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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Puerto Rico Tower Co., Inc.     )    File No. EB-00-SJ-089
                                )
Owner of Antenna Structure     )     NAL/Acct. No. X3268003 
Registration # 1205510          )
Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico     )
                                   

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  January 3, 2001               Released:    January   5, 
2001

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

1.        In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
  monetary  forfeiture in  the  amount of  ten  thousand  dollars 
  ($10,000)  to  Puerto  Rico  Tower  Co.,  Inc.  (``PRTC'')  for 
  willful and repeated violations of Section 17.51(a) and (b)  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules (``Rules'').1   The  noted  violations 
  involve PRTC's failure to exhibit red obstruction lighting  and 
  medium intensity  obstruction lighting on  its Playa de  Ponce, 
  Puerto Rico antenna structure.

2.        On September  25,  2000,  the  Commission's  San  Juan, 
  Puerto  Rico,  Resident  Agent  Office  (``San  Juan  Office'') 
  issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture  (``NAL'') 
  to PRTC for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand  dollars 
  ($10,000).2  PRTC  filed a response to  the NAL on October  26, 
  2000.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        PRTC owns an antenna tower  located at Playa de  Ponce, 
  Puerto  Rico,  with antenna  structure  registration  (``ASR'') 
  number  1205510.   The  ASR  for  the  Playa  de  Ponce   tower 
  indicates that  red obstruction lighting  and medium  intensity 
  obstruction lighting is  required.  On June 29, 2000, an  agent 
  from the  Commission's San Juan Office  inspected the Playa  de 
  Ponce tower  at 11:45 a.m.  AST and observed  that the  tower's 
  medium  intensity obstruction  lighting was  not operating  and 
  that  the  ASR  number was  not  posted  at  the  base  of  the 
  structure.    On July  2, 2000,  the agent  again surveyed  the 
  Playa  de  Ponce  tower at  approximately  7:30  p.m.  AST  and 
  observed  that the  tower's red  obstruction lighting  was  not 
  operating.

4.        On July  3, 2000,  an agent  from the  San Juan  Office 
  contacted  the  Federal  Aviation  Administration's  San   Juan 
  Flight Service Station  (``San Juan FSS'') to find out  whether 
  there was  a Notice to Airmen (``NOTAM'')  3 in effect for  the 
  Playa de  Ponce tower.   The San  Juan FSS  informed the  agent 
  that there  was no NOTAM in effect  for this tower.  The  agent 
  then  contacted  Mr. John  Campbell,  President  of  PRTC,  and 
  informed him  that the Playa de  Ponce tower's red  obstruction 
  lighting and medium obstruction lighting was not operating  and 
  that  there  was  no NOTAM  in  effect  for  this  tower.   Mr. 
  Campbell told  the agent that he would  get a NOTAM issued  for 
  the tower immediately.

5.        On September 14,  2000, two  agents from  the San  Juan 
  Office  surveyed the  Playa  de Ponce  tower  at  approximately 
  12:15 p.m. AST  and observed that the tower's medium  intensity 
  obstruction  lighting was  not operating.   One of  the  agents 
  subsequently contacted  the San  Juan FSS to  find out  whether 
  there was  a NOTAM in effect for  the tower.  The San Juan  FSS 
  informed the agent that  there was no NOTAM in effect for  this 
  tower.   The agent  proceeded to  have a  NOTAM issued  due  to 
  safety concerns.

6.        On September  15,  2000, an  agent  from the  San  Juan 
  Office contacted  Mr. Tim Lang  at PRTC and  informed him  that 
  the Playa  de Ponce  tower's lighting was  not operating.   Mr. 
  Lang stated that he  had just left the Playa de Ponce site  and 
  would return to the site to check the lights.  Mr. Lang  called 
  back and  informed the agent  that indeed the  lights were  not 
  functioning and  that he  had arranged to  have an  electrician 
  repair the lights that afternoon.  Mr. Lang called again  later 
  that day  and left  a message  indicating that  the lights  had 
  been repaired.

7.        On September 25,  2000, the San  Juan Office issued  an 
  NAL  for a  forfeiture in  the amount  of $10,000  to PRTC  for 
  failing to  exhibit the required  red obstruction lighting  and 
  medium intensity  obstruction lighting  on the  Playa de  Ponce 
  tower in willful violation  of Section 17.51(a) and (b) of  the 
  Rules.  PRTC filed a  response to the NAL on October 26,  2000.  
  In this response, PRTC accepts the facts set forth in the  NAL, 
  but denies  that its  failure to comply  with the  Commission's 
  rules  regarding antenna  structure lighting  was  ``willful.''  
  PRTC asserts that before Mr. Campbell spoke with the FCC  agent 
  on July 3, 2000,  it believed that the tower was less than  200 
  feet  high  and  did not  need  lighting  because  the  tower's 
  lightning   rod  was   not  then   installed.   However,   PRTC 
  acknowledges that  following Mr.  Campbell's conversation  with 
  the  FCC  agent  on July  3,  2000,  it  reviewed  the  tower's 
  construction drawings and as-built plans and realized that  the 
  tower, when measured from ground level as per FCC  regulations, 
  has  a height  of approximately  203  feet, not  including  the 
  lightning  rod.  PRTC  further asserts  that it  made  diligent 
  efforts   to  bring   the  tower   into  compliance   following 
  notification of the lighting outages by the San Juan Office  on 
  July 3, 2000 and September 15, 2000.  

