FCC Reconsiders 'TxTStopper' Jammer

Imagine a jamming device that can be professionally installed in your car to block all cell phone and PCS phone calls, texting and data connections (e-mail, for example) when the car is moving. While such a device is clearly illegal under Sections 302(b) and 333 of the Communications Act of1934 as amended, it displays an FCC certification number and was still available for sale at www.TxTStopper.com as this was being written early Thursday morning.

That could change soon as the FCC released an Order to Show Cause and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing Wednesday. In the Order it describes how Shenzhen Tangreat Technology Co. was able to get the FCC certification by presenting the device as a Class B computer peripheral. Not surprisingly, the product being marketed on the Web doesn't match the one in the certification.

The Order directs Shenzhen Tangreat Technology to show cause "why the equipment authorization it holds under FCC ID No. XRLTG-VIPJAMM should not be revoked and why a Forfeiture Order in an amount not to exceed $112,500 should not be issued against Shenzhen for willfully and/or repeatedly violating sections 302(b) and 333 of the Act and sections 2.803, 2.907(b), 2.931, 2.932, 2.936 and 2.946 of the Rules."

One interesting point is that the test report described the equipment being tested as an "RF Jammer" and that description was erroneously reproduced in the "Notes" section of the equipment certification.

The FCC asked Shenzhen Tangreat to submit a sample of the certified device for testing, but so far the company has not responded to letters from OET, or submitted the requested sample.

Agents from the FCC Bureau's Atlanta Field Office observed a TxTStopper that had been installed in a vehicle owned by Just Driver Training in Canton, Ga. Tests showed the device was indeed a jammer and it is "capable of blocking cellular communications initiated from both inside and outside of the vehicle, apparently including 911 and other emergency calls."

Other than issuing it a letter of inquiry, the FCC does not appear to have taken any action against Share Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. the company operating the txtstopper.com Website.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.