Mobilitie, Sprint whacked with fines for ignoring environmental, historic rules

11 April 2018 by Steve Blum
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Mobilitie’s fast and loose way of building out cellular networks has earned it and its major customer, Sprint, fines and a reprimand from the Federal Communications Commission. In a consent decree – a negotiated settlement – Mobilitie agreed to pay a $1.6 million fine and Sprint agreed to a $10 million fine for ignoring federal environmental and historic review regulations when building new towers.

The FCC’s documents don’t detail where and when the two companies sinned, but the violations were deliberate, as Mobilitie’s consent decree makes clear

In an effort to meet certain deadlines, Mobilitie had commenced construction of certain wireless facilities without securing all necessary regulatory and environmental approvals required under the Commission’s Wireless Infrastructure Rules.


Pushback grows on Sprint's pushy cell tower campaign

29 October 2016 by Steve Blum
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Hey guys, cities aren’t dumb.

Mobilitie’s attempt to skate past local permit requirements in its nationwide effort to install 70,000 new wireless sites for Sprint appears to be coming up short. The strategy appears to be to file a truckload of applications for 120-foot cellular towers but label them as utility poles and hope no one notices. As far as I can tell, 120 feet is just the maximum size they’re contemplating, so that’s what they apply to build.… More

Sprint relying on word games to reengineer its cellular network

15 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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Click for the big, ugly picture.

Mobilitie, a mobile telecoms infrastructure company, was hired by Sprint to install 70,000 new wireless sites as it tries to revamp its network and business. Fair enough. But then Mobilitie got cute when it started filing the necessary permit applications.

First, it adopted legal aliases – California Utility Pole Authority and California Transmission Network, LLC, for example – that have a vaguely official ring to them, and seem confusingly similar to the names of legitimate joint utility pole authority groups and electricity transmission organisations.… More

If you're wondering how much it costs to use existing poles and conduit, it's public information

20 July 2014 by Steve Blum
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The most difficult and costly part of any wireline broadband infrastructure project is getting cable from point A to point B. There are two primary ways of doing it: stringing it on poles or running through buried conduit. Since the chances of getting permission to build a new pole route in California is only slightly better than the odds of getting approval to drill for oil in San Francisco Bay, your only independent alternative is to start digging, at the rate of $30 to $60 a foot or more.… More