FCC Fines Companies for FAA Wx Radar Interference

 - August 29, 2019, 11:20 AM

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed fines and issued a formal warning related to wireless internet providers that allegedly caused interference to the FAA’s doppler weather radar station at San Juan International Airport in Puerto Rico. Three separate $25,000 fines were proposed against Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless, and WinPR.

According to the FCC complaint, the companies used unlicensed national information infrastructure devices for point-to-point wireless broadband communication. “In each case, the companies apparently misconfigured the devices by turning off a required feature that would have prevented the devices from causing interference,” the complaint said. 

"Interference to these weather radar stations, which are used to detect wind shear and other dangerous weather conditions, is potentially life-threatening,” the FCC said. In those instances, which occurred in late 2018, no safety incidents related to the interference were reported. 

In addition to the proposed fines, the commission warned internet operators, manufacturers, and marketers of the devices that they must be certified under FCC rules. The companies cited will be given an opportunity to respond before the FCC takes final action.