FCC Warns Against Radio Transmitter Modifications

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is sending a warning to enterprising electronics tinkerers that it is illegal to modify radio transmitters to operate on unassigned frequencies.

The warning comes in the form of a Citation and Order issued in early July by the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau against a New Jersey-based radio equipment vendor for reprogramming several radio transmitters used by a local car service. The Citation follows an investigation by Enforcement Bureau agents of interference in the area of Patterson, NJ that was eventually traced to the car service’s offices. There, agents were informed by one of the service’s employees that the transmitters had been reprogrammed by their equipment vendor, a fact that was later verified by the equipment vendor in a phone call from the Enforcement Bureau.

FCC rules state that “no person shall program into a transmitter frequencies for which the license using the transmitter is not authorized.” Parties found to have violated these rules are subject to further legal action by the Commission, including monetary penalties.

Read the FCC Citation and Order in connection with the illegal programming of radio transmitters.

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