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


In the Matter of                  )
                                 )
QuickLink Telecom, Inc.           )   File No. EB-04-IH-0503
                                 )
                                 )   NAL/Acct. No. 200532080136
                                 )
Apparent      Liability      for  )   FRN 0009268061
Forfeiture                        )



    NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE AND ORDER

Adopted:  July 1, 2005                  Released:   July  5, 
2005

By the Acting Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.   INTRODUCTION   

     1.   In this Notice of Apparent Liability for 
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find that QuickLink Telecom, Inc.  
(``QuickLink'') apparently violated a Commission order by 
willfully and repeatedly failing to respond to a directive 
of the Enforcement Bureau (``Bureau'') to provide certain 
information and documents.  Based on our review of the facts 
and circumstances of this case, and for the reasons 
discussed below, we find that QuickLink is apparently liable 
for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of $20,000.

II.  BACKGROUND 

     2.   QuickLink characterizes itself as a ``toll 
reseller.''1   It routes voice and data from around the 
world through its gateway facilities in the U.S. and 
Europe.2   

     3.   In October 2004, the Universal Service 
Administrative Company (``USAC'') referred QuickLink to the 
Bureau for action concerning its failure to contribute to 
the universal service fund (``USF'') and its failure to file 
Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets.  According to 
USAC's records, QuickLink has filed only one Worksheet, and 
made only one contribution to USF since 2003.  

     4.   Following USAC's referral, the Bureau sent 
QuickLink a Letter of Inquiry (``LOI'') to obtain 
information concerning whether the company violated section 
54.706 of the Commission's rules,3 involving the requirement 
to contribute to USF.4  The Bureau sent the LOI to 
QuickLink's registered office in Jamaica, New York, by 
certified mail/return receipt requested, facsimile and 
email.5  The Bureau also sent the LOI to QuickLink's 
registered agent by certified mail/return receipt requested.  
The LOI directed QuickLink to provide certain specified 
documents and information within twenty calendar days of the 
date of the letter, i.e., by November 5, 2004.  Because USF 
contributions are based on the information contained in the 
Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets, and because 
contributions to the North American Numbering Plan 
(``NANP'') and the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund 
(``TRS Fund'') are also based on such filings, the LOI also 
initiated an investigation into whether the company violated 
the Commission's rules requiring these filings.6

     5.   As of November 6, 2004, the Bureau had not 
received communication of any kind from QuickLink.  Bureau 
staff made several additional attempts to reach the company, 
and ultimately spoke to a man answering the telephone at 
QuickLink's office and representing himself as Muhammad Ali 
on December 14, 2004.  Mr. Ali confirmed QuickLink's 
business address, that the named addressee on the letter, 
Amar Siddigui, was involved with the company, and that the 
company had received invoices from USAC.  He made no 
representations concerning the company's response to the 
LOI.  Later that day, Bureau staff sent a letter to 
QuickLink, reciting the above history, and reminding 
QuickLink that its ``failure to respond fully to the October 
15, 2004, LOI subjects it to potential enforcement action, 
including forfeitures.  Unless we receive a full response to 
the Bureau's LOI within seven days of this letter, by 
December 1, 2004, we will commence such an enforcement 
action.''7 The Bureau sent the letter by certified 
mail/return receipt requested, and by facsimile.  
Additionally, Bureau staff repeatedly telephoned QuickLink 
between December 14, 2004, and December 20, 2004, but were 
told that QuickLink's president was out of the country at 
present.  To date, the Bureau has not received any response 
to the LOI from QuickLink.  

III.      DISCUSSION

     III.A.    Apparent Violation

     6.   Under section 503(b)(1) of the Act, any person who 
is determined by the Commission to have willfully or 
repeatedly failed to comply with any provision of the Act or 
any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission 
shall be liable to the United States for a forfeiture 
penalty.8  To impose such a forfeiture penalty, the 
Commission must issue a notice of apparent liability and the 
person against whom the notice has been issued must have an 
opportunity to show, in writing, why no such forfeiture 
penalty should be imposed.9  The Commission will then issue 
a forfeiture if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence 
that the person has willfully or repeatedly violated the Act 
or a Commission order or rule.10  

     7.   Sections 4(i), 4(j), 218, and 403 of the Act 
afford the Commission broad authority to investigate the 
entities it regulates.  Section 4(i) authorizes the 
Commission to ``issue such orders, not inconsistent with 
this Act, as may be necessary in the execution of its 
functions,'' and section 4(j) states that ``the Commission 
may conduct its proceedings in such manner as will best 
conduce to the proper dispatch of business and to the ends 
of justice.''  Section 218 of the Act authorizes the 
Commission to ``obtain from . . . carriers . . . full and 
complete information necessary to enable the Commission to 
perform the duties and carry out the objects for which it 
was created.''11  Section 403 likewise grants the Commission 
``full authority and power to institute an inquiry, on its 
own motion . . . relating to the enforcement of any of the 
provisions of this Act.''12

     8.   As indicated above, the Bureau directed QuickLink 
to provide certain documents and information to enable the 
Commission to perform its enforcement function and evaluate 
allegations that QuickLink violated Commission rules.  
Commission rules specifically require QuickLink to maintain 
these documents and produce them upon the Commission's 
request.13  QuickLink received the LOI as evidenced by the 
return of the mail receipt to the Bureau and confirmation of 
the facsimile transmission.14  As noted above, Bureau staff 
also contacted a QuickLink employee by telephone and sent a 
follow-up letter. We conclude that QuickLink's failure to 
respond to the Bureau's LOI constitutes an apparent willful 
violation of a Commission order.15    

     III.B.    Forfeiture Amount

     9.   Section 503(b)(2)(B) of the Act authorizes the 
Commission to assess a forfeiture of up to $130,000 for each 
violation or each day of a continuing violation, up to a 
statutory maximum of $1,325,000 for a single act or failure 
to act.16  In determining the appropriate forfeiture amount, 
we consider the factors enumerated in section 503(b)(2)(D) 
of the Act, including ``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.''17

     10.  Section 1.80 of the Commission's rules and the 
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement establish a base 
forfeiture amount of $3,000 for failure to file required 
forms or information, and $4,000 for failure to respond to a 
Commission communication.18  QuickLink's failure to respond 
occurred in the face of numerous attempts by Bureau staff to 
call QuickLink's attention to the importance of responding 
to the LOI.  We find that the lack of a response to a Bureau 
LOI in the circumstances presented here warrants a 
substantial increase to this base amount.  Misconduct of 
this type exhibits a disregard for the Commission's 
authority that cannot be tolerated, and, more importantly, 
threatens to compromise the Commission's ability to 
adequately investigate violations of its rules.  In this 
case, such misconduct inhibits our ability adequately to 
detect and deter potential rule violations in an area of 
critical importance to the Commission, contributions to the 
universal service fund.  Prompt and full responses to Bureau 
inquiry letters are critical to the Commission's enforcement 
function.  We therefore propose a forfeiture against 
QuickLink of $20,000 for failing to respond to the Bureau's 
LOI.  This forfeiture amount is consistent with recent 
precedent in a similar case where a company failed to 
provide any response to an LOI inquiry concerning compliance 
with USF rules despite evidence that the LOI had been 
received.19

     11.  We also direct QuickLink to respond fully to the 
October 15, 2004, LOI within thirty days of the release of 
this order.  Failure to do so may constitute an additional 
violation potentially subjecting QuickLink to further 
penalties, including potentially higher monetary forfeitures 
and/or the revocation of QuickLink's authorization to 
operate as a common carrier pursuant to section 214 of the 
Act.20

IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     12.  ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to 
section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended, 47 U.S.C.  503(b), and section 1.80 of the 
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 1.80, QuickLink Telecom, 
Inc., is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR 
FORFEITURE in the amount of $20,000 for willfully and 
repeatedly violating a Commission order.

     13.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section 
1.80 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  1.80, within 
thirty days of the release date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT 
LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE, QuickLink Telecom, Inc., SHALL PAY 
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture currently 
outstanding on that date or SHALL FILE a written statement 
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed 
forfeiture.

     14.  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.

     15.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to sections 
4(i), 4(j), 218 and 403 of the of the Communications Act of 
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.  4(i), 4(j), 218 and 403, and 
section 54.711 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  
54.711, QuickLink Telecom, Inc., shall fully respond to the 
October 15, 2004, Letter of Inquiry sent by the FCC's 
Enforcement Bureau within 30 days of the release of this 
order.

     16.  The response, if any, to this NOTICE OF APPARENT 
LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE must be mailed to William H. 
Davenport, Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, 
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 
12th Street, S.W., Suite 4-C330, Washington, D.C.  20554 and 
must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.  E-mail 
address:  william.davenport@fcc.gov.    

     17.  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 (``GAAP''); 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 
submitted.

     18.  Requests for payment of the full amount of this 
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE under an 
installment plan should be sent to Chief, Revenue and 
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C.  20554.

     19.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE 
OF APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent, by certified 
mail/return receipt requested to Amar Siddigui, QuickLink 
Telecom, Inc., 169-26 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432.        


                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION


                         Kris Anne Monteith
                         Acting Chief, Enforcement Bureau 
_________________________

1 2003 FCC Form 499-A at 5.

2 http://www.qltel.net/contact.htm 

3 47 C.F.R.  54.706.

4 Letter from Eric J. Bash, Assistant Chief, Investigations 
&  Hearings  Division,  Enforcement Bureau,  FCC,  to  Amar 
Siddigui, QuickLink Telecom, Inc. (Oct. 15, 2004).

5 The certified mail's return receipt indicates the LOI was 
received  by  QuickLink's   corporate  office,  located  in 
Jamaica,  Queens, NY,  on November  1, 2004.   The Bureau's 
facsimile machine generated a confirmation sheet indicating 
that   the  document   was   successfully  transmitted   to 
QuickLink.  The email, sent to  the email address listed by 
QuickLink in its  2003 FCC Form 499-A, bounced  back to the 
FCC as `undeliverable.'  The Bureau also sent a copy of the 
LOI to Roger Eddleman in Falls Church, VA, who is listed on 
QuickLink's  2003 FCC  499-A  as an  agent  for service  of 
process.   According to  the  certified  mail receipt,  Mr. 
Eddleman  received  the  document   on  October  21,  2004.  
Thereafter, he  contacted the  Bureau and  said he  was not 
QuickLink's agent for service.

6 Id.

7   Letter  from   Hillary   S.   DeNigro,  Deputy   Chief, 
Investigations &  Hearings Division, FCC to  Amar Siddigui, 
QuickLink  Telecom, Inc.  (Dec.  14,  2004) (``LOI  Follow-
up'').

8 47  U.S.C.   503(b)(1)(B); 47  C.F.R.   1.80(a)(1); see 
also 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(1)(D) (forfeitures for violation of 
14 U.S.C.   1464).  Section  312(f)(1) of the  Act defines 
willful  as ``the  conscious and  deliberate commission  or 
omission  of  [any]  act,  irrespective of  any  intent  to 
violate'' the law.  47 U.S.C.  312(f)(1).  The legislative 
history to section 312(f)(1) of the Act indicates that this 
definition  of willful  applies  to both  sections 312  and 
503(b)  of the  Act, H.R.  Rep. No.  97-765, 97th  Cong. 2d 
Sess. 51 (1982), and the  Commission has so interpreted the 
term in the section 503(b) context.  See, e.g., Application 
for  Review   of  Southern  California   Broadcasting  Co., 
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6  FCC Rcd 4387, 4387-88,  5 
(1991)   (``Southern   California   Broadcasting'').    The 
Commission may also assess a forfeiture for violations that 
are merely  repeated, and not willful.   See, e.g., Callais 
Cablevision,  Inc.,   Grand  Isle,  Louisiana,   Notice  of 
Apparent  Liability for  Monetary  Forfeiture,  16 FCC  Rcd 
1359, 1362,  10  (2001) (``Callais Cablevision'') (issuing 
a Notice  of Apparent  Liability for,  inter alia,  a cable 
television    operator's    repeated    signal    leakage).  
``Repeated'' means  that the  act was committed  or omitted 
more than  once.  Southern  California Broadcasting,  6 FCC 
Rcd at 4388,  5; Callais  Cablevision, 16 FCC Rcd at 1362, 
 9.

