FCC Part 15

FCC Part 15 is the section of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations that covers EMC and is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC has defined the scope of FCC Part 15 as the following:

A. This part sets out the regulations under which an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator may be operated without an individual license. It also contains the technical specifications, administrative requirements and other conditions relating to the marketing of part 15 devices.

B. The operation of an intentional or unintentional radiator that is not in accordance with the regulations in this part must be licensed pursuant to the provisions of section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, unless otherwise exempted from the licensing requirements elsewhere in this chapter.

C. Unless specifically exempted, the operation or marketing of an intentional or unintentional radiator that is not in compliance with the administrative and technical provisions in this part, including prior Commission authorization or verification, as appropriate, is prohibited under section 302 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and subpart I of part 2 of this chapter. The equipment authorization and verification procedures are detailed in subpart J of part 2 of this chapter.

FCC Part 15 contains the following subparts:

FCC Part 15 Subpart A – General

FCC Part 15 Subpart B – Unintentional Radiators. The FCC definition is “A device that intentionally generates radio frequency energy for use within the device, or that sends radio frequency signals by conduction to associated equipment via connecting wiring, but which is not intended to emit RF energy by radiation or induction.” There are two classes of unintentional radiators:

Class A – The FCC definition of Class A is “A digital device that is marketed for use in a commercial, industrial or business environment, exclusive of a device which is marketed for use by the general public or is intended to be used in the home.”

Class B – The FCC definition of Class B is “A digital device that is marketed for use in a residential environment notwithstanding use in commercial, business and industrial environments. Examples of such devices include, but are not limited to, personal computers, calculators, and similar electronic devices that are marketed for use by the general public.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart C – Intentional Radiators. The FCC definition is “A device that intentionally generates and emits radio frequency energy by radiation or induction.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart D – Unlicensed Personal Communication Service Devices. The FCC definition is “Intentional radiators operating in the frequency band 1920–1930 MHz that provide a wide array of mobile and ancillary fixed communication services to individuals and businesses.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart E – Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure Devices. The FCC definition is “Intentional radiators operating in the frequency bands 5.15–5.35 GHz and 5.470–5.825 GHz that use wideband digital modulation techniques and provide a wide array of high data rate mobile and fixed communications for individuals, businesses, and institutions.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart F – Ultra-Wideband Operation. The FCC definition of an Ultra-wideband transmitter is “An intentional radiator that, at any point in time, has a fractional bandwidth equal to or greater than 0.20 or has a UWB bandwidth equal to or greater than 500 MHz, regardless of the fractional bandwidth.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart G – Access Broadband over Power Line. The FCC definition is “A carrier current system, operating as an unintentional radiator, that sends radio frequency energy by conduction over electric power lines that are not owned, operated or controlled by an electric service provider. The electric power lines may be aerial (overhead), underground, or inside the walls, floors or ceilings of user premises. In-House BPL devices may establish closed networks within a user’s premises or provide connections to Access BPL networks, or both.”

FCC Part 15 Subpart H – Television Band Devices. The FCC definition is “Intentional radiators that operate on an unlicensed basis on available channels in the broadcast television frequency bands at 54–60 MHz (TV channel 2), 76–88 MHz (TV channels 5 and 6), 174–216 MHz (TV channels 7–13), 470–608 MHz (TV channels 14–36) and 614–698 MHz (TV channels 38–51).”

For more information on FCC Compliance Testing, please click on one of the following links:


Keystone Compliance assists manufacturers with FCC Part 15 compliance. Testing to FCC Part 15 includes conducted emissions and radiated emissions. Additional testing might be required given the nature of the product. Please contact us for more information on how Keystone Compliance can assist you with identifying and fulfilling your FCC Part 15 needs.