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wireless messaging newsletter

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FRIDAY - MAY 1, 2009 - ISSUE NO. 358

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Paging and Wireless Messaging Home Page image Newsletter Archive image Carrier Directory image Recommended Products and Services
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Reference Papers Consulting Glossary of Terms Send an e-mail to Brad Dye

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

There are only 7 weeks left to the premier paging event of 2009. The conference is open to anyone and everyone who has been in, is in, or wants to get back into paging. Attend and be inspired to see how far the industry has come and where we still need to go.

Check your passport, book your flight, and, register to spend three days learning from your paging colleges from the US and across the globe.

Please look at the agenda — starting with the Paging Technical Session and ending with the Derek Banner's Future of Paging — there is going to be plenty to learn during the event. Panel discussions on successful diversification strategies, how HIPAA requirements may impact paging system developers, and customers.

A firefighter from Germany will provide insights into how the paging industry must continue to improve — to provide critical services in the first responder markets, and to becoming aware of various alternative communications being marketed to the healthcare field.

The deadline for early registration is May 18th. I am going to be there and I am looking forward to exploring what Montreal has to offer with my many colleagues.

Montreal is close (look at a map). This is a great opportunity to travel and to enhance our business expertise at the same time.

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Expedited passports are available. Several companies specialize in expedited passports and 24-hour turnaround service. One company is RushMyPassport.com.

The U.S. government also offers expedited passport service, but it takes up to two weeks. If passengers are traveling within two weeks, they can make an appointment at a regional passport office. Visit travel.state.gov for details.

Of course, expedited passports cost quite a bit more, so apply early and save some money.

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Global Paging Convention, June 17 – 19
Montreal, Canada.

check mark Get a U.S. Passport
You can apply for a passport at many U.S. post offices.
check mark Register to attend the convention.
check mark Make hotel reservations.
check mark Check out vendor opportunities.
check mark See what a beautiful city Montreal is in this video.
check mark Get your camera ready. If you don't have a digital camera, this would be a good time to get one. Prices are reasonable.
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Check out the June weather in Montreal.

  • Average June temperature: 17ºC / 63ºF
  • Average June high: 24ºC / 75ºF
  • Average June low: 11ºC / 52ºF

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USA Mobility's 10-Q for the first quarter of 2009 is out.

Service 3/31/08 12/31/08 3/31/09
One-way units 3,017 2,545 2,359
Two-way units 316 270 248
Total: 3,333 2,815 2,607

(Units in thousands.)

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Now on to more news and views.

brad dye
Wireless Messaging Newsletter
  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • WiMAX
  • Location-Based Services
WIRELESS
wireless logo medium
MESSAGING

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This is my weekly newsletter about Wireless Messaging. You are receiving this because you have either communicated with me in the past about a wireless topic, or your address was included in another e-mail that I received on the same subject. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are not interested in these topics, please click here, then click on "send" and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list.

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iland internet sulutions This newsletter is brought to you by the generous support of our advertisers and the courtesy of iland Internet Solutions Corporation. For more information about the web-hosting services available from iland Internet Solutions Corporation, please click on their logo to the left.

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A new issue of The Wireless Messaging Newsletter gets posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the Internet. That way it doesn't fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world's major Paging and Wireless Data companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology. I regularly get readers' comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Data communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

Editorial Policy: The opinions expressed here are my own and DO NOT reflect the opinions or policies of any of the advertisers, supporters, contributors, the AAPC (American Association of Paging Carriers, or the EWA (Enterprise Wireless Alliance). As a general rule, I publish opposing opinions, even when I have to substitute "----" for some of the off-color words. This is a public forum for the topics covered, and all views are welcome (so far). Clips of news that I find on the Internet always include a link to the source and just because I report on a given topic or opinion doesn't mean that I agree with it.

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Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above.

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A CONSULTING ALLIANCE
Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, and Vic Jackson are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects. Click here  for a summary of their qualifications and experience. They collaborate on consulting assignments, and share the work according to their individual expertise and their schedules.

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pagerman

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The local newspaper here in Springfield, Illinois costs 75¢ a copy and it NEVER mentions paging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $25.00 would represent approximately 50¢ a copy for one year. If you are so inclined, please click on the PayPal Donate button above. No trees were chopped down to produce this electronic newsletter.

