New Regulation for Low Power Devices

, 2019-12-17

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) published on 15th of November 2019 its Final Determination on the Proposed Revisions to Final Determinations Class Licences, Exemptions, and Types of Fees (ECS 24/2009) and Guidelines for the Type Approval Certificate of License‐Exempt Radio Spectrum Devices (ECS 02/2013).

Now URCA grants a type approval certificate for new categories of low power electronic communications devices that satisfy the requirements for exemption set out in section 17(3) of the Comms Act.

The changes also enable members of the Bahamian public to use as many additional everyday consumer electronic devices without the need to obtain a Licence from URCA.

Type Approvals Certificates are issued for consumer devices such a laptops, wireless Wi-Fi routers, remote controls, cordless telephones, garage door openers, remote fans, automobile keyless entry systems, etc.

  • The Type Approval process involves interaction between the manufacturer of a low power device and URCA.  The manufacturer of a low power device is required to demonstrate to URCA that:
  • The device is designed for efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum and avoids harmful interference with no degradation of service to other users of the spectrum;
  • The device conforms to health and safety standards and does not cause harm to the user or other individuals; and
  • The electromagnetic emissions do not disrupt the operation of equipment operating nearby.

The changes to the Guidelines removes the previous certification restriction that only allowed devices tested using the Federal Communications Commission’s CFR Part 15 standards, to be issued a Type Approval certificate.   URCA can now consider the type approval of low power devices manufactured in compliance with the standards of countries other than the USA.

Link to official release