The FCC issued further guidance on FCC filing deadlines for regulatory submissions that were due during the 16 day Federal shutdown. The FCC has essentially given most applicants and filers a 16 day extension of time to file anything that was due during the shutdown. They note, however, that there are certain deadlines that they cannot arbitrarily waive – like the deadline for filing Petitions for Reconsideration of FCC actions, which are set by statute at 30 days. To address the unfairness of having to file a Petition for Reconsideration when much material may not have been available, and as there have been glitches with the FCC’s online systems even since the reopening yesterday, the FCC says that they will not consider themselves fully open in their main office in Washington until Tuesday, October 22 at which point any reconsideration filings with deadlines that occurred during the shutdown will be due. Similarly, filings due in the period October 1-6 will also be due on Tuesday, with applications and other filings due October 7 through October 16 will add 16 days to their original due date to determine when they will file.
However, certain other deadlines may be treated differently. The FCC’s public notice contained a number of special filing deadlines for big rulemaking proceedings, and promise that each Bureau would follow up with their own public notice to address special deadlines for the licensees that they regulate. For broadcasters, that means that we should be looking for a public notice addressing the LPFM window, Biennial Ownership Reports and other broadcast filings in the near future. Keep your eyes open!