As we move ever farther forward into the 21st century and absolutely everything becomes wireless and the amount of information we want to send grows, the means to carry that information forward becomes even more important. Most of us take for granted the freedom that the presence of cell towers allows us. But we’ve all encountered those areas were we can’t get a signal – there’s even a national advertising campaign about it. Portrayed as something out of a horror movie, those areas where calls are dropped are becoming fewer and fewer. Few people, however, realize the work, planning, and negotiations that go into adding to the all-accessible, all the time way of life to which we’ve become accustomed. Land surveying is a crucial part of this process.
For one of the oldest professions in the world (not that one), land surveying has branched out into a brave new world. Telecommunication Land Surveys are not a one-step process, but rather a multi-layered conglomerate of many different facets that must come together and be organized under one final report.
Depending on the location of the proposed cell tower, different things must be taken into consideration. For a cell tower to be constructed on vacant land, a Raw Land Tower Site Survey must be completed, as well as a Boundary Survey. If the location is in a populated area, and to go on an existing building, then a Roof Top Communication Survey must be conducted. Co-Location Tower Surveys are used when two different providers want to utilize the same location.
Regardless of location, there are some surveys that are universal to the cell tower approval process. An FAA 2C or 1A Certification may be in order, depending on the ownership of the communications tower and what the proposed use is.
Existing telecommunications towers may still need to be surveyed, especially if they have been in use for some time. A Co-Location Tower Survey, Cell Tower Title Review, or a Cell Tower ALTA Survey (which meets all the ALTA/ACSM standards) are all something an accredited and registered land surveying company can help you with.
For all cell towers, once the proposed location has passed all requirements, a Site Construction Survey must be completed. As well, a Tower As-Built survey must be conducted several times during the construction process to ensure that the tower adheres to all of the specifications drawn up in the original survey and plans.
With the recent changes in technology and the growing need to send even more and bigger amounts of information wirelessly, the demand and concerns over wireless telecommunication towers has also grown. As have the regulations and ordinances now surrounding getting one approved. In order to save time and money companies are best served by thoroughly researching their options and making sure to have reputable surveying companies perform the necessary surveys.