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

    Keep an eye out for these IoT movers and shakers of 2015

    So much for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications--that part of the wireless industry that used to get knocked for its low average revenue per unit (ARPU) tendencies. Now it's the Internet of Things (IoT), a colossal category that not only includes M2M but also every other kind of thing imaginable, from toothbrushes to cars, and it promises to brings lots of revenues.

    Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:22:57 +0000

    Time Warner Cable, Boingo lead the way in Passpoint roaming

    Timed to coincide with the holiday travel season, Boingo Wireless and Time Warner Cable (TWC) announced that Passpoint roaming is now available to their subscribers in the first such reciprocal Passpoint roaming of its kind.

    Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:24:45 +0000

    AT&T, Apple, Google and more: Companies to watch in the Internet of Things

    Given the colossal nature of the Internet of Things and activity buzzing around the industry, FierceWirelessTech decided to take a closer look at some of the companies making the biggest waves, querying a handful of industry analysts for their take on which ones to watch in 2015. While it's by no means a scientific survey, this report provides a glimpse into the position of some of the biggest household names in the IoT space--as well as some not-so-well-known upstarts.

    Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:00:33 +0000

    Swedish start-up Anyfi takes 'a different approach' to carrier Wi-Fi system

    Swedish start-up Anyfi Networks says its Wi-Fi architecture is very much inspired by software-defined networking principles. The company announced this week the general availability of its Carrier Wi-Fi System.

    Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:04:55 +0000

    Cable industry could see big fortunes in Wi-Fi

    One of the most buzzed about topics in 2014 was the cable industry's wide embrace of Wi-Fi. While it's difficult for industry analysts to pinpoint the eventual size of the cable Wi-Fi business, it's clearly growing like gangbusters.

    Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:56:37 +0000
    FCC YouTube Feeds

    Latest Top (5) News

    Seventh Meeting of WRC-15 Advisory Committee
    The Committee considered status reports and recommendations from its Informal Working Groups concerning preparation for the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15). For more ...
    Views: 1
    0 ratings
    Time: 22:42 More in Science & Technology

    Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:19:00 +0000

    Open Commission Meeting - December 2014
    The Commission considered items on Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries, the Connect America Fund and the Broadcast Incentive Auction. Fo...
    Views: 3
    0 ratings
    Time: 03:05:40 More in Science & Technology

    Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:36:17 +0000

    CSRIC - IV Meeting - 12/3/2014
    The Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council is a federal advisory committee that provides recommendations to the Commission regard...
    Views: 4
    0 ratings
    Time: 02:55:38 More in Science & Technology

    Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:30:36 +0000

    Technological Advisory Council Meeting -12/42014
    The FCC's Technological Advisory Council (TAC), comprised of a diverse group of leading technology experts, provides technical expertise to the Commission to...
    Views: 3
    0 ratings
    Time: 03:20:19 More in Science & Technology

    Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:59:00 +0000

    State and Local Government Webinar
    The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs hosted this event as part of a series of webinars designed to share vital ...
    Views: 4
    0 ratings
    Time: 01:41:10 More in Science & Technology

    Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:08:56 +0000
    FCC News