by US Bank and
will be posted to the FCC financial system effective as of the date paid. Auction-related
payments, including down, final, and upfront payments, will continue to be processed consistent
with deadlines and instructions to be announced by public notice.
Transaction Shot Clocks: The Commission’s informal 180-day time clock for review of
transactions is suspended. The individual time clock for each pending transaction is stopped on
the day of review that coincides with the last full business day before the lapse in funding,
January 2, 2019. 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 Commission would return to normal operations on Tuesday morning, and the time clocks
would be restarted on Wednesday.11

Employment Discrimination Filings. In an effort to preserve the rights employees and other
aggrieved individuals may have under Federal employment discrimination statutes, the agency
will receive and record receipt of discrimination complaints. Any such complaint must be
submitted within forty-five (45) days of the alleged discriminatory action; anyone needing to file
during the shutdown to meet this deadline should call (202) 418-1122 for further filing
instructions. Please note that, while the agency will accept discrimination complaints that must
be filed in order to preserve the rights of the aggrieved during a shutdown, discrimination
complaints will not be investigated during the shutdown.
Emergencies: Finally, although the Commission will not be open for normal operations
during a shutdown, it may be contacted in the case of an emergency affecting the safety of
life or the protection of property through the FCC Operations Center at (202) 418-1122,
which will remain staffed at all times.
Pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 1.3, and their respective delegated authorities, this Public Notice is
issued by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs, Enforcement, International, Media, Public
10 Application fees are not required to submit a short-form application to participate in an auction.
11 The Wireline Competition Bureau will release a separate Public Notice removing any necessary domestic section
214 transfer of control applications from streamlined processing, domestic section 214 discontinuance applications
from the auto-grant process, and interconnected VoIP service provider numbering authorization applications from
the auto-grant process during the pendency of the lapse in funding, as well as addressing other section 214 matters
impacted by the lapse. 47 U.S.C. § 214; 47 CFR § 52.15(g)(3).
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Safety and Homeland Security, Wireless Telecommunications, and Wireline Competition
Bureaus and the Offices of Engineering and Technology, Economics and Analytics, General
Counsel, and Managing Director.
-FCC-
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APPENDIX: Broadcast Incentive Auction Activities
As more fully described below, Commission staff will continue to perform ongoing work related
to the post-incentive auction broadcast transition during a suspension of regular Commission
operations and all post-incentive auction filing deadlines will continue to apply. Commission
staff may communicate with relevant parties to seek clarification or additional information or to
answer questions related to repacking during a suspension of regular Commission operations.
Licensing for Broadcasters Being Relocated. Commission staff will continue to process
broadcast applications related to the post-incentive auction transition. Commission staff is
currently processing construction permit applications filed to effectuate the repack as well as
applications for expanded or alternative facilities filed in two specific windows made available to
the stations for this purpose. Staff will continue to process filings for special temporary authority
and license to cover applications related to the post-incentive auction.
Transition Phases Modifications. Commission staff will continue to receive and process
construction permits, extension requests, and requests for waivers and applications to alter
transition phase deadlines. Filings should continue to be made through LMS which will be open
for this purpose.
Transition Schedule Oversight. Commission staff will continue to monitor broadcaster and
multichannel video programing distributor (MVPD) progress during the transition, identify and
resolve transition-related problems and challenges that could endanger the transition schedule,
and review and verify information. The Commission will continue to accept filing of Form 387
status reports related to the post-incentive auction transition. Filings should continue to be made
through LMS which will be open for this purpose.
Displaced Low Power Television (LPTV) and TV Translators. Commission staff will continue to
process applications of operating LPTV and TV translator stations displaced as a result of the
post-incentive auction transition, including filings related to the mutually exclusive applications
that are subject to a settlement period ending at 11:59 pm ET, January 10, 2019. Filings should
continue to be made through LMS which will be open for this purpose.
Commission staff will also continue to complete a rulemaking to implement the reimbursement
process for certain LPTV, TV translator, and FM stations that incur costs as a result of the postincentive auction transition pursuant to Congress’ direction in the Reimbursement Expansion
Act.12
.
Reimbursement of Repacked Broadcasters and MVPDs. Commission staff will continue to
receive, review for reasonableness, process, approve, and as appropriate submit for payment cost
estimates and requests for reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (Relocation
Fund) from eligible TV station and MVPDs involved in the post-incentive auction transition.
The Commission has engaged an independent consulting firm, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), a
contractor with extensive experience in television broadcast engineering services and Federal
fund management (Fund Administrator), to assist the Commission in its efforts to reimburse
12 47 U.S.C. § 1452(j)-(n).
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eligible entities, to allocate the Relocation Fund fairly across all eligible entities, and to be a
prudent steward of taxpayer money in administering the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund. The
Fund Administrator will also continue to receive, review for reasonableness, and process cost
estimates and requests for reimbursement during a suspension of regular Commission operations.
Review New and Revised Banking Information from Broadcasters and MVPDs. Commission
staff will continue to receive, review, and verify Form 1876 “Payment Instructions from the
Eligible Entity Seeking Reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund” and banking
information from eligible entities, i.e. broadcasters and MVPDs that will receive reimbursement
of expenses related to the repack. Broadcast stations and MVPDs may revise their banking
information throughout the transition period.
Eligible entities should submit new or revised Form 1876s to the FCC’s usual mailing address:
Federal Communications Commission
Travel and Operations Group
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
Repacked Broadcaster Consummation Notices. Commission staff will continue to receive and
process consummation notices of ownership changes for broadcast television stations if a party
to the consummation is an eligible entity to facilitate the reimbursement of eligible entities.
Consummation filings should continue to be reported in CDBS which will remain open for this
purpose. No new applications for ownership changes will be accepted during a suspension of
regular Commission operations.
Consumer Educational Support for Post-Incentive Auction Transition. Commission staff will
continue to provide educational support to consumers affected by the post-incentive auction
transition due to the need to rescan over-the-air television sets and similar equipment. The
Commission has engaged an independent public relations firm to assist the Commission in its
efforts to educate consumers. The Commission has also engaged a contractor to provide a
special call center to support consumer rescan activities. These contractors will also continue to
develop and/or provide services to consumers.

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