FCC Proposes Big Changes to Part 15 & 68 Electrical Equipment Approval Process

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed important changes to its equipment testing and authorization program under Part 15 and Part 68 of its rules.  The FCC says the changes will streamline the approval process and expedite the introduction of new devices to the market.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued last month, the FCC proposed a number of changes to its existing equipment authorization program. The key proposed changes include:

TCB Accreditation – Telecommunications certification bodies (TCBs) – like MET Labs – will be accredited in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011 and ISO/IEC 17065. These standards replace ISO/IEC Guides 58, 61 and 65.

Testing Laboratories Accreditation – Laboratories that test equipment subject to certification or approval under any of its rules must be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025.

TCB Authority – The FCC will no longer directly issue any grants of equipment authorization. Instead, TCBs will authorize and deny all products subject to certification.

Post-Market Surveillance – For post-market surveillance, the FCC will specify the number and types of samples that a TCB must test.

Assessing TCB Performance – NIST will assess TCB performance. The Commission also outlined a process to address TCB non-performance issues.

Measurement Procedures – ANSI C63.10-2009 will be the procedure used to determine the compliance of intentional radiators, and ANSI C63.4-2009 will be the procedure for assessing unintentional radiators.

We understand these proposed changes are likely to go through without significant modification, but first there is a comment period to elicit feedback.  Comments on the Commission’s proposed rule changes are due by late March here.

Read the complete text of the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding important changes to its equipment testing and authorization program under Part 15 and Part 68.

MET Labs is an accredited testing laboratory and TCB.  Contact us for FCC Testing or Certification assistance.

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