PCIA Press Releases
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.
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.
CEO Adelstein Underscores Need for Wireless Broadband on the Farm
October 10, 2014 / Alexandria, VA - In a commentary for the Farm Industry News, Jonathan Adelstein, President & CEO of PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association underscores the need for the U.S. to build next-generation wireless infrastructure in order to bridge the wireless gap, meeting the unprecedented demand for data use--because rural Americans deserve the same connectivity as their more urban counterparts.
The commentary begins, "As a native South Dakotan who’s devoted much of my career to strengthening rural America, I’ve seen my share of farm equipment. So I’ve been delighted twice this year to observe John Deere’s latest machinery in action.
Deere’s new machines are sleeker – and less bumpy – than the ones I was around as a kid. And there’s one other big difference: The 'Internet of Things' now includes 'Farm Things.' All of which explains why John Deere is an active member of my organization, PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association."
View the commentary in its entirety on the Farm Industry News website.
John Deere Makes an Economic Case for Rural Broadband Expansion
Reprinted with permission. Original article authored by Sarah Gonzalez
WHITE HALL, Md., Oct. 9, 2014 - While a combine operator harvests feed corn at Clear Meadow Farm in northern Maryland, he explains that if a problem arises with his equipment, he can make a call directly from his data monitor and grant access to the farm owner or equipment dealer who can then remotely view the combine data system and suggest adjustments.
Large farms like Clear Meadow Farm in White Hall, Maryland, benefit from access to broadband and the ability to wirelessly connect data from machine to machine as well as with the grower's laptop or tablet. The connection saves time, money and natural resources, John Deere managers explained at an event at the 5,000-acre grain and beef operation. The information the equipment collects throughout the year, during planting, fertilizing and harvest, is collected in real time and stored in the farm's data system.
In the northeastern U.S., with its many population centers, “we grow as many people as corn and cows…so it's not hard to get connected,” said Mark Lewellen, manager of spectrum advocacy at John Deere. “But that's not the case in other areas of the country.”
There is a pressing need to strengthen wireless broadband service to rural America, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told a small group of Capital Hill staffers, agricultural organization employees and John Deere representatives, when he spoke at the event.
“Technology makes farms more productive and efficient. That can provide a shot in the arm to the economy,” Pai said. “And it all depends on wireless connection.”
He said a farm visit like the one hosted Thursday by John Deere and PCIA, the Wireless Infrastructure Association, is an effective way to “demonstrate the power of technology in a way most people don't think about.”
“Broadband is a great equalizer,” he said. For example, if enough cellular towers were built throughout rural areas to provide consistent broadband access, rural communities would have the same access to information and healthcare services as residents in urban areas. “Agriculture is where we can see a multiplier effect,” Pai said, because as agricultural technology grows, the demand for farms' access to the broadband system will continue to increase as well.
“Machine-to-machine communication is the future when it comes to agriculture,” he said.
PCIA's CEO Jonathan Adelstein, a former FCC Commissioner, said broadband companies need to find a “business case” to build up in rural areas, because “subsidies only get you so far.”
A report released today by the market strategy consultant iGR [in conjunction with PCIA's member-driven Rural Wireless Broadband Working Group] focused on this topic, arguing that because rural consumers are demanding the services that broadband enables, “A different economic equation is therefore needed to justify the costs of bringing broadband to rural America.”
A model based on population will not work in rural areas, noted the iGR report, which PCIA's Rural broadband Working Group commissioned.
“Rationalizing investment in rural areas requires an economic justification - and for that, rural investment analysis needs to use different metrics than are used in the metropolitan markets,” iGR said. For example, the economic model for broadband in rural areas should be based on the number of devices and connections, not simply the number of people to be covered, it said.
Tyler Hogrefe, a senior technology product manager at John Deere, noted, “You can't just think about the number of people, but the number of connected devices in the marketplace.”
The iGR report also asserted that once a broadband network is deployed, it will create more economic activity that will help maintain or increase population in those areas, “further justifying the investment.”
Additional incentives for broadband companies to expand in rural areas can be through state efforts like proposed legislation in Iowa that would provide an accelerated depreciation deduction for income tax, a 7 percent tax credit and a 100 percent property tax exemption for broadband infrastructure deployed in targeted areas.
Hogrefe demonstrated some of the capabilities of John Deere's data manager system, which can help growers contain and manage information from every aspect of the farm - including inputs, machinery, yield data, crop insurance information -- in one digital location.
He noted that when a machine fleet is connected and able to collect data about planting inputs and yield in real time, “USDA recordkeeping and EPA compliance reports are all more timely.”
Wireless access throughout a farm's acreage saves time and money for the farmer, John Deere managers said. For example, when the farmer can track and monitor a planter in real time, they can stop a problem before it stretches across the farm, “which is important when you have a 120-foot planter and seed is $300 per bag,” Hogrefe said.
