compliance news
EU Commission Updates Standards for Certain Electrical Equipment
The Commission of the European Union (EU) has updated its list of harmonized standards that can be used to demonstrate conformity with the safety requirements of the EU’s Radio Equipment Directive (2014/35/EU, or RED).

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/713 specifically updates harmonized standards originally detailed in Annexes I, II, and III of Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/1956. Compliance with the requirements of applicable harmonized standards in (EU) 2019/1956 confers a presumption of conformity with RED requirements.

New harmonized standards addressed in the update cover a short list of specific electrical and electronic products, including battery chargers, appliances for heating liquids, instantaneous water heaters, thermal-storage room heaters, toilets, and certain other electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits.

FCC Addresses International Robocall Scammers
As part of its ongoing battle against robocall scamming activity, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now taking steps to stop illegal robocalls originating from outside of the U.S.

In a Sixth Report and Order, the FCC moved to implement new rules applicable to so-called gateway providers, the key pathway for international call traffic. The rules require them to institute compliance measures and procedures to ensure compliance with the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication protocols and to take additional steps to validate the true identity of the providers they service, including efforts to trace illegal robocalls to their source.

According to the FCC, international robocall scams represent a disproportionately large number of robocall and spoofing activities in the U.S. It cites statistics from the Industry Traceback Group that estimates that 65% of service providers found to be transmitting illegal robocalls were either based outside of the U.S. or were gateway providers.

Electro-Pollution: A Potential Source of Sleep Deprivation and Stress
Modern life would be very different without access to state-of-the-art wireless technologies. But the benefits of these technologies may be offset by the adverse impact that continuous exposure to “electromagnetic pollution” has on our physical and mental health.

That’s the conclusion of an article written by researcher and author Trevicia Williams and recently published on the website of Psychology Today. According to the article, environmental factors including exposure to electricity, electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, and other forms of electro-pollution can directly affect the body’s own electrical and biochemical response mechanisms, leading to imbalances in how we feel and think.

The problem is exacerbated when we sleep with EMF radiation-emitting devices in close proximity. Reportedly, the human pineal gland interprets EMF radiation as a form of light, thereby interfering with the production of melatonin which helps us to sleep. And EMF radiation also disrupts our circadian rhythms, impacting our ability to stay asleep.

The article offers a short list of suggestions for minimizing the impact of electro-pollution, including removing electronics from your sleeping area, use of a battery-powered alarm clock instead of your smartphone, and replacing wireless forms of connected devices with wired alternatives.

FCC Regulatory Process: Safety is Just One Consideration
The regulatory development process often devolves into a debate over competing interests
Many people believe that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) focuses primarily on public safety considerations when developing regulations to address radio spectrum allocation issues. But, in reality, the regulatory development process often devolves into a debate over competing interests, with safety being just one factor that’s considered.

This perspective is shared in detail in an insightful article published on the IEEE Spectrum website, written by Mitchell Lazarus, an engineer and telecommunications attorney.

While the FCC’s established rulemaking process appears open and transparent, Lazarus argues that extensive engineering studies submitted by both proponents and opponents of new frequency usage and allocations are often based on different assumptions about transmitter and receiver characteristics and the interaction between the two. As a result, these opposing perspectives can produce significant differences in the results.

Further, according to Lazarus, study outcomes rarely result in a “binary yes/no,” but “as differing probabilities for various degrees of interference.” As a result, the FCC is faced with the task of evaluating a range of conflicting uncertainties, typically leading to a solution that attempts to balance both sides of the dispute, with safety just one of several considerations.

Lazarus cites several examples of the regulatory process complexity. These include the recent debate over whether the widespread introduction of 5G services could interfere with aircraft radar altimeters, putting planes and their passengers at risk. He also discusses in detail the controversy over the FCC’s proposal to add Wi-Fi to the 6-GHz band, and the basis for the differing conclusions offered by proponents and opponents of the proposal.

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