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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
American InfoAge, LLC           )    File No. EB-01-TP-073
                                )
Antenna Structure Registration # 1202433     )    NAL/Acct.   No. 

200132700007                    
Clearwater, FL                  )
                                   

                        FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted:  August 30, 2001               Released:   September  4, 
2001

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

1.        In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
  monetary forfeiture  in the  amount of  eight thousand  dollars 
  ($8,000)  to American  InfoAge, LLC  (``InfoAge'') for  willful 
  violation  of  Section  17.51(b)  of  the  Commission's   Rules 
  (``Rules'')  relating   to  the   lighting  of   communications 
  towers.1   The noted  violation involves  InfoAge's failure  to 
  exhibit the  required obstruction lighting  on its  Clearwater, 
  Florida antenna structure.

2.        On April  25,  2001, the  Commission's  Tampa,  Florida 
  Field Office  (``Tampa Office'')  issued a  Notice of  Apparent 
  Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to InfoAge for a  forfeiture 
  in  the amount  of ten  thousand dollars  ($10,000).2   InfoAge 
  filed a response to the NAL on June 25, 2001.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        On February  15, 2001,  the Commission's  Tampa  Office 
  received  a  complaint   regarding  an  antenna  structure   in 
  Clearwater, Florida.   The complainant alleged  that the  white 
  strobe light at the  top of the antenna structure had been  out 
  for over a month.   The same day, agents from the Tampa  Office 
  drove  to  the  antenna  structure  site  to  investigate   the 
  allegation.   The agents  observed that  there were  no  lights 
  illuminated  on  the antenna  structure.   The  agents  further 
  observed  that  the antenna  structure  registration  (``ASR'') 
  number  was  not posted  either  on  the base  of  the  antenna 
  structure or  on the fence  surrounding the antenna  structure.  
  While there was a sign on the fence with a space indicated  for 
  the ASR number, the number was not posted on the sign.  

4.        On February  15,  2001, following  the  inspection,  an 
  agent from the  Tampa Office checked with the Federal  Aviation 
  Administration's  (``FAA'')   St.  Petersburg  Flight   Service 
  Station (``St. Petersburg  FSS'') and confirmed that there  was 
  no Notice to  Airmen (``NOTAM'')3 in effect for the  Clearwater 
  tower.  The  agent then  contacted InfoAge and  spoke with  its 
  Chief  Operating Officer,  Jim Bondurant.   Mr. Bondurant  told 
  the agent  that, due  to a switching  malfunction, the  tower's 
  blinking red (nighttime) light was not automatically coming  on 
  until it was very dark outside, leaving the white strobe  light 
  used for daytime  lighting on longer than intended.  He  stated 
  that  the  white  strobe light  had  been  turned  off  because 
  InfoAge had  received complaints about  the white strobe  light 
  blinding  nighttime traffic  on a  nearby highway.   The  agent 
  advised Mr.  Bondurant to  contact the St.  Petersburg FSS  and 
  get a NOTAM issued for the tower.  The agent also informed  Mr. 
  Bondurant that the ASR number was not posted at the site.   Mr. 
  Bondurant  provided the  ASR number  and stated  that he  would 
  have it posted at the site as soon as possible.

5.        On April 25, 2001, the Tampa Office issued an NAL for a 
  forfeiture in the amount  of $10,000 to InfoAge for failing  to 
  exhibit the required  medium intensity obstruction lighting  on 
  the  Clearwater  antenna  structure  in  willful  violation  of 
  Section 17.51(b)  of the  Rules.  InfoAge filed  a response  to 
  the NAL  on June 25, 2001.   In this response, InfoAge  asserts 
  that a  $10,000 forfeiture  is unwarranted because  it did  not 
  willfully  violate the  rules and  that the  violation in  this 
  case,  if any,  was  minor.   First, InfoAge  argues  that  the 
  statement in the NAL  that ``no lights were illuminated on  the 
  tower  structure''  is  incorrect.   Instead,  InfoAge  asserts 
  that, due  to the switching malfunction,  there was a  blinking 
  red light on the  tower, rather than a white strobe light.   In 
  addition,  InfoAge   claims  that   it  never   ``intentionally 
  disconnected'' the  white strobe light on  the tower as  stated 
  in the NAL.  Rather,  InfoAge states it simply complied with  a 
  request by the City  of Clearwater to switch the lighting  from 
  the  daytime mode  to the  nighttime mode  until the  switching 
  malfunction could  be repaired so that  the white strobe  light 
  would  not  create a  traffic  hazard  for  nighttime  drivers.  
  InfoAge  also asserts  that  area residents  have  been  openly 
  hostile towards  the construction  and operation  of the  tower 
  and that the  switching malfunction was probably the result  of 
  vandalism.   Moreover,  InfoAge  states  that  it   immediately 
  called the  St. Petersburg FSS  to get a  NOTAM issued for  the 
  tower after being contacted by the FCC, that it acted  promptly 
  to  repair  the  switching malfunction,  and  that  it  has  no 
  history  of prior  violations.  Finally,  InfoAge disputes  the 
  statement in the NAL that the ASR number was not posted at  the 
  tower site.   According to  InfoAge, the number  was posted  at 
  the base of the  tower, but the agent's view of the number  may 
  have been  obstructed by tenant  cabling.  InfoAge also  claims 
  that  there was a  sign on  the fence  with space  for the  ASR 
  number,  but  the  number  had  been  printed  incorrectly  and 
  InfoAge was  waiting for a  replacement number at  the time  of 
  the inspection.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

