The Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has submitted to the U.S. Congress a report on the agency’s efforts in 2020 to reduce the incidence of illegal radio broadcasts.
Mandated under the provisions of the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement (PIRATE) Act, the January report summarizes actions that the FCC has already taken to implement the Act’s provisions. These include enforcement efforts against property owners and managers, a streamlined process for notifying parties of violations, increased maximum forfeitures for pirate radio broadcasting, and increased educational outreach efforts. The report also provides details on a number of specific enforcement actions it took against pirate radio operators in 2020.
The FCC’s report to Congress notes that its enforcement efforts during the year were hampered by the COVID-19 outbreak but, more importantly, by the lack of funding allocated by Congress to the agency to support implementation of the enforcement provisions of the PIRATE Act. The FCC says that the lack of funding was attributable to the passage of the Act after the agency’s budget for the federal fiscal year was established.