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Corr Wireless

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Released: July 6, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1049

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
File No.: EB-07-SE-327
)
Corr Wireless Communications, LLC
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 200832100064
)
)

FRN: 0003804101

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: July 6, 2012

Released: July 6, 2012

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount of twenty
thousand dollars ($20,000) to Corr Wireless Communications, LLC (Corr) for willfully and repeatedly
violating former Section 20.19(d)(2)1 of the Federal Communications Commission’s (Commission or
FCC) rules (Rules) by failing to include in its digital wireless handset offerings at least two handset
models that met the inductive coupling standard for hearing aid compatibility by the applicable deadline.
These hearing aid compatibility requirements serve to ensure that consumers with hearing loss have
access to advanced telecommunications services.2

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
In the 2003 Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, the Commission adopted several measures
to enhance the ability of individuals with hearing loss to access digital wireless telecommunications.3 The
Commission established technical standards that digital wireless handsets must meet to be considered
compatible with hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling and inductive coupling (telecoil) modes.4


1 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(d)(2) (2006).
2 See Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets, Policy
Statement and Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 25 FCC Rcd 11167, 11174,
para. 18 (2010) (2010 Policy Statement).
3 See Section 68.4(a) of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Telephones, Report and Order,
18 FCC Rcd 16753 (2003); Erratum, 18 FCC Rcd 18047 (2003) (Hearing Aid Compatibility Order); Order on
Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 11221 (2005) (Hearing Aid
Compatibility Reconsideration Order
). The Commission adopted these requirements for digital wireless telephones
under the authority of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988, codified at Section 710(b)(2)(C) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 610(b)(2)(C) (Hearing Aid Compatibility Act).
4 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16777, para. 56; see also 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(b)(1), (2). The
Hearing Aid Compatibility Order described the acoustic coupling and the inductive coupling (telecoil) modes as
follows:
In acoustic coupling mode, the microphone picks up surrounding sounds, desired and undesired,
and converts them into electrical signals. The electrical signals are amplified as needed and then
converted back into sound by the hearing aid speaker. In telecoil mode, with the microphone
turned off, the telecoil picks up the audio signal-based magnetic field generated by the voice coil
of a dynamic speaker in hearing aid-compatible telephones, audio loop systems, or powered neck
loops. The hearing aid converts the magnetic field into electrical signals, amplifies them as
(continued….)

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DA 12-1049

Specifically, the Commission adopted a standard for radio frequency interference (formerly the U3 rating,
now the M3 rating) to enable acoustic coupling between digital wireless phones and hearing aids
operating in acoustic coupling mode, and a separate standard (formerly the U3T rating, now the T3 rating)
to enable inductive coupling with hearing aids operating in telecoil mode.5 The Commission further
established, for each standard, deadlines by which handset manufacturers and digital wireless service
providers were required to offer specified numbers of digital wireless handset models rated hearing aid-
compatible.6 Specifically, by September 16, 2005, manufacturers and service providers were required to
offer at least two handset models per air interface that met the M3 rating for radio frequency interference.7
In addition, by September 18, 2006, manufacturers and service providers were required to offer at least
two handset models per air interface that met the T3 rating for inductive coupling.8 These handset
deployment requirements apply to each air interface over which service providers offer service.9
(Continued from previous page)


needed, and converts them back into sound via the speaker. Using a telecoil avoids the feedback
that often results from putting a hearing aid up against a telephone earpiece, can help prevent
exposure to over amplification, and eliminates background noise, providing improved access to
the telephone.
Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16763, para. 22.
5 Former Section 20.19(b)(1) provided that a wireless handset is deemed hearing aid-compatible for radio frequency
interference if, at minimum, it receives a U3 rating as set forth in “American National Standard for Methods of
Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids, ANSI C63.19-2001.”
47 C.F.R. § 20.19(b)(1) (2006). Former Section 20.19(b)(2) provided that a wireless handset is deemed hearing aid-
compatible for inductive coupling if, at minimum, it receives a U3T rating as set forth in ANSI C63.19-2001. 47
C.F.R. § 20.19(b)(2) (2006). On April 25, 2005, the Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)
announced that it would also certify handsets as hearing aid-compatible based on the revised version of the standard,
ANSI C63.19-2005. See OET Clarifies Use of Revised Wireless Phone Hearing Aid Compatibility Standard
Measurement Procedures and Rating Nomenclature
, Public Notice, 20 FCC Rcd 8188 (OET 2005). On June 6,
2006, the Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and OET announced that the Commission
would also certify handsets as hearing aid-compatible based on the revised version of the standard, ANSI C63.19-
2006. Thus, during the time period relevant here, applicants for certification could rely on either the 2001 version,
the 2005 version, or the 2006 version of the ANSI C63.19 standard. See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and
Office of Engineering and Technology Clarify Use of Revised Wireless Phone Hearing Aid Compatibility Standard
,
Public Notice, 21 FCC Rcd 6384 (WTB/OET 2006). In addition, because the 2001 and 2005 versions of the ANSI
C63.19 technical standard used the same technical criteria to determine the hearing aid compatibility and the
inductive coupling capability of a wireless phone, to avoid confusion, the “M” and “T” labeling system associated
with the 2005 and 2006 versions of the standard may be used for compatibility testing performed under any of these
versions. See Hearing Aid Compatibility Reconsideration Order, 20 FCC Rcd at 11238, n.118.
6 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16780, para. 65; see also 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(c), (d) (2006).
These requirements did not apply to service providers and manufacturers that met the de minimis exception. See
Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16775-76, para. 53. In order to monitor the availability of these
handsets, the Commission also required manufacturers and service providers to report every six months on efforts
toward compliance with the hearing aid compatibility requirements for the first three years of implementation, and
then annually thereafter through the fifth year of implementation. See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC
Rcd at 16787, para. 89; see also Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Hearing Aid Compatibility
Reporting Dates for Wireless Carriers and Handset Manufacturers
, Public Notice, 19 FCC Rcd 4097 (WTB 2004).
7 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16780, para. 65; see also 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(c).
8 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16780, para. 65; see also 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(d).
9 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16780, para. 65. The term “air interface” refers to the
technical protocol that ensures compatibility between mobile radio service equipment, such as handsets, and the
service provider’s base stations. At the time the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order was released, the leading air
(continued….)
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3.
Corr is a Tier III wireless carrier that offers service over the GSM air interface.10 In its
November 10, 2006, Status Report on Hearing Aid Compatibility, Corr reported that it offered for sale
several handset models that met the M3 rating for radio frequency interference.11 However, Corr’s 2006
Report did not address its handset model offerings that were rated T3 for inductive coupling.12 The
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau referred the matter to the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) for
investigation and possible enforcement action.
4.
Subsequently, the Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division (Division) issued a letter of
inquiry (LOI) to Corr, directing the company to submit a sworn written response to a series of questions
related to its compliance with the hearing aid compatibility requirements.13 Corr responded to the LOI on
September 21, 2007.14 In its LOI Response, Corr asserted that it began offering for sale one T3-rated
handset model, the Motorola V3i, on October 23, 2006.15 Corr further asserted that it began offering for
sale two additional T3-rated handset models, the Nokia 6085 and the Nokia 6126h, in August 2007.16
5.
On July 31, 2008, the Division issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL)
against Corr,17 finding that Corr apparently willfully and repeatedly violated former Section 20.19(d)(2)
of the Rules by failing to offer to consumers at least two T3-rated handset models by September 18,
2006.18 The Division noted in the NAL that Corr began offering its first T3-rated handset model on
October 23, 2006, and that Corr did not come into full compliance by offering a second T3-rated handset
model until August 2007, nearly a full year after the deadline.19 The Division also found that Corr’s
atypical size for a Tier III carrier, its ability to pay a forfeiture, and the duration of the violation warranted
(Continued from previous page)


