FCC Continues Pirate Enforcement in Queens & New Jersey

The FCC continues to increase its enforcement against illegal pirate radio operations. In two recent cases, the FCC issued letters against property owners that allowed illegal pirate stations to operate.

In one case, the FCC investigated a complaint about an unlicensed FM broadcast station operating on frequency 105.5 MHz. On March 26, 2022, agents from the New York Office used direction-finding techniques to confirm that radio signals on frequency 105.5 MHz were emanating from a property on 41st Avenue, Queens, New York 11373 (41st Avenue Property).

A second investigation involved a case in Newark, NJ. On March 10, 2022, and March 25, 2022, agents from the FCC relied on direction-finding techniques once more to verify that radio signals on frequency 90.9 MHz were emanating from a property located at 195 Ivy Street, Newark, New Jersey 07106 (Ivy Street Property).

The key point is that the FCC is now looking to hold property owners accountable for illegal pirate operations. The FCC’s letters are quite specific on this point:

“Accordingly, you are hereby notified and warned that the FCC may issue a fine of up to $2,000,000 if, following the response period set forth below, we determine that you have continued to permit any individual or entity to engage in pirate radio broadcasting from the property that you own or manage… If you do not respond to this Notice, the FCC may nonetheless determine that, as a legal matter, you have sufficient knowledge of the above-referenced pirate radio activity to support enforcement action against you. Service of this Notice to you or your agent establishes the foundation, along with other evidence, that could lead to significant financial penalties.”

We are delighted that the provisions of the PIRATE Act are being used by the FCC to eliminate illegal pirate radio operations. Holding property owners responsible for knowingly allowing such illegal operations to broadcast is a huge step in the right direction.

To see the “Queens” letter click HERE.

To see the “Newark” letter click HERE.


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