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FCC Cites Amateur Service Rule Violations in Unlicensed Broadcasting Case

03/20/2019

An FCC Enforcement Bureau Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NoUO) issued last fall to a California Technician-class licensee for alleged unlicensed FM broadcasting on 95.7 MHz now has been upgraded to a Notice of Violation (NoV) that cites violations of the Part 97 Amateur Service rules. The March 15 NoV sent to Daryl Thomas, KE6MWS, of Carmichael, also specifically acknowledges Thomas as an Amateur Radio licensee — something not done in last November’s NoUO. The FCC Enforcement Bureau warned that it could progress to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), “if warranted.”

An FCC Enforcement Bureau agent who monitored transmissions on 95.7 MHz from “Amateur Radio station KE6WMS” in the FM broadcast band on January 31, 2019, observed violations of §97.103 — not operating in accordance with FCC rules; §97.113(b) — prohibited transmissions, i.e., broadcasting, and §97.301 — operation outside frequency bands authorized for Amateur Radio. The FCC ordered Thomas to respond in writing within 20 days, explaining each violation and actions taken to correct them and prevent their recurrence.

Last October 10, an Enforcement Bureau agent responded to a complaint of an unlicensed FM station operating on 95.7 MHz in Carmichael. The agent confirmed by direction-finding techniques that a signal on 95.7 MHz was emanating from a residence, and Thomas subsequently admitted that he was the operator of this station, the FCC said in the NoUO. The agent measured the field strength of the signal and found that it exceeded the maximum permitted level of 250 µV per meter at 3 meters, established for unlicensed operation in accordance with FCC Part 15 rules.

Although the FCC last fall had cautioned Thomas that transmitting without a valid radio station authorization or in violation of the Commission’s RF radiation limits was contrary to federal law and must cease, the transmissions apparently continued into this year. 



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