The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has upheld a $25,000 financial penalty against a Pennsylvania church for failing to adequately respond to issues related to its radio antenna structure.
According to a Forfeiture Order issued in late July, Pentecostal Temple in Pittsburg, PA failed to properly maintain and illuminate the antenna used to transmit radio programming on its licensed spectrum. The FCC maintains that the lack of maintenance posed a significant public safety risk, especially to passing aircraft.
The origins of the case leading to the Forfeiture Order date back to late 2016, when the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against the church for willful and repeated violations of FCC regulations regarding transmission antennas. What followed were a series of what the FCC characterized as “procedurally deficient shenanigans,” in which church administrators initially missed the response deadline detailed in the Forfeiture Order, and then directed multiple responses to federal offices other than those specified in the Notice. In the end, the church failed to provide the Enforcement Bureau with the requested response to its Notice.