If you keep up with American politics, live with someone who does, or work in a place that keeps the television glued to whichever cable news network best fits the politics of the company, then you've probably heard that the federal government shut its doors today. This is the direct result of our politicians failing to cooperate long enough to pass a budget, and now many federal employees have been made to take forced unpaid vacation time. Since the Federal Communications Commission is a federal department, it's now limited to performing only those tasks that are necessary for the preservation of life and property. Maintaining its online systems doesn't fit this definition, so the site is currently down. A trip over to FCC.gov reveals this page.


That's not all. No one's around to answer consumer complaints or inquiry calls, TV and radio license approvals have been put on hold, and new equipment authorizations cannot be approved. The list goes on.

The number of people called in to work during the shutdown has dropped from 1754 people to just 38. The remaining 98% of workers have or will be furloughed. Quite frankly, it's a bad day to work for the US government. The good news is that the FCC will re-open its doors eventually. The problem is that no one knows exactly when that will be.

Source: FCC.gov, FCC Shutdown Plan

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Bob

    It's not a forced vacation. Federal employees were laid off temporarily.

    • Matthew Fry

      Forced unpaid time off. But the good news is that the last time this happened they got all their back pay which is more than I've gotten from employers running into financial straits.

      • mgamerz

        With our debt issues I highly doubt congress is going to back pay. Doesn't help if its paid after the bills are due.


    So since the FCC is 'on vacation', can we go on local TV and start talking shi* about the government, using all sorts of colorful words?

    • JamJamBoom

      Just keep it HOLO colored and I approve

    • Mike Reid


      The fines will be delayed until they're back to work.

    • masterpfa

      I think this is coriaspacy by Apple to prevent the release of any further Android devices especially the Nexus 5. Is there no lenghths they wont go to?

  • McHale72

    Awesome! I'm setting up my pirate TV station now featuring nothing but illegally downloaded MP3's and movies. F*** YOU RIAA and MPAA.

  • Michael J Carroll

    The FCC really isn't approving any new TV or radio licenses right now anyways, except for the non-profit bands, although this does mean that transfer of licenses is also on hold.

  • jak_341

    I am OK with this. The FCC can take a more permanent vacation.

    • ari_free

      TV and radio just got a bit more interesting

  • yodatom10

    "If you need to contact the FCC to address an emergency situation, please call: (202) 418-1122".

    could we classify approving the nexus 5 as an emergency :) :P

    • http://www.prosoftstudio.com/ Brandon Enriquez

      Hopefully it already passed through.

  • gk1984

    Suddenly, Verizon blocks tethering again

    • Chris

      Funniest thing in this thread.

  • rap

    Never been to their website but does it cost any money really to leave their website up? Maybe it does.

    • blahmoomoo

      Bandwidth costs money. Running multiple servers (web, databases for services, redundancy, etc.) hits the electricity bill and labor costs for maintenance, compared to what is most likely just one or two servers running this "offline" site. The costs probably pale compared to other operations in the FCC, but it's definitely something.

      • Chippah

        It would take well over 30days for anything to be deprovisioned-decommissioned. same for power..
        This is simply a publicity stunt on behalf of the Left.

        Nasa.gov was taken down on spite, other Nasa sites are up and working fine.

        Running a webserver isnt all that labor intensive unless it goes down.

        • blahmoomoo

          I wasn't talking about decommissioning anything, just taking stuff offline. Surely that wouldn't take too much effort, and most likely they had a week or more to prepare. For example, the NASA website (or at least the robotics subsite) had a notice well ahead of time saying that the website would be taken down when the government shut down.

          Even if cost wasn't a big concern, the lack of anybody maintaining the websites would be a problem, especially if the website has dynamic content like news or forms to submit. I suspect that the other NASA websites that are still up are just static pages that don't get changed often, and have very little traffic, so they aren't much of a concern.

    • PhoenixPath

      This is the easiest, most effective way to inform anyone they work with that they are currently *not* working. It has nothing to do with "leaving their website up".

    • HopelesslyFaithful

      politics my dear friend politics

  • Tony Byatt

    The Nexus 5 made it through right?

    If so, then we're good...

    • FrillArtist

      Wow. Really?

    • Diet Dr. Phat [17,000+ posts]

      Nuff said

    • John O’Connor

      Since OET is down, there is no means to independently verify that is has passed in any iteration at this point

  • RaptorOO7

    Glad the GN3 made it though certification before this crap happened.

    • blast0id

      yeah, because we all know, if the FCC wasn't around to "certify" things, the world would just fall apart and nothing would work right... hmmmm...

  • mgamerz

    As a furloughed US Gov employee, it's fucking bullshit that congress still gets paid for this shit.

  • JaBo


  • kamiller42

    The web servers were furloughed? Me thinks the shutdown web page was put up for dramatic effect just like the ones on the fences which kept people out of the WWII memorial. Custom made signs placed with SHUTDOWN boldly shown. Oh no's! Government turned its lights off.

    • mgamerz

      Oh yeah, lets tell everyone there's nobody home and let all the people who want to hack into websites in. Or maybe someone uses the site, its broken, and they have nobody to contact.

      Who's paying the electric bills?

    • blahmoomoo

      Running a website isn't cheap, especially ones that have dynamic services like, say, an electronic means for filing reports. Shutting everything down except a static page for crucial information makes it much cheaper to run.

      Surely other FCC operations cost more than running the website, but it's still a non-trivial cost on electricity, bandwidth, and maintenance labor.

      • kamiller42

        Hmm... not buying it. Other government sites are working: IRS, Department of Interior & even Obamacare's and all its bugs.

        • lljktechnogeek

          NASA's website is offline too, so who knows how the allocation is set up there.

          In any case, the ACA has already been fully funded despite the shutdown (which was kind of a recurring theme of Obama's speeches the last couple of days), which presumably includes Healthcare.gov and other related websies.

          EDIT: Looks like there's a partial list of deactivated websites at http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/2013/1001/Government-shutdown-sends-National-Park-Service-NASA-other-websites-offline. So we can add the Library of Congress and the National Park Service to that list.

          • kamiller42

            The ACA has not been funded. That was the point of the House bill, to blocking funding. The ACA has been funded with post dated checks, but there's no money allocated to let those checks cash.

          • lljktechnogeek

            That's more due to the debt ceiling shitstorm than anything, but you're not wrong about the implications.

            (Honestly, it's absurd how transparently manufactured that crisis is, particularly given that there's a very large market even for zero-interest Treasury bonds. But that's another argument entirely.)

          • kamiller42

            No. The debt ceiling is a separate fight. The original House bill authorizes government funding MINUS the funding of Obamacare. The Dems don't like. They don't want any compromise on Obamacare. They even accept the tax on medical equipment that their own Harry Reed called "stupid."

            It is apparent the administration is trying to create a SOPA like protest by closing government web sites in order to anger the citizens. Remember the SOPA protest where the biggest sites went dark? The President is pathetic. Just look what he's doing to the privately and fully funded WWII Memorial. Only the info booths closed in prior shutdowns, which makes sense. This child of a president is closing the Washington Mall entirely. All federal properties are being used as pawns in a game of chess needlessly.

          • lljktechnogeek

            I don't want to turn this into a political slapfight so I'm fine with stopping here if you are, but I seriously doubt that closing specific government websites as part of a government shutdown is "trying to create a SOPA like protest". I mean, we can disagree over whether or not the ACA is a good thing, but that's veering headlong into the level of paranoia that usually ends with posting David Dees unironically.

        • Matthew Fry

          That's because Obamacare isn't affected.

          It's not a symbolic thing. They need to inform US citizens that the FCC will not be handling anything except critical functions. Each website is doing something different. Obviously, no ISP is going to cut the government websites off just because they're having an internal pissing contest. They're still serving this notice and that's bandwidth.

          The National Parks Service is posting a similar message http://www.nps.gov The EPA, DOJ, and White House posted a message that the website will not be updated.

          • kamiller42

            It's symbolic because they are even closing memorials on the Washington Mall which require no one there in order to operate, like the WWII Memorial. They closed it off. That makes as much sense as closing off a statue. I've walked the Mall once a year for the past 10 years and have never seen park service walking the grounds. Even the government web site says park service is not there 24 hours a day. Yet, the memorial is open 24 hours a day. How can such a thing be possible? The only memorial which would need park service is the Washington Monument, and that's only if it needs to offer rides to the top. But that monument has been more closed than often anyway since the earthquake.

            The Leviathan is mad it doesn't have its funding and is trying to gin up anger. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/343838.php

          • kamiller42

            "That's because Obamacare isn't affected."

            Of course it is not affected. They don't want anything to impede the goal they seek, which is success. Those other sites could be running, but they don't want them to in order to send a signal.

    • The Invisible Hand

      There's even a name for this kind of thing: Washington Monument Syndrome. The government deliberately makes any decrease in funding as painful or inconvenient for the public as possible, in order to goose popular sentiment for more money.

      It was the same thing with the sequester - they shut down all White House tours, but kept the people who write fancy calligraphy on nametags at fancy WH dinners.

  • ari_free

    In other news: Janet Jackson is now planning a live show with Justin Timberlake...

