FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory Regarding Set-Top Boxes

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is warning manufacturers, importers and marketers of video set-top boxes of the need to comply with the Agency’s equipment marketing requirements.

According to an Enforcement Advisory issued by the Commission in early April, there has been an increase in the marketing of unauthorized or non-compliant set-top boxes designed to facilitate the streaming of Internet-based content.  In its Advisory, the Commission reiterates that Parts 2 and 15 of FCC rules stipulate that set-top boxes must meet the following requirements:

  • FCC Authorization—Set-top boxes that support any type of radio frequency transmission (such as Wi-Fi) must be authorized through the FCC’s Certification process or through a Suppliers Declaration of Conformity (SDoC).
  • Labeling—Authorized set-top boxes must bear a label displaying a valid FCC Identifier number, and be accompanied by a statement attesting to compliance with FCC rules.
  • User Manuals—Set-top boxes must also be packaged with suitable consumer disclosures that the device has the potential to cause interference with other radio communications.

Parties found in violation of the FCC’s requirements regarding set-top boxes can be subject to monetary penalties of over $147,000 in connection with each violation.

Read the text of the FCC’s Advisory on its authorization rules for set-top boxes.

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