Wednesday, October 8, 2014

“Willful” or “Act of God”?

That’s the debate between the FCC and Steckline Communications. Steckline Communications, owner and operator of radio stations, had been cited by the FCC for $5,600 for “willfully” violating the Commission’s fencing rules. The fencing structure around KIUL-AM in Garden City, Kansas, was in disrepair both times FCC agents inspected the site. However, Steckline Communications is contesting that they did this willfully; rather it was an “act of God.”Radio+Television Business Report (RBR) explained, “The fence is said to have gone down initially in April 2012. Steckline made temporary repairs the next month, but when the FCC inspected in July, parts were still down. Steckline said this was due to further wind storms in the interim. The FCC said the word willful refers to either a deliberate act ‘or omission’ that is associated with a violation. In this case, omission applies – Steckline failed to promptly fix the problem, hence the fine is both valid and willful. The FCC did reduce the fine from $7K to $5.6K based on Steckline’s prior history of compliance with FCC rules and regs.”

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