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What is the FCC?

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What is the FCC?
FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission. It is an agency of the U.S. Federal Government
responsible for the management of the radio spectrum in the US. The FCC protects against “radio and
broadcast pollution”, both by enforcing standards of broadcast decency, and by regulating
electromagnetic noise sources.
Electrical and electronic products may interfere by producing radio spectrum noise. As electric current
moves around inside an electrical product, the current will produce electromagnetic field waves that
will travel through space. Those waves may affect other electrical currents in other products, and cause
unwanted interference.
What products does it apply to?
    FCC regulations apply to electrical and electronic products that may produce radio frequency
pollution. Two main types of products covered are “Intentional Radiators” and “Unintentional
 What is the FCC
An Intentional Radiator is a device that broadcasts radio energy (not infrared or ultrasonic energy) to
perform its function.
    Intentional radiators are things like cell phones, CB radios, walkie-talkies, wireless connections,
Bluetooth connections, and short range broadcast equipment, wireless key-access systems.
These devices intentionally use the radio spectrum and therefore always require FCC equipment
An Unintentional Radiator is a electronic device that produces radio signals that are broadcast
through space, or conducted along power lines. Devices that receive radio waves can also
unintentionally radiate radio waves.
 Unintentional radiators are very common everyday electronic devices such as television sets,
computers, electronic games, digital cameras, and other devices with a chip/digital circuit in it.
 The regulation in the USA defined per 47 CFR 15.3(k) defines an unintentional radiator as a device
with electronics operating at over 9000 pulses per second (9 kHz) and using digital techniques.
FCC regulations also apply to anything that connects to the telephone grid, such as phones, modems,
faxes, etc.
Why do I have to do to comply?
    The FCC requires that any product that is covered by FCC regulations undergo “equipment
authorization procedure”. It is illegal to import, sell, or lease covered equipment that has not
undergone the required equipment authorization procedure. Additionally, operators must cease to
use equipment that causes interference upon notification by the FCC. The FCC does have the ability
to levy fines, impose seizures, and even jail offenders. The FCC frequently targets end-users with
fines to bring pressure to bear on retailers.

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