April 11, 2017 —
A National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) delegation consisting of Chairman Jim Tracy, Board of Directors member John Paul Jones, Executive Director Todd Schlekeway and Policy Director Jim Goldwater was in Washington, D.C. the week of April 3-7 for a series of Legislative & Regulatory meetings. The meetings in Washington, D.C. were timed to coincide with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s declaration of April 2017 as “Infrastructure Month”.
During the productive week, the NATE delegation conducted meetings on Capitol Hill, with various federal agencies and industry organizations. The meetings provided NATE’s leadership with an opportunity and platform to discuss the Association’s 2017 legislative and regulatory priorities.
Throughout the week, NATE officials highlighted the prominent role the Association’s member companies will be playing in the deployment of the FirstNet Public Safety Broadband Network, the post-Incentive Auction Broadcast “Repack” work on tall towers and the future build-out of 5G networks and related technologies. During the meetings, NATE also addressed the Association’s leadership role integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the communications tower industry, NATE’s efforts to seek changes to the onerous tower marking provisions contained in Section 2110 of the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 and promote the Association’s efforts to streamline small cell deployment in the United States.
During all of the meetings, NATE emphasized workforce safety and raised awareness on the valuable resources, standards and materials the Association has available to ensure that the coming spike in work is conducted safely and in a quality manner.
“As I reflect on NATE’s recent trip to D.C., it is evident to me that the nation’s capital needs the influence of NATE and its membership. The real life experiences of our members lend credibility to wireless and broadcast policy. Our conspicuous presence in the wireless ecosystem is quite secure,” stated Jim Tracy, NATE Chairman and CEO of Legacy Telecommunication, Inc. in Burley, Washington. “Rest assured, NATE will continue to relentlessly build relationships in Washington, D.C. in order to ensure that policies and regulations are taking into account the prosperity, safety and welfare of our member companies who are so vital to advancing the networks and connectivity of today and tomorrow,” added Tracy.
April 3, 2017 —
ASSE recently published two Z359 Fall Protection Standards, which cover important components of an organization’s managed fall protection program.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
This standard establishes criteria and requirements for an employer’s fall protection program including policies, duties and responsibilities, training, survey and identification of fall hazards, fall protection procedures, eliminating or controlling fall hazards, rescue procedures, program implementation, incident investigation and evaluating program effectiveness.
For further information or to purchase a copy, CLICK HERE.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.3 – 2017 Safety Requirements for Lanyards and Positioning Lanyards
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification and verification testing and instructions for lanyards and positioning lanyards for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 140kg).
For further information or to purchase a copy, CLICK HERE.
March 8, 2017 —
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has announced that NATE UNITE 2017 Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, set new attendee and exhibitor records.
The Association announced that 1,801individuals registered to attend NATE UNITE 2017. This total eclipses the organization’s all-time conference registered attendee total in its 22-year history, exceeding the previous attendance registration record of 1,614 at NATE UNITE 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NATE leaders also touted the record-breaking number of 153 exhibitors who participated in the NATE UNITE 2017 trade show this year. The 153 exhibitors surpasses the previous mark of 137 exhibitors for a NATE event.
“We are thrilled with the overall success of NATE UNITE 2017,” said NATE Event Coordinator Shari Wirkus. “The record-breaking numbers associated with NATE UNITE 2017 were made possible due to the tremendous sponsor and exhibitor support and the top-notch keynote speakers and educational sessions that were offered,” added Wirkus.
“NATE is excited to continue this momentum moving forward and our Trade Show Committee is already in the planning stages for NATE UNITE 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee,” stated Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “Given the trajectory the Association is on, I am anticipating another record setting event in the Music City next February,” Schlekeway said.
To read a recap of Decorated Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell’s captivating NATE UNITE 2017 Keynote address, visit the Wireless Estimator story HERE.
March 14, 2017
With the broadcast incentive auction bidding recently completed, all eyes are on the process of relocating TV stations to their new channels, known as “repacking.” And the FCC has set a 39-month deadline for the broadcasters to leave their spectrum.
During the 39-month timeline, the wireless infrastructure industry will be hustling to build towers, modify towers, attach antennas, and rework backhaul links — among other things.
If the changing of physical plant was all that had to transpire, the FCC’s repacking window would probably be adequate, but the compliance process may prove to be a stumbling block to making the deadline, Cory Crenshaw, FCC-FAA regulatory compliance consultant, Crenshaw Communications Consulting, told an audience during the NATE UNITE 2017 conference, Feb. 28, in Fort Worth. The compliance process, however, can take six to 24 months or more, she noted.
“The 39-month period would be reasonable if transitioning the broadcasters was all that you were doing, but other factors are at play that have not been accounted for, such as regulatory compliance issues,” she said. “They missed a huge piece, the compliance and waiver process, which is a red flag that can hold systems up. The compliance processes are complex and sometimes take months to years – each site must be individually evaluated.”
Crenshaw said that the repack will require work on more structures than just the broadcast tower. There might be 30 other communications structures spread out across the coverage area that feed into the network. Compliance filings may be needed for all of those structures, whether they are new towers, reinforcements, new antenna heights, lighting changes or environmental assessments.
“Every one of those towers may to need to be touched,” she said. “Those touches will require a massive volume of filings with the FCC and the FAA for repacking.”
Crenshaw: Don’t Delay Regulatory Compliance Filings
The wireless infrastructure industry must be vigilant in making its regulatory filings with the FCC and the FAA from the get-go to give it the best shot at completing the repacking process before the FCC’s deadline, Crenshaw said.
Construction permits have to be filed no more than 90 days after the Closing and Reassignment Public Notice is released. There is flexibility to expand contour coverage of applications filed in the initial 90-day window – with justification and appropriate showings.
“If you have an idea of a way to expedite the process, please file those applications as soon as possible. The FCC wants to make it as easy as possible to move forward,” she said. “The initial 90-day window is the window of opportunity for everything. If you need to file an STA [special temporary authority] or a waiver or something like that, get it in during the first 90 days. Whenever you file an STA or a waiver on a major mandate like this, you must have a really good reason, be sure to give them a documentation trail on why this is justified.
“In reality some tower owners won’t know they need to file for a waiver on the scheduled deadline or any other waiver concern until in the middle of a process,” Crenshaw added.
The first 30 days after the [Closing and Reassignment Public Notice] comes out, the industry will need to be busy doing thorough assessments of the broadcasters’ networks and what the infrastructure looks like. What changes do they really need to make? Do new towers need to be built, dishes moved around, or does the backhaul need to revamped? Once that is done, the proper paperwork should be filed with the corresponding federal agency and/or tribes as soon as possible.
EDITORS’ Note — This article was supplemented with an exclusive interview with Crenshaw.
The luncheon at NATE UNITE 2017 will feature a retired Navy SEAL as the Keynote Speaker, March 1, at the Ft. Worth Convention Center.
Marcus Luttrell is a retired Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Luttrell is now a best-selling author of the best-selling book, Lone Survivor. He also speaks across the country on his experience in Operation Redwing. In 2014, Luttrell’s amazing story made the leap to the big screen with the blockbuster film, Lone Survivor. In an unparalleled and inspiring program, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training and what it takes to join the America’s elite fighting force, to the battle on the mountain and back to his own incredible story of survival and grace. In powerful narrative, he weaves a rich account of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, community and destiny that audiences will find both wrenching and life-affirming.