FCC Upholds $15,000 Pirate Fine

A proposed $15,000 fine against Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick has progressed to a Forfeiture Order.

The FCC says in its decision the Olenicks operated an unlicensed radio station on 90.1 MHz in Austin, Texas. In 2013, agents traced the unauthorized signal to their apartment building, and found an antenna mounted atop an approximately 50-foot tower attached to the building. A coaxial cable ran from the antenna to a utility or maintenance room, according to the agency.

The Olenicks didn’t deny they operated the pirate station, and admitted they own the tower. However they asserted “they are not subject to the jurisdiction” of the agency because they’re in Texas, and the agency’s rules don’t apply there, according to the commission account.

The FCC disagreed, and warned them that continued pirate operation may result in higher fines, equipment seizures and criminal prosecution.

The Olenicks have 30 days to pay or the case may be turned over to the Justice Department for collection.


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Comment List:

If any of you know anything about the history of radio, then you would know one of the first tasks of the old Federal Radio Commission was to "clean up" the band, because too many stations were on the air. The airwaves are limited. Everyone can't have an over the air station. That is why some regulation is needed. The FCC was formed for that purpose. You want a station and get one legally? Go to the internet, or buy a struggling AM station and make it work. You can find them for $50,000 if you look. Sorry, but the argument made is BS. There has to be laws somewhere.
By Kevin Fodor on 6/5/2014
The airwaves should be regarded as a national resource equivalent to the air we breathe, and citizens should be allowed to broadcast on vacant frequencies.
By Clive Warner on 6/4/2014
Hey! the FCC can't set rules and enforce regulations in "THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS!"-- Those guys should be able to do whatever they want, airwaves are FREE!
By Robert on 6/4/2014

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