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PAGING CARRIERS

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gpc

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With only 7 weeks to go the Global Paging Convention agenda keeps getting better!

Thanks to our committed sponsors/vendors so far!

  • American Messaging
  • Argosy Communication Products
  • e*Message W.I.S. Deutschland GmbH
  • Indiana Paging Network
  • Mobilfone
  • NEP/UCOM Paging
  • Omni Provincial Electronics
  • PageOne
  • PagePlus
  • Prism Paging
  • ProPage
  • Teletouch Paging
  • Unication USA
  • Vox Pro Communications
  • WiPath Communications

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Tentative Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 17  
9:30 am – 11:00 am EMMA Board Meeting
9:00 am – 12:00 pm AAPC Board Meeting
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Paging Technical Committee Meeting
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Registration Open & Vendor Set up
5:30 pm Welcome Reception sponsored by: NEP/UCOM Paging, Indiana Paging Network, Mobilfone, Page Plus, ProPage, Teletouch Paging, e*Message W.I.S. Deutschland GmbH, Generic Mobile, PageOne, Vox Pro Communications
Thursday, June 18  
8:15 am – 8:45 am Continental Breakfast
8:45 am – 9:00 am Welcome
  • PageNet Canada
  • Jacques Couvas, EMMA
  • Scott Forsythe, AAPC
9:00 am – 10:15 am Paging a Global Industry?
Is the paging industry ready for Globalization or is it already a global industry? This session will present vendors and operators’ perspectives on the benefits and potential pitfalls of a global paging industry. Learn how this might impact your business.
Kirk Alland, Unication USA
Vic Jensen, Unication USA
Johan Ågren, Generic Mobile
Facilitator: Ted McNaught, Northeast & UCOM Paging
10:15 am – 10:45 am Technology Repurposing Spectrum—from Narrowband to Broadband
Jim Weisenberg, Space Data Corporation
Space Data is the leader in Near Space Communications, the area above airplanes and below satellites where we and the military fly our balloon-borne SkySite communications platforms at altitudes of 65,000 to 100,000 feet. We transmit over the NPCS spectrum where our license interests total over 60% of the 3 MHz available and we are seeing new equipment being developed to enable utilities and others to use our spectrum for automated meter reading (AMR), and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) -- as well as their own private fixed and mobile broadband wireless system requirements.
10:45 am – 11:00 am Break
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Successful Diversification Strategies
A group of global experts will lead you down the road to the future by reviewing their successful diversification strategies.
  • Dietmar Gollnick, e*Message WIS, Germany Deutschland GmbH
  • Dan Kiely, Voxpro
  • Mike Lyons, Indiana Paging Network
  • Chris Jones, PageOne
  • Facilitator: Scott Forsythe, SelectPath
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch sponsored by American Messaging
1:45 pm – 2:15 pm Vendor Presentations
2:15 pm – 3:00 pm Paging Systems Evolution and the Regulatory Quagmire
Sharon Finney, Adventist Health System
This presentation will highlight the regulatory concerns to be considered as paging system technology evolves.
Sharon Finney, Corporate Data Security Officer, for Adventist Health System, will discuss how the rapidly developing regulatory quagmire could impact both paging system developers and customers.
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm Answering the Call—Paging’s Performance in Global First Responder Markets
Ralf Ackermann, Vice President German Fire Service Association
Listen to first hand examples of how paging services are critical to saving lives. A first responder will provide insights into how to continuously improve service in this critical market.
Friday, June 19  
8:30 am – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast

9:00 am – 10:30 am

Paging—Worldwide Trusted Partner of the Healthcare Industry
Panel discussion providing an overview of paging and critical messaging services within the healthcare environment.

