July 2018

240 241 THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TOWER ERECTORS NATE member companies are on the front lines in terms of deploying these next generation com- munications networks. As everyone in the wireless and broadcast industries are acutely aware, the Federal Commu- nications Commission (FCC) is currently conducting a 600 MHZ Incentive Auction in order to free up valuable low band radio waves spectrum currently held by broadcasters.This 600 MHZ spectrum is often referred to as “beach front property”because airwaves operating in this band can travel longer distances and provide better in-building coverage. Upon the conclusion of this innovative auction, NATE’s contractor companies and equipment supplier members will be called on to “repurpose” the spectrum by deploying the new antennas and wireless equipment on communications structures located across the United States. This important infrastructure work will help pave the way to enable emerging technologies and net- works that are capable of meeting the country’s connectivity and data needs moving forward. NATE members will also be playing a critical role in the build-out of FirstNet, the country’s first nationwide broadband network devoted exclu- sively to public safety. The establishment of First- Net was made possible when Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This historic law allocated valuable spectrum and up to $7 billion in funding for the construction of the FirstNet network. When the FirstNet build-out is ready to begin in 2017, NATE member companies will be helping provide the wireless infrastructure services and equipment necessary to make this interoperable network a reality. FirstNet will ultimately help save lives and provide law enforcement officials, fire fighters, and EMS personnel with the critical communications capabilities and resources they need to respond to emergency situations. NATE also recently established an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Committee consisting of experienced drone service providers, pilots, and tower contractor executives. The NATE UAS Com- mittee is playing a proactive role in monitoring the trends and regulatory environment associ- ated with rapidly evolving drone technologies and making recommendations to the wireless and broadcast infrastructure community on best practices when it comes to UAS integration. The committee is also focusing on collaborating with federal agencies, members of Congress, and other interested stakeholders in the development of guidelines to promote the safe commercial and private use of these systems. The committee plans to continue this dialogue to ensure that the wireless infrastructure industry’s priorities remain at the forefront of the conversation as key deci- sions are made regarding this technology. NATE remains steadfast that UAS technologies,