Posts Tagged ‘fcc’

BART Boner ’11: Wow, BART Manager (and Former News Man) Linton Johnson Stars in New Taiwanese News Video

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

ZOMG, here’s a much better-than-average animated news video from NMA-TV.

This one has it all, even the purported* “French girl” hacker virgin what SF Weekly IM’ed with the other day.

And look to see who makes policy for BART in the video. (Why do we even bother electing BART directors if they don’t do anything about anything?)

Click to expand


*Honestly, I don’t think the BART POA hacker(s) was/were a hacker virgin living in France, IRL anyway…

Nice One, BART – You Went and Pissed Off Anonymous With Your Cell Phone Hijinks – #OpBART Protest on August 15th

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Hello BART? It’s me, Margaret. What’s it been, like twelve hours since we’ve last talked?

Appears as if your cell phone shut-down stunt yesterday, that “great tool” that you whipped out, is getting worldwide attention.

And now, you’ve got Anonymous on your tail.

(Is it the politics, dealing with all those elected officials on your board, is that why you’re so clumsy at times?)

Anyway, all the deets, via Bluoz, of the upcoming protest on Monday at Civic Center Station at 5:00 PM, are below.

Here’s my contribution:

And here’s one from Anonymous:

To review:

Here’s the death of Oscar Grant in 30 seconds at the Fruitvale Station in 2009. (Using a SIG Sauer P226 semi-automatic instead of a TASER X26, chapter 1)

Here’s the death of Charles Hill in 80 seconds at the Civic Center Station in 2011(Using a SIG Sauer P226 semi-automatic instead of a TASER X26, chapter 2)

We made a deal, BART, that you would look after terrorists and I’d tell you when the next protest would come. Well, this is it, your next protest:

“This is a message from Anonymous to the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART)

The past year has brought about some substantial awareness through some unfortunate events that have occurred throughout our world. From internet censorship to the unnecessary violence inflicted upon unarmed civilans, we’ve all seen what can happen once a portion of us are gagged.
In Egypt and Tunisia, we saw people struggling to make their voices heard. We have seen companies such as Telecomix delve into the nastiness of political corruption in an attempt to free those censored individuals from their prisons of silence. We seen social media such as FaceBook and twitter explode with users from around the world speaking out against censorship.
Today, we’ve seen America come alive. In the Bay Area, we’ve seen people gagged, and once more, Anonymous will attempt to show those engaging in the censorship what it feels like to be silenced. #OpBART is an operation geared toward balance – toward learning. You do not censor people because they wish to speak out against the wrongs the wrongful things occurring around them. The Bay Area Rapid Transit has made the conscious decision of ordering various cell phone companies to terminate services for the downtown area inhibiting those in the area from using cell phones – even in the case of an emergency.


We will not tolerate censorship.
We will do everything in our power (we are legion) to parallel the actions of censorship that you have chosen to engage in.
We will be free to speak out against you when you try to cover up crimes, namely on behalf of those who have engaged in violence against a mostly unarmed public.
We will set those who have been censored free from their silence. That’s a promise.
Anonymous demands that this activity revolving around censorship cease and desist and we know you are already planning to do this again.
We will not issue any more warnings.


People of San Francisco, join us Monday, August 15th at 5pm for a peaceful protest at Civic Center station to illustrate the solidarity with people we once knew and to stand up for your rights and those of your fellow citizens.
We will be wearing “blood” stained shirts for remembrance to the blood that is on the hands of the BART police.

For the people outside of San Francisco, show solidarity by using black fax, email bombs, and phone calls to the BART Board of Directors. BART decided to cut off your communications and now we will flood theirs.

We request that you bring cameras to record further abuses of power by the police and to legitimize the protest. The media will certainly spin this in an attempt to make our actions appear to be violent or somehow harmful to the citizenry at large. Remember, this is a peaceful protest. Any actions trying to incite violence in our protest are not of our people, and they ought to be discouraged.

We are Anonymous,

We are legion,

We never forgive,

We never forget,

Expect us.

