FCC Releases NPRM Updating Equipment Authorization Rules

On January 25, 2022, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on incorporating four new updated standards that are integral to the testing of equipment and accreditation of laboratories that test RF devices, which was adopted prior to the January Open Meeting. First, the NPRM seeks comment on incorporating ANSI C63.25.1-2018 into the FCC’s rules, which provides consolidated guidance from existing standards to provide test site validation procedures from 1 GHz to 18 GHz while providing additional testing methodology.  This incorporation would provide an additional option for site validation testing in addition to those set forth in ANSI C63.4-2014, which contain site validation requirements for radiated emission measurements from 30 MHz to 1GHz and from 1 GHz to 40 GHz.

Second, the NPRM seeks comment on incorporating ANSI C63.10-2020 into the FCC’s rules, which updates measurement procedures set forth in ANSI C63.10-2013 and addresses the procedures for testing the compliance of a variety of unlicensed wireless transmitters, including transmitters such as remote control and security wireless devices, frequency hopping and direct sequence spread spectrum devices, anti-pilferage devices, medical unlicensed wireless devices, and cordless telephones, among others.  The most recent version of the standard includes several changes and updates to the standards, including updates to millimeter wave measurement procedures, adding TV White Spaces test methods, updating frequency hopping spread spectrum procedures to ensure complete on and off times are correctly considered, updating procedures for digital transmission systems and unlicensed national information infrastructure devices, adding pulse desensitization considerations for frequency-modulated continuous wave type signals, adding procedures for wireless power transfer devices that transmit information on the charging frequency, updating measurement procedures generally to allow for more accurate analyzer sweep time settings, adding requirements for including spectral plots, and adding an annex to provide an overview of dynamic frequency selection for U-NII devices, among editorial changes and updates.

Third, the NPRM seeks comment on replacing references to ISO/IEC 17011:2004(E) in the FCC’s rules with ISO/IEC 17011:2017(E). This provision sets forth the requirements and conditions for TCBs and testing laboratories to receive accreditation by a conformity assessment body.  The new version incorporates changes related to alignment with the International Organization for Standardization’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) common structure for standards and incorporates CASCO common elements in clauses on impartiality, confidentiality, complaints and appeal, and management system; recognizes proficiency testing as an accreditation activity; adds new definitions; introduces the concept of risk; and incorporates competence criteria in the document, including an informative annex on knowledge and skills.

Finally, the NPRM seeks to refresh the record on OET’s April 2019 Public Notice seeking comment on updating the FCC’s rules to reflect changes in ISO/IEC 17025:2017(E) and ANSI C63.4a-2017 and also seeks comment additional updates to the FCC’s rules to remove references to standards that have become outdated as a result of prior updates.

Comments will be due 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register; reply comments will be due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Please Contact Us if you have any questions.