WASHINGTON, D.C.—Womble Carlyle Telecom attorney Gregg Skall
earned an important regulatory waiver on behalf of Uniden America Corporation, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer, ensuring that the company will be able to market and sell its citizens band radios with a wireless microphone and speaker. Uniden, a heritage CB radio manufacturer, has served the personal communications market in the U.S. for more than thirty years.
CB equipment has been in use for decades, particularly in the long-haul trucking industry. In the early days of CB radio, some users created schemes to control transmissions from miles away—even cross country in some cases. To prevent such unauthorized use, the Federal Communication Commission adopted rules to prohibit operation of CB radios by remote control. For a variety of reasons, however, truckers and other users have need to be able to use their CB in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle, unattached to the radio itself.
To meet this need, Uniden developed a cordless microphone for its CB radios that was seen as a major improvement by truckers, but uncertainty whether the FCC would consider it to be “remote control” required prevented its deployment. Arguing the benefits of short-range cordless microphones, convinced the FCC staff that cordless CB microphones are potentially safer and add important utility and convenience for truckers on the road and at freight depots.
On October 17th, 2012, Uniden received a requested waiver from the FCC allowing the wireless equipment. Skall represented Uniden before the FCC in successfully obtaining this waiver. Uniden CB radios fitted with its new wireless microphones can be within abotut a 100 feet range of the vehicle. Uniden believes CB users will enjoy having the option of buying and using a wireless device.
represents broadcasters, telecommunications providers, equipment manufacturers and other parties in their regulatory dealings before the Federal Communications Commission and in their commercial business dealings. He serves as Washington Counsel to several state broadcaster associations. He has worked with telecommunications companies and radio device manufacturers to obtain FCC approvals and to assure regulatory compliance for more than thirty years. Skall is a frequent author on broadcasting and the law and is published in Radio Business Report/Television Business Report
, where his column “FCC Uncensored”
is a regular feature.
Follow Gregg Skall on Twitter at @commlaw
This document is intended as an informational reminder and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions or would like to discuss a particular situation, please contact Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. The purpose of this article is to provide general information about significant legal developments and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances.