Leaky cable system racks up FCC fines


It’s not only members of the broadcast community that run afoul of FCC regulations and wind up opening their checkbooks as a consequence. A Florida cable system had a laundry list of violations that resulted in a $25K hit to its bank account.

The system is St. George Cable Inc. of St. George Island FL, a barrier island on the Gulf Coast side of the Florida panhandle.

One problem was signal leakage, which can disrupt aeronautical communications – FCC field agents discovered 20 leaks. Upon review with the owner, it was admitted that the operation did not regularly inspect its plant, and kept no logs, and did repair and maintenance work only after receiving a complaint.

A second are was EAS equipment. Not only was this lacking at the system, the system never had any EAS equipment installed.

The third problem was the system’s failure to register with the Commission via Form 322. Even a year after having been instructed to do so, it remained unregistered.

The system was ordered to cease all operation 1/20/11 until the problems were fixed. It said it was back in compliance on 2/28/11.

The leakage fine was assessed at the FCC standard $8K. The lack of EAS equipment is also good for $8K, but the FCC bumped it up to $12.5K since the system never bothered with it. The failure to file forms is standardized at $3K, and that was bumped up to $4.5K since the FCC advice to get the form in was ignored. Total fine: $25KI.

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