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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Global Connection Inc. of America d/b/a Stand Up Wireless
) ) ) ) ) ) File No.: EB-IHD-13-00010970 NAL/Acct. No.: 201432080015 FRN:
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: December 9, 2013 Released: December 11, 2013
By the Commission:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), we continue
our commitment to combatting waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline
program (Lifeline) by taking action and proposing monetary forfeitures
against a company that apparently has ignored our rules and exploited
a program dedicated to providing low-income Americans with basic
telephone service. Specifically, we find that Global Connection Inc.
of America, d/b/a Stand Up Wireless (Global) apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Sections 54.407, 54.409, and 54.410 of the
Commission's rules^ by requesting and/or receiving support from the
Lifeline program of the Universal Service Fund (USF or Fund) for
ineligible subscriber lines for the months of June 2012 and December
2012 through May 2013 (inclusive). Based on our review of the facts
and circumstances surrounding these apparent violations, we propose a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of eleven million, seven hundred two
thousand, six hundred ninety-five dollars ($11,702,695).
2. Lifeline Service. Lifeline is part of the USF and helps qualifying
consumers have the opportunities and security that phone service
brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family members, and
emergency services.^ Lifeline service is provided by Eligible
Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) designated pursuant to the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act).^ An ETC may seek and
receive reimbursement from the USF for revenues it forgoes in
providing the discounted services to eligible customers in accordance
with the rules.^ Section 54.403(a) of the Commission's rules specifies
that an ETC may receive $9.25 per month for each qualifying low-income
consumer receiving Lifeline service,^ and up to an additional $25 per
month if the qualifying low-income consumer resides on Tribal lands.^
ETCs are required to pass these discounts along to eligible low-income
3. The Commission's Lifeline rules establish explicit requirements that
ETCs must meet to receive federal Lifeline support.^ Section 54.407(a)
of the rules requires that Lifeline support "shall be provided
directly to an eligible telecommunications carrier, based on the
number of actual qualifying low-income consumers it serves."^ Pursuant
to Section 54.407(b) of the rules, an ETC may receive Lifeline support
only for qualifying low-income consumers.^ A "qualifying low-income
consumer" must meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section
54.409 of the rules, including the requirement that he or she "must
not already be receiving a Lifeline service,"^ and must, pursuant to
Section 54.410(d) of the rules, certify his/her eligibility to receive
4. Section 54.410(a) of the Commission's rules requires further that ETCs
have procedures in place "to ensure that their Lifeline subscribers
are eligible to receive Lifeline services."^ As explained above, such
eligibility requires that a consumer seeking Lifeline service may not
already be receiving Lifeline service. This obligation therefore
requires, among other steps, that an ETC search its own internal
records to ensure that the ETC does not provide duplicate Lifeline
service to any subscriber (an "intra-company duplicate").^
5. The Commission's rules further prohibit an ETC from seeking
reimbursement for providing Lifeline service to a subscriber unless
the ETC has confirmed the subscriber's eligibility to receive Lifeline
service.^ In accordance with Section 54.410, before an ETC may seek
reimbursement, it must receive a certification of eligibility from the
prospective subscriber that demonstrates that the subscriber meets the
income-based and program-based eligibility criteria for receiving
Lifeline service, and that the subscriber is not already receiving
Lifeline service.^ As the foregoing discussion reveals, when an ETC
seeks Lifeline service support reimbursement for a low-income consumer
who already receives Lifeline service from that same ETC, that ETC has
violated its obligation under the Commission's rules to confirm the
subscriber's eligibility for Lifeline service.