BART contact info:

510 465-2278, 415 989-2278, 650 992-2278, 925 676-2278, 510 441-2278, 510 236-2278, and 510 465-2278

Fax: (510) 464-6011


Fliers / Back Fax images
Blacked out:

Back Fax tools”

Uh, BART – Do You Really Know What You’re Doing When You Turn Off Cell Phone Service?

Friday, August 12th, 2011

[UPDATE: Well, it turns out that BART shut down the cell phone antennas on their property. They didn’t use jammers.]

Zusha Elinson has the deets on what BART considers “a great tool” in the battle against cell phone use.

BART, I don’t think you know what you’re doing.

You screwed up TASER implementation by doing a half-assed job, right? Why is that LEAs all over the world have managed TASER programs successfully, for the most part, and you haven’t? Why is it that you’re world-famous for your halfway implementation of TASERs? And even now in 2011, you’ve got front-line officers some with TASERs and some not? And then, in a situation custom-made for a TASER, you kill a homeless guy and that’s A-OK? You don’t know how to handle mentally ill people, BART? Isn’t that sort of your job? Do you know who your customers are? Why are you a case study that other LEAs the world over can learn from? Why don’t you, BART, learn from other agencies? 

And yet, everything BART does is perfect? Per your spokesmodels, anyway.

Hey BART, why don’t you focus on terrorism and then just let me tell you when the next big BART shooting protest will occur? ‘Cause I know when they’re going to occur, and, you all, apparently don’t.

And BTW, do your phone jammers let 911 calls through? (That’s a srius question – I don’t know. ‘Cause, you know, I could totally get some parts from eBay or one of the Chinas (the One-Party State China or the other one) for like $100 and then soup it up and have it powered by a 12-volt car battery and put it in a backpack and walk around your stations. And that would be it – no cell phone calls or texting in or out. I’d shut it down, Charlie Brown. Oh, if I had a license. Hey, do you have a license, BART? Just crius. Anyway, what I wouldn’t be able to do is to let 911 calls through. Not dat tophisticated. :()

And BTW, do want an inventory of all the possible negative consequences of your cell phone policy? Because I could generate one real easy.

Keep on keeping on with your “great tools,” BART. Until the next time…

Does This New Cell Phone Antenna in the NoPA Represent “Blight” or Progress?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Isn’t it beautiful?

You’ve got the box filled with whatnot mounted on the right side of an exisiting wooden phone pole, the all-important cylindrical antenna up high on the left , and down below you’ve got a soothing sign from Next G complete with a phone number for a real live person, basically a counselor who will talk you down from your anti-technology panic attack.


Click to expand

(Personally, I think that anybody what wants to stop a cell phone antenna from being put wherever an engineer wants to put it should be required to complete an environmental impact report first, you know, so we can calculate the effect of a lack of utility service on the Commonweal.)


What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

Who Supports the T-Mobile AT&T Merger? Almost Everybody in Silicon Valley! Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle…

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Michael J de la Merced has all the deets about how everybody”s telling the FCC how great AT&T-Mobile would be.

How could this marriage go wrong with so many supporters (like AVAYA, Brocade, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, RIM, Yahoo)?

Will Sprint and Verizon be the only ones to object? Will Steve Jobs and Apple weigh in at some point?  

Anyway, read below for what popped up my inbox this AM.

1)      AVAYA, Brocade, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, RIM, Yahoo!: “The challenge of keeping pace with consumer demand and continuing to lead globally in wireless broadband services and products requires that we tackle the issue on multiple fronts. Many policy related efforts will not be able to quickly address near term capacity needs. The  FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it. Such action will help to meet the near term wireless broadband needs of consumers and ensure that we are globally competitive as the world increasingly embraces wireless broadband connectivity.”

2)      Sequoia Capital: “From the microchip to the mainframe to the PC to the Internet to mobile computing, venture capital have been an integral part of an economic model that has stimulated growth time-and-time again. The technology start-ups we work with will be a key beneficiary of this more efficient and robust national wireless network. We are in favor of the Commission approving this transaction.”

