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


In the matter of                 )
                                )    File No. EB-02-BF-338
North Country Repeaters          )
Owner of Antenna Structure #     )    NAL/Acct. No. 200332280008
1009975                          )
On Rand Hill                     )    FRN:  0004-1349-61
Beekmantown, New York


                        FORFEITURE  ORDER


   Adopted:  November 9, 2004           Released:  November 12, 
2004


By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:


I.   INTRODUCTION 

     1.        In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a 
monetary forfeiture in the amount of two thousand dollars 
($2,000) to North Country Repeaters (``North Country''), the 
owner of Antenna Structure Registration (``ASR'') No. 1009975, 
for willful and repeated violation of Sections 17.4(g) and 17.50 
of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1  The noted violations 
involve North Country's failure to display the ASR number at the 
base of the tower and failure to maintain the required painting 
to ensure good visibility of the tower.

     2.        On March 4, 2003, the Commission's Buffalo, New 
York Office (``Buffalo Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to North Country for a 
forfeiture in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).2  
North Country filed a response to the NAL on April 7, 2003.

II.  BACKGROUND

     3.        On August 28, 2002, an agent from the Buffalo 
Office inspected the antenna structure on Rand Hill, in 
Beekmantown, New York.  The agent found that the tower's paint 
was chipped and faded, that no ASR number was posted, and that 
the measured coordinates of the tower did not match the 
coordinates of any registered with the Commission.  On September 
9, 2002, the Buffalo Office issued a Notice of Violation 
(``NOV'') citing violations of Sections 17.4(a),3 17.4(g), and 
17.50 of the Rules.  North Country responded on September 18, 
2002, stating that steps had been taken to correct each of the 
violations.  The tower had been repainted, the ASR number was 
posted at the base of the tower, and correction of the tower's 
coordinates with the FAA and Commission was in process.4

     4.        On March 12, 2003, the Buffalo Office issued the 
subject NAL to North Country for fifteen thousand dollars 
($15,000) for apparent willful and repeated violation of 
Sections 17.4(a), 17.4(g), and 17.50 of the Rules.  North 
Country responded to the NAL on April 7, 2003.   North Country 
argues that its violation of the Rules was not willful.  With 
regard to the alleged violation of Section 17.4(a) of the Rules, 
North Country stated that the tower's original coordinates, 
dating from the 1980's, were calculated with a topographical map 
prior to the availability of handheld GPS devices.  When North 
Country filed its proposed construction application with the FAA 
to increase the height of the tower in April 1992, it used those 
original coordinates.  When the Commission began requiring tower 
registration applications, North Country filed the required 
documentation, again using the original coordinates.   

     5.        North Country also argues that it painted the 
tower as required when it was initially constructed and 
registered with the FAA.  It does not comment on its failure to 
post the registration number.

III.      DISCUSSION

     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''),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) (``Policy Statement'').  In examining North Country'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.7

     7.       Section 17.4(a) of the Rules requires that the 
owner of any proposed or existing antenna structure that 
requires notice of proposed construction to the FAA must 
register the structure with the Commission and, among other 
things, include the coordinates of the tower.   North Country 
duly registered its tower, ASR No. 1009975, as required by 
Section 17.4(a)(2) of the Rules.8   It is undisputed, however, 
the coordinates registered by North Country for its tower were 
approximately two-tenths of a mile away from the actual tower 
location.9      

     8.        It is well established that a mistake resulting in 
a rule violation is considered a willful violation.10   In this 
case, however, given the circumstances, we hereby cancel the 
portion of the proposed forfeiture pertaining to violation of 
Section 17.4(a) of the Rules, in the amount of three thousand 
dollars ($3000). 

     9.        Section 17.4(g) of the rules requires the ASR 
number to be displayed in a conspicuous place so as to be 
readily visible near the base of the antenna structure.  The 
Buffalo Office agent found that the tower did not have this 
identification and North Country does not dispute that the ASR 
number was not so posted.   Accordingly, we find that North 
Country willfully11 and repeatedly12 violated Section 17.4(g) of 
the Rules.

