A major mobile voice and data service provider and a company contractor responsible for network equipment deployment have agreed to pay more than $11 million for constructing towers, antennas and other wireless infrastructure elements prior to registering them with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In two separate Orders issued by the Commission in April, Sprint Corporation and its contractor, Mobilitie, LLC, have agreed to pay $10 million and $1.6 million respectively for failing to complete proper tower registration, as well as environmental and historic impact reviews, prior to the construction of wireless infrastructure facilities over a multi-year period beginning in 2014. Such reviews are mandated under FCC rules implementing provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.
The FCC investigation that led to the financial settlement determined that Sprint contracted with Mobilitie to accelerate the rollout and deployment of small cells and associated equipment on structures owned by third parties. However, Mobilitie reportedly failed to complete the required environmental and historic preservation reviews prior to commencing construction.
As part of the settlement with the FCC, both Sprint and Mobilitie have also agreed to develop and implement comprehensive compliance plans to ensure future conformity with the FCC’s rules.