New FCC seal gets wires crossed

Nick R. Brown Contributor
Font Size:

A recent update to the Federal Communications Commission seal has resulted in a somewhat embarrassing problem for an organization staffed with technology experts and engineers.

At some point in the last several months a new color pattern of the FCC seal was placed in one of the FCC’s conference rooms, and additional representations of that new seal are currently scattered across the brand new website that launched at the beginning of April and can be found on sites like Wikipedia.

It was at the launch of the new FCC website that Dane Ericksen, a senior engineer at Hammett & Edison Consulting Engineers and a former FCC inspector, noticed a major error with the revision of the FCC seal. Ericksen says that the curtain antennas have three horizontal connecting lines with a power feed line that is shown coming up from the ground and branching out in three connections. One single connection should go to each individual horizontal line, he says. This is how the original FCC seal looked. However, the recent update shows two feed lines connecting to a single horizontal line and incorrectly wired, the results of which would cause a failure in the line. “It could burn through the feed line…you could get smoke or fire,” Ericksen told The Daily Caller.

Ericksen reached out to the FCC on April 8 when he wrote to Chairman Julius Genachowski and pointed out the wiring error in the revision of the seal. Ericksen confirmed that he had yet to hear back from the chairman or anyone at the FCC. He also passed the information on to Michael Marcus, a former 25-year veteran of the FCC who focused on innovative spectrum policy that led to the creation of Wi-Fi.

Marcus discussed the problem on his website. When reached for comment, Marcus told The Daily Caller that this is something that staff or FCC lawyers may not notice but drives engineers crazy. “I know [the FCC engineers] are embarrassed,” he said.

Replacing the massive seal in the FCC conference room could be fairly expensive if the commission finds that it was an internal error and not the fault of an outside firm contracted to create the seal. Marcus noted on his website that this “may be a symbol of the state of technical things at the FCC.”

When contacted by TheDC, the FCC said they had no comment on the matter.