Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Northland Cable Properties VII, ) File No. EB-03-AT-061
LP ) NAL/Acct. No. 200332480026
Operator of Cable Systems in ) FRN: 0004-5222-98
Adopted: December 22, 2004 Released: December
By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand dollars
($8,000) to Northland Cable Properties VII, LP
(``Northland''), operator of cable television systems in
Sandersville and Tennille, Georgia (``Northland cable
systems'') for willfully and repeatedly violating the cable
television signal leakage standards of Sections
76.605(a)(12) and 76.611(a)(1) of the Commission's Rules
2. On a March 5, 2003, the Commission's Atlanta,
Georgia Field Office (``Atlanta Office'') conducted a cable
signal leakage inspection of Northland's cable systems. As
a result of that inspection, the Atlanta Office released a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'').2
The NAL found that that Northland's cable systems
experienced signal leaks at 38 locations on frequency
121.2625 MHz (which exceeded 20 microvolts per meter (µV/m)
at a distance of at least 3 meters from each leakage), and
that the measured leaks ranged from 84 to 931 µV/m (which at
a calculated cumulative index of (``CLI'') of 68.9, exceeded
the permissible cumulative signal leakage performance
criteria of 64). Based on these findings, the NAL proposed
a $8,000 forfeiture against Northland for apparent willful
and repeated violation of Sections 76.605(a)(12) and
76.611(a)(1) of the Rules.
3. In its July 2, 2003 response to the NAL,3
Northland sought cancellation of the proposed forfeiture,
arguing that the Atlanta Office's measurements were
inaccurate, that the company undertook immediate and prompt
remedial measures, and, finally, that the leakage problems,
for the most part, were attributable to customers premises
equipment and inside wiring.
4. The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),4 Section
1.80 of the Rules,5 and the Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines.6 In assessing
forfeitures, Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires that
we 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 such other matters as justice may
require.7 As discussed below, we have considered
Northland's response to the NAL in light of these statutory
factors and have found that cancellation of the proposed
forfeiture amount is not warranted.
5. Northland argued that the Atlanta Office's signal
strength measurements were incorrect and ``overstated'' the
leakage problem.8 According to Northland, its staff's
measurements at the 38 subject locations at a distance of 10
feet of each leakage (the approximate equivalent of 3
meters) ranged from 15 µV/m to 400 µV/m, and resulted in a
CLI calculation of 56.9, below the maximum 64 allowed under
Section 76.611(a)(1). The Commission established the cable
signal leakage thresholds to address and control emissions
that potentially could cause harmful interference to
aeronautical frequencies and vital communications.9 Given
the safety considerations involved, and the fact that
Northland has not offered any explanation of why its
measurements were significantly lower than the Atlanta
Office's measurements,10 we stand by the our Office's
measurements and findings and find no basis to cancel or
reduce the proposed forfeiture in this regard.
6. Northland also argued that the NAL failed to take
into account that it had cooperated through ``immediate
reduction of signal power'' and ``efforts to correct any and
all leaks.''11 The Commission ``expects'' full
cooperation,12 and subsequent correction of violations
observed,13 during the course of its investigations. Such
cooperative and subsequent remedial efforts, however, do not
mitigate or negate past violations and do not warrant
reduction or cancellation of a proposed forfeiture.14
Further, we note that Northland was directed to reducer
power by the Atlanta Office due to the potential for harmful
interference to aeronautical frequencies.
7. Finally, Northland argued that ``the probable
cause of 75% of these leaks was customer premises equipment
and inside wiring.'' As the operator of the Georgia
systems, Northland is charged with the responsibility of
monitoring and correcting signal leaks ``regardless of their
cause to ensure that their systems comply with our cable
leakage standards which serve a critical safety purpose.''15
We thus find that Northland's argument is unavailing, and
that reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture is
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,16 Northland Cable Properties VII,
LP IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of
eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for its failure to comply
with the cable signal leakage standards, in willful and
repeated violation of Sections 76.605(a)(12) and
76.611(a)(1) of the Rules.
9. 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.17 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/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above.
Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Forfeiture
Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Bank One/LB 73482,
525 West Monroe, 8th Floor Mailroom, Chicago, IL 60661.
Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number
071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and account number
1165259. 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.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to Jack Dyste, Senior Vice President
Technical Service, Northland Communications Corporation, 101
Stewart Street, Suite 700, Seattle, Washington 98101.
George R. Dillon
Assistant Chief, Enforcement
147 C.F.R. §§ 76.605(a)(12) and 76.611(a)(1).
2Northland Cable Properties VII, LP, NAL/Acct. No.
200332480026 (Enf. Bur., Atlanta Office, released June 10,
3See Letter from Jack Dyste, Senior Vice President
Technical Service, Northland Communications Corporation to
Office of Secretary, Federal Communications Commission
(dated July 2, 2003) (``Response'').
447 U.S.C. § 503(b).
547 C.F.R. § 1.80.
612 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303
(1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').
747 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8Response at 1, Exhibit A.
9See Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1359 ¶ 2
10See Response at 2; see also Letters from Jack Dyste,
Senior Vice President Technical Service, Northland
Communications Corporation to Fred L. Boce, District
Director, Federal Communications Commission (dated March 27
and 10, 2003) (acknowledging the cable signal leakages
detected by the Atlanta Office, and reporting on
Northland's subsequent repairs).
11Response at 2.
12See, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387, 4388 ¶ 5 (1991), recon. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454,
3455 ¶ 7 (1992); MAPA Broadcasting, L.L.C., 17 FCC Rcd
10519, 10521 ¶¶ 8, 11 (Enf. Bur. 2002); SBC Communications,
Inc., 16 FCC Rcd 10963, 10969 ¶ 16 (Enf. Bur. 2001);
California Oregon Broadcasters, 16 FCC Rcd 9281, 9281 ¶ 3
(CSB 2001); Hart Telephone Co., 9 FCC Rcd 2501, 2501 ¶ 5
13See, e.g., AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 7891
(2002), forfeiture ordered, 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21875-76 ¶¶
26-28 (2002); Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099
¶7 (1994); TCI Cablevision of Maryland, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd
6013, 6014 ¶ 8 (1992); Calvary Communications, 18 FCC Rcd
18172, 18174 ¶ 10 (Enf. Bur. 2003).
14See notes 12-13 and accompanying text, supra.
15Small Town Communications Partners I LP, 19 FCC Rcd
11034, 11035 ¶ 7 (Enf. Bur. 2004).
1647 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
1747 U.S.C. § 504(a).
18See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.