Posted by: GW7AAV | January 9, 2011

FCC Cleaning Up The Airwaves

One of the perceived issues in amateur radio circles is the lack of action against those that choose to abuse the airwaves. In a similar way that the Police are never there when you need them but always in you wing mirror when you are in a tearing hurry, there never seems to be any action against pirate radio, mic keyers, foul mouths or people operating out of band, but we often see stories of legitimate operators being given a hard time because of misunderstanding and it seems to be the same the world over. It is a little reassuring therefore when we see that someone is doing there job. It is just a pity that OFCOM was not following our US cousins lead.

During October last year the FCC raided Doctor Radio’s CB Shop in Monroe, Michigan. The store was selling amongst other things, a radio that was described as “an Amateur Radio that could operate on CB frequencies” and that was modified to operate above the approved power limits. The salesperson explained that the Cobra 150 GTL DX was an Amateur Radio transceiver that could operate on CB frequencies and had been modified to generate 170 W of power. Section 95.655(a) of the FCC rules prohibit radios that can transmit on both the amateur and CB bands. The FCC therefore issued a Citation to the store on January 4 for marketing unauthorized radio frequency devices in the United States in violation of Section 302(b) of the Communications Act and Section 2.803(a)(1) of the Commission’s rules.

The FCC may impose monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act. In addition, violations of the Communications Act or the Rules can result in seizure of equipment through in rem forfeiture actions as well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.

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