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One of the largest deployments of wireless technology in decades is occurring as telecommunications companies erect a new network of small cells to support the next generation of wireless communications called 5G. The problem, however, brings these small cells into neighborhoods and business districts, unlike the larger towers seen along highways and in fields far from centers of population. And with it, resistance from citizens. The clash pits telecoms, which want to ease regulations to reduce costs, against local governments and their residents, who want to control the look and placement of the cells and defend revenue and public property rights. The Center reports on how the telecoms are relying on money and tried-and-true relationships with politicians and regulators to get their way. And they are winning.
"Politicians' Telecoms Wronged Consumers"; QAI: A legacy of success or slams?; Commerce official's past includes telecom troubleThis special report by the Pioneer Press exposes ties between the Governor and Auditor of Minnesota and New Access Communications, a telephone company accused of fraud. According to the report, Gov. Tim Pawlenty was a director of NewTel Holdings, New Access' parent company, when complaints were filed against New Access. The complaints accused New Access of "overcharging some customers and tricking others into changing their telephone services." Auditor Patricia Awada was the owner of Capitol Verification, which was a company designed to verify that customers really wanted to change their phone service. However, according to the report, Awada's company did not always complete that goal.
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