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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
South Central Communications )
Corp. ) File Number EB-02-AT-232
Owner of Antenna Structure ) NAL/Acct. No.200232480008
Registration No. 1043695 at )
Sevierville, Tennessee ) FRN 0002-9009-26
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: June 25,
By the Enforcement Bureau, Atlanta Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that South Central Communications Corp. (``South Central''),
owner of antenna structure no. 1043695 in Sevierville, Tennessee,
willfully and repeatedly violated Sections 17.51, 17.23,
17.48(a), and 17.47(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules''),1
by failing to exhibit the prescribed obstruction lighting,
failing to conform to the prescribed painting and lighting
specifications, failing to notify the Federal Aviation
Administration (``FAA'') of the extinguishment of the structure
lights, and failing to maintain an operating automatic alarm
system to indicate when the structure lighting is not operating.
We find South Central Communications Corp. apparently liable for
forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
2. On May 15, 2002, an agent from the FCC Enforcement
Bureau's Atlanta Office (``Atlanta Office'') inspected the
antenna structure during daytime hours and after local sunset at
8:30 P.M. EDT. The agent observed that the structure was
unpainted and that there were no daytime strobe lights in
operation. After sunset the agent observed no red obstruction
lighting on the structure. The Antenna Structure Registration
(``ASR'') specifies that the structure be painted and exhibit red
obstruction lighting at night.
3. On May 16, 2002, an agent from the Atlanta Office again
inspected the antenna structure during the daytime and again
observed no operating daytime strobe lighting. ASR number
1043695 was posted near the base of the structure. Contact with
the FAA Flight Service Station in Nashville, Tennessee indicated
that the extinguishment of the lights had not been reported.
4. On May 21, 2002, the agent contacted the structure
owner's representative and chief engineer and advised South
Central that the lighting on the antenna structure was not
functioning and that the structure was not painted and marked as
specified on the ASR. The ASR specifies that the structure be
marked in accordance with FAA Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 9 of FAA
Circular Number 70/7460-1G, which requires painting of the
structure and red obstruction lighting at night. South Central's
representative stated that the structure had been purchased
unpainted from a former owner, and that South Central had
installed medium intensity strobe lighting on the structure to
operate 24 hours a day. Furthermore, the structure's lighting is
monitored by an automatic alarm system, which detects power to
the lights, but cannot detect actual failure of the bulbs. Thus,
South Central was unaware of the failure of the strobe lighting.
South Central also stated that the FAA had not been notified of
the light outage because they were unaware of the outage.
5. Section 17.51 of the Rules requires prescribed
obstruction lighting be exhibited from sunset to sunrise unless
otherwise specified. Additionally, all high intensity and medium
intensity obstruction lighting shall be exhibited continuously
unless otherwise specified. The antenna structure was observed on
May 15, 2002 during the daytime and after sunset at 8:30 P.M.
with its obstruction lights not functioning. The structure was
observed again on May 16, 2002 during the daytime with its
obstruction lights not functioning. South Central admitted that
they were unaware of the light outage and that the automatic
alarm system had failed to notify them of the light outage.
Section 17.23 requires the owner of an antenna structure to
conform to the mandatory painting and lighting specifications
contained in the FAA Advisory Circular that is specified in the
Antenna Structure Registration (ASR). The antenna structure
bearing registration number 1043695 observed on May 15 and 16,
2002, was not painted and had no red obstruction lighting.
Section 17.48(a) requires the owner of an antenna structure which
has been assigned lighting specifications to report immediately
to the nearest Flight Service Station of the FAA any
extinguishment of any top steady burning light or any flashing
obstruction light, regardless of its position on the antenna
structure, that is not corrected within 30 minutes. From at
least May 15 through May 21, 2002, South Central had not reported
the light outage to the FAA. Section 17.47(a)(2) requires the
owner of any structure which is registered with the Commission
and has been assigned lighting specifications to provide and
properly maintain an automatic alarm system designed to detect
any failure of such lights and to provide indication of such
failure to the owner. From at least May 15 through May 21, 2002,
South Central's alarm system could not detect a failure of the
bulbs in the lighting system.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find South Central
willfully2 and repeatedly3 violated Sections 17.51, 17.23,
17.48(a), and 17.47(a)(2) of the Rules by failing to exhibit
prescribed obstruction lighting, failing to conform to the
prescribed painting and lighting specifications, failing to
notify the FAA of the extinguishment of the lighting, and failing
to maintain an automatic alarm system which can detect failure of
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,4 the base
forfeiture amount for failure to comply with prescribed lighting
and marking is $10,000. In assessing the monetary forfeiture
amount, we must also take into account the statutory factors set
forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended (``Act''), which include 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.5 Considering the entire record and applying the factors
listed above, this case warrants a $10,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,6 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,7 South Central Communications Corp. is hereby NOTIFIED of
its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) for willful and repeated violation of
Sections 17.51, 17.23, 17.48(a), and 17.47(a)(2) of the Rules, by
failing to exhibit the prescribed obstruction lighting on its
antenna structure, failing to conform to the prescribed painting
and lighting specifications, failing to notify the FAA of the
extinguishment of the lighting, and failing to maintain an
automatic alarm system which can detect failure of the lighting.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the RELEASE DATE of
this Notice Of Apparent Liability, South Central Communications
Corp. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
10. Payment of the forfeiture may be made 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. and FRN referenced above. Requests for payment of
the full amount of this Notice of Apparent Liability under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street SW, Washington DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct.
No. referenced above.
12. 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
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this Notice Of
Apparent Liability shall be sent by regular mail and Certified
Mail Return Receipt Requested to South Central Communications
Corp., 1100 Sharps Ridge Road, Knoxville, TN 37917.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Fred L. Broce
Atlanta Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R §§ 17.51, 17.23, 17.48(a), and 17.47(a)(2).
2 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term `willful',
when used with reference to the commission or omission of any
act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act ....'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387 (1991).
3 The term ``repeated'' means the commission or omission of an
act more than once or, if such commission or omission is
continuous, for more than one day. 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
8 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.