The law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer provides legal expertise to the wireless and broadcast industries on tower siting, installing collocations and buying or selling existing towers. “Larger companies tend to have in-house legal counsel, but smaller companies still need outside advice, especially in the case of regulatory compliance due to an an explosion in local litigation,” said Christine Crowe, who along with Bill Sill leads the WBK Tower Group. The Washington, DC-based firm addresses a wide range of issues and has extensive experience in the areas of Federal Communications Commission compliance programs for tower owners and collocators, devising strategies to resolve local tower disputes and representing clients in enforcement proceedings. The Tower Group is knowledgeable about FAA lighting requirements, right-of-way issues, migratory bird issues, master lease agreements, zoning restrictions, and more.
The legal issues for the tower industry have been and are still evolving, especially with the increased demand for tower sites and space over the past years. Many companies in the industry don’t have the ability to keep track of all the legal changes. Crowe said they are hopeful that in October the FCC will be issuing an order in the FCC’s broadband acceleration proceedings that will reduce some of the hurdles and expedite the wireless industry’s ability to collocate facilities and build new infrastructure. Because of the variety of representation we have here, we have carriers, equipment manufacturers, tower companies, we are able to understand these issues from a variety of perspectives,” Sill said. “When we approach a tower issue we have a deep bench of attorneys with both the knowledge of the law and the real world experience necessary to seek a successful and quick resolution.”