Panelists:

  • John Bishop, Xacom Pty. Ltd.
  • Zane Lewis, Commtech Wireless/Amcom Software
  • Dave Anderson, American Messaging
  • Facilitator: Roy Pottle, American Messaging
10:30 am – 12:15 pm Competing Technologies in the Healthcare Industry?
Review of technologies being marketed to the healthcare industry, such as: METAmessage for Wireless, Ekahau Wireless Location, and Tracking Polycom SpectraLink Wi-Fi phones.
Dan Keily, VoxPro
Ron Mercer, Paging and Wireless Network Planners
Jim Nelson, Prism Systems International, Inc.
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch on your own
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Round Table Discussions
Pinpoint examination of critical topics within the industry
   1. Benefits and challenges of operating a call center and/or TAS
   2. Value of broadcasting/group calls
   3. Adapt, improvise, and refine your business model
   4. Staying out of the FCC Crosshairs—forms & deadlines 101
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm The Future of Paging
Derek Banner, European Mobile Messaging Association

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FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

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Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Northeast Paging
Canamex Communications NOTIFYall
CRS—Critical Response Systems Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
CVC Paging Preferred Wireless
Daviscomms USA Prism Paging
Easy Solutions Ron Mercer
FleetTALK Management Services Sun Telecom
GTES—Global Technical Engineering Solutions Swissphone
Hark Systems UCOM Paging
HMCE, Inc. Unication USA
InfoRad, Inc.    United Communications Corp.
Leavitt Communications WiPath Communications

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LEAVITT COMMUNICATIONS

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leavitt

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UNICATION USA

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unication logo Unication Co., Ltd. a leader in wireless paging technologies, introduces NEW paging products.
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THE NEW ALPHANUMERIC LEGEND/ELEGANT
three colors
  • Greater SPL (louder alert audio)
  • Increased cap codes
    • Elegant=8 (32 Functional Addresses)
    • Legend=16 (64 functional Addresses)
  • 16 Alert tone Options
  • New vibrate alerting options
  • Selectable Alert per Functional Address
  • Simultaneous Vibrate+Alert feature (just like cell phones)
  • On/Off Duty—allows User to determine which Functional Addresses they want to be alerted on
  • Wide Band and Narrow Band
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unimax NEW ALERT AND RINGTONE AMPLIFIER
unimax
  • EXTRA LOUD Alert
  • 10 Selectable Alerting Tones
  • 3 Alerting Duration Settings
  • No Physical Connections
  • Powered by 3 - AA Batteries
  • or an AC Adapter
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NEW ELEGANT/LEGEND DUAL-FREQUENCY PAGERS

 

unication dual frequency pager

A dual-frequency alphanumeric pager that will operate on your on-site system — giving you the advantage of very fast response — and that will automatically switch to the Carrier system providing you wide-area coverage.

One pager can now replace two.

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Unication USA 817-303-9320 sales@unication.com

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**PRESS RELEASE** - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

American Messaging Services, LLC Announces Acquisition of Raven Systems, LLC

Lewisville, Texas – April 30, 2009

American Messaging Services, LLC (“American Messaging”), the second largest wireless messaging or paging company in the United States, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Raven Systems, LLC (“RAVEN”). American Messaging serves more than 1.4 million customers and maintains wireless messaging networks in almost every major market in the United States. RAVEN is a trusted provider to military and government agencies and the nuclear power industry and has extensive experience in electronics, digital paging, and software and hardware development.

Early in 2008 American Messaging entered into a joint marketing agreement with RAVEN to partner with its’ President and founder, Myron Anduri, combining his and RAVEN's technical expertise with American Messaging’s sales expertise and customer relationships to sell the RAVEN Alert product along with other Emergency Mass Notification products and services.

J. Roy Pottle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Messaging said “Based on our success to-date and our belief in the long term potential for the RAVEN suite of products and services we are very excited that RAVEN will now be part of the American Messaging family. Furthermore, the acquisition of RAVEN will solidify American Messaging's commitment to Safeguard Communities and provide state of the art products and valued expertise in the field of Emergency Mass Notification, supporting our mission to be the most trusted provider of wireless messaging services in the United States.” Mr. Pottle also noted that Myron Anduri will be joining American Messaging as Vice President, New Product Engineering.

The RAVEN suite of products includes the Raven Alert, the RAVEN 500 and an innovative and cost effective offering of Firehouse Automation and intelligent remote control products.

The ability to send and receive emergency or other critical notifications, all within 60 seconds, using the unique grouping capability associated with American Messaging’s robust and reliable networks together with the RAVEN suite of products provides the fastest possible method to simultaneously send and receive intelligent, location specific alerts to a particular or defined group. In addition, follow up information can be sent according to the progress of a situation. It is the ideal solution for public safety in any type of buildings, private residences, hospitals and schools, as well as outdoor alerting.

Headquartered in Lewisville, Texas, American Messaging Services, LLC is the second largest paging company in the United States, serving over 1.4 million customers on its nationwide messaging network. Raven Systems will continue to have Sales and Engineering presence based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

For inquiries please contact Jenna Richardson, VP Product Development at (623) 581-0740 or jenna.richardson@americanmessaging.net

amsi logoraven logo
Source: American Messaging Services, LLC

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Canamex Communications

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Do you want to increase airtime revenue?

Resell PageRouter to increase traffic and sell more pagers

canamex face
  • Your customers install PageRouter in their location to send messages to your pagers from UNLIMITED network computers using a browser.
  • Databases from 10 to 10,000 users.
  • Your customers can quickly create or modify Groups based on their needs, anytime.

FailSafe
PageRouter with FailSafe provides dependable message delivery to your paging terminal by automatically switching between WCTP, SNPP and DIALUP TAP in case of unexpected server disconnections. Trust your internet connectivity to provide reliable paging service.

pagerouter

Page Alarm Messages
Send programmable canned messages when equipment or alarm relay contacts close, open or both. Program escalation, response delays and repeats. Trigger alarms from wireless buttons. Page alarm messages originated by Emergency Dispatch and CADs systems at 911, Police and Fire Departments. Extremely reliable!

Call us for Prices
We will provide a resale price that will include our online installation and product support to your customers. In our experience, when you facilitate entering messages from computers, volumes increase and customers ask for more pagers. Make money reselling PageRouter and increase your paging service revenue.

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canamex logo Canamex Communications Corporation
Providing technology to the paging industry since 1989

800-387-4237
sales@canamexcom.com
www.canamexcom.com

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Canamex Communications

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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PAGING & WIRELESS
NETWORK PLANNERS LLC

WIRELESS SPECIALISTS

www.pagingplanners.com
rmercer@pagingplanners.com

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Consultant
217 First Street South
East Northport, NY 11731
ron mercer

Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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Complete Technical Services For The Communications and Electronics Industries

Design • Installation • Maintenance • Training • Engineering • Licensing • Technical Assistance

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Registered Professional Engineer

Tel/Fax: 972-960-9336
Cell: 214-707-7711
7711 Scotia Dr.
Dallas, TX 75248-3112
E-mail: iwiesenfel@aol.com

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FleetTALK Management Services

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fleet talk

Wireless Industry Management Specialist

  • Nationwide Field Service Capability
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Collections
  • Network Operations Center Functions
  • Two Way Radio Network Provider
  • Spectrum Sales & Acquisition

Contact:

Tom Williams 973-625-7500 x102
e-mail: twilliams@fleettalkusa.com

FleetTALK Management Services
101 Roundhill Drive
Rockaway, NJ 07866
973-625-7500

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FleetTALK Management Services

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WIRELESS MESSAGING NEWS

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optmize

Optimize Your Alerting System

A well-engineered emergency alerting system combines primary and secondary systems to enhance notification.

By Myron Anduri
MissionCritical Communications Magazine
May 2009 issue, pages, 44-47.

The term emergency means different things to different people. When considering all of the ramifications for mass notification, it becomes clear that only situations with a high probability of injury or loss of life from immediate circumstances can be considered an emergency. To address situations that require immediate attention, an effective mass notification system must have the ability to notify all of those affected in real or near-real time. The time from when an alert is initiated to when the affected citizens receive the alerts must be mere seconds. This immediate alerting method should be considered by a user to be the primary alerting method.

raven Software-based alerting methods that use public communications mediums such as cell phones, e-mail, landline phones, and local TV and radio alerts, are considered secondary alerting methods. While these methods have benefits and should be considered as part of an overall alerting strategy, they can never be considered effective for primary alerting. Inherent delays in information delivery and inconsistency of end-user device availability make these methods ineffective for immediate primary alerting.

