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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________________
FORM 10-K
 __________________________
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
or 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
Commission File Number 001-16441
 __________________________
ga13.jpg
CROWN CASTLE INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 __________________________ 
Delaware 76-0470458
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
 (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
8020 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77024-1908
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(713) 570-3000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code) 
Securities Registered Pursuant to
Section 12(b) of the Act
Trading SymbolsName of Each Exchange
on Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par valueCCINew York Stock Exchange
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE.
 ______________________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of a "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer   ☒    Accelerated filer  ☐    Non-accelerated filer  ☐  Smaller reporting company   Emerging growth company  
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  ☒
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $49.2 billion as of June 30, 2023, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the New York Stock Exchange closing price on that day of $113.94 per share.
Applicable Only to Corporate Registrants
As of February 20, 2024, there were 434,215,269 shares of common stock outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
The information required to be furnished pursuant to Part III of this Form 10-K will be set forth in, and incorporated by reference from, the registrant's definitive proxy statement for the annual meeting of stockholders ("2024 Proxy Statement"), which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023.




CROWN CASTLE INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
  Page
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 1C.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
Item 15.
Item 16.
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K ("2023 Form 10-K") contains forward-looking statements that are based on our management's expectations as of the filing date of this report with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Statements that are not historical facts are hereby identified as forward-looking statements. In addition, words such as "estimate," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "intend," "believe," "expect," "likely," "predicted," "positioned," "continue," "target," "seek," "focus" and any variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Examples of forward-looking statements include our full year 2024 outlook and our plans, projections, expectations and estimates regarding (1) the value of our business model and the demand for our communications infrastructure, (2) the growth potential of the U.S. market for shared communications infrastructure, (3) growth in the communications infrastructure industry, (4) demand for data and factors driving such demand, (5) the duration of our construction projects, (6) tenants' investment in wireless networks, (7) use of high-bandwidth applications, (8) our ability to service our debt and comply with debt covenants, (9) the level of commitment under our debt instruments, (10) our ability to remain qualified as a real estate investment trust ("REIT"), (11) site rental revenues, including the growth thereof, (12) sources and uses of liquidity, (13) impact from the T-Mobile and Sprint network consolidation, (14) drivers of cash flow growth, (15) our competitive advantage, (16) our dividends, including timing, amount, payment or tax characterization, (17) the timing of small cell deployments, (18) discretionary and sustaining capital expenditures and expansion of our business, (19) impact of elevated
2


interest rates, (20) the growth in our business and its driving factors, (21) our ESG (as defined below) goals, including carbon neutrality, (22) non-renewals, (23) restructuring activities and the cost reductions, charges, scope, actions and savings associated therewith, including timing, amounts, impact and recurrence, (24) strategic review and (25) actions by activist stockholders and the impact therefrom. All future dividends are subject to declaration by our board of directors.
Such forward-looking statements should, therefore, be considered in light of various risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including prevailing market conditions, risk factors described under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" herein and other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected.
Our filings with the SEC are available through the SEC website at www.sec.gov or through our investor relations website at investor.crowncastle.com. We use our investor relations website to disclose information about us that may be deemed to be material. We encourage investors, the media and others interested in us to visit our investor relations website from time to time to review up-to-date information or to sign up for e-mail alerts to be notified when new or updated information is posted on the site.
Interpretation
As used herein, the term "including," and any variation thereof, means "including without limitation." The use of the word "or" herein is not exclusive. Unless this 2023 Form 10-K indicates otherwise or the context otherwise requires, the terms, "we," "our," "our company," "the company" or "us" as used in this 2023 Form 10-K refer to Crown Castle Inc. and its predecessor (organized in 1995), as applicable, each a Delaware corporation (together, "CCI"), and their subsidiaries. Additionally, unless the context suggests otherwise, references to "U.S." are to the United States of America and Puerto Rico, collectively.


3


PART I
Item 1.    Business
Overview
We own, operate and lease shared communications infrastructure that is geographically dispersed throughout the U.S., including (1) more than 40,000 towers and other structures, such as rooftops (collectively, "towers"), (2) approximately 115,000 small cells on air or under contract and (3) approximately 90,000 route miles of fiber primarily supporting small cells and fiber solutions. We refer to our towers, small cells and fiber assets collectively as "communications infrastructure," and to our customers on our communications infrastructure as "tenants." Our operating segments consist of (1) Towers and (2) Fiber, which includes both small cells and fiber solutions. Our core business is providing access, including space or capacity, to our shared communications infrastructure via long-term contracts in various forms, including lease, license, sublease and service agreements (collectively, "tenant contracts"). We seek to increase our site rental revenues by adding more tenants on our shared communications infrastructure, which we expect to result in significant incremental cash flows due to our low incremental operating costs. We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. See "Item 1. Business—REIT Status" and notes 2 and 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Over nearly three decades, we have assembled a leading portfolio of towers predominately through acquisitions from large wireless carriers or their predecessors. More recently, we have extended our communications infrastructure presence by investing significantly in our Fiber segment. Through our product offerings of towers and small cells, we seek to provide a comprehensive solution to enable our wireless tenants to expand coverage and capacity for their wireless networks. Furthermore, within our Fiber segment, we seek to generate cash flow growth and stockholder return by deploying our fiber for both small cells' and fiber solutions' tenants.
Approximately 56% and 71% of our towers are located in the 50 and 100 largest U.S. basic trading areas ("BTAs"), respectively. Our towers have a significant presence in each of the top 100 BTAs. We derive approximately 40% of our towers site rental gross margin from towers located on land that we own, including through fee interests and perpetual easements, and we derive approximately 60% of our towers site rental gross margin from towers located on land that we lease, sublease, manage or license. The contracts for the land under our towers have an average total remaining life of approximately 35 years (including all renewal terms exercisable at our option), weighted based on towers site rental gross margin. The majority of our small cells and fiber assets are located in major metropolitan areas, including a presence within every major U.S. market. The vast majority of our fiber assets are located on public rights-of-way.
Our largest tenants are T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which collectively accounted for approximately three-fourths of our 2023 consolidated site rental revenues. See note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our largest tenants. Site rental revenues represented 94% of our 2023 consolidated net revenues, of which 66% and 34% were from our Towers segment and Fiber segment, respectively. Within our Fiber segment, 64% and 36% of our 2023 site rental revenues related to fiber solutions and small cells, respectively. The vast majority of our site rental revenues are of a recurring nature and are derived from long-term tenant contracts. See "Item 1. Business—The Company" for further information. As of December 31, 2023, exclusive of renewals exercisable at the tenants' option, our tenant contracts had a weighted-average remaining life of approximately six years and represented $39 billion of expected future cash inflows.
As part of our effort to provide comprehensive communications infrastructure solutions, as an ancillary business, we also offer certain services primarily relating to our Towers segment, predominately consisting of site development services relating to existing or new tenant equipment installations, including: site acquisition, architectural and engineering, or zoning and permitting (collectively, "site development services"). See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the Company's July 2023 restructuring ("Plan"), which included discontinuing tenant equipment installations or subsequent augmentations (collectively, "installation services") as a Towers product offering.
Strategy
As a leading provider of shared communications infrastructure in the U.S., our strategy is to create long-term stockholder value via a combination of (1) growing cash flows generated from our existing portfolio of communications infrastructure, (2) returning a meaningful portion of our cash generated by operating activities to our common stockholders in the form of dividends and (3) investing capital efficiently to grow cash flows and long-term dividends per share. Our strategy is based, in part, on our belief that the U.S. is the most attractive market for shared communications infrastructure investment with the greatest long-term growth potential. We measure our efforts to create "long-term stockholder value" by the combined payment of dividends to stockholders and growth in our per-share results. The key elements of our strategy are to:
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Grow cash flows from our existing communications infrastructure. We are focused on maximizing the recurring site rental cash flows generated from providing our tenants with long-term access to our shared infrastructure assets, which we believe is the core driver of value for our stockholders. Tenant additions or modifications of existing tenant equipment (collectively, "tenant additions") enable our tenants to expand coverage and capacity in order to meet increasing demand for data while generating high incremental returns for our business. We believe our product offerings of towers and small cells through our shared communications infrastructure model provide a comprehensive, efficient and cost-effective solution for our wireless tenants' growing networks. Additionally, we believe our ability to share our fiber assets across multiple tenants to both deploy small cells and offer fiber solutions allows us to generate cash flows and increase stockholder return.
Return cash generated by operating activities to common stockholders in the form of dividends. We believe that distributing a meaningful portion of our cash generated by operating activities appropriately provides common stockholders with increased certainty for a portion of expected long-term stockholder value while still allowing us to retain sufficient flexibility to invest in our business and deliver growth. We believe this decision reflects the translation of the high-quality, long-term contractual cash flows of our business into stable capital returns to common stockholders.
Invest capital efficiently to grow cash flows and long-term dividends per share. In addition to adding tenants to existing communications infrastructure, we seek to invest our available capital, including the net cash generated by our operating activities and external financing sources, in a manner that will increase long-term stockholder value on a risk-adjusted basis. These investments include constructing and acquiring new communications infrastructure that we expect will generate future cash flow growth and attractive long-term returns by adding tenants to those assets over time. Our historical investments have included the following (in no particular order):
construction of towers, fiber and small cells;
acquisitions of towers, fiber and small cells;
acquisitions of land interests (which primarily relate to land assets under towers);
improvements and structural enhancements to our existing communications infrastructure;
purchases of shares of our common stock from time to time; and
purchases, repayments or redemptions of our debt.
Our strategy to create long-term stockholder value is based on our belief that there will be considerable future demand for our communications infrastructure based on the location of our assets and the rapid and continuing growth in the demand for data. We believe that such demand for our communications infrastructure will continue, will result in growth of our cash flows due to tenant additions on our existing communications infrastructure, and will create other growth opportunities for us, such as demand for newly constructed or acquired communications infrastructure, as described above. Further, we seek to augment the long-term value creation associated with growing our recurring site rental cash flows by offering certain ancillary site development services within our Towers segment.
REIT Status
We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, we are generally entitled to a deduction for dividends that we pay and, therefore, are not subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our net taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. We may be subject to certain federal, state, local and foreign taxes on our income or assets, including (1) taxes on any undistributed income, (2) taxes related to our taxable REIT subsidiaries ("TRSs"), (3) franchise taxes, (4) property taxes and (5) transfer taxes. In addition, we could, under certain circumstances, be required to pay an excise or penalty tax, which could be significant in amount, in order to utilize one or more relief provisions under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended ("Code"), to maintain qualification for taxation as a REIT. For taxable years beginning before 2026, qualified REIT dividends (within the meaning of Section 199A(e)(3) of the Code) constitute a part of a non-corporate taxpayer's "qualified business income amount" and thus our non-corporate U.S. stockholders may be eligible to take a qualified business income deduction in an amount equal to 20% of such dividends received from us. Without further legislative action, the 20% deduction applicable to qualified REIT dividends will expire on January 1, 2026.
The vast majority of our assets and revenues are in the REIT. See notes 2 and 9 to our consolidated financial statements. Additionally, we have included in TRSs certain other assets and operations. Those TRS assets and operations will continue to be subject, as applicable, to federal and state corporate income taxes or to foreign taxes in the jurisdictions in which such assets and operations are located.
Our foreign assets and operations (including our tower operations in Puerto Rico) most likely will be subject to foreign income taxes in the jurisdictions in which such assets and operations are located, regardless of whether or not they are included in a TRS.
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To remain qualified and be taxed as a REIT, we will generally be required to annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, after the utilization of our NOLs (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and excluding net capital gain) (see notes 2 and 9 to our consolidated financial statements). Our quarterly common stock dividend will delay the utilization of our NOLs and may cause certain of the NOLs to expire without utilization. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for risks associated with our REIT status.
Industry Overview
Consumer demand for data continues to grow due to increases in data consumption and increased penetration of bandwidth-intensive devices. This increase in data consumption is driven by factors such as growth in (1) mobile entertainment (such as mobile video, mobile applications and social networking), (2) mobile internet usage (supporting web browsing and trends in telehealth, remote working, online learning and other remote communications), (3) machine-to-machine applications or the "Internet of Things" (such as connected cars and wearables), and (4) the adoption of other bandwidth-intensive applications (such as cloud services, artificial intelligence and video communications). As a result, consumer wireless devices are trending toward bandwidth-intensive devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets and other emerging and embedded devices, and U.S. wireless carriers are among the first carriers in the world to begin offering commercial 5th Generation ("5G") mobile cellular communications services to further support such growth.
We expect the following factors to contribute to potential demand for our communications infrastructure:
consumers' growing wireless data consumption leading major wireless carriers to upgrade and enhance their networks through the efficient use of both towers and small cells, including in connection with 5G deployments, in an effort to improve network quality and capacity and customer retention or satisfaction;
prior and future potential spectrum auctioned, licensed or made available by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") enabling additional wireless carrier network development;
next-generation technologies and new uses for wireless communications may potentially result in new entrants or increased demand in the wireless industry, which may include companies involved in the continued evolution and deployment of the Internet of Things;
the continued adoption of bandwidth-intensive applications, including artificial intelligence, could result in demand for high-capacity, multi-location, fiber-based network solutions; and
increased government initiatives to expand broadband infrastructure to support connectivity throughout the U.S.
The Company
Virtually all of our operations in both our Towers and Fiber operating segments are located in the U.S. For more information about our operating segments, see "Item 7. MD&A—Results of Operations" and note 14 to our consolidated financial statements. Our core business is providing access, including space or capacity, to our shared communications infrastructure via long-term tenant contracts in the U.S. We believe our communications infrastructure is integral to our tenants' networks and organizations. See "Item 1. Business—Strategy."
Towers Segment. We believe towers are the most efficient and cost-effective solution for providing coverage and capacity for wireless carrier network deployments. We acquired ownership interests or exclusive rights to the majority of our towers directly or indirectly from the largest U.S. wireless carriers (or their predecessors) through transactions consummated since 1999, including towers from (1) AT&T in 2013, (2) T-Mobile in 2012, (3) companies now part of T-Mobile in 2007, (4) companies now part of Verizon Wireless in 1999 and 2000 and (5) companies now part of AT&T in 1999 and 2000.
We generally receive monthly rental payments and, in some cases, upfront payments, from our Towers tenants pursuant to long-term tenant contracts with (1) initial contract terms generally between five to 15 years, (2) multiple renewal periods generally between five to 10 years each, exercisable at the option of the tenant, (3) limited termination rights for our tenants and (4) contractual escalations of the rental price. We strive to negotiate with our existing tenant base for longer contractual terms, which often contain fixed escalation rates.
Our Towers tenant contracts, while amended and re-negotiated over time, have historically led to a long-term relationship with tenants on our towers, resulting in a retention rate generally between 98% and 99% each year. In general, each renewable tenant contract automatically renews at the end of its term unless (1) the tenant provides prior notice of its intent not to renew or (2) the contract is amended or re-negotiated. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for additional information regarding higher non-renewals (which we define as the reduction in site rental revenues as a result of tenant churn, terminations and, in limited circumstances, reductions of existing lease rates) expected as a result of the T-Mobile and Sprint network consolidation. See
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note 3 to our consolidated financial statements for a tabular presentation of the minimum rental payments due to us by tenants pursuant to tenant contracts without consideration of tenant renewal options as of December 31, 2023.
The average monthly rental payment from a new tenant added to towers can vary based on (1) aggregate tenant volume, (2) the location of the tower, or (3) the amount of tower and ground space leased to a tenant, which can be influenced by the quantity, size, and weight of the tenant's antenna installation or related equipment. When possible, we seek to receive rental payment increases in connection with tenant contract amendments, pursuant to which our tenants add antennas or other equipment to our towers or ground space on which they already have equipment pursuant to preexisting tenant contracts. Our Towers tenant contracts and pricing are not influenced by whether or not we perform the site development services.
As of December 31, 2023, the average number of tenants (calculated as a unique license together with any related amendments thereto) per tower was approximately 2.5.
Fiber Segment. Our Fiber segment consists of communications infrastructure offerings of small cells and fiber solutions.
Our small cells offload data traffic from towers and bolster our tenants' network capacity where data demand is the greatest and are typically attached to public right-of-way infrastructure, including utility poles and street lights.
We offer fiber solutions to large wireless carriers and organizations with high-bandwidth and multi-location demands. Our fiber solutions provide essential connectivity resources needed to create integrated networks and support organizations.
Most of our fiber assets were acquired through transactions dating back to 2012, with the largest transactions occurring in 2017. Our fiber assets include those we acquired from LTS Group Holdings LLC, Inc., Wilcon Holdings LLC and FPL FiberNet Holdings, LLC and certain other subsidiaries of NextEra Energy in 2017, Quanta Fiber Networks, Inc. in 2015, and NextG Networks, Inc. in 2012.
