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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Small Town Communications Partners I LP )    File Number EB-02-
AT-380                          
Operator of Cable Television System in  )    NAL/Acct. No. 
200332480013
Cornersville, Tennessee         )   FRN:  0000-0131-51
Nashville, Tennessee            )

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  June 21, 2004                 Released:  June 23, 2004 

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.   In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
monetary forfeiture in  the amount of  six thousand four  hundred 
dollars ($6,400)  to  Small  Town Communications  Partners  I  LP 
(``STC''),  the   operator   of  Cable   Television   System   in 
Cornersville,  Tennessee  for   willful  violation  of   Sections 
76.605(a)(12)  and   76.611(a)(1)  of   the  Commission's   Rules 
(``Rules'')1 related to cable television signal leakage.   

     2.   On December 6, 2002, the Commission's Atlanta,  Georgia 
Field Office (``Atlanta Office'')  released a Notice of  Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to STC in the amount of  eight 
thousand dollars ($8,000) for  willful and repeated violation  of 
Sections 76.605(a)(12)  of the  Rules  and willful  violation  of 
Section 76.611(a)(1)  of the  Rules.2  STC  filed a  response  on 
January 6, 2003.

     3.    In  its  response  to  the NAL,  STC  denies  that  it 
willfully and repeatedly  violated Section  76.605(a)(12) of  the 
Rules and that it willfully violated Section 76.611(a)(1) of  the 
Rules.  STC also  seeks rescission of  the forfeiture based  upon 
``multiple mitigating factors.''  These  factors are the  limited 
extent of the leakage  and the immediate  correction by STC,  the 
fact  that  the  leakage  was  caused  by  wild  animals,   STC's 
contention that it has been  punished enough because of  customer 
loss resulting from  the cable system  leakage, STC's  ``spotless 
compliance record'' and, STC's claim that payment of the proposed 
forfeiture would result  in ``substantial  financial hardship  on 
the company.'' 

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     4.   On October  30, 2002,  an FCC  agent from  the  Atlanta 
Office conducted a cable television signal leakage inspection  of 
STC's cable system located in Cornersville, Tennessee.  The agent 
found that,  at  seven locations,  cable  signal leakage  on  the 
frequency 121.2625 MHz significantly  exceeded 20 microvolts  per 
meter at a distance of at  least three meters from each  leakage, 
in violation of Section 76.605(a)(12) of the Rules. The  measured 
leaks ranged  from  255  V/m  to 2080  V/m.  Based  upon  these 
measurements,  the  agent  calculated  the  system's   cumulative 
leakage index (``CLI'') at a value of 68.7, exceeding the allowed 
cumulative  signal  leakage  performance   criteria  of  64,   in 
violation of Section 76.611(a)(1) of the Rules.  

                        III.  DISCUSSION

     5.   The  proposed  forfeiture  amount  in  this  case   was 
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the  Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended  (``Act''),3 Section 1.80 of the  Rules,4 
and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of 
Section  1.80  of  the   Rules  to  Incorporate  the   Forfeiture 
Guidelines.5 In examining STC'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 such  other matters  as 
justice may require.6  

     6.   STC  argues   that  the   cable  system   leakage   was 
``extremely  limited''  and  immediately  corrected,  and,  thus, 
rescission of the proposed forfeiture is warranted.   STC  claims 
that ``the case involved a  single leakage incident in two  small 
areas of a single small cable system.''  However, the  Commission 
agent found  cable  signal  leakage  at  seven  locations,  which 
cumulatively  exceeds  the  allowed  cumulative  signal   leakage 
performance criteria.   Additionally,  STC's  immediate  remedial 
actions  to   correct  the   leakage  problem     subsequent   to 
notification of the  violation do not  warrant rescission of  the 
forfeiture.7  It  is well  established that  ``corrective  action 
taken to come into compliance with Commission rules or policy  is 
expected, and does not nullify or mitigate any prior  forfeitures 
or violations.''8

     7.   STC contends  that  it  has no  culpability  for  cable 
system leakage caused by  wild animals. Assuming, arguendo,  that 
STC's contention that the  leaks were caused  by wild animals  is 
correct, it  does not  mitigate STC's  violations in  this  case.  
Cable operators are  required to  monitor for  and repair  signal 
leaks9 regardless of  their cause  to ensure  that their  systems 
comply with our  cable leakage standards  which serve a  critical 
public safety  purpose.10   There is  no  evidence that  STC  had 
monitored these sites shortly before the FCC inspection and found 
no leaks present.

