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FCC Consent Decree Requires Radio Amateur to Relinquish His License


As part of a Consent Decree released March 19, a Cocoa, Florida, radio amateur has agreed to give up his Advanced class Amateur Radio license. Terry L. Van Volkenburg, KC5RF, also has agreed to make a $1000 “voluntary donation” to the US Treasury, in installments, and waive all rights to contest the validity of the Consent Decree. In turn, the FCC is terminating a 2012 enforcement proceeding involving unlicensed transmissions that interfered with a sheriff’s department radio system. On March 1, 2013, the FCC found Van Volkenburg liable for a $25,000 forfeiture, which the Commission subsequently determined he would be unable to pay. The Enforcement Bureau also agreed not to institute a new proceeding on the basis of the one just concluded.

“The Bureau further agrees that in the absence of new material evidence, the Bureau will not use the facts developed in the investigation through the effective date [of the Consent Decree] or the existence of this Consent Decree to institute on its own motion any new proceeding, formal or informal, or take any action on its own motion against Mr Van Volkenburg concerning the matters that were the subject of the investigation,” the Consent Decree provided. The Commission said it was entering into the agreement and terminating the enforcement proceeding in part “to avoid further expenditure of public resources.”

Prior to signing the Consent Decree, the FCC said, Van Volkenburg requested in writing that the Commission cancel his Amateur Radio license.

The FCC investigation began in September 2012 in response to an interference complaint filed by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department. The Enforcement Bureau subsequently determined that Van Volkenburg transmitted on 465.300 MHz without a license, interfering with the radio system in the county jail.

In settling the enforcement action, Van Volkenburg “admits, solely for the purpose of this Consent Decree and for Commission civil enforcement purposes” that the radio transmissions he made on 465.300 MHz sparking the investigation violated the Communications Act.





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