Saturday, October 5, 2013

U.S. Government Shutdown Affects Licenses, DXpedition

Hams around the world will be feeling the impact of the U.S.government shutdown that began on October 1.

Here in the U.S., the FCC has shut down all but safety-of-life functions, meaning that no licenses are being issued and very little enforcement activity is taking place.

In addition, the K9W DXpedition to Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean that was planned to commemorate the World War II massacre of 98 American civilian workers there on October 7, 1943 has been indefinitely postponed. The island is a U.S. possession and is administered by the military. According to Bloomberg News (, the organizers were waiting for one final approval when the government shutdown began, and they realized they would not be able to get the necessary signature in time to make the once-every-two-weeks flight to the island from Hawaii. Watch for updates on the DXpedition home page at (Tnx N4XX)

The FCC has suspended issuance of new or renewed amateur licenses. Hams whose licenses expire during the course of the government shutdown will have to use their own judgment as to whether to keep operating. In the past, when various events have delayed the issuance of licenses, the FCC has permitted amateurs who have filed their renewal applications in a timely manner to continue operating until their renewals are processed. However, no one from the FCC has been available in this instance to confirm whether that will be the policy this time.

The U.S. federal government suspended most operations on October 1, the start of the government's new fiscal year, after Congress and the President could not agree on terms of a budget resolution. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the primary responsibility for appropriating money for government operations.