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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File Number EB-02-TP-136
Gulf Breeze, Florida )
) NAL/Acct. No. 200232700014
FRN # 0007-2823-12
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: June 21,
By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Mediacom willfully and repeatedly
violated Section 76.605(a)(12) of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules''),1 and willfully violated 76.611(a) Rules2 by failing
to comply with the Commission's cable signal leakage standards.
We find Mediacom apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount
of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
2. On March 13, 2002, a Commission agent from the Tampa,
Florida, Field Office (``Tampa Office'') inspected a portion of
Mediacom's cable system serving Gulf Breeze, Florida to identify
leaks and determine compliance with the basic signal leakage
criteria. The agent identified and measured four leaks on the
frequency 121.2625 MHz, ranging in signal strength from 187
microvolts per meter (``µV/m'') to 3,306 µV/m. Based on these
measurements, the agent calculated the system's Cumulative
Leakage Index (``CLI'') at a value of 70.6, exceeding the
allowable cumulative signal leakage performance criteria of 64.3
(See Attachment A.)
3. On the same date, the FCC agent contacted Mediacom at
their office in Gulf Breeze, Florida and verbally ordered
Mediacom to cease operation on aeronautical band frequencies
until the leaks were repaired and the system complied with the
basic signal leakage criteria. The Tampa Office followed the
oral order with a written Order to Cease Operations, delivered by
facsimile on March 13, 2002.4
4. On March 14, 2002, a Commission agent from the Tampa
Office inspected another portion of Mediacom's cable system
serving Gulf Breeze, Florida and found 5 additional leaks that
exceeded 20 uV/m in violation of Section 76.605(a)(12) of the
5. On the same day, a Mediacom official verbally informed
the Commission agent it had repaired all nine sites of signal
leakage identified during in the inspection, and requested to
resume normal operation. A letter dated March 15, 2002 followed
Mediacom's request. The Tampa office authorized Mediacom to
conduct short tests to evaluate the effectiveness of remedial
measures and to calculate the CLI.
6. On March 20, 2002, the Tampa Office received a report
from Mediacom dated March 19, 2002, describing the actions taken
to bring Mediacom's Gulf Breeze, Florida cable system into
compliance with the CLI requirements. The report stated that
75.8% of the cable plant was inspected from March 13, 2002 to
March 18, 2002. In its report, Mediacom submitted copies of
maintenance logs where it acknowledged finding at least 144 leaks
with signal strength above 50 µV/m. Three of these leaks had a
signal strength of 1,000 µV/m. Mediacom also reported a CLI
value of 69.35 before repairs and 60.19 after conducting the
repairs. Finally, Mediacom stated in its report the Gulf Breeze
system was in compliance with the leakage requirements and
requested permission to resume normal operations. The Tampa
Office granted Mediacom's request to resume normal operations.
7. On April 3, 2002, the Tampa Office issued an Official
Notice of Violation (``NOV'') to Mediacom citing violation of
Section 76.605(a)(12). In its April 10, 2002, reply to the NOV,
Mediacom stated that its technician repaired all the leakages
detected during the field agent's inspections on March 13 and 14,
8. The Commission has established cable signal leakage
rules to control emissions that could cause interference to
aviation frequencies from cable systems. Protecting the
aeronautical frequencies5 from harmful interference is of
paramount importance.6 To this end, the Commission established
basic signal leakage standards.7 The Commission has determined
the tolerable levels of unwanted signals on the aeronautical
frequencies in two ways. Signal leakage levels that exceed these
thresholds are considered harmful interference. First, leakage
must not exceed 20 mV/m at a distance of at least three meters
from the leak.8 Second, the Commission set basic signal leakage
performance criteria for the system as a prerequisite for
operation on aeronautical frequencies. This is the system's
Cumulative Leakage Index (``CLI''). The Commission requires
annual measurement of each system's CLI to demonstrate safe
levels of signal leakage,9 the results of which must be reported
to the Commission.10 The Commission also requires routine
monitoring of the system to detect leaks.11 Whenever harmful
interference occurs, the cable system operator must eliminate
it.12 Further, should the harmful interference not be
eliminated, the Commission will intervene and require suspension
of operation of the portion of the system involved or reduction
of power13 below the levels specified in section 76.610 of the
9. Commission field agents regularly inspect cable
television systems to determine compliance with the Commission's
cable signal leakage rules. On March 13 and 14, 2002, an agent
from the Tampa Office inspected the cable system operated by
Mediacom in Gulf Breeze, Florida. On that date, the agent
determined that, at 4 locations, cable signal leakage on 121.2625
MHz exceeded 20 mV/m at a distance of at least three meters from
each leak, in violation of Section 76.605(a)(12) of the Rules.
