PCIA Press Releases
Wireless Infrastructure Industry Salutes Military Veteran Career Training Program
November 11, 2014 / Carrollton, Texas – Senior executives in the wireless infrastructure industry today saluted a career training program for military veterans being conducted by Carrollton-based GrayWolves Telecom (GWT), calling it a “template” that should be replicated around the country to spur economic growth and strengthen U.S. competitiveness.
Giving military veterans the skills to help construct and maintain wireless network facilities “is not only our moral obligation – it’s smart business, too,” said GWT CEO Lisa Hanlon at Wireless Warriors Lead the Pack!, a Veterans Day event that spotlighted a training program that’s already sent former military personnel into GWT’s workforce.
“With smartphones, tablets, laptops, and all the rest, there is such demand for mobile data that hundreds of jobs in Texas and thousands of jobs around the country have gone unfilled because workers have not received adequate training. That’s what our program is all about – to help fill that void and give our veterans the career training they’ve earned for helping keep this country strong and free,” Hanlon said.
Today’s event included a demonstration of how veteran-trainees receive special safety instruction in repairing towers, antennas, and other wireless facilities. Two recent graduates of the training program – former Army Sergeant First Class Joey Morrissette, who is now a GWT senior foreman and former Army Command Sergeant Major Angel Ramos, who is now with Warriors4Wireless, conducted the demonstration.
Joining Hanlon on the dais were Carrolton Mayor Pro Tem Bob Garza; Jonathan Adelstein, the President and CEO of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, which is helping spearhead efforts to strengthen veterans job training programs; Kelley Dunne, the CEO of Warriors4Wireless (W4W), the private-public non-profit that has helped GWT establish and conduct its training program; Jim Tracy, the President of Legacy Telecommunications, Inc., and Monty West, the EVP of Plano-based Goodman Networks.
“The wireless infrastructure industry will continue to grow exponentially – but we need a qualified workforce to help build next-generation wireless facilities,” Adelstein said. “With resources made available to PCIA through the Department of Labor, and our broad representation across the entire industry ecosystem, we will give a new generation of veterans the chance to develop career-changing skills in our expanding industry. We’re developing a broad-based training program designed to meet employer demand across a range of specialties, including tower systems, DAS and small cells, site acquisition, project management and RF design.”
“The GrayWolves program has given us job security and the chance to pursue meaningful careers,” said Ramos. “We’re honored to help build the wireless network of the future.”
“Veterans want an opportunity to transfer the discipline and work ethic they learned in the military to the private sector,” Dunne said. “We need to strengthen our efforts to ensure that programs like the one here at GrayWolves take root across the country.”
Tracy, whose son recently left military service and is enrolling in the W4W training program, said, “Legacy remains committed to helping our warriors become ‘wireless warriors.’”
“Military veterans are a great source of qualified workers for our industry,” said West. “We are doubling our efforts at Goodman to train and hire veterans.”
GWT, PCIA, W4W, and their allies plan to continue to grow and expand the training program.
PCIA Statement on Oral Arguments in T-Mobile SCOTUS Case
November 10, 2014 / Alexandria, VA – Jonathan Adelstein, President & Chief Executive Officer of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, released the following statement regarding the oral arguments presented November 10 to the U.S. Supreme Court on the T-Mobile South wireless infrastructure siting case against the city of Roswell, Georgia:
“PCIA, through its amicus brief and continued advocacy, is proud to spearhead a coalition of wireless infrastructure proponents that today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that could jeopardize the deployment of critically needed wireless networks. As we emphasized in our brief, the lower court’s incorrect interpretation of the vital federal interest in removing barriers to infrastructure investment could – if left unchecked – allow localities to issue siting denials without any accompanying explanation, thus preventing applicants from receiving a final decision on wireless siting applications in the ‘expedited’ manner the statute commands.
Without the ability to deploy infrastructure quickly and where needed, America’s wireless companies and infrastructure providers cannot effectively meet the nation’s broadband deployment goals and satisfy rapidly rising consumer demand.
As PCIA and its allies have said from the inception of this case, the Court should follow the majority approach and reverse the lower court’s decision.”
PCIA Applauds FCC’s Order on Wireless Infrastructure – Streamlined Rules Will Speed Broadband Deployment
October 17, 2014/ Alexandria, VA – Jonathan Adelstein, the President and CEO of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, today commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its unanimous adoption of an Order to promote the deployment of wireless infrastructure.
