City pulled over by FCC license renewal cops


Escalante City in Utah is the licensee of FM translator K237AD. And it did not get around to renewing its license until March 1, 2007. That date, amazingly, was into the second license cycle since a renewal application was due – the license expired 10/1/97.

Basically, the station was operated without a license for seven years. Then a renewal was once again due, and another 17 months went by until paperwork finally made it to the Commission.

The FCC has been gentle with low power operations of late, usually assessing only $250 for a late renewal, but in this case, there was simply too much to let it go at that. The FCC decided to fine the city $4K — $1K for each failure to renew on time and $1K for each period of unauthorized operation.

Incidentally, the FCC does not consider this type of unauthorized operation to constitute piracy. And it’s a good thing too, because that is a much more expensive proposition for the caught transgressor. The FCC wrote, “Nevertheless, because it had previously been licensed to operate Station K237AD, the transgression is not comparable to ‘pirate’ wireless operations, which typically have been subject to forfeitures of approximately $10,000.”