Monday, August 31, 2020

Cable Asks Appeals Court, FCC to Stop C-Band Repack; NAB Opposes

Small cablecos are taking the next step in their fight with the FCC over C-band repack reimbursements. ACA Connects, the association that represents small cable companies, asked a federal court and the FCC to stay the Commission’s September 14 deadline. Broadcasters, who are also impacted by the C-band repack, opposed the request, calling cablecos greedy.

By the deadline, earth station operators that choose a lump sum reimbursement for vacating the lower portion of the band must do so. The FCC wants to auction frequencies in the lower portion of the band for 5G.

The original deadline was August 31, but the FCC extended it based on a request from the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inside Towers reported. ACA Connects asked the agency to stay the deadline and reconsider the underlying decision; it also asked for a decision on the stay by August 26, which did not happen, reported Multichannel News. Continue Reading

Friday, August 28, 2020

NOT an Exit Interview: Inside Towers Talks to Jennifer Fritzsche

Having recently left her position as Senior Market Analyst for Wells Fargo Securities, Jennifer Fritzsche has quietly rested, regrouped, re-evaluated and, in another capacity, returned to the wireless infrastructure space. As a well known analyst and pundit on towers, Fritzsche took the time for an exclusive talk with Inside Towers. 

Inside Towers (IT): So, Jennifer, can we call this an exit interview?
Jennifer Fritzsche (JF): I will say this as firmly as I can, this is NOT an exit interview! I am just shifting the lens through which I am looking at the communications infrastructure space.

IT: So you’re still in the game? Great to hear. What was behind your decision to leave Wells Fargo?
JF: It was such a tough decision to leave Wells – and ironically I resigned 25 years to the day I was hired at Wells….or predecessor firm they acquired along the way. During my time as a sell-side analyst, I used to listen to all my internal analyst colleagues speak about their respective areas of, healthcare, retail, etc…. and think I won the lottery ticket of stock coverage. This space continues to be everchanging – which makes it all the more exciting. Continue Reading

Thursday, August 27, 2020

FCC Concludes First 5G Mid-Band Spectrum Auction

The FCC Tuesday announced the successful conclusion of bidding in its auction of Priority Access Licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz band. This auction, which was designated as Auction 105, made available the greatest number of spectrum licenses ever in a single FCC auction. This 70 megahertz of licensed spectrum will further the deployment of 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity, as well as the Internet of Things and other advanced spectrum-based services.

Bidding in the auction of 70 megahertz of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz band (Auction 105) concluded yesterday following round 76. Gross proceeds reached $4,585,663,345, and bidders won 20,625 of 22,631, or more than 91.1 percent, of available licenses.

The FCC will announce details of auction results in a few days, including the names of Auction 105 winning bidders, payment deadlines and more.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Shared Backhaul Access Points Could Accelerate 5G

The hype about 5G is usually aimed at consumers whose fast and fancy smartphones are expected to blossom with 5th generation possibilities. While 5G is on a rapid roll-out, the promise of fabulous universal connectivity is an incomplete and ongoing process. Tapping into 5G's backhaul potential could bring immediate benefits to areas where it is now available, says

Farpoint Group principal Craig Mathias explains that an arrangement that allows both infrastructure and end users to connect through the same 5G access points could benefit from a 5G backhaul set-up. He says that looking at 5G as its own entity rather than as a wireless component will open up different avenues for its use. "5G is not about augmenting wire," he said. "It's about replacing it." Continue Reading

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

O’Rielly’s Re-Nomination Withdrawal Causes Backlash

UPDATE Inside Towers reported yesterday the White House reversed course and withdrew Michael O'Rielly's nomination for another five-year term on the FCC. The action came after a Senate committee approved his reappointment on July 22.

The White House gave no explanation for the change. Speculation Tuesday centered around O’Rielly’s comments last week warning against government intervention into speech on social media. President Donald Trump in May ordered the Commerce Department to petition the FCC to impose new regulations on social media moderation practices. The order directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to draw up a proposal to the FCC to limit the liability protections that tech platforms currently enjoy for third-party content on their sites under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

First Amendment advocates have raised doubts that such a move would withstand constitutional scrutiny, but the FCC on Monday opened up the proposal for public comment, according to Deadline. It now will go through a 45-day period for comments. Continue Reading