FCC in 2005: Busiest Enforcement on Record

More than 100 enforcement actions have been logged through early December, besting the previous record (2003) by a fair margin. It’s important to recognize that these are just numbers, though: FCC contact with most stations generates at least two data points in the Database (a visit followed by a warning letter). Thus, when broken down by actual stations busted, the number drops to far below 100.
I’m also logging state-level enforcement activity now, such as the first conviction under Florida’s anti-pirate law. As far as the FCC is concerned this year, visits and warning letters have by and large been the name of the game, save for a smattering of highprofile raids. It all smacks of power-projection. But the real thing? Not hardly: for example, there have been no forfeitures issued this year at all, after two straight years of cranking out more than $100,000 worth of them. Not that fines do much to stem unlicensed broadcasting, either.
As always, I prefer to look at enforcement activity not for its negative effects but rather as a measure of the vibrancy of pirate radio nationwide. In that regard, the scope and intensity of enforcement trend positive.