Bitcoin Mining Device Interferes with T-Mobile Network, Slapped with Notice by FCC

It is not clear yet if the issue is with the particular Antminer S5 or with all similar devices.

Following a warning, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ordered a New York resident to turn off his Bitcoin mining hardware because it is interfering with the T-Mobile wireless network.

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The FCC received complaints from T-Mobile about interference on its 700MHz LTE network in Brooklyn, New York. Later in November last year, FCC agents found out that the emissions on the same frequency were coming from the residence of a resident named Victor Rosario.

On 15th February, with an official notification titled “Notification of Harmful Interference”, Rosario was notified. The notification mentioned that the bureau has determined through “direction finding techniques” that an Antminer S5 was being used, which was the source of the “spurious emissions” of radiation.

The notice clearly mentioned that in case of continuation of the mining activity, Rosario might face penalties, as it will be in violation of the federal laws.

The warning message stated: “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.”

Later, Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the FCC Commissioners, tweeted her take on the matter.

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Faulty Minner?

It is still not clear why Rosario’s Antminer S5 is generating 700MHz emissions. The FCC did not determine if similar devices generate such spurious emissions.

However, the notification is specific to Rosario’s device, not other Antminer S5 devices.

“Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected,” the notice added.

The FCC had given Rosario 20 days to respond to the notice and also asked him to provide details of the manufacture and purchase of his model.

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