[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 21 (Wednesday, February 1, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4910-4914]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2061]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 2, 15 and 18

[DA 11-2011]


Editorial Revisions to the Commission's Rules

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document makes a number of non-substantive, editorial 
revisions to the Commission's rules. These revisions are made to delete 
certain rule provisions that are without current legal effect and 
therefore are obsolete. These non-substantive revisions are part of the 
Commission's ongoing examination and improvement of FCC processes and 
procedures. The revisions clarify, simplify, and harmonize the rules, 
making them more readily accessible to the public and minimizing 
potential confusion for interested parties and Commission staff.

DATES: Effective February 1, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hugh Van Tuyl, Office of Engineering 
and Technology, (202) 418-7506, email: hugh.vantuyl@fcc.gov, TTY (202) 
418-2989.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Order, 
DA 11-2011, adopted December 12, 2011 and released December 14, 2011. 
The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying 
during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-
A257), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of 
this document also may be purchased from the Commission's copy 
contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-
B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: 
www.fcc.gov.

Summary of the Order

    1. In this Order, the Commission makes a number of non-substantive, 
editorial revisions to parts 2, 15 and 18 of the Commission's rules. 
These revisions are made to delete certain rule provisions that are 
without current legal effect and therefore are obsolete. These non-
substantive revisions are part of the Commission's ongoing examination 
and improvement of FCC processes and procedures. The revisions clarify, 
simplify, and harmonize the rules, making them more readily accessible 
to the public and minimizing potential confusion for interested parties 
and Commission staff alike. The revisions and the specific reasons for 
adopting each change are set forth below.
    2. Part 2, Subpart N, FCC Procedure for Testing Class A, B and S 
Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacons (EPIRBs). This Order deletes 
in its entirety part 2, Subpart N, FCC Procedure for Testing Class A, B 
and S Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacons (EPIRBs), Sec.  2.1501 
through 2.1517 and Figures 1 through 4. All of the rules and figures in 
this subpart pertain to a measurement procedure that was developed for 
determining the compliance of certain types of maritime distress 
beacons with

[[Page 4911]]

