Librem 5 FCC Certification

I worked for a two-way radio shop for a couple years here in the Midwest and I’ve heard enough stories about the FCC and the government in general to have a groß dislike for both. The owner told me a story about one of the farm coops transmitting way over power which was constantly interfering with local government equipment miles away not only from being overpowered but from an improperly tuned antenna; it was bleeding into other frequencies. He contacted the local fcc field rep who came out and investigated and found the interference a violation and was going to proceed with charges but the individual who owned and operated it was well connected so it was dropped and it continues to operate to this day blasting interference far and wide. I’ve heard of the instances where things were reported and ignored, yeah there’s the cases where people were caught and fined but it’s a mixed bag of results. In the end you don’t want to be on the losing side of the government because you have no recourse but it’s a bit of do what I say not what I do. Regulations aren’t meant to benefit the individuals as a whole, rather they’re a way for a governing body to assess fines for the governed not playing by their rules.
In purism’s case they would be wise to try to comply with any pertinent rules and regulations because the FCC can be stupid when they want to be.

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if the FCC writes that an actual device CAN and MUST interfere or RECEIVE interference with/from other devices that means that during a real-world use case this will certainly happen …

just read any motherboard’s manual from the last 10 years and you’ll see what and how they write about it. for example WiFi is ONLY intended for INDOOR private use, yet MOST of us go into PUBLIC places that serve WiFi because it’s free … and we bring our cellular connected devices as well ofc … :crazy_face:

Not to mention that plenty of WAP manufacturers have one or models that are specifically marketed for outdoor use.

plenty yes … what i wrote above is simply in relation to what the FCC statement is … just because it’s convenient to free-load on PUBLIC WiFi doesn’t make it SAFE. neither from a human health perspective nor a digital security/privacy standpoint. i suppose we have to thank 'rona-chan for keeping us on the INDOOR WiFi more now, don’t we ? :mask: :crazy_face:

I’m talking about outdoor private use though.

if it’s outdoor can it really be private though ? do you have some links to these products ? are they WiFi based or cellular based (SIM) ?

Ah, well. :slight_smile:

Even if it’s indoor, the signal can leak.

It’s private in the sense of traffic confidentiality provided that you have appropriate WiFi settings, whether it is indoor or outdoor, whether the signal leaks or not.

However by “private use”, I meant … it is owned by a certain entity and it is intended for use only by people directly associated with that entity, whether a company and its employees, or a household and its residents.

Then there are WAP pairs that are intended for point-to-point links, which are also often outdoor rated.

Is the cellular TDMA or CDMA really more secure than WiFi? I thought the security was in the software and not in the radio. No matter how complex the transmission/reception protocol, there are cellular and WiFi radios made to work using those protocols. But the legal use of the WiFi is just as legally relevant as that of the cellular radio.

The proper and safe way to purchase FCC compliant radios is to find the certification for it on the FCC website. Most sellers will advertise the FCC certification number in their advertising as a badge of honor. But at times I have searched the FCC database by manufacturer name and/or model number and have been able to locate certain radio type-acceptance certifications. You search by 47 CFR section number in the FCC database. So if you find a certification under part 90 (commercial use) for example, that doesn’t mean you can use that radio for part 80 (marine radio) use. If a radio has a part 95 certification, there are different types of part 95 certifications. You have to have the correct type of certification to match how you use the radio. If you can’t find the FCC certification on the FCC website, that radio doesn’t have a certification and is likely not legal for use. There may be some exceptions. But the burden of proving the exception is on the manufacturer and/or the user. So there really isn’t any guesswork or lack of information about this issue if you are willing to do the research.

To keep everything clean and legal, maybe Purism should have a web page dedicated this issue. If they list the FCC certification numbers for the WiFi and all available L5 modems there, then it would be very easy for anyone to find those certifications on the FCC website. For the phone itself, it might at least need a part 15 certification. But it could require some part 24 or part 27 (or other certification instead). I have started looking in to this myself. But 47 CFR is huge and complex (lots of cross referencing). It might take me a while by myself to get a grasp on the applicable statutes. This is somewhat of a hobby of mine to figure out and understand this. Who knows how long it might take me by myself to get a handle on this though.

