FCC fact sheet: Allowing Earlier Equipment Marketing and Importation Opportunities Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

December 10, 2020 09:13

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the following fact sheet on November 19, 2020. The fact sheet is set to be voted upon at the next Commission meeting: Allowing Earlier Equipment Marketing and Importation Oppertunities

Background: The Commission’s equipment authorization program is essential to ensuring that the devices Americans rely on every day, such as their cellphones and Wi-Fi routers, comply with the Commission’s technical rules. Those rules, in turn, provide assurance to all spectrum users that their devices will work as intended and operate free from harmful interference. The Commission’s equipment authorization program requires that radiofrequency devices be tested for compliance with the Commission’s technical and equipment authorization requirements before they can be marketed in or imported to the United States. In June 2020, Consumer Technology Association filed a petition for rulemaking seeking modification of the Commission’s rules pertaining to the marketing and importation of radiofrequency devices. According to Consumer Technology Association, some of our current equipment authorization rules may act as speed bumps in the race to develop and deploy products and services for the 5G economy. The Commission last modified its equipment authorization procedures in 2017, and while some matters in that proceeding remain open for further consideration, this item raises two new and distinct proposals.

What the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would do:

  • Propose to modernize the Commission’s marketing rules to permit conditional sales of radiofrequency devices to consumers prior to equipment authorization, provided those devices are not delivered to consumers until equipment authorization has been obtained.
  • Propose to modernize the Commission’s importation rules to permit importation of a limited number of radiofrequency devices for certain pre-sale activities prior to the devices obtaining a certification.
    • Pre-sale activities would include packaging and shipping devices to retail locations, as well as loading devices with specific software to demonstrate specific features and capabilities of the devices.
    • Seek comment on conditions to ensure that radiofrequency devices comply with this new importation provision prior to obtaining equipment authorization.

Source: FCC Website