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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Adams CATV Inc. ) File Number: EB-07-PA-236
Operator of Cable System ) NAL/Acct. No. 200832400008
Carbondale, Pennsylvania ) FRN: 0004-0507147
Community Unit ID # PA0258 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: July 7, 2008
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Adams CATV, Inc. ("Adams"), operator of the cable television
system in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 76.1701(a) of the Commission's Rules
("Rules") by failing to retain a Political File in the cable system's
public inspection file. We conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), that Adams is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of four thousand
2. On July 19, 2007, an agent of the Commission's Philadelphia Office
inspected the public inspection file for Adams's cable television
system serving the Carbondale, Pennsylvania area. The public
inspection file was located in the Adams billing office at 19 North
Main Street, Carbondale, Pennsylvania. The agent found that the public
inspection file did not contain any records of requests for cablecast
time made by or on behalf of any candidate for public office
("Political File") for the previous two years.
3. On September 24, 2007, the Philadelphia Office issued a Letter of
Inquiry to Adams requesting information about the missing or
incomplete records in the public inspection file. In a letter dated
October 18, 2007, Adams filed a response to the Letter of Inquiry
stating that it contacted Comcast Spotlight, who handles all of the
advertisement insertions on its cable television system. Adams
reported that Comcast Spotlight had all "records of request" in its
possession and would forward them to Adams immediately.
4. On December 5, 2007, after repeated requests from an agent, the
Philadelphia Office received the political advertising records from
Adams. The records showed that a substantial number of requests for
cablecast time were made in 2006 and 2007 on behalf of candidates for
public office. These records also showed that Comcast Spotlight aired
hundreds of political advertisements on the Adams cable system in the
Carbondale, Pennsylvania area during the years 2006 and 2007. At the
time of the inspection, these records were not in the cable television
system's public inspection file.
5. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued
by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) of the Act has
been interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are
committed knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day.
6. Section 76.1701(a) of the Commission's Rules requires that every cable
television system keep and permit public inspection of a Political
File, which must include all requests for cablecast time made by or on
behalf of a candidate for public office, together with an appropriate
notation showing the disposition made by the system of such requests,
and the charges made, if any, if the request is granted. The
disposition includes the schedule of time purchased, when spots
actually aired, the rates charged, and the classes of time purchased.
Section 76.1701(c) provides that such records shall be retained for a
period of two years. Between July 19, 2006 and July 19, 2007, Comcast
Spotlight entered into advertising agreements with political
candidates on behalf of Adams. The agreements specified that Comcast
Spotlight would air political advertisements for these political
candidates on the Adams cable television system that serves the
Carbondale, Pennsylvania area. During the inspection on July 19, 2007,
the agent found that Adams failed to retain in the public inspection
file any of these agreements. Based on the evidence before us, we find
that Adams apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section
76.1701(a) of the Rules by failing to retain a Political File in the
public inspection file for the cable television system that serves the
Carbondale, Pennsylvania area.
7. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the
base forfeiture amount for a violation of the public file rules 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)(E) of the Act, which include the nature, circumstances,
extent, and gravity of the violations, and with respect to the
violator, the degree of culpability, and history of prior offenses,
ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may require. Because
Adams public inspection file was mostly complete, we conclude a
reduction in the base amount for the public inspection file violation
to $4,000 is appropriate. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement,
Section 1.80, and the statutory factors to the instant case, we
conclude that Adams is apparently liable for a $4,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Adams CATV Inc. is hereby
NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of
four thousand dollars ($4,000) for violations of Sections 76.1701(a)
of the Rules.
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 for Forfeiture, Adams CATV Inc. SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
10. 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[s] 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. Adams shall also send
electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications Commission,
Enforcement Bureau, Northeast Region, Philadelphia Office, One Oxford
Valley Building, Suite 404, 2300 East Lincoln Highway, Langhorne,
Pennsylvania 19047 and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the
caption. An electronic copy shall be sent to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
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 submitted.
1. 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 regular mail, to Adams CATV Inc. at its address of
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Gene J. Stanbro
47 C.F.R. S: 76.1701.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of
the Act, provides that "[t]he term 'repeated', when used with reference to
the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
for more than one day."
Section 76.1700(a) provides that a cable system having 5,000 or more
subscribers shall maintain for public inspection, inter alia, a file
containing a copy of all records which are required to be kept by Section
76.1701 (Political File). At the time of the inspection, Adams had
approximately 22,271 Basic Service subscribers and therefore is required
to maintain a Political File for public inspection.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 76.1701(a)
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Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission