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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Telecorp Communications, Inc. ) File Number EB-00-SJ-108
Arlington, VA ) NAL/Acct.Number 200132680003
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: January 11, 2001 Released:
January 16, 2001
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find Telecorp Communications, Inc. (``Telecorp''), Arlington, VA,
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of eighty
thousand dollars ($80,000) for four violations of Section 17.51
of the Commission's Rules which requires antenna structure lights
to be exhibited.1 We find that during the period of February 6,
2000 through November 30, 2000, Telecorp, a common carrier
licensee, failed to comply with the requirement to properly light
antenna structures and to notify the Federal Aviation
Administration (``FAA'') of antenna structure light outages on
2. The Commission's antenna structure painting, lighting
and registration requirements operate in concert with 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.
3. Because of the substantial public safety issues
involved, we require antenna structure owners to monitor lights
daily or have automatic alarm systems installed to ensure lights
function properly. Finally, antenna structure owners are
required immediately to notify the FAA when major antenna
structure lights are inoperative and can not be repaired within
30 minutes. The FAA then issues a Notice to Airmen (``NOTAM'')
for a period of 15 days advising aircraft that there is an
antenna structure at a specific location with a temporary light
4. Enforcement Bureau field agents routinely inspect
antenna structures to determine compliance with antenna structure
painting and lighting requirements and respond to complaints of
unlit towers. The FAA also routinely notifies Bureau field
offices when owners fail to either report that lights have been
repaired within 15 days or request that a NOTAM be extended. In
the course of these routine inspections our field agents
uncovered a number of violations of the Commission's antenna
structure lighting requirements by Telecorp Communications, Inc.
These violations posed potential hazards to air navigation.
5. On February 6, 2000, an agent of the Bureau's San Juan
Office observed a Telecorp owned antenna structure at 7:30 PM
Atlantic Standard Time (``AST'') located in Candelaria Ward, Toa
Baja, PR. The structure did not have the top red obstruction
light in operation as required by antenna structure registration
number 1064593, FCC Form 854. The local San Juan FAA/Flight
Service Station (``FSS'') advised a Bureau field agent that no
NOTAM was in effect for this structure.
6. On September 11, 2000, an agent of the Bureau's New
Orleans Office observed a Telecorp tower located near Raceland,
Louisiana. The structure did not have the medium intensity
obstruction light in operation as required by antenna structure
registration number 1206008, FCC Form 854. The local DeRidder
FAA/FSS advised a Bureau field agent that no NOTAM was in effect
for this structure.
7. On October 21 and October 22, 2000, an agent of the San
Juan Office observed a Telecorp tower near the town of
Barceloneta, PR. The structure did not have the medium intensity
obstruction light in operation as required by antenna structure
registration number 1203643, FCC Form 854. The local San Juan
FAA/FSS advised an FCC agent that no NOTAM was in effect for this
structure. In a telephone conversation with a Telecorp technician
on October 31, 2000, the technician advised a San Juan field
agent that he would contact the FAA to get a NOTAM issued and
that repairs had been underway since October 30, 2000. For at
least 10 days the antenna structure was unlit and no NOTAM was in
8. On four days in November, 2000 a Bureau field agent
observed a Telecorp antenna structure near the town of Juncos, PR
that did not have the medium intensity obstruction lights in
operation as required by antenna structure registration number
1208552, FCC Form 854. Specifically, the antenna structure was
observed and found to be unlit on the following dates and times:
November 2, at 9:30 AM AST, November 3 at 1:00 PM AST, November 6
at 9:30 AM and again at 1:30 PM AST, November 15 at 9:30 AM and
again at 12:30 PM AST. The local San Juan FAA/FSS and Telecorp
representatives advised that a NOTAM was issued for this
structure on November 21, 2000.
9. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Telecorp
Communications, Inc. apparently willfully and repeatedly2
violated Section 17.51 of the Commission's Rules3 by its failure
to comply with the required lighting of antenna structures and by
failing to notify FAA flight service stations of the outages.
10. 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'')4, the base forfeiture amount for lighting and
marking violations is $10,000. Applying this base amount to each
of Telecorp's lighting violations would lead to a proposed
forfeiture of $40,000. Telecorp violated the most serious of the
Commission's antenna structure rules. As the Commission stated
in its ATC decision,5 ``[u]nlit and unmarked antenna structures
can pose a threat to air safety.'' Accordingly, in light of the
fact that Telecorp committed four such serious violations, we
believe that, as in the Commission's ATC decision,6 an upward
adjustment that doubles the forfeiture is appropriate. Applying
the Forfeiture Policy Statement and statutory factors to the
instant case, and based on the evidence before us, we find
Telecorp Communications, Inc. apparently liable for forfeiture of
$80,000 for four instances of failing to light an antenna
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,7 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules,8 Telecorp Communications, Inc. is hereby
NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) for violating Section
17.51 of the Commission's Rules.9
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80
of the Commission's Rules,10 within thirty days of the release
date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Telecorp
Communications, Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
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. Number referenced above.
14. The response, if any, must be mailed to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau - TPSD,
NAL/Acct. Number, and must include the NAL/Acct. Number.
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, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.11
17. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Telecorp Communications, Inc., 1010 N. Glebe Road
Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22201, Attn: Thomas H. Sullivan,
Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.51(a), and 17.51(b).
2 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 Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387 (1991). The term ``repeated'' means the commission or
omission of an act more than once. 47 C.F.R. § 312(f)(2).
3 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.51(a), and 17.51(b).
4 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
5 American Tower Corporation, FCC 01-9, ¶ 10 (released: January
6 Id., at ¶ 11.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
8 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.51(a), and 17.51(b).
10 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
11 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.