Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Auction Could Re-Write Local Media Definition

Billions of dollars are likely to change hands during the FCC’s spectrum incentive auction. The money could be used to transform local media nationwide.

Telecoms have referred to a “spectrum crisis,” as they try to sate the public’s appetite for bandwidth to deliver streaming video, as well as texts and social media to consumers.

Auction proceeds could be used to build 21st-century infrastructure for public interest media, writes Christopher Daggett, president and chief executive officer of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in an Op Ed for the New York Times. States, communities and universities that decided to auction some or all of their television spectrum will have a chance to invest in new ways to meet the public’s information needs, he writes. Continue Reading

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tue, November 29, 2016 90-Day Trial Subscribe Now Media Kit Submit News Popular Posts Inside Towers Database Job Listings Archive Emergency Alert System Goes Into Action on Ohio State Campus

9:55 a.m. Buckeye Alert! Emergency on Columbus campus: More info soon. Shelter in place / be observant / take action as needed. Public Safety responding.
9:56 a.m.  Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.

So read the Buckeye Alert System messages that began the day yesterday on the Ohio State University Campus.  An attacker reportedly plowed into a crowd with his car and began stabbing random bystanders with a butcher knife according to OSU police.  The attacker was shot and killed less than a minute later police said. Continue Reading

Monday, November 28, 2016

How Many Economists Does it Take to Make an FCC? Jamison Added to Team

UPDATE  A second economist has joined the President-elect’s transition team for the FCC – Mark Jamison. He joins Jeffrey Eisenach, who leads the team, Inside Towers reported.
Like Eisenach, Jamison is affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington and is currently director of The University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, reports TVNewsCheck. Jamison, too, is an expert on telephone and public utilities issues. Continue Reading

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


A notification yesterday from NATE stated that 3M Fall Protection (formerly Capital Safety) has identified a limited number of Lad-Saf X2/X3 sleeves with the locking lever not working properly. This condition can allow the sleeve to disengage from the cable during use. The assembly error is believed to affect only a limited number of units and has been corrected. There have been no accidents or injuries related to this issue. Continue Reading

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump Presidency Revives Talk of T-Mobile, Sprint Merger

The wireless industry may soon feel the effects of the political earthquake reshaping power in Washington, as the likelihood of a T-Mobile, Sprint merger might have just increased thanks to the election of Republican Donald Trump, reports.

Trump’s administration is expected to have markedly different regulatory policies than that of the Obama administration, who squelched a potential merger of the two wireless giants in August, 2014. “Four national wireless providers is good for American consumers,” current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a 2014 article published by the Wall Street Journal.

Wheeler is expected to step down following Trump’s inauguration, and could potentially be replaced by Jeffrey Eisenach, the telecom consultant who is currently heading up the selection of new FCC members on Trump’s transition team, Inside Towers has reported.  Continue Reading

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NAB to FCC: Wireless Companies Exaggerate Spectrum “Crisis”

NAB, and many broadcast equipment suppliers and engineers, say the FCC’s 39-month schedule for the television repack is too aggressive. The proposed schedule doesn’t fully take into account logistical and technical challenges broadcasters and suppliers will face, says NAB in comments to the agency; the trade lobby urges the Commission to re-think the deadline.
On top of all this, wireless companies are inflating how urgently they need new spectrum and are dragging out the auction, according to NAB.  

Many of the Commission’s proposals for the television repack “are reasonable steps towards planning an efficient transition,” notes NAB. However a software-driven approach to categorize and assign stations to different phases is “unlikely” to produce a workable and efficient plan in practice, according to the broadcast trade lobby. Continue Reading

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pings from Towers Locate Missing South Carolina Woman Held Hostage

In emergency situations, cell phone technology can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Such was the case recently when local authorities used cell tower pings to locate a missing South Carolina woman; she was found held captive on a 95-acre property in northwest South Carolina, reports

Local police investigators obtained cell phone records from the woman’s service provider—AT&T—which enabled them to “triangulate” the cell phone’s location based on the strength of the pings between nearby towers the woman’s phone had connected to up to the moment it died.   

The missing woman’s cell phone pinged on the property up to two days after friends last saw her on August 31. Working with AT&T, local authorities obtained the phone records and the necessary warrant needed to access the property. Continue Reading

Monday, November 14, 2016

Telecom Transition Headed by Former FTC Economist and Telecom Lobbyist

President-elect Donald Trump has assembled a transition team; its members, in turn, will develop short-lists so he can staff his administration.
Trump has picked federal technology regulation opponent Jeffrey Eisenach to lead his telecom transition team, reports Quartz. Eisenach was an economist at the Federal Trade Commission and an advisor in Ronald Reagan’s administration.

Now a telecom consultant and lobbyist, he counts Verizon and other telecoms as clients. He’s leading the team helping to pick staffers for the FCC, reports the New York Times. Continue Reading

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Could Cut Rural Broadband Deployment Red Tape

As the dust begins to settle after the election, the Trump transition team is at work. The group has launched a website “” with a @transition2017 associated Twitter feed linked to the account.
Lobbying groups are adjusting their game-plans in preparation for a Trump administration and the start of the 115th Session of Congress in January.

Trump’s election reflects deep economic frustration, according to TechFreedom President Berin Sz√≥ka. The leader of the think tank advocating technology progress sees bridging the Digital Divide with broadband as essential to empowering rural America. Continue Reading

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What Telecom Issues Await New Administration?

What might be the potential impact on telecom regulation under President-elect Donald Trump?
That’s actually difficult to determine because Trump said little about the tech sector during the campaign. Recode believes he may be more hands-off than President Obama, who has referred to himself as a geek at times. The president-elect will certainly be more pro-business and anti-regulation. However he recently called the proposed AT&T $85B buyout of Time Warner “poison.”

Trump said at a recent rally his administration wouldn’t sign-off on the deal because of the concentration of power between AT&T and CNN together would be too much. Meanwhile, AT&T CFO John Stephens said Wednesday the carrier looks forward to working with Trump and is still optimistic regulators will approve the deal, reported Reuters. Continue Reading

Monday, November 7, 2016

Health Advocates Worry 5G Will Create Toxic Brew

Some health advocates are fearful of the FCC’s 5G deployment push.
Inside Towers has reported some local governments are dragging their feet in approving applications to site small cells and DAS on utility and light poles. The wireless industry is “losing patience” with “obstructionist” municipalities, according to the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.

NATOA represents local governments in administrative rulings, judicial decisions, and technology issues impacting the interests of local governments. Many of its advocacy efforts involve emerging issues regarding broadband planning and wireless zoning.

The Wheeler Commission has been especially focused on broadband deployment; this July the Commission adopted rules for wireless broadband above 24 GHz, making the U.S. the first country to make this spectrum available for 5G mmWave technology. The Report & Order opens up frequencies for new flexible uses that will include mobility, internet access, point-to-point as well as satellite use, according to Telecom Engine. Continue Reading

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Standing Rock Tribes Leery of Eminent Domain Takeover of Spectrum

Conflicts between Native Americans and police erupted again this week at the construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Several Native American tribes are protesting the $3.8 billion project being built near a dam on the Missouri River. Meanwhile, at least one tribe member who’s also in the telecom industry worries an aspect of the pipeline conflict could impact wireless services on his reservation.  Eminent domain was used to clear the way for the pipeline which, for now, is to be located near land the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says is ancestral soil near the reservation.

Tribe member Fred McLaughlin, general manager of the tribe-owned local wireless provider Standing Rock Telecom, fears federal and private entities covet the tribe’s wireless spectrum.  Standing Rock Telecom owns 17 towers and provides monthly contracts to 1,600+ subscribers; its signals cover 3,500 miles and the service has played an important role in social media coverage of the protests, reports motherboard. Continue Reading

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The FCC on Broadband Deployment: Federal Muscle Over Local Authority

There are five steps governments can and should take now to facilitate broadband deployment. That’s according to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who discussed the issue at the CTIA Wireless Foundation’s Smart Cities Expo in Washington, DC yesterday.
The FCC must use its authority to ensure local governments don’t get in the way. “Congress gave the Commission the express authority to preempt any state or local regulation that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide wired or wireless service. We should use it,” said the GOP Commissioner, citing potentially unfair fees that can be pre-empted by the agency. Continue Reading

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Crown Castle to Buy FiberNet for $1.5B Adding 11,500 Miles of Fiber to Portfolio

Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire FPL FiberNet Holdings, LLC and certain other subsidiaries of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE) (collectively, “FiberNet”) for approximately $1.5 billion in cash (subject to certain limited adjustments). FiberNet is a fiber services provider that owns or has rights to approximately 11,500 route miles of fiber installed and under construction in Florida and Texas, inclusive of approximately 6,000 route miles of fiber in top metro markets.  Pro forma for the proposed acquisition, Crown Castle will own or have rights to approximately 28,500 route miles of fiber. Continue Reading