Minor delay in auction filing costs CP winner


Failure to get necessary paperwork in to the FCC after winning an FM CP at auction can cause a licensee to lose the CP. In this case, the FCC took matters into consideration and even came up with a reduction of the base fine for the infraction.

This case involves RF Services Inc., which had won an allotment situated in Giddings TX.
Its deadline date to post its long-form application was 5/29/12. However, it said a tricky tower siting situation, involving land that was leased for petroleum exploration and extraction, along with close proximity to an airport, made final siting a challenge, and it was not until that very day that a final location was procured.

RFS deserves credit in the humble opinion of RBR-TVBR. It got right to work immediately to get its paperwork into the FCC electronically, only to suffer a software crash.

Undeterred, the company kept at it and filed the documentation at 3AM on 5/30/12.

The FCC agreed with RFS that the infraction was minor and did not in any way hinder the auction process.

Not only did the FCC decline to strip RFS of the CP, which was within its power, it reduced the fine from the standard $3K to $1.5K.

RBR-TVBR observation: You’d think that in a case like this, in which licensee is obviously doing every thing it possibly can to make the best of a difficult situation, that the FCC could see its way clear to cancelling the fine altogether.

Yeah, we know, we know. If the FCC does it here, suddenly EVERY late application will come in with a story about a software crash.

All we can say, people associated with RF Services, is that if it was within the power of RBR-TVBR to waive the fine, we would do so in a heartbeat. While we are aware that merely stating this opinion is not worth $1.5K, we hope it at least provides you with a small moral victory.