Last Week's News

Lawmakers Berate FCC Commissioners Over Broadband Maps

Lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee hammered FCC Commissioners to think beyond what the agency is already doing to fix its broadband coverage maps.

Montana Democrat Jon Tester was potentially the most strident, saying: “The maps stink.” He’s not confident what the agency has planned, will work, he said during yesterday’s FCC oversight hearing.

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The MTA Has Little “Authority” Over Cell Tower Location

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and Wireless Edge are proposing the construction of a 170-foot tall tower to improve “critical public communication,” reported The Examiner. The project sparked a heated debate at a recent Town Board meeting.

Supervisor Richard Williams and Putnam County Legislator Ginny Nacerino opposed the first proposed site due to its proximity to a residential neighborhood. Williams and Nacerino countered with moving the tower back on Route 164 or constructing two smaller towers in an alternate location.

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WIA Cites ‘Wins’ for Industry in D.C.

The Wireless Infrastructure Association is hard at work explaining to regulators that while it may appear to outsiders the industry is swimming in money, it’s actually not as data prices drop. The wireless industry is under financial pressure to pay for the buildout of 5G, explained WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein during a regulatory update for members.

“There are some new business models people are looking at,” such as fixed wireless, he said.

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FAA Lighting Letter Leaves Contractors In the Dark

A recent letter from the FAA Office of Airport Safety and Standards has created an unsettling atmosphere in the tower lighting community.  “This is a big deal,” one lighting executive told Inside Towers, wishing to remain off the record.  Industry execs are concerned about the ramifications of the FAA invalidating the certification of lighting systems with non-OEM components.

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Blackspot Program Hits a Rough Spot

In 2013, the Australian government proposed a “blackspot” program to ensure regional Australians had adequate mobile coverage. The program is not fully government funded, rather they’re contributing about 25 percent of tower costs, on average, and are encouraging telecoms, like Telstra and Vodafone, to co-invest. As of 2018, investment by all parties has reached $680 million, reported ABC News (the Australian Broadcasting Corp.).

Although 499 locations were funded in round one of the project, 89 remain unfinished, according to the Department of Communications.

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Sprint and AlticeUS, Another Cable-Meets-Wireless Love Story

Cable companies have always had their grip on the telecom infrastructure grid and in the past year, have parlayed that stance into exploiting the unquenchable wireless-provider landscape. Comcast and Charter Communications with Spectrum, just this past June, launched their own wireless services, becoming a potential competitor to the carriers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere recently told a Senate subcommittee that Comcast’s service, Xfinity Mobile, added more subscribers than AT&T in 2017. Legere said Sprint and T-Mobile now have “seven or eight potential competitors.”

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Register for the NEDAS NYC Summit on September 6, With Our Partner Discount

The NEDAS NYC Summit is already set to be the premier event heading in to the Fall season. The full-day program will showcase educational sessions, panel discussions, exhibitions, a networking reception, and features keynotes from Jack Waters, CTO of Zayo and Josh Snowhorn, co-founder of EdgeMicro. Inside Towers Marketing Director Megan Reed will be in attendance. Set up a meeting today.

The NYC Summit is designed to explore the evolving landscape of in-building wireless technologies. Through a collaborative and open environment, this event will explore the solutions that bridge the gap between the wireline and wireless technologies inherent in today’s hybrid wireless systems.  As a media partner of NEDAS, our subscribers receive a 20% discount. When registering, use promotional code LIGHTMPNYC18. Click here for more information and to register.

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Tree Trimmers Buy Cincinnati Cable/Telecom Infrastructure Company

The Davey Tree Expert Company, Ohio’s largest employee-owned company, has announced the acquisition of the assets of New Age Communications Construction, LLC, (NACC), a telecommunications construction firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

NACC provides fiber construction, small cell deployment and cable maintenance and construction services for the telecommunications industry in parts of the Northeast, Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast. “NACC is pleased to join an organization with the reputation and substantial resources of Davey Resource Group,” said Jay Martin, president, NACC.

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Small Town Fights “Urbanization” and Tower

Residents of the little town of Star (pop.: 5,921) are bemoaning the prospect of a  110-foot cell tower, saying they are losing their rural community to urbanization, according to the Idaho Press.

“I don’t feel the cell tower is consistent with the rural nature of the west side of Can Ada and Canyon County,” resident Scott Givens told the Planning and Zoning Board.

“I understand that we cannot stop the growth that is happening in the valley,” another  resident said, “but we can control the impact and maintain the rural setting of our neighborhood.”

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Court Counters Tribes’ Pleas for Tighter Control

UPDATE A federal appeals court yesterday denied a motion to stay an FCC order to ease wireless infrastructure siting by exempting most small cells on non-Tribal lands from environmental and historic review.  

The Seminole Tribe of Florida most recently asked the D.C. Circuit for a stay, pending the court’s review of the Tribe’s Petition for Review. The Seminoles joined with 15 other tribes, plus the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States in fighting the FCC, saying the agency did not properly consult with Tribes before adopting the order in March and its decision violated federal law.

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