Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

AT&T, Inc

Download Options

Released: September 27, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1142


Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
AT&T, Inc.
) File No.: EB-10-SJ-0066
) NAL/Acct. No.: 201132680001
San Juan, PR
) FRN: 0018840736
)
)

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted:

September 27, 2012

Released:

September 27, 2012
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I. INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount of twenty-
five thousand dollars ($25,000) to AT&T, Inc. dba AT&T Mobility (AT&T) for willful and repeated
violation of Sections 301 and 302(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),1 and
Sections 15.1(b) and 15.1(c) of the Commission’s rules (Rules).2 The noted violation involves AT&T’s
operation of an intentional radiator without a license and contrary to the requirements of Part 15 of the
Rules3 and the device’s Equipment Authorization.

II. BACKGROUND

2.
On February 17, 2011, the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to AT&T for its operation of an Unlicensed National Information
Infrastructure (U-NII) device on a frequency for which the device was not authorized and without a license.
As discussed in detail in the NAL in this case,4 on December 7, 2010 and December 8, 2010, while searching
for the source of interference to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Terminal Doppler Weather
Radar (TDWR) serving the San Juan International airport, agents from the Bureau’s San Juan Office (San
Juan Office) used direction-finding techniques to determine that radio emissions on frequency 5605 MHz
emanated from AT&T’s U-NII transmitter, a Motorola Canopy,5 located on the roof of the Miramar Plaza
Condominium Building in Santurce, Puerto Rico. The Canopy model is certified for use as a Part 15
intentional radiator only in the 5735.0 - 5840.0 MHz band and is not certified as a U-NII intentional


1 47 U.S.C. §§ 301, 302a(b); see also 47 C.F.R. § 15.407.
2 47 C.F.R. §§ 15.1(b), (c).
3 47 C.F.R. §§ 15.1 et seq.
4 AT&T, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 1894 (Enf. Bur. 2011). A comprehensive
recitation of the facts and history of this case found in the NAL is incorporated herein by reference.
5 The device was a Motorola Canopy model #5700, FCC ID ABZ89FC5804.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1142

radiator.6 The device also is not capable of Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), a functionality which
allows U-NII transmitters operating in the 5.25-5.35 GHz and 5.47-5.725 GHz bands to detect the
presence of FAA radar systems and avoid co-channel operations with radar systems.7 AT&T submitted a
response to the NAL requesting cancellation or reduction of the proposed forfeiture, because it alleges its
U-NII transmitters operated on the frequencies 5685 MHz and 5825 MHz8 on December 7 and December
8, 2010 and were not the source of the interference to the FAA’s TDWR.9

III. DISCUSSION

3.
The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance with Section
503(b) of the Act,10 Section 1.80 of the Rules,11 and the Forfeiture Policy Statement.12 In examining
AT&T’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.13
As discussed below, we have considered AT&T’s response in light of these statutory factors and impose a
$25,000 forfeiture.
4.
Section 301 of the Act requires that no person shall use or operate any apparatus for the
transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio within the United States except under and
in accordance with the Act and with a license.14 Part 15 of the Rules,15 however, sets forth conditions
under which intentional radiators may operate without an individual license. Pursuant to Section 15.1(b)


6 47 C.F.R. § 15.403(s) (defining U-NII devices as “[i]ntentional radiators operating in the frequency bands 5.15-
5.35 GHz and 5.470-5.825 GHz that use wideband digital modulation techniques and provide a wide array of high
data rate mobile and fixed communications for individuals, businesses, and institutions.”). Although AT&T’s
device was not authorized to operate in the U-NII bands, it is subject to the U-NII rules (47 C.F.R. 15.401-15.407)
because AT&T operated it as U-NII device on a U-NII frequency.
7 See 47 C.F.R. § 15.407(h)(2). See also Memorandum from Julius Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and
Technology, FCC, and P. Michele Ellison, Chief, Enforcement Bureau, FCC, to Manufacturers and Operators of
Unlicensed 5 GHz Outdoor Network Equipment Re: Elimination of Interference to Terminal Doppler Weather
Radar (TDWR) (dated July 27, 2010), available at http://www.wi-
fi.org/files/FCC_Memorandum_on_UNII_Device_Operation_2010_07_27-M.pdf (last visited Feb. 1, 2011).
Because this device is not authorized to be used on the 5.25 – 5.35 GHz and 5.47 – 5.725 GHz frequency bands, the
Rules do not require it to have DFS functionality when manufactured. Devices operating on the 5.25 – 5.35 GHz
and 5.47 – 5.725 GHz frequency bands, however, must have DFS functionality.
8 Agents from the San Juan Office only investigated the U-NII device operating on the frequency 5605 MHz. The
agents did not confirm that AT&T operated a second U-NII device on the frequency 5825 MHz. The frequency
5825 MHz, however, is an authorized operating frequency for the Motorola Canopy model in question.
Accordingly, AT&T's operation of a U-NII device on 5825 MHz is not relevant to this proceeding.
9 See Answer to Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture from William L. Roughton, Jr., General Attorney,
AT&T Services Inc. (Apr. 18, 2011) (NAL Response).
10 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
11 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
12 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).
13 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
14 47 U.S.C. § 301.
15 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 15.1 et seq.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1142

of the Rules, “the operation of an intentional or unintentional radiator that is not in accordance with the
regulations in [Part 15] must be licensed pursuant to the provisions of Section 301 of the Communications
Act….”16 Thus, if an intentional radiator fails to comply with all of the applicable conditions set forth in
Part 15 of the Rules, it is no longer covered by the unlicensed provisions of those Rules and must obtain
an individual license pursuant to Section 301 of the Act.
5.
On December 7 and 8, 2010, agents from the San Juan Office used their direction-finding
equipment to determine that AT&T was operating a Part 15 intentional radiator, a Motorola Canopy, on
the center frequency of 5605 MHz from the rooftop of a building in Santurce, Puerto Rico. As discussed
below, AT&T asserts that its Motorola Canopy device operated on 5685 MHz, not 5605 MHz. The
Motorola Canopy device, however, is only certified for use in the 5735.0 -5840.0 MHz band. Therefore,
there is no dispute that AT&T’s operations required a license and violated the device’s Equipment
Authorization and Part 15 requirements. According to Commission records, AT&T does not hold a
license to operate on the frequencies 5605 MHz or 5685 MHz in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Accordingly, we
find that AT&T willfully17 and repeatedly18 violated Section 301 of the Act and Section 15.1(b) of the
Rules by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter.
6.
Section 15.201(b) of the Rules provides that all intentional radiators operating under Part
15 shall be certificated by the Commission. 19 Section 15.1(c) of the Rules states that “the operation … of
an intentional … radiator that is not in compliance with the administrative and technical provisions in this
part … is prohibited ….” 20 Section 302(b) of the Act provides that “[n]o person shall . . . use devices
which fail to comply with the regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.”21 Consequently, the
operation of an intentional radiator in a manner inconsistent with the Part 15 Rules is a violation of
Section 302(b) of the Act.
7.
Section 15.504(h)(2) of the Rules requires U-NII devices operating in the 5.47 – 5.725
GHz band to employ DFS. 22 AT&T operated a U-NII transmitter incapable of operating with the DFS
radar detection mechanism required under Section 15.407(h)(2) of the Rules. In its response, AT&T does
not dispute that the Motorola Canopy is incapable of DFS capability. Thus, based on the evidence before
us, we find that AT&T willfully and repeatedly violated Section 302(b) of the Act and Section 15.1(c) of
the Rules by operating a U-NII transmitter without DFS capability on a frequency for which it was
required.23
8.
The Bureau upwardly adjusted the proposed forfeiture for the violation of Section 301 of
the Act by $10,000, in part, because we found that AT&T apparently caused interference to the TDWR
serving the San Juan International Airport.24 In its NAL Response, AT&T provides two screenshots of the
“uptime clock” of a Motorola Canopy device that allegedly show that the unit operated on 5685 MHz for


16 47 C.F.R. § 15.1(b).
17 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. 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
18 The term “repeated” means the commission or omission of such act more than once or for more than one day. 47
U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
19 47 C.F.R. § 15.201(b).
20 47 C.F.R. § 15.1(c).
21 47 U.S.C. § 302a(b).
22 47 C.F.R. § 15.407(h)(2).
23 47 C.F.R. § 15.1(c).
24 The proposed forfeiture was also upwardly adjusted based on the size of AT&T’s gross revenues.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1142

