FCC RESPONDS TO EVER INCREASING APPLICATIONS FOR NEW WIRELESS DEVICES; ANNOUNCES AGENCY WILL CONSIDER WAYS TO ENHANCE EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZATION PROGRAM
Washington, D.C.- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today took action to ensure that its equipment authorization program will continue to operate smoothly in the face of an ever increasing number of applicants and applications for equipment authorization for wireless devices. Devices range from cell phones and police and marine radios, to computers and microtransmitters placed in computers, to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, to implanted wireless medical devices, to remote control devices, to security tags, to inventory trackers, and many more in variety and number. Applicants range from well-known companies like Gibson Guitar, Texas Instruments and Ford Motor Company, to seemingly unlikely participants such as Oreck, Adidas, and the Nebraska Furniture Mart, as well as numerous makers – large and small – of individual electronics components that are included in larger devices.
The equipment authorization program is a key component of FCC's spectrum and policy agenda. It encourages innovation in equipment design, ensures efficient use of the radio spectrum, and implements policy objectives such as the hearing aid compatibility of handsets.
The rapid innovation in equipment design has led to ever-accelerating growth in the number of parties applying for equipment approval. As a result of this growth, the FCC is running low on the identification codes it assigns to new applicants. Since 2006, the number of new codes issued annually has risen from 954 to 1275 last year. The FCC's action today will significantly increase the pool of identifier codes assigned to companies requesting equipment authorizations to ensure that a sufficient supply is available well into the future.
The FCC also announced that it plans to consider ways to improve its equipment authorization program, including clarifying or modifying the administrative requirements and the responsibilities of the Telecommunications Certification Bodies that perform equipment certification.