FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 11, Pages 8850 to 9847, July 30 - August 17, 2012 Page: 8,908
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Federal Communications Commission
EAS equipment to Stations WLTM-FM and WNIX-AM, however, was malfunctioning, thereby leaving
Stations WLTM-FM and WNIX-AM with no operational EAS equipment. The operations manager
admitted that it had been "some time" since the switching equipment worked and since Stations WLTM-
FM and WNIX-AM had operational EAS equipment. Neither station maintained any EAS logs
documenting when the EAS equipment was last operational.
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.6 Section 312(fX(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)(l) of the Act clarifies that this
definition of willful applies to both Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,' and the Commission has so
interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context.9 The Commission may also assess a forfeiture for
violations that are merely repeated, and not willful.'0 The term "repeated" means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or for more than one day."
A. Failure to Maintain Operational Emergency Alert System and EAS logs
4. Every broadcast station is part of the nationwide EAS network and is categorized as a
participating national EAS source."2 The EAS enables the President and state and local governments to
provide immediate communications and information to the general public."3 State and local area plans
identify local primary sources responsible for coordinating carriage of common emergency messages
from the sources such as the National Weather Service or local emergency management officials.'
6 47 U.S.C. 503(b).
7 47 U.S.C. 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 act (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 ....").
9 See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6
FCC Red 4387, 4388 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
"o See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Red 1359,
1362, para. 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. 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., 16 FCC Red at 1362.
'2 47 C.F.R. 11.11, 11.41.
13 47 C.F.R. 11.1, 11.21.
'4 47 C.F.R. 11.18. State EAS plans contain guidelines that must be followed by broadcast and cable personnel,
emergency officials and National Weather Service personnel to activate the EAS for state and local emergency
alerts. The state plans include the EAS header codes and messages to be transmitted by the primary state, local and
relay EAS sources. 47 C.F.R. 11.21.
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 11, Pages 8850 to 9847, July 30 - August 17, 2012, book, August 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133015/m1/75/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.