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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File No. EB-04-IH-0503
QuickLink Telecom, Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No. 200532080136
) FRN No. 0009-2680-61
ORDER OF FORFEITURE
Adopted: September 13, 2005 Released:
September 14, 2005
By the Acting Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order of Forfeiture, we assess a monetary
forfeiture of $20,000 against QuickLink Telecom, Inc.
(``QuickLink''). The noted violation involves QuickLink's
failure to respond to a directive of the Enforcement Bureau
(``Bureau'') to provide certain information and documents
pursuant to a Commission Letter of Inquiry (``LOI'').1
2. The facts and circumstances surrounding this case are
set forth in the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
issued by the Bureau in July 2005, and need not be reiterated at
length here.2 QuickLink characterizes itself as a ``toll
reseller.''3 It routes voice and data from around the world
through its gateway facilities in the U.S. and Europe.4 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
as required by Commission rules.5 According to USAC's records,
QuickLink has filed only one Worksheet, and made only one
contribution to USF since 2003.
3. Following USAC's referral, the Bureau sent QuickLink
the LOI to obtain information concerning whether the company
violated section 54.706 of the Commission's rules,6 involving the
requirement to contribute to USF.7 The Bureau sent the LOI to
QuickLink's registered office in Jamaica, New York, by certified
mail/return receipt requested, facsimile and email.8 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,
4. 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.''9 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.
5. On July 5, 2005, the Bureau issued the QuickLink NAL
proposing a forfeiture in the amount of $20,000. The QuickLink
NAL ordered QuickLink to pay the forfeiture or respond to the
notice, as well as to respond to the LOI, within 30 days.10 This
notice was sent to QuickLink's last known address via certified
mail and email. As of the date of the release of this order,
QuickLink has still not filed a response to LOI, and has not paid
the forfeiture amount or submitted a response to the QuickLink
6. This forfeiture is issued pursuant to section 503(b)(1)
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the ``Act'').
Under that provision, 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.11 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.12 The legislative history to section 312(f)(1) of the
Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both
sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,13 and the Commission has so
interpreted the term in the section 503(b) context.14 The term
``repeated'' means that the act was committed or omitted more
than once, or lasts more than one day. 15
7. As discussed in the NAL, section 503(b)(2)(B) of the
Act authorizes the Commission to assess a forfeiture against
telecommunications carriers 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 In exercising
such authority, we have the discretion to adjust the forfeiture
amount based on the particular facts and circumstances of the
8. In the NAL, we proposed a forfeiture of $20,000 for
QuickLink's apparent violation of a Commission order by
willfully and repeatedly failing to respond to a Bureau
directive to provide certain information and documents.19 We
noted the base forfeiture of $3,000 for failure to file required
forms of information, and the base forfeiture of $4,000 for
failure to respond to a Commission communication, but concluded
that the circumstances here warranted a substantial increase
from these amounts. 20 We explained that QuickLink's misconduct
``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.''21
9. By failing to respond to the QuickLink NAL, QuickLink
has failed to identify facts or circumstances to persuade us
that there is a basis for modifying the proposed forfeiture, and
we are not aware of any further mitigating circumstances
sufficient to warrant a reduction of the forfeiture penalty.
For these reasons, we hereby impose a forfeiture of $20,000 for
QuickLink's failure to respond to a Commission communication as
set forth in the QuickLink NAL.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. 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, that QuickLink Telecom, Inc., SHALL FORFEIT to the
United States government the sum of $20,000 for willfully and
repeatedly violating the Commission's rules.
11. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in section 1.80 of the Commission's 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.22 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. 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., 20554.23
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by first class mail and certified mail return receipt to
QuickLink Telecom, Inc., 169-26 Hillside Avenue, Jamaica, NY
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Acting Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 Letter from Eric J. Bash, Assistant Chief, Investigations &
Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, FCC, to Amar Siddigui,
QuickLink Telecom, Inc. (Oct. 15, 2004). Letter from Hillary S.
DeNigro, Deputy Chief, Investigations & Hearings Division, FCC to
Amar Siddigui, QuickLink Telecom, Inc. (Dec. 14, 2004) (``LOI
2 See QuickLink Telecom, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture and Order, DA 05-1907 (Enf. Bur., released July 5,
2005) (``QuickLink NAL'').
3 2003 FCC Form 499-A at 5.
5 47 C.F.R. § 54.706(a).
6 47 C.F.R. § 54.706.
8 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
9 LOI Follow-up.
10 QuickLink NAL at 5.
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(b).
12 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
13 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
14See e.g., Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum
Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991).
15 Id. at 1362, ¶ 9.
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 Bigzoo at 3955 ¶¶ 5-6.
19 QuickLink NAL, supra note 2, at 4.
20 Id. at 4; see also Bigzoo at 3955 ¶¶ 5-6.
21 QuickLink NAL.
22 47 U.S.C § 504(a).
23 See 47 U.S.C § 1.1914.