Greenville, NC - Feb 15, 2011 - Lawrence Behr, CEO of LBA Group, spoke to government and industry leaders on Feb. 9 in Washington, DC, for the FCC's Broadband Acceleration Conference. Behr's message: A practical way to increase public access to digital networks is to utilize AM radio's existing infrastructure.
Behr was invited to speak as a recognized authority on co-utilization of AM radio towers by wireless carriers. LBA Technology has developed collocation techniques that are popular with carrier and tower companies. Even as Behr spoke, an LBA Technology team in Hawaii was facilitating installation of a wireless antenna on an AM radio tower.
Behr acknowledged that some who work in the wireless industry are wary of connecting with what they consider the throwback technology of AM radio. He said that technical leaders in the two starkly different generations of telecommunication "don't understand each other's technology. Not only are they 1,000MHz apart, they are a hundred years apart."
Yet, he continued, the two technologies are compatible and synergistic at the point of convergence on an AM tower. Recognizing this, LBA Technology developed two proprietary collocation techniques to integrate wireless and AM hardware at reasonable cost.
The CoLoSite system is practical for both single tower and multiple tower AM antenna systems. Using the system, wireless antenna and coaxial cable installations have virtually no effect on host AM towers and the AM signal has no effect on the wireless antenna. On non-directional towers, an isolation system called CoLoPole typically is employed. CoLoPole directly grounds an AM tower. The system benefits the AM station with improved efficiency, "air sound" and lightning protection. Antennas and transmission lines can be added later without additional isolation devices.
An additional consideration in evaluating collocation is its ease of public approval. Because the collocation occurs on existing towers, public concern about erecting new structures is minimized.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowsk convened the one-day conference and delivered the opening address. He challenged a recently formed FCC task force to find ways to ease regulatory barriers and cut by 20 percent the time needed to deploy a broadband system.
View Behr's presentation to the FCC.