Just like ordinary businesses and consumers, agencies of the U.S. federal government are subject to increased costs directly linked to inflation. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently taken steps to align its forfeiture penalties to reflect the current economic reality.
In an Order issued just before Christmas (2022), the FCC approved across-the-board increases of approximately 7-8% for most forfeiture penalties for violations of FCC rules and requirements. For example, the per day forfeiture for violations of section 302(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the section that covers the marketing of unauthorized equipment) is now $23,727, up from $22,021 in 2022 (a 7.7% increase). Forfeitures for violations of section 511 of the Act (which covers pirate radio broadcasting) is now $115,202 per day, compared with $107,478 per day in 2022 (a 7.1% increase).
Under the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act, federal agencies are required to annually adjust civil monetary penalties for violations of their rules. The updated forfeiture amounts apply to penalties assessed on or after January 15, 2023.