Government Shutdown Survival Guide

01/20/2019 11:45AM EST - Correcting the report on 1/3, the Publc Inspection File system eventually went away.  With the exception of station logos appearing on FCCdata, REC systems have not been directly impacted by the shutdown. Since the Public File system is not operating, it is not possible to upload your quarterlys.  You would probably want to upload your quarterlys at the soonest available moment after the FCC restores operations.​

01/03/2019 12:30 PM EST - As of this moment, two critical FCC systems to REC's system operations, the height above average terrain (HAAT) calculator and the Public Inspection File system as well as the US Census Bureau demographics API remain up and available.  This means that all REC systems with the exception of fcc.today will continue to function during the shutdown.  We note that this could change at any time.

01/02/2019 4:45 PM EST - FCC plans to keep CDBS, LMS, ULS, ECFS, EDOCS, CORES and DIRS operational during the lapse however no support will be available.  The Antenna Structure Registration System, Expermental Licensing System and IBFS (used for shortwave broadcasters and 325 authorizations) will be unavailable.  There is currently no information about the Public Inspection File system, TOWAIR and the HAAT calculator.  NOAA's NADCON system is currently down.  Filing deadlines during the lapse have been extended to the end of the business day after the day that the FCC resumes (for example: if the FCC opens on Monday, the deadline is Tuesday).  Information about REC's impacted services will be on our shutdown page https://recnet.com/shutdown.  

During the government shutdown, the FCC and all other federal agencies have stopped activities that do not involve the immediate protection of life and property.  This means that all routine activities at the FCC are on hold.  Unfortunately, this also includes the web services that do not require regular maintenance.   This page will include resources at REC and throughout the internet where one may go to find information that would normally be available through the FCC and other government agencies.

System Availability

2018: The FCC has announced that CDBS, LMS and ULS will remain available to access.  This means that you will still be able to access CDBS to start and even file your form.  It is our understanding that a form that is filed during the shutdown will be considered as filed on the day of resumption.  It is not known yet how the FCC will handle two minor change applications received the shutdown that are mutually exclusive.  It's also important to realize that any forms filed during the shutdown will likely not appear in CDBS until the day of or after resumption of operations. 

Deadlines and filing windows

Filing deadline date calculations are addressed in §1.4 of the rules.  Specifically, the rules state that a holiday is considered any Saturday, Sunday or federally recognized holiday. In addition, holidays are also considered any day that the FCC is closed due to inclement weather or other conditions and does not re-open prior to 5:30PM on that day.  

In the event of a government shutdown, expect your due dates for filing to be the end-of-day of the day that the Commission reopens.  We do note that the individual FCC bureaus may extend those deadlines to meet the specific needs of their bureaus.  Licensees and permittees should be mindful of those public notices.  REC will attempt to make note of such extensions through our various channels including social media.  REC can't stress any further that any filings that can be done without the need to reference shut-down systems should be ready to go on the day the government reopens.  For form filings (including licenses to cover construction permits), you must wait until the government reopens before the filing systems are accessible again.  Until then, make sure you have your TPOs and other parameters properly calculated and all exhibits prepared so the filing process will be go through fast.  Of course, you can use REC for your filings and let us deal with that. 

2018: The FCC has already announced that the filing deadlines will be extended to the second full business day after the FCC reopens.  For example, if the FCC fully reopens at 8AM on Monday, then filings are due by 6PM on Tuesday.  

Full-service station quarterly issue reports:  Since the Public File system is not operating, it is not possible to upload your quarterlys.  You would probably want to upload your quarterlys at the soonest available moment after the FCC restores operations.

Emergency STAs

2018: If a broadcast station needs an emergency special temporary authority (STA) that involves life and property, the emergency number for the FCC is (202)418-1122 or you can contact REC for assistance.

Enforcement

2018: While there have been a lot of comments made throughout social media, most of them hopefully jokingly, stating that because of the shutdown, there will be an increase in out of compliance operations, we do note that the FCC plans to keep 13 employees on staff to protect life and property including staffing the High Frequency Direction Finding Center.  An additional 4 employees will be retained to provide oversight or conduct interference detection, mitigation and disaster response operations wherever they are needed.  Specific employees may be recalled from furlough if the need requires.  

