Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dutch authorities get tough with radio pirates

Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands will soon launch a new tougher policy to deal with pirate radio stations, according to a report in De Telegraaf. The illegal broadcasters may soon have a fine of 2,500 euros imposed on them as soon as half an hour after they receive a warning letter.

This the agency’s latest move in a cat and mouse game with the pirates. It used to take months before someone was punished for illegal broadcasting. That has been reduced to several weeks, and could now be cut to half an hour under the new policy.

There have already been 1600 warnings this year, and 60 people have been fined. The fine is not necessarily for the pirate, but for the owner of the land which is used for broadcasting. The radio pirates have responded by adapting their methods. They are now increasingly using mobile stations, so after receiving a warning letter they simply move to a different place to broadcast. The collapsible masts used for the broadcasts are sometimes more than forty metres high.

The Radiocommunications Agency wants to introduce its new policy as soon as possible, so that these “nomadic broadcasters” cannot escape punishment. The pirates sometimes interfere with legal broadcasters, and can also interfere with air traffic communications.
(R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)