REC Statement on ET Dkt 24-136 - The "Bad Labs" proceeding.

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, The Federal Communications Commission will be considering a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET Docket 24-136.  This proceeding is what Commissioner Brendan Carr calls the “Bad Labs” Proposal.  The rulemaking is intended to strengthen the oversight of Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCBs) and test labs that are used to certify equipment for use in the United States.  The primary concern is related to companies such as Huawei and ZTE, both of which have ties to the Chinese Communist Party and the potential threat to national security.

For many years now, REC has been supportive of any efforts to thwart the dumping of cheap transmitters in the FM broadcast band including extremely overpowered devices that are “certified” for Part 15 as well as uncertified transmitters that are being marketed to LPFM stations with very attractive prices.  A large majority of this equipment is manufactured in China.

Take devices like the CZE 7C transmitter that is being marketed on Amazon.  This device has been granted FCC ID 2ASVO7C-73 as a Part 73 device that operates 7 watts on 87.9~91.9.  Yet when you look on the Amazon page, the device is advertised as 76~108 MHz, claims “FCC certified reliability” and that the “FCC certification isn’t just a stamp; it’s a ticket to an audio fiesta!”.  This Part 73 “certified” device is being marketed unlicensed applications such as churches, schools, farms, “speech”, offices, libraries, supermarkets, light shows, drive in theaters, campus radio, etc. with an incredible reach of 1,000 meters. 

We hope that this proceeding can be used as a first step to crack down on this pirate radio equipment being sold to the masses.  Pirate transmitters impact national security as it prevents the provision of the Emergency Alert System. Its time for the FCC to finally crack down on this junk reaching our shores.

More information on legal unlicensed use of low power transmitting devices in the FM and AM bands can be found at: