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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Real Life Broadcasting File Number EB-08-PA-010
Licensee of AM Station WIFI NAL/Acct. No. 200832400005
Florence, New Jersey FRN 0007-66-4493
Facility ID # 55310
Adopted: September 1, 2009 Released: September 3, 2009
By the Regional Director, Northeast Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of eighteen thousand four hundred dollars ($18,400) to
Real Life Broadcasting ("Real Life"), licensee of station WIFI, in
Florence, New Jersey, for willfully and repeatedly violating Sections
73.1745(a), 11.35, 73.49, and 73.3526(e)(12) of the Commission's Rules
("Rules") by operating station WIFI with excessive power, failing to
maintain an operational EAS system, failing to maintain an effective
enclosure at the base of the WIFI tower, and failing to maintain
issues/program lists in the public inspection file. In this Order, we
consider Real Life's request for cancellation or reduction of the
forfeiture amount based on its remedial efforts, its overall history
of compliance with the Rules, and its inability to pay.
2. Between April 18, 2007 and February 7, 2008, agents from the
Commission's Philadelphia Office conducted inspections of station WIFI
in response to complaints alleging that the station was operating with
3. At the time of the inspections conducted between April 18, 2007, and
April 24, 2007, Real Life held a Special Temporary Authority ("STA")
authorizing it to operate station WIFI with parameters at variance
and/or reduced power while maintaining monitor points within licensed
limits or to operate station WIFI with a non-directional antenna and
reduced power not to exceed 1250 Watts daytime and 125 Watts
4. Between 8:57 p.m. and 9:35 p.m. on April 18, 2007, and between 10:40
a.m. and 11:04 a.m. on April 20, 2007, agents conducted field
intensity measurements of the WIFI signal on 1460 kHz at the station's
monitoring points. The agents found that the station exceeded the
licensed field intensity limits at the monitoring points along the
39.5o, 284.6 o and 347 o radials. Because Real Life was operating
station WIFI with a non-directional antenna and not maintaining the
monitoring points within licensed limits, Real Life was required under
the STA to operate station WIFI with a power not to exceed 1250 Watts
daytime and 125 Watts nighttime.
5. According to an entry in the station logs, Real Life was operating
station WIFI with 1250 Watts of power during the daytime on April 20,
2007. Based on the agent's field intensity measurements, which were
made on April 18, 2007, and on April 20, 2007, and the station's power
on April 20, 2007, the agents calculated that, on April 18, 2007
between 8:57 p.m. and 9:35 p.m., Real Life operated station WIFI with
998.6 Watts, resulting in operation at 799 percent of the authorized
nighttime power (125 Watts).
6. On April 20, 2007, agents inspected the EAS equipment at the WIFI main
studio and reviewed the records of all EAS activations received and
transmitted between October 22, 2006, and April 20, 2007. At the time
of the inspection on April 20, 2007, Real Life was unable to provide
any EAS logs of any kind to demonstrate that the station had received
an EAS alert since February 20, 2007, or that the equipment had been
removed for repair. The agents also observed that the station's EAS
equipment was incapable of receiving any EAS activations. One of the
radio receivers connected to the station's EAS decoder was turned off.
The other radio receiver connected to the station's EAS decoder was
powered on and tuned to FM broadcast station WKXW on the frequency
101.5 MHz. However, the audio from WKXW was barely audible through the
station EAS decoder. During the inspection, agents informed WIFI's
chief operator about the condition of the EAS equipment and warned him
that the EAS equipment was not operational.
7. During the inspection on April 20, 2007, the agents also reviewed the
contents of the station's public inspection file and found that it did
not contain any issues/program lists. Real Life was required to
maintain all issues/program lists since June 1, 2006, the beginning of
its most recent renewal term.
8. After conducting the inspection at the main studio on April 20, 2007,
agents proceeded to WIFI's transmitter site. Real Life has a four
tower directional antenna array for station WIFI and each of the
antenna structures is enclosed within a fence. There is no property
fence surrounding the tower array. The agents observed that the gates
to three of the four antenna structures were left open and the gate to
the fourth antenna structure that WIFI was using for its
non-directional antenna was closed but not locked. The agents
immediately informed the President of Real Life and the station's
contract engineer that the fences surrounding each WIFI antenna
structure must be secured within an effective locked fence.
9. On April 23, 2007, agents returned to the WIFI main studio and
conducted another inspection of the station's EAS equipment. The
agents observed that the condition of the EAS equipment had not
changed since the April 20, 2007, inspection. At 1:16 p.m. on April
23, 2007, at the request of FCC agents, broadcast station WKXW
transmitted an EAS test. The EAS decoder at station WIFI did not
receive the EAS test from station WKXW. The agents determined that, at
the time of the inspection, the monitoring functions of the EAS
equipment at station WIFI were not available because the radio
receivers connected to the EAS equipment were incapable of receiving
10. On April 23, 2007, agents returned to WIFI's transmitter site and
observed that the gates to three of the four antenna structures were
closed and locked. However, the gate to the fourth antenna structure
that Real Life was using for the non-directional antenna for station
WIFI was still not locked.
