NAB To FCC: Thank You For Discussing Pirate Radio Solutions
July 17, 2015 at 1:41 PM (PT)
In an open letter from NAB's General Counsel/VP RICK KAPLAN to the FCC's TOM WHEELER, the organization thanked the COMMISSION for conducting talks on illegal pirate radio station operations.
"Pirate radio operations erode the advertising and membership base of legitimate broadcast stations, and undermine investment in legitimate stations, particularly minority-owned stations. They also threaten the health and safety of radio listeners and local residents. Pirate radio operations disrupt the EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS), interfere with aviation frequencies and often transmit from residential buildings where unchecked RF radiation can cause health problems."
Among the points brought up in the discussion:
-Significantly increase the number of enforcement actions, including Notices of Apparent Liability, Forfeitures and equipment seizures issued by the FCC against pirate operators.
-Develop a COMMISSION policy statement to share with private and law enforcement groups and help channel resources towards pirate radio enforcement.
-Implement a dual strategy which increases pirate enforcement effort in the short term using all existing enforcement tools while working on changes in the Communications Act and other federal laws to improve enforcement against pirate radio.
-Raise the awareness of entities (e.g., concert venues, building owners and managers, advertisers) that may unknowingly aid and abet pirate radio operators.
-Enlist law enforcement entities that can serve as partners in education efforts.
-Enhance the COMMISSION’s ability to identify and prosecute pirate operators, including the continued assistance of broadcasters in locating illegal radio transmitters and studios.
-Create a permanent liaison between the COMMISSION, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, U.S. Marshal’s service, and state and local law enforcement agencies to facilitate pirate radio enforcement.
-Explore using private sector engineers to help FCC offices work with local law enforcement in a more efficient manner.
The NAB's letter concluded: "The roundtable was a tremendous first step, and we look forward to working with you and other COMMISSION staff on these and other proposals for addressing the pirate radio problem."