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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
US UNWIRED, INC. )
Licensee of Paging Stations KNKLM672 )
And KNKP448 ) File No. EB-00-TS-216
Various Locations in Louisiana )
NAL/Acct. No. 200132100003
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: October 19, 2000 Released:
October 23, 2000
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that US Unwired, Inc. (US Unwired), operated paging systems
without Commission authorization, in apparent violation of
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934 (``Act'')1, as
amended, and Section 22.3 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').2
We conclude that US Unwired is apparently liable for a forfeiture
in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
2. US Unwired's authorization for Public Mobile Radio
Stations KNLM672 and KNKP448, expired on April 1, 1999. On
October 25, 1999, US Unwired filed applications for renewal of
the authorizations for the stations and requested the waiver of
Section 1.949 of the Commissions Rules.3 US Unwired's waiver
request indicates that US Unwired apparently operated paging
facilities without authorization between April 1, 1999 and
October 25, 1999. On December 9, 1999, the Commission granted
US Unwired's waiver request and reinstated its authority to
operate Stations KNLM672 and KNKP448.
3. Section 301 of the Act sets forth the general mandate
that no person shall use or operate any apparatus for the
transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio
within the United States except under and in accordance with the
Act and with a license. Section 22.3 of the Commission's Rules
provides, in pertinent part, that stations in the Public Mobile
Service must be operated with a valid Commission authorization.
We conclude that US Unwired operated paging stations without
valid licenses between April 1, 1999, and October 25, 1999, in
apparent willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the
Communications Act and Section 22.3 of the Rules.
5. The Commission has stated that ``The Wireless Bureau,
after reviewing all the facts and circumstances concerning the
late filing of [a] renewal application, may, in its discretion,
also initiate enforcement action against the licensee for . . .
unauthorized operation. . . .'' 4 In addition, the Commission
stated that applications for renewal received more than 30 days
after expiration of the license may lead to ``more significant
fines or forfeitures.''5 In this case, US Unwired operated
without valid licenses and filed renewal applications more than
180 days after the licenses expired.
6. The guidelines contained in the Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recon. denied,
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999), specify a base forfeiture amount of
$10,000 for operation without an instrument of authorization for
the service. Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act6 requires the
Commission to consider ``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.'' In this
case, US Unwired failed to file applications for renewal and
operated paging stations whose licenses had expired for over 180
days under circumstances where the Commission has envisioned
``more significant fines or forfeitures'' for violations in
excess of 30 days. On the other hand, US Unwired had previously
been licensed, so this is not comparable to ``pirate'' wireless
operations, which typically have been subject to forfeitures of
approximately $10,000.7 Taking these facts into consideration
and all of the factors required by Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Act and the Forfeiture Policy Statement, we conclude that a
forfeiture of $5,000 is warranted.
IV. Ordering Clauses
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules9, US Unwired is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of $5,000 for violation of
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
Section 22.3 of the Commission's Rules. The amount specified was
determined after consideration of the factors set forth in
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D), and
the guidelines enumerated in the Forfeiture Policy Statement.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, US Unwired SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
9. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by credit card
through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management Center at
(202) 418-1995 or by mailing a check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission, to
the Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. The payment should note the NAL/Acct. No.:
10. The response if any must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W. Washington, D.C.
20554, Ref: EB-00-TS-216; NAL/Acct. No. 200132100003.
11. 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 (``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 documentation
12. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.10
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this notice shall be sent,
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to counsel for US
Unwired, Inc., Lukas, Nace, Gutierrez & Sach, Attention David A.
LaFuria, 1111 Nineteenth Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 U.S.C. § 301.
2 47 C.F.R. § 22.3.
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.949. This Section provides , in pertinent part,
that ``Applications for renewal of authorizations in the Wireless
Radio Services must be filed no later than the expiration date of
the authorization for which renewal is
sought. . . .''
4 The enforcement responsibilities of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau are now with the Enforcement Bureau.
See 47 C.F.R. § 0.111.
5 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Parts 0, 1, 13,
22, 24, 26, 27, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97, and 101 of the Commission's
Rules to Facilitate the Development and Use of the Universal
Licensing System in the Wireless Telecommunications Services,
Memorandum Opinion and Order upon reconsideration, 14 FCC Rcd
11476, 11485-11486 (1999).
6 47 U.S.C. §503(b)(2)(D).
7 See, e.g., Colorado CallComm, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 9397 (Enf. Bur.
2000) and Jean R. Jonassaint, 15 FCC Rcd 10422 (Enf. Bur. 2000).
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914