technical requirements formerly contained in part 80 of the 
Commission's rules. The Commission deleted the part 80 technical 
requirements for Class A, B and S EPIRBs in 2002. The Commission also 
prohibited the manufacture, importation and sale of this equipment 
effective February 1, 2003 and its operation effective December 31, 
2006. Thus, all of the rules in this subpart are without current legal 
effect and are obsolete.
    3. Part 15, Radio Frequency Devices, transition provisions. This 
Order modifies Sec.  15.37 of the rules to expired transition 
provisions. This section lists the dates by which certain types of 
equipment must comply with revised part 15 technical requirements. The 
Commission established Sec.  15.37 when it substantially revised part 
15 of the rules in 1989. The changes it adopted in that revision 
tightened the emission limits for certain types of equipment such as 
radio receivers and required some devices to comply with emission 
limits at higher frequencies than the previous rules. The Commission 
therefore decided to provide manufacturers with a transition period to 
bring equipment into compliance with the revised part 15 requirements.
    4. Subsequent to the 1989 part 15 revision, the Commission added a 
number of additional transition provisions to Sec.  15.37. These 
additional provisions are unrelated to the 1989 part 15 revisions and 
instead specify the dates by which equipment had to comply with later 
revisions to part 15 of the rules. The types of additional devices 
covered by Sec.  15.37 include cordless telephones, scanning receivers, 
computer boards and power supplies, medical telemetry equipment, radar 
detectors and TV bands devices.
    5. All of the transition dates listed in Sec.  15.37 have passed, 
so the Commission analyzed each paragraph in this section to determine 
whether they contain any regulatory requirements that would necessitate 
their retention. The Commission determined that many but not all of 
these provisions can be as obsolete. This Order revises Sec.  15.37 as 
described.
     Sections 15.37(a), 15.37(b) 15.37(c) and 15.37(d) are 
deleted. These sections list the dates by which intentional radiators, 
unintentional radiators, radio receivers and equipment operating in the 
902-905 MHz band had to comply with the rules adopted in the 1989 part 
15 revision. All of the transition dates listed in these sections has 
passed, and these sections contain no regulatory requirements that 
would necessitate their retention. Thus, they are without legal effect 
and are obsolete. The Commission also deleted two provisions in part 15 
that reference these obsolete sections: the note in Sec.  15.31(l) 
which references the receiver transition rule in Sec.  15.37(b); and 
Sec.  15.249(f) which references the transition provision in Sec.  
15.37(d).
     The introductory text to Sec.  15.37 is deleted. This text 
was intended as a preface to the transition provisions in paragraphs 
(a) and (b) because it relates to the authorization, manufacture and 
importation of equipment that complies with the part 15 rules in effect 
prior to June 23, 1989. It is not applicable as an introduction to any 
of the other transition provisions that were added subsequent to the 
1989 part 15 revision. Because paragraphs (a) and (b) are deleted, the 
introductory text for them is also without legal effect and is 
obsolete.
     Section 15.37(e) is deleted. This section specifies the 
dates by which cordless telephones must comply with the requirements of 
Sec.  15.214(d) to incorporate digital security codes to prevent 
unintentional access to the public switched telephone network by base 
units, and unintentional ringing of handsets. Applications for 
certification of cordless telephones that do not comply with these 
requirements were no longer accepted after May 10, 1991, and the 
manufacture of cordless telephones that do not comply with these 
requirements had to cease on or before September 11, 1991. These 
transition dates have passed, and this section contains no other 
regulatory requirements that would necessitate its retention. Thus, 
this section is without legal effect and is obsolete.
     Section 15.37(f) is deleted. This section requires 
scanning receivers manufactured or imported after April 26, 1994 to 
comply with the provisions of Sec.  15.121(a)(1) that require blocking 
of reception on frequencies allocated to the Cellular Radiotelephone 
Service in part 22 of the rules. Section 15.37(f) was effectively 
superseded by Sec.  15.37(h), which requires scanning receivers 
manufactured or imported after October 25, 1999 to comply with a 
subsequently revised Sec.  15.121 that tightened the rules to ensure 
that scanning receivers do not receive Cellular Radiotelephone Service 
frequencies. Thus, Sec.  15.37(f) is without legal effect and is 
obsolete. Sec.  15.37(h) is retained because it contains relevant 
regulatory information, i.e., that scanning receivers manufactured or 
imported prior to October 25, 1999 may continue to be marketed and 
operated.
     Section 15.37(g) is deleted. This section states that 
certain CPU computer boards and power supplies must be authorized under 
either the Commission's certification procedure or its Declaration of 
Conformity (DoC) procedure, as set forth in Sec.  15.101, effective 
June 19, 1997. Prior to the adoption of Sec.  15.37(g), manufacturers 
and importers of such computer equipment were not required to have 
their equipment authorized. Thus, Sec.  15.37(g) simply announces the 
date that authorization under either the DoC or certification procedure 
became mandatory for CPU computer boards and related equipment, and 
cross-references another rule section for informational purposes. As a 
result, Sec.  15.37(g) is without legal effect and is obsolete.
     Section 15.37(n) is deleted. This section prohibited the 
marketing of TV bands devices before the planned February 18, 2009 
digital television transition date. No TV bands devices were approved 
for marketing before that date and the date has passed. Thus, Sec.  
15.37(n) is without legal effect and is obsolete.
     In addition to the changes listed, the remaining 
paragraphs in Sec.  15.37 are sequentially renumbered. This is merely 
an editorial change.
    6. Part 15, Radio Frequency Devices, other provisions. This Order 
modifies or deletes a number of other part 15 rules containing 
provisions that have become obsolete because they now only function as 
unnecessary informational statements (e.g., due to the expiration of a 
transition deadline), without any legal effect. Specifically, this 
order makes the following changes.
     Section 15.115 is revised by removing the last sentence 
from each of paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (h) and (i). These paragraphs 
contain technical requirements for transfer switches used to select 
between a cable TV input and an over-the-air antenna input to a TV 
receiver. Each of these three paragraphs ends with a statement designed 
to inform the public that the requirements in that paragraph would 
become effective June 30, 1997. Because that date has passed, the 
sentence at the end of each of these paragraphs provides unnecessary 
information that does not affect the substance of the rules or 
otherwise have any legal effect.
     Section 15.117 is revised by removing expired transition 
provisions from paragraphs (i) and (j) and making editorial revisions 
to the text of paragraph (i) that were necessitated by the removal of 
the transition provisions. Paragraph (i) contains a requirement that 
all TV receivers must be equipped with a digital TV tuner no later than 
March 1, 2007. This requirement was phased in over several years, with 
larger screen TVs having to meet it first,

