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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Monday, November 20...

FCC Votes to Modernize Broadcast Ownership Rules, Establishes Incubator Program
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to upgrade its broadcast ownership rules as part of a plan to help promote improved diversity in the marketplace. This Order of Reconsideration is specifically designed to provide broadcasters and other outlets with improved capabilities to "compete in the digital age." The act's key tenet focuses on repealing the 1975 "Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule" - as well as similar legislation governing Radio/Television and Television Joint Sales - to allow outlets to more easily invest. Other elements include reconsidering an August 2016 order to leave broadcast ownership rules "largely unchanged"; eliminating the "Eight-Voices Test" that requires a minimum of eight independently owned TV stations to remain in a market before an entity may own a second; and adding exceptions to rules that limit ownership of two out of the "top four" stations in a market if the transaction is in the "public interest." The Order of Reconsideration also calls for the establishment of an incubator program - following a period of soliciting comments - to provide capital and/or technical resources for prospective owners. The FCC is required by Congress, the agency noted, to review its broadcast ownership rules every four years.

Apple Releases iOS Fix to Address iPhone X Cold-Temperature Screen Issue
Apple rolled out its latest iOS update: version 11.1.2. The details regarding this patch have been made available via Forbes, as well as numerous other news outlets, which posted a screenshot of its release notes. This update is specifically designed to address recent complaints regarding a flaw that causes the iPhone X display to become temporarily unresponsive when it is exposed to an extreme temperature decline. The release also rectifies an issue that could "cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with iPhone X." This latest iOS software update is available through a device's Settings app under "General and Software Updates."

NY Judge: Police Need Warrant to Track Suspect Cell Devices
A New York Supreme Court Judge has ruled that authorities should be required to obtain a proper search warrant before using a "surveillance device" such as cell site tracker to keep tabs on a suspect. Judge Martin Murphy of Kings County Court noted in a statement that "it is improper under New York Law to authorize the obtaining of any information from a suspect's phone other than the phone numbers dialed or otherwise transmitted in outgoing or incoming calls and/or an originating phone number" without filing for "a court order that authorizes a pen register and trap and trace device." Murphy's decision comes as part of the case of the State of New York against Shuquan Gordon, who is accused of attempted murder, as well as assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. With regards to this case, police obtained judicial authorization for a pen register warrant that was addressed through Sprint and included a request for a cell site simulator. A cell site simulator - or "Stingray" - is a device that intercepts the connections of local-area cell phones, routing their signal through themselves, rather than a cell tower, in order to track devices.

... Brady Hicks, Faulkner Information Services

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