FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
June 20, 2002
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. - Today the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) proposing a $1,200,000 fine against WebNet Communications, Inc. (WebNet) for apparent violations of the Communications Act and the Commission's rules against slamming.
The Commission determined that WebNet is apparently liable for a fine of $40,000 for each of the 20 alleged violations, or $800,000. The Commission further determined that, due to an apparent pattern of intentional and egregious misconduct, and WebNet's grossly deficient verification process, the fine should be increased by 50%, for a total fine of $1,200,000. WebNet has 30 days to either pay the proposed fine, or show why it should be reduced or not imposed.
The NAL is based on a high volume of complaints received by the Commission and 14 state agencies. The 13 states that joined in this investigation, Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin, along with the District of Columbia, have all chosen to administer the Commission's slamming liability rules. The Commission and the state agencies investigated many of the allegations, and the Commission based the proposed fine on 20 of the consumer complaints. This proceeding marks the first joint federal/state effort against a company engaged in slamming.
WebNet is a corporation with its principal place of business in McLean, Virginia.
The Commission has taken slamming enforcement action involving 14 carriers totaling approximately $16,000,000 in the last two years.
Action by the Commission June 13, 2002, by Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 02-183). Chairman Powell; Commissioners Abernathy, Copps, and Martin.
File No. EB-00-TC-064
Enforcement Bureau Contacts: John Winston at (202) 418-7450 or Lloyd Collier at (202) 418-2712.