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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No. EB-04-SE-384
World Radio Network, Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No. 200532100011
Satellite Earth Station, Call ) FRN # 0006844344
Sign E940225 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: June 10, 2005 Released: June 14,
By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, we find World Radio Network, Inc. (``WRN''),
licensee of Satellite Earth Station E940225, McAllen, Texas,
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of four
thousand dollars ($4,000) for the unauthorized operation of
the earth station in violation of Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (``Act'')1 and
Section 25.102(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').2
The violation involves WRN's willful and repeated operation
of the earth station without Commission authorization
between the expiration of the license and the grant of
Special Temporary Authority (``STA'') by the International
2. WRN is a non-commercial educational (``NCE'')
Commission licensee, which operates NCE broadcast radio
stations primarily on the border between Mexico and the
United States. It holds Commission licenses for 25
broadcast stations, 14 Aural Studio Transmitter links, and
one earth station license. The license for the earth
station was granted on April 29, 1994 and expired on April
29, 2004. Eight months after the expiration of the license,
on December 22, 2004, WRN notified the International Bureau
of its failure to timely renew the subject license and
requested an STA to continue operations while it completed
and submitted a renewal request for authorization to
continue to operate the earth station.3 The Commission
granted the STA on January 4, 2005.4 On January 18, 2005,
WRN filed an application to reinstate its earth station
license which was subsequently dismissed by the
International Bureau as defective on February 1, 2005.5 On
April 11, 2005, the International Bureau granted WRN's
application for reinstatement of the earth station license,6
which WRN had resubmitted on February 7, 2005.7
3. Because it appeared that WRN may have operated the
station after the expiration of its license, the
International Bureau referred this case to the Enforcement
Bureau for investigation and possible enforcement action.
On March 7, 2005, the Enforcement Bureau's Spectrum
Enforcement Division issued a letter of inquiry (``LOI'') to
WRN .8 The LOI sought information regarding the actions WRN
took to ensure compliance with Section 301 of the Act and
Section 25.102 of the Rules, the date on which WRN became
aware of the expiration of its license, and the basis of
authority under which WRN operated after the license expired
and before the International Bureau granted the STA request.
4. In its March 21, 2005 response to the LOI, WRN
conceded that it continuously operated the earth station
beyond the April 29, 2004 expiration date without
authorization.9 WRN explained that it holds thirty-nine FCC
licenses granted by the Wireless and Media Bureaus, and one
license granted by the International Bureau. WRN asserted
that it has never before been found in violation of the
Commission's Rules. It also asserted that both the Wireless
and Media Bureaus send reminders to licensees for license
renewals, and that it was unfamiliar with the International
Bureau's license renewal process which does not include the
sending of reminders of upcoming license renewal deadlines.
WRN also conceded that it ``failed to put in place internal
guidelines and procedures which would have prevented its
operation on an expired license.''10
5. Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, (``Act''), provides that ``[n]o person shall use or
operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or
communications or signals by radio . . . except under and in
accordance with this Act and with a license in that behalf
granted under the provisions of this Act.'' Section
25.102(a) of the Rules mandates that operation of ``energy
or communications or signals by space or earth stations''
requires Commission authorization. WRN was required to
maintain its authorization in order to operate the earth
station. WRN stated that the Wireless and Media Bureaus
send notices of license renewal deadlines. WRN also averred
that it had no prior experience with the International
Bureau concerning its license renewal process. As a
Commission licensee, WRN is charged with knowledge of the
full range of its obligations,11 including its duty to
timely seek renewal of its licenses to maintain operating
authority.12 This obligation attaches even where the
Commission does not provide notification regarding license
renewal obligations.13 Based on the information before us,
we find that WRN filed its license for renewal for the
captioned earth station approximately eight (8) months after
its authorization expired. By failing to timely renew its
license, WRN operated the earth station without Commission
authority from the time the license expired on April 29,
2004 until the STA request was granted on January 4, 2005.
During those eight months, WRN acted in apparent violation
of Sections 301 of the Act and 25.102 of the Rules by
willfully14 and repeatedly15 operating the earth station
without Commission authority.
6. The guidelines contained in the Commission's
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of
the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,16 and
Section 1.80(b) of the Rules17 specify a base forfeiture
amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for operation of a
station without an instrument of authorization. Section
503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires the Commission to consider
``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.''18 In this
instance, WRN operated its earth station without an
instrument of authorization for approximately eight months
after its license expired. In reviewing other cases
involving a licensee operating without a license for a
similar amount of time, we find that the Commission has
reduced the forfeiture amount from $10,000 to five thousand
dollars ($5,000).19 Considering all of the factors required
by Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act and the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, we conclude that a forfeiture of $5,000 for WRN
is warranted. Because we have confirmed WRN's claim that it
has no history of Commission violations, we further reduce
the forfeiture amount to $4,000.20
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act21 and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80 of the Rules,22 WRN IS hereby NOTIFIED of its
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of four
thousand dollars ($4,000) for the willful and repeated
violations of Section 301 of the Act and Section 25.102(a)
of the Rules.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules,23 within thirty days of the release date
of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, WRN
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. 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 Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA
15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon
Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh,
PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account
number 911-6106. A request for full payment under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
10. The response, if any, must be mailed to the Office
of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445
12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement
Bureau - Spectrum Enforcement Division, and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
11. The Commission will not consider reducing or
canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability
to pay unless the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax
returns for the most recent three-year period; (2) financial
statements prepared according to generally accepted
accounting practices; or (3) some other reliable and
objective documentation that accurately reflects the
petitioner's current financial status. Any claim of
inability to pay must specifically identify the basis for
the claim by reference to the financial documentation
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture shall be sent by first
class mail and certified mail return receipt requested to
Glenn C. Lafitte, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, World
Radio Network, Inc., P.O. Box 3765, McAllen, Texas 78502-
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Spectrum Enforcement
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 25.102(a).
3 See Letter from Glenn C. Lafitte, Secretary of World
Radio Network, Inc. to Robert Nelson, Chief, Engineering
Branch, Satellite Division, International Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission (December 22, 2004).
4 See Grant of Authority for Application for Earth Station
Special Temporary Authority, SES-STA-20050103-00003. The
Commission granted two additional STA requests while WRN's
reinstatement application was pending, extending temporary
authority to April 27, 2005.
5 See Application for Earth Station Authorization, Form
312, File No. SES-LIC-20050118-00072 (dismissed February 1,
2005). See also Letter from Scott A. Kotler, Chief,
Systems Analysis Branch, International Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission (January 31, 2005).
6 See Radio Station Authorization, SES-LIC-20050210-00165
(granted on April 11, 2005). The grant for renewal of the
earth station license specifically states that it is
granted ``without prejudice to any future FCC enforcement
action against World Radio Network.''
7 See Application for Earth Station Authorization, Form
312, File No. SES-LIC-20050207-00155 (filed on February 7,
8 See Letter from Kathryn Berthot, Deputy Chief, Spectrum
Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission to James V. Heck, Technical
Services, World Radio Network, Inc. (March 7, 2005).
9 See Letter from Glenn C. Lafitte, World Radio Network,
Inc., to Katherine Power, Spectrum Enforcement Division,
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission
(March 21, 2005).
11 See Sitka Broadcasting Company, Inc., 70 FCC2d 2375,
2378 (1979) (``Licensee are expected to know and comply
with the Commission's rules . . .'').
12 See Lauren A. Colby, 19 FCC Rcd 15600 (Media Bur., Audio
13 See Berkshire Communicators, Inc. 15 FCC Rcd 18242 (Enf.
Bur. 2000) (finding that even if a licensee does not
receive a renewal reminder notice, the licensee still must
timely file its renewal application).
14 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).
15 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).
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). See Southern California
Broadcasting Company, supra at 4388.
16 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied, FCC 99-
407 (1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').
17 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
18 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
19 See Page-Comm, 16 FCC Rcd 6842 (Enf. Bur. 2001)
(reducing the base forfeiture amount to $5,000 due to the
nature of the violation as an unauthorized operation of a
paging station because of a failure to renew for 10
months). See also US Unwired, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 20295 (Enf.
Bur. 2000) (similar finding for 7 months unauthorized
operation by a licensee that was previously licensed, to
distinguish the forfeiture amount from ``pirate''
operations (i.e., stations that have never been licensed by
the Commission), which typically result in the full base
forfeiture amount of $10,000, as with Jean R. Jonassaint,
25 FCC Rcd 10422 (Enf. Bur. 2000)).
20See Max Media of Montana, L.L.C., 18 FCC Rcd 21375, 21379
(Enf. Bur. 2003) (further reducing the proposed forfeiture
from $11,000 to $8,800 for antenna structure lighting and
registration violations due to the licensee's history of
overall compliance); South Central Communications Corp., 18
FCC Rcd 700, 702 (Enf. Bur. 2003) (reducing the proposed
forfeiture from $10,000 to $8,000 for antenna structure
lighting violations due to the licensee's history of
21 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
22 47 C.F.R. § 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.
23 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
24 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.