The FCC has put resources online to explain its new rules for industrial and consumer wireless signal boosters.
“While nearly the entire U.S. population is served by one or more wireless providers, coverage gaps that exist within and at the edge of service areas can lead to dropped calls, reduced data speeds or complete loss of service,” the commission site tells visitors. “Robust signal boosters can bridge these gaps and extend coverage at the fringe of service areas.”
The commission report and order this month is intended to enhance wireless coverage particularly in rural, underserved and difficult-to-serve areas. It said that the four nationwide carriers, and many rural and regional ones, consented to the use of boosters on their networks as long as the boosters meet technical specs outlined in the order.
The site explains both consumer and industrial boosters (the latter “typically designed to serve multiple users simultaneously and cover larger areas such as stadiums, airports, office buildings, hospitals, tunnels and educational campuses”). Consumer signal boosters must meet certain technical specifications and are authorized under provider licenses subject to provider consent, which the FCC says will be “voluntarily provided in this case by most carriers.” Consumers must register their signal boosters with their provider.