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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Argos Net, Inc. Caguas, PR ) ) ) ) ) ) File No:
EB-11-SJ-0055 File No: EB-11-SJ-0062 NAL/Acct. No.: 201232680002 FRN:
Adopted: February 12, 2013 Released: February 12, 2013
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) to Argos Net, Inc.
(Argos), an operator of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure
(U-NII) transmission systems in Puerto Rico, for willful and repeated
violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(Act),^ and Section 15.1(b) of the Commission's rules (Rules).^ The
violations involved Argos's operation of intentional radiators not in
accordance with Part 15 of the Rules^ and without a license.
2. On March 23, 2012, the Enforcement Bureau's San Juan Office (San Juan
Office) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order
(NAL) ^ ^ to Argos for its unlicensed operations. Argos submitted a
response to the NAL requesting cancellation or reduction of the
proposed $25,000 forfeiture, because (1) of "Argos' lack of any
history of prior offenses and its continued cooperation with the
Commission's field agent in identifying and correcting the
situation;"^ (2) "Argos' non-complying operation of the device [on
December 2, 2011] was due to an isolated mistake and was promptly
corrected once Argos was notified;"^ and (3) "Argos is a small
wireless internet service provider operating in a highly competitive
and saturated market" and is unable to pay the forfeiture.^
3. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act,^ Section 1.80 of the Rules,^ and the
Forfeiture Policy Statement.^ In examining Argos's response, Section
503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires that 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.^ As discussed below, we have considered Argos's response
in light of these statutory factors, and find that a reduction of the
forfeiture based on its history of compliance is justified.
4. We find that the evidence supports the Bureau's undisputed findings
that, on November 18, and December 8 and 21, 2011, Argos operated its
U-NII devices on frequencies for which those devices were not
certified, thereby rendering such operations unlicensed. Argos asserts
that on November 29, 2011, it met with agents from the San Juan Office
and "made all technical and programming modifications necessary in
order to cease any unintentional interference with the [Terminal
Doppler Weather Radar] TDWR."^ Similarly, Argos states that on
December 23, 2011 it notified the agent that the "device had been
operating in the 5620 frequency due to a programming error by Argos
technician ... [and] that the mistake had been promptly corrected."^
Argos's corrective action taken after notification or inspection by
the Commission does not mitigate the violation, because such action is
expected.^ Moreover, the Commission has long held that a violator can
be held liable for violations resulting from mistakes.^ Thus, based on
the evidence before us, we find that Argos willfully and repeatedly
violated Section 301 of the Act and Section 15.1(b) of the Rules by
operating unlicensed radio transmitters on November 18, and December 8
and 21, 2011 from two different sites in Puerto Rico.
5. With regard to an individual or entity's inability to pay claim, the
Commission has determined that, in general, gross revenues are the
best indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture.^ Based on the
financial documents provided by Argos, we find no basis to reduce the
proposed forfeiture based on inability to pay.
6. We do, however, agree with Argos regarding its history of compliance
with the Commission's rules.^ We have reviewed our records and found
no violations prior to those at issue here today. Thus, we conclude
that a reduction in forfeiture in the amount of $5,000 is warranted.
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(f)(4) of the Commission's rules, Argos Net,
Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of twenty
thousand dollars ($20,000) for violations of Section 301 of the
Communications Act and Section 15.1(b) of the Commission's rules.^
8. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
Section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the
release date of this Forfeiture Order.^ If the forfeiture is not paid
within the period specified, the case may be referred to the U.S.
Department of Justice for enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to
Section 504(a) of the Act.^ Argos Net, Inc. shall send electronic
notification of payment to SCR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said
payment is made. The payment must be made by check or similar
instrument, wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the
NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Regardless of the form of
payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted.^ When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number
in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters "FORF"
in block number 24A (payment type code). Below are additional
instructions you should follow based on the form of payment you
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
9. Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief Financial Officer--Financial Operations, Federal
Communications Commission, 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 by
phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both
First Class and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Argos
Net, Inc. at Oficina #212, Calle Acosta #32, Caguas, PR, 00725 and to
its counsel, Edwin Quinones and Alejandro J. Figueroa Ramirez,
Quinones & Arbona, P.O. Box 19417, San Juan, PR 00910.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301; see also 47 C.F.R. S 15.407.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 15.1(b).
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 15.1 et seq.
^ Argos Net, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order,
27 FCC Rcd 2786 (Enf. Bur. 2012) (NAL). A comprehensive recitation of the
facts and history of this case can be found in the NAL and is incorporated
herein by reference.
^ Letter from Edwin Quinones and Alejandro J. Figueroa Ramirez, Attorneys
for Argos Net, Inc., to San Juan Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
Bureau, at 2 (Apr. 23, 2012 ) (on file in EB-11-SJ-0055 and EB-11-SJ-0062)
^ Id. at 3.
^ Id. at 4.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 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), recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999)
(Forfeiture Policy Statement).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ NAL Response at 3.
^ See, e.g., International Broadcasting Corporation, Order on Review, 25
FCC Rcd 1538 (2010).
^ See, e.g., Tidewater Communications, LLC, Order on Review, 25 FCC Rcd
^ See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 7 FCC Rcd
2088, 2089 (1992) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long
Distance, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture not
deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.9 percent of the
violator's gross revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation, Forfeiture
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.80 (b)(4) note (stating that history of overall
compliance is a downward adjustment criteria for Section 503 forfeitures).
^ 47 U.S.C. SS 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314,
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
^ An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-186
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-186