[TowerTalk] hosting a commercial service on my tower

Jim Thomson jim.thom at telus.net
Thu Jan 23 10:08:11 EST 2014

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 19:40:17 -0600
From: "Bill Jackson" <k9rz at radiks.net>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] hosting a commercial service on my tower

###  an environmental impact study alone could easily cost $100K  for commercial applications. 
Hams are exempt.  Lets keep it that way. 

##  If hams do decide to let a commercial co put ants on their tower..... better to sell the tower to the
co...and let em maintain it...or replace it.   IF they lease space on a ham tower....and tower falls over,
guess who pays for the lost revenue.   Big difference between a wireless isp and a cell co. 

##  In any event..tread carefully. 

Jim  VE7RF


I am not a Telecommunications Lawyer and I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn
Express last night, but I offer up these thoughts for consideration.

Many of the privileges we enjoy as Amateur Radio Operators are the result of
our consistent stance is that we are a not for profit, non commercial radio
service.  This has resulted in the waiver of many of the regulatory
processes that commercial entities must comply with in order to install and
maintain wireless communications infrastructure.  In my own case, I was able
to install my "dream" antenna farm with only a simple application for a
building permit because I was able to truthfully say that my tower was to be
used strictly for my hobby and in no way would generate any revenue for
myself or any other commercial entity.  This enabled me to bypass the normal
process of going before the County Planning Commission and County Board of
Supervisors to obtain approval. 

Anyone who works in the wireless industry knows that there is an ever
increasing amount of regulation at the federal, state and local levels.  For
instance, the latest wrinkle is the FCC is now tying the National
Environmental Policy Act into any commercial license application that
involves an antenna structure.  For the moment, the interpretation by the
FCC is that any newly licensed antenna support structure such as a tower or
even a simple pole is subject to a full blown environmental and
archeological assessment costing thousands of dollars before construction
can begin.

My concern is that hosting a commercial entity on a structure that was
originally permitted and built under the guise that it is a non-commercial
antenna structure may be construed as a shrewd way of getting around the
regulations, with the end result being more regulation of antenna structures
that are intended solely for Amateur radio use.

Please consider what ramifications the agreement you are making with the
commercial entity may have on the next ham in your community who wants to
put up a tower on his property.

Thanks and 73

Bill Jackson, K9RZ
Washington County, Nebraska


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