                      III.      DISCUSSION

8.        As the NAL explicitly states, the forfeiture amount  in 
  this case  was assessed in accordance  with Section 503 of  the 
  Communications  Act of  1934,  as amended  (``Act''),4  Section 
  1.80 of  the Rules,  5 and The  Commission's Forfeiture  Policy 
  Statement  and  Amendment  of Section  1.80  of  the  Rules  to 
  Incorporate  the  Forfeiture  Guidelines,  12  FCC  Rcd   17087 
  (1997),  recon.  denied,  15  FCC  Rcd  303  (1999)   (``Policy 
  Statement'').  In examining PRTC's response, Section 503(b)  of 
  the  Act requires  that the  Commission take  into account  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.6

9.        Section 17.51(a)  of the  Rules provides  that all  red 
  obstruction lighting must  be exhibited from sunset to  sunrise 
  unless otherwise specified  in the ASR, while Section  17.51(b) 
  of  the Rules  provides  that  all high  and  medium  intensity 
  obstruction lighting  on antenna structures  must be  exhibited 
  continuously  unless  otherwise specified  in  the  ASR.   PRTC 
  admits  that   at  the  time  of   the  inspections,  the   red 
  obstruction lighting and medium intensity obstruction  lighting 
  on the Playa de Ponce tower was not operating.  PRTC,  however, 
  claims that the tower lighting violations were not  ``willful'' 
  because prior to July  3, 2000, it believed that the tower  was 
  less than  200 feet  in height  without the  lightning rod  and 
  therefore  did  not  need  lighting.   We  disagree.    Section 
  312(f)(1) of the  Act provides that ``the term `willful,'  when 
  used with reference to  the commission or omission of any  act, 
  means the  conscious or  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 
  ....''7  This  definition applies  to the  term ``willful''  as 
  used in  Section 503(b)  of the Act.   See Southern  California 
  Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991). Moreover, a  violation 
  resulting from  an inadvertent mistake or  a failure to  become 
  familiar with  the FCC's requirements  is considered a  willful 
  violation.  See  PBJ Communications  of Virginia,  Inc., 7  FCC 
  Rcd 2088 (1992);  Standard Communications Corp., 1 FCC Rcd  358 
  (1986);  Triad Broadcasting  Co., Inc.,  96 FCC  2d 1235,  1242 
  (1984).  Thus,  PRTC's tower lighting  violations were  willful 
  under Section 503(b) of the Act.  In any event, Section  503(b) 
  of the Act authorizes the Commission to impose forfeitures  for 
  either  willful  or repeated  violations  of  the  Commission's 
  rules.8   PRTC's   tower  lighting  violations  were   repeated 
  because  they occurred  on more  than one  occasion.  See  Hale 
  Broadcasting Corp.,  79 FCC  2d 169, 171  (1980).  Finally,  we 
  note that  PRTC's remedial actions  to correct the  violations, 
  while commendable,  are not a  mitigating factor.  See  Station 
  KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).

10.       We have examined PRTC's response to the NAL pursuant to 
  the  statutory  factors above,  and  in  conjunction  with  the 
  Policy  Statement as  well.   As a  result  of our  review,  we 
  conclude   that  PRTC   has   failed  to   provide   sufficient 
  justification  for   canceling  or   mitigating  the   proposed 
  forfeiture amount.  Therefore, we affirm the forfeiture of  ten 
  thousand dollars ($10,000).  

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

11.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  503(b) of  the Act,9 and Sections  0.111, 0.311 and  1.80(f)(4) 
  of the  Rules,10 Puerto Rico Tower Co.,  Inc., IS LIABLE FOR  A 
  MONETARY  FORFEITURE in  the  amount of  ten  thousand  dollars 
  ($10,000) for failure  to exhibit red obstruction lighting  and 
  medium intensity obstruction lighting on its antenna  structure 
  in willful and  repeated violation of Section 17.51(a) and  (b) 
  of the Rules.

12.       Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
  provided for in Section  1.80 of the Rules11 within 30 days  of 
  the  release of  this Order.   If the  forfeiture is  not  paid 
  within the  period specified, the case  may be referred to  the 
  Department  of  Justice  for  collection  pursuant  to  Section 
  504(a) of  the Act.12  Payment may be  made by mailing a  check 
  or  similar instrument,  payable to  the order  of the  Federal 
  Communications  Commission,   to  the  Federal   Communications 
  Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.   The 
  payment  should  note  the  NAL/Acct.  No.  referenced   above.  
  Requests for full  payment under an installment plan should  be 
  sent to:  Chief, Credit  and Debt Management  Center, 445  12th 
  Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.13

13.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent  by Certified Mail Return  Receipt Requested to  Puerto 
  Rico Tower  Co., Inc.,  #364 Fernandez Juncos  Ave., Puerta  de 
  Tierra, Puerto Rico 00901.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 C.F.R.  17.51(a) and (b).  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
X3268003 (Enf.  Bur., San  Juan  Office, released  September  25, 
2000).    

  3 Tower owners are required to report any obstruction  lighting 
outages to  the  nearest Flight  Service  Station or  FAA  office 
immediately if the  outage is  not corrected  within 30  minutes.  
See 47 C.F.R.  17.48(a).  The FAA then issues a NOTAM, a written 
advisory to  aircraft  pilots  regarding a  hazard  or  potential 
hazard  of  which  they  should   be  aware.   A  NOTAM   expires 
automatically after 15 days, unless the tower owner calls the FAA 
to extend the NOTAM.

  4 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  5 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  6 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  7 47 U.S.C.  312(f)(1).

  8 See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(1).

  9 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  10 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  11 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  12 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  13 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.