Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FCC running out of Grantee codes

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13:  FCC Chairman Julius ...
(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The availability of new FCC issued grantee codes is critically low, and the FCC will soon run out. Today the Commission voted to expand the code from 3, to 5 digits by amending Sections 2.925 and 2.926.

Each product certified to the FCC rules must carry an FCC ID, as an example look on the back of your electronic device for “FCC ID:xxx1234”. This identifier consists of a grantee code making up the first 3 digits, and an applicant assigned unique product code composed of from 1 to 14 additional alpha-numeric characters, dashes or hyphens.

Each entity seeking to obtain a grant of equipment authorization from the FCC, must first obtain the unique grantee code assigned by the FCC. This three digit format uses alpha numeric characters, excluding 0 and 1 in a way that would provide for over 30,000 unique combinations.

This FCC identifier system was introduced in 1979. In 1999, 440 grantee codes had been issued that year. In 2001, 635 grantee codes were issued, and in 2011 the number had increased to 1275 unique grantee codes issued per year.

Given the rate of grantee code issuance, the FCC will soon run out of unique codes. To extend this deadline, the FCC had been recycling old unused grantee codes, however this was only a temporary solution. Today the Commission approved a vote to extend the code to 5 digits. This will provide approximately 8,000,000 unique combinations.

Entities that currently have a 3 digit grantee code may keep the code, but new applicants will be assigned the new 5 digit grantee code approximately 30 - 60 days from the order’s publication in the federal register.

Open Commission Meeting June 13, 2012

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