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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 …

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NATE welcomes upcoming vote on $20.4 billion rural digital opportunity fund

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has announced the final rules associated with the new $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The rules, are slated to be voted on by FCC Commissioners at the agency’s January 30 Open Meeting. NATE today released the following statement on the FCC’s announcement related to the fund. “In April 2019, NATE representatives participated in a …

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Carriers hiding 5G maps from the FCC as it readies 130 construction permit auctions and 22 more articles

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

ARS Technica says AT&T and other mobile carriers are trying to hide detailed 5G maps from the public despite constantly touting the supposed pace and breadth of their 5G rollouts, while Inside Radio reports that the FCC is preparing to dole out 130 construction permits for new FM stations via an online auction. Article Media AT&T and other carriers want …

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Starks rips into Huawei, stating that a ‘rip and replace’ equipment program could cost $1 billion

In Featured News by Craig Lekutis

In an address to attendees of the Competitive Carriers Association’s convention in Providence, Rhode Island yesterday, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said he’s focused on communications network security and slammed Chinese manufacturer Huawei, stating they pose a national security risk. His message was of great interest to the regional operators in the audience, many of them who have the suspect gear …

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In America’s most barren broadband district, Congressman Mullin tours an ATC tower site

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

On Monday, U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) conducted a site visit to a communications tower located in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The tour was facilitated by representatives from the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), the Association’s Wireless Industry Network (WIN) and American Tower Corporation. The site visit was held at an American Tower-owned self-supporting cell tower site that is located in …

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South Dakota picks up monumental $705.5 million in FCC’s $5 Billion rural broadband funding

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Taking further steps to close the digital divide, the FCC has authorized over $4.9 billion in support over the next decade for maintaining, improving, and expanding affordable rural broadband for 455,334 homes and businesses served by 171 carriers in 39 states and American Samoa, including 44,243 locations on Tribal lands. South Dakota was the largest beneficiary at $ $705.5 million. …

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FCC says its jurisdiction rules in pole pricing rift between Crown Castle and ComEd

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Crown Castle Fiber accused Illinois utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) last month of breaking FCC rules by charging excessive pole attachment fees and denying the company access to hundreds of poles. ComEd filed a motion to dismiss both charges, arguing that the FCC lacks jurisdiction over Crown Castle’s complaints because the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has “preempted Commission jurisdiction over all …

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Education will be harmed after contentious vote that opened up 2.5 GHz band: FCC Democrats

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In a controversial 3-2 vote yesterday, the FCC agreed to free up the 2.5 GHz band of wireless spectrum for 5G services. Known as the Educational Broadband Service, the band had been used for educational purposes since the 1960s by educational institutions and nonprofits supporting education. The unused and underused mid-band spectrum will now go on the auction block. The only …

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Billion dollar question: Will any entity pay $713,000 per site to the nation’s last carrier with towers?

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 2014, U.S. Cellular struck a deal with Vertical Bridge Holdings to sell 595 non-core towers for $159 million, approximately $267,000 per site. On June 17 in a note to investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery said if the regional carrier unloaded their strategic portfolio of 4,207 towers in 22 states the possible asking price might be $3 billion, averaging …

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Income and race seen holding back California’s broadband adoption rates

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

In California, income and race are key factors contributing to low broadband adoption rates, according to a study released this month by the California Public Utilities Commission. Their analysis found that income is the most critical factor affecting adoption where only 52.9% of households in census tracts where the median annual household income levels are less than $20,000 have in-home …

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Former FCC adviser and fiber CEO gets five years for $270 million investor scam

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Elizabeth Ann Pierce, the former chief executive officer of Quintillion, a telecommunications company in Alaska, and the former head of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC), was sentenced last week in Manhattan federal court to 60 months in prison for defrauding investors in New …

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NRECA claims pole attachment rates not a barrier to rural broadband deployment

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Broadband deployment in rural America is not impeded by pole attachment rates, according to a report released by Brian O’Hara, regulatory director, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), in a white paper,  “Pole Attachment Policies and Issues.” O’Hara’s research indicates that most communications companies will not provide broadband to all of rural America even when the pole attachment rental rates are …

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FCC names winners who spent $2.7 billion in millimeter wave auctions

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC has released the names of companies (see full list of Auction 101 and Auction 102 below) that won licenses in the recently completed auction of spectrum suitable for 5G deployments in the 24 GHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave bands. In the $2.7 billion raised, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Windstream, Starry and U.S. Cellular were the big winners. Each …