interfaces included Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Time Digital Multiple Access (TDMA), Global
System for Mobile Communications (GSM), and Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network (iDEN). See id. at n.127.
10 Tier III carriers are non-nationwide wireless radio service providers with 500,000 or fewer subscribers as of the
end of 2001. See Revision of the Commission’s Rules to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency
Calling Systems, Phase II Compliance Deadlines for Non-Nationwide CMRS Carriers,
Order to Stay, 17 FCC Rcd
14841, 14847-48, paras. 22-23 (2002).
11 See Corr Wireless Communications Status Report on Hearing Aid Compatibility, WT Docket No. 01-309 (Nov.
10, 2006) (2006 Report), at 1.
12 See id.
13 See Letter from Kathryn S. Berthot, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, FCC Enforcement Bureau, to Tom
Buchanan, Corr Wireless Communications, LLC (Sept. 10, 2007) (on file in EB-07-SE-327).
14 See Letter from Donald J. Evans, Esq., Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C., Counsel to Corr Wireless
Communications, LLC, to Marlene Dortch, Secretary, FCC Office of the Secretary (Sept. 21, 2007) (on file in EB-
07-SE-327) (LOI Response).
15 See id. at 3.
16 See id. at 4.
17 See Corr Wireless Communications, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 11567 (Enf.
Bur. 2008).
18 See id. at 11567, para. 1.
19 See id. at 11572, para. 12. We note that given the Division’s analysis at the time, a monetary forfeiture was not
imposed for Corr’s failure to offer its first T3-rated handset model after the September 18, 2006 deadline. See id. at
11572-73, paras. 12-13.
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an upward adjustment of the $15,000 base forfeiture.20 Accordingly, the Division found Corr apparently
liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $30,000.21
6.
On August 29, 2008, Corr filed a response to the NAL22 requesting that the proposed
forfeiture be reduced or canceled.23 In its NAL Response, Corr first argues that the proposed forfeiture
should be canceled because two of the handset models it offered prior to the applicable deadline¾the
Nokia 6101h and 6102h handset models¾would qualify for a T3 rating if used in conjunction with an
external add-on component, the Nokia LPS-4 loop set attachment.24 In support, Corr asserts that former
Section 20.19(b) of the Rules is silent on whether a handset model’s hearing aid compatibility function
must be internal to the handset and that language in the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order indicating that a
handset model’s hearing aid compatibility function “must be provided as an integral part of the phone” is
not controlling.25 In the alternative, Corr argues that the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order expressly
permits the use of external add-ons that do not “significantly enlarge or alter the shape or weight of the
phone as compared to other phones offered by the manufacturer.”26 Corr therefore claims that because
the Nokia LPS-4 Loop set attachment did not alter the shape, size, or weight of the handset models with
which it was used, the Nokia handset models it offered were compliant with former Section 20.19(d)(2).27
7.
Corr also argues that the proposed forfeiture should be reduced because it is excessive,
arbitrary, and capricious.28 In this regard, Corr asserts that Section 1.80 of the Rules does not establish a
base forfeiture amount for failure to comply with the hearing aid compatibility requirements and that the
Commission may not establish and impose such a fine ex post facto.29 Corr also asserts that the $15,000
base forfeiture is excessive in light of the small number of Corr’s subscribers who were potentially
affected and in comparison to other forfeitures specified in Section 1.80.30
8.
Corr further contends that the Division’s assessment of a $15,000 upward adjustment of
the base forfeiture is inconsistent with prior precedent involving violations of the hearing aid-compatible


