Sunday, August 5, 2018

FCC Roundup - $18K Fine Proposed; License Renewal Denied

The FCC has proposed fining a Louisiana amateur $18,000 for allegedly interfering with communications on a local repeater – including during an emergency net – and failing to identify while being monitored transmitting interfering signals. In addition, the FCC's Notice of Apparent Liability charges that Jerry Materne, KC5SCG, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, responded to a letter from Special Counsel Laura Smith by insisting that his operations were legal and telling Smith to "pound sand, lady." 

The Enforcement Bureau noted that because Materne's alleged violations were intentional, repeated and continued after being warned by the FCC to stop, it was using its discretion to increase its standard proposed fines of $7000 for causing interference and $1000 for failure to identify by an additional $10,000 for a total proposed fine of $18,000. Materne was given the usual 30 days to either pay the fine or file a written request to have it reduced or cancelled.

In a separate action, an FCC Administrative Law Judge dismissed the long-pending license renewal application of William Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Springs, California. Crowell has been in the FCC's cross-hairs for over a decade, after assessing a fine of $25,000 in 2016 for causing intentional interference. Crowell's license renewal application was designated for hearing in 2008. A series of delays ensued, with the administrative law judge finally ruling in early July that the application should be dismissed. Crowell has the option of appealing the decision to the full FCC.