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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
File No. EB-08-SE-526
In the Matter of )
NAL/Acct. No. 200932100057
Corr Wireless Communications LLC )
FRN # 0003804101
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: May 8, 2009 Released: May 11, 2009
By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we find Corr
Wireless Communications LLC ("Corr"), licensee of Common Carrier Fixed
Point-to-Point Microwave stations WMV851 and WPJD282, apparently
liable for a forfeiture in the amount of six thousand four hundred
dollars ($6,400) for operating its stations on unauthorized
frequencies in apparent willful and repeated violation of Section
1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules").
1. On January 23, 2001, Corr was granted a Common Carrier Fixed
Point-to-Point Microwave license under call sign WMV851 to operate,
inter alia, on frequency 2115.20 MHz with an authorized bandwidth of
3.5 MHz. Also on January 23, 2001, Corr was granted a Common Carrier
Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave license under call sign WPJD282 to
operate, inter alia, on frequency 2165.20 MHz with an authorized
bandwidth of 3.5 MHz.
2. The Enforcement Bureau received a complaint alleging that Corr
Wireless was operating its microwave stations WMV851 and WPJD282 on
unauthorized frequencies. On July 31, 2008, the Spectrum Enforcement
Division of the Enforcement Bureau sent a Letter of Inquiry ("LOI") to
Corr requesting that the licensee respond to the allegations raised by
the complaint. Corr responded to the LOI on September 2, 2008. In its
Response, Corr states that on June 16, 2008, it discovered that
station WMV851 was operating on frequency 2118.5 MHz and that station
WPJD282 was operating on frequency 2168.45 MHz, neither of which is an
authorized frequency. Corr explains that it has not been able to
determine when the stations began operating on the unauthorized
frequencies. Corr further states that until late 1996, it had been
authorized to operate stations WMN213 and WMN214 on frequencies 2118.5
MHz and 2168.45 MHz, respectively, and believes that a technician
recently installed old modules tuned to these frequencies into the
transmitters for stations WMV851 and WPJD282 without realizing that
these transmitters were authorized to operate on different
frequencies. Corr further states that as soon as it discovered the
stations were operating on unauthorized frequencies, it took immediate
steps to divert traffic to alternative paths and shut down the
transmitters. Since Corr discovered that its stations were operating
on unauthorized frequencies, it states that it has taken affirmative
steps to ensure that such an incident does not occur again, including:
conducting a system-wide review of its transmitting stations to
determine if any other stations were operating at variance; posting
the authorized frequencies on each transmitting unit; and requiring
personnel who access locked transmitter sites to log in the dates and
times of their visits. Corr indicates that the transmitters for both
stations have been returned to service on the correct frequencies.
A. Operation on Unauthorized Frequencies
3. Section 1.903(a) of the Rules prohibits the use or operation of any
apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals
by a wireless radio station except under, and in accordance with, a
Commission granted authorization. Corr admits that it operated its
fixed point-to-point microwave stations WMV851and WPJD282 on
unauthorized frequencies for an undetermined period of time ending on
June 16, 2008. Accordingly, we find that Corr apparently willfully and
repeatedly operated stations WMV851 and WPJD282 in violation of
Section 1.903(a) of the Rules.
B. Proposed Forfeiture
4. Under Section 503(b)(1)(B) of the Act, any person who is determined by
the Commission to have willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with
any provision of the Act or any rule, regulation, or order issued by
the Commission shall be liable to the United States for a forfeiture
penalty. To impose such a forfeiture penalty, the Commission must
issue a notice of apparent liability and the person against whom such
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 violated the Act or a Commission rule. We conclude
under this standard that Corr is apparently liable for forfeiture for
its apparent willful and repeated violation of Section 1.903(a) of the
5. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b) of
the Rules establish a base forfeiture amount of four thousand dollars
($4,000) for operation on an unauthorized frequency. Corr concedes
that it operated stations WMV851 and WPJD282 on unauthorized
frequencies. We find that Corr's operation of each of these stations
on an unauthorized frequency is a separate violation, subject to a
separate proposed forfeiture of $4,000. We accordingly conclude that
Corr is apparently liable for a total proposed forfeiture of $8,000
for these violations.
6. Corr asserts that it was unaware that stations WMV851 and WPJD282 were
operating on unauthorized frequencies and speculates that one of its
technicians may have unknowingly caused the unauthorized operations.
