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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
) File No. EB-07-SE-113
Liam Patrick Ryan d/b/a
) NAL/Acct. No. 200832100006
L. P. Ryan / Low Power Radio
) FRN # 0017105370
St. Louis, Missouri
Adopted: June 3, 2008 Released: June 5, 2008
By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of six hundred ten dollars ($610) to Liam Patrick Ryan
d/b/a L. P. Ryan / Low Power Radio ("Low Power Radio") for the willful
and repeated violation of Section 302(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended ("Act"), and Section 2.803(a)(1) of the Commission's
Rules ("Rules"). The noted violation involves Low Power Radio's
marketing of uncertified AM radio transmitters.
2. On May 30, 2007, the Spectrum Enforcement Division ("Division") of the
Enforcement Bureau issued a Letter of Inquiry ("LOI") to Low Power
Radio in response to information alleging that Low Power Radio was
marketing in the United States fully-assembled AM transmitters;
specifically, the SSTRAN model AMT3000 AM transmitter ("AMT3000 AM
transmitter"). In its response to the LOI, Liam Patrick Ryan, owner
and operator of Low Power Radio, stated that he was not aware of any
certification authorizing a fully assembled AMT3000 AM transmitter.
Mr. Ryan also affirmed that he purchased the transmitters in kit form
from a third party and assembled the transmitters in his residence.
Additionally, Low Power Radio advertised the assembled transmitters
for sale on its website at www.ontheair3.com, and admitted to selling
completed units to customers.
3. On November 13, 2007, the Division released a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") finding that Low Power Radio marketed
uncertified AM radio transmitters in apparent willful and repeated
violation of Section 302(b) of the Act and Section 2.803(a)(1) of the
Rules. The NAL proposed a forfeiture amount of seven thousand dollars
($7,000) for the apparent violation.
4. On January 7, 2008, the Commission received Low Power Radio's December
10, 2007 response to the NAL. In response to the NAL, Mr. Ryan does
not dispute that Low Power Radio marketed uncertified AM radio
transmitters. Instead, Mr. Ryan seeks cancellation of the proposed
forfeiture for inability to pay, stating that he lives on a fixed
income and is disabled. In support of his claim of inability to pay,
on February 19, 2008, Mr. Ryan submitted financial documentation for
the years 2007, 2006 and 2005.
5. The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement. In assessing forfeitures,
Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires that we take into account the
nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation and, with
respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of
prior offenses, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may
6. Section 302(b) of the Act provides that "[n]o person shall
manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship devices or home
electronic equipment and systems, or use devices, which fail to comply
with regulations promulgated pursuant to this section." Section
2.803(a)(1) of the Rules prohibits the sale or lease, offer of sale or
lease, importation, or shipment of radio frequency devices, as well as
the distribution of such devices for the purpose of selling such
devices, unless, in the case of a device subject to certification, the
device has first been properly authorized, identified and labeled in
accordance with the Rules. Section 2.801 of the Rules defines a radio
frequency device as "any device which in its operation is capable of
emitting radio frequency energy ...." Radio frequency devices subject
to the Rules include, among other items, radio communication
transmitting devices and "[a]ny part or component thereof which in use
emits radiofrequency energy...." Section 15.201(b) of the Rules
requires intentional radiators to be certified by the Commission prior
7. We have found that Section 302(b) of the Act and Section 2.803(a)(1)
of the Rules prohibit the marketing of an unauthorized device
assembled from a kit. We note that in its response to the NAL, Low
Power Radio does not dispute that it violated Section 302(b) or
Section 2.803(a)(1) by marketing unauthorized devices assembled from
kits. Therefore, we conclude that Low Power Radio willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 302(b) of the Act and Section 2.803(a)(1)
of the Rules.
8. Under the Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b)(4) of the
Rules, inability to pay is a downward adjustment factor for Section
503 forfeitures. In analyzing economic hardship claims, the Commission
generally looks to gross revenues from the three most recent tax years
as a reasonable and appropriate yardstick to determine ability to pay
assessed forfeitures. Thus the Commission will not consider reducing
or canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay
unless the petitioner submits (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared according
to generally accepted accounting practices; or (3) some other reliable
and objective documentation that accurately reflects the petitioners
current financial status.
9. We have considered Low Power Radio's response to the NAL and its
request for cancellation of the forfeiture amount due to inability to
pay. Based upon the documentation, we believe that a downward
adjustment of the forfeiture amount is appropriate in this case and
that the proposed $7,000 forfeiture would impose a financial hardship
on Mr. Ryan. Therefore, we conclude that a reduction of the proposed
forfeiture amount to $610 is warranted.
10. Finally, we note that Low Power Radio is apparently continuing to
assemble and market uncertified equipment on its website,
www.ontheair3.com. Specifically, on May 2, 2008, Division staff
observed that Low Power Radio was marketing on its website a
completely "Assembled" SSTRAN AMT3000 AM Transmitter Kit for $159.95.
