He said they are not cute, harmless, or in any way useful. FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told a group of radio executives at CRS Tuesday that pirate radio operators are an attack on the integrity of the airwaves. “An attack that must be confronted and defeated on no uncertain terms, lest it continue to push forward.” O’Rielly said his office has nearly completed a new policy with enforcement goals to take down pirates all across the country.
“Broadcasters’ dogged efforts to bring the Commission’s attention to this problem have finally started to bear some fruit, I am pleased to be able to say. My office has been working hard to outline a clear and unequivocal articulation of the Commission’s pirate radio policies and enforcement goals.”
O’Rielly stated that these new goals will be used in an outreach and education effort directed toward entities such as building owners, advertisers, political campaigns, concert promoters, and venue operators that may be unwittingly enabling pirate operators. “The vast majority of legitimate companies and associations want absolutely nothing to do with facilitating illegal activities, so a strong effort to raise awareness will make it much less likely that anyone in the chain will assist pirate radio operations in any capacity.”
O’Rielly said that after a slow start Chairman Wheeler and the Enforcement Bureau are working with him and he hopes to have more news about this issue soon. “I am confident that the FCC can decisively reverse the trend lines and send a message that under no circumstances and in no frequencies will we stand by and tolerate interference with our licensees.”