FCC Enforcement Actions
Section 301 of the Communications Act prohibits the “use or operation of any apparatus for the transmission
of energy or communications or signals by radio” without a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
Thus, generally, in order to use or operate a radio station, the Communications Act requires that you first obtain a license
by the FCC. There are certain limited exceptions. For example, the Commission has provided blanket authorization to
operators of CB radio, radio control stations, and domestic ship and aircraft radios. In addition, the Commission has
authorized the operation of certain low power radios pursuant to Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules. Thus, operators of
these radio facilities are not required to have individual licenses. However, these operators are required to operate their
stations in a manner consistent with the Commission’s operational and technical rules for those services.
The Commission takes enforcement of Section 301 seriously. Parties found operating radio stations without FCC authorization
will be subject to a variety of enforcement actions including seizure of equipment, imposition of monetary forfeitures, ineligibility to hold any FCC license, and criminal penalties.
Unauthorized Broadcast Stations –