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


In the Matter of                  )
                                 )
National Weather Networks, Inc.   )   File No. EB-06-SE-051
Ku-Band  FSS Earth Station, Call  )   NAL/Acct. No. 200632100008
Sign E910651                      )   FRN # 0014509491
Jackson, Mississippi              )


         NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE


Adopted:  April 12, 2006                Released:  April 14, 
2006

By  the Chief,  Spectrum  Enforcement Division,  Enforcement 
Bureau:

I.         INTRODUCTION

      1.   In this Notice of Apparent Liability for 
 Forfeiture, we find National Weather Networks, Inc. 
 (``NWN''), licensee of Ku-Band FSS earth station, E910651 
 (or ``earth station''), Jackson, Mississippi, apparently 
 liable for a forfeiture in the amount of five thousand 
 dollars ($5,000) for operating without Commission authority 
 in apparent willful and repeated 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 and failing to file a timely renewal 
 application for its earth station in apparent willful and 
 repeated violation of Section 25.121(e) of the Rules.3

II.         BACKGROUND

      2.  NWN provides customized local weather reports via 
 satellite uplink to television stations in small and mid-
 sized markets nationally.  NWN's earth station 
 authorization specified a license term that commenced on 
 November 8, 1991, and expired on November 8, 2001.4  On 
 January 10, 2006, NWN notified the International Bureau of 
 its failure to timely renew its earth station license and 
 submitted an Application for Earth Station Special 
 Temporary Authority (``STA Request'') in order to continue 
 operations.5  The International Bureau granted the STA 
 Request the next day.6  Also on January 10, 2006, NWN 
 submitted an Application for Earth Station Authorizations 
 (``license application'') in place of a license renewal 
 form, requesting permission to replace the earth station's 
 former authorization.7  The International Bureau granted 
 NWN a new earth station license on February 21, 2006.8

      3.  The International Bureau referred this case to the 
 Enforcement Bureau for investigation and possible 
 enforcement action.  The Enforcement Bureau's Spectrum 
 Enforcement Division issued NWN a letter of inquiry 
 (``LOI'') on February 15, 2006.9

      4.  In its March 1, 2006, response to the LOI 
 (``Response''), NWN admitted that it failed to timely renew 
 its earth station license.10  NWN also previously 
 acknowledged in its STA Request that it had continuously 
 operated its earth station without Commission authority 
 since November 8, 2001 (the expiration date of the earth 
 station license).11  NWN requested that the Commission take 
 the following mitigating factors into account in 
 determining whether to issue a forfeiture.  First, NWN 
 stated that in January of 2006 when it first became aware 
 that its earth station license had expired, it immediately 
 instructed counsel to contact the International Bureau 
 staff to disclose that it was operating without Commission 
 authority and to ``file the necessary applications to bring 
 NWN's earth station into full compliance with the FCC's 
 rules.'' 12  NWN also claimed that (a) it had a history of 
 compliance; (b) the violation was ``negligent but not 
 willful'' because NWN's administrator was not aware that 
 the license needed to be renewed and the President was not 
 aware that NWN had failed to file a renewal application; 
 (c) it was not aware of any instance where NWN's ``use of 
 the earth station violated the FCC's safety rules, caused 
 interference or disrupted other users''; and (d) it was a 
 small company ``without great financial resources.''13  

III.           DISCUSSION

      5.  Section 301 of the Act and Section 25.102(a) of 
 the Rules prohibit the use or operation of any apparatus 
 for the transmission of energy or communications or signals 
 by an earth station except under and in accordance with a 
 Commission granted authorization.  Section 25.121(c) 
 provides that the license term for an earth station is 
 specified in the instrument of authorization.14  Section 
 25.121(e) of the Rules requires the licensee of an earth 
 station to file its renewal application ``no earlier than 
 90 days, and no later than 30 days, before the expiration 
 date of the license.''15  Absent a timely filed renewal 
 application, an earth station license automatically 
 terminates at the end of the license period.16

      6.  As stated previously, NWN's authorization 
 specified that the license term would expire on November 8, 
 2001.  NWN admitted that it had failed to timely file its 
 renewal application.  Moreover, NWN admitted that it 
 continued to operate the earth station for over four years 
 without Commission authority - from November 8, 2001 to 
 January 11, 2006.  Thus, it appears that NWN violated 
 Section 25.121(e) of the Rules by failing to timely file a 
 renewal application, and violated Section 301 of the Act 
 and Section 25.102(a) of the Rules by continuing to operate 
 its station without Commission authority. 

