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CTIA: Wireless networks should be communications platform for drones

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

CTIA, the wireless association, today called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to recognize that commercial wireless networks offer the best communications platform to support America’s fast-growing drone market. CTIA and the wireless industry are working with policymakers to boost investment, innovation and jobs by creating a national framework for FAA management of U.S. drone airspace. CTIA’s call comes as …

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AT&T and Verizon threaten the big three towercos with a new Tillman 200 tower scheme

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a move clearly positioned as a threat to major tower owners to lower their lease rates, AT&T, Verizon and Tillman Infrastructure announced a joint agreement today to build hundreds of cell towers, with the potential for significantly more new site locations in the future. Last year during an investors conference, Bill Hogg, AT&T’s president of technology operations, said that …

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FCC gives Project Loon a kickstart to keep Puerto Ricans communicating

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Google received approval to deploy an experimental balloon-based web service to restore cell reception to Puerto Ricans still struggling after Hurricane Maria devastated the island’s cell service. Today, 81 percent of Puerto Rico’s cell sites were out of service, almost no change from yesterday. The FCC said Saturday that it granted an “experimental license” for Alphabet Inc.’s (Google’s parent company) …

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Joint agency team assesses Puerto Rico cell tower damage

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

A team from FEMA and Joint Force Land Component Command assessed damage to cellular and radio towers today caused by Hurricane Maria throughout the island of Puerto Rico According to Spc. Gabrielle Weaver, the team assessed several towers via helicopter in an effort to reestablish communication to the island. They are trying to make a list of which one is …

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FCC votes to give $77 million for telecom in PR; Governor’s outages differ from FCC

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: Oct. 4, 2017 – The FCC unanimously voted today to immediately provide carriers with up to seven-months’ worth of support from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, which helps lower the cost of deploying service in areas that are costly to serve. Any funds advanced under today’s action can be used to repair telecommunications infrastructure and restore service to customers …

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Lack of on-site generators, COWs, contributes to Puerto Rico’s still horrendous cell service

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic devastation of  Puerto Rico’s cell sites, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai directed his staff last week to reach out to American Tower, SBA Communications and Crown Castle “to see how we can work together to address Puerto Rico’s communications needs,” However, according to over a dozen industry professionals interviewed by Wireless Estimator, the answers are already known …

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Three Tower King techs killed in Florida after gin pole rigging failure

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: Sept. 29, 2017 – Authorities have released the names of the three technicians who fell to their deaths Wednesday when a gin pole failed during an antenna installation project in Miami Springs, Fla. The men were identified as Marcus Goffena, 31, from Sidney, Ohio, Brachton Barber, 23, of Longwood, Fla., and Benito Rodriguez, 35, of Tampa, Fla. Brachton is …

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FCC says wireless carriers remain competitive, but not by building new cell sites

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Carriers captured high grades for competitiveness, according to  the FCC’s Twentieth Mobile Wireless Competition Report, an annual analysis of whether there is effective rate rivalry with wireless operators Although the 34-page report provides a wealth of additional information to support competitiveness, according to Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA), anybody who has turned on a …

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Puerto Rico’s horrendous cell site outages complicated by generator/fuel theft concerns

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Puerto Rico’s cell service is still devastated today with over 91% of its sites out of service, basically the same as yesterday. The horrific outages caused by Hurricane Maria are also being felt in the U.S. Virgin Islands where 60.4% of cell sites are out of service, slightly down from yesterday’s 61.3%. In San Juan, P.R., subscribers saw a poor, …

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T-Mobile and Sprint marriage announcement is imminent according to romance reports

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In February, Reuters broke the news that Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile U.S. was reportedly planning a renewed bid to acquire rival Sprint after a previous reverse attempt was thwarted by regulators.  Joined by CNBC, Reuters is again reporting that the romance has fired up again and a deal could be expected by the end of next month. But it’s not …

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Carriers’ cell site outages to the FCC will not match their marketing hype

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary Although the nation’s four major carriers are reporting cell site outages in affected areas of Hurricane Irma to the FCC, and the Commission is providing daily compilations for a snapshot in time, such as today’s outages in Florida of 13.4%, carrier public relations officials are beginning to spin their hardened site assets at speeds off the Saffir-Simpson scale. On …

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Irma cripples communications in its destructive path through Florida

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

There was little improvement in cell service today in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma’s destructive path with 54% of affected areas without service, only a 1% decline since yesterday. Florida saw a slight drop of approximately 2% at 24.6%. Alabama fared well with only 1% of cell sites out of service. Georgia, according to the FCC, has 10.5% …

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Tower techs’ repack role and frontline disaster activities heralded before Congress

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

National Association of Tower Erectors Chairman Jim Tracy provided key testimony today before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing, taking the opportunity to stress the important role that tower technicians play in maintaining America’s communications. The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), conducted the hearing (video below) entitled “The Broadcast Incentive Auction: …

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Rivada teams up with U.S. Cellular to entice New Hampshire to opt-out of FirstNet

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Rivada Networks announced this morning that New Hampshire’s first responders “deserve a dedicated, purpose-built and statewide public-safety broadband network, and Rivada has teamed up with U.S. Cellular to ensure that mission is accomplished.” In Sept. 2016, Rivada Networks, Herndon, Virg., signed a no-cost, no-obligation contract with the state of New Hampshire to develop an alternative radio access network plan for …

