September 5, 2001

FCC Audit of Radio Licenses Held by Many Industries and Municipal Agencies

Holland & Knight Alert
Charles R. Naftalin | Jonathan M. Epstein

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just began a broad audit of private land mobile radio licenses. This includes radios used by many businesses, industries, and municipal agencies. Companies must update their license information and respond to the audit or face cancellation of their FCC radio licenses.

Who is Affected? The FCC audit will cover most Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) radio stations. This includes most industrial/business and public safety radios licenses, such as:

  • Trucking and delivery services
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Bus, limousine, and taxis
  • Utility and petroleum industries
  • Manufacturing and railroads 
  • Lumber, mining and forestry
  • Police systems
  • Fire, ambulance and EMS services
  • School systems
  • Hospitals and medical facilities
  • Other government radio systems

What does the FCC Audit Mean? Having recently updated its database software, the FCC is trying to weed out licenses for stations that are no longer operating, that were authorized but never constructed, and to ensure companies are renewing their licenses. Audit letters will be sent out over the next six-months. If your company fails to respond and update its records as necessary, its licenses may be cancelled.

Don’t Wait for the Letter to Take Action. If your company operates private radios, don’t wait to receive a letter. The FCC may have out-of-date or incorrect data and may cancel your licenses, even if you never receive an audit letter. Take these steps:

  1. Check paper license authorizations to ensure they are current.
  2. Verify that your license information on the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) database is correct and up-to-date at:
  3. Correct license information by filing an FCC Form 601 electronically with the FCC or through the relevant frequency coordinator.

Responding to the Audit Letter. The Audit letter will ask whether each station is currently operating as authorized. Use the steps above to determine the status and file corrections. The FCC has set up a special Web page with information on the audit at:

Do You Need Help? If your company needs help verifying the status of its licenses, filing renewals or corrections, or responding to an audit letter, Holland & Knight LLP can assist. Our experienced telecommunications paralegals, using proprietary tracking software and online systems, provide a cost- effective solution. They routinely track and file renewals of FCC licenses for many of our clients.

The Holland & Knight Advantage. The lawyers of Holland & Knight’s telecommunication group advise companies and organizations, both in and outside the telecommunications industry, on a wide range of issues including FCC regulatory issues, technology licensing, electronic equipment certification, and high-technology exports.

This publication is intended to summarize points of interest in the material discussed herein. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to be legal advice with respect to the matters discussed.

Related Insights