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Fri, Dec 22, 2017

FCC Fines Maker Of Audio-Visual Transmitters For Drones

Company Will Pay A $180,000 Civil Penalty

The FCC has fined a Florida company $180,000 for marketing transmitters for drones that operate on frequencies not authorized for that purpose.

According to the FCC, the company, Lumenier Holdco LLC of Sarasota, FL,  advertised and sold noncompliant audio/visual transmitters (AV transmitters) intended for use with remotely piloted aircraft (drones) on its various websites in violation of the Commission’s equipment marketing and amateur radio operator rules.

These laws ensure that radio frequency devices comply with the Commission’s technical requirements and do not interfere with authorized communications. The noncompliant AV transmitters could operate in bands that are reserved for Federal government and other important operations, including Federal Aviation Administration airport operations and satellite communications. Some of the AV transmitters also operated at power levels that exceeded limits set by the Commission’s rules. Accordingly, these AV transmitters must not be marketed and should not be operated by anyone. Moreover, entities that rely on amateur frequencies in operating compliant AV transmitters must have an amateur license and otherwise comply with all applicable laws for such operation.  Failure to do so could result in enforcement actions. To settle this matter, Lumenier has admitted that it marketed the noncompliant AV transmitters, will implement a compliance plan, and will pay a $180,000 civil penalty.

According to the order released by the FCC. Lumenier is a privately-held limited liability company that, through various websites, advertises and sells fully assembled remotely piloted aircraft (drones), as well as various parts and accessories to the hobbyist community for use in various applications, including drone racing.

On April 17, 2017, after reviewing complaints, the Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division issued a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to Lumenier, directing it to submit a sworn written response to a series of questions relating to its marketing of audio/visual transmitters (AV transmitters) in the United States. The investigation revealed that some of the AV transmitters marketed by Lumenier were capable of being operated outside of the authorized amateur radio service bands, including on frequencies reserved in whole or in part for Federal agencies, but were not certified or otherwise compliant with the Rules.

These AV transmitters are considered intentional radiators and must comply with the Commission’s Equipment Authorization and Marketing Rules. Additionally, some of the AV transmitters exceeded the authorized power limit for amateur operation of model craft. After receiving the LOI, Lumenier stopped marketing the noncompliant AV transmitters.

(Source: FCC)

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