With the shutdown of the United States Federal Government, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency that tests and approves those mobile devices we are all so fond of is temporarily and indefinitely closed. About 1,700 full time FCC employees are going on forced leave without pay until the US Congress can agree on a budget. The FCC prudently did prepare a shutdown contingency plan.
How exactly does this affect the mobile phone market? Well, for one, the shutdown will also affect companies with products pending approval for release to consumers. Given that we are approaching the Christmas season, I can imagine there are a fair number of new smartphones and tablets awaiting approval from the FCC. The delay in the release of these new products will probably have adverse effects on the companies that make them, and their employees, not only in the USA, but around the world.
The FCC may not be the most important agency whose operations have grounded to a halt. Other functions like food safety inspections, and protecting the environment are certainly more important. As pointed out by The Verge, the seasonal flu vaccine won’t during the shutdown. Moreover, the number of FCC employees is a small part of 800.000 government employees affected. But you have to love your own. This is a tech site, and those 1,700-strong FCC employees are part of this community. It is the second day of the shutdown, and that is already two days too long. So, pick up your favorite mobile device, email your Congressman, Tweet your disdain, post your thoughts on Facebook. Do something. All this mobile technology we are so fond of now makes it easy for everyone to be heard. So get to it. Eight hundred thousand people do not know when they are getting their next paycheck.