Hundreds of towers were built during the time between the FCC’s adoption of the 2001 Collocation National Programmatic Act (NPA) and the 2005 Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for Review of Effects on Historic Properties for Certain Undertakings Approved by the FCC (Wireless Facilities NPA), which were not reviewed under the National Historic Preservation Act. Therefore, collocation has been prohibited on these structures, which were dubbed “Twilight Towers.”
After more than a decade of debate, the FCC has put forward a plan to exclude Twilight Towers from review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. In particular, the Commission seeks public comment on a draft Program Comment addressing the historic preservation review requirements for collocating communications equipment on Twilight Towers. The draft Program Comment would establish procedures for permitting collocations on Twilight Towers, if adopted by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
“This action would open up potentially thousands of existing towers for collocations without the need for either the collocation or the underlying tower to complete an individual historic review, thus ensuring that these towers are generally treated the same as older towers that are already excluded from the historic review process,” the FCC said.
Comment is being sought on draft program comment for the FCC’s review of collocations on certain towers constructed without Section 106 review, WT Docket No. 17-79. The deadline for comment is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Reply Comments are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
It has also been circulated for tentative consideration by the FCC at its December 14, 2017 open meeting.