Unregistered, Unlit Towers Get $620,000 FCC Fine

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The FCC has fined Anchorage, Alaska-based General Communications, Inc. $620,000 for failing to register 118-towers and for failing to properly light three of them to comply with flight safety rules. A settlement was reached and announced late Tuesday (October 20) by the FCC in Washington.

The wireless, Internet and phone company’s wholly-owned tower subsidiary, The Alaska Wireless Network, reported to the FCC in early 2014 that it discovered numerous apparent violations of the tower registration requirements, including for many towers that it had recently acquired. A subsequent investigation by the FCC’s Wireless Bureau showed that about 118 communications towers had not been registered in the Antenna Structure Registration system and that three towers did not meet lighting requirements.

“Unregistered and unlit towers pose unacceptable risks to air and public safety,” Travis LeBlanc, chief of FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, said. “It is essential that communications towers are properly registered prior to construction, as well as properly lighted, to ensure that air traffic is aware of tower locations.”

In addition to paying the fine, GCI also commits to review its tower inventory to ensure all that all of its towers are compliant with tower registration and lighting rules, the FCC said. The company will also ensure its towers are compliant with the agency’s environmental and historic review requirements. GCI spokesman David Morris in Anchorage tells Inside Towers that the company has a three-year plan to carry out the reviews.

“This was not adversarial at all. We self-reported the problems and this a good example of industry working well with regulators,” Morris said.

Nasdaq shares of CNCMA closed down 30 cents or 1.54 percent Wednesday at $19.73.

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