We generally receive monthly recurring payments and, in some cases, upfront payments, from our Fiber tenants pursuant to tenant contracts with initial terms that generally vary between one to 20 years. The average monthly rental payment from a new tenant can vary based on the amount or cost of (1) construction for initial and subsequent tenants, (2) fiber strand requirements and supply, (3) equipment at the site, (4) the market in the U.S. where the fiber is located and the competition thereof and (5) any upfront payment received.
Additional Site Rental Information. For both our Towers and Fiber segments, we have existing master agreements with our largest tenants, including T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Such agreements provide certain terms (including economic terms) that govern underlying contracts (entered into during the term of the master agreements) regarding the right to use our communications infrastructure by such tenants.
Nearly half of our site rental costs of operations consists of Towers ground lease expenses, and the remainder includes fiber access expenses (primarily leases of fiber assets and other access agreements to facilitate our communications infrastructure), repairs and maintenance, employee compensation or related benefit costs, property taxes, and utilities. Assuming current leasing activity levels, our cash operating expenses generally tend to escalate at approximately the rate of inflation. We seek to add tenants to our existing communications infrastructure at a low incremental operating cost, delivering high incremental returns to our business. Once constructed, our communications infrastructure requires minimal sustaining capital expenditures, including maintenance or other non-discretionary capital expenditures, which are typically between 1% and 2% of net revenues. See note 13 to our consolidated financial statements for a tabular presentation of the rental payments we owe to landlords pursuant to our operating lease agreements.
Services. As part of our effort to provide comprehensive communications infrastructure solutions, as an ancillary business, we also offer certain services primarily relating to site development services in our Towers segment. See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the Company's July 2023 restructuring plan, which included discontinuing installation services as a Towers product offering. In 2023, approximately 51% of our services and other revenues related to installation services, and the remainder predominately related to site development services. We seek to grow our services revenues by capitalizing on (1) increased leasing volumes that may result from carrier network upgrades, (2) promoting site development services, (3) expanding the scope of our services, and (4) focusing on tenant service and deployment speed. We do not always provide the site development services for our tenants on our communications infrastructure as other service providers also provide these services (see also "—Competition" below). Typically, our site development services are non-recurring and are billed on a fixed fee basis, and the terms and pricing of site development services are negotiated separately from our tenant contracts.
Customers. Our Towers customers are primarily comprised of large wireless carriers that operate national networks.
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Our Fiber customers generally consist of large wireless carriers and organizations with high-bandwidth and multi-location demands, such as enterprise (including healthcare and financial), wholesale, government and education institutions.
Our three largest tenants are T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Collectively, these three tenants accounted for approximately three-fourths of our 2023 site rental revenues. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for risks associated with our dependence on a small number of customers and note 14 to our consolidated financial statements. For 2023, our site rental revenues by tenant were as follows:
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Sales and Marketing. Our sales organization markets our communications infrastructure with the objective of contracting access with tenants to existing communications infrastructure or to new communications infrastructure prior to construction. We seek to become the critical partner and preferred independent communications infrastructure provider for our tenants and increase tenant satisfaction relative to our peers by leveraging our (1) existing unique communications infrastructure footprint, (2) tenant relationships, (3) process-centric approach, (4) technological tools and (5) construction capabilities and expertise relative to the Fiber segment.
Our sales team is organized based on a variety of factors, including tenant type (such as large wireless carriers, vertical customers and organizations), product offering and geography. A team of national account directors maintains our relationships with our largest tenants. These directors work to develop new business opportunities, as well as to ensure that tenants' communications infrastructure needs are efficiently translated into new contracts for our communications infrastructure. Sales personnel in our local offices develop and maintain relationships with our tenants that are expanding their networks, entering new markets, seeking new or additional communication infrastructure offerings, bringing new technologies to market or requiring maintenance or add-on business. In addition to our full-time sales or marketing staff, a number of senior-level employees spend a significant portion of their time on sales and marketing activities and call on existing or prospective tenants.
Competition. We face competition for site rental tenants from various sources, including (1) other independent communications infrastructure owners or operators, including competitors that own, operate, or manage towers, rooftops, broadcast or transmission towers, utility poles, fiber (including non-traditional competitors, such as cable providers) or small cells, (2) tenants who elect to self-perform or (3) new alternative deployment methods for communications infrastructure.
Some of our largest competitors in the Towers segment are American Tower Corporation and SBA Communications Corporation. Our Fiber segment business competitors can vary significantly based on geography. Some of the larger competitors in the Fiber segment include other owners of fiber, tenants who elect to self-perform and recent and potential entrants into small cells and the fiber solutions business. We believe that location, existing communications infrastructure footprint, deployment speed, quality of service, expertise, reputation, capacity and price have been and will continue to be the most significant competitive factors affecting our businesses. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for a discussion of competition in our industry.
Competitors to our services offering can include site acquisition consultants, zoning consultants, real estate firms, right-of-way consulting firms, construction companies, tower owners or managers, radio frequency engineering consultants, our tenants' internal staff or contractors, or telecommunications equipment vendors who can provide turnkey site development services through multiple subcontractors. We believe that our tenants base their decisions on the outsourcing of services on criteria such as a company's experience, record of accomplishment, reputation, price and time for completion of a project.
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Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG")
Our shared communications infrastructure model results in the use of fewer resources, including water, energy, metals and other materials, than would otherwise be needed to construct and maintain communications infrastructure. We are committed to operating responsibly and ethically and considering social and environmental impacts as we make business decisions. We maintain annual sustainability targets in our senior unsecured credit facility. Further, we have a goal to be carbon neutral by 2025 in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by continuing to invest in energy reduction initiatives, sourcing renewable energy, and, to a lesser extent, utilizing carbon credits or offsets. We plan to continue investing in projects that are both good for our business and good for the environment.
The Nominating, Environmental, Social and Governance Committee assists the board of directors with ESG oversight. Our executive management team and senior management keep our board of directors apprised of our ESG priorities, goals and initiatives. Together, our board of directors and executive management team define our strategic approach to managing actual and potential impacts of significant ESG risks and opportunities.
Additional information regarding our sustainability initiatives and progress is also available through the Investors section of our website at https://investor.crowncastle.com. The information on our website, including our ESG Reports, is not, and shall not be deemed to be, incorporated by reference into this 2023 Form 10-K or any other filings with the SEC unless expressly noted in any such other filings.
Human Capital
The people who work for Crown Castle are essential to our ability to execute on our strategy. As of January 31, 2024, we employed approximately 4,700 people, all of whom were based in the U.S. From time to time, we also add contingent workers to support our business.
We believe attracting, developing and retaining talented employees is paramount to serving our customers and our communities and creating value for our stockholders. We also conduct company-wide employee surveys to help us understand how they feel about working at our company and track the results to inform our human capital strategies.
We continue to focus on building and retaining a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive community to make our company stronger and more innovative. We actively partner with non-profit and community organizations to create a diverse talent pipeline. In addition, our board of directors is currently comprised of 58% female or racially diverse directors.
The well-being of our employees is a crucial element of our safety culture, employee engagement and productivity. We offer a competitive total rewards package which includes market-based pay, performance-based annual incentive awards, healthcare and retirement benefits, mental health benefits, parental and family leave, holiday and paid time off and tuition assistance. We further invest in our employees' professional growth and development by providing resources and opportunities to hone their skills and expand their subject-matter expertise, which empowers them to advance their careers and enables our business to prosper.
We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreements and have not experienced any strikes or work stoppages. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our July 2023 restructuring activities, which included reducing the total employee headcount by approximately 15%.
Regulatory and Environmental Matters
We are required to comply with a variety of federal, state and local regulations and laws in the U.S., including FCC and Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") regulations and those discussed under "—Environmental" below. To date, we have not incurred any material fines or penalties or experienced any material adverse effects to our business as a result of any domestic or international regulations, including any environmental regulations. The summary below is based on regulations currently in effect, and such regulations are subject to review or modification by the applicable governmental authority from time to time. If we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations, we may be fined or lose our rights to conduct some of our business.
Federal Regulations. Both the FCC and the FAA regulate towers used for wireless communications, radio, or television broadcasting. Such regulations control the siting, construction, modification, lighting, and marking of towers and may, depending on the characteristics of particular towers, require the registration of tower facilities with the FCC and the issuance of determinations confirming no hazard to air traffic. Wireless communications devices operating on towers are separately regulated and independently licensed based upon the particular frequency used. In addition, the FCC and the FAA have developed standards to consider proposals for new or modified tower or antenna structures based upon the height or location, including proximity to airports. Proposals to construct or to modify existing tower or antenna structures above certain heights
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are reviewed by the FAA to ensure the structure will not present a hazard to aviation, which determination may be conditioned upon compliance with lighting or marking requirements. The FCC requires its licensees to operate communications devices only on towers that comply with FAA rules and are registered with the FCC, if required by its regulations. Where tower lighting is required by FAA regulation, tower owners bear the responsibility of notifying the FAA of any tower lighting outage and ensuring the timely restoration of such outages.
State and Local Regulations. The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 amended the Communications Act of 1934 to preserve state and local zoning authorities' jurisdiction over the siting of communications towers and small cells. The law, however, limits state and local zoning authority by prohibiting actions by such authorities that discriminate between different service providers of wireless communications or prohibit altogether (actually or effectively) the provision of wireless communications. Additionally, the law prohibits state and local restrictions based on the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent the facilities comply with FCC regulations.
Local regulations include city and other local ordinances (including subdivision and zoning ordinances), approvals for construction, modification and removal of towers and small cells, and restrictive covenants imposed by community developers. These regulations vary greatly, but typically require us to obtain prior approval from local officials. Local zoning authorities may render decisions that prevent the construction or modification of towers or small cells, or place conditions on such construction or modifications that are responsive to community residents' concerns regarding the height, visibility, or other characteristics of such infrastructure. Over the last several years, the FCC has adopted regulations and 32 states have passed legislation intended to expedite and streamline the deployment of wireless networks, including establishing presumptively reasonable timeframes for reviews by local and state governments. Notwithstanding such developments, decisions of local regulatory authorities and utilities in certain jurisdictions may continue to adversely affect deployment timing and cost.
Certain of our subsidiaries hold state authorizations, including authorizations to act as competitive local exchange carriers ("CLECs"), to provide intrastate telecommunication services in addition to FCC authorization to provide domestic interstate telecommunication services. State authorizations may help promote access to public rights-of-way, which is beneficial to the timely deployment of fiber and small cells, and often allow us to deploy such infrastructure in locations where zoning restrictions might otherwise delay, restrict, or prevent building or expanding traditional wireless tower and rooftop sites. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for additional information regarding rights to our infrastructure.
Environmental. We are required to comply with a variety of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations protecting environmental quality, including air and water quality, and wildlife. To date, we have not incurred any material fines or penalties or experienced any material adverse effects to our business as a result of any domestic or international environmental regulations or matters. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for additional information regarding compliance with laws and regulations.
The construction of new towers and small cells or, in some cases, their modification in the U.S. may be subject to environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended ("NEPA"), which requires federal agencies to evaluate the environmental impact of major federal actions. NEPA regulations require applicants to investigate the potential environmental impact of the proposed tower or small cells construction. If the FCC determines that the proposed tower or small cells construction or modification presents a significant environmental impact, the FCC is required to prepare an environmental impact statement, which is subject to public comment. Such determination could significantly delay the FCC's approval of the construction or modification.
Our operations are also subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the management, use, storage, disposal, emission, or remediation of, or exposure to, hazardous or non-hazardous substances, materials, or wastes. As an owner, lessee, or operator of real property, we are subject to certain environmental laws that impose strict, joint-and-several liability for the cleanup of on-site or off-site contamination relating to existing or historical operations; or we could also be subject to personal injury or property damage claims relating to such contamination. In general, our tenant contracts prohibit our tenants from using or storing any hazardous substances on our communications infrastructure sites in violation of applicable environmental laws and require our tenants to provide notice of certain environmental conditions caused by them.
We are subject to Occupational Safety and Health Administration and similar guidelines regarding employee protection from radio frequency exposure. In recent years, the scientific community has extensively studied low-level radio frequency emissions to determine whether they have any connection to certain negative health effects, such as cancer.
We have compliance programs and monitoring projects designed to promote compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. Nevertheless, there can be no assurance that the costs of compliance with existing or future environmental laws will not have a material adverse effect on us.
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Available Information
We maintain a website at www.crowncastle.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K (and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended ("Exchange Act")), proxy statements and other information about us are made available, free of charge, through the Investors section of our website at https://investor.crowncastle.com and at the SEC's website at http://sec.gov as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.
In addition, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Proper Business Practices and Ethics Policy, Financial Code of Ethics, and the charters of our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating, Environmental, Social and Governance Committee are available through the Investors section of our website at https://investor.crowncastle.com, and such information is also available in print to any stockholder who requests it. We intend to post to our website any amendments to or waivers from each of the Business Practices and Ethics Policy and Financial Code of Ethics applicable to our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Controller that are required to be disclosed.
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Item 1A.     Risk Factors
You should carefully consider all of the risks described below, as well as the other information contained in this document, when evaluating your investment in our securities.
Risks Relating to Our Business and Industry
Our business depends on the demand for our communications infrastructure (including towers, small cells and fiber), driven primarily by demand for data, and we may be adversely affected by any slowdown in such demand. Additionally, a reduction in the amount or change in the mix of network investment by our tenants may materially and adversely affect our business (including reducing demand for our communications infrastructure or services).
Tenant demand for our communications infrastructure depends on consumers' and organizations' demand for data. Additionally, the willingness of our tenants to utilize our communications infrastructure, or renew or extend existing tenant contracts on our communications infrastructure, is affected by numerous factors, including:
availability or capacity of our communications infrastructure or associated land interests;
location of our communications infrastructure;
financial condition of our tenants, including their profitability and availability or cost of capital, including through government funding;
willingness of our tenants to maintain or increase their network investment or changes in their capital allocation strategy;
need for integrated networks and organizations;
availability and cost of spectrum for commercial use;
increased use of network sharing, roaming, joint development, or resale agreements by our tenants;
mergers or consolidations by and among our tenants;
changes in, or success of, our tenants' business models;
governmental regulations and initiatives, including local or state restrictions on the proliferation of communications infrastructure;
cost of constructing communications infrastructure;
our market competition, including tenants that may elect to self-perform;
technological changes, including those (1) affecting the number or type of communications infrastructure needed to provide data to a given geographic area or which may otherwise serve as a substitute or alternative to our communications infrastructure or (2) resulting in the obsolescence or decommissioning of certain existing wireless networks; and
our ability to efficiently satisfy our tenants' service requirements.
A slowdown in demand for data or our communications infrastructure may negatively impact our growth or otherwise have a material adverse effect on us. If our current or potential tenants are unable to raise adequate capital to fund their business plans, as a result of disruptions in the financial and credit markets or otherwise, they may reduce their spending, which could adversely affect our anticipated growth or the demand for our communications infrastructure or services.
The amount, timing, and mix of our tenants' network investment is variable and can be significantly impacted by the various matters described in these risk factors. Changes in tenant network investment typically impact the demand for our communications infrastructure. As a result, changes in tenant plans such as delays in the implementation of new systems, new and emerging technologies (including small cells and fiber solutions), or change in plans to expand coverage or capacity may reduce demand for our communications infrastructure. Furthermore, the industries in which our tenants operate (particularly those in the wireless industry) could experience a slowdown or slowing growth rates as a result of numerous factors, including a reduction in consumer demand for data or general economic conditions. There can be no assurances that weakness or uncertainty in the economic environment will not adversely impact our tenants or their industries, which may materially and adversely affect our business, including by reducing demand for our communications infrastructure or services. In addition, a slowdown may increase competition for site rental tenants or services. Such an industry slowdown or a reduction in tenant network investment may materially and adversely affect our business.

