Statement of REC Networks: Jupiter Community Radio NAL

The FCC just recently handed a $25,000 proposed forfeiture to an organization called “Jupiter Community Radio”, licensee of WJUP-LP, Jupiter, Florida. This organization has racked up the violations:

  • Operating from an unauthorized location.  The station was not broadcasting from their authorized location. Instead, the station was detected 1/3 of a mile away from the authorized location. 
  • Operating with unauthorized power.  Once discovered on the roof of a beachfront condo hi-rise, the FCC determined that the station was running a 100 watts transmitter power output into a two bay antenna, thus giving them a effective radiated power of approximately 177 watts.  The station is authorized to operate 20 watts ERP from their currently authorized site.
  • FCC’s ability to conduct inspections.  LPFM licensees are required to make their stations available for FCC inspection during normal business hours.  Normally, the FCC can make arrangements to work around schedules.  In the case of WJUP-LP, the organization’s president was out of the country at the time of inspection with no scheduled return date.  The station was eventually inspected.
  • Lack of ability to control the station remotely.  Under the FCC’s guidelines for unattended stations and for LPFM, stations that are operating out of compliance or receive word that the station is operating outside of compliance must be shut down as soon as possible.  In this case, the “chief operator” of the station had demonstrated to the FCC inspectors that the station could not be remotely controlled.
  • Lack of EAS.  Upon inspection, the FCC noticed that there was no EAS at the transmitter (this is not a requirement).  Instead, the EAS was allegedly at the studio location (which is OK).  However, after multiple requests after the inspection, WJUP-LP was unable to produce EAS logs to demonstrate that the station actually had an active EAS.

Before anyone blames these “mistakes” on “broadcaster inexperience”, which is a common justification used in LPFM, WJUP-LP is a first-generation LPFM station first licensed in 2003 and there have been no assignments of licenses.  So, unless the station was sold under the table (which does happen), this is a very experienced broadcaster.  This is the cancer that has taken place in Florida, a state rich in pirate radio culture and the overall disregard for Commission rules, mainly in an effort to make a profit off of LPFM stations. Not all LPFM stations in Florida are bad actors, but there seems to be a culture of questionable LPFM activity in that state, that we do have to point it out. 

Again, and you still wonder why the NAB won’t let us have good things like LP-250.

Let’s make something clear, just like our position was in Charlottesville, just because the station has an LPFM class of service, or perhaps the words “community radio” in their name, it does not give them a get out of jail free card with REC and nor should it in the pro-LPFM community.  These are basic responsibilities for broadcasters and LPFM has been given a luxury of reduced responsibilities compared to their high-power counterpart.

If you can’t respect the basic rules, turn in the license or legally assign it to another organization.  Simple.