Pilot settles FCC case with $90,000 payment

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Pilot Travel Centers will pay the Federal Communications Commission $90,000 over a case involving the sale of radio frequency devices without required equipment authorization, according to an FCC consent decree.

The FCC requires devices like Citizens Band radio transmitting equipment to be tested by the manufacturer or a private test laboratory and certified before being marketed or sold. The commission says Pilot violated this provision.

The case could have cost the company $125,000 in fines for what the FCC calls “apparent and repeated violations” of its regulations. Pilot admits no wrongdoing in paying the $90,000 fee, and considers the payment a “voluntary contribution.”

Unlike CB transmitters, equipment that transmits only within the 10-meter band of the Amateur Radio Service frequencies does not have to meet FCC requirements before being manufactured or marketed.

However, with modifications, some ARS transmitters can be operated in the CB range.

According to the FCC, Pilot stated the radios were marketed as amateur radios and therefore did not require certification. The case began in late 2004.

Pilot did agree that future CB transmitters offered for sale will be FCC-certified and that all ARS transmitters sold will be within compliance standards.

A call requesting comment from Pilot was not immediately returned.