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FCC Opens Docket on Tower Registration in Response to Bird Case

Effective May 1, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) opened WT Docket 08-61 in response to the decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the case filed against the FCC by the American Bird Conservancy, the Forest Conservation Council and Friends of the Earth. As outlined in the Public Notice (DA 08-1040), presentations relating to this docket will be subject to “permit-but-disclose” requirements.

This week the WTB sought comment on a petition for expedited rulemaking regarding public notice procedures for processing antenna structure registration applications. NAB, CTIA-The Wireless Association, the National Association of Tower Erectors, and PCIA-The Wireless Infrastructure Association, collectively the Infrastructure Coalition, filed a petition for expedited rulemaking in response to the court’s finding that the commission failed to comply with its own requirements for public involvement in implementing NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act) procedures.

The Infrastructure Coalition specifically proposed the FCC commence a rulemaking based on two tentative conclusions: “(1) the Commission’s rules should be revised to incorporate a notice, comment and approval process for antenna structure registration (‘ASR’) applications modeled after the process for transfer and assignment applications; and (2) the Commission’s rules should be revised to clarify that any objection on environmental ground filed against an ASR application must be filed as a Petition to Deny.”

The deadline for comments in May 27, 2008. Procedures for filing comments are outlined in Public Notice DA 08-1078.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.