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Telecom Daily

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

Tuesday, August 20... 

FCC Issues Post-Mortem on Major CenturyLink Outage
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a somewhat unusual move by releasing its own report on the recent network outage suffered by CenturyLink. The agency notes that the so-called "sunny day" outage was "completely unacceptable and impacted millions of customers across the country." According to the regulator's findings, the outage lasted 37 hours in total, affecting 22 million customers across 39 states. More worrisome for the FCC was the fact that 17 million of those customers in 29 states also lost their access to 911 emergency hotlines. This, according to the investigation, resulted in "at least 886 calls to 911" failing to connect. The downtime was caused by an equipment failure that was later exacerbated by a "network configuration error." Because of the preventable nature of the events leading to the outage, the FCC has issued a series of guidelines to CenturyLink and other carriers that it believes could avoid similar downtime in the future. These suggestions include mandatory network monitoring, including processor and memory utilization alarms; the establishment of standard operating procedures for all network repairs; and the disabling of "system features" that are not actively being used.

Motorola Introduces New Smartphone for Fast-Paced Video Enthusiasts
Motorola introduced what it claims is the industry's first "ultra wide action camera" to its latest smartphone, the Motorola "one action." The image and video capture capabilities headline the new handset, with features that include the ability to shoot video in wide-screen, even when holding the phone vertically; 21:9 aspect ratio for captured images and video; a 2.0 nanometer Quad Pixel chip capable of producing "four times more light sensitivity for sharper, brighter videos in any situation"; and phase detection autofocus (PDAF) for rapid focusing. Other features of the new model include a 6.3-inch CinemaVision Full HD+ display, 128GB of onboard storage, expandable to 512GB via MicroSD card; and a 3,500mAh battery. The Motorola one action will be available in Brazil, Mexico, and various European countries beginning in August for a retail price of EUR 259. Motorola plans to bring the model to the US and Canada some time in early October 2019.

Google Adds New Low Light Mode to Duo Video Calling App
Google announced an update for its Duo video calling app that will make it easier to have a conversation with users in low-light environments. According to the search giant, the new feature allows Duo to "adjust so people in the frame are more visible when the phone detects dim lighting." The company noted that, previously, users in poor lighting situations could be difficult or impossible to see by those on the other end of the chat. Google hopes the update will help individuals in developing nations where electrical lighting is far more scarce to better connect with friends and family. The new option can be activated by tapping the "sun" icon within the in-call options. Low light mode will begin rolling out to the Android and iOS versions of Duo this week.

....Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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