      7.  Section 503(b) of the Act,17 and Section 1.80(a) 
 of the Rules,18 provide that any person who willfully or 
 repeatedly fails to comply with the provisions of the Act 
 or the rules shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.  For 
 purposes of Section 503(b) of the Act, the term ``willful'' 
 means that the violator knew that it was taking the action 
 in question, irrespective of any intent to violate the 
 Commission's rules, and ``repeatedly'' means more than 
 once.19  Based upon the record before us, it appears that 
 NWN's violations of Section 301 of the Act and Sections 
 25.102(a) and 25.121(e) of the Rules were willful and 
 repeated.  

      8.       In determining the appropriate forfeiture 
 amount, Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act directs us to 
 consider factors, such as ``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.''20  Having considered the statutory 
 factors as well as NWN's Response, we find it appropriate 
 to downwardly adjust the proposed aggregate forfeiture from 
 $7,500 to $5,000 - as discussed below - based on NWN's 
 history of compliance and prompt and voluntary disclosure 
 of its violations.  
      9.  Section 1.80(b) of the Rules21 sets a base 
 forfeiture amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for 
 operation of a station without Commission authority and 
 three thousand dollars ($3,000) for failure to file the 
 required forms or information (e.g., failure to timely file 
 a renewal application).22  As the Commission recently held, 
 a licensee's failure to timely file a renewal application 
 and its continued operation without authorization 
 constitute separate violations of the Act and the rules and 
 warrant the assessment of separate forfeitures.23  
 Accordingly, we herein propose separate forfeiture amounts 
 for NWN's separate violations.  

      10. We propose a forfeiture of $6,000 for NWN's 
 continued operation of its earth station beyond November 8, 
 2001.  In proposing $6,000 for the station's unauthorized 
 operations we recognize that the Commission considers a 
 licensee who operates a station with an expired license in 
 better stead than a pirate broadcaster who lacks prior 
 authority, and thus downwardly adjusts the $10,000 base 
 forfeiture amount accordingly.24  Consistent with recent 
 precedent,25 the proposed $6,000 forfeiture amount takes 
 into account the fact that NWN's unauthorized operations 
 spanned over four years - from November 8, 2001 to January 
 22, 2006.  The $6,000 forfeiture relates to NWN's apparent 
 violations that occurred within the past year, but takes 
 into account that those apparent violations were continuous 
 in nature.26  Additionally, consistent with precedent,27 we 
 propose a $1,500 forfeiture for NWN's failure to file a 
 renewal application for its station within the time period 
 specified in Section 25.121(e) of the Rules.  Thus, we 
 propose an aggregate forfeiture of $7,500 ($6,000 for 
 unauthorized operations and $1,500 for failure to timely 
 file a renewal application).

      11. In its Response, NWN sets forth a number of 
 mitigating factors in support of reduction of the 
 forfeiture amount.  NWN asserts, and a search of Commission 
 records confirms, that the company has a history of 
 compliance with the rules.28  We also find that NWN 
 voluntarily disclosed to International Bureau staff that it 
 was operating without Commission authority and took 
 corrective measures to comply with the rules without undue 
 delay, after learning of its violation, but prior to any 
 Commission inquiry or initiation of enforcement action.29  
 Accordingly, we downwardly adjust the proposed aggregate 
 forfeiture amount to $5,000.  

