More Wireless Broadband Action
As part of the FCC’s Broadband Acceleration Initiative aimed at breaking down any barriers to new broadband buildouts, Chairman Julius Genachowski ?unveiled new plans to streamline deployment of tower deployments, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells. To do this, the commission defined and clarified a technical provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 regarding local review of requests to modify an existing wireless tower or base station. This provision will speed deployment and delivery of high-speed mobile broadband to communities across the nation, perhaps creating more than $25 billion in new infrastructure gear sales. The FCC also launched a CTIA-inspired proceeding to speed placement of temporary cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs) used to expand capacity during special events, but this probably won’t affect the upcoming Super Bowl.
 
Trio To Appeals Court: The Hopper Is Pro-Innovation, Pro-Consumer
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) along with the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Internet Association, filed a joint amicus brief at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit supporting DISH Networks against broadcasters claiming DISH’s “Hopper” violates copyright law as it allows recording and playback of programming 24 hours later without commercials. The trio believes the device is covered by the Supreme Court’s ruling 30 years ago in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios Inc. CEA President/CEO Gary Shapiro noted that “personal, private non-commercial use of video programming is legal, and products that have significant legal uses may not be blocked by copyright owners…The simple fact is, making television easier to watch is not against the law. It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer.”
 
CLEC Petitions For Clarified Copper-Loop Rules
Calif.-based U.S. TelePacific Corp. (dba TelePacific Communications) asked the FCC for better copper-retirement rules that promote more affordable broadband over existing copper. The CLEC wants commission safeguards against what it calls “the premature dismantling of copper infrastructure” and to make sure current customers of broadband over copper loops are grandfathered in for continued connectivity. And even in light of increased copper costs, TelePacific also petitioned for clarified rules that promote more investments in broadband over copper. In California alone, it adds, 10 CLECs have installed Ethernet over Copper (EoC) in 343 different wire centers to give some 250,000 small to midsize companies access to faster broadband. Updated rules could mean more business for copper suppliers in all 50 states.

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