This was on the isp-wireless list. It highlights the specific
section of Part 15 relating to amps and external antennae.
Seems pretty unequivocal.

----- Forwarded message from Pete Starnes <sysop at> -----

From: "Pete Starnes" <sysop at>
To: isp-wireless at
Subject: Response from the FCC
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 09:44:02 -0600

    I emailed a guy at the FCC's rule interpretation division and here is the response I got back:

Hello Mr. Starnes,
The relevant rule part is Section 15.204. It is self explanatory. I have attached a copy of this rule for your convenience.
Joe Dichoso

>>> "Pete Starnes" <sysop at> 03/19/02 01:26AM >>>
Mr. Dichoso,

    I am writing in an effort to clear up some confusion within the Wireless Internet Service Provider community.  As you may know, with the advent of unlicensed 2.4ghz wireless lan systems a new industry was born.  Many ISP's are now deploying wireless internet access systems in point to multipoint environments, primarily in rural areas.  Many vendors are now marketing amplifiers, antennas, transmitter/receivers (wireless lan cards) and other devices to this market.

    The confusion I am trying to clear up has to do with external antennas.  It is possible to purchase amplifiers and antennas separately from the wireless lan cards.  Many manufacturers, resellers, vendors, ISP's, and end users have been deploying systems based solely on the Max EIRP limits set forth in the Part 15 rules.  This is contradictory to my interpretation of the Part 15 rules.  It is my understanding that any antennas used must be part of a certified system.  This is not what is happening in the real world.  Many WISP's are purchasing wireless lan cards from one source, cable from another source, and antennas from yet another source.  Their thinking is that as long as the EIRP of the system does not exceed the limits set forth by the FCC, that this is acceptable.  My understanding is that a transmitter must be certified WITH any and all antennas that it is being used with it as part of a system and that the entire system must be sold complete as a kit.

    Could you please verify my understanding of the rules so that I may pass it on to the WISP community.

Thank you,

Pete Starnes

  (a) Except as otherwise described in paragraph (b) of this section, 
no person shall use, manufacture, sell or lease, offer for sale or lease 
(including advertising for sale or lease), or import, ship, or 
distribute for the purpose of selling or leasing, any external radio 
frequency power amplifier or amplifier kit intended for use with a Part 
15 intentional radiator.
    (b) A transmission system consisting of an intentional radiator, an 
external radio frequency power amplifier, and an antenna, may be 
authorized, marketed and used under this part. However, when a 
transmission system is authorized as a system, it must always be 
marketed as a complete system and must always be used in the 
configuration in which it was authorized. An external radio frequency 
power amplifier shall be marketed only in the system configuration with 
which the amplifier is authorized and shall not be marketed as a 
separate product.
    (c) Only the antenna with which an intentional radiator is 
authorized may be used with the intentional radiator.

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Andy Warner		Voice: (612) 801-8549	Fax: (208) 575-5634