Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version


This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.


                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                            Washington, D.C.  20554

                                             File No. EB-06-MDIC-0049      
                                             File No. EB-07-MDIC-0021      
                                             File No. EB-07-MDIC-0025      
     In the Matter of                    )                                 
                                             File No. EB-07-MDIC-0030      
     West Star Telecommunications, LLC   )                                 
                                             File No. EB-07-MDIC-0049      
     Apparent Liability for Forfeiture   )                                 
                                             File No. EB-07-MDIC-0055      
                                             NAL/Acct. No. 2008-3209-0001  
                                             FRN: 0017-4416-35             


   Adopted: February 19, 2008  Released: February 19, 2008

   By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

   I. introduction

    1. This Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") finds that
       West Star Telecommunications, LLC ("West Star" or "Defendant")
       apparently violated section 1.717 of the Commission's rules and
       certain Commission letter orders by failing to respond to six informal
       complaints served on Defendant by the Commission. Based upon our
       review of the facts and circumstances surrounding this apparent
       violation, we find that West Star is apparently liable for a
       forfeiture in the amount of $24,000.


    2. The Commission's informal complaint rules provide a mechanism for
       complainants to (i) allege that a common carrier has violated Title II
       of the Communication Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"), and (ii)
       receive a response in writing from the carrier defendant. The process
       is designed to enable the parties to resolve disputes informally. A
       complainant initiates the process by filing the informal complaint
       with the Commission. Pursuant to section 1.717 of the rules, the
       Commission then issues a letter order entitled "Notice of Informal
       Complaint" ("Notice"). In that Notice, the Commission forwards the
       informal complaint to the appropriate carrier and prescribes a time
       for such carrier to respond in writing to the informal complaint. The
       defendant must file its response with the Commission and serve it on
       the complainant. If the complainant is not satisfied by the carrier's
       response, and the parties are not able to resolve the dispute
       informally, the complainant may file a formal complaint.

    3. Payphone service providers ("PSPs") and their representatives often
       file informal complaints in an effort to recover per-call payphone
       compensation that carriers allegedly owe. As required by rule 1.717,
       the Commission served on West Star six informal complaints filed by
       various PSPs. For example, the Commission Notice dated April 4, 2007
       in APCC v. West Star Telecommunications, LLC was served on West Star.
       The Notice required West Star to respond in writing "specifically to
       all material allegations raised in the informal complaint and
       summarize the actions taken or to be taken to satisfy it." The Notice
       further directed West Star to "file a response within twenty business
       days of the date of this letter . . . Failure to respond . . . may
       subject West Star to enforcement action. Such Notices were served on
       West Star for each of the subsequent five informal complaints.

   III. Discussion

    A. Authority

    4. Any person who the Commission determines has willfully or repeatedly
       failed to comply with any provision of the Act, or any rule,
       regulation, or order issued by the Commission, is liable to the United
       States for a forfeiture penalty. As defined by the Act, "willful"
       means "the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of [any]
       act, irrespective of any intent to violate" the law. 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, and
       the Commission has so interpreted  the term in the section  503(b)
       context. The Commission also may assess a forfeiture for violations
       that are merely repeated, and not willful.  "Repeated" means that the
       act was committed or omitted more than once, or lasts more than one

    5. To impose a forfeiture penalty, the Commission must issue a notice of
       apparent liability, and the person against whom the notice has been
       issued must have an opportunity to show, in writing, why no such
       forfeiture penalty should be imposed. The Commission will then issue a
       forfeiture if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the
       person has willfully or repeatedly violated the Act or a Commission
       order or rule.

    6. Sections 4(i), 4(j), 218, and 403 of the Act afford the Commission
       broad authority to investigate the entities it regulates. Section 4(i)
       authorizes the Commission to "issue such orders, not inconsistent with
       this Act, as may be necessary in the execution of its functions," and
       section 4(j) states that "the Commission may conduct its proceedings
       in such manner as will best conduce to the proper dispatch of business
       and to the ends of justice." Section 218 of the Act specifically
       authorizes the Commission to "obtain from . . . carriers . . . full
       and complete information necessary to enable the Commission to perform
       the duties and carry out the objects for which it was created."
       Finally, as noted above, rule 1.717 directs the carrier to respond to
       informal complaints within the prescribed time.

    7. We find that West Star apparently violated section 1.717 of the
       Commission's rules and its letter orders by failing to respond to the
       above-referenced informal complaints served by the Commission. The
       Commission recently reminded carriers of the importance of responding
       to informal complaints, and the seriousness of the penalties for
       failure to do so. Nevertheless, Defendant has not responded to the six
       informal complaints. We conclude that Defendant's continuing failure
       to respond to the informal complaints constitutes an apparent willful
       and repeated violation of a Commission rule and Commission letter

    B. Forfeiture Amount

    8. The Act establishes the Commission's authority to assess forfeitures;
       the Commission's rules set the limits. Section 503(b)(2)(B) of the Act
       authorizes the Commission to assess a forfeiture 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.
       Section 1.80 of the Commission's rules and the Commission's Forfeiture
       Policy Statement establish a base forfeiture amount of $4,000 for
       failure to respond to a Commission communication. West Star's failure
       to respond to the Commission's notices of the six informal complaints,
       as required by section 1.717 of the Commission's rules, and letter
       orders warrants the base forfeiture amount of $4,000 for each informal
       complaint, for a proposed forfeiture of $24,000.

    9. West Star will have an opportunity to submit evidence and arguments in
       response to this NAL to attempt to show that no forfeiture should be
       imposed or that some lesser amount should be assessed.


   10. We conclude that West Star apparently willfully or repeatedly violated
       a Commission rule by failing to provide written responses to the
       Commission in response to six informal complaints. Accordingly, a
       proposed forfeiture is warranted against Defendant for this apparent
       willful or repeated violation.

   11. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
       Communications Act of 1934, as amended, section 1.80(f)(4) of the
       Commission's rules, and authority delegated by sections 0.111 and
       0.311 of the Commission's rules, West Star IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
       FORFEITURE in the amount of $24,000.00 for willfully or repeatedly
       failing to respond to six informal complaints served by the
       Commission, in violation of section 1.717 of the Commission's rules
       and Commission letter orders.

   12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section 1.80 of the
       Commission's rules, within thirty days of the release date of this
       NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, West Star SHALL PAY the full amount of
       the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
       reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

   13. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card through the
       Commission's Revenue and Receivables Operations Group at (202)
       418-1995, or by check or similar instrument, payable to the order of
       the Federal Communications Commission. The payment must include the
       Account Number and FRN Number referenced above. Payment by check or
       money order may be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
       Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by overnight mail may be
       sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005
       Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment by wire transfer may be
       made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank Federal Reserve Bank of
       New York, and account number 27000001. Requests for full payment under
       an installment plan should be sent to:  Chief Financial Officer --
       Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
       D.C.  20554.   Questions, please contact the Financial Operations
       Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:

   14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
       for Forfeiture shall be served by first class mail with a certified
       mail return receipt requested to West Star Telecommunications, LLC, at
       the home address of its principal, Jeff Larsen, 7743 Keswick Dr.,
       Sandy, Utah 84093.


   Kris A. Monteith

   Chief, Enforcement Bureau


         Informal Complaints against West Star Telecommunications, LLC

   File No. Complainant/ Notice Served


   EB-06-MDIC-0049 APCC Services, Inc. 04/06/07

   Weststar Telecom'ns, LLC

   EB-07-MDIC-0021 PBS TelCom Inc. 06/20/07

   West Star Telecom'ns, LLC

   EB-07-MDIC-0025 G-Five LLC 06/20/07

   Weststar Telecom'ns, LLC

   EB-07-MDIC-0030 C&M 06/20/07

   West Star Telecom'ns, LLC

   EB-07-MDIC-0049 Pinnacle Public 12/07/07

   West Star

   EB-07-MDIC-0055 Paytel 12/20/07

   West Star

   Defendant is variously referred to as "West Star," "WestStar," and
   "Weststar" in the various complaints - see Attachment. For consistency and
   ease of reference, we will refer to Defendant as "West Star."

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.717.

   47 U.S.C. S:S: 201 - 276.

   47 C.F.R. S:S: 1.716 - 717.

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.717.

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.717.

   See 47 C.F.R. S:S: 1.718, 1.720-1.736 (describing the formal complaint

   See 47 C.F.R. S:S: 64.1300-64.1340 (describing payphone compensation

   See Appendix.

   APCC Services v. West Star Telecommunications, LLC, Notice of Possible
   Enforcement Action, File No. EB-06-MDIC-0049 (dated Apr. 4, 2007)

   Notice at 2.

   Notice at 2.

   See Appendix.

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1)(B).

   47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).

   H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).

   See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
   Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) ("Southern
   California Broadcasting Co.").

   See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Grand Isle, Louisiana, Notice of
   Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362, P: 10
   (2001) ("Callais Cablevision") (issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability
   for, inter alia, a cable television operator's repeated signal leakage).

   Southern California Broadcasting Co.,  6 FCC Rcd at 4388, P: 5; Callais
   Cablevision,  16 FCC Rcd at 1362, P: 9.

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(f).

   See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order,  17 FCC Rcd 7589,
   7591 (2002) ("SBC Forfeiture Order").

   47 U.S.C. S:S: 154(i), 154(j), 218, 403.

   47 U.S.C. S:S: 154(i), 154(j).

   47 U.S.C. S: 218.

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.717.

   Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds Common Carriers of Their
   Obligation to Timely Respond to Informal Complaints, Public Notice, 22 FCC
   Rcd 4243 (2007).

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(B), as amended. See 47 C.F.R. S: 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).
   Citing 28 U.S.C. S: 2461, the Debt Collection Improvement Act, the
   Commission adjusted the statutory amounts upward (from $100,000 to
   $130,000 per violation or day of continuing violation, and from $1,000,000
   to $1,325,000 for any single act or failure to act, as described).

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.80; Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
   of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
   Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17114 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC
   Rcd 303 (1999).

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.717.

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(4)(C); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(f)(3).

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

   47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(f)(4).

   47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311.

   (...continued from previous page)


   Federal Communications Commission DA 08-424


   Federal Communications Commission DA 08-424