Clearwire to sink from sight/site

clearwire_sinking(Updated 4:41 p.m.; added AGL Magazine story link.)

Well, it’s almost over.   Clearwire, that is.

Clearwire will sink from site, er, from sight as SoftSprint (or someone else depending on the investor law suits will will claim insufficient value to be paid by Sprint) ponies up the relatively small bucks to buy the rest of Clearwire that Sprint doesn’t already own.

So Clearwire’s WiMax is dead.  Clearwire’s shift to LTE is dead.  Clearwire’s microwave sites will soon be dead.

Clearwire is all but dead.  The corpse is worth more dead, mainly if not entirely because of the FCC’s spectrum licenses it presently owns…and soon will transfer.  My gut says that the existing sites are mostly useless expect for some possibility of site-to-MTSO backhaul.

I bet Google’s sorry it jumped ship in February of 2012, receiving only $1.60 for each of its 29 million shares (something greater than a 90% loss on its original investment).  With the current buyout at $2.97 per share, that’s nearly $40m that Google would have relieved had it not jumped early.  Still quite a loss over what they paid for the shares originally, but $40m is still a lot of money for Google…like a couple of hours of revenue.  Okay, maybe Google won’t care so much.

Expect that if you are negotiating with Clearwire now, those negotiations will freeze.  The REALLY cold freeze.

A lot of Clearwire site landlords should expect the ‘really bad news’ letter in about 6 months or so.  If Sprint wins control of all of Clearwire, and it’s true to form, then they’ll offer landlords sucker deals to take on the liability for the non-removal of portions of Clearwire’s equipment.  (See my posting on this subject HERE.)

AGL Magazine has good story coverage with quotes, which you can read by CLICKING HERE.

Another one bites the dust.




Time Warner Making a (Wireless) Ruckus

Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex 7761-CM installed by Time Warner in Los Angeles, California.

In the midst of its deployment of WiFi (and likely more) in Southern California, Time Warner has started to install WiFi nodes manufactured by Ruckus Wireless, specifically the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7761-CM.

Previously, Time Warner has been widely deploying Belair Networks gear.

The Ruckus 7761-CM is an intriguing node, supporting “8 downstream and 4 upstream bonded channels with theoretical data rates of up to 340 Mbps (downstream) and 130 Mbps (upstream).”  Okay, those are theoretical data rates, but even if they can only achieve half that, this is still a box to be contended with by competitors, and enjoyed by users.

The Ruckus gear, like Belair’s equipment, is plant-powered and strand mounted.  This means that TW (or any cable operator using this configuration of equipment) can often deploy WiFi without going through the joint pole committee for permission, and likely permissibly…or not..bypassing the local cable franchising authority.

An interesting use for the 7761-CM is delivering broadband services from outdoors to extend managed wireless LANs (WLANs) locations and where Ethernet cabling is not feasible.  In English, this means that these boxes can be used to provide point-to-point Ethernet (10, 20, 100 Mbs etc) which would have typically required fiber extension.

In states like California, which restrict how non-cable services are provided via cable plant, this box continues TWs apparent encroachment outside the bounds of its state-issued cable TV franchise and its CPCN restricting deployment of business services to cable users.

For an interesting map of TW’s current deployment, check out Time Warner’s WiFi/3G/4G map here.

WiFi (and 3G/4G) node deployment is something that should be carefully evaluated by governments, and by the DAS industry.

For governments, the questions center around about who regulates what services, permitting, and proper compensation for the use of the public rights-of-way from local users, hourly users, and users from other cable systems and operators granting access on a reciprocal basis.  I’m working with several of my government clients crafting language in their new wireless ordinances to address these issues.

For the DAS industry, its single greatest threat is cable TV’s deployment of wireless nodes using the existing CATV plant for backhaul, and the overhead strand and pedestals for radio mounts.  The cable TV industry beats DAS hands down every time for deployment economics and time-to-market.  For more on this, see my article in the April 2102 edition of AGL Magazine.


