Pai Piles On Florida Pirate


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continues his aggressive attack against pirate operators, especially those that are repeat offenders. Following the announcement that North Miami pirates would be hit with the maximum fine allowable ($144,000), Pai said, “Since becoming Chairman, I’ve made it quite clear that the FCC won’t tolerate the unauthorized and illegal use of the radio spectrum. Towards that end, I’ve made it a Commission priority to crack down on pirate radio operations.” Here’s his full statement…

“For at least five years now, it appears that Mr. Polynice and the Sidos have jointly engaged in the illicit operation of a radio station in North Miami, Florida. On numerous occasions since 2012, the Commission has warned these individuals that operation of an unlicensed radio station is illegal, and that continued operation could result in further enforcement action. And in 2012, the Justice Department even seized the parties’ radio broadcast equipment from a shed in the Sidos’ backyard. But Mr. Polynice and the Sidos appear to have ignored each of these measures.

“Specifically, it appears that Mr. Polynice continued to provide the programming for the unauthorized station and to publicly promote its operations. And it appears that the Sidos authorized the installation and operation of the FM broadcast station in the backyard of their residence and provided material support in the form of use of their property, their electricity, and their Internet connection, all of which are necessary precursors to successful operation of the illegal station.

“This conduct is unacceptable. So we propose to hold these individuals jointly and severally liable for the maximum fine allowed under the Communications Act. With this action, we send a clear message to all pirate operators far and wide that we will use the strongest enforcement tools within our disposal to end this illegal practice.

“Commissioner O’Rielly has consistently advocated for the Commission to do more to combat pirate radio operations, and I would like to thank him for his commitment to this cause. I’d also like to thank the staff of the Enforcement Bureau, including Charles Cooper, Jennifer Epperson, Rosemary Harold, Jeremy Marcus, Janet Moran, Phil Rosario, and Steven Spaeth, as well as the tireless FCC agents in the field, some of whom I had the chance to meet last week in Florida, for your diligent work on this matter. You are critical to the Commission’s ongoing efforts to combat harmful interference and protect and manage the radio spectrum, especially for those with valid FCC licenses.”


  1. Isn’t Pai the real pirate? Are the industry trades just going to keep giving him a halo while he does so much damage? And remember: Not all regulations are as outdated as paper records at the station. This guy is a deregulator because he’s in the pocket of big business. He is, essentially, just another DC crook. Do a Google search. Plenty written about it. The LA Times did a very telling piece.

    Any day now, the Senate will vote on whether to reconfirm FCC Chairman Ajit Pai — and we should urge senators to dump him. Since Pai joined the Commission, he’s worked to undo policies designed to protect internet users, communities of color and poor people. While he’s supposed to protect the public interest, he’s continuously voted against it and sided with the deep-pocketed corporations — like Verizon — that once employed him.

    A vote for Pai is a vote for a corporate-controlled internet. Pai has made it clear that he doesn’t care about protecting the communication rights of everyday people. Time and time again he’s failed to stand up for those he’s sworn to serve. This is unacceptable. And now the Senate has the opportunity to intervene on the public’s behalf.

    After really researching this guy, I’d urge you to call your senators and tell them a vote for Pai is a vote to:

    • End the internet as we know it by destroying Net Neutrality protections.
    • Let Trump’s favorite media empire Sinclair — known for its racist coverage and anti-Muslim “must-run” broadcasts1 — gain even more reach and power.
    • Shut off phone and internet service for people who are struggling by attacking the Lifeline program.

  2. Pai said, “Since becoming Chairman, I’ve made it quite clear that the FCC won’t tolerate the unauthorized and illegal use of the radio spectrum.” Well first, maybe Mr. Pai should consider making the system fair and licensing local broadcasters? I’m sorry but I don’t think the system is totally fair for those even such as myself that are willing to bend over backwards to obtain a license. However, it appears putting frequencies on the auction block where the minorities cannot even begin to compete against bids placed by trillion dollar corporates. Make the licensing system fair then we play by the rules. And speaking of rules, why is Mr. Pai handing out all those free LPFM translator licenses? Is the game for going legal now branch to having to first buy a worthless AM station in order to obtain an FM license? Look at the differences in this aspect as well. To become a Ham operator all you have to do is study and take a test. Why is it applying for a broadcast license is the game of having to bid against billion and trillion dollar corporations and pay these suits of the fcc for something that doesn’t belong to them to begin with? I’d agree the FCC is to regulate to avoid interferences but it seems like at least in my area in the country there are stations walking over stations with co-channel interferences and even translators legally placed on the same channels as full powered stations that literally over lap one another? Come on Pai, if you expect all of us to play by the rules maybe you and your FCC should too. You idiots gave power over radio and tv media to these large corporations by lifting the ownership limits in the mid 90s. You people messed up the FM spectrum not pirates. While I know there has been problems in Florida, that is why they go on the air illegally. Make the system fair and then those that refuse to apply for legal operations can be prosecuted if they run illegal. I think most pirates and LPFMers would agree with me. In the meantime as radio’s popularity declines mainly due to the for-mentioned, the spectrum will continue to be seized illegally despite your efforts in dealing with these problems the wrong way. Put the limits back in place. Revamp the licensing procedure. Take the useless automated commercial FMs off the air by pulling their licenses. If they cannot serve the public and continue to cause interferences and eat up the FM spectrum then shut those down and grant more LPFM licenses without raping those whom want to create local programming.


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