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Sens. Introducing E-Labeling Bill

Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) are introducing a bill, the E-Label Act, that would give equipment manufacturers the option of delivering FCC labeling information electronically—on screen—on devices like computers, TVs and phones.

"As devices become smaller, compliance with 6 physical label requirements can become more difficult and costly," says the bill, according to a copy.

“CEA welcomes the E-LABEL Act," said Veronica O’Connell, VP of government and political affairs, for the Consumer Electronics Association. "The Federal Communications Commission’s existing physical labeling requirements are burdensome, costly and present logistical challenges for consumer electronics manufacturers. The E-LABEL Act would give device manufacturers the option to present on a wireless device’s display or screen the markings and identifiers normally required to be fixed to the device’s casing."  

In something of an unusual bipartisan joint statement, commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Michael O'Rielly said that sounded good to them.

“We commend [the senators] for their bipartisan efforts to advance the use of e-labeling," they said. "Modernizing the display of FCC device certification has real benefits. For starters, more devices and new technologies can be designed with innovation in mind, rather than regulatory labeling requirements. The FCC also has been doing its part."

But they also said the FCC was already on the case.

"Thanks to Chairman Wheeler and the talented staff of our Office of Engineering and Technology, the Commission is looking at ways to update our e-labeling policies," they said. "We are optimistic that by working together we can provide innovators more flexibility and speed the delivery of new devices in the marketplace.”

“CTIA thanks Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Fischer for their bipartisan leadership on the E-LABEL Act," said Jot Carpenter, VP of government affairs, for CTIA-The Wireless Association. "The communications industry has changed dramatically in the 40 years since the Commission adopted its initial rules on device labeling. It’s certainly time to bring those rules into the 21st century by giving manufacturers the option of providing labeling information digitally.”