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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Chula Vista Cable, Ltd.
) File Number: EB-06-SD-190
Operator of Cable Television System
) NAL/Acct. No.: 200732940005
Community Unit ID: CA1272
) FRN: 0016106908
Physical System ID: 012866
Chula Vista, California
Adopted: September 25, 2007 Released: September 27, 2007
By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of six thousand, four hundred dollars ($6,400) to Chula
Vista Cable, Ltd. ("CVC"), owner of a cable system serving Chula
Vista, California, for repeated violation of Section 11.35 of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules"). On March 21, 2007, the Enforcement
Bureau's San Diego Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture ("NAL") in the amount of $8,000 to CVC for failing to
ensure the operational readiness of the Emergency Alert System ("EAS")
equipment in its Chula Vista, California cable system. In this Order
we consider CVC's request that we reduce the forfeiture amount because
of its financial ability to pay the forfeiture, and its history of
compliance with the Rules.
2. On August 8, 2006, an agent of the Enforcement Bureau's San Diego
Office attempted to inspect the operational readiness of the EAS
equipment installed at CVC's cable television system serving Chula
Vista, California. During this inspection, the San Diego agent found
that the system's EAS equipment, including both the encoder and the
decoder, had been purchased and delivered to the cable system's
head-end, but was never installed. Upon returning to the San Diego
Office, the agent reviewed the Commission's records and other public
records and determined that CVC had over 3000 subscribers and had not
been granted waivers of EAS requirements.
3. On December 8, 2006, a Letter of Inquiry ("LOI") was issued by the San
Diego Office to CVC asking questions concerning the cable system's FCC
registration filings and cable leakage program, as well as the status
of the EAS equipment at CVC. No response was received to that LOI. A
second LOI was sent February 8, 2007, warning that sanction action
against CVC was possible if no reply was received. A timely reply to
the second LOI from CVC was received by the San Diego Office on
February 20, 2007, indicating that the EAS equipment has been
installed, but none had been operational prior to the August 8, 2006,
inspection. The reply also indicated that the owner had not installed
EAS equipment for at least two years.
4. On March 21, 2007, the Enforcement Bureau's San Diego Office issued
the NAL in the amount of $8,000 to CVC for violating Section 11.35 of
the Rules. CVC filed a response ("Response") to the NAL on April 18,
2007. In its Response, CVC asks for mitigation of the forfeiture based
of its ability to pay, as well as its history of compliance with the
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines ("Forfeiture
Policy Statement"). In examining CVC's response, Section 503(b) of the
Act requires that the Commission take into account 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 other such matters as justice may
6. The Rules provide that every cable television system is part of the
nationwide EAS network and is categorized as a participating national
EAS source unless the station affirmatively requests authority to not
participate. The EAS provides the President and state and local
governments with the capability to provide immediate and emergency
communications and information to the general public. State and local
area plans identify local primary sources responsible for coordinating
carriage of common emergency messages from sources such as the
National Weather Service or local emergency management officials.
Required monthly and weekly tests originate from EAS Local or State
Primary sources and must be retransmitted by the participating
7. Section 11.35 of the Rules requires all cable television systems to
ensure that EAS encoders, EAS decoders and attention signal generating
and receiving equipment is installed and operational so that the
monitoring and transmitting functions are available during the times
the station is in operation. Cable systems must also determine the
cause of any failure to receive required monthly and weekly EAS tests,
and must indicate in the station's log why any required tests were not
received and when defective equipment is removed and restored to
8. Section 11.61(a)(1) and (2) of the Rules requires cable television
systems to (a) receive monthly EAS tests from designated local primary
EAS sources and retransmit the monthly test within 60 minutes of its
receipt and (b) conduct tests of the EAS header and EOM codes at least
once a week at random days and times. The requirement that stations
monitor, receive and retransmit the required EAS tests ensures the
operational integrity of the EAS system in the event of an actual
disaster. Appropriate entries must be made in the broadcast station
log as specified.
9. The August 8, 2006, inspection by a San Diego agent revealed that the
CVC EAS equipment was not operational, however, EAS equipment was
present at the system at the time of the inspection. In its response
to the second LOI issued by the San Diego Office, CVC acknowledged
that it had not installed EAS equipment for over two years, believing
no EAS equipment was required for a system of its size. However, no
waivers of the EAS requirements have been granted to CVC
10. CVC does not dispute the EAS violations found by the San Diego agent,
however, CVC asks that the forfeiture amount be reduced because the
size of the forfeiture "will greatly impact the ability of the company
to continue." To support this claim, CVC supplies its last three years
of tax records. In analyzing a financial hardship claim, the
Commission generally has looked to gross revenues as a reasonable and
appropriate yardstick in determining whether a licensee is able to pay
the assessed forfeiture. The data produced by CVC, however, does not
support cancellation or reduction of the forfeiture, as the forfeiture
amount does not exceed two percent of CVC's average gross revenues for
the three years covered by the financial documents. Therefore, we are
unable to reduce the forfeiture based on CVC's inability to pay.
11. CVC appears to ask that the forfeiture amount be reduced based on its
overall history of compliance with the Commission's Rules. We have
reviewed our records and we concur. Consequently, we reduce CVC's
forfeiture amount from $8,000 to $6,400.
12. Based on the information before us, having examined it according to
the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture
Policy Statement, we find that reduction of the proposed forfeiture to
$6,400 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
13. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Chula Vista Cable,
Ltd., IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of $6,400 for
repeatedly violating Section 11.35 of the Rules.
14. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
Section 1.80 of the 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. 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: Associate Managing Director - Financial Operations, Room
1A625, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class Mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Chula Vista
Cable, Ltd., at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
47 C.F.R. S: 11.35.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732940005
(Enf. Bur., Western Region, San Diego Office, released March 21, 2007).
See Report and Order, Amendment of Part 11of the Commission's Rules
Regarding the Emergency Alert System, 17 FCC Rcd 4055, 4083 (2002) (the
Commission will continue to grant waivers of the EAS rules to small cable
systems on a case-by-case basis upon a showing of financial hardship);
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules,17 FCC
Rcd 20108 (EB 2002) (Several cable systems granted 36 month EAS waivers in
Arizona and New Mexico, until October 2005); Public Notice: EAS Waiver
Extensions Granted To Very Small Cable Systems, 21 FCC Rcd 7129 (EB 2006)
(no EAS waivers extensions for any CVC cable systems requested or
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S:S: 11.11 and 11.41.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 11.1 and 11.21.
47 C.F.R. S: 11.18. State EAS plans contain guidelines that must be
followed by broadcast and cable personnel, emergency officials and
National Weather Service personnel to activate the EAS for state and local
emergency alerts. The state plans include the EAS header codes and
messages to be transmitted by the primary state, local and relay EAS
47 C.F.R. S: 11.35(a), (b).
The required monthly and weekly tests are required to conform to the
procedures in the EAS Operational Handbook. See also, Amendment of Part 11
of the Commission's Rules Regarding the Emergency Alert System, 17 FCC Rcd
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1992)
(forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 2.02
percent of the violator's gross revenues).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 11.35.
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-4029
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-4029