Enforcement Offices of the Federal Communications Commission on the Eastern Seaboard have been busy of late, after hunting down and knocking on doors to tell a handful of FM operators that they are operating unlawfully.
In Worcester, Mass., agents from the Boston Office responded to a complaint of an unlicensed FM station operating on the frequency 98.7 MHz, and after using direction finding techniques found that signals were allegedly operating from a property belonging to Betty Sarfo of that city.
In Sarfo’s case, the field strength MHz was measured at a significant 76,509 microvolts per meter (µV/m) at 183 meters, which exceeds the maximum permitted level of 250 µV/m at 3 meters for nonlicensed devices.
In nearby Springfield, Mass., agents detected signals on 101.5 MHz, and sent a notice of unlicensed operation to Wendy Lopez, noting that a field strength measurement of the signal from her property was measured at 34,685 microvolts µV/m at 150 meters.
Over in Medford, Mass., Wisland Georges was handed a notice of unlicensed operation after agents detected an alleged unlicensed FM station operating on the frequency 98.7 MHz from the New England Evangelical Church of Mount Olives, where Georges is as pastor of the parish. Agents took two readings and found that the field strength of the signal on frequency 98.7 MHz was measured at 67,775 μV/m at 121 meters, and 2,322 μV/m at 448 meters. After a conversation with agents, Georges admitted he was operator of the radio station and acknowledged he had no authorization to do so.
Heading south to Oakland Park, Fla., Miami Office agents noted alleged operation of radio stations — two in this case — from a property belonging to Tracy and Gerard Peters. On one date, agents detected radio signals on frequency 99.5 MHz; on another, agents noted signals emanating from 100.3 MHz from the same residential property.
In nearby Miami, agents alerted a trio — Clairelia St. Fleur, Walter St. Fleur and Sylvie Grand-Pierre — that they were allegedly operating an unlicensed FM station operating on 101.1 MHz.
In each of its missives, the FCC clarifies that there are exceptions to its licensing requirement, and that is for certain transmitters operating under a power level or mode of operation. The commission also reiterates the penalties that come along with it —operating radio transmitting equipment without authorization is a violation of the Federal laws and could possibly result in monetary fines, confiscation of radio equipment or imprisonment.