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Brookfield Office Properties

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Released: February 7, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-148


Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Brookfield Office Properties
) File No.: EB-FIELDWR-13-00008470
Ernst & Young Plaza
)
Citation No.: C201432900003
)
Los Angeles, CA
)

CITATION AND ORDER

Lighting Ballasts Causing Harmful Interference

Adopted: February 6, 2014

Released: February 7, 2014

By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
This is an official

CITATION AND ORDER

(Citation) issued pursuant to Section
503(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act or Act),1 to Brookfield
Office Properties (Brookfield), owner of the Ernst & Young Plaza building (Building) at 725 South
Figueroa Street in Los Angeles, CA. Specifically, Brookfield is being cited for operating industrial,
scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment and causing harmful interference in violation of Sections
18.111(b) and 18.115(a) of the Commission’s rules (Rules).2
2.
Notice of Duty to Comply With Laws: Brookfield should take steps to come into
compliance with the Rules, including eliminating the interference. Brookfield is hereby on notice that if it
subsequently engages in any conduct of the type described in this Citation, including any violation of
Sections 18.111(b) or 18.115(a) of the Rules, it may be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including
but not limited to substantial monetary fines (forfeitures). Such forfeitures may be based on both the
conduct that led to this Citation and the conduct following it.3
3.
Your Response Required: Pursuant to Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 403 of the Communications
Act,4 we also direct Brookfield to respond in writing, within thirty (30) calendar days after the release
date of this Citation, with specific actions taken to preclude recurrence of the violations. The response
must be signed under penalty of perjury.


1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(5).
2 47 C.F.R. §§ 18.111(b), 18.115(a).
3 See 47 U.S.C § 503(b)(5). See also S. Rep. No. 95-580, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. at 9 (1977) (if a person or entity that
has been issued a citation by the Commission thereafter engages in the conduct for which the citation of violation
was sent, the subsequent notice of apparent liability “would attach not only for the conduct occurring subsequently
but also for the conduct for which the citation was originally sent
”) (emphasis added).
4 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 154(j), 403.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-148

II.

BACKGROUND

4.
On April 30, 2013, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Los Angeles Office (Los
Angeles Office) visited the Building and informed the Building’s Property Manager that Verizon
Wireless alleged that GE fluorescent lighting electronic ballasts in the Building were the source of radio
emissions causing interference to the Verizon Wireless 700 MHz LTE cell site. The Property Manager
informed the agents that Verizon Wireless had already notified them of the interference, and that
Brookfield’s lighting contractor was still investigating the problem. The agents provided the Property
Manager with a copy of the GE Lighting, Product Bulletin (GE Bulletin).5 The GE Bulletin states that
GE UltraMax ballasts were “tested in accordance with applicable FCC Part 18 requirements,” and that a
small number “produced unintentionally high-frequency radio emissions that have the potential to cause
interference with certain types of wireless communications.” 6 On May 7, 2013, the Los Angeles Office
issued a warning letter to Brookfield advising it to investigate the lighting ballasts used in the Building
and, pursuant to Section 18.117(a) of the Rules,7 to provide the Los Angeles Office with an interim report
within 30 days, and a final report within 60 days, concerning its investigation.8 As of the date of this
Citation, neither report has been received.
5.
On November 21, 2013, in response to Verizon Wireless’ continuing complaints that the
interference had not been resolved, agents from the Los Angeles Office used portable direction-finding
equipment and confirmed radio emissions on Verizon Wireless’ licensed 700 MHz frequencies were
emanating from ceiling fluorescent lights/ballasts inside the Building. The agents observed the ballast in
use was a GE UltraMax labeled with a Product and Date Code covered by the GE Bulletin.

III.

APPLICABLE LAWS AND VIOLATIONS

6.
The RF lighting devices at issue here are ISM equipment regulated under Part 18 of the
Rules.9 Section 18.111(b) of the Rules states that “the operator of ISM equipment that causes harmful
interference to any authorized radio service shall promptly take whatever steps may be necessary to
eliminate the interference.”10 Similarly, Section 18.115(a) of the Rules states that the “operator of ISM
equipment that causes harmful interference to radio services shall promptly take appropriate measures to
correct the problem.”11 Section 18.107(b) of the Rules’ definition of harmful interference includes
interference that “seriously degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts a radio communication service
operating in accordance with this chapter.”12 Section 18.115(c) of the Rules states that when “notified by
the [District Director of the local FCC office] that a particular installation is causing harmful interference,


5 See GE Lighting, Product Bulletin, May 2, 2012, GE Lighting, Product Service Department, issued May 2, 2012.
The bulletin is addressed to GE Customers, stating that a small number of the 2-lamp GE UltraMax ballasts were
found to produce high-frequency radio emissions, and provided steps to identify the affected ballast by Product and
Date Code, and instructions on how to exchange the units. Id. at 1–3.
6 Id. at 1. The GE Bulletin also stated that affected ballasts would be exchanged by GE. Id.
7 47 C.F.R. § 18.117(a).
8 Warning Letter from Charles A. Cooper, District Director, Los Angeles Office, to Brookfield Properties (May 7,
2013) (on file in EB-FIELDWR-13-00008470).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 18.101 et seq.
10 47 C.F.R. § 18.111(b).
11 47 C.F.R. § 18.115(a).
12 47 C.F.R. § 18.107(b).
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DA 14-148

the operator or manufacturer shall arrange for an engineer skilled in techniques of interference
measurement and control to make an investigation to ensure that the harmful interference has been
eliminated.”13 Section 18.117(a) of the Rules states that an “interim report on investigation and corrective
measures taken pursuant to § 18.115 of this part shall be filed with the [District Director] of the local FCC
office within 30 days of notification of harmful interference. The final report shall be filed with the
[District Director] within 60 days of notification.”14
7.
As of the date of this Citation, Verizon Wireless continues to report receiving
interference from the emissions emanating from the Building and Brookfield has failed to eliminate the
interference being caused by its operation of the GE ballasts. Based on the foregoing evidence, we find
that Brookfield has violated Sections 18.111(b) and 18.115(a) of the Rules by failing to promptly
eliminate the interference.

IV.

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

8.
Pursuant to Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 403 of the Communications Act,15 and 18.117(a) of
the Rules,16 Brookfield is directed to provide this office within 30 days of the release of this Citation, with
an interim report on the investigations and corrective measures it has taken to eliminate the harmful
interference, as well as a timeline for any pending corrective actions. A final report shall be filed with the
Los Angeles Office within 60 days of the release date.17 A failure to respond in writing, or the provision
of an inadequate, incomplete, or misleading response, may subject Brookfield to additional sanctions.18

V.

RESPONDING TO THIS CITATION

9.
In addition to the required written information described in paragraphs 3 and 8, above,
Brookfield may, if it so chooses, respond to this Citation—challenging the factual and legal findings
herein—within thirty (30) calendar days from the release date of this Citation either through (1) a written
statement, (2) a teleconference interview, or (3) a personal interview at the Commission Field Office
nearest to your place of business.
10.
If you would like to arrange a teleconference or personal interview, please contact
Charles A. Cooper at (562) 860-7474. The nearest Commission Field Office is located in Cerritos,
California. Such teleconference or interview must take place within thirty calendar (30) days of the date


13 47 C.F.R. § 18.115(c).
14 47 C.F.R. § 18.117(a).
15 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 154(j), 403.
16 47 C.F.R. § 18.117(a).
17 Id.
18 See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7599–7600, paras. 23–28 (2002)
(imposing $100,000 forfeiture for egregious and intentional misconduct, i.e., refusing to attest to truthfulness and
accuracy of responses to a Letter of Inquiry (LOI)); Connect Paging, Inc. d/b/a Get A Phone, Forfeiture Order, 22
FCC Rcd 15146 (Enf. Bur. 2007) (imposing $4,000 forfeiture for failure to respond to an LOI); BigZoo.Com
Corporation
, Order of Forfeiture, 20 FCC Rcd 3954 (Enf. Bur. 2005) (imposing $20,000 forfeiture for failure to
respond to a USF LOI); Donald W. Kaminski, Jr., Forfeiture Order, 18 FCC Rcd 26065 (Enf. Bur. 2003) (imposing
$4,000 forfeiture for failure to respond to an LOI). See also World Communications Satellite Systems, Inc., Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 18 FCC Rcd 18545 (Enf. Bur. 2003) (proposing $10,000 forfeiture for a non-
responsive reply to an LOI); Digital Antenna, Inc., Sunrise, Florida, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23
FCC Rcd 7600 (Enf. Bur. 2007) (proposing $11,000 forfeiture for failure to provide complete responses to an LOI).
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-148

