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Crown Castle disputes whistleblower’s claim that it hid millions in fees from New York

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A whistleblower lawsuit filed on Dec. 28, 2015 alleging that Crown Castle International has cheated New York out of millions of dollars by hiding fees it received from wireless carriers that were supposed to be split with the State has been unsealed in N.Y. State Supreme Court. The U.S.’s largest operator of towers and DAS systems is accused of filing …

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Court tosses Tall Tower’s lawsuit filed after Vertical Bridge acquired Clear Channel’s towers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A lower court should have dismissed Tall Tower Capital, LLC’s lawsuit accusing Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, LP of breaching an agreement in a deal to buy Clear Channel’s 472 broadcast tower assets, a Florida appeals court ruled Friday, finding that the firm had not established personal jurisdiction in Florida. A three-judge panel for the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously …

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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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Discrimination lawsuit against Mobilitie mirrors plaintiff’s groundless racial issues with Bechtel

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A wireless construction manager has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Mobilitie, LLC, a nationwide wireless infrastructure service provider, alleging that the company “engaged in a pattern or practice of failing to hire African-American and non-Caucasian applicants” for numerous construction-related positions in its offices throughout the country. Rufus Lovell Brooks of Orlando, Fla. filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for …

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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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Crown sued for not having climbing safety devices on Texas tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Michigan tower tech is suing a lift manufacturer and a tower owner in Harris County Texas District Court for more than one million dollars, alleging their negligence caused him to fall and suffer injuries in Richardson on January 29. Stevin Ammerman filed a complaint May 31 in Harris County Texas District Court against Safway Group Holdings LLC, Crown Castle …

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Single structure towerco wins siting suit in Oklahoma Supreme Court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The owner of a successful Oklahoma tower and lighting maintenance company saw an opportunity to provide homeowners in a severely underserved area east of Muskogee with cell service – in some homes non-existent – and constructed a 250-foot self-supporting tower that a major carrier was interested in co-locating on in 2010. But as soon as it was built, homeowner Ken …

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Crown sues Rye as SBA’s bread winner sells $12.6 million of his stock; AT&T strike ends

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle International has filed a lawsuit against the City of Rye, N.Y. after the City Council rejected a proposal that allowed Crown to install wireless equipment in the community’s rights of way. In its complaint, Crown said Rye improperly refused to grant the company access to public rights of way to expand an existing network of small cells, or …

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Court agrees, awarding FirstNet contract to Rivada was just too ‘risky’

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

According to documents released by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, FirstNet’s Source Selection Authority (SSA) said one of the reasons that Rivada Mercury did not make the competitive range for bidding for the nationwide public safety network that was awarded to AT&T on Thursday was because “Rivada’s proposed strategy was risky because it utilized aggressive business assumptions.” The SSA …

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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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Expect a quick AT&T award of FirstNet after court rules against Rivada Mercury

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The U.S. Court of Appeals of Federal Claims on Friday ruled against Rivada Mercury in the lawsuit they filed in November alleging that they were unfairly excluded by FirstNet from being in the competitive range for the nationwide broadband network for public safety contract Knowledgeable industry observers have said that if Rivada’s lawsuit was denied, the FirstNet board will most …

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Broadcaster taunts American Tower who could easily pull the plug on its stations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 10, 2017 – A Jackson Hole, Wyo. Broadcaster most likely doesn’t agree with the cautionary idiom of not biting the hand that feeds you. Radio stations KMTN, KZ95, KJAX and KID broadcast from American Tower’s towers and the stations’ owner was given until March 8 to either pay ATC over $500,000 it owed in back lease payments or negotiate a …

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Rappelling tower tech may be disqualified from receiving workers compensation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled that a tower tech who disobeyed his supervisor’s instructions not to use a controlled descent and fell, severely injuring himself, may not be entitled to workers compensation benefits, reversing a Georgia Court of Appeals decision. Tower technician Adrian Burdette, employed by Chandler Telecom L.L.C. of Eatonton, Ga. during November 2012, according to the ruling, …

