Safer Building Coalition Calls for Task Force on Signal Booster Interference
Monday, December 21, 2020 | Comments

The Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC) called on the FCC to immediately convene a task force to address interference caused to public-safety radio by the improper use of signal boosters commonly deployed to remediate poor in-building public-safety and commercial wireless coverage.

In February 2013, the FCC issued a report and order that affirmed local governments' authority to adopt ordinances, and/or fire or building codes that require signal boosters to be installed in certain buildings to ensure first responders have reliable communications. Adoption and enforcement of codes and ordinances requiring effective in-building wireless coverage are steadily increasing in the US and in Canada and other countries. While many buildings have benefitted from signal booster deployment, there have been recurring challenges. The increase in incidents where improperly deployed signal boosters have degraded or totally disrupted public-safety radio systems is concerning and must be addressed in an affirmative way, the SBC said.

The key objectives of the SBC’s No Noise effort are:
• Combat RF interference caused by improperly deployed in-building signal boosters
• Affirm and reinforce the essential role of frequency license holders in the deployment of signal boosters
• Affirm the essential need for reliable wireless coverage inside buildings for both first responders and the public, and reinforce the essential role of consistent codes and standards interpretation and enforcement in achieving that goal

Among the key stakeholders sought for this task force are frequency license holders/radio system administrators; codes and standards bodies; fire and building code officials; public-safety agencies; industry members involved in manufacturing, engineering, furnishing and installing signal boosters; federal agencies and authorities such as the FCC, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); wireless broadband carriers; related industry associations; and property owners and managers.

The campaign is based on the ”No Noise” position paper released by the SBC that proposes 18 principles for safe and effective in-building communications.

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