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Jonathan Kramer Accepted Into Northeastern University Doctor of Law and Policy Program

northeasternuniversitylogoI am very pleased to announce that I received word today that I have been officially accepted into the Northeastern University School of Professional Studies Doctor of Law and Policy program.   I will commence my cohort studies in July, 2014.  I’ll be traveling to Boston every month for two years to complete in-class coursework, which will be supplemented by studying between the in-class sessions.

Having completed my Masters of Law degree in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law at Strathclyde University just last year, this next step will be my final and terminal academic degree.

I want to thank three people in particular for supporting me in my next life endeavor: Fred Polner, Associate Master of Trumbull College at Yale University; Ken Fellman of Kissinger & Fellman in Denver; and Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis of the Internet Society and Strathclyde University, all of whom were kind enough to write strong letters of recommendation on my behalf.

Selling Your Cell Tower Lease Lecture 4/9/14

John Pestle and I will once again present an updated version of our very popular lease buy-out lecture, “Selling Your Cell Tower Lease.”  This time we’ll present on April 9th, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT.   Lorman Education Services hosts many of the lectures John and I present, and they do an outstanding job at it.

badge-platinum-200Here’s the updated lecture description:

Property owners with a cell tower or cell antennas on their property routinely receive six-figure offers to buy the cell tower lease and future leasing rights. While very attractive, those offers-typically structured as perpetual easements-pose unusual legal, financial, and technical risks that the property owner and its regular attorney typically are not familiar with. This live webinar will guide property owners and their attorneys as they evaluate and respond to such offers. It includes covering what drives the offers, typical prices, how to evaluate financial terms to determine whether selling makes sense (and when it doesn’t). Those who attend will be better able to evaluate purchase offers, identify and modify the very one-sided documents offered by purchasers, and address some of the risks involved in a sale. Risks include making sure the property owner is not hindered in developing or using its property, ensuring that future sums promised by the purchaser in fact are paid and the contract honored (and the sale terminated if they are not), insurance and bankruptcy protections, as well as questions as to the financial solvency of the buyer. These risks increase as the easement term increases (typically from 50 years to perpetual) given that the property owner continues to own the underlying property. Government agencies face all of the preceding issues, plus special and fundamental questions of municipal authority, compliance with municipal finance/procurement statutes, prohibitions on waste, and risks of accidentally triggering property reverters.

Learning Objectives:

- You will be able to know when a sale does and does not make sense for you.

- You will be able to discuss revising documents to protect property owner and address the preceding issues.

- You will be able to recognize sales terms preventing the property owner’s future use or development of its property.

- You will be able to define the major legal risks involved in selling cell tower leases and easements.

CLE, AIA, AICP, ENG, and PMI professional credits are available for this lecture.  For more information, please visit http://www.lorman.com/live-webinar/393475

IMLA Webinar on Cell Site Leasing and Lease Sales 4-2-14

imla April 2, 2014 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EDT – Telecommunications – Event Code: T50

Cell Tower Leasing

Cell Tower site leasing/licensing for local governments is an excellent way to produce new long term non-tax revenues, but crafting the right terms and drafting the proper documents are fraught with potential legal landmines.  John Pestle, Esq. and Jonathan Kramer, Esq. are both deeply experienced with crafting and enforcing municipal cell tower site agreements.  In this 90-minute webinar, they will identify those legal landmines, discuss industry boilerplate provisions, and offer useful practice pointers to guide you through the process.  The program will cover both key aspects of cell leases, and the potential sale by municipalities of such leases and long-term leasing rights. Extensive handouts in PDF format will be provided to participants.

Speakers: John Pestle and Jonathan Kramer

Cost: $99 for IMLA Members; $199 for non-members.

CLEs: Available for an additional processing charge of $65.

Here is a link to download the registration form:  http://imla.org/images/2014Webinar/2014WebRF2.pdf

 

Why Die?

Does it strike anyone as being just a bit strange the Intel is promoting a wireless technology pronounced as “Why Die”?  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiDi

Some marketing ‘genius’ should be taken down a few pegs…quite a few pegs, actually.   It’s like 1985 and “New Coke.”

If history is a guide, then soon we’ll start hearing annoying Intel TV and radio commercials for this technology sung to the jingle heard on every PC commercial:

“Why, oh why Wi Di?”

Missouri Limits Local Authority Regarding Cell Siting

Missouri Coat of Arms

Missouri Coat of Arms

Over the objections of local governments in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon signed SB 650 into law on Thursday. At the same time, Governor Nixon signed into law three additional telecom bills: SB 649, SB 651, and SB 653.

SBs 649 and 653 regulate how the public rights-of-way are managed and also how utility poles are accessed.   SB 650 places hard limits on the wireless approval process in Missouri ostensibly to encourage investment in wireless/broadband services. SB 651 provides legal immunity for telecommunications providers during emergencies and requires disclosure of user location information to public safety officers.

The four bills singed into law yesterday contained various provisions of former telecommunications bills enacted in 2013 in violation of the state Constitution, and enjoined from enforcement by the Cole County Circuit Court.

Interestingly for those of us outside of Missouri, SB 649 includes “every cable television service provider” as a “public utility” under that state’s law.

Taken together, the bulk of the Senate Bills take away substantial planning powers that were formerly and traditionally in the hands of local governments to protect community aesthetics. The likely result will be the industrialization of wireless facilities in zones previously protected from that type of industrialization.

I have grouped together all four laws into a single PDF file (about 1 MB in size) which you can immediately download from here by filling out the following request form.  Once you submit the form, the PDF will be automatically emailed to you.

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Discovery Channel: Hang Men

Discovery Channel premiers tonight a special on tower climbers who build and maintain communications/cell towers.

From the preview trailer, this looks to be a scary look at the business. Frankly, there’s no other way to look at the business.

 

Off topic: Southwest Airlines Safety Announcement

Southwest_Airlines_Boeing

I really love flying Southwest Airlines, especially after flying UAL for over 800,000 lifetime miles. I’ll never make Million Miler status on UAL because of…well, if you fly UAL you know the rest of that sentence.

Southwest is simply far less of a hassle, even when they screw up. And they have a sense of . . . → Read More: Off topic: Southwest Airlines Safety Announcement

Major New Long Term RF Safety Study of Cell Tower Communications

The latest major scientific report to address the issue of cellular communications from cancer comes from England. There, the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (“MTHR Programme”) released a report prepared for the Department of Health discussing its 11 years of research regarding whether cellular communications radio frequency emissions impact public health.

The report’s basic . . . → Read More: Major New Long Term RF Safety Study of Cell Tower Communications

Off topic: Cable TV Revenues in California

Each year, under California’s statewide cable TV franchise law (DIVCA) the California Public Utilities sets a fee to offset its administration costs. It releases a report each year setting that fee. As part of the 2013-2014 draft report, just released at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&DocID=88214113, the Commission disclosed that the Cable Industry’s gross video income for 2012 (the . . . → Read More: Off topic: Cable TV Revenues in California

Three Cell Tower Climbers, Firefigher Die in Two Tower Incidents

The last twenty-four hours have seen two tower incidents resulting in at least three tower climber deaths, the subsequent death of a local firefighter, and two additional serious injuries.

The first fatal incident occurred last night in Bluetown, Texas, where a solo tower climber fell from a tower standing more than 1,000 fee tall. The . . . → Read More: Three Cell Tower Climbers, Firefigher Die in Two Tower Incidents

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