Muni Input Brushed Aside on Small Cell Siting, Say BDAC Reps

Two municipal representatives on the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee say localities’ concerns were brushed aside as the Commission prepared the small cells siting streamlining item, to be voted on next week.

Debbi Goldman, the representative for Communications Workers of America on the BDAC’s Model Code for Municipalities Working Group, calls the draft order “inconsistent” with the working group’s recommendations and an overreach of federal authority,” in a filing this week. The proposal sets “presumptively reasonable” siting costs at $270 per year per site, according to Goldman, who adds the working group didn’t reach a conclusion about fees because “of a lack of agreement.” Continue reading


Sioux Falls Tower’s CEO Calls Tribal Tower Review a ‘Shake-Down’

UPDATE Sioux Falls Tower President/CEO Craig Snyder thinks tribal review fees for macro towers are out of control and he would love to see the FCC do something about it. He agrees with American Tower, that siting regulations for macro towers need to be updated. AMT supports what the FCC plans to vote on next week to help ease small cell siting, and recently urged the Commission to consider giving relief to macro tower owners as they face rising siting costs and delays. Continue reading


Commercial Depicts In-House Engineers as Climbers

An ad from Verizon seen this past weekend on an NFL game broadcast (see video) shows the company’s in-house engineers climbing towers while “building America’s first 5G network.”  The ad is entitled: “’First to Tomorrow. First to 5G.” Unfortunately for Verizon, tower climbers watch football. Continue reading


Cell Tower Outages Drop Overall, Isolated Areas Show an Increase

The majority of cell sites in the Carolinas remained operating as of Monday, however the percentages of outages in some counties rose. North and South Carolina are still experiencing heavy flooding due to the storm that began as Hurricane Florence.

In North Carolina, out of the 5,790 total cell sites, 683 were not operational as of yesterday. Continue reading


Most Cell Sites Pummeled by Florence Are Still Working

The majority of cell sites in the Carolinas remained operating as of Sunday, days after Hurricane Florence made landfall. Now a tropical depression, Florence pummeled the Carolinas and parts of Georgia and Virginia with wind and rain, leaving widespread flooding. More than 700,000 people remained without power in the Carolinas as of Sunday, WWAY-TV reported.

In North Carolina, 86.4 percent of the 5,790 total cell sites were operational as of Sunday. 787 cell sites, or 13.6 percent, were not working, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). That’s down significantly from Saturday, when 18.4 percent, out of a total of 1,063 sites, were not working, according to DIRS. New Hanover County had the most non-operational cell sites, 134 out of 287, on Saturday. 

Carteret County in North Carolina had the most cell sites out of service as of yesterday. Out of 103 cell sites, 47, or 45.6 percent, were not working.

Continue reading


American Tower Urges FCC to Give Relief to Macro Towers As Well

American Tower supports the FCC’s proposal to erase barriers to locally siting small cell infrastructure. But it doesn’t want the Commission to forget that macro tower deployment needs relief from rising costs and delays too.

AMT lobbyists met with some of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division staff this week. Continue reading


Muni Orgs Object to Small Cell Siting Proposal

Some national associations representing municipalities are contemplating taking legal action against the FCC over its proposed small cell order. The proposal, set for a vote on September 26, streamlines wireless infrastructure siting procedures. The plan establishes a shot clock by which munis must act on a small cell siting application in a public Right–of-Way, sets “reasonable” siting processing fees and prohibits local moratoria, Inside Towers reported. Continue reading


Infrared LEDs Required By FAA’s August 17 Advisory

An important FAA tower lighting change became effective September 6.

A new FAA Obstruction Marking and Lighting Advisory Circular 70/7460-1L Change 2 was released on August 17, 2018. Flash Technology Director of Business Development Wade Collins tells Inside Towers: It is his company’s understanding the new Advisory Circular requires towers with an FAA determination after this release date should include infrared (IR) LEDs in the L864 and L810 fixtures to make the lighting systems more visible to Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS). Changes to Section 5.2 of the Advisory Circular read as follows:

“Note: In response to a Safety Risk Assessment of LED Lighting in Aircraft Operations, the FAA has established IR specifications for LED-based red obstruction lights. Specifications are contained in Airport Engineering Brief 98, Infrared Specifications for Aviation Obstruction Light Compatibility with Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), published December 18, 2017, and AC 150/5345-43H, Specification for Obstruction Lighting Equipment, dated September 28, 2016.”   

Airport Engineering Brief 98 provides information about the interaction of LEDs used in obstruction lighting fixtures with NVG.  There are two key specifications:

  • IR (infrared) LEDS should be in the same horizontal beam pattern as the red visible LEDs
  • IR LEDs should mimic the same pulse and duration as the red visible light. Failure of the IR LEDs is considered a fail status and a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is required  Comments? Email us.

By Leslie Stimson,
Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

September 12, 2018


GeoBroadcast Solutions Establishes Infrastructure for First FM at 1WTC

Several New York City television broadcasters returned to One World Trade Center earlier this year, thanks to a joint effort between The Durst Organization and the Port Authority. This marked the first time broadcasters had a presence in the World Trade Center since the events of 9/11, Inside Towers reported.

Now, a PSI broadband panel antenna for the first FM at 1WTC (on 104.7 FM MHz) has been installed on the second ring of a three-ring grid on the spire at 1WTC, GeoBroadcast Solutions tells Inside Towers. Continue reading


Rosenworcel Supports 2.5 GHz Band Auction

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says the agency should move quickly to auction unused 2.5 GHz licenses. Combining such spectrum would provide new, flexible-use mid-band airwaves for 5G services, she said at a conference in Boulder, CO, on Thursday.

Any money leftover from funds needed to run the auction and pay for spectrum contributions from existing licensees could be turned into a Homework Gap initiative, she suggests. Continue reading


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