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50 State Broadcasters Associations Urge PIRATE Act Passage


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

A letter was sent Tuesday from broadcaster associations in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer urging the Senate to pass the PIRATE Act, which would provide the FCC with new enforcement tools to combat illegal pirate radio operations. The PIRATE Act, which was introduced in the Senate by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Gary Peters (D-MI) last Monday, unanimously passed the House in February.

Under the Act, any person operating a pirate radio station will be subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 per day of operations and not more than $2 million in total. Additionally, the FCC will be required to assign appropriate enforcement personal to focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of pirate radio broadcasting.

"For years unauthorized pirate radio stations have harmed communities across the country by undermining the Emergency Alert System, interfering with airport communications,posing direct health risksand interfering with licensed stations' abilities to serve their listeners. The time has come to take significant steps to resolve this vexing problem. The PIRATE Act gives the FCC additional tools to address the growing pirate radio problem," the state broadcaster associations wrote in the letter.

The letter continued, "The PIRATE Act would create a database of all licensed radio stations operating in the AM and FM bands as well as those entities that have been subject to enforcement actions for illegal operation. We are reaching the point where illegal pirate stations undermine the legitimacy and purpose of the FCC's licensing system to the detriment of listeners in communities across the country. The PIRATE Act will help the FCC restore integrity to the system."

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