Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Imports, Toys, Food, and the FCC.....

If toy and food imports from China (and certain other countries) have managed to get through various government inspection systems designed to protect the often unenlightened public from nasty surprises, do you suppose it is at all possible that non-compliant electromagnetic-emitting electronic devices having the potential to pollute the RF spectrum might have evaded these systems as well?

For some insight to this question, you should read this commentary authored by fellow blogger Michael Marcus, a retired FCC engineer who (as per his blog) "focused on developing policies for cutting edge radio technologies such as spread spectrum, CDMA, and millimeter waves. The rules for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and most of the cordless phones sold in the U.S. are one outcome of his early leadership. He also had several key roles in the FCC’s Spectrum Policy Task Force."

Having been in the wireless communications industry for over 30 years, I've seen and experienced some of what he describes and, must agree with him regarding the business practices that some electronic equipment producers employ simply to maximize their profits. Unfortunately, many of them consider the few paltry fines imposed as "just a cost of doing business" and write the expense off.

Protection of the wireless/RF spectrum seems to have been relegated to the regulatory rear burner in many respects in favor of the many real or perceived economic benefits purportedly to be derived from this natural resource. Only after-the-fact, when problems surface, is any type of remedial action taken and, often, in the opinion of many, such action is both ineffective and mis-applied.

Much more proactive attention needs to be focused on protecting us from imports and U.S. produced products of ALL types - including those that emit unwanted electromagnetic radiation that can disrupt radio and wireless communications. We can ill-afford having to contend with any "spectrum disaster" created by the lack of ongoing and aggressive enforcement of spectrum policy and rules.


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