FCC Seeks Comments on Rule Changes for Communications Towers
Last week, the FCC released a draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment ("PEA") to be used in evaluating the environmental impact of the Commission's Antenna Structure Registration ("ASR") program. The PEA was required by a 2008 decision from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit which found that registered towers may have a significant environmental effect on migratory birds (See, Vol VII, Issue 45). The PEA aims at reducing bird deaths associated with the estimated 2,800 towers that will be constructed annually in the United States over the next decade. The PEA proposed a range of options. The most aggressive proposal would require tower owners to prepare an Environmental Assessment for nearly all new towers and for modifications to existing towers that increase the size of the tower by more than 10%. The Commission dismissed several alternatives, including prohibiting all new tower construction, prohibiting towers that exceed a certain height, prohibiting guy wires and prohibiting new towers in certain locations. The Wireless Bureau will accept comments during a September 20, 2011 public meeting and written comments are due by October 3, 2011. Please contact Wes Wright (202.434.4296; firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
State Attorneys General Urge Allocation of 700 MHz D-Block to Public Safety
Last month, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging the reallocation of the 700 MHz D-Block to public safety. The letter was signed by Attorneys General from 42 states. The letter did not endorse any of the 700 MHz reallocation proposals currently pending before Congress (see, Vol VIII, Issue 24), but urged Congress to provide the 700 MHz spectrum to public safety before the 10-year anniversary of September 11th. The letter cited recent natural disasters such as flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes as examples that demonstrate the need for dedicated public safety spectrum. Please contact Doug Jarrett (202.434.4180; email@example.com) with questions.
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