of this Citation. If you would like to submit a written response, including any supporting documentation,
you must send the response within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of this Citation to the contact and
address provided in paragraph 11, below.
11.
All written communications, including the information requested in paragraphs 3 and 8,
above, should be provided to the address below.
Federal Communications Commission
Los Angeles Office
18000 Studebaker Road, Suite 660
Cerritos, California 90703

Re: EB-FIELDWR-13-00008470

12.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request.
Include a description of the accommodation you will need, and include as much detail as you can. Also
include a way we can contact you if we need more information. Please allow at least five (5) business
days advance notice; last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail
to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau:
For sign language interpreters, CART, and other reasonable accommodations:
202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty);

For accessible format materials (braille, large print, electronic files, and audio format):
202-418-0531 (voice), 202-418-7365 (tty).
13.
Please be advised that it is a violation of Section 1.17 of the Commission’s rules (47
C.F.R. § 1.17) for any person or a staff member of that person to make any false or misleading written or
oral statement of fact. Specifically, no person shall:
(1) In any written or oral statement of fact, intentionally provide material factual
information that is incorrect or intentionally omit material information that is necessary to
prevent any material factual statement that is made from being incorrect or misleading;
and
(2) In any written statement of fact, provide material factual information that is incorrect
or omit material information that is necessary to prevent any material factual statement
that is made from being incorrect or misleading without a reasonable basis for believing
that any such material factual statement is correct and not misleading.19
14.
Further, the knowing and willful making of any false statement, or the concealment of
any material fact, in reply to this Citation is punishable by fine or imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
15.
If you violate Section 1.17 of the Commission’s rules or the criminal statute referenced
above, you may be subject to further legal action, including monetary fines pursuant to Section 503 of the
Communications Act.20
16.
Under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(e)(3), we are informing you that the
Commission’s staff will use all relevant material information before it, including information that you


19 47 C.F.R. § 1.17.
20 47 U.S.C. § 503.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-148

disclose in your interview or written statement, to determine what, if any, enforcement action is required
to ensure your compliance with the Communications Act and the Commission’s Rules.

VI.

FUTURE VIOLATIONS

17.
If, after receipt of this Citation, Brookfield again violates Section 18.111(b) or 18.115(a)
of the Rules by engaging in conduct of the type described herein, the Commission may impose monetary
forfeitures not to exceed $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to
$112,500 for any single act or failure to act.21 Further, as discussed above, such forfeitures may be based
on both the conduct that led to the Citation and the conduct following it.22 In addition, violations of the
Communications Act or the Rules also can result in seizure of equipment through in rem forfeiture
actions,23 as well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.24

VII.

ORDERING CLAUSES

18.

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 403 of the Communications
Act, Brookfield Office Properties must provide the written information requested in paragraphs 3 and 8,
above. The response to the request for information must be provided in writing, signed under penalty of
perjury by an authorized official at Brookfield Office Properties with personal knowledge of the
information and representations provided in the written response, and must be received by the FCC within
thirty (30) calendar days after the release date of this Citation and Order.
19.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Citation and Order shall be sent both
by First Class U.S. Mail and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Brookfield Office Properties,
Ernst & Young Plaza, 725 South Figueroa Street, Suite 1850, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Charles A. Cooper
District Director
Los Angeles Office
Western Region
Enforcement Bureau


21 See 47 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501, 503; 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(7). This amount is subject to further adjustment for inflation
(see 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(9)), and the forfeiture amount applicable to any violation will be determined based on the
statutory amount designated at the time of the violation.
22 See supra, paragraph 2.
23 See 47 U.S.C. § 510.
24 See 47 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501.
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