FCC Modifies ERS Rules

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In 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) updated its Experimental Radio Service (ERS) rules to provide additional flexibility and an environment that encourages creativity. The Commission created three new types of ERS licenses: the program license, the medical testing licence, and the compliance testing license.  More recently, in response to three petitions for reconsideration, the Commission modified certain rules adopted in 2013 to: (1) permit conventional ERS licensees and compliance testing licensees to use bands exclusively allocated to the passive services in some circumstances; (2) clarified that some cost recovery is permitted for the testing and operation of experimental medical devices in clinical medical trials that take place under the FCC’s market trial rules; and (3) added a definition of “emergency notification providers” to clarify that all participants in the Emergency Alert System (EAS) are such providers. Further, in a companion Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission proposes to modify the rules for program licenses to permit experimentation for RF-based medical devices, if the device being tested is designed to comply with all applicable service rules in Part 18 (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Equipment), Part 95 (Personal Radio Services), Subpart H (Wireless Medical Telemetry Service), or Part 95, Subpart I (Medical Device Radiocommunication Service).

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