FCC Cites Homeowner for Unintentional Interference to Telecoms Provider


The FCC has issued a Citation and Order to an Illinois man to notify him of his obligation to stop operating devices that cause interference to licensed radio operations and to comply with federal rules and regulations related to RF devices. The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s Northeast Region office issued the Citation on November 24 to Edward Kozol of Lemont, Illinois, warning him that he could face fines of up to $16,000 a day unless he resolves the interference, which was reported last spring by AT&T.

“This includes consumer and industrial devices such as lighting ballasts that utilize radio frequencies in their operation,” the FCC noted. Kozol was cited for operating incidental radiators that are causing harmful interference in violation of Section 15.5(b) of the Commission’s rules.

The Citation stemmed from an April 22, 2015, complaint from AT&T concerning interference to its cellular communications system operating in the 700 MHz band. Agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Chicago Office used direction-finding techniques to determine that the radio emissions in the 700 MHz band were emanating from Kozol’s residence. The 700 MHz signal was injecting noise into AT&T’s network and degrading or blocking service to AT&T’s customers, the Citation said. The agents also left a written warning.

FCC agents returned on May 20 and September 16 and found the same signal originating from Kozol’s residence and requested Kozol’s permission to look for any possible RF sources within his residence. “Mr Kozol ignored numerous requests to allow agents to locate and identify the offending transmitter,” the FCC said. Agents also mailed additional warnings to Kozol.

The FCC directed Kozol to confirm in writing that he has taken necessary steps to ensure that he is no longer violating the Commission’s Part 15 rules, including discontinuing the use of and replacing any “offending” devices. The FCC also asked for a written report on steps taken and to advise the FCC Enforcement Bureau’s Chicago Office if he is unable to resolve the issue.