Thursday, January 19, 2012

One way to help relieve the national debt...

WPLY-960 Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania has been fined $17,000 for two violations of FCC regulations.

I suppose most DXers would feel that failing to keep a public inspection file would be a relatively minor violation. (even if the station admitted they never had a public file in the eleven years it was under control of the current ownership) The FCC establishes a base fine of $10,000 for this violation; and adjusted it upwards to $12,000 because there had been no public file in over eleven years.

The violation DXers would probably find more blatant is the use of an unauthorized power level and antenna system. WPLY is licensed to operate at 1,000 watts daytime, with a four-tower directional antenna. The FCC inspector found the station operating at 250 watts and using only one of the four towers. (resulting in non-directional operation) Strangely, the base fine for operating at an unauthorized power level and antenna is only $4,000. This, too, was adjusted upwards (to $5,000) because the unauthorized technical operation had also continued for eleven years...

As with other FCC actions, the station has the right to appeal the fines. They also have the right to attempt to show inability to pay. This latter action is successful more often than you might think. WPLY is in bankruptcy, so I would not be surprised if they end up paying something much less than $17,000.

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