Archive for the ‘verizon’ Category

For 5G, AT&T and T-Mobile buy $1.8 billion worth of 24GHz spectrum across US

June 5th, 2019
The AT&T logo displayed on a smartphone screen.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images)

AT&T and T-Mobile committed to spend nearly $1.8 billion, combined, on high-frequency spectrum for their 5G networks in a Federal Communications Commission auction that sold airwave licenses covering the whole US. Verizon committed to spend $506 million in a separate 5G auction.

AT&T's winning bids in the 24GHz auction totaled $982.5 million for 831 licenses in 383 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). That should cover most of the US, as the FCC divides the country into 416 PEAs for purposes of the auction. This spectrum will be used for AT&T's real 5G network, not the 4G network that AT&T misleadingly calls "5G E."

T-Mobile's winning bids totaled $803.2 million for 1,346 licenses in 400 PEAs.

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Posted in 5G, AT&T, Biz & IT, FCC, Spectrum Auction, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon avoided a decade’s worth of taxes—a new law could make it pay up

June 4th, 2019
A Verizon logo on top of a black background.

Enlarge / A Verizon logo at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (credit: Getty Images | David Ramos)

Verizon has avoided paying local taxes on telecom equipment in many New Jersey municipalities over the past decade, but a proposed state law would force the company to pay back taxes for all the payments it didn't make.

The bill, filed on May 23 by Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D–Paulsboro), "would force Verizon to pay local taxes on telephone poles, lines, land, and other equipment that the telecom giant has refused to fork over in an increasing number of New Jersey municipalities, starving them of tens of millions of dollars a year in tax revenue," The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. As of 2015, Verizon had reportedly stopped paying the tax in more than 150 of the 565 municipalities in New Jersey.

The tax Verizon has avoided ranges from $15,000 to more than $1 million a year for each municipality, taking revenue away from local budgets or forcing residents and other businesses to cover the shortfalls. Despite not paying tax in many cities and towns, local officials point out that Verizon "continues to benefit from the use of municipalities' poles, utility lines, and switching facilities even when it no longer pays taxes," a 2015 Inquirer article said.

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Posted in Biz & IT, New Jersey, Policy, taxes, telecom, verizon | Comments (0)

Verizon bungled hurricane response by relying on contractors, union argues

May 21st, 2019
A Florida man sets up a sign that says,

Enlarge / PANAMA CITY, Fla. - OCTOBER 19: Mark Mauldin hangs a sign near the front of his property expressing his dissatisfaction with his Verizon cell phone service following Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the Florida Panhandle on October 10. (credit: Getty Images | Scott Olson )

After Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc on Florida last year, AT&T restored wireless service more quickly than Verizon because it relied on well-trained employees while Verizon instead used contractors that "did not have the proper credentials," according to a union that represents workers from both telecoms.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) made the allegations yesterday in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, which recently found that carriers' mistakes prolonged outages caused by the hurricane. Many customers had to go without cellular service for more than a week.

It's not surprising for a union to argue that union workers are preferable to contractors, of course. But it seems clear that AT&T did a better job than Verizon after the storm. In the days following the October 2018 hurricane, Florida Governor Rick Scott slammed Verizon for its poor hurricane response while praising AT&T for quickly restoring service.

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Posted in AT&T, Biz & IT, communications workers of america, Hurricane Michael, Policy, verizon | Comments (0)

AT&T denies that selling phone location data was illegal as FCC investigates

May 17th, 2019
A smartphone mounted on a car dashboard and displaying a GPS map.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Witthaya Prasongsin)

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all told the Federal Communications Commission that they recently stopped selling their customers' phone location information to other companies. Sprint said it is phasing out the sales and will shut them down by the end of this month.

The details came in letters to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who had demanded an update on the carriers' sale of customers' real-time geolocation data. Rosenworcel released the carriers' responses yesterday.

Rosenworcel, a Democrat, criticized the Republican-controlled FCC for not taking action against the carriers over the privacy invasions.

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Posted in AT&T, FCC, location data sales, Policy, Sprint, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

Refunds for 300 million phone users sought in lawsuits over location-data sales

May 6th, 2019
A person's hand holding a smartphone that is displaying a map.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | skaman306)

The four major US wireless carriers are facing proposed class-action lawsuits accusing them of violating federal law by selling their customers' real-time location data to third parties.

The complaints seeking class action status and financial damages were filed last week against AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint in US District Court for the District of Maryland. The four suits, filed on behalf of customers by lawyers from the Z Law firm in Maryland, all begin with text nearly identical to this intro found in the suit against AT&T:

This action arises out of Defendant's collection of geolocation data and the unauthorized dissemination to third-parties of the geolocation data collected from its users' cell phones. AT&T admittedly sells customer geolocation data to third-parties, including but not limited to data aggregators, who in turn, are able to use or resell the geolocation data with little or no oversight by AT&T. This is an action seeking damages for AT&T gross failure to safeguard highly personal and private consumer geolocation data in violation of federal law.

