The Federal Communications Commission held its Broadband Acceleration Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 9th, 2011. The FCC thus took another step to further the goal of connecting all parts of America to the digital age by convening leaders from federal, state and local governments, broadband providers, telecommunications carriers, tower companies, equipment suppliers, and utility companies to identify opportunities to remove regulatory and other barriers to broadband deployment.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski convened the one-day conference and delivered the opening address. He challenged a recently formed FCC task force to find ways to ease regulatory barriers and cut by 20 percent the time needed to deploy a broadband system.

FCC Broadband Acceleration Panel - Lawrence Behr, second from right.
FCC Broadband Acceleration Panel - Lawrence Behr, second from right.

LBA Group CEO Lawrence Behr was invited by the FCC Wireless Bureau to speak to the conference as a recognized authority on AM tower collocation for wireless carriers. According to Behr, a practical way to increase public access to digital networks is to utilize AM radio’s existing infrastructure of over 10,000 towers. He pointed out that that many AM sites are “shovel ready”, and can be put to work as wireless broadband sites quickly by using LBA’s ColoSite™ proprietary technology. AM collocation doesn’t require any FCC Rules changes and is local permitting and zoning friendly. He pointed to Bob Vinikoor, an AM broadcaster with wireless antennas on five AM sites, as an example of successful AM collocation.

Other participants discussed creative approaches that have been utilized to overcome challenges and foster cooperative, win-win situations in rights-of-way, pole attachment and tower sitings. The conference also explored how innovative technologies and applications, such as smart grid and intelligent transportation systems, and forward-looking policies, such as “dig once” mandates and leveraging public infrastructure to increase wireless communication capacity, could spur broadband deployment and drive economic growth and job creation.

The full text of Mr. Behr’s remarks may be seen above. In addition to AM collocation services, LBA also provides AM detuning and RF safety services to the wireless industry. For more information on AM collocation, or other LBA services, contact Mike Britner at 252-757-0279.

About The Author

LBA Group, Inc. has 50 years of experience in providing RF asset solutions and risk management for industrial and telecommunications infrastructure assets. The group is comprised of LBA Technology, a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, lightning protection, and EMC equipment for broadcast, industrial and government users worldwide; the professional engineering consultancy Lawrence Behr Associates, and LBA University, providing on-site and online professional training. The companies are based in Greenville, N.C., USA.

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