two months prior to December 12, 2010.25 AT&T asserts that the screenshots are of the Motorola Canopy
unit at issue in this case and that the device’s “uptime clock” resets to zero every time the frequency
setting of the unit is changed.26 AT&T claims its screenshots demonstrate that the device did not operate
on 5605 MHz on December 7 and 8, 2010, and therefore did not cause interference to the San Juan
TDWR, which operates on the frequency 5610 MHz. AT&T further asserts that its device could not have
been the source of the 5605 MHz interference to the San Juan TDWR because its device was not retuned
to a different frequency on December 8, 2010, as described in the NAL. AT&T states that the frequency
of its device could only have been changed by a “physical onsite intervention or remotely, through
commands sent from an AT&T location.”27 AT&T claims that physical onsite intervention did not occur
because the agents from the San Juan Office could not access the locked boxes housing the unit’s network
connections directly, and AT&T personnel were not present during the December 8 inspection. AT&T
also states that the “remaining procedure to change the frequencies requires taking the unit off line and
resetting it,” which AT&T alleges would reset the uptime clock.28 Thus, AT&T asserts that some other
device must have been the source of the 5605 MHz interference.
9.
We conclude that the preponderance of the evidence supports the Bureau’s findings. On
December 7 and 8, 2010, agents from the San Juan Office did not just track the source of the signals on
5605 MHz to the rooftop of the Miramar Condominium building; but traced the source to a specific
device, AT&T’s Motorola Canopy. On December 8, 2010, the agents took measurements directly in front
of the Motorola Canopy transmitter, later identified by AT&T employees as an AT&T device, and
recorded the spectral display of the transmission on 5605 MHz.29 The spectral images show a strong
signal on 5605 MHz, and no signal on 5685 MHz. On December 8, 2010, agents from the San Juan
Office were present when AT&T’s transmitter stopped transmitting on 5605 MHz. At that point, the
interference to the San Juan TDWR noticeably decreased. The Commission has repeatedly relied on such
evidence to establish a finding of interference.30
10.
We are unpersuaded that AT&T’s device was not the source of the interference. While
AT&T offers two screenshots purporting to show that its Motorola Canopy unit operated on 5685 MHz at
the time of the FCC measurements, it is unclear whether the device operating on 5685 MHz was the unit
examined by the Bureau agents or a different unit.31 In the absence of more reliable rebuttal information,
we find that the preponderance of the evidence supports our earlier conclusion that AT&T’s Motorola
Canopy on the rooftop of the Miramar Condominium operated on 5605 MHz and caused interference to
the San Juan TDWR. Accordingly, we affirm our earlier finding that an upward adjustment to the
proposed forfeiture was appropriate.


25 NAL Response at 3.
26 Id.
27 Id. at 4.
28 Id.
29 Agents from the San Juan Office photographed themselves inspecting the exterior of the device in question on the
rooftop. The agents were not accompanied by representatives of AT&T.
30 See Ayustar Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 10693 (Enf. Bur. 2011);
Rapidwave, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 10678 (Enf. Bur. 2011); Utah
Broadband
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 1419 (Enf. Bur. 2011).
31 Although the company could have provided a single screenshot showing the operating frequency, hardware
identification, and location, AT&T instead provided two separate screenshots -- one showing the frequency in use
and another showing the transmitter identification information. Moreover, the operating frequency displayed in the
menu can be changed and printed out as a screenshot with no effect to the transmitter, because any changes to the
transmitter are not implemented until the transmitter is rebooted. See Canopy Installation and Configure Guide,
September 2006. Therefore, it is possible to generate a screenshot showing a device operating on 5685 MHz for any
number of days, when the transmitter is in fact operating on 5605 MHz or any other frequency.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1142

11.
In any event, even if we reconsidered our finding that AT&T caused interference to the
San Juan TDWR, the outcome would be the same. AT&T acknowledges that it operated on an
unauthorized frequency. This constitutes a violation of Section 301 of the Act. An upward adjustment of
$10,000 is reasonable given AT&T’s substantial gross revenues, and we therefore find no reason to
reduce the proposed forfeiture.

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

12.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission’s rules, AT&T,
Inc.

IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE

in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars
($25,000) for violation of Sections 301 and 302(b) of the Act and Sections 15.1(b) and 15.1(c) of the
rules.32
13.
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.33 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.34 AT&T, 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.35 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 select:
Ÿ
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.
Ÿ
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.
Ÿ
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.
14.
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-


32 47 U.S.C. §§ 301, 302a(b), 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 15.1(b), 15.1(b).
33 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
34 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
35 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
5

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1142

A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.36 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.
15.
IT

IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both First Class
and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to AT&T, Inc. at 1120 20th Street, NW, Suite 1000,
Washington, DC 20036.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
P. Michele Ellison
Chief, Enforcement Bureau


36 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
6

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.