FCC Fines Woman Pirate in Miami $20,000

Says it doubled its fine because she continued broadcasting after first notice
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The FCC fined Nounoune Lubin of North Miami, Fla., $20,000 for operating an unlicensed station on 90.1 MHz.

Her case goes back to 2008, when FCC field agents tracked unauthorized transmissions on that frequency to Lubin from a previous residence and sent her a Notice of Unlicensed Operation.

Responding to a complaint in September and October 2009, field agents traced 90.1 MHz transmissions to her current residence in North Miami.

Field strength measurements made on Sept. 9, 2009, indicated that the signal was 7,746 times greater than the maximum allowed for a non-licensed Part 15 transmitter, the FCC stated. Non-licensed broadcasting in 88–108 MHz is only allowed if the field strength does not exceed 250 uV/m at three meters.

The field agents also traced coaxial cable from an antenna mounted to a mast in the backyard of Lubin's residence into her apartment, according to the agency decision.

In November 2009, the FCC issued a second Notice of Unlicensed Operation to Lubin.

Field agents took field measurements in April and May of this year and found she was still operating a pirate station. The measurements on April 22 indicated that the signal was 6,757 times over the Part 15 limit, the commission staff wrote.

The base fine for unlicensed operation is $10,000; the FCC doubled it to $20,000, finding her "misconduct particularly egregious," because they found Lubin's apparent violation was willful and repeated.

"Although Ms. Lubin acknowledged receipt of both [notices], agents from the Miami Office determined on four occasions subsequent to the [first notice] … that Ms. Lubin operated an unlicensed radio station on 90.1 MHz from her residence," the Enforcement Bureau wrote.

In 30 days, she must pay the fine or ask to have it reduced or cancelled.

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