"The FCC’s action today will ease the ‘wireless data crunch,’ accelerate the build-out of world-class wireless networks, create U.S. job and economic growth, and strengthen America’s global competitiveness," said Adelstein, whose 200-plus member trade association consists of wireless infrastructure providers, wireless carriers, equipment manufacturers, systems integrators and professional services firms.
Today’s Order, Adelstein pointed out, culminates a multi-year effort by PCIA, and a three-year FCC effort on its Broadband Acceleration Initiative. It is aimed at facilitating the building and upgrading of wireless networks by updating the federal regulatory framework, streamlining regulatory compliance, and eliminating obstacles to rights-of-way access.
"This is one of the most significant and comprehensive initiatives in the history of the FCC to expedite on-the-ground deployment of wireless broadband infrastructure," said Adelstein, a former FCC Commissioner.
"Chairman Wheeler, with strong bipartisan support, today reduced and, in some cases, eliminated obstacles to achieving one of America’s biggest economic priorities: expanding wireless broadband networks.
"By clarifying the rules for upgrading technology on existing sites, streamlining environmental and historic preservation review processes for smaller antenna facilities, and tightening the FCC’s ‘shot clock’ that sets time periods for state and local government siting application review, the FCC has set clear rules of the road that favor build-out over red tape. This infuses greater certainty into overall processes, which will spur greater investment in wireless broadband," Adelstein said.
The pervasive use of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other wireless devices has spawned what Adelstein calls a “wireless data crunch,” resulting from tremendous increases in mobile data consumption that will only grow as Americans demand more bandwidth to accommodate next-generation technologies and applications.
"The U.S. wireless infrastructure industry is more than doing its part," Adelstein said. "We’re investing $35 billion annually, using private capital to strengthen and expand our networks to meet the wireless data crunch head-on. More infrastructure is indispensable to keep America’s wireless networks up to speed, especially with the spectrum constraints that we face for years to come.
"Today Chairman Wheeler and his fellow Commissioners are getting ahead of the curve by forging policy that will expedite the deployment of wireless networks," Adelstein said.
The specific provisions of the Order include:
• Defining the terms of Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act and developing rules for its implementation at the state and local level, including a new shot clock during which an application must be addressed or it is deemed granted. This ensures the efficient use of previously-approved structures to support new antennas and technology upgrades;
• Excluding certain distributed antenna systems (DAS), small cells and other discrete wireless facilities from environmental and historic preservation review, particularly for those deployments leveraging utility poles in rights-of-way and building rooftops;
• Clarifying the shot clock and defining wireless facility siting application processes, including applying the shot clock to DAS and small cells, limiting when additional application information can be requested and clarifying when the shot clock begins and when it can be tolled;
• Removing barriers to the deployment of temporary towers to boost coverage for large gatherings like festivals and rallies.
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PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association represents the companies that build, design, own and manage telecommunications facilities throughout the world. Its over 200 members include carriers, infrastructure providers, equipment manufacturers, systems integrators and professional services firms.
Adelstein: More Progress Needed to Site Wireless Facilities on Federal Property
Reprinted with permission of TRDaily
PCIA President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adelstein said today that while progress has been made to facilitate the deployment of wireless infrastructure on federal government lands and in federal buildings, more is necessary.
“I spent 25 years in the Federal government, and I am proud to represent an industry now that wants to expand broadband everywhere. So I get that you are the good actors who are trying to help,” Mr. Adelstein said in the text of a speech he delivered this morning at a broadband deployment on federal properties workshop held in conjunction with the HetNet Expo in Chicago. “Yet we haven’t made as much progress as many had hoped. Today, we’re trying to change that. This unprecedented effort is intended to jumpstart the process to meet the goals of the President and of Congress.”
Mr. Adelstein noted that 30% of the U.S.’s land mass is owned or controlled by the federal government, and he added that “these are some of the hardest lands to site wireless infrastructure. Yet they are also some of the most remote, where broadband is especially critical for public safety and economic development. If our industry confronts heavy obstacles to deployment in areas where the business case is already most difficult, the result is that investment goes elsewhere. It is that simple. That means revenues that could flow to the Federal government – which is suffering from large deficits – will instead flow to private or state landholders next door. We’re here today to change that equation.
“In terms of Federal buildings, many are in more urbanized locations that are highly sought after by wireless carriers,” Mr. Adelstein noted. “By facilitating access, the Federal government can increase revenues and improve broadband for its citizens. The government might as well join the gold rush for these revenues as we densify the network. It seems like a no-brainer.”