[[Page 4912]]

followed later by smaller screen TVs and other devices such as VCRs and 
digital video recorders that contain TV tuners. Paragraph (j) of this 
section contains technical requirements for transfer switches within a 
TV receiver that are used to select between a cable TV input and an 
over-the-air antenna input. This paragraph ends with a sentence stating 
that the requirements in that paragraph are effective June 30, 1997. 
The transition dates in paragraphs (i) and (j) have passed, and the 
statute of limitations in the Communications Act prohibits any new 
enforcement actions for violations of these provisions. Accordingly, 
the transition provisions in these paragraphs provide unnecessary 
information that does not affect the substance of the rules or 
otherwise have any legal effect.
     Section 15.118 is revised by removing the note at the end 
of the section. This section specifies the technical requirements that 
a TV receiver must meet to be marketed as cable ready or cable 
compatible. This section contains a note at the end informing the 
public that the provisions of the section would apply as of June 30, 
1997. Because that date has passed, and because the statute of 
limitations in the Communications Act precludes any enforcement action 
for activities taking place before that date, that note provides 
unnecessary information that does not affect the substance of the rules 
or otherwise have any legal effect.
     Section 15.120 is revised by removing the transition dates 
from paragraphs (b) and (d)(2). This section requires that TV receivers 
incorporate the capability for users to block programming based on 
rating information transmitted with the program. Paragraph (b) states 
that TV receivers must meet the program blocking requirements in 
paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of this section effective January 1, 2000. 
Paragraph (d)(2) states that, effective March 15, 2006, digital TV 
receivers must be capable of receiving program rating information in 
accordance with a specific industry standard. Thus, these provisions 
merely state the effective dates of other requirements in Sec.  15.120. 
These dates have passed, and the statute of limitations for violations 
of these requirements has also passed. Therefore, the transition 
provisions provide unnecessary information that does not affect the 
substance of the rules or otherwise have any legal effect.
     Section 15.123 is revised by removing expired transition 
provisions from paragraph (b)(6) and making editorial revisions to the 
text that are necessitated by their removal. This paragraph states that 
a unidirectional digital cable television may not be labeled or 
marketed as digital cable ready unless it includes a digital TV tuner 
and contains at least one of two specific interfaces. This requirement 
was phased in, with some larger screen TV sets having to meet it by 
July 1, 2004, followed by smaller TV sets, with all sets having to meet 
it by July 1, 2007. Because all of the transition dates and the statute 
of limitations for enforcement actions have passed, the transition 
provisions of this section provide unnecessary information that does 
not affect the substance of the rules or otherwise have any legal 
effect.
     Section 15.124 is deleted. This section requires 
television receivers and related devices (e.g., video recorders and 
set-top boxes) manufactured between April 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009 to 
include consumer information about the DTV transition. The time period 
during which this requirement applied ended over two years ago, and the 
statute of limitations for violations of this requirement ended on June 
30, 2010. As a result, this section is without current legal effect and 
is obsolete.
    7. Part 18, Industrial, Scientific and Medical Equipment. This 
Order amends part 18 of the rules to delete Sec.  18.123. This section 
lists the dates by which specific types of Industrial, Scientific and 
Medical (ISM) equipment must comply with the present limits on radio 
frequency emissions conducted from a device onto the AC power lines. 
The Commission modified these emission limits in 2002 and established 
dates by which equipment had to comply with the modified limits. All 
transition dates listed within this section have passed and this 
section contains no other regulatory requirements. Thus, it is without 
current legal effect and is obsolete.
    8. The rule amendments adopted in this Order and set forth in the 
attached Appendix are non-substantive, editorial revisions of the rules 
pursuant to 47 CFR Sec.  0.231(b). These revisions delete rule 
provisions that are without current legal effect and therefore are 
obsolete, delete references to obsolete rules and make minor editorial 
changes that are necessary due to the deletion of obsolete rule 
provisions. Accordingly, the Commission finds good cause to conclude 
that notice and comment procedures are unnecessary and would not serve 
any useful purpose. For the same reason, the Commission also finds good 
cause to make these non-substantive, editorial revisions of the rules 
effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
    9. Because this Order is being adopted without notice and comment, 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply.
    10. The rules contained herein have been analyzed with respect to 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and found to contain no new or 
modified form, information collection, and/or recordkeeping, labeling, 
disclosure, or record retention requirements, and will not increase or 
decrease burden hours imposed on the public. In addition, therefore, 
this Order does not contain any new or modified ``information 
collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 
employees,'' pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 
2002. The Commission will not send a copy of the Order in a report to 
Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act.
    11. Accordingly, effective upon publication in the Federal 
Register, parts 2, 15 and 18 of the Commission's rules Are Amended, as 
set forth in the attached Appendix, pursuant to the authority contained 
in sections 4(i), 5(c), and 303(r) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 
154(i), 155(c), and 303(r), and sections 0.231(b) and 0.241(h) of the 
Commission's regulations, 47 CFR 0.231(b), 0.241(h).

