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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Classic Cable, Inc. dba Suddenlink File No.: EB-11-DL-0072
NAL/Acct. No.: 201232500002
Owner of Antenna Structure # 1040644 )
Quanah, Texas )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE AND ORDER
Adopted: January 18, 2012 Released: January 18, 2012
By the District Director, Dallas Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (NAL),
we find that Classic Cable, Inc. dba Suddenlink Communications
(Classic Cable), owner of antenna structure number 1040644, in Quanah,
Texas (the Antenna Structure), apparently willfully and repeatedly
violated section 17.50 of the Commission's rules (Rules) by failing to
clean or repaint the Antenna Structure as often as necessary to
maintain good visibility. We conclude that Classic Cable is apparently
liable for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000). In addition, we direct Classic Cable to submit no later
than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of this NAL a statement
signed under penalty of perjury stating that the Antenna Structure has
been cleaned and repainted.
2. The Antenna Structure is 122.8 meters in overall height above ground
and is required to be painted and lighted. On August 15, 2011, agents
from the Dallas Office of the Enforcement Bureau (Dallas Office)
inspected the Antenna Structure and observed that the structure's
paint was extremely faded and was scraped and pealing in several
areas, leaving the metal exposed and reducing the structure's
visibility. Agents from the Dallas Office were unable to distinguish
the alternating bands of paint on the Antenna Structure from a quarter
of a mile from the Antenna Structure.
3. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (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. Section
312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as the "conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to
violate" the law. The legislative history to section 312(f)(1) of the
Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both section
312 and 503(b) of the Act and the Commission has so interpreted the
term in the section 503(b) context. The Commission may also assess a
forfeiture for violations that are merely repeated, and not willful.
The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of such act more
than once or for more than one day.
A. Failure to Maintain the Antenna Structure's Paint to Ensure Good
4. Section 17.50 of the Rules requires that antenna structures be cleaned
or repainted as often as necessary to maintain good visibility. On
August 15, 2011, agents from the Dallas Office observed that the paint
on the Antenna Structure was not in a condition that provided good
visibility. The paint on the Antenna Structure was extremely faded,
scraped, and pealing in several areas. Based on the condition of the
paint, the agents concluded that the Antenna Structure was not clearly
visible for more than one day. Based on the evidence before us, we
find that Classic Cable apparently willfully and repeatedly violated
section 17.50 of the Rules by failing to clean and repaint the Antenna
Structure in order to maintain good visibility.
A. Proposed Forfeiture
5. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for failing to comply
with prescribed painting of the tower 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)(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, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other
such matters as justice may require. Applying the Forfeiture Policy
Statement, section 1.80 of the Rules, and the statutory factors to the
instant case, we conclude that Classic Cable is apparently liable for
a forfeiture in the amount of $10,000.
6. We direct Classic Cable to submit a written statement, pursuant to
section 1.16 of the Rules, signed under penalty of perjury by an
officer or director of Classic Cable, stating that the Antenna
Structure has been repainted to maintain good visibility. If the
Antenna Structure has not yet been cleaned and repainted, we direct
Classic Cable to provide a timetable for when the work will be
completed. We also direct Classic Cable to describe the procedures it
has implemented to ensure the Antenna Structure retains good
visibility. This statement must be provided to the Dallas Office at
the address listed in paragraph 11 within thirty (30) calendar days of
the release date of this NAL.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission's rules, Classic Cable, Inc.
dba Suddenlink Communications is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for violation of section 17.50 of the Rules.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to section 1.80 of the
Commission's rules, within thirty (30) calendar days of the release
date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order,
Classic Cable, Inc. dba Suddenlink Communications, SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Classic Cable, Inc. dba Suddenlink
Communications SHALL SUBMIT a statement as described in paragraph 5 to
the Dallas Office within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date
of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order.
10. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card, check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission. The payment must include the Account Number and FRN
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 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. If you have questions regarding payment
procedures, please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at
1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. Classic Cable, Inc. dba
Suddenlink Communications will send electronic notification on the
date said payment is made to SCR-Response@fcc.gov.
11. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
sections 1.80(f)(3) and 1.16 of the Rules. Mail the written statement
to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South
Central Region, Dallas Office, 9330 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1170, Dallas,
TX 75243 and include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
Classic Cable, Inc. dba Suddenlink Communications also shall email the
written response to SCR-Response@fcc.gov.
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
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture and Order shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested, and regular mail, to Classic Cable, Inc. dba
Suddenlink Communications at 12444 Powerscourt Drive, Suite 140, St.
Louis, MO 63131.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James D. Wells
South Central Region
47 C.F.R. S: 17.50.
See Antenna Structure Registration database for antenna structure number
1040644. See also 47 C.F.R. S: 17.21(a) (requiring antenna structures to
be painted and lighted when they exceed 60.96 meters in height above
According to the Antenna Structure Registration database, antenna
structure number 1040644 must be painted consistent with FCC Paragraphs 1,
3, 4, 13, and 21. FCC Paragraph 1 requires antenna structure to be painted
throughout their height with alternate bands of aviation surface orange
and white. The width of the bands shall be equal and approximately
one-seventh the height of the structure, provided however, that the bands
shall not be more than 100 feet nor less than 1.5 feet in width.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).
H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) ("This provision
[inserted in section 312] defines the terms `willful' and `repeated' for
purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the [A]ct
(e.g., section 503).... As defined ... `willful' means that the licensee
knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of whether there
was an intent to violate the law. `Repeated' means more than once, or
where the act is continuous, for more than one day. Whether an act is
considered to be `continuous' would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in
sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission's application
of those terms ...").
See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991), recon. denied,
7 FCC Rcd 3454.
See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 P: 10 (2001) (Callais
Cablevision, Inc.) (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable
television operator's repeated signal leakage).
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." See Callais Cablevision, Inc. at 1362.
47 C.F.R. S: 17.50.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.16.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 12-54
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-54