3)      Joint Venture Capitalist Letter (Charles River Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Radar Partners, Lightspeed Ventures): “Many of the fast-growing companies we invest in are technology firms that would benefit greatly from the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile, a merger that will drive job growth, innovation and economic opportunity through a more efficient and robust national wireless network…By combining the physical infrastructure and spectrum positions of the two companies, the merged entity will be able to accomplish what neither firm can do on its own: namely, deploying a 4G LTE broadband infrastructure to more than 97% of the United States population…This merger represents a critical part of the solution to our spectrum crisis in the United States.”

4)      Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers: “This commitment would help millions of Americans throughout the United States gain access to a network that can support innovative technologies, applications and devices….We are in favor of the Commission approving this transaction”

5)      Information Technology Industry Council (ITI): “Unfortunately, even if Congress were to act today, consumers would not experience the benefits of making new spectrum available for at least five years. Which is why a combined AT&T/T-Mobile has some real appeal for many. The new entity would likely result in meaningful near and long-term improvements to the nation’s networks…The Internet, and Americans’ ability to access it from almost anywhere, has been one of the greatest drivers of our economy. Supporting initiatives that will increase infrastructure investment and enable even greater access to the Internet whether it’s over a wired or wireless connection is smart public policy, smart economic policy, and smart consumer policy. Our nation needs more spectrum, more investment, and broader adoption and accessibility.”

Hundreds of Protesters Show at USF for the “Why We Just Shut Down KUSF” Meeting – Scores of Cops Milling About

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Here’s a taste of the action at the packed Presentation Theatre on Turk Street tonight where hundreds of KUSF-FM supporters are finding out all about the recent shutdown.

Reyhan Harmanci is doing the play-by-play right now.

Here’s USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., laying down the law, Jesuit-style: “We run a nursing school, but not a hospital…” You see where that one’s going, right?

And the po-po, they everywhere. It must have been all-hands for the USF Public Safety Department. (Man, they sure looked like cops, couldn’t see if they had handguns.) Well, if they’re not cops they do a pretty good impersonation and then I guess I’ll have to say that it was closer to one (1) score of cops on the scene. Still, way, way overstaffed, IMO.

Across the street on Tamalpais, where Nil’s Linke’s drunk driver got arrested not too long ago:

Anyway, here’s Steve Rhodes covering the action, as you might expect he would.

Looks like this one’s off to the Federal Communications Commission…

Know Your Area Cell Phone Mini Towers – They’re Just Above Our Heads – The Great NoPA Cylinder on Fulton

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Now the first time I posted about these cell phone box / antenna things mounted on our telephone poles in the Western Addition / Western NoPA, people from Bernal Heights and the Dogpatch wrote in to say, “Like, where’s our box, man?” ‘Cause, you know, they wanted their mobiles to work more better.

Since then, we’ve gotten more phone stuff above our heads transmitting and receiving,* but I don’t know if people are happier now.

Anyway, leave us review the sitch from last year at Fulton and Central and then get an update from this week.

Back in the day, you’d need a big, tall, ugly (or not so ugly) monopole tower reaching up to the heavens to get your cell phone to work. But these days, cellie transmitters are mounted just above your heads, just like this one recently installed on Fulton Street in the Western AdditionNOPA area.

Click to expand:

IMG_7724 copy

These new-school transceivers that our corporate overlords at AT&T and T Mobile have seen fit to use rely heavily upon fiber optic cables. And That’s A Good Thing, per NextG Networks, which adores these things.

See their sign? It’s alarming and reassuring at the same time. Go ahead and call them up, they’ll answer. I don’t think they really want you to call them over there (I think it’s Delaware or someplace) but they’d prefer that you give them a ring if you’re totally freaking out or something. The last thing they want is you starting a new NIMBY group:

IMG_7722 copy

[Nitpick Mode=ON] NB NextG: The plural of antenna is “antennas,” not “antennae, unless we’re talking bugs, which we aren’t. [Nitpick Mode=OFF]

(I don’t know how people are supposed to read the fine print on these signs if they’re mounted so high.)

