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The Telecom Digest for Fri, 14 Apr 2017
Volume 36 : Issue 43 : "text" format

Table of contents
The government just finished a major spectrum auctionMonty Solomon
FCC releases final results of spectrum auctionGarrett Wollman
That Fingerprint Sensor on Your Phone Is Not as Safe as You ThinkMonty Solomon
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <FEE7DD37-FBEB-4F17-A5A8-40FA4E375EC8@roscom.com> Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:10:28 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> Subject: The government just finished a major spectrum auction T-Mobile, Dish Network, Comcast and AT&T were among the biggest winners of a historic government auction of wireless airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday. The auction will transfer a significant amount of spectrum - the invisible radio waves that carry voice, video and data - from TV stations to companies in other industries eager to build out wireless data networks. For consumers, the results may mean bigger Internet pipes or a faster experience. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/04/13/the-government-just-wrapped-a-major-auction-thatll-shape-the-future-of-the-internet/ ------------------------------ Message-ID: <ocovpp$1g2v$1@grapevine.csail.mit.edu> Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:58:01 +0000 (UTC) From: wollman@bimajority.org (Garrett Wollman) Subject: FCC releases final results of spectrum auction Over the past several months the FCC has been engaged in a two-sided auction process to incentivize enough broadcasters to give up their assigned spectrum to allow roughly 84 MHz of spectrum to be sold to wireless carriers. Today they announced the results, which will send about $10 billion to broadcast TV licensees and $7 billion in profits to the federal government. The spectrum auction incorporated a brand-new, never-before-used auction mechanism, the design of which involved theoretical computer science and economics researchers. The licensee that will get the most, by far, for turning in its TV channels is Comcast, which gets $217 million for WNBC in New York. Comcast also gets $141.7 million for WSNS-TV in Chicago and $126 million for WWSI in the Philadelphia market. In all three markets, Comcast owns other stations that will be keeping their licenses, so this is in essence "free money" for Comcast. Other big winners include Trinity Broadcasting Network, which received the highest single-station payout, $304 million, for its station in Chicago (plus hundreds of millions total for many of its other stations), and public broadcaster WGBH in Boston, which will get $162 million to change from UHF channel 19 to VHF channel 5 plus another $57 million to move its Springfield, Mass., station from UHF to VHF. The New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority will receive $194 million for its WNJN (Montclair, in the New York City market) and another $138 million for WNJT (Trenton, in the Philadelphia market). A number of other public broadcasters will also receive big cash payouts, including stations in Providence, Scranton, Tri-Cities (Tennessee), San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, New Haven, and Greenville (S.C.); in many cases, the licensees will end up spending a large part of that cash to share spectrum with a commercial broadcaster in their market. The "repacking" process, wherein the remaining TV stations construct new transmitter facilities in order to clear the 600-MHz band for the wireless carriers, is supposed to be complete nationwide by the end of 2020. The FCC has set an aggressive timetable for stations to apply for permits, install or modify equipment, and switch to their new channels, which will require careful coordination in most of the country's largest markets. As a part of the optimization process run by the FCC, all of the stations in each market were assigned to not more than two phases -- here in Boston, most stations are in phase 4 (which includes a tangled group of dozens of stations from Boston to Youngstown that must all transition at the same time) and the rest are in phase 8. This means that in most markets, over-the-air TV viewers can expect to have to rescan their tuners twice at most. More details than you probably want at the FCC's Web site: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-results-worlds-first-broadcast-incentive-auction-0 -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can, wollman@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together." my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <26FEA4C3-D913-4403-8741-2AE1EBC94523@roscom.com> Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:24:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> Subject: That Fingerprint Sensor on Your Phone Is Not as Safe as You Think New research suggests that the fingerprint security features on iPhones and Android devices can be easily fooled by so-called MasterPrint fakes. By VINDU GOEL SAN FRANCISCO - Fingerprint sensors have turned modern smartphones into miracles of convenience. A touch of a finger unlocks the phone - no password required. With services like Apple Pay or Android Pay, a fingerprint can buy a bag of groceries, a new laptop or even a $1 million vintage Aston Martin. And pressing a finger inside a banking app allows a user to pay bills or transfer thousands of dollars. While such wizardry is convenient, it has also left a gaping security hole. http://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/technology/fingerprint-security-smartphones-apple-google-samsung.html ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Fri, 14 Apr 2017

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