Category Archives: Enforcement

FCC Sticks by Prescribed Page Limit in Denying Request in Radio Amateur’s Appeal

In an August 24 Order, the FCC denied a request by William F. Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYH) of Diamond Springs, California, for permission to file an appeal that would exceed the page length prescribed by FCC rules.

“We find that Crowell has not shown good cause for exceeding the prescribed page limit,” said the Order, signed by Linda L. Oliver, Chief of the Administrative Law Division in the FCC Office of General Counsel. “Crowell’s request indicates that he intends to appeal the order by Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Richard L. Sippel dismissing his renewal application for Amateur Radio license W6WBJ and terminating the proceeding. Under the Commission’s rules, appeals of an ALJ’s dismissal order are limited to 25 pages.”

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FCC Proposes $18,000 Fine in Louisiana Amateur Radio Interference Case

The FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) proposing to fine Jerry W. Materne, KC5CSG, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, $18,000 “for apparently causing intentional interference and for apparently failing to provide station identification on amateur radio frequencies,” the FCC said.

“Mr. Materne was previously warned regarding this behavior in writing by the Enforcement Bureau and, given his history as a repeat offender, these apparent violations warrant a significant penalty,” the FCC said in the NAL, released on July 25.

In 2017, the FCC received numerous complaints alleging that Materne was causing interference to the W5BII repeater, preventing other amateur licensees from using it. In March 2017, the repeater trustee banned Materne from using the repeater.

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FCC Administrative Law Judge Terminates Long-Standing Amateur License Renewal Case

In a July 9 Order, FCC Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel has ended the decade-old license renewal proceeding involving William Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Springs, California, upon a motion by Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary C. Harold. Termination of the proceeding and the dismissal of Crowell’s license renewal application followed his refusal to appear for a hearing in Washington, DC, to consider his license renewal and other issues in an enforcement proceeding that dates back 15 years or more.

“Crowell’s decision not to appear at the hearing has the same practical effect as if he had initially failed, pursuant to Section 1.221(c) of the Rules, to file a written notice of appearance or otherwise signal his intent to participate in the hearing on his pending renewal application, i.e., he has waived his right to prosecute that application,” Harold said in the Enforcement Bureau’s June 12 motion to dismiss Crowell’s license renewal application.

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Amateur Operator Penalized for Interference on Shared Frequencies

by: Susan Ashworth

FCC said operator caused interference and failed to provide station identification

An amateur radio operator has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission over intentional interference with other transmissions — and as a result has agreed to pay the U.S. government $7,000.

The FCC and the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania found that Brian Crow, an amateur operator, violated the Communications Act and the commission’s rules by causing interference and failing to provide station identification when transmitting.

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AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR PENALIZED FOR INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE ON SHARED FREQUENCIES

Pittsburgh-Area Individual Agrees to Pay Fine & Probationary License Downgrade

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2018—The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission have reached a settlement with an amateur radio operator for intentionally causing interference to other amateur radio operators’ transmissions and failing to provide station identification when transmitting. The FCC worked with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania to reach an agreement with Mr. Brian Crow arising from an FCC Forfeiture Order that found his behavior violated the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules.

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Amateur Radio Case Attracts Attention of FCC Commissioner

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, has used the latest chapter in an Amateur Radio enforcement proceeding to reiterate his call that the Commission abolish its Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) system. The long-standing case involves efforts by William F. Crowell, W6WBJ, (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Spring, California, to renew his license. Late last week, the FCC denied reconsideration of Crowell’s petition to have the Commission assign a new ALJ to his case, arguing that the current ALJ, Richard L. Sippel, is biased against him. Attaching his own comments to a Memorandum and Opinion Order (MO&O), released on April 26, O’Rielly said he approved the Commission’s opinion that Crowell’s appeal was justifiably denied, but he expressed concern that the ALJ “took unnecessary actions” in Crowell’s case, and in another unrelated proceeding.

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FCC Seizes Equipment from Pirate Broadcasters in Boston

The FCC reports that it seized transmission equipment from two pirate radio stations in Boston on March 26. According to court documents, the seizures involved an illegal broadcaster that identified as “Big City” on various FM channels from Dorchester, Massachusetts (with a studio in Roxbury) and pirate “B87.7 FM,” which operated on 87.7 FM from Dorchester. Both unlicensed stations had been issued multiple warnings but continued to operate. Pursuant to federal forfeiture statutes, authorities seized equipment operated by each radio station. The forfeiture actions came in the wake of complaints to the FCC — including one from a licensed broadcaster — about interference, the FCC said.

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FCC Penalizes Marketer of Ham-Band Drone Audio-Visual Transmitters

The FCC has imposed a $180,000 civil penalty on a Sarasota, Florida, company that had been marketing noncompliant audio-visual transmitters intended for use on drones in violation of the Commission’s Amateur Service and marketing rules. In an Order released on December 19, the FCC explained that Lumenier Holdco LLC (formerly known as FPV Manuals LLC) was advertising and marketing uncertified AV transmitters capable of operating on both amateur and non-amateur frequencies, including bands reserved for federal government use. Some of the transmitters also exceeded the 1-W power limit for Amateur Radio transmitters used on model craft, the FCC said.

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FCC Proposes $25,000 Fine for Breaking Now-Voluntary Labeling Rules

The FCC has proposed fining Acuity Brands Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, $25,000 for apparently marketing radio frequency devices that were not labeled in accordance with Commission Part 18 rules at the time. The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) on November 21. Compliance with the particular rule at issue now is voluntary.

“Specifically, Acuity marketed three models of consumer-grade electronic fluorescent lighting ballasts — two since 2006 and one since 2009 — that did not have the FCC logo affixed to them,” the FCC said in the NAL. Application of the FCC logo, which the FCC no longer requires, was to inform purchasers that a device had undergone compliance testing. The FCC also said Acuity continued to market two models of the ballasts at issue for approximately 6 months after being notified, causing the Commission to up the penalty.

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