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FCC Assesses Default Payments for Unpaid Auction Bids

Around $75,000 is in play

The FCC is cleaning out its broom closet of broadcasters and would-be broadcasters who the agency says have defaulted on their spectrum auction payments.

The largest monetary amount of the four cases recently released involves Nassau Broadcasting Holdings. Nassau had the winning bid, some $1.64 million, for two FM construction permits in Auction 37 in 2004. Nassau did put down a $230,340 deposit as well as another $97,860 and submitted its long-form applications.

But the broadcaster didn’t submit certification that the permits for the proposed sites met the National Environmental Policy Act requirements or say the sites didn’t need environmental analysis — after six years of requests, according to the FCC. The commission finally gave Nassau 30 days to supply the missing information; the broadcaster didn’t do so, so the agency dismissed the CP applications.

Now the agency says Nassau owes an interim default payment of $49,230.

Ace Radio Corp. too defaulted on its winning bid of $309,400 for an FM construction permit in Auction 62 in 2006. The commission dismissed the Ace application and says the company is on the hook for $9,282.

The last two cases are more recent, stemming from Auction 94 in 2013. So far, the applications for an FM CP for Black Entrepreneurs Association and two FM CPs Efrain Saille have not been dismissed. However, the companies are considered to be in default. The FCC has ordered the BEA to pay $12,740 and Saille to pay $3,965.