6. ETCs that provide qualifying low-income consumers with Lifeline
discounts file an FCC Form 497 with the Universal Service
Administrative Company (USAC), either quarterly or monthly, to request
support that reimburses them for providing service at the discounted
rates. An ETC's FCC Form 497 documents the number of qualifying
low-income customers served and the total amount of Lifeline support
claimed by the ETC during the specified time period. Section 54.407(d)
provides that an ETC may receive reimbursement from the Fund, however,
only if it certifies as part of its reimbursement request that it is
in compliance with the Lifeline rules.^ An ETC may revise its Form 497
data within 12 months after the data are submitted.^
7. In addition to reviewing claims submitted by ETCs, USAC conducts
in-depth data validations (IDVs) to further ensure compliance with the
Lifeline rules.^ When a company is selected for an IDV, USAC will send
the company a letter requesting subscriber data for a prior month or
months.^ Once USAC receives the company's data, it analyzes the
company's subscriber information to determine whether there are any
duplicate subscribers and sends the company another letter with its
initial results. USAC provides the company with an opportunity to
submit a revised subscriber list to correct subscriber data or to
remove subscribers that are no longer receiving service. If USAC
determines that a low-income consumer is the recipient of multiple
Lifeline benefits from that same ETC, it will send another letter to
the ETC identifying the instances of intra-company duplicative
support, seek a recovery, and notify the ETC that it must commence the
deenrollment process for those duplicates.^
8. Global. Global is a Georgia corporation^ that provides wireline and
prepaid wireless telephone services to Lifeline customers. Global has
been designated as an ETC^ to provide wireless Lifeline service in
Arizona,^ Arkansas,^ Georgia,^ Louisiana,^ Maryland,^ Michigan,^
Missouri,^ Pennsylvania,^ Texas,^ and West Virginia.^
9. USAC conducted an IDV of the Lifeline support requested by Global for
its subscribers in the following ten states for the months specified:
Arizona (April 2013 and May 2013); Arkansas (April 2013 and May 2013);
Georgia (April 2013 and May 2013); Louisiana (March 2013, April 2013,
and May 2013); Maryland (June 2012, March 2013, April 2013, and May
2013); Michigan (January 2013, April 2013, and May 2013); Missouri
(February 2013, April 2013, and May 2013); Pennsylvania (April 2013
and May 2013); Texas (April 2013 and May 2013); and West Virginia
(December 2012). Based on USAC's analyses, Global apparently had 2,231
individual intra-company duplicate lines for which Global improperly
sought Lifeline support reimbursement.^ According to USAC, Global
requested $22,565 in overpayments from USAC over the months covered by
the IDVs.^ On May 14, 2013, Enforcement Bureau staff issued a letter
of inquiry (LOI) to Global concerning the company's Lifeline
compliance.^ Global provided its response to the LOI on June 18,
2013.^ On June 3, 2013, Global entered into a tolling agreement with
the Enforcement Bureau, which extended the applicable statute of
10. Under Section 503(b)(1) 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.^ 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.^ The legislative
history to 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 may also 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
day.^ To impose such 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, based on the evidence, that the person
has violated the Act, or a Commission Rule or Order.^
11. Based on the record evidence developed in this investigation, we
conclude that Global apparently willfully and repeatedly violated
Sections 54.407, 54.409, and 54.410^ of the rules by concurrently
requesting Lifeline support reimbursement for 2,231 individual
intra-company duplicate lines. Based on the facts and circumstances
before us, we therefore conclude that Global is apparently liable for
forfeiture penalties totaling $11,702,695.
IV. Proposed FORFEITURES
12. For the violations at issue here, Section 503(b)(2)(B) of the Act
authorizes the Commission to assess a forfeiture against a
telecommunications carrier of up to $150,000 for each violation or
each day of a continuing violation, up to a statutory maximum of
$1,500,000 for a single act or failure to act.^ In determining the
appropriate forfeiture amount, we consider the factors enumerated in
Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, including "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 such other matters as justice may require,"^ as
well as our forfeiture guidelines.^
13. If an ETC violates our rules and submits a request for Lifeline
support that it knew or should have known includes ineligible
subscribers, and thus requests and/or receives more reimbursement from
the Fund than the amount to which it is properly entitled, it
undermines the low-income support reimbursement mechanism. The
Commission believes that the imposition of a significant forfeiture
amount is a necessary response to Lifeline overcollection violations.
Lifeline ETCs must expend the necessary company resources to ensure
compliance with the Commission's Lifeline rules, especially the rules
and procedures requiring that providers request and/or receive federal
universal service support only for service provided to eligible
consumers. Imposing a significant forfeiture on such rule violators
should deter those service providers that fail to devote sufficient
resources to ferreting out company practices resulting in
overcollection violations. In addition, a significant forfeiture
should achieve broader industry compliance with Lifeline rules that
are critically important to the effective functioning of the Fund.