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A substantial portion of our revenues is derived from a small number of tenants, and the loss, consolidation or financial instability of any of such tenants may materially decrease revenues, reduce demand for our communications infrastructure and services and impact our dividend per share growth.
Our three largest tenants are T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. In addition to our three largest tenants, we also derive a meaningful portion of our revenues and anticipated future growth from DISH Network Corporate ("DISH"). The loss of any one of our largest tenants, including DISH, as a result of consolidation, merger, bankruptcy, insolvency, network sharing, roaming, joint development, resale agreements by our tenants or otherwise may result in (1) a material decrease in our revenues, (2) uncollectible account receivables, (3) an impairment of our deferred site rental receivables, communications infrastructure assets, or intangible assets (including goodwill), or (4) other adverse effects to our business. We cannot guarantee that tenant contracts with our largest tenants will not be terminated or that these tenants will renew their tenant contracts with us.
Consolidation among our largest tenants will likely result in duplicate or overlapping parts of networks, for example, where they are co-residents on a tower or small cell network, which may result in the termination, non-renewal or re-negotiation of tenant contracts and negatively impact revenues from our communications infrastructure. Due to the long-term nature of our tenant contracts, we generally expect that the impact to our site rental revenues from any termination of our tenant contracts as a result of such potential consolidation would be spread out over multiple years. Such consolidation (or potential consolidation) may result in a reduction or slowdown in such tenants' network investment in the aggregate because their expansion plans may be similar. Tenant consolidation could decrease the demand for our communications infrastructure and services, which in turn may result in a reduction in our revenues or cash flows and may trigger a review for impairment of certain long-lived assets.
On January 6, 2022, we entered into an agreement with T-Mobile that contemplates T-Mobile and Sprint network consolidation. We anticipate that this consolidation will result in approximately $200 million in Towers non-renewals in 2025. We expect an additional impact of $35 million in Fiber non-renewals, with $10 million impacting results in 2024 and the remainder in 2025. Excluding the anticipated impact from the T-Mobile and Sprint network consolidation, we expect each of towers and small cell non-renewals to remain in line with our historical range of 1 to 2% of their respective annual site rental revenues.
Due to network consolidation non-renewals and interest rate increases discussed in "—Risks Related to Our Debt and Equity," we expect our annual dividend per share growth through 2025 to be below our long-term annual target.
See "Item 1. Business—The Company" and note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our largest tenants.
The expansion or development of our business, including through acquisitions, increased product offerings or other strategic opportunities, may cause disruptions in our business, which may have an adverse effect on our business, operations or financial results.
We seek to expand and develop our business, including through acquisitions, increased product offerings, or other strategic opportunities. In the ordinary course of our business, we review, analyze and evaluate various potential transactions or other activities in which we may engage. Such transactions or activities could be complex, costly and time-consuming, or cause disruptions in, increase risk to or otherwise negatively impact our business. Among other things, such transactions and activities may:
disrupt our business relationships with our tenants and landlords, depending on the nature of or counterparty to such transactions and activities;
divert capital and the time or attention of management away from other business operations, including as a result of post-transaction integration activities;
fail to achieve revenue or margin targets, operational synergies or other benefits contemplated;
increase operational risk or volatility in our business;
not result in the benefits management had expected to realize from such expansion and development activities, or those benefits may take longer to realize than expected;
impact our cost structure and result in the need to hire additional employees;
increase demands on current employees or result in current or prospective employees experiencing uncertainty about their future roles with us, which might adversely affect our ability to retain or attract key employees; or
result in the need for additional TRSs or contributions of certain assets to TRSs, which are subject to federal and state corporate income taxes.
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Our Fiber segment has expanded, and the Fiber business model contains certain differences from our Towers business model, resulting in different operational risks. If we do not successfully operate our Fiber business model or identify or manage the related operational risks, such operations may produce results that are lower than anticipated.
Over the last decade, we have allocated a significant amount of capital to our Fiber business, which is a much less mature business for us than our Towers business. Our Fiber segment represented 34% and 31% of our site rental revenues for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. The business model for our Fiber operations contains certain differences from our business model for our Towers operations, including those relating to tenant base, competition, contract terms (including requirements for service level agreements regarding network performance and maintenance), upfront capital requirements, labor costs, landlord demographics, deployment and ownership of certain network assets, operational oversight requirements, government regulations, growth rates and applicable laws.
While our Fiber operations have certain risks that are similar to our Towers operations, they also have certain operational risks (including the scalability of processes) that are different from our Towers business, including:
the use of public rights-of-way and franchise agreements;
the use of poles and conduits owned solely by, or jointly with, third parties;
risks relating to overbuilding competitive fiber assets;
risks relating to the specific markets in which we choose or plan to operate;
risks relating to construction hazards, including boring, trenching, utility and maintenance of traffic hazards;
construction management and construction-related billings to tenants;
risks relating to efficiently and rapidly adjusting the size of the personnel needed to operate our Fiber business;
risks relating to wireless carriers building their own small cell networks, or tenants utilizing their own or alternative fiber assets;
the risk of failing to optimize the use of our finite supply of fiber strands;
damage to our assets and the need to maintain, repair, upgrade and periodically replace our assets;
the risk of failing to properly maintain or operate highly specialized hardware and software;
network data security risks;
the risk of new technologies that could enable tenants to realize the same benefits with less utilization of our fiber;
potential damage to our overall reputation as a communications infrastructure provider; and
the use of CLEC status.
In addition, the rate at which tenants adopt or prioritize small cells and fiber solutions may be lower or slower than we anticipate or may cease to exist altogether. For example, our tenants have initially focused on utilizing towers in the first phase of deploying their 5G networks, which has led to delays in some of our small cell deployments. We anticipate that these delays will be temporary, as our tenants plan for the next phase of their 5G network deployment which we believe will require small cells at scale. Our Fiber operations also expose us to different safety or liability risks or hazards than our Towers business as a result of numerous factors, including those stemming from the deployment, location or nature of the assets involved. There may be risks and challenges associated with small cells and fiber solutions being comparatively new and emerging technologies that are continuing to evolve, and there may be other risks related to small cells and fiber solutions of which we are not yet aware.
Our review of potential strategic alternatives may not result in an executed or consummated transaction or other strategic alternative, and the process of reviewing strategic alternatives or the outcome could adversely affect our business. There is no guarantee that any transaction resulting from the strategic review will ultimately benefit our shareholders.
In December 2023, our board of directors established a Fiber Review Committee to oversee and direct the review of strategic and operational alternatives that may be available to us with respect to our Fiber business, including potential sale, merger, spin-off, joint-venture and financing transactions, as well as a range of other strategic and operational opportunities for improved value-creation. There is no assurance that the process will result in the approval or completion of any specific transaction or outcome. We are actively working with financial advisors and legal counsel in this strategic review process.
The process of reviewing potential strategic and operational alternatives is time consuming and costly and may divert management's attention. It may also be disruptive to our business operations and long-term planning, which may cause concern to our current or potential investors, customers, employees, strategic partners, vendors and other stakeholders and may have a material impact on our operating results or result in increased volatility in our stock price.
Any potential transaction or other strategic alternative would be dependent on a number of factors that may be beyond our control, including, among other things, market conditions, industry trends, regulatory approvals, and the availability of financing for a potential transaction on favorable terms. There can be no assurance that any potential transaction or other strategic alternative will be successfully implemented, achieve the intended benefits or provide greater value to our stockholders
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than that reflected in the current price of our common stock. Until the review process is concluded, perceived uncertainties related to our future may result in the loss of potential business opportunities, volatility in the market price of our common stock and difficulty attracting and retaining qualified talent and business partners.
Failure to timely, efficiently and safely execute on our construction projects could adversely affect our business.
Our construction projects and related contracts can be long-term, complex in nature, dangerous, costly and challenging to execute. The quality of our performance on such construction projects depends in large part upon our ability to manage (1) the associated tenant relationship and (2) the project itself by timely deploying and properly managing appropriate internal and external project resources. In connection with our construction projects, we generally bear the risk of cost over-runs, labor availability and productivity, and contractor pricing and performance.
In addition, the construction projects (including modifications of existing communications infrastructure) can pose certain safety risks, including:
risks resulting from elevated work, including falling hazards;
risks of third-party non-compliance with safety regulations, industry best practices or other applicable standards;
risks associated with utility hazards, including gas line, electrical or sewage strikes, which may result in explosions, electrocution and other potentially catastrophic events; and
risk of potential wildfires, including due to welding, grinding, cutting, or other construction activity.
Such safety risks may cause personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property, suspension of operations or services, or significant damage to the environment, creating financial, regulatory or reputational damage that could adversely affect our business. See "—Our business may be adversely impacted by climate-related events, natural disasters, including wildfires, and other unforeseen events" below for additional information regarding potential adverse impacts to our business which may result from wildfires and other climate-related events.
Further, investments in newly constructed communications infrastructure may result in lower initial returns compared to returns on our existing communications infrastructure or us not being able to realize future tenant additions at anticipated levels. Additionally, contracts with our tenants for these projects typically specify delivery dates, performance criteria and penalties for our failure to perform. Our failure to perform timely and in accordance with the performance criteria exposes us to penalties specified in the contract or possible litigation. We often experience unforeseen delays from municipalities and utility companies that result in longer construction timelines than expected, which impact our ability to timely deliver on our projects. We may also experience unforeseen delays and increased project costs as a result of supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, which may impact the availability of equipment and materials needed for, and availability of contractors to work on, our construction projects. Our failure to manage such tenant relationships, project resources, and project milestones in a timely and efficient manner and appropriately manage safety risks could have a material adverse effect on our business.
New technologies may reduce demand for our communications infrastructure or negatively impact our revenues.
Improvements in the efficiency, architecture, and design of communication networks may reduce the demand for our communications infrastructure. For example, new technologies and spectrum that may promote network sharing, joint development, backhaul and fronthaul efficiency or resale agreements by our tenants, such as signal combining technologies or network virtualization, may reduce the need for our communications infrastructure. In addition, other technologies, such as WiFi, blimps, satellite (such as low earth orbiting) and mesh transmission systems may, in the future, serve as substitutes for, or alternatives to, leasing on communications infrastructure that might otherwise be anticipated or expected had such technologies not existed. In addition, new technologies that enhance the range, efficiency and capacity of communication equipment could reduce demand for our communications infrastructure. Any significant reduction in demand for our communications infrastructure resulting from the new technologies may negatively impact our revenues or otherwise have a material adverse effect on us.
If we fail to retain rights to our communications infrastructure, including the rights to land under our towers and the right-of-way and other agreements related to our small cells and fiber, our business may be adversely affected.
The property interests and other rights to our communications infrastructure, including the land under our towers, are derived from leasehold and sub-leasehold interests, fee interests, easements, licenses, rights-of-way, and franchise and other agreements. A loss of these interests and other rights may interfere with our ability to conduct our business or generate revenues. For various reasons, we may not always have the ability to access, analyze, or verify all information regarding titles or other issues prior to acquiring communications infrastructure. Further, we may not be able to renew ground leases or other agreements on commercially viable terms.
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Our ability to retain rights to the land on which our towers are located depends on our ability to purchase such land, by acquiring fee interests and perpetual easements, or renegotiate or extend the terms of the agreements relating to such land. Approximately 10% of our towers site rental gross margin for the year ended December 31, 2023 was derived from towers where the leases for the land under such towers had final expiration dates of less than 10 years. If we are unable to retain rights to the property on which our communications infrastructure is located, our business may be adversely affected.
As of December 31, 2023, approximately 53% of our towers were leased or subleased or operated and managed under master leases, subleases, or other agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint). We have the option to purchase these towers at the end of their respective lease terms. We have no obligation to exercise such purchase options. We may not have the required available capital to exercise our right to purchase some or all of these towers at the time these options are exercisable. Even if we do have available capital, we may choose not to exercise our right to purchase these towers or some or all of the T-Mobile or AT&T towers for business or other reasons. In the event that we do not exercise these purchase rights, or are otherwise unable to acquire an interest that would allow us to continue to operate these towers after the applicable period, we will lose the cash flows derived from such towers, which may have a material adverse effect on our business. In the event that we decide to exercise these purchase rights, the benefits of the acquisition of these towers may not exceed the costs, which could adversely affect our business. Additional information concerning these towers and the applicable purchase options as of December 31, 2023 is as follows:
22% of our towers are leased or subleased or operated and managed under a master lease or other related agreements with AT&T for a weighted-average initial term of approximately 28 years, weighted based on towers site rental gross margin. We have the option to purchase the leased and subleased towers from AT&T at the end of the respective lease or sublease terms for aggregate option payments of approximately $4.2 billion, which payments, if such option is exercised, would be due between 2032 and 2048.
31% of our towers are leased or subleased or operated and managed under master leases, subleases or other agreements with T-Mobile (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint). Approximately half of such towers have an initial term of 32 years (through May 2037), and we have the option to purchase in 2037 all (but not less than all) of such leased and subleased towers from T-Mobile for approximately $2.3 billion. The remainder of such towers have a weighted-average initial term of approximately 28 years, weighted based on towers site rental gross margin. We have the option to purchase such towers from T-Mobile at the end of the respective terms for aggregate option payments of approximately $2.0 billion, which payments, if such option is exercised, would be due between 2035 and 2049. In addition, another 1% of our towers under master leases, subleases, and other agreements with T-Mobile are subject to a lease and sublease or other related arrangements with AT&T. We have the option to purchase these towers from AT&T at the end of their respective lease terms for aggregate option payments of up to approximately $400 million, which payments, if such option is exercised, would be due prior to 2032 (less than $15 million would be due before 2029).
Under master lease or master prepaid lease arrangements we have with AT&T and T-Mobile (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint), certain of our subsidiaries lease or sublease, or are otherwise granted the right to operate and manage, towers from bankruptcy remote subsidiaries of such carriers. If one of these bankruptcy remote subsidiaries should become a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding and is permitted to reject the underlying ground lease, our subsidiaries could lose their interest in the applicable sites. If our subsidiaries were to lose their interest in the applicable sites or if the applicable ground leases were to be terminated, we would lose the cash flow derived from the towers on those sites, which may have a material adverse effect on our business. We have similar bankruptcy risks with respect to sites that we operate under management agreements.
For our small cells and fiber, we must maintain rights-of-way, franchise, pole attachment, conduit use, fiber use and other agreements to operate our assets. For various reasons, we may not always have the ability to maintain these agreements or obtain future agreements to construct, maintain and operate our fiber assets. Access to rights-of-way may depend on our CLEC status, and we cannot be certain that jurisdictions will (1) recognize such CLEC status or (2) not change their laws concerning CLEC access to rights-of-way. If a material portion of these agreements are terminated or are not renewed, we might be forced to abandon our assets, which may adversely impact our business. In order to operate our assets, we must also maintain fiber agreements that we have with public and private entities. There is no assurance that we will be able to renew these agreements on favorable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew these agreements on favorable terms, we may face increased costs or reduced revenues.
Additionally, in order to expand our communications infrastructure footprint to new locations, we often need to obtain new or additional rights-of-way and other agreements. Our failure to obtain these agreements in a prompt and cost-effective manner may prevent us from expanding our footprint, which may be necessary to meet our contractual obligations to our tenants and could adversely impact our business.
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Our services business has historically experienced significant volatility in demand, which reduces the predictability of our results.
The operating results of our services business for any particular period may experience significant fluctuations given its non-recurring nature and should not necessarily be considered indicative of longer-term results for this activity. Our services business is generally driven by demand for our communications infrastructure and may be adversely impacted by various factors, including:
competition;
the timing, mix and amount of tenant network investments;
the rate and volume of tenant deployment plans;
unforeseen delays or challenges relating to work performed;
economic weakness or uncertainty;
labor availability and productivity;
availability of key components;
our market share; and
changes in the size, scope, or volume of work performed.

During 2023, due primarily to a decline in tenant activity, services and other revenues decreased by 36% compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. In July 2023, we announced the discontinuation of installation services as a Towers product offering while continuing to offer site development services on our towers. See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements and "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Highlights of Business Fundamentals and Results" for further discussion of our July 2023 restructuring activities.
If radio frequency emissions from wireless handsets or equipment on our communications infrastructure are demonstrated to cause negative health effects, potential future claims could adversely affect our operations, costs or revenues.
The potential connection between radio frequency emissions and certain negative health effects, including some forms of cancer, has been the subject of substantial study by the scientific community in recent years. We cannot guarantee that claims relating to radio frequency emissions will not arise in the future or that the results of such studies will not be adverse to us.
Public perception of possible health risks associated with cellular or other wireless connectivity services and wireless technologies (such as 5G) may slow or diminish the growth of wireless companies and deployment of new wireless technologies, which may in turn slow or diminish our growth. In particular, negative public perception of, and regulations regarding, these perceived health risks may slow or diminish the market acceptance of wireless services and technologies. If a connection between radio frequency emissions and possible negative health effects were established, our operations, costs, or revenues may be materially and adversely affected. We currently do not maintain any significant insurance with respect to these matters.
Cybersecurity breaches or other information technology disruptions could adversely affect our operations, business, and reputation.
Despite existing security measures, certain of our information technology and communications infrastructure may be subject to damage, disruptions, or shutdowns due to unauthorized access, computer viruses, ransomware or other malicious software, cyber-attacks and other security breaches. In addition, our reliance on cloud- or internet-based services and on remote access to information systems increases our exposure to potential cybersecurity incidents. An attack attempt or security breach, such as a distributed denial of service attack, could potentially result in (1) interruption or cessation of certain of our services to our tenants or access by our tenants to certain of our information technology systems, (2) our inability to meet expected levels of service to our tenants, (3) data transmitted over our tenants' networks being compromised or misappropriated, or (4) business or other sensitive data being compromised, misappropriated or lost. Although we believe we have a comprehensive incident response plan and other cybersecurity measures and policies in place, we cannot guarantee that our security measures will not be circumvented, resulting in tenant network failures or interruptions that could impact our tenants' network availability and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or operational results.
Additionally, security incidents impacting our tenants, vendors and business partners could result in a material adverse effect on our business. We may be required to expend significant resources to protect against or recover from such threats. If an actual or perceived breach of our cybersecurity or information technology, or that of our cloud- or internet-based service providers, occurs, the market perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed, and we could lose tenants. Further, the perpetrators of cyber-attacks are not restricted to particular groups or persons. These attacks may be committed by our employees or external actors operating in any geography. In addition, our acquisitions, both past and future, may alter our potential exposure to the risks described above. While we maintain insurance that includes coverage in the event
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of cybersecurity or other information technology breaches, there can be no assurances that such coverage will be adequate to cover exposure from such incidents.
Our business may be adversely impacted by climate-related events, natural disasters, including wildfires, and other unforeseen events.
We could be negatively impacted by other unforeseen events, such as extreme weather events or natural disasters (including as a result of any potential effects of climate change), or acts of vandalism. There is increasing concern that global climate change is occurring and could result in increased frequency of certain types of natural disasters and extreme weather events. Although we have implemented a wildfire risk mitigation program, the effects of climate change have increased the risk and extent of wildfires that could potentially result from certain of our construction and maintenance projects and other operating activities. We cannot predict with certainty the rate at which climate change is occurring or the potential direct or indirect impacts of climate change to our business. Any such unforeseen events could, among other things, damage or delay deployment of our communications infrastructure, interrupt or delay service to our tenants or could result in legal claims or penalties, disruption in operations, damage to our reputation, negative market perception, or costly response measures, which could adversely affect our business.
While we currently maintain insurance policies that include coverage in the event of natural disasters and other unforeseen events, including possible incidents in which our actions (or the actions of those acting on our behalf) contribute to such events, there can be no assurances that such coverage will be adequate to cover exposure from such events. Further, we do not maintain, and do not expect to maintain, insurance policies that provide adequate coverage in the event that our actions (or those actions of those acting on our behalf) contribute to a wildfire event, as a result of the fact that such insurance policies are generally not economically available.
As a result of competition in our industry, we may find it more difficult to negotiate favorable rates on our new or renewing tenant contracts.
Our growth is dependent on our entering into new tenant contracts (including amendments to tenant contracts upon modification of existing towers, small cells or fiber), as well as renewing or renegotiating tenant contracts when existing tenant contracts terminate. Competition in our industry may make it more difficult for us to attract new tenants, maintain or increase our gross margins, or maintain or increase our market share. In addition, competition (primarily in our fiber solutions business) may, in certain circumstances, cause us to renegotiate certain existing tenant contracts to avoid early contract terminations. We face competition for site rental tenants and associated contractual rates from various sources, including (1) other independent communications infrastructure owners or operators, including those that own, operate, or manage towers, rooftops, broadcast or transmission towers, utility poles, fiber (including non-traditional competitors such as cable providers) or small cells, or (2) new alternative deployment methods for communications infrastructure.
Our Fiber business generally has different competitors than those in our Towers business, including other owners of fiber, as well as new entrants into small cells and fiber solutions, some of which may have larger networks, greater financial resources or more experience in managing such assets than we have.
New wireless technologies may not deploy or be adopted by tenants as rapidly or in the manner projected.
There can be no assurances that new wireless services or technologies, which may drive demand for our communications infrastructure, will be introduced or deployed as rapidly or in the manner projected by the wireless carriers. In addition, demand or tenant adoption rates for such new technologies may be lower or slower than anticipated for numerous reasons. As a result, growth opportunities or demand for our communications infrastructure arising from such technologies may not be realized at the times or to the extent anticipated.
Our focus on and disclosure of our ESG position, metrics, strategy, goals and initiatives expose us to potential litigation and other adverse effects to our business.
In recent years, certain of our investors, tenants, employees and other stakeholders have increased their focus on ESG matters and disclosure. In response, we have published ESG reports and related materials and made other public announcements regarding our ESG position, initiatives and goals. Our ESG metrics, initiatives and goals, and progress against those goals, may be based on standards that are still developing and that may not be uniformly adopted or applied by other companies, processes and internal controls that continue to evolve, potentially missing or deficient third-party data, wide range of acceptable estimation techniques, and estimates and assumptions that are subject to a greater degree of uncertainty and may change more frequently than those underlying our financial metrics. Our ESG initiatives and goals may be difficult to implement, may be contrary to interests of other stakeholders and may increase operating costs and result in changes to certain of our operations, assets and processes. In addition, a number of governmental and self-regulatory organizations have
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developed or are developing climate change-based laws and regulations, with varying scopes and complexity, that could, if adopted, significantly increase compliance burdens and associated costs.
Any failure, or perceived failure, by us to achieve our goals, further our initiatives, accurately report our metrics or adhere to public statements exposes us to potential litigation, which may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and stock price.
Failure to attract, recruit and retain qualified and experienced employees could adversely affect our business, operations and costs.
Our ability to sustain and grow our business and execute on our strategy requires us, in part, to attract, recruit and retain qualified and experienced employees, including key management personnel and other talent. We have encountered a competitive labor market for experienced talent in our industry due, in part, to macroeconomic conditions. Our stock price decline has caused, and may continue to cause, a failure to achieve certain metrics on which vesting of our performance-based equity awards is based. If our total compensation package is not viewed as competitive, our ability to successfully attract, recruit and retain key employees could adversely impact our business, operations, and costs, which could result in the loss of institutional knowledge and expertise of departing employees.
In addition, see "—Changes to management, including turnover of our top executives, could have an adverse effect on our business.", "—Actions that we are taking to restructure our business in alignment with our strategic priorities may not be as effective as anticipated." and "—Our review of potential strategic alternatives may not result in an executed or consummated transaction or other strategic alternative, and the process of reviewing strategic alternatives or the outcome could adversely affect our business. There is no guarantee that any transaction resulting from the strategic review will ultimately benefit our shareholders." for a discussion of the strategic and operational review, recent management changes, the recent reduction in force, and the potential adverse impact on our workforce therefrom.
Changes to management, including turnover of our top executives, could have an adverse effect on our business.
Our business has experienced significant executive management changes. In December 2023, we announced the departure of Jay A. Brown, our President and Chief Executive Officer ("CEO"), the appointment of Anthony J. Melone, a member of our board of directors, to serve as an interim President and CEO, and the creation of an ad hoc CEO Search Committee of the board of directors to conduct a search for our next CEO. The timeline for identifying and integrating a new CEO is currently unknown. We must timely hire a new CEO, successfully integrate the new executive and smoothly transition that person into their new role within our organization to achieve our long-term operating objectives. In addition, we have experienced the departure and transition of leadership in our Towers organization.
These leadership changes may be inherently difficult to manage and may hamper our ability to meet our financial and operational goals as new management becomes familiar with their roles and the business. Such changes may also result in added costs, uncertainty concerning our future direction, decreased employee morale, and the loss of personnel with deep institutional knowledge and industry relationships. Any of the foregoing could result in significant disruptions to our operations and impact our ability to execute on our strategy and pursue strategic initiatives.
Further, we have increased our dependency on the remaining members of our executive management team to facilitate a smooth transition in leadership roles. Since our executive officers are at-will employees, they could terminate their employment with us at any time, and any such departure could be particularly disruptive in light of the recent leadership changes. If we are unable to mitigate these or other similar risks, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Actions that we are taking to restructure our business in alignment with our strategic priorities may not be as effective as anticipated.
In July 2023, we initiated the Plan as part of our efforts to reduce costs to better align our operational needs with lower tower activity. The Plan included reducing our total employee headcount by approximately 15%, discontinuing installation services as a Towers product offering, and consolidating office space. As a result of the foregoing actions, we incurred $85 million of restructuring charges in 2023. We expect to incur an additional approximately $14 million of related charges during the first half of 2024, primarily related to the office space consolidation. The actions announced in July 2023 associated with the Plan and related charges are expected to be substantially completed and recorded by June 30, 2024 while the payments are expected to be completed for the employee headcount reduction and office space consolidation in 2024 and 2032, respectively.
In addition, we may incur other charges or cash expenditures not currently contemplated due to unanticipated events that may occur, including in connection with the execution of these actions. We have made certain assumptions in estimating the
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anticipated savings we expect to achieve under the Plan, which include the estimated savings from the elimination of certain headcount and the consolidation of office space. These assumptions may turn out to be incorrect due to a variety of factors. In addition, our ability to realize the expected benefits from the Plan is subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. As such, we may not realize, in full or in part, or sustain, the anticipated benefits from the Plan or do so within the expected time frame, and anticipated benefits may not be adequate to meet our long-term profitability and operational expectations.
Furthermore, the Plan may result in unintended consequences, including:
employee attrition beyond the intended reduction in force;
damage to our corporate culture and decreased employee morale and productivity among our remaining employees;
diversion of management attention;
adverse effects to our reputation as an employer (which could make it more difficult for us to hire new employees in the future);
loss of institutional knowledge and expertise of departing employees;
inability to timely and efficiently scale our workforce in response to shifting demand in our business; and
potential failure or delays to meet operational and growth targets due to the loss of qualified employees.
If we experience any of these adverse consequences, the Plan and other strategic initiatives may not achieve or sustain their intended benefits, or the benefits, even if achieved, may not be adequate to meet our long-term profitability and operational expectations, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Actions of activist stockholders could impact the pursuit of our business strategies and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, or stock price.
We have been, and may in the future be, subject to activities initiated by activist stockholders. In December 2023, we entered into a Cooperation Agreement ("Cooperation Agreement") with Elliott Investment Management L.P., Elliott Associates, L.P. and Elliott International, L.P. (collectively, "Elliott"). Pursuant to the Cooperation Agreement, we agreed, among other things, (1) to promptly appoint Jason Genrich and Sunit Patel as members of the board of directors, with an initial term expiring at the Company's 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, (2) to establish a Fiber Review Committee to conduct a strategic and operational review of our Fiber business and (3) to establish a CEO Search Committee to conduct a search for the next CEO of our company. In addition, another activist investor has notified us of its intent to nominate a slate of nominees to stand for election as directors at our 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders in opposition to the nominees recommended by our board of directors.
We strive to maintain constructive, ongoing communications with all stockholders, and we welcome constructive input from all stockholders toward the shared goal of enhancing long-term stockholder value. Nonetheless, we may not be successful in engaging constructively with one or more stockholders, and any resulting activist campaign that contests, or seeks to change, our strategic direction or business mix could have an adverse effect on us because: (1) responding to actions by activist stockholders could disrupt our business and operations, be costly or time-consuming, or divert the attention of our board of directors or management from the pursuit of business strategies, which could adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition; (2) perceived uncertainties as to our future direction may lead to the perception of a change in the direction of the business, instability, or lack of continuity, any of which may be exploited by our competitors, cause concern to our current or potential customers, cause concern in the minds of our employees and make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel; and (3) these types of actions could cause significant fluctuations in our share price based on temporary or speculative market perceptions or other factors that do not necessarily reflect the underlying fundamentals and prospects of our business.
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Risks Related to Our Debt and Equity
Our substantial level of indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to react to changes in our business, and the terms of our debt instruments limit our ability to take a number of actions that our management might otherwise believe to be in our best interests. In addition, if we fail to comply with our covenants, our debt could be accelerated.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness (approximately $22.8 billion as of February 20, 2024). See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" for a tabular presentation of our contractual debt maturities. As a result of our substantial indebtedness:
we may be more vulnerable to general adverse economic or industry conditions;
we may find it more difficult to obtain additional financing to fund discretionary investments or other general corporate requirements or to refinance our existing indebtedness;
we are or will be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations to the payment of principal or interest on our debt, thereby reducing the available cash flows to fund other projects, including the discretionary investments discussed in "Item 1. Business" and "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources";
we may have limited flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business or in the industry;
we may have a competitive disadvantage relative to other companies in our industry with less debt;
we may be adversely impacted by changes in interest rates (see below);
we may be adversely impacted by changes to credit ratings related to our debt instruments;
we may be required to issue equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities or sell some of our assets, possibly on unfavorable terms, in order to meet our debt payment obligations;
we may be limited in our ability to take advantage of strategic business opportunities, including communications infrastructure development or mergers and acquisitions; and
we could fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT due to limitations on our ability to declare and pay dividends to stockholders as a result of restrictive covenants in our debt instruments.
Since March 2022, the Federal Reserve has repeatedly raised the federal funds rate for a cumulative increase of 5.25%, which adversely impacted the interest rates on our variable rate debt and refinancings of fixed rate debt. As of February 20, 2024, approximately 8% of our outstanding indebtedness consisted of variable interest rates. Such variable interest debt had a weighted average rate of 6.3% as of February 20, 2024, compared to 5.4% and 1.1% as of December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. Any prolonged period of elevated interest rates or further increases to interest rates on such debt could continue to adversely impact our financial results and our ability to meet our dividend growth targets, strategically deploy our capital or execute our business plan. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk" for a further discussion of our interest rate risk.
Currently, we have debt instruments in place that limit, in certain circumstances, our ability to incur additional indebtedness, pay dividends, create liens, sell assets, or engage in certain mergers and acquisitions, among other things. In addition, the credit agreement governing our senior unsecured credit facility ("2016 Credit Agreement"), which consists of our senior unsecured term loan A facility and senior unsecured revolving credit facility (collectively, "2016 Credit Facility"), contains financial maintenance covenants. Our ability to comply with these covenants or to satisfy our debt obligations will depend on our future operating performance. If we violate the restrictions in our debt instruments or fail to comply with our financial maintenance covenants, we will be in default under those instruments, which in some cases would cause the maturity of a substantial portion of our long-term indebtedness to be accelerated. Furthermore, if the limits on our ability to pay dividends prevent us from satisfying our REIT distribution requirements, we could fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT. If these limits do not jeopardize our qualification for taxation as a REIT but nevertheless prevent us from distributing 100% of our REIT taxable income, we will be subject to federal and state corporate income taxes, and potentially a nondeductible excise tax, on our undistributed taxable income. If our operating subsidiaries were to default on their debt, the trustee could seek to foreclose the collateral securing such debt, in which case we could lose the communications infrastructure and the associated revenues. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Debt Covenants" for a further discussion of our debt covenants.
CCI is a holding company that conducts all of its operations through its subsidiaries. Accordingly, CCI's sources of cash to pay interest or principal on its outstanding indebtedness are distributions relating to its respective ownership interests in its subsidiaries from the net earnings and cash flows generated by such subsidiaries or from proceeds of debt or equity offerings. Earnings and cash flows generated by CCI's subsidiaries are first applied by such subsidiaries to conduct their operations, including servicing their respective debt obligations, after which any excess cash flows generally may be paid to CCI, in the absence of any special conditions, such as a continuing event of default. However, CCI's subsidiaries are legally distinct from the holding company and, unless they guarantee such debt, have no obligation to pay amounts due on their debt or to make funds available to us for such payment.
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We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. In the event we do not repay or refinance such indebtedness, we could face substantial liquidity issues and might be required to issue equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, or sell some of our assets, possibly on unfavorable terms, to meet our debt payment obligations.
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness, which, upon final maturity, we will need to refinance or repay. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" for a tabular presentation of our contractual debt maturities. There can be no assurances we will be able to refinance our indebtedness (1) on commercially reasonable terms, (2) on terms, including with respect to interest rates, as favorable as our current debt, or (3) at all. As of February 20, 2024, approximately 51% of our fixed rate debt, with a weighted average interest rate of 3.6%, is scheduled to mature over the next five years. If interest rates remain elevated or continue to increase, we may have to (1) refinance our maturing fixed rate debt at interest rates that exceed the current interest rates on such debt or (2) use our variable interest rate debt to repay such fixed rate debt, thereby increasing our exposure to interest rate fluctuations.
Economic conditions and the credit markets have historically experienced, and may continue to experience, periods of volatility, uncertainty, or weakness that could impact (1) the availability or cost of debt financing, including any refinancing of the obligations described above, (2) our ability to draw the full amount of our $7.0 billion senior unsecured revolving credit facility under our 2016 Credit Facility ("2016 Revolver"), that, as of February 20, 2024, had $7.0 billion of undrawn availability, or (3) our ability to issue the full amount of the $2.0 billion commercial paper notes ("Commercial Paper Notes") under our unsecured commercial paper program ("CP Program"), that, as of February 20, 2024, had $578 million outstanding.
If we are unable to repay or refinance our debt, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to generate enough cash flows from operations or that we will be able to obtain enough capital to service our debt, fund our planned capital expenditures or pay future dividends. In such an event, we could face substantial liquidity issues and might be required to issue equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, or sell some of our assets, possibly on unfavorable terms, to meet our debt payment obligations. Failure to repay or refinance indebtedness when required could result in a default under such indebtedness. If we incur additional indebtedness, any such indebtedness could exacerbate the risks described above.
Sales or issuances of a substantial number of shares of our common stock or securities convertible into shares of our common stock may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
Future sales or issuances of common stock or other equity related securities may adversely affect the market price of our common stock, including any shares of our common stock issued to finance capital expenditures, finance strategic initiatives or repay debt. Our business strategy contemplates access to external financing to fund certain discretionary investments, which may include issuances of common stock or other equity related securities. We maintain an "at-the-market" stock offering program ("2021 ATM Program") through which we may, from time to time, issue and sell shares of our common stock having an aggregate gross sales price of up to $750 million to or through sales agents. As of February 20, 2024, we had $750 million of gross sales of common stock remaining under our 2021 ATM Program. From time to time, we may refresh or implement a new "at-the-market" stock offering program. See note 10 to our consolidated financial statements. As of February 20, 2024, we had approximately 434 million shares of common stock outstanding.
We have reserved an aggregate of approximately 15 million of common stock for issuance in connection with awards granted under our stock compensation plans.
Further, a small number of common stockholders own a significant percentage of our outstanding common stock. If any one of these common stockholders, or any group of our common stockholders, sells a large quantity of shares of our common stock, or the public market perceives that existing common stockholders might sell a large quantity of shares of our common stock, the market price of our common stock may significantly decline.
Certain provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation ("Charter"), amended and restated by-laws ("By-laws") and operative agreements, and domestic and international competition laws may make it more difficult for a third party to acquire control of us or for us to acquire control of a third party, even if such a change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders.
We have a number of anti-takeover devices in place that will hinder takeover attempts or may reduce the market value of our common stock. Our anti-takeover provisions include:
the authority of the board of directors to issue preferred stock without approval of the holders of our common stock;
advance notice and other procedural requirements relating to director nominations or proposals submitted by stockholders for actions to be taken at annual meetings of stockholders; and
provisions that the state courts or, in certain circumstances, the federal courts, in Delaware shall be the sole and exclusive forum for certain actions involving us, our directors, officers, employees and stockholders, and, unless the
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Company otherwise consents, that the federal courts shall be the sole and exclusive forum for resolution of claims arising under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”). Since the Securities Act provides that federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction over lawsuits brought pursuant to the Securities Act, there may be uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce such a provision. Stockholders will not be deemed to have waived compliance with the federal securities laws, and this provision does not apply to claims for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction (such as under the Exchange Act).
Our By-laws permit special meetings of the stockholders to be called only upon the request of our CEO or the board of directors, and deny stockholders the ability to call such meetings. Such provisions, as well as the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, may impede a merger, consolidation, takeover, or other business combination or discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
In addition, domestic or international competition laws may prevent or discourage us from acquiring communications infrastructure in certain geographical areas or impede a merger, consolidation, takeover, or other business combination or discourage a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.
Risks Relating to Corporate Compliance
If we fail to comply with laws or regulations which regulate our business and which may change at any time, we may be fined or even lose our right to conduct some of our business.
A variety of federal, state, local, and foreign laws and regulations apply to our business, including those discussed in "Item 1. Business." Failure to comply with applicable requirements may lead to civil or criminal penalties, require us to assume indemnification obligations or breach contractual provisions. We cannot guarantee that existing or future laws or regulations, including federal, state, local, or foreign tax laws, will not adversely affect our business (including our REIT status), increase delays or result in additional costs. We also may incur additional costs as a result of liabilities under applicable laws and regulations, such as those governing environmental and safety matters. These factors may have a material adverse effect on us.
Risks Relating to Our REIT Status
Future dividend payments to our stockholders will reduce the availability of our cash on hand available to fund future discretionary investments, and may result in a need to incur indebtedness or issue equity securities to fund growth opportunities. In such event, the then current economic, credit market or equity market conditions will impact the availability or cost of such financing, which may hinder our ability to grow our per share results of operations.
During each of the quarters in the year ended 2023, we paid a common stock dividend of $1.565 per share, totaling approximately $2.7 billion, which represents an increase of 4.7% from the common stock dividends paid in the aggregate in the year ended 2022. We currently expect our common stock dividends over the next 12 months to be a cumulative amount of at least $6.26 per share, or an aggregate amount of approximately $2.7 billion. Over time, we expect to increase our dividend per share as we grow cash flows. Any future dividends are subject to declaration by our board of directors. See notes 10 and 17 to our consolidated financial statements.
We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To remain qualified and be taxed as a REIT, we will generally be required to annually distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction, excluding net capital gain and after the utilization of any available NOLs) to our stockholders. Our quarterly cash common stock dividend will delay the utilization of our NOLs and may cause certain of the NOLs to expire without utilization. See also "Item 1. Business—REIT Status" and "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Common Stock Dividend."
As discussed in "Item 1. Business—Strategy," we seek to invest our available capital, including the net cash generated by our operating activities and external financing sources, in a manner that we believe will increase long-term stockholder value on a risk-adjusted basis. Our historical discretionary investments have included the following (in no particular order): construction of communications infrastructure; acquisitions of communications infrastructure; acquisitions of land interests (which primarily relate to land assets under towers); improvements and structural enhancements to our existing communications infrastructure; purchases of shares of our common stock from time to time; and purchases, repayments or redemptions of our debt. External financing, including debt, equity, and equity-related issuances to fund future discretionary investments either (1) may not be available to us or (2) may not be accessible by us at terms that would result in the investment of the net proceeds raised yielding incremental growth in our per share operating results. As a result, future dividend payments may hinder our ability to grow our per share results of operations or otherwise adversely affect our ability to execute our business plan.
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Remaining qualified to be taxed as a REIT involves highly technical and complex provisions of the Code. Failure to remain qualified as a REIT would result in our inability to deduct dividends to stockholders when computing our taxable income, thereby increasing our tax obligations and reducing our available cash.
As a REIT, we are generally entitled to a deduction for dividends that we pay and therefore are not subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our net taxable income that is currently distributed to our common stockholders.
While we intend to operate so that we remain qualified as a REIT, given the highly complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the importance of ongoing factual determinations, the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, and the potential impact of future changes to laws and regulations impacting REITs, no assurance can be given that we will qualify as a REIT for any particular year.
In addition, the present U.S. federal tax treatment of REITs is subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial or administrative action at any time, and any such change might adversely affect our REIT status or benefits. We cannot predict the impact, if any, that such changes, if enacted, might have on our business. However, it is possible that such changes could adversely affect our business, including our REIT status.
If, in any taxable year, we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT and are not entitled to relief under certain provisions of the Code, then:
we will not be allowed a deduction for dividends paid to stockholders in computing our taxable income;
we will be subject to federal and state income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate tax rates and, for years beginning before January 1, 2018, any applicable alternative minimum tax; and
we would be disqualified from re-electing REIT status for the four taxable years following the year during which we were so disqualified.
Although we may have federal NOLs available to reduce any taxable income, to the extent our federal NOLs have been utilized or are otherwise unavailable, any such corporate tax liability could be substantial, would reduce the amount of cash available for other purposes and might necessitate the borrowing of additional funds or the liquidation of some investments to pay any additional tax liability. Accordingly, funds available for investment would be reduced.
Under the Code, for taxable years beginning in or after 2018, no more than 20% of the value of the assets of a REIT may be represented by securities of one or more TRSs. These limitations may affect our ability to make additional investments in non-REIT qualifying operations or assets, or in any operations held through TRSs. The net income of our TRSs is not required to be distributed to us, and income that is not distributed to us generally will not be subject to the REIT income distribution requirement. However, there may be limitations on our ability to accumulate earnings in our TRSs and the accumulation or reinvestment of significant earnings in our TRSs could result in adverse tax treatment. In particular, if the accumulation of cash in our TRSs causes the fair market value of our securities in our TRSs to exceed current or future limitations of the fair market value of our assets at the end of any quarter, then we may fail to remain qualified as a REIT.
Complying with REIT requirements, including the 90% distribution requirement, may limit our flexibility or cause us to forgo otherwise attractive opportunities, including certain discretionary investments and potential financing alternatives.
To remain qualified and be taxed as a REIT, we are required to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement as described above. We commenced declaring regular quarterly dividends to our common stockholders beginning with the first quarter of 2014. See notes 10 and 17 to our consolidated financial statements. Any such dividends, however, are subject to the determination of and declaration by our board of directors based on then-current and anticipated future conditions, including our earnings, net cash generated by operating activities, capital requirements, financial condition, our relative market capitalization, our existing federal NOLs of approximately $1.5 billion or other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.
To the extent that we satisfy the 90% distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our REIT taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction, excluding net capital gain and after the utilization of any available NOLs), we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax if the actual amount that we pay to our stockholders for a calendar year is less than a minimum amount specified under the Code.
From time to time, we may generate REIT taxable income greater than our cash flow as a result of differences in timing between the recognition of taxable income and the actual receipt of cash or the effect of nondeductible capital expenditures, the creation of reserves or required debt or amortization payments. If we do not have other funds available in these situations, we could be required to borrow funds on unfavorable terms, sell assets at disadvantageous prices, or distribute amounts that would
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otherwise be invested in future acquisitions to make distributions sufficient to enable us to pay out enough of our taxable income to satisfy the REIT dividend requirement and to avoid corporate income tax and the 4% excise tax in a particular year. These alternatives could increase our costs or reduce our equity. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our ability to grow, which could adversely affect the value of our common stock. Furthermore, the REIT dividend requirements may increase the financing we need to fund capital expenditures, future growth, or expansion initiatives, which would increase our total leverage.
In addition to satisfying the 90% distribution requirement, to remain qualified as a REIT for tax purposes, we are required to continually satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets and the ownership of our capital stock. Compliance with these tests will require us to refrain from certain activities and may hinder our ability to make certain attractive investments, including the purchase of non-qualifying assets, the expansion of non-real estate activities, or investments in the businesses to be conducted by our TRSs, and to that extent, limit our opportunities and our flexibility to change our business strategy. Furthermore, acquisition opportunities in domestic or international markets may be adversely affected if we need or require the target company to comply with some REIT requirements prior to completing any such acquisition. In addition, our status as a REIT may result in investor pressures not to pursue growth opportunities that are not immediately accretive.
Moreover, if we fail to comply with certain asset ownership tests, at the end of any calendar quarter, we must correct the failure within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter or qualify for certain statutory relief provisions to avoid losing our REIT qualification. As a result, we may be required to liquidate assets in adverse market conditions or forgo otherwise attractive investments. These actions may reduce our income and amounts available for distribution to our stockholders.
REIT related ownership limitations and transfer restrictions may prevent or restrict certain transfers of our capital stock.
In order for us to continue to satisfy the requirements for REIT qualification, our capital stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding shares of our capital stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer "individuals" (as defined in the Code to include certain entities such as private foundations) during the last half of a taxable year. In order to facilitate compliance with the REIT rules, our Charter includes provisions regarding REIT-related ownership limitations and transfer restrictions that generally prohibit any "person" (as defined in our Charter) from beneficially or constructively owning, or being deemed to beneficially or constructively own by virtue of the attribution provisions of the Code, more than (1) 9.8%, by value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock, or (2) 9.8% in aggregate value of the outstanding shares of all classes and series of our capital stock. In addition, our Charter provides for certain other ownership limitations and transfer restrictions. Under applicable constructive ownership rules, any shares of capital stock owned by certain affiliated owners generally would be added together for purposes of the ownership limitations. These ownership limitations and transfer restrictions could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change in control of our company that might involve a premium price for our capital stock or otherwise might be in the best interest of our stockholders.
Certifications
We submitted the CEO certification required by Section 303A.12(a) of the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") Listed Company Manual, relating to compliance with the NYSE's corporate governance listing standards, to the NYSE on May 25, 2023 with no qualifications. We have included the certifications of our CEO and Chief Financial Officer required by Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related rules as Exhibits 31.1 and 31.2 to this 2023 Form 10-K.
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Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 1C.    Cybersecurity
Our company maintains a comprehensive Information Security Program ("IS Program") focused on detection, assessment and mitigation of cybersecurity risks. Our dedicated enterprise security team, led by our Chief Information Security Officer ("CISO"), administers the IS Program and is responsible for identification, investigation and response to cyber threats and vulnerabilities. The enterprise security team also implements, manages, and assesses our company's cyber policies, standards and procedures, which leverage our team's expertise and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework. We have developed an incident response plan to handle suspected loss of, or unauthorized access to, information. We regularly conduct tabletop exercises, red team exercises, simulations, and other exercises to evaluate the effectiveness of our IS Program and to position our company for a coordinated, strategic response in the event of an actual security incident. All employees are required to complete cybersecurity trainings and employees in higher-risk roles are required to complete additional customized training tailored to address their specific risk exposure. Our Security Operations Center ("SOC"), which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is designed to provide visibility of security events across the company and a mechanism for swiftly addressing cyber threats before they compromise data security. Through a combination of a threat management platform and our team of cybersecurity specialists, our SOC continuously monitors and proactively isolates and analyzes cybersecurity alerts to help us address cybersecurity risks.

