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[Regulatory Compliance, Technology] Why is FCC approval required for wireless devices like ReplyŽ?

In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates all electronic devices that generate radio frequency signals. Signals can be unintentionally radiated, as in the case of computer processors, power supplies, and other components that generate radio energy. Signals can also be intentionally radiated, as in the case of ReplyŽ wireless response systems sending two-way radio signals between keypads and their assigned base stations.

All of these devices sold in the USA must carry proper FCC identifications. And low power wireless audience response systems like ReplyŽ must certify that their operation (1) will not cause interference with other devices and (2) must accept interference by other devices. That's commonly referred to as Part 15 certification.

Before buying ANY electronic product -- response system or not -- you should ensure that the devices are, in fact, properly certified. Otherwise, you -- as the owner, lessee, and even temporary user -- could be subject to penalties for operating unapproved devices. These penalties can be as simple as fines but as severe as jail. So don't let someone tell you that they don't need Federal certification of their computer processors or radio frequency devices.

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