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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No. EB-02-DT-987
CenturyTel Wireless of Michigan )
RSA #1&2, Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No.
Vancouver, Washington ) FRN: 0004-5240-96
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
By the District Director, Detroit Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that CenturyTel Wireless of Michigan RSA #1&2,
Inc. (``CenturyTel''), has apparently violated Section 303(q) of
the Communications Act of 1934 (``Act''), as amended,1 and
Sections 17.48(a) and 17.51(b) of the Commission's Rules2 (the
``Rules'') by failing to exhibit top obstruction lighting on
their tower, and failing to report it's outage to the nearest
Flight Service Station or office of the Federal Aviation
Administration (``FAA''). We conclude that CenturyTel is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of thirteen
thousand dollars ($13,000).
2. On July 30, 2002, agents from the Detroit Office
conducted an inspection of the antenna structure located at the
junction of Hwy. M77 and Hwy. M28 Seney, Michigan, Antenna
Structure Registration Number (``ASR'') 1013927, (located at
north latitude 46º 20' 36'', west longitude 085º 57' 38''). The
tower exceeds 200 feet in height and must, therefore, be painted
and illuminated in accordance with Section 17.21 of the Rules.3
The agents observed that the top obstruction light was not on or
flashing. The FCC agents returned on August 1, 2002 to the tower
site and again observed that the top obstruction light was not on
3. On August 6, 2002, an FCC agent placed a telephone call
to the FAA Flight Service Station in Lansing, Michigan, and
determined that CenturyTel had not notified the FAA of the tower
4. Section 303(q) of the Act, as amended, requires tower
owners to maintain the painting and/or illumination of the tower
as prescribed by the Commission. Section 17.48(a) requires
reporting the tower light outage to the FAA and Section 17.51(b)
requires medium or high intensity lighting to be continuously
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
CenturyTel has willfully4 and repeatedly5 violated Section 303(q)
of the Act, as amended, by failure to maintain the prescribed
illumination of its antenna tower; Section 17.48(a) for failing
to report the tower light outage to the FAA; and Section 17.51(b)
for failing to continuously exhibit medium or high intensity
lighting. 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), (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''),
sets the base forfeiture amount at ten thousand dollars
($10,000), for failure to comply with prescribed lighting and/or
marking; and three thousand dollars ($3,000) for failure to file
required forms or information.6 In accessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must take into account the statutory
factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act,7 which
include the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the
violation, and with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, any history or prior offenses, ability to pay, and
other such matters as justice may require. Applying the
Forfeiture Policy Statement and statutory factors to the instant
case, we believe that a thirteen thousand ($13,000) monetary
forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80 of the
Rules,8 CenturyTel Wireless of Michigan RSA #1&2, Inc. is hereby
NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of thirteen thousand dollars ($13,000) for willful and
repeated violation of Section 303(q) of the Act, and Sections
17.48(a) and 17.51(b) of the Rules.
7. 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, CenturyTel SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
8. Payment of the forfeiture may be made 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. 200332360002, FRN: 0004-5240-96.
9. 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. 200332360002, FRN:
10. 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
11. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.9
12. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002,
Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the FCC is
engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the size of
entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as a small
entity and if you wish to be treated as a small entity for
tracking purposes, please so certify to us within thirty (30)
days of this NAL, either in your response to the NAL or in a
separate filing to be sent to the Technical and Public Safety
Division. Your certification should indicate whether you,
including your parent entity and its subsidiaries, meet one of
the definitions set forth in the list provided by the FCC's
Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) set forth
in Attachment A of this Notice of Apparent Liability. This
information will be used for tracking purposes only. Your
response or failure to respond to this question will have no
effect on your rights and responsibilities pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act. If you have any questions
regarding any of the information contained in Attachment A,
please contact OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this NOTICE OF APPARENT
LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to CenturyTel at P.O. Box 9901, Vancouver, Washington
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Bridgewater
District Director, Detroit Office
Attachment A - FCC List of Small Entities, October 2002
1 47 U.S.C. § 303(q).
2 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.48(a) and 17.51(b).
3 47 C.F.R. § 17.21.
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provide that ``[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
provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act or by a treaty 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 C.F.R. § 1.80.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
8 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, and 0.311.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.