FCC Issues Amateur Radio Licensee a Notice of Violation for Pirate Broadcasting

05/30/2017
The FCC Enforcement Bureau has sent a California Amateur Radio licensee a Notice of Violation (NoV) alleging that he engaged in unlicensed — or “pirate” — radio broadcasting — on the FM band. The NoV to Lyle E. Hilden, KD6LUL, of Vista, was released on May 26. Depending on Hilden’s responses, the NoV could be a precursor to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (fine).

According to the FCC’s Los Angeles Office, the Enforcement Bureau in March received a complaint of an apparently unlicensed FM broadcasting station on 93.7 MHz in Vista. The NoV does not indicate the origin of the complaint, but these sometimes come from legitimate broadcasters in the listening area. The NoV also does not recount the nature of the alleged pirate broadcasts nor indicate how long they had continued.

The following month, FCC agents monitored the apparent unlicensed signal 93.7 MHz and used direction-finding techniques “to positively locate” its source as Hilden’s residence.

“Field strength measurements revealed that the signal transmitted by the station greatly exceeded 250 μV per meter at 3 meters — the maximum permitted on 93.7 [under Part 15 rules] without a Broadcast license,” the FCC said in the NoV. Agents inspected Hilden’s station and pointed out in the NoV that his Amateur Radio license does not entitle him to transmit on the FM broadcast band.

The FCC called on Hilden to provide additional information in writing within 20 days of the NoV, fully explaining any violations and providing “all relevant surrounding facts and circumstances.” Hilden also must spell out and provide a time line for the actions he has taken to correct any violations and preclude their recurrence.

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