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NAL issued to Westlink for HAC Reporting Violation

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Released: February 12, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-192

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

)
In the Matter of
)
File No.: EB-SED-14-000133421
)
Westlink Communications, LLC,
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201432100008
a wholly-owned subsidiary of
)
United Wireless Communications, Inc.
)
FRN: 0002315224

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: February 12, 2014

Released: February 12, 2014
By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we propose a forfeiture in the amount
of five thousand dollars ($5,000) against Westlink Communications, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
United Wireless Communications, Inc. (Westlink).2 We find that Westlink apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated the digital wireless handset hearing aid compatibility status report filing requirements
set forth in Section 20.19(i)(1) of the Commission’s rules (Rules).3

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
In the 2003 Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, the Commission adopted several measures
to enhance the ability of consumers with hearing loss to access digital wireless telecommunications.4 The
Commission established technical standards that digital wireless handsets must meet to be considered

1 The investigation initiated under File No. EB-SED-13-00012379 was subsequently assigned File No. EB-SED-14-
00013342. Any future correspondence with the Commission concerning this matter should refer to the new case
number.
2 Westlink is a Tier III wireless service provider that provides service in Kansas. 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.
22–24 (2002). At the time Westlink’s hearing aid compatibility status report was due to be filed, Westlink was a
wholly-owned subsidiary of High Plains Telecommunications, Inc. (High Plains), which was a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Pioneer Telephone Association, Inc. d/b/a Pioneer Communications. On August 28, 2013, the
Commission granted its consent to the transfer of control of Westlink from High Plains to United Wireless
Communications, Inc. (United Wireless). See Universal Licensing System File No. 0005651265, filed by United
Wireless Communications, Inc. (filed Mar. 21, 2013).
3 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
4 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), Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 11221 (2005) (Hearing Aid Compatibility Order). The Commission adopted
these requirements for digital wireless telephones under the authority of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988,
Pub. L. No. 100-394, 102 Stat. 976 (codified at 47 U.S.C. §§ 609 note, 610, 610 note).

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DA 14- 192

compatible with hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling and inductive coupling (telecoil) modes.5
Specifically, the Commission adopted a standard for radio frequency interference (the M3 rating) to
enable acoustic coupling between digital wireless phones and hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling
mode, and a separate standard (the T3 rating) to enable inductive coupling with hearing aids operating in
telecoil mode.6 In the 2008 Hearing Aid Compatibility First Report and Order, the Commission
established various deadlines by which manufacturers and service providers were required to offer
specified numbers of digital wireless handset models rated hearing aid-compatible.7
3.
The Commission also adopted reporting requirements to ensure that it could monitor the
availability of hearing aid-compatible handsets and to provide valuable information to the public
concerning the technical testing and commercial availability of these handsets.8 The Commission initially
required manufacturers and digital wireless 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.9 In its 2008 Hearing Aid

5 See Hearing Aid Compatibility Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 16777, 16779, paras. 56, 63; see also 47 C.F.R.
§ 20.19(b)(1)-(2). The Hearing Aid Compatibility Order described the acoustic coupling and 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
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.
18 FCC Rcd at 16763, para. 22.
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(b). As subsequently amended, Section 20.19(b)(1) of the Rules provided that, for the period
beginning January 1, 2010, a wireless handset is deemed hearing aid-compatible for radio frequency interference if,
at a minimum, it meets the M3 rating associated with the technical standard set forth in the standard document,
“American National Standard Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communication Devices
and Hearing Aids,” ANSI C63.19-2007 (June 8, 2007) (ANSI C63.19-2007), except that grants of certification
issued before January 1, 2010, under earlier versions of ANSI C63.19 remain valid for hearing aid compatibility
purposes. 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(b)(1). Section 20.19(b)(2) provided that, for the period beginning January 1, 2010, a
wireless handset is deemed hearing aid-compatible for inductive coupling if, at minimum, it meets the T3 rating
associated with the technical standard set forth in ANSI C63.19-2007, except that grants of certification issued
before January 1, 2010, under earlier versions of ANSI C63.19 remain valid for hearing aid compatibility purposes.
47 C.F.R. § 20.19(b)(2). Effective August 16, 2012, a further amendment to Section 20.19(b) permits manufacturers
to test handsets for hearing aid compatibility using the 2011 version of the ANSI standard, ANSI C63.19-2011, as an
alternative to ANSI C63.19-2007. See Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible
Mobile Handsets
, Third Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 3732 (WTB/OET 2012).
7 See Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets, First Report and
Order, 23 FCC Rcd 3406, 3418–20, paras. 35–36 (2008), Order on Reconsideration and Erratum, 23 FCC Rcd 7249
(2008) (Hearing Aid Compatibility First Report and Order).
8 Id. at 3443, para. 91; see also 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i).
9 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 (Wireless Tel. Bur. 2004).
2