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One third of the nation has now signed on with FirstNet

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

More than a third of the country has moved to modernize communications for the fire, police, emergency medical services (EMS) and other public safety personnel who bravely protect and serve their communities. Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, Puerto Rico and Tennessee are the latest to announce decisions to opt-in. Twenty states and territories have announced their decision to opt-in to the FirstNet network – America’s …

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Harvey kayos 364 cell sites as carriers brace for more outages

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After Hurricane Harvey hit the coastal tourist town of Rockport Tex., decimating communications in Aransas County, carriers reported to the FCC on Saturday that 18 of 19 cell sites were out of service. This morning, according to the FCC, the county is still without service, but more importantly, the percent of cell sites that are down in the affected counties …

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Wireless industry works to maintain service for millions of Americans impacted by Hurricane Harvey

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The wireless industry is working hard to maintain service for the millions of Americans across Texas and parts of Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Harvey, as data released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) showed that 95 percent of the thousands of cell sites across the region were up and running, although sites that are not operating are increasing. The nation’s major wireless carriers, AT&T, …

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AT&T and FirstNet are keeping a low profile as Verizon touts its public safety network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Verizon’s announcement yesterday that it would build a core network to support the nation’s public safety users, putting it toe-to-toe with AT&T which won the FirstNet contract to build a nationwide public safety network, has communications officials questioning whether Verizon’s network will meet the FirstNet interoperability requirements set by the FCC for states or territories deciding to opt-out and build …

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CCA wants the FCC to deny Verizon’s $3.1 billion offer for Straight Path

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In a Petition to Deny filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) encouraged the Commission to deny the proposed transaction to transfer the control of Local Multipoint Distribution Service, 39 GHz, 3650-3700 MHz, and common carrier fixed point to point microwave licenses from Straight Path Communications Inc. to Verizon Communications Inc. If approved,  CCA believes, the …

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FCC is back at full strength with Rosenworcel and Carr’s confirmation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: August 3, 2017 -The U.S. Senate voted today to confirm the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr to the Federal Communications, returning the FCC to full strength with five members. Rosenworcel, a former Commissioner and Capitol Hill staffer previously joined the FCC in 2011. Her new five-year term is retroactive to July 2015 and runs through 2020. She …

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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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White House says POTUS picks FCC’s top counsel to be Republican Commissioner

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As anticipated, the White House has announced that President Donald Trump has nominated Brendan Carr to fill the open Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission. Carr, a former telecom lawyer, joined the Commission in 2012 as then Commissioner Ajit Pai’s wireless public safety and international legal advisor and was then appointed in January to general counsel by Chairman Pai. …

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With his 52 TV station buy, failed LightSquared’s Falcone is the comeback kid

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Philip Falcone, former CEO of Harbinger Capital and bankrupt satellite-based network LightSquared, is back in the telecom arena again with HC2 Holdings, Inc.’s purchase of DTV America Corporation (DTVA) which currently owns and operates 52 LPTV stations in more than 40 U.S. cities. Falcone, HC2’s Chairman, President and CEO, stated, “This investment is another meaningful addition to our dynamic and …

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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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FCC’s small cell agenda addressed at NYSWA forum by Chairman Pai’s advisor

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Rachael Bender, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s legal advisor, closed out a jam-packed New York State Wireless Association day of networking and education at Pier Sixty in New York City on Thursday with a keynote speech where she said, that the FCC is committed to seizing 5G opportunities to grow the nation’s economy, create new jobs, and raise living standards for …

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FCC investigating unlawful transactions after contractor takes ownership of 40-plus towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database, and changed the ownership of more than 40 towers from multiple carriers and tower owners into his company’s name during the past five months without the rightful owners being notified by the agency, according to FCC documents and sources knowledgeable of the illegal transfers. Sprint, …

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NATE, WIA – everyone else – welcomes Rosenworcel’s return engagement to the FCC

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

President Donald Trump said he would nominate Jessica Rosenworcel to fill a Democratic seat on the FCC. The expected nomination was applauded throughout the nation. Rosenworcel served as a commissioner until the end of 2016 when lawmakers failed to take up her renomination under former President Barack Obama, handing Republicans a 2-1 majority on the five-seat commission which has allowed …

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Orange is the new knack – for selling tower siting sizzle and not the steak

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After a 10-year effort to improve public safety communications in Douglas County and Highlands Ranch, Colo., erection of a 150-foot public safety radio tower began yesterday morning after sales and use tax funding became available and a private developer said it would assist in providing a location for an artistic structure – a monopole with two side-mounted omni antennas gingerly …

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Crown socks Southeastern N.Y. with multiple rights of way-involved lawsuits

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle filed another lawsuit in federal court on Thursday against the Town of Oyster Bay, N.Y. seeking to have its permits reissued to install microcells in residential neighborhoods. The action follows a recently filed complaint against the Town of Hempstead as reported by Wireless Estimator on Friday where Crown Castle sued over a consultant’s delaying tactics and high fees …

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Crown sues Hempstead, N.Y. over consultant’s delay tactics and high fees for DAS nodes

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

National DAS-provider and tower owner Crown Castle has brought suit against the Town of Hempstead, N.Y., alleging that the Town unlawfully delegated its review authority to a third-party consultant for 14 initial applications for authorization to install, operate and maintain DAS facilities in the Town’s public rights of way. Crown, in its complaint, said that the consultant, Center for Municipal …

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CCA slams AT&T again, this time asking FCC to reject FiberTower spectrum buy

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) believes that AT&T will not allow their carrier members to remain competitive if the FCC allows AT&T to acquire bankrupt FiberTower’s 650 terminated licenses. In a filing with the FCC Wednesday, CCA said that instead of the planned acquisition, the FCC should recover and re-auction the unconstructed spectrum in the 39 GHz band, and potentially …

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Industry applauds OSHA / FCC’s long-awaited Communication Tower Best Practices guide

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC and OSHA today released their Communication Tower Best Practices guide following a concerted joint effort on industry safety when the two agencies began the initiative with a workshop in Washington, D.C. in 2014 and continued the effort with another group of industry stakeholders in 2016. Although the guide is advisory in nature, and is not a standard or regulation, …

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FCC Enforcement Bureau adds another three violations to broadcaster’s tally

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

It is likely that Cortaro Broadcasting, a Coolidge Ariz. company that owns, KCKY-AM, a Spanish language religious broadcaster, might hold the title for operating a small station with the most FCC violations when last week Cortaro was cited for not having a property fence, and the gates in both individual tower fences were held closed with a loose loop of chain …

NATE’s in O’Rielly’s corner on common sense obstruction marking provisions

In Associations News, Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today applauded FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly for his common sense approach to the tower obstruction marking provisions currently confronting the communications tower industry. The broad-based tower marking requirements were part of the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 and mandate improved physical markings and/or lighting on towers ranging from 50’ – …

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Commissioner O’Rielly addresses tower lighting, crews and siting concerns at WIA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly took Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) conference attendees yesterday in Orlando, Fla. down a somewhat pessimistic two-year overview of troubling issues he addressed in 2015 before WIA in Hollywood, Fla. One key concern he had was that In 2014, the Commission eliminated unnecessary tower marking and lighting burdens on the industry while ensuring the safety of aircraft, …

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Houston: We’ve got a problem with Chairman Pai; MasTec takes its firings to the Supremes

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The mayor of the City of Houston has taken FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to task for statements that he made that they state are inaccurate and they want his fellow commissioners to publicly make a correction. City Mayor Sylvester Turner said that Pai’s statement that the city subjected wireless network companies to onerous reviews for purposes of meeting historic preservation …

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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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FCC chief chides AT&T for 911 outage that could have been prevented

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Ajit Pai said today that AT&T’s 911 outage in March could have been prevented if the carrier had implemented network reliability best practices. On March 8, 12,539 Americans who were AT&T customers tried to call 911. But they couldn’t reach emergency services because of a nationwide outage of AT&T’s VoLTE 911 network. When they placed that call, they heard fast …

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Simon and DeBroux will chair new FCC broadband deployment working groups

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has appointed members to serve on two Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) working groups. The Competitive Access to Broadband Infrastructure Working Group will be chaired by Ken Simon, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Crown Castle, and Removing State and Local Regulatory Barriers Working Group’s chairman is Robert DeBroux, Director, Public Policy and Federal Regulatory Affairs, …

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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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Report: Sprint approved ‘trial’ for Mobilitie to build sites without regulatory compliance

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A humorous anecdote heard in siting corridors is that distributed antenna system (DAS) providers are secretly funding Mobilitie so that they can look good in comparison since the California-based developer is well-known for installing DAS poles in community rights of way without getting permission. Their typical answer, when discovered, is that there was a misunderstanding with a zoning or permitting …

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Crane collapse takes the life of a 51-year-old Texas industry worker

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: April 26, 2017 – The cell tower compound that RMCI’s crane toppled into is owned by Crown Castle International. April 25, 2017 – A 51-year-old industry worker was killed yesterday afternoon when a crane tipped on its side in downtown Dallas, Tex., crashing into a cell tower compound in the 1700 block of Arts Place, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue …

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CTIA shrinks the size of a pizza box to get the FCC to deliver small cells

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Last Tuesday, CTIA Regulatory Affairs executives Brian Josef and Kara Romagnino pitched Rachael Bender, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Acting Legal Advisor, with their newly minted presentation on key reforms that would be beneficial for the agency to enact to ensure that America can build its 5G infrastructure. It’s likely that Bender fully understood their presentation on new opportunities and challenges …

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Robber who threatened to kill NYPD captain gets first taste of justice with $404K FCC fine

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC issued a notice of apparent liability (NAL) on Friday to a 20-year-old New York resident for operating a radio transmitter on frequencies that the Commission has licensed to the New York Police Department, fining him $404,166. And although the enforcement message was clear, collecting the fine is uncertain. Following procedure, a copy of the NAL might have been …

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Profitable range of reimbursable repacking costs offered contractors, engineers, suppliers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Full power and Class A Broadcasters that have been reassigned to new channels must submit their reimbursement estimates for their repacking costs by July 12 using a form released Thursday by the FCC. The stations must include engineering, legal, equipment, installation, and other costs reasonably incurred to complete a required channel change. And for those participants in the repacking efforts, …

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Repack is kick-started after FCC’s auction results are unveiled

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

T-Mobile, Dish Network and Comcast were the top bidders in the incentive spectrum auction for 70 MHz of airwaves, according to an FCC announcement that will now jumpstart the nation’s long-awaited repacking efforts. The Commission now commences a 39-month transition period to move broadcast stations to new channel assignments. The first group of stations to move channels is scheduled for …

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U.S. adds 449 broadcast stations in first quarter, mostly low power FM

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to newly released statistics by the FCC, the nation saw an addition of 449 broadcast stations, the majority being 246 low power FM stations as of March 31, 2017. Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations are authorized for noncommercial educational and public safety and transportation broadcasting only and operate with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts (0.1 kilowatts) …

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NATE goes full bore into the beltway to address industry’s and nation’s priorities

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Timed to coincide with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s declaration of April 2017 as “Infrastructure Month”,  executives of the National Association of Tower Erectors were in Washington, D.C. last week for a series of legislative and regulatory meetings. During the productive week, the NATE delegation, consisting of Chairman Jim Tracy, Board of Directors member John Paul Jones, Executive …

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FCC appoints WIA members and leaders to broadband deployment committee

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that members and leaders of the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) were selected to serve on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC), a new federal advisory committee charged with exploring ways to accelerate deployment of high-speed Internet access nationwide and to close the digital divide. WIA members named to the Committee include: Marc Ganzi, Chief …

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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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Utility commissioners tell the FCC to ‘tread carefully’ with municipal streamlining petition

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) recently applauded the FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai for initiating the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, but came down hard on what it sees as the FCC’s desire to preempt the traditional authority of State and local authorities by replacing intrastate regulation of rights-of-way, pole attachments, and other telecommunications facilities or services of …

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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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FCC Commish: New tower marking regs could affect 50,000 towers; needs tweaking

In Featured News, Standards by Wireless Estimator

By Michael O’Rielly – FCC Commissioner Having worked on numerous legislative efforts over the years, I have seen that it is not uncommon for very well-intentioned provisions contained within larger bills passed by Congress and enacted into law to lead to unintended negative consequences. One such provision recently enacted in an FAA Authorization statute is causing a considerable level of …

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Broadcast repack video is truly a must see for all tower techs

In Associations News, Daily News Briefs, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) released a Broadcast Repack safety video during the NATE UNITE 2017 Keynote Luncheon sponsored by T-Mobile. The timely video is the second to debut as part of Volume 2 of the NATE Climber Connection series and coincides with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently concluding the bidding phase of its historic incentive auction, …

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AT&T still mum on what caused its 14-state 911 outage

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC said on Thursday it will investigate why AT&T wireless subscribers in several states could not make emergency 911 calls late Wednesday that spanned at least 14 states. “Every call to 911 must go through,” said Chairman Ajit Pai in a news release. “So when I first learned of yesterday’s outage, I immediately directed FCC staff to contact AT&T …

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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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FCC could decide whether U.S. Cellular violated incentive auction bidding rule

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In announcing on Feb. 16 in a government filing that they had ponied up $327 million in the FCC’s spectrum auction, U.S. Cellular might have violated the agency’s bidding regulations. Publication of their bid amount could be in conflict with the Commission’s rule that applicants cannot be “communicating directly or indirectly any incentive auction applicant’s bids or bidding strategies to …

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FCC Chief: As reported in 1929, radio is not in its death throes

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In addressing the North American Broadcasters Association in Washington yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that in spite of a caustic commentator’s prediction in 1929 that “In two years, at the present rate of advertising exploitation which the radio is suffering, it will be as dead as a Democrat,” it is still alive and doing quite well. He noted that …

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Eighteen wireless carrier CEOs urge FCC to revise Mobility Fund ll Plan

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In a letter yesterday to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, 18 wireless carrier CEOs urged the Commission to revise its Mobility Fund II (MFII) plan to ensure sufficient, predictable support for the preservation and deployment of wireless networks. Competitive wireless carriers depend on Universal Service Funding (USF), in addition to their own capital resources, to provide comparable service to their …

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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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FCC head handcuffs his Enforcement Bureau chief in issuing settlements

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Newly minted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai instituted a process reform measure yesterday that will handcuff his Enforcement Bureau chief so that Commissioners will become more fully involved in the agency’s enforcement activities. One of the ways in which the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau resolves an investigation is by entering into a consent decree, in which the party being investigated agrees to comply with certain …

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FCC Commissioner Clyburn trashes newest Chairman’s actions in news dump

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the remaining Democrat on the Commission, went head to head on the keyboard with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Friday, clashing over whether his actions were legal when he reversed a decision made late in the Obama administration to let consumers apply their telecommunications subsidies to broadband services. Clyburn, who served as the acting Chairman in 2013 …

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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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FCC chief takes first step to increase transparency of rulemakings by releasing documents

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today announced a pilot program designed to dramatically increase the transparency of Commission rulemakings. For the first time, the Chairman is releasing to the public the full text of documents he circulated to his fellow Commissioners for a vote at the FCC’s next Open Meeting on Feb. 23. Traditionally, these documents, and the draft proposals contained …

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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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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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Reports were correct, President’s pick is Pai to head the FCC

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: January 23, 2017 – In sync with his new boss’ Twitter affection, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Tweeted today, “This afternoon, I was informed that #POTUS @realDonaldTrump designated me the 34th Chairman of the @FCC.” Pai, 44, a Republican, steps into Tom Wheeler’s position. Wheeler stepped down from his chairmanship on Friday. The industry came out in force to congratulate Pai, with …

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FCC’s forward auction clears $10 billion threshold, allowing spectrum transfer

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The FCC’s forward auction to reallocate broadcasters’ spectrum licenses to wireless providers marginally cleared its $10 billion clearing target Wednesday, setting the stage to transfer broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use and the development of new wireless technology. With the results of  yesterday’s rounds of the FCC’s forward auction, the bidding has satisfied the requirements of the incentive auction’s Final …

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The U.S. ends the year with 1,365 additional broadcast stations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to the FCC’s latest report, ending Dec. 31, 2016, there were 15 fewer AM broadcast stations in the past year. However, there has been an increase of 1,365 broadcast stations during 2016. FM commercial stations added 45 to their ranks with the nation’s count totaling 6,746, compared to an AM station total of 4,669. (View full details below) Commercial TV …

President Obama renominates FCC Democrat in his final days

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

After her term expired and her reappointment was not confirmed by the Senate, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel authored her farewell message on Dec. 30, 2016, stating that “No matter who you are or where you live in this country, you need access to modern communications to have a fair shot at 21st century success.” Rosenworcel may also have a fair …

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FCC spreads the bad news to ‘silent’ Pennsylvania gospel radio station

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has notified Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation, owner of AM gospel radio station WGBN, on Dec. 29, 2016 that it is liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $25,000 for willful and repeated violations of not cleaning or repainting their antenna structures, failing to maintain antenna structure lighting and failure to file a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). Pentecostal …

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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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Wheeler to step down as FCC chief when Donald Trump is sworn in

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced that he will leave the agency on Jan. 20, 2017 when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn-in. The change will give President Trump an immediate 2-1 majority on the Commission. “Serving as F.C.C. Chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life,” Wheeler said in …

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FCC cell tower Ponzi scheme ensnares a Puerto Rico mayor charged with extortion

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The mayor of Gurabo, Puerto Rico was arrested yesterday on charges of extortion and soliciting a bribe for allegedly using his municipality’s money to invest in a $15 million Ponzi scheme that was structured around investors being able to reap handsome profits from their investments in FCC cell tower administration contracts. According to the indictment, on or about October 2012, the …

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No longer in the legislative wheelhouse, time runs out for current FCC chief

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said yesterday that he had not yet decided on a departure date. Although his tenure technically extends until 2018, it’s customary for the current Chairman to step down. However, it is likely that he would not want to stay on as a commissioner. With either option, it appears that Wheeler’s influence and incomplete regulatory …

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Commissioners call on FCC to halt major agency actions

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Republicans yesterday asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to stop all action on complex or controversial issues during the transition to a new president, stating that Democrats requested the same after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. “During the last presidential transition, the Commission Chairman wisely heeded the will of Congress in setting aside any remaining controversial …

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Trump’s impact on telecom is anyone’s guess at this point

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Trying to identify what Donald Trump’s election as the country’s 45th president of the U.S. will mean for the telecommunications industry is a daunting task since he has offered very few specifics as to how he will stimulate innovation and build out America’s infrastructure through re-purposing spectrum and supporting 5G through licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Trying to research where he …

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American Tower registers its unease about ‘complicated’ towers, U.S. and Canadian crews

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation (ATC) informed the FCC on Monday that their phased approach to transition TV stations to new channels, with an ambitious completion deadline of 39 months, should take into consideration same phase tower assignments, complicated sites, the availability of tower crews, and the assumption that Canadian crews may not be available to assist in the repacking efforts following the spectrum …

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NAB says FCC’s 39-month deadline has painted agency into corners

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Broadcasts (NAB) said Friday that it is in agreement with the FCC’s phased approach to transition TV stations to new channels following the incentive auction which will begin again today to clear 108 megahertz of spectrum. However, NAB said, “Unfortunately, while there is much promise in the proposed scheduling plan, the Commission’s continued insistence that the …

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Time Warner deal could affect AT&T’s wireless network capex/build-out

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In discussing AT&T’s deal to acquire Time Warner for $85 billion, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a conference call yesterday morning, “We’re convinced this combination of Time Warner and AT&T is a perfect match for both companies.” In a canned statement, Stephenson said, “We intend to give customers unmatched choice, quality, value and experiences that will define the future …

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FCC chief says the path to 5G has challenges and millions of antennas

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler looked at the past, yesterday at CTIA 21016, to give a vision of the future, while also asking, “What do we need to do seize the 5G opportunity?”. One key requirement, according to Wheeler, would be to get local officials in municipalities to agree to the installation of 5G equipment to support the higher speeds that …

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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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FCC refuses to halt spectrum bidding for trade show attendance as the auction yawns on

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has informed two rural carrier organizations that it will not slow down or suspend the broadcast spectrum incentive auction in September due to a conflict in trade show scheduling. The Rural Wireless Association (RWA) and NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association had petitioned the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to provide breaks in the auction for RWA’s Rural Wireless Summit  …

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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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Amended colocation agreement lessens historic preservation reviews and speeds up 5G

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission took another significant step to facilitate the deployment of infrastructure critical to ensuring American leadership on next-generation wireless service, or 5G. Building on previous infrastructure reforms, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau signed an agreement to eliminate historic preservation review for small facility deployments across the U.S. that do not adversely impact historic sites and locations. The agreement …

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FCC’s new sweeping Spectrum Frontier rules will open up 11 GHz of spectrum

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC today adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz, making the United States the first country in the world to make this spectrum available for next generation wireless services. Building on the successful, flexible approach to spectrum policy that enabled the explosion of 4G (LTE), these rules set a strong foundation for the rapid …

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AM station counts continue to decline in FCC’s latest totals

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to the FCC’s latest quarterly report, ending June 30, 2016, there were four fewer AM broadcast stations from the previous quarter. Since June 30, 2015, the total decline is 22. Commercial FM stations increased from year to year by 48, increasing by one in the past quarter. Commercial TV stations saw mixed results for the quarter. One UHF station …

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GCI feels the FCC’s wrath again, this time for 911 outages costing them $2.4 million

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has reached a $2.4 million settlement with General Communication, Inc. (GCI), resolving an investigation into five 911 service outages that occurred on the company’s wireless network in various parts of Alaska between August 2008 and April 2016.  As part of the settlement, GCI has agreed to strengthen its procedures for providing 911 service and …

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Confounding clearing cost of $86,433,558,704 reached in spectrum auction

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An unexpectedly high clearing cost of $86,422,558,704 was reached in the first reverse stage of the TV spectrum incentive auction that has concluded, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s Incentive Auction Dashboard. Analysts were expecting between $35 billion to $60 billion. The next stage is the forward auction that will be for the wireless industry bidders to cover that amount, …

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FCC chief wants to quit studying 5G and roll it out now with spectrum trifecta

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today his proposal for the FCC to free up a huge swath of airwaves for a new generation of faster wireless systems that could support remote surgery, guide cars, and control electricity grids. “And that’s damn important,” said Wheeler in his speech before the National Press Club which is available below, “because it …

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FCC shuffle puts Suzanne Tetreault in the deputy bureau chief’s seat

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Jon Wilkins has announced his intention to appoint Suzanne Tetreault as deputy bureau chief.  Tetreault will move from her current position as deputy general counsel in the Office of General Counsel. Tetreault will replace current Deputy Bureau Chief Jean Kiddoo who is joining the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force as Deputy Chair for Transition. “Suzanne’s …

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The Glass Half Full: Rats live longer with cell phone RF radiation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After the preliminary findings of a $25 million National Toxicology Program  (NTP)  cell phone radiofrequency radiation study on rats were released last Thursday, conversationalists at Memorial Day picnics, whose endless knowledge base is fragilely built on headlines, most likely had their fellow guests wondering if they should hold their phone at arm’s length while texting their children at the other …

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Company offering cell, drone and other jammers is fined $35 million

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although it might not be able to collect it, the Federal Communications Commission issued a $34.9 million fine forfeiture order yesterday against C.T.S. Technology, a Chinese electronics manufacturer and online retailer, for marketing and selling signal jamming devices to U.S. consumers. So-called “jammers” are radio frequency transmitters that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with wireless communications, such as cellphone calls, …

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FCC publishes final list of 99 applicants for 600 MHz auction

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission released the 99 names of completed bidder applications (below) for the forward auction that will see wireless carriers and other participants bid upon spectrum in the 600 MHz band being let go by many TV broadcasters. The next step in the auction will be when the FCC decides whether the 99 applicants are qualified bidders. That …

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FCC’s small cell and DAS webcast workshop corrals top industry experts

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

  The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, in cooperation with the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), will host a workshop focusing on distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cell solutions on Tues., May 3, 2016, in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC from 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM EDT. Panelists, moderators and other speakers …

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Environmental siting workshop will cover a broad range of topics, including bats

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will host its annual educational workshop on the environmental compliance and historic preservation review process required for the construction of wireless communications facilities on Wed., May 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC. This year’s workshop will include information relevant to the construction …

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Eyes are on Sprint as T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon provide favorable capex reports

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although subscriber growth is a good indicator of a carrier’s favorable outlook by analysts, capex is the tailwind of wireless infrastructure providers, and this week’s news deflated the sails of a number of analysts who have speculated that carriers would cut their capex in early 2016. In his typical over the top presentation with a 360-degree camera, T-Mobile CEO John …

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American Tower and other companies can start issuing POs for pre-auction expenses

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC released a ruling yesterday that repacking expenses incurred before or during the upcoming broadcast incentive auction, such as tower mapping and structural analysis expenses, will be compensated by the FCC so long as they are coverer repacking-related expenses and the TV station has to move to a new channel in the repack. “We interpret the statutory reimbursement mandate …

