FCC: Bitcoin Miner Interfered With T-Mobile Network

The Federal Communications Commission says a crypto mining rig has caused interference with T-Mobile's LTE network in Brooklyn, New York.

AccessTimeIconFeb 16, 2018 at 10:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:35 a.m. UTC

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned a New York City resident this week that his bitcoin mining hardware was interfering with a broadband network operated by T-Mobile.

The FCC issued a "Notification of Harmful Interference" to Victor Rosario, dated Feb. 15, informing him that the Commission received a complaint from T-Mobile regarding interference with its network. It said that through "direction finding techniques," the FCC Enforcement Bureau determined that the Antminer S5 mining product in his residence was the source of the "spurious emissions" of radiation.

The notice made clear that Rosario could face penalties if he keeps operating the bitcoin miner.

The agency warned:

"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."

Rosario has twenty days to respond to the notice, which inquires as to whether he is still using the device, and requires him to provide details regarding the make, manufacture and purchase details of the Antminer.

The release drew comments from at least one agency official. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel commented on the case in a tweet on Friday: "It all seems so very 2018."

Communication tower image via Shutterstock

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.