An FCC Regional Director of its Enforcement Bureau this week issued a Forfeiture Order fining a New Mexico broadcaster $25,000 as three of his Studio Transmitter Link auxiliary stations were operating from an unauthorized location – each located about half a mile from where they were supposed to be according to their FCC licenses. While the amount of the fine may have been increased as the licensee, when notified of the problem following an FCC inspection, filed an application to correct the coordinates, but that application was dismissed by the FCC and never re-filed – so that the same issues of unauthorized operation remained in place when the FCC re-inspected the stations a year later. But the amount of the fines for a seemingly small problem evidences the seriousness with which the FCC is treating inaccuracies in broadcast auxiliary station licenses.
We have written about these issues before, here and here, and in another recent case the FCC proposed to fine a TV licensee $84,000 for a similar violation. So check your auxiliaries now, and make sure that they are properly licensed to avoid the potential of a big fine from the FCC in the future.