PS: I snapped the photo for this article just 1/2 block south of my office here in Los Angeles. -jlk


Why not WiMax, Sprint? Oh, it’s LTE. Got it.

Sprint, whose original “4G” network was to be built on a WiMax platform, is moving to deploy an LTE network in place of WiMax. This means that Sprint is currently running 2 types of “4G” technology on its network, LTE and WiMax.

The problem with WiMax is that its availability is limited and its performance, when compared to LTE, is not lighting fast. It’s just DSL fast and we all know that isn’t really that fast. Another limitation of WiMax is the farther you get from the node the slower the network speed. Who wants slower speed?

Is Sprint ditching its WiMax partner? It appears so.

The big push to deploy LTE seems to be a result of pressure from Sprint’s consumers rather than a big difference in the technology. I mean, all the other big time providers are deploying LTE, why can’t Sprint’s customers have LTE?

WiMax might still have viability in other platforms like broadband internet access as a landline bypass, as cable or satellite TV bypass, or for providing some limited backhaul services.

One thing that seems almost certain, is that WiMax viability as a mobile telephone provider is waning as LTE is becoming the next go to technology for high speed mobile data.


DAS Beware of Bright House’s Bright Idea

Bright House, a major cable TV “multiple system operator” (MSO) is joining other cable operators by deploying 2,000 WiFi nodes in its Florida systems.   Following the usual MSO model, Bright House is offering its service for fee to its subscribers, and on a paid basis to others.   It seems likely that BelAir Networks will be the equipment vendor of choice.

Not so clear is whether Bright House will allow its WiFi customers to roam on the WiFi systems being built by Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable and Comcast.

Not only are Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable and Comcast all building WiFI networks in high-density areas of their system footprints, but they also have an agreement in place to allow their customers to roam on any of the three WiFi networks.

With CableLabs already working on a common standard for cable system WiFi roaming, its only a matter of (a little) time before the national roll-out of cable’s WiFi, which will then set the stage for cable’s provision of 3G/4G/xG services from these same nodes.

As I’ve already discussed in this bog, the entire DAS sector will be marginalized (or worse)  by the national deployment of cable-based wireless services, starting with WiFI and moving to xG contract nodes for wireless carriers.

Bright House’s deployment is just another step along the path of DAS marginalization.



DAS All Folks!

Published in today’s AGL DAS Bulletin: “Predictions 2012: DAS All Folks!”  by yours truly.

If you’re in cable TV industry, the wireless industry, or the DAS industry, you may be surprised by my predictions about the intersection of cable TV and wireless services, and the potential impact on DAS.  You may even agree!


TWC Deploys WiFi in SoCal

Coming to (or already arrived at) a utility pole really near you in Southern California…  Time Warner’s new WiFi system!

With $15M of new strand-mounted WiFi access point equipment supplied by BelAir Networks, this new network is apparently intended to provided wide area WiFi coverage in TWC’s service areas.

Presently, TWC’s SoCal deployment is spotty at best, but this is just the beginning:

TWC WiFi So Cal Coverage 2011-09-25So, you’d like to see what the BelAir wireless access points look like installed in SoCal?  Here are two photos taken in Santa Monica by yours truly:

TWC WiFi Access Point on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica
TWC WiFi Access Point on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica
TWC WiFi Access Point on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica
TWC WiFi Access Point on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica

Belair Networks web site points to an interesting piece on the new network posted at FierceWireless: it’s worth reading.

Of course, a few tiny technicalities pop into my head with this deployment.

First, since this is not a cable service, and this is not a personal wireless service, under what regulatory authority does a statewide cable TV franchisee (like, for example, Time Warner) install these wireless access points in the public right-of-way?

Another interesting issue is that I’ve been saying for years that cable operators have to do away with subscriber drop cables.  Is this the door-opener for a last mile (really, last 100 feet) drop cable replacement?  Given that the node locations only cover a couple of blocks around the access point (I’ve checked by measuring signal strength on the SSID “TWCWifi”), the coverage v. capacity trade off looks favorable.

