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Who got Wacked & Why- FCC Enforcement

Individuals and businesses can be investigated and fined by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau for violations of the Communication Act of 1934, as amended (“the Act”).  The process is called an FCC Enforcement Action.  Sometimes these actions concern well known and obvious prohibitions by the FCC committed by well-defined regulated persons or businesses. (For example, a company transmitting a Radio or VSAT transmission without an FCC license, or, under an expired FCC license.)   Other times the underpinnings of the alleged violations may not be so clear, and are based upon FCC interpretations of paperwork requirements, public notice records, technical specification on equipment, FCC rules and orders, and can have criminal implications.   This can involve questions of not only law, but surrounding facts.  

The FCC Enforcement Bureau is responsible for enforcement of provisions of the Communications Act, the Commission’s rules, Commission orders and terms and conditions of station authorizations. Major areas of enforcement that are handled by the Enforcement Bureau are: (1) consumer protection enforcement; (2) local competition enforcement; and (3) public safety/homeland security enforcement

The Enforcement Bureau investigates or recommends enforcement actions for violation of consumer protection provisions of the Communications Act that apply to telephone companies. These include provisions prohibiting slamming (i.e., the unauthorized changing of a consumer’s long distance carrier), unsolicited faxes and telemarketing calls to people on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, CPNI vioaltions, Failure to Report on 499-A or Contribute to USF or other regulatory fess, Unauthorized provision of telecommunication services (no FCC 214), and Unauthorized Transfers of Control. The Enforcement Bureau promotes competition in the telecommunications industry by investigating and taking or recommending enforcement actions for violation of competition and market-related provisions of the Communications Act and Commission rules. The Enforcement Bureau also adjudicates and mediates disputes between telecommunications industry entities.

  1. The Basic Organization Structure of the Bureau
  2. Forfeiture Policy Statement of the Bureau
  3. Pending Section 208 Formal Complaints filed with the Commission and assigned to the Enforcement Bureau’s Market Disputes Resolution Division
  4. Enforcement Bureau Advisories 2010
  5. CPNI Enforcement Actions
  6. Universal Service Fund Violations and Enforcement Actions
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