FCC to Take Up Antenna Structure Rules Aug. 8

WASHINGTON– The Federal Communications Commission will vote on an update its antenna structure rules at its next open meeting scheduled for Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.

The Part 17 Antenna Structure Report and Order would “ streamline and update the rules governing the construction, marking, and lighting of antenna structures.” The commission said the updates would “improve efficiency, reduce regulatory burdens, and enhance compliance with tower painting and lighting requirements, while continuing to ensure the safety of pilots and aircraft passengers nationwide.”

Current rules require new towers sites to be approved by local governments, and to comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules and National Historic Preservation Act requirements, as well as provide notification to the Federal Aviation Administration. Proper lighting must be maintained and structures must be properly painted. The commission also has investigated the role of TV and radio towers in the death of migratory birds. A study by the agency released in 2012 said that tower structures and guy wires took out as many as 6.6 million birds a year. (See “FCC Report Frames Bird-Tower Debate,” at Radio World.)

The commission also will consider a Second Report and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that establishes deadlines for the provision of routing 911 texts.