2 local broadcasters facing $30K in FCC fines
The Federal Communications Commission’s San Juan office slapped a pair of fines on two local broadcasters totaling $30,000 for alleged violations to industry regulations in recent months, the agency disclosed in separate orders.
In back-to-back notices released in the last week, the FCC resolved that Renacer Broadcasters Corporation in Hormigueros and AERCO Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of Station WSJU-TV in San Juan, were operating outside established norms.
Renacer Broadcasters was found in violation of rules related to the operation of antennas, “for failing to paint and light” a structure located in Maricao. The company faces a $20,000 fine for the misstep the FCC detected in Dec. 2011.
“The Antenna Structure is 90 meters overall in height above ground, is required to be painted and lighted, and was constructed in the 2001-2002 timeframe,” the FCC said. “On December 1, and again on December 8, 2011, in response to a complaint, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau’s San Juan Office inspected the Antenna Structure and observed that the structure had never been painted and had no lights installed.”
Parties that “willfully or repeatedly” fail to comply with FCC standards expose themselves to hefty fines, the agency said. In this case, Renacer was already facing a $10,000 fine for failing to paint and light the antenna when it built it ten years ago. But because the structure remained that way for more than a decade, the FCC decided to double the monetary punishment.
Meanwhile, in Aerco’s case, the FCC found the company had been operating an unauthorized studio-to-transmitter link to carry its programming, and is now facing a $10,000 fine. The company is better known as MegaTV.
“The evidence in this case establishes that AERCO violated Section 301 of the [Communications] Act. Section 301 of the Act requires that no person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio within the United States, except under and in accordance with the Act and with a license,” the FCC said.
Both companies have 30 days to pay the fine and show the FCC proof that they have corrected the problems uncovered during the recent investigations.