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Broadcasters will hear about the consequences of the FCC’s incentive auction

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. will participate in a featured presentation about the incentive auction at the NAB Show Broadcasting Engineering Conference on Tues., April 19, 2016, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. PT at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Shane O’Donoghue, Director of Broadcasting for Empire State Building, will speak on the Consequences of the Incentive Auction for Broadcasters as part …

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FCC chief says spectrum auction could extend into fiscal year 2017

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler informed a Senate appropriations subcommittee yesterday morning that the incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum may extend into 2017 if it doesn’t raise enough to pay broadcasters for the airwaves. The possibility of an extended timeframe is one reason why the FCC is requesting an additional $11 million in federal funds, Wheeler said during the hearing. …

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One company fined for not getting a small cell permit, another for not permitting inspectors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A cell site developer was fined $5,000 last month for constructing what appears to be a small cell without a permit, according to a citation document issued by the City of Baltimore, Md., and a Philadelphia, Pa. broadcaster was given an $89,200 fine for not allowing FCC agents on site to perform an inspection, and for being on a different …

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Guyed tower collapses on White House lawn hurling lighting debris into President’s office

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Washington’s federal buildings are still on lock down after a communications tower collapsed on the south lawn of the White House at about 8:12 a.m., according to Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason who witnessed the guyed tower “teeter for about a minute, buckle and then twist like a drunken dreidel before it smashed to the ground.” Capitol Police and Secret …

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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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Crew and subcontracting requirements could change with proposed OSHA/FCC best practices

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

If the best practices (BPs) being developed by the Federal Communications Commission and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration are implemented nation-wide, it is likely that the industry will see a marked improvement in fatality and injury counts. It will also assist in reducing the number of companies in the industry that provide lower bids because they’re not burdened by …

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FCC Chairman’s zero fatality message is clear even with slightly different fatality count

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Thursday’s message at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and the Federal Communications Commission workshop was loud and clear as stated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “The industry that provides world-class wireless service must have world-class safety for its employees and contractors. Period,” said Wheeler in his opening remarks during the half-day session (video available here) at FCC headquarters in …

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The cell phone in your pocket shouldn’t cost a worker’s life

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

By Dr. David Michaels and Roger Sherman – Wireless services have opened up avenues of communication and resources unlike any in history. We rely on these connections to stay in touch with friends and family members, operate businesses and communicate on a global scale. But providing these innovative services through networks of communication towers should not come at the cost …

Empire State Building and NAB press the FCC for bidding expense compensation

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Representatives of the Empire State Building and the National Association of Broadcasters  have pressed the Federal Communications Commission to reimburse broadcasters for expenses they incur in the lead-up to the airwaves auction, according to a filing yesterday. On Jan. 29, 2016, those representatives  met with officials of the Incentive Auction Task Force, Office of General Counsel and the Media Bureau …

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FCC and DOL’s tower climber safety and apprenticeship program’s workshop agenda set

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

As part of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) and Department of Labor’s (DOL) efforts to reduce communications tower-related fatalities and injuries, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announce the agenda for their upcoming workshop on tower climber safety and Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). As …

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Bankrupt PCS carrier says FCC illegally re-auctioned its licenses

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Bankrupt Alpine PCS, a successful bidder in two California spectrum deals in a 1996 Federal Communications C-Block auction, has filed a $21 million lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, against the FCC that alleges the agency breached a written and oral contract when it found the Michigan-based carrier in default of payment for its licenses and re-auctioned them. …

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FCC’s wireless competition report has its Commissioner and association adversaries

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission released its 18th report to Congress on competition in the wireless industry which sheds little light on whether or not carriers are competitive. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau said in its report that the goal of the Commission is to promote competition and it “must continue to play an essential role in the mobile wireless industry,” hopefully …

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FCC and DOL announce second workshop on tower climber safety and apprenticeship program

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Employment and Training Administration (ETA) have announced preliminary details of a second workshop on tower climber safety and the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). The first joint FCC-DOL workshop on these subjects was held on October 14, 2014. The upcoming workshop, to be …

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FCC hits two carriers with $85,000 in fines for RF exposure rooftop violations in Arizona

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two carriers were cited by the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau for similar violations for failing to comply with the FCC’s radio frequency exposure limits after the owner of a building at 4040 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, Ariz. complained to enforcement agents that his building staff have difficulty gaining RF exposure safety assistance from the carriers that use his rooftop. …

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Telemundo’s WNJU tops the list at $900 million in FCC’s new repacking auction prices

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has adjusted repacking opening bid prices for TV stations in the reverse auction, with Telemundo’s WNJU New York having the highest bid price at $900 million, with WCBS coming in second at $889 million. The changes do not impact the start date of the auction, which begins March 29, 2015. In order for broadcasters to have 60 days …

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Lack of tower crews and antenna manufacturers cited as reasons to revisit repacking deadline

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Broadcasters has asked the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider the 39-month repacking window following next year’s TV spectrum incentive auction. The trade group commissioned a study from Digital Tech Consulting. The study concluded that the Commission’s three-month window for filing for construction permits falls well short of the actual time needed to submit and process the …

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Assisted by Dr. Dre, Pai frames 5G plan at 4G America’s technology symposium

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai addressed the “Future of Mobile Broadband in the Americas LTE to 5G Network Innovation” on Thursday at 4G America’s Technology Symposium with assistance from start to end from record producer, rapper and entrepreneur Dr. Dre. “Now, I understand that some might be a bit confused. After all, this is 4G Americas, the event is about 5G, …

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Tower owner skates on $231,000 in FCC fines by playing the wolf at the door card

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Johnson Towers Corporation (JTC), an owner-operated Florida company, agreed to a consent decree with the Federal Communications Commission to pay $3,000 in three installments of $1,000 each year for not installing obstruction lighting on two antenna structures and update registration information with the FCC to show the dismantlement of a third tower. The company’s owner, Dan L. Johnson, agreed that …

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FCC’s AM revitalization order will help stations in troubling times

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission has moved forward to revitalize a dying industry, AM radio, by releasing their AM Radio Revitalization Report and Order late Friday afternoon. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said the order will ease regulatory burdens on AM broadcasters and address practical problems and interference-related issues that have long plagued AM stations. It includes multiple actions to expand access …

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FCC takes steps to facilitate next generation technologies in spectrum above 24GHz

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC took steps today to maintain United States leadership in wireless by proposing new rules for wireless broadband in wireless frequencies above 24 GHz. The spectrum was previously believed to be useless for mobile devices. These proposed rules are an opportunity to move forward on creating a regulatory environment in which these emerging next-generation mobile technologies – such as …

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GCI fined $620,500 by FCC for not registering 118 towers and lamping three structures

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In what appears to be the highest fine ever levied against a tower owner, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau announced a $620,500 settlement with General Communication, Inc. (GCI), parent company of The Alaska Wireless Network, for failing to register numerous communications towers through the agency’s Antenna Structure Registration system. Prior to constructing or upon acquiring these towers, the Alaska-based …

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FCC Commissioner’s new tower builds is based on a hazy crystal ball

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary — Making subsidies more flexible and removing legal hurdles are two of several changes the Federal Communications Commission should make to advance wireless infrastructure development, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said Wednesday at the Competitive Carriers Association conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Another adjustment they should consider is providing their Commissioners with research that they’ve unearthed to provide direction rather than …

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Google study: 30% of 911 calls in San Francisco are butt-dials

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Accidental dialing, commonly called “butt-dials” are a growing concern for emergency services dispatchers, a newly released Google report states, and the company is helping San Francisco to get to the bottom of the increasing trend. The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) found a dramatic spike of 28% in 2014 of 911 calls and Google worked with the city …

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T-Mobile battles Sirius cell site interference claims and an FCC dispute resolution proposal

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After a number of Sirius XM customers complained to the satellite radio company last year that they were losing their radio signal in some urban markets, Sirius did some drive-by tests and said they found the guilty party, T-Mobile. The company said T-Mobile was interrupting its service to the point that it was “alarmingly severe, extensive and frequent,” but T-Mobile …

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Lawmakers’ RF concerns are on target, but media inflates dangerous site totals

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D. Calif.) have raised concerns to the FCC in regards to radio frequency radiation and the impact such exposure can have on tower technicians and other workers not involved in wireless work such as HVAC technicians and electricians. They’re also concerned about residents who might be exposed to excessive RF exposure on …

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FCC denies review of a site fencing violation and obstruction lighting charge

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The FCC recently denied two tower owners’ requests to review their forfeiture orders and let stand their fines totaling $16,600. Following a petition for reconsideration by Alaska Integrated Media, Inc., licensee of Station KOAN, Anchorage, the FCC said it found no basis for them to review the fine of $5,600 for failing to enclose the station’s tower within an effective …

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FCC Commissioner Pai says Title ll has depressed broadband investment

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was pumping next March’s incentive auction of 600 Mhz wireless spectrum at CTIA Super Mobility 2015, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai was deflating Wheeler’s belief that imposing Title II regulations on broadband were good for the nation, stating that Wheeler had dismissed arguments that classifying broadband as a common carrier service would depress investment, but data is …

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FCC’s Wheeler says he’s banking upon 600 MHz auction taking place in March 2016

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler committed today to a March 29, 2016 start date for an incentive auction of 600Mhz wireless spectrum now under the control of the nation’s broadcasters. He told a packed audience at CTIA Super Mobility 2015 that the auction, which he described like a Swiss watch with many moving parts, has never been done before, …

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CTIA & PCIA deployment lawsuit charge: 3000% small cell size structure increase is an ‘imagined horrible’

In Associations News, Featured News, Industry News by Wireless Estimator

  CTIA – The Wireless Association and PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association, have joined together to urge the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reject a lawsuit filed April 24, 2015 by Cumberland County, Maryland and cities in California, Washington and Texas that is asking that the court vacate the FCC’s 2014 Infrastructure Order adopted last fall to …

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Long-awaited FCC streamlined wireless facilities siting rules finally published

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission provided wireless siting professionals with a post-holiday present today: the final rules for acceleration of broadband deployment by improving wireless facilities siting policies. But its ultimate impact upon municipalities and siting professionals may not be known for weeks to come as interested parties scour each word in the 121-page document that has changed some of the FCC’s …