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Client Alerts

FCC Enforcement Update 2011

November 14, 2011

Client Alerts

FCC Enforcement Update 2011

November 14, 2011

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FCC Enforcement Update 2011
Following a relatively dormant period in enforcement, the FCC now appears to be acting more aggressively, having issued almost $600,000 in fines to RF equipment manufacturers and sellers from June through October. During this time, virtually every Notice of Apparent Liability alleging a violation of Part 2 or 15 of the FCC’s rules included an “upward adjustment” of the proposed forfeiture amount by several thousand dollars. In one case, the FCC even stated that “large or highly profitable entities should expect forfeitures higher than those reflected in the base amounts.” Moreover, in September, the FCC took the unusual step of issuing an Omnibus Citation to 20 companies for allegedly marketing illegal signal jamming devices. While the Omnibus Citation itself does not impose monetary penalties, the issuance of a citation is the first step in the enforcement process and each firm named in the Omnibus Citation is now subject to future forfeitures up to $16,000 for each violation or $16,000 per day of a continuing violation up to a maximum of $112,500. The FCC stated that it could impose separate forfeitures for each signal jammer sold and/or for each day on which a signal jammer is advertised or otherwise offered for sale.

These developments may signify a new trend in enforcement where the FCC uses its “upward adjustment” discretion more liberally than before to increase the dollar amounts for violations in enforcement proceedings. Our website, which periodically updates you on FCC enforcement actions, is now current through October 31, 2011 and we will continue to monitor developments in this area. To read more, please click here.

Fish & Richardson follows all FCC enforcement actions taken against RF equipment manufacturers, vendors, and users concerning violations of the FCC’s marketing rules and technical standards. These include enforcement of Rule Parts 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 27, 90 and 95, the tracking of voluntary consent decrees, citations, and Notices of Apparent Liability and Forfeiture.

To view a matrix of FCC enforcement activities from 2006-2011, please click here.

For more information on FCC enforcement, please contact:

Terry G. Mahn
Managing Principal
Washington, DC
mahn@fr.com
202-626-6421

© Copyright 2011 Fish & Richardson P.C. These materials may be considered advertising for legal services under the laws and rules of professional conduct of the jurisdictions in which we practice. The material contained in this newsletter has been gathered by the lawyers at Fish & Richardson P.C. for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Transmission is not intended to create and receipt does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel. For more information about Fish & Richardson P.C. and our practices, please visit www.fr.com.

 

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