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Colorado Remains Focus of FCC Enforcement Action

Two new operators are each sent a Notice of Unlicensed Operation

The Federal Communications Commission looks as though it might be increasing its hunt for unlicensed radio operators across Colorado after it netted two more alleged pirate operations, one in Rollinsville and one in Boulder.

During the last week of January 2018, agents from the Denver field office travelled the 30 miles between the two cities to investigate information on allegedly unlicensed operations. In Rollinsville, agents allegedly confirmed via direction-finding techniques that radio signals on frequency 93.1 MHz were emanating from an antenna on a shed located on a residential property. Barry Bennet was noted as the owner of the property.

A few days later in Boulder, agents followed the same procedure and allegedly detected radio signals on frequency 93.1 MHz emanating from a residence in Boulder. Darren Roebuck was identified as the owner of that property.

Colorado has been home to several unlicensed operations, such as Boulder Free Radio, well-known in the early 2000s.

It’s not known how hard the Enforcement Bureau in Denver is cracking down on unlicensed operations, though earlier this year, The Denver Post reported that a pair of unlicensed radio stations in the Boulder County foothills shut down their operations after reportedly being visited by the FCC. “We are under attack from the FCC,” the paper reported that the station KWHR, known as Way High Radio, declared on their Facebook page.

FCC commissioners are paying attention as well. Last December, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly sent a letter to the editor to a small online news outlet where he expressed frustration what he called the paper’s “tacit support” of pirate radio.