20 See id. at 11572-73, para. 13.
21 See id. at 11573, para. 13.
22 See Corr Wireless Communications, LLC, Response to Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (Aug. 29,
2008) (NAL Response).
23 See id. at 1.
24 See id. at 3-4.
25 See id. at 4 (quoting Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16778, para. 61).
26 Id.
27 See id. at 4-5. In this regard, Corr also notes that a Nokia representative initially advised Corr that the Nokia LPS-
4 loop set attachment, when coupled with the Nokia handsets, met the T3 standard. See id. at 3. But see infra para.
12.
28 See id. at 1.
29 See id. at 5.
30 See id. at 5-6. Corr claims that “of its almost 40,000 subscribers, only about 880 people might have a use for the
HAC products mandated by the Commission’s rules.” Id. at 5. Corr provides this estimate based on data that it
contends indicate that approximately 10% of the American population is hearing impaired to some extent, although
only 22% of that number are sufficiently impaired to use a hearing aid. See id. (citing
http://www.americanhearingbenefits.com/hearing_losshtml (2008)).
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handset deployment requirements by other Tier III carriers31 and is not reconcilable with similar upward
adjustments assessed against much larger and more profitable carriers.32 In this regard, Corr claims that
the Division’s characterization of Corr as an atypical Tier III carrier with over 300,000 subscribers was
inaccurate,33 and that Corr is not the type of “mega-conglomerate” for which ability to pay upward
adjustments were intended.34 Finally, Corr raises several arguments that it contends justify a reduction of
the proposed forfeiture, including a claim that it “voluntary disclosed” the handsets it listed in the 2006
Report;35 that the company has a history of overall compliance;36 and that the company made good faith
efforts to comply much like parties that had received waivers of the hearing aid compatibility requirement
in the past.37

III.

DISCUSSION

9.
The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was assessed in accordance with Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),38 Section 1.80 of the Rules,39 and the
Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement.40 In examining Corr’s NAL Response, Section 503(b)(2)(E)
of the Act requires that we take into account the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation


31 See id. at 6 (citing Blanca Telephone Company, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 9398
(Enf. Bur. 2008) (response pending)).
32 See id. at 6-7 (citing T-Mobile Northeast, L.L.C., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 21 FCC Rcd 11799,
11806-07, para. 19 (Enf. Bur. 2006) (T-Mobile Northeast) (upwardly adjusting a $7,000 base forfeiture to $14,000
based on the company’s size and ability to pay, and downwardly adjusting the proposed forfeiture based on the
company’s voluntary disclosures), consent decree ordered, Order and Consent Decree, 24 FCC Rcd 160 (Enf. Bur.
2009); SunCom Wireless, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 8681, 8688-89, paras. 17-18
(Enf. Bur. 2008) (forfeiture paid) (upwardly adjusting a $30,000 base forfeiture to $60,000 based on a finding, inter
alia
, that it is “appropriate to set the forfeiture amount at a higher level for larger entities, such as Tier II carriers”)).
33 See id. Specifically, Corr asserts that it is a small Tier III rural cellular telephone company that operates outside
of any top 100 market and that Corr’s 2007 Form 477 (Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Reporting)
indicates that it had only 39,481 subscribers. See id. Corr further argues that the forfeiture proposed in the NAL
“creates the appearance” that the Division simply doubled the $15,000 forfeiture for the violation that was within the
statute of limitations because no forfeiture could be assessed for the violation that was outside the statute of
limitations. See id. at 7.
34 See id. at 6-7.
35 See id.
36 See id.
37 See id. at 1-3. Corr explains that the Commission’s earlier approval of several requests for waiver of a different
hearing aid-compatible handset deployment deadline was prompted by the fact that there was widespread confusion
within the industry concerning which handset models were hearing aid-compatible. Corr then appears to reason that
similar leniency should be afforded to Corr on the basis of its good faith efforts to comply. See id. (citing Section
68.4(a) of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Telephones,
Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 22 FCC Rcd 20459, 20472, para. 30 (2007) (Hearing Aid Compatibility GSM Waivers Extension Order)
(granting seven petitioners extensions of an earlier deployment deadline and relying on “the difficulty they had in
obtaining the correct compatibility information created unique and unusual circumstances.”)).
38 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
39 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
40 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), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999)
(Forfeiture Policy Statement).
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and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and
such other matters as justice may require.41 As discussed below, we are unpersuaded by Corr’s legal and
equitable arguments and find that a forfeiture was validly proposed for Corr’s continuing violation of
former Section 20.19(d)(2) of the Rules during nearly an entire calendar year. However, we conclude that
a reduction of the forfeiture to $20,000 is warranted in light of additional information provided by Corr in
its NAL Response concerning its actual size.
10.
At the outset, we reject Corr’s contention that former Section 20.19(b) and the Hearing
Aid Compatibility Order permit the use of add-on components to achieve a handset model’s hearing aid
compatibility.42 The statutory mandate on this point is clear: the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act
expressly states that telephones must “provide internal means for effective use with hearing aids that are
designed to be compatible with telephones which meet established technical standards for hearing aid
compatibility.”43 We therefore reject Corr’s argument that former Section 20.19(b) could or should be
construed in a manner inconsistent with the plain language of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act.
11.
In addition, Corr’s argument misses the fundamental point of the Commission’s
action¾to transition from the use of add-on components, an acceptable approach prior to the effective
date of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, to requiring hearing aid compatibility as an internal
function of the phone. Specifically, the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order makes clear that “[u]ntil
hearing aid compatibility is provided internally in digital wireless handsets in accordance with this Order,
consumers can reduce or even eliminate the interference to their hearing aids by increasing the distance
between the hearing aid and the wireless phone through the use of accessory devices such as neck loops
or hands-free headsets.”44 Thus, by September 18, 2006¾the deadline by which manufacturers and
service providers were required to offer at least two handset models per air interface that met the T3
rating for inductive coupling in accordance with the Hearing Aid Compatibility Order¾the Rules
required that a handset’s hearing aid compatibility function be internal to the handset.45
12.
Corr acknowledges that the handset manufacturer itself confirmed, after Corr received the
Division’s LOI, that coupling the Nokia 6101h and 6102h handset models with the Nokia LPS-4 loop set
attachment did not, in fact, render these handset models hearing aid-compatible.46 We are not persuaded
by Corr’s argument that it was entitled to rely on initial advice from a Nokia representative that the Nokia
6101h and 6102h handset models qualified for a T3 rating when used in conjunction with the Nokia LPS-
4 loop set attachment.47 As a Commission licensee, Corr is charged with the responsibility of knowing
and complying with the Act and the Rules.48 The Commission has long held that mitigation of a