As a Commission licensee, however, Corr is charged with the
responsibility of knowing and complying with the terms of its
authorizations, the Act and the Rules. In this regard, the Commission
has long held that a downward adjustment of a forfeiture is not
justified where violators claim their actions or omissions were due to
inadvertent errors. Moreover, the Commission has long held that
"licensees are responsible for the acts and omission of their
employees and independent contractors," and has consistently "refused
to excuse licensees from forfeiture penalties where the actions of
employees or independent contractors have resulted in violations."
Accordingly, we find that no reduction of the proposed forfeiture is
warranted on this basis. Additionally, Corr claims to have operated
scores of transmitting stations over 20 years with no previous
incident of this kind. We note, however, that the Bureau recently
found Corr in violation of the Commission's rules in an unrelated
matter. We therefore decline to reduce the proposed forfeiture amount
based upon Corr's claim of past compliance. We do find, however, that
a downward adjustment of the proposed forfeiture from $8,000 to $6,400
is warranted because Corr undertook corrective measures after learning
of its violations, but prior to any Commission inquiry or initiation
of enforcement action.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
2. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Rules,
Corr Wireless Communications LLC IS hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of six thousand four hundred
dollars ($6,400) for the willful and repeated violation of Section
1.903(a) of the Rules.
3. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Rules,
within thirty days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, Corr Wireless Communications LLC SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
7. 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/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 TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by
credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.
When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in
block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in
block number 24A (payment type code). 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. Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk
at 1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions
regarding payment procedures. Corr will also send an electronic
notification on the date said payment is made to
Jackie.Ellington@fcc.gov and JoAnn.Lucanik@fcc.gov.
4. 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.
5. 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
6. 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 Donald J. Evans Esq., counsel for Corr
Wireless Communications LLC, Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth, P.L.C., 1300
North 17th Street, 11th Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kathryn S. Berthot
Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division
47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).
See File No. 0000288862 (renewal application granted January 23, 2001).
See File No. 0000288863 (renewal application granted January 23, 2001).
See Letter from Kathryn S. Berthot, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division,
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, to Bryan A. Corr,
Sr., President and CEO, Corr Wireless Communications LLC (July 31, 2008).
See Letter from Donald J. Evans, Counsel for Corr Wireless Communications
LLC, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission
(September 2, 2008) ("Response").
Id. at 1.
Id. at 2. Because Corr received no complaints of interference, Corr states
it assumes that the problem was of relatively short duration.
Id. at 1.
Id. at 2.
Id. at 1.
47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).
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. S: 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 Southern California Broadcasting
Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991), recon.
denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992) ("Southern California").
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, which also applies to forfeitures assessed
pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that "[t]he term
`repeated,' ... 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). See Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 (2001); Southern
California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(a)(1).
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,
See The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd
17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b)(4), Note to Paragraph (b)(4): Section I. Base Amounts
for Section 503 Forfeitures.
The base forfeiture amount is $10,000 for construction and/or operation
without an instrument of authorization for the service. Id. Because Corr
holds valid authorizations for the service, we find this base amount to be
PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 7 FCC
Rcd 2088 (1992); Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4387 (stating that
"inadvertence ... is at best, ignorance of the law, which the Commission
does not consider a mitigating circumstance").
Eure Family Limited Partnership, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 17 FCC Rcd
21861, 21863-64 (2002) ("Eure"); MTD, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order,
6 FCC Rcd 34, 35 (1991); Wagenvoord Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion
and Order, 35 FCC 2d 361 (1972).
See Eure, 17 FCC Rcd at 21863-64; Triad Broadcasting Company, Inc.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 96 FCC 2d 1235, 1244 (1984).
See Corr Wireless Communications, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 22 FCC Rcd 11567, 11570 (Enf. Bur. Spectrum Enf. Div., 2008)
(finding that Corr apparently willfully and repeatedly violated former
Section 20.19(d)(2) of the Rules by failing to include in its digital
wireless handset offerings at least two models that meet the inductive
coupling standards for hearing aid compatibility by September 18, 2006),
Although Section 504(c) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 504(c), prohibits us from
relying on the issuance of a prior NAL that has not been paid or finally
adjudicated in district court to the prejudice of the party, we are not
barred from considering the underlying facts from a prior unpaid NAL in
assessing the appropriate forfeiture amount. See Forfeiture Policy
Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17102-04; see also Infinity Radio Operations,
Inc., Order on Review, 22 FCC Rcd 9824, 9826-9828 (2007).
See, e.g., Petracom of Texarkana, LLC, Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 8096,
8097-8098 (Enf. Bur., 2004).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 09-1044
Federal Communications Commission DA 09-1044