FCC Upholds Fine Against Hobby Company for Improper Marketing of Drone Transmitters
Thursday, June 17, 2021 | Comments

The FCC denied a petition from HobbyKing asking the agency to reconsider its $2,861,128 fine for marketing drone transmitters that did not comply with FCC equipment marketing rules.

An FCC investigation found that dozens of devices marketed by the company transmitted in unauthorized RF bands and, in some cases, operated at excessive power levels.

HobbyKing marketed devices that provide a video link between transmitters mounted on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and users flying drones. Under FCC rules, these devices must have obtained certification through the FCC’s equipment authorization process based on their operating parameters. This certification requirement ensures that RF equipment will not interfere with federal government operations, private licensed operations and other equipment. The FCC’s investigation found that HobbyKing marketed 65 models of devices that were required to be, but were not, certified by the commission.

The memorandum opinion and order adopted by the commission denies a petition for reconsideration filed by ABC Fulfillment Services and Indubitably, which do business under the name HobbyKing. In June 2020, the FCC adopted a forfeiture order for violations of section 302 of the Communications Act and section 2.803 of the commission’s rules by marketing non-compliant RF equipment and failing to respond to commission orders in the investigation of the company’s practices.

The commission generally only grants a petition for reconsideration if the parties find a material error or omission in the FCC’s actions, or if new facts are presented in the case. It is not an opportunity to restate prior, rejected arguments. In that light, the commission denied the petition today.

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