      12. NWN also contends that its violation of the 
 Commission's rules was ``negligent but not willful.''  In 
 support, NWN explains that its administrator was not aware 
 that the license needed to be renewed and the President was 
 not aware that NWN failed to file a renewal application.  
 As an initial matter, negligence does not mitigate a 
 Commission rule violation.    It is well-settled that 
 neither the negligent acts or omissions of station 
 employees or agents, nor the subsequent remedial actions 
 undertaken by the licensee, excuse or nullify a licensee's 
 rule violation.30  As a Commission licensee, NWN is charged 
 with the responsibility for knowing and complying with the 
 terms of its authorizations, the Act and the rules, 
 including the requirement to timely renew the authorization 
 and maintain operating authority for its earth station.31  
 Moreover, as previously discussed, in the context of a 
 forfeiture setting, ``willful'' does not require a finding 
 that the rule violation was intentional or that the 
 violator was aware that it was committing a rule 
 violation.32  Rather, the term ``willful'' simply requires 
 that the violator knew it was taking the action in 
 question, irrespective of any intent to violate the 
 Commission's rules.  Accordingly, NWN willfully violated 
 Section 301 of the Act and Sections 25.102(a) and 25.121(e) 
 of the Rules.  
      13. NWN additionally purports that it was not aware of 
 any instance where its ``use of the earth station violated 
 the FCC's safety rules, caused interference or disrupted 
 other users.''  It is well established that the absence of 
 public harm is not considered a mitigating factor of a rule 
 violation and does not warrant a downward adjustment of a 
 forfeiture.33  

      14. Finally, NWN asserts that it is a small company 
 ``without great financial resources.''34  To the extent 
 that it claims an inability to pay a forfeiture, we note 
 that NWN did not submit any supporting financial 
 documentation (i.e., federal tax returns, financial 
 statements, or other reliable, objective information 
 reflecting financial status).35  Accordingly, we have no 
 basis by which to evaluate NWN's inability to pay claim.   

IV.       ORDERING CLAUSES

      15. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to 
 pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act36 and Sections 0.111, 
 0.311 and 1.80 of the Rules,37 NWN IS hereby NOTIFIED of 
 its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of 
 five thousand dollars ($5,000) for its apparent willful and 
 repeated violations of Section 301 of the Act and Sections 
 25.102(a) and 25.121(e) of the Rules.

      16. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 
 1.80 of the Rules,38 within thirty days of the release date 
 of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NWN 
 SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or 
 SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or 
 cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

      17. 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 
 bycheck or money order may be mailed to Federal 
 Communications Commission, P.O. Box358340,Pittsburgh, PA 
 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may be sent 
 toMellon Bank/LB358340,500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, 
 Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be 
 made to ABA Number043000261, receiving bankMellon Bank, 
 and account number911-6106.  Requests for payment of the 
 full amount of the NAL under an installment 
 plan should be sent to:  Associate Managing Director - 
 Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, 
 Washington, D.C. 20554.39

      18. 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.

      19. 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 
 submitted.

      20. 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 
 Edward St. Pe, President, National Weather Networks, Inc., 
 916 Foley Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39202 and to counsel 
 for National Weather Networks, Inc., Arthur V. Belendiuk, 
 Esq., Smithwick & Belendiuk, PC, 5028 Wisconsin Ave, NW, 
 Suite 301, Washington, D.C. 20016.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         



                         Joseph P. Casey
                         Chief,     Spectrum     Enforcement 
Division
                         Enforcement Bureau



_________________________

1 47 U.S.C.  301.

2 47 C.F.R.  25.102(a).

3 47 C.F.R.  25.121(e).

4 See File No. SES-LIC-19910919-00663.

5 See File No. SES-STA-20060110-00025 (January 10, 2006).

6  The International  Bureau  granted the  STA Request  for 
sixty   (60)  days,   without  prejudice   to  any   future 
enforcement action  against the company in  connection with 
unauthorized operation of its  radio facilities.  See Grant 
of  Authority for  Application  for  Earth Station  Special 
Temporary Authority, File No. SES-STA-20060110-00025.

7  In  its license  application,  NWN  sought, among  other 
things, to transmit digital  video, audio and data services 
on  two separate  frequency bands  (11700 -  12200 MHz  and 
14000 -  14500 MHz).  See File  No. SES-LIC-20060110-00024.  
The application was placed on  public notice on January 18, 
2006.   See Public  Notice, Report  No. SES-0075  (Jan. 18, 
2006).

