On February 15th, The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an official “Notification of Harmful Interference” to a Brooklyn, New York resident as a follow up to an incident last year involving radio interference on an LTE cellular network caused by a mining rig.
T-Mobile issued a complaint to the FCC concerning interference to its 700MHz LTE network in Brooklyn. On November 30th of last year, agents of the Enforcement Bureaus New York Office were able to identify that the cause of this interference was an Antminer s5 Bitcoin Miner owned by an area resident named Victor Rosario.
This official notice sent to Rosario confirms the agencies conclusion that the area interference of the LTE network was due to his use of the mining device. They inform him that FCC Rules Section 15.5(b) states that “operation of an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator is subject to the conditions that no harmful interference is caused” and Section 15.5(c) states that “the operator of a radio frequency device shall be required to cease operating the device upon notification by a Commission representative that the device is causing harmful interference.”
Should Rosario choose to continue to operate his Antminer device as is, additional radio interference “could subject the operator to severe penalties, including, but not limited to, substantial monetary fines, in rem arrest action to seize the offending radio equipment, and criminal sanctions including imprisonment.
The FCC informed Rosario he has 20 days to respond to questions from the agency contained in the notice such as whether he still uses the device, proof of purchase, device information such as model and serial number, and what steps are intended to stop harmful interference in the future.
The FCC concludes with a warning that the “Commission’s staff will use all relevant material information before it to determine what, if any, enforcement action is required to ensure your compliance with the Communications Act and Commission’s rules”