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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
James Cable Partners, LP )
d/b/a CommuniComm Services ) NAL/Acct. No. 20013280-0002
Physical System ID 006437 )
Akron, Colorado )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
1. Released: June 1, 2001
By the District Director, Denver Office, Enforcement Bureau:
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") we find
that James Cable Partners, LP, d/b/a CommuniComm Services
("CommuniComm") has apparently violated Sections 76.605(a)(12) and
76.611(a) of the Commission's Rules (the "Rules") for failure to
comply with signal leakage standards. We conclude that James Cable
Partners, LP, d/b/a CommuniComm Services is apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
The Commission has established cable signal leakage rules to control
emissions that could cause interference to aviation frequencies from
cable systems. Protecting the aeronautical frequencies1 from harmful
interference is of paramount importance.2 To this end, the Commission
established basic signal leakage standards. 3 We have 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 at any given point
must not exceed 20 µV/m.4 Second, we 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). We require annual measurement of each system's CLI to
demonstrate safe levels of signal leakage,5 the results of which must
be reported to us.6 We also require routine monitoring of the system
to detect leaks.7 Whenever harmful interference occurs, the cable
system operator must eliminate it.8 Further, should the harmful
interference not be eliminated, we will intervene and require
cessation of operation of the portion of the system involved or
reduction of power9 below the levels specified in Section 76.610 of
the Commission's Rules.10 Because we cannot insure that leakage will
not occur, we have also retained the requirement that the signal
carriers of cable systems must be offset from the frequencies used by
On June 6, 2000, Agents from the Denver Office conducted a routine
inspection of the system cable plant to identify leaks and determine
compliance with the basic signal leakage criteria. Nine leaks were
identified and measured, which ranged from 104 mV/m to 2,723 mV/m.
The system CLI was found to have a CLI (10 log I¥) in excess of 64.12
At the inspection, by direction of the Denver District Director, the
Agents orally instructed the General Manager of the system to cease
operation on aeronautical band frequencies until the leaks were
repaired and the system complied with the basic signal leakage
criteria. On June 7, 2000, the oral order was followed by a written
order delivered by fax at 9:10 am.
CommuniComm advised the Denver District Director on June 7, 2000, that
the system was in compliance with the leakage restrictions and
requested permission to resume normal operations. Permission was
granted. An Agent from the Denver Office conducted a follow-up
inspection of the system on June 7, 2000, and identified two leaks.
The system did have, however, a CLI less than 64 at that time.
The Denver Office issued an Official Notice of Violation ("NOV") on
February 12, 2001. CommuniComm responded on February 27, 2001. In the
reply, CommuniComm identifies the specific actions taken to correct
the violations noted in the NOV and to preclude their recurrence, as
well as, a time line for completion of such actions.
The Commission assesses monetary forfeitures pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (``Act'')13 as
implemented in Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules.14 A forfeiture
may be assessed against a person who the Commission finds to have
willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with the provisions of the
Act or the Commission's Rules.15 ``Willful'' in this context means
that the person knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless
of intent to violate the provision.16 ``Repeated'' means commission
or omission of an act more than once. Forfeiture amounts are decided
in accordance with Section 503(b)(2) of the Communications Act and the
Commission's forfeiture guidelines in Section 1.80(b)(4) of the
We conclude that CommuniComm has repeatedly violated the Commission's
cable signal leakage rules. As discussed above, on June 6 and 7,
2000, the cable system in Akron, Colorado, had leaks that exceeded the
maximum allowable field strength of 20 mv/m at 3m, in repeated
violation of Section 76.605(a)(12) of the Commission's Rules.18 On
June 6, 2000, CommuniComm willfully violated Section 76.611(a) of the
Commission's Rules19 by failing to comply with the basic signal
leakage performance criteria.
Based on the evidence before us, we find that James Cable Partners,
LP, d/b/a CommuniComm Services violated Sections 76.605(a)(12) and
76.611(a) of the Commission's Rules by failing signal leakage
standards. 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 forfeiture amount for violation of
rules relating to distress and safety frequencies is $8,000 per
violation; the maximum is $27,500 for each violation or each day of a
continuing violation.20 Cable signal leakage in the aeronautical
bands constitutes harmful interference to distress and safety
frequencies. Multiple violations of the signal leakage standards were
observed on June 6 and 7, 2000, and the system violated CLI on June 6,
2000. We believe the appropriate forfeiture for CommuniComm's
repeated failure to comply with leakage limits on June 6 and 7, 2000,
and the system violated CLI on June 6, 2000, is $8,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Commission's Rules, James Cable Partners, LP, d/b/a
CommuniComm Services, is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for
willful or repeated violation of 76.605(a)(12) and 76.611(a) of the
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, PURSUANT TO Section 1.80 of the Commission's
Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY, James Cable Partners, LP, d/b/a CommuniComm
Services, SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of
the proposed forfeiture.
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. 20013280-0002.
A response regarding this matter, 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. 20013280-0002.
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 submitted.
Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice of Apparent
Liability under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue
and Receivable Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent, by Certified Mail/Return
Receipt Requested, No. P 028 896 936, to James Cable Partners, LP,
d/b/a CommuniComm Services, 38710 Woodward Avenue - Suite 180,
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Leo E. Cirbo
District Director, Denver Office
1 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. §§87.193-87.199.
2 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).
3 Memorandum Opinion and Order, Amendment of Part 76 of the
Commission's Rules to Add Frequency Channelling 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) [hereinafter MO&O].
4 47 C.F.R. §76.605(a)(12).
5 47 C.F.R. §76.611(a).
6 47 C.F.R. §76.615(b)(7).
7 47 C.F.R. §76.614.
8 47 C.F.R. §76.613(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §76.613(c).
10 47 C.F.R. §76.610.
11 47 C.F.R. §76.612. MO&O, supra note 3, at para. 14.
12 The calculated CLI is 66.5. A maximum CLI of 64 is the basic
signal leakage performance criteria of Section 76.611(a)(1) of the
Commission's Rules. Leakage that exceeds this level is deemed to pose
a serious threat to air traffic safety communications.
13 47 U.S.C. §503(b).
14 47 C.F.R. §1.80.
15 47 C.F.R. §1.80(a)(2).
16 Southern California Broadcasting Company, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, para. 5
17 47 U.S.C. §503(b)(2), 47 C.F.R. §1.80(b)(4). See also The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087.
18 47 C.F.R. §76.605(a)(12).
19 47 C.F.R. §76.611(a).
20 47 C.F.R. §1.80(b)(4).
21 See 47 C.F.R. §1.1914.