41 See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
42 See NAL Response at 3-5.
43 47 U.S.C. § 610(b)(1)(B) (emphasis added).
44 Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16778, para. 61.
45 See id. at 16780, para. 65. The Hearing Aid Compatibility Order required manufacturers and service providers to
offer at least two handset models per air interface that met the T3 rating for inductive coupling by three years after
the date the rule changes were published in the Federal Register. See id. at 16802. These rule changes were
published in the Federal Register on September 16, 2003. See 68 Fed. Reg. 54,173 (Sept. 16, 2003).
46 See NAL Response at 3.
47 See id.
48 See Discussion Radio, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Apparent Liability, 19 FCC Rcd
7433, 7437, para. 12 (2004).
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forfeiture is not justified where violators claim their actions or omissions were due to inadvertent errors or
unfamiliarity with the statutory or regulatory requirements.49
13.
We also reject Corr’s argument that the Commission is precluded from assessing a
forfeiture for violations of the hearing aid-compatible handset deployment requirements and that the
$15,000 base forfeiture is excessive.50 As we have repeatedly noted, the fact that the Commission’s
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80 of the Rules do not establish a base forfeiture amount for
violations of the hearing aid-compatible handset deployment requirements set forth in Section 20.19 of
the Rules in no way suggests that a forfeiture should not be imposed for such violations.51 The Forfeiture
Policy Statement
states that “any omission of a specific rule violation from the . . . [forfeiture guidelines]
. . . should not signal that the Commission considers any unlisted violation as nonexistent or
unimportant.52 The Commission retains the discretion, moreover, to depart from the Forfeiture Policy
Statement
and issue forfeitures on a case-by-case basis under its general forfeiture authority contained in
Section 503 of the Act.53
14.
We are similarly unpersuaded by Corr’s claim that the forfeiture is excessive. As noted
in the NAL, in determining the appropriate forfeiture amount for violation of the hearing aid-compatible
handset deployment requirements, we have taken into account that these requirements serve to ensure that
consumers with hearing loss have access to advanced telecommunications services. In adopting the
hearing aid compatibility rules, the Commission underscored the strong and immediate need for such
access, stressing that individuals with hearing loss should not be denied the public safety and convenience
benefits of digital wireless telephony.54 As the Commission has explained, the demand for hearing aid-
compatible handsets is likely to increase with the public’s growing reliance on wireless technology and
with the increasing median age of our population.55 In addition, the Commission has repeatedly


