The wireless industry and the broadcasters continued to debate the 39-month window set up for the repack of broadcast TV spectrum during the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology’s hearing this morning entitled, “The Broadcast Incentive Auction: Update on Repacking Opportunities and Challenges.”
With the FCC in the middle of reorganizing broadcasters into the remaining TV bands following the spectrum incentive auction, which cleared 84 megahertz of spectrum and raised $19.8 billion in bids, the House asked for an update on the repacking process would be completed “without disruption to consumers,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) chairman of the committee.
While not explicitly proposing an extension of the FCC’s 39-month repacking window, the National Association of Broadcasters asked that the “FCC’s death penalty” not be enforced “if circumstances beyond its control prevent its transition at the assigned time.”
“Relocating nearly a thousand TV stations to new channels represents a mammoth logistical challenge for broadcasters as well as the FCC,” Rick Kaplan, NAB general counsel, said. “There also will be complications both predictable and unanticipated, such as weather events or accidents.
Kaplan went on to blame the previous Democratically-led FCC for sticking the current commission with “herculean task” in terms of repacking task. He said Congress’ $1.75 billion TV broadcaster fund was not enough money for the transition, and finally, the 39-month transition window was “arbitrary” and “inadequate.”
Scott Bergmann, vice president, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA, countered that the billions spent by the wireless industry for the spectrum auction will only be realized through a “timely” completion of the broadcast TV spectrum repack. He did not disagree that additional funding is needed, proposing the “Viewer Protection Act,” introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), would provide the needed funding.
“With respect to timing, we strongly urge the members of this Committee to maintain the 39-month deadline, which will preserve the integrity of the auction and speed deployment of wireless broadband services to rural America,” Bergmann said.
On the issue of funding, the wireless industry has accused broadcasters of using the relocation money to fund a technology upgrade, such as the transition to ATSC 3.0.
“While CTIA has no objection to broadcasters acquiring improved equipment as part of the repacking, broadcasters should be responsible for covering the costs in excess of those needed to acquire comparable facilities,” Bergmann said. Kaplan denied the charge and maintained, upfront, that the broadcasters are not seeking any money to subsidize upgrades beyond our current operations.
NATE Promotes Safe Broadcast TV Spectrum Repack
James Tracy, Chairman of the National Association of Tower Erectors, did not take a position on the 39-month window in his written comments, but explained the association’s interest the safety of the workers, both broadcast and wireless, involved in the transition.
“We believe that the marketplace will ultimately dictate the time period it will take to achieve this transition,” Tracy said. “NATE’s priorities and focus during this transition will be to provide the broadcast and wireless industry workforce with the safety, standards and best practices resources needed as well as tools for education and encouragement to train to conduct their jobs in a safe and efficient manner.”
Tracy went on to cite the association’s efforts to promote safety during the Broadcast TV repack. NATE produced a broadcast repack safety video to educate the tower workforce on the challenges associated with working on broadcast towers. Additionally, NATE partnered with the American National Standards Institute and the American Society of Safety Engineers to create the first comprehensive safety standard encompassing the entire tower construction, service and maintenance industry. Through the National Wireless Safety Alliance, NATE has established a comprehensive program to ensure ANSI accredited tower technician certification and credentialing as a means to enhance safety.
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) will be hosting a Fall Prevention Worker Training Course on Sept. 20, 2017 in Boca Raton, Florida.
NATE offers this training course free of charge and anticipates that the session will achieve the Association’s objectives of having a nation-wide impact and helping small businesses establish a culture of safety and quality. This Fall Prevention Worker Training Course is made possible due to a Susan Harwood Training Grant (SH-29596-SH6) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.
Interested participants in the upcoming Boca Raton, Florida training opportunity are encouraged to access and complete the Fall Prevention Worker Training Course registration form below:
Fall Prevention Worker Training
September 20, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
Hyatt Place Boca Raton-Downtown
100 E Palmetto Park Road
Boca Raton, Florida
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) is now offering a Licensed Design Professional membership category. The NATE Licensed Design Professional membership category, effective immediately, is a membership category dedicated specifically to individuals who provide engineering and design services to the wireless and broadcast tower industry.
“The new Licensed Design Professional membership category will allow NATE to bridge the gap between the design community and construction community during a time of explosive growth in wireless infrastructure deployment activities across the globe,” stated NATE Board of Directors member Bryan Lee from Hellertown, Pennsylvania.
Dues for the new membership category are $500 annually and are available for individuals only. As part of the membership application process, the Licensed Design Professional is required to submit their Professional License stamp on the NATE Membership Application in the designated area of the form.
