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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Rama Communications, Inc. ) File Number: EB-05-TP-450
Licensee of Station WTIR ) NAL/Acct. No.: 200732700005
Cocoa Beach, FL ) FRN: 0005008016
Facility ID # 55005 )
Adopted: February 28, 2007 Released: March 2, 2007
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to Rama
Communications, Inc. ("Rama"), licensee of station WTIR, in Cocoa
Beach, Florida, for willful and repeated violation of Sections
11.35(a) and 73.49 of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The noted
violations involve Rama's failure to maintain operational Emergency
Alert System ("EAS") equipment and failure to maintain effective
locked fences or enclosures around the bases of its antenna
2. In response to two complaints received in November 2005, agents from
the Commission's Tampa Office of the Enforcement Bureau ("Tampa
Office") inspected the main studio of station WTIR in Cocoa Beach,
Florida on January 10 and 11, 2006. On both dates, the agents observed
that the entrance gate to the perimeter property fence was torn down,
leaving a wide opening that was adjacent to the station's studio
parking lot. There were no individual fences around any of the antenna
structures. During the January 11, 2006 inspection, the agents
observed that the station's EAS unit was installed, but not
operational. The wiring from the EAS unit had been removed. The
station did not maintain an EAS log, which stated when the equipment
became damaged or when required EAS tests were conducted. The
station's most recent required EAS test receipt was dated August 3,
3. On December 19, 2006, the Tampa Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Rama in the amount of fifteen thousand
dollars ($15,000) for the apparent willful and repeated violation of
Sections 11.35(a) and 73.49 of the Rules. Rama submitted a response to
the NAL requesting a reduction of the proposed forfeiture based on its
remedial good faith efforts to comply with the Rules.
4. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
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, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"). In examining
Rama'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 require.
5. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires all broadcast stations to
ensure that EAS encoders, EAS decoders, 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. Broadcast stations 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 service. On January 11, 2006, during an inspection during normal
business hours, Rama's EAS equipment was installed, but not
operational. The wiring had been removed from the EAS unit. The
station engineer was aware that the equipment was damaged but did not
know when it was damaged or when it would be repaired. The station did
not maintain a log that stated when the EAS equipment became damaged
or when required EAS tests were conducted. The station's most recent
required EAS test receipt was dated August 3, 2005. There was no
evidence that the EAS equipment was operational after August 3, 2005.
In its response to the NAL, Rama states that it has since installed an
operational EAS system and trained its employees on EAS log keeping.
It asserts it is now in compliance with Section 11.35(a) of the Rules.
6. Section 73.49 of the Rules requires antenna towers having radio
frequency potential at the base (series fed, folded, unipole and
insulated base antennas) to be enclosed with effective locked fences
or other enclosures. Individual tower fences need not be installed if
the towers are contained within a protective property fence. On
January 10 and 11, 2006, there were no individual fences around the
station's antenna towers that had radio frequency potential at their
bases. The station maintained a perimeter property fence, but the gate
to that fence was torn down. The opening in the perimeter fence was
located adjacent to the WTIR studio parking lot and allowed direct
access to the property. Thus, the perimeter property fence was not
protective. In response to the NAL, Rama states that the perimeter
fence was damaged in a storm and that it has since repaired the
perimeter fence and erected new fences around the bases of the antenna
structures. It asserts it is now in compliance with Section 73.49 of
7. Based on the evidence, we find that Rama willfully and repeatedly
violated Sections 11.35(a) and 73.49 of the Rules by failing to
maintain operational EAS equipment and failing to maintain effective
locked fences or enclosures around the bases of its antenna
8. In its response to the NAL, Rama requests that the $15,000 forfeiture
be reduced based on its remedial good faith efforts to comply with the
Rules. However, corrective action taken to come into compliance with
the Rules after an inspection and cooperation with agents is expected,
and does not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or violations.
9. We have examined Rama's response to the NAL pursuant to the statutory
factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy
Statement. As a result of our review, we conclude that Rama willfully
and repeatedly violated Sections 11.35(a) and 73.49 of the Rules and
that no reduction of the proposed $10,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Rama Communications, Inc. IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of fifteen thousand
dollars ($15,000) for violation of Sections 11.35(a) and 73.49 of the
11. 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,
445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Rama
Communications, Inc. at its address of record and to its counsel, Todd
Steiner, Putbrese, Hunsaker & Trent, P.C., 200 S. Church St.,
Woodstock, VA 22664.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. SS 11.35(a), 73.49.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732700005
(Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, December 19, 2006) ("NAL").
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(D).
47 C.F.R. S 11.35(b).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(1), which applies to
violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of the
Act, provides that "[t]he term `willful,' ... means the conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent
to violate any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the
Commission authorized by this Act ...." See Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
The term "repeated," when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, "means the commission or omission of such act more
than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous, for more than
one day." 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(2).
Rama cites Surrey Front Range Ltd Partnership in support of its request
for a reduction. Surrey Front Range Ltd Partnership, 7 FCC Rcd
6361(1992). However, in that case, the notice of apparent liability was
amended and the proposed forfeiture reduced from $7,500 to $6,000 because
the Field Operations Bureau found the station was missing fewer
issues/programs lists than originally alleged. The Bureau denied Surrey's
request for a further reduction based on its corrective action, stating
"[c]orrective action likewise is not a downward adjustment criterion.
Remedial action, although commendable, does not nullify a forfeiture
See Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SSS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 11.35(a),
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-882
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-882