FCC Resumes Taking Equipment Authorization Requests


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UPDATE The FCC reactivated its Equipment Authorization System (EAS) Friday. The action could prevent delays in the rollout of 5G devices.

The EAS was closed since January 2, because of the lapse in federal funding. However, the agency said it decided to re-open the system after reviewing its, “statutory authority, the status of contract obligations” and its lapsed funding plan.

Most radio transmitters, including those on cell towers, need to be certified by the FCC to ensure compliance with the Commission’s technical rules. Private sector Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCBs) review and grant certification applications. The TCBs must enter the application and equipment certification grant into the EAS before the grant becomes effective. The reactivation will enable the TCBs to grant equipment certifications, allowing equipment to be imported and marketed in the United States. While the EAS will be available to the public, no support will be provided by Commission staff.  

The Telecommunications Industry Association had urged the Commission to reopen the system, and cheered the move. Most device approvals will be covered, “which will help eliminate the backlog and ensure that the U.S. can maintain its position of global leadership in the worldwide race to 5G,” said TIA SVP Government Affairs Cinnamon Rogers. “TIA is very grateful to the Commission’s leadership for recognizing the importance of this issue and taking swift action to address it,” she added.

However, not all certifications will be granted under the current process. The TCBS must consult with FCC staff before granting certification for certain products under a “Pre-Approval Guidance” procedure, which generally involves products where the required tests are complex or break new ground. TCBs cannot grant equipment certification for products subject to this procedure until the FCC resumes normal operations and staff is available for consultation.  Comments? Email Us.

January 22, 2019

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