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

In the Matter of                 )    EB-00-OR-023
Callais Cablevision, Inc.        )    NAL/Acct. No.: X12000004
Grand Isle, Louisiana            )    FRN 0004-9424-54

                        FORFEITURE ORDER

     Adopted:  November 4, 2002         Released:   November   6, 

By the Commission:

                        I.   INTRODUCTION

     1.   In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
monetary forfeiture  in the  amount of  one hundred  thirty-three 
thousand dollars  ($133,000) against  Callais Cablevision,  Inc., 
(``Callais'') for repeated violations of Sections  76.605(a)(12), 
76.611(a) and 76.612 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'')1;  and 
willful violation  of Section  11.11 of  the Rules.2   The  noted 
violations all involve  important public  safety requirements  -- 
excessive cable signal leakage, failure to maintain the  required 
frequency offset in  the aviation bands,  failure to perform  and 
report the required annual signal  leakage tests, and failure  to 
have the  required  Emergency Alert  System  (``EAS'')  equipment 
necessary to transmit national emergency messages. 

     2.  On January 19, 2001, the Commission released a Notice of 
Apparent Liability for  Forfeiture (``NAL'')  against Callais  in 
the amount of  $133,000.3  Callais filed its response to the  NAL 
on March 5, 2001.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     3.  The  Commission  has established  cable  signal  leakage 
rules to  control  emissions  that could  cause  interference  to 
aviation  frequencies   from  cable   systems.   Protecting   the 
aeronautical  frequencies4  from   harmful  interference  is   of 
paramount importance.5  To this  end, the Commission  established 
basic  signal  leakage  standards.6    We  have  determined   the 
tolerable  levels  of  unwanted   signals  on  the   aeronautical 
frequencies in two ways. Signal leakage levels that exceed  these 
thresholds are considered  harmful interference.  First,  leakage 
at any given point must not exceed 20 V/m.7 Second, we set basic 
signal  leakage  performance  criteria   for  the  system  as   a 
prerequisite for operation on aeronautical frequencies.  This  is 
the system's  Cumulative  Leakage Index  (``CLI'').   We  require 
annual  measurement  of  each  system's   CLI  (10  log  I)   to 
demonstrate safe levels  of signal  leakage (a CLI  of less  than 
64),8 the results  of which  must be  reported to  us.9  We  also 
require routine  monitoring  of  the system  to  detect  leaks.10  
Whenever harmful interference occurs,  the cable system  operator 
must eliminate it.11   Further, should  the harmful  interference 
not be eliminated,  we will  intervene and  require cessation  of 
operation of the portion of  the system involved or reduction  of 
power12 below  the  levels specified  in  Section 76.610  of  the 
Rules.13  We  also  require that  the  signal carriers  of  cable 
systems be  offset  from  the frequencies  used  by  aeronautical 

     4.  The EAS  provides the  capability for  the President  to 
communicate emergency  information to  the public  in a  national 
emergency.  It also may be used by state and local government  to 
provide  information  to  their   residents  in  case  of   local 
disasters.15  Cable systems must participate in the EAS.16  Cable 
systems with 10,000 or more subscribers were required to  install 
EAS equipment in accordance  with Section 11.11  of the Rules  by 
December 31,  1998.17   Specifically, these  cable  systems  were 
required to  install  and operate  EAS  encoder and  EAS  decoder 
equipment.   In  addition,  the  equipment  must  be  capable  of 
transmitting  audio  and  video  national  EAS  messages  on  all 

     5.  On  January 21,  2000, Federal  Aviation  Administration 
(``FAA'') personnel made a telephone call to the Commission's New 
Orleans, Louisiana,  Field Office  (``New Orleans  Office'')  and 
reported interference  to  the  operation  of  the  FAA's  Remote 
Communication Air  Ground  (``RCAG'')  facility  in  Grand  Isle, 
Louisiana.  The FCC agent who answered the call told the FAA that 
the characteristics of the interfering signal indicated that  its 
source was signal  leakage from  a cable  television system.   On 
January 24,  2000, FAA  personnel again  called the  New  Orleans 
Office.  The  FAA  reported  that, after  it  contacted  Callais, 
Callais reported  fixing  a major  leak  near the  RCAG  and  the 
interference ceased. Cable  leakage monitoring  logs supplied  by 
Callais pursuant to Section 76.614  of the Rules19 indicate  that 
Callais found and repaired several leaks in the general  vicinity 
of the FAA's RCAG on January 21 and 22, 2000.  The logs furnished 
by Callais indicate a signal leakage level of 80 mV/m on  January 
21, 2000, near the FAA facility.

