30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for June 7, 2012
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Date: 6 Jun 2012 09:32:27 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: In Race For Better Cell Service, Men Who Climb Towers Pay With Their Lives Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> HAncock4 <email@example.com> wrote: >Secondly, it makes it sound as if a cell phone tower worker is a >unique new occupation. But there are many towers out there, such as >television and radio, and there used to be a several networks of >microwave towers. There are a great many towers to carry high tension >electric power lines. In addition, when new buildings and bridges are >erected, there is a craft known as "iron workers" who build the raw >steel skeleton; this group has always had to deal with the challenge >of working in dangerous high places in a fast paced environment. (see >G. Talese, "The Bridge", about building the Verrazano-Narrows >Bridge.) Indeed, communication line construction hazards go way back-- >builders of Western Union telegraph lines faced a variety of hazards. This is true. However, the guys who do broadcast tower work for the most part are trained professionals, not cowboys. We have a number of old-line tower companies in this area which have been in business for decades and have good safety records and people who do good work. They also charge a lot of money. The new generation of kids who are taking the cellphone contracts are often cowboys. They are taking contract jobs that the old-line companies would never accept because of the insanely low rates. Many of them are not well-trained. >Third, it seems to blame the cell phone carriers for the accidents. >The real culprit is outsourcing, but that is a separate issue (a >valid and troubling issue, to be sure). The carriers, like any >competitive business, want to minimize costs to maximize profits so >they outsource to very 'lean' businesses. Traditional landline >carriers and cable companies also outsource work to independent >contractors. There are tower contractors who are safe, and there are kids working out of their garage who have had minimal training. There is a difference between the two. The current explosion of fly-by-night tower companies is the result of the cellphone companies throwing a lot of business on the market at very low rates very quickly. Broadcast stations outsource tower work as well, but they do not have a lot of the cowboys in their pay. >To me, the best solution in the existing environment is for workplace >regulators to properly enforce the safety rules. Well, it's made worse by the safety rules being in constant flux and everything changing all the time. My safety belt was allowed under the OSHA rules five years back, but it's not allowed under current regulations. I still use it, and I go up on a tower a couple times a year for something or another. It's a violation, yes, but it's in a different league than free climbing. You cannot enforce all the rules all the time, all you can do is let the cowboys kill themselves. After enough of them have been killed, the kids will start becoming reluctant to take silly risks for insanely low pay. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: 6 Jun 2012 09:50:09 -0000 From: "John Levine" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Why your cell phone is ripe for spam texts in 2012 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > the trick here is that just about all spam text-sms is transmitted > via an e-mail -> cellphone gateway. Not any more. There are much higher capacity ways to stuff SMS into the phone network. I was talking to someone who does abuse management for a large carrier who tells me the problems he's had explaining to people in retail stores that if someone comes in and wants to buy two dozen prepaid SIMs, don't sell them to him. R's, John
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