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Bishop, Westerman Letter to Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2018 - Today Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) sent a letter to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) release of its Draft Program Comment.

"On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Draft Program Comment for its Review of Collocations on Certain Towers Constructed Without Documentation of Section 106 Review. If adopted, the Draft Program Comment seeks to exempt many collocations of small cell antennas on "Twilight Towers" from duplicative review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106 Review). The adoption of this draft program comment is critical for ensuring the ability to modernize wireless networks and deploy next generation wireless services, such as 5G, in an expeditious manner for all consumers and communities across the United States.

"New infrastructure will be a key facet in the modernization of U.S. wireless networks and is likely to include hundreds of thousands of small cells, along with collocated wireless facilities for microwave backhaul technology. All of these are vital for accommodating increased consumer demand and for supporting 5G and next generation wireless services. A significant number of wireless facilities will need to be collocated on existing cell towers built between 2001 and 2005 during a period of ambiguous regulatory guidance. These "Twilight Towers" were built at a time where consultation with State Historic Preservation Officers or Tribal Nations was permitted, but not expressly mandated, which created confusion until the 2004 Nationwide Programmatic Agreement went into effect, explicitly requiring such consultation..."

Read the full letter here.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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