     6.  On  February 8  and  10, 2000,  an  agent from  the  New 
Orleans Office inspected Callais's system cable plant to identify 
leaks and  determine compliance  with  the basic  signal  leakage 
criteria.  On  February 8,  2000, the  agent found  seven  leaks, 
which ranged from 68 mV/m to  1,068 mV/m.  On February 10,  2000, 
the agent found  seven additional  leaks, which  ranged from  143 
mV/m to 2,295  mV/m.  The  agent found  leaks in  the nine  miles 
(2.7%) of the system  he inspected.  The  agent found that,  even 
assuming there were no leaks in  the rest of the system, the  CLI 
exceeded the maximum permissible  amount, 64.  Additionally,  the 
agent observed  that,  on February  8  and 10,  2000,  the  cable 
system's carrier frequencies  were not  offset from  aeronautical 

     7.  On February 11, 2000, the agent inspected the headend of 
Callais's cable system.   During the inspection  the agent  found 
that  Callais  had   not  offset  the   cable  system's   carrier 
frequencies from aeronautical frequencies.  The agent also  found 
that Callais  had  not  installed  the  following  EAS  equipment 
required by  Section 11.11  of the  Rules:  EAS  encoder and  EAS 
decoder equipment, and equipment to  provide audio and video  EAS 
messages on all channels.

     8.  On February 11, 2000,  the New Orleans Office issued  an 
Order to Cease Operations, pursuant  to Section 76.613(c) of  the 
Rules.20  The  system resumed  normal operation  on February  17, 
2000, after being brought into compliance.

     9.  On February 29, 2000,  the New Orleans Office issued  an 
Official Notice of Violation  (``NOV'') citing violations of  the 
frequency offset and  EAS equipment requirements.   On March  10, 
2000, Callais replied to the NOV  stating that it had offset  the 
cable system's carrier frequencies and had purchased the required 
EAS equipment.   On  March 23,  2000,  Callais notified  the  New 
Orleans Office that it had received and installed the proper  EAS 

     10.  A review of Commission records, done shortly before the 
release of the  NAL on  January 19 2001,  indicated that  Callais 
filed its  most recent  Basic Signal  Leakage Performance  Report 
(FCC Form  320) on  October 28,  1998, for  signal leakage  tests 
performed on August  10, 1998.   Section 76.611(a)  of the  Rules 
required Callais to  perform annual signal  leakage tests and  to 
report the results to the Commission.  Callais did not file  such 
reports during the years 1999 and 2000.

     11.  In light of the above violations discovered by the  New 
Orleans Office, on January 19, 2001, the Commission released  the 
referenced NAL  against  Callais  in  the  amount  of   $133,000.  
Callais  filed  its  response  to  the  NAL  on  March  5,  2001, 
requesting cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

     12.  The Commission assessed the proposed forfeiture  amount 
in this case in accordance with Section 503 of the Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),21 Section 1.80 of the Rules,22 
and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of 
Section  1.80  of  the   Rules  to  Incorporate  the   Forfeiture 
Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd  17087 (1997), recon.  denied, 15 FCC  Rcd 
303 (1999) (``Forfeiture Policy  Statement''). Section 503(b)  of 
the Act23  requires that,  in examining  Callais's response,  the 
Commission take into  account 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.24

     13.  Callais does not dispute the violations alleged by  the 
NAL.  Callais,  however,  contends  that  the  proposed  monetary 
forfeiture should be cancelled for the reasons discussed below.

     14.  First,  Callais contends  that consumers  and salt  air 
corrosion  are  responsible  for  many  cable  signal   leakages.  
Assuming, arguendo, that this contention is correct, it does  not 
mitigate Callais's violations.  Cable  operators are required  to 
monitor for and repair signal leaks25 regardless of their  origin 
in order  to ensure  that  their systems  comply with  our  cable 
leakage standards, which serve a critical public safety purpose.

     15.  Callais  suggests that  its  status as  a  family-owned 
``mom  and  pop''  cable   operator  mitigates  the   violations.  
Callais's status  as a  family-owned business  does not  mitigate 
Callais's  violations  even  if  it  considers  itself  a   small 
business.  In acknowledging  that the  Small Business  Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness  Act of  1996 requires  federal agencies  to 
establish policies  providing for  the reduction  of  forfeitures 
imposed on  small businesses,  we stated  that under  appropriate 
circumstances, we  may consider  ability  to pay  in  determining 
penalty assessments  on  small  entities.  26   Callais  has  not 
presented any information indicating that it is unable to pay the 
proposed forfeiture.
     16.  Callais  sets  forth  various steps  it  has  taken  to 
correct  its  violations  and  prevent  their  recurrence.  These 
include repairing  leaks, using  better cable  for drops,  making 
leakage checks  more  frequently  than  required  by  the  Rules, 
designating  a  new  person  to  be  responsible  for  preventing 
leakage, installing  new  leakage detection  equipment  in  field 
service vehicles, obtaining additional training materials for its 
technical staff, offsetting the system's carrier frequencies  and 
installing the required EAS equipment.   As we stated in  Seawest 
Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 (1994),  ``corrective  action 
taken to come into compliance with Commission rules or policy  is 
expected, and does not nullify or mitigate any prior  forfeitures 
or violations.''27

