Notes on the Enforcement Action Database

I’ve written a long-overdue overview of the Enforcement Action Database. It’s a pretty simple explanation of what the numbers mean (which isn’t much, really) and how they are collected and compiled. 2006 marks the tenth year of data collection, and yet the information remains so sketchy that the big picture is still pretty much inconclusive.

2005 was a record-setting year in terms of the raw number of enforcement actions, but that’s partially because the FCC’s become somewhat more transparent about its activity and now routinely makes the issuance of warning letters public (in hopes of having a deterrent effect). Additionally, field agents tend to be making multiple visits to stations before escalating the enforcement protocol. Read More

The Enforcement Action Database: An Overview

Enforcement Action Database Index

What is the Enforcement Action Database?
The Database collects instances of FCC enforcement activity against unlicensed (pirate) radio stations in the United States. It was initially started with the idea of developing a better understanding of how the FCC conducts enforcement activity against pirate stations. This primarily involves tracking the use of the enforcement tools the FCC has at its disposal, and the patterns of their usage.

While unlicensed broadcasting does occur on other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, the Enforcement Action Database focuses only on activity in the broadcast (AM, FM, and shortwave) bands. Read More