And here’s the mise-en-scene with a recent photo from the boys at Google (I’ve never seen a woman driving a Google Maps car, wonder why…) Can you see the white warning sign and then the gray PowerWave box down low? Well that box is connected to the Giant Beige Cylinder of Death jutting out over the street. See how somebody took care to make sure it didn’t get blocked too much by the building on the corner? And NIMBYs, how would you like to open your third floor bedroom window only to see a GBCOD antenna hard at work?

Say hello to my little friend. Didn’t know what this thing was at first, but, in context, it can only be an antenna. This is new part, I’ve figured out where / what the antenna is – hadn’t noticed it before…

But are we safe what with all that RF floating around? I don’t know. Probably. Do the NIMBYs know about all these boxes and antennas being mounted on existing telephone poles? I don’t know, probably not.

All right, that’s it, including the update.

If you’re fretful, see you after the jump for ever more deets.

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

*Were these bits from SF Weekly supposed to be funny? I generally get this kind of humor, but the whole SFW series about the SFBG’s cellie towers seemed a bit on the petulant side.


Chased Out of North Beach, Survivor Winner Yul Kwon is Off to DC to Work for the FCC

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Remember bay area local Yul Kwon? After he won a million bucks on the CBS reality-show Survivor back in aught-six and then became the Grand Marshall of the New Year’s Parade, his dream was to open a Red Mango frozen yogurt shop on Columbus in North Beach.

‘Cause the man is just crazy for frogurt. See?


Good times.

But then the City and County of San Francisco, after initially saying yes to the idea, said no. No, no, no!

Dude was bummed:


So bummed that he took his idea to the East Bay. (And somehow, Contra Costa Times reporter George Avalos felt that a new yogurt shop had something to do with the Walnut Creek being like Rodeo Drive – can you imagine?)

Anyway, it’s all turning around for Y.K. Turns out he went to Stanfoo and Yale (an experience he considered “depressing” – oh well) and he’ a lawyer ‘n stuff, so the Federal Communications Commission just appointed him Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

The CGAB “develops and implements the Commission’s consumer policies, including disability access” and “serve[s] as the public face of the Commission through outreach and education, as well as through our Consumer Center, which is responsible for responding to consumer inquiries and complaints.”

So Yul Kwon is the “public face” of the FCC? Sort of. Yes. He’ll soon be working with “iPhone-Smashing” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Can you imagine?

A local boy makes good.

Will this be the last we in the bay area hear about Yul? Oh no – he’s on his way to elected office, it would appear.

Bon courage, Yul!


Mr. Kwon’s diverse career spans across law, technology, business, and media. His government experience includes lecturing at the FBI Academy, drafting science and technology legislation as an aide to Senator Joseph Lieberman, and clerking for Judge Barrington D. Parker on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In the business and technology sector, Mr. Kwon has held positions at McKinsey & Company, Google, and the Trium Group. He also practiced law as an attorney at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis and at Venture Law Group. In 2006, Mr. Kwon became the first Asian American to win the CBS reality show, Survivor. His subsequent media activities include working as a special correspondent for CNN and as a co-host for the Discovery Channel. Mr. Kwon obtained his B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal.”

“iPhone-Smashing” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Visits the Mission District

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

The first thing you may think upon meeting Federal Communications CommissionChairman Julius Genachowski is that he looks like a lawyer who just might have gone to school with Obama. Bingo!

Then you read up on how he wants to smash open the iPhone over the recent AT&T / Google Voice lockout brouhaha. You see, Jules acted with a shocking quickness. Is it because he “gets” technology? Could be.

Anywho, Mr. Chairman came to the lovely Valencia Gardens housing projects (seriously, the best in the City, more appealing than the Fillmore Center Apartments anyway) on a dreaded sunny day to highlight “the importance of broadband access in low income communities.” Check it:

Julius, second from right, chatting with the Mission Digital Connectors:

IMG_7777 copy

And with other Missionites:

IMG_7778 copy

Can people in the area around 14th and Valencia open up their netbooks to catch 5/5 bars worth of WiFi goodness at 54 million bits per second? Yes we can.