“The establishment of the individual Licensed Design Professional membership category will help create a prominent platform and voice from the design community directly to NATE at a time when industry standards continue to play a more significant role in enhancing safety and quality,” stated Member Services Committee Chairwoman Jordyn Miller from Gulfport, Mississippi. “Through the addition of this new membership category, NATE is once again demonstrating that our membership encompasses the entire wireless communications tower ecosystem,” added Miller.
National Association of Tower Erector’s (NATE) Wireless Industry Network (WIN) has unveiled the speaker line-up and agenda for the NATE WIN Great Plains Regional Conference on Wednesday, September 27 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The conference will feature dynamic speakers and informative sessions on cutting-edge industry topics. The event will also offer tremendous networking and professional development opportunities for attendees.
Minnesota State Representative and Assistant House Majority Leader Marion O’Neill will deliver an opening keynote address at the event entitled Preparing Minnesota for a 5G Future. Representative O’Neill played an instrumental role as the House Sponsor of the Minnesota Small Cell Deployment law that was passed during the most recent legislative session. The Minnesota Small Cell Deployment law streamlines the process for wireless infrastructure deployment and investment in the state and positions Minnesota to be a leader in the 5G economy.
Marion O’Neill is serving her third term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. She represents District 29B in Wright County which includes Maple Lake, Buffalo and Monticello.
In addition to O’Neill, the NATE WIN Great Plains Regional Conference agenda will feature the following sessions and speakers:
Great Plains Regional Conference attendees will also be eligible for the event’s grant prize drawing to win four tickets to the Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL football game on October 22, 2017. Conference registration also includes breakfast and lunch. Visit HERE to review the official Great Plains Regional Conference agenda.
“We are thrilled to host the upcoming Great Plains Regional Conference in the Twin Cities,” stated NATE WIN Director Scott Krouse. “Companies in the upper Midwest encompass the entire wireless ecosystem and play a prominent role in delivering the networks and related infrastructure we have all come to demand,” added Krouse.
“I am excited that NATE’s Wireless Industry Network is coming to the land of 10,000 lakes and we plan to roll out the red carpet to ensure that all conference attendees have an enjoyable experience,” said WIN Minnesota State Liaison Justin Gillette from Vertical Limit Construction, LLC.
The cost to attend the NATE WIN Great Plains Regional Conference is $75 per person. Interested attendees are encouraged to register for the conference by completing the Registration Form on the NATE WIN website.
All completed registration forms and payments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the NATE office (8 Second Street SE; Watertown, SD 57201) by the registration deadline of Friday, September 15, 2017.
Click HERE to become a Sponsor for the NATE WIN Great Plains Regional Conference! Current sponsors for the event include Sioux Falls Tower & Communications, Meridian Blue Construction, LLC, Vertical Limit Construction LLC, Tower One Inc and Tower Systems, Inc.
(Kansas City, Missouri) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled a Guy Wire Anchor Inspection safety video as part of Volume 2 of the popular Climber Connection series. The Guy Wire Anchor Inspection video was released by NATE at the Association’s 2017 Summer Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
The NATE Guy Wire Anchor Inspection video provides an overview of surface inspections and dig-to-block inspections, the two types of inspection protocols utilized in the industry to assess potential corrosion on the anchors of guyed towers. The video also includes live footage and detailed analysis of a tower crew safely conducting both a surface level inspection and dig-to-block inspection at a communication tower site. Additionally, the video portrays images of the impact corrosion can have on the anchor shafts of guy wires.
“I commend NATE for shining a spotlight on the importance of conducting guy wire anchor inspections,” stated Chris Memmott, President and active climber at Triple M Enterprises in Nephi, Utah. “As guyed tower structures age and as the infrastructure continues to take on more equipment, it is paramount that tower technicians and other industry field personnel gain knowledge and experience in performing guy anchor inspections to ensure both the ultimate safety of the worker and the stability of the tower,” added Memmott.
Click HERE to watch the Guy Wire Anchor Inspection safety video. NATE encourages tower climbers and industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the Guy Wire Anchor Inspection video on their respective social networking platforms using the hashtag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages tower climbers to share their anchor guy wire inspection safety tips through social interaction on the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Tower climbers, contractors, engineers and vertical realtors are also encouraged to utilize the NATE Anchor Inspection/Safe to Climb Protocol resource as a guideline to ensure that they are adhering to industry protocols when it comes to inspection processes. The NATE Anchor Inspection/Safe to Climb Protocol document is available to download and print HERE.
The Climber Connection Volume 2 campaign was developed by the NATE Member Services Committee in conjunction with the NATE Safety & Education Committee and is designed to provide specific resources and communicate the Association’s message directly to the industry’s elevated workforce.
Visit HERE to access the A10.48 Standard, Broadcast Repack, Riding the Line and UAS Operations videos that were previously released as part of the Volume 2 edition of the Climber Connection Video Series. For more information on NATE, visit www.natehome.com today.