Mr. Adelstein noted that the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 mandated “standard applications and agreements” to make it easier to site communications facilities on federal lands and properties, while also streamlining the approval of antenna collocations. He also cited President Obama’s 2012 executive order aimed at accelerating the deployment of broadband infrastructure on federal lands.
TRDaily - October 16, 2014
The full text of Adelstein's remarks is below.
Jonathan Adelstein’s Opening Remarks – Federal Lands Workshop
HetNet Expo 2014, Chicago
October 16, 2014
Good morning! Thanks for joining us for this critical workshop. I especially thank our friends from the Federal government for making the special effort to get here. It is a real demonstration of your commitment to expand broadband access on Federal lands. You are the leaders who are trying to make a difference, so please forgive us if you hear us vent a bit about all of the problems we have had.
The President has acted to expedite broadband on Federal lands. Congress has acted by enacting legislation. We’ve seen some progress as a result, and we deeply appreciate the bipartisan leadership and commitment to move the ball forward. Leaders at the highest levels have sent a strong message that this is a national priority. And agency leaders such as yourselves have made important strides.
I spent 25 years in the Federal government, and I am proud to represent an industry now that wants to expand broadband everywhere. So I get that you are the good actors who are trying to help.
Yet we haven’t made as much progress as many had hoped. Today, we’re trying to change that. This unprecedented effort is intended to jumpstart the process to meet the goals of the President and of Congress.
We are bringing together the key leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss ways to meet the mandate of expanding broadband on Federal lands and properties.
There’s another clear reason this issue has received a push from our elected officials: it serves the needs of the American people.
They’re coming to rely increasingly on broadband for their daily lives: for public safety, for education, for health care and so much more.
More than 30% of America’s landmass is owned, or controlled, by the Federal government. As we will hear, these are some of the hardest lands to site wireless infrastructure. Yet they are also some of the most remote, where broadband is especially critical for public safety and economic development. If our industry confronts heavy obstacles to deployment in areas where the business case is already most difficult, the result is that investment goes elsewhere. It is that simple. That means revenues that could flow to the Federal government – which is suffering from large deficits – will instead flow to private or state landholders next door. We’re here today to change that equation.
In terms of Federal buildings, many are in more urbanized locations that are highly sought after by wireless carriers.
By facilitating access, the Federal government can increase revenues and improve broadband for its citizens. The government might as well join the gold rush for these revenues as we densify the network. It seems like a no-brainer.
The deployment of these facilities will support American citizens in a number of key ways.
It will help the Department of Defense in its mission at home by connecting military families on our nation’s bases just as they would expect off-base so that they can remain connected to their loved ones.
It’ll give America’s warfighters access to training opportunities on the most advanced technologies.
It’ll support public safety in its effort to establish a nationwide interoperable public safety network -- a network long overdue since the tragedy we suffered on 9/11 -- over 13 years ago. Our executive agencies throughout the federal government like the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service need broadband to more efficiently meet their missions and protect their personnel.
Those missions include fighting forest fires and educating Americans about our national treasures through mobile video and interactive mobile content.
As I mentioned, in 2012 Congress recognized the importance of this when it passed the landmark Middle Class Tax Relief Act. That law put forward a framework for the application and siting of communications facilities on federal lands and properties through standard applications and agreements.
It also created the framework for the development of an interoperable public safety network, FirstNet, which we will hear about in a minute.
The law also streamlined siting of broadband facilities through collocation-by-right.
In the same vein, President Obama put forward Executive Order 13616 which outlined the policy reasons for action and created a cross-agency working group charged with meeting the mandate of deployment on Federal lands and properties.
All of these actions have one theme in common: expanding broadband is a national imperative and the Federal government is charged with actively working to overcome resistance on Federal lands and beyond.
There have been good developments since then. The working groups have been meeting and both public and private groups. They’re learning more about the cultural and institutional challenges to meeting the broadband mandate.
The Department of the Navy and the US Air Force put forward public memorandums that outlined the importance of siting broadband facilities on their properties. They began to provide the structure necessary to ensure that projects could move from concept to contract, to operation.
We all know there’s more work to do. That is why we are so thrilled to host you in Chicago today, and that you agreed to join us. Your participation signals that you get it.
You recognize the national priority the President and Congress have placed on this. And you’re here to move the ball forward.
We have a lot to cover today.
We’ll learn about the various rules and regulations that govern the siting of facilities.
