FCC Extends Comment Window for Birds and Towers Rulemaking

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Washington - Jan 12, 2007 - On Nov. 7, 2006, the commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing the pleading cycle for comments and reply comments relating to communications towers and the migratory habits of certain birds (WT Docket No. 03-187). The deadline for comments was Jan. 22, 2007, and the deadline for reply comments was Feb. 20, 2007. On Jan. 8, 2007, the American Bird Conservancy, CTIA The Wireless Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Audubon Society, the National Association of Tower Erectors and PCIA The Wireless Infrastructure Association jointly filed a motion for extension of time to extend the dates for comments and reply comments by 90 days, to April 23, 2007, and May 23, 2007, respectively. These filing groups state that they have been engaged in a dialogue related to avian tower safety, and that granting this extension would "advance the public interest by ultimately resulting in a record that more clearly and fully reflects the areas of agreement and disagreement between the parties and allows the FCC to more effectively address the remaining open issues" raised by the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

In its notice, the FCC repeated its policy that extensions of time are not routinely granted except when they are deemed to serve the public interest. Because the groups agree that the additional time would be beneficial to conduct discussions related to avian tower safety, the FCC has granted the extension requested.

Comments are now due by April 23, 2007, and reply comments are due by May 23, 2007.

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