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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Statcom Communications Corp. ) File No. EB-00-PA-088
1324 Forest Avenue )
Staten Island, New York 10302 ) NAL/Acct. No. X3240003
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: August 8, 2000
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Statcom Communications Corp.
(``Statcom''), the licensee of Land Mobile radio station WPHC348,
has apparently violated Section 90.403(e) of the FCC Rules (the
``Rules'').1 The violation is failure to take effective measures
to avoid causing harmful interference to stations WPBV410 and
WPDU414 on the frequency 461.525 MHz. We conclude that Statcom
is apparently liable for forfeiture in the amount of four
thousand dollars ($4,000).
2. Since 1993, MPS Communications, Inc. (``MPS'') has been
licensed to operate a repeater station on the frequency 461.525
MHz in Trenton, New Jersey and Neptune, New Jersey under the Land
Mobile Radio licenses WPBV410 and WPDU414, respectively. However
on June 17, 1997, the Commission issued Statcom a license to
operate a repeater station on the same frequency from the World
Trade Center in New York City. During the month of February
1998, Steve Budassi filed a complaint with the Philadelphia
Office alleging that MPS and its customer, Delaware Valley Bus
Lines (``Delaware''), were experiencing harmful interference to
their radio communications on the frequency 461.525 MHz.2 Mr.
Budassi claimed that the transmissions from Statcom completely
override the transmissions from the MPS stations in the areas of
central, and northern New Jersey.
3. During the morning of March 18, 1999, two FCC agents
from the Philadelphia Office investigated Mr. Budassi's complaint
made in person on February 16, 1999. On numerous occasions that
morning, the FCC agents observed Statcom, WPHC348 begin
transmitting on the frequency 461.525 MHz while the MPS stations
WPBV410 and WPDU414 were already active. The FCC agents
determined that Statcom's signal was of sufficient strength to
blanket the signals from both MPS stations in their areas of
operation in Mercer and Monmouth Counties NJ, and north.3 As a
result, Statcom was causing harmful co-channel interference to
MPS' radio communications
4. On October 8, 1999, the District Director of the
Philadelphia Office issued an Official Notice of Violation
(``NOV'') to Statcom for the harmful interference caused to MPS ,
in violation of Section 90.403(e) of the Rules. On October 28,
1999 Statcom submitted a response to the NOV stating that it had
taken additional steps to comply with Sections 90.403(e) of the
Rules as directed in the NOV. Statcom stated that it would
ensure that the Allen Luxury Car Service (``Allen''), its
customer on the WPHC348 system, would take all reasonable
measures to effectively monitor for transmissions from the MPS
stations prior to transmitting.
5. By letter dated January 21, 2000, Steve Budassi
submitted another complaint to the Philadelphia Office stating
that MPS and Delaware continue to seek relief from the harmful
interference caused by the Statcom station WPHC348. In response,
FCC agents from the Philadelphia Office conducted further
investigation into Mr. Budassi's complaint. The FCC agents again
confirmed that Statcom was causing harmful co-channel
interference to MPS' radio communications because MPS was unable
to clearly hear the transmissions from its repeater stations when
Statcom began transmitting. On February 25, 2000 and February
26, 2000, an FCC agent from the New York City Office inspected
station WPHC348. The FCC agent observed that the Statcom station
WPHC348 did not have installed effective monitoring equipment
capable of detecting the transmissions on the frequency 461.525
MHz from the MPS stations.
6. On March 16, 2000, the District Director of the
Philadelphia Office issued a second NOV to Statcom for the
harmful interference caused to the MPS stations in violation of
Section 90.403(e) of the Rules. The Philadelphia Office suggested
that Statcom install monitoring equipment on station WPHC348
capable of detecting both MPS stations. On March 22, 2000,
Statcom filed a response to the NOV stating the installation of a
repeater monitor receiver at the Statcom transmitter site on One
World Trade Center will not resolve MPS's problem. Statcom added
that it had hired Antenna Site Technology to prepare an
evaluation of the optimal method for responding to the
Commission's directive. Subsequently, on April 27, 2000, Statcom
submitted a letter to the Philadelphia Office stating that it
would install a repeater monitor receiver at the control station
of its customer, Allen Luxury Car Service. Statcom also
expressed its concern about the inability of any receiver to
monitor a station located in the Trenton, New Jersey area from
such a heavily congested site as the One World Trade Center.
