For Immediate Release

NY State Broadcasters Association Applauds House Energy and Commerce Committee for Passing H.R. 5709 the “PIRATE Act”

Albany NY: Regarding today’s vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee for unanimously passing H.R. 5709, the Preventing Illegal Use of Radio Through Enforcement Act “PIRATE Act,” David Donovan, President of the New York State Broadcasters Association, Inc. stated:

“The number of illegal AM and FM stations operating in the New York City metro area exceeds the number of stations licensed by the FCC.  The FCC’s ability to police the airwaves has been severely compromised in a number of markets. The result is interference to the Emergency Alert System, interference to FAA airport communications systems, transmission of RF radiation at levels above government standards, and a complete disregard for all FCC and consumer protection laws.

New enforcement tools are necessary to restore credibility to the FCC’s licensing system. Today’s bi-partisan vote will give the FCC these additional tools to enforce its regulations by:

  • Increasing fines for illegal pirate operation, to up to $2 million;
  • Holding those who knowingly assist illegal pirate stations accountable;
  • Providing for spectrum enforcement sweeps in markets with the most illegal stations;
  • Recognizing state law enforcement efforts;
  • Reporting on coordination with the Department of Justice; and
  • Creating an easy to use list of licensed stations and illegal stations that have received enforcement

We want to thank Congressman Paul Tonko (D. NY 20th) for introducing and co-sponsoring this legislation as well as Congressman Chris Collins (R. NY 27th) for outstanding leadership on this issue.  We also want to thank Congressman Leonard Lance (R. NJ 7th), who co-sponsored the bill as well as Chairman Greg Walden (R. OR 2nd) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (R. NJ 6th) together with the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

We urge members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to move forward with this essential legislation.  Time is of the essence.  The FCC must regain control of the nation’s airwaves.”

For additional information contact David Donovan at