9 47 U.S.C.  503(b); 47 C.F.R.  1.80(f).

10 See,  e.g., SBC Communications, Inc.,  Forfeiture Order, 
17  FCC  Rcd  7589,  7591,   4  (2002)  (``SBC  Forfeiture 
Order'').

11 47 U.S.C.  218.

12 47 U.S.C.  403.   Section 403 provides, in part:  ``The 
Commission shall have full authority  and power at any time 
to institute an inquiry, on its own motion, in any case and 
as to  any matter  or thing  concerning which  complaint is 
authorized to be  made, to or before the  Commission by any 
provision of this Act, or concerning which any question may 
arise under any of the  provisions of this Act.''  See also 
47 U.S.C.  154(i), (j).

13  47 C.F.R.   54.711  in the  USF section  of our  rules 
requires   contributors    to   ``maintain    records   and 
documentation  to  justify   information  reported  in  the 
Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet  for three years and 
[to]  provide   such  records  and  documentation   to  the 
Commission or the Administrator upon request.''

14 See n. 4, supra.

15 See,  e.g., SBC  Forfeiture Order, 17  FCC Rcd  at 7599-
7600,   23-28 (2002)  ($100,000 forfeiture  for egregious 
and intentional misconduct, amount set high enough to serve 
as a deterrent  in view of SBC's ability  to pay); Globcom, 
Inc.,  Notice  of  Apparent Liability  for  Forfeiture  and 
Order,  18 FCC  Rcd,  19893, 19898  n.  36 (2003)  (delayed 
response to an LOI  considered dilatory behavior, which may 
result in sanctions in the future); BigZoo.Com Corporation, 
Order,  DA   05-449  (Enf.   Bur.,  rel.  Feb.   23,  2005) 
(``BigZoo'') ($20,000  forfeiture for failure of  an entity 
to  provide  any response  to  a  USF LOI,  notwithstanding 
evidence  that  the  LOI  was  received);  American  Family 
Association,  Licensee  of  Station  KBMP(FM),  Enterprise, 
Kansas, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 19 FCC 
Rcd 14072 (2004) ($3,000  forfeiture for a partial response 
to an  LOI); World Communications Satellite  Systems, Inc., 
Notice  of Apparent  Liability for  Forfeiture, 18  FCC Rcd 
18545 (2003) ($10,000 forfeiture for a non-responsive reply 
to an  LOI); Donald  W. Kaminski,  Jr., Notice  of Apparent 
Liability for  Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd  10707 (2001) ($4,000 
forfeiture after individual refused to respond to an LOI).

16  47  U.S.C.    503(b)(2)(B).   See  also  47  C.F.R.   
1.80(b)(2);   Amendment   of   Section   1.80(b)   of   the 
Commission's  Rules,  Adjustment  of Forfeiture  Maxima  to 
Reflect Inflation, Order, 19 FCC Rcd 10945 (2004). 

17 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

18  47  C.F.R.     1.80;  Commission's  Forfeiture  Policy 
Statement and  Amendment of  Section 1.80  of the  Rules to 
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order, 12 
FCC   Rcd   17087,   17114  (1997)   (``Forfeiture   Policy 
Statement''); recon. denied 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).

19 See BigZoo, DA 05-449 at  5.

20 See  NOS Communications,  Inc., Affinity  Network, Inc., 
and NOSVA Limited Partnership,  Order to Show Cause, Notice 
of Opportunity for Hearing, 18 FCC Rcd 6952 (2003).