The proposed classes would include all of the four carriers' customers in the US between 2015 and 2019. In all, that would be 300 million or more customers, as the lawsuits say the proposed classes consist of at least 100 million customers each for AT&T and Verizon and at least 50 million each for Sprint and T-Mobile. Each lawsuit seeks damages for consumers "in an amount to be proven at trial."

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Posted in AT&T, Policy, Sprint, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

Pornhub wants to buy Tumblr and restore site to former porn-filled glory

May 3rd, 2019
A Verizon logo displayed along with stock prices at the New York Stock Exchange.

Enlarge / A monitor seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Less than two years after buying Tumblr as part of its Yahoo acquisition, Verizon is reportedly trying to sell the blogging platform. Pornhub has also announced that it wants to buy Tumblr and end the site's Verizon-imposed porn ban.

"Verizon Communications Inc. is seeking a buyer for blogging website Tumblr, according to people familiar with the matter, as it tries to steady a media business that has struggled to meet revenue targets," The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

Pornhub quickly announced its interest after the news broke, although it isn't clear whether the two companies have talked. Verizon banned all adult content from Tumblr in December 2018, and Pornhub wants to restore the site to its former porn-filled glory.

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Posted in Biz & IT, pornhub, Tumblr, verizon, yahoo | Comments (0)

Wireless carriers fight ban on throttling firefighters during emergencies

April 25th, 2019
A firefighter pulls a hose away from a horse barn as a fire rages in the background.

Enlarge / A West Covina firefighter pulls a hose away from a horse barn that burns as the Mendocino Complex Fire moves through the area on July 31, 2018, in Lakeport, Calif. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan)

The US mobile industry's top lobbying group is opposing a proposed California state law that would prohibit throttling of fire departments and other public safety agencies during emergencies.

As reported yesterday by StateScoop, wireless industry lobby group CTIA last week wrote to lawmakers to oppose the bill as currently written. CTIA said the bill's prohibition on throttling is too vague and that it should apply only when the US president or California governor declares emergencies and not when local governments declare emergencies.

The group's letter also suggested that the industry would sue the state if the bill is passed in its current form, saying the bill would result in "serious unintended consequences, including needless litigation."

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Posted in California, CTIA, firefighters, Policy, throttling, verizon | Comments (0)

Millimeter-wave 5G isn’t for widespread coverage, Verizon admits

April 23rd, 2019
A giant Verizon 5G logo in an expo hall.

Enlarge / A Verizon booth at Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles in September 2018. (credit: Verizon)

Verizon's early rollout of millimeter-wave 5G is producing high speeds and throughput, but the high-frequency spectrum isn't suitable for widespread coverage, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said today.

One day after T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote that millimeter-wave spectrum "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments," wireless industry analyst Craig Moffett asked Vestberg about Ray's statement during a Verizon earnings call.

Vestberg responded that millimeter-wave spectrum "has lived up to our expectation on performance" and will get better as Verizon improves the software for managing the spectrum. But he added a significant caveat.

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Posted in 5G, Biz & IT, millimeter wave, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

Researcher Reveals Multiple Flaws in Verizon Fios Routers — PoC Released

April 9th, 2019
A cybersecurity researcher at Tenable has discovered multiple security vulnerabilities in Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway Wi-Fi routers that could allow remote attackers to take complete control over the affected routers, exposing every other device connected to it. Currently used by millions of consumers in the United States, Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway Wi-Fi routers have been found vulnerable

Posted in hack wifi password, hacking news, how to hack router, How To Hack WIFI Password, Router hacking, Router Security, verizon, verizon wireless, wifi router | Comments (0)

In Verizon 5G launch city, reviewers have trouble even finding a signal

April 8th, 2019
A giant Verizon 5G logo in an expo hall.

Enlarge (credit: Verizon)

Verizon launched its mobile 5G network last week in "select areas" of Minneapolis and Chicago, and a speed test shared by a Verizon spokesperson showed an impressive download speed of 762Mbps.

But the single speed test displayed by Verizon was conducted near a tower with clear line of sight to that tower. Actually finding a 5G signal elsewhere in Verizon's launch areas is much more difficult, according to tests by The Verge and CNET.

The two news organizations each had a reporter travel through the parts of Chicago where Verizon says its 5G network is ready. The results were disappointing.

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Posted in 5G, Biz & IT, verizon | Comments (0)