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The problem of in-building wireless “dead zones”; areas where outdoor wireless signals are unable to penetrate inside buildings – has been a known and growing problem for decades. The proliferation of energy-efficient material that block or strongly attenuate radio signals, combined with the use of higher and higher frequencies, has made the problem worse in recent years. Signal boosters for in-building wireless coverage enhancement have been deployed worldwide for decades to address these “dead zones”. Since 2009, the International Fire Code and International Building Code have required that buildings be tested for code-compliant coverage and, where deficient, have solutions installed to correct the problem. Use of signal boosters is governed by FCC 47 CFR Part 20 and Part 90, addressing commercial cellular and land mobile radio (LMR) frequencies.

As more and more signal boosters have been deployed, there has been a rise in noise floor and interference problems. Root causes include: poor design; need for improved industry and jurisdiction education and training; proper adherence to FCC rules; under-defined or documented processes and standards; and a lack of coordination between local jurisdiction code enforcement teams and radio system operators (frequency license holders).

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This webinar will discuss and explore the current state of signal booster use; applicable FCC rules and related fire codes; root causes of current challenges; best practices for standards, requirements, processes, and testing; and ideas and outlook for an improved future.

Speaker:  John Foley, Managing Director, Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC)