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Circuit court confirms that the FCC set fair utility pole attachment rates

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Eighth Circuit denied a petition from the nation’s power and electric companies for review of a 2015 Federal Communications Commission order governing the rates utilities may charge telecommunication providers for attaching their networks to utility-owned poles. The court found the pricing decision to be just and reasonable, holding that the term “cost” in Pole Attachments Act, 47, U.S.C. 224, …

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NAB attacks Microsoft’s slick rebooting of failed white spaces rural broadband plan

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Before the salad forks were lifted at yesterday’s media luncheon in Washington where Microsoft President Brad Smith was readying his Rural Airband Initiative that would use white space spectrum, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) attacked Microsoft’s proposal as “the height of arrogance.” In a press statement, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said, “It’s the height of …

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Corrupt broadband provider loses its exclusivity grant in the Hawaiian Home Lands

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In an opinion and order released on July 3, the Federal Communications Commission revoked the exclusive license of Waimana Enterprises to build, construct, maintain and operate a telecommunications network in the Hawaiian Home Lands (HHL). In December, the FCC said that Sandwich Isles Corporation, Waimana Enterprises, Inc. (WEI), its parent company, and Albert S.N. Hee, owner of  both organizations, were …

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Centerline Solutions’ new CEO is ably positioned to lead the company’s growth

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Centerline Solutions, a leading provider of wireless infrastructure services to the telecommunications industry headquartered in Golden, Colo., has named Tom Prestwood as the company’s new CEO. Prestwood brings over 30 years of experience in the wireless and broadband telecom industry, including a successful track record of scaling growing businesses and orchestrating collaborations among carriers, tower operators and infrastructure providers. He …

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AT&T’s fixed wireless footprint expands to 70,000 rural locations

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet for rural and underserved locations is now available in eight new states. These are in addition to the initial launch that took place in Georgia in April. More than 70,000 locations can now access Fixed Wireless Internet in underserved or unserved areas across these nine states. This is part of the FCC Connect America Fund commitment. …

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Surveyor and design firm are off the hook in siting errors that cost Texas city $508,000

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When Rowlett, Tex. officials found out in March that they had constructed a police communications 325-foot tower on a neighbor’s plot of land and not city property, they fixed the error, as reported by Wireless Estimator, by paying $478,000 additional to buy the adjoining lot. Otherwise, they would have incurred a $400,000 penalty for not having the tower constructed to …

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Carrier CEOs chew on Trump’s ear to clear the path and speed up small cell installations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

President Donald Trump offered backing for emerging technologies such as next-generation wireless and unmanned aerial vehicles in a meeting yesterday with the heads of telecom giants AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, and drone companies such as Trumbull Unmanned as well as venture capitalists and health care providers. Wireless makes some strange bedfellows During the meetings in the East Wing, Trump …

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FCC vote kicks off battle over regulation of the nation’s internet

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In a 2-1 vote, the FCC today moved forward with a process that could lift Title II broadband classification, the legal footing for the commission’s 2015 net neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stressed that Thursday’s vote is just “the beginning of the process.” In prepared remarks, he stated that the commission would “follow the facts and law where they …

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Broadband investment heads south, 5G Michigan trials soar successfully

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Samsung, Cisco deliver multivendor end-to-end 5G trial with Verizon Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and Cisco, in partnership with Verizon, today announced the successful deployment of the first multi-vendor end-to-end 5G trial network in the field, which took place in Ann Arbor, a suburb of metropolitan Detroit, Mich. Earlier this year, Verizon announced plans for customer trials of 5G technology for …

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AT&T’s tower-centric drone software could sunset a number of head counts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

More than 30 years ago, Art Pregler directed the Air Force’s complex mission of taking full sized multi-million-dollar fighter aircraft, converting them into drones, and then shooting them out of the sky with new advanced weapons systems. Today, as director of AT&T’s National Mobility Systems, Pregler’s role is just the opposite, requiring him to ensure that the carrier’s experimental drones remain …

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One tower installation error adds up to a half million dollar add on

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

For 13 years Wireless Estimator has been covering the wireless siting community and is always in search of the man bites dog story rather than a mundane municipal siting protest. Today, we found one in Rowlett, Tex. where a city tower was built on their neighbor’s adjoining property. But instead of moving the tower, equipment shelter and generator to the …

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Straight Path finds its 5G suitor as AT&T picks it up for $1.25 Billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T has announced plans to acquire Straight Path Communications which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses. This acquisition complements AT&T’s January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum. The acquisition will support AT&T’s leadership in 5G, which will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers …

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AT&T exec Kay Kapoor will head new $15B global organization

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Kay Kapoor, who has led AT&T’s federal business for four year, and the company’s successful efforts to secure the multi-billion-dollar FirstNet public safety network contract, will now head the company’s new Global Public Sector (GPS) business unit as its president. AT&T is consolidating its federal, state and local public sector operations into GPS. AT&T’s public sector sales in 2016, consisting …

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Over 70 communities have filed suit over Ohio siting bill enforcement

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Maumee, Ohio is the latest community to take action against Ohio’s “Petland Bill” that became effective March 21, that snuck in and set standards for tower siting in the state’s 938 municipalities’ rights of way. Maumee City Council members voted unanimously last night to file a formal complaint and request an injunction against the section of the bill relating to …

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American Tower’s $100 million amendment is most likely from Verizon

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 29, 2017 – According to two knowledgeable industry insiders, American Tower Corporation’s (ATC) filing on March 21 stating that it had amended a master lease agreement with one of its tenants that will provide the company with an additional $100 million in revenue for the year,  was an agreement with Verizon, not AT&T as had been widely speculated.  However, they …

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Adelstein drives home need to remove regulatory barriers at South Wireless Summit

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Jonathan Adelstein, CEO and President of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), delivered a keynote address at the annual South Wireless Summit here today in which he highlighted the crucial work the association is doing in Washington and in state capitals across the United States to remove barriers to the deployment of wireless infrastructure. “Creating a predictable business environment helps us …

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WIA chair believes 50-foot small cells are reasonable, urges congress to remove barriers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), Thomas A. “Tam” Murray, today urged members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to continue its work toward streamlining the widespread deployment of wireless broadband in communities throughout the United States. He also informed the subcommittee that WIA was “tremendously in favor of long lease …

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Public broadcasting stations take a huge hit in Trump’s budget lite

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget cuts, released late last week, left the wireless industry basically unscathed except for some cuts to rural broadband efforts that are said to be duplicated elsewhere. But the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) took a huge hit on President Trump’s wish list, losing $445 million, which could result in a number of rural stations …

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NYC says ‘we’re done waiting,’ and sues Verizon over fiber rollout

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In correspondence sent to New York City on Friday, Verizon said they were looking forward to “constructive dialog” to resolve the City’s Fios build-out concerns. New York wasn’t as accommodating when it slapped Verizon with a lawsuit on Monday. In a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, New York City contends that Verizon is in breach of a …

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WIA outlines convincing small cell deployment barriers nation faces

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) filed formal written comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its “Streamlining Deployment of Small Cell Infrastructure By Improving Wireless Facilities Siting Policies” proceeding. In its filing, WIA stressed the importance of maintaining a fair and competitive marketplace to promote the widespread deployment of wireless infrastructure in communities across the United States. More importantly, …

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Kansas mayor is perplexed why FCC chief singled out his city’s broadband

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During a press conference yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai singled out a small Kansas community that he said had 75 residents that could possibly receive economic prosperity if they were to be provided with adequate broadband services, but City of Allen Mayor Charles Eastman said he’s not quite sure as to how that would be achieved – or if the city …

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DAS debuts at University of Iowa as ATC’s lawsuit still dawdles in court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

U.S. Cellular announced on Wednesday that it has completed its DAS network at the University of Iowa Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Kinnick Stadium, much to the chagrin of American Tower Corp. (ATC) who is suing the university and its Board of Regents after they yanked a 2013 contract that ATC says is still in effect. “The new network system supports a …

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Municipal representatives unveil Georgia’s ROW agreement with Mobilitie

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

After meeting with representatives of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau last week, city and town leaders from Massachusetts, Georgia and Minnesota, as well as a representative of the National League of Cities, presented them with what they believe could be a model template for telecom installations in public rights of way. During the meeting, they urged the Commission to avoid …

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WUSF-TV is one of the first casualties of incentive auction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After 50 years of broadcasting, WUSF-TV has announced that it will go off the air later this year, now that the University of South Florida has sold its public broadcast license for more than $18.75 million during the FCC’s incentive auction. According to university officials, the price was far below what they anticipated receiving. Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai …

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Commissioner O’Rielly tackles questionable waste in backup network funding

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The adage, any publicity is good publicity, may have backfired on the Arlington, Virginia Public Schools (APS) after an article in ARLnow.com was read by FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and he dashed off a letter to the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) that could possibly kayo funding for APS’s backup fiber network because he believes that “ratepayer dollars are being …

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FCC gavels in $19.6 billion in auction, CTIA is already lobbying for another one

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Bidding in the clock phase of the FCC’s incentive auction ended last week with wireless companies and others ponying up $19,632,506,746 for 70 MHz of new broadband spectrum, and although it was lower than a number of analysts’ projections, it was still the second largest auction ever. The U.S. Treasury will get approximately $7.6 billion and trade group CTIA is …

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Pence’s $260 million tower deal legacy for Indiana is terminated

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced today that the Indiana Finance Authority has terminated contract discussions with Agile Networks which struck a tentative deal last September with the state to lease its communications towers while Vice President Mike Pence was Governor. As reported at that time by Wireless Estimator, Agile and Pence said that negotiations had been finalized for an agreement …

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Straight Path secures $17.5 million to help pay off FCC fines

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Straight Path Communications Inc. announced it has secured $17.5 million in new debt financing, expanding the company’s options as it continues to explore strategic alternatives for the company. Last month, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau announced a settlement valued in excess of $100 million with the company to resolve an investigation of Straight Path’s failure to deploy wireless services …

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WIA presses for small cells on pole facilities with its detailed primer

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Attaching small wireless antennas and associated equipment – such as distributed antenna system (DAS) remote units, remote radio units and self-contained small cells – on existing poles or structures significantly improves the coverage and capacity of mobile networks, according to a new white paper titled “Small Cells on Pole Facilities: A Primer on How Utility Poles, Street Lights and Traffic …

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T-Mobile’s Hail Mary pass falls short after Super Bowl data rank tanks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray most likely knew that there was no possibility of the carrier sporting high data usage numbers at Super Bowl 51 Sunday, and used the same game play that it did last year. Ray tried to exploit his opponents’ slow speed during the most watched sporting event in America with T-Mobile’s download and upload speeds of …

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FCC Commissioner contends more broadband subsidies may not be the best route

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been open to the idea of spending $20 billion in broadband funding as part of a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, as recently reported by Wireless Estimator, but one Republican Federal Communications Commissioner is arguing that the approach has “serious potential drawbacks.” “For the sake of efficiency and soundness, if new government money has to be …

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AT&T sneakily buys FiberTower, a company they once inadvertently helped to cripple

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Technology makes strange bedfellows and opportunities, as is the case when AT&T announced on Tuesday that it “entered into an agreement to acquire FiberTower Corporation, and its mmWave spectrum rights.” The one-sentence sale statement was tucked in at the end of an announcement that AT&T was in advanced discussions with power companies to trial Project AirGig, a patented broadband-over-power lines …

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Pennsylvania mayor arrested for burying graves during cell site construction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: Feb. 19, 2017 –  Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz dismissed the case against the Mayor of Shamokin, Pa. yesterday of allegedly desecrating graves, citing a lack of evidence. In a statement, Mayor William Milbrand said, “I knew that I did nothing wrong, but I also knew that some members of the Shamokin Police Department were angry at me and they …

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Chairman Pai forms broadband deployment committee to close digital divide

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

At Ajit Pai’s first open meeting as the Federal Communications Commission’s Chairman, he emphasized the need to close the digital divide, and he believes the creation of a broadband deployment advisory committee that will be active for two years will assist in that effort. However, he didn’t discuss how he would proceed on key rules that he opposed under the …

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AT&T in advanced discussions with powercos to jump to their lines

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T is in advanced discussions with power companies and others to trial Project AirGig in at least two locations by this fall. One location will be in the United States with others to be determined in the coming months. AT&T has experimented with this unique, patented broadband-over-power lines (BPL) technology at their outdoor facility for some time with positive results. …

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Up to 50 gazillion terabytes of data could be used at Super Bowl 51

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Patriots and Falcons will match up in Houston Sunday at NRG Stadium, and the nation’s wireless carriers are kicking off their public relations campaigns this week to show how they’ll be capable of handling whatever their subscribers throw their way. But unlike today’s odds where New England is installed as a three-point favorite over the Falcons, the odds of …

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GCI mourns death of company co-founder and communications pioneer Bob Walp

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

General Communication Inc. (GCI) has announced the passing of Bob Walp, one of the company’s co-founders and its first president. He was 89 years old. A steadfast advocate of competition in the Alaska telecommunications industry, Walp, along with Ron Duncan, founded GCI in 1979. Initially they operated the company from Bob’s small apartment in Anchorage. After battling regulatory and business obstacles, …

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U.S. broadband infrastructure spending consensus is at $20 billion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With President Donald Trump’s “America’s Infrastructure First” policy calling for $1 trillion in new investment to improve the nation’s infrastructure, broadband will play a critical role in connecting the country’s citizens, communities and businesses, and according to an all-star panel brought together by USTelecom that spoke before the National Press Club in Washington yesterday, that need will most likely require …

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FCC chief appoints a new top cop and other staff leaders

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Michael Carowitz, who has been deputy chief of the FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, was named by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai as his acting chief of the Enforcement Bureau, which had been headed by Travis LeBlanc. FCC observers expected that LeBlanc would be replaced since Pai has oftentimes complained about the enforcement group’s management. The enforcement bureau is the …

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AT&T’s end run around municipalities might have put Mobilitie out of the game

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  DAS-provider Mobilitie LLC’s petition to the FCC for a declaratory ruling to promote broadband in the U.S. by prohibiting excessive charges for access to public rights of way was championed by AT&T, at least in Ohio, where the carrier last month lobbied for and successfully sneaked in an amendment inside a bill regulating puppy mill providers. The questionable legislative procedure …

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Commuters use NYC’s new subway cell coverage to castigate the MTA for delays

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Almost all underground subway stations in New York City had cell phone coverage from the nation’s top four carriers on Monday, a year ahead of service, according to state and city officials. In addition, Wi-Fi has been installed a full two years ahead of schedule. Commuters welcomed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) early delivery that was made possible by Governor Andrew …

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Bankrupt Limitless Mobile wants to reject 140 cell tower leases; creditors cry foul

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: January 27, 2017 –  The bankruptcy court has agreed to a revised motion to reject the leases of Limitless Mobile. It stated, “For each Lease, any Tower Equipment remaining on or at the Tower or the associated premises is hereby deemed abandoned pursuant to section 554 of the Bankruptcy Code, effective January 30, 2017.” Tower owners can now remove …

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Wind gusts found Aquila’s Achilles heel in “cell site” solar plane crash

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

On June 28, 2016, Facebook Connectivity Lab launched its solar powered Aquila aircraft to set the company’s ability to provide broadband coverage to a 60-mile-wide area on the ground in underconnected regions. Three weeks later, Facebook acknowledged that the operation was successful, but the patient died – or was severely injured — when their airplane had a structural wing failure …

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Corrupt owner dipped into $27 million of FCC broadband funds to support his lavish lifestyle

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

While the FCC announced Tuesday that it is freeing up an additional $51 million annually in subsidies for 35 companies to build out broadband infrastructure in rural areas, it was also anxious to see if Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc., (SIC) of Hawaii had paid its $50 million fine due by Jan. 4, 2017 for receiving $250 million in funding with “substantial amounts of that …

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CenturyLink’s $25 billion deal to buy Level 3 puts it at #2 behind AT&T

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

CenturyLink on Monday announced that it would buy Level 3 Communications for approximately $25 billion, a move that will allow one of the country’s largest providers of data, voice and video transmission for large enterprises to continue to be competitive with AT&T and Verizon. The deal will make Century Link the second largest provider to business in the U.S., behind …

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AT&T plans to give towers and fiber competition with plastic antennas using the power grid

In Featured News, New Product News by Wireless Estimator

Towers and fiber may have a serious competitor if AT&T’s Project AirGig is successful in spreading internet service wirelessly through the country’s power grid, with the company believing, “where there are power lines, there can be broadband”. AT&T said its transformative technology from AT&T labs allows for affordable antenna units  to be able to redistribute wireless and wireless signals around …

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FCC chief throws in the towel as his agency accepts municipal broadband defeat

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission will not appeal a ruling by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appelas striking down its move to prevent states from blocking the expansion of broadband service offered by local governments. “The FCC will not seek further review of the Sixth Circuit’s decision on municipal broadband after determining that doing so would not be the best …

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Court strips the FCC of its power to preempt state laws

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A circuit court of appeals dealt a severe blow to the Federal Communications Commission when it ruled today that the agency could not preempt state laws that restrict the growth of municipal broadband networks. In February 2015, the FCC voted to block laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their service areas. Chairman Tom …

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Hillary Clinton’s goal is to close the digital divide by 2020

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In a major tech policy speech, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday promised to work toward providing broadband access to all US homes by 2020, backed investments in next-generation wireless systems and supported the new Title II rules for net neutrality. “I intend to make sure we do what we did with electricity in my grandparents’ generation — we connect every home …

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Vermont’s legislators asking the Feds to audit $116 million telecom project

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Vermont’s lawmakers are asking federal regulators to conduct an audit of a $116 million grant and loan provided to VTel Wireless, stating that the company has passed by many communities with the broadband service it was paid to provide in Vermont. With similar resolutions, the House on Thursday passed  H.R.19, and the Senate’s version was referred to the Finance Committee. …

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FCC auction has kicked off with NAB and NATE still ticked off

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) auction to buy spectrum from television stations, repack the spectrum, and then sell it to wireless providers, kicked off yesterday with broadcasters having to make a commitment as to whether and how they would participate. But a 39-month post auction deadline is seen as too compressed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). And the …

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Misleading Re/code Sprint story is long on conjecture, short on facts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Facts that would have made better reading and more sense  By Ken Schmidt After reading Wireless Estimator’s article, “Towercos tank after radical unconfirmed report of government competition,” and seeing the original article from Re/code on Friday, I felt compelled to respond. It seemed reckless to me that a website like Re/code could publish an unconfirmed report, have it copied by …

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Wireless workforce and supplier requirements for 2016 continue to be mostly upbeat

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

To project whether 2016 will be a banner, bust or somewhere-in-between year for wireless construction, and service and supplier providers, one has to simply search for the devil or angel that’s always in the details. Unfortunately, conflicting details and limited industry information clouds accurate projections. But the industry overall appears to be still creating jobs and there should be a robust …

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CTI jumps back into tower ownership with a 120 structure deal with Vyve Broadband

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Massachusetts-based CTI Towers, Inc., a wireless tower operating company in which Comcast Ventures is majority owner, has jumped back into the tower space following their announcement today that it has acquired 120 communication towers from Vyve Broadband, a Rye Brook, N.Y.-headquartered mid-sized MSO with towers in Okla., Kan., Ark., and Wyo. The deal, expected to close by year-end, will provide …

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Eshoo, Walden introduce “Dig Once” broadband deployment bill

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Chairman of the Subcommittee, introduced today the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2015, commonly referred to as ‘dig once’ legislation. This bipartisan, commonsense legislation would mandate the inclusion of broadband conduit—plastic pipes which house fiber-optic communications cable—during the construction of any road …

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PCIA Chief urges Senate committee to alleviate barriers to broadband development

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The head of PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association this morning urged the Senate to help alleviate the barriers hindering wireless broadband deployment so that the U.S. can continue meeting the “nearly insatiable and increasing demand” for mobile data and strengthen its capacity to compete in the global marketplace. “Wireless infrastructure enables the economic growth and technological innovation that is delivered …

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White House: Like water, broadband is a core utility required in homes

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Similar to water, electricity and sewer in terms of importance to homeowners, the White House has declared that broadband Internet is also a “core utility,” in a 40-page report published by the Broadband Opportunity Council, which was created by President Barack Obama. “Broadband has steadily shifted from an optional amenity to a core utility for households, businesses and community institutions,” …