The FCC voted today to seek public comment on a plan to exclude from routine historic preservation review the collocation of wireless communications equipment on certain towers known as Twilight Towers. The proposed plan would make existing infrastructure available for additional wireless deployments.
Twilight Towers, which were constructed between March 16, 2001 and March 7, 2005, either were built without undergoing the historic preservation review required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, or lack documentation that such review was conducted. As a result, these towers are not eligible for collocations in the same way as towers that have documented Section 106 review and clearance or towers that were exempted under the pre-2001 standard.
“NATE sincerely appreciates the solutions-oriented leadership displayed today by Chairman Pai and Commissioners Carr, Clyburn, O’Rielly and Rosenworcel in order to address the regulatory status of twilight towers in a manner that will ultimately open up thousands of communication structures for wireless colocation deployment activities,” stated Executive Director Todd Schlekeway.
The Public Notice requests input on whether to formally request that the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation adopt a document called a Program Comment that would allow collocations on Twilight Towers without historic preservation review so long as certain conditions are met.
The FCC’s proposal to facilitate collocations on Twilight Towers recognizes that collocations on existing towers have less potential to affect the environment and historic and cultural sites than constructing new towers. In addition, making these towers readily available for collocation will facilitate next-generation wireless services.