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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Signal One, LLC ) File No. EB-02-AT-321
Owner of Antenna Structure # 1216312 in ) NAL/Acct. No.
Madisonville, Tennessee )
Chattanooga, Tennessee ) FRN 0005-8247-27
Adopted: December 17, 2003 Released: December 18,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000) to Signal One, LLC (``Signal'') for
willful violation of Section 17.51(b) of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 The violation involves
Signal's failure to continuously exhibit all medium
intensity obstruction lighting on its tower during
2. On September 30, 2002, the Commission's Atlanta,
Georgia Field Office (``Atlanta Office'') issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to
Signal for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000).2 Signal filed its response to the
NAL on October 15, 2002.
3. Antenna structure #1216312 is located near
Madisonville, Tennessee and is registered to Signal.
The registration includes a requirement to maintain a
dual lighting system that includes medium intensity
obstruction lighting during daylight operation. At 9:45
a.m. on July 29, 2002, an agent from the Atlanta Office
inspected antenna structure #1216312. During that
inspection, and at a subsequent inspection at 1:30 p.m.
on July 30, 2002, the agent observed that the tower's
medium intensity obstruction lighting was not in
operation. The tower was observed during a period of
approximately 30 minutes each day. On each day the
agent observed, from a position one-half mile away up
and continuing to the tower base, from both the
southwest and northwest directions, that there was no
lighting. The agent contacted the FAA Flight Service
Station in Nashville, TN on July 30, 2002, and found
that the FAA had not been notified of the outage. At
approximately 2:00 p.m. on July 30, 2002 the agent
telephoned the contact person for Signal One, who stated
that she would check the outage. The contact person
subsequently contacted the agent. According to Signal,
the contact person reported that a manual poll of the
lighting alarm system had failed and an outage report
was being made to the FAA on July 30, 2002.
4. On September 30, 2002, the Atlanta Office issued a NAL
to Signal for the violations observed on July 29 and 30,
2002. Signal replied to the NAL on October 15, 2002,
and included statements from Flash Technology, Inc., the
company that polls Signal's towers for the status of the
lights, and Lit Systems, Inc., the company that
maintains and repairs Signal's tower lights. Signal
requests that the NAL be cancelled. In support thereof,
it states that after it was contacted on July 30, 2002,
and informed that there was an outage at the
Madisonville tower, it then called Flash Technology at
3:57 p.m. requesting that it check the status of the
lights.3 Flash Technology informed Signal that the
tower site answered the polling call, but ``would not
connect.''4 Signal claims that through Flash Technology
it notified the FAA of the outage, and that by doing so
it complied with the Commission's rules.5 Signal
states that after contacting Flash Technology, it
contacted Lit Systems. A Lit Systems representative who
went to the tower site at 6:00 p.m. on July 30 reported
to Signal that the lights were functioning properly and
that there were no alarms indicating a previous light
failure. Signal also submits photographs showing a
second tower located 1/8 of a mile from its tower
#1216312, and suggests that the agent could have
observed the wrong tower. Lastly, Signal states that
none of its towers had ever been cited for any
violations of Commission rules.
6. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),6 Section 1.80 of the Rules,7
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 Signal'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.8
7. Section 17.51(b) of the Rules requires that all medium
intensity obstruction lighting be exhibited continuously unless
otherwise specified. On the basis of the FCC agent's observations
during his investigation, we find that Signal willfully violated
Section 17.51(b) of the Rules. The dispositive fact is that on
July 29 and 30, 2002, the lighting had failed. We give no
credence to Signal's assertion that the agent may have confused
Signal's tower with a second tower 1/8 mile away. The agent's
observations of the tower were made continuously from two
directions and starting at one-half mile from the tower. We note
also that Signal has provided no evidence whatsoever of any
lighting outage at the second tower. Accordingly, we find that
Signal violated Section 17.51(b) of the Rules by willfully
failing to exhibit medium intensity obstruction lighting on its
5. Section 503(b) of the Act gives the Commission
authority to assess a forfeiture penalty against any
person if the Commission determines that the person has
``willfully or repeatedly'' failed to comply with the
provisions of the Act or with any rule, regulation or
order issued by the Commission. In light of our
determination that Signal's violation was willful, it is
not necessary to determine whether it was also repeated.
6. We have examined Signal'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 Signal willfully violated
Section 17.51(b) of the Rules. However, Signal's
assertion is correct that it has no previous citations,
and as a result we reduce the forfeiture amount to
$8,000 based on its history of overall compliance.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,10 Signal IS LIABLE FOR A
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000) for failure to light the captioned
antenna structure, in willful violation of Section
17.51(b) of the Rules.
8. 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.11 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. 200232480029 and FRN 0005-8247-
27. Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Group,
445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.12
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Signal One, LLC, 5751 Uptain Road,
Chattanooga, TN 37411-5674.
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.
200232480029 (Enf. Bur., Atlanta Office, released September 30,
3 ``Trouble Ticket History'' for ``ASR #1216312'', by Flash
Technology, submitted with Signal's reply to the NAL.
4 Statement by Signal in response to the NAL.
5 Signal's statement is provided to demonstrate its compliance
with Section 17.48 of the Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 17.48. That rule
requires a report to the FAA of certain lighting outages if the
outage is not corrected within 30 minutes. However, Signal's
compliance with that rule is not before us as Signal was not
cited for a violation of Section 17.48 of the Rules.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
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 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
11 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
12 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.