11. On April 24, 2007, agents met with WIFI's contract engineer at the
transmitter site. The contract engineer informed the agents that he
had been leaving the gate to the non-directional antenna unlocked
because the key for the gate's lock had been lost. He stated that he
replaced the lock and secured it when he arrived at the transmitter
site that morning. The contract engineer also reported to the agents
that the circuit to change the transmitter from daytime to nighttime
mode had not been working for more than one year. Instead, the
caretaker at the property is responsible for switching the transmitter
to nighttime mode and the contract engineer admitted that sometimes
the caretaker does not reduce the power and there are no other
procedures in place to ensure that the transmitter is in the correct
12. On July 16, 2007, the Philadelphia Office issued a Letter of Inquiry
to Real Life as a follow-up on issues resulting from the inspections
of station WIFI between April 18, 2007 and April 24, 2007. The issues
addressed in the LOI included, among other things, the station's
operating power, EAS equipment, antenna structure enclosures, and the
radio issues/program lists.
13. On August 2, 2007, the Philadelphia Office received a response to the
Letter of Inquiry from Real Life. In the response, Real Life stated
that it invested in a new remote monitoring unit, a Burk ARC Plus,
which can automatically adjust the station's power to the authorized
daytime and nighttime modes. Real Life also acknowledged that, prior
to April 24, 2007, it had last received an EAS activation on February
20, 2007. Real Life stated that its EAS equipment was impacted by
lightning in approximately March/April 2007. Real Life said that after
the most recent visit from the FCC, they immediately checked and reset
the equipment to monitor the Local Primary Stations as designated in
the New Jersey State EAS Plan. Furthermore, Real Life stated that its
issues/programs lists are now maintained in the station's public
inspection file, which is located in a file drawer in the station's
14. On January 23, 2008, the Philadelphia Office received information that
station WIFI was operating with excessive power. An agent of the
Philadelphia Office checked the FCC Records and found that the
Extension of Special Temporary Authority that the Commission granted
Real Life on October 2, 2007 for station WIFI expired on January 2,
2008. Therefore, Real Life was required to operate station WIFI
according to the terms of its license, which authorizes Real Life to
operate station WIFI with a directional antenna system and an antenna
input power of 5250 Watts daytime and 540 Watts nighttime.
15. Between January 26, 2008 and January 29, 2008 and on February 5, 2008,
an agent of the Philadelphia Office made field intensity measurements
of the WIFI signal on 1460 kHz with a calibrated Potomac Field
Intensity Meter. All measurements were made at the same location in
the parking lot of the WAWA Food Market, 3620 Bath Road, Bristol,
Pennsylvania 19007. The agents would later use these measurements to
determine that Real Life was operating station WIFI with excessive
16. On February 7, 2008, agents of the Philadelphia Office conducted an
inspection at WIFI's transmitter site. During the inspection, WIFI's
contract engineer stated that, because the station's common point
meter and transmitter plate voltage meter had completely failed, he
had been measuring the station's power with a meter on the transmitter
that provides readings in a percentage of 5000 Watts. The contract
engineer stated that he calibrated the meter a week after the agents'
last inspection on April 24, 2007 so that a reading of 100% on the
meter would correspond to 5000 Watts.
17. At the same time the contract engineer was changing the power of the
WIFI transmitter, an agent was conducting field intensity measurements
of station WIFI's signal with a calibrated field intensity meter.
These measurements were made at the same location where the field
intensity measurements were made between January 26, 2008 and January
29, 2008 and on February 5, 2008. Based on the field intensity
measurements and the agents' observations of the WIFI power meter
during the inspection on February 7, 2008, the agents determined that
on January 26, 2008 at 7:39 p.m. and on January 28, 2008 at 9:15 p.m.
Real Life operated station WIFI with 1750 Watts resulting in operation
at 324 percent of the authorized nighttime power (540 Watts). The
agents also determined that on January 27, 2008 at 8:35 p.m., Real
Life operated station WIFI with 750 Watts resulting in operation at
138% of the authorized nighttime power (540 Watts).
18. When advised that the station had operated over-powered between
January 26, 2008 and January 28, 2008, the contract engineer stated to
the agents that the Burk ARC Plus remote monitoring system did not
notify him that the station was out of tolerance. The contract
engineer further reported that the remote monitoring system did not
notify him that the station was over-powered during the tests
conducted that day by the agents.