8 See File No. SES-LIC-20060110-00024 (granted February 21, 
2006).

9 See  Letter from Kathryn Berthot,  Deputy Chief, Spectrum 
Enforcement    Division,   Enforcement    Bureau,   Federal 
Communications  Commission  to  Arthur V.  Belendiuk,  Esq, 
Counsel for Mr. Edward St. Pe', President, National Weather 
Networks, Inc. (February 15, 2006).

10 See Letter  from Arthur V. Belendiuk,  Esq., to Jennifer 
Burton,  Esq., Spectrum  Enforcement Division,  Enforcement 
Bureau, Federal  Communications Commission (March  1, 2006) 
(``Response'').

11 See STA Request, Attachment 1.

12 See Declaration of Mr. St. Pe'.

13 See Response at 2. 

14 47 C.F.R.  25.121(c).

15 47 C.F.R.  25.121(e). 

16 47 C.F.R.  25.161. 

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

18 47 C.F.R.  1.80(a).

19 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 of  Section 
312(f)(1)  of the  Act  clarifies 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.,    Southern   California 
Broadcasting  Co.,   6  FCC  Rcd  4387,   4388  n.5  (1991) 
(``Southern California''),  recon. denied, 7 FCC  Rcd 3454, 
3455 (1992).   The term "repeated"  means that the  act was 
committed or omitted more than once, or lasts more than one 
day.  Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16  FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 n.9 
(2001); Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388 n.5.

20  47  U.S.C.    503(b)(2)(D).   See  also  47  C.F.R.   
1.80(b)(4),   Note  to   paragraph   (b)(4):  Section   II. 
Adjustment  Criteria  for   Section  503  Forfeitures;  The 
Commission's Forfeiture  Policy Statement and  Amendment of 
Section  1.80 of  the Rules  to Incorporate  the Forfeiture 
Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd  17087, 17110 (1997), recon. denied, 
15 FCC Rcd. 303 (1999).

21 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b).

22 47 C.F.R. 1.80(b).

23 See Discussion Radio, Inc., 19 FCC Rcd 7433, 7438 (2004) 
(``Discussion Radio'') (assessing  a proposed forfeiture of 
$5,000 and  $1,500 against a broadcaster  who both operated 
its station for 14  months without Commission authority and 
failed to timely file its renewal application).

24 See  Discussion Radio, 19  FCC Rcd at 7438  (proposing a 
$5,000  forfeiture for  operating a  station for  14 months 
beyond  the   expiration  of  its  license);   Shared  Data 
Networks, LLC,  20 FCC  Rcd 18184, 18186-18187  (Enf. Bur., 
Spectrum Enf.  Div., 2005) (``Shared Data'')  (proposing an 
$18,000  forfeiture  -  $6,000  per  earth  station  -  for 
unauthorized operation  over a period of  5 years); Journal 
Broadcast Corporation, 20 FCC  Rcd 18211, 18213 (Enf. Bur., 
Spectrum   Enf.   Div.,   2005)   (``Journal   Broadcast'') 
(proposing a  $5,000 forfeiture for  unauthorized operation 
for 1 year).

25  See Shared  Data, 20  FCC  Rcd at  18187 (proposing  an 
aggregate  forfeiture amount  of  $18,000  for operating  3 
earth  stations  for  almost  5  years  without  Commission 
authority ($6,000 each)). 

26 Section  503(b)(6) of  the Act,  47 U.S.C.    503(b)(6) 
prohibits  the assessment  of a  forfeiture for  violations 
that occurred more  than a year prior to the  NAL, but does 
not bar us  from taking into account  the continuous nature 
of  violations in  determining the  appropriate enforcement 
action and/or forfeiture amount.   See, e.g., Globcom, Inc. 
d/b/a  Globcom Global  Communications,  18  FCC Rcd  19893, 
19903  23 (2003);  Roadrunner Transportation, Inc., 15 FCC 
Rcd 9669, 9671-72  8 (2000); Cate Communications Corp., 60 
RR 2d 1386, 1388  7 (1986); Eastern Broadcasting Corp., 10 
FCC 2d 37, 37-38  3  (1967), recon. denied, 11 FCC 2d 193, 
195   9 (1967); Bureau D'Electronique  Appliquee, Inc., 20 
FCC  Rcd 3445,  3447-48   8-9 (Enf.  Bur., Spectrum  Enf. 
Div.,  2005), forfeiture  ordered, 20  FCC Rcd  17893 (Enf. 
Bur., Spectrum Enf. Div., 2005).