Wireless drops mean no more…well, fewer at least…truck rolls.  This is because in a wireless drop environment most new service installs and disconnects will required the subscriber to pick up and return the box to the cable office.  And without aging cables inside walls going bad, cable service quality should/may should be enhanced.

But wireless drops also require a switched channel selection process for most channels, especially for the lesser viewed channels, coupled with multicasting for the most commonly viewed non-premium channels.

It’ll be interesting to see the reactions of those who are concerned about or opposed to ANY wireless site RF proliferation given the signal strength involved versus the fact that these radios will be in installed residential area front yards, back yards, and side yards just feet from occupied structures.

The cable world is certainly changing…it’s becoming wireless, too.



Current Issues in Cell Tower Leases

March 3, 2011: 2 hour live teleconference
1 pm ET (12 pm CT, 11 am MT, 10 am PT)

Teleconference Highlights:

The wireless industry has built more than 250,000 cell sites in the United States in the past 20 years. But many more cell sites are needed as iPhones, iPads and the like strain existing network capacity with data, email, computer and video applications, as well as to fill gaps in coverage. New cell sites and significant modifications to existing cell sites will also be needed due to the FCC’s new advanced wireless services and goal of using wireless to increase broadband speeds and coverage.

This audio conference will help level the playing field by providing private and municipal property owners with the expertise of two faculty members highly experienced in cell tower and cell site leases – property owners usually are negotiating such leases for the first time, while the cell companies have teams who work exclusively on such leases.

This audio conference will focus on key business issues in wireless site leases, including lease rates, who gets the revenues from additional antennas or carriers being co-located at a site, potential underpayments by cell companies on existing sites and why rent reduction requests generally should be denied. An emphasis on the industry-specific elements and terms of modern cell site leases, and renewals and modifications of expiring leases, which are important for the property owner, their attorney and the leasing agent involved in these efforts. You will be better able to identify and resolve issues that are unique to wireless siting, including what may be included in a lease that cannot be included in a government-issued permit, site location and value, lease term and terminations, access requirements, interference regulation and mitigation, design and camouflage, and radio frequency emissions issues.

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to maintain and increase the revenues the property owner receives, and discuss the common elements of private wireless site leases on developed and undeveloped land.
  • You will be able to utilize practice pointers, including key concepts, for owners of private property and their attorneys, as well as municipalities and municipal attorneys.
  • You will be able to understand the basics of wireless technology and the real property, technical and technology issues that drive a wireless carrier’s siting and leasing process.
  • You will be able to review insurance and indemnity provisions to protect the property owner.

Faculty Information

John W. Pestle, Esq., Varnum LLP
Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq., FSCTE, BTS, BDS, BPS, Kramer Telecom Law Firm, P.C.

MCLE/Educational Credit Information

  • AIA
  • AICP (Pending)
  • CC
  • CLE
  • ENG
  • PMI

Who Should Attend?

This audio conference is designed for attorneys, planners, directors of development, project managers, government administrators, council and board members, land use officials, public works and utilities directors, municipal government officials, engineers, architects, surveyors and real estate professionals.

5 Easy Ways to Register:
Phone: 1-866-352-9539
Fax: 1-715-833-3953
Mail: Lorman Education Services, Dept 5382, PO Box 2933, Milwaukee, WI 53201-2933
Seminar ID: 387436

Let’s Be Clear About Clearwire

I recently posted a message to a list serve run by the League of California Cities aimed at local government planners. That posting has provoked a number of comments, universally positive from local government planners and attorneys. I did receive what might be called a negative response from a wireless industry siting agent.

I’ll let you read the posting, and then the industry agent’s email incorporating my reply.  Then I’ll offer a few closing comments and invite you to reply.

I want to alert my local government planning and legal colleagues in Southern California that Sprint/Nextel is now in the process of submitting something on the order of 1,400 applications to local government planning agencies (and potentially to public works departments) for what often appear to be–but are not–modifications to existing Sprint/Nextel sites.  Rather, what is happening is that Sprint/Nextel, under its name and logo on the applications and plans, is sponsoring in applications for Clearwire Communications, a separate legal entity under separate management, which is merely 51% owned by Sprint.

