Corporate radio piracy

Oct 25, 2006 4:26 am
DIY Media is one of the few outlets that cover all sorts of pirate radio activity, including the illegal actions of radio corporations.

Recently, they have reported that, "XM and Sirius admitted to selling souped-up in-car transceivers that operated beyond acceptable FCC power levels... XM Satellite Radio now reports that its terrestrial-based network of repeater-transmitters -- designed to bolster its space-based coverage pattern, especially in urban areas -- has not only been operating at excessive power, but on unauthorized frequencies."

Many of the "souped-up in-car transceivers" and other devices meant to send an audio signal from something like an iPod to a radio are slightly above FCC "Part 15" regulations. No one would buy them if they were weak enough to be legal. (You can expose the antennae in these devices to make them slightly more powerful.) So the crimes of these satellite radio corporations aren't that unusual. XM, though, admitting to setting up pirate radio stations all over the country is a different story. The National Association of Broadcasters and National Publc Radio (especially hard-hit because most of the small transmitters use lower-FM frequencies like NPR stations) are both complaining to the FCC.

DIYmedia also reports, "Last year the FCC issued several Notices of Apparent Liability to several cross-border companies in southern California. These companies were using unlicensed microwave data links to connect corporate and production facilities... [using] unlicensed studio-to-transmitter (STL) links to connect studios in the U.S. with transmitters in Tijuana. Both of them claimed they were operating under the counsel of the FCC's International Bureau, which assured them they didn't need licenses anymore to operate the links. The Enforcement Bureau called that counsel 'misplaced' and 'mistaken.'" The two stations were fined $68,000.
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