FCC Threatens Seizure Of Brooklyn Resident’s Bitcoin Miner

February 22, 2018

On Thursday, the FCC sent a letter to Victor Rosario regarding his usage of a bitcoin mining device. The agency had received a complaint from T-Mobile about interference to its 700 MHz LTE network. In November 2017, the FCC determined that the interference stemmed from Rosario’s Antminer s5 bitcoin miner.

  • On February 15, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notification of harmful interference to Brooklyn resident Victor Rosario after it was determined that his Antminer s5 bitcoin miner was to blame for interference with T-Mobile’s 700 MHz LTE network.

    The FCC wrote, “The device was generating spurious emissions on frequencies assigned to T-Mobile’s broadband network and causing harmful interference.” Rosario was informed that “operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected.”

    This appears to be the first FCC action of this kind. It’s not immediately apparent whether Rosario’s miner had some sort of defect or whether this is a characteristic of other bitcoin miners.

    The FCC warned that continued operation of the interfering device could open Rosario up to legal action including “substantial monetary fines,” “action to seize the offending radio,” and “criminal sanctions including imprisonment.”

    Rosario has 20 days to respond to the following questions from the FCC:

    “1. Are you still actively using the device?

    2. Please provide the following information on the device: Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number, and if there is any FCC labeling identification.

    3. What steps do you intend to take to ensure that your device that is installed at your residence does not cause harmful interference in the future?

    4. Where did you purchase the device? Please provide receipt of purchase.”

    A request for comment sent to T-Mobile was not immediately answered.

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