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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
South Central Communications Corp.   )  File No. EB-02-AT-232
                                )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232480008
Owner of Antenna Structure Registration )    FRN 0002-9009-26
No. 1043695 at Sevierville, Tennessee)
                                )
Knoxville, Tennessee            )    
                                   

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  January 17, 2003              Released:   January   22, 
2003

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  South Central  Communications  Corp.  (``SCCC''), 
  owner   of  an   antenna  structure   with  Antenna   Structure 
  Registration   (``ASR'')   number   1043695   in   Sevierville, 
  Tennessee,  for willful  and  repeated violations  of  Sections 
  17.47(a)(2), 17.48(a),  and 17.51 of  the Commission's  Rules.1  
  The  noted violations  involve SCCC's  failure to  maintain  an 
  automatic alarm  system designed to detect  any failure of  its 
  antenna  structure  lights and  provide  notification  of  such 
  failure to the  structure owner, failure to notify the  Federal 
  Aviation   Administration    (``FAA'')   immediately   of    an 
  obstruction  lighting  outage on  its  antenna  structure,  and 
  failure to  exhibit the  required obstruction  lighting on  its 
  antenna structure.  

2.        On June  25, 2002,  the Commission's  Atlanta,  Georgia 
  Field Office (``Atlanta  Office'') issued a Notice of  Apparent 
  Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to SCCC for a forfeiture  in 
  the amount  of ten thousand dollars  ($10,000).2  SCCC filed  a 
  response to the NAL on July 19, 2002.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        On May  15,  2002, an  agent  from the  Atlanta  Office 
  inspected  SCCC's antenna  structure,  ASR number  1043695,  in 
  Sevierville, Tennessee,  during daytime hours  and after  local 
  sunset.  The  agent observed that  the structure was  unpainted 
  and  that  there  was no  white  obstruction  lighting  or  red 
  obstruction lighting  in operation on  the structure.  The  ASR 
  for the structure indicated that the structure was required  to 
  be painted  in aviation orange and  white and lighted with  red 
  obstruction lighting between sunset and sunrise.  

4.        On  May  16,  2002,  the  agent  again  inspected   the 
  structure during  the daytime  and observed that  there was  no 
  white obstruction lighting in operation on the structure.   The 
  agent also contacted  the local FAA Flight Service Station  and 
  determined that there  was no Notice to Airmen (``NOTAM'')3  in 
  effect for this structure.  

5.          On May  21, 2002,  the agent  contacted SCCC's  chief 
  engineer, Bob Glenn, and  advised him that the lighting on  the 
  structure was  not functioning and that  the structure was  not 
  painted and lighted as specified in the ASR.  Mr. Glenn  stated 
  that the structure  had been purchased unpainted from a  former 
  owner,   and  that   SCCC   had  installed   medium   intensity 
  obstruction lighting on  the structure to operate 24 hours  per 
  day.  Mr.  Glenn also stated that  the structure's lighting  is 
  monitored  by an  automatic alarm  system, which  can detect  a 
  power failure  to the lights,  but cannot detect  a light  bulb 
  failure.   Mr. Glenn  stated that  SCCC was  therefore  unaware 
  that  the lighting  on the  structure had  failed and  had  not 
  contacted the FAA to report the lighting outage.