     8.   STC argues that it has been punished enough as a result 
of  customer  loss  resulting  from  the  cable  system  leakage.  
Additionally,  to  support  its  financial  hardship  claim,  STC 
submits Income Statements for the  year 2001 and  the first  half 
of 2002.  STC contends that these statements reflect  significant 
losses.  The  Commission  has  determined  that,  in  general,  a 
licensee's gross revenues are the  best indicator of its  ability 
to pay a forfeiture.11  Based upon the information provided,  STC 
has failed to demonstrate inability to pay the forfeiture. 12

     9.   STC argues that it ``did not willfully13 or  repeatedly 
violate Commission regulations.''14  STC cites two cases, In  the 
Matter of Sam Bushman, Licensee, Station  KNAK(AM)15(``Bushman'') 
and Vernon Broadcasting,  Inc.16 (``Vernon'') in  support of  its 
position.   However, these  cases are inapposite.   In Vernon,  a 
proposed forfeiture for  inadequate fencing  was cancelled  where 
the licensee submitted  evidence that its  fencing was  monitored 
regularly and  had  been inspected  to  be found  secure  shortly 
before the FCC's inspection.  Here, although STC claims it had  a 
monitoring program, it failed to demonstrate that it had  checked 
the sites found to exceed  the leakage limits shortly before  the 
FCC inspection and determined that  there were no leaks  present.  
As to Bushman, STC has failed to set forth any facts in that case 
which illustrate how it is  relevant to this proceeding.  In  the 
instant case, the licensee has  failed to exercise due  diligence 
in having an  effective cable system  leakage monitoring  system, 
resulting in  willful  violation of  Sections  76.605(a)(12)  and 
76.61(a)(1) of the Commission's Rules.17  

     10.    Considering the entire record and the factors  listed 
above, we  find  that reduction  of  the proposed  forfeiture  is 
warranted because  of  the  compliance record  of  STC  with  the 
Commission's  Rules.   Accordingly,  the  forfeiture  amount   is 
reduced from eight thousand dollars ($8,000) to six thousand four 
hundred dollars ($6,400).   

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     11.  Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED THAT,  pursuant to  Section 
503(b) of the Act18, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
the Commission's Rules19,  Small Town  Communications Partners  I 
LP, IS LIABLE  FOR A  MONETARY FORFEITURE  in the  amount of  six 
thousand four hundred dollars ($6,400) for its willful  violation 
of Sections 76.605(a)(12) and 76.611(a)(1) of the Rules.

     12.  Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
provided for in Section 1.80  of the Commission's Rules20  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.21   Payment may be  made by credit  card through  the 
Commission's Credit and Debt Management Center at (202)  418-1995 
or 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. 
200332480013, and FRN:  0000-0131-51 referenced above.   Requests 
for full payment  under an  installment plan should  be sent  to: 
Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,  S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20554.22

 
 
     13.       IT  IS  FURTHER  ORDERED  that  a  copy  of   this 
Forfeiture Order shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail, 
Return Receipt Requested, to Small Town Communications Partners I 
LP, 225 Highland Villa Circle,  Nashville, Tennessee 37211 and  a 
copy to its  counsel, George  D. Callard,  Cinnamon Mueller,  307 
North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1020, Chicago, Illinois  60601.


                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

     
          
                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

     1 47 C.F.R.   76.605(a)(12), 76.611(a)(1).

     2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 
200332480013 (Enf. Bur., Atlanta Office, released December 6, 
2002).

     3 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

     4 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

     5 12 FCC Rcd  17087 (1997),  recon. denied,  15 FCC Rcd  303 
(1999).  

     6 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

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

8               Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 
(1994); see also Radio Station KGVL, Inc., at id., and Executive 
Broadcasting Corp., 3 FCC Rcd 699, 700 (1968). 

     9  See 47 C.F.R.   76.613(b), 76.614.  

     10 See Callais Cablevision, Inc.,17 FCC Rcd 24808 (2002). 

     11 See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 
     2089 (1992). 

     12 Id. at  2089 (forfeiture  not deemed  excessive where  it 
represented approximately 2.02  percent of  the violator's  gross 
revenues); Hoosier  Broadcasting Corporation,  15 FCC  Rcd  8640, 
8641 (Enf. Bur. 2002) (forfeiture  not deemed excessive where  it 
represented approximately  7.6 percent  of the  violator's  gross 
revenues); Afton Communications Corp., 7 FCC Rcd 6741 (Com.  Car. 
Bur. 1992) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it  represented 
approximately 3.9 percent of the violator's gross revenues).  

     13 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).

14               Although the NAL refers to ``repeated'' 
violations of Section 76.605(a)(12) of the Rules, we decline to  
address it in light of our finding that the violation was 
willful.   However, we note that the investigative report 
reflects that violations of the leakage requirements were found 
on two consecutive days, October 29  and 30, 2002.

15               Memorandum Opinion & Order, 17 FCC Rcd 24808 
(Enf. Bur. 2002); Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 14560 (Enf. Bur. 
2002).  

     16  60 RR 2d 1275 (1986). 

     17  See Valley Cable TV, 18 FCC Rcd 22277 (2003).

     18 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

     19 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

     20 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

     21 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

     22 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.