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Inter Tech Fined for Marketing Unauthorized FM Transmitters, Amps

Cybermax case generates $22,000 penalty

The Federal Communications Commission fined Inter Tech FM $22,000 for marketing FM transmitters and external RF power amplifiers in the United States without proper authorization.

The agency responded to complaints that the company was marketing unauthorized FM transmission equipment. As part of an investigation, the FCC says, its agents found that Inter Tech was marketing certain transmitters and amplifiers on its Web site and sent the company an inquiry in early 2008. The company said the transmitters it made and marketed under the brand name Cybermax were sold to full-power FMs. As proof of verification, the company included records for the Max 15 DSP FM exciter, an exciter that Inter Tech claimed was incorporated into its transmitters. Verification is a self-authorization procedure in which the manufacturer or importer makes measurements or takes the necessary steps to ensure that the equipment complies with the FCC’s technical standards.

The commission said in its decision this week that in 2008 Inter Tech didn’t provide enough information to prove that its transmitters and amps were properly certified.

Inter Tech also marketed several Cybermax amplifier models for export, telling the agency these contained modules made by Broadcast Warehouse.

After the FCC asked for more information, Inter Tech said it thought it was complying with FCC rules by ensuring the transmitters to be exported carried a disclaimer and by adopting a policy of delivery to foreign addresses only. The company also didn’t realize that transmitters capable of amplification below 144 MHz needed to be certified, and stopped marketing and selling those in the U.S.

The agency said this week it appears Inter Tech manufactured and marketed two unauthorized transmitters in the U.S. in 2008 and has since stopped marketing them here. Though Inter Tech provided verification, the commission said that wasn’t enough because the transmitters contained amplifiers that “altered the emanating characteristics of the device.”

Since Inter Tech incorporated two different certified Broadcast Warehouse amps in its transmitters, as far as the FCC is concerned that meant Inter tech made and marketed two unverified transmitter and amplifier models. As the ultimate manufacturer, Inter Tech was responsible for making sure the models were responsible for complying with commission rules. Inter Tech can pay the $22,000 fine or ask that it be reduced or cancelled.