The identification, assessment and management of cybersecurity risks are integrated into our existing enterprise risk management ("ERM") framework. Cybersecurity related risks are included in the risk universe that the ERM function evaluates to assess top risks to the enterprise on an annual basis, which are presented to and reviewed by the Audit Committee.

We engage third-party providers to conduct evaluations of our security controls, including through vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, independent audits or consulting on best practices. These evaluations include testing both the design and operational effectiveness of security controls. Additionally, our internal audit team regularly evaluates the effectiveness of the IS Program, with results reported to the board of directors.

We also have policies and procedures in place to manage cybersecurity risks associated with third-party service providers. We impose security requirements on our suppliers, which include maintaining a security management program, complying with information handling requirements, and notifying us in the event of any known or suspected cyber incident. Where appropriate, we assess third-party cybersecurity controls and include security and privacy addenda to our vendor contracts.

Our CISO reports directly to our Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer ("CIO"), who reports to our CEO. Our CISO is informed about and monitors prevention, detection, mitigation, and remediation efforts through regular communication with and reporting from the enterprise security team, many of whom hold cybersecurity certifications, and through the use of technological tools and software and results from third-party assessments. Our CISO and CIO have extensive experience assessing and managing cybersecurity programs and cybersecurity risk. Our CISO has 25 years of cybersecurity experience, including having served as Chief Technology Officer/CISO and co-founder of two cybersecurity companies, during which time he provided cybersecurity consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and taught digital and network forensics course at the National Computer Forensics Institute. Prior to joining our company, our CISO served as the Director of Security Services for a large network infrastructure company and our CIO was responsible for network security policies, technology, and operations, including intrusion detection systems and conduct penetration testing, at another large public company. The CIO (and previously, Vice President, Audit and Security) periodically reports to the Audit Committee regarding cybersecurity risk exposure and risk mitigation strategies. The board of directors also may review and assess cybersecurity risks in connection with its review of our company's mission critical risks.

While we have not, as of the date of this 2023 10-K, experienced a cybersecurity threat or incident that resulted in a material adverse impact to our business or operations, there can be no guarantee that we will not experience such an incident in the future. See "Risk Factors" for more information on our cybersecurity risks.
Item 2.     Properties
Communications Infrastructure
We own, lease or manage more than 40,000 towers geographically dispersed throughout the U.S. Towers are vertical metal structures generally ranging in height from 50 to 300 feet. Our tenants' wireless equipment may be placed on towers,
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building rooftops and other structures. Our towers are located on tracts of land that support the towers, equipment shelters and, where applicable, guy-wires to stabilize the tower.
Additionally, we own or lease approximately 90,000 route miles of fiber primarily supporting our (1) approximately 115,000 small cells on air or under contract and (2) fiber solutions. The majority of our fiber assets are located in major metropolitan areas, including a presence within every major U.S. market. Our small cells and fiber are typically located outdoors and are often attached to public right-of-way infrastructure, including utility poles or street lights.
See the following for further information regarding our communications infrastructure:
"Item 1. Business—Overview" for information regarding our tower and fiber portfolios.
"Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Material Cash Requirements" for information regarding our lease obligations.
"Schedule III - Schedule of Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation" for further information on our productive properties.
Approximately 53% of our towers are leased or subleased or operated and managed under master leases, subleases, or other agreements with AT&T and T-Mobile (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint). We have the option to purchase these towers at the end of their respective lease terms. We have no obligation to exercise such purchase options. See note 4 to our consolidated financial statements and "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for a further discussion.
Substantially all of our communications infrastructure can accommodate additional tenancy, either as currently constructed or with appropriate modifications. Additionally, if so inclined as a result of a request for a tenant addition, we could generally replace an existing tower with another tower, replace a small cell network antenna with another antenna or overlay additional fiber in order to provide additional coverage or capacity, subject to certain restrictions.
Offices
Our principal corporate headquarters is owned and located in Houston, Texas. In addition, we have offices throughout the U.S. in locations convenient for the management and operation of our communications infrastructure, with significant consideration being given to the amount of our communications infrastructure located in a particular area. We believe that our facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our anticipated needs.
Item 3.     Legal Proceedings
We are periodically involved in legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business. Most of these proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business involve disputes with landlords, vendors, collection matters involving bankrupt tenants, zoning or siting matters, construction, condemnation, tax, employment, or wrongful termination matters. While the outcome of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty, management does not expect any pending matters to have a material adverse effect on us.
See the disclosure in note 12 to our consolidated financial statements.
Item 4.     Mine Safety Disclosures
N/A
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PART II
Item 5.     Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information and Holders
Our common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the symbol "CCI."
As of February 20, 2024, there were approximately 571 holders of record of our common stock.
Dividend Policy
We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To remain qualified and be taxed as a REIT, we will generally be required to annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income after the utilization of any available NOLs (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and excluding net capital gain). See also "Item 1. Business—REIT Status," "Item 1A. Risk Factors," "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Common Stock Dividend," "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Financing Activities—Common Stock" and notes 9 and 10 to our consolidated financial statements.
Over time, we expect to increase our dividend per share as we grow cash flows. The declaration amount and payment of any future dividends, however, are subject to the determination and approval of our board of directors based on then-current or anticipated future conditions, including our earnings, net cash generated by operating activities, capital requirements, financial condition, our relative market capitalization, our existing NOLs, or other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. In addition, our ability to pay dividends is limited under certain circumstances by the terms of our debt instruments.
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Performance Graph
The following performance graph is a comparison of the five-year cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock against the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 Market Index and the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index for the period commencing December 31, 2018 and ending December 31, 2023. The performance graph assumes an initial investment of $100.00 and the reinvestment of all dividends in our common stock and in each of the indices. The performance graph and related text are based on historical data and are not necessarily indicative of future performance.
2184
Years Ended December 31,
Company/Market/Index201820192020202120222023
Crown Castle Inc.$100.00 $135.46 $156.61 $211.54 $142.76 $128.06 
S&P 500 Market Index100.00 131.49 155.68 200.37 164.08 207.21 
FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index100.00 128.66 122.07 172.49 129.45 144.16 
The performance graph above and related text are being furnished solely to accompany this 2023 Form 10-K pursuant to Item 201(e) of Regulation S-K, and are not being filed for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, and are not to be incorporated by reference into any filing of ours, whether made before or after the date hereof, regardless of any general incorporation language in such filing.
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Item 6.     [Reserved]

