I agree with John's suggestion that we need to push manufacturers to certify. We could request that manufacturers indicate the certification status of their equipment on their websites, their spec sheets, and their advertising material. We could even create the artwork and make available to the industry a "Part 15 FCC-Certified Equipment" logo at no charge.

You ask - "Why would we need to push manufacturers when a WISP could just NOT buy a non-certified product"? Because half of the WISPs out there don't even realize that certification is required by law. WISPA can perform a valuable public service by simply providing knowledge and education for the WISP community and also by facilitating the means for manufacturers to get the certification accomplished (publishing the list of certification labs).

The alternative is for each of us to completely ignore the issue, which is the same as us saying (pick your favorite, vote for all the apply)

1. "Laws are made to be broken"
2. "Laws are made to be ignored"
2. "Laws are for other people, not for me"
3. "Ignorance of the law is my excuse for breaking the law"
4. "If nobody enforces it, it's not a law"
5. "Jack, Joe, John, Jim, James, and Jean aren't following the law so why should I"
6. <Add your own favorite excuse here>.

Our role is not enforcement, but education and leadership. By our actions, we can benefit WISPs, manufacturers, and WISP customers. By playing this role responsibly, our industry gains not just greater freedom from interference but greater credibility with the public, the Congress, the news media, and the FCC.


Matt Liotta wrote:

No need to push manufactures when you can just not buy their product. Why would you want to take the business risk of not buying a certified radio? I mean Trango sells radios plenty cheap and they're certified. Canopy is also cheap and also certified.


John Scrivner wrote:

This sounds like a good idea. I am sure we could add a link to a listing of certification labs. We also need to push manufacturers to certify. Without some pressure from us the certification will just look like more cost with little to gain to manufacturers. Pressure from customers would make this more of a requirement than what it seems to be now. If we all insist on certs then the overall cost for this would be negligible.

Jack Unger wrote:


Should WISPA consider publishing on our website a list of certification labs? It seems that our industry needs someone to step up and take on a leadership role and WISPA seems (to me anyway) to be the perfect organization to perform this role.

We could start by simply polling our list members to see which labs anyone has used and been satisfied with.

OK, speak up guys (and gals). What lab or labs have you researched or used?

John Scrivner wrote:

The rules state that any radio / antenna combination has to either be a certified system or that a substitute antenna used would have to meet the same specs as one used for certification in a system. Many think that this means "anything goes". The truth is that there are almost certainly a good bit of installed systems which would not pass FCC enforcement inspection. Many believe that following maximum EIRP rules is the only requirement. This is not so. It is a good practice if you are not following the rules but that does not mean it is legal. Another common belief is that "anything goes" is the rule of thumb due to the general lack of enforcement in unlicensed bands. This is unfortunate and further illustrates the need for our industry to mature.

Part of this maturity process should start by operators demanding to see FCC certifications for the systems they buy. It is tough for operators to remain compliant when so few systems are certified. Another step should be that manufacturers certify their systems with commonly used antenna / radio configurations every time they release a product. Finally, distributors need to demand that all systems they sell meet certification requirements. The fact is that certification is not terribly costly or complicated and should be a step taken by all manufacturers and eventually all of us. If anyone here represents manufacturers who certify all their systems then now would be a good time to toot your horn.

I believe the day will likely come that the FCC will inspect WISP systems. It took them about 20 years to start cracking down on the cable television industry for signal leakage and other infractions. Something tells me this industry will not have to wait that long. Of course the decision to follow the rules is inevitably up to each person. I would like to think we all will be compliant in the future but this is an unrealistic goal I am sure if manufacturers do not take a leadership role in this effort. WISPA stops short of demanding that members do anything but I will say, as President of WISPA, we should all try to follow the law regarding this industry. No industry association could expect to have impact in policy and legislative efforts if they took the stand that shirking the law is a correct course of action.

chris cooper wrote:

It sounds like several of you here build your own radios and use off the shelf antennas. So if I buy a board, cards and an antenna what are my obligations to FCC as far as having a certified system in production? Thanks for the education


Jack Unger ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) - President, Ask-Wi.Com, Inc.
Serving the License-Free Wireless Industry Since 1993
Author of the WISP Handbook - "Deploying License-Free Wireless WANs"
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