14. To eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, maintain the integrity of the
Fund, and protect the consumers who contribute to the Fund, the
Commission has implemented a three-part forfeiture framework for
Lifeline overcollection violations that imposes: (1) a base forfeiture
of $20,000 for each instance in which an ETC files an FCC Form 497
that includes ineligible subscribers in the line count, which is a
violation of the certification requirement contained in Section
54.407(d) of our rules;^ (2) a base forfeiture of $5,000 for each
ineligible subscriber for whom the ETC requests and/or receives
support from the Fund in violation of Sections 54.407, 54.409, and
54.410 of our rules;^ and (3) an upward adjustment of the base
forfeiture equal to three times the reimbursements requested and/or
received by the ETC for ineligible subscribers.^
15. Based on the facts and record before us, we have determined that
Global has apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Sections
54.407, 54.409, and 54.410 of the rules.^ As documented above, during
June 2012 and from December 2012 through May 2013, and in connection
with the submission of twenty-four FCC Form 497s, Global requested
Lifeline support reimbursement of $22,565 for customers who were
receiving more than one Global Lifeline service. Accordingly, with
respect to the first component of the structure articulated by the
Commission, we propose a base forfeiture of $480,000 for the
submission of the FCC Form 497s that included the ineligible
intra-company duplicate subscribers in the line counts. With respect
to the second component, we propose a base forfeiture of $11,155,000
based on the 2,231 individual intra-company duplicate lines for which
Global requested and/or received compensation from the Fund. Finally,
with respect to the third component, we propose an upward adjustment
of $67,695, which is three times the amount of support Global
requested and/or received for ineligible consumers. We therefore
conclude that a total proposed forfeiture of $11,702,695 against
Global for its apparent violations of the Commission's Lifeline rules
16. This NAL will in no way foreclose the Commission or any other
governmental entity from taking additional enforcement action and
imposing additional forfeitures for other violations of the Lifeline
rules. Moreover, the Commission clarifies that the penalties that
result from this NAL are separate from any amounts that an ETC may be
required to refund to USAC in order to make the Fund whole.
V. ORDERING CLAUSES
17. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Act, and 1.80 of the rules,^ Global Connection Inc. of America d/b/a
Stand Up Wireless (Global) is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of eleven million, seven
hundred two thousand, six hundred ninety-five dollars ($11,702,695)
for apparently willfully and repeatedly violating Sections 54.407,
54.409, and 54.410 of the rules.^
18. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the rules,^
within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Global SHALL PAY the full amount of
the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
19. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number
and FRN referenced above. Global shall also send electronic
notification of payment to Theresa Z. Cavanaugh, at
Terry.Cavanaugh@fcc.gov and to Theodore C. Marcus at
Theodore.Marcus@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made. Regardless
of the form of payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice)
must be submitted.^ When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the
Account Number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the
letters "FORF" in block number 24A (payment type code). Below are
additional instructions you should follow based on the form of payment
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
Any request for making full payment over time under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer--Financial Operations, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Room 1-A625, Washington,
D.C. 20554.^ If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please
contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201,
or by e-mail, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
20. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
Sections 1.16 and 1.80(f)(3) of the rules,^ and may include any data
or information demonstrating that the IDV results referenced in this
NAL are materially erroneous or anomalous or that the forfeiture
proposed is otherwise inappropriate.^ The written statement must be
mailed to Theresa Z. Cavanaugh, Chief, Investigations and Hearings
Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445
12^th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, and must include the NAL/Acct.
No. referenced in the caption. The written statement shall also be
emailed to Theresa Z. Cavanaugh, at Terry.Cavanaugh@fcc.gov and to
Theodore C. Marcus at Theodore.Marcus@fcc.gov.
21. 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 principles (GAAP); 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
22. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt
requested, and first class mail to John J. Heitmann, Kelley Drye &
Warren LLP, 3050 K Street NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20007.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
^ This investigation, initiated under file no. EB-13-IH0204, was
subsequently assigned to file no. EB-IHD-13-00010970.
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 54.407, 54.409, 54.410.
^ Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Report and Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656, 6662-67, paras.
11-18 (2012) (Lifeline Reform Order); see also 47 C.F.R. SS 54.400-54.422.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 254(e) (providing that "only an eligible telecommunications
carrier designated under section 214(e) of this title shall be eligible to
receive specific Federal universal service support"); 47 U.S.C. S 214(e)
(prescribing the method by which carriers are designated as ETCs).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 54.403(a).
^ Lifeline provides a single discounted wireline or wireless phone service
to each qualifying low-income consumer's household. See 47 C.F.R. S
54.401; see also 47 C.F.R. S 54.400(h) (defining "household" as "any
individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same
address as one economic unit"); Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6760,
para. 241 (noting that the costs of wireless handsets are not supported by
the Lifeline program).
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 54.403(a). Tribal lands include any federally recognized
Indian tribe's reservation, pueblo, or colony, including former
reservations in Oklahoma. See 47 C.F.R. S 54.400(e).
