FCC Sets New Signal Booster Standard and Rules
The Federal Communications Commission today issued a Report and Order concerning the use of wireless signal boosters in the U.S. First, the FCC adopted a technical standard (called the Network Protection Standard) to which signal booster manufacturers must adhere in order to protect the wireless networks they are amplifying. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, in addition to other carriers, have all consented to allow signal boosters on their networks as long as they meet the new technical standard. Moving forward, the FCC will allow two different classes of signal boosters: consumer and industrial. Consumer devices will be those available for purchase by the general public. In order to use signal boosters, consumers will need to purchase licensed equipment and register their booster with their carrier. The boosters will work on most cellular bands (AWS, PCS, 700MHz, etc.). Industrial boosters, used in spaces such as sports arenas, must be installed and operated in coordination with licensees. Organizations such as AT&T and the Telecommunications Industry Association have voiced support in the FCC's decision.