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FCC Fines NYC Wireless-Cable Firm

The Federal Communications Commission upheld a $1.4 million fine against
Bartholdi Cable Co. Inc. (formerly Liberty Cable Co.) for operating a
wireless-video service in New York without authorization.

Responding to charges raised by Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems
Corp., the FCC said Bartholdi (now 80 percent owned by RCN Corp.) engaged in
serious misconduct and submitted 'intentionally misleading' statements to the
agency during its investigation of unlicensed service.

In addition to the fine, the FCC also denied granting 15 wireless licenses to
Bartholdi because of its history of unauthorized service to nearly 100 New York
apartment buildings over several years. The FCC ruling, handed down Aug. 30, was
in response to an appeal Bartholdi filed in January.

One of the FCC's core functions is to police the airwaves and prohibit
unlicensed operations. The Bartholdi case had been referred to an administrative
law judge, who concluded that Bartholdi's conduct represented 'one of the worst
cases of a pattern of unlicensed spectrum operations since
1934.'