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02.18.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
FCC loosens ultra-wideband restrictions

The FCC has modified and loosened restrictions on ultra-wideband spectrum, used in the transfer of huge amounts of data over a short distance. Practical applications will enable police and firefighters to “see” through walls with special ground penetrating radar systems that use ultra-wideband and can detect objects or people buried under the earth or debris.

“While I hope we have no reason to ever use ultra-wideband to assist search-and-rescue teams in a disaster, I'll be glad that we have this tool available should the need arise,” said FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.

The FCC established rules a year ago permitting the marketing and operation of ultra-wideband devices. The new rule changes will allow manufacturers to design devices that gather clearer images, said Edmond Thomas, chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology.

The agency said it is still studying the new technology to ensure it doesn't interfere with other broadcasts.

For more information visit www.fcc.gov.

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