Congress Passes Pirate Act

Last week the Senate passed the PIRATE Act, which gives the FCC greater enforcement tools to combat illegal pirate radio operations.  We want to thank Congressman Paul Tonko (D. NY), who authored the legislation (H.R. 583) and championed this issue in the House of Representatives. In essence, the Senate voted for Congressman Tonko’s bill.  We also want to thank Senator Charles Schumer for his unwavering support and leadership in getting the legislation through the Senate.  We appreciate the efforts of the legislation’s co-sponsors Senator Steve Daines (R. MT)  and Senator Gary Peters (D. MI) as well as Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R. MS) and Ranking Member Senator Maria Cantwell (D. WA).

Illegal pirate radio stations continue to harm the public living the New York City Tri-State area. They interfere with airport communications; undermine the Emergency Alert Services (EAS); ignore government RF radiation standards; disregard all FCC rules and pay no attention to consumer protection laws.  While pirate radio enforcement has increased under the Administration of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, these tools are necessary to resolve the problem. The time has come for the FCC to regain its authority over FM radio frequencies in New York City and Northern New Jersey.

We are one step closer to providing the FCC with the tools it needs to address the growing illegal pirate radio problem.  The House of Representatives already passed the PIRATE Act (H.R. 583) earlier this year.  Because the Senate passed the House version of the PIRATE Act, it has now passed Congress. NYSBA looks forward to working with the White House and respectfully requests that President Trump sign the PIRATE Act into law as soon as possible.

To see an analysis of the bill from noted FCC attorney David Oxenford click HERE.

While NYSBA has been a leader in this fight, passing this bill was a team effort.  We want to thank NAB, our fellow State Broadcasters Associations and the Washington office of iHeart Media.  This bill would not have passed without their help.

The issue received significant coverage in the trade press. Here are a few of the articles.

 Inside Radio http://www.insideradio.com/free/senate-unanimously-approves-bill-that-would-hike-pirate-fines-to/article_c063b1fa-3252-11ea-b36b-6b8ade52855b.html

RBR  https://www.rbr.com/nab-sbas-cheer-senate-approval-of-pirate-act/

Radio Ink. https://radioink.com/2020/01/08/nab-statement-on-senate-passage-of-pirate-act/

Radio World https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/business-and-law/senate-passes-pirate-act

 

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