CSC: DO 270 Reopening Opinion
Opinions

DOCKET NO. 270 – Wireless Solutions X, LLC Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance and operation of a wireless telecommunications facility at 202 North Wawecus Hill Road, Norwich, Connecticut.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

September 28, 2005

Reopening Opinion

On June 8, 2005, the Council, pursuant to the provisions of Connecticut General Statute § 4-181a(b) which allows an agency to, on "a showing of changed conditions", consider to "reverse or modify the final decision", reopened the final decision which had been rendered in this docket on April 15, 2004. The "changed conditions" in this case consisted of the merger of AT&T Wireless PCS LLC, the original applicant, and Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, LLC d/b/a Cingular Wireless, with the original applicant no longer needing the site. Another telecommunications carrier, T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile), however, subsequently indicated that it needed the facility at the height approved for AT&T Wireless to provide service to the Interstate 395 area of Norwich. The purpose of the reopening was to determine if T-Mobile USA, Inc. needed the facility and, if a need was determined, at what tower height.

The public need for wireless telephone facilities has been determined both by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 which has declared a general public need for wireless service, established a market structure for system development, and developed technical standards that have restricted the design of facilities. These pre-emptive determinations by the FCC have resulted in a system of numerous wireless telecommunications facilities in nearly all areas of the country. Connecticut State law directs the Council to balance the need for development of proposed cellular telecommunications facilities with the need to protect the environment, including public health and safety.

The Council has carefully analyzed T-Mobile’s need for a facility in this location including an evaluation of proposed coverage objectives and existing facilities in the area. T-Mobile cannot provide coverage to Interstate 395 using existing structures in the area including the Rogers Road tower, approximately 0.8 miles west of the site. T-Mobile is located at the 164-foot level of this tower.

Due to T-Mobile’s lack of coverage on Interstate 395 the Council finds a need for the facility. T-Mobile demonstrated the minimum height required for coverage is 130 feet; however, T-Mobile is seeking the 137-foot level of the tower due to an existing lease between Wireless Solutions and New Cingular Wireless PCS LLC (New Cingular) for the 127-foot level of the tower. Although New Cingular did not intervene in this proceeding, New Cingular demonstrated its intent to locate at the facility by submitting an exempt modification application to the Council for use of the 127-foot level of the tower. Therefore, to accommodate use of the facility by T-Mobile and New Cingular, the Council will modify the decision rendered by the Council on April 15, 2004, and issue a Certificate for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 140-foot monopole telecommunications facility at the site.



Content Last Modified on 9/30/2005 12:30:15 PM