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FCC now actively enforcing 700MHz ban, equip sales?

Jim Feeley

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In another thread, Jay posted:



Even though it is still legal to transmit a carrier up to 698 MHz (the first six MHz channel in Lectro block 27), and unlawful to transmit on a carrier above 698 MHz, the fact that a Lectro block 27 transmitter is capable of >698 MHz makes the transmitter unlawful to posess in the United States. The FCC now employs people to scan craigslist and other forums (you can bet this forum is scanned!) looking for >698 units. If found, they will come and take it from you, and may assess a fine and/or criminal charges. This has been true since 2006, but the FCC is now enforcing the law.






Interesting. Anyone know anything more about these enforcement issues or heard of any specific seizure examples? Would the actions be listed in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau actions here?


I don't see anything here, but I haven't read every entry and may be missing something:



 If anyone from the FCC reads this, feel free to chime in. :-)

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"Unlawful to possess in the United States" doesn't sound right to me.  Does anyone have a source for verifying this?


"Unlawful to sell in the United States" I understand, but the former sounds fishy.


It's bad enough that the FCC can, with a stroke of their pen, devalue tens of thousands of dollars of our gear, but this sounds more like a Gestapo.

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Well for unlicensed radio pirates, there are a couple of steps before equipment is seized. And several of our trusted audio dealers have wireless systems in 700MHz that they say are only for export sale. I think the 700 MHz restriction is along the lines of "not allowed to operate." I'll check my notes around here somewhere. So could be the people who reportedly had equipment seized got a notice of violation, ignored it, and kept on using the equipment. 


I'll drop a line to Howard and the FCC. 


Would still love to hear from others here. Because I'm just damned interested in this (no stories cooking on the topic right now).

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May I know the source of the info presented above, that states that the FCC now employs people whose job is to scan internet forums looking for sale ads for wireless equipment in the 700MHz band?  The FCC hired new people to do this, in a new dept? Or has this task been added to those of agents they already had?  Have there been any instances of these FCC people contacting sellers of this equipment, and if so what actions were taken?  A warning?  A fine? Confiscation?  If the sale goes through do they contact both seller and buyer?  Do they also contact EBay or consignment sellers also?  I ask all these questions because we've had waves of information, some correct, some merely conjecture on this subject over the years, and a very uneven enforcement of already announced rules, if any.



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Active jamming devices are one thing, pirate radio (actual FM 88-108 band) in South Florida is another thing entirely. The FCC has a much larger problem in South Florida with the usage of medium power gear to broadcast mostly Caribbean-friendly radio stations illegally. Why does the FCC have a large problem with this, versus a handful of sound operators with B27+ gear? 


Because Clearchannel Radio has WAY more money than a tiny sound mixer or even a pirate radio operator, and TELLS the FCC that they have a problem to deal with.


I have to agree with John Blankenship about Jay's claims. This "FCC agents are scanning the internet for illegal sales" is a great sounding fear tactic and internet rumor. There are still PLENTY of sales on Ebay and elsewhere happening, many of the Ebay listings I have seen are renewed if the seller doesn't get the price he wants. Obviously (as some of these have been up for many months) the FCC isn't working that terribly hard to stop these sales. Some proof of this claim needs to be provided. I'd think if it was true, the FCC themselves would be holding press conferences to announce the effort. 


One press conference can scare a lot more people (thus saving the money of ACTUALLY going and doing enforcement) than a few isolated instances of a C&D letter to an internet seller.


FYI: The FCC's purview is devices that are actively transmitting. I don't believe (but I could be wrong) that they have the ability to declare even possession of a device as illegal, but they have to have the actual force of a law behind them for that to work. Until I put a battery into a transmitter, it is nothing more than a paperweight.

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...I find it highly doubtful they would be involved unless they recieved an interference complaint by a licensed user.



Because Clearchannel Radio has WAY more money than a tiny sound mixer or even a pirate radio operator, and TELLS the FCC that they have a problem to deal with.



This is the way that it will come down IMHO.

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