The independent blog on spectrum policy issues
that welcomes your input on the key policy issues of the day.

Our focus is the relationship between spectrum policy
and technical innnovation.

A net neutrality free zone: We pledge no mention of any net neutrality issues before 2018.

When they deserve it, we don't hesitate to criticize either NAB, CTIA or FCC.

Equipment Authorization NPRM:
1st Comments Deal with Enforcement

Today the comments of Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC in the Equipment Authorization Rulemaking, Docket 13-44, were posted on the Commission’s comment website, ECFS. These comments were the first filed and were filed early in an attempt to raise a key issue in this proceeding: the enforcement mechanism of rules must be credible in order to deter the introduction of noncompliant equipment into the US wireless market. The present equipment authorization rules are outdated and lack credibility with respect to enforcement because of changes in both the marker for wireless equipment and the technology used today.

The real threat of continuing the current basic structures is twofold:

  1. Noncompliant equipment’s market share could increase and discourage compliance by legitimate manufacturers due to both price pressure and rapid copying of legitimate equipment.
  2. Noncompliant equipment could cause the very interference problems that the Commission’s Title III rules were designed to prevent!

The comments suggest changes in 4 areas:

  1. Criminalize the submission of fraudulent postmarket samples. FCC has never taken serious action against manufactures/imported who submit doctored samples.
  2. Codify key terms of KDB Publication No. 610077 and increase post-market sampling rate of TCBs. This obscure publication includes key requirements for TCBs to sample equipment on the market. Sampling should be increased above the present 5% and the requirements should be codified in the FCC Rules to make them clear to all
  3. Address TCBs’ basic conflict in post-market testing. Recognize that TCBs have conflicting incentives to identify their customers’ possible noncompliance
  4. Make post-market surveillance credible by including consistent retail sampling. In almost all cases FCC only tests samples provided by manufacturers/importers who have incentive to doctor noncompliant equipment on to test large numbers to find one that is atypical. FCC is urged to require TCBs to do some testing of models acquired from retail or wholesale sources at random. The widespread use of software to control transmitter parameters means that it is much easier to doctor a test sample now than it was when these rules were originally formulated.

It is hoped that other parties interested in this proceeding, especially groups representing licensees will consider these concepts and give their views on such topics in their own comments/reply comments.