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No Response to FCC Costs Onda Mexicana

Agency proposes $8,000 fine for Clermont, Fla. AM

The FCC does not like to be ignored.

That’s essentially what the commission says Onda Mexicana Radio Group, the licensee of WWFL(AM), Clermont, Fla., has done so the Enforcement Bureau has proposed a $8,000 fine.

The case began in 2012 when the Tampa office of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Violation to Onda Mexicana for violations found during inspections. The commission says Onda Mexicana didn’t submit a response.

During a reinspection in 2013, the licensee provided agents with a response that they said had been mailed to the commission. The agents told Onda Mexicana they never received it, and in any case, the response was insufficient because the answers didn’t address each of the violations.

The agents gave the licensee seven days to submit a full response; that didn’t happen, so the FCC gave the licensee another 10 days. Onda Mexicana then asked for a 30-day extension to submit a response. It didn’t file, according to the FCC, so the Tampa office issued another NOV, telling Onda Mexicana to file within five days.

The FCC says to this day, the licensee still has not filed a complete response. Although the base fine for not responding to a commission communication is $4,000, it’s been nearly a year since the reinspection. That’s why the FCC has doubled the proposed penalty to $8,000.

The commission ordered Onda Mexicana to submit a complete response to the NOV within 10 days, “signed under penalty of perjury.” Not doing so may result in enforcement action, with higher fines separate from those associated with the original NOV, according to the agency.

Onda Mexicana still has 30 days to appeal or pay the fine.