  • blast0id

    "unpaid" is completely wrong, these tools will be paid retroactively for the time they missed, and some with interest on top of that... FUCK THE FCC and the rest of the redundant alphabet soup motherfuckers!

    • mgamerz

      Haha you sure are optimistic, and you think those 800,000 employees are all tools?

      • blast0id

        yeah, get a real frickin' job that doesn't leach off of the private sector, that's all I have to say to government tools... provide a service that you don't have to point a gun at people to get them to pay you (ie: taxes, regulatory fees...etc) and maybe I'll start to consider them human again... until then they are a complete waste of human flesh!

        • MeCampbell30

          What do you do for a living? I want to know so I can smugly denigrate your societal worth to satisfy my inferiority complex.

          • blast0id

            don't get butt hurt, just get a job that doesn't leech off the private sector via an organized mob that uses violence to propagate it's mob-like taxes, fees, fines on anything and everything that involves money transacting from one private individual to another, sucking the literal life-blood out of this country one redundantly dubious department after redundantly dubious department... you need a re-education on what free markets are, and how much better this planet would be without self serving centralized governments that rule their slaves (if you don't fully own your workmanship 100% then what else are you?) . Just wake up, start using that bowl of mush that sits atop your neck... that's all I ask...

          • mgamerz

            I feel dumber just for reading this. Seriously. Are you just this stupid? You clearly have your head in the sand..

          • blast0id

            MY head's in the sand? ORLY? well slave, I suggest you keep telling yourself you actually own what you've worked so hard for, and when the world takes it from you, I might not be there to point and laugh at you, but you'll know in your heart if I was there, I would be.

          • MeCampbell30


            I pretty confident I make more in two weeks than you make in two months.

          • blast0id

            I'm gonna try what JayMac tried above you. "I pretty confident I make more in two weeks than you make in two months." Now that you have had a chance to re-read what you wrote, I'm pretty sure you're more than just full of it, but even if you weren't when did this turn into a paycheck wagging contest? I don't remember stating I made more than anyone else here, nor do I remember giving a fuck what anyone else 'proclaims' on the webz to take in. I do however remember making a point about government "of, by, and for the people" being anything but, considering the current state of things.

          • JayMacaroni

            Hey, this is a fun game!

            "don't get butt hurt, just get a job that doesn't leech off the taxpayers via an organized mafia-like stranglehold over the markets that uses coercion to propagate it's
            mob-like subsidies, fees, fines on anything and everything that involves
            money transacting from one private individual to another, sucking the
            literal life-blood out of this country one redundantly dubious subsidiary after redundantly dubious subsidiary... you need a
            re-education on what free markets are outside of a textbook, and how much better this planet
            would be without self serving centralized massive corporations that rule their
            slaves (if you don't fully own your workmanship 100% then what else are
            you?) . Just wake up, start using that bowl of mush that sits atop your
            neck... that's all I ask..."

            Did I do it right?

          • blast0id

            Did you do what right? If it's a certificate for the most prolific copy-paste artist, I'm afraid you failed. You may have also failed at making a point. You could try the edit button and see what happens, #justsayin

          • blast0id

            I'm basically a rug sucking, stone grinding, tile & grout restoring slave to the system. I'd be happy to see what you can come up with, I'm sure it'll at least be good for a chuckle. =P

        • mgamerz

          mmm, I'd love to see you live a life without any government assistance including money for roads, national guard for help in disasters, you sound like a real smart guy.

          • spydie

            Each state can use it's own collected tax instead of donating to the federal government and they'd have plenty of money to fix their own roads and take care of themselves. We did it before the government take-over

          • Brian Koppe

            We basically tried that with the Articles of Confederation. It didn't work so well, and it would work even less well now.

          • blast0id

            you're working on a flawed premise, and therefore the sum of your statement is complete incoherence...

  • Vincenzo Roberto

    It's not good news that they will reopen and it's crap. Nasa.gov is redirected to a bullshit message but of course http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ is accessible as are tens of thousands of other sites, pages, and domains operated by other branches of the Federal Leviathan.

  • FrillArtist

    It's funny how Congress gets paid for not doing their jobs but if we don't do our jobs, we get fired or laid off.

  • spydie

    basically, if you want to be a ham radio operator, today is your day. Just buy a radio and get on the air... nobody is listening and nobody cares. There's no policing of the air waves for cell phones or radios until the government bails itself out (guess they shouldn't have used all that money to bail out big companies). It just goes to show you that we really can live without the federal government. Let's keep it closed.

  • The_16th_Doctor

    this is probably the best news after the sad fact that there was less traffic this morning