6.        On June 25, 2002, the  Atlanta Office issued an NAL  to 
  SCCC for a forfeiture  in the amount of $10,000 for failure  to 
  maintain  an automatic  alarm  system designed  to  detect  any 
  failure  of   its  antenna  structure   lighting  and   provide 
  notification  of such  failure  to  the owner  in  willful  and 
  repeated  violation  of  Section  17.47(a)(2)  of  the   Rules, 
  failure  to  notify  the  FAA  immediately  of  an  obstruction 
  lighting  outage  on  its  antenna  structure  in  willful  and 
  repeated  violation  of Section  17.48(a)  of  the  Rules,  and 
  failure to  exhibit the  required obstruction  lighting on  its 
  antenna structure in willful and repeated violation of  Section 
  17.51  of  the  Rules.4  In  its  response  to  the  NAL,  SCCC 
  acknowledges that  it was in  violation of these  rules on  the 
  dates specified in  the NAL and that the circumstances  warrant 
  imposition of a  forfeiture.  However, SCCC requests  reduction 
  of the  $10,000 forfeiture  proposed in  the NAL  based on  its 
  past history  of compliance  with the  Commission's rules.   In 
  this regard,  SCCC states that it has  been the licensee of  30 
  broadcast  facilities  over  the  past  50  years  and  has  an 
  unblemished  history   of  compliance  with  the   Commission's 
  technical  requirements,  including those  related  to  towers, 
  during this period.  SCCC also notes that when it acquired  the 
  tower  in 1987,  the  tower did  not  appear to  be  adequately 
  painted or  lighted.  SCCC asserts  that it immediately  sought 
  authority from the FAA to install medium intensity  obstruction 
  lighting on  the tower and that  the FAA subsequently  notified 
  the FCC  that it had no objection  to the use of such  lighting 
  on the  tower.  In support of  this assertion, SCCC provides  a 
  copy  of a  1987 letter  from the  FAA, which  states in  part:  
  ``By  copy  of  this  letter,  we  are  informing  the  Federal 
  Communications Commission that we have no objection to the  use 
  of  a medium  intensity white  obstruction lighting  system  on 
  this structure ....''   Finally, SCCC notes that upon  learning 
  of the lighting outage  from the FCC agent on May 21, 2002,  it 
  immediately notified  the FAA of the  outage and then  promptly 
  installed a  new fail-safe  strobe ``flash  head'' and  related 
  failure detector  which will afford  automatic notification  in 
  the event of a bulb failure as well as a basic power failure.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

7.        The forfeiture  amount in  this  case was  assessed  in 
  accordance with  Section 503(b)  of the  Communications Act  of 
  1934, as amended,  (``Act''),5 Section 1.80 of the Rules,6  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).   In examining SCCC'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.7

8.        Section  17.47(a)(2)  of  the  Rules  requires  antenna 
  structure owners to provide and properly maintain an  automatic 
  alarm system  designed to  detect any lighting  failure and  to 
  provide notification  of such failure  to the owner.8   Section 
  17.48(a)  of the  Rules requires  antenna structure  owners  to 
  notify the FAA  immediately of any obstruction light outage  if 
  the  outage cannot  be corrected  within 30  minutes.   Section 
  17.51  of  the  Rules  requires  antenna  structure  owners  to 
  exhibit the prescribed obstruction lighting.  SCCC admits  that 
  it was  in violation of these rules  on the dates specified  in 
  the NAL.   Accordingly, we  conclude that  SCCC willfully9  and 
  repeatedly10 violated Sections 17.47(a)(2), 17.48(a) and  17.51 
  of the Rules.

9.        SCCC notes that when it acquired the tower in 1987,  it 
  requested and received approval from the FAA to install  medium 
  intensity  obstruction  lighting   on  the  tower.   While   we 
  acknowledge that the  FAA notified the Commission in 1987  that 
  it  had no  objection  to the  use  of medium  intensity  white 
  obstruction lighting  on SCCC's tower in  lieu of painting  and 
  red  obstruction lighting,  this  fact does  not  mitigate  the 
  forfeiture proposed  in the  NAL because  the medium  intensity 
  white obstruction  lighting installed on  SCCC's tower was  not 
  functioning  on  the  dates  of  inspection.11   Further,   the 
  corrective actions taken by SCCC upon learning of the  lighting 
  outage  from  the FCC  do  not  justify any  reduction  of  the 
  forfeiture.  The  Commission has stated  that remedial  actions 
  taken  to  correct  a  violation  are  not  mitigating  factors 
  warranting  reduction   of  a  forfeiture.12   However,   after 
  considering SCCC's history of compliance with the  Commission's 
  rules, we  conclude that reduction  of the forfeiture  proposed 
  in the NAL from $10,000 to $8,000 is appropriate.  

