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FCC Issues Citation to Georgia Company for Selling, Importing Unauthorized RF Devices

07/23/2008

On July 21, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Citation to the owner of a Georgia company for selling unauthorized radio frequency devices (specifically wireless video transmitters) and importing radio frequency devices without filing the proper FCC forms with the US Customs office and the US Border Patrol.

The FCC found that Vladimir "Vova" Reznik, owner of RangeVideo, was "marketing in the United States unauthorized radio frequency devices, specifically, wireless video transmitters." The Commission sent Reznik a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) regarding this and noting the following specific items he had for sale on the RangeVideo Web site: 900 MHz 100 mW audio/video transmitters; 900 MHz 500 mW audio/video transmitters; 1.3 GHz 300 mW audio/video transmitters; 2.4 GHz 200 mW audio/video transmitters; 2.4 GHz 500 mW audio/video transmitters; 2.4 GHz 1000 mW audio/video transmitters, and 2.4 GHz 1000 mW cased audio/video transmitters.

According to the FCC, the 900 MHz devices are capable of operation on 980 MHz, 1010 MHz and 1040 MHz; the 1.3 GHz device is capable of operating on 1240 MHz, 1320 MHz and 1360 MHz, and the 2.4 GHz devices are capable of operating on 2490 MHz. "Thus, these transmitter devices cannot comply with the FCC's technical standards and therefore cannot be certified or marketed," the Citation reads.

Reznik responded to the LOI, admitting that he first imported the devices in 2006 and that he continues to import the devices. The FCC noted that he admitted to selling more than 2600 of the transmitters since 2006. Reznik also admitted to not filing the proper forms with the US Customs Office or the Border Patrol.

The FCC also noted that Reznik stated that before he ships a transmitter device, he "switch[es] it to operate only in the Amateur Radio Service ('ARS') bands. While radio transmitting equipment that transmits solely on ARS frequencies is not subject to the equipment authorization requirement prior to manufacture or marketing, it appears that the seven transmitter devices marketed on your website are equipped with external toggle switches on the unit, which if engaged would allow operation of the device on the restricted frequencies."

In 1996, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) released a Public Notice "to clarify the Commission's Rules regarding equipment intended to operate in various radio services in the high frequency radio spectrum, including 10 meter Amateur Radio Service equipment." The Notice states that transmitters intended for operation on non-amateur frequencies "must be approved prior to manufacture, importation or marketing." The Notice specifically includes Amateur Radio Service transceivers to be designed "such that they can easily be modified by the users to extend the operating frequency range into the frequency bands" of other non-Amateur Radio Services among those devices, subject to equipment authorization procedures.

The Notice also states that the FCC considers these transceivers as intended to be operated on frequencies where the use of type accepted equipment is required "because of the simplicity of modifying them to extend their operating frequency range." According to the Citation, "the transmitter devices listed on [Reznik's] website require a grant of equipment certification prior to the initiation of marketing in the United States, but, as noted above, cannot be certified because they operate on restricted frequencies."

Reznik has the following legal disclaimer posted on the RangeVideo Web site: "high power video transmitters operate in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS) frequency band, and according to FCC regulations users must obtain proper licensing for legal operation. There are no restrictions on the sale of this equipment, however RangeVideo urges users to become familiar with and observe all laws and regulations governing ARS licensing and the operation of ARS equipment. Please visit the FCC's Website for more information." He then gives the FCC's Web site address that discusses how to receive an Amateur Radio license (wireless.fcc.gov/services/amateur/licensing/).

The FCC warned Reznik that if he violates the Communications Act or the Commission's Rules "in any manner described herein" after receipt of the Citation, "the Commission may impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed $11,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation." Reznik was given 30 days to reply to the Citation, either through a personal interview at the FCC's Atlanta Field Office or via a written statement. Through the Citation, Reznik was told that his response "should specify the actions that you are taking to ensure that you do not violate the Commission's Rules governing the marketing of radio frequency equipment in the future."



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