During a shutdown, all rules and statutes still apply.  It's not a time when you can cuss on the air, carry commercials (if you are non-commercial), pirate or run excessive power (all of which have been discussed in social media). Because of broadcasting's Emergency Alert System requirements, any interference to broadcast stations could be viewed as a safety of life situation.  Remember, Charlie may be closed but Charlie is still watching.

Updates

01/20/2019 11:45AM EST - Correcting the report on 1/3, the Publc Inspection File system eventually went away.  With the exception of station logos appearing on FCCdata, REC systems have not been directly impacted by the shutdown. Since the Public File system is not operating, it is not possible to upload your quarterlys.  You would probably want to upload your quarterlys at the soonest available moment after the FCC restores operations.

01/03/2019 12:30 PM EST - As of this moment, two critical FCC systems to REC's system operations, the height above average terrain (HAAT) calculator and the Public Inspection File system as well as the US Census Bureau demographics API remain up and available.  This means that all REC systems with the exception of fcc.today will continue to function during the shutdown.  We note that this could change at any time.

01/02/2019 4:45 PM EST - FCC plans to keep CDBS, LMS, ULS, ECFS, EDOCS, CORES and DIRS operational during the lapse however no support will be available.  The Antenna Structure Registration System, Expermental Licensing System and IBFS (used for shortwave broadcasters and 325 authorizations) will be unavailable.  There is currently no information about the Public Inspection File system, TOWAIR and the HAAT calculator.  NOAA's NADCON system is currently down.  Filing deadlines during the lapse have been extended to the end of the business day after the day that the FCC resumes (for example: if the FCC opens on Monday, the deadline is Tuesday).  Information about REC's impacted services will be on our shutdown page https://recnet.com/shutdown.  

01/02/2019 12:00 PM EST - FCC announces that they will be "business as usual" until January 2, 2019.  FCC employees will report for work on January 3, 2019 for a half day.  Due to this issue, compunded by the lack of CDBS raw data since 12/27, REC has also extended our internal "CDBSBOT" program to include FM and AM applications and actions from 12/29, 12/31 and 1/2 that are not otherwise relfected in the systems as a result of the lack of the raw data.  FM records will have limited engineering records and those are reflected in FCCdata.org/denpahoso.com with a disclaimer that the record is based on scraped data.  REC has stopped all daily updates of systems to assure the integrity of the remaining data.  We are still awaiting an official notification from the FCC related to systems availability during the shutdown.

12/22/2018 04:00 AM EST - FCC announces that they will be "business as usual" until January 2, 2019.  This can happen if there's still some funding from the previous year to continue operations.  FCC will still remain closed on December 24, 2018 by executive order that affects all federal offices and employees.  Expect next business day on December 26.

12/21/2018 9:53pm EST - A government shutdown is eminent. The FCC has already announced that during a shutdown, they will not process license applications and a limited staff including some IT staff and contractors will remain in service.  It is unknown whether FCC public-facing computer systems will be taken off-line like they were in 2013.  In the event of a systems shutdown, the system status information below will likely apply.  Based on the FCC's release, it may be possible that functions may not close down until Monday (or possibly even Wednesday in light of the executive order declaring December 24 a holiday for federal employees).  Please stay tuned but expect systems to malfunction at any time.

12/20/2018 6:45 PM EST: Due to a dispute between the President and Congress over funding, a partial government shutdown is possible effective on Saturday 12/22. 

FCC Documents

(Hosted at REC)

12/27/2018 - Plan for Orderly Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations

12/31/2018 - FCC to suspend most operations mid-day Thursday in the event of a continued partial lapse in Federal Government funding

01/02/2019 - Impact of potential lapse in funding on Commission operations

Impacts of the Government Shutdown on REC tools

REC tool Operational status in the event of a shutdown Remarks
myLPFM 2.0 (LPFM Channel Search) Likely operational

MyLPFM uses real-time interactive functionality from the FCC for HAAT calculations and from the US Census Bureau for demographic information.  As the HAAT functionality is critical to myLPFM giving proper HAAT and ERPs for proposed LPFM sites, myLPFM will be non-operational during the government shutdown.  Those who plan to use REC's paid services may continue to contact REC directly to check on channel availability at particular sites in anticipation of a move after the shutdown and the filing freeze.

