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Released: February 28, 2013
Consumer Guide

Information for Consumers Who Own Signal Boosters

What’s new?


February 20, 2013

, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules to improve
signal booster design so these devices won’t cause interference to wireless networks. The FCC also
adopted new rules about what cell phone users need to do before using a signal booster. The new rules
will not go into full effect until

March 1, 2014


How can signal boosters affect wireless service?

Signal boosters can improve cell phone coverage by amplifying wireless signals between cell phones
and wireless networks. However, malfunctioning, poorly designed, or improperly installed signal
boosters can interfere with wireless networks and result in dropped or blocked calls, including
emergency and 911 calls.


At this time, the FCC likely will not pursue enforcement against current or prospective signal
booster users unless it involves an instance of unresolved interference. If a wireless licensee or
the FCC asks you to turn off your signal booster because it is causing interference to a wireless
network, however, you must turn off your booster and leave it off until the interference problem
can be resolved. Please refer to the FCC contact information below should you have any
questions during such a request.
Signal boosters with additional safeguards that comply with our new rules and minimize
interference to wireless networks are not yet available for sale. The FCC intends to work
collaboratively with signal booster manufacturers to allow new boosters to come to market later
this year. The FCC plans to notify the public when the new boosters are available.
Consumers will soon be required to register signal boosters with their wireless providers.
Providers must activate their registration system on or before March 1, 2014 and will notify
subscribers at least 90 days before registration is required.
Consumers and other interested parties should take note that we intend to update this guidance prior to
the new rules taking full effect on March 1, 2014.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about signal boosters, visit the FCC’s website at

Federal Communications Commission

· Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau · 445 12th St. SW. Washington, DC 20554
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) · TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) ·

Fax: 1-866-418-0232 ·

For information about this and other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumers website at, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-
225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554
For this or any other consumer publication in an accessible format (electronic ASCII text, Braille, large print or audio),
please write or call us at the address or phone number below, or send an email to
This document is for consumer education purposes only and is not intended to affect any proceedings or cases
involving this subject matter or related issues.
Last Reviewed: 2/26/13

Federal Communications Commission

· Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau · 445 12th St. SW. Washington, DC 20554
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) · TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) ·

Fax: 1-866-418-0232 ·

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


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