Clearwire is a wireless Internet service provider. It is *not* a wireless phone company. Clearwire does *not* hold a CPUC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Clearwire is not entitled to access the right-of-way in the same way that Sprint/Nextel does. This is particularly important where Sprint sponsors Clearwire applications for ROW sites that really should generate revenue to local governments if the governments elect to approve such ROW incursions.

The Clearwire projects are not existing site modifications by Sprint/Nextel to its own site, but rather entirely new projects (and new RF emissions) from a new and separate legal entity, Clearwire, to be collocated on existing Sprint/Nextel sites. Where Clearwire needs a site but there is no existing Sprint/Nextel site to serve as a platform, the firm is proposing collocations on other existing cell sites. These collocations do *not* automatically occur under Government Code Sections 65850.6 and 65964. There are many triggers that must first occur prior to these code sections kicking-in to require collocation, and its very unlikely they will apply in a particular case involving Clearwire given its multiple microwave and panel antenna systems.

Where no existing sites are available, Clearwire is proposing new sites. Clearwire has indicated that they are typically planting new sites at the rate of about 2 per square mile.

Clearwire’s network design in nearly every case dictates that it use three or four microwave antennas to interconnect each of its sites with that many more other sites, yet the applications I have seen submitted to my government clients are usually coming in one at a time. This piecemeal filing approach raises CEQA questions as Clearwire’s method of submitting individual applications masks the fact that each site is part of a much larger and unified project that cannot operate without the multiple sites communicating with each other, and back to the Clearwire Internet access node (called the POP or point of presence).

For those communities that bar microwave antennas for site-to-site or site-to-switch interconnection because they are unnecessary visual elements, consider whether granting microwave dishes to Clearwire (which is a cost-saving issue for them) will interfere with your future ability to bar or limit microwave antennas to wireless telephone companies.

I recommend that the planning desk look for Sprint/Nextel plans with site numbers formatting like CA-XXX-YYYY, where XXX are three letters related to the county or market where the project is to be located, and YYYY is the specific four digit site number. The site number may be followed by a single letter. If these projects come across the desk, consider whether you are dealing with a single site, or (far) more likely a project, and to proceed with due caution. At the least, consider issuing an incomplete letter and requiring Clearwire to come in and disclose all of their project sites and interconnections, and then consider whether your agency wants to evaluate the entire project under CEQA. More and more governments are now taking that cautious approach.

I have photos of a few Clearwire sites in Portland, Oregon and Modesto, California posted to the government planners wireless example gallery at


The industry member’s response, with my embedded reply back shown in italics, is below:

Hello Jonathan

A colleague of mine forwarded your statement below to me. After reading it, I feel compelled to reach out to you with my own comments. Not entirely clear as to what your objective is, perhaps business is slow for you as with many of us as of late.

JK: As a municipal and private attorney, an RF engineer holding many licenses; and as a contract wireless planner and planning instructor for many governments, my goal is to to ensure that my constituency (governments and selected private entities) is aware of this deployment and the legal and practical considerations that attach to the deployment. Business is just fine, thanks.

Whatever the case may be, your message below is startling and in my opinion, somewhat predatory in nature.

JK: Predatory is defined in the Encarta Dictionary ( as:

1. greedily destructive: greedily eager to steal from or destroy others for gain
2. relating to predators: relating to or characteristic of animals that survive by preying on others
3. ruthlessly aggressive: extremely aggressive, determined, or persistent

I respectfully disagree with your opinion that my message suggests predatory behavior. I have no desire to destroy, or the other things in the definitions. Rather, my desire is that my constituency properly understand what is happening with the Clearwire deployment, and why it raises legal and procedural issues that should be addressed as applications are being tendered and considered. As a wireless planner working for governments for the past 17+ years, I believe that most of those on the private site who regularly deal with me would reach a softer or different characterization of my actions.

Your statement regarding ROW is valid. However, this is not applicable to the majority of sites that Clearwire is working on in the Southern California area. Perhaps limiting your message to ROW issues only would have been the better approach here.

