FCC Officially Opens Radiation Inquiry
The Federal Communications Commission has finally launched its in-depth review related to the health and safety of radiofrequency (RF) emissions from radio transmitters, such as cell phones, smartphones, tablets and mobile hotspots. The last time the FCC reviewed the guidelines was back in 1996. Last summer, both the General Accountability Office and FCC decided it was time to revisit those guidelines, especially considering the proliferation of wireless devices since that time. The FCC set several goals for this review, and set the ground rules by which the review will be conducted. The FCC will focus on three elements: the propriety of its existing standards and policies, possible options for precautionary exposure reduction, and possible improvements to its equipment authorization process and policies as they relate to RF exposure. The FCC said its intent is to "appropriately protect the public without imposing an undue burden on industry. While acknowledging the potential difficulty of quantifying benefits and burdens, we need to determine whether the overall costs of the regulation are outweighed by the benefit to consumers, workers, and other members of the public." The FCC acknowledges that there has been lots of research generated on the subject of human exposure to cell phone radiation, and is seeking comment on the matter from the scientific community and beyond. "we ask whether our exposure limits remain appropriate given the differences in the various recommendations that have developed" since the current set of guidelines were put in place. The FCC did not indicate when it thinks the review might be concluded.
FCC Fines T-Mobile $60,000 for Failing to Secure Antennas
The FCC today proposed a fine of $60,000 against T-Mobile, which it says failed to adequately warn and prevent the public from stepping too close to cellular antennas. Specifically, T-Mobile didn't properly block off nor place signs near three antennas (2 AWS, 1 PCS) on a building in Phoenix, Ariz.
CTIA to Fight Berkeley Cell Phone Radiation Law
The CTIA has filed a lawsuit in the hopes of overturning a Berkeley, Calif., regulation that will require sellers of cell phones to post warnings about radiation risks. The law, approved in Berkeley last month, will force retailers to post signs warning consumers of the dangers posed by cell phone wireless signals.
FCC Wants All Cell Phones Hearing Aid Compatible
The FCC today expanded the scale of hearing aid compatibility in cell phones to include IP-based communications, such as WiFi and VoLTE. AT&T and Verizon Wireless recently sought and received waivers to offer WiFi calling along with an alternate to the legacy technology called RTT (real-time text).
Verizon CEO Slams FCC, Wants Congress In Charge
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam pleaded with Congress to "re-take responsibility for policymaking in the Internet ecosystem" in a letter sent Friday to the House and Senate Commerce committees. Lowell pointed to the FCC's recently proposed net neutrality rules and Dish Network's "abuse" of the AWS-3 bidding process as indicators that things have gone off the rails.
FCC Chairman Pai Pledges to Be More Transparent
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today said he hopes to make the agency more transparent and accessible to the American public. Primarily, Pai wants to ensure that FCC documents are available earlier in the process ahead of votes and/or adoption by the Commission.
I Remember an Episode of Colombo