There’s your schmoozefest of the day.


Chris Vein, San Francisco’s Chief Information Officer
and Henry Alvarez, Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing
Authority (SFHA) will welcome Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC), for a Mission neighborhood event
highlighting the importance of broadband access in low income communities.

Chairman Genachowski will tour the technology facilities at Valencia
Gardens, a SFHA community, and meet with residents of Valencia Gardens and
community leaders. Valencia Gardens is a national model for bringing high
speed internet access to public housing sites. Through the San Francisco
Department of Technology’s partnership with the Internet Archive, residents
are able to receive speeds of over 50 mbps. In addition to access, the
Department of Technology has coordinated a wide range of training and
support programs for residents of Valencia Gardens.

The Department of Technology has led an initiative to bring broadband
access to 4399 units of public and non-profit housing developments.

WHAT: FCC Chairman tours Valencia Gardens Technology Center

WHEN:           Sunday, August 2, 2009
                       3:00 P.M.

WHO:             FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
                       San Francisco Chief Information Officer Chris Vein
                       SFHA Executive Director – Henry A. Alvarez III
           Hydra Mendoza, Education Advisor to the Mayor of San Francisco
           Alan Greenley, One Economy

WHERE:        Valencia Gardens Technology Center
           360 Valencia Street
           San Francisco, CA 94103

San Francisco’s New Cell Phone Transmitters are Now Just Above Our Heads

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Back in the day, you’d need a big, tall, ugly (or not so ugly) monopole tower reaching up to the heavens to get your cell phone to work. But these days, cellie transmitters are mounted just above your heads, just like this one recently installed on Fulton Street in the Western Addition / NOPA area.

Click to expand:

IMG_7724 copy

These new-school transceivers that our corporate overlords at AT&T and T Mobile have seen fit to use rely heavily upon fiber optic cables. And That’s A Good Thing, per NextG Networks, which adores these things

See their sign? It’s alarming and reassuring at the same time: 

IMG_7722 copy

[Nitpick Mode=ON] NB NextG: The plural of antenna is “antennas,” not “antennae. [Nitpick Mode=OFF]

But is it safe what with all that RF floating around? I don’t know. Probably. Do the NIMBYs know about all these boxes being mounted on existing telephone poles? I don’t know, probably not.

If you’re in a mood for reading, take a gander at City and County of San Francisco vs. NextG Networks of California, Inc:

The City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) claims that NextG is violating the terms of the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) granted in Decision (D.) 03-01-061, because NextG:  1) has failed to timely exercise its authority to offer competitive local exchange or interexchange services, and 2) is representing to CCSF that it is authorized to provide radio frequency transport services, a service the Commission has not authorized it to provide.  CCSF further claims that NextG is violating the terms and conditions of its CPCN because the Commission has not authorized NextG to install either:  1) microcell and antenna facilities in the public rights-of-way, or 2) any equipment or facilities on existing utility poles.

I’m thinking NextG won that little dustup, based on this pithy entry from Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP. It looks like NextG can put their little boxes where they want, whether you like it or not

All you can do is just sit yourself down and read this cheery FAQ from the Gs at NextG.

Q. What safety codes does NextG comply with for its installations and site operations?
Q. What is so unique about the RF energy produced by NextG’s equipment?
Q. What benefits does NextG provide for the community?
Q. To start the process, what does NextG submit to the City?
Q. Is the City’s relationship with NextG similar to the City’s relationship with the incumbent local telephone company?
Q. What facilities does NextG use to provide service in the community?
Q. What type of company is NextG Networks?
Q. What kind of service does NextG provide?

Q. What safety codes does NextG comply with for its installations and operations?
A. NextG’s installations and site operations comply with all applicable regulations and safety codes, such as the National Electrical Safety Code. The company also works closely with all appropriate entities to ensure a safe installation and operating environment.
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Q. What is so unique about the RF energy produced by NextG’s equipment?
A. NextG’s DAS sites produce RF energy at levels 50 – 100 times below the FCC’s maximum allowances. In fact, these levels are so low that they don’t even meet the FCC’s minimum threshold that establishes the need for conducting routine RF energy testing. The FCC has exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of RF energy.
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Q. What benefits does NextG provide for the community?
A. NextG’s facilities and services are less intrusive than traditional cell towers. Whereas wireless providers have typically relied on large towers or monopoles, NextG’s service is based on discrete fiber optics and small, unobtrusive equipment located on existing utility and/or streetlight poles. In addition, NextG’s solution allows wireless providers to rapidly improve their networks’ coverage, capacity and performance, which leads to new and/or enhanced service opportunities for consumers. Finally, NextG’s solution can accommodate multiple service providers, which helps drive more service choices and more competitive prices for consumers.
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Q. To start the process, what does NextG submit to the City?
A. NextG applies for the right to design, permit, build, operate and manage telecommunications system in the public right-of-way of the City, in compliance with the City’s ordinances and permitting requirements. NextG typically submits a right-of-way use agreement that seeks:

  • the right to enter into the public right-of-way to provide telecommunications services;
  • the right to use City-owned streetlight poles and traffic signal poles for the collocation of NextG’s facilities;
  • the right to use third-party-owned property (utility poles) in the public right-of-way for deployment of NextG’s system;
  • the right to use any available City-owned fiber for the collocation of NextG’s facilities; and
  • the right to use any available City-owned conduit for the collocation of NextG’s facilities.

In addition, NextG provides information related to the physical construction in, and occupation of, the public right-of-way.
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Q. Is the City’s relationship with NextG similar to the City’s relationship with the incumbent local telephone company?
A. Yes. Local authorities must treat competitive providers, such as NextG, in a competitively-neutral and non-discriminatory manner. As a result, local authorities cannot impose on NextG requirements or fees that are not imposed on the incumbent local telephone company. In addition, local authorities are not permitted to regulate the activities of telecommunications providers in the public right-of-way.
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Q. What facilities does NextG use to provide service in the community?
A. NextG provides its service with a combination of fiber optic lines connected to a DAS site consisting of small wireless antennas, optical repeaters, and associated equipment. Thus, it must generally install a certain amount of fiber optic cable, either underground or on existing utility poles. In addition, NextG must install small wireless antennas and associated equipment on utility poles and/or streetlight poles, typically located in the public right-of-way. In areas where NextG needs to install its own utility poles, the company complies with local regulations governing such installations. When possible and appropriate, NextG may lease capacity on existing fiber optic facilities owned by the City or other providers, thus diminishing the physical impact of NextG’s installation.
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Q. What type of company is NextG Networks?
A. NextG Networks is a next-generation communications company that provides managed RF transport and backhaul services to wireless communications carriers. The company is commonly known as a “carrier’s carrier” since it is not licensed to provide wireless services and does not control wireless spectrum, but rather provides services to the carrier community. NextG’s innovative and cost-effective RF-over-fiber transport solution enables wireless carriers to expand their coverage, capacity and performance throughout metropolitan regions and in dense urban and isolated suburban areas. NextG Networks is headquartered in San Jose, California, and operates wholly-owned regional subsidiaries throughout the United States. The company is certified to provide telecommunications services in the states it is active.
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Q. What kind of service does NextG provide?
A. NextG provides telecommunications services—physical access, via radio frequency signals, to the wireless carriers’ licensed services. Specifically, it carries voice and data traffic handed off to it by wireless providers. It carries that traffic via its fiber optic lines from DAS sites located on utility and/or streetlight poles to a central location where is it connected to the wireless service provider. The service providers support their customers using a range of frequencies, such as cellular, SMR, PCS, AWS, BRS and 700 MHz with a variety of technologies such as iDEN, CDMA, GSM, EV-DO, 1xRTT, LTE, and WiMAX.
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But, as always, You Make The Call:

What’s the frequency, Kenneth? Is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh