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FCC wants your help understanding radio noise

You could help solve problems with wireless interference.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 22, 2016
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Shutterstock / Kostenko Maxim

Interference from radio noise remains a big problem... and it's tricky enough that the FCC wants your help understanding the issue in the first place. The agency has put out a call for public input that should not only determine the scale of radio noise problems, but design the studies needed to measure them. It wants to identify the main sources of this noise, where it's most likely to happen and whether it varies based on time. It's particularly concerned about "incidental" noise from devices that aren't meant to emit radio frequencies, like motors or power lines.

Any results from the consultation and the resulting studies are bound to take a while, let alone any solutions that come from them. There's definitely pressure to hurry things up, however. On top of longstanding concerns for ham radio, the US is entering an era where multi-gigabit 5G and WiFi networks may be crucial to getting people online. The last thing the country needs is a rising volume of radio noise bogs those connections down.

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