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 54.403(a); Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6681,
^ See 47 C.F.R. SS 54.400-54.422.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 54.407(a).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 54.407(b). In 2011, the Commission took action to address
potential waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline program by preventing
duplicate payments for multiple Lifeline-supported services to the same
individual. See Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Report and
Order, 26 FCC Rcd 9022-23, 9026, para. 1 (2011) (Lifeline Duplicates
Order); see also Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Order, 28
FCC Rcd 9057 (Wir. Comp. Bur. 2013); 47 C.F.R. S 54.410(a). Specifically,
the Commission amended Sections 54.401 and 54.405 of the rules to codify
the restriction that an eligible low-income consumer cannot receive more
than one Lifeline-supported service at a time. See Lifeline Duplicates
Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 9026, para. 7. In the Lifeline Reform Order, this
codified restriction was moved from Section 54.401(a) to revised Section
54.409(c). See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6689, para. 74, n.192.
The Commission reiterated this limitation in the Lifeline Reform Order.
See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6689, para. 74; 47 C.F.R. S
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 54.400(a), 54.409(c).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 54.410(d).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 54.410(a).
^ See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6691, para. 78. In June 2013,
the Wireline Competition Bureau on delegated authority underscored these
obligations, prohibiting ETCs from activating "a service that it
represents to be Lifeline service, even on an interim basis while the
consumer's application is being processed, before verifying eligibility,"
including that a consumer's household does not already subscribe to
Lifeline service. Lifeline and Link Up Modernization and Reform, Order, 28
FCC Rcd 9057, 9059, para. 6 (Wir. Comp. Bur. 2013); see also 47 C.F.R. S
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 54.410(b).
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 54.410(b), (c); see also 47 C.F.R. S 54.410(d).
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 54.407(d).
^ See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6788, para. 305. Subsequent
revisions, however, do not vitiate violations of an ETC's duty to verify
the eligibility of the subscribers that are reflected on any of its
previously filed Form 497s.
^ See Lifeline Duplicates Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 9026, para. 7.
^ See, e.g., Letter from Universal Service Administrative Company to
Caitlyn Lumpkin, Global Connection Inc. of America (Jan. 29, 2013) (on
file in EB-IHD-13-00010970).
^ Although USAC recovers the duplicative support payments for the month at
issue in the IDV examination (generally a single month), it does not at
present always seek to recover the duplicative support that the ETC may
have received for the same duplicates for the preceding and following
months. We therefore direct USAC, when it determines that an ETC has
sought support from the Fund for an intra-company duplicate, to require
the ETC to report to USAC (a) the month in which the ETC began requesting
and/or receiving duplicative support for each such subscriber, and (b) the
month the ETC stopped requesting and/or receiving duplicative support for
each such subscriber. We further require that, after receiving such
information, USAC shall recover from the ETC all of the duplicative
support it has received for such subscribers.
^ See Georgia Secretary of State, Corporations Division, Global Connection
Inc. of America, Certificate of Incorporation, Control No. 9821083 (June
1, 1998), available at
http://soskb.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Filings.asp?1071218# (last visited
Nov. 19, 2013).
^ Global is authorized to provide Lifeline-supported services in other
states that are not at issue in this NAL.
^ See Arizona Corp. Comm'n, Docket No. T-04259A-11-0392, Decision No.
73556 (granted Oct. 17, 2012).
^ See Arkansas Pub. Serv. Comm'n, Docket No. 11-015-U, Order No. 3
(granted Apr. 19, 2011).
^ See Georgia Pub. Serv. Comm'n, Docket No. 33600 (granted Sept. 18,
^ See Louisiana Pub. Serv. Comm'n, Docket No. S-31822 (granted Mar. 16,
^ See Maryland Pub. Serv. Comm'n, ML Nos. 128987, TE-10422 (granted Mar.
^ See Michigan Pub. Serv. Comm'n, Case No. U-16577 (granted June 26,
^ See Missouri Pub. Serv. Comm'n, File No. RA-2011-0299 (granted Nov. 5,
^ See Pennsylvania Pub. Util. Comm'n, Docket No. P-2012-2245213 (granted
Sept. 13, 2012).
^ See Pub. Util. Comm'n of Texas, Docket No. 40739, Order No. 3 (granted
Nov. 5, 2012).
^ See Pub. Serv. Comm'n of West Virginia, Case No. 11-0381-C-PC (granted
Sept. 29, 2011).
