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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Atlantic Broadband (Penn), LLC ) File Number: EB-07-PA-264
Operator of Cable System ) NAL/Acct. No. 2008324000007
Clearfield, Pennsylvania ) FRN: 0009-59-6883
Community Unit ID # PA0200 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: July 7, 2008
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Atlantic Broadband (Penn), LLC ("Atlantic Broadband"), operator
of the cable television system in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 76.1701(a) of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules") by failing to retain a Political File in
the cable system's public inspection file. We conclude, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"),
that Atlantic Broadband is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the
amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000).
2. On August 14, 2007, an agent of the Commission's Philadelphia Office
inspected the public inspection file for Atlantic Broadband's cable
television system serving the Clearfield, Pennsylvania area. The
public inspection file was located in Atlantic Broadband's billing
office at 313 East Cherry Street, Clearfield, Pennsylvania. The agent
found that the public inspection file did not contain any records of
requests for cablecast time made by or on behalf of any candidate for
public office ("Political File") for the previous two years.
3. During the inspection, Atlantic Broadband informed the agent that
Comcast Spotlight handles the advertising on the cable system and that
Comcast Spotlight has all of the Political File records in its
possession. That same day, Atlantic Broadband received a facsimile
from Comcast Spotlight that included the records for Atlantic
Broadband's Political File. The records showed that numerous requests
for cablecast time were made between April 4, 2007 and May 1, 2007 on
behalf of candidates for public office and that Atlantic Broadband
aired 516 political advertisements between April 17, 2007 and May 14,
2007. The agreements specified that Comcast Spotlight would air
political advertisements for these political candidates on the
Atlantic Broadband cable television system that serves the Clearfield,
Pennsylvania area. At the time of the inspection, these records were
not in the cable television system's public inspection file.
4. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued
by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) of the Act has
been interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are
committed knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day.
5. Section 76.1701(a) of the Commission's Rules requires that every cable
television system keep and permit public inspection of a Political
File, which must include all requests for cablecast time made by or on
behalf of a candidate for public office, together with an appropriate
notation showing the disposition made by the system of such requests,
and the charges made, if any, if the request is granted. The
disposition includes the schedule of time purchased, when spots
actually aired, the rates charged, and the classes of time purchased.
Section 76.1701(c) provides that such records shall be retained for a
period of two years. Between April 17, 2007 and May 14, 2007, Comcast
Spotlight entered into agreements with the political candidates on
behalf of Atlantic Broadband. The agreements specified that Comcast
Spotlight would air political advertisements for these political
candidates on the Atlantic Broadband cable television system that
serves the Clearfield, Pennsylvania area. During the inspection on
August 14, 2007, the agent found that Atlantic Broadband failed to
retain records of these requests in the public inspection file.
Because Atlantic Broadband knowingly allowed these records to be
maintained by Comcast Spotlight, we find that the violation was
willful. The violation occurred on more than one day and therefore was
repeated. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Atlantic
Broadband apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section
76.1701(a) of the Rules by failing to retain a Political File in the
public inspection file for the cable television system that serves
6. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the
base forfeiture amount for a violation of the public file rules is
$10,000. In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also
take into account the statutory factors set forth in Section
503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include the nature, circumstances,
extent, and gravity of the violations, and with respect to the
violator, the degree of culpability, and history of prior offenses,
ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may require. Because
Atlantic Broadband's public inspection file was mostly complete, we
conclude a reduction in the base amount for the public inspection file
violation to $4,000 is appropriate. Applying the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, Section 1.80, and the statutory factors to the instant
case, we conclude that Atlantic Broadband is apparently liable for a
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Atlantic Broadband LLC is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for violations of Sections
76.1701(a) of the Rules.
8. 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 for Forfeiture, Atlantic Broadband SHALL
PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
9. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card through the
Commission's Revenue and Receivables Operations Group at (202)
418-1995, or by check or similar instrument, payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. The payment must include the
Account Number and FRN Number referenced above. Payment by check or
money order may be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by overnight mail may be
sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005
Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment[s] by wire transfer may
be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank Federal Reserve Bank
of New York, and account number 27000001. Requests for full payment
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer
-- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554.8 If you have questions, please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. Atlantic Broadband shall also send electronic
notification on the date said payment is made to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
10. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Northeast Region, Philadelphia Office,
One Oxford Valley Building, Suite 404, 2300 East Lincoln Highway,
Langhorne, Pennsylvania 19047 and must include the NAL/Acct. No.
referenced in the caption. An electronic copy shall be sent to
11. 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.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to Atlantic Broadband (Penn), LLC at its
address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Gene J. Stanbro
47 C.F.R. S: 76.1701(a).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under 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."
Section 76.1700(a) provides that a cable system having 5,000 or more
subscribers shall maintain for public inspection, inter alia, a file
containing a copy of all records which are required to be kept by Section
76.1701 (Political File). Atlantic Broadband has approximately 5,169 Basic
Service subscribers and therefore is required to maintain a Political File
for public inspection.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 76.1701(a).
8 See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission