Scene Reports: California, U.K.

California: there’s been lots happening in San Diego. 106.9FM has voluntary signed off after running out of funds to broadcast. According to the station blog it’s hoped the hiatus is only temporary. Meanwhile Free Radio San Diego returned to the air over Halloween weekend, three months after it was raided and cleaned out by the FCC. The signal strength is reportedly much weaker.
San Diego has also recently been the site of some serious FCC enforcement involving other forms of unlicensed operation. Specifically, the use of point-to-point microwave radio communications between corporations in the San Diego area and “sister companies” located over the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. The FCC has issued 11 Notices of Apparent Liability against 10 companies, seeking to collect a total of $86,000.

Company                                                           Proposed Fine
Anderson Desk Company                                   $10,000
International Customs Brokers                            $4,000
Kojo Worldwide Corporation                               $10,000
Lamkin Corporation                                            $4,000
More Enterprises Communications Network      $10,000
Norman Krieger Incorporated                             $4,000
Pacific Spanish Network, Incorporated              $10,000
Pacnet Incorporated                                           $10,000 / $10,000
Tocabi America Corporation                               $4,000
Uniradio Corporation                                          $10,000
The range in size of proposed fines is primarily based on whether or not a company held a pre-existing license to the sort of radio system they were operating. Most of the dinged companies actually market stuff, like desks, cabinetry, fabrics, and golf grips. They most likely use radio links to communicate sales and order data from the U.S. to production factories in Mexico. Two are transport concerns, tasked to the haulage of stuff cross-border.
However, More Enterprises and Uniradio actually operate radio stations, licensed in Mexico but controlled across the border via unauthorized studio-to-transmitter links. This adds to San Diego’s unique history of unorthodox radio piracy.
United Kingdom: Radio authorities conducted a sweep of the London scene last week, silencing 44 stations (about a third of all active stations in the London metro area). This crackdown is likely related to earlier activity in Birmingham in October. The seminal site Y2K Pirates has sadly closed up shop – hopefully all of its amazing content can be salvaged and kept alive somewhere.