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Phone: 800.487.SITE (7483)


Our Headquarters

New Tower Builds

The Process of Building a New Tower


New Tower Development

SBA develops new tower sites to expand our tower portfolio both domestically and internationally. In our new build program, we construct towers in locations that are strategically chosen by us or under a build-to-suit arrangement.

In build-to-suit situations, SBA builds towers for wireless service providers at locations that they have identified. We retain ownership of the tower and the exclusive right to collocate additional tenants on the tower.

In towers constructed in locations chosen by SBA, we use our knowledge of our customers’ network requirements to identify locations where multiple wireless service providers may need to locate antennas to meet capacity or service demands. We identify attractive locations for new towers and complete pre-construction procedures necessary to secure the site concurrent with our leasing efforts. Once permitting is issued and a tenant lease signed, the New Tower Development team manages construction of the facility.

Overall, we are committed to a long-term, sustainable approach to prioritizing environmental protection and conservation during our site development process. Our approach is to consider all environmentally significant impacts during our site selection, development and operation. For example, our New Tower Development team uses search rings to identify the appropriate locations for sites while taking into account the environmental conditions of each site candidate.

SBA complies with all federal, state and local environmental rules and regulations regarding site development. As part of our compliance program, SBA hires environmental consultants to do a full National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) screening for each of our new build sites to ensure that the sites do not significantly affect the environment. The NEPA screenings provide information on the potential impact on wilderness areas or wildlife preserves (both likely on federal land), endangered species or their habitats, properties included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places or Indian religious and cultural sites, floodplains, surface features (such as wetlands, water diversions, significant ground disturbance and deforestation) and migratory birds if a tower is over 450 feet.

Additionally, we prioritize conservation by ensuring full compliance with all federal, state and local regulations relating to avian protection. In the United States, our Avian Protection Plan team identifies, tracks and protects threatened and endangered migratory birds that nest on SBA towers. We limit access to our sites that have nests containing eggs or flightless young to allow the birds to nest undisturbed, and any work proposal that involves the removal of an inactive nest is subjected to a stringent internal review. When appropriate, we also use stealth sites to help blend in with the local surroundings. In 2019, SBA increased our number of protected bird sites to 2,266 from 1,153 in 2018 and 412 in 2017. Further, we reviewed work proposals and provided guidance on avian protection for over 3,419 projects from 2018 to 2019.


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