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Commission proposes fine for interference

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a fine of more than $200,000 against a Rhode Island company for operating unlicensed radio transmitters that created interference with critical weather radar systems near some of the nation’s busiest airports.

In a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued in August 2013, the FCC cited Towerstream Corporation of Middletown, RI for repeat instances in 2012 of interference with terminal Doppler weather radar (TDWR) systems operated by the Federal Aviation Administration near major airports around the country, including John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Miami International Airport, and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. According to the findings from investigations by the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau, the instances of interference were created by Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) transmission devices operated by Towerstream on leased rooftop locations near these airports.

U-NII devices are subject to operation within specific spectrum bands and must not create harmful interference. The Commission’s Enforcement Bureau had notified Towerstream of similar interference issues at these and other major airports in 2009, and had received pledges of compliance from the company. The FCC characterized the most recent instances of interferences as examples of repeated or willful violations of its rules, and cited Towerstream for its “blatant disregard for Commission authority and the consequent harm to public safety.”

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Read the complete text of the FCC’s Notice of Apparent Liability in connection with Towerstream for operating unlicensed radio transmitters that created interference with critical weather radar systems near some of the nation’s busiest airports.

 

 

 

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