Sketchy FM Translator Applications Bring Penalties


FCCThe FCC proposed a $9,000 fine against E-String Wireless for false certification and unauthorized operation. The agency also admonished E-String “for prior false certifications that are beyond the applicable statute of limitations,” in a decision signed by Audio Decision Chief Peter Doyle.

The case concerns an FM translator in Beaumont, Texas. The wireless company applied to have the translator license transferred to Martin Broadcasting so it could re-broadcast programming for KZZB(AM), Beaumont.

But things got interesting when Southeast Texas Telecom objected, alleging E-String “made false statements” on many of its applications concerning this translators, even submitting a photo of a tower for its transmitter site for a tower that had actually been destroyed eight years ago. STT called into question the qualifications to be a licensee of both E-String and Martin, “who allegedly participated in this deception,” according to the FCC decision.

STT urged the commission to revoke the translator license, and fine companies.

E-String admitted there was “erroneous data” in its applications but said the company didn’t lie while Martin argued STT didn’t offer facts to support its allegations and it had no involvement with E-Strings applications.

The previous grants of the applications are final and won’t be rescinded, according to the decision, but it’s still proposing the penalties against the wireless company for making false certifications and unauthorized operation of the translator. E-String has 30 days to appeal or pay.