Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:10:28 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:58:01 +0000 (UTC)
From: email@example.com (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:
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
firstname.lastname@example.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)
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:24:15 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com>
Subject: That Fingerprint Sensor on Your Phone Is Not as Safe as You
New research suggests that the fingerprint security features on
iPhones and Android devices can be easily fooled by so-called
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
End of telecom Digest Fri, 14 Apr 2017