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AT&T's LTE network impaired by salon's fluorescent light


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AT&T's LTE network impaired by salon's fluorescent light

 

By Tammy Parker

 

AT&T's (NYSE:T) cellular network has faced myriad challenges over the years, such as the overwhelming capacity crunch that hit when Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) first iPhone rolled out. But the latest threat to AT&T's network is particularly illuminating, because the problem is being caused by a common fluorescent light fixture.

The fixture is located inside the Perfect Cuts Salon in a San Antonio, Texas, strip mall. By simply flicking the salon's lights on and off...

Edited by WiWavelength
Do not post full text articles -- that is a potential copyright violation.
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Does the layperson understand or agree with the government threatening exorbitant fines if commercial lighting that was approved for usage is not replaced?  My irritation is with ATT here. Is filing a complaint with the FCC and thus the manufacturer getting involved easier than approaching the owner and working with them to correct the issue?  Maybe ATT did and we don't know about it.

 

Anyway, I'll delete my prior "layperson" comment and trust that the FCC knows best.   

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Does the layperson understand or agree with the government threatening exorbitant fines if commercial lighting that was approved for usage is not replaced?  My irritation is with ATT here. Is filing a complaint with the FCC and thus the manufacturer getting involved easier than approaching the owner and working with them to correct the issue?  Maybe ATT did and we don't know about it.

 

As a wireless licensee, AT&T should not have to "work with" (read: pay off) the salon owner.   Additionally, AT&T has no executive branch power.  It cannot enforce regulations -- that is the job of the FCC.

 

The commercial lighting in question is almost certainly out of tolerance spec, possibly due to manufacturing defect.  If that is the case, the salon owner should not be held legally nor financially liable.  But the owner should comply with the FCC.  And the owner does not exactly come across as cooperative, quite possibly because he is a layperson mystified by the physics of the situation or someone looking for a payout from a huge telecom company.

 

AJ

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AJ, I agree. To prevent my statements and your responses causing banter from anyone else, I ask you delete my statements. Im back on tapatalk and it wont delete.

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

 

 

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AJ, I agree. To prevent my statements and your responses causing banter from anyone else, I ask you delete my statements. Im back on tapatalk and it wont delete.

 

I hid or removed all references to the LightSquared/GPS debate, but I left the discussion about FCC enforcement, as I do think that is a reasonable debate.  I hope you do not mind.

 

AJ

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This type of interference happens with frightening regularly. CATV is a big offender in the aircraft /vhf/uhf bands.

 

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk

 

Yes indeed! We had a guy in our neighborhood with a crazy illegal 1kw amplifier on his CB radio.  Just a little over spec there.. :)  Cox Communications that it would be awesome to put their cable modem uplink channel right smack dab in the CB band.  They even put it in one of the channel gaps in the lower part of the band.  That didn't help with the massive bleed over though.  Every time this guy would key up, there goes the uplink sync.  Packet loss like crazy all over the neighborhood.  Once I identified the issue and was able to talk with the correct techs they were able to track it down for confirmation. (Hmm..sounds like deja vu with Sprint) Did they go to the FCC? Nope.  They changed all the feeder lines around the neighborhood.  It still didn't fix it.  So they moved the uplink channel away from the CB band.  Seemed pretty open and shut to me but they just let it go. 

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I never understood why people do that on the cb band. A advanced ham license is stupid easy and makes it legal to transmit 1.5kw on neighboring bands.

 

That person likely didn't have a clue and used a desktop antenna with the radio and amp. They were probably impressed when everyone's alarm systems and garage doors were triggered every time he would key up. They probably complained about the quality of Cox cable modems since he was on their tenth replacement.

 

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk

 

 

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Does the layperson understand or agree with the government threatening exorbitant fines if commercial lighting that was approved for usage is not replaced?  My irritation is with ATT here. Is filing a complaint with the FCC and thus the manufacturer getting involved easier than approaching the owner and working with them to correct the issue?  Maybe ATT did and we don't know about it.

 

Anyway, I'll delete my prior "layperson" comment and trust that the FCC knows best.   

 

It has nothing to do with the lighting having been previously approved or not. The issue isn't that the requirements for industrial lights are now being changed for AT&T. The issue is that you cannot use ANY device (approved or not) in a way that causes interference with licensed frequencies.

 

If your toaster interfered with your local TV or Radio station, you would be threatened with a fine if you did not stop using it. It would having nothing to do with your toaster being previously 'approved' for use.

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This type of interference happens with frightening regularly. CATV is a big offender in the aircraft /vhf/uhf bands.

 

Yep, CATV stomps all over the <1 GHz licensed wireless frequencies.  Good news that CATV is supposed to be confined to the coax cable plant.

 

For an interesting exercise, access your cable modem engineering screens...

 

f3mzs.png

 

Well, look at that.  Even in advance of the 600 MHz auction, I already have 600 MHz frequencies on my downlink.

 

;)

 

AJ

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Yep, CATV stomps all over the

 

For an interesting exercise, access your cable modem engineering screens...

 

Posted Image

 

Well, look at that. Even in advance of the 600 MHz auction, I already have 600 MHz frequencies on my downlink.

 

;)

 

AJ

"supposed to"

 

If you strip the cable you can have that 600mhz transmitter we all want!

