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FCC Issues Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order to Florida Man for Using Unauthorized Equipment

11/02/2011

Michael Perry, of Cross City, Florida, was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the amount of $10,000 for operating a radio transmitter without the requisite FCC authorization. The FCC found that Perry “willfully violated section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended and Sections 95.409 and 95.411 of the Commission’s rules.”

In response to a complaint of interference, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Tampa Office used direction-finding techniques on March 31, 2011 to locate the source of the interference to a signal on Citizens Band channel 28 (27.2850 MHz) that was coming from Perry’s residence. The same day, agents from the Tampa Office inspected Perry’s CB station, which he admitted to using earlier that day. The agents observed a non-certificated CB transmitter and three linear amplifiers as part of Perry’s CB station. Perry admitted to the agents that two of the three linear amplifiers were capable of generating a power output of 200 W and 1500 W respectively, and that he had never tested the third. The agents observed that the transmitter and two of the amplifiers were warm to the touch, indicating that the devices had been recently operated.

Section 301 of the Communications Act states that no person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio within the United States except under and in accordance with the Act and with a license. Section 95.404 of the Rules states that CB operators are not required to have individual licenses because they are authorized by this rule to operate a CB station, provided, however, that they operate the station in accordance with Subpart D of Part 95 of the Rules. Operation of CB stations in a manner that is inconsistent with the CB Rules requires a license pursuant to Section 301 of the Act. Section 95.409(a) of the Rules states that CB operators must use FCC certificated CB transmitters at their CB stations and the use of a transmitter that is not FCC certificated voids the authority to operate the station.

During the inspection of Perry’s CB station, he admitted to the agents that he used the noncertificated CB transmitter. Because Perry operated a non-certificated CB transmitter, he no longer had authority to operate the CB station. “As a result, due to Mr Perry’s conscious operation of a noncertificated CB transmitter, we find the apparent violation willful,” the Notice read. “Based on the evidence before us, we find that Mr Perry apparently willfully violated section 301 of the Communications Act and Section 95.409 of the Rules by operating an unlicensed and non-certificated CB transmitter.”

Section 95.411(a) of the Rules states that CB operators may not attach external radio frequency power amplifiers (sometimes called “linears” or “linear amplifiers”) to certificated CB transmitters in any way. Section 95.411(b) of the Rules states that there are no exceptions to this rule and that use of a power amplifier voids the authority to operate the station. “During the inspection of Mr Perry’s CB station on March 31, 2011, Mr Perry admitted using two of the three linear amplifiers observed next to his non-certificated CB transmitter. The agents observed that the two amplifiers were warm to the touch during the inspection, indicating that they were recently operated. Because Mr Perry operated his CB station with two linear amplifiers attached, he no longer had the authority to operate the CB station. Because he consciously operated with unauthorized amplifiers, we find that the apparent violation was willful. Therefore, based on the evidence before us, we find that Mr Perry apparently willfully violated Section 301 of the Communications Act and Section 95.411 of the Rules by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter with two amplifiers.”

The FCC directed Perry to submit a statement, signed under penalty of perjury, that to the extent he is engaged in CB operations, he is using a certified CB transmitter and has not attached any linear amplifiers to his CB station. Perry has until December 1, 2011 to submit his statement, as well as his payment of the forfeiture (or a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture). Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the Perry to additional enforcement action.



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