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Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant. If you would like to receive Telecom Daily emailed daily to your desktop, please click here: TelDailyEmail.

Monday, May 2...

Verizon Communications Increases Contract Offer to Wireline Unions
Verizon Communications revealed that it has increased its contract offer to approximately 36,000 wireline employees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The company noted that its "last, best and final offer" to union leaders from the CWA and IBEW will increase workers' pay scales by 7.5% over the term of the newly proposed contract. Additional terms of Verizon's proposal include tenets covering job security in exchange for increased flexibility in managing and deploying workers; the continued offering of 401K matching and pension plans with three annual increases to a 30-year cap; increases in company healthcare contributions and plan design changes; and a number of other considerations regarding call routing, contracting, and temporary work assignments that will vary by region. Verizon has been in negotiations with the unions - which represent the workers who began a work stoppage earlier in April - for nearly a year. Full contract details are available via the Verizon Communications Web site.

Re/code: Google Hires Former Motorola President to Lead Nexus Devices
Google has reportedly hired Rick Osterloh, the former president of Motorola who left the now Lenovo-owned company in March. Osterloh will serve as SVP and oversee a new division that unifies "disparate hardware projects," a Google representative confirmed to Re/code. This new hardware division will include Google's flagship Nexus smartphone and OEM partnerships, as well as a suite of products for the "living room." This group comprises Chromecast; consumer hardware, including Chromebook laptops; OnHub home routers; Glass; and the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. Osterloh is expected, according to Re/code, to report directly to CEO Sundar Pichai.

US FCC Adopts Real-Time Text Proposal
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a proposal to provide "accessible and effective telephone access" to disabled citizens who rely on texting to communicate. The newly adopted rules are designed to recognize "real-time text" as a replacement for text telephones - or "TTY" devices - on wireless networks starting in December 2017, in addition to exploring the possibility of a similar transition to IP-based landline phone networks over time. Unlike traditional texting services, real-time text allows messages to be sent immediately as they are typed without having to press "send." It is expected that, in addition to "fostering a conversational rhythm to the interaction," it will greatly assist in areas such as emergency and first-responder services. The technology allows users to interact directly with voice phones, and can also function in off-the-shelf devices such as smartphones. The new rules specifically focus on extending interoperability; proposing essential functions that need to be supported; connecting with 911 emergency communications systems; maintaining compatibility with screen readers and other technology; and being generally compatible with traditional voice phone features.

... Brady Hicks, Faulkner Information Services

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