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Texas Pirate Fined $10,000

Raymond Frank claimed state laws protected him from the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission issued a fine of $10,000 to Raymond Frank for operating an unlicensed station on 90.1 MHz in Austin, Texas.

The case stems from a complaint in February 2007. That’s when investigating field agents traced the signal to Frank’s house. He was warned of the penalties and the Dallas office received a reply in March from Frank saying that the unlawful transmissions had stopped.

The FCC received another complaint of unlawful transmission on 90.1 MHz in July 2007. They took field strength measurements and confirmed the signals exceeded the operation limits — at 15,434 times greater than allowed for Part 15 operation. The agency then fined Frank $10,000.

Frank told the FCC it didn’t have jurisdiction in the area because his station only broadcast within the state of Texas; as a citizen of Texas, Frank claimed, he was not subject to FCC rules and the case should be dropped.

The commission said in its decision that its rules do not change from state to state and that the Supreme Court has found there is no constitutional right to broadcast without a license. The fine is due within 30 days.