     10.       Section 17.50 of the Rules requires that antenna 
structures be cleaned and repainted as often as necessary to 
maintain good visibility.   North Country states that it painted 
the tower as required when it was initially constructed.  At the 
time of inspection, the Buffalo Office agent found that the 
paint on North Country's antenna structure was badly chipped and 
faded.   Section 17.6(a) of the Rules explicitly states that the 
antenna structure owner is responsible for maintaining the 
painting and lighting required by the rules.13  Moreover, 
licensees are expected to know and comply with the Commission's 
rules.14  Thus, North Country, as the antenna structure owner, 
was responsible for knowing whether the tower was properly 
painted in compliance with Section 17.50.15   The Commission has 
consistently held that there is a significant public safety 
concern with regard to antenna structure registration 
requirements, including painting to maintain the tower's 
visibility to aircraft.16    Moreover, remedial action taken to 
correct the violations, while commendable, is not a mitigating 
factor.17  Accordingly, we find that North Country willfully and 
repeatedly violated Section 17.50 of the Rules. 

     11.       North Country requests cancellation or reduction 
of the forfeiture based on its small business status and on its 
inability to pay.  We have reviewed the financial information 
provided by North Country and we find that this information 
provides a basis for reduction of the forfeiture to two thousand 
($2,000) dollars.18

     12.       We have examined North Country'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 North Country willfully and repeatedly violated 
Sections 17.4(g) and 17.50 of the Rules, and we find that, 
although cancellation of the proposed monetary forfeiture for 
violation of these rule sections is not warranted, reduction of 
the forfeiture amount is appropriate as indicated above.

IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     13.       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,19 North Country Repeaters, owner of ASR 
number 1009975, on Rand Hill, Beekmantown, New York, IS LIABLE 
FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of  two thousand dollars 
($2,000) for its violation of Sections 17.4(g) and 17.50 of the 
Rules.  

     14.       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.20 Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or 
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal 
Communications Commission.  The payment must include the 
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above.  Payment by check or 
money order may be mailed to Forfeiture Collection Section, 
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  Payment by overnight mail 
may be sent to Bank One/LB 73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor 
Mailroom, Chicago, IL 60661.   Payment by wire transfer may be 
made to ABA Number 071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and 
account number 1165259.   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. 20554.21        

     15.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order 
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt 
Requested to Mr. Erling Svendsen, North Country Repeaters, 994 
Military Turnpike, Suite 103, Plattsburgh, New York 12901.







                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                    



                              George R. Dillon
                              Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

1 47 C.F.R.  17.4(g) and 17.50.  
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 
200332280008 (Enf. Bur., Buffalo Office, released March 4, 2003).   
3 47 C.F.R.  17.4(a).
4 The Buffalo Office agent followed up with North Country on 
December 16, 2002 regarding the tower's coordinates, and received 
a faxed copy of the correction.
5  47 U.S.C.  503(b).
6  47 C.F.R.  1.80.
7  47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).
8  47 U.S.C.  17.4(a)(2).
9 A check of Commission records verifies that North Country has 
corrected the error in its antenna registration records with the 
FAA and the Commission.   
10  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). 
11  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 ....''  Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC 
Rcd 4387 (1991).
12 As provided by 47 U.S.C.  312(f)(2), which applies to 
violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 
503(b) of the Act, ``[t]he term `repeated',  when used with 
reference to the commission or omission of any act, means the 
commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such 
commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.'' 
The Conference Report for Section 312(f)(2) indicates that 
Congress intended to apply this definition to Section 503 of the 
Act as well as Section 312.  See H.R. Rep. 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 
(1982).  Southern California Broadcasting Co., supra.  
13  47 C.F.R.  17.6(a). 
14 See Econopage of Cleveland, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd 2989, 2990 (Enf. 
Bur. 2001).
15  See Madison Broadcasting Group, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 16081, 10683 
(Enf. Bur. 2002).
16 SpectraSite Communications, Inc.  17 FCC Rcd. 7884, 7888 
(2002); AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. 17 FCC Rcd. 21866, 21871 
(2002). 
17 See, e.g., AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., supra; Seawest Yacht 
Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994); Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 
258, 259 (1973).
18  The Commission has determined that, in general, a licensee's 
gross revenues are the best indicator of its ability to pay a 
forfeiture.  PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 
2088, 2089 (1992) (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). 
19 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
20  47 U.S.C.  504(a).
21 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.