Did American Tower become the Big Bad Bully?


COP Banners for Wade4wirelessHey, remember the days when tower crews could do work for anyone? I mean, especially in wireless where you only have a few customers like governments, transportation, carriers, and anyone who may need work done on a tower. Tower workers are finding out that work isn’t open to a free market, especially if you work with American Tower Company, (ATC).

ATC appears to be the new bully in town who can push around anyone they want. WOW! Isn’t that making America look great when a large dominant tower carrier does all that it can to crush the competition and anyone who supports it? The way I see it, they are saying screw all competitors and any small business that wants to work for them. Who needs the little guy anyway? It seems like American tower doesn’t need any little company looking for work. WOW!

Need proof?

What’s really going on?

Here’s what happened, to sum it up. American Tower sent out a letter to all their contractors stating that if someone does work for the competition by building a tower near an ATC owned tower, he or she will no longer let that contractor work for them. Plain and simple. If you work for the competition, you no longer work for us. It’s straightforward.

They also called all landlords asking them to alert them of the competition moving in according to Ken’s link above.

Small Cell Cover 4Let me sum it up; if you work for the competition, it violates our new policy. We will find out.

ATC is no monopoly, not by a long shot, but it appears they are big enough to put small contractors that work for the competition out of business or take away a large portion of their income. Tower Safety for all your safety training!

It appears they are using their size and a large portfolio of towers to make sure that the competition can’t find landowners or workers. What a bold move by a company that now appears to be ruthless. It appears that they are only a member of NATE to get a list of contractors they can crush. Hey, that’s what I see, too bad. They are a leader and up until now, respected. I lost all respect for anyone trying to crush small business. Think about it, could you imagine Verizon telling contractors that anyone who worked for AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile would never work for them again?

I’m hurt and disillusioned!

I thought ATC was a reputable company that really cared about the industry, especially safety. I thought all those speeches and interviews they did about caring for the tower crews and worker was real. I thought they meant it when they gave their speeches to OSHA, the FCC and to magazines about caring for the workers. Apparently, that’s only if you work exclusively with them.

I thought they would be a leader in the wireless industry as far as ownership and set a good example, that is all gone now.

I thought they would be a company that the carriers would be proud to do business with, maybe not.

I thought they would be a leader based on respect. I feel betrayed. I feel hurt. I am truly disappointed. All that lip service, and now they appear to be nothing but a big bully. I feel like it’s like all those movies where the guy you respected turned out to be a total douchebag. There you go.

Is this Fear Mongering?

Can you imagine, a respected company like American Tower Company, acting this way? Who is running the show? Since when did they become the big bad company who craps on the little guy? What did I miss? Are the patients running the asylum?

The American Tower Company is trying to be the only tower company. How are they going to do that? They sent a form letter out to all of the climbers that work on their tower and loosely said, if you do work on anyone else’s tower near our tower, we’ll fire you, won’t let you climb our towers, and won’t be your friend.” OK, I made the part up about being their friend. Apparently, ATC has no friends.

I find it ironic that the American Tower Company would think of doing something, which I see as anti-American, by denying working Americans the right to make a living. I could see that if they hired these people full-time, but it’s hard to get work as it is. Now you’re limited to working for one company when they have work. You are turning other work down if you want to work on ATC turf! Can you imagine? No work for you because you worked for the competition? Big bad ATC is watching! Is this about all the competition like Crown Castle and SBA as well as Tillman Infrastructure? Is there some agreement that we don’t know about between CCI and SBA and ATC that we don’t know about? Why now? Makes me wonder. I mean, isn’t their room for one more tower company? Maybe not.

Here is what it looks like to me. It sounds like a gang moving in; this is our turf, and anyone who moves in or supports the other side will be punished! Why? Because we’re here, we’re big, and we hate the little guy! We’re a big company and we can do this.

Hey, my opinion here, but I wonder what the carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint think when they see someone they rely on is denying work to small business owners? I wonder what NATE thinks about having American Tower as a member when learning about this? Remember that NATE is full of small tower companies, probably some that are going to have to make a choice, they can either work for ATC or nobody. NATE gave ATC a way to locate most of them.

Think about the policing that ATC must be doing, they want to monitor all the competition to see who is working for them. How do you do that? Apparently, call the landlords and have them tell you who is doing the work, I’m guessing. How many people do you hire to spy on all your contractors and the competition? Do they go through NATE to monitor these guys? I don’t know, but it’s scary that big brother ATC is watching all of you all the time.

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One person told me they did it because they can, like when you’re too big to fail. Did you ever hear that before? Do you think they feel they are too big to fail? This sounds to me like denying work to a fair and hardworking contractor. Manipulative and controlling is what I see. Again, in my opinion, who knows what they were thinking.

Here is how I imagine it, the board of executives, (none of them ever climbed a tower), sitting around the table thinking, “What can we do to stop the competition from building towers near ours, I know, we’ll threaten all the contractors. Then we’ll call all the landlords to align with us. Think of the great PR we’ll get by making unrealistic demands to all those little people out there. All those small companies that rely on us for a paycheck will work for us or no one else, after all, they’re not employees but contractors that need us, we don’t need them, do we? Let’s crush the competition and put all those non-compliant companies out of business! It’s a win-win.”

This had to go through all kinds of approvals before sending a form letter out to the contractors; they sent a letter for GOD’s sake! Then they contacted all the landlord making them pick a side. Imagine doing all of this in a company tightly controlled like ATC! They must have had VP signoff to launch a campaign like this. Then, they must have had all the workers do the dirty work. Someone had to sit and call the landlords and say, be our friend, let us know what the competition is doing ASAP. Then they sent a letter to all contractors stating, work for us or else you’re done with ATC. That’s how I imagine it going, but who knows what really happened.

It looks like the big bully is saying “screw the little guy, it’s our way or the highway.” That’s my boiled down perspective.

Well how about that, the little guy is being pushed around by a big bad tower owner. They have the name American. Is it American to push around the little guy? Apparently. What kind of conspiracy is this?

Respect.

I used to respect American Tower Company; they did some good things in the industry, can you imagine this is their legacy now? Can you imagine Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint all do business with this company? How do you think that makes them look? Do you think they now see Tillman Infrastructure as someone they would rather work with?

Hey, do you think there are any regulatory issues that a public company would have to face when doing something like this? Makes me wonder.

Well, I give ATC one thing, it takes balls to tell a small business that if they work for the competition, they will lose out on work in writing. WOW! I give them credit for putting it all in writing and sending a letter out. What nerve it must have taken. They must think they are too big to fail. Are they too big to fail? There were some banks that thought they were too big to fail, what happened to them?

Hey, tell me what you think, message me on Facebook,  LinkedIn, or wade4wireless@gmail.com if you have an opinion.

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

See Ya!

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2 comments

  1. I don’t normally agree with any company that tries things like this but this case has some mitigating factors.

    1) The tower companies building these nearby towers are taking advantage of non municipal spaces to get these towers in, in most cases, there isn’t even a meeting for the nearby residents to voice concerns. When Tillman or VB try to do this in zoned areas they get laughed at.

    2) Any tower company would be none too happy with losing tenants, not much fun there.

    3) The concern caused by #1 above is that when someone actually needs a tower in say a county space it may become difficult as here in Mississippi, many counties along I-55 are now discussing strict zoning because of this. From Memphis down to Jackson there are now 11 towers that now have twins visible from the highway. By twins I mean towers built within 1000 feet of existing towers.

    4) These competitive towers are being rented out for what most consider to be ridiculously low rent rates, the kind of rates that without a second tenant, there is not much in the way of profit. Good luck to AT&T and Verizon on having clean, vegetation free sites.

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  2. You just now waking up to this. They’ve been doing this “type” since 2005.

    ATT was a enabler. All Mom and Pops have be complaining about this for over a decades.

    I recommend all those reading this put their input of all the times ATT and ATC threaten pushed them around.

    Liked by 1 person

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