Churches Don’t Risk Stiff FCC Fines For Using An Illegal FM Transmitter

Don’t let your church fall to the temptation of broadcasting your “drive in” church services illegally. During these trying times and social distancing, church congregations are unable to meet in person and some companies are selling FM transmitters for churches to broadcast their services on.

First, this is ILLEGAL, unless your transmitter is less than 1/25th of a watt or 25 milliwatts! That power will broadcast maybe 50 – 100 feet. You cannot just put up an FM transmitter and start broadcasting and anyone that tells you otherwise is lying to you and deceiving you. Just because you can purchase an FM transmitter, does not make it legal to broadcast with it. The FCC has very strict laws for the broadcasting airwaves and very stiff fines for those that do operate illegal “pirate radio stations”. If you broadcast on an FM transmitter at more than 1/25th of a watt, then you are operating an illegal “pirate radio station”.

The Federal Communications Commission considers unauthorized broadcast operation to be a serious matter.  Presently, the maximum penalty for operating an unlicensed or “pirate” broadcast station (one which is not permitted under Part 15 or is not a Carrier Current Station or Campus Radio Station) is set at $10,000 for a single violation or a single day of operation, up to a total maximum amount of $75,000.

Part 15 allows for things you find around you home or office, like baby monitors, radio-controlled toys, wireless weather station sensor, wireless computer devices…etc.

But operating an FM transmitter, unlicensed, is only available to Carrier Current Stations or Campus Radio Stations.

Remember, if you use an FM transmitter to broadcast your church service, your church is subject to a $10,000 per single violation or single day of operation and possibly up to $75,000.  In closing, make sure your church stays legal. If you need to broadcast your service, use video livestream or you can check with your local radio stations about air time.