6.        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  InfoAge'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

7.        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.   InfoAge  asserts  that  it  did  not 
  willfully  violate  Section 17.51(b).   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).   InfoAge  willfully  violated  Section  17.51(b) 
  because it consciously  and deliberately switched the  lighting 
  from  the daytime  mode (white  strobe) to  the nighttime  mode 
  (blinking  red)  at  a  time  when  the  daytime  lighting  was 
  required to be on.

8.        InfoAge argues that the statement in the NAL that  ``no 
  lights were illuminated  on the tower structure'' is  incorrect 
  because  a blinking  red  light  was operating  on  the  tower.  
  However,  at  the  time  of  the  inspection,  the  FCC  agents 
  observed  no  lights, either  blinking  red  or  white  strobe, 
  illuminated on  the tower.   In any event,  even assuming  that 
  there was a blinking red light operating on the tower,  InfoAge 
  was  still in  violation of  Section 17.51(b),  which  requires 
  operation  of the  tower's white  strobe light  during  daytime 
  hours.    Moreover,   it   is   immaterial   whether    InfoAge 
  ``intentionally  disconnected''  the  white  strobe  light   or 
  simply switched the tower's lighting from daytime to  nighttime 
  mode.  It is undisputed that at the time of the inspection  the 
  tower's  daytime lighting  was  not operating  as  required  by 
  Section  17.51(b).  Further,  while  InfoAge asserts  that  the 
  switching  malfunction was  probably  the result  of  vandalism 
  from  area residents,  the fact  remains that  InfoAge did  not 
  properly light the tower  based on its decision to switch to  a 
  blinking red light instead of the required white strobe.  

9.        We also  disagree  with InfoAge's  assertion  that  the 
  violation in  this case  was minor.   The Commission  considers 
  tower lighting violations to be very serious due to the  danger 
  posed to  aircraft.  We  note, in this  regard, that  InfoAge's 
  tower is  located approximately two  miles from the  Clearwater 
  Airpark.   The FAA  has  determined that  the  use of  a  white 
  strobe light  on the tower  during the daytime  is the  minimum 
  lighting that  will produce  an acceptable level  of safety  to 
  air  navigation.   The  use of  a  red  blinking  light  during 
  daytime hours  greatly reduces the  tower's visibility and  may 
  impair  aviation safety.   Thus, InfoAge's  violation caused  a 
  risk to safety.  Additionally, we note that InfoAge's  remedial 
  actions to correct the violation, while commendable, are not  a 
  mitigating factor.  See Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258,  259 
  (1973).  However,  after considering InfoAge's overall  history 
  of compliance with the Commission's rules, we conclude that  it 
  is  appropriate  to  reduce  the  forfeiture  from  $10,000  to 
  $8,000.

10.       Finally, although  InfoAge's failure  to post  the  ASR 
  number was not a basis for the forfeiture proposed in the  NAL, 
  we note  that photographs taken at  the time of the  inspection 
  clearly show that the  ASR number was not posted either on  the 
  base  of  the tower  or  on  the sign  attached  to  the  fence 
  surrounding the tower.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

11.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  503(b) of  the Act,8 and Sections  0.111, 0.311 and  1.80(f)(4) 
  of the Rules,9 American InfoAge, LLC, IS LIABLE FOR A  MONETARY 
  FORFEITURE in  the amount  of eight  thousand dollars  ($8,000) 
  for willful violation of Section 17.51(b) of the Rules.

12.       Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
  provided for  in Section 1.80  of the Rules  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.10  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,  Revenue and Receivables Operations Group,  445 
  12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.11

13.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  American 
  InfoAge,  LLC,  2727  Ulmerton  Road,  Suite  230,   Clearwater 
  Florida 33762, Attn: Jim Bondurant, and to its counsel,  Darryl 
  R.  Richards, Esq.,  Johnson, Blakely,  Pope, Bokor,  Ruppel  & 
  Burns, P.A., P.O. Box 1100, Tampa, Florida 33601.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

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

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200132700007 (Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, released April 25, 2001). 

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

  9 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  10 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  11 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.