[aprssig] Regulatory compliance stuff

Paul Zawada engineerz at gmail.com
Fri Oct 17 21:50:18 EDT 2008

On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 11:50 PM, Scott Miller <scott at opentrac.org> wrote:
> Yeah, but I have some specific questions that aren't really addressed
> clearly by the regs.  I'd rather have answers from someone who knows how
> the law is actually applied and the precedents involved rather than
> trying to play lawyer myself.

You are very wise in this respect.  I can tell you from experience in
the Land Mobile Radio field that the regulations aren't always applied
exactly as written.  As you say, there are precedents of prior
decisions that can also come into play when one needs to interpret the

One of the preeminent attorneys in the Land Mobile Radio (part 90)
space is Alan Tilles at Shulman, Rogers, et al.  (
http://www.shulmanrogers.com/Bio/AlanTilles.asp )   I can probably
come up with at least one more name if you want, but realize most of
these guys practice in the DC region and are expensive.

Ralph Haller at Fox Ridge Communications ( http://www.frci.com/ ) is
another useful resource.  Ralph is not an attorney, but he is the
former chief of the Private Wireless Bureau and is pretty
knowledgeable how FCC wireless rules are applied in the real world.

You might want to consider joining the Private Wireless Forum on Yahoo
Groups and try asking your question there if it is something you can
ask in a public forum.  There are some very knowledgeable folks there,
many of whom have a lot of experience in LMR as well as other areas
such as Part 15.  If nothing else, it may help you refine your
question enough to minimize the work an attorney would have to do to
issue an official opinion.

> I used the FCC's OET contact thing and wound up considerably MORE
> confused.  I don't think I ever got the guy to understand what I was asking.

I'm not surprised.  The folks who answer questions from the public for
OET (and probably every other branch of the FCC) won't stick out their
neck at the risk of giving out incorrect information.  If it's not
spelled out in black in white in the regs and there is room for
multiple interpretations, it your job (really your attorney's job) to
provide the reasoning and legal arguments.  It's not fair to you (or
someone who may take a differing position) for an FCC staffer to give
you an interpretation of a rule if a formal petition and/or proceeding
could yield a different interpretation.  Having said that, this is
another area where an experienced attorney is useful.  The lawyers who
have done this for a while have connections inside the Commission and
can have an informal discussion to see what a staffer thinks.  At the
end of the day, it's the staffers who handle all of the mundane stuff,
but you will never get to them via the phone or email...  You got to
have these connections...


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