Last Week's News

California Senators Press FCC on Wireless Alerts Failure During Fires

UPDATE Earlier this week, California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris sent a pointed and heartfelt letter to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the shortcomings in the emergency alert systems, made evident during the (ongoing) northern California wildfires. While wildfires continue to blaze in the northern part of the state, with over 40 people dead and more than 40,000 people evacuated, this crisis has brought to light challenges with the emergency telecom system.

The senators called out to FCC chairman Ajit Pai that, “emergency services in Northern California were not able to transmit lifesaving WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) messages, because of significant technical deficiencies in the system.”

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Analysts Weigh in on Crown Q3 2017 Earnings

Colby Synesael, Cowen

“High End of Guidance, Lack of Increase in New Leasing”

“Crown reported 3Q17 site rental revenue/EBITDA toward the high end of guidance with upside AFFO driven primarily by higher than expected interest income as well as sustaining capex at the low end of the range,” Synesael said. “For 2017 the company increased site rental revenue to reflect the 3Q17 beat, but maintained EBITDA guidance as a result of an estimated $8MM in 1x hurricane costs of which >50% will be in 4Q17 while AFFO/share was reduced to reflect the Lightower financing, otherwise it too remained flat.”

“We view initial 2018 guidance as good,” Synesael said, “but the lack of increase in tower new leasing activity shows how dependent Crown (and the other tower operators) are on FirstNet for accelerating tower growth.”

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Paragon Communications, Inc.

Founded in 1999, outside of Boston, MA, Paragon Communications Inc. is the premier provider of refurbished data network, telecom, and test equipment. Through a focus on product quality and technical support, Paragon has enabled customers to achieve their equipment goals. Paragon is dedicated to delivering the best possible, most creative solutions to clients, achieving success through the continued investment in employees, community, and innovative leadership.

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First Look at the New ANSI 222 Standards

An Inside Towers Exclusive

TO ORDER

In an industry where change comes frequently, new equipment, improved procedures, climatic events and accelerated demand have all contributed in pushing a new set of rules forward in the industry standards and practices. Through the collaboration of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and American National Standard Institute (ANSI), those new standards have been revised and today will be made available to the telecommunications industry and reissued as the ANSI/TIA-222-H.  Although the official announcement will be made later today, Inside Towers has been given an exclusive look at the new standards and permission, via TIA, to publish advanced access to the links to acquire the document itself.  

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FCC’s O’Rielly: “Unacceptable” Pushback From Cities and States

“Towers and antennas must be installed throughout American communities, which to date has generated improper and unacceptable behavior by some state, local or tribal governments,” FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said before the New Jersey Wireless Association at their Wireless Deployment Summit in Monroe Township, NJ Wednesday.

“The Commission is well aware that industry is facing numerous challenges to install the hundreds of thousands of new wireless towers and antennas that are going to be needed to meet the insatiable demand for mobile services and new wireless technologies, such as 5G,” O’Rielly said.

O’Rielly cited excessive delays and moratoria when filing siting applications for access to locality rights-of-way and long pre-application processes before an application can be filed or is deemed complete.  

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Verizon Touts “Strong Results” with Third Quarter 2017 Earnings

Building on momentum from second-quarter 2017, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ)  declared they delivered strong results in third-quarter 2017 citing both adding and retaining wireless customers, and generating significant cash flow.

Verizon expects capital spending for 2017 to be at the lower end of the range of $16.8 billion to $17.5 billion.

Q3 2017 highlights

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School District Spending Over $371K in Wireless Infrastructure Upgrades

The Thousand Islands Central School District is planning to update its wireless infrastructure, reported the Watertown Daily Times. The school district will fund the program with resources provided by the 2014 Smart Schools Bond Act aiming to improve technology in New York state schools, allocating $371,206.15 (about 42 percent) of the $752,525 sum available.

This upgrade is expected to last the district eight years and is necessary due to the one-to-one device program it enacted last year for its 950 students.

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Tower in Left Field to Provide Revenue for Park

A cell phone tower will be built on Gary park land (Indiana), the city’s Common Council decided Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.  The city council was unanimous in their support for a special use permit allowing the land in Ambridge Park, 1900 W. 2nd Ave., to have a 95-foot-tall tower. The tower would be erected by PI Tower Development in what is now left field of the local high school program’s ballpark.

The proposed site, a 40-foot by 60-foot plot, is planned to accommodate Verizon, officials said. The Gary city government would receive $20,000 annual payments for use of the land, with additional revenue possible if used by other carriers. That money would go to the Parks Department for use in maintaining the area, the Tribune reported.

Councilman Michael Protho, a retired high school coach, said he plans to monitor the tower’s development to ensure the tower does not interfere with baseball being played in Ambridge Park.  Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who personally handled the city’s end of negotiations said that legally, the city Parks Department is not obligated to address the high school’s concerns, according to the Tribune.

October 20, 2017

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Copper Wire and Buss Bars Stolen in Franklin County

Pennsylvania State Police are searching for thieves who stole copper items from a cell tower facility in Franklin County earlier this month, according to WPMT-TV.

Police said someone entered the AT&T Cell Tower along the 1700 block of Ridge Road in Southampton Township on October 8, and stole approximately 200 feet of copper wire and five solid copper buss bars.

October 20, 2017

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‘To Tower or Not to Tower’ is the Question for Oregon Hamlet

Most municipalities have difficulty coming to a consensus regarding communications towers, but one city council managed to vote unanimously to reject and approve a proposed cell tower in one meeting. At Canyon City’s October 11 city council meeting, members debated granting a conditional use permit for a 195-foot U.S. Cellular cell tower at 10th Street and Hall Avenue.  Verizon Wireless and AT&T already operate in the city.

According to the Blue Mountain Eagle, the council members voted unanimously against the tower, claiming constituents were concerned about aesthetics and its proximity to a school. Within minutes, members had adjusted their viewpoint. Frank Primozic shared the evolving sentiments of his fellow council members, “We would love to have the tower. It’s just the location they picked couldn’t be worse from an aesthetic standpoint.” A final vote unanimously approved construction of the tower if it can be sited closer to the city’s industrial park, rather than residential neighborhoods.

During the same meeting, Canyon City officials postponed a vote to join the Grant County Digital Network Coalition. The coalition was created after neighboring city, John Day, received a $1.82 million grant from the state to install a 75-mile, 144-strand fiber cable on power poles from Burns to John Day. The fiber is intended to improve broadband internet service in the county. John Day City Manager, Nick Green, explained the region’s county would slow down without current technologies. He told the council his goal was to improve internet service for the entire county. “My goal is to take the county from the second worst to the second best (in the state).”

October 19, 2017

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