19. The agents also conducted a main studio inspection on February 7,
2008. The agents reviewed the contents of the public inspection file
and found that Real Life was not maintaining the issues/program lists
in the station's public inspection file. In response to the agents'
request, Real Life was unable to provide to the agents any of the
issues/programs lists for station WIFI either during or after the
inspection. The agents also inspected the station's EAS equipment and
determined that it was fully operational.
20. On June 2, 2008, the Philadelphia Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") in the amount of $23,000 for
apparently willfully and repeatedly violating Sections 73.1745(a),
11.35, 73.49, and 73.3526(e)(12) of the Rules by operating station
WIFI with excessive power, failing to maintain an operational EAS
system, failing to maintain an effective enclosure at the base of the
WIFI tower, and failing to maintain issues/program lists in the public
inspection file. In its response to the NAL, Real Life requests a
cancellation or reduction based on its remedial efforts, its good
faith efforts to comply with the Rules, its history of overall
compliance, and its inability to pay.
21. 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 Real Life'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. As discussed below, we have considered Real Life's response
to the NAL in light of these statutory factors and have found that a
reduction in the forfeiture to $18,400 is warranted based on Real
Life's history of compliance with the Rules.
22. We find no merit in Real Life's claim that a cancellation or reduction
in the forfeiture proposed in the NAL for violating Section 73.49 of
the Rules is warranted because having one unsecured fence is much less
serious than other situations in which we have found a violation of
Section 73.49 of the Rules. Specifically, Real Life submits that it
has fences surrounding the bases of each of its towers and that,
although one of the fences was "inadvertently unsecured at the time of
inspection," it is unlike situations where a licensee has "utterly
failed to enclose or secure its transmitter site." We disagree. The
underlying policy rationale for requiring licensees to maintain
effective tower enclosures is to protect the public from gaining
access to a radiating antenna. While Real Life may have fences
surrounding each of its four antenna structures, the one antenna
structure that was actually radiating was the one that was not secured
by a locked fence. The fact that other sections of the WIFI
transmitter site were secured at the time is irrelevant. We therefore
decline to reduce or cancel the forfeiture on this basis.
23. Similarly, we decline to cancel or reduce the forfeiture based on Real
Life's claim that the amount of time it took the consulting engineer
to purchase and install a new lock for the fence was reasonable.
Agents found the gate unlocked on April 20, 2007, and immediately
advised Real Life's president of the violation. The gate still was
unlocked when agents returned three days later on April 23, 2007. We
do not believe that three days to replace the lock was reasonable
given that the public's safety and the possibility of contact with a
radiating antenna were involved.
24. Real Life's response to the NAL regarding the other violations -
operating station WIFI with excessive power, failing to maintain an
operational EAS system, and failing to maintain issues/program lists
in the public inspection file - consists almost entirely of
information regarding efforts it undertook after the agents'
inspections in April 2007. As the Commission has stated, "corrective
action taken to come into compliance with Commission rules or policy
is expected, and does not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or
violations." We therefore will not cancel or reduce the proposed
forfeiture based on Real Life's efforts to correct the violations
after the agents' inspections.
25. We also decline to reduce the forfeiture based on Real Life's claim of
financial hardship. In assessing such a claim, the Commission
considers the totality of the circumstances and thus takes into
account the assets of a subject's parent, sister, or subsidiary
companies. In support of its claim of financial hardship, Real Life
submits its federal tax returns for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007,
which it filed on Form 990-EZ. On its tax returns for 2005 and 2006,
Real Life indicates in Part IV of Schedule A ("Reason for Non-Private
Foundation Status") that it is a "Type II" organization based on its
relationship with "Burlington Assembly of God" as its "supported
organization." According to the instructions for Schedule A for Form
990-EZ, a "Type II supported organization is supervised or controlled
in connection with one or more publicly supported organizations" and a
"Type II relationship is comparable to a brother-sister relationship."
As a result, Real Life was asked to submit financial information
regarding Burlington Assembly of God. Burlington Assembly of God, also
known as the Fountain of Life Center, declined to submit any financial
documentation, claiming that it "does not own or hold any interest in
Real Life (which is a separate corporation)." As noted above, however,
the Commission takes into account the assets of related entities,
including those of a sister company. Absent financial information from
Burlington Assembly of God, we find that we do not have a complete
picture of Real Life's ability to pay the proposed forfeiture. We
therefore will not cancel or reduce the forfeiture on this basis.
26. We conclude, however, that a reduction in the forfeiture is warranted
based on Real Life's history of compliance with the Commission's
Rules. We have reviewed the Commission database and we find that a
reduction in the forfeiture to $18,400 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
27. 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, Real Life Broadcasting, Inc. IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of eighteen thousand
four hundred dollars ($18,400) for violations of Section 73.1745(a),
11.35, 73.49, and 73.3526(e)(12) of the Rules.
28. 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. Real Life Broadcasting, Inc. shall also
send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
29. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Real Life
Broadcasting, Inc. at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
G. Michael Mofffitt
Regional Director, Northeast Region
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1745(a), 11.35 and 73.49(a), and 73.3526(e)(12).
On April 20, 2007 at 1:45 p.m., the agents determined that station WIFI
was operating with 4991 Watts based on a reading of the common point
meter. Subsequent to the inspection, the station's contract engineer
informed the agents that the common point meter was not providing reliable
readings and that he did not know the last time the meter was calibrated.
The agents reviewed the station's transmitter logs and found an entry
indicating the contract engineer determined the station's operating power
was 1250 Watts on April 20, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. The determination was based
on the contract engineer's observation of a meter on the transmitter that
provides power readings in a percentage of 5000 Watts.
On February 7, 2008, the WIFI contract engineer informed the agents that
the Burk ARC Plus was installed a week or so after the FCC inspection on
April 24, 2007.
On October 2, 2007, the Commission granted Real Life an Extension of
Special Temporary Authority authorizing Real Life to operate station WIFI
for an additional period of 90 days with a non-directional antenna and a
power reduction to 125 Watts daytime and nighttime. The Commission also
specified that WIFI must operate with a further reduced power than
authorized in the previous STA, because the Commission received complaints
that WIFI was causing harmful interference to another licensed station and
the Commission was unable to find that any progress had been made toward
restoration of licensed operation. Although the Extension of Special
Temporary Authority expired on January 2, 2008, Real Life did not file
another request for Extension of STA with the Commission until February 6,
2008. On May 12, 2008, the Commission granted the request for STA that
Real Life filed on February 6, 2008. In light of the lapse of time between
the expiration of the prior STA on January 2, 2008 and the filing of the
February 6, 2008 request for Extension of STA, the Commission considered
the February 6, 2008 filing as a request for new STA. Therefore, the grant
did not cover the period between the expiration of the prior STA on
January 2, 2008 and the filing of the February 6, 2008 request.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200832400005
(Enf. Bur., Philadelphia Office, released June 2, 2008).
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).
Real Life cites to Pittman Broadcast Services, LLC, Forfeiture Order, 19
FCC Rcd 15320 (EB 2004) in which the licensee erroneously relied on marshy
terrain to prevent access to its towers and Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc.,
Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 4716 (EB 2004), in which the licensee had a
gate that was incapable of being closed or locked.
Real Life also submits that the tower site is in the middle of a large
parcel of private property and that the towers are set back approximately
800 feet from the road. While the towers may in fact be set back from the
road, the property is easily accessible to the public and, more
importantly, a school, Life Center Academy, is located on the property
near the towers.
We note that on April 24, 2007, the consulting engineer reported to agents
that he had been keeping the gate unlocked because he had lost the key,
not, as Real Life now claims, because the grass around the tower had just
We note that, with regard to its overpowered operation, Real Life reports
that it does not believe any "impermissible harmful interference" would
have occurred to other stations. It is well established, however, that the
absence of harm is not considered a mitigating factor of a rule violation.
See Liberty Cable Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 16105
(2001); Pacific Western Broadcasters, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order,
50 FCC 2d 819 (1975); AGM-Nevada, LLC, Forfeiture Order, 18 FCC Rcd 1476
(Enf. Bur. 2003); Bureau D'Electronique Appliquee, Inc., Forfeiture Order,
20 FCC Rcd 17893 (SED Enf. Bur. 2005); Western Slope Communications, LLC,
Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 8384 (WR Enf. Bur. 2008).
See Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994).
See KASA Radio Hogar, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 6256, 6258-59 P:P: 4-5 (2002)
(stating that it is appropriate to consider the income derived from its
consolidated operations to determine whether the "licensee in general is
financially capable of paying a forfeiture, not whether financial data
from a limited portion of its operations can sustain a forfeiture");
American Family Association, 18 FCC Rcd 2413, 2424-15 P: 6 (Enf. Bur.
2003) (stating that an evaluation of the ability to pay necessitates a
review of the revenues of not only the licensee, but of its parent company
For 2007, Real Life submitted a copy of its Form 990-N, "Electronic Notice
(e-postcard)," which apparently was filed in lieu of a complete federal
tax return because its gross receipts were less than $25,000 in 2007.
E-mail from Brendan Holland, Counsel for Real Life, to Sharon Webber,
Regional Counsel for Northeast Region, Enforcement Bureau, dated July 31,
In addition to the relationship between Burlington Assembly of God and
Real Life indicated in Real Life's federal tax returns, we also note that
the Fountain of Life Center's website states that it runs several
ministries, one of which is radio station WIFI. See
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 73.1745(a),
11.35 and 73.49(a), and 73.3526(e)(12).
Federal Communications Commission DA 09-1991
Federal Communications Commission DA 09-1991