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


In the Matter of                 )
                                )
NETWORK PLUS, INC.               )
OCN#s:  2580, 2579, 4177,  4179, )    File No. EB-01-IH-0017l
4178, 4176                       )    NAL /Acct. No. 200132080043
                                )
                                )
                                )
                                )


           NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

   Adopted:  April 20, 2001             Released: April 24, 2001

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:



                        I.   INTRODUCTION



In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL''), we 
find that Network Plus, Inc. (``NPI'') has apparently violated 47 
C.F.R.   52.15(f)  by willfully  failing  to report  its  number 
utilization and  forecast data.   Based upon  our review  of  the 
facts and circumstances  in this  case, we conclude  that NPI  is 
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of  $6,000.



                         II.       BACKGROUND


Section 251(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the 
``Act''), grants  the Commission  plenary jurisdiction  over  the 
North American Numbering  Plan (``NANP'')  and related  telephone 
numbering issues  in  the  United  States.   The  Commission  has 
identified two primary goals  related to this statutory  mandate: 
to ensure that the  limited numbering resources  of the NANP  are 
used efficiently for the benefit of both consumers and  carriers; 
and to  ensure that  all carriers  have the  numbering  resources 
necessary to compete  in the  rapidly growing  telecommunications 
marketplace.1 The Commission recently adopted administrative  and 
technical measures that  facilitate the  monitoring of  numbering 
resource usage within the NANP and promote more efficient use  of 
numbering resources,  including  new  mandatory  utilization  and 
forecast  data  reporting  requirements.2  Monitoring  individual 
carriers' use of  numbering resources  encourages efficiency  and 
forestalls premature  exhaustion of  numbering resources.   Thus, 
section 52.15(f) of the Commission's rules requires U.S. carriers 
receiving numbering resources from  the North American  Numbering 
Plan  Administrator  (``NANPA''),  a  Pooling  Administrator,  or 
another telecommunications  carrier,  to report  semiannually  on 
their actual and forecast number  usage.3   These data are to  be 
reported on  FCC  Form 502,  the  North American  Numbering  Plan 
Numbering Resource Utilization/Forecast (``NRUF'') Report.  

The staff  of  the  Common Carrier  Bureau  determined  that  NPI 
apparently did  not  file  the  mandatory  NRUF  reports  due  on 
September 15, 2000.  On January 29, 2001, the Enforcement  Bureau 
sent a letter to NPI, which  explained that NPI might be  subject 
to enforcement  action  if  it  had failed  to  comply  with  the 
mandatory  reporting   requirements  of   section  52.15(f).   In 
addition, our letter cautioned NPI that the NANPA would  withhold 
numbering resources  as  a sanction  for  failure or  refusal  to 
comply with the mandatory reporting requirements.4 

 Our letter gave NPI the  opportunity to provide proof of  filing 
of the NRUF reports due on  September 15, 2000, and reminded  NPI 
that its next NRUF reports were due on February 1, 2001.  NPI did 
not respond to our letter.5  



                       III.    DISCUSSION



Section 503(b)(1)(B)  of the  Act provides  that any  person  who 
willfully or  repeatedly fails  to  comply with  the Act  or  the 
Commission's rules shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.6  We 
conclude that  NPI  failed  to  file  the  NRUF  reports  due  on 
September 15, 2000. Thus, NPI is apparently liable for forfeiture 
for the willful  violation of section  52.15 of the  Commission's 
rules, which requires U.S. carriers to report on their actual and 
forecast number usage.7  The Commission  has held that an act  or 
omission is ``willful'' if  the violator knew  it was taking  the 
action in question, whether or not there is any intent to violate 
the rule.8 Based upon the record before us, it appears that NPI's 
failure to comply with the reporting requirements was willful.

In assessing a forfeiture, Section  503(b)(2)(D) of the Act9  and 
section 1.80(b)(4)10  of the  Commission's  rules require  us  to 
consider 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.   The  Commission's 
Forfeiture Guidelines  establish  a  base amount  of  $3,000  for 
failure to file required forms or information.11  The  Guidelines 
also provide that we may issue  a higher or lower forfeiture,  as 
permitted by statute.12   Based upon the  information before  us, 
and taking into  consideration the factors  expressed in  Section 
503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, we find that a forfeiture that is higher 
than the base amount is warranted in this case.  

The Commission  has  emphasized  that  consistent,  accurate  and 
complete reporting  of number  utilization and  forecast data  is 
critical  to   promoting   efficiency  and   avoiding   premature 
exhaustion of numbering  resources.13 The potential  harm to  the 
integrity  and   objectives   of   the   Commission's   numbering 
administration  and  optimization   strategies  caused  by   non-
compliance  with  the  section  52.15(f)  reporting  requirements 
increases as  a non-compliant  carrier's inventory  of  numbering 
resources increases.  We therefore find that it is appropriate to 
take into  account  the  amount  of  NPI's  unreported  numbering 
resources  in  determining  the  forfeiture  amount.    Numbering 
resources  are  assigned  either  in  blocks  of  10,000  numbers 
referred to as central office codes or NXX codes, or in blocks of 
1,000 numbers.  NPI has been assigned 41 NXX codes.  Under  these 
circumstances, we  find that  an upward  adjustment of  the  base 
forfeiture is appropriate for NPI's failure to file the  required 
NRUF reports, and we  thus impose a forfeiture  in the amount  of 
$6,000, which represents double  the base forfeiture for  failure 
to file required reports.