JK: I appreciate your recognition of the ROW issue, but is merely one element that permitting agencies need be aware of. Some of the drop/swaps will be proposed for the ROW; many will not. It would not make sense for me to limit my comments to just the ROW since the deployment will likely be in both arenas.

Further, whether the proposal is for a mod to Sprint’s own facility or not, the fact is that on land not located in the public right of way jurisdictions should consider these proposals as a colo/cohab modifications or new-build project regardless of the entity name or CPUC status and review the request on it’s own merit with consideration to the degree of intensification and/or design relative to the land development standards in effect at the time of application.

JK: This is an area where each jurisdiction will evaluate a project against their local municipal code rules, as well as CEQA, and the PUC. Since we’re dealing with different legal entities, and addressing your non-ROW discussion, how the project is understood by the local agency is important to the proper application of the local code. Also, under some local government municipal codes, it does make a difference whether Sprint is proposing a mod to its own site, or if the proposal is really for a new and different occupant that is subject to its own permit process.

You state that “..Sprint/Nextel is now in the process of submitting something on the order of 1,400 applications to local government planning agencies (and potentially to public works departments) for what often appear to be–but are not–modifications to existing Sprint/Nextel sites. Rather, what is happening is that Sprint/Nextel, under its name and logo on the applications and plans, is sponsoring in applications for Clearwire Communications, a separate legal entity under separate management, which is merely 51% owned by Sprint”. Further, you claim that the microwave dishes being proposed is merely a “cost saving issue”. Unless you have some proof of this, I would tend to believe that the statement is unfounded.

JK: A wireless mesh network for backhaul is a cost saving consideration. A WiMax provider could use redundant fiber or multiple T1 network to achieve the same results, but those alternative would involve different capital and recurring cost considerations.

Jonathan, you seem to be suggesting that Sprint/Nextel and Clearwire is acting less than honest about their intent by maintaining the Sprint and/or Nextel name and logo on the plans. I am not entirely comfortable with your statement and am disappointed in you as a “telecom lawyer” for publicly making such accusations.

JK: The fact is that Sprint/Nextel is a separate entity. The firms are managed differently. There are other partners involved. See:

I do not suggest that Sprint/Nextel’s sponsorship of the applications is dishonest, but rather that some may governments and others may see the bold letters at the top of the plans and on the applications that say Sprint/Nextel, and miss the important little letters that disclose that Clearwire is the actual owner of the project. It is not an accusation; but rather a fact that important to properly understand who is requesting what.

Based on my exposure to your work over the years, I think you have done a reasonably good and thorough job representing your public sector clients.

JK: Thank you.

This is why I am so startled by your message below. Your message implies that you have factual information relative to the relationship between parties and their intent as well as the objectives of their site designs relative to cost.

JK: The information regarding the ownership is public record. Their deployment intent is clear from reading the information they have released, and disclosed in public meetings.

You are potentially encouraging local jurisdictions to question the intent of the wireless applicant to a degree that could possibly be prohibitive and questionably illegal relative to legislation that supports such endeavors.

JK: I am encouraging local jurisdictions to ensure that they understand who the actual applicant is and what the rights and duties are of that applicant. Asking for factual and accurate disclosures to permit the local agency to determine the proper course under its local code is neither prohibitive nor illegal in this sense.

Clearly, with 1,400 sites planned (per you), the intent is to provide improved wireless telecommunication service, whether it be for Clearwire or Sprint/Nextel or both. Whether it be for telephone or internet or both, what is the problem here?

JK: Again, the rights that must be respected flow from the legal status of the real applicant. Cell phone companies have rights that are different from Internet-only providers; which are different from, say, trunked radio system operators. Real problem can arise if the rights asserted by an applicant are not the rights as granted to that applicant, and if a permitting agency mishandles an application as, for example, a standalone project rather than as part of a larger multi-site project.

The overall feeling that I have after reading your message is that Sprint/Nextel and/or Clearwire is up to something unethical and potentially illegal.

