NYSBA Study Finds 76 Unauthorized 'Pirate' Radio Stations Operating In The NYC Area
July 14, 2016 at 7:48 AM (PT)
The NEW YORK STATE BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION unveiled an engineering survey conducted earlier this year by the engineering firm of MEINTEL, SGRIGNOLI AND WALLACE, which counted the number of unauthorized “pirate” radio stations in the NEW YORK Metropolitan area. The survey found 76 stations that were apparently operating without an FCC license. The study examined reception at four locations:
- 19 unauthorized “pirate” stations were found in THE BRONX
- 29 unauthorized “pirate” stations were found in BROOKLYN
- 13 unauthorized “pirate” stations were found in NEWARK, NJ
- 15 unauthorized “pirate” stations were found in PATERSON, NJ
The 29 stations found in BROOKLYN represent a 58% increase in the number of unauthorized “pirate” stations operating in that borough, when compared to a similar survey conducted in 2015. The study observed that it likely underestimated the number of unauthorized pirate stations in the area. There could be more than 100 unauthorized “pirate” stations operating in the NEW YORK Metropolitan Area.
The study noted the potential harms associated with the proliferation of unauthorized “pirate” stations including:
- Interference to the Broadcast Emergency Alert Service (“EAS”), which is essential to warn citizens during disasters;
- Interference to frequencies used by the FAA, for air traffic communications; and
- The failure to comply with RF radiation rules established for licensed broadcast stations. While the data are preliminary, this could give rise potential health problems in those communities with a significant number of unauthorized “pirate” stations.
NYSBA Pres. DAVID DONOVAN stated, “Like our previous studies, the new survey provides compelling evidence that the FCC needs to address this problem. Last summer, the entire NEW YORK Congressional delegation asked the FCC to fix the problem. While the FCC has published an Enforcement Advisory, it needs to devote the manpower and resources to increase its enforcement efforts. Moreover, Congressional action will be important to assist the FCC in these efforts.”
The study may be accessed here.