The Federal Communications Commission proposed yesterday to untangle the regulation of cordless consumer products and open the door to a new line of products that could include wireless stereo speakers, video cassette recorders and home computer systems.

The commission also proposed rule changes that could lead to smaller and less-expensive cellular telephones and enable cellular companies to provide secure communications and offer high-speed data transmission from computer terminals.

The FCC's four sitting commissioners approved both proposals on unanimous voice votes at their monthly meeting. The proposals will be open to public comment before the commission takes final action.

The agency is proposing to streamline certification of products that operate using small radio devices. FCC clearance is necessary to prevent the devices from interfering with licensed radio services.

Products specified in the current rules include remote-control units, garage-door openers, wireless microphones, cordless phones, security alarms and the anti-shoplifting tags attached to clothing in stores.

However, the list is restrictive, creating a pirate market for some products that now are illegal, according to Bruce Franca, deputy chief engineer in the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology.

Getting certification for a product on the list takes about 90 days, but obtaining approval for a new product can take two to three years, he said.

"What we're saying is that what really matters is the interference," he said. "Under the proposal ... as long as they {product sponsors} meet the technical rules, they can market whatever they want."

FCC Chairman Dennis R. Patrick said the proposal "provides a model for deregulation as to how we should approach technical regulation."

Franca said the commission has been approached by manufacturers who want to make wireless VCRs and stereo speakers.

"We know that people have been wanting to do that for a while," and some have -- illegally, he said.

"Video transmitters have been a big pirate market," allowing people to take cable TV service and transmit it to all the TV sets in their home, he said.

To permit increased flexibility of the rules, the FCC proposes to make some of the technical standards more restrictive than current specifications. To ease any hardships caused by the more restrictive requirements, the proposal would provide for continued manufacture of existing devices for a specified "grandfather" period, in most cases 10 years.