Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released a Public Notice providing guidance on filing deadlines impacted by the recent government shutdown.  During the shutdown, many of the Commission’s regular services, including access to electronic dockets and electronic filing systems on the Commission’s website, were not available due to a government-wide lapse in appropriations.  The FCC announced the following procedures regarding filing deadlines:

  • Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) filing deadlines remain unchanged.
  • Filings (with the exception of NORS filings and certain other specified filings) originally due between October 1, 2013 and October 6, 2013 will be due on October 22, 2013.
  • Filings (with the exception of NORS filings and certain other filings) originally due between October 7, 2013 and October 16, 2013 will be due 16 days after the original filing date.  To the extent these revised due dates fall on a weekend or other Commission holiday, they will be due on the next business day.
  • Any regulatory and enforcement filings that would otherwise be due between October 17, 2013 and November 4, 2013 (with the exception of NORS filings and other specified filings) will be due on November 4, 2013.

In addition, as described in the Public Notice, the FCC set revised filing deadlines (different than those above) in certain specifically identified proceedings and classes of proceedings.

The FCC also indicated that Bureaus and Offices may, by further Public Notice, set additional filing deadlines different than those specified in the Public Notice for filings in specific proceedings or classes of proceedings.  The Commission noted that it cannot waive statutory filing deadlines, such as those associated with petitions for reconsideration.  However, it stated that it would not consider the Commission open for filing of documents with statutory deadlines until October 22, 2013.

The Commission clarified that, to the extent the due dates for filings to which a reply or responsive pleadings are allowed are extended by the Public Notice, the due dates for the reply or responsive pleadings are extended by the same number of days.  For example, if comments were originally due on October 30, 2013 and reply comments due 10 days later, comments would be due on November 4, 2013 and replies due November 14, 2013.

Finally, all grants of Special Temporary Authority expiring between October 1, 2013 and October 22, 2013 are extended until November 4, 2013.