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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Equipment Approval and Early Revelation of New Models:

A Poorly Publicized Existing Option at FCC Can Prevent This

Ever notice news articles about innovative wireless devices that are revealed not by their developers but as a byproduct of FCC equipment authorization? Here are three recent examples.

Apparently these major manufacturers are not aware of an obscure 2004 FCC Public Notice that is not well publicized by FCC. Another option would be to ask the TCB that does the approval on behalf of FCC to delay notifying FCC until the last minute.

For the benefit of loyal SpectrumTalk readers, here is the text of the 2004 Notice:

OET Equipment Authorization System Upgrade
Permits Electronic Submittal of
Short-Term Confidentiality Requests

An upgrade to the Office of Engineering and Technology’s (OET) Equipment
Authorization System will be implemented effective 06/15/2004. This upgrade will provide
additional flexibility for electronic submittal of requests for confidentiality of certain
commercially sensitive information that is submitted in conjunction with applications for
equipment authorization.

Pursuant to the provisions of Sections 0.457 and 0.459 of the Commission’s rules (47
CFR §§ 0.457, 0.459), the Office of Engineering and Technology currently accepts requests to
hold in confidence certain attachments to the electronic Application for Equipment Authorization
(Form 731). These requests are granted indefinitely, and are strictly reserved for limited types of
technical information.

The new electronic process will include a provision for temporary confidentiality for
certain additional portions of an application for equipment authorization. This will give
manufacturers and distributors the ability to import and/or distribute devices following
equipment authorization, while maintaining the confidentiality of detailed technical information
about the product prior to product launch. Electronic submittal of a request for such
confidentiality will ensure expedited approval and will make it less burdensome for
manufacturers and distributors to comply with the marketing regulations in 47 CFR §2.803 and
the importation rules in 47 CFR §2.1204, while ensuring that business sensitive information
remains confidential until the actual marketing of newly authorized devices. Such
confidentiality will extend for 45 days from the date of the Grant of Equipment Authorization,
and, absent any other action, the subject exhibits will be automatically placed on the public
database at the end of this period. However, if prior to the expiration of the 45 day period, an
applicant engages in public marketing activities or otherwise publicizes a device for which
temporary confidential treatment has been granted, the applicant must coincidentally notify the
FCC or the TCB issuing the equipment authorization so that the subject exhibits may be placed
in the public database immediately.

This limited confidentiality will be granted for the following exhibit types when an
applicant requests and justifies such confidentiality in conjunction with the Form 731, or a TCB
submits such information and justification in conjunction with the TC Form 731: External
Photos, Test Setup Photos, Block Diagram, Schematics, User’s Manual, Internal Photos, Parts
List / Tune-up Procedures, and Operational Description. Exhibits containing certain types of
technical information (e.g. Block diagram, Schematics, Parts List / Tune up Procedures, and
Operational Description) that have heretofore been granted indefinite confidential treatment will
continue to be so treated upon request. The confidentiality fee described in 47 CFR §1.1103 must
be submitted with the Form 731; however, only one confidentiality fee per FCCID is charged
regardless of the length of the confidentiality request.

If an applicant requires more than the original grant of confidentiality of 45 days, the
applicant can request an extension of the limited confidentiality for an additional 45 days. To do
so, the applicant must notify the FCC, or the TCB that issued the grant, a minimum of 7 calendar
days prior to the expiration of the original 45 day grant of confidentiality.

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