FCC Cites U.S. Cellular Corp. For Tower Violations in Two States


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FCC_logoThe carrier was notified in a June 16 letter that it had violated several FCC regulations when it erected two towers in wetlands and in a floodplain without getting proper environmental assessments (EAs) and additional approvals to proceed. In a four-page letter from the Competition and Infrastructure Policy Division of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the agency found USCC failed to file the required EAs, license applications “and await the Commission’s ruling on such submissions,” before registering the towers.

The letter said, “specifically, by its own admission, USCC constructed towers in Harvey, Illinois, and New Buffalo, Michigan, in 2007 and 2008 without filing EAs for Commission processing, even though both towers had potentially significant effects on the environment.” The environmental assessments were required because the tower in Harvey, IL, “was to be located in a floodplain and the tower in New Buffalo, MI, was to be located in a wetland.”

The affair has been under FCC investigation, and the agency said based on the information USCC provided, “we find that USCC violated the Commission’s environmental, licensing and ASR regulations, as well as the regulation requiring truthful and accurate statements.” While no fines have been assessed to USCC yet, the FCC warned “future violations may result in additional action, including the imposition of monetary penalties.”

Both towers have since been sold to Vertical Bridge, LLC, which properly notified the FCC when it dismantled the New Buffalo tower in November 2015.

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