FCC Issues “Progress Report”
As new licenses for low power FM (LPFM) stations continue to trickle out of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency’s Enforcement Bureau continues to wrestle with the “problem” of “pirate” broadcasters.
Unlicensed activity appears to be running high on both the FM and Shortwave bands. Shortwave activity is booming at a level not seen in years. In the past month alone, nearly two dozen shortwave pirates have conducted broadcasts, some broadcasting multiple times per week. The FCC has not conducted an enforcement action against a shortwave pirate since 1998.
The same can not be said for the FM band, where the FCC has been very busy. In January, 2002, four microradio stations were contacted by FCC agents for broadcasting without a license. One was fined $10,000. On a year-by-year basis, enforcement activity of this level for the month of January hasn’t been seen since 1999.
The numbers might look unnerving at face value, but the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is facing numerous internal challenges that may hinder its future activity. Continue reading “Stimulus/Response”