WASHINGTON: A broadcaster in Smithfield, Utah, incurred a $14,000 fine for transmitting above its authorized power level. KGNT-FM failed to comply with its maximum permissible radio frequency limits, according to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture from the Federal Communications Commission. The Notice cites apparent repeated and willful violations and fined the licensee, Frandsen Media Co., $14,000.
FCC inspectors out of Denver tested RF radiation around KGNT’s transmitter in April, 2010, and found it exceeded allowable levels. They found no RFR caution signs near the KGNT transmitter site nor “barriers to the area of concern.” A second inspection done in the company of the station’s director of engineering yielded similar results. Agents found that KGNT, authorized to transmit at 3.2 kW, was actually putting out 4.7 kW of effective radiated power, 156 percent of its allowable ERP. The station engineer turned down the power at the site.
The FCC was particularly concerned that the area was so accessible by the public; a paraglider and several ATV riders were observed there. The excessive power levels were generating RF radiation between 130 and 350 percent of that allowed for public exposure. The FCC further determined that Frandsen acknowledged the excessive levels of radiation in its 2005 license renewal application, but still failed to restrict public access.
Frandsen was fined $10,000 for the public-exposure violation, and $4,000 for exceeding power limits.
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