FCC may be forced to suspend most operations this week

The partial federal government shutdown is to blame.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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FCC Holds Vote On Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules

The FCC, headed by Ajit Pai, may shut down most of its operations this week.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission warned Monday it may be forced to shutter most of its activities this week due to the ongoing partial federal government shutdown.

The agency said in a statement that if federal government funding isn't restored by Thursday, it will begin an "orderly shutdown of operations," a process expected to take about four hours.

"Work required for the protection of life and property will continue, as will any work related to spectrum auctions, which is funded by auction proceeds," the FCC said. "In addition, the Office of the Inspector General will continue operations until further notice."

In November, the FCC began its first spectrum auction for 5G, the wireless technology that promises to be significantly faster and more responsive than previous generations of wireless. The agency auctioned the 28 gigahertz and 24GHz band spectrums on Nov. 14 and plans to conduct auctions in three other spectrum bands in 2019.

The partial shutdown began on Dec. 22 after the House of Representatives and Senate failed to come to agreement on President Donald Trump's $5 billion border wall. The shutdown is expected to stretch into the new year, when Democrats take control of the House.

The FCC said it will release more information on Wednesday regarding how the government shutdown will affect its operations.

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