Pennsylvania Wireless Association

The Voice of the Wireless Industry in Pennsylvania...

Industry News

NAB Signs on to Proposal Regarding Towers and Birds

On May 3, 2010, after extensive negotiations, NAB and six other organizations submitted to the FCC a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that contained recommendations designed to help the FCC protect migratory birds as part of its Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) process.

Two years ago, the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. ordered the FCC to expeditiously change its ASR program and to give public notice prior to granting tower applications. At the request of the FCC, NAB, along with other industry Infrastructure Coalition Members (CTIA - The Wireless Association, PCIA and the National Association of Tower Erectors) and the conservation groups (comprised of the American Bird Conservancy, the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society) entered negotiations to develop interim standards that would be used for the ASR program.

The conservation groups were pressing the FCC to adopt an aggressive set of policies and procedures, including Environment Assessments (EA) for all towers, which would have slowed ASR grants from overnight to over a year. In addition, many of their suggestions would have seriously impeded the approval of taller towers.

The agreement covers towers for which an ASR is required to be filed. Depending upon the height of the proposed tower or the specifications of a replacement tower, some would require an EA to be performed to access the tower's impact on migratory birds and would be placed on public notice (per court order), others (e.g., shorter towers, replacement towers, repaired towers) could be exempted from the process. Among other things, the MOU proposes three ASR categories:

Category #1 - New Towers taller than 450 feet above ground level (AGL).

  • ASRs always require inclusion of an EA upon filing.
  • ASRs will always be placed on Public Notice by the FCC.

    Category #2 - New Towers of a height of 351 to 450 feet AGL.

  • ASRs do not initially require an EA based on avian concerns.
  • ASRs will always be placed on Public Notice by the FCC.
  • The FCC will determine whether an EA is necessary for Category #2 ASRs after reviewing the ASR application and any filings made in response to the Public Notice.

    Category #3 - New Towers of a height no greater than 350 feet AGL, Replacement Towers and Minor ASRs.

  • ASRs do not require an EA upon filing based on avian concerns.
  • The parties could not agree on whether Public Notice is required for Category #3 ASRs; see Section III.B, of the MOU for a discussion of this point.

    In addition, the MOU calls on the FCC to adopt and utilize a preferred lighting scheme for changes to existing towers that might minimize potential adverse consequences. The Conservation Groups rank FAA Lighting Styles in the following order, with the most preferred lighting system listed first and the least preferred light system listed last:

    FAA Style B (L-856)
    FAA Style D (L-865)
    FAA Style E (L864/L-865/L-810s)
    FAA Style C (L-856/L-865)
    FAA Style F (White Strobe Day/Red Beacon Night and L-810s)
    FAA Style A (L-864/L-810)

    (A complete description of each FAA Lighting Styles and the manner in which it is to be deployed is found at FAA, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Advisory Circular: Obstruction Marking and Lighting, AC 70/7460-1K, (Feb. 1, 2007).)

    Thus, If the owner of an existing tower plans to change from one FAA Lighting scheme to another, the Lighting Preference Chart would be used to determine whether the change would require a Category #2 or Category #3 ASR to be filed:

  • A change of lighting system from a less preferred FAA Lighting Style to a more preferred FAA Lighting Style would require the filing of a Category #3 ASR, and
  • A change of lighting system from a more preferred FAA Lighting Style to a less preferred FAA Lighting Style would require the filing of a Category #2 ASR.

    A copy of the MOU is available here. NAB is optimistic that the Commission will endorse the agreement and avoid a significant percentage of broadcast towers ASRs from having to submit an Environmental Assessment at the time of application/public



  • Latest Top (5) News


    Sources: Ruckus is supplier of Wi-Fi gear for ambitious NYC project

    The vendor supplying up to 10,000 802.11ac access points for New York City's LinkNYC is Ruckus Wireless, the same company that is supplying Wi-Fi gear for cities like San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., albeit on a much smaller scale, sources close to the matter say.



    Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:29:36 +0000


    Verizon Telematics' Link discusses autonomous cars, embedded connectivity and more

    It's been more than two years since Verizon Communications acquired Hughes Telematics in a $162 million cash deal and created Verizon Telematics.  Since the acquisition, Verizon has been quietly integrating the company into its fold. FierceWirelessTech's Editor in Chief Sue Marek recently talked with Kevin Link, SVP of Verizon Telematics about the company's connected car strategy, its vision for the future and more.



    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:11:54 +0000


    The 25 Most Powerful People in U.S. Wireless and Wireline 2014

    Ever wonder what it takes to change the direction of an entire industry? If so, you might want to take a cue from some of the players featured in this Fierce Most Powerful People in U.S. Wireless and Wireline 2014 list.



    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:38:43 +0000


    ZigBee Alliance aims to unify with ZigBee 3.0 for easier product development, adoption

    While it might seem as though new efforts aimed at standardizing the Internet of Things (IoT) are coming out every other month, the companies behind the old standard ZigBee are giving it a new, more cohesive whirl.



    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:37:53 +0000


    Huawei targets 2018 World Cup in Russia for 5G trial

    Huawei is getting even deeper into 5G waters, inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MegaFon in Russia, with plans to demonstrate 5G in a trial during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.



    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:17:36 +0000
    FCC YouTube Feeds

    Latest Top (5) News


    Open Commission Meeting - November 2014
    The Commission considered items on Modernizing Contest Rules, Emerging Wireline Networks and Service, 911 Governance and Accountability and a presentation on the ITU Plenipotentiary ...
    Views: 0
    0 ratings
    Time: 02:15:08 More in Science & Technology


    Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:20:14 +0000


    Accessible Wireless Emergency Communications Forum
    This forum, held at Commission headquarters in Washington DC on November 7, 2014, promoted the latest advances in accessible wireless emergency communication...
    Views: 2
    0 ratings
    Time: 04:55:53 More in Science & Technology


    Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:18:58 +0000


    National Disability Employment Awareness Month Panel Discussions
    These panel discussions were hosted at Commission headquarters in Washington DC on October 30, 2014 by the FCC's Office of Workplace Diversity, in coordinati...
    Views: 16
    0 ratings
    Time: 01:59:56 More in Science & Technology


    Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:59:40 +0000


    Consumer Advisory Committee Meeting - October 2014
    At its October 20, 2014 meeting, the Committee considered a recommendation from its Disability Working Group regarding accessibility of the Lifeline program,...
    Views: 26
    0 ratings
    Time: 03:50:04 More in Science & Technology


    Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:47:18 +0000


    Open Commission Meeting - October 2014
    The Commission considered items on Acceleration of Broadband Deployment, Use of Spectrum Bands above 24 GHz for Mobile Radio Services, Rates for Interstate I...
    Views: 25
    0 ratings
    Time: 02:40:17 More in Science & Technology


    Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:20:14 +0000
    FCC News

    Latest Top (5) News


    2014 FCC Form 499-Q and Form Instructions
    2014 FCC Form 499-Q and Form Instructions




    911 Governance and Accountability; Improving 911 Reliability
    FCC Takes Action To Preserve Reliable 911 Service As Technology Evolves. by Policy Statement




    Amendment of FM Table of Allotments, Pike Road, Alabama
    Granted Counterproposal for station WLDA(FM), Fort Rucker, AL, upgraded to Channel 280C2, WDBT(FM) moved to Channel 228A, Hope Hull, AL, and WDJR(FM) moved to Hartford, AL




    Amendment of Section 73.1216 of the Commission's Rules Related to Broadcast Licensee-Conducted Contests
    FCC adopts NPRM seeking comment on changes to the contest rule




    Broadcast Actions