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DA 14- 192

Compatibility First Report and Order, the Commission indefinitely extended these reporting
requirements with certain modifications.10
4.
Westlink failed to timely file its hearing aid compatibility status report for the period
January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. The required report was due on January 15, 2013.11
Westlink contacted the Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Wireless Bureau) on
February 12, 2013, regarding its failure to file the hearing aid compatibility status report. The Wireless
Bureau then opened filing windows to submit the overdue report.12 Westlink ultimately filed its status
report on March 19, 2013.13 The Wireless Bureau subsequently referred Westlink’s apparent violation of
the hearing aid compatibility status report filing requirement to the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau).
5.
On December 9, 2013, the Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division issued a letter of
inquiry (LOI) to Westlink, directing the company to submit a sworn written response to a series of
questions relating to Westlink’s failure to timely file its hearing aid compatibility status report by the
January 15, 2013 deadline.14 Westlink responded to the LOI on December 30, 2013.15 In its LOI
Response, Westlink admits that it did not timely file its hearing aid compatibility status report, stating that
the failure resulted from a change in personnel and the subsequent transfer of responsibilities for
Westlink’s hearing aid compatibly compliance to another employee.16 Westlink asserts that after it
discovered its failure to file the required report in early February 2013, it promptly notified the Wireless
Bureau that it had not met the filing deadline and requested a new filing window to permit the late filing
of the report.17

III.

DISCUSSION

A.

Failure to Timely File Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Report

6.
Section 20.19(i)(1) of the Rules requires service providers to file hearing aid
compatibility status reports.18 These reports are necessary to enable the Commission to perform its

10 See Hearing Aid Compatibility First Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 3444–46, paras. 97–99, 101. The
extensions of these reporting requirements became effective on December 13, 2011. See 76 Fed. Reg. 77,415 (Dec.
13, 2011).
11 Service providers are required to file their hearing aid compatibility status reports on January 15th of each year.
47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1); see also Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Reporting, http://wireless.fcc.gov/hac.
12 The opening of a new filing window does not constitute an extension of time to file an otherwise late-filed hearing
aid compatibility status report.
13 See Westlink Communications, Hearing Aid Compatibility Report (Mar. 19, 2013),
http://wireless.fcc.gov/hac_documents/130411/7447238_324.PDF (last visited on Jan. 28, 2014).
14 See Letter from John D. Poutasse, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, FCC Enforcement Bureau, to Catherine
Moyer, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Westlink Communications, LLC dba Pioneer
Communications (Dec. 9, 2013) (on file in EB-SED-14-00013342).
15 See Letter from Kenneth C. Johnson and Anthony K. Veach, Bennet & Bennet, PLLC, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission (Dec. 30, 2013) (on file in EB-SED-14-00013342) (LOI
Response).
16 Id. at 2. Westlink also explains that the confusion within the company over who was responsible for filing
Westlink’s status report was exacerbated by the pending sale of the company to United Wireless. Id.
17 Id. The Wireless Bureau initially opened a filing window for Westlink on February 13–14, 2013; then again on
February 26–27, 2013; and then again on March 19–20, 2013. According to Westlink, the company was unable to
file its status report during the February 13–14 and February 26–27, 2013 filing windows, because of technical
difficulties with the FCC’s website. Id.
18 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
3

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DA 14- 192

enforcement function and to evaluate whether Westlink is in compliance with Commission mandates that
were adopted to facilitate the accessibility of hearing aid-compatible wireless handsets. These reports
also provide valuable information to the public concerning the technical testing and commercial
availability of hearing aid-compatible handsets.19 As the record in this case reflects, Westlink failed to
timely file the hearing aid compatibility status report due on January 15, 2013, in apparent willful20 and
repeated21 violation of Section 20.19(i)(1) of the Rules.22

B.