Primary Alerting

The goal of a primary alerting system must be to quickly alert and inform citizens and clearly communicate what recipients are supposed to do. The system should also have the capability to deliver an “all clear” message when a threat is over. The nine major features of effective primary alerting systems are:

  1. Speed. From dispatch to the device, the process should be counted in seconds.
  2. Sound. Unmistakable audible alerting followed by clearly under stood speech.
  3. Sight. Visual text messages in as many locations as practical.
  4. Location. Delivery of both audible and visual alerts in buildings and outdoor areas over potentially vast geography.
  5. Repeatable. Delivery of dynamic follow-up information as the situation unfolds.
  6. Simple. Intuitive operation by persons working under extreme stress.
  7. Reliable. Incorporation of well-proven technology with few points of routing.
  8. Affordable. True mass emergencies are rare; the system cost can’t outweigh the benefit.
  9. Simultaneous. Everyone receives the information at the same time.

Alerting systems with those nine features generally use digital wireless technology, whereby a dispatcher initiates a message that is transmitted to any number of devices located in an affected geographic area. When considering large-sized areas such as university campuses and municipalities, digital wireless technology — or paging — becomes the only practical, cost-effective method of delivering messages. A typical system consists of a transmitter, antenna and user software. The software can reside on a dedicated PC or on an existing computer system used by the dispatch center. The software allows the dispatcher to send the alert information to the transmitter, where it’s then broadcasted to end-point devices.

Historically, primary systems that operate this way deliver an “on” command to siren systems. We almost universally know these as tornado warnings. In some beach areas, siren systems are used for tsunami warnings. While effective for people who are outdoors and are familiar with what the siren means, these systems fail at alerting for other emergencies and for people indoors or those hard of hearing. New effective systems deliver either siren or horn-type alerting and follow it with text and voice messages. The system software allows a user to intuitively deliver device control commands along with text messaging. More advanced devices that use text-to-speech technology to convert a text message to speech and deliver it through an amplified speaker. The text-to-speech technology allows text messages to be delivered to digital displays and voice speakers simultaneously with one transmission.

Secondary Alerting

Secondary alerting methods are defined as methods of notification that use public communications networks and attempt to reach citizens through cell phones, e-mail, landline phones or local media. These various methods differ greatly in the time required for the message to be delivered and in the “hit rate” of those that receive the message. A benefit of secondary alerting is that it can alert people who aren't in the immediate area of an emergency but will benefit from being informed of the event. The greatest disadvantage of various secondary alerting methods is that the user can’t control the process. The speed the messages are delivered and the hit rate of delivered messages are always unknowns. Secondary methods are by their characteristics a shotgun approach to alerting; they send a large number of messages and hope a reasonable number get to the end recipient in time to be effective.

siren The mass notification product marketplace is full of vendors selling software that allows a user to send text-message alerts to large numbers of cell phones, e-mail addresses, pagers and PDAs. In this method, a user enters the relevant contact information of prospective end recipients into a database. In an emergency, a user can pull desired recipients from the database, enter a specific message and then send the messages to the recipients. Once the send button is clicked, the software begins delivering the e-mails to the Internet and text messages to various cell-phone providers. Originally designed for relatively small groups — 1,000 or less — often receiving non-emergency messages, the software products are now being marketed for large group applications in emergency situations.

At first glance, this may look like an answer to many mass notification problems. While these software systems have their place, it’s important to look deeper into this type of alerting and understand the significant limitations inherent in these systems.

Reliance on outside systems. The software sends messages to various third parties. The reliability of these third-party systems at any given time is unknown and completely out of a user’s control. We have all had the experience of interrupted Internet and of cell-phone calls being dropped.

Slow delivery. Even under the best conditions, when a user’s network and all the third-party networks are operating at full speed, large batches of messages will take significant time to be delivered. It isn’t possible with current technology to batch bulk text messages to cell phones and PDAs. It’s still a serial process. A university or small-sized municipality can easily have 30,000 or more names in a database that need notification. Large schools may have 60,000 or more. With text messaging, it’s lucky if a major system can reliably send out 10 messages per second in a given geographic area. If we assume that a cellular system may have to handle 25,000 messages, then it can take 25 minutes before the last recipients receive the message. That lag time doesn't include the software, which has to batch and deliver messages to the providers. Under the best conditions with everything working perfect ly, users can expect a minimum of 30 minutes before a large batch of messages is delivered.

nine Features of Effective Primary Alerting Systems

  1. Speed. From dispatch to the device, the process should be counted in seconds.
  2. Sound. Unmistakable audible alerting followed by clearly understood speech.
  3. Sight. Visual test messages in as many locations as practical.
  4. Location. Delivery of both audible and visual alerts in buildings and outdoor areas over potentially vast geography.
  5. Repeatable. Delivery of dynamic follow-up information as the situation unfolds.
  6. Simple. Intuitive operation by persons working under extreme stress.
  7. Reliable. Incorporation of well-proven technology with few points of routing.
  8. Affordable. True mass emergencies are rare; the system cost can't outweigh the benefit.
  9. Simultaneous. Everyone receives the information at the same time.

