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FCC could halt most operations Jan. 3 if shutdown continues

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will have to suspend most operations by the middle of Thursday, Jan. 3, if a partial government shutdown continues.

In a Dec. 31 news release, the agency said "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 Office of the Inspector General will continue operations until further notice.

Key proceedings that could be put on hold if a partial government shutdown continues include the review of the proposed merger between T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers.