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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

DA 98-2345
Released: November 19, 1998


The Federal Communications Commission announces a special forum to examine the Year 2000 (Y2K) impact on the lighting of communication towers and other Commission-regulated antenna structures.

Date: December 7, 1998
Location: Commission Meeting Room (Room 856)
Federal Communications Commission
1919 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20554
Time: 2 - 4:30 p.m.

The Commission regulates certain towers and other antenna structures that may create a hazard to air safety. In conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Commission requires that these structures be lighted in order to make them conspicuous to aircraft. The forum will deal exclusively with the lighting of these structures.

The forum will bring together antenna structure owners, lighting equipment manufacturers, industry and trade group representatives, members of the aviation community, and representatives of both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration to discuss the ways in which Y2K- related computer problems can disrupt tower lighting and automatic light monitoring equipment. The forum will also cover the Commission's rules for inspection, light outage notification, and restoration. In a series of panel discussions, participants will discuss how to evaluate a light system for potential Y2K-related problems, and what resources are available to antenna structure owners.

Because proper tower lighting is critical to air safety -- and because of the Commission's history of strong enforcement actions against parties who fail to keep their structures properly lighted -- the Commission expects this forum to generate interest from both antenna structure owners and tenant licensees (who are secondarily responsible for tower lighting). One forum objective is that these parties understand how Y2K-related problems can affect their structures and that they take all steps necessary to prevent a life-threatening light outage.

The forum is also designed to facilitate information sharing among manufacturers, suppliers, antenna structure owners, and licensees. The Commission will distribute resource material at the forum, and encourages submissions. Relevant material includes -- but is not limited to -- manufacturers' instructions for testing the Y2K readiness of their equipment or components, narrative descriptions of how owners have inventoried their tower lighting and light monitoring equipment as part of a Y2K evaluation, and website addresses that the tower community would find useful. Persons with submissions should contact Jim Shaffer at (202) 418-0687 or via e-mail at jshaffer@fcc.gov no later than Wednesday, December 2.

This forum is open to the public. Because of limited space, attendees are encouraged to register by calling the FCC at (717) 338-2888. Please specify that you are attending the December 7 tower lighting forum. Attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis, until the room capacity is filled. An overflow room will be provided, with video viewing.

The meeting will also be carried live on the Internet. Internet users may listen to the real-time audio feed of the meeting by accessing the FCC Internet Audio Broadcast Home Page. Step-by-step instructions on how to listen to the audio broadcast, as well as information regarding equipment and software needed, are available on the FCC Internet Audio Broadcast Home Page. The URL address for this homepage is http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/. Audio and video tapes of the forum may be purchased from Infocus, 341 Victory Drive, Herndon, VA 20170, by calling their office at (703) 834-0100, or by sending a fax to Infocus at (703) 834-0111. In addition, copies of materials distributed at the forum will be made available (to the extent possible) on the FCC's Y2K web site: http://www.fcc.gov/year2000/.

News Media Contact: Meribeth McCarrick, (202) 418-0654
Antenna Structure/Tower Lighting Contact: Jamison Prime, (202) 418-7474

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