Lack of Ownership Notification Garners Tower Owner Fine

FCC says updating its records is important in cases of tower lighting failure
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The FCC fined the owner of a station and tower in Puerto Rico $4,500 for not informing the commission about an ownership change.

Hacienda San Eladio Inc. bought WRRE(AM) and its 300-foot tower in Juncos, Puerto Rico from Radio Emanuel in 2003. However the tower wasn’t listed in the purchase agreement, the FCC said this week in its decision.

Commission records show no other AM tower in Juncos, Puerto Rico owned by Hacienda or Radio Emanuel. As of January 23, 2012, the commission’s database listed Radio Emanuel as the tower owner.

Under FCC rules, antenna structure owners must immediately inform the agency when there’s a change in tower height or ownership. Maintaining current ownership contact information in the FCC’s Antenna Structure registration database is particularly important, because it enables the commission and individuals to quickly notify a tower owner if there’s a lighting failure or other malfunction, according to the agency.

Because Hacienda failed to comply for eight years, the commission found the violation “particularly egregious” and warranted tacking on an extra $1,500 for a total penalty of $4,500.

Hacienda can appeal the fine, but it has 30 days to submit a document stating that the update ownership paperwork has been submitted to the agency.

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