FCC enforcement activities

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    Joseph, K9JOE


    FCC Fines 2 Amateur Radio Operators for Interference, No Identification (7/22/15)

    The FCC imposed a penalty against one amateur radio station operator for causing interference and failing to provide station identification and proposed a fine against another for failing to transmit his call sign.

    The FCC fined Michael Guernsey $22,000 for intentionally causing interference to other amateur radio operators and failing to provide station identification. The FCC proposed the fine on Guernsey last year.

    Amateur radio frequencies are shared and licensees may not monopolize any frequency for their exclusive use. Deliberate interference and failure to transmit call sign information undermines the purpose of the amateur radio service, the FCC said.

    Guernsey denied that he was responsible for causing the interference and failing to identify, arguing that because FCC agents did not inspect his station they could have confused his signal for the signal of nearby amateur operators. Guernsey also requested forfeiture cancellation or reduction based on his purported inability to pay.

    “Considering the entire record and the factors discussed below, we find no reason to cancel, withdraw or reduce the proposed penalty, and we therefore assess the $22,000 forfeiture the Enforcement Bureau previously proposed,” the order said.

    Separately, the commission proposed a penalty of $1,000 against amateur radio station operator David J. Tolassi for failing to transmit his assigned call sign in the amateur radio service. The FCC said it previously warned Tolassi of the station identification requirement.

    “Mr. Tolassi’s deliberate disregard of the commission’s warning warrants the proposed penalty,” the notice said.

    On June 24, agents from the Atlanta Office of the Enforcement Bureau used mobile direction-finding techniques to locate the source of a signal on 14.313 MHz at Tolassi’s residence in Ringgold, Georgia. The agents monitored and recorded transmissions during which Tolassi failed to transmit his assigned call sign, W4BHV. The agents interviewed Tolassi later that evening, and, while he admitted operating that evening, he denied making the unidentified transmissions.

    “We find that Mr. Tolassi apparently repeatedly violated Section 97.119(a) of the commission’s rules,” the notice said.

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