American Tower Corporation Seeks Waiver of Tower Inspection Rule

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The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is seeking comment on American Tower Corporation’s (ATC) request for a complete waiver of Section 17.47(b) of the Commission’s rules. Section 17.47(b) provides that the owner of any antenna structure that is registered with the Commission and has been assigned lighting specifications pursuant to Part 17 must conduct an inspection of “all automatic or mechanical control devices, indicators, and alarm systems associated with the antenna structure lighting” at least every three months to “insure that such apparatus is functioning properly.”  The Commission granted ATC a partial waiver of the rule in 2007; allowing ATC to make annual rather than quarterly inspections. This waiver was predicated on ATC’s use of its continuous remote tower monitoring system. ATC now contends that a “complete waiver would relieve [it] of its existing obligation to make annual on-site inspections of towers, an obligation that no longer serves any discernable purpose…” ATC further argues that grant of its request would further the public interest by encouraging other tower owners to implement technologically advanced monitoring systems. Comments are due February 14, 2014 and replies are due February 21, 2014.

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