If all this is voluntary how can the FCC enforce that?

  1. In part 97, the FCC’s rules and regulations concerning amateur radio, the FCC has a rule that states that an amateur station must be operated at all times using “good operating and engineering practices.” Therefore abiding by a recognized band plan is good operating practice. Getting your repeater coordinated is good operating practice. By not doing these things they (FCC) consider it “not good operating practice” and therefore it is a violation of Part 97.

    Now when they enforce on the “good operating and engineering practice” section of the rules, they start out as being nice guys. They will look at it as perhaps the operator doesn’t realize his mistake, and ask him to get in touch with a frequency coordinator and get his system properly coordinated. In the meantime they will ask that wayward trustee to modify his/her operation to reduce or eliminate the interference to the coordinated repeater.

    If that trustee chooses to ignore the friendly approach, then they will presume he/she is willfully causing harmful interference which makes it malicious in nature and is a direct violation of Part97. At that point no more Mr. Nice Guy, if you catch my drift. Then since they are consistent in this manner, the courts have backed them up.