FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
April 25, 2002
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C.¾Today, the Federal Communications Commission released Notices of Apparent Liability to AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., Washington, D.C., and SpectraSite Communications, Inc., Cary, North Carolina, for multiple safety-related violations of the Communications Act and the Commission's antenna structure rules. Included among the violations are failure to register, light, and paint antenna structures, and failure to replace lights or repair lighting failure alarm systems as soon as practicable.
These actions follow routine antenna structure inspections and related investigations conducted by Commission field offices throughout the country, some of which began with Federal Aviation Administration complaints about antenna structure light outages. The Commission proposes a $153,000 monetary forfeiture against AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. for nine violations and an $111,000 monetary forfeiture against SpectraSite Communications, Inc. for six violations of Section 303(q) of the Communications Act and Part 17 of the Commission's rules, as indicated above. The Commission arrived at the monetary forfeiture amount after considering the seriousness of the safety-related violations and each company's prior history of antenna structure rules violations.
For more information about the Commission's antenna structure enforcement, including other cases, follow this link: www.fcc.gov/eb/broadcast/asml.html
Action by the Commission: Chairman Powell, Commissioner Abernathy (issuing a separate statement), Commissioner Copps, and Commissioner Martin.
AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., FCC 02-125 (April 18, 2002) SpectraSite Communications, Inc., FCC 02-124 (April 18, 2002)
Enforcement Bureau Contacts: John R. Winston and Lisa M. Fowlkes at (202) 418-7450.
SEPARATE STATEMENT OF
COMMISSIONER KATHLEEN ABERNATHY
In re: SpectraSite Communications Inc. - Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture; AT&T Wireless Services Inc. - Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
I support today's decisions to render substantial notices of apparent liability against wireless tower owners who have violated our tower marking and lighting requirements. I write separately to call attention to the excellent and important work of our field offices in these stepped up enforcement efforts.
Our field agents are our grass roots front line of defense against unlawful spectrum and tower safety practices. As a federal regulatory agency, we necessarily operate with most of our personnel in Washington DC. However, for most Americans, the FCC they see and hear and call upon for help work in the dozens of field offices the Commission operates around the country. The Commission has unique responsibilities for enforcement of interference rules, tower safety, and unlicensed radio operations, among others. These NALs are one indication of this important work. In three regional offices and twenty five field offices round the country, 109 agents with extensive technical and enforcement expertise work tirelessly for a fraction of what they could earn in the private sector. Since January 2001 in the tower safety area alone, field agents have been integral in issuing 37 Commission and/or Enforcement Bureau NALs, forfeiture orders and consent decrees totaling well over $600,000. Unfortunately, at times, the fine efforts of the field offices do not receive the recognition they deserve. I write separately in an effort to close this gap.