FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Visits WIA Member Community Wireless Structures Tower Site Demonstrating Challenges for Compound Expansion

Arlington, VA – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr today visited a cell tower owned by WIA member Community Wireless Structures (CWS). The visit demonstrated how streamlining the rules for compound expansion is needed to expedite wireless infrastructure deployment, especially for public safety and 5G. 

“Clearly, we need to expedite the regulatory process for compound expansion to support consumers’ demand for additional capacity and increased resiliency,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “We should take advantage of existing ground sites for infrastructure that have already gone through extensive review. Limited, sensible compound expansion is an efficient way to make sure sites that are already approved for wireless infrastructure are put to their full potential use.” 

“Colocation on structures, and in compounds, that already exist is essential for the next wave of wireless build-out,” said Tam Murray, CWS Founder and Managing Member, and WIA Board Member. “Many compounds are simply not large enough for the coming demands for ground space – such as generators for backup power, edge data centers and small cell hubs.  Limited enlargement of compounds will help us quickly deploy 5G and public safety equipment with no community impact since these sites are already approved for wireless infrastructure.” 

“WIA applauds Commissioner Carr’s dedication to gaining firsthand knowledge to make the best decisions to maintain our nation’s wireless leadership,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “We were glad that the Commissioner visited a location that so clearly displays how new FCC rules up for a vote this month are needed. This compound is filled up with equipment, which means if new carriers or competitors want to join or add backup generators or 5G capabilities, more space is needed. The new rules would reduce barriers to make minor expansions to the existing compound feasible. Thirty feet is a small amount of space to expand, but it will have big impact for our nation’s 5G upgrades.”

The Commission will consider this Report and Order on October 27 that, if adopted, will accelerate the deployment of 5G by providing means for modifications to existing tower compounds involving limited ground expansion of up to 30 feet without potentially extensive, lengthy, and costly local review.  

“Over the past year, WIA has prioritized clarification of key definitions to close loopholes that have hindered 5G deployments, as well as modification of siting rules to promote collocation and installations for critical public safety facilities,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “WIA appreciates the FCC’s diligent work to clear the path for 5G swiftly and efficiently across the country.”  


Contact: Amy-Gabrielle Bartolac | Public Affairs Manager
703-621-0527 | Amy-Gabrielle.Bartolac@wia.org