Feds Cite LA Skyscraper for Phone Interference

By Frank Elaridi

Feb 18, 2014 5:00pm
GTY bad cell reception sk 140218 16x9 608 Feds Cite LA Skyscraper for Phone Interference

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There’s a palpable buzz in downtown Los Angeles, and federal regulators are none too pleased about it.

The Federal Communications Commission has cited one of the largest skyscrapers in LA for causing interference that has Verizon cell phone customers asking “Can you hear me now?”

Agents from the FCC’s enforcement bureau visited the Ernst & Young Plaza at 725 S. Figueroa St. and found that the culprit was the fluorescent lights atop the 41-story building, according to the agency.

Engineers found that lights manufactured by GE to be the source of the problem, and GE has offered to exchange the bulbs, according to the FCC.

The cause of the interference was with the fluorescent lights in two marquees outside of the building, a source told ABC News.

The site is owned by Brookfield Office Properties.

“Brookfield strives to be a good neighbor and we are committed to resolving any technical issues associated with our properties,” Matthew Cherry, Brookfield’s director of investor relations and communications, said in a statement to ABC News.

“As a corporate policy, we do not comment on regulatory matters,” Cherry added.

The FCC’s citation, issued Feb. 7, states that “Brookfield should take steps to come into compliance with the Rules, including eliminating the interference.”

Violation of the agency’s rules could result in “civil and criminal penalties, including but not limited to substantial monetary fines,” the citation states.

Brookfield Office Properties can either respond to the citation by resolving the problem or challenge it.

The FCC did not immediately respond to calls from ABC News seeking comment.

 

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