49 See, e.g., Emery Telephone, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 13 FCC Rcd 23854, 23859, para. 12
(1998), recon. dismissed in part and denied in part, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 7181 (1999);
Profit Enterprises, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 8 FCC Rcd 2846, 2846, para. 5 (1993); Southern California Broadcasting
Company
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388, para. 3 (1991); Lakewood Broadcasting
Service, Inc.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 37 FCC 2d 437, 438, para. 6 (1972). Moreover, the Commission
has consistently “refused to excuse licensees from forfeiture penalties where the actions of employees or
independent contractors have resulted in violations.” See also Eure Family Limited Partnership, Memorandum
Opinion and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 21861, 21863-64, para. 7 (2002); Triad Broadcasting Company, Inc.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 96 FCC 2d 1235, 1244, para. 21 (1984).
50 See NAL Response at 5-6.
51 See, e.g., Farmers Cellular Telephone, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 8622, 8627,
paras. 10, 13 (Enf. Bur. 2008), (response pending) (proposing a forfeiture of $30,000 for failure to offer two handset
models that met the T3 rating for inductive coupling by the applicable deadline); South Slope Cooperative
Telephone Company d/b/a South Slope Wireless
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 4706,
4710, paras. 9, 12 (Enf. Bur. 2008), (response pending) (proposing a $15,000 forfeiture for failure to offer two
handset models that met the T3 rating for inductive coupling by the applicable deadline); see also Panhandle
Telecommunications Systems, Inc
., 21 FCC Rcd 11788, 11794-95, paras. 16-18 (Enf. Bur. 2006) (forfeiture paid)
(establishing a $7,000 base forfeiture for constructing a facility prior to completing historic preservation or other
environmental reviews required under Section 1.1307(a) of the Rules).
52 Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17099, para. 22.
53 See id.
54 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16755, para. 4.
55 See id. at 16756, para. 5 (noting that approximately one in ten Americans, or 28 million Americans, have some
level of hearing loss, that the proportion increases with age, and that the number of those affected will likely grow as
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emphasized that violations of the hearing aid-compatible handset deployment requirements are serious in
nature because “the failure to make compatible handsets available to consumers actually prevents hearing
aid users from accessing digital wireless communications.”56 Accordingly, we generally apply a base
forfeiture amount of $15,000 to reflect the gravity of these violations.57 We have applied the $15,000
base forfeiture on a per handset model basis (i.e., for each handset model below the minimum number of
hearing aid-compatible models required by the Rules).58
15.
Corr further argues that the proposed forfeiture should be canceled or reduced on
equitable grounds because the Commission had previously granted requests for waiver of a different
hearing aid-compatible handset deployment deadline.59 We disagree. The extensions of time to which
Corr refers were granted to companies that timely sought waiver of the hearing aid compatibility rules.60
(Continued from previous page)