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HR folks focused on Verizon’s employee handbook court ruling challenge

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

There were a number of lessons learned by wireless infrastructure companies last month when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that portions of Verizon Wireless employees’ handbook needed to be removed because they had the potential to suppress workers from not being allowed protected free speech. The NLRB, in its Feb. 24 decision and order, said that Verizon must …

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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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New Jersey cell tower tax ruling could have a wide-ranging impact

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The nation’s most profitable toll road, exceeding over $1 billion annually in revenue, will be slightly less profitable following a New Jersey tax court decision handed down last Friday that will require it to pay city taxes on a cell tower on its property in Elizabeth. The ruling could also have other municipalities assess whether towers located on turnpike property …

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Judge: American Tower can’t evict tenant owing over $500,000

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A U.S. bankruptcy court judge in Utah has ruled that American Tower Corporation (ATC) cannot kick its tenant off of a number of their towers until March 8, 2017 if ATC and Rich Broadcasting Idaho, LLC (RB) do not reach an agreement on amended or new leases – an action that is highly unlikely. According to court documents, RB owns radio …

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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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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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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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Judge puts overtime pay hike on hold for many wireless workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Coal in the stocking for some employees, a New Year’s present for their employers Many wireless industry workers in office management and construction-related positions earning more than $455 per week who were exempt from overtime pay, were assured of an increase in their paycheck beginning Dec. 1, 2016 when a new federal regulation kicked in. But two days before Thanksgiving, …

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CCI Antenna wins in CommScope patent dispute

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) today denied a petition for Inter Partes Review (IPR) filed by CommScope Technologies LLC, which challenged the validity of CCI Antenna’s U.S. Patent titled “Asymmetrical Beams for Spectrum Efficiency,” and is one of several CCI Antenna’s patents relating to improving sector capacity and throughput in wireless networks. More specifically, the technology covered by …

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Checkered contractor loses lawsuit after two tower tech deaths

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Based upon substantial evidence to support their findings, a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has kayoed a wireless contractor’s final attempt to vacate the company’s serious violations of OSHA’s General Duty Clause and $7,000 in fines they received following an accident that killed two of their employees on May 28, 2013. Both men, employees …

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Goodman’s wireless CMs will receive $2 million to settle overtime lawsuit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Wireless turfing contractor Goodman Networks Inc. has agreed to pay $2 million to former construction managers who claimed the company stiffed them on overtime pay after misclassifying them as exempt employees, according to a settlement statement obtained by Wireless Estimator that was filed in Texas federal court on Sept. 6. The matter was litigated for two years, required numerous depositions …

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FiberLight required to pay $17M to company that brokered Verizon network deals

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A California U.S. District Court judge has awarded Telecom Asset Management (TAM) $17 million in commissions  after a three day bench trial that it said it was due after securing approximately $420 million worth of Verizon contracts for telecom network provider FiberLight. Judge Susan Illston awarded TAM the money after settlement discussions failed last month. TAM claimed that beginning in …

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Wives of murdered tower techs sue the Coast Guard for wrongful death

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The wives of two Alaskan tower technicians who were gunned down by a co-worker filed a lawsuit against their husbands’ employer, the U.S. Coast Guard, stating that it should have been known that their spouses’ murderer, James Wells, “was a disgruntled and dangerous employee.” The August 5, 2016 complaint by Nicola Belisle and Deborah Hopkins, is seeking over $1 million …

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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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One ‘tower treasure’ found by a landowner is worth at least a quarter million dollars

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Tower techs frequently talk about ‘tower treasures’ that they find at a cell site left by previous crews, from hand tools to rigging blocks, and a host of other equipment. But it’s rare for a homeowner to discover that someone had built a multi-tenant tower designed for someone else and left it installed on his property, while another property owner benefited …

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Code officer says he was fired for exposing planners plotting to deny cell tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Many site acquisition professionals will state that oftentimes, in violation of open government requirements, some planning officials will privately discuss contentious applications for a new cell tower and formulate how they can handle community concerns. Those comments are mostly anecdotal, but a Benton, Maine code enforcement officer said he witnessed three planning board members and a State Senator who resides …

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One Georgia tower down while another planned structure heads to court

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Tower developer Municipal Communications LLC took Cobb County, Ga. officials to court last week for having an “impossible condition” placed upon it for a new 190-foot monopole, when the county asked it to move the structure 300 feet – while in Screven County,  a tower decided to move hundreds of feet on its own when it collapsed yesterday. Although there …

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Over $13,000 in fatality citations vacated after Virginia’s OSH ignores a filing deadline

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 24, 2016 – Summit Tower Construction co-owner Allan Hadfield said today that although he welcomed the dismissal by a Waynesboro, Virginia Judge of six Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) citations based upon a judicial filing technicality, following a 2013 fatality, he and his attorneys were prepared to show that his employee’s death was caused by an equipment …

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Employee sets up shell companies to defraud his company with fictitious Georgia cell tower builds

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Execs’ eyes were glued to $700 million in contracts A 57-year-old Anderson, S.C. man stole upwards of $450,000 from his cell site developer employer as well as the hearts and money of women throughout the country through the use of elaborate schemes using fictitious front companies, resumes and statements that he was a former high-ranking military veteran. The District of …

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Tech is asking for $75,000-plus after being struck by an angle adapter

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: Feb. 3, 2016 – The angle adapter referenced yesterday in a lawsuit brought by a Virginia Beach, Va. Tower tech that is suing American Tower Corporation after he was struck by it after it allegedly fell from the structure, was a “cable safety boot attached to an angle adapter with bolt that wasn’t attached to [the] tower properly,” according to …

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SBA seeks at least $1 million from two contractors after towers collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Boca Raton, Fla.-based SBA Telecommunications LLC and SBA Towers have filed a property damage lawsuit against S&S Communication Specialists Inc. of Oklahoma, and FDH Engineering, located in North Carolina, following the collapse of two communications towers that resulted in the death of three people. The complaint filed last month, asking for at least $1 million, states that both companies were …

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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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Harbinger’s LightSquared loses appeal after $1.9 billion lawsuit is tossed

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The Second Circuit in New York on Monday upheld a decision by the Manhattan federal court in February dismissing Harbinger Capital Partners LLC’s $1.9 billion suit claiming three GPS makers hid market information and drove its startup LightSquared Inc. into bankruptcy. The court said it found a lack of a relationship between the companies, Garmin, Trimble and Deere and the …

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Removing five diagonals and loosening 12 others cited for causing deaths, injuries

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

Four lawsuits that were filed in June against a tower owner and the contractor it hired to design and manage a structural reinforcement project in West Va. where two tower technicians died and two were injured after a tower collapsed, have worked their way from circuit court to federal court, and the defendants are alleging that it was the tower …

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Court rules that AT&T will stand trial in tower injury lawsuit along with other defendants

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T, Inc. was denied its request last week to be removed from a personal injury lawsuit brought by Thomas Jeglum, 26, against the company in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania after the California tower tech suffered serious injuries when he fell in 2013 from a stealth tower site in Allentown, Pa. while performing an AT&T Mobility LTE upgrade. Judge John M. …

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Carriers say they’re being strong-armed with onerous Long Island lease requirement

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Carriers leasing space on Riverhead, New York’s water towers have filed federal lawsuits claiming the Riverhead Water District is trying to “strong-arm” them into paying more by not allowing technicians onto the properties to repair and upgrade equipment until they agree to the new terms which the carriers believe are too high MetroPCS has leased space on the water tower …

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Telecom contractor’s fiber optics investment scam halted with SEC judgment

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a Minnesota fiber optics company that allegedly defrauded investors of $4.3 million agreed to a partial judgment on Nov. 3, 2015 that bars the company and its CEO, James M. Louks, who was also President of telecom contractor C & L Communications up until 2012, from soliciting or accepting money from investors …

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Broadcaster sues its attorney for $20 million after a 16-year-old FCC filing snafu

