DJI On The FCC Covered List What Does It Mean To Drone Hobbyists
This is going to be kind of an unusual video for me something a little different there. We had some got some news yesterday that could potentially affect all of us and thats uh. With regard to the fcc potentially putting dji and what they call the covered list and that could affect our hobby pretty profoundly, so i thought it was worth just putting out a little video, just kind of exploring uh what we know what we dont know and uh. You know we, we may end up with more questions than answers here, uh, but but we did figure some things out as to what this is kind of all about so uh. What happened uh essentially is a gentleman by the name of brendan carr, who was an fcc commissioner, put out a tweet hey before we get started here. I want to give credit where credit is due brendan. Carrs tweet was shown to me by john coope yesterday evening, and it was in turn originally shown to him by sean hickey of geeksmana, so those guys deserve credit for bringing this to light hey. I also want you guys to know that im putting this together just as a hobbyist, just like all of you, i am certainly not a legal expert, nor i am an expert in the fcc or any other part of this subject matter. Im just interested like all of you – and i just want to show you some of the information and some of the documents that i found.
Any opinions that i express here are simply my own and are not intended as advice to anybody for anything. So what did that tweet say and im going to read this off of the tweet right now to make sure that i get it right, but what he said was i called for commencing the process of adding dji a chinese drone provider to the fccs covered list. Dji drones collect troves of sensitive data from images of u.s, critical infrastructure to sensing body temp and heart rates. We cant afford an airborne huawei. Well, you know again that brought up a lot of questions. What does that mean? What is the covered list, etc? They also include a couple of pages of documents that were published on the fcc website, so before we get into that, i think we need to explore who brendan carr is and how he fits into the hierarchy at the fcc. So brennan carr is a commissioner on the fcc, the federal communications commission and what the fcc does is theyre in charge of the airwaves in the united states right granting licenses for different frequencies, etc, and virtually any product that transmits or receives has to be has to Go through an approval process by the fcc, i think virtually all countries in the world have something similar to this, but lets talk about the leadership, so the leadership, the acting chairwoman and that would be who is in the head of the fcc – is a woman called Jessica rosenwarsel shes the acting chairwoman.
It says so that tells me that somebody that they, that theres nobody thats actually been approved yet and then brendan carr is a commissioner jeffrey starks is a commissioner and nathan. Symington is a commissioner. So it looks like all four of these people are commissioners on the fcc, so theyre running the fcc and jessica rosenmorsel is the chairman, or the chairwoman excuse me of that group, so who is brandon carr? Well, this is the bio off of fccs website and it says brendan carr is the senior republican on the federal communications commission and he served previously as the agencys general counsel. Well, gentle general counsel means that he was the senior lawyer so in charge of legal affairs. Uh you know, i dont think that this is a political thing. You know it says hes the senior republican. I dont think that means anything. I think that what the fcc is looking at is protecting our the interests of the united states of america uh. So lets talk about now. What is the covered list, and what does it mean so im going to put the page that was published with on brendon carrs tweet off of the fcc website, im going to put it up on the screen, uh page 1 and page 2 and and ill? Let you guys look at those uh at your leisure uh, so you can freeze frame on those pages. If you want and and read them or you can just go directly to the tweet, i will put a link to the tweet in the description below but theres.
One paragraph there that stands out to me that kind of explains what the covered list is and what it could potentially mean to us as hobbyists. Okay, ive highlighted that second paragraph and have it on the screen here now so lets. Look at that first sentence. Initially, adding dji to the covered list would prohibit federal usf dollars from being used to purchase its equipment. So one of the concerns that he talked about earlier was that there were some federal entities that were still buying dji uh drones, after even even after putting him on that entity list. What last year, the year before, whatever it was and and even the fbi was uh buying some dji drones, so that seems to be a concern uh, and so, if youre a federal agency, it would prohibit you from buying anything dji. Now that in and of itself, would that stop dji from selling products in the united states? No, of course not because theres, a huge, besides with us, hobbyists theres, a huge commercial market that they could still explore. So but the second one is the one thats. Probably even more concerning that second sentence, the fcc also has a proceeding underway examining whether to continue approving equipment from entities on the cover list covered list for use in the u.s, regardless of whether federal dollars are involved. Huawei and four others are already on the covered list, based on a determination that they pose an unacceptable security list.
