FCC lays out contingency plans in case of government shutdown

As Congress works on to avoid a shutdown of the government before a midnight deadline tonight, the FCC has laid out its plan to continue operations in the event lawmakers can't reach a deal on a stopgap spending measure to keep the government open. The FCC will be reduced to a handful of staff members, and the three sitting commissioners, including Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, will still show up, along with three inspectors general, since they are not paid via the annual appropriations process. Further, there will be minimal staff on hand to conduct interference detection and disaster response, manage IT issues and "critical oversight" as well as deal with treaty negotiations and national security functions. However, a lot at the FCC won't get done in the event of a shutdown: "Consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided," the agency said. Article

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