FCC hits AT&T with $450k fine over unauthorised operations

FCC hits AT&T with $450k fine over unauthorised operations

AT&T has reached a $450,000 settlement with the US Federal Communications Commission over running unauthorised fixed wireless stations.

An investigation carried out by the FCC found that AT&T had operated numerous common carrier fixed point-to-point microwave stations throughout the US contrary to what was specified in their licenses over a period of four years.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau began its investigation in 2012, and the operator admitted in 2014 to finding numerous inconsistencies between the parameters of its licenses between 2009 and 2012, and the constructed facilities of a number of its stations.

Many of the breaches occurred when AT&T’s subsidiaries - such as New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC and AT&T Mobility Puerto Rico, Inc – failed to review the licenses in a timely manner, resulting in the unauthorised operation of a number of locations.

As part of the settlement, AT&T has agreed to implement a compliance plan to conduct timely reviews of its stations, making sure they are operating in accordance with their licensed parameters. It has also pledged to correct any noncompliance found within 60 days of discovery.

“We expect every person or company that receives a license from the Commission will operate within the parameters of that authorization,” said Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “Any licensee who operates outside those parameters threatens the integrity of communications networks, increases the risk of harmful interference, and breaks the law.”

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