For the second year in succession, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will be skipping CES in Las Vegas next week. This year it is due to the ongoing United States government shutdown, which is entering its fourteenth day today. Both Pai and FCC commissioner Brendan Carr were to be in attendance at the show.
With the ongoing budget battle happening in the United States, essentially all governmental departments have been shutdown at this point. The Federal Communications Commission just yesterday began the process of an orderly shutdown and will only have key, essential staff available during the shutdown. Travel when there is effectively no budget isn’t an option nor politically would it look good.
Last year Mr. Pai did not attend CES after the passing of ruling against Net Neutrality. That resulted in shameful death threads to the Chairman which forced him to skip the annual event.
On the whole, the Commission is in the same situation as most government offices. As reported yesterday,
Generally, during such a shutdown all FCC activities will cease other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property, performing other excepted activities or those funded through a source other than lapsed appropriations. Suspended activities include, among many others: Consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines cannot be answered; consumer protection and local competition enforcement must cease; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline, must cease; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services for the American public must be suspended; and equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided.https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-355628A1.pdf