Recognizing that tower siting can be a painfully long and tedious process for broadcasters and telecom providers, the federal government is trying to streamline the process for those who want to place towers on private or federal land. A task force made up of several agencies hopes to issue recommendations within a couple of months, according to a spokesman for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The FCC is coordinating with this tower siting task force. FCC Chairman Michael Powell wrote the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Steven Williams, to suggest the two agencies coordinate their efforts.
Under current procedures to satisfy the Endangered Species Act and historic preservation efforts in deploying towers, Powell wrote, "the number of communications tower reviews is not only creating a heavy caseload, but is causing administrative delays and consuming resources at both agencies that may be more effectively directed towards other types of reviews."
Powell suggested the agencies agree to streamed procedures by the end of the year, and determine which tower categories can be excluded from this type of review because the structures pose no threats to endangered wildlife.
Key to this, said Powell, is determining whether migratory bird kills are related to towers. "There's a lot of speculation, but we need to know more," Powell told RW Online, sister Web site to tvtechnology.com.
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