Canadian Pacific to pay $1.2M for wireless licensing violations

Via FCC Headlines

Aug 16, 2016

WASHINGTON, August 15, 2016: The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau today announced that Canadian Pacific Railway Company will pay $1,210,000 to resolve an investigation of the railroad company’s operation of more than a hundred wireless radio facilities in the U.S. without prior FCC approval, and for failing to obtain FCC authorizations for the transfer of control of thirty wireless radio licenses.

“Wireless facilities are critical to the safe and efficient operation of our nation’s railways,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau.  “We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that the ownership and operation of all such facilities comply with the FCC’s licensing processes.”

In 2015, Canadian Pacific, formally called Soo Line Corporation, conducted an internal audit that revealed extensive non-compliance with FCC licensing regulations, and the company subsequently disclosed its violations to the Commission. In addition to paying a monetary civil penalty, the company will also implement a 3-year plan to ensure compliance with FCC requirements, and it will continue to maintain an internal compliance plan that the company implemented prior to its discovery of the violations.

Soo Line Corporation is the wholly-owned U.S. operating arm of Calgary, Alberta-based Canadian Pacific Railway Corporation which provides rail, passenger and distribution services throughout Canada and parts of the United States. In 2008, the company acquired several railroad companies in the United States holding FCC authorizations in the wireless radio services. Radio transmitting devices are widely used in the railroad industry for voice and data transmissions related to the safe operation of freight and passenger trains. The company’s 2015 internal audit of its FCC authorizations uncovered unauthorized transactions dating back to 2008, and it also revealed that Soo Line and its predecessors had constructed, relocated, modified, or operated more than a hundred wireless facilities without FCC approval, beginning as far back as 1979.

The 3-year compliance plan requires that the company designate a senior corporate manager as a compliance officer; establish operating procedures that require employees receive specific training in the areas of unauthorized transfer and operation; maintain a compliance checklist to ensure that covered employees follow specific steps in initiating wireless communications; establish a compliance manual that explains the communications laws that apply to the company; institute a compliance training program for covered employees, and report any additional violations to the Commission within 15 days of discovering them.

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