Ongoing Database Management. For software to have benefit, it must have a relevant database of recipients. In the case of a university with 30,000 students, you can reasonably assume that among students, faculty and employees there will be turnover of about 10,000 recipients per year. This requires the manual entry of 10,000 new recipients and the judicious deletion of 10,000 others. There are also updates to existing recipients who change phone providers or e-mail accounts. Even systems that require the end recipients to opt in and enter their information themselves still need an administrator to delete them when they leave the area. If deletions aren't kept current, the database will balloon in size during a few years and dramatically slow the delivery process. The entire database has to be managed carefully and needs to be considered as a recurring cost when evaluating the price of software.

Fractional alerting. How does the end user know it’s an emergency message? When alerting recipients using text massaging or e-mails, a user has no control over or knowledge of how many people receive the message. Clearly, if an intended recipient doesn't open her e-mail or look at the text message, she won’t know of the emergency. If a professor has a classroom policy that all phones are turned off, then no one in that auditorium will be alerted. If the emergency message is sent in the middle of the night, it’s likely that few will see it.

Significant potential for hacking. Software programs that allow for mass messaging are available to anyone. It is possible that a malicious event could take place where a criminal develops a database of recipients in a given area. False or misleading information can then be sent to large numbers of people that at best is a terrible prank or at worse is a foil to aid a larger criminal act. If an institution educates its recipients that text messaging is its primary alerting tool, then the intended recipients become highly vulnerable to a criminal hack.

Ideal Mass Notification

An ideal mass notification system for emergency use has a well-engineered primary system using installed devices at physical locations that deliver multi-sensory alerting with clear information. This alerting system is then enhanced with a secondary system that delivers text messages to a variety of end-user devices including cell phones, pagers and e-mail. A well-engineered system will allow primary and secondary systems to be initiated by a single action of a user. One click of a mouse delivers the message to all the various devices.

By using widely available digital messaging — paging networks — in combination with carefully crafted client software, a reliable mass notification system can be constructed that fulfills the necessary requirements. Digital messaging allows for fast transmission of messages to any number of fielded alerting devices located in and around a campus. Client software allows for simple and intuitive delivery of alerts to these devices. At the same time, the software delivers that alert text message to any number of cell phones and e-mail accounts. As the emergency unfolds, a user can then deliver updated information to the fielded devices at any time.

In addition to the ability to achieve the desired alerting results, paging also delivers the lowest possible system cost because the technology is well proven and has been in mass production for decades. While cell phones have cut into the market for traditional personal pagers, digital messaging is still the communications link of choice for thousands of first responders and hospitals nationwide.

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Myron Anduri is president of Raven Systems, a Phoenix-based firm dedicated to emergency and mass notification of citizens and first responders. Anduri has been involved in the design and development of wireless telemetry and electrical control products for two decades. E-mail comments to him at manduri@ravensys.com.

[Editor's note: As explained in the preceding press release, Raven Systems was acquired by American Messaging, and Myron Anduri became Vice President, New Product Engineering at American Messaging.]

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RadioResource MissionCritical Communications delivers wireless voice and data solutions for mobile and remote mission-critical operations. The magazine covers business, public safety, and regulatory news; case studies; in-depth features; innovative applications; product information and comparisons; emerging technologies; industry reports and trends; and technical tips. In addition, each issue contains Public Safety Report, a special section devoted solely to the needs of the public safety community. Editorial content targets organizations in the United States and Canada with mobile and remote communications needs, including public safety, government, transportation, manufacturing, utility/energy, business, and industrial entities. To request a FREE subscription or get more information, go to www.mccmag.com. RadioResource MissionCritical Communications is published by the RadioResource Media Group. Pandata Corp., 7108 S. Alton Way, Building H, Centennial, CO 80112, Tel: 303-792-2390, Fax: 303-792-2391, www.rrmediagroup.com. Copyright 