When or why would anyone want an FCC license? And if your interest is in fixed wireless internet solutions, should you be interested? After all, fixed wireless is transmitted across the airwaves, so it makes sense that the FCC would somehow be involved. And, if you are investigating fixed wireless solutions, FCC licensing is part of the overall mix.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the US government, formed by the Communications Act of 1934. They basically decide who is able to use which frequencies for which purposes, and issue licenses to stations for specific frequencies. Their mission, amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is to ensure fast and reliable wire and radio communication services across the nation and the world.
That includes broadband, wireless internet, and fixed wireless services. Why? The airwaves are considered to be a limited resource that is shared by everyone. Because of this, the FCC assigns specific frequencies to licensed operators to prevent too many services from using the same channels at the same time.
What is the FCC License?
An FCC license grants an organization legal permission to operate on a specific frequency, within a particular radio band, using a specific type of radio signal emission. Individuals, businesses, or organizations that want to operate on Industrial/Business Pool frequencies must have a license.
This includes using a network design and equipment that meets FCC guidelines for quality and clarity. In the case of fixed wireless, the FCC requires most wireless telecommunications service licensees to construct their system or meet coverage requirements within a specified time period and then notify the Commission when everything is completed.
Benefits to holding an FCC license are:
- Obtaining a license guarantees you relatively clear frequencies on which to operate your radios. No one else can be assigned your particular frequency. This ensures that your signals, whether they be AM, FM, VHF, UHF, Shortwave, or different types of wireless communications, do not interfere with, or are not messed up by, other types of signals. Your data, or video, or sound, or whatever, can be transmitted clearly.
- If something or someone interferes with your radio signals, you can ask the FCC to handle it. Reporting such interference involves the full legal power of the FCC to resolve the problem. They have the authority to fine entities that cause problems, or even revoke their operating license and prevent them from broadcasting.
- An FCC-issued license allows you to provide your frequencies to local emergency and public safety operations in the event of an emergency or disaster situation. This enables law enforcement, fire, or EMS services to communicate more rapidly.
Why Does a Business Need a License?
There are a number of reasons a business is required to obtain an FCC license to operate over the airwaves, beginning with it being required by law. Operating radios without a license and causing interference with other legally licensed operators is punishable by hefty fines.
Also, as covered above, a license guarantees legal operators a secure, clear, unused frequency over which to operate their radios. Any interference by other parties is handled by the FCC, which can levy fines or prevent unlicensed users from using the airwaves.
How Does a Business Acquire a License?
In order to obtain an FCC license, you must:
- Gather the important information about your system.
- Consult with a Frequency Coordinator regarding the most appropriate frequencies for your application.
- File your application with the FCC through the recognized frequency coordinator.
- After your license is granted, notify the FCC that your system is constructed and placed into operation within 12 months of the date you were granted a license.
- You must file to renew your license no later than the expiration date of your current license period, and no sooner than 90 days prior to expiration.
Of course, with MHO services you don't have to worry about FCC licensing. We provide all you need for reliable, clear, and efficient communications, including appropriate licensing. We have several levels of service available, so why make it hard? Get MHO today.