Straight Path To Pay $100M Fine In Failure To Deploy Investigation
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:57:11 -0500
The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau today announced a settlement valued in excess of $100 million with Straight Path Communications to resolve an investigation of Straight Path’s failure to deploy wireless services as required under its FCC spectrum licenses.
The Enforcement Bureau investigated allegations that Straight Path violated the Commission’s buildout and discontinuance rules in connection with approximately 1,000 licenses in the 39 GHz and Local Multipoint Distribution Service GHz spectrum bands. These high frequency bands have been identified by the Commission as extremely valuable for use in the next generation evolution of wireless technology or “5G.” To settle this matter, Straight Path will pay to the United States Treasury a $100 million civil penalty, surrender to the Commission 196 of its licenses in the 39 GHz spectrum band, sell the remainder of its license portfolio, and remit 20 percent of the proceeds of that sale to the Treasury as an additional civil penalty.
“Squatting on spectrum licenses without any meaningful effort to put them to good use in a timely manner is fundamentally inconsistent with the public good,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “Wireless spectrum is a scarce public resource. We expect every person or company that receives a spectrum license to put it to productive use.”
In November 2015, a pseudonymous source (“Sinclair Upton”) published a report alleging that Straight Path obtained renewal of its 39 GHz band licenses from the FCC by submitting filings incorrectly claiming that they had constructed systems that in fact were never built. TheFCC requires license holders to use this licensed spectrum and verify that use in “substantial service” filings to the Commission. In July 2016, an internal investigation by Straight Path concluded that equipment had been deployed only for a short period of time at the original transmitter locations, and that no equipment was present at the time of this investigation at the majority of the relevant locations.
To resolve the investigation, Straight Path will pay two civil penalties and surrender approximately 20 percent of its 5G licenses to the FCC. For the $100 million civil penalty, Straight Path will pay $15 million upfront with $85 million suspended unless Straight Path sells all its remaining licenses or surrenders them to the FCC within 12 months. Twenty percent of any sale proceeds will also be paid to the Treasury as an additional civil penalty.
The Commission has established construction and discontinuance requirements, including licensing rules, to promote the productive use of spectrum, to encourage licensees to provide service to customers in a timely manner, and to promote the provision of innovative services.
As has been the case since its establishment as the Federal Radio Commission, one of the core missions of the Federal Communications Commission is to ensure productive and beneficial use of wireless spectrum. Thus, license holders are required to ensure that they utilize spectrum for which they were awarded a license in ways that adhere to the commitments made to the Commission.
Shure, QSC To Integrate Shure Microflex Networked Mics and Entire Q-SYS Platform
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:20:06 -0500
QSC, LLC and Shure Incorporated have announced an expanded level of integration between Shure Microflex Advance and Microflex Wireless microphones with the entire Q-SYS Platform. The partnership includes the release of new control plug-ins for the Shure MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone and Microflex Wireless microphone systems. The latest Q-SYS Designer Software v5.3 update enables a multitude of audio connectivity options including audio integration via Dante, analog audio as well as AES67. Simple setup and configuration is assured with the addition of a detailed quick start guide to integrate audio and control between the Shure and QSC systems.
The Shure MXA910 Control plug-in, co-developed by QSC and Shure, allows a myriad of different audio control, preset recall, and monitoring functions on the MXA910 from the Q-SYS platform using Q-SYS peripherals and touch screen controllers. Because the MXA910 control plug-in is decoupled from the audio integration method in Q-SYS, it lets the integrator use the plug-in for control while being able to choose between different audio transport methods, whether that be via analog audio using the Shure ANI series, the Q-SYS Dante Bridging card, or the newly-introduced AES67 software support on the Q-SYS Core processor series.
By using AES67 as the audio integration method, every Q-SYS Core processor in the platform can be easily integrated with the MXA910 without any additional hardware bridging devices or software licenses. This includes the class-leading Q-SYS Core 110f, offering the industry’s most cost effective pairing of DSP, AV Bridging, and Control with its 16 channels of AEC, which can accommodate up to two MXA910s in a single rack space over a single network connection.
The setup guide, also co-developed by QSC and Shure, provides step-by-step instructions on how to integrate the MXA910 with Q-SYS using AES67 for networked audio streaming and the built-in plug-in for control and monitoring of the MXA910 from Q-SYS.
The Shure MXA Control Plug-in and setup guide will be available with the release of Q-SYS Designer Software v5.3 in early January 2017.
