Late today, the FCC released a Public Notice further extending the deadlines for filings that it extended yesterday, which it had already extended by a Public Notice released before the FCC shutdown on January 3 (did you follow that?). Skipping over those intermediate steps, the final result now boils down to this general rule: filings that were due between January 3 and January 7 will still be due tomorrow, January 30. However, filings that otherwise would have been due between January 8 and February 7 are now due by February 8.
HOWEVER, the FCC has established additional deadlines for specific proceedings and classes of proceedings, including:
- Online Public Inspection File – As an update to our post yesterday, all public inspection quarterly submissions that were due on January 10, as well as any other filings that were required to be placed in a station’s Online Public Inspection File between January 3 and January 28, are now due by February 11. Apparently in response to the demo online public file snafu we brought to light a few weeks ago, the FCC cryptically added that any online public file uploads that were made during the shutdown “will need to be resubmitted to the proper Online Public Inspection File site at https://publicfiles.fcc.gov.”
- EEO Reports – Broadcasters in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma must still place their annual EEO Public File Reports in the Online Public Inspection File by the original due date of February 1. Because the annual EEO Public File Report is not an FCC “filing” (qualifying for the general filing extension) nor a quarterly report (qualifying for the first type of Public File extension), nor was it required to be placed in the public file by January 28 (qualifying for the second type of Public File extension), it does not fall into any of the further deadline extension categories. On the other hand, the EEO Mid-Term Report on FCC Form 397 is an FCC filing, and therefore broadcasters in New Jersey and New York will have until February 8 to file it under the general deadline extension described above.
- ULS Filings – All ULS applications and notifications that were due to be filed between January 3 and February 8 are now due by February 8. This does not apply to filings related to the incentive auction, which were permitted to be filed during the FCC shutdown and therefore are unaffected by the various deadline extensions. All ULS filings that were submitted between the commencement of the shutdown and today will be considered received as of today, January 29.
While too voluminous to list here, readers should also be aware that the Public Notice sets additional new deadlines for informal consumer complaints, responsive pleadings, comments in the Carriage Election Notice Modernization proceeding, STA requests, fee filings, and filings in the Tower Construction Notification System and the Antenna Structure Registration System, among other things. Those potentially affected should review the Public Notice carefully to determine what new deadlines may apply. In addition, the Public Notice indicates that the FCC will also “consider requests for further extensions in individual matters as appropriate.” So even now, we may not be done extending the extensions.