What the Government Shutdown Means for the Low Power FM Filing Window
Concerning the Government Shutdown and the LPFM Filing Window
October 1, 2013
On Tuesday, October 1st, due to our elected officials' inability to pass a government funding bill, the federal government entered a partial shutdown, halting all "nonessential" functions and services. Among those agencies affected is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the regulator for all things radio. Until Congress passes and the President signs a funding bill, all "FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease."
As of today, that means all but a few dozen FCC employees have been sent home and the FCC's online systems have been taken down. This includes the FCC's Consolidated Database System (CDBS), which hosts the LPFM online form through which all LPFM applicants must apply. The shutdown has also temporarily limited certain functions of Prometheus's in-house LPFM technical support software, RFree. However, we expect RFree to be back at 100 percent within a few days.
The FCC has not stated officially whether they expect the LPFM filing window to continue as planned - opening on October 15th and closing on October 29th. While it is uncertain whether the window can move forward during a government shutdown, we at Prometheus will assume no changes to the window unless the FCC officially says otherwise. All our operations will continue as planned. Our team will continue to support applicants with the intention of submitting final LPFM applications to the FCC no later than October 29th.
Meanwhile, we will press the FCC leadership to make fair accommodations to those applicants who may require additional time due to the effects of the shutdown. (We are confident they will oblige). As the situation in Washington evolves, we will keep you informed and prepared so that you all have the opportunity to submit successful LPFM applications without additional stress or uncertainty.