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1. The Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications
Commission and OnSat Network Communications, Inc. (``OnSat'')
hereby enter into this Consent Decree resolving possible
violations of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, 47 U.S.C. § 301, and the Commission's Rules regarding
the operation of C-Band satellite earth stations.
2. OnSat is a company founded in 1998 and based in Salt
Lake City, Utah. It seeks to provide, and is providing on a
limited scale, interactive and high speed broadband service to
under-served populations in rural America.
3. To make a wider-scale roll-out of its services
possible, OnSat submitted a petition to the Commission in
September 1999, seeking a declaratory ruling that entities
desiring to implement a C-Band network using Very Small Aperture
Terminal or ``VSAT'' architecture were eligible for a streamlined
licensing procedure, such that they could file a lead application
to be followed by notification of subsequent remote antennae that
conformed to the technical specifications of the lead application
and that have been coordinated.1
4. OnSat worked constructively with International Bureau
staff to identify procedures that would result in the streamlined
processing of earth station applications. While its petition was
pending the release of, and action on, a notice of proposed
rulemaking on comprehensive changes to satellite earth station
licensing procedures, OnSat was encouraged to file a lead Form
312 application to be followed by modifications to cover
follow-on remotes which share the technical characteristics of
the earth station in the lead application.
5. OnSat filed its lead Form 312 application and Schedule
B for 3.7 meter dishes on July 25, 2000 with a completed
frequency coordination study (Call Sign E000369; File No.
SES-LIC-20000801-01226). The application sought authorization
for one site in Red Mesa, Arizona.
6. Because of a miscommunication within OnSat, the Red
Mesa earth station was made operational on July 26, 2000 after
the lead Form 312 application had been filed, but before the
Commission had acted on the application. It is believed that
someone within OnSat confused FCC staff's approval of the
procedures for filing and processing OnSat's applications with
the grants themselves.
7. OnSat also activated two remote sites, one in
Bakersfield, California on July 27, 2000, and one in Kalispell,
Montana on August 4, 2000, before frequency coordination was
completed and before FCC applications or modifications had been
8. OnSat learned that its operation of the three sites was
unauthorized on August 18, 2000. That very day, OnSat and its
counsel notified the International Bureau of the violations. It
informed the International Bureau that it had shut down the
Montana and California sites that very day and that it would seek
special temporary authority (``STA'') for the Arizona site.
OnSat scheduled a meeting for the next day with International and
Enforcement Bureau staff to discuss the violations and a
compliance plan. That meeting was attended by OnSat's Chief of
Operations and counsel who conveyed OnSat's understanding of the
gravity of its mistakes.
9. On August 18, 2000, OnSat de-activated the Montana and
California sites. On August 19, 2000, OnSat sought an STA for
the Arizona site. The STA was granted on August 30, 2000 (File
10. OnSat has not been issued a notice of apparent
liability nor has any complaint against it been lodged at the
Commission or lodged informally with OnSat.
11. For the purposes of this Consent Decree, the following
(a) ``Commission'' or ``FCC'' means the Federal
(b) ``Bureau'' means the Commission's Enforcement Bureau;
(c) ``International Bureau'' means the Commission's
(d) ``OnSat'' means OnSat Network Communications, Inc.;
(e) ``Parties'' means OnSat and the Bureau; and
(f) ``Order'' means the Bureau's order adopting this
Consent Decree; and
(g) ``Rules'' means the Commission's regulations
found in Title 47 of the Code of Federal
12. OnSat admits to the Commission's jurisdiction for
purposes of this Consent Decree and the adopting Order.
13. The Parties agree that the provisions of this Consent
Decree shall be subject to the Bureau's final approval by
incorporation into an adopting Order.
14. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree shall become
effective when the Bureau releases the adopting Order. On
release, the adopting Order and this Consent Decree shall have
the same force and effect as any other Commission order, and any
violation of the terms of this Consent Decree shall constitute a
violation of a Commission order entitling the Commission to
exercise any and all rights and to seek any and all remedies
authorized by law for the enforcement of a Commission order.
15. OnSat agrees to take steps to ensure that it avoids
violations of the FCC's regulations. It agrees to implement a
three-point compliance plan as of October 1, 2000 for a term of
at least two years. First, the authority to authorize operation
of any FCC-regulated facility will be exercised by a single
person - OnSat's Chief of Operations. By taking this step, OnSat
hopes to better control actions within the company and to
centralize responsibility for FCC compliance. Second, OnSat
agrees to coordinate more closely with its outside engineering
consultant and legal counsel and will not activate a facility
without confirmation that such activation is authorized. Third,
OnSat agrees to have its counsel give a compliance seminar in
Utah this fall to all OnSat employees with responsibility for
FCC-regulated activities to increase their understanding of the
16. OnSat agrees to make a voluntary contribution to the
United States Treasury in the amount of $14,000 within 360
calendar days of release of the adopting Order. OnSat will make
this contribution without protest or recourse, 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 Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment must include a
reference to ``EB-00-TS-240'' and ``NAL Acct. No. 200132100002.''
17. OnSat and the Bureau agree that this Consent Decree
shall constitute a final settlement between them. In light of
the covenants and representations contained in this Consent
Decree, and in express reliance thereon, the Bureau agrees that
it will not start, on it own motion, an enforcement proceeding
against OnSat based on the facts set forth in ¶¶ 2-10 of this
Consent Decree and that it will not use those facts against OnSat
with respect to its basic qualifications to be a licensee in any
current or future proceeding.
18. OnSat and the Bureau agree that, if the FCC, or the
U.S. on behalf of the FCC, brings an administrative or judicial
action to enforce the terms of the adopting Order, neither OnSat
nor the FCC will contest the validity of the Consent Decree or
adopting Order, and OnSat will waive any statutory right to a
trial de novo with respect to the matter on which the adopting
Order is based, and shall consent to a judgment incorporating the
terms of this Consent Decree.
19. OnSat waives any rights that it may have to further
procedural steps and any rights it may have to seek judicial
review or otherwise challenge or contest the validity of the
adopting Order or this Consent Decree.
20. OnSat waives any claims it may otherwise have under the
Equal Access to Justice Act, 5 U.S.C. § 504 and 47 C.F.R. §§
1.1501 et seq.
21. If the FCC finds that OnSat has engaged in conduct the
same or similar to that described in this Consent Decree, OnSat
and the FCC agree that the prior conduct may be used by the FCC
only to fashion an appropriate sanction, provided that OnSat will
not be precluded or estopped from litigating de novo any and all
of the issues arising from the conduct described in the factual
recitation found in this Consent Decree as necessary to defend,
in any forum, its interest from challenge by any person or entity
not a party to this Consent Decree. Any provision of the Consent
Decree affected by or inconsistent with subsequent FCC Rules or
orders will be superseded by such FCC Rules or orders.
22. If this Consent Decree is not signed by both parties,
is not adopted by the Bureau, or is otherwise rendered invalid by
any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall become null and
void and shall not become part of any FCC public record, nor used
in any fashion by any party in a legal proceeding.
23. This Consent Decree may be signed in counterparts.
FOR THE ENFORCEMENT BUREAU, FOR ONSAT NETWORK
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
___________ Kuen Damiano
David H. Solomon Chief of Operations
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 OnSat Petition for Declaratory Order, Waiver and Request for
Expedited Action, File No. SAT-PDR-19990910-00091, Public Notice,
Report No. SAT-00026 (rel. Sept. 23, 1999).