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FCC Fines T-Mobile $60,000 for Failing to Secure Antennas

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Nov 12, 2015, 1:08 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The FCC today proposed a fine of $60,000 against T-Mobile, which it says failed to adequately warn and prevent the public from stepping too close to cellular antennas. Specifically, T-Mobile didn't properly block off nor place signs near three antennas (2 AWS, 1 PCS) on a building in Phoenix, Ariz. The FCC ascertained that anyone could easily access the area directly in front of the antennas, and discovered evidence (cigarette butts, pens, graffiti on the antennas) suggesting people had done exactly that. The FCC measured the signal strength in front of the antennas and found it exceeded between 175% and 300% of the FCC's maximum recommended exposure to radio frequencies. Wireless network operators are required by law to prevent people from standing in front of cellular antennas, as well as fully warn people about RF exposure in the area. T-Mobile did neither of this in this case. "T-Mobile bears the responsibility to restrict access to the noncompliant areas that exceed the public RF exposure limits, with barriers, markings, and appropriate signage, or to modify the facility and operation so as to bring its stations' operations within the RF exposure limits prior to public or worker access to the impacted area. Because T-Mobile failed to do so, we find that T-Mobile ... exceeded the general population/uncontrolled RF limits." T-Mobile has 30 days to make the $60,000 payment.


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