At a snail’s pace, the United States government appears to be heading in the direction of giving the FCC more tools to fight pirate radio operators. You would think if there was one “no-brainer” issue that could pass quickly it would be this one. But not in Washington.
On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee finally passed The Pirate Act, three months after the House passed it. The full Senate still needs to vote on the bill and, if approved, the President would need to sign it.
The Pirate Act increases fines for illegal pirate operations from $10,000 per violation to $100,000 per day per violation, up to a maximum of $2,000,000, and streamlines the FCC’s enforcement.
NAB CEO Gordon Smith thanked the Senate Commerce Committee. “The bill would better equip the FCC to combat pirate radio operations that interfere with legal broadcasts and pose a threat to air traffic control communications. We appreciate the leadership of Senators Daines and Peters on this issue and strongly urge Senate passage of the PIRATE Act.”
New York State is hit especially hit hard by pirate operators. New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donavan was also thankful the Senate Committee passed the PIRATE Act Wednesday and urged the full Senate to move quickly to pass the bill.