The website notes that the assembled device is "for use outside of
North America." Section 2.807(b) exempts devices "manufactured solely
for export" from the prohibition on marketing of unauthorized
equipment set forth in Section 2.803(a) of the Rules; however, this
exemption only applies to devices that the manufacturer actually
exports. Thus, Low Power Radio cannot simply rely upon the purchaser
to export the device. To the extent that Low Power Radio is not
directly exporting the "Assembled" SSTRAN AMT3000 AM Transmitter Kit
(i.e., shipping the device to an address outside of the United
States), we caution it that its continued marketing of such
uncertified devices is a violation that will lead to additional
forfeiture penalties. Additionally, Division staff observed that Low
Power Radio also was marketing on its website a "Simplified" SSTRAN
AMT3000 AM Transmitter Kit for $149.95. The website indicates that
when purchasing a simplified device, "you need just a small
screwdriver to install the knobs and screws. That's it. The rest is
done for you. No other skills or special tools required!" Thus, it
appears that Low Power Radio is attempting to circumvent the
prohibition on the marketing of uncertified equipment in the United
States by fully assembling the "kit," except for the final step of
installing "the knobs and screws." The "Simplified Kit" which merely
requires installation of "the knobs and screws" is not a "kit" within
the meaning of Section 15.3(p) of the Rules, and we caution Low Power
Radio that its continued marketing of such uncertified devices is a
violation that will lead to additional forfeiture penalties. In
addition, we direct Low Power Radio to submit a report within 30 days
of the release of this Order certifying that it has ceased all
marketing of the AMT3000 AM "Assembled" and "Simplified" transmitter
kits, except to the extent that it is directly exporting these
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules, Liam
Patrick Ryan d/b/a L.P. Ryan / Low Power Radio IS LIABLE FOR A
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of six hundred ten dollars ($610)
for willful and repeated violation of Section 302(b) of the Act and
Section 2.803(a)(1) of the Rules.
12. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission. The
payment must include the NAL/Account Number and FRN Number referenced
above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government
Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by
credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.
When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in
block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in
block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full payment under
an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer --
Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
D.C. 20554. Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at
1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions
regarding payment procedures. Liam Patrick Ryan d/b/a L. P. Ryan / Low
Power Radio will also send electronic notification on the date said
payment is made to Jacqueline Johnson at Jacqui.Johnson@fcc.gov and to
JoAnn Lucanik at JoAnn.Lucanik@fcc.gov.
13. IT IS ALSO ORDERED that Liam Patrick Ryan d/b/a L.P. Ryan / Low Power
Radio IS hereby DIRECTED to submit the report described in paragraph
10 within 30 days of the release of this Order.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Liam Patrick Ryan
d/b/a L.P. Ryan / Low Power Radio, 3448 Evergreen Lane, St. Louis,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kathryn S. Berthot
Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division
47 U.S.C. S: 302a(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 2.803(a)(1).
Letter from Kathryn S. Berthot, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division,
Enforcement Bureau, to L. P. Ryan, Low Power Radio (May 30, 2007).
Letter from Liam Patrick Ryan d/b/a L. P. Ryan / Low Power Radio to
Jacqueline Johnson, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau,
Federal Communications Commission (received July 2, 2007).
Liam Patrick Ryan d/b/a L.P. Ryan / Low Power Radio, Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 22 FCC Rcd 19783 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div.
Letter dated December 10, 2007 from Liam Patrick Ryan to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Spectrum
Enforcement Division (January 7, 2008).
Letter dated February 10, 2008, from Liam Patrick Ryan to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Spectrum
Enforcement Division (February 19, 2008).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 2.801.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 15.201(b).
Under Section 15.3(o) of the Rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 15.3 (o), an intentional
radiator is "[a] device that intentionally generates and emits radio
frequency energy by radiation or induction."
See Leslie D. Brewer, Forfeiture Order, 15 FCC Rcd 9999 (Enf. Bur. 2000)
(the sale and shipment of an assembled, unauthorized kit violates Section
302(b) of the Act and Sections 2.803(a)(1) and 15.201(b) of the Rules).
See also Richard Mann d/b/a The Antique Radio Collector, Forfeiture Order,
22 FCC Rcd 20516 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div. 2007), recon. denied, 23
FCC Rcd 6920 (Enf. Bur. 2008); Ramsey Electronics Inc., Notice of Apparent
Liability, 21 FCC Rcd 458 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div. 2006); CB Shack
500 Alabama Highway, Forfeiture Order, 14 FCC Rcd 7067 (Compl. & Inf. Bur.
1999), recon. denied,15 FCC Rcd 821 (Enf. Bur. 2000).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines "willful" as "the conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent
to violate" the law. 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1). The legislative history of
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful
applies to Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act, H.R. REP. No. 97-765, 51
(Conf. Rep.), and the Commission has so interpreted the terms in the
Section 503(b) context. See Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387-88 (1991), recon.
denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992) ("Southern California").
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines "repeated" as "the commission or
omission of [any] act more than once or, if such commission or omission is
continuous, for more than one day." 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1). See also
Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388 (applying this definition of
repeated to Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80; 47 U.S.C. S: 503.
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 7
FCC Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992) ("PJB Communications"); see also Forfeiture
Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17106-07.
See PJB Communications, 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992) (forfeiture not deemed
excessive where it represented approximately 2.02 percent of the
violator's gross revenues); Local Long Distance, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 24385,
24389 P: 11 (2000), recon. denied, 16 FCC Rcd 10023, 10025 P: 6 (2001)
(forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.9
percent of the violator's gross revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting
Corporation, 14 FCC Rcd 3356 (CIB 1999), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 8640,
8641 (Enf. Bur. 2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues). A
$610 forfeiture represents a percentage of gross income that falls within
the range that has been found acceptable in these prior cases.
47 CFR 2.807(b).
See Gibson Tech Ed, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 20
FCC Rcd 14438, 14440 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div. 2005); forfeiture
ordered, 21 FCC Rcd 2915 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div. 2006); recon.
denied, 21 FCC Rcd 9642 (Enf. Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div. 2006).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 15.3(p). Section 15.3(p) of the Rules defines a "kit" as
"[a]ny number of electronic parts, usually provided with a schematic
diagram or printed circuit board, which, when assembled in accordance with
instructions, results in a device subject to the regulations in this part,
even if additional parts of any type are required to complete assembly."
47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1299
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-