Our January 29, 2001 letter reminded NPI that its next semiannual 
NRUF reports were due on February  1, 2001.  It appears that  NPI 
may not have filed these  reports.  Failure to file the  February 
NRUF reports, as required by section 52.15(f), would constitute a 
separate violation of  the Commission's rules.  We warn NPI  that 
failure to file the February reports or future reports could form 
the basis for additional notices of apparent liability. Moreover, 
if NPI fails to  comply with the  NRUF reporting requirements  in 
the future, the Common Carrier Bureau may deem that its numbering 
resources  are  unused,  and  thus  begin  reclamation  of  those 
numbering resources.14  In addition, the Commission may  consider 
proceedings to revoke  the section 214  authorizations and  Title 
III licenses  of carriers  that persist  in their  non-compliance 
with section 52.15(f).


 

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES


Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to 47 U.S.C.   503(b), 
and 47 C.F.R.   1.80, Network Plus, Inc.  is hereby NOTIFIED  of 
its APPARENT  LIABILITY FOR  A FORFEITURE  in the  amount of  six 
thousand dollars ($6,000)  for violating  the Commission's  rules 
that require U.S. carriers to  report actual and forecast  number 
usage.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to 47 C.F.R.  1.80,  within 
thirty days of this NOTICE  OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Network  Plus, 
Inc. SHALL  PAY the  full amount  of the  proposed forfeiture  or 
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or  cancellation 
of the proposed forfeiture.

  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. referenced above.

  The response,  if any,  must be  mailed to  Charles W.  Kelley, 
Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement  Bureau, 
Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W, Room  3-
B443, Washington DC 20554 and MUST INCLUDE the file number listed 
above.

  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.

  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.  See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.

  IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that a copy  of this Notice of  Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture shall  be sent by Certified  Mail/Return 
Receipt Requested,  to  Network  Plus, Inc.,  243  Copeland  St., 
Quincy, MA  02169  and to Network  Plus Inc.'s designated  agents 
Andrew D. Lipman, Esq. and Dana 
Frix, Esq., Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP, 3000 K  Street, 
N.W., Suite 3000, Washington, DC  20007. 
     

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                    

     

                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau



_________________________

1  Numbering Resource Optimization, Report and Order and Further 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  in CC Docket  No. 99-200, 15  FCC 
Rcd 7574  (2000)(``NRO  Order''); recon.  and  clarification  in 
part, Second Report  and Order, Order  on Reconsideration in  CC 
Docket 96-98 and CC Docket 99-200, and Second Further Notice  of 
Proposed Rulemaking in  CC Docket 99-200,  FCC 00-429 (Dec.  29, 
2000).  

2   Id.

3  The NRUF reports are  due on or before  February 1 and on  or 
before August  1 of  each year.   See 47  C.F.R.   52.15(f)(6).  
However, we note that the deadline for filing reports due August 
1, 2000 was extended to  September 15, 2000. Numbering  Resource 
Optimization, CC Docket No. 99-200, FCC 00-280 (Jul. 31, 2000).   

4  47 C.F.R.   52.25(g)(3)(iv).  See NRO Order,  15 FCC Rcd  at 
7609-10.   

5  The Enforcement Bureau mailed the January 29, 2001 letter  to 
NPI certified  mail, by  return receipt  requested.  The  return 
receipt reflects  that  NPI  received  the  Bureau's  letter  on 
February 2, 2001. 

6  47 U.S.C.  503(b)(1)(B).   See also 47 C.F.R.   1.80(a)(2).  
Recently, the Commission  amended Section 1.80  of its rules  to 
make inflation adjustments in the maximum penalties that may  be 
imposed.  Accordingly,  for  a common  carrier,  the  forfeiture 
limit for  each  violation  is  now  $120,000,  with  a  maximum 
potential forfeiture of  $1,200,000 for  a continuing  violation 
involving a  single act  or failure  to act.   See Amendment  of 
Section 1.80(b)  of the  Commission's Rules,  15 FCC  Rcd  18221 
(2000).   

7 Carriers are required to  file NRUF reports by separate  legal 
entity for  each Operating  Company  Number (``OCN'').   See  47 
C.F.R.    52.15(f)(3)(ii).    Our  January   29,  2001   letter 
referenced six OCNs for which NPI apparently had not filed  NRUF 
reports due September 15, 2000.

8  Southern  California Broadcasting  Company,  6 FCC  Rcd  4387 
(1991).   

9  47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

10  47 C.F.R.   1.80(b)(4).  

11   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)(``Forfeiture  Guidelines'')(codified at  47 C.F.R.   
1.80(b)(4) Note).   

12  Id. 

13 NRO Order at 7593.

14 See NRO Order at 7678-7683.