Recent consolidation in the telecommunications industry has broadcast and wireless tower collateral seeking out commercial mortgage-backed securities issuers for financing, a trend that requires an unconventional approach when assessing this type of collateral, according to Fitch Ratings.Each tower pool has unique characteristics related to tower type, use and ownership interest, which, according to Wit Solberg, a director at Fitch Ratings, "negates the standard loan-to-value and debt service coverage ratio sizing approaches common in CMBS transactions." Fitch said, "The emergence of satellite and cable television has, on the surface, rendered broadcast towers more susceptible to technological obsolescence." But the rating agency also noted that, "although broadcast towers appear to be an outdated or declining medium for television and radio content distribution, 20% of the U.S. audience still receives television content over the air. Compelling regulatory, economic and technical arguments also indicate long-term stability of this business." Fitch can be found online at http://www.fitchratings.com.

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