^ See Letter from Universal Service Administrative Company, to Caitlyn
Lumpkin, Global Connection Inc. of America (Jan. 29, 2013). This letter
addressed 1,952 intra-company duplicates found for June 2012. The
remaining duplicates were found in the subsequent IDV analyses described
above. An "intra-company duplicate line" is any line for which Global
sought and/or received reimbursement in violation of the Commission's one
line per household rule. See 47 C.F.R. S 54.409(c). For the purposes of
applying the second prong of our three-part forfeiture framework (a base
forfeiture of $5,000 per duplicate), given the unique circumstances
presented by Lifeline intra-company duplicate cases involving multiple
months of duplicate service, we have counted each intra-company duplicate
line once, regardless of the number of months in which Global sought
and/or received reimbursement for that line. We account for the duration
of each intra-company duplicate line (i.e., the number of months that
Global sought compensation for each intra-company duplicate line) in the
first and third prongs of our forfeiture calculation. See infra paras.
^ See Letter from Universal Service Administrative Company to Caitlyn
Lumpkin, Global Connection Inc. of America (Jan. 29, 2013).
^ See Letter from Pamela S. Kane, Deputy Chief, Investigations and
Hearings Division, FCC Enforcement Bureau, to David Skogen, CEO, Global
Connection Inc. of America (May 14, 2013) (on file in EB-IHD-13-00010970).
^ See Letter from John J. Heitmann, Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP, to Marlene
Dortch, Secretary, FCC (June 18 2013) (LOI Response) (on file in
^ See Tolling Agreement between Global Connection Inc. of America and FCC
Enforcement Bureau (June 3, 2013).
^ See 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(a)(1).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(1).
^ H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97^th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) ("This provision
[inserted in Section 312] defines the terms `willful' and `repeated' for
purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act
(e.g., Section 503) As defined[,] . . . `willful' means that the licensee
knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of whether there
was an intent to violate the law. `Repeated' means more than once, or
where the act is continuous, for more than one day. Whether an act is
considered to be `continuous' would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in
Sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission's application
of those terms . . . .").
^ See, e.g., So. Cal. Broad. Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd
4387, 4388 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992) (Southern
^ See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362, para. 10 (2001) (Callais
Cablevision) (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable television
operator's repeated signal leakage).
^ Southern California Broadcasting, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388, para. 5; Callais
Cablevision, 16 FCC Rcd at 136, para. 9.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(4); 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(f).
^ See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589,
7591, para. 4 (2002).
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 54.407, 54.409, 54.410; see also supra paras. 3-6
(discussing these rules and observing that when an ETC seeks Lifeline
service support reimbursement for a low-income consumer who already
receives Lifeline service from that ETC, that ETC has failed in its
obligation to confirm the subscriber's eligibility for Lifeline service in
violation of the rules).
^ See 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(B); 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(2). These amounts
reflect inflation adjustments to the forfeitures specified in Section
503(b)(2)(B) ($100,000 per violation or per day of a continuing violation
and $1,000,000 per any single act or failure to act). The Federal Civil
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-410, 104 Stat.
890, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Pub. L.
No. 104-134, Sec. 31001, 110 Stat. 1321 (DCIA), requires the Commission to
adjust its forfeiture penalties periodically for inflation. See 28 U.S.C.
S 2461 note (4). The Commission most recently adjusted its penalties to
account for inflation in 2013. See Amendment of Section 1.80(b) of the
Commission's Rules, Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties to Reflect
Inflation, DA 13-1615, 2013 WL 3963800 (Enf. Bur. 2013); see also
Inflation Adjustment of Monetary Penalties, 78 Fed. Reg. 49,370-01 (Aug.
14, 2013) (setting Sept. 13, 2013, as the effective date for the
increases). However, because the DCIA specifies that any inflationary
adjustment "shall apply only to violations which occur after the date the
increase takes effect," we apply the forfeiture penalties in effect at the
time the violation took place. 28 U.S.C. S 2461 note (6). Here, because
the violations at issue occurred before September 13, 2013, the applicable
maximum penalties are based on the Commission's previous inflation
adjustment that became effective on September 2, 2008. See Inflation
Adjustment of Maximum Forfeiture Penalties, 73 Fed. Reg. 44,663, 44,664
(July 31, 2008).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b)(8); Note to Paragraph (b)(8): Guidelines for
^ 47 C.F.R. S 54.407(d).
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 54.407, 54.409, 54.410. See Easy Tel. Servs. d/b/a Easy
Wireless, File No. EB-IHD-13-00010590, Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, FCC 13-129, at 5-7, paras. 13-18 (Sept. 30, 2013) (Easy
^ See Easy Wireless, FCC 13-129, at 5-7, paras. 13-18.
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 54.407, 54.409, 54.410.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 54.407, 54.409, 54.410.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
^ For example, the written statement could include data showing that the
months examined in the IDVs were outliers or otherwise not representative.
Federal Communications Commission FCC 13-155
Federal Communications Commission FCC 13-155