Item 7.     Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
General Overview
Overview
We own, operate and lease shared communications infrastructure. See "Item 1. Business" for a further discussion of our business, including our long-term strategy, our REIT status, certain key terms of our tenant contracts and growth trends in the demand for data. Site rental revenues represented 94% of our 2023 consolidated net revenues. The vast majority of our site rental revenues is of a recurring nature and has been contracted for in prior years.
Highlights of Business Fundamentals and Results
We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes (see "Item 1. Business—REIT Status" and notes 2 and 9 to our consolidated financial statements)
Potential growth resulting from the increasing demand for data
We expect existing and potential new tenant demand for our communications infrastructure will result from (1) new technologies, (2) increased usage of mobile entertainment, mobile internet, and machine-to-machine applications, (3) adoption of other emerging and embedded wireless devices (including smartphones, laptops, tablets, wearables and other devices), (4) increasing smartphone penetration, (5) wireless carrier focus on expanding both network quality and capacity, including the use of both towers and small cells, (6) the adoption of other bandwidth-intensive applications (such as cloud services and video communications), (7) the availability of additional spectrum and (8) increased government initiatives to support connectivity throughout the U.S.
We expect U.S. wireless carriers will continue to focus on improving network quality and expanding capacity (including through 5G initiatives) by utilizing a combination of towers and small cells. We believe our product offerings of towers and small cells provide a comprehensive solution to our wireless tenants' growing communications infrastructure needs.
We expect organizations will continue to increase the usage of high-bandwidth applications that will require the utilization of more fiber infrastructure and fiber solutions, such as those we provide.
Within our Fiber segment, we are able to generate growth and returns for our stockholders by deploying our fiber for both small cells and fiber solutions tenants.
Tenant additions on our existing communications infrastructure are achieved at a low incremental operating cost, delivering high incremental returns.
Substantially all of our communications infrastructure can accommodate additional tenancy, either as currently constructed or with appropriate modifications.
Returning cash flows provided by operations to stockholders in the form of dividends (see also "Item 1. Business—Strategy")
During 2023, we paid common stock dividends totaling approximately $2.7 billion.
Investing capital efficiently to grow long-term dividends per share
We had discretionary capital expenditures of $1.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, predominately resulting from the construction of new communications infrastructure and improvements to existing communications infrastructure in order to support additional tenants.
We expect to continue to construct and acquire new communications infrastructure based on our tenants' needs and generate attractive long-term returns by adding additional tenants over time.
Site rental revenues under long-term tenant contracts
Our wireless tenant contracts have initial terms generally between five to 15 years with contractual escalators and multiple renewal periods generally between five to ten years each, exercisable at the option of the tenant.
Our fiber solutions tenant contracts' initial terms generally vary between one to 20 years.
As of December 31, 2023, our weighted-average remaining term was approximately six years, exclusive of renewals exercisable at the tenants' option, currently representing approximately $39 billion of expected future cash inflows.
Majority of our revenues from large wireless carriers
For the year ended December 31, 2023, approximately three-fourths of our site rental revenues were derived from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for a further discussion of our largest customers.
Majority of land under our towers under long-term control
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For the year ended December 31, 2023, approximately 90% of our towers site rental gross margin and approximately 80% of our towers site rental gross margin was derived from towers located on land that we own or control for greater than 10 and 20 years, respectively. The aforementioned percentages include towers located on land that is owned, including through fee interests and perpetual easements, which represented approximately 40% of our towers site rental gross margin.
Majority of our fiber assets are located in major metropolitan areas and are on public rights-of-way
Minimal sustaining capital expenditure requirements
For the year ended December 31, 2023, sustaining capital expenditures represented approximately 1% of net revenues.
Debt portfolio with long-dated maturities extended over multiple years, with the vast majority of such debt having a fixed rate (see note 7 to our consolidated financial statements and "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" for a further discussion of our debt)
As of December 31, 2023, our outstanding debt had a weighted average interest rate of 3.9% and weighted average maturity of approximately eight years (assuming anticipated repayment dates on certain debt).
As of December 31, 2023, 92% of our debt has fixed rate coupons.
Our debt service coverage and leverage ratios are within their respective financial maintenance covenants. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Debt Covenants" for a further discussion of our debt covenants.
During 2023, we refinanced and extended the maturities of certain of our debt (see note 7 to our consolidated financial statements and "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Financing Activities" for further discussion of our debt transactions)
Significant cash flows from operations
Net cash provided by operating activities was $3.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023,
In addition to the positive impact of contractual escalators, we expect to grow our core business of providing access to our communications infrastructure as a result of future anticipated additional demand for our communications infrastructure.
Full year 2023 results included certain impacts from the small cell and fiber solutions lease cancellations ("Sprint Cancellations") related to the previously disclosed T-Mobile and Sprint network consolidation. For 2023, these Sprint Cancellations resulted in $21 million of non-renewals that were offset by cash payments of $170 million to satisfy the remaining rental obligations. Additionally, $59 million in accelerated amortization of prepaid rent from the remaining deferred revenues was recognized for the year ended December 31, 2023.
Restructuring Plan
In July 2023, we initiated a restructuring plan ("Plan") as part of our efforts to reduce costs to better align our operational needs with lower tower activity. The Plan includes reducing the total employee headcount by approximately 15%, discontinuing installation services as a Towers product offering while continuing to offer site development services on our towers, and consolidating office space. See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements and "Item 2. MD&A—Results of Operations" for further discussion of the Plan.
The actions announced in July 2023 associated with the Plan and related charges are expected to be substantially completed and recorded by June 30, 2024, while the payments are expected to be completed for the employee headcount reduction and office space consolidation in 2024 and 2032, respectively.
Common Stock Dividend
During each of the quarters in the year ended 2023, we paid a common stock dividend of $1.565 per share, totaling approximately $2.7 billion, which represents an increase of approximately 4.7% from the common stock dividends paid in the aggregate in the year ended 2022. We currently expect our common stock dividends over the next 12 months to be a cumulative amount of at least $6.26 per share, or an aggregate amount of approximately $2.7 billion. Over time, we expect to increase our dividend per share as we grow cash flows. Any future common stock dividends are subject to declaration by our board of directors. See notes 10 and 17 to our consolidated financial statements.
Outlook Highlights
The following are certain highlights of our outlook that impact our business fundamentals described above.
We expect that, when compared to full year 2023, our full year 2024 site rental revenues growth will be positively impacted by tenant additions, as large wireless carriers and fiber solutions tenants continue to focus on meeting the increasing demand for data. We expect site rental revenues to decrease year over year due to the absence in 2024 of payments received in 2023 that T-Mobile paid to satisfy remaining rental obligations for certain canceled Sprint leases, net of estimated non-renewals, as a result of the T-Mobile US, Inc. and Sprint network consolidation and a decline in long-term deferred revenue amortization.
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We expect to continue to invest a significant amount of our available capital in the form of discretionary capital expenditures for 2024 based on the anticipated returns on such discretionary investments.
We expect that our discretionary capital expenditures will increase as we accelerate the pace of small cell deployments.
We also expect sustaining capital expenditures of approximately 1% of net revenues for full year 2024, consistent with historical annual levels.
As part of the aforementioned Plan:
In 2024, we expect to realize $105 million in labor and facilities cost savings, of which $50 million is expected in selling, general and administrative, $40 million in services and other costs of operations and $15 million in site rental costs of operations. The 2024 costs savings are expect to be partially offset by a $40 million reduction in services and other gross margin due to the discontinuation of installation services. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for a discussion of risks related to our restructuring activities.
In December 2023, we announced a strategic and operating review of our Fiber segment.
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Results of Operations
The following discussion of our results of operations for 2023 compared to 2022 should be read in conjunction with "Item 1. Business," "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" and our consolidated financial statements. For a discussion of our results of operations and financial condition for 2022 compared to 2021 that is not included in this 2023 Form 10-K, see "Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, which was filed with the SEC on February 24, 2023.
The following discussion of our results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP, which requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts (see "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" and note 2 to our consolidated financial statements). See "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Non-GAAP and Segment Financial Measures" for a discussion of our use of (1) segment site rental gross margin, (2) segment services and other gross margin, (3) segment operating profit (loss), including their respective definitions, and (4) Adjusted EBITDA, including its definition and a reconciliation to net income (loss).
Our operating segments consist of (1) Towers and (2) Fiber. See note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our operating segments.
Highlights of our results of operations for 2023, 2022 and 2021 are depicted below: 
 Years Ended December 31,Percent Change
(In millions of dollars)202320222021
2023 vs. 2022
2022 vs. 2021
Site rental revenues:
Towers site rental revenues$4,313 $4,322 $3,804 — %14 %
Fiber site rental revenues2,219 1,967 1,915 13 %%
Total site rental revenues6,532 6,289 5,719 %10 %
Site rental gross margin(a):
Towers site rental gross margin
3,370 3,404 2,915 (1)%17 %
Fiber site rental gross margin
1,533 1,317 1,282 16 %%
Services and other gross margin(a):
Towers services and other gross margin
127 238 187 (47)%27 %
Fiber services and other gross margin
16 433 %— %
Segment operating profit (loss)(a):
Towers operating profit (loss)
3,393 3,527 2,995 (4)%18 %
Fiber operating profit (loss)
1,355 1,130 1,111 20 %%
Income (loss) from continuing operations1,502 1,675 1,158 (10)%45 %
Net income (loss)1,502 1,675 1,096 (10)%53 %
Adjusted EBITDA(b)
4,415 4,340 3,816 %14 %
(a)See "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Non-GAAP and Segment Financial Measures" and note 14 to our consolidated financial statements for our definitions of segment site rental gross margin, segment services and other gross margin and segment operating profit.
(b)See reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to net income (loss) and definition included in "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Non-GAAP and Segment Financial Measures."
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2023 and 2022
Total site rental revenues for 2023 grew by $243 million, or 4%, from 2022. This increase was predominately comprised of the factors depicted in the chart below:
(In millions of dollars)
2717
(a)Represents site rental revenues growth from tenant additions across our entire portfolio and renewals or extensions of tenant contracts, exclusive of the impacts from both straight-line accounting and amortization of prepaid rent in accordance with GAAP.
(b)Core leasing activity and non-renewals include $170 million and $21 million, respectively, of payments received from and non-renewals associated with Sprint Cancellations, respectively.
(c)Prepaid rent amortization includes amortization of upfront payments received from long-term tenants and other deferred credits, inclusive of $59 million of accelerated prepaid rent amortization associated with the Sprint Cancellations.
(d)Represents the contribution from recent acquisitions until the one-year anniversary of such acquisitions.
Towers site rental revenues and Towers site rental gross margin for 2023 were $4.3 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively, compared to $4.3 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively, from 2022. As a significant portion of our Towers site rental revenue growth was generated from long-term contracts, revenue increases under contractual cash escalators were substantially offset by a decline in the associated straight-line accounting adjustment. The $34 million decrease in Towers site rental gross margin was primarily due to higher Towers site rental costs of operations, including ground lease agreements that contain contingent payment provisions such as CPI-based escalations.
Fiber site rental revenues and Fiber site rental gross margin for 2023 were $2.2 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, and increased by $252 million and $216 million, respectively, from 2022. Both Fiber site rental revenues and Fiber site rental gross margin were predominately impacted by $170 million of payments and $59 million of accelerated prepaid rent amortization, offset by $21 million of non-renewals, each related to the Sprint Cancellations.
Towers services and other gross margin was $127 million for 2023 and decreased by $111 million from $238 million from 2022, which is a reflection of the lower volume of activity from carriers' network enhancements and the volume and mix of services and other work. Our services and other offerings are of a variable nature as these revenues are not under long-term tenant contracts. See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the Plan, which included discontinuing installation services as a Towers product offering.
Fiber services and other gross margin was $16 million for 2023 and increased by $13 million from $3 million from 2022 primarily as a result of site abandonment fees associated with the Sprint Cancellations.
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Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2023 were $759 million and increased by $9 million, or 1%, from $750 million from 2022. The increase in selling, general and administrative expenses was primarily related to (1) increased investment in information technology, (2) the strategic review previously announced in December 2023 and (3) certain other expenses, including facilities, returning to their pre-pandemic operations following our return to office in February 2022, partially offset by (4) a decrease in labor cost as a result of our aforementioned restructuring activities.
Towers operating profit (loss) for 2023 decreased by $134 million, or 4%, from 2022. The decrease in Towers operating profit (loss) was primarily related to the previously-mentioned decreases in both Towers site rental gross margin and Towers services and other gross margin.
Fiber operating profit (loss) for 2023 increased by $225 million, or 20%, from 2022. The increase in Fiber operating profit (loss) was primarily related to the previously-mentioned increase in Fiber site rental gross margin.
Depreciation, amortization and accretion was approximately $1.8 billion for 2023 and increased by $47 million, or 3%, from 2022. This increase predominately resulted from a corresponding increase in our gross property and equipment due to capital expenditures.
Restructuring charges in connection with the Plan were $85 million for 2023. The charges primarily consisted of $62 million related to cash payments that have been made in 2023 or are expected to be made in 2024 associated with employee severance and other one-time termination benefits and $16 million of remaining obligations under facility leases payable through 2032. Additionally, we also recorded non-cash charges of $1 million related to share-based compensation and $6 million for accelerated depreciation.
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, net were $850 million for 2023 and increased by $151 million, or 22%, from $699 million during 2022. The increase predominately resulted from an increase in the interest rates on the 2016 Term Loan A, 2016 Revolver and Commercial Paper Notes, as well as an increase in our outstanding indebtedness due to the financing of our discretionary capital expenditures. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements, "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" for a further discussion of our debt and interest rate increases.
As a result of repaying certain of our indebtedness in conjunction with our refinancing activities during 2022, we incurred losses on retirement of long-term obligations of $28 million. We did not incur any losses on retirement of long-term obligations during 2023. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements.
The provisions for income taxes for 2023 and 2022 were $26 million and $16 million, respectively. For both 2023 and 2022, the effective tax rate differs from the federal statutory rate predominately due to our REIT status, including the dividends paid deduction. See "Item 1. Business—REIT Status," "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" and note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Net income (loss) was $1.5 billion during 2023 compared to $1.7 billion during 2022. The decrease was related to the previously-mentioned decrease in Towers operating profit and previously-mentioned increases in expenses, including interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, net, restructuring charges and depreciation, amortization and accretion, while being partially offset by the previously-mentioned increase in Fiber operating profit.
Adjusted EBITDA increased by $75 million, or 2%, from 2022 to 2023. The increase was predominately related to the previously mentioned increase in Fiber operating profit (loss), partially offset by the previously-mentioned decrease in Towers services and other gross margin.
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Liquidity and Capital Resources
Overview
General. Our core business generates revenues under long-term tenant contracts (see "Item 1. Business—Overview" and "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Overview") from (1) the largest U.S. wireless carriers and (2) other towers and fiber solutions tenants. As a leading provider of shared communications infrastructure in the U.S., our strategy is to create long-term stockholder value via a combination of (1) growing cash flows generated from our portfolio of communications infrastructure, (2) returning a meaningful portion of our cash generated by operating activities to our stockholders in the form of dividends, and (3) investing capital efficiently to grow cash flows and long-term dividends per share. Our strategy is based, in part, on our belief that the U.S. is the most attractive market for shared communications infrastructure investment with the greatest long-term growth potential. We measure our efforts to create "long-term stockholder value" by the combined payment of dividends to stockholders and growth in our per share results. See "Item 1. Business—Strategy" for a further discussion of our strategy.
We have engaged, and expect to continue to engage, in discretionary investments that we believe will maximize long-term stockholder value. Our historical discretionary investments include (in no particular order): constructing communications infrastructure, acquiring communications infrastructure, acquiring land interests (which primarily relate to land assets under towers), improving and structurally enhancing our existing communications infrastructure, purchasing shares of our common stock, and purchasing, repaying, or redeeming our debt. We have recently spent, and expect to continue to spend, a significant percentage of our discretionary investments on the construction of small cells and fiber. We seek to fund our discretionary investments with both cash generated by operating activities and cash available from financing capacity, such as the use of our availability under our 2016 Revolver, issuances under our CP Program, debt financings and issuances of equity or equity-related securities, including under our 2021 ATM Program or any similar successor program.
We seek to maintain a capital structure that we believe drives long-term stockholder value and optimizes our weighted-average cost of capital. We target a leverage ratio of approximately five times Adjusted EBITDA, subject to various factors, such as the availability and cost of capital and the potential long-term return on our discretionary investments. We may choose to increase or decrease our leverage from this target for various periods of time. Our contractual debt maturities over the next 12 months, consist of (1) Commercial Paper Notes, of which we had $578 million outstanding as of February 20, 2024, (2) the 3.200% Senior Notes and (3) principal payments on certain outstanding debt. Amounts available under our CP Program may be repaid and re-issued from time to time and we intend to maintain available commitments under our 2016 Revolver in an amount at least equal to the amount of Commercial Paper Notes outstanding.
We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We expect to continue to pay minimal cash income taxes as a result of our REIT status and our NOLs. See "Item 1. Business—REIT Status," "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview" and note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Liquidity Position. The following is a summary of our capitalization and liquidity position as of December 31, 2023. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" and note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our debt as well as note 10 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our 2021 ATM Program.
(In millions of dollars)
Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents(a)
$281 
Undrawn 2016 Revolver availability(b)
6,291 
Total debt and other obligations (current and non-current)22,921 
Total equity6,381 
(a)Inclusive of $5 million included within "Other assets, net" on our consolidated balance sheet.
(b)Availability at any point in time is subject to certain restrictions based on the maintenance of financial covenants contained in our 2016 Credit Facility. At any point in time, we intend to maintain available commitments under our 2016 Revolver in an amount at least equal to the amount of outstanding Commercial Paper Notes. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements.
Over the next 12 months:
Our liquidity sources may include (1) cash on hand, (2) cash generated by our operating activities, (3) availability under our 2016 Revolver, (4) issuances under our CP Program, and (5) issuances of equity pursuant to our 2021 ATM Program or any similar successor program. Our liquidity uses over the next 12 months are expected to include (1) debt obligations of $835 million (consisting of the 3.200% Senior Notes and principal payments on certain outstanding debt), (2) cumulative common stock dividend payments expected to be at least $6.26 per share, or an aggregate amount of approximately $2.7 billion (see "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Common Stock Dividend"), (3) capital
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expenditures and (4) restructuring and related charges associated with the Plan described in note 16 to our consolidated financial statements. We may also purchase shares of our common stock. Additionally, amounts available under our CP Program may be repaid and re-issued from time to time and we intend to maintain available commitments under our 2016 Revolver in an amount at least equal to the amount of Commercial Paper Notes outstanding. During the next 12 months, while our liquidity uses are expected to exceed our cash generated by operating activities, we expect that our liquidity sources described above should be sufficient to cover our expected uses. Historically, from time to time, we have accessed the capital markets to issue debt and equity.
See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" for a discussion of interest rate risk and note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for a tabular presentation of our debt maturities and a discussion of anticipated repayment dates.
Summary Cash Flows Information 
 Years Ended December 31,
(In millions of dollars)202320222021
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents
Operating activities$3,126 $2,878 $2,789 
Investing activities(1,519)(1,352)(1,332)
Financing activities(1,654)(1,665)(1,310)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents - continuing operations
(47)(139)147 
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash— — 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents- continuing operations
(46)(139)147 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents - discontinued operations(a)
— — (62)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents
$(46)$(139)$85 
(a)See note 9 to our consolidated financial statements for further information.
Operating Activities
The increase in net cash provided by operating activities of $248 million for 2023 from 2022 was due primarily to a net increase from changes in working capital and growth in our core business, including $170 million of payments received from Sprint Cancellations. Changes in working capital contribute to variability in net cash provided by operating activities, largely due to the timing of advanced payments by us and advanced receipts from tenants. We expect to grow our net cash provided by operating activities in the future (exclusive of changes in working capital) if we realize expected growth in our core business.
Investing Activities
Net cash used for investing activities for 2023 increased by $167 million from 2022 primarily as a result of increased discretionary capital expenditures in our Fiber segment.
Our capital expenditures are categorized as discretionary or sustaining as described below.
Discretionary capital expenditures are made with respect to activities which we believe exhibit sufficient potential to enhance long-term stockholder value. They primarily consist of expansion or development of communications infrastructure (including capital expenditures related to (1) enhancing communications infrastructure in order to add new tenants for the first time or support subsequent tenant equipment augmentations or (2) modifying the structure of a communications infrastructure asset to accommodate additional tenants) and construction of new communications infrastructure. Discretionary capital expenditures also include purchases of land interests (which primarily relate to land assets under towers as we seek to manage our interests in the land beneath our towers), certain technology-related investments necessary to support and scale future customer demand for our communications infrastructure, and other capital projects. The expansion or development of existing communications infrastructure to accommodate new leasing typically varies based on, among other factors: (1) the type of communications infrastructure, (2) the scope, volume, and mix of work performed on the communications infrastructure, (3) existing capacity prior to installation, or (4) changes in structural engineering regulations and standards. Currently, construction of new communications infrastructure is predominately comprised of the construction of small cells and fiber (including certain construction projects that may take 18 to 36 months to complete). Our decisions regarding discretionary capital expenditures are influenced by the availability and cost of capital and expected returns on alternative uses of cash, such as payments of dividends and investments.
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Sustaining capital expenditures consist of those capital expenditures not otherwise categorized as discretionary capital expenditures, such as (1) maintenance capital expenditures on our communications infrastructure assets that enable our tenants' ongoing quiet enjoyment of the communications infrastructure and (2) ordinary corporate capital expenditures.
A summary of our capital expenditures for the last three years is as follows:
For the Years Ended
December 31, 2023December 31, 2022December 31, 2021
(In millions of dollars)TowersFiberOtherTotalTowersFiberOtherTotalTowersFiberOtherTotal
Discretionary:
Communications infrastructure improvements and other capital projects(a)
$122 $1,131 $24 $1,277 $121 $1,017 $24 $1,162 $138 $905 $33 $1,076 
Purchases of land interests64 — — 64 53 — — 53 64 — 66 
Sustaining44 31 83 11 41 43 95 19 49 19 87 
Total$194 $1,175 $55 $1,424 $185 $1,058 $67 $1,310 $221 $956 $52 $1,229 
(a)Towers segment includes $32 million, $48 million and $65 million of capital expenditures incurred during the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively, in connection with tenant installations and upgrades on our towers.
Capital expenditures increased from 2022 to 2023 and were primarily impacted by the previously-mentioned increased discretionary capital expenditures in our Fiber segment. See "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Outlook Highlights" for a discussion of our expectations surrounding 2024 capital expenditures.
Financing Activities
We seek to allocate cash generated by our operations in a manner that will enhance long-term stockholder value, which may include various financing activities such as (in no particular order): (1) paying dividends on our common stock (currently expected to total at least $6.26 per share over the next 12 months, or an aggregate amount of approximately $2.7 billion), (2) purchasing our common stock or (3) purchasing, repaying, or redeeming our debt. See "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview—Common Stock Dividend," "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Overview" and notes 7, 10 and 17 to our consolidated financial statements.
In 2023, our financing activities predominately related to the following:
paying an aggregate of $2.7 billion in dividends on our common stock;
issuing $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes in December 2023, the net proceeds of which were used to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under our CP Program and pay related fees and expenses;
repaying in full the previously outstanding 3.150% Senior Notes on the contractual maturity date in July 2023;
issuing $1.35 billion aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes in April 2023, the net proceeds of which were used to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under the Revolver and pay related fees and expenses; and
issuing $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes in January 2023, the net proceeds of which were used to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under the Revolver and pay related fees and expenses.
In 2022, our financing activities predominately related to the following:
paying an aggregate of $2.6 billion in dividends on our common stock;
issuing $750 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes in March 2022, the net proceeds of which were used to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under our CP Program and pay related fees and expenses;
prepaying in full the previously outstanding Tower Revenue Notes, Series 2018-1 in March 2022;
redeeming in full the previously outstanding 3.849% Secured Notes in March 2022;
entering into an amendment to the 2016 Credit Facility in July 2022 that provided for, among other things, (1) the extension of the maturity date from June 2026 to July 2027, (2) an increase to the aggregate commitments under the 2016 Revolver from $5.0 billion to $7.0 billion, (3) certain modifications to a specified sustainability metric and (4) the replacement of the LIBOR pricing benchmark with the Term SOFR pricing benchmark; and
increasing the size of our CP Program in March 2022 to permit the issuance of Commercial Paper Notes in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $2.0 billion at any time outstanding.
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Incurrences, Purchases and Repayments of Debt. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements, "Item 7. MD&A—General Overview" and "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Overview—Liquidity Position" for further discussion of our recent issuances, purchases, redemptions and repayments of debt.
Common Stock. See notes 10 and 17 to our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our common stock as well as dividends declared and paid.
ATM Program. In March 2021, we established the 2021 ATM Program through which we may issue and sell shares of our common stock having an aggregate gross sales price of up to $750 million. Sales under the 2021 ATM Program, or any similar successor program, may be made by means of ordinary brokers' transactions on the NYSE or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or, subject to our specific instructions, at negotiated prices. We intend to use the net proceeds from any sales under the 2021 ATM Program, or any similar successor program, for general corporate purposes, which may include (1) the funding of future acquisitions or investments or (2) the repayment or repurchase of any outstanding indebtedness. See also note 10 to our consolidated financial statements. As of February 20, 2024, we had $750 million of gross sales of common stock availability remaining on our 2021 ATM Program.
Credit Facility. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our 2016 Credit Facility. As of February 20, 2024, we did not have an outstanding balance under our 2016 Revolver and maintained $7.0 billion in undrawn availability. The proceeds from our 2016 Revolver may be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the financing of capital expenditures, acquisitions, the repayment or repurchase of any outstanding indebtedness and purchases of our common stock.
Commercial Paper Program. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for further information regarding our CP Program. As of February 20, 2024, there was $578 million outstanding under our CP Program. The proceeds from our Commercial Paper Notes may be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the financing of capital expenditures, acquisitions, the repayment or repurchase of any outstanding indebtedness and purchases of our common stock.
Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents. Pursuant to the indentures governing certain of our operating companies' debt securities, all rental cash receipts of the issuers of these debt instruments and their subsidiaries are restricted and held by an indenture trustee. The restricted cash and cash equivalents in excess of required reserve balances is subsequently released to us in accordance with the terms of the indentures. See also note 2 to our consolidated financial statements.
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Material Cash Requirements
The following table summarizes our material cash requirements as of December 31, 2023. These material cash requirements relate primarily to our outstanding borrowings or lease obligations for land interests under our towers. The debt maturities reflect contractual maturity dates and do not consider the impact of the principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates of certain debt (see footnote (b)). 

