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Small cells hold promise for rural broadband

Small-cell technology and AT&T’s AirGig initiative could make it easier to expand high-speed internet service to rural areas, if the Georgia General Assembly tailors state law to allow it. “Prior technologies didn’t do well because of the trees and other obstructions. This appears to work,” Rep. Eddie Lumsden told Rome and Floyd County commissioners last week. The Armuchee Republican sits on the House Rural Development Council, tasked with finding ways to level the economic playing field for Georgia residents outside metropolitan areas. AT&T has started field-testing its Project AirGig, which uses small antennas mounted on power poles to deliver multi-gigabit signals. Lumsden said BPL, broad

Local Control Debate Pauses Illinois Small Cell Wireless Bill

(TNS) –– A bill concerning small cell wireless installations that Aurora area communities united to oppose has been held in the state Senate. SB1451, known as the Small Cell Wireless Bill, was held by State Senate President John Cullerton, although the bill did pass both the House and Senate during the recent veto session. The hold will give state officials a chance to negotiate with local officials to address what the locals fear would take away local regulation. More negotiation is what Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, along with three county board members and seven mayors of other area communities, asked for when they held a news conference last week to show

Congress takes piecemeal approach to expanding broadband Internet access

Efforts to expand access to broadband have quietly been proceeding on Capitol Hill as the Trump administration prepares to move on to infrastructure after Congress passes legislation overhauling the tax code. Over the past few months, the Senate has passed two major bills aimed at expanding access to broadband, and experts are hopeful that at least one of those bills, the MOBILE NOW Act from Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., will be on President Trump’s desk by the end of the year. “Congress is acting,” said Jonathon Hauenschild, who leads the Communications and Technology Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council. “It’s probably a little slower than we’d like to see, but it’s Congress

Eshoo: FCC Broadband Deployment Committee Needs Local Input

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) wants the FCC to tap into more state and local government input on broadband deployment, suggesting the FCC’s goal now is to serve industry and tie the hands of those local governments. That came in a letter Eshoo sent to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the other commissioners Tuesday (Nov. 7) according to a copy obtained by B&C/Multichannel News. Eshoo wants to see more state and local officials on the FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). She has 14 other signatories on the letter, including Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), ranking member of the House Communications Subcommittee; Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.); and Zoe Lofgren (also D-Calif.). BDAC held its first m

Telecoms, Pennsylvania Towns Face Off Over Wireless Buildout Bill

(TNS) -- Wireless carriers are pushing controversial legislation in Harrisburg that would give them nearly unfettered access to telephone poles, street lights and publicly owned rights-of-way across Pennsylvania as they wire out cell-phone dead zones and prepare for next generation 5G services. The bill is part of a national trend by telecom carriers to make it easier to boost capacity on wireless networks for data-hungry smart phones. At the same time, many local officials are livid about the bill, saying it could despoil many towns’ character and even constitutes “rights-of-way robbery.” Backers say distributed-antenna systems, or an outdoor mesh of small cells about the size of pizza boxe

Mignon Clyburn Blasts FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for Failing to ‘Put Consumers First’

After nearly a year in the minority on the Federal Communications Commission, Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn told reporters on Wednesday that she has had enough of a Republican majority that “is not putting consumers first.” “The first 10 months [under Chairman Ajit Pai] have been a direct attack on consumers and small business,” Clyburn said during a media availability in the Rayburn House Office Building. Clyburn expressed her opposition to a number of policies enacted since Pai — with whom she has served since 2012 — became chairman upon Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. Pai has reversed rules on business data services, inmate calling rates, broadband privacy rules, a

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