FCC Enforcement Update: August 2013


On August 1, 2013, the FCC increased its civil monetary penalties for inflation. The new penalties will go into effect thirty days after publication in the Federal Register, and will not be applied retroactively. The maximum penalty for any single violation for many (but not all) manufacturing issues has been raised from $112,500 to $122,500. The FCC has flexibility to define what constitutes a single violation. The FCC is actively enforcing its hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules, and is clearly reviewing manufacturer’s HAC reports for compliance. The FCC continues to enforce its equipment authorization procedures, and labeling and user manual requirements — including for unintentional radiators. One manufacturer paid $450,000 to settle marketing issues for devices such as amplifiers, bass pedals and vocal processors. The manufacturer agreed to draft a compliance guide and disseminate it widely to the music industry. Finally, the FCC continues its focus on users and manufacturers of U-NII devices that are not properly configured or cause interference.

Fish & Richardson advises RF equipment manufacturers and vendors on complying with the FCC’s marketing rules and technical standards, and navigating enforcement issues when they arise. We maintain an enforcement matrix on our website so manufacturers can follow recent FCC activities. The matrix covers Rule Parts 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 27, 90 and 95, including Consent Decrees and Notices of Apparent Liability and Forfeiture. The matrix is now current through August 1, 2013.

To view a matrix of FCC enforcement activities since 2006, please click here.

To read more, please click here.

For more information or assistance with a FCC compliance or enforcement matter, please contact:

Terry G. Mahn
Managing Principal
Washington, DC
[email protected]

Donna Balaguer
Washington, DC
[email protected]