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Application Process

Primary Federal Agencies with ROW Responsibilities

Agencies' ROW Contacts

Project Type:
Wireless Tower



Fiber Optics
Marine Cable

Project Location:
Public Lands
National Parks
Tribal Lands
National Forests
Navigable Waters
  or Wetlands
Marine & Coastal
Historic Sites

Working Group Report (April 2004)

American Values, American Jobs
Federal Rights-of-Way:
Application Process for Telecommunications Projects

General Information:
First Steps

1) Identify relevant agency(ies) according to project type or location.
2) Contact relevant agency(ies) to set up a pre-application meeting.
3) Complete SF-299 application form and submit it, along with any additional requested information and applicable fees, to relevant agency(ies).

Pre-application Meeting

A pre-application meeting with all the relevant agencies is required to ensure that applicants are fully aware of the approval criteria and the process by which the agencies will evaluate applications. This meeting will facilitate more efficient processing of the rights-of-way application. Applicants should bring a map of the project area to the pre-application meeting.

Primary Agency Contact

For projects that involve more than one federal agency, the agencies involved will designate a lead agency immediately following the pre-application meeting and before an application is filed. One of the most important responsibilities of the lead agency is to serve as the primary contact for the applicant. Applicants should work directly with the lead agency.

Application Form 299

Applicants must fill out a Standard Form 299 (click here for a PDF version of the SF-299). The SF-299 requests information about the type of project proposed. The SF-299 provides the basic information that agencies need to evaluate the applicant's qualifications and the project's viability. Agencies may, however, request additional information from the applicant after receiving the SF-299 since all the information required by a particular agency may not be requested on the standarized form.

Time Frames

Initial Screening and Response for All Projects

For applicants that have participated in a pre-application meeting, the agency(ies) will review the initial application (the SF-299) and notify the applicant within 30 calendar days whether the application is “complete” and ready for formal review, or whether additional information must be submitted.

For applicants that have not arranged or participated in a pre-application meeting, the agency(ies) will review the application and notify the applicant within 60 days as to whether the application is complete.

Final Decisions on Small, Simple Projects

For small, uncomplicated projects, agency(ies) will strive to grant or deny a request for a right-of-way within 60 days of receiving a completed application.

Final Decisions on Large, Complex Projects

For larger, complex projects, the agency(ies), in consultation with the applicant and other affected parties, will establish a schedule of processing time frames and notify the applicant of that schedule within 60 days after the application is deemed complete.

Fees and Other Charges
Agencies may assess one or more fees for both: (1) the recovery of costs incurred by federal agencies in processing and monitoring rights-of-way, and/or (2) the assessment of rental payments or other compensation for the applicant’s use of federal land. These fees will be discussed at any pre-application meeting held, or explained by the appropriate agency's representative.

Applicable Laws*
(*This is not exhaustive and other laws may apply based on the relevant agencies' regulations and procedures).

Link to NTIA Manual of Frequency Management


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