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FHH’s Lazarus Predicting Massive FCC Paperwork Backlog

“The longer this goes on, the worse the chaos will be when it ends,” he says

Don’t expect miracles at the FCC when the government shutdown ends.

That’s the prediction from Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth attorney Mitchell Lazarus.

His firm, like other attorneys and engineering consultants, has been trying to determine how the commission will handle the processing backlog when it eventually reopens. “We don’t like how that looks,” he writes.

Everything that would have come due during the shutdown instead will all be due on the same day: not the day the FCC reopens, but the day after that. Filings due on the day of reopening are likewise put off till that same next day,” according to Lazarus.

This creates the possibility of a “massive” accumulation of filings, he says, including the last-minute crunch when the electronic databases again all become accessible and updated again.

The commission said right before the shutdown if its CDBS systems becomes overwhelmed upon reopening, it will issue further guidance. Presumably that includes extending filing deadlines.

The bottom line? “The longer this goes on, the worse the chaos will be when it ends,” says Lazarus.