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FCC Acts to Enhance Consumers' Ability to Fill Mobile Broadband Gaps

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Released: February 20, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).


February 20, 2013
Cecilia Sulhoff, (202) 418-0587



Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order
that furthers the goal of improving our nation’s wireless infrastructure by expanding the reach of wireless
coverage for consumers. These new rules governing signal boosters – which amplify signals between
wireless devices and wireless networks – will substantially improve signal booster design by requiring
manufacturers to include safeguards that protect wireless networks. As a result, all four nationwide
carriers, as well as many rural and regional carriers, have consented to the use of boosters on their
networks, as long as those boosters meet the technical specifications outlined in the Order.
Removing consumer and industry uncertainty regarding signal booster use and operation will promote
further investment in and use of this promising technology. Signal boosters not only help consumers
improve coverage where signal strength is weak, but they also aid public safety first responders by
extending wireless access in hard-to serve areas such as tunnels, subways, and garages. This Report and
Order reflects a common sense, consensus-based technical solution that will help millions of consumers
across the country.
The Order addresses two classes of signal boosters – consumer and industrial – with distinct regulatory
requirements for each. Specifically, consumer signal boosters must meet stringent technical
specifications (Network Protection Standard), and are authorized under provider licenses subject to
provider consent, voluntarily provided in this case by most carriers. Consumers must register their signal
booster with their provider prior to use. Labeling requirements ensure that consumers understand these
terms of use. Consumer boosters can be used on most mainstream wireless bands: cellular, PCS, AWS-1,
700 MHz, and ESMR (after rebanding). The use of consumer boosters may not cause interference to
wireless networks even if a device meets the Network Protection Standard.
The Order also details rules for industrial signal boosters designed to cover large areas such as stadiums,
airports, and tunnels. Industrial signal boosters will continue to fall under the existing authorization
process, and must be installed and operated in coordination with licensees.
The new rules for boosters are supported by a diverse range of wireless providers, represented by CTIA-
The Wireless Association, the Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG), and the Competitive Carriers
Association (CCA).
Additional information about this proceeding can be found on the FCC website at:

Action by the Commission February 20, 2013, by Report and Order (FCC 13-21). Chairman
Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai. Separate statements issued by
Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai.
News and information about the Federal Communications Commission is available at

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