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Parts 2, 15 and 18

    Communications equipment, Reporting and recordkeeping.


Federal Communications Commission.
Julius P. Knapp,
Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 2, 15 and 18 as follows:

PART 2--FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL 
RULES AND REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise 
noted.

Subpart N [Removed and Reserved]

0
2. Remove and reserve subpart N, consisting of Sec. Sec.  1.1801 
through 1.1870, and Figures 1 through 4.

[[Page 4913]]

PART 15--RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES

0
3. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 304, 307, 336, 544a, and 
549.


0
4. Section Sec.  15.31 is amended by removing the note following 
paragraph (l).

0
5. Section Sec.  15.37 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  15.37  Transition provisions for compliance with the rules.

    (a) The manufacture or importation of scanning receivers, and 
frequency converters designed or marketed for use with scanning 
receivers, that do not comply with the provisions of Sec.  15.121 shall 
cease on or before October 25, 1999. Effective July 26, 1999, the 
Commission will not grant equipment authorization for receivers that do 
not comply with the provisions of Sec.  15.121. This paragraph does not 
prohibit the sale or use of authorized receivers manufactured in the 
United States, or imported into the United States, prior to October 25, 
1999.
    (b) Effective October 16, 2002, an equipment approval may no longer 
be obtained for medical telemetry equipment operating under the 
provisions of Sec.  15.241 or Sec.  15.242. The requirements for 
obtaining an approval for medical telemetry equipment after this date 
are found in subpart H of part 95 of this chapter.
    (c) All radio frequency devices that are authorized under the 
certification, verification or declaration of conformity procedures on 
or after July 12, 2004 shall comply with the conducted limits specified 
in Sec.  15.107 or Sec.  15.207 as appropriate. All radio frequency 
devices that are manufactured or imported on or after July 11, 2005 
shall comply with the conducted limits specified in Sec.  15.107 or 
Sec.  15.207, as appropriate. Equipment authorized, imported or 
manufactured prior to these dates shall comply with the conducted 
limits specified in Sec.  15.107 or Sec.  15.207, as appropriate, or 
with the conducted limits that were in effect immediately prior to 
September 9, 2002.
    (d) Radar detectors manufactured or imported after August 28, 2002 
and marketed after September 27, 2002 shall comply with the regulations 
specified in this part. Radar detectors manufactured or imported prior 
to January 27, 2003 may be labeled with the information required by 
Sec.  2.925 of this chapter and Sec.  15.19(a) on the individual 
equipment carton rather than on the device, and are exempt from 
complying with the requirements of Sec.  15.21.
    (e) U-NII equipment operating in the 5.25-5.35 GHz band for which 
applications for certification are filed on or after July 20, 2006 
shall comply with the DFS and TPC requirements specified in Sec.  
15.407. U-NII equipment operating in the 5.25-5.35 GHz band that are 
imported or marketed on or after July 20, 2007 shall comply with the 
DFS and TPC requirements in Sec.  15.407.
    (f) All Access BPL devices that are manufactured, imported, 
marketed or installed on or after July 7, 2006, shall comply with the 
requirements specified in subpart G of this part, including 
certification of the equipment.

0
6. Section Sec.  15.115 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(1)(i), 
(h) and (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  15.115  TV interface devices, including cable system terminal 
devices.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) For a cable system terminal device or a TV interface device 
equipped for use with a cable system or a master antenna, as defined in 
paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the isolation between the antenna and 
cable input terminals shall be at least 80 dB from 54 MHz to 216 MHz, 
at least 60 dB from 216 MHz to 550 MHz and at least 55 dB from 550 MHz 
to 806 MHz. The 80 dB standard applies at 216 MHz and the 60 dB 
standard applies at 550 MHz. In the case of a transfer switch requiring 
a power source, the required isolation shall be maintained in the event 
the device is not connected to a power source or power is interrupted.
* * * * *
    (h) Stand-alone switches used to alternate between cable service 
and an antenna shall provide isolation between the antenna and cable 
input terminals that is at least 80 dB from 54 MHz to 216 MHz, at least 
60 dB from 216 MHz to 550 MHz and at least 55 dB from 550 MHz to 806 
MHz. The 80 dB standard applies at 216 MHz and the 60 dB standard 
applies at 550 MHz. In the case of stand-alone switches requiring a 
power source, the required isolation shall be maintained in the event 
the device is not connected to a power source or power is interrupted.
    (i) Switches and other devices intended to be used to by-pass the 
processing circuitry of a cable system terminal device, whether 
internal to such a terminal device or a stand-alone unit, shall not 
attenuate the input signal more than 6 dB from 54 MHz to 550 MHz, or 
more than 8 dB from 550 MHz to 804 MHz. The 6 dB standard applies at 
550 MHz.

0
7. Section Sec.  15.117 is amended by revising paragraph (i) and 
revising paragraph (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  15.117  TV broadcast receivers.

* * * * *
    (i) Digital television reception requirement.
    (1) Responsible parties, as defined in Sec.  2.909 of this chapter, 
are required to equip with DTV tuners new TV broadcast receivers that 
are shipped in interstate commerce or imported from any foreign country 
into the United States and for which they are responsible to comply 
with the provisions of this section. For purposes of this section, the 
term ``TV broadcast receivers'' includes other video devices 
(videocassette recorders (VCRs), digital video recorders such as hard 
drive and DVD recorders, etc.) that receive television signals.
    (2) The requirement to include digital television reception 
capability in new TV broadcast receivers does not apply to devices such 
as mobile telephones and personal digital assistants where such devices 
do not include the capability to receive TV service on the frequencies 
allocated for broadcast television service.
    (j) For a TV broadcast receiver equipped with a cable input 
selector switch, the selector switch shall provide, in any of its set 
positions, isolation between the antenna and cable input terminals of 
at least 80 dB from 54 MHz to 216 MHz, at least 60 dB from 216 MHz to 
550 MHz and at least 55 dB from 550 MHz to 806 MHz. The 80 dB standard 
applies at 216 MHz and the 60 dB standard applies at 550 MHz. In the 
case of a selector switch requiring a power source, the required 
isolation shall be maintained in the event the device is not connected 
to a power source or power is interrupted. An actual switch that can 
alternate between reception of cable television service and an antenna 
is not required for a TV broadcast receiver, provided compliance with 
the isolation requirement specified in this paragraph can be 
demonstrated and the circuitry following the antenna input terminal(s) 
has sufficient band-width to allow the reception of all TV broadcast 
channels authorized under this chapter.
* * * * *

0
8. Section Sec.  15.118 is amended by removing the note following 
paragraph (d).

0
9. Section Sec.  15.120 is amended by revising paragraphs (b) and 
(d)(2) to read as follows:

[[Page 4914]]

Sec.  15.120  Program blocking technology requirements for television 
receivers.

* * * * *
    (b) All TV broadcast receivers as defined in Sec.  15.3(w), 
including personal computer systems meeting that definition, with 
picture screens 33 cm (13 in) or larger, measured diagonally, or with 
displays in the 16:9 aspect ratio that are 19.8 cm (7.8 in) or greater 
in height and digital television receivers without an associated 
display device shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in the 
United States shall comply with the provisions of paragraphs (c), (d), 
and (e) of this section.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) Digital television receivers shall react in a similar manner as 
analog televisions when programmed to block specific rating categories. 
Digital television receivers will receive program rating descriptors 
transmitted pursuant to industry standard EIA/CEA-766-A ``U.S. and 
Canadian Region Rating Tables (RRT) and Content Advisory Descriptors 
for Transport of Content Advisory Information using ATSC A/65-A Program 
and System Information Protocol (PSIP),'' 2001 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  15.38). Blocking of programs shall occur when a 
program rating is received that meets the pre-determined user 
requirements. Digital television receivers shall be able to respond to 
changes in the content advisory rating system.
* * * * *

0
10. Section 15.123 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(6) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  15.123  Labeling of digital cable ready products.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (6) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) through 
(5) of this section, a unidirectional digital cable television may not 
be labeled or marketed as digital cable ready or with other terminology 
as described in paragraph (b) of this section, unless it includes a DTV 
broadcast tuner as set forth in Sec.  15.117(i) and employs at least 
one interface specified in paragraphs (b)(6)(i) and (ii) of this 
section:
    (i) For 480p grade unidirectional digital cable televisions, either 
a DVI/HDCP, HDMI/HDCP, or 480p Y,Pb,Pr interface.
    (ii) For 720p/1080i grade unidirectional digital cable televisions, 
either a DVI/HDCP or HDMI/HDCP interface.
* * * * *


Sec.  15.124  [Removed]

0
11. Remove Sec.  15.124.


Sec.  15.249  [Amended]

0
12. Section 15.249 is amended by removing paragraph (f).

PART 18--INDUSTRIAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

0
13. The authority citation for part 18 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 4, 301, 302, 303, 304, 307.


Sec.  18.123  [Removed]

0
14. Remove Sec.  18.123.

[FR Doc. 2012-2061 Filed 1-31-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P