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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
File No. EB-04-SE-235
In the Matter of )
NAL/Acct. No. 200632100016
American Medical Alert Corporation )
FRN # 0015256365
Adopted: July 7, 2006 Released: July 11, 2006
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we adopt the attached Consent Decree entered into
between the Enforcement Bureau and American Medical Alert Corporation
("AMAC"). The Consent Decree terminates an investigation initiated by
the Enforcement Bureau into whether certain personal emergency
response equipment manufactured, imported, and/or distributed by AMAC
violated Section 302(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
("Act") and the Commission's Rules ("Rules") pertaining to the
manufacture, importation, marketing, lease, sale and labeling of RF
devices and terminal equipment.
2. The Enforcement Bureau and AMAC have negotiated the terms of a Consent
Decree that would resolve this matter and terminate the investigation.
A copy of the Consent Decree is attached hereto and incorporated by
3. Based on the record before us, we conclude that no substantial or
material questions of fact exist with respect to this matter as to
whether AMAC possesses the basic qualifications, including those
related to character, to hold or obtain any FCC license or
4. After reviewing the terms of the Consent Decree, we find that the
public interest will be served by adopting the Consent Decree and
terminating the investigation.
5. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Act,
and Sections 0.111 and 0.311 of the Rules, the Consent Decree attached
to this Order IS ADOPTED.
6. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Enforcement Bureau's investigation IS
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that AMAC shall make its voluntary contribution
to the United States Treasury, as specified in the Consent Decree, by
credit card through the Commission's Debt and Credit 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 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.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order and Consent Decree
shall be sent by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt
requested, to Howard M. Siegel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
American Medical Alert Corporation, 3265 Lawson Blvd., Oceanside, NY
11572, and to David E. Hilliard, Esq., Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP, 1776
K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
The Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") of the Federal Communications Commission
("Commission") and American Medical Alert Corporation ("AMAC") hereby
enter into this Consent Decree for the purpose of terminating the Bureau's
investigation into whether AMAC violated Section 302(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"), and certain of the
Commission's Rules regarding the manufacture, importation, marketing,
lease and sale of personal emergency response equipment; the
identification, labeling and notice requirements for such equipment; and
the connection of such equipment to the public switched telephone network.
1. AMAC manufactures, imports and/or distributes personal emergency
response equipment, including the VoiceCare(R) Personal Emergency
Response System ("PERS"). The VoiceCare System is advertised as a
system that offers quick access to medical and personal assistance for
individuals who want to remain independent at home. The VoiceCare
system consists of a lightweight personal activator device, or
"pendant," and a separate console unit. The pendant is worn or carried
by the user, and the console unit, which has a speakerphone, is
connected to a regular telephone line. The VoiceCare pendant
communicates with the console unit receiver using unlicensed
frequencies. Accordingly, the devices are subject to the Part 15
Rules. Also, because the console unit directly connects to the Public
Switched Telephone Network ("PSTN"), it is subject to the Part 68
2. Aside from the VoiceCare System, AMAC manufactures, imports, and/or
distributes several other related products: (1) a personal activator
device dubbed the "Sip-n-Puff" because it allows quadriplegic users to
send a signal to the VoiceCare console unit by blowing a puff of air
into a tube; (2) a repeater that relays the personal activator signal
in order to extend the in-residence range of a VoiceCare system;
(3) two smoke detector models that are linked to the VoiceCare call
center to provide remote notification of possible fires; (4) two
similar digital devices that are used in the call centers; (5) a PERS
Buddy home health monitoring system that provides an interactive
display to enable patients to receive and respond to disease specific
health questions and reminders focused on signs and symptoms, behavior
and wellness - detailed medical information that is transmitted to the
emergency response call centers; (6) two Medtime device models that
remind the patient to take medications - one model has the ability to
communicate with the VoiceCare console unit and the other does not;
and (7) a system consisting of equipment similar to the VoiceCare
patient devices, but which is used to assist in the operation of
surveillance cameras in retail establishments. These devices are
subject to the Part 15 Rules. The devices that connect to the PSTN
also are subject to the Part 68 Rules. AMAC has reported that some of
the devices appear to emit signals in excess of the Part 15 limits.
3. On November 17, 2004, after receiving information regarding potential
violations by AMAC, the Bureau initiated an investigation by issuing a
Letter of Inquiry ("LOI") directing AMAC to provide information
relating to its compliance with the Commission's equipment
authorization and identification requirements for AMAC's VoiceCare
system. AMAC submitted its initial response ("Response") to the
Bureau's LOI on December 7, 2004, with respect to the VoiceCare
system. On January 13, 2005, AMAC met with Bureau staff to discuss its
Response. At the January 13 meeting, AMAC voluntarily disclosed
additional devices with which there were potential compliance issues.
