Reading the fine print on garage door opener policies may have kept Southeastern Connecticut homeowners near the U.S. Navy Groton Submarine Base from being surprised by recent technical difficulties. Many have been contacting the manufactures of their garage door openers with complaints that their remotes no longer work, or that they cannot get the doors to open or close. It turns out the problem does not lie with the equipment but with the frequency with which these remotes operate on.
Radio signals being transmitted from the nearby submarine base are apparently using the same frequencies, which the garage door company does not own. Also, homeland security does have precedent over any other use of these frequencies which leaves frustrated homeowners with little control over the situation. The reason this has not been a major problem before is that increased homeland security is requiring more usage as well as the new radio systems which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned could cause problems due to interference.
Similar situations have occurred in the past near Colorado Springs and in parts of Maryland when nearby bases were performing tests on new frequencies to prepare for homeland security emergency situations. The garage door companies are telling the Connecticut customers that they do not have to replace the garage door opener systems because it is part of the policy that homeland security takes precedent over other uses of the frequencies.
The remotes for home garage door opening systems operate at such a low frequency that the manufacturing companies are not required to obtain licensing to use these frequencies, which leaves them subject to come second to national defense needs. However, there is precedent in May of this year of a company offering to change parts on systems that needed new signals due to interference from a naval base in Rhode Island.
Perhaps, this will work in the favor of frustrated Connecticut homeowners who are left wondering why their home security must be sacrificed for the homeland security of the nation. Homeowners have been quoted up to $300 out of pocket to switch to another frequency.