Mitchell Lazarus

Mitchell Lazarus Mitchell Lazarus specializes in obtaining FCC approvals for innovative technologies. Expert in the agency’s arcane legal and technical rules, he advises clients on radar, surveillance and security devices, unlicensed radio, fixed microwave, and broadband technologies, among others.

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Ouch! Out-Sized Penalty for Ordinary Outfit Overlooking Obligations

Sheet-metal company to pay $135,000 for license-related paperwork violations; offenses included operation after expiration and unauthorized transfer of control. Many businesses must comply with the FCC’s rules, even though they may not know it. Failing to understand this can prove expensive. Just ask Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC. According to its website, Constellium is one … Continue Reading

Look! A Quasar! … No, Wait – It’s a Fitbit!

Irony alert: radio astronomy organization hands out fitness devices that threaten interference to radio-telescope operation. Wrist-worn activity monitors like the Fitbit are good for radio astronomers. But not so good for radio astronomy. Much as traditional astronomers use optical telescopes to see with visible light, radio astronomers use “radio telescopes” to observe distant objects by … Continue Reading

Non-Specific Rule, Non-Specific Violation, Very Specific Fine

The rule says to take precautions, but not what precautions to take. The licensee says it took precautions, but they didn’t work. The Enforcement Bureau says, “$25,000, please”. Suppose the rules governing operation on shared two-way channels are unspecific, mostly saying operators must take reasonable precautions to avoid interference. The rules don’t actually prohibit interference; … Continue Reading

Mobile 5G? 24+ GHz, Here We Come!

With proposed rulemaking, FCC looks to open higher reaches of spectrum for services just coming into view The FCC wants to take us higher: into higher reaches of the RF spectrum. Anticipating the eventual arrival of Fifth Generation (5G) mobile services, the FCC has proposed to open several bands above 24 GHz for 5G: 28, … Continue Reading

Librarian of Congress (Who?) Okays Widespread Hacking of Electronic Devices

You can now unlock or get access to tablets, vehicle software, video games, and more – and stay within the law. Following congressional approval last year for the unlocking of cell phones, the Librarian of Congress has now adopted a broad exemption that permits the unlocking of all wireless handsets, including smart phones and “phablets.” … Continue Reading

FCC Pressed to Extend Nosebleed Spectrum for Communications Use

Three parties seek service rules or waivers for the 102-109.5 GHz band. The FCC’s licensing and service rules presently provide for use of spectrum up to 95 GHz, an extremely high frequency. Now the FCC is considering requests to go even higher: to open the 102-109.5 GHz band for fixed microwave applications. Radio waves in … Continue Reading

Speeding FCC Approval of Technological Innovation

These ideas will help prevent regulatory delay from blocking the launch of new products. A lot of new products use the buzzwords “wireless connectivity.” In old-fashioned English, they have radio transmitters. This means they must go through an FCC approval process before they can be sold to the public. The FCC understandably writes its technical … Continue Reading

Out on a Limb on the Family Tree: Amateur Loses Claimed Great-Great-Uncle’s Vanity Call Sign

Surprisingly, the rights to some call signs turn on degrees of relatedness. Most of our postings here deal with grave concerns of policy and regulation. Once in a while, though, a not-so-grave item catches our eye. From one such we learned that, even in the American meritocracy, it really all depends on who you’re related … Continue Reading

The Fourth Law of Robotics: Don’t Miss That Spot Over There

Waiver permits Roomba manufacturer to market new self-guided lawn mower for residential use. The kid down the street who mows your lawn may have to change her business model. Automation is coming. The Roomba automatic floor cleaner, a favorite of cats everywhere, is heading outdoors. iRobot Corporation, maker of the Roomba (and the best name … Continue Reading

Update: Mitchell Lazarus Says Thanks … Again

 … this time to a lot of his friends. [Blogmeister’s Note: A few months ago our colleague and friend, Mitchell Lazarus, used this space to thank an anonymous donor who provided blood stem cells to help treat his leukemia. Mitchell was in the middle of his treatment then, so his post left us all hanging: … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Revamp Equipment Authorization Rules, Again

Changes will update policies and procedures to accommodate developing technologies. Among the FCC’s many functions is one known to a small community of technical experts – and, of course, CommLawBlog readers: the equipment authorization program. These procedures seek to ensure that devices capable of emitting radio-frequency energy comply with the FCC’s requirements as to frequency, … Continue Reading

FCC Fine-Tunes Experimental Licensing Rules

New changes affect radio astronomy frequencies, emergency service providers, and medical telemetry bands, among others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a technology titan, a two-man start-up in a garage, or a spare-time basement tinkerer. You can make your radio tests legal with an FCC experimental license. The cost is not high – $65 for two … Continue Reading

Mitchell Lazarus Says Thanks

It being all too easy for us to lose sight of our capacity to help one another, we think it's right to pass along to our readers a reminder -- from our colleague, Mitchell Lazarus -- of the importance of lending a hand.… Continue Reading
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