7. On May 2, 2000, FCC agents from the Philadelphia Office
monitored the frequency 461.525 MHz from the roof of the One
World Trade Center and were able to receive the transmissions
from the MPS stations WPBV410 and WPDU414. By letter dated May
5, 2000, the Philadelphia Office informed Statcom of the agents'
May 2, 2000 findings and reminded Statcom that it was still in
violation of Section 90.403(e) of the Rules.
8. On May 31, 2000 at 10:30 a.m., an FCC agent from the
Philadelphia Office detected the Statcom station WPHC348 begin
transmitting on the frequency 461.525 MHz while the MPS station
WPBV410 was already active. The FCC agent observed that
Statcom's co-channel transmission caused harmful interference to
Delaware's radio communications in progress, in violation of
Section 90.403(e) of the Rules.
9. Section 90.403(e) of the Rules requires that licensees
shall take reasonable precautions to avoid causing harmful
interference. This includes monitoring the transmitting
frequency for communications in progress and such other measures
as may be necessary to minimize the potential for causing
interference. The FCC agents have confirmed that the customers of
the MPS stations WPBV410 and WPDU414 experience interference on
the frequency 461.525 MHz in the stations' authorized areas of
operation in Mercer and Monmouth Counties NJ, and north when
Statcom transmits simultaneously. Specifically, throughout the
morning of February 17, 2000 and on May 31, 2000 at 10:30 a.m.,
the Statcom station WPHC348 began transmitting on the frequency
461.525 MHz while the MPS stations WPBV410 or WPDU414 were
already active. The FCC agents witnessed that Statcom's co-
channel transmissions caused harmful interference to radio
communications of MPS and Delaware in progress. The Philadelphia
Office issued a NOV to Statcom on October 8, 1999 and on March
18, 2000 for violation of Section 90.403(e) of the Rules.
However, Statcom has not taken effective measures to avoid
causing harmful co-channel interference to stations WPBV410 and
10. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Statcom
willfully4 and repeatedly5 violated Section 90.403(e) of the
Rules. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and
Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon.
denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303(1999) (``Policy Statement''), sets the
base amount for causing harmful interference at four thousand
dollars ($4,000). In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount,
we must also take into account the statutory factors set forth in
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (``the Act''),6 that include the nature, circumstances,
extent and gravity of the violation, and with respect to the
violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior
offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may
require. Applying the Policy Statement and statutory factors to
the instant case, we believe that a monetary forfeiture of four
thousand dollars ($4,000) is warranted for the violation.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act7 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules8 Statcom Communications Corp is hereby NOTIFIED of its
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of four
thousand dollars ($4,000) for failure to effectively monitor for
communications in progress prior to transmitting, in violation of
Section 90.403(e) of the Rules.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Statcom Communications Corp.
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL
FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
13. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by credit card
through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management Center at
(202) 418-1995 or by mailing a check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission, to
the Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. The payment should note the NAL/Acct. No. X3240003.
14. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. X3240003.
15. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP'');
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
16. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.9
17. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Statcom Communications Corp., 1324 Forest Avenue,
Staten Island, New York 10302.
John E. Rahtes
1 47 C.F.R. § 90.403(e).
2 Mr. Budassi filed a similar complaint with the Personal
Communications Industry Association (``PCIA'') on November 22,
3 Both MPS stations WPBV410 and WPDU414 are authorized an area of
operation of 64 kilometers radius (40 miles) centered on their
4 Section 312(f)(1), which also applies to Section 503(b),
provides: [t]he term ``willful'', when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, means the conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of such act, irrespective of
any intent to violate any provisions of the Act or any rule or
regulation of the Commission authorized by this Act or by a
treaty ratified by the United States. See Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
5 Section 312(f)(2), which also applies to Section 503(b),
provides: [t]he term ``repeated'', when used with reference to
the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or
omission is continuous, for more than one day.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
8 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.