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Homewood Suites by Hilton

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Released: April 3, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-446

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

)
In the Matter of
)
File No.: EB-FIELDWR-14-00013751
)
Homewood Suites by Hilton
)
Citation No. C201432920005
)
Vancouver, Washington
)

CITATION AND ORDER

Failure to File Aeronautical Usage Notification

Adopted: April 2, 2014

Released: April 3, 2014

By the Resident Agent, Portland 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 Homewood
Suites by Hilton (Homewood Suites) in Vancouver, Washington. Specifically, Homewood Suites is being
cited for failing to notify the Commission before operating a multichannel video programming distributor
(MVPD) system with a carrier in the aeronautical radio frequency band, in violation of Section 76.1804 of
the Commission’s rules (Rules).2
2.
Notice of Duty to Comply With Laws: Homewood Suites should take immediate steps to
come into compliance and to avoid any recurrence of the misconduct described herein. Homewood Suites
also must immediately FCC Form 321.3 Homewood Suites is hereby on notice that if it subsequently
engages in any conduct of the type described in this Citation, including any violation of Section 76.1804
of the Rules, it may be subject to civil penalties, including but not limited to substantial monetary fines
(forfeitures) and seizure of equipment. Such forfeitures may be based on both the conduct that led to this
Citation and the conduct following it.4
3.
Your Response Required: Pursuant to Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 403 of the Communications
Act,5 we also direct Homewood Suites to respond in writing, within thirty (30) calendar days after the
release date of this Citation, and signed under penalty of perjury, with descriptions of the specific

1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(5).
2 47 C.F.R. § 76.1804.
3 Form 321 is an Aeronautical Frequency Notification Form, which must be submitted electronically via the Cable
Operations and Licensing System Website (COALS). See http://www.fcc.gov/forms.
4 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).
5 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 154(j), 403.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-446

action(s) taken or planned to correct the violation and preclude recurrence of the violation, and also a
timeline for completion of any pending corrective action(s).

II.

BACKGROUND

4.
On February 14, 2014, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Portland Office conducted
an investigation and found Homewood Suites, located at 701 SE Columbia Shores Blvd., Vancouver,
Washington, operated a non-cable MVPD system at its facility. The agents also found that the
Homewood Suites MVPD system was using aeronautical frequency 121.2625 MHz, but had not filed an
FCC Form 321 to notify the Commission of its operation in the aeronautical band.

III.

APPLICABLE LAW AND VIOLATIONS

5.
The Rules provide that cable and non-cable MVPDs that transmit carriers with certain
characteristics within frequency bands of 108-137 MHz and 225-400 MHz must comply with specific
technical requirements delineated in the Rules in order to avoid interference to other licensed operations,
including aeronautical systems operating in these frequency ranges. In particular, Section 76.610 of the
Rules provides that all MVPDs (cable and non-cable) transmitting carriers or other signal components
carried at an average power level equal to or greater than 10-4 watts across a 25 kHz bandwidth in any 160
microsecond period, at any point in the cable distribution system in the frequency bands 108-137 and
225-400 MHz for any purpose, must comply with, among other requirements, Section 76.1804 of the
Rules.6 Homewood Suites was required to comply with these Rules because the MVPD system at its
property in Vancouver, Washington, transmits a carrier at an average power level equal to or greater than
10-4 watts across a 25 kHz bandwidth in any 160 microsecond period, and carries signals in the 108-137
MHz and 225-400 MHz aeronautical bands.
6.
Section 76.1804 of the Rules requires that an “MVPD shall notify the Commission before
transmitting any carrier or other signal component with an average power level across a 25 kHz
bandwidth in any 160 microsecond time period equal to or greater than 10-4 watts at any point in the cable
distribution system on any frequency or frequencies in the aeronautical radio frequency bands (108-137
and 225-400 MHz). The notification shall be made on FCC Form 321.”7 At the time of the investigation,
Homewood Suites was using frequency 121.2625 MHz in the aeronautical band, but had not notified the
Commission as required. Based on the foregoing evidence, we find that Homewood Suites violated
Section 76.1804 of the Rules by failing to notify the Commission of its operations on frequency 121.2625
MHz.

IV.

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

7.
Pursuant to Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 403 of the Communications Act,8 Homewood Suites is
directed to describe the steps it has taken or plans to take to come into compliance with the Commission’s
notification rules, as well as a timeline for any pending corrective actions, within thirty (30) calendar days
after the release date of this Citation. A failure to respond in writing, or an inadequate, incomplete, or
misleading response, may subject Homewood Suites to additional sanctions.9

6 47 C.F.R. § 76.610.
7 47 C.F.R. § 76.1804.
8 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 154(j), 403.
9 See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7599–
7600, ¶¶ 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 Inquiry (LOI)); Connect Paging, Inc. d/b/a Get A Phone,
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-446

V.

RESPONDING TO THIS CITATION

8.
In addition to the required written information described in paragraphs 3 and 7,
Homewood Suites 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.
9.
If you would like to arrange a teleconference or personal interview, please contact agent
Binh Nguyen at (360) 696-6707. The nearest Commission Field Office is located in Kirkland,
Washington. Such teleconference or interview must take place within thirty calendar (30) days of the date
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 10, below.
10.
All written communications, including the information requested in paragraphs 3 and 7,
above, should be provided to the address below.
Binh Nguyen
Federal Communications Commission
Portland Office
P.O. Box 61469
Vancouver, Washington 98666-1469

Re: EB-FIELDWR-14-00013751

11.
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).
12.
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

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. 2008) (proposing $11,000 forfeiture for failure to provide complete
responses to an LOI).
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-446

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.10
13.
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.
14.
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.11
15.
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
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

16.
If, after receipt of this Citation, Homewood Suites again violates Sections 76.1804 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.12 For instance, the Commission could impose separate
forfeitures for each day on which its MVPD system fails to notify the Commission. Further, as discussed
above, such forfeitures may be based on both the conduct that led to the Citation and the conduct
following it.13 In addition, violations of the Communications Act or the Rules also can result in seizure of
equipment through in rem forfeiture actions,14 as well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.15

VII.

ORDERING CLAUSES

17.

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 4(j), and 403 of the Communications
Act, Homewood Suites must provide the written information requested in paragraphs 3 and 7, above. The
response to the request for information must be provided in writing, signed under penalty of perjury by an
authorized official at Homewood Suites 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.

10 47 C.F.R. § 1.17.
11 47 U.S.C. § 503.
12 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.
13 See paragraph 2, supra.
14 See 47 U.S.C. § 510.
15 See 47 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-446

18.

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 Homewood Suites by Hilton,
701 SE Columbia Shores Blvd., Vancouver, Washington 98661.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Binh Nguyen
Resident Agent
Portland Office
Western Region
Enforcement Bureau
5

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