     17.  Callais points out that,  although it did not have  the 
EAS equipment required by Section 11.11 of our Rules, it did have 
equipment capable of alerting subscribers about emergencies.   In 
the NAL, we noted  that Callais had  the capability to  interrupt 
audio programming for  emergency broadcasts  in the  event of  an 
emergency but  we  found it  not  to be  a  basis for  making  an 
adjustment to  the $8,000  forfeiture amount  specified for  this 
violation.  Section  11.11  requires Callais  to  have  equipment 
which performs  the following  functions:  producing  a  two-tone 
signal from a storage device, encoding EAS messages, decoding EAS 
messages  and  displaying  audio  and  visual  messages  on   all 
channels.   The equipment that Callais possessed could display an 
audio message but was not capable of performing any of the  other 
required functions.   The principal purpose of EAS is to  provide 
the  President  with  the   capability  of  providing   immediate 
communications and  information  to  the  general  public  during 
periods of  national emergency.28   Even if  Callais's  equipment 
could properly display both the audio and visual messages on  all 
channels, its equipment could not accomplish this purpose because 
it was  incomplete and,  therefore,  incapable of  receiving  EAS 
messages.  Accordingly,  we  find that  Callais's  possession  of 
equipment that could display audio only messages does not warrant 
any reduction from the proposed forfeiture amount.

     18.  Callais contends that  the proposed forfeiture  amounts 
imposed for cable signal leakage ($55,000), failure to offset the 
carrier frequency ($60,000) and  failure to perform the  required 
annual  leakage  tests  and  report  the  results  ($10,000)  are 
excessive.  Callais does not specifically address the  forfeiture 
amount imposed for the EAS violation ($8,000).

     19.  Specifically, Callais  argues that we  cannot assess  a 
forfeiture for Callais's cable signal leakage and carrier  offset 
violations because there are no  specific base amounts for  these 
violations set  forth in  the Forfeiture  Guidelines;29 that  the 
proper base forfeiture  amount for Callais's  failure to  perform 
the required  annual  leakage tests  is  $2,000; that  we  cannot 
deviate  from  the  base  amounts  specified  in  the  Forfeiture 
Guidelines unless we do so  through a rulemaking proceeding;  and 
that we cannot assess the forfeiture amounts for each day of  the 
cable signal leakage and carrier offset violations because  there 
was only  one ``episode''  of each  of these  violations.   These 
arguments lack merit.

     20.  Even if  the Forfeiture  Guidelines did  not  establish 
base forfeiture  amounts for  cable  leakage and  carrier  offset 
violations,  we  could   still  impose   forfeitures  for   those 
violations.30   Furthermore,   the   Forfeiture   Guidelines   do 
establish base amounts  for those violations.   Our cable  signal 
leakage  and  carrier  offset  rules  are  designed  to   protect 
aeronautical frequencies  from interference  and, therefore,  are 
rules ``relating to safety  and distress frequencies.''31   Thus, 
$8,000 is the proper base forfeiture amount for the cable  signal 
leakage and carrier offset violations.32  The proper base  amount 
for Callais's  failure to  perform  the required  annual  leakage 
tests and  report  the  results  is  $8,000,  not  $2,000.   This 
violation led to Callais's  CLI violations.  Callais,  therefore, 
violated a rule ``relating  to safety and distress  frequencies'' 
for which the base forfeiture amount is $8,000.

