As we move further into the 21st century and nearly everything becomes wireless, it becomes necessary to send more and more information across cell phone towers. Although you probably take for granted the freedom you get from the presence of cell phone towers, cell phone towers are actually very important to our daily lives. Just imagine what would happen without them. You have surely encountered an area where you just can’t get a signal on your cell phone. Although these areas are growing smaller and smaller as more cell phone towers are built, some areas simply do not have cell phone tower coverage yet.
Few people realize the work and planning that goes into the building of a new cell phone tower to increase coverage in busy areas or provide coverage in “dead zones” where calls are dropped. Though land surveying is a very old profession, it plays a crucial role in the development of communications networks. Land surveying is a critical part of the process of building and maintaining a cell tower. In fact, several different survey types may be involved with this process. Among the most common is a cell tower ALTA survey. The survey may be requested by government officials or cellular telecommunications companies.
The tower ALTA survey is generally used to survey an existing cell tower rather than the area being considered for a new tower. The ALTA survey is specifically done to meet ALTA/ACSM standards, meaning that it is a standardized survey conducted by certified land surveyors. These are among the highest standards in land surveying today, and ensure that the cell phone tower survey is done in a manner that is standardized across the nation. ALTA surveying standards are created by the American Land Title Association. After an ALTA survey is conducted on any parcel of land, title insurance companies feel comfortable insuring the land, and the cell tower owner can be sure of the boundaries and other aspects governing the ownership of the land.
A cell phone ALTA survey usually includes a boundary survey, which shows the boundaries of the tower and its associated land parcel, in addition to information on easements, or the right to cross the cell tower land. These easements may be granted to utility companies, local governments, neighboring landowners, or others with an interest in the property on which the cell tower is located. This survey examines all legal descriptions for access and utilities on the tower itself and the surrounding land associated with the tower. A cell tower ALTA survey also shows the tower itself and any adjacent improvements to the land.
Cell tower ALTA surveys may be completed when the cell company is considering replacing or rebuilding an existing tower, such as the case with towers using outdated technology. Such a survey may also prove useful if there is a dispute over the land on which the cell tower sits, such as if a neighboring landowner has made improvements to the land too close to the tower in the belief that they have rights to the land. An ALTA survey is generally required for the sale of commercial properties, such as if the cell tower is changing hands.