FCC Warns of Debt Collection & Other Financial Service Scam Calls
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 17:16:25 -0500
The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to be aware of callers falsely offering lower credit card payments or interest rates, credit card debt relief, and improved credit scores. These scams can be more common during and after the holiday season when many consumers carry more debt than at other times of year.
The FCC has received a growing number of complaints from consumers about scammers claiming that they can offer debt relief or refinancing opportunities to reduce account balances or interest rates. Some of these callers falsely claim to be monitoring the consumer’s credit or loan payment history. The victim is illegally asked for credit card numbers or personally identifiable information in false attempts to “help,” then is threatened, harassed, or intimidated if they refuse to comply with the scammer’s demands. These scammers then attempt to use the account information to make unauthorized purchases or access funds for fraudulent purposes.
If you are unclear if a caller is legitimate, hang up, look up the company’s phone number independently on your recent statement or their legitimate website, and contact them through an official number, web form or email address to see if they called you. By initiating the communication yourself, you can verify that the request for payment is legitimate.
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this type of scam should immediately report the incident to local police, to the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Complaint Page, and to the FCC’s Consumer Help Center. If the scammer claims to represent a legitimate financial institution, consumers should inform those companies as well.
Peloton Indoor Bike Transforms Fitness
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 17:19:17 -0500
The Peloton indoor bike, the hottest technology product transforming fitness, is a must-have item for millennials, their older siblings and their parents.
The New York City-based company boasts a user base of 180,000 who can access thousands of on-demand classes from the comfort of their homes. Content can be viewed either on the bike’s 22” screen or via the Peloton iOS App.
The Peloton indoor bike combines sleek construction, an easy-to-use interactive touchscreen and compact footprint that allow the bike to fit effortlessly in any home. The bike came to market in 2014 (there are now 20 storefronts nationwide), the same year that the marquee studio opened on W. 23rd St. in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Live video streaming and 24/7 class access were intrinsic to these launches, and to support the company’s rapid growth, there was a realization that video quality and low light camera performance could be made even better with the install of HE130s.
“We believe we have the best bike and the best content, but we knew the ‘Peloton Experience’ would greatly benefit from cameras with enhanced low-light performance; we also know that both onsite and
at-home participants expect classes to be minimally lit,” says Nicholas Gismondi, Peloton Manager of Production Operations.
“Our assignment was to work with the legacy studio equipment and improve the overall image handling,” says Richie Murray, President of systems integration company Bridge Digital Inc. (Goodlettsville, TN). “After a shoot-out with competitive camera options, the HE130 quickly emerged as the best choice for low-light performance and 1080p image production.”
Four HE130s were installed in the 8,000 sq.ft. boutique studio, one on a Telemetrics rolling camera trolley. The PTZs connect over SDI to a TriCaster 460 four-camera video production system in the nearby control room. Peloton utilizes an Elemental Live video encoder and Akamai content delivery network (CDN).
“After close to a year in operation, the HE130s have proved ideal for our demanding operations and have allowed us to produce more dynamic broadcasts,” says Gismondi. “They are supporting our move into more diversified content creation with the introduction of weight and yoga classes.”
Application Process Kicks Off for 2017 NAB Show SPROCKIT Program
Mon, 09 Jan 2017 16:43:38 -0500
SPROCKIT and NAB Show are now accepting applications from startups to participate in SPROCKIT at the 2017 NAB Show and the year-long SPROCKIT Sync program. Interested companies must have market validation and prove the potential to significantly impact the media and entertainment industry. Applications may be submitted online here by February 15.
Now in its fifth year, SPROCKIT will showcase up to 30 emerging companies, hand-selected by industry leaders, at the 2017 NAB Show – held April 22-27 in Las Vegas – and convene throughout the year at SPROCKIT Sync, a series of private forums where industry executives and entrepreneurs meet to collectively discuss new technologies that will advance the industry. Since its launch in 2013, nearly 100 emerging companies have participated in SPROCKIT, many of which have experienced successful funding rounds, partnerships and acquisitions.
SPROCKIT is created in collaboration with World Series of Startups, LLC and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). SPROCKIT corporate partners include: Cox Media Group, Fox Networks Group, HCL Technologies, Hearst Television, Samsung Global Innovation Center, TEGNA Inc., Univision Communications Inc., and Verizon Digital Media Services.
For more information about SPROCKIT, please visit sprockitglory.com.