(In millions of dollars)Years Ending December 31,
Material Cash Requirements20242025202620272028ThereafterTotals
Debt and other long-term obligations(a)
$835 $599 $2,777 $3,918 $2,628 $12,335 $23,092 
Interest payments on debt and other long-term obligations(b)(c)
873 850 815 705 581 5,642 9,466 
Lease obligations(d)
570 557 548 542 540 5,472 8,229 
Total material cash requirements$2,278 $2,006 $4,140 $5,165 $3,749 $23,449 $40,787 
(a)The impact of principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates of our Tower Revenue Notes, Series 2015-2 and 2018-2 (collectively, "Tower Revenue Notes") is not considered. The Tower Revenue Notes, Series 2015-2 and 2018-2 have principal amounts of $700 million and $750 million, with anticipated repayment dates in 2025 and 2028, respectively. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for our definition of and additional information regarding the Tower Revenue Notes.
(b)If the Tower Revenue Notes are not repaid in full by the applicable anticipated repayment dates, the applicable interest rate increases by approximately 5% per annum and monthly principal payments commence using the Excess Cash Flow (as defined in the indenture governing the applicable Tower Revenue Notes) of the issuers of the Tower Revenue Notes. The Tower Revenue Notes are presented based on their contractual maturity dates ranging from 2045 to 2048 and include the impact of an assumed 5% increase in interest rate that would occur following the anticipated repayment dates but exclude the impact of monthly principal payments that would commence using Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the Tower Revenue Notes. The full year 2023 Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the Tower Revenue Notes was approximately $993 million. We currently expect to refinance these notes on or prior to the respective anticipated repayment dates.
(c)Includes the unused commitment fees on our 2016 Credit Facility. Interest payments on the variable rate debt are based on estimated rates currently in effect. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for information regarding potential upward or downward adjustments to the interest rate spread and unused commitment fee percentage on our 2016 Credit Facility if we achieve specified annual sustainability targets or fail to meet annual sustainability thresholds. Each annual period presented assumes the downward adjustments in the interest rate spread and unused commitment fee percentage on our 2016 Credit Facility. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" for a discussion of our interest rate risk.
(d)Amounts relate primarily to lease obligations for the land on which our towers are located and are based on the assumption that payments will be made for certain renewal periods exercisable at our option that are reasonably certain to be exercised and excludes our contingent payments for operating leases (such as payments based on revenues derived from the communications infrastructure located on the leased asset) as such arrangements are excluded from our operating lease liability. See note 13 to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our operating lease obligations. See also the table below summarizing remaining terms to expiration.
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The following chart summarizes our rights to the land interests under our towers, including renewal terms exercisable at our option, as of December 31, 2023. As of December 31, 2023, the leases for land interests under our towers had an average remaining life of approximately 35 years, weighted based on towers site rental gross margin. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for a discussion of retaining the rights to land under our towers.

11259
(a)Inclusive of land owned through fee interests and perpetual easements.
(b)For the three months ended December 31, 2023, without consideration of the term of the tenant contract.
Debt Covenants
Our 2016 Credit Agreement contains financial maintenance covenants. We are currently in compliance with these financial maintenance covenants and, based upon our current expectations, we believe we will continue to comply with our financial maintenance covenants. In addition, certain of our debt agreements contain restrictive covenants that place restrictions on us and may limit our ability to, among other things, incur additional debt and liens, purchase our securities, make capital expenditures, dispose of assets, undertake transactions with affiliates, make other investments, pay dividends or distribute excess cash flow. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our debt covenants. See also "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for a discussion of compliance with our debt covenants. The following are ratios applicable to the financial maintenance covenants under the 2016 Credit Agreement as of December 31, 2023.
Borrower / Issuer
Financial Maintenance Covenant(a)(b)
Covenant Level Requirement
As of December 31, 2023
CCITotal Net Leverage Ratio≤ 6.50x5.2x
CCITotal Senior Secured Leverage Ratio≤ 3.50x0.3x
CCI
Consolidated Interest Coverage Ratio(c)
N/A
N/A
    
(a)Failure to comply with the financial maintenance covenants would, absent a waiver, result in an event of default under the 2016 Credit Agreement.
(b)As defined in the 2016 Credit Agreement.
(c)Applicable solely to the extent that the senior unsecured debt rating by any two of S&P, Moody's and Fitch is lower than BBB-, Baa3 or BBB-, respectively. If applicable, the consolidated interest coverage ratio must be greater than or equal to 2.50.

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Accounting and Reporting Matters
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our critical accounting policies and estimates are those that we believe (1) are most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations or (2) require our most difficult, subjective or complex judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically prescribed by GAAP. In other cases, management is required to exercise judgment in the application of accounting principles with respect to particular transactions. Accordingly, actual results could differ materially from our estimates. The critical accounting policies and estimates for 2023 are not intended to be a comprehensive list of our accounting policies and estimates. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for a summary of our significant accounting policies.
Lease Accounting—Lessee. For our Towers segment, our lessee arrangements primarily consist of ground leases for land under our towers and are for an initial term generally between five to 15 years. We also enter into ground leases, such as term easements, in which we prepay the entire term. For our Fiber segment, our lessee arrangements primarily include leases of fiber assets to facilitate our small cells and fiber solutions. The majority of our lease agreements have certain termination rights that provide for cancellation after a notice period and multiple renewal options exercisable at our option. We include certain renewal option periods in the lease term when we determine that the options are reasonably certain to be exercised.
For both our Towers and Fiber segments, operating lease expense is recognized on a ratable basis, regardless of whether the payment terms require us to make payments annually, semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, or for the entire term in advance. Certain of our ground lease and fiber access agreements contain fixed escalation clauses (such as fixed dollar or fixed percentage increases) or inflation-based escalation clauses (such as those tied to the change in consumer price index ("CPI")). If the payment terms include fixed escalators, upfront payments, or rent-free periods, the effect of such increases is recognized on a straight-line basis. When calculating straight-line ground lease and fiber access expenses, we consider all fixed elements of contractual escalation provisions, even if such escalation provisions contain a variable element in addition to a minimum. We calculate the straight-line expense over the contract's estimated lease term, including any renewal option periods that we deem reasonably certain to be exercised.
We recognize a right-of-use ("ROU") asset (and, as applicable, a corresponding lease liability) for each of our operating leases. ROU assets represent our right to use an underlying asset for the estimated lease term, and lease liabilities represent the present value of our future lease payments. In assessing our leases and determining our lease liability at lease commencement or upon modification, we are not able to readily determine the rate implicit for our lessee arrangements and thus use our incremental borrowing rate on a collateralized basis to determine the present value of our lease payments. Our ROU assets are measured as the balance of the lease liability plus any prepaid or accrued lease payments and any unamortized initial direct costs.
We review the carrying value of our ROU assets for impairment, similar to our other long-lived assets, whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable. We could record impairments in the future if there are changes in (1) long-term market conditions, (2) expected future operating results or (3) the utility of the assets that negatively impact the fair value of our ROU assets.
Revenue Recognition. 94% of our total revenue for 2023 consisted of site rental revenues, which are recognized on a ratable basis over the fixed, non-cancelable term of the relevant tenant contract, generally between five to 15 years for site rental revenues derived from wireless tenants and generally between one to 20 years for site rental revenues derived from fiber solutions tenants, regardless of whether the payments from the tenant are received in equal monthly amounts during the life of a tenant contract. Certain of our tenant contracts contain (1) fixed escalation clauses (such as fixed-dollar or fixed-percentage increases) or inflation-based escalation clauses (such as those tied to the change in CPI), (2) multiple renewal periods exercisable at the tenant's option and (3) only limited termination rights at the applicable tenant's option through the current term. If the payment terms call for fixed escalators, upfront payments, or rent-free periods, the revenue is recognized on a straight-line basis over the fixed, non-cancelable term of the tenant contract. When calculating our straight-line rental revenues, we consider all fixed elements of tenant contractual escalation provisions, even if such escalation provisions contain a variable element (such as an escalator tied to an inflation-based index) in addition to a minimum. To the extent we acquire below-market tenant leases for contractual interests with tenants on the acquired communications infrastructure (for example with respect to small cells and fiber), we record the fair value as deferred credits and amortize such deferred credits to site rental revenues over their estimated lease term. Since we recognize revenue on a straight-line basis, a portion of the site rental revenues in a given period represents cash collected or contractually collectible in other periods. Our assets related to straight-line site rental revenues are recorded within "Current portion of deferred site rental receivables" and "Deferred site rental receivables" on the consolidated balance sheet. Amounts billed or received prior to being earned are deferred and reflected in "Deferred revenues"
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and "Other long-term liabilities" on the consolidated balance sheet. Amounts to which we have an unconditional right to payment, which are related to both satisfied or partially satisfied performance obligations, are recorded within "Receivables, net" on the consolidated balance sheet.
As part of our effort to provide comprehensive communications infrastructure solutions, as an ancillary business, we also offer certain services primarily relating to our Towers segment, which represented 6% of our total revenues for 2023. For the periods presented, services and other revenues consists predominately of (1) site development services relating to existing or new tenant equipment installations, including: site acquisition, architectural and engineering, or zoning and permitting (collectively, "site development services") and (2) tenant equipment installation or subsequent augmentations (collectively, "installation services"). See note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the Company's July 2023 restructuring plan, which included discontinuing installation services as a Towers product offering. Our services generally have a duration of one year or less. Upon contract commencement, we assess our services to tenants and identify performance obligations for each promise to provide a distinct service.
We may have multiple performance obligations for site development services, which primarily include: structural analysis, zoning, permitting and construction drawings. For each of the above performance obligations, services revenues are recognized at completion of the applicable performance obligation, which represents the point at which we believe we have transferred goods or services to the tenant. The revenue recognized is based on an allocation of the transaction price among the performance obligations in a respective contract based on estimated standalone selling price.
The transaction price for tower installation services consists of amounts for (1) permanent improvements to our towers that represent a lease component and (2) the performance of the service. Amounts under our tower installation services agreements that represent a lease component are recognized as site rental revenues on a ratable basis over the length of the associated estimated lease term. For the performance of the tower installation service, we have one performance obligation, which is satisfied at the time of the applicable installation or augmentation and recognized as services and other revenues.
Since performance obligations are typically satisfied prior to receiving payment from tenants, the unconditional right to payment is recorded within "Receivables, net" on our consolidated balance sheet.
Accounting for Acquisitions—General. The majority of our towers have been acquired directly or indirectly from the three largest wireless carriers (or their predecessors) through transactions consummated since 1999 while most of our fiber assets were acquired through transactions dating back to 2012, with the largest transactions occurring in 2017. We evaluate each of our acquisitions to determine if it should be accounted for as a business combination or as an acquisition of assets. For our business combinations, we allocate the purchase price to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their estimated fair value at the date of acquisition. Any purchase price in excess of the net fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed is allocated to goodwill. See "Item 7. MD&A—Accounting and Reporting Matters—Accounting for Acquisitions—Valuation" below.
The determination of the final purchase price allocation could extend over several quarters resulting in the use of preliminary estimates that are subject to adjustment until finalized. Such changes could have a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Accounting for Acquisitions—Leases. With respect to business combinations that include towers that we lease and operate, such as the AT&T and T-Mobile leased and subleased towers (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint), we evaluate such agreements to determine treatment as finance or operating leases. The evaluation of such agreements for finance or operating lease treatment previously included consideration of each of the lease classification criteria under ASC 840-10-25, namely (1) the transfer of ownership provisions, (2) the existence of bargain purchase options, (3) the length of the remaining lease term, and (4) the present value of the minimum lease payments. With respect to the AT&T and T-Mobile leased and subleased towers (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint), we determined that the tower leases were finance leases and the underlying land leases were operating leases based upon the lease term criterion, after considering the fragmentation criteria applicable under ASC 840-10-25 to leases involving both land and buildings (i.e., towers). We determined that the fragmentation criteria was met, and the tower leases could be accounted for as finance leases apart from the land leases, which are accounted for as operating leases, since (1) the fair value of the land in the aforementioned business combinations was greater than 25% of the total fair value of the leased property at inception and (2) the tower lease expirations occur beyond 75% of the estimated economic life of the tower assets.
Accounting for Acquisitions—Valuation. As of December 31, 2023, our largest asset was property and equipment (which primarily consists of communications infrastructure) followed by goodwill, operating lease ROU assets and intangible assets. Our identifiable intangible assets predominately relate to the site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets.
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The fair value of the vast majority of our assets and liabilities is determined by using either:
(1)discounted cash flow valuation methods (for estimating identifiable intangibles such as site rental contracts and tenant relationships or operating lease right-of-use assets and lease liabilities acquired); or
(2)estimates of replacement costs (for tangible fixed assets such as communications infrastructure).
The purchase price allocation requires subjective estimates that, if incorrectly estimated, could be material to our consolidated financial statements, including the amount of depreciation, amortization and accretion expense. The most important estimates for measurement of tangible fixed assets are (1) the cost to replace the asset with a new asset and (2) the economic useful life after giving effect to age, quality, and condition. The most important estimates for measurement of intangible assets are (1) discount rates and (2) timing and amount of cash flows including estimates regarding tenant renewals and cancellations. The most important estimates for measurement of operating lease ROU assets and lease liabilities acquired are (1) present value of our future lease payments, including whether renewals or extensions should be measured, and (2) favorability or unfavorability to the current market terms. With respect to business combinations that include towers that we lease and operate, such as the AT&T and T-Mobile leased and subleased towers (including those which T-Mobile assumed in its merger with Sprint), we evaluate such agreements to determine treatment as finance or operating leases and identification of any bargain purchase options.
We record the fair value of obligations to perform certain asset retirement activities, including requirements, pursuant to our ground leases, leased facility and certain pole attachment agreements, to remove communications infrastructure or remediate the space upon which certain of our communications infrastructure resides. In determining the fair value of these asset retirement obligations we must make several subjective and highly judgmental estimates such as those related to: (1) timing of cash flows, (2) future costs, (3) discount rates and (4) the probability of enforcement to remove the towers or small cells or remediate the land. We do not record an obligation for asset retirement activities related to our fiber, as a settlement date is indeterminable and therefore a reasonable estimation of fair value cannot be made.
Accounting for Long-Lived Assets—Useful Lives. We are required to make subjective assessments as to the useful lives of our tangible and intangible assets for purposes of determining depreciation, amortization and accretion expense that, if incorrectly estimated, could be material to our consolidated financial statements. Depreciation expense for our property and equipment is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of our various classes of tangible assets. A substantial portion of our property and equipment represents the cost of our communications infrastructure, the majority of which is depreciated with an estimated useful life equal to the shorter of 20 years or the term of the underlying ground lease (where applicable and including optional renewals).
The useful lives of our intangible assets are estimated based on the period over which the intangible asset is expected to benefit us and gives consideration to the expected useful life of other assets to which the useful life may relate. We review the expected useful lives of our intangible assets on an ongoing basis and adjust if necessary. Amortization expense for intangible assets is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of each of the intangible assets. The useful lives of site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets are limited by the maximum depreciable life of the communications infrastructure (20 years), as a result of the interdependency of the communications infrastructure and the site rental contracts and tenant relationships. In contrast, the site rental contracts and tenant relationships are estimated to provide economic benefits for several decades because of the low rate of tenant cancellations and high rate of tenant retention experienced to date. Thus, while site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets are valued based upon the fair value of the site rental contracts and tenant relationships which includes assumptions regarding both (1) tenants' exercise of optional renewals contained in the acquired leases and (2) renewals of the acquired leases past the contractual term including exercisable options, site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets are amortized over a period not to exceed 20 years as a result of the useful life being limited by the depreciable life of the communications infrastructure.
Accounting for Long-Lived Assets—Impairment Evaluation. We review the carrying values of property and equipment, intangible assets, or other long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable.
For purposes of our Towers segment, we utilize the following dual grouping policy for purposes of determining the unit of account for testing impairment of site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets:
(1)we pool site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets and property and equipment into portfolio groups; and
(2)we separately pool the site rental contracts and tenant relationships by significant tenant or by tenant grouping for individually insignificant tenants, as appropriate.
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We first pool site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets and property and equipment into portfolio groups for purposes of determining the unit of account for impairment testing, because we view communications infrastructure as portfolios and communications infrastructure in a given portfolio and its related tenant contracts are not largely independent of the other communications infrastructure in the portfolio. We re-evaluate the appropriateness of the pooled groups at least annually. This use of grouping is based in part on (1) our limitations regarding disposal of communications infrastructure, (2) the interdependencies of communications infrastructure portfolios, and (3) the manner in which communications infrastructure is traded in the marketplace. The vast majority of our site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets and property and equipment are pooled into the U.S. owned communications infrastructure group. Secondly, and separately, we pool the site rental contracts and tenant relationships by significant tenant or by tenant grouping for individually insignificant tenants, as appropriate, for purposes of determining the unit of account for impairment testing because we associate the value ascribed to site rental contracts and tenant relationships intangible assets to the underlying contracts and related tenant relationships acquired.
For purposes of our Fiber segment, we consider major U.S. markets where we have made significant investments to be the most appropriate level for purposes of grouping our long-lived assets for potential impairment evaluation.
Our determination that an adverse event or change in circumstance has occurred that indicates that the carrying amounts may not be recoverable will generally involve (1) a deterioration in an asset's financial performance compared to historical results, (2) a shortfall in an asset's financial performance compared to forecasted results, or (3) changes affecting the utility and estimated future demands for the asset. When considering the utility of our assets, we consider events that would meaningfully impact (1) our communications infrastructure or (2) our tenant relationships. For example, consideration would be given to events that impact (1) the structural integrity and longevity of our communications infrastructure or (2) our ability to derive benefit from our existing tenant relationships, including events such as tenant's bankruptcy or insolvency or loss of a significant tenant. During 2023, there were no events or circumstances that caused us to review the carrying value of our intangible assets or property and equipment due in part to our assets performing consistently with or better than our expectations.
If the sum of the associated estimated future cash flows (undiscounted) from an asset group is less than its carrying amount, an impairment loss may be recognized. If the carrying value were to exceed the undiscounted cash flows, measurement of an impairment loss would be based on the fair value of the asset, which is based on an estimate of discounted future cash flows. The most important estimates for such calculations of undiscounted cash flows are (1) the expected additions of new tenants and equipment on our communications infrastructure and (2) estimates regarding tenant cancellations and renewals of tenant contracts. We could record impairments in the future if changes in long-term market conditions, expected future operating results or the utility of the assets results in changes for our impairment test calculations which negatively impact the fair value of our property and equipment and intangible assets, or if we changed our unit of account in the future.
Approximately 2% of our total towers currently have no tenants. We continue to pay operating expenses on these towers in anticipation of obtaining tenants on these towers in the future, primarily because of the demographics and continuing increase in demand for data in the areas around these individual towers. We estimate, based on current visibility, potential tenants on a majority of these towers. To the extent we do not believe there are long-term prospects of obtaining tenants on an individual asset and all other possible avenues for recovering the carrying value have been exhausted, including sale of the asset, we appropriately reduce the carrying value of such assets to fair value.
Accounting for Goodwill—Impairment Evaluation. We test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis, regardless of whether adverse events or changes in circumstances have occurred. The annual test begins with goodwill and all intangible assets being allocated to applicable reporting units. We then perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is "more likely than not" that the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If we conclude that it is "more likely than not" that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, we would be required to perform a quantitative goodwill impairment test. The quantitative goodwill impairment test compares the estimated fair value of the reporting unit and the carrying value of the reporting unit. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit is greater than its fair value, an impairment loss shall be recognized in an amount equal to such excess, limited to the total amount of goodwill allocated to the reporting unit. Our reporting units are the same as our operating segments (Towers and Fiber). See note 14 to our consolidated financial statements. We performed our most recent annual goodwill impairment test as of October 1, 2023, which resulted in no impairments.
Deferred Income Taxes. We operate as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Our REIT taxable income is generally not subject to federal and state income taxes as a result of the deduction for dividends paid and any usage of our remaining NOLs. Accordingly, the only provision or benefit for federal income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2023 relates to TRSs. Furthermore, as a result of the deduction for dividends paid, some or all of our NOLs related to our REIT may expire without utilization. See "Item 1. Business—REIT Status" for a discussion of the impact of our REIT status. 
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Our TRSs will continue to be subject, as applicable, to federal and state income taxes and foreign taxes in the jurisdictions in which such assets and operations are located. Our ability to utilize our NOLs is dependent, in part, upon us having sufficient future earnings to utilize our NOLs before they expire. If market conditions change materially and we determine that we will be unable to generate sufficient taxable income in the future to utilize our NOLs, we would be required to record an additional valuation allowance, which would reduce our earnings. Such adjustments could cause a material effect on our results of operations for the period of the adjustment. The change in our valuation allowance has no effect on our cash flows. For a further discussion of our benefit (provision) for income taxes, see "Item 7. MD&A—Results of Operations" and note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Accounting Pronouncements
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted. See note 2 to our consolidated financial statements.
Non-GAAP and Segment Financial Measures
In addition to the non-GAAP measures used herein and as discussed in note 14 to our consolidated financial statements, we also provide (1) segment site rental gross margin, (2) segment services and other gross margin, and (3) segment operating profit (loss), which are key measures used by management to evaluate the performance of our operating segments. These segment measures are provided pursuant to GAAP requirements related to segment reporting.
We define segment site rental gross margin as segment site rental revenues less segment site rental costs of operations, excluding stock-based compensation expense, net and amortization of prepaid lease purchase price adjustments recorded in consolidated site rental costs of operations. We define segment services and other gross margin as segment services and other revenues less segment services and other costs of operations, excluding stock-based compensation expense, net recorded in consolidated services and other costs of operations. We define segment operating profit (loss) as segment site rental gross margin plus segment services and other gross margin, and segment other operating (income) expense, less segment selling, general and administrative expenses. All of these measurements of profit or loss are exclusive of depreciation, amortization and accretion, which are shown separately. Additionally, certain costs are shared across segments and are reflected in our segment measures through allocations that management believes to be reasonable.
We use earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and accretion, as adjusted ("Adjusted EBITDA"), which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as an indicator of consolidated financial performance. Our measure of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies, including companies in the communications infrastructure sector or other REITs, and is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with GAAP. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for operating income (loss), net income (loss), net cash provided by (used for) operating, investing and financing activities or other income statement or cash flow statement data prepared in accordance with GAAP and should be considered only as a supplement to net income (loss) computed in accordance with GAAP as a measure of our performance. There are material limitations to using a measure such as Adjusted EBITDA, including the difficulty associated with comparing results among more than one company, including our competitors, and the inability to analyze certain significant items, including depreciation and interest expense, that directly affect our net income (loss). Management compensates for these limitations by considering the economic effect of the excluded expense items independently as well as in connection with their analysis of net income (loss).
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We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) plus restructuring charges (credits), asset write-down charges, acquisition and integration costs, depreciation, amortization and accretion, amortization of prepaid lease purchase price adjustments, interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, net, (gains) losses on retirement of long-term obligations, net (gain) loss on interest rate swaps, (gains) losses on foreign currency swaps, impairment of available-for-sale securities, interest income, other (income) expense, (benefit) provision for income taxes, net (income) loss from discontinued operations, (gain) loss on sale of discontinued operations, cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, stock-based compensation expense, net and net (gain) loss from disposal of discontinued operations, net of tax. The reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to our net income (loss) is set forth below:

