Request coincides with proposal for expanded use of accredited labs

The FCC procedure for authorizing consumer digital devices, among other things, requires that the devices be tested by an accredited laboratory. A proposal now on the street would extend that requirement to most unlicensed, portable, and mobile transmitters.

But who accredits the laboratories?

A company self-referentially (and aspirationally, at least as far as the FCC is concerned) calling itself “Laboratory Accreditation Bureau” (LAB) has asked the FCC to recognize it as an accreditation body qualified to accredit test laboratories. The FCC seeks comment on the request.

If the request succeeds, the FCC in effect will accredit LAB, which in turn will accredit the local test lab down the street. In the other direction, the FCC is accredited by the U.S. Congress, which is established under the U.S. Constitution, which was ordained and established by Us the People. Who spend our days staring at electronic devices that were successfully tested by the lab down the street. Thus answering at last the question posed by the first-century poet Juvenal: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Comments are due by September 23, 2013 and reply comments by October 7. In English, please.