Proposed Forfeiture

7.
Under Section 503(b)(1)(B) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), any
person who is determined by the Commission to have willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with any
provision of the Act or any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission shall be liable to the
United States for a forfeiture penalty.23 To impose such a forfeiture penalty, the Commission must first
issue a notice of apparent liability for forfeiture and the person against whom such notice has been issued
must have an opportunity to show, in writing, why no such forfeiture penalty should be imposed.24 The
Commission will then issue a forfeiture if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person has

19 Hearing Aid Compatibility First Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 3446, para. 98 (stating that a handset model’s
hearing aid compatibility rating, among other relevant information, “should be readily available to service providers
either from the manufacturer’s previous reports to the Commission, from the manufacturer’s own website, or from
the manufacturer directly”). We note, however, that the Commission’s Equipment Authorization System is the most
reliable source for information on a handset’s hearing aid compatibility rating. The Equipment Authorization
System is an electronic database of all equipment certified under Commission authority. The database identifies the
hearing aid compatibility rating of each handset by FCC ID, as reported by the handset manufacturer in test reports
submitted to the Commission at the time of an equipment authorization or of any modification to such authorization.
See http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/.
20 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 Sections 312 and 503 of the Act, H.R. Rep. No. 97-765 (1982)
(Conf. Rep.), and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context. See So. Cal. Broad.
Co.
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387–88, para. 5 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454
(1992) (Southern California). In the context of a forfeiture action, “willful’ does not require a finding that the rule
violation was intentional. See, e.g., Tidewater Communications, LLC, Order on Review, 25 FCC Rcd 1675, 1676,
para. 5 (2010) (“To be willful, the violator must consciously commit or omit certain actions and need not be aware
that such actions violate the Rules.”); Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388, para. 5 (holding that, consistent with
the Congressional record accompanying the 1982 amendments to the Act, a “willful” violation need not be
intentional); Princess K Fishing Corp., Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 2606, 2608-09, para. 8 (Enf. Bur. 2009)
(stating that a licensee need not have the mens rea to commit a violation in order for a violation to be “willful”),
recons. dismissed, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 4707 (Enf. Bur. 2012).
21 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, which also applies to forfeitures assessed pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act,
defines “repeated” as “the commission or omission of [any] 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 also Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388,
para. 5. Failure to file these reports can have an adverse impact on the Commission’s ability to ensure the
commercial availability of hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handsets, to the detriment of consumers. As we
have previously stated, the failure to file a hearing aid compatibility status report constitutes a continuing violation
that persists until the violation is cured. See American Samoa Telecommunications Authority, Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 23 FCC Rcd 16432, 16437, para. 11 (Enf. Bur. 2008), forfeiture ordered, Forfeiture Order,
27 FCC Rcd 13174 (Enf. Bur. 2012) (forfeiture paid) (ASTCA).
22 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
23 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a).
24 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(f).
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violated the Act or the Rules.25 We conclude that Westlink is apparently liable for a forfeiture for its
failure to timely file the required hearing aid compatibility status report in apparent willful and repeated
violation of Section 20.19(i)(1) of the Rules.26
8.
The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b) of the Rules set a
base forfeiture amount of $3,000 for the failure to file required forms or information.27 While the base
forfeiture requirements are guidelines lending some predictability to the forfeiture process, the
Commission retains the discretion to depart from these guidelines and issue forfeitures on a case-by-case
basis under its general forfeiture authority in Section 503 of the Act.28
9.
We have exercised our discretion to set a higher base forfeiture amount for violations of
the wireless hearing aid compatibility reporting requirements. In ASTCA, we found that the status reports
are essential to implement and enforce the hearing aid compatibility rules.29 The Commission relies on
these reports to provide consumers with information regarding the technical specifications and
commercial availability of hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handsets and to ensure that the digital
wireless industry meets the needs of the increasing number of consumers with hearing loss.30 In an
analogous context, we noted that when setting an $8,000 base forfeiture for violations of the hearing aid-
compatible handset labeling requirements, the Commission emphasized that consumers with hearing loss
could only take advantage of critically important public safety benefits of digital wireless services if they
had access to accurate information regarding hearing aid compatibility features of handsets.31 We also
noted that the Commission has adjusted the base forfeiture upward when noncompliance with filing
requirements interferes with the accurate administration and enforcement of Commission rules.32
Because the failure to file hearing aid compatibility status reports implicates similar public safety and
enforcement concerns, we exercised our discretionary authority and established a base forfeiture amount
of $6,000 for failure to file a hearing aid compatibility report.33 Consistent with ASTCA, we believe the
$6,000 base forfeiture for violation of the hearing aid compatibility reporting requirement should apply
here.
10.
The $6,000 base forfeiture, however, is subject to adjustment. In assessing forfeitures,
Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires that we 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 such other matters as justice may require.”34 In its LOI Response, Westlink
states that the failure to timely file its status report was due to a change in personnel and the resulting
transfer of responsibilities for Westlink’s hearing aid compatibility compliance.35 It is well established,