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Florida corporations Beach TV Properties, Inc. and The Atlanta Channel, Inc. (ACI), affiliates with common ownership, are suing high profile law firm Garvey Schubert Barer and one of its former attorneys for failing to properly file a license application with the Federal Communications Commission. The malpractice lawsuit being brought before a federal court in Washington, D.C. says the botched incomplete …

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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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Ski area communications plan delayed by AT&T and others says lawsuit counterclaim

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation has filed counterclaims against Aspen Skiiing in regards to a $21 million project to improve service for four ski areas in Colorado. Aspen Skiing filed a lawsuit in July against American to break the contract the businesses had entered into in 2014. According to an article in the Aspen Daily News, American Tower in a March letter …

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Deceased tower techs’ signatures were forged to falsely state they were W-9 contractors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Administrative Law Judge has found that a Louisiana tower erector’s owners, during a hearing to vacate a $7,000 Serious OSHA fine received following the death of two of the company’s workers in 2013, purposely misled the court, fraudulently altered documents and were deceitful in a number of representations, and he denied their …

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SBA Communications’ ‘improper accounting’ whistleblower act charge is denied by court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a former SBA Communications employee the right to sue under the Florida Whistleblower Act (FWA) since the alleged request for her to create false assets was not a company policy, but the court will hear her remaining three discrimination complaints filed in Palm Beach County, Fla. On October 7, 2014, former SBA employee …

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Lawsuit win sees contractor’s claim doubled and ownership of 32 towers up for grabs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A court decision requiring the owners of tower consolidator Horizon Towers of Marblehead, Mass. to have 32 of their towers “liquidated and distributed or otherwise used to satisfy the creditors of debtor Eastern Towers, Inc.,” also awarded Timberline Construction of Canton double its owed $264,774 for new site builds due to an unfair or deceptive act. The open market will …

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April Fools’ news caught many off guard including site’s server

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

April Fools’ Day is the Super Bowl Sunday for internet pranks, and since it’s not common for wireless infrastructure media to join in, Wireless Estimator thought it might be something that could work. It did. In fact, so much so, that after a news bulletin was sent out to over 27,000 subscribers yesterday with bogus, but believable article headlines, the …

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American Tower takes AT&T to court and wins a $132 million judgment

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

American Tower Corporation stood behind a New Jersey construction manager who used a creative approach to comply with an AT&T program manager’s directive on a new monopole cell site’s location, while suffering with hurt feelings, and was awarded $132 million by a Sloatsburg, Tex. jury today. In a statement issued by the Boston-based tower owner following the verdict, the company said, …

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Goodman Networks lays off 340 as construction managers’ lawsuit advances

In Featured News, Vendor News by Wireless Estimator

Following a layoff of workers in December, Goodman Networks, a family-owned end-to-end wireless network deployment firm, let go an additional 340 employees on March 10, 2015, according to information reviewed by Wireless Estimator. It is not known, however, whether the downsizing was necessary due to a cutback in AT&T’s capex since a company spokesperson said Monday that Goodman Networks will …

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Competitive spirit can be cutthroat in leasehold ground wars of towercos

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although the nation’s major tower owners present a public face of spirited friendly competition and collective initiatives to ensure worker safety, when it comes to protecting their interests it can be a no holds barred battle between them to keep their most valuable assets, their long-term leases. One clash got so nasty that the counter-complainant wanted a leasehold aggregator’s executives …

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Five years later, SCOTUS settles T-Mobile’s siting dispute with Georgia city

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The United States Supreme Court gave a wake-up call to municipalities today as to how government agencies must inform wireless carriers, tower owners and the siting community at large when they reject a tower construction request. In its 6-3 ruling the Justices said that local governments like Roswell, Ga., that is at the center of the case must provide a …

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After two years of sparring, KSMQ settles tower collapse claim

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

When KSMQ-TV’s tower collapsed on Sept. 5, 2012 in Austin, Minn. during a severe wind and rain storm, the public television station turned to their insurance carrier to assist them in covering their anticipated cost of $620,000 to replace their 444-foot tall guyed tower. Then The Hanover Insurance Group threw them a curve ball, stating that they weren’t going to …