John Deere's presentations suggested that innovations through technology and wireless communication will continue to expand and become available to farmers, but they can only be useful if producers have access to the broadband highway. And while agricultural technology may make some manual labor unnecessary, it does increase demand for rural workers in the tech field.
“Demand for technological labor in rural America is growing,” Hogrefe said. “Dealers need more people that understand this technology. And that need is going to grow with time.”
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Grant Will Strengthen VSU’s Wireless Worker Training Program
October 7, 2014 / Alexandria, VA - Jonathan Adelstein, President & CEO of PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association, recently co-authored an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch with Keith M. Williamson, dean of Virginia State University’s College of Engineering and Technology, about efforts to create the wireless workforce of the future.
The commentary begins, "The federal Labor Department’s recently awarded $3.25 million grant will help Virginia State University expand one of America’s first programs to train and qualify military veterans and displaced textile workers for careers in the fast-growing wireless sector. It also will strengthen Virginia’s efforts to build a wireless infrastructure capable of handling next-generation technologies."
Read the full commentary on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website.
- CEO Adelstein Pens Op-Ed for Charlotte Business Journal
- Federal Department of Labor Awards Virginia State University $3.25 Million Grant to Create Wireless Workforce of the Future – PCIA to Help Administer
- PCIA Statement on FCC Placing Infrastructure NPRM on Tentative Agenda for Oct. 17 Open Meeting
- PCIA Applauds FCC Order Streamlining Antenna Rules
- PCIA Hails FCC Training and Safety Efforts
- PCIA: Ohio PUC Order Will Help Speed Broadband Deployment
- PCIA Looks Forward to FCC’s August Open Meeting
- PCIA Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Reverse Eleventh Circuit and Remove Barriers to Wireless Infrastructure Investment
- Adelstein Praises Rubio Plan to Speed Deployment of Wireless Infrastructure
- PCIA Head Lauds House Effort to Expedite FCC’s Ruling to Streamline Deployment of Wireless Infrastructure
- Enhanced Productivity, Connectivity, Accessibility Drive Wireless Technology
- Adelstein Applauds Colorado Wireless Bill
- CEO Adelstein Statement on SCOTUS Grant Cert of T-Mobile Petition
- Adelstein Hails Selection of Attwell Baker as Head of CTIA
- CEO Adelstein Commends Passage of Georgia BILD Act
- PCIA’s Jonathan Adelstein to Appear on C-Span's "The Communicators" March 15
- Adelstein Statement on T-Mobile's Sugrue, Ham Announcement
- Adelstein Hails FCC Chairman's Remarks on Infrastructure Deployment
- PCIA to FCC: Four Key Steps to Improving Wireless Broadband Deployment
- PCIA's Adelstein Responds to Rep. Waxman's Retirement Announcement
- Technology Industry Leaders and Monster.com Launch USTechVets.org to Connect Veterans with Careers in the U.S. Technology Sector
- PCIA Statement on Proposed Telecommunications Act Reform
- PCIA Proudly Supports Launch of Warriors 4 Wireless to Help Returning Veterans Find Work in Wireless Industry
- PCIA Applauds Confirmation of Wheeler, O'Rielly to FCC
- Adelstein Hails Largent's Service to the Industry
- Long-Term Government Shutdown Could Impact FirstNet, D'Agostino Says
- PCIA's Statement on the FCC's Wireless Infrastructure NPRM
- Wireless Infrastructure Investment Will Generate $1.2 Trillion in Economic Activity and Create 1.2 Million Jobs
- Wireless Infrastructure Show Announces Blockbuster Keynote Lineup
- Experts Talk Small Cells at HetNet Forum Hill Event
- Wireless Broadband Essential to Rural America, Panelists Say
- Adelstein, McDowell Get MMTC's Top Award
- PCIA: Wisconsin Legislation Expands Wireless Broadband Opportunities
- PCIA Responds to New White House Wireless Initiative
- PCIA Hails Washington State Wireless Siting Legislation
- PCIA Responds to Supreme Court Shot Clock Ruling
- Wireless Infrastructure Show Announces Move to Spring 2014
- PCIA Hails FCC Chairman Nomination
- PCIA Congratulates FirstNet GM
- PCIA CEO to Keynote Wisconsin Wireless Association Event
- The DAS Forum Renamed HetNet Forum
- PCIA, APCO Honor Policymakers for FirstNet Leadership
- PCIA Statement Regarding FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
- PCIA Responds to FCC Commissioner McDowell's Resignation
- PCIA and APCO Honor Policymakers for Leadership on FirstNet (Event Rescheduled)
- PCIA, The DAS Forum Offer "Roadmap" for Environmental and Historic Preservation Reform
- PCIA Hails FCC Action to Accelerate Wireless Network Deployment
- PCIA CEO: We are the “Home” of Wireless Network Deployment
- PCIA's Innovation & Tech Council Offers Glimpse at Emerging Technology
- PCIA CEO Joins Former White House CTO to Talk 4G Development in Virginia
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