JK: I respect your right to your feelings, but nowhere in my message did I say or suggest that the actions are either “unethical or potentially illegal.”

The potential for confusion regarding the applicant and its rights I’ve discussed is based on how the applications are already coming in. The comments I’ve received from local governments confirms that the confusion already exists. But confusion does not rise (or sink) to the behavior you incorrectly read into my words.

If I were a city decision maker and after reading your statement I would be very concerned and as such, I may be compelled to question the validity of every Clearwire/Sprint application. In fact, I may even be compelled to question any wireless application more so than I would under normal circumstances.

JK: City decision makers are by and large very smart people, just as you are. As a planner in this area, I’m sure you understand that wireless planning is different and more detailed that planning a building, or permitting a business to conduct a conditional use. Special state rules come into play, as do federal rules and court decisions, when considering wireless site applications. Again, that’s why understanding who the applicant is and their real rights is key to ensuring compliance with the regulatory and judicial framework that controls in this area. Being compelled to question any application more than normal is a personal decision for a planner which is, I believe, largely based on trust factors. This is an area where accurate knowledge prevents the planner from falling into the “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” trap.

Your statements may cause discomfort with the local jurisdictions and will likely result is undue delays in processing time as well as cast a negative light on the wireless entities that have every right to build or modify their wireless network in the most efficient and expeditious manner.

JK: Processing of planning applications is governed by various state laws (for example the PSA). If an application comes in that may misstate material information, then the delay…if any…will be due to the entity misstating the information, don’t you agree? And if an entity misstates material information, then who is casting the light you speak of? I do not suggest that Sprint, Clearwire, or anyone else is misstating material information, but confusion does already exist.

The cost of such endeavors should not be such a concern to local planning departments when considering the proposal. Further, when considering the equipment needed to reach the coverage objective, the applicant should use the least intrusive and reasonable means possible.

JK: The cost issue isn’t core. There are many cases where microwave backhaul is appropriate, and I have stated that in various project reviews I have conducted over the years. There are other considerations, however, that come into play in wireless siting within and outside of the right-of-way including, as just two examples, CEQA and ADA compliance.

From what I have witnessed, Sprint and/or Clearwire has made more than reasonable efforts to adhere to this approach. Causing any level of prohibition to this approach is, at a minimum, unfair.

JK: I accept that this is your belief, but I do not adopt or reject it for myself. I’m not sure what you mean by “any level of prohibition” either functionally or legally.

The expectation that I have for someone of your professional stature and experience is to maintain a healthy balance between applicant and jurisdiction and use methods of practice that are proactive and most importantly, fair. Local jurisdictions that enter into contract with you expect that you will review applications for wireless facilities with the intent of making sure that the proposal is consistent with all applicable rules defined in Telecom Act. That stated, perhaps you could take a softer and more cautious approach when advising your public-sector colleagues. I believe that fostering trust among all parties is the better way to do business for all of us.

JK: The Telecom Act may or may not apply; the state collocation laws may or may not apply; various provisions of the local municipal code may or may not apply. There are many considerations, beyond the Telecom Act, that must be factored into proper planning.

I agree with you that fostering trust among the parties is a better way to do business. Trust springs from honesty, so the more honest we are, the greater then trust that we should be accorded.

Over the nearly 20 years I’ve been doing wireless siting work, I have developed a reputation for calling it like I see it, and trying to bring parties together. The wireless industry calls on me to help them develop that trust when they ask me to lecture at industry meetings (as I have several times this year at my own expense, and in previous invited by unpaid trips to lecture at national PCIA conferences, for example).

I am a charter member and public supporter of CalWA and the educational outreach it promotes. I frequently recommend that government officials join CalWA to learn and hear more about the industry. Twice this year, at government conferences that I have coordinated, I have invited CalWA wireless industry professionals to attend and present. My efforts are based on developing a better relationship between the various stakeholders…call it trust…

I would be open to discussing this matter further should you wish. If in fact, if you do possess factual documentation that supports your claims, I would gladly review the information and if valid, consider retracting some of my above-opinions.

Thanks for taking the time to read my comments and consider my suggestions.

