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Richard B. Johnson
Radio Ether Organization
170 Main Street
Groveland, MA

Webpage design by Route 495 Software, LLC

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Pirate studio picture retrieved from its Website

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Pirate studio picture retrieved from its Website

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Pirate station transmitter site

Radio Pirates in Massachusetts

There is an unlicensed radio station operating from 7 Hillside Road in Boxford, Massachusetts. It operates at an unassigned frequency of approximately 87.9 MHz and identifies itself as “The Wave.” This station operates with approximately 100 watts of power into a vertically polarized antenna with a reported gain of 5 dBi. The radiation center height above average terrain is approximately 150 meters. This produces a signal strong enough to be heard on a typical automobile radio over a ten-mile radius, with fringe reception from Danvers, Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There are many more such unlicensed illegal operations in Massachusetts. The FCC Website is noticeably devoid of enforcement actions in Massachusetts.

According to public records, the site from which this illegal operation occurs is also the registered address of an amateur radio operator, W1XMJ. Certainly, a licensed amateur radio operator is aware that radio stations must be licensed. This address is also the registered address of a company purported to be "New England Broadcasting!" At one time, Seacoast Reality, a real estate business, was run out of this address as well. Advertisements for this business have been heard on the illegal radio station.

The apparent owner or operator of this illegal radio station recruited the help of a teenager to produce a Web Site to advertise this illegal operation. I wrote the teenager, advising him not to be involved in this illegal operation. I also advised the teenager how the FCC normally handles unlicensed operation of radio stations. I sent him this document. The apparent owner sent me an Email, excoriating me for becoming involved.

I have reported this criminal activity to the regulatory agency, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) twice. They have not responded. I have also sent Email and a letter to my Congressman. There has been no response.

Radio stations need to be licensed because they use the radio spectrum owned by the public. The FCC is empowered by Congress to regulate the use of this public resource. The radio spectrum must remain a public resource or else all property owners could sue radio stations to prevent trespass of their radio waves over and on private property. The control of private property by its owners is a fundamental right that predates the founding of this country.

In the United States, allowing the operation of an unlicensed radio station is similar in effect to allowing a squatter to build a house on public lands. Certainly, private dwellings can be constructed on public lands, but only after an appropriate rental agreement or other license to use the property has been obtained from its regulatory agency. This is exactly what is required to use the public radio frequency spectrum. Operation of an unlicensed radio station is a federal crime and such criminal activity must be prevented by the regulatory agency, the FCC.

In spite of the fact that the FCC claims that it polices the illegal activity of stations that refuse to comply with the law, little evidence exists that such enforcement action occurs in the Northeast.

An arrogant underclass exists who believes that rules and regulations do not apply to them. They believe that they can use my (and your) radio spectrum as they choose without regard to other users of the spectrum or the rule of law. Many have taken up this criminal activity as a hobby. Of course, many of these self-centered, egotistical persons spout invective about “free speech,” when, in fact, they are simply a lawless lot who have set themselves above or beyond the law.

I cannot sue “The Wave” for its trespass on my property because neither the local nor the federal courts have jurisdiction. The jurisdiction lies with the Federal Communications Commission, which refuses to provide “due process” to me. The perpetrator of this criminal activity has refused to discontinue the operation of his illegal radio station even after I sent him this letter. I hope that federal agents will hold him accountable to the fullest extend of the law. His response was been to contact the Boxford Police Department, claiming that I threatened to burn his house down.

He furthermore modified his Web Page, now claiming that the station is a “Part 15” operation. Part 15 of the FCC rules allows a maximum permitted signal level of 250 uV/m at 3 meters for non-licensed devices, far less than the signal emanating from this illegal radio station site. Furthermore, no radiation whatsoever is allowed on the frequency 87.9 MHz for transmissions intended for reception by the general public.

Therefore, I created this Website to demonstrate the problem and hope that some federal agency will fix the problem with the FCC so that radio pirates are not allowed to exist. Benjamin Franklin declared, “The pen is mightier than the sword!” I hope that modern penmanship works as well.

Visits: 240

This Web Page has been published in the public domain. It may be freely copied, either fully or in part, for any purpose whatsoever. —Richard B. Johnson