Because the FCC routinely interviews employees to ensure regulation compliance, and will shut down satellite Internet service providers that do not exhibit regulation compliance and RF safety procedures, there are certain things that you must know prior to installation or maintenance of communication equipment. Read on to learn the most important things you must know for satellite Internet service installation.
The most important things to know are FCC regulations compliance, how to avoid radiofrequency (RF) exposure, and RF radiation warning signs.
FCC Regulations Compliance
According to the FCC, the most important use for RF energy is in providing telecommunications services. It has been known for many years that exposure to very high levels of RF radiation can be harmful, due to the ability of RF energy to heat biological tissue rapidly (this is the principle by which microwave ovens cook food). While some studies have also examined the possibility of a link between RF exposure and cancer, results to date have been inconclusive.
Exposure standards for RF energy have been developed by various organizations and countries. These standards recommend safe levels of exposure for both the general public and for workers. In the United States, although the Federal Government has never itself developed RF exposure standards, the FCC has adopted and used recognized safety guidelines for evaluating RF environmental exposure since 1985.
The FCC guidelines for human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields were derived from the recommendations of two expert organizations, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Both the NCRP exposure criteria and the IEEE standard were developed by expert scientists and engineers after extensive reviews of the scientific literature related to RF biological effects. The exposure guidelines are based on thresholds for known adverse effects, and they incorporate prudent margins of safety.
The NCRP and ANSI/IEEE exposure criteria and most other standards specify “time-averaged” maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits. This means that it is permissible to exceed the recommended limits for short periods of time as long as the average exposure (over the appropriate period specified) does not exceed the limit.
The FCC limits for occupational/controlled exposure are as follows:
• Frequency: 0.3 – 3.0 MHz, Electric Field Strength: 614 V/m, Magnetic Field Strength: 1.63 A/m, Power Density: 100 mW/cm2, Averaging time: 6 minutes
• Frequency: 3.0 – 30 MHz, Electric Field Strength: 1842/f V/m, Magnetic Field Strength: 4.89/f A/m, Power Density: (900/f2) mW/cm2, Averaging time: 6 minutes
• Frequency: 30 – 300 MHz, Electric Field Strength: 61.4 V/m, Magnetic Field Strength: 0.163 A/m, Power Density: 1.0 mW/cm2, Averaging time: 6 minutes
• Frequency: 300 – 1500 MHz, Power Density: f/300, Averaging time: 6 minutes
• Frequency: 1500 – 100,000 MHz, Power Density: 5, Averaging time: 6 minutes
How to Avoid RF Exposure
The best ways to avoid RF exposure are:
• Know where the danger is
• Limit your time in the area
• Keep your distance from the presence of RF radiation
• De-energize the transmitter
RF Radiation Warning Signs
Radiofrequency warning or “alerting” signs should be used to provide information on the presence of RF radiation or to control exposure to RF radiation within a given area. When signs are used, meaningful information should be placed on the sign advising affected persons of:
(1) the nature of the potential hazard (i.e., high RF fields)
(2) how to avoid the potential hazard, and
(3) whom to contact for additional information
• A blue notice sign generally means: you are at the perimeter of an uncontrolled area
• A yellow caution sign generally means: you are at the perimeter of controlled limits
• An orange warning sign generally means: there is danger at the location/the location is in excess of peak limits; it identifies acute burn hazards
• A red danger sign generally means: there is danger at the location/the location is in excess of peak limits; it identifies acute burn hazards