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FCC Adopts Sweeping Changes to Experimental Radio Service:

from The ARRL Letter on February 14, 2013
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FCC Adopts Sweeping Changes to Experimental Radio Service:

In a Report & Order (R&O) -- FCC 13-15 -- released February 4, the FCC adopted numerous changes to its Experimental Radio Service (Part 5), revising and streamlining its rules. With the new rules, the FCC states that the Experimental Radio Service will have "a more flexible framework to keep pace with the speed of modern technological change, while continuing to provide an environment where creativity can thrive." The new rules will become effective 30 days after being published in the Federal Register. No date has yet been set for publication.

The FCC's rules contain numerous provisions for experimentation and development of new radio equipment and techniques. The R&O noted that the Experimental Radio Service rules "prescribe the manner in which the radio spectrum may be made available to manufacturers, inventors, entrepreneurs and students to experiment with new radio technologies, equipment designs, characteristics of radio wave propagation, or service concepts related to the use of the radio spectrum. To encourage innovation, the Part 5 rules provide flexibility regarding allowable frequency range, power and emissions. In exchange for this flexibility, experimental operations are not protected from harmful interference from allocated services, and Experimental Radio Service licensees must not cause harmful interference to stations of authorized services, including secondary services."

To accomplish this transition, the FCC -- through the R&O -- is creating three new types of Experimental Radio Service licenses: the Program License, the Medical Testing License and the Compliance Testing License. According to the FCC, this new license structure will "benefit the development of new technologies, expedite their introduction to the marketplace and unleash the full power of innovators to keep the United States at the forefront of the communications industry. Our actions also modify the market trial rules to eliminate confusion and more clearly articulate our policies with respect to marketing products prior to equipment certification. We believe that these actions will remove regulatory barriers to experimentation, thereby permitting institutions to move from concept to experimentation to finished product more rapidly and to more quickly implement creative problem-solving methodologies." Read more here


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