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Oh, I know. I chose the words "supposed to" for intended purpose. Subway tunnel DAS even uses so called "leaky coax."

 

AJ

Yup! I guess the FCC has a Notice of Proposed Rule Making changing some of the emission requirements for CATV digital modes, as well as including schools or other entities that have a CATV system installed.

 

The fines add up quickly for a violation.

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Yep, CATV stomps all over the

 

For an interesting exercise, access your cable modem engineering screens...

 

Posted Image

 

Well, look at that. Even in advance of the 600 MHz auction, I already have 600 MHz frequencies on my downlink.

 

;)

 

AJ

They use 8 QAM256 channels starting at 825mhz here. And 4 uplink channels scattered from 22mhz up to 37mhz, two different modulation schemes to allow for those lower signal setups to still at least bond two channels.

 

I wrote a plug about 10 years ago that would scrape the frequency, signal numbers from the HTML, put them on a desktop widget and log them in a file for timeline charting on your PC.

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I wrote a plug about 10 years ago that would scrape the frequency, signal numbers from the HTML, put them on a desktop widget and log them in a file for timeline charting on your PC.

 

I did something similar almost 10 years ago myself! Comcast kept telling me there was nothing wrong with the signal to my condo, despite the fact that suddenly started losing certain TV channels and internet at consistent times of the day. Wrote a quick signal logging script and ran it for about a week. Sent them the logfile showing the cable modem signal strengths sharply dropping at the same time every day, and that did the trick very quickly. No idea what the issue was, but I lived there for a couple more years and never had issues again. Maybe I had a neighbor with a jacked CB setup..

 

-Mike

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Does the layperson understand or agree with the government threatening exorbitant fines if commercial lighting that was approved for usage is not replaced?  My irritation is with ATT here. Is filing a complaint with the FCC and thus the manufacturer getting involved easier than approaching the owner and working with them to correct the issue?  Maybe ATT did and we don't know about it.

 

Anyway, I'll delete my prior "layperson" comment and trust that the FCC knows best.   

 

The article states "According to the FCC agent, Bethany said that since the lighting was not causing him any problems, he saw no reason to repair or replace the fixture unless he is paid to do so."

 

It's fairly obvious he probably doesn't have any intention of actually complying unless forced to do so.

 

I'm truly hoping this happens:

"However, it appears the light fixture has led to a serious legal predicament for Bethany, who was cited by the FCC for causing radio interference via an "incidental radiator." If the situation remains unresolved, the FCC may fine Bethany up to $16,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act. The commission could also seize the offending light fixture, and Bethany could ultimately face jail time."

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The article states "According to the FCC agent, Bethany said that since the lighting was not causing him any problems, he saw no reason to repair or replace the fixture unless he is paid to do so."

 

It's fairly obvious he probably doesn't have any intention of actually complying unless forced to do so.

 

I took a look at both the satellite and street views of this salon.  It is clearly located in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood.  My supposition is that the owner expects a payout from the government, GE, or AT&T.

 

AJ

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I took a look at both the satellite and street views of this salon.  It is clearly located in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood.  My supposition is that the owner expects a payout from the government, GE, or AT&T.

 

AJ

 

Perhaps the FCC just needs to tell him it needs to be fixed immediately or they will fine him the maximum $112,500 for non-compliance, and arrest him if he still refuses...

 

Of course, agreeing to drop charges and the fine as long as he gets it taken care of, since likely it would take the arrest to make him realize they aren't playing around.

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It has nothing to do with the lighting having been previously approved or not. The issue isn't that the requirements for industrial lights are now being changed for AT&T. The issue is that you cannot use ANY device (approved or not) in a way that causes interference with licensed frequencies.

 

If your toaster interfered with your local TV or Radio station, you would be threatened with a fine if you did not stop using it. It would having nothing to do with your toaster being previously 'approved

 

I did something similar almost 10 years ago myself! Comcast kept telling me there was nothing wrong with the signal to my condo, despite the fact that suddenly started losing certain TV channels and internet at consistent times of the day. Wrote a quick signal logging script and ran it for about a week. Sent them the logfile showing the cable modem signal strengths sharply dropping at the same time every day, and that did the trick very quickly. No idea what the issue was, but I lived there for a couple more years and never had issues again. Maybe I had a neighbor with a jacked CB setup..

 

-Mike

Or ingress issue.  Causes tv tiling an timeouts of modems.  Mostly due to customers inside wiring.  Non 75ohm cable, braiding from cable is excessively long. (Acts like an antenna)

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So the lighting was faulty and interfering with another business (in this case cellular transmissions), GE quite rightly offer to replace it FOC but the guy decides to be a cockwomble about it and now he is facing some consequences. I don't see any huge travesty of justice here. If he said to GE I want you to replace with with a non GE brand at your expense then I would probably agree he had a point, but if he is after cash 'just because' then he is creating his own issue. AT&T as much as I dislike them have a right to ensure they can use the frequencies they paid for. There was a solution here that worked for everyone, the people responsible were going to foot the bill but someone overestimated their own intelligence and landed themselves in trouble. Given recent events this is not exactly going to move the needle on the outrage@guberment-o-meter. This is simply karma at work.    

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