Use of the RF spectrum has many things in common with the traffic laws. If you get pulled over doing 60 MPH and tell the officer that you didn’t know the speed limit is 35 MPH, that probable won’t be an acceptable excuse since the driver is legally responsible to know the speed limits where he or she drives. The difference between traffic laws and RF spectrum use laws is that the RF spectrum use laws are a much larger body of laws. They are also very politically driven. Purism may need to know and be prepared to protect their (and our) rights. It would be easy for some Senator to hear from a friend who works at Verizon or T-Mobile over a game of golf, about the Librem 5. The next thing you know, a law is passed that puts a stop to the sale of the Librem 5 because the L5 suddenly isn’t in compliance with the new law. There are usually hearings held before new laws are passed. But you need to be in touch with what is going. If you want to have a voice, you need to know about and be present in those hearings. Otherwise, everything could go right over our heads until after the laws have already been passed.


Nice hobby. :smiley: Good luck.

That’s usually how things get passed that screws the little people, earmarked into a larger bill, easily overlooked and then BAM the little guys get screwed. As for your traffic analogy, yes it’s up to the driver to know the speed but often times there are extenuating circumstances; obscure sign, couldn’t see speed change because a larger vehicle was blocking your view etc etc and sometimes the LEO is lenient and will let you of with a warning. I don’t see this being the case if purism was caught on the wrong side if it I’m just saying it can happen

Many organizations retain a lobbyist for just this purpose. If you pick someone who specializes in your field, they might never need to lobby on your behalf. But if/when the issue does come up that might affect your business, they let you know. The relationship can be mutually beneficial. You pay them a very small (probably recurring) fee for doing almost nothing up front. The “almost” in “almost nothing” is the key. Because if/when you need them to do more than just to keep their eyes open for you in various legal proceedings, the lobbyist comes to you seeking bigger fees for more work needed to protect your interests. I have spoken to others who have done this in their respective fields on a state level. But I have never been involved in the process myself. On the Federal level, I imagine that these lobbyists are probably all attorneys who specialize in communications law and who live in and work in Washington DC.

I have read several articles that discuss what was said in various hearings of this type, and why the final decisions were made as they were made. Although everything is obviously very political, these hearings are on the public record. So they might be reletively fair as long as you have representation at them. Sometimes a CEO will show up and testify. Other times it’s a leader of some citizens organization or professional association that testifies. Sometimes an article will report something like “the consensus seemed to be that (whatever the consensus was), so the Commission decided to (whatever action was taken)”. So it’s not just some law maker getting paid to pass laws that serve the person who paid them, if you’re paying attention to your own business environment and are participating. But if there are un-represented interests, the law makers just go by what those who are present and are participating in the process have told them.


Has any early backer that was qualified for a prior batch received their phone yet?
I have not…

Is this phone going to be able to be put on a Sprint/Tmobile network in the USA?

Has the FCC Certification occurred? If not, is my phone useless?

A couple of forum users have reported doing so. Evergreens are in the wild!

AIUI, FCC Certification is a work in progress.

No, your phone would not be useless.

Depends what you mean by that I suppose but FCC Certification is not enforced technologically.

Given that Purism sells the AweSIM service on the “T-Mobile or AT&T backbone”, you would have to assume that it works on T-Mobile. One user reported “I’m using an AT&T MVNO”. Lack of reports about a MNO should not be construed as indicating that that MNO does not work. It’s just that it’s early days for Evergreen.

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Three people (including me) have now posted in this forum about getting their Evergreen. I’ve seen two more in Reddit forums. Others here and there have reported getting their initial modem confirmation email, with shipping soon to follow.

Of course, nobody knows how many other people may have received one but not posted about it anywhere (that we can find with a search engine).


It’s off topic so I will keep it short:

I was offered a Birch, but opted for Evergreen. I have been out of town, though, so I opted to have it delivered this week instead of earlier. Tracking info says it should be delivered tomorrow.


There have also been reports of people getting them in Matrix (Librem 5 room). The phones are getting out there :slight_smile:


Hi there,

I would like to get back to the original topic of this thread (even though it is really exiting to see reports on Librem5’s in the wild), as there also have been discussions on that topic in the FAQ thread - but I could not find any statement of purism staff on the real status and based on what I read on it up until now this is an essential topic. Same goes for the CE certificate that is important for the European market.
@nicole.faerber: It would be great, if you could shed some light on the current status!


Will they actually get it done and end up continuing Evergreen? Or do the rest of us have to dispair? I’d opted for Dogwood back in the day, but I was put in the Evergreen batch… Which, now I’d rather have Evergreen, but I’m worried that nothing will get done and the L5 will end up like SmachZ…

Don’t lose your faith in Todd, creation takes time, opensource creation even more so.