25 See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7591, para. 4 (2002).
26 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
27 See 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, 17113, Appendix A, Section I, recons. denied,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (Forfeiture Policy Statement); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
28 See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17099, 17101, paras. 22, 29; see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
29 See ASTCA, 23 FCC Rcd at 16436–37, para. 10.
30 Id.
31 Id.
32 Id.
33 Id.
34 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
35 LOI Response at 2.
5

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however, that administrative oversight or inadvertence is not a mitigating factor warranting a downward
adjustment of a forfeiture.36 Similarly, a violator’s lack of knowledge or erroneous belief does not
warrant a forfeiture’s downward adjustment.37 In addition, we have declined to downwardly adjust a
forfeiture based on claims that changes in personnel contributed to the violation.38 The severity of
Westlink’s apparent violation, however, is mitigated by its prompt voluntary disclosure to Commission
staff of the failure to timely file and its remedial efforts, both of which preceded the Bureau’s
investigation and the initiation of enforcement action. 39 As such, we find that, based on the particular
circumstances of this case, some reduction of the forfeiture is appropriate.40 In view of all the factual
circumstances presented, and having considered the statutory factors enumerated above, we propose a
forfeiture in the amount of $5,000 against Westlink for failing to timely file its hearing aid compatibility
status report for the period ending December 31, 2012, by the January 15, 2013 deadline, in apparent
willful and repeated violation of Section 20.19(i)(1) of the Rules.41

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

11.
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 of the Commission’s rules,42 Westlink
Communications, LLC is