In response to the Bureau's request, AMAC supplemented its Response on
March 4, 2005, and provided information on each of the additional
4. Pursuant to Section 302(b) of the Act and Parts 2, 15 and 68 of the
Rules, AMAC's personal emergency response equipment, which includes
the VoiceCare system and the related devices set forth in paragraph 2,
must be authorized and labeled in accordance with the Commission's
regulations prior to, inter alia, the importation or initiation of
marketing of such equipment.
5. For the purposes of this Consent Decree, the following definitions
(a) "Commission" and "FCC" mean the Federal Communications Commission.
(b) "Bureau" means the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications
(c) "AMAC" means American Medical Alert Corporation, its subsidiaries,
affiliates and any successors or assigns.
(d) "PERS" means Personal Emergency Response System.
(e) "Parties" means AMAC and the Bureau.
(f) "Adopting Order" means an order of the Bureau adopting the terms and
conditions of this Consent Decree.
(g) "Effective Date" means the date on which the Bureau releases the
(h) "Investigation" means the investigation commenced by the Bureau's
November 17, 2004 Letter of Inquiry regarding whether AMAC violated
Section 302(b) of the Act and/or Sections 2.803 and 2.925 of the Rules.
(i) "Rules" means the Commission's Rules found in Title 47 of the Code of
(j) "Act" means the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.
SS151 et seq.
Terms of Agreement
6. The Parties agree that the provisions of this Consent Decree shall be
subject to final approval by the Bureau by incorporation of such
provisions by reference in the Adopting Order.
7. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree does not constitute either
an adjudication on the merits or a factual or legal finding or
determination regarding any compliance or noncompliance with the
requirements of the Act or the Commission's Rules and orders. The
Parties further agree that this Consent Decree is for settlement
purposes only and that by agreeing to this Consent Decree, AMAC does
not admit nor deny liability for violating any statute, regulation, or
administrative rule in connection with matters that are the subject of
this Consent Decree.
8. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree shall become binding on the
Parties on the Effective Date. Upon release, the Adopting Order and
this Consent Decree shall have the same force and effect as any other
final order of the Commission and any violation of the terms or
conditions of this Consent Decree shall constitute a violation of a
9. The Parties acknowledge and agree that this Consent Decree shall
constitute a final and binding settlement between AMAC and the Bureau
regarding possible violations of the Act and the Rules with respect to
the manufacture, importation, marketing, lease, or sale by AMAC of any
of the equipment listed in the attached appendix prior to the
Effective Date of this Consent Decree.
10. In express reliance on the covenants and representations in this
Consent Decree, and to avoid further expenditure of scarce public
resources, the Bureau agrees to terminate its investigation into
whether AMAC may have violated the Act or the Commission's Rules with
respect to the manufacture, importation, marketing, lease, use or sale
by AMAC of any of the equipment listed in the attached appendix prior
to the Effective Date of this Consent Decree.
11. In consideration for termination by the Bureau of the investigation
and in accordance with the terms of this Consent Decree, AMAC agrees
to the terms set forth herein.
12. AMAC acknowledges that the Bureau has jurisdiction over the matters
contained in this Consent Decree and the authority to enter into and
adopt this Consent Decree.
13. The Bureau will allow AMAC forty-eight (48) months to replace
potentially non-compliant equipment that is currently deployed. AMAC
will implement a Federal Communications Commission Regulatory
Compliance Plan ("RCP") related to AMAC's future compliance with the
Act, the Commission's Rules, and the Commission's orders. AMAC will
file the RCP with the Enforcement Bureau within ninety (90) days of
the effective date of this Consent Decree. The entire RCP will include
the following components:
(a) FCC Compliance Procedures. AMAC shall develop and update, as necessary
and in association with legal counsel, appropriate FCC Compliance
Procedures. Such procedures will be developed within sixty (60) days of
the Effective Date of this Consent Decree. Relevant AMAC personnel shall
be made aware of the FCC Compliance Procedures and be required to follow
them. The FCC Compliance Procedures will, among other things, address the
equipment authorization and marketing requirements of the Act and the
Commission's Rules in Parts 2, 15 and 68 which are applicable to the
devices manufactured, imported, marketed, leased and sold by AMAC in the
United States and shall also include procedures to remedy promptly any
radio interference caused by AMAC equipment covered by this Consent
(b) Compliance Engineer. AMAC shall designate a Regulatory Compliance
Engineer ("Compliance Engineer") who will administer the RCP, supervise
AMAC's compliance with the Act, the Commission's Rules and this Consent
Decree, and serve as the AMAC point of contact for all Commission-related
compliance matters. The Compliance Engineer will report to the Chief
Operating Officer of AMAC, who will retain ultimate responsibility within
AMAC for determining whether the manufacture, importation, marketing,
sale, lease, labeling and notice requirements for such devices are in
compliance with the FCC Compliance Procedures.