On the same date, the agent also found that the system did not
conform to the cumulative signal leakage performance criteria, in
violation of Section 76.611(a) of the Rules. On March 14, 2002,
the agent determined that, at 5 other locations, cable signal
leakage on 121.2625 MHz exceeded 20 mV/m at a distance of at
least three meters from each leak, in violation of Section
76.605(a)(12) of the Rules.
10. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on March
13, and March 14, 2002, Mediacom repeatedly15 and willfully16
violated Section 76.605(a)(12) of the Rules by failing to limit
signal leakage from its cable television system to the specified
amount. We also find that on March 13, 2002, Mediacom
willfully violated Section 76.611(a) of the Rules by exceeding
the allowed cumulative signal leakage performance criteria on its
cable television system.
11. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Commission's
Rules, the base forfeiture amount for the violation(s) cited in
this notice is $8,000.17 Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''), requires us to
take into account ``... 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.''18
Considering the entire record and applying the statutory factors
listed above, this case warrants a $8,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act19 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules,20 Mediacom is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating Section
76.605(a)(12) of the Rules, and willfully violating Section
76.611(a) of the Rules.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80
of the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date
of this NAL, Mediacom SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
14. 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 must include
the FRN and NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the letterhead above.
15. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division, and MUST INCLUDE THE
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced in the letterhead above.
16. 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
17. Requests for payment of the full amount of this NAL
under an installment plan should be sent to: Federal
Communications Commission, Chief, Revenue and Receivables
Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL shall be
sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested
to Mediacom at 1101 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Suite 305, Gulf Breeze,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
District Director, Enforcement
Mediacom, Gulf Breeze, Florida NAL Acct.
FIELD STRENGTH MEASUREMENTS OF MEDIACOM, GULF BREEZE, FL
MEASUREMENT DATE: MARCH 13 AND 14, 2002 FREQUENCY:
Measurement Location Leakage Field
1 Buried cable next to residence at #84 745
2 Pole at corner of Belden Lane and Villa 187
3 Pole in front of ``Pensacola Pools'' at 214
3480 Gulf Breeze Parkway
4 Pedestal in front of residence at 3531 3306
Southwind Drive, Sea Breeze Villas
5 Pedestal next to residence at 3587 367
Southwind Drive, Sea Breeze Villas
6 Pedestal next to residence at 1423 El Rito 40
7 Buried cable next to mailbox in front of 400
residence at 1423 El Rito Drive
8 Pole next to commercial strip building at 84
3222 Gulf Breeze Parkway
9 Pedestal or buried cable in front of 400
residence at #82 Chanteclaire Circle
1 47 C.F.R. § 76.605(a)(12)
2 47 C.F.R. § 76.611(a)
3 A maximum CLI of 64 is the basic signal leakage performance
criteria of Section 76.611(a)(1) of the rules. Leakage that
exceeds this level is deemed to pose a serious threat to air
4 See 47 C.F.R. 76.613(c).
5 The aeronautical bands are 108-137 MHz and 225-400 MHz. These
frequencies encompass both radionavigation frequencies, 108-118
MHz and 328.6-335.4 MHz, and communications frequencies, 118-137
MHz and 225-328.6 MHz and 335.4-400 MHz. Deserving particular
protection are the international distress and calling frequencies
121.5 MHz, 156.8 MHz, and 243 MHz. See 47 C.F.R. §76.616. These
frequencies are critical for Search and Rescue Operations
including use by Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT) on planes
and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) on boats.
See generally 47 C.F.R. Part 80, Subpart V and 47 C.F.R. §§
6 Harmful Interference includes any interference that "endangers
the functioning of a radionavigation service or of other safety
services." See 47 C.F.R. §§ 2.1 & 76.613(a).
7 Memorandum Opinion and Order, Amendment of Part 76 of the
Commission's Rules to Add Frequency Channeling Requirements and
restrictions and to require Monitoring for Signal Leakage from
Cable Television Systems, Docket No. 21006, 101 F.C.C.2d 117,
para. 14 (1985).
8 47 C.F.R. §76.605(a)(12).
9 47 C.F.R. §76.611(a).
10 47 C.F.R. §76.1804(g).
11 47 C.F.R. §76.614.
12 47 C.F.R. §76.613(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §76.613(c).
14 47 C.F.R. §76.610.
15 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which
applies equally to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that
``[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.''
16 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies equally to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides 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....'' See
Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
17 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4)
18 47 U.S.C. § 503 (b)(2)(D)
19 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
20 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
21 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.