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Penalty Proposed Against US Connect in HAC Reporting Case

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Released: February 18, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-202

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

)
In the Matter of
)
File No.: EB-SED-14-000133871
)
US Connect, LLC
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201432100013
)
)

FRN: 0021051461

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: February 18, 2014

Released: February 18, 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 six thousand dollars ($6,000) against US Connect, LLC (US Connect).2 We find that US Connect
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-13-00012381 was subsequently assigned File No. EB-SED-14-
00013387. Any future correspondence with the Commission concerning this matter should refer to the new case
number.
2 US Connect is a Tier III mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that resells wireless telecommunications
services. See Final Order Granting Petition to be Designated as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier, Case No.
11-0724-C-PC (Sept. 26, 2011) (ETC Order), available at
http://www.psc.state.wv.us/scripts/orders/ViewDocument.cfm?CaseActivityID=328535&Source=Docket (last
visited Feb. 6, 2014). 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). US Connect was designated as an Eligible
Telecommunications Carrier by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia on September 26, 2011. See ETC
Order.
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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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 See id. at 3443, para. 91; see also 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i).
9 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 (Wireless Tel. Bur. 2004).
2

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Compatibility First Report and Order, the Commission indefinitely extended these reporting
requirements with certain modifications.10
4.
US Connect failed to timely file its hearing aid compatibility status report for the period
January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012 (2012 Status Report), which was due to be filed by January
15, 2103.11 Commission records indicate that an agent of US Connect initially contacted the
Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Wireless Bureau) on or about February 15, 2013,
advising the Wireless Bureau that US Connect had been unable to file its 2012 Status Report by the
January 15, 2013 filing deadline.12 In response, the Wireless Bureau opened filing windows on February
26–27, 2013 and again on March 19–20, 2013 to permit the filing of the overdue report. US Connect
filed its 2012 Status Report on March 20, 2013.13 The Wireless Bureau subsequently referred US
Connect’s apparent violation of the hearing aid compatibility reporting requirement to the Enforcement
Bureau (Bureau).
5.
On December 12, 2013, the Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division (Division) issued a
letter of inquiry (LOI) to US Connect, directing the company to submit a sworn written response to a
series of questions related to its compliance with the hearing aid compatibility reporting requirement.14
US Connect responded to the LOI on January 8, 2014.15 In its LOI Response, US Connect admitted that it
did not timely file its 2012 Status Report, stating that the failure was due to ownership and management
changes within the company and the death of the employee who had been responsible for filing the
reports.16 According to US Connect, the company’s new management did not become aware of the
hearing aid compatibility status report filing requirement until January 10, 2013, when US Connect
asserts there was insufficient time to compile the required data and file the report by the January 15, 2013
filing deadline.17 US Connect also asserts that its agent, Visi Consulting Services, LLC, contacted the
Wireless Bureau on or before January 15, 2013 to request an extension of time to file its 2012 Status

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.
See 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
12 See also E-mail from Bobbi Ferguson, Visi Consulting Services, LLC, to James Schwartz, Management
Information Analyst, Spectrum and Competition Policy Division, FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Feb.
20, 2013, 15:30 EDT) (on file in EB-SED-13-00013387) (“US Connect, LLC … respectfully requests that it be
allowed to late file its Form 655 [hearing aid compatibility] report. As mentioned in our conversation yesterday, US
Connect was unable to timely file its Form 655 report due to a succession of events ranging from a change in
ownership and relocation of company offices in 2rd quarter to back [Universal Service Administrative Company
payment quality assurance and in-depth data validation] audits in 4th quarter coupled with changes in personnel and
issues with our data reporting systems.”) (on file in EB-SED-13-00013387).
13 See US Connect, Hearing Aid Compatibility Report (March 20, 2013),
http://wireless.fcc.gov/hac_documents/130411/7444146_321.PDF (last visited on Jan. 29, 2014).
14 See Letter from John D. Poutasse, Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, FCC Enforcement Bureau, to Stephen
Scott, President, US Connect, LLC (Dec. 12, 2013) (on file in EB-SED-14-00013387).
15 See Letter from K. Paul LaPier, President and Chief Financial Officer, US Connect, LLC, to Spectrum
Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (Jan. 8, 2014) (on file in EB-
SED-14-00013387) (LOI Response).
16 See LOI Response at 1.
17 Id. US Connect also noted that it was unable to file its 2012 Status Report during the February 2013 filing
window because of technical difficulties with the FCC’s website. Id.
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Report.18 In response to a subsequent inquiry from the Division,19 US Connect asserts its belief that
Wireless Bureau staff orally granted US Connect’s extension request.20

