The FCC issued more than $2.3 million in monetary forfeitures to equipment manufacturers in 2012, which doubles the total forfeiture amount from 2011. Throughout the year, the FCC continued its aggressive pursuit of wireless phone providers to ensure that hearing aid compatibility (HAC) handset offering and administrative filing requirements were met. In addition, the FCC entered notable consent decrees totaling $350,000 with manufacturers and importers of RF “stereo” equipment such as audio mixers, powered loudspeakers, and bass amplifiers – an area where we have not seen significant enforcement activity in the past. Also, in recent months, the FCC has denied several appeals from equipment manufacturers to reduce proposed forfeiture amounts. Since each case is different, it is difficult to predict whether the FCC’s recent reluctance to reduce proposed forfeitures represents a new “trend” in enforcement, but these developments emphasize that manufacturers, importers, and marketers of RF equipment must remain vigilant in 2013 and beyond to ensure that their products are properly tested, labeled, and authorized under the FCC’s rules prior to marketing.
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FCC enforcement update – 2012 year in review
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