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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
|August 5, 1998|
CHAIRMAN WILLIAM E. KENNARD ANNOUNCES HISTORIC AGREEMENT BY LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS AND WIRELESS INDUSTRIES ON FACILITIES SITING ISSUES
Today, Chairman William E. Kennard announced a facilities siting agreement between the Commission's Local and State Government Advisory Committee (LSGAC), the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA), and the American Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA). The groups presented Chairman Kennard with a joint agreement involving appropriate guidelines for tower and antennae siting, as well as an informal dispute resolution process for siting issues.
"One of the of the most contentious issues I have faced as Chairman of the FCC is the issue of tower siting," said Chairman Kennard. "This agreement presents an important breakthrough. The towers and antennae that make up our nation's wireless infrastructure are essential to delivery of the benefits of these important new technologies to the public. Competition has made wireless an increasingly affordable and convenient telecom choice for a growing number of consumers. On the other hand, local governments and citizens clearly have a legitimate interest in where and how towers are sited."
The Commission has served as facilitator of this new agreement. The LSGAC, established by the FCC in March 1997, under the supervision of then General Counsel Kennard, is a body of elected and appointed local and state officials. It provides advice and information to the Commission on key issues that concern local and state governments and communicates state and local government policy concerns regarding proposed Commission actions pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. CTIA, PCIA and AMTA are trade associations representing the wireless industry.
The Agreement sets forth two main initiatives. First, it establishes guidelines for facilities siting implementation. These are a set of "best practices," by which the wireless industry and local governments can work cooperatively when siting towers or antennae. Second, the Agreement adopts an informal dispute resolution process. This process can be used by the wireless industry and local governments when moratoria or other delays seem to be adversely affecting the siting of wireless telecommunications facilities. This process will greatly reduce the need for litigation when resolving these disputes. However, if a dispute proves to be intractable, parties are not foreclosed from seeking the legal remedies they feel are necessary.
Kennard commended all groups involved in this agreement by saying that, "the accord signed today is a fantastic example of the FCC, other branches of Government, and the telecommunications industry working cooperatively to ensure that the interests of all Americans are served, as this dynamic segment of the telecommunications industry expands competition in communities across this nation.
News Media contact: Meribeth McCarrick at 202-418-0654