the median age increases). See also Section 68.4(a) of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible
Telephones,
Report on the Status of Implementation of the Commission’s Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements,
22 FCC Rcd 17709, 17719, para. 20 (2007) (noting, just four years later, that the number of individuals with hearing
loss in the United States was “at an all time high of 31 million people – with that number expected to reach
approximately 40 million people at the end of [2010]”).
56 See T-Mobile USA, Inc., File No. EB-10-SE-127, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, FCC 12-39, 2012
WL 1305323, at *5, para. 18 (Apr. 13, 2012) (T-Mobile USA); see also, South Canaan Cellular Communications
Company, L.P.
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 20, 24, para. 11 (Enf. Bur. 2008) (forfeiture
paid) (“South Canaan”) (finding that “a violation of the labeling requirements, while serious because it deprives
hearing aid users from making informed choices, is less egregious than a violation of the handset requirements
because failure to make compliant handsets available actually deprives hearing aid users from accessing digital
wireless communications”). See also, e.g., NEP Cellcorp, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 24 FCC
Rcd 8, 13, para. 11 (Enf. Bur. 2009) (forfeiture paid) (NEP Cellcorp); Pinpoint Wireless, Inc., Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 9290, 9295, para. 11 (Enf. Bur. 2008), consent decree ordered, Order and
Consent Decree, 24 FCC Rcd 2951 (Enf. Bur. 2009) (Pinpoint Wireless); Smith Bagley, Inc., 24 FCC Rcd 14113,
14118, para. 11 (Enf. Bur. 2009) (response pending) (Smith Bagley).
57 See e.g., NEP Cellcorp, 24 FCC Rcd at 13, para. 11; Pinpoint Wireless, 23 FCC Rcd at 9295, para. 11; Smith
Bagley
, 24 FCC Rcd at 14118, para. 11; South Canaan, 23 FCC Rcd at 24, para. 11. See also, T-Mobile USA, 2012
WL 1305323 at *6, para. 23 (stating that “[g]iven the potentially substantial and tangible impact on consumers with
hearing loss, we will continue to apply the $15,000 per handset base amount”). In this regard, we also reject Corr’s
argument that the base forfeiture amount is excessive in light of Corr’s estimation of the number of its subscribers
who may require a hearing aid-compatible phone. Even assuming that Corr’s estimate was accurate, we
nevertheless conclude that Corr’s violation was serious because its failure to offer the requisite number of hearing
aid-compatible handset models may have prevented Corr’s hearing disabled customers from accessing digital
wireless communications.
58 See supra note 57. We note that in T-Mobile USA, the Commission determined that the Bureau’s prior decisions
on delegated authority that applied the $15,000 per handset base forfeiture only with respect to the calendar month
within the statute of limitations when the manufacturer or service provider fell the furthest short of the required
deployment benchmark—the highest handset shortfall approach—“does not adequately reflect the nature and scope
of the violations of hearing aid compatibility rules.” T-Mobile USA, 2012 WL 1305323 at *5, para. 18.
Accordingly, the Commission applied the $15,000 base forfeiture “to each failure to offer a hearing aid-compatible
handset during each month of the calendar year, rather than a limited subset of such handset shortages as the Bureau
did previously.” Id. at *6, para. 23 (emphasis in original). The proposed forfeiture in this case predates the T-
Mobile decision.
59 See NAL Response at 3.
60 We also note that Corr’s reliance on the waivers granted in the Hearing Aid Compatibility GSM Waivers
Extension Order
is misplaced. That decision addressed petitions for extensions of previously granted limited
waivers of former Section 20.19(c)(2)(i)(A), pertaining to the obligation to offer two M3-rated handset models. In
the waiver decision, the Commission decided to accept a GSM dual-band handset’s hearing aid compatibility rating
(continued….)
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In contrast, Corr did not seek such a waiver or request an extension of the deployment deadline.61
16.
Corr’s claimed downward adjustment for a “voluntary disclosure” is also without merit.
In T-Mobile Northeast, the Bureau found that a downward adjustment was appropriate based on the
company’s voluntary disclosure of the violation to Commission staff “prior to the Commission’s
initiation of an investigation.”62 In this case, however, Corr did not disclose to the Commission its
hearing aid-compatible handset deployment violations prior to filing its 2006 Report. In fact, Corr
submitted its 2006 Report identifying its handset model offerings in response to a Commission
requirement.63 Consequently, we decline to reduce the forfeiture amount on that basis.64
17.
Although Corr claims to have a history of overall compliance with the Commission’s
rules, we note that on May 11, 2009, Corr was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for its
violation of Section 1.903(a) of the Rules for operating Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave
stations on unauthorized frequencies.65 Based on the record in that proceeding, Corr discovered that it
was in violation of Section 1.903 on June 16, 2008, shortly before the release of the NAL.66 We therefore
find that Corr did not have a history of compliance and decline to reduce the forfeiture amount on that
basis.
18.
After considering all the facts and circumstances, including Corr’s annual revenues of
approximately $28.8 million at the time the NAL was issued, 67 the duration of the violation which
continued for nearly one year after the September 18, 2006, deployment deadline, and more accurate
information about Corr’s size, we conclude that a modest downward adjustment of the forfeiture amount
proposed in the NAL is warranted.
(Continued from previous page)