So what does that mean? Well, that means that the fcc would no longer approve uh the wireless capabilities of of our dji drones and, as we know, all of these drones, they have to get anything that receives or transmits has to get fcc approval before it can be licensed and sold in The united states, obviously we control these drones uh via remote control, so i would presume theyd be uh covered under something like that. So i know for sure our drones would fall under that, obviously, because of that wireless capability now with products like the osmo action – and this is my om4, their bluetooth. Would that fall under that? I dont think so, but i dont know for certain. If you do please comment below, but what could that mean for dji? Well, if they cant get their products, their drones approved, they wouldnt be able to sell them in the us right. So would they stay in the u.s market? Uh, look! What happened to huawei huawei is all but disappeared from the u.s market. Uh. You know you well its not illegal to own a huawei cell phone or i think you can im not sure dont quote me on this, but i think you could still even use one on your with your wireless provider, but i know they have theyve all but Disappeared from the us market, so would that happen to dji? I think theres, probably a lot of potential, because one of the main things they sell.
Are these drones right thats their claim to fame that what do they have like 80 percent of the consumer drone market? So then, further, what do we do as hobbyists moving forward wow? I wish i could tell you that, so you know we love our drones. Im telling you uh this mavic air 2s. It is the best drone, ive ever owned period and trust me ive owned a lot of drones and its just a phenomenal piece of technology love to fly. It really enjoy it uh we got that mavic 3 coming out here. Pretty quick, you know were all excited about that and the potential that that could mean for us as hobbyists to get the kind of uh video and pictures that we like to get aerial with aerial, photography and aerial videography, so its a its a conundrum uh. If dji, if this concern is real well heck, i want to keep my country secure, so yeah im not going to use these if its, if its a problem for national security right – and so i so my point is this: are you going to buy that mavic? 3 or arent you, i ill be honest with you. I cant even answer that myself yet uh. You know if if it is something that that the fcc is concerned about, i think as a consumer, i should be concerned about it too. So i really dont think there is an answer yet i think we just need to proceed and let things uh go forward and, as it all comes to light and if dji gets uh put on that covered list, well, thats gon na be it would they continue To support our drones that we already have, who knows, presumably for a while but im sure over a period of time, they would just disappear now.
What does that mean for companies like autel theyre? Also a shenzhen based company thats not mentioned in this anywhere. You know theres some other lesser chinese manufacturers too uh you know, could it promote skydio a little bit? Well, no doubt about it. I flew my skadio 2 yesterday and its a phenomenal piece of technology, but i can tell you as much as i enjoy that skydio and i, like the camera and everything else. It does not fly with the precision that this dji drone does so yeah. So i dont know uh, i think thats going to be up up to us as individuals and ultimately uh whatever the whatever comes down to the fcc. Well have to just live with that now i can also. I did a little bit of reading on what happened to huawei when they put huawei when they started sanctioning huawei. They did it over a period of time, and it was well over a year before their full sanctions went into effect. In other words, they kept giving them 90 day extensions extensions extensions, so this isnt something thats going to happen tomorrow or the next day. So you know uh it. I suspect it would be something that would be a year or more in process so uh anyway. Those are just my thoughts and the things that ive discovered looking into it. Uh, if you, if you have, if you have more information and uh, can enlighten the rest of us, please put it in the comment down below uh and uh yeah lets uh.
You know like i said we want to continue flying our drones and and have fun, but i wanted to talk about this a little bit because again, as hobbyist with dji having such a huge market share on our consumer drones, its definitely going to impact our hobby. So i guess thats about it. This is marcus crawford with the idaho quadcopter channel out and if you like this kind of content, please consider subscribing to my channel most of all, i really appreciate you taking the time to look at this video and, of course, well see on the next one.