Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New R&TTE and EMC Standards List Published in OJ

New Harmonized standards lists have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union for the Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment(R&TTE) Directive and the EMC Directive.

R&TTE Directive Standards List

EMC Directive Standards List

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wireless handset hearing aid compatibility standard adopted

Hearing aid types (300dpi)

Hearing aid types (300dpi) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The FCC has formally adopted ANSI C63.19 2011 as an applicable technical standard for evaluating the hearing aid compatibility of wireless phones.

As specified in the Second Further Notice, the new rules permit the use of either ANSI C63.19 2007, or ANSI C63.19 2011  for the testing of new handset models. All existing grants issued under the 2007 standard, as well as any pre-2010 grants remain valid, thus, no existing handset models will require retesting or recertification for hearing aid compatibility.

A 12 month transition period has been adopted for testing of multi-band and multi-mode handsets that incorporate operations which are not covered under the 2007 ANSI Standard. The Report and Order recognizes that as the new rules become effective, some manufacturers will be in production cycles where it will be impractical to return to a testing cycle for upcoming multi-band or multi-mode handsets under the 2011 ANSI Standard. Specifically, during the transition period, and as an alternative to using the 2011 standard, manufacturers may certify handsets as hearing aid compatible if they meet all compatibility criteria under the 2007 ANSI standard for all operations covered by that standard, providing they meet the disclosure requirements set forth in the order. After the transition period, all new handsets that contain operations not covered by the 2007 version will need to comply with the 2011 ANSI standard.

The Report and Order makes it clear that evaluations performed partly under one version of the ANSI standard, and partly under another, is incompatible with existing rules, thus manufacturers must test exclusively with one of the applicable versions.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

$12,000 “Dollar” Forfeiture Order

SAN Control Tower

SAN Control Tower (Photo credit: Peter Kaminski)

San Diego, California; FCC issues a forfeiture order in the amount of $12,000 to DTG Operations Inc., (d/b/a Dollar Rent-A-Car), after receiving complaints from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding intermittent interference to three ground control frequencies used by air traffic controllers at San Diego’s International Airport.

During investigation by FCC Enforcement Bureau’s San Diego Office, agents discovered the source of the interference signal to be emanating from a transmitter on a Dollar airport shuttle bus. Upon discovery, the manager of the Dollar facility immediately took the radio transmitter out of service.

In Response to an earlier Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), Dollar requested that the fine be reduced because the violation was “an unintentional mistake,” which Dollar readily admitted, and because Dollar cooperated fully in the investigation. It was noted in the forfeiture order however that a reduction was not warranted.

For some information on the FCC enforcement process see “Enforcement Primer” on the web site. The legal firm Fish & Richardson has an article on their web site that gives a brief rundown on the process, as well as figures on Equipment manufacturer violations. Although the web page’s focus is on equipment violations associated with marketing rules and technical standards,  and not necessarily on the misuse of approved radio communication devices, the steps in enforcement are essentially the same.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How Important is enhanced Amateur Radio Communications?

An example of an Amateur Radio Station

An example of an Amateur Radio Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a public notice released Monday, The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau seek comments on the importance of the enhanced Amateur Radio Communications service, also inquiring as to any impediments of the service , with an example being "the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations"

This inquiry is a product of the mandated study on utilization of Amateur Radio in emergencies and Federal regulation of private land use restrictions on amateur antennas, included in the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” signed into law February 22, 2012.

The study asks two distinct questions, “Importance of emergency Amateur Radio Service communications” and “Impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications.”

The report cites several recent examples from the American Radio Relay League on the importance of amateur radio operators during disaster, such as  when amateur radio operators provided storm observations and damage reports to the National Weather Service when winds and tornadoes moved through Arkansas and Alabama in January 2012, and provided communications to villages along the Bering Sea when a November 2011 severe winter storm knocked out power lines and communications.

The commenting period is only 45 days, ending on May 17th, 2012. commenting is open to interested parties via the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). The report urges commenting parties to organize their comments using specific guidelines provided within the public notice.