     21.  We can deviate from the  base amounts specified in  the 
Forfeiture Guidelines.   The Forfeiture  Guidelines  specifically 
contemplate upward (as well as downward) adjustments to the  base 
forfeiture amounts.33  For  example, in MediaOne,  we proposed  a 
forfeiture  of  $55,000  for  cable  signal  leakage   violations 
occurring on two dates.  The $55,000 forfeiture proposed in  this 
case is  consistent  with  MediaOne.   Callais's  carrier  offset 
violations are distinct  from its cable  leakage violations.   An 
additional forfeiture  amount of  $60,000 for  Callais's  carrier 
offset  violations   is   warranted  because   those   violations 
significantly  increased  the   likelihood  of  interference   on 
aeronautical frequencies  and, thus,  are even  more  significant 
than the Callais's cable  signal leakage violations.   Increasing 
the forfeiture  amount  for  Callais's  failure  to  perform  the 
required annual leakage tests and report the results from  $8,000 
to $10,000 is warranted because  this violation continued over  a 
two  year  period  and,  thus,  is  a  ``repeated  or  continuous 
violation.''34  Finally, we are authorized to impose the  maximum 
forfeiture amount of $27,500 for  each day a violation  continues 
regardless of the number of ``episodes.''   See Media One, supra, 
and Section 503(b)(2)(A) of the Act.35

     22.   Callais  also  asserts  that  it  is  ``arbitrary  and 
capricious'' for us  to apply  our CLI standard  and other  cable 
leakage rules to cable operators immediately but to certain  non-
cable Multi-channel  Video Programming  Distributors  (``MVPDs'') 
only after a five year  transition period.   When we  established 
the five year transition period  for certain non-cable MPVDs,  we 
stated that:

     We recognize ... immediate compliance with many of  our 
     other signal leakage requirements may present hardships 
     to existing MVPDs not previously subject to such rules. 
     We will allow  for a five-year  transition period  from 
     the effective date of  these rules to afford  non-cable 
     MVPDs time  to comply  with  our signal  leakage  rules 
     other  than  Section  76.613.   We  note  that  such  a 
     transition period is  consistent with  the time  period 
     allotted to cable operators in 1984 to comply with  the 
     more stringent signal  leakage requirements imposed  by 
     the Commission.  We disagree with Time Warner that non-
     cable MVPDs  do  not need  five  years to  comply  with 
     signal leakage rules because they  do not face many  of 
     the same obstacles  cable operators  confronted in  the 
     past in complying  with such rules.  We believe that  a 
     five-year transition period  will provide a  reasonable 
     time period for existing  non-cable MVPDs to  undertake 
     such  functions  as   replacing  equipment,   upgrading 
     existing wiring,  and  training  personnel  to  conduct 
     signal leakage measurements.  The five-year  transition 
     period will apply  only to  the systems  of those  non-
     cable MVPDs that  have been substantially  built as  of 
     January 1, 1998. 36

We find  that application  of our  CLI standard  and other  cable 
leakage rules to Callais is not arbitrary and capricious.

     23.  We  are, therefore,  not  persuaded that  the  proposed 
forfeiture should be cancelled or  that its amount is  excessive.  
The Commission's leakage rules  are designed to protect  aircraft 
safety  communications   from  harmful   interference.   Callais 
violated  most   of  those   rules.  The   result  was   harmful 
interference to FAA communications. This warrants a  substantial 
forfeiture.  We  find  that  $133,000 is  the  proper  forfeiture 

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     24.  Accordingly, IT  IS ORDERED THAT,  pursuant to  Section 
503(b) of the Act and Section 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,37  Callais 
Cablevision, Inc., IS  LIABLE FOR  A MONETARY  FORFEITURE in  the 
amount  of  one   hundred  and   thirty-three  thousand   dollars 
($133,000) for  repeated  violation  of  Sections  76.605(a)(12), 
76.611(a) and 76.612 of the Rules and willful of Section 11.11 of 
the Rules.

     25.  Payment of the forfeiture  shall be made in the  manner 
provided for in Section 1.80 of  the Rules within 30 days of  the 
release of this Order.  If the forfeiture is not paid within  the 
period specified, the case may  be referred to the Department  of 
Justice for collection pursuant to  Section 504(a) of the  Act.38  
Payment shall be made 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 should note  NAL/Acct. 
No. X12000004, and FRN  0004-9424-54.  Requests for full  payment 
under an installment plan should  be sent to: Chief, Revenue  and 
Receivables Operations  Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, 
D.C. 20554.39

     26.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, a copy of this Order  shall 
be sent by  Certified Mail  Return Receipt  Requested to  Callais 
Cablevision, Inc., P.O. Drawer 550, Larose, Louisiana 70373,  and 
to its attorney, Bradford D. Carey, Esq., Hardy, Carey & Chautin, 
LLP, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 300, Metairie, LA 70005.

