Warning To Registered Tower Owners

Posted on June 30th, 2015 by

In an unusual move, the FCC’s Wireless Bureau has issued a public notice warning registered tower owners of their ongoing responsibility to comply with the FCC’s antenna structure registration rules. Apparently, the Bureau staff has done a little digging and located multiple instances in the ASR database where tower owners have not obtained FAA “no hazard” determinations or registered a structure prior to construction, failed to notify the FCC of construction completion, and failed to light or paint towers.

The Bureau also noted several instances where the actual location and height of a tower is materially different from a tower registration. Finally, there were several instances where tower owners had prematurely certified environmental compliance for structures. The Bureau warned that all such violations are subject to enforcement proceedings and fines.

Your first reaction as a broadcaster might be to write off this notice since it came from the Wireless Bureau, not the Media Bureau that oversees broadcasters. But that would be an error. The FCC’s antenna structure registration system and database are maintained by the Wireless Bureau, and therefore the potential violations cited in the notice covered all tower owners, including those owned by broadcasters.

Now would be a good time to pull up your station’s tower registration and make sure everything is in order. A very common problem we observe is that a tower owner takes the proper actions on the front end of a tower modification or construction, but forgets to file a notice of construction in the ASR system once tower construction is complete. The tower registration status therefore shows as “granted” instead of “constructed” in the system. A simple construction notification is all that is required to bring the registration into compliance.

If your tower is not registered, make sure that it is below 200 feet and not near an airport. If that’s not the case, you might have a tower that should be registered and is in violation of the FCC’s registration rules.