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                            Before the
                 Federal Communications Commission
                      Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                        )
VERIZON FLORIDA, INC.              )    File No. EB-00-TS-148
Licensee of Air-Ground  Station KWU228  )    NAL/Acct.          No.  

Tampa, Florida                     )


Adopted:   January 31, 2001                            Released:  
February 1, 2001   

By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement 

                         I.   Introduction

     1.  In  this  Notice  of  Apparent  Liability  for  Forfeiture 
(``NAL''), we find that  Verizon Florida, Inc. (``Verizon''),1  has 
apparently violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of  1934, 
as amended (``Act''), 2 and Section 22.3 of the Commission's  Rules 
(``Rules''),3 by operating  the captioned station  without a  valid 
Commission authorization.  We conclude  that Verizon is  apparently 
liable for a  monetary forfeiture  in the amount  of five  thousand 
dollars ($5,000).  

                          II.  Background

     2.  Verizon's authorization for  Air-Ground KWU228 expired  on 
September 1, 1999.  On March 10, 2000, Verizon filed an application 
for renewal of the authorization  for that station and requested  a 
waiver of Section 1.949(a) of the Rules.4  Verizon's waiver request 
states  that  it   operated  the  air-ground   system  without   an 
authorization between September  1, 1999  and March  10, 2000.   On 
April 20, 2000, the Commission's Wirless Telecommunications  Bureau 
granted Verizon's waiver  request and reinstated  its authority  to 
operate Station KWU228. 

                            III. Discussion

     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 Rules  provides, in pertinent  part, 
that a  valid  Commission authorization  is  necessary for  one  to 
operate a  Public  Mobile Service  station  such as  an  air-ground 
station.  We conclude that  Verizon operated an air-ground  station 
without a valid  license between  September 1, 1999  and March  10, 
2000, in apparent willful and repeated violation of Section 301  of 
the Act and Section 22.3 of the Rules.

     4. In the  Universal Licensing System  Memorandum Opinion  and 
Order on Reconsideration  (``MO&O''), 5 the  Commission noted  that 
the  Wireless  Telecommunications   Bureau,  after  reviewing   the 
circumstances concerning a late filed renewal application, may,  in 
its discretion, initiate enforcement action against a licensee  for 
unauthorized operation.6  Moreover,  the Commission  stated in  the 
MO&O that applications for renewal received more than 30 days after 
the expiration of the license may lead to ``more significant  fines 
or forfeitures.''7  In this case, Verizon operated without a  valid 
license for over six months after the license expired.  

     5.  The guidelines  contained in  The Commission's  Forfeiture 
Policy Statement  and Amendment  of Section  1.80 of  the Rules  to 
Incorporate the  Forfeiture Guidelines,  12  FCC Rcd  17087,  17113 
(1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC  Rcd 303 (1999) (``Forfeiture  Policy 
Statement''), 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  Act8  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, 
Verizon failed to file  an application for  renewal and operated  a 
station under  circumstances where  the Commission  has  envisioned 
``more significant fines or forfeitures'' for violations in  excess 
of 30  days.   On  the  other hand,  Verizon  had  previously  been 
licensed,  so  this  is  not  comparable  to  ``pirate''   wireless 
operations, (i.e., station operations that have never been licensed 
by the  Commission),  which have  been  subject to  forfeitures  of 
approximately $10,000.9  Taking these  facts into consideration  in 
conjunction with 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
     6.  Accordingly,  IT  IS  ORDERED THAT,  pursuant  to  Section 

503(b) of  the Act10  and Sections  0.111, 0.311  and 1.80  of  the 

Rules,11 Verizon 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  and the  guidelines enumerated  in the  Forfeiture  Policy 


     7.  IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED THAT, pursuant  to Section 1.80  of 

the Rules, within  thirty days  of the  release of  this NOTICE  OF 

APPARENT LIABILITY,  Verizon  SHALL  PAY the  full  amount  of  the 

proposed forfeiture  or  SHALL  FILE a  written  statement  seeking 

reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

     8.   Payment of  the forfeiture  may be  made by  a check,  or 

similar  instrument,   payable  to   the  order   of  the   Federal 

Communications Commission, and mailed 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.:?????  200132100012.

     9.   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-148, NAL/Acct.  No.:  


     10.  The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling  a 

forfeiture in response to  a claim of inability  to pay unless  the 

respondent submits: (1)  federal tax  returns for  the most  recent 

three-year period; (2) financial  statements prepared according  to 

generally accepted accounting practices; or (3) some other reliable 

and  objective   documentation   that   accurately   reflects   the 

respondent'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.

     11.  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. 20554.12

     12.   IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this notice shall be sent, by 
certified mail, return receipt requested, to Verizon Florida, Inc., 
Verizon Services Group, Attention  Suzanne Carmel, 1850 M.  Street, 
N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, DC, 20036.

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                              Joseph P. Casey
                              Chief, Technical and Public Safety 
                              Enforcement Bureau       


1 We note that the alleged violation occurred when the air-ground 
system was licensed to GTE Florida, Inc.  However, on June 30, 
2000, Bell Atlantic Corporation and GTE Corporation merged into one 
company, named  ``Verizon Communications,'' and GTE Florida, Inc. 
is now operating the captioned station as ``Verizon  Florida, 
Inc.''   See, GTE Corporation and Bell Atlantic Corporation, 15 FCC 
Rcd at 14032 (2000).  Although we recognize that Verizon was not 
the named licensee at the time of the violation, we nonetheless 
refer to Verizon as the licensee throughout this NAL for the sake 
of consistency. 

2  47 U.S.C.  301.

3 47 C.F.R.  22.3.

4 47 C.F.R.  1.949(a).  This Section provides, in pertinent  part, 
that ``[a]pplications 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. . . .'' 

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 The enforcement responsibilities of the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau are now with the Enforcement Bureau.  See 
47 C.F.R.  0.111.
7 14 FCC Rcd at 11486.

8 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

9 See, e.g., Jean R. Jonassaint, 15 FCC Rcd 10422 (Enf. Bur. 2000).

10 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

11 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.

12 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914