The Federal Communications Commission announced yesterday it had reached a tower-siting agreement with the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) that includes the development of voluntary best practices that the communications tower industry and USET tribes can use to choose locations for towers while preserving properties of religious and cultural significance to the tribes. FCC Chairman Michael Powell and USET President Keller George recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that calls for the development of the best practices. The FCC described the MOU as the first of its kind.

The FCC also announced the implementation of a new Tower Construction Notification System, which will be used to help the commission and tower erectors determine when protection of an historic property, tribal religious site or cultural site is warranted.