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

10.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  503 of  the Act, and  Sections 0.111, 0.311  and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
  the Rules,13 South  Central Communications Corp. IS LIABLE  FOR 
  A MONETARY FORFEITURE  in the amount of eight thousand  dollars 
  ($8,000)  for  willful  and  repeated  violations  of  Sections 
  17.47(a)(2), 17.48(a) and 17.51 of the Rules.

11.       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.14  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 reference  NAL/Acct. No.  200232480008 and  FRN 
  0002-9009-26.  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. 
  20554.15

12.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by first  class mail and certified mail return  receipt 
  requested to  South Central Communications  Corp., 1100  Sharps 
  Ridge Road,  Knoxville, Tennessee  37917, and  to its  counsel, 
  Edward S.  O'Neill, Esq., Fletcher,  Heald & Hildreth,  P.L.C., 
  11th Floor, 1300 North 17th Street, Arlington, Virginia  22209-
  3801.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 C.F.R.  17.47(a)(2), 17.48(a) and 17.51.  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232480008 (Enf. Bur., Atlanta Office, released June 25, 2002).

  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  The  Atlanta Office  also  found  that SCCC  had  failed  to 
conform to the painting and lighting specifications contained  in 
the FAA Advisory  Circular specified  in its ASR  in willful  and 
repeated violation of  Section 17.23  of the Rules,  47 C.F.R.   
17.23.  We note, however, that Section 17.23 applies only to  new 
and altered antenna structures registered on or after January  1, 
1996, not  to existing  structures authorized  prior to  July  1, 
1996.  See 47 C.F.R.  17.17(a).  The antenna structure at  issue 
here was an existing structure authorized prior to July 1,  1996, 
and  therefore  is  not   covered  under  Section  17.23.    This 
inadvertent error does not affect  the forfeiture amount in  this 
case because the NAL did not propose a separate forfeiture amount 
for violation of Section 17.23.  The $10,000 forfeiture  proposed 
in the NAL  is the base  forfeiture amount for  a tower  lighting 
violation.  See 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4), Note to Paragraph (b)(4):  
Section I.-Base Amounts for Section 503 Forfeitures.

  5 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  6 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  7 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  8 As an  alternative to maintaining an automatic alarm  system, 
a tower owner  may make  an observation  of the  tower lights  at 
least once  every 24  hours either  visually or  by observing  an 
automatic properly maintained indicator designed to register  any 
failure of such lights.  47 C.F.R.  17.47(a)(1).  SCCC does  not 
allege that it observed the tower lights visually or by observing 
an automatic indicator at least once every 24 hours.

  9 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,' 
... means the conscious and 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  authorized 
by this Act ....''  See  Southern California Broadcasting Co.,  6 
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).

  10  Section 312(f)(2)  of the  Act provides  that ``[t]he  term 
`repeated,' ... means the commission or omission of such act more 
than once or, if such  commission or omission is continuous,  for 
more than one day.''  47 U.S.C.  312(f)(2).

  11 As  explained in  note 4  supra, the  NAL incorrectly  cited 
SCCC for willful and repeated  violation of Section 17.23 of  the 
Rules for  failure  to  conform  to  the  painting  and  lighting 
specifications contained in the  FAA Advisory Circular  specified 
in its ASR.  However, this inadvertent error does not affect  the 
forfeiture amount  because the  NAL did  not propose  a  separate 
forfeiture  for  violation   of  Section   17.23.   The   $10,000 
forfeiture proposed in the NAL is the base forfeiture amount  for 
a tower lighting violation.  See 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4), Note  to 
Paragraph  (b)(4):   Section  I.-Base  Amounts  for  Section  503 
Forfeitures.

  12 See Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).

  13 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  14 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  15 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.