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FCC Fines Texas Station $5,000 for “Premature Construction”

The FCC has issued a $5,000 Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) to Iglesia Centro de Liberacion, licensee of KJJG-LP, for “willfully and repeatedly” violating Section 319(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 by “prematurely constructing the facilities” proposed in its application to make minor changes to its licensed facilities.

In January of 2017, Iglesia Centro filed an application seeking authority to move the KJJG transmitter to a different location. 

Because the new transmitter site did not satisfy the second-adjacent channel minimum distance requirements applicable to low power FM stations, Iglesia Centro requested a second-adjacent channel waiver. 

In support of its waiver request, Iglesia Centro submitted an engineering analysis that purported to demonstrate that the KJJG’s interference contour would not reach any potential listeners of KROI-FM Seabrook and KKBQ-FM Pasadena.

Two weeks later, Centro Cristiano de Vida Eterna, filed a petition to deny the waiver alleging that Iglesia Centro engaged in premature construction.

Centro Cristiano filed a supplement to its petition claiming Iglesia Centro removed the antenna from the tower and, in doing so, “implicitly admitted its guilt with regard to the charge of premature construction.”

Section 319(a) of the Communications Act states that “[n]o license shall be issued under the authority of this act for the operation of any station unless a permit for its construction has been granted by the commission.”

In its NAL, the FCC said “it is undisputed that Iglesia Centro mounted the station’s antenna on a tower at the location proposed in the application and attached a transmission line to the antenna.”

While the base forfeiture amount is $10,000 for construction and/or operation without authorization, the FCC may adjust the fine based upon a number of factors.

The FCC said “while Iglesia Centro did prematurely construct the facilities proposed in the application, the duration of the violation was less than three weeks.Further, Iglesia Centro has no history of prior offenses. “

The commission said it reviewed the amended application and engineering analysis and found that Iglesia Centro had demonstrated that the proposed facilities will not result in interference to any authorized radio service.

“Upon resolution of the forfeiture matter, if there are no other issues that would preclude grant of the application, we will grant Iglesia Centro’s request for a second-adjacent channel waiver and grant the application,” the FCC said.

Iglesia Centro has 30 days to comply with the NAL.


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