We’ll learn about the application processes at various agencies and how the process looks through the lenses of both the government and private companies.
We’ll learn how to maintain those leases and ensure industry is being a good steward the land they are entrusted with.
And we’ll learn how federal agencies are working to address the lease renewal process.
We’ll also learn specifically about how the Department of the Navy is utilizing the operational memorandum I referred to earlier.
Thanks you for allowing PCIA to host this critical conversation. We stand prepared to help any way we can.
To kick things off, we are honored to have with us Ed Parkinson. He represents an agency that really needs this effort to succeed. FirstNet is charged with deploying a nationwide interoperable public safety network. Complete coverage, indoors and out, is part of the design.
No doubt, Federal Lands and Properties is some of the most limited existing inventory for shared infrastructure.
Ed is FirstNet’s Director of Government Affairs. He’s responsible for intergovernmental relations with local, state and federal organizations.
He previously served for five years as a Professional Staff Member for the House Homeland Security Committee, then chaired by Rep. Peter T. King of New York. While there, his primary responsibility was in the field of first responder telecommunications. He also worked on issues including border security, emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and investigations into waste, fraud and abuse of government resources.
Ed has tirelessly criss-crossed the country to promote the interests of first responders in FirstNet. I’ve seen him in action all across the country, and we are lucky to have this dedicated public servant with us today.
Please join me in welcoming Ed Parkinson.
PCIA CEO Says New Public-Private Job Training Initiative Will Help Create "Wireless Workforce of the Future"
October 14, 2014 / Alexandria, VA – Jonathan Adelstein, the President and CEO of PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association today predicted that a new public-private job training program will fill a pressing economic need by helping to create America’s "wireless workforce of the future."
Called TIRAP (the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program), the initiative establishes apprenticeships to train workers to deploy, upgrade, and maintain wireless network facilities, key imperatives if the U.S. is to meet burgeoning consumer demand and remain globally competitive in wireless technologies. Thousands of U.S. wireless infrastructure jobs, Adelstein pointed out, are currently going unfilled because workers have not received adequate training.
TIRAP is the product of months of deliberations between a telecommunications industry consortium and officials with the federal Department of Labor (DoL). It was officially launched this afternoon at a joint Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-DoL event that featured remarks by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, PCIA head Adelstein, and other consortium leaders.
"The wireless industry is working proactively to address workforce safety and training," said Adelstein, a former FCC commissioner whose organization helped shape the TIRAP agreement with DoL and the FCC.
"We are striving through TIRAP and other efforts to draw on the expertise of the entire wireless industry to build best practices and best-of-class training curricula across all facets of our workforce. Apprenticeships are a central part of the vision for a comprehensive wireless education. Training may begin in a classroom, but it has to continue in the field – especially in industries like ours – through well-crafted apprenticeships," Adelstein said.
PCIA’s vision, Adelstein explained, is to create industry-consensus standard operating procedures, provide trainers with first-rate teaching skills to educate workers, and establish employee certification to ensure that they’re implemented. Adelstein’s organization will also establish a database so employers can track those credentials.
TIRAP’s overall goals are to enhance worker safety; address the wireless industry’s needs in broadband deployment; and provide employment and advancement opportunities through skills-based and experiential training. The program will initially center on tower technicians while building pathways toward much-needed specialties and leadership roles. TIRAP’s ultimate aim is to open opportunities for high-skilled, high-paying jobs in one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
"Apprenticeships are just the beginning," Adelstein said. "We can leverage America’s higher education system, including community colleges and technical schools, to expand training. That will provide more opportunities for the current workforce to enhance their skills and keep up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques. It will also train new workers to fill roles the industry needs."
Today’s announcement marks PCIA’s second DoL wireless job training announcement in recent weeks. On September 29, DoL awarded a $3.25 million grant to Virginia State University (VSU), a historically black institution, to expand its PCIA-sponsored career training program for military veterans and displaced textile workers. Under the terms of the agreement, PCIA will help administer the VSU program.
TIRAP marks the first time that a DOL certification for registered apprenticeships has been awarded to an industry consortium instead of an individual entity. Upon finishing the training program, an apprentice earns a Completion of Registered Apprenticeship certificate, a nationally-recognized credential that validates a worker’s technical proficiency in various areas.
View Adelstein's remarks from the TIRAP signing ceremony.
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PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association is the principal organization representing the companies that build, design, own and manage telecommunications facilities throughout the world. Its over 200 members include carriers, infrastructure providers, and professional services firms.
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