The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has demanded that a New York City resident turn off his bitcoin mining hardware after it was discovered that his Antminer S5 was interfering with a broadband network operated by T-Mobile. According to the FCC, the mining rig was “generating spurious emissions” and “causing harmful interference” on “frequencies assigned to T-Mobile’s broadband network.”
FCC Finds Antminer S5 to be Interfering with T-Mobile Broadband Network
The FCC states that it has received a complaint from T-Mobile with regards to “interference to its 700 MHz LTE network in Brooklyn, New York” during last year. The commission dispatched agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s New York office who were able to confirm on the 30th of November that the “radio emissions in the 700 MHz band were emanating from…an antminer s5 bitcoin miner.”
The FCC concluded that “The device was generating spurious emissions on frequencies assigned to T-Mobile’s broadband network and causing harmful interference,” and issued a warning to the owner of the Antminer S5, Victor Rosario. Mr. Rosario was informed that “Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected.”
The agency also warned that “Continued operation of this device that causes harmful interference after your receipt of this warning constitutes a violation of the Federal laws cited above and 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.”
Warning Specific to Mr. Rosario’s Device
Mr. Rosario has been given twenty days to respond to the FCC’s notice and will be required to submit information regarding the Antminer including manufacturer, model, and serial number.
The FCC currently has not made a determination as to whether or not other Antminer S5s produce disruptive emissions in the 700 MHz band, stating that the “Notification of Harmful Interference” refers to the specific unit owned by Mr. Rosario, and “not its brand or model.”
The FCC emphasized that it does not wish to “suggest or find that all Antminer S5 devices are noncompliant,” adding “although we are aware that even compliant devices can be modified in a manner that creates harmful interference, we make no finding as to whether this particular device conforms to its original manufacturer’s specifications.”
Do you think this is likely to be an isolated case or is there an issue with Antminers causing interference? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Author: Samuel Haig