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Telecommunications Update: Petition to Eliminate the Personal Use Restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters

March 16, 2017

Petition to Eliminate the Personal Use Restriction on Wideband Consumer Signal Boosters

Wilson Electronics, LLC has filed a petition with the FCC requesting the elimination of the “personal use” restriction on the operation of all consumer signal boosters. Currently the Commission’s rules provide that “[a] subscriber in good standing of a commercial mobile radio service system may operate a Consumer Signal Booster for personal use under the authorization held by the licensee providing service to the subscriber. . . .”  A Consumer Signal Booster is defined by the Commission as a “bi-directional signal booster that is marketed and sold to the general public for use without modification.”

In its petition, Wilson Electronics is asking the Commission to replace the “personal use” restriction with “a multi-provider registration requirement for [wideband consumer signal boosters]” so that businesses, public safety entities, public institutions and other enterprises may purchase and use consumer signal boosters.  Further, the Wilson Petition asks that the Commission initiate a new proceeding to eliminate the restriction for wideband consumer signal boosters as well.

The Commission is seeking comments on the rule changes proposed by the Wilson Petition and whether the rule change would increase the risk of harmful interference to wireless networks, whether licensees would retain sufficient control of their licensed spectrum under the proposal, and how the proposal would affect consumers, businesses and public safety entities seeking to use consumer signal boosters. Additionally, the Commission is seeking comments on the benefits and costs of removing the personal use restriction on only wideband consumer signal boosters, on only provider-specific consumer signal boosters or both.

Comments in response to the Wilson Petition are due on March 23, 2017 and reply comments are due on April 3, 2017.  Please contact one of the telecommunications specialists at Shulman Rogers if you are interested in filing comments in this matter or are interested in a summary of the comments/reply comments filed.


Georgina L.O. Feigen

Alan S. Tilles