October 29, 2015 — The FCC has levied a fine $625,500 against General Communication, Inc. (GCI), parent company of The Alaska Wireless Network (AWN), for failing to register cell towers with the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system and for lighting violations.
In early 2014, the company self-reported to the FCC that it had discovered numerous apparent violations of the tower registration requirements, including for many towers which they had recently acquired. The Enforcement Bureau’s subsequent investigation revealed that 118 GCI-owned communications towers had not been registered in the ASR system prior to construction or upon acquiring them.
The investigation also found that three towers were not properly lighted. The FCC worked with the company to settle the investigation and secure a plan to ensure towers are appropriately registered and lit.
As a condition of the settlement, GCI agreed to pay the fine and committed to reviewing its tower inventory to ensure that all of its towers are compliant with tower registration and lighting rules, as well as environmental and historic review requirements.
AWN Formed in Merger of Alaska Communications, GCI
Alaska Wireless Network, a statewide wireless network, was formed in 2013 when Alaska Communications and GCI merged their wireless assets, including spectrum licenses, cell sites, backhaul facility usage rights. Under the transaction, Alaska Communications owns one third and GCI owns two-thirds of AWN.