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FCC Technological Advisory Council Investigating Technical Regulations


The FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC) is looking into FCC technical regulations to determine if reforms or changes might be in order. Greg Lapin, N9GL, represents ARRL on the TAC and chairs the ARRL RF Safety Committee. The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) announced the TAC public inquiry (ET Docket 17-215), which seeks comments by October 30 regarding technical regulations and the process for adopting and updating them.

“To more effectively ensure that its rules keep pace with the rapidly changing technology in communications, the FCC has asked its Technological Advisory Council to help identify FCC technical rules that are obsolete or may be ripe for change in light of current communications technologies,” the OET said in an August 31 Public Notice.

Made up of technological experts in various areas — some of them radio amateurs — who advise the FCC in technical matters, the TAC is gathering feedback from users and vendors of communications technology affected by technical rules.

“Some technical rules may no longer be applicable to modern communications equipment,” the Public Notice said. “Rules that describe the operation of certain technologies may no longer be necessary as those technologies are obsolete. Data reporting requirements for technical operations, which help the FCC to determine how effectively the communications environment is being utilized and also how communications entities are complying with the current laws, may no longer be necessary.”

On the other hand, the OET said, some communications users may feel that certain existing regulations protect their operations and should not be removed.

In addition to seeking comment on specific regulations, the TAC is looking for input on how the regulatory process could be made more efficient and timely. The TAC plans to concentrate on issues of a technical nature and is looking for responses related to specific rules that should be considered for removal, retention, or change, and discuss the rationale behind each proposal.

Interested parties may file comments in ET Docket 17-215 until October 30, using the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

For more information, contact Greg Lapin, N9GL, or TAC working group FCC liaison Walter Johnston.




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