in the 1900 MHz band as the rating for the handset overall. Hearing Aid Compatibility GSM Waivers Extension
Order
, 22 FCC Rcd 20459, 20460-20461, para. 1. The Commission granted extensions of these waivers based on a
record demonstrating widespread uncertainty regarding the circumstances under which these particular handsets
would be considered to be hearing aid compatible. Therefore, the waivers granted in the Hearing Aid Compatibility
GSM Waivers Extension Order
are not analogous to this case.
61 We also reject Corr’s argument that the Division doubled the $15,000 forfeiture for the violation that was within
the statute of limitations because no forfeiture could be assessed for the violation that was outside the statute of
limitations. After carefully considering all of the statutory factors outlined in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, and
consistent with the Forfeiture Policy Statement, the Division proposed an upward adjustment of the $15,000 base
forfeiture because Corr was in violation of former Section 20.19(d)(2) for almost a full year after the September 18,
2006 deadline, and because of the Division’s determination that Corr was an atypical Tier III carrier. Thus, contrary
to Corr’s assertions, the NAL did not improperly assess a second $15,000 base forfeiture against Corr for the handset
deployment violation that was beyond the statute of limitations.
62 T-Mobile Northeast, 21 FCC Rcd at 11806-07, para. 19.
63 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16787, para. 89.
64 See SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 10963, 10969, para. 16 (Enf. Bur. 2001) (finding
that a carrier’s disclosure of certain collocation violations in an audit report it was required to file did not constitute
a voluntary disclosure, and thus did not warrant a reduction in the forfeiture).
65 See Corr Wireless Communications, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 24 FCC Rcd 5419 (Enf. Bur.
2009) (forfeiture paid).
66 See id. at 5419, para. 3.
67 NAL, 23 FCC Rcd at 11572-73, para. 13. We note that Corr does not challenge the accuracy of the revenue figure
referenced in the NAL.
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19.
Accordingly, based on the record before us, we conclude that Corr willfully68 and
repeatedly69 violated former Section 20.19(d)(2) of the Rules, but reduce the proposed $30,000 forfeiture
to $20,000.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

20.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b)70 of the Act, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,71 Corr Wireless Communications, LLC

IS LIABLE
FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE

in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for willful
and repeated violation of former Section 20.19(d)(2) of the Rules.72
21.
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.73 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.74 Corr Wireless Communications,
LLC shall send electronic notification of payment to Pamera Hairston at Pamera.Hairston@fcc.gov,
Kathy Harvey at Kathy.Harvey@fcc.gov, and Samantha Peoples at Sam.Peoples@fcc.gov on the date
said payment is made.
22.
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.75 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


68 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). The legislative history of Section 312
clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both Sections 312 and 503 of the Act, H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 97-765
(1982), and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context. See Southern California, 6
FCC Rcd at 4388, para. 5; see also Telrite Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd
7231, 7237, para. 12 (2008); San Jose Navigation, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 22 FCC Rcd 1040, 1042, para. 9 (2007),
consent decree ordered, Order and Consent Decree, 25 FCC Rcd 1494 (2010).
69 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, which also applies to forfeitures assessed pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act,
provides that “[t]he term ‘repeated’. . . means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such
commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.” 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2). See Callais Cablevision,
Inc.
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362, para. 9 (2001), forfeiture
ordered
, Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 22626 (2002) (forfeiture paid); Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388,
para. 5.
70 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
71 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
72 Id. § 20.19(d)(2) (2006).
73 See id. § 1.80.
74 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
75 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
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DA 12-1049

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.
23.
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. 20554.76 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.
24.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Order shall be sent by first class mail
and certified mail return receipt requested to Tom Buchanan, Corr Wireless Communications, LLC, P. O.
Box 1500, Oneonta, AL 35121, and to Donald J. Evans, Esq., counsel for Corr Wireless Communications,
LLC, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C., 1300 North 17th Street, 11th Floor, Arlington, VA 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
P. Michele Ellison
Chief, Enforcement Bureau


76 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
11

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