The FCC took 20 enforcement actions in 2013 against RF equipment manufacturers and vendors for violations of the FCC’s marketing rules and technical standards. These actions include enforcement of Rule Parts 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 27, 90, and 95. Fish & Richardson P.C. summarizes FCC Equipment Manufacturer Violations from 2006-2013 here.
Four of the six largest violations (with Consent Decrees ranging from $100,000 to $280,000) involved the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules. The HAC rules require handset manufacturers to report annually on their HAC compliance status, so manufacturers should expect that the FCC will continue to pursue HAC violations.
The FCC also continued its focus on Part 15 U-NII devices and digital devices. Violations involving equipment in the music industry, such as amplifiers and mixers, led to some of the year’s largest Consent Decree payments.
Effective September 13, 2013, the FCC raised the maximum penalty for most equipment violations from $112,500 to $122,500 per single violation.
The bottom line is that manufacturers and importers need to be careful about FCC compliance. Manufacturers with compliance issues can face delayed equipment approvals, contract disputes and lost sales opportunities, and even competitor or consumer lawsuits.