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.21 These reports are necessary to enable the Commission to perform its
enforcement function and to evaluate whether US Connect 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.22
7.
As the record in this case reflects, US Connect failed to timely file its 2012 Status Report
by January 15, 2013. We reject US Connect’s contention that the Wireless Bureau extended the deadline
by which US Connect was required to file that report. At the outset, Commission records indicate that US
Connect did not contact the Wireless Bureau until one month after its hearing aid compatibility status
report was due to be filed. Moreover, the opening of a new filing window to permit the filing of an
otherwise late-filed status report does not, standing alone, constitute an extension of the status report
filing deadline. Although US Connect claims that Wireless Bureau staff orally informed US Connect’s
agent, Bobbi Ferguson of Visi Consulting Services, LLC, that US Connect was granted an extension of
the status report filing deadline, US Connect has failed to provide an affidavit or declaration under
penalty of perjury from Ms. Ferguson attesting to the veracity of that statement. Instead, US Connect
merely asserts its “belief” that an extension of time had been granted, which belief US Connect
acknowledges is based on the fact that the Wireless Bureau had opened new filing windows for US
Connect to submit its 2012 Report.23 Because of the important enforcement and consumer information
goals that hearing aid compatibility status reports serve, the Wireless Bureau requires service providers
and handset manufacturers that fail to submit the required reports by the filing deadline nevertheless to
submit late-filed status reports, and the Wireless Bureau routinely opens new filing windows for that
purpose. The Wireless Bureau does not, however, routinely extend the hearing aid compatibility status
report filing deadline under such circumstances. Absent any reliable evidence that US Connect was

18 Id.
19 See Email from Josh Zeldis, Attorney Advisor, Spectrum Enforcement Division, FCC Enforcement Bureau, to K.
Paul Lapier, President, US Connect, LLC (Jan. 29, 2014, 09:17 EDT) (on file in EB-SED-14-00013387).
20 See Letter from K. Paul LaPier, President and Chief Financial Officer, US Connect, LLC, to Spectrum
Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (Feb. 7, 2014) at 1 (on file in
EB-SED-14-00013387) (Supplemental Response).
21 See 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
22 See 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/.
23 See Supplemental Response at 1.
4

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granted such an extension, we find that US Connect failed to timely file the hearing aid compatibility
status report due on January 15, 2013 in apparent willful24 and repeated25 violation of Section 20.19(i)(1)
of the Rules.26

B.

Proposed Forfeiture

8.
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.27 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.28 The
Commission will then issue a forfeiture if it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person has
violated the Act or the Rules.29 We conclude that US Connect 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.30
9.
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.31 While the base
forfeiture requirements are guidelines lending some predictability to the forfeiture process, the

24 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 S. Cal. Broad. Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387–88, para. 5 (1991) (Southern California), recons. denied,
7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992). 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).
25 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).
26 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
27 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a).
28 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(f).
29 See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7591, para. 4 (2002).
30 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
31 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.
5

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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.32
10.
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.33 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.34 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.35 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.36
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.37 Consistent with ASTCA, we believe the
$6,000 base forfeiture for violation of the hearing aid compatibility reporting requirement should apply
here.
11.
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.”38 We see no basis for reducing the
proposed forfeiture. In its LOI Response, US Connect states that the company’s new management did not
become aware of the hearing aid compatibility status report filing requirement until January 10, 2013,
when there was insufficient time to file the report.39 It is well established, however, that administrative
oversight or inadvertence is not a mitigating factor warranting a downward adjustment of a forfeiture.40
Similarly, a violator’s lack of knowledge or erroneous belief does not warrant a forfeiture’s downward
adjustment.41 In addition, we have declined to downwardly adjust a forfeiture based on claims that

32 See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17099, 17101, paras. 22, 29; see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
33 See ASTCA, 23 FCC Rcd at 16436–37, para. 10.
34 See id.
35 See id.
36 See id.
37 See id.
38 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
39 LOI Response at 1.
40 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”).
41 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”).
6

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changes in personnel contributed to the violation.42 In view of all the factual circumstances presented,
and having considered the statutory factors, we propose a forfeiture in the amount of $6,000 against US
Connect 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.43

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

12.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,44 US Connect,
LLC is

NOTIFIED

of its

APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE

in the amount of six
thousand dollars ($6,000) for willful and repeated violation of Section 20.19(i)(1) of the Commission’s
rules.45
13.

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,
US Connect, 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 16 below.
14.
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. US Connect, LLC
shall send electronic notification of payment to Pamera Hairston at Pamera.Hairston@fcc.gov, Josh
Zeldis at Josh.Zeldis@fcc.gov, and Samantha Peoples at Sam.Peoples@fcc.gov on the date said payment
is made. Regardless of the form of payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted.46 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 US Connect, 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 –

42 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).
43 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
44 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
45 47 C.F.R. § 20.19(i)(1).
46 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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Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
63101.
15.
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 US Connect has questions regarding payment
procedures, it should contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by
email, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
16.
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.47 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
NAL/Account Number referenced in the caption. The statement must also be e-mailed to Pamera
Hairston at Pamera.Hairston@fcc.gov, Josh Zeldis at Josh.Zeldis@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.
17.

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 K. Paul LaPier,
President and Chief Financial Officer, US Connect, LLC, 11029 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite B117,
Dallas, TX 75229.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
John D. Poutasse
Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division
Enforcement Bureau

47 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.80(f)(3), 1.16.
8

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