FCC Cites Retailer for Marketing Amateur Radios as CB Radios
In October 2010, an agent from the FCC’s Enforcement Office visited Monroe, Michigan-based Doctor Radio’s CB Shop to find that the store was selling, among other items, a radio that was described as “an Amateur Radio that could operate on CB frequencies” that was modified to operate above the approved power limits. As such, the FCC issued a Citation to the store on January 4 for marketing unauthorized radio frequency devices in the United States in violation of Section 302(b) of the Communications Act and Section 2.803(a)(1) of the Commission’s rules.
The equipment in question includes a Cobra 150 GTL DX. A store employee explained to an FCC agent that the transceiver had been modified to generate 170 W of power. The store employee further explained that the Cobra 150 GTL DX was an Amateur Radio transceiver that could operate on CB frequencies. If legally operated, the 150 GTL DX operates from 28-29.7 MHz; the CB frequencies are 26.965-27.405 MHz. Section 95.655(a) of the FCC rules prohibit radios that can transmit on both the amateur and CB bands. According to the Citation, the Cobra 150 GTL DX “offered for sale at Doctor Radio had both CB and Amateur Radio capability and therefore cannot be sold in the United States.”
The FCC advised Doctor Radio’s CB Shop that if after receipt of the Citation, it violates the Communications Act or the Rules by continuing these sorts of sales, the FCC may impose monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act. In addition, violations of the Communications Act or the Rules can result in seizure of equipment through in rem forfeiture actions as well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.
Doctor Radio’s CB Shop has until February 4 to respond to the Citation, either through a personal interview at the FCC’s Farmington Hills, Michigan office, or via a written statement.