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Two-year answer to bridging digital divide is cooperation says C Spire’s summit experts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A two-year research effort led by Mississippi-based C Spire to identify ways to bridge the rural broadband “digital divide” has concluded that the key to resolving the vexing access problem is to pursue cooperative technology, financial and partnership efforts as an industry. Findings of the research team, which also included collaborations with Airspan, Facebook, Microsoft, Nokia, Siklu and Telesat, were presented in …

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Third strike against small Colorado telco requires it to reimburse the U.S. $6.75 million

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled March 15, 2021 that a rural telecommunications carrier based in Alamosa, Colorado owes the FCC $6.75 million for improperly claimed Universal Service Funds (USF) it received between 2005 and 2010. In 2016, the FCC demanded that Blanca repay the $6,748,280 in funds it received which it was not entitled. Blanca …

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Bill would invest $94 billion to increase nation’s broadband

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A bill from a group of House Democrats dedicating over $94 billion to broadband expansion and affordability was unveiled in the House and Senate yesterday, securing support for both internet infrastructure and programs to help disadvantaged Americans afford connectivity. The Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act (LIFT America Act) introduced by all 32 Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce …

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Twenty-eight broadband-related bills to close digital divide introduced by Republicans

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Today, House Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans introduced 28 broadband-related bills to help close the digital divide, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, through their Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda. The group said this legislative package aims to promote new infrastructure deployment; promote competition and consumer choice; modernize environmental or historical preservation reviews or barriers; and promote the deployment of broadband on federal lands. …

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Network shuts down after lack of profit deflates Loon’s balloons

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Alphabet Inc is shutting down Loon after determining the business, which offers balloons as an alternative to cell towers, is not commercially viable, Google’s parent company said on Thursday. Since 2011, the company has been trying to bring connectivity to areas of the world where building a cell tower network is too expensive and realized a decade later that even …

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Pai and Loebsack honored by NATE for their untiring efforts in advancing broadband initiatives

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association announced today that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Congressman Dave Loebsack, U.S. Representative for the 3rd District of Iowa, are the recipients of the 2020 NATE Regulatory and Legislative Champion Awards respectively. Chairman Pai was honored with the 2020 NATE Regulatory Champion Award. During his tenure, he has played a leading role shaping policies that …

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Mediacom accuses West Des Moines of making secret $50 million fiber deal with Google

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

West Des Moines, Iowa approved a $50 million project to build a fiber network under the city and then secretly worked out a deal to give Google Fiber exclusive access to the conduit network, according to a lawsuit filed by MCC Iowa LLC, a subsidiary of Mediacom Communications Corporation. The complaint against the city and the West Des Moines City …

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Navajo Nation celebrates move to provide more towers, broadband access

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Navajo leaders met in Chinle, Arizona last week at a new tower site to celebrate the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority’s plans to build more than a hundred broadband towers across the tribal nation. The projects were funded with a $32 million CARES Act allocation approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council and signed into law by President Johnathan Nez and Vice President …

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FCC’s launch of a $9 billion fund will benefit broadband poor rural areas and contractors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC voted unanimously today to establish a fund for up to $9 billion in federal support for rural 5G buildouts and precision agriculture, but Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks each registered their concerns over progress on new wireless coverage maps. The Report and Order adopted sets up the 5G Fund for Rural America that includes up to $8 …

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Climbing Congressman Curtis captures first hand the critical role contractors provide

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

U.S. Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) yesterday conducted a site visit and climbing experience at a communications tower located in Moab, Utah. The tour was facilitated by representatives from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association and member companies Triple M Enterprises and VIKOR. The site visit was held at a Royce Electronics owned monopole site that is located in the Sand …

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FCC dings a New York ISP with a $164K fine for allegedly popping its subscription numbers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has proposed a $163,912 fine, the maximum amount allowed by law, against Internet service provider Barrier Communications Corporation (BarrierFree) for apparently reporting inaccurate information that significantly inflated its broadband subscription numbers, failing to file required deployment data, making false statements to Commission investigators, and failing to respond to other inquiries. In a revised March 2018 filing, and in September 2019 and …

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U.S. ends up in last place in the race for 5G download speeds

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Compared to other countries, the U.S. has lost the race to 5G regarding download speeds offered, so much so that in some countries 4G speeds are faster than two of the three major carriers that are touting their 5G offerings. Last week the BBB took T-Mobile to task, stating that it should modify its claims to more clearly identify the metrics …

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FCC axes domestic coverage rule for NGSO satellite networks

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Satellite constellation operators no longer need to provide nationwide broadband coverage to be in compliance with FCC regulations after the agency voted to change the rule Wednesday, releasing the report and order on Friday. The FCC eliminated the requirement for non-geostationary-satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service (NGSO FSS) systems, stating that with advances in NGSO technology and spectrum sharing, the domestic coverage …

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Internet speeds increase 15.8% on mobile with AT&T winning best in show in Q2

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The reliable Q2 2020 Speedtest United States Market Report by Ookla, based upon data from over 1.6 million unique mobile user devices and 18.9 million fixed broadband devices, shows that AT&T is the fastest and most consistent mobile network, but T-Mobile has the competition beat on 5G availability. Ookla revealed yesterday that the median download speed over mobile in the U.S. …

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No more guessing, Georgia clearly identifies where broadband isn’t available

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A new tool that will bring more transparency about the internet marketplace and clarify which Georgia households do not have access to high-speed internet is getting high traffic after it was officially introduced last week. The Georgia’s Broadband Availability Map enables the private sector to better see where Georgians lack access to high-speed internet, improve open-market competition, and help providers explore partnerships …

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T-Mobile plans for 15,000 new macro sites and $60 billion in CAPEX over the next five years

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Even with COVID-19 constraints, T-Mobile is upgrading 1,000 existing sites per month and will be expanding its nationwide macro base station footprint by 15,000 towers during the coming years, said Neville Ray, the carrier’s president of technology during a J.P. Morgan investor conference Tuesday. “So far, so good,” he said. “We are ramping up in this environment and not actually slowing …

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If found to be “essential” workers, tower techs would get a $13 hourly pay boost under HEROES Act

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Yesterday, House Democrats unveiled their coronavirus assistance bill, which will include measures to keep families online through the duration of the pandemic and possibly provide a huge pay increase to telecom field workers. It will also provide a new direct cash stimulus check for $1,200. The 1,800-plus page HEROES Act with $3 trillion in funding, will have about $5.5 billion …

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Macro towers, 20K more trained tower techs and new skill sets needed to roll out 5G says FCC

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although small cells and 5G were high on the list of topics during yesterday’s U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation’s hearing on Industries of the Future, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly emphasized that  5G deployment requires more than just sound spectrum policy to be successful, and macro towers and additional worker skill sets are needed “It will need a …

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FCC estimates six million rural homes and businesses could benefit from opportunity fund

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced initial estimates of how many homes and businesses in each state could benefit from Phase I of the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. In total, about 6 million rural homes and businesses could be eligible for bidding in an auction slated for later this year to receive funding for high-speed broadband.  This …