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                              Marlene H. Dortch

147 C.F.R. 76.605(a)(12), 76.611(a) and 76.612. 
2 47 C.F.R. 11.11.
3 Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd 1359 (2001).
4 The aeronautical bands are 108-137 MHz and 225-400 MHz.   These 
frequencies encompass both  radionavigation frequencies,  108-118 
MHZ and 328.6-335.4 MHz, and communications frequencies,  118-137 
MHz,  225-328.6MHz  and  335.4-400  MHz.   Deserving  particular 
protection are the international distress and calling frequencies 
121.5 MHz, 156.8 MHz, and 243 MHz.  See 47 C.F.R. 76.616.  These 
frequencies  are  critical  for  Search  and  Rescue   Operations 
including use  by Emergency  Locator Transmitters  on planes  and 
Emergency  Position  Indicating  Radio  Beacons  on  boats.   See 
generally  47  C.F.R.   Part  80,   Subpart  V   and  47   C.F.R. 
5 Harmful interference includes any interference that ``endangers 
the functioning of a radionavigation  service or of other  safety 
services.''  See 47 C.F.R. 2.1 & 76.613(a).
6 Memorandum  Opinion and  Order,  Amendment of  Part 76  of  the 
Commission's Rules to Add Frequency Channelling Requirements  and 
restrictions and to  require Monitoring for  Signal Leakage  from 
Cable Television Systems, Docket No. 21006, 101 FCC 2d 117, para. 
14 (1985) (hereinafter MO&O).
7 47 C.F.R. 76.605(a)(12).
8 47 C.F.R. 76.611(a).
9 47 C.F.R. 76.615(b)(7).
10 47 C.F.R. 76.614.
11 47 C.F.R. 76.613(b).
12 47 C.F.R. 76.613(c).
13 47 C.F.R. 76.610.
14 47 C.F.R. 76.612.  MO&O, supra note 6, at para. 14.
15 47 C.F.R. 11.1.
16 47 C.F.R. 11.11 & 11.41.
17 47 C.F.R. 11.11.
18 Id.
19 47 C.F.R. 76.614.
20 See 47 C.F.R. 76.613(c).
21  47 U.S.C.  503.
22 47 C.F.R.  1.80.
2323 47 U.S.C.  503(b).
2424 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).
25 See 47 C.F.R.  76.613(b) and 76.614.
26 Forfeiture Policy Statement,  12 FCC Rcd  at 17109.  See  also 
Jerry Szoka, 14 FCC Rcd 9857, 9866 (1999), recon. denied, 14  FCC 
Rcd 20147 (1999); affirmed,  Grid Radio and  Jerry Szoka v.  FCC, 
349 U.S.App.D.C. 365 (D.C. Cir. 2002), petition for cert.  filed, 
70 U.S.L.W. (May 8, 2002). 
27 See also Radio Station KGVL,  Inc., 42 FCC2d 258, 259  (1973); 
and Executive Broadcasting Corp., 3 FCC2d 699, 700 (1966).
28 See paragraph 4, supra.
29 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4), Note to paragraph (b)(4).
30 The Forfeiture Policy Statement states that ``...any  omission 
of a specific rule violation from the ... [forfeiture guidelines] 
... should not signal that the Commission considers any  unlisted 
violation as  nonexistent  or unimportant.''   Forfeiture  Policy 
Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at  17099.  The Commission retains the  the 
discretion,  moreover,  to  depart  from  the  Forfeiture  Policy 
Statement and issue foreitures on a case-by-case basis under  its 
general forfeiture authority contained in Section 503 of the Act.  
31 Forfeiture Guidelines,  Section I, Basic  Amounts for  Section 
503 Forfeitures.
32 See MediaOne of Metropolitan Detroit, 15 FCC Rcd 13937,  13939 
(2000) [hereinafter ``MediaOne''] and Charter Communications  VI, 
LLC, 16 FCC Rcd 8485, 8487 (2001).
33 Forfeiture  Guidelines, Section  II, Adjustment  Criteria  for 
Section 503 Forfeitures.  The upward adjustment criteria are: (1) 
Egregious misconduct, (2)  Ability to pay/relative  disincentive, 
(3)  Intentional  violation,  (4)  Substantial  harm,  (5)  Prior 
violations of  any  FCC requirements,  (6)  Substantial  economic 
gain, and (7) Repeated or continuous violation.
34 Forfeiture  Guidelines, Section  II, Adjustment  Criteria  for 
Section 503 Forfeitures.
35 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(A).
36 Report  and  Order  and  Second  Further  Notice  of  Proposed 
Rulemaking, Telecommunications Services Inside Wiring, 13 FCC Rcd 
3659, 3769-3770 (1997) (footnotes omitted).
37  47 C.F.R.  1.80(f)(4).
38  47 U.S.C.  504(a).
39  See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.