FCC Puts Kibosh on Cell Phone Signal Boosters
Tells owners they may have to turn them off
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 21, 2013 3:41 PM CST
A wireless signal booster is seen surrounded by phones in this government handout illustration.   (FCC)

(Newser) – The FCC today ordered the 2 million Americans using wireless signal boosters to turn them off—then quickly backpedaled, saying only that they might have to turn them off. The FCC adopted new rules governing the devices, which are designed to boost cell phone reception, but which regulators fear will interfere with other wireless signals. From now on, users will only be allowed to buy devices that meet the new, signal-protecting standards—none of which are on the market yet.

Even once they arrive, consumers will need their carrier's approval to use them. As for people who already have boosters, the initial FAQ said they'd need to get permission as well, or else turn them off, Ars Technica reports—and a legal expert says they could technically fine anyone who didn't. But it didn't take long for the FCC to change its language; now, it says you must turn off the device only if "a wireless provider or the FCC asks you to."

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Feb 22, 2013 3:30 PM CST
Translation: A cell phone booster manufacturer, with connections in the FCC, managed to pull a few favors to have their competitors banned from the market, under the pretext that their products are obtrusive. Crony Capitalism and Liberalism go together like Milk and Corn Flakes.
Feb 22, 2013 8:33 AM CST
All these wireless signals are frying our brain cells! We'll be the zombie world soon.
Feb 21, 2013 7:43 PM CST
Mega fines if you unlock your cellphone. Don't use signal boosters. The President can kill you with a drone. Take off your shoes, get an x-ray of your private parts, and get felt up at the airport. Cops can now legally strip search you for a traffic violation. How are you all liking big government so far?