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Sadly, 2020’s top stories were fatalities and structural failures

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

What were the most-read stories published by Wireless Estimator this year? It’s not surprising to learn that any media with a large audience of contractors, tower owners, tower techs, engineers, safety professionals, and vendors would find that two topics – fatalities and structural failures — dominate the list. According to Google Analytics, the most viewed article in 2020 was the …

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Illinois county’s ‘storage facility’ zoning language leads to AT&T lawsuit

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

AT&T filed a complaint in the Southern District of Illinois against the Monroe County, Illinois’ Board of Zoning Appeals and Board of Commissioners for their alleged “unlawful denial of a wireless communications facility siting request” in violation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as state and local laws. The carrier claims that the Act “preempts State and local decisions that …

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AT&T selected for 10-Year, $311 million contract to modernize NOAA’s network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

AT&T announced today it will deliver modern networking capabilities and other advanced technologies to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under a Task Order from NOAA valued at $311 million over 10 years. The Task Order was made under the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program, which the government created to help federal agencies modernize their technology …

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Two tower techs are killed when their man lift in Delaware topples onto electrical lines

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: November 4, 2020 — Two men, who were killed attempting to install antennas onto a water tower near Bethany Beach in high winds, have been identified. Delaware State Police said 23-year-old Jovan Maldonado and 22-year-old Bryan Maldonado Andino, both from Puerto Rico, were in a Z135 Man Lift working to put antennas for the Velex, Inc. on the Sussex Shores water tower just of the …

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After falling over 200 feet off of steel, high school junior is preparing for the 300-foot gridiron

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Last year, Uriah King was a standout running back for the Brownwood, Texas Freshman Lions and looked forward to a junior year of equally outstanding achievements. But on June 1, while the tower tech was at approximately the 225-foot level on a 359-foot tower while disassembling an AT&T antenna mount in Seale, Alabama for Texas-based King Strong Tower Enterprises, the …

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Site developer sues over towers of Madison County rejection

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In the 1995 movie Bridges of Madison County, Merrill Streep and Clint Eastwood fell in love at the Roseman covered bridge in rural Winterset, Iowa. A quarter-century later, AT&T and FirstNet wanted to erect a 300-foot guyed tower four miles away in an agricultural area that required cell phone coverage.  However, Madison County’s board of adjustment on August 4 wasn’t …

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NARB: Verizon should nix “Building the most powerful 5G experience for America”

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), a division of BBB National Programs, has recommended that Verizon Communications, Inc. discontinue the claim that “Verizon is building the most powerful 5G experience for America.” This claim appeared in two television commercials — “NFL: 5G Built Right,” which focused on Verizon’s installing its 5G network in the home of the …

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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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Providing no details President Trump touts a new 5G network

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Just before the election for his second term, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the interstate highway system in 1956. In President Donald J. Trump’s campaigning for his second term on Monday he floated his idea for establishing “a national high-speed wireless internet network” in a campaign ad. President Eisenhower’s vision came to fruition and is an integral part of …

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Reward upped to $10K for information regarding shooting deaths of two cell site workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two months ago, two men were shot multiple times inside a Jacksonville, Florida AT&T cell site equipment building and police are no further ahead in the investigation of their deaths that appears to have been the result of a robbery while the men were working at night resupplying battery banks. Phillip Harley, 37, co-owner of Harley and Sibs Logistics LLC, …

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California city loses $50K in annual revenue, Yurok tribe gains cultural protection

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

For years, residents of the City of Trinidad, California have been objecting to cell towers located atop Trinidad Head, a scenic promontory instilled with deep spiritual and cultural importance by the Tsurais of the Yurok Tribe. Trinidad leased land to Verizon, which subleased space to AT&T and Sprint. The 20-year lease expired in 2018, but was extended to as Verizon …

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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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Shaving $1.7 million from AT&T’s cell towers’ value upheld by Missouri tax court

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Missouri State Tax Commission (STC) affirmed a $1.7 million assessment reduction for 23 AT&T Mobility LLC cell towers, rejecting arguments from five county assessors that a hearing officer last year erroneously applied a “revenue procedure” rather than a depreciation table that is only used “for purposes of mass depreciation.” The tax court also found that the record supported that the …

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Double homicide cell site victims identified; deceased company owner’s partner puts up a $5,000 reward

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

For the three team members of Harley and Sibs Logistics LLC of Thomaston, GA, last week’s scopes of work required them to install power plants, batteries and equipment at three AT&T cell sites, a project that the company has performed many hundreds of times in the past. After picking up the equipment in their rented Penske box truck at a …

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Two cell site electricians shot to death while performing an AT&T upgrade in Florida

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 22, 2020 – The two cell site workers that were shot to death have been identified. They were found by the mother of a co-owner of the logistics company that was killed. Additional information is available here. The bodies of two electricians were found early this morning inside an AT&T equipment shelter at a monopole site in Jacksonville, …

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Thousands of carrier layoffs will not impede 5G buildouts and might increase contractor opportunities

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

This week it was announced that AT&T plans to cut 3,400 jobs, according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and T-Mobile is laying off hundreds of Sprint employees, as reported by TechCrunch. However, the wireless infrastructure sectors of the two carriers building out 5G will not be affected since Sprint’s cuts are largely from the carrier’s sales division, and AT&T’s …

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Cyber attacks are ruled out as T-Mobile struggles to return nationwide call and internet service

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 16, 2020 –  Neville Ray, T-Mobile’s president of technology tweeted at 1:03 a.m. that voice and text services are now restored. “Thank you for your patience as we fixed the issues. We sincerely apologize for any and all inconveniences,” Ray said. However, media outlets and blogs this morning continue to fan the false conspiracy flames of cyber attacks and nationwide …

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An Alabama miracle: Two men are alive after a rigging failure collapses the 349-foot tower they were on

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 15, 2020 —  OSHA has identified that the company decommissioning an AT&T sector in Seale, Alabama when the structure collapsed was Strong Tower Enterprises of Brownwood, Texas. According to individuals knowledgeable of the incident, the tower techs that miraculously survived when they rode the tower down from about the 225-foot level were Qualyan Moore and an unnamed minor, …

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Wireless workers asked to be vigilant Saturday due to possible attacks against infrastructure

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Some activist groups have declared Saturday, June 6, 2020 as Global 5G Protest Day, resulting in associations and carriers as well as contractors warning the industry to be extra vigilant to ensure worker safety and protect the nation’s infrastructure. One key contractor is warning the industry to not take the situation “lightly”. Ericsson, in an “abundance of caution” to ensure the …