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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB-02-PA-013
Networx Corporation ) NAL/Acct. No.
Pittsford, New York ) FRN: 0006-0222-97
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: August 15, 2002
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that Networx Corporation has apparently violated
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, (the ``Act''), as
amended.1 The violation occurred as a result of Networx
Corporation's (``Networx'') operation of four FM broadcast
stations on the frequencies 98.9 MHz, 102.9 MHz, 103.9 MHz and
106.3 MHz at the Presbyterian Senior Center, 1215 Hulton Road,
Oakmont, Pennsylvania without a license. We conclude that
Networx is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
2. By letter dated December 27, 2001, the Philadelphia
Office received a complaint from a local resident of Oakmont,
Pennsylvania alleging that a broadcast station was operating on
the frequency 103.9 MHz at the Presbyterian Senior Center in
Oakmont, Pennsylvania. The complainant also alleged that the
broadcast station was causing harmful co-channel interference to
the reception of licensed broadcast station WLSW(FM) at his
3. On January 12, 2002, the Philadelphia Office assigned
FCC Agents David Dombrowski and Frank Cranmer to investigate the
complaint. The agents used direction-finding techniques to
locate the source of the transmissions on the frequency 103.9 MHz
to the Presbyterian Senior Center, 1215 Hulton Road, Oakmont,
Pennsylvania. The agents first detected the transmissions from
the station with a standard car radio at the Pennsylvania
Turnpike Interchange 5 which is more than 0.75 mile from the
Presbyterian Senior Center. During an inspection of the
broadcast station, a maintenance department employee informed the
agents that the Presbyterian Senior Center subscribed to an FM
broadcast service on the frequencies 98.9 MHz, 102.9 MHz, 103.9
MHz and 106.3 MHz called ``Companion Radio.'' Networx installed
and operated the four broadcast systems at different locations
throughout the Presbyterian Senior Center to provide signal
coverage. The broadcast stations were located in Room 4601, Room
053, the Tower Stairs on the third floor, and in a closet of a
rear building. At each of the four locations, Networx operated
broadcast station transmitters on the four frequencies for a
total of 16 stations.
4. Radio stations in the FM broadcast band, i.e.,
broadcast stations that transmit on a frequency between 88 and
108 MHz, must be licensed by the FCC (47 U.S.C. § 301). The only
exception to this licensing requirement in the FM broadcast band
is for certain non-licensed low-power radio transmitters
operating at a power level that complies with Section 15.239 of
the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').2 This section limits such
transmitters to the field strength of 250 mV/m at a distance of
three meters from the transmitting antenna. If a station exceeds
the limits specified in Section 15.239 of the Rules, then the
operator must obtain a license prior to operating the station.
5. On January 12, 2002, the agents used a calibrated
Potomac FIM-71 Field Strength Meter to conduct measurements of
the signals from the broadcast stations. The agents conducted
their measurements at the intersection of 12th Street and Hulton
Road at a distance of over 300 feet from the station located in
Room 053 of the Presbyterian Senior Center. The measurements
indicated field strengths of 976 mV/m on the frequency 98.9 MHz,
1,135 mV/m on the frequency 102.9 MHz, 972 mV/m on the frequency
103.9 MHz and 1,056 mV/m on the frequency 106.3 MHz. The agents
used extrapolation to calculate the field strength at three
meters from the broadcast stations in Room 053 of the
Presbyterian Senior Center. The broadcast stations exceeded the
permissible level for a non-licensed radio transmitter by 119
times on the frequency 98.9 MHz, 138 times on the frequency 102.9
MHz, 119 times on the frequency 103.9 MHz and 129 times on the
frequency 106.3 MHz. Accordingly, a license was required for the
operation of the broadcast stations. Based on the Commission's
records, no license had been issued for the operation of any FM
broadcast station at this location. Thus, Networx was operating
the stations without a license, in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 301.
6. On January 22, 2002, the Philadelphia Office sent, via
certified mail, a letter addressed to Networx
Corporation/Companion Radio, 1 Fishers Road, Pittsford, New York
14534. The letter warned the addressee that operation of the
unlicensed radio stations on the frequencies 98.9 MHz, 102.9 MHz,
103.9 MHz and 106.3 MHz at the Presbyterian Senior Center,
violated Section 301 of the Act; outlined the potential penalties
for operating the unlicensed stations in violation of Section 301
of the Act, including seizure of the equipment, fines and
imprisonment; and directed the operator of the station to
terminate operation of the unlicensed stations immediately. The
Philadelphia Office requested Networx submit a written response
within 10 days of receipt of the letter.
7. By letter dated February 1, 2002, Ken Unger, the
President of Networx, submitted a response to the Philadelphia
Office. He acknowledged that they operated four broadcast
systems at the Presbyterian Senior Center, each of which
transmitted on the frequencies 98.9 MHz, 102.9 MHz, 103.9 MHz and
106.3 MHz. He stated that based on field strength measurements
that it conducted on January 23, 2002, it does appear that one or
more transmitters were generating field strengths in excess of
the maximum allowed. He stated that they had already ceased
operation of all the stations at the Presbyterian Senior Center.
He also stated that they would place the stations back in
operation only after appropriate measurements have been made on
each transmitter individually and modifications have been
implemented to reduce the field strength of any non-compliant
transmitter to the parameters specified in Section 15.239 of the
8. Section 301 of the Act prohibits any person from using
or operating any apparatus for the transmission of energy or
communications or signals by radio except under and in accordance
with the Act and with a license in that behalf granted under the
provisions of the Act. On January 12, 2002, Networx operated
four FM broadcast stations on the frequencies 98.9 MHz, 102.9
MHz, 103.9 MHz and 106.3 MHz in Room 053 of the Presbyterian
Senior Center without a license. Networx would not have been
required to obtain a license to operate the stations if the
signal strengths did not exceed the FCC limits specified in
Section 15.239 of the Rules. However, on January 12, 2002, the
agents measured that the signal strengths of the broadcast
stations exceeded the FCC limits by at least 119 times.
9. By letter dated October 30, 2000, the Philadelphia
Office warned Networx that its operation of a broadcast station
at the Dunwoody Village in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania without a
license was in violation of Section 301 of the Act. The agents
found that the station at the Dunwoody Village exceeded the
limits specified in Section 15.239 of the Rules and Networx did
not have a license to operate the station. Therefore, Networx
was aware prior to January 12, 2002 of its responsibility to
properly measure, adjust and maintain all of its broadcast
stations to avoid subsequent violations of Section 301 of the
10. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Networx
apparently willfully3 and repeatedly4 violated Section 301 of the
Act. 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'')5, sets the base
forfeiture amount for unlicensed operation at $10,000. In
assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must take into
account the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D)
of the Act,6 which 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
Forfeiture Policy Statement and the statutory factors to the
instant case and applying the inflation adjustments, we believe
that a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) monetary forfeiture is
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 Networx is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for
willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the Act.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NOTICE
OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Networx Corporation SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
13. 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. 200232400008, and FRN 0006-0222-97.
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. 200232400008.
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, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 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 Networx Corporation, 1 Fishers Road,
Pittsford, New York 14534.
John E. Rahtes
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 15.239.
3 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies 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).
4 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.
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
47 U.S.C § 503(b)(2)(D).
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.