JK: Hopefully I’ve addressed the bulk of your comments and concerns. I don’t ask that you change your opinions, but merely that you consider mine as I’ve further explained them in this reply. I’ve taken the time to respond because I found your comments thoughtful, even where I disagree with them. That’s just part of the interplay between peers who clearly respect either other, but may have cause to disagree with each other.



I’ve posted this because I want to make it clear (no pun intended) that as I’ve already said on another of my sites, I look forward to Clearwire’s deployment in SoCal, and I hope to use their static IP service as a back-up at my office.

It’s important to local governments that the material elements of a project be properly disclosed during the review process.  This ensures that the applicant is accorded the proper processing, rights, and duties under the local code.  Accuracy and transparency are, therefore, key to achieving those results.

As I’ve recently used as an analogy, Sprint/Nextel’s sponsorship of Clearwire projects is akin to opening up a set of drawings for a commercial office building and the name splashed across the top of each page in bold letters is “United States of America, General Services Administration” yet the small print shows that the true legal owner will be “AIG Insurance” rather than GSA.  Well, yes, the U.S. is the majority owner (at least for now) of AIG, but the legal rights and duties of each are very different.

I also want to make it clear that as a telecom attorney and wireless planner working for local governments, it is common for us to alert our peers to issues that we uncover, and that are likely to impact our peers.  We share this information to ensure that we all have the benefit of what others have learned, developed, determined, uncovered, etc.

I’m interested in your comments, which you can voice below.



We’ll Leave the Lights On For You, but WiFi Will Cost

Motel 6 will may be keeping the lights on for you, but Internet connectivity from their hotels will cost you extra.

AT&T has entered into a contract with Motel 6 to provide managed Internet services. It’s likely what the PR-speak (below) actually means is that AT&T will provide connectivity to the hotels so that their management and reservations systems will all be online and connected by to HQ. Since the hotels will be connected anyway, by charging guests for WiFi access, Motel 6 will recoup a portion or all of its AT&T data costs. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Tom Bodett would be proud.

AT&T Enables Wi-Fi Connectivity at More than 600 U.S. Hotels for Motel 6

Dallas, Texas, June 25, 2008

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a $9 million contract with Accor North America (NA) and its Motel 6 brand, one of North America’s leading hotel companies and a subsidiary of Accor Worldwide. Under the three-year agreement, AT&T will provide Managed Internet Service (MIS) and firewall and router implementation services. The new services enable hotel guests to have Wi-Fi connectivity at a low price.

Through its leading nationwide economy lodging brands, Motel 6 and Studio 6, Accor NA aims to provide a premier customer experience at a low price. In an effort to provide what its guests want, Accor NA explored how to improve its services and respond to the needs of its guests.

“AT&T’s network upgrade enabled us to provide new and enhanced capabilities for our hotels, including our e-procurement system performance, e-learning tools and guest services such as Wi-Fi,” said Adrian M. Butler, vice president of Telecommunications and Support Service at Accor North America. “In less than five months, AT&T worked diligently to complete the implementation on time so that we are ready for the busy summer travel season.”

Recently, Accor NA reinvented the economy lodging experience with the announcement of the Motel 6 “Phoenix” prototype. Features in the entertainment unit include a cubby for personal items and a multimedia panel allowing guests to plug in their MP3 players, CD players and laptop computers — this feature allows guests to listen to their favorite tunes or use the flat-screen TV as their computer monitor while enjoying Wi-Fi Internet access in their room.

AT&T MIS provides high speed dedicated access with world-class reliability, optimal performance, scalability and security features. AT&T MIS provides managed, state-of-the-art hardware and software, smart routing capability and continuous performance monitoring of Internet Protocol (IP) services on AT&T’s world-class OC-192/OC-48 IP backbone. MIS also provides the flexibility to pave the way for future services over IP.

The AT&T network is highly scalable, offering Accor NA the flexibility to customize its network services to expand and increase to higher levels of bandwidth. In addition to network services, AT&T provides Accor NA with a full suite of voice and Internet access services.