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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No. EB-03-DT-502
Comcast Cablevision of Michigan, LLC ) NAL/Acct. No.
Bad Axe, Michigan )
) FRN: 0006 8552 33
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: December 23, 2003
By the District Director, Detroit Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that Comcast Cablevision of Michigan, LLC
(``Comcast''), has apparently violated Section 17.4(a) of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'')1 by failing to register its
antenna structure located at 842 N. Huron Avenue, Harbor Beach,
Michigan. We conclude that Comcast is apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000).
2. The Commission's obstruction marking and lighting of
antenna structures and registration requirements operate in
concert with the FAA regulations to ensure that antenna
structures do not present hazards to air navigation. Generally,
our rules require that antenna structures located close to
airports or that are greater than 200 feet in height comply with
painting and lighting specifications to ensure air safety. We
require antenna structure owners to register structures with the
Commission and post registration numbers near the base of
structures to allow for easy contact if problems arise. The
Rules require registration for all antenna structures that may
pose a hazard to air navigation and have been in effect since
1996.2 We have repeatedly advised antenna structure owners that
all existing, unregistered antenna structures subject to our
Rules must be registered immediately or the owners could face a
monetary forfeiture or other enforcement action.3
3. Commission field agents routinely inspect antenna
structures to determine compliance with antenna structure
marking, painting, and lighting requirements and they also
respond to reports of unlit towers. The FAA also routinely
notifies Commission field offices when owners fail to report that
lights have been repaired. On May 23, 2003, an agent from the
Detroit Office conducted an inspection of an antenna structure
located at 842 N. Huron Avenue, Harbor Beach, Michigan, at or
near the geographical coordinates of 43º 51' 28'' north latitude
and 082º 39' 28'' west longitude,. The agent observed no ASR
number posted at the site. A search of Commission records and
subsequent contacts with Comcast by the agent revealed that the
antenna structure was subject to Part 17 of the Rules, was not
registered, and accordingly, needed to be registered. The
antenna structure was registered with the Commission on or about
June 19, 2003.
4. Section 17.4(a) requires antenna structures which have
been assigned painting or lighting requirements be registered
with the Commission. Painting and lighting requirements had been
assigned to Comcast's antenna structure, requiring registration
with the Commission.4
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Comcast
willfully5 and repeatedly6 violated Section 17.4(a) of the Rules
by failing to register its antenna structure. 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'')7, sets the base forfeiture amount for failure
to file required forms or information at three thousand dollars
($3,000). In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must
take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (the
``Act'').8 These factors 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, statutory
factors and the inflation adjustments to the base amount of
Comcast's violation of $3,000 for failure to register its antenna
structure, we find no compelling evidence to support any
adjustments to the base forfeiture amount. Thus, we believe that
a forfeiture amount of three thousand dollar ($3,000) is
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
Rules9, Comcast Cablevision of Michigan, LLC, is hereby
NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) for willful and
repeated violation of Section 17.4(a) of the Rules.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty (30) days of the release date of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Comcast Cablevision of Michigan,
LLC, SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
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. 200432360001, FRN: 0006 8552 33.
9. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Spectrum
Enforcement Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200432360001, FRN: 0006
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. 20554.10
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 Spectrum Enforcement 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 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 Comcast Cablevision of Michigan, LLC, 1555 South
Bad Axe Road, Bad Axe, Michigan 48413.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Bridgewater
Attachment A - FCC List of Small Entities, October 2002.
47 C.F.R. § 17.4(a).
Antenna structure owners were required to register existing
antenna structures during a two-year filing period between July
1, 1998 and June 30, 1996, and to register new antenna structures
prior to construction. Streamlining the Commission's Antenna
Structure Clearance Procedure, 11 FCC Rcd 4272 (1995).
3 Subsequent to the expiration of the filing period, the
Commission staff issued a Public Notice warning antenna structure
owners to register any unregistered antenna structures subject to
our requirements immediately or face possible monetary
forfeitures or other enforcement action. Public Notice, ``No-
Tolerance Policy Adopted For Unregistered Antenna Structures,''
1999 WL 10060 (WTB rel. Jan. 13. 1999).
4 See 47 C.F.R. § 17.7(a).
5 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
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 California Broadcasting, Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387
6 Section 312(f), which also applies 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.''
747 C.F.R. § 1.80.
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, and 0.311.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.