2018: While we know that the FCC's content management system front end will remain available during shutdown, we are not sure about the specific "transition" server will remain available.  If this tool becomes unavilable, myLPFM would not be able to compute height above average terrain or draw contour maps.  Maximum ERP available for a site could not be computed.  As of 1/2/2019, the U.S. Census Bureau's API remains operational.  As a result, we should still be able to provide population and demographic data for a specific location.

FCC.today Non-operational FCC.today uses real-time data from the FCC's systems based on the current and previous day's business.  As the Commission will be closed and business will not be conducted, there will be no information to display on this site.
LPFM Voluntary Public File Operational This tool does not have any real-time interaction with the FCC and it is expected to be up.  Files can be uploaded and data elements can be updated during the shutdown. 
FCCdata.org
denpahoso.com
Likely operational

FCCdata.org uses interactive functionality fromo the FCC for HAAT calculations in order render contour maps.  This includes coverage outside of the United States.  During the shutdown, maps may either be slow to render, missing contours or not appear at all.  The content not dependent on FCC real-time data (including saved FM and AM contours for domestic stations) will continue to be displayed. Logos for broadcast stations will not be displayed.

2018: While we know that the FCC's content management system front end will remain available during shutdown, we are not sure about the specific "transition" server will remain available.  If this tool becomes unavilable, FCCdata and denpahoso would not be able to draw contour maps including on listings outside of the USA.  The FCC notice did not address the Public Inspection File system therefore we are not aware yet whether broadcast station logos will be displayed during the shutdown.

REC EZforms Operational REC EZforms will still be available for Form 319 filings.  We do note that any forms received through EZforms will not be able to be filed until after the conclusion of the government shutdown.
Curves Operational The Curves page is a Javascript that is not dependent on any data from the FCC and will serve as an authoriative replacement fo the FCC's Propagation Curves website during the shutdown.
Runway Slope Operational

Runway Slope can serve as a non-authorative replacement for the FCC's TOWAIR tool during the shutdown.  REC recommends re-verifying construction proposals in the FCC TOWAIR tool before proceeding.

2018: While the FCC did not specifically address TOWAIR, it is a part of the ULS infrastructure which is scheduled to remain in operation during the shutdown.  REC Runway Slope operates completely independent of TOWAIR.

Tower Finder Operational REC's tower finder will continue to use its last update of Antenna Structure Registrations.
PREMIS Likely operational

All information except height above average terrain data should be available in the event of a shutdown.

2018: While we know that the FCC's content management system front end will remain available during shutdown, we are not sure about the specific "transition" server will remain available.  If this tool becomes unavilable, PREMIS would not be able to compute height above average terrain.

NADCON Operational

Replacement for the NOAA site for getting conversions between NAD27 & NAD83.

2018: NOAA has suspended their NADCON site.  Therefore, you may use REC NADCON.  We note that REC NADCON is accurate to the tenth of a second which satisfies FCC requirements.

FM Model Operational Tool used to calculate power density to determine compliance with the National Environmental Proection Act (NEPA).

Forms

FCC Form 318 - While forms must be filed electronically with the FCC, here is the paper version of Form 318 which is used for new LPFM construction permits and changes to existing stations.  This document also gives the instructions on how to fill out the form so when the electronic filing system comes back online, you will be ready to start  your application.

Databases

For those who use the raw database files from the FCC who need them but can't get them because of the FCC website outage, here are recent versions automatically downloaded by REC as a part of our update process.  (NOTE: These files are only updated here for each shutdown episode.  These files are not regularly updated.)

Broadcast (CDBS) Data - From close of business, December 31, 2018.

FM Service Contour Data - From close of business, December 31, 2018.

Television Broadcast (LMS) Data - From close of business, December 31, 2018.

Antenna Structure Registrations - From ULS, December 30, 2018.

Ship Registrations - From ULS, December 30, 2018.

Coast Station Licenses - From ULS, December 30, 2018.

Private Land Mobile Licenses (including TIS) - From ULS, December 30, 2018.

Broadcast Auxiliary Licenses (RPU) - From ULS, December 30, 2018.

Microwave Licenses (including broadcast STL/ENG) - From ULS,  December 30, 2018.