27 See  Discussion Radio, 19  FCC Rcd at 7438  (proposing a 
$1,500  forfeiture for  failure  to timely  file a  renewal 
application for  a broadcast station); Shared  Data, 20 FCC 
Rcd at  18187 (proposing an aggregate  forfeiture amount of 
$4,500 for failure to  timely file renewal applications for 
3 earth stations); Journal Broadcast,  20 FCC Rcd at 18213) 
(proposing a $1,500 forfeiture for failure to timely file a 
renewal   application   for   an   earth   station);   Self 
Communications,  Inc., 15  FCC  Rcd  18661, 18664-65  (WTB, 
Public Safety and Private Wireless Div., 2000) (proposing a 
$1,500  forfeiture for  failure  to timely  file a  renewal 
application   for   a   218-219   MHz   service);   Vincent 
Communications,  Inc.,15  FCC  Rcd   8432  (WTB,  Enf.  and 
Consumer Info.  Div., 1999) (proposing an  aggregate $4,500 
forfeiture for failure to  timely file renewal applications 
for  3 paging  stations),  forfeiture ordered,  15 FCC  Rcd 
18263 (Enf. Bur. 2000).

28 See Response at 2.

29 See, e.g.,  Radio One Licenses, Inc., 18  FCC Rcd 15964, 
15965  4  (2003), recon. denied, 18 FCC  Rcd 25481 (2003); 
Emery  Telephone, 13  FCC Rcd  23854, 23858  (1998), recon. 
denied , 15 FCC Rcd 7181 (1999); Shared Data, 20 FCC Rcd at 
18187; Petracom of Texarkana, LLC, 19 FCC Rcd 8096, 8097-98 
 5-6  (Enf. Bur.  2004); American Family  Association, 17 
FCC Rcd  18135, 18137 (Enf.  Bur. 2002), recon.  denied, 18 
FCC Rcd 2413  (Enf. Bur. 2003); but  see Journal Broadcast, 
20  FCC  Rcd  at  18213  (mitigating  effect  of  voluntary 
disclosure  was  abrogated  by  licensee  delay);  American 
Paging,  Inc.,  12 FCC  Rcd  10417,  10420 (WTB,  Enf.  and 
Consumer Info. Div., 1997)  (mitigating effect of voluntary 
disclosure was abrogated by licensee delay).  

30 See  Padre Serra Communications,  Inc., 14 FCC  Rcd 9709 
(1999) (citing  Gaffney Broadcasting, Inc., 23  FCC 2d 912, 
913 (1970)  and Eleven Ten  Broadcasting Corp., 33  FCC 706 
(1962));  Surrey Range  Limited Partnership,  71 RR  2d 882 
(FOB 1992).

31 See Discussion  Radio, 19 FCC Rcd at  7437; Shared Data, 
20 FCC  Rcd at 18187-88;  Journal Broadcast, 20 FCC  Rcd at 
18214; William S. Mills, 15 FCC Rcd 20071, 20072 (Enf. Bur. 
2000);  see  also  Peacock's   Radio  and  Wild's  Computer 
Service, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd 15016, 15017 (2001).

32 See n.18, supra.  

33 Pacific  Western Broadcasters, Inc.,  50 FCC 2d 819   4 
(1975) (rejecting a broadcaster's claim that the forfeiture 
should  be downwardly  adjusted because  its operations  at 
excessive  power  levels  did  not  cause  public  harm  or 
complaint,  stating that  ``[t]he  Commission  not only  is 
concerned with  actual interference, but is  concerned with 
the potential for interference'');  AGM-Nevada, LLC, 18 FCC 
Rcd  1476,  1478-79    8 (Enf.  Bur.  2003)  (rejecting  a 
licensee's claim  that the forfeiture should  be downwardly 
adjusted because  even though it operated  booster stations 
at  unauthorized sites  with  excessive  power levels,  its 
operations did not result in interference). 

34 See Response at 2. 

35 See infra, para. 19.

36 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

37 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.

38 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

39 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.