FCC Fines Fixed Wireless Broadband Companies Causing RF Interference; Warns Industry

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The FCC has issued a news release announcing that the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) has proposed fines and issued a formal industry warning related to electronic devices that apparently caused radio frequency interference to the FAA’s terminal Doppler weather radar station in San Juan, PR. Specifically, the Bureau has proposed three separate $25,000 fines, or Notices of Apparent Liability, against wireless Internet service providers Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless, and WinPR.  All three companies used Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices for point-to-point wireless broadband communications.  In each instance, all three companies apparently misconfigured the devices by turning-off a required feature that would have prevented the devices from causing RF interference at San Juan’s airport.  The devices in question operate in the 5.25 GHz to 5.35 GHz and 5.47 GHz to 5.725 GHz bands.  The Bureau notes that interference with Doppler radar, which detects wind shear and other dangerous weather conditions, is potentially life threatening.  Additionally, the Bureau reminds manufacturers, operators, and marketers of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices that these devices must be certified under FCC rules.

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