NOTIFIED

of its

APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE

in the

36 See Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4387 (stating that “inadvertence … is at best, ignorance of the law, which
the Commission does not consider a mitigating circumstance”).
37 See, e.g., Profit Enterprises, Inc., 8 FCC Rcd 2846, 2846, para. 5 (1993) (denying the mitigation claim of a
manufacturer/distributor who thought that the equipment certification and marketing requirements were
inapplicable, stating that its “prior knowledge or understanding of the law is unnecessary to a determination of
whether a violation existed … ignorance of the law is [not] a mitigating factor”); Lakewood Broadcasting Service,
Inc.,
37 FCC 2d 437, 438, para. 6 (1972) (denying a mitigation claim of a broadcast licensee who asserted an
unfamiliarity with the station identification requirements, stating that licensees are expected “to know and conform
their conduct to the requirements of our rules”).
38 See, e.g., Emigrant Storage LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 27 FCC Rcd 8917, 8920 (Enf. Bur.
2012) (declining to downwardly adjust a forfeiture based on company’s claims that the violation resulted from
oversight and a change in personnel).
39 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(8), Note to Paragraph (b)(8): Adjustment Criteria for Section 503 Forfeitures
(establishing “good faith or voluntary disclosure” as a downward adjustment factor). The Forfeiture Policy
Statement
affords us discretion to adjust forfeitures downward in cases of voluntary disclosure. See Forfeiture
Policy Statement
, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-01, para. 27; 47 C.F.R. § 1.80. But the Forfeiture Policy Statement neither
explains what constitutes voluntary disclosure nor establishes a particular downward adjustment
percentage. Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100, para. 26 (expressly declining to prescribe the
amount of the voluntary disclosure adjustment and explaining instead that the adjustment must reflect “the unique
facts of each case”). We emphasize the public interest benefits of express, non-dilatory, and factually detailed
noncompliance disclosures provided to the Enforcement Bureau and coupled with immediate corrective action. In
this case, Westlink states that it discovered the violation approximately three weeks after the January 15, 2013 filing
deadline, and that it notified the Commission of the error on February 12, 2013. LOI Response at 2. This type of
voluntary disclosure can expedite resolution of the resulting enforcement proceeding, and yield tangible benefits to
the disclosing party in terms of the forfeiture penalty applied. Of course, the forfeiture we adopt in any particular
case will always entail our exercise of discretion based on the particular circumstances before us.
40 Although we can upwardly adjust a forfeiture based on the violation’s duration (see 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)), we
refrain from doing so in this case based on the particular facts and circumstances. See, e.g., Northeast Telephone
Services, Inc
., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 28 FCC Rcd 13611, 13616 n.35 (Enf. Bur. 2013).
41 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
42 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
6

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amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for willful and repeated violation of Section 20.19(i)(1) of the
Commission’s rules.43
12.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,
within thirty (30) calendar days after the release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture,
Westlink Communications, LLC

SHALL PAY

the full amount of the proposed forfeiture, or

SHALL
FILE

a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture consistent with
paragraph 15 below.
13.
The payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument, wire
transfer, or credit card, and must include the NAL/Account Number and FRN referenced above. Westlink
Communications, LLC shall send electronic notification of payment to Pamera Hairston at
Pamera.Hairston@fcc.gov, Paul Noone at Paul.Noone@fcc.gov, and Samatha Peoples at
Sam.Peoples@fcc.gov on the date payment is made. Regardless of the form of payment, a completed
FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.44 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 Westlink Communications, LLC should
follow based on the form of payment it selects:

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.

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.

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 making full payment over time 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, DC 20554. If Westlink has questions regarding payment
procedures, it should contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by
e-mail, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
15.
The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture, if any,
must include a detailed factual statement supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant
to Sections 1.80(f)(3) and 1.16 of the Commission’s rules.45 The written statement must be mailed to the
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC
20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau—Spectrum Enforcement Division, and must include the

43 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
44 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
45 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.80(f)(3), 1.16.
7

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NAL/Account Number referenced in the caption. The statement must also be e-mailed to Pamera
Hairston at Pamera.Hairston@fcc.gov, Paul Noone at Paul.Noone@fcc.gov, and to Samantha Peoples at
Sam.Peoples@fcc.gov. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in response
to a claim of inability to pay unless the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most recent
three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared according to generally accepted accounting practices;
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner’s current
financial status. Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the basis for the claim by
reference to the financial documentation.
16.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture shall be sent by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested, to Catherine Moyer,
Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Westlink Communications, LLC, 120 West Kansas
Avenue, Ulysses, KS 67880, and to Kenneth C. Johnson, Esq., and Anthony K. Veach, Esq., Bennet &
Bennet, PLLC, Counsel to Westlink Communications, LLC, 6124 MacArthur Boulevard, Bethesda, MD
20816.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
John D. Poutasse
Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division
Enforcement Bureau
8

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