SBC Survey Results: Third-Party Testing 

Some agreement, some disconnects between Industry and Government
Posted on June 30, 2022

The Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC), the only trade association purpose-built to lead national policy and education for in-building wireless services, shares the results of our survey on the subject of Third- Party Testing. 

Some ERCES stakeholders have a indicated a concern about companies who perform in-building radio signal strength assessment testing to determine whether or not a building needs an ERCES system, and who then provide a quote to design and install a system if the building fails. It has been suggested that this is a conflict of interest.

We sought your opinion on the various models we've seen around the country:

  1. Jurisdiction maintains a list of "approved" testing vendors.
  2. Jurisdiction designates one "approved" test vendor per jurisdiction.
  3. Jurisdiction may or may not allow the testing vendor to also bid the work. 
  4. Jurisdiction has no restrictions on who tests and who installs.

We received 130 submissions as follows:

  • Government: 37
  • Industry: 90
  • End Users: 3
  • Total: 130


  1. Government and Industry substantially disagree on whether a vendor who pre-tests a building to determine ERCES need should be allowed to also bid on these projects
    1.  Government = 46% Yes, Industry = 79% Yes
  2. Government and Industry seem to agree that if third-party testing is used, jurisdictions should develop a list of approved vendors:
    1. Develop list of approved vendors: Government = 70%, Industry = 82%
    2. Vendor Certification (NICET): Government = 8%, Industry = 9% 
    3. Rigorous Standards: Government: 11%, Industry 3%
  3. Government and Industry disagree on whether vendors who did the install should be allowed to do acceptance testing on their own systems without direct supervision of the AHJ
    1. Government = 19% Yes, Industry = 41% Yes
  4. Government and Industry indicate that 3rd party plan review is a feasible option
    1. Government = 86% Yes / Maybe,  Industry = 77% Yes / Maybe


  1. Industry has some work to do to build trust with AHJs.
  2. There is high interest in developing lists of approved vendors in jurisdictions.
  3. Certification will help.
  4. Reading between the lines: Government is concerned about the "fox watching the henhouse".
  5. Reading between the lines: Resource constrained jurisdictions are open to third-party plan review.




SBC Third Party Testing Survey

SBC Third Party Testing Survey


SBC Third Party Testing Survey


SBC Third Party Testing Survey


Detailed Breakdown Of Survey Participants:

  • Govt: Code Official 19
  • Govt: Public Safety First Responder (Operations) 1
  • Govt: Public Safety Radio System Administrator / Operator 16
  • Industry: 3rd party test service for ERRCS 1
  • Industry: Building Tester 1
  • Industry: Consultant 2
  • Industry: Consultant- We do independent third party assessment testing but do not design/build 1
  • Industry: Distribution 2
  • Industry: Manufacturer 6
  • Industry: NRTL 1
  • Industry: professional services/Consultant 1
  • Industry: Public Safety Radio/First Responder Engineering 1
  • Industry: Retired Fire Marshal / RF test consultant - Spectrum RF LLC 1
  • Industry: RF software tools developer 1
  • Industry: Systems Integrator 73
  • Property Owner / End User 3
  • Grand Total 130

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