September 27, 2016 — AT&T will pay $450,000 to resolve the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau’s investigation into whether the carrier operated fixed wireless stations without authorization or without filing required license modification notices. The investigation revealed that AT&T operated numerous common carrier fixed point-to-point microwave stations throughout the United States in ways that differed from the stations’ licenses for periods ranging from three and a half years to over four years.
The Enforcement Bureau began its investigation of AT&T in 2012. In August 2014, during the course of the investigation, AT&T reported to the Commission that it had discovered numerous inconsistencies between the licensed parameters and the constructed facilities of a large number of fixed microwave licenses that it acquired from 2009 through 2012. AT&T did not timely review the acquired licenses, which resulted in the unauthorized operation of many of the stations by its subsidiaries New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC and AT&T Mobility Puerto Rico, Inc. As a result, the Enforcement Bureau investigated the licensing history of approximately 250 AT&T stations to determine the extent of the unauthorized operations. In January 2015, the Commission adopted a Notice of Apparently Liability for Forfeiture to AT&T alleging violations that the company admitted to in today’s settlement.