(c) Review and Monitoring. AMAC will review the RCP annually, in
association with legal counsel, to ensure that it is maintained in a
proper manner and continues to address the objectives set forth therein.
(d) Replacement Program. AMAC will replace currently deployed equipment
that may not fully comply with the Commission's Part 15 and Part 68 Rules
within forty-eight (48) months of the Effective Date of this Consent
(e) Reports. AMAC will provide annual reports to the Commission detailing
the company's progress in replacing currently deployed equipment with
potential compliance issues.
14. The Bureau agrees that it will not entertain or institute, or use the
facts developed in this investigation or the existence of this Consent
Decree to institute, on its own motion, any new proceeding, formal or
informal, nor take any action on its own motion, or recommend to the
full Commission any forfeiture or other sanction, against AMAC for any
alleged violation of the Act or the Rules with respect to any of the
Part 15 RF equipment and/or Part 68 terminal equipment that is listed
in the attached appendix and that was manufactured, imported,
marketed, leased, or sold by AMAC prior to the Effective Date of this
15. AMAC agrees that each model of Part 15 RF equipment and/or Part 68
terminal equipment that is manufactured, imported, marketed, leased,
or sold by AMAC on or after the Effective Date of this Consent Decree
shall be compliant with the Commission's Rules.
16. Each Party agrees that it is required to comply with each individual
condition of this Consent Decree. Each specific condition is a
separate condition of the Consent Decree as approved. To the extent
that AMAC fails to satisfy any condition, in the absence of Commission
alteration of the condition, it will be deemed noncompliant and may be
subject to possible future enforcement action with respect to such
failure to satisfy the condition.
17. The Parties agree that the requirements of the Consent Decree shall
expire forty-eight (48) months after the Effective Date of this
18. AMAC agrees that it will make a voluntary contribution to the United
States Treasury in the amount of Seventy-five Thousand Dollars
($75,000) within 30 calendar days after the Effective Date. 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. The payment should include the NAL/Acct. No. and FCC
Registration Number (FRN) referenced above.
19. AMAC's decision to enter into this Consent Decree is expressly
contingent upon the Bureau's issuance of an Adopting Order that is
consistent with this Consent Decree, and which adopts the Consent
Decree without change, addition, modification, or deletion.
20. The Parties waive any and all rights they may have to seek
administrative or judicial reconsideration, review, appeal or stay, or
to otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Degree
and the Adopting Order, provided that the Adopting Order adopts the
Consent Decree without change, addition, modification, or deletion.
21. In the event that any court of competent jurisdiction renders invalid
this Consent Decree, it shall become null and void and may not be used
in any manner in any legal proceeding.
22. If either Party (or the United States on behalf of the Commission)
brings a judicial action to enforce the terms of the Adopting Order,
neither AMAC nor the Commission shall contest the continuing validity
of this Consent Decree or the Adopting Order. The Parties agree to
comply with, defend and support the validity of this Consent Decree
and the Adopting Order in any proceeding seeking to nullify, void, or
otherwise modify the Consent Decree or the Adopting Order.
23. The Parties agree that any provision of this Consent Decree which
conflicts with any subsequent rule, order of general applicability or
other decision of general applicability adopted by the Commission will
be superseded by such Commission rule, order or other decision.
24. AMAC waives any rights it may have under any provision of the Equal
Access to Justice Act, 5 U.S.C. S 504 and 47 C.F.R. S 1.1501 et seq.,
relating to the matters addressed in this Consent Decree.
25. This Consent Decree cannot be modified without the advance written
consent of both Parties.
26. This Consent Decree may be signed in counterparts.
For the Enforcement Bureau:
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
For American Medical Alert Corporation
Howard M. Siegel
Chairman and CEO
Voice Care Console Units: Model Nos. 500, 700, 800, 833, 1000 and SP 2000.
Personal Activator Pendants: Model Nos. 200, 250, 260, 285, 270, 300, 400,
410, 433, 450, 450B, and 485.
Other Devices: Model 202-1 Sip & Puff; Model 200-00 Repeater; Model 923
Receiver; Model 924 Receiver; Model PB 5000 PERS Buddy; Model 650 Medtime
with RF Transmitter; Medtime; Model 200-10 HW Smoke Detector; and Model
200-14 RF Smoke Detector.
47 U.S.C. S 302a(b).
See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. SS 2.803, 2.925, 15.19, 15.101, 15.105(b), 15.107,
15.109, 15.201, 15.207, 15.231, 68.201, and 68.354.
47 U.S.C. S 154(i).
47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311.
47 U.S.C. S 302a(b).
See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. Parts 2, 15, and 68.
47 U.S.C. S 302a(b).
See Letter from Kathryn S. Berthot, Deputy Chief, Spectrum Enforcement
Division, Enforcement Bureau, FCC, to Howard M. Siegel, President, AMAC
(Nov. 17, 2004).
Federal Communications Commission DA 06-1413