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FCC Proposes Highest Fine Ever for Pirate Operator in Boston


FCC
FCC

The FCC proposed a $453,015 fine against Gerlens Cesar, the operator of an enterprise identifying itself as "Radio TeleBoston," for apparent unlicensed broadcasting. The action marks the largest fine ever proposed by the FCC against a pirate radio operation. The agency says Cesar used three separate transmitters for his unlawful broadcasts, resulting in three violations.

Cesar allegedly simulcasts Radio TeleBoston on three unauthorized transmitters on two different frequencies. His operation has the potential to cause interference in various locations in and around Boston and at different channels on the FM dial. As a result of the scale of this operation, its potential impacts, and its continuous nature, the Commission has proposed the maximum penalty amount for all three transmitters.

The FCC received complaints from residents of Boston and Randolph, MA, of an illegal station operating at both 90.1 and 92.1 MHz. One of those complaints identified Cesar, owner of GC Computer, as the operator of Radio TeleBoston. FCC Enforcement Bureau field agents were able to locate the transmitters and determine that they far exceeded the allowable power level for unlicensed broadcasting. The Enforcement Bureau issued Cesar multiple written notices that his conduct was illegal and had to cease. Cesar nonetheless continued to broadcast Radio TeleBoston from multiple transmitters and frequencies, none of which were licensed, resulting in the proposed fine.

The FCC has also proposed the maximum allowable fine, $151,005, against Acerome Jean Charles, the operator of a longstanding unlicensed radio station in Boston, called "Radio Concorde." Despite FCC warnings, Jean Charles apparently continued to broadcast radio signals without a license at power levels that require an FCC license. The FCC received a complaint from a local Boston-area licensed broadcaster alleging that Radio Concorde's broadcasting on 106.3 MHz was interfering with the broadcaster's new FM translator station at 106.1 MHz.

FCC Enforcement Bureau field agents investigated the complaint and formally and repeatedly warned Jean Charles, instructing him to cease unauthorized broadcasts, and outlining the consequences if he continued to do so. The apparently illegal radio station was broadcasting at 106.3 MHz from the Mattapan neighborhood in Boston.

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