Years Ended December 31,
(In millions of dollars)202320222021
Net income (loss)$1,502 $1,675 $1,096 
Adjustments to increase (decrease) net income (loss):
Asset write-down charges33 34 21 
Acquisition and integration costs
Depreciation, amortization and accretion
1,754 1,707 1,644 
Restructuring charges
85 — — 
Amortization of prepaid lease purchase price adjustments
16 16 18 
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, net850 699 657 
(Gains) losses on retirement of long-term obligations
— 28 145 
Interest income(15)(3)(1)
Other (income) expense10 21 
(Benefit) provision for income taxes26 16 21 
Stock-based compensation expense, net157 156 131 
Net (gain) loss from disposal of discontinued operations, net of tax— — 62 
Adjusted EBITDA(a)
$4,415 $4,340 $3,816 
(a)The above reconciliation excludes the items included in our Adjusted EBITDA definition which are not applicable to the periods shown.
We believe Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors or other interested parties in evaluating our financial performance because:
it is the primary measure used by our management (1) to evaluate the economic productivity of our operations and (2) for purposes of making decisions about allocating resources to, and assessing the performance of, our operations;
although specific definitions may vary, it is widely used by investors or other interested parties in evaluation of the communications infrastructure sector and other REITs to measure financial performance without regard to items such as depreciation, amortization and accretion, which can vary depending upon accounting methods and the book value of assets;
we believe it helps investors and other interested parties meaningfully evaluate and compare the results of our operations (1) from period to period and (2) to our competitors by removing the impact of our capital structure (primarily interest charges from our outstanding debt) and asset base (primarily depreciation, amortization and accretion) from our financial results; and
it is similar to the measure of current financial performance generally used in our debt covenant calculations.
Our management uses Adjusted EBITDA:
as a performance goal in employee annual incentive compensation;
as a measurement of financial performance because it assists us in comparing our financial performance on a consistent basis as it removes the impact of our capital structure (primarily interest charges from our outstanding debt) and asset base (primarily depreciation, amortization and accretion) from our operating results;
in presentations to our board of directors to enable it to have the same measurement of financial performance used by management;
for planning purposes, including preparation of our annual operating budget;
as a valuation measure in strategic analyses in connection with the purchase and sale of assets;
in determining self-imposed limits on our debt levels, including the evaluation of our leverage ratio; and
with respect to compliance with our debt covenants, which require us to maintain certain financial ratios that incorporate concepts such as, or similar to, Adjusted EBITDA.

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Item 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Our primary exposures to market risks are related to changes in interest rates, which may adversely affect our results of operations and financial position. We seek to manage exposure to changes in interest rates where economically prudent to do so by utilizing fixed rate debt. As of December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022 we had no interest rate swaps.
Interest Rate Risk
Our interest rate risk as of December 31, 2023 relates primarily to the impact of interest rate movements on the following:
the potential refinancing of our $22.9 billion in existing debt, compared to $21.7 billion in the prior year;
our $1.8 billion of floating rate debt, compared to $3.7 billion in the prior year, representing approximately 8% and 17% of total debt respectively; potential future borrowings of incremental debt, including borrowings under our 2016 Credit Facility and issuances under our CP Program; and
potential future borrowings of incremental debt, including borrowings under our 2016 Credit Facility and issuances under our CP Program.
Since March 2022, the Federal Reserve has repeatedly raised the federal funds rate for a cumulative increase of 5.25%, which adversely impacted the interest rates on our variable rate debt and refinancings of fixed rate debt. Any prolonged period of elevated interest rates or further increases to interest rates could increase our costs of borrowing. See also "Item 1a. Risk Factors" for a further discussion of risks stemming from interest rate increases.
Sensitivity Analysis. We manage our exposure to market interest rates on our existing debt by controlling the mix of fixed and floating rate debt. As of December 31, 2023, we had $1.8 billion of floating rate debt. A hypothetical unfavorable fluctuation in market interest rates on our existing floating rate debt of 1/4 of a percent point over a 12-month period would increase our interest expense by approximately $5 million.
Potential Future Borrowings of Incremental Debt. We typically do not hedge our exposure to interest rates on potential future borrowings of incremental debt for a substantial period prior to issuance. See "Item 7. MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Resources" regarding our liquidity strategy.
Potential Refinancing of Existing Debt. Our contractual debt maturities over the next 12 months consist of Commercial Paper Notes that may be outstanding from time to time, the 3.200% Senior Notes and principal payments on certain outstanding debt. See below for a tabular presentation of our scheduled contractual debt maturities as of December 31, 2023.
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Future Principal Payments and Interest Rates
The following table provides information about our market risk related to changes in interest rates. The future principal payments and weighted-average interest rates are presented as of December 31, 2023. These debt maturities reflect final maturity dates, and do not consider the impact of the principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates of certain debt (see footnotes (b) and (d)). The information presented below regarding the variable rate debt is supplementary to our sensitivity analysis regarding the impact of changes in the interest rates. See note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our debt.
 Future Principal Payments and Interest Rates by the Debt Instruments' Contractual Year of Maturity
(In millions of dollars)20242025202620272028ThereafterTotal
Fair Value(a)
Fixed rate debt(b)
$791 $539 $2,686 $2,282 $2,628 $12,334 $21,260 $19,369 
Average interest rate(b)(c)(d)
3.3 %1.6 %3.0 %3.5 %4.5 %3.6 %3.6 %
Variable rate debt(e)
$45 

$60 $91 $1,636 $— $— $1,832 $1,832 
Average interest rate(e)
5.9 %4.7 %4.4 %4.5 %— %— %4.5 %
(a)The fair value of our debt is based on indicative quotes, non-binding quotes from brokers that require judgment to interpret market information, including implied credit spreads for similar borrowings on recent trades or bid/ask offers. These fair values are not necessarily indicative of the amount, which could be realized in a current market exchange.
(b)The impact of principal payments that will commence following the anticipated repayment dates is not considered (see footnote (d) below). The Tower Revenue Notes, Series 2015-2 and Series 2018-2 have principal amounts of $700 million and $750 million, with anticipated repayment dates in 2025 and 2028, respectively.
(c)The average interest rate represents the weighted-average stated coupon rate (see also footnote (d)).
(d)    If the Tower Revenue Notes are not repaid in full by the applicable anticipated repayment dates, the applicable interest rate increases by approximately 5% per annum and monthly principal payments commence using the Excess Cash Flow (as defined in the indenture governing the applicable Tower Revenue Notes) of the issuers of the Tower Revenue Notes. The Tower Revenue Notes are presented based on their contractual maturity dates ranging from 2045 to 2048 and include the impact of an assumed 5% increase in interest rate that would occur following the anticipated repayment dates but exclude the impact of monthly principal payments that would commence using Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the Tower Revenue Notes. The full year 2023 Excess Cash Flow of the issuers of the Tower Revenue Notes was approximately $993 million. We currently expect to refinance these notes on or prior to the respective anticipated repayment dates.
(e)    Predominately consists of our senior unsecured term loan A facility ("2016 Term Loan A") and our 2016 Revolver borrowings, each of which matures in 2027. Additionally, see note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for information regarding potential upward or downward adjustments to the interest rate spread and unused commitment fee percentage on our 2016 Credit Facility if we achieve specified annual sustainability targets or fail to meet annual sustainability thresholds. Each annual period presented assumes the downward adjustments in the interest rate spread and unused commitment fee percentage on our 2016 Credit Facility.

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Item 8.    Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

Crown Castle Inc. and Subsidiaries
Index to Consolidated Financial Statements and Financial Statement Schedules
 
 Page
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (PCAOB ID 238)
Consolidated Statement of Equity for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023
Schedule II - Valuation and Qualifying Accounts for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021
Schedule III - Schedule of Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

50


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of
Crown Castle Inc.

Opinions on the Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Crown Castle Inc. and its subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the related consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income (loss), of equity and of cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, including the related notes and financial statement schedules listed in the index appearing under Item 15(a)(2) (collectively referred to as the "consolidated financial statements"). We also have audited the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the COSO.

Basis for Opinions

The Company's management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A. Our responsibility is to express opinions on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Our audits of the consolidated financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

51


Critical Audit Matters

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that (i) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (ii) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

Revenue Recognition - Towers Segment - Site Rental Revenues

As described in Notes 2 and 14 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company recognized $4,313 million in site rental revenues from the Towers segment for the year ended December 31, 2023. The Company generates site rental revenues from its core business by providing tenants with access to its shared communications infrastructure via long-term tenant contracts in various forms, including lease, license, sublease and service agreements. Providing such access over the length of the tenant contract term represents the Company’s sole performance obligation under its tenant contracts. Site rental revenues from the Company's tenant contracts are recognized on a straight-line, ratable basis over the fixed, non-cancelable term of the relevant tenant contract.

The principal considerations for our determination that performing procedures relating to revenue recognition for the site rental revenues from the Towers segment is a critical audit matter are a high degree of auditor effort in performing procedures and evaluating audit evidence related to revenue recognition for the site rental revenues from the Towers segment.

Addressing the matter involved performing procedures and evaluating audit evidence in connection with forming our overall opinion on the consolidated financial statements. These procedures included testing the effectiveness of controls relating to revenue recognition for the site rental revenues from the Towers segment. These procedures also included, among others (i) testing the completeness and accuracy of management’s identification of the contractual terms by examining tenant contracts on a test basis and (ii) testing the appropriateness of the amount of revenue recognized based on contractual terms for the selected tenant contracts.


/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
February 23, 2024

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2011.
52


CROWN CASTLE INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
(In millions of dollars, except par values)

 December 31,
20232022
ASSETS
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents$105 $156 
Restricted cash and cash equivalents
171 166 
Receivables, net of allowance of $19 and $19, respectively
481 593 
Prepaid expenses103 102 
Current portion of deferred site rental receivables116 127 
Other current assets56 73 
Total current assets1,032 1,217 
Deferred site rental receivables2,239 1,954 
Property and equipment, net15,666 15,407 
Operating lease right-of-use assets6,187 6,526 
Goodwill10,085 10,085 
Site rental contracts and tenant relationships, net3,122 3,535 
Other intangible assets, net57 61 
Other assets, net139 136 
Total assets$38,527 $38,921 
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable$252 $236 
Accrued interest219 183 
Deferred revenues605 736 
Other accrued liabilities342 407 
Current maturities of debt and other obligations835 819 
Current portion of operating lease liabilities332 350 
Total current liabilities2,585 2,731 
Debt and other long-term obligations22,086 20,910 
Operating lease liabilities5,561 5,881 
Other long-term liabilities1,914 1,950 
Total liabilities32,146 31,472 
Commitments and contingencies (see note 12)
CCI stockholders' equity:
Common stock, $0.01 par value; 1,200 shares authorized; shares issued and outstanding: December 31, 2023—434 and December 31, 2022—433
4 4 
Additional paid-in capital18,270 18,116 
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)(4)(5)
Dividends/distributions in excess of earnings(11,889)(10,666)
Total equity6,381 7,449 
Total liabilities and equity$38,527 $38,921 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
53


CROWN CASTLE INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(In millions of dollars, except per share amounts)

 Years Ended December 31,
 202320222021
Net revenues:
Site rental$6,532 $6,289 $5,719 
Services and other449 697 621 
Net revenues6,981 6,986 6,340 
Operating expenses:
Costs of operations:(a)
Site rental1,664 1,602 1,554 
Services and other316 466 439 
Selling, general and administrative759 750 680 
Asset write-down charges33 34 21 
Acquisition and integration costs1 2 1 
Depreciation, amortization and accretion1,754 1,707 1,644 
Restructuring charges
85   
Total operating expenses4,612 4,561 4,339 
Operating income (loss)2,369 2,425 2,001 
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, net(850)(699)(657)
Gains (losses) on retirement of long-term obligations (28)(145)
Interest income15 3 1 
Other income (expense)(6)(10)(21)
Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes1,528 1,691 1,179 
Benefit (provision) for income taxes(26)(16)(21)
Income (loss) from continuing operations1,502 1,675 1,158 
Discontinued operations (see note 9):
Net gain (loss) from disposal of discontinued operations, net of tax  (62)
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax  (62)
Net income (loss)$1,502 $1,675 $1,096 
Other comprehensive income (loss):
Foreign currency translation adjustments1 (1) 
Total other comprehensive income (loss)1 (1) 
Comprehensive income (loss)$1,503 $1,674 $1,096 
Net income (loss), per common share:
Income (loss) from continuing operations, basic$3.46 $3.87 $2.68 
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, basic  (0.14)
Net income (loss)—basic$3.46 $3.87 $2.54 
Income (loss) from continuing operations, diluted$3.46 $3.86 $2.67 
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, diluted  (0.14)
Net income (loss)—diluted$3.46 $3.86 $2.53 
Weighted-average common shares outstanding:
Basic434 433 432 
Diluted434 434 434 
(a)Exclusive of depreciation, amortization and accretion shown separately.


See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
54


CROWN CASTLE INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
(In millions of dollars)

 Years Ended December 31,
202320222021
Cash flows from operating activities:
Income (loss) from continuing operations$1,502 $1,675 $1,158 
Adjustments to reconcile income (loss) from continuing operations to net cash provided by (used for) operating activities:
Depreciation, amortization and accretion1,754 1,707 1,644 
(Gains) losses on retirement of long-term obligations 28 145 
Amortization of deferred financing costs and other non-cash interest29 17 13 
Stock-based compensation expense, net157 156 129 
Asset write-down charges33 34 21 
Deferred income tax (benefit) provision8 3 4 
Other non-cash adjustments, net14 5 21 
Changes in assets and liabilities, excluding the effects of acquisitions:
Increase (decrease) in accrued interest36  (17)
Increase (decrease) in accounts payable(14)(5)15 
Increase (decrease) in other liabilities
(265)(281)(118)
Decrease (increase) in receivables115 (49)(113)
Decrease (increase) in other assets
(243)(412)(113)
Net cash provided by (used for) operating activities3,126 2,878 2,789 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Capital expenditures(1,424)(1,310)(1,229)
Payments for acquisitions, net of cash acquired(96)(35)(111)
Other investing activities, net1 (7)8 
Net cash provided by (used for) investing activities(1,519)(1,352)(1,332)
Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt3,843 748 3,985 
Principal payments on debt and other long-term obligations(79)(74)(1,076)
Purchases and redemptions of long-term debt(750)(1,274)(2,089)
Borrowings under revolving credit facility3,613 3,495 1,245 
Payments under revolving credit facility(4,248)(2,855)(870)
Net issuances (repayments) under commercial paper program(1,241)976 (20)
Payments for financing costs(39)(14)(42)
Purchases of common stock (30)(65)(70)
Dividends/distributions paid on common stock(2,723)(2,602)(2,373)
Net cash provided by (used for) financing activities(1,654)(1,665)(1,310)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents - continuing operations
(47)(139)147 
Discontinued operations (see note 9):
Net cash provided by (used for) operating activities  (62)
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents - discontinued operations
  (62)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash1   
Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period
327 

466 381 
Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents at end of period
$281 $327 $466 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
55


CROWN CASTLE INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF EQUITY
(Amounts in millions)
 Common StockAdditional
Paid-In Capital
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) ("AOCI")Dividends/Distributions in Excess of EarningsTotal
 Shares($0.01 Par)
Balance, December 31, 2020
431 $4 $17,933 $(4)$(8,472)$9,461 
Stock-based compensation related activity, net of forfeitures1 — 148 — — 148 
Purchases and retirement of common stock— — (70)— — (70)
Common stock dividends/distributions—