FCC's Wheeler: Pirate Radio Problem 'Can't Be Solved By Enforcement Alone'
August 26, 2015 at 4:12 AM (PT)
FCC Chairman TOM WHEELER's response to 16 members of Congress from the NEW YORK area who asked the Commission to crack down on pirate radio stations in their area told the legislators that enforcement is subject to cost and prioritization and "the pirate radio problem cannot be solved by enforcement alone."
The letter sent back to Congress by WHEELER calls enforcement against pirates "resource intensive" and adds, "The time and expense of these cases present particular difficulties
in the current flat budget environment, where the Commission's staffing is at its lowest point in 30 years and overtime is less available. Accordingly, we must prioritize our work based on existing resources and the harm to the public. Thus, matters posing an imminent threat to public safety or directly harming large numbers of consumers must take precedence over other matters, including pirate radio." He noted that pirates ignore warnings and move their equipment to avoid enforcement.
WHEELER also touted the JUNE 29th "Pirate Radio Roundtable" that kicked around ideas to address the pirate issue, including adding "aiding and abetting" liability for other parties like landlords, education, and additional FCC, state, and local options for enforcement.
Among recent warnings sent out by the Commission for unlicensed operation have been several in the NEW YORK boroughs, including BROOKLYN (108 FIELD, LLC) and the BRONX (TRELAWNY CAR SERVICE, 2784 MORRIS ESTATES, 2200 MORRIS REALTY CORP., 907 ASSOCIATES, LLC), plus BALTIMORE (MANHATTAN PARK APARTMENTS), BLOOMFIELD, CT (NJW, LLC), WORCESTER, MA (VASCO OBURONI), and MIAMI (JEAN R. VALSAINT).