Companies Must Comply With New FCC Rules
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael
Powell announces that the commission plans to ensure that
the deployment of communications services is consistent
with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)
and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA).
Powell made it clear that “vigorous enforcement” of
appropriate agency rules in this regard would be the
cornerstone of the FCC’s initiative.
The agency granted a 60-day amnesty period for tower owners
to comply with antenna structure registration rules, but
that amnesty period ended Sept. 22. After that date, owners
can expect the FCC to refer unregistered towers to the
Enforcement Bureau for further action.
Environmental and historic preservation often conflict with
expanding telecom infrastructure, such as tower
construction for commercial, public safety and homeland
security communications. The FCC plan announced by Powell
is an attempt to balance preservation and telecom needs.
But he emphasized that enforcement would be key: The
agency’s licensing bureaus will refer appropriate cases to
the Enforcement Bureau; there will be “swift and effective
enforcement” to provide an incentive for parties to follow
required processes before construction; and enforcement
would be used to complement, rather than supplant,
In this regard, the FCC has launched a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding a “Nationwide Programmatic
Agreement” to review the effects of communications
facilities on historic properties.
Additionally, the Commission has adopted an NPRM on the
rules governing human exposure to radio frequency (RF)
electromagnetic fields. Further, the agency has initiated a
Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to assess the impact of
communications towers on migratory birds.
Given the FCC’s approach, Central station Alarm Association
(CSAA) Counsel BloostonLaw recommends companies make sure
their facilities are in compliance with FCC rules in order
to avoid fines and other enforcement action, including loss
of licenses. BloostonLaw has prepared a white paper and
checklist to ensure compliance, and is offering both at
$250. For more information, go to HREF=’http://www.csaaul.org’>www.csaaul.org.
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