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Author Topic: When did the FCC Loosen their Enforcement Standards?  (Read 11212 times)
K2ACB
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Posts: 99




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« on: June 30, 2017, 09:54:14 AM »

In a previous message I wrote that I remember when the CB craze hit in the early 1970's.I never had a CB license.  Originally CBers were supposed to register their stations with the FCC.  They were limited to 5 watts and certain frequencies on the 11 meter band. However so many people in the 70's got CB licenses and broke the rules by either not registering with the FCc or running a lot more power than 5 watts that for the most part unless there were flagrant violations or CBers were severely interfering with other electronic or radio communications,the FCC left them alone. This was probably due to a combination of factors including lack of personnel to track down these violators except for those that were really doing harm and because of budgetary constraints.

I know that in the 60's before the CB craze the FCC from my personal experience was more vigilant in monitoring and cracking down on radio amateurs who broke the rules. The amateur radio service is only a small part of the FCC's jurisdiction. The FCC also relies on Official Observers from the ARRL to monitor for violations of amateur radio operators. Over the years on maybe two or three occasions I have received either by regular mail or the last one I received by e/mail a notification from an OO that they heard me out of the band. I always replied that this was an error on my part and I would take precautions that this did not happen again. I must say I was glad it was a notice from an OO rather than from the FCC.

I do not operate 80 meters.I have heard that there are some people who operate on that band that constantly use foul language and are very bigoted.These people are very few but some are regulars on 80 meters.  I am far from a prude but I feel that US amateur radio operators should not use foul language over the air nor should they be bigoted over the air.

I know that there are some constitutional lawyers out there who believe complete broadcast freedom of speech should extend to all means of communication in this country and not only pay TV and pay radio channels. I think the courts in this country would differ with that interpretation. A few years back during a live superbowl telecast on the CBS network, , the entertainer Janet Jackson during the entertainment portion at half time had a mishap with her costume  and for a very brief amount of time one of her nipples was exposed. The FCC fined CBS a large sum of money to allow this on live TV even though this was an accident. I think the FCC said they should have had a two second delay to catch this and not allow it on the air.

Thus is the FCC more lax in their enforcement of amateur radio today than they were years ago?

&2-Alan
K2ACB


 


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N2EY
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Posts: 4436




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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 10:35:21 AM »

I think it started in the 1970s and really got going in the 1980s.

What I saw happen was that, in the late 1960s, 11 meter CB became more and more out-of-FCC's-control. When the 55 mph speed limit was imposed, it just got much worse.

FCC tried to enforce the rules, but they were simply outnumbered. There were literally millions of Americans flagrantly violating the rules by not having licenses, not ID'ing, running power above the legal limit, and more. By the mid-1970s there were "freebanders" operating outside the 11 meter channels, often with old/modified amateur gear, and the FCC was hard pressed to do anything about them - although there were some dramatic raids, arrests and seizures.

Meanwhile, new communications technologies and services were coming online at a rapid pace. (FCC regulates ALL civilian comms, not just radio). But FCC didn't automatically get more money, so they started cutting everything they could. The policy of "get the government off your back", deregulation, etc., meant that amateur radio enforcement went to near-zero.

In the 1960s, FCC actively patrolled the amateur bands, looking for ANY violation of the rules, and sending out all sorts of notices. By the 1980s, they became complaint-driven - they only respond to complaints.

Lack of resources is why we got 10 year licenses and the VEC system - both saved FCC resources. We were, and are, pretty much left to our own devices for the past 35 years.

There's also the fact that, in the past, most FCC rules violations were technical - key clicks and chirp, splatter, out-of-band operation, etc. Nowadays the violations are more "bad behavior", which are much harder to prosecute.

73 de Jim, N2EY


As for 75 meters - the lack of enforcement is the reason.
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WA2ISE
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Posts: 1049




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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 11:29:38 AM »

...
In the 1960s, FCC actively patrolled the amateur bands, looking for ANY violation of the rules, and sending out all sorts of notices. By the 1980s, they became complaint-driven - they only respond to complaints.
...
There's also the fact that, in the past, most FCC rules violations were technical - key clicks and chirp, splatter, out-of-band operation, etc. Nowadays the violations are more "bad behavior", which are much harder to prosecute.


Ham radio equipment got much better over the years, so technical violations now are much rarer today.  Other issues like new hams making procedural errors, ie, lids, mostly are self correcting as the new ham gets experience and learns the customs.  And then there were the hardcore  lids on 14.313 and such that did willful violations. 

Take a look at the NALs that the FCC issues, and you'd find that most of the lids are in other radio services, like broadcasters, taxi companies and such. 
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3525




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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 03:09:00 PM »

The real problem was that way too many people became CBers.  Back in the late '60s through the '80s, you could find as may as 50 CBers within a mile radius, and CB antennas on cars and homes were everywhere!  Auto makers were actually selling factory CB/AM/FM combination radios in their new vehicles!  The FCC was completely overwhelmed, and basically just threw in the towel.  Financial constraints and free speech rulings then hampered the FCC's power to even enforce the ham bands!  The "renegade repeater" in Los Angeles has been flagrantly violating FCC rules for decades, and to this day the FCC has been unable to stop them.  www.BroadCastify.com/listen/feed/14747/web
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AA4PB
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Posts: 14327




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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 03:54:45 PM »

The real problem was that the FCC assigned a short-range communications service to a frequency that at the time often had world wide propagation. They compounded that mistake by thinking that they could just make of a "rule" telling people not to talk long distances. When they started mailing out "pink slips" people just stopped using their FCC assigned call signs, making it far more time consuming to identify them.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
K1LEM
Member

Posts: 300




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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 04:00:18 AM »

 The FCC works only on complaints. You can never know if they will act, further LIDS and No codes think they own exclusive rights to a channel. They have no idea, if they are hearing something, then surely, a station they claim is interfering with them must also. Sorry HF doesn't work that way.
You can, if you have the stomach for it, look up Obscene language and failure to ID proven on 7200 by the CB channel master, K9RSY. Just see recordings of RSY that have been posted on Utube.

The issue today, FCC has other things going on and most of the people on the bands have no understanding of what a Rule violation is. They just knee Jerk react if somebody is on a frequency they thought they owned. (Nets..) etc. Smiley
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N3DF
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Posts: 266




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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 12:42:09 PM »

The Supreme Court ruled that the FCC had no power to fine CBS over the Janet Jackson incident.
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Neil N3DF
K6CPO
Member

Posts: 398




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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 03:43:38 PM »

The FCC works only on complaints. You can never know if they will act, further LIDS and No codes think they own exclusive rights to a channel. They have no idea, if they are hearing something, then surely, a station they claim is interfering with them must also. Sorry HF doesn't work that way.
You can, if you have the stomach for it, look up Obscene language and failure to ID proven on 7200 by the CB channel master, K9RSY. Just see recordings of RSY that have been posted on Utube.

The issue today, FCC has other things going on and most of the people on the bands have no understanding of what a Rule violation is. They just knee Jerk react if somebody is on a frequency they thought they owned. (Nets..) etc. Smiley

That's quite the generalization.  That "no codes" (as you call them) think they have exclusive rights to a channel. 

Well, I'm a "no code" having been first licensed in 2011 and I respect other operators use of all the bands.  The only place where I would intervene would be misuse of my club's two repeaters and I feel I have a certain right to do so as the duly elected President of the club.

One of the reason we're having difficulty attracting young people to our hobby is the curmudgeonly attitude of a small percentage of members.
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 68




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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 08:10:34 AM »

The FCC is an Underfunded Toothless Lion.All Roar & very little bite.Been that way for quiet a long time.11 meters is & has been out of control for so long it will never be cleaned up because there is not that much money in the entire Federal Government Budget unless we do away with Welfare & the Libs would start another Civil War before that happened.  Cheesy

Clayton
W4KVW
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NK7Z
Member

Posts: 1831


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 10:37:13 AM »

...they own exclusive rights to a channel.
A Channel?
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
SWMAN
Member

Posts: 1066




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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 12:34:01 PM »

I thought a channel was only for TV, CB and rivers only.
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W9IQ
Member

Posts: 1706




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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 05:03:15 PM »

The FCC actually uses the term channel in part 97. Take a look at the requirements for IDing a station.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
KB9ZB
Member

Posts: 111




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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2017, 04:38:52 AM »

the term channel is used throughout the FCC rules and regs. The federal agencies all use the term channel, remember other than Amateur Radio service everyone else uses channels !!  We also have "channels" look at the 60 meter allocations
Ron
KB9ZB
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AC8ND
Member

Posts: 25




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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 11:30:20 AM »

The FCC works only on complaints. You can never know if they will act, further LIDS and No codes think they own exclusive rights to a channel. They have no idea, if they are hearing something, then surely, a station they claim is interfering with them must also. Sorry HF doesn't work that way.
You can, if you have the stomach for it, look up Obscene language and failure to ID proven on 7200 by the CB channel master, K9RSY. Just see recordings of RSY that have been posted on Utube.

The issue today, FCC has other things going on and most of the people on the bands have no understanding of what a Rule violation is. They just knee Jerk react if somebody is on a frequency they thought they owned. (Nets..) etc. Smiley

I'm getting really sick of this "no code" BS.
I had no choice.
You have a choice so leave the hobby why don't you.
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K6CPO
Member

Posts: 398




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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 11:51:35 AM »

The FCC works only on complaints. You can never know if they will act, further LIDS and No codes think they own exclusive rights to a channel. They have no idea, if they are hearing something, then surely, a station they claim is interfering with them must also. Sorry HF doesn't work that way.
You can, if you have the stomach for it, look up Obscene language and failure to ID proven on 7200 by the CB channel master, K9RSY. Just see recordings of RSY that have been posted on Utube.

The issue today, FCC has other things going on and most of the people on the bands have no understanding of what a Rule violation is. They just knee Jerk react if somebody is on a frequency they thought they owned. (Nets..) etc. Smiley

I'm getting really sick of this "no code" BS.
I had no choice.
You have a choice so leave the hobby why don't you.

Blaming other for their own bad behavior...
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