Network fined for neglecting license


The FCC has reduced a proposed fine for Starfish Television Network. But the non-profit cable net isn’t off the hook completely.

When agents from the FCC’s Denver office showed up at Starfish’s facility in Midvale, UT last year, the cable network confirmed quite readily that it was operating a satellite earth station in the 6 GHz “C-Band.” The network’s COO believed it was properly licensed, but when Starfish contacted the company that was supposed to have filed the FCC application, it turned out that the application had not been completed due to a frequency coordination issue. That was resolved, the paperwork completed and the license issued a couple of months later.

Thereafter, the Denver FCC office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability of $5,000 for willful and repeated operation without a license. Starfish appealed, arguing that it acted in good faith and relied on an outside contractor to handle the license application.

Those excused didn’t hold water with the FCC. The non-profit corporation was more successful with its plea that the fine should be cancelled or reduced do to its inability to pay. After reviewing Starfish’s financial submissions, the fine was reduced to $1,100 from the original $5,000.

Starfish Television Network delivers programming produced by a variety of other non-profit organizations on its cable/satellite channel.