Archives: Unlicensed Operations and Emerging Technologies

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FCC Forfeiture Limits Increased Across the Board

Keeping up with the cost-of-living … If you happened to feel a vague, somewhat disturbing, shudder recently, don’t worry: it was just the upper limit of potential FCC fines being raised across the board. By Order effective July 1, 2016 (or maybe August 1 – we’ll get to that), the Commission followed up on a … Continue Reading

FCC Un-Restricts Restricted Bands for More Experimental Licenses

Sensitive frequencies now available to companies developing medical devices. A small fraction of frequency bands need extraordinary protection from radio interference. Some, like those used for radio astronomy, depend on extremely sensitive receivers. Others carry signals essential to safety, like search-and rescue bands and GPS, which helps to land airplanes as well as to find … Continue Reading

Revised FCC Procedures for Accrediting Overseas Test Labs Take Effect July 29

Same action grants extra time for recognizing non-accredited labs. Of course you remember our recent post about the FCC’s change to its procedures for accrediting overseas test labs, and its grant of extra time for recognizing non-accredited labs. And of course you’ve been on tenterhooks (whatever they are) waiting for these changes to take effect. … Continue Reading

More Time, More Guidance for Test Lab Accrediting Bodies Seeking FCC Recognition

Action paves way for continued equipment approvals in China, elsewhere As we’ve reported, about 18 months ago the Commission issued new rules modifying its equipment authorization procedures. Those procedures, of course, have long relied in large measure on independent labs that test devices and certify their compliance with FCC standards. In a key change, in … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Date Set for More of the New Rules Governing Wireless Mics, White Space Devices

Effective date of a Wireless Medical Telemetry Service rule is still pending. Last August we reported on a number of changes in the rules governing wireless mics and white space devices, and last November we reported that the effective date of some, but not all, of those rule changes had been set. The rules not … Continue Reading

Having Re-Thought its 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi Technical Rules, FCC Has to Think Again

In petitions for reconsideration, wireless Internet service providers and car manufacturers go head to head over out-of-band emissions limits. This was supposed to be a simple rule fix. Why are we still talking about it? An unlicensed band at 5.8 GHz is heavily used for Wi-Fi, among other things. It is a particular favorite of … Continue Reading

DSRC vs. Wi-Fi – Let the Games Begin!

This summer, many competition-hungry spectators will flock to Rio for the Olympics. But others may prefer to stay home and watch a different competition unfold: the Spectrum Olympics, pitting Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) against Wi-Fi. The prize? Determining how best to share the 5.850-5.925 GHz band (also referred to as the “U-NII-4 band”). Two … Continue Reading

Stakeholders Reach Consensus on “Best Practices” for Commercial UAS

Year-long multistakeholder process convened by NTIA produces voluntary standards for protecting privacy in drone use. As we reported last year, at the request of the President, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been overseeing a multistakeholder process looking toward the development of a set of “best practices” for the commercial and private use … Continue Reading

Want Unlicensed? Tell It To The Hill

Congress increasingly focused on dictating spectrum use. If you have your eye on some spectrum for a particular use, you’d likely go to the FCC and participate in a rulemaking proceeding, or perhaps initiate one, proposing that the rules be revised to specify that your preferred spectrum could be used for your preferred use. Maybe … Continue Reading

The Citizens Broadband Radio Service Proceeding Advances – But When Will The Service Be Up and Running?

FCC wraps up additional work on 3.5 GHz proceeding, but more remains As we reported a year ago, the FCC has been hard at work developing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3700 MHz (3.5 GHz) band. Under the new regulatory scheme, the Commission aims to try out a three-tiered access framework. Three different … Continue Reading

Back Again: FCC Boot Camp!

Three-day program in San Francisco will feature FHH’s Laura Stefani and Dan Kirkpatrick along with other eminent FCC practitioners providing insight into All Things FCC. Attention, all you Friends of CommLawBlog! San Francisco beckons, again. The American Conference Institute is presenting its second annual “FCC Boot Camp” program there from June 27-29, 2016. And this … Continue Reading

FCC Query: How to Include New ANSI Standard in the Rules?

Public notice seeks guidance on incorporating new ANSI measurement procedures. This is one of those items that will interest only a few readers, but will interest those readers a lot. Along with technical requirements for many kinds of devices, the FCC prescribes measurement procedures for assessing compliance with those requirements. Some of these procedures are … Continue Reading

5G is Coming! Wait – What’s 5G?

New services promise exceptional performance. Just not everywhere. And not soon. After the successes of 3G and 4G mobile services, something called 5G was inevitable. It’s still a ways off, but the outlines are taking shape. The hallmark of 5G mobile service will be blindingly fast data speeds, possibly in the gigabit-per-second range, faster than … Continue Reading

Amber Waives of Grain? FCC OK’s TVWS Down on the Farm

Companies granted waiver to deploy TV white space gear on farm equipment, farmhouses It happened again. Just when the lawyers thought they finally had a regulatory scheme that works, the engineers came up with a new idea that doesn’t fit. We recently wrote about this phenomenon in ultra-wideband technology, in an agricultural context. This time it’s … Continue Reading

New Math, Enforcement Bureau Style

In two similar cases (with markedly different results), the Bureau demonstrates that the calculation of fines is not art, and certainly not science. Maybe we’re just not very smart, but we can’t figure out the FCC’s rationale for penalizing certain categories of wrongdoers. Take, for example, the case of Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing, Inc., located in … Continue Reading

Comment Deadlines Set in White Space Database Clean-up Proceeding

Last month we reported on the FCC’s proposals aimed at reducing the problems that could arise when use of unlicensed devices in the 600 MHz band becomes widespread. The Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making has now been published in the Federal Register, which means we now know the deadlines for comments on those proposals. … Continue Reading

Justice for Jersey Jetway GPS Jammer? 90% Reduction in Fine!

Despite 2012 interference to Newark airport GPS system, Gary Bojczak skates with lowball $2,360 fine – if he keeps his jammer off for three years. Readers with long memories will recall Mr. Gary P. Bojczak, who operated an illegal jammer in order (apparently) to defeat the GPS tracking device his employer had installed in his … Continue Reading

White Space Database Clean-up

FCC opens rulemaking to address white space geolocation questions. Everybody interested in 600 MHz – whether broadcasters sweating the repacking process, carriers planning to bid on new spectrum, or one of the many other current spectrum users wondering what the future will look like – share a common concern: How will the FCC ensure that … Continue Reading

“Crop Penetrating Radar”: Bringing Higher Tech to the Farm?

Requested waiver would let ground penetrating radar operate higher above the ground than current ultra-wideband rules allow. Down here in the CommLawBlog bunker, we urban types think of agriculture as dealing primarily with dirt. But in fact modern farming relies on a lot of technology, including precision satellite observations, high-end drones, and self-driving, GPS-guided tractors. … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Millimeter Wave Workshop

We’ve written about the great potential for putting the millimeter wave band to use through emerging technologies currently in active development. If you didn’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe the FCC, which will be presenting a “Spectrum Frontiers and Technological Developments in the Millimeter Wave Bands” workshop at its Washington, D.C. headquarters on March 10, … Continue Reading

The Beat Goes On – New Device Needs FCC Waiver to Monitor Heart Rate

Ultra-wideband sensor arguably does not use enough bandwidth to qualify as ultra-wideband. Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio works by spreading a very low power signal across a very wide range of frequencies. The FCC approved ultra-wideband in 2002, following what it understatedly called “an unusually controversial proceeding.” Almost every category of spectrum user, including parts of the … Continue Reading

Update: New Experimental Licensing Program, One Step Closer to Implementation

OMB finally approves rules, but expect delays Back in January, 2013, the FCC reorganized and simplified the experimental rules processes. (You can find our post describing the changes here.) The overhaul included creation of several new types of experimental licenses: for example, Program Experimental Licenses, which will eventually make it easier for manufacturers, research universities … Continue Reading
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