RadioWorld: FCC Puts Pirate Activity in Spotlight

(Source: RadioWorld via Bill Patalon)

Over the course of two days in May, the Federal Communications Commission took action on four allegedly unlicensed pirate radio operators.

In all these cases — one in Mount Vernon, N.Y., one in Dallas and three in a single location in East Orange, N.J. — the FCC reiterated that operating radio transmitting equipment at certain levels without a valid station is against the law, ordered them all to shut down, laid out the potential ramifications and gave each a window in time for them to explain their actions in writing.

Pirate radio has been a renewed point of concern for broadcasters in the United States, with recent debate over the possible impact of cuts in field offices and with Commissioner Michael O’Rielly keeping a spotlight on the problem.

Continue reading at RadioWorld…

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6 thoughts on “RadioWorld: FCC Puts Pirate Activity in Spotlight

  1. Mario

    There are license free FM transmitters available but the output power does not exceed 50 mW if not mistaken. Won’t get your signal out that far though hi hi.

  2. Tom Reitzel

    Ridiculous action by the FCC. The consolidation and sheer number of LICENSED broadcasters ARE the problem. Guess who created the problem? Yep, the FCC. I’d estimate that a MINIMUM reduction of 20% of LICENSED broadcasters in the USA need to go silent. Increase the power levels for UNLICENSED broadcasters and allow those broadcasters with REVOKED LICENSES to broadcast UNLICENSED if desired. Rescind the stupid AM to FM translator idea and allow a single LICENSEE to broadcast only on AM OR FM.

    Finally, allow strictly digital HD (no analog fallback mode) for AM broadcasters if desired.

    I can’t possibly cover ALL the details in this message, but it’s a good start for the FCC to begin UNDOING their incompetent actions over the past few decades. Allow broadcasters to FAIL if necessary so listeners won’t have to tolerate hearing several stations on one frequency whether AM or FM. Yep, the problem CREATED by the FCC is just that BAD! Stop, STOP wasting tax dollars on a few pirates!

  3. Ray

    Well put John! I also get great pleasure out of listening and reporting the signals. Lots of wide open space on HF nowadays, the glory days have long passed.

  4. John C.

    I’ve been a SW Pirate Radio listener off and on for about 5 years now. On the weekend I often try to tune in to Pirate stations. I’m not sure whom they harm or interfere with especially broadcasting on the SW frequencies they tend to use. On the frequencies where I’ve caught most stations there is very little legal broadcasting going on and for US SW Pirates I’ve never had them interfering with a station I wanted to hear. In most cases excellent music and some talk is broadcast.

    A small dedicated group of SW Pirate listeners follows each transmission and usually comments on High Frequency Underground’s message boards on who the station is and what songs they are playing. Many times Pirate stations request reception reports and often times send you the listener really nice e-QSLs in reply for a e mailed reception report. One pirate station in particular X-FM who broadcasts in amazing sound quality and has professional sounding programming even sent me a CD of the program broadcasted, a station decal, and a full color paper QSL for an e mail report which was a very nice surprise.

    Sure it’s illegal to transmit with out a broadcast license. It’s also ilegal to exceed the posted speed limit while driving yet how many of us follow those laws all the time? With the decaying state of the SW Radio hobby it’s nice to have “Pirates” transmitting especially when I tune in after a hectic day and my soul is soothed by the sounds of Hendrix singing “All along the Watchtower’, or I can laugh at the antics of the DJ Dickweed and his sidekick. Seems to me the government has bigger fish they can fry. Like the classic Pink Floyd song states “Hey Teachers, Leave Us Kids Alone!”

    1. Kire

      I agree John, well said. I do appreciate sw pirate stations also. Tho the article mentioned the “violaters” were in the FM band which is much more money oriented, I much prefer the sw bands because there is still that unknown factor that MW/FM have lost.


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