U.S. Cellular hit with FCC citation for tower violations

U.S. Cellular is in hot water with the FCC over a pair of cell tower violations in two different states.

According to Inside Towers, which obtained a copy of a letter sent last week to U.S. Cellular, the FCC is citing the carrier over failure to obtain environmental assessments before building a tower on a floodplain in near Harvey, Illinois, and before building another tower on wetlands near New Buffalo, Michigan.

After investigating the matter, the FCC found that U.S. Cellular had violated the commission's environmental, licensing and ASR regulations. U.S. Cellular will not have to pay a fine this time around but the FCC said monetary penalties could be used in case of future violations.

Both towers had previously been sold to Vertical Bridge as part of a 2014 deal, according to the report, which added that Vertical Bridge has already dismantled the New Buffalo tower in question.

Although U.S. Cellular was able to get off with a just a warning, the FCC has before handed out some fairly large fines for cell tower violations. Last year, Alaska-based GCI was forced to pay $620,000 in fines for failing to register 118 towers with the FCC's tracking system and for inadequate lighting.

For more:
- read this Inside Towers story

Related articles:
U.S. Cellular completes LTE buildout and begins LTE roaming, but Q4 performance below some expectations
After hefty FCC fines, GCI plans to sell towers for $90 million
Report: Tower companies face 'growing pains' as AT&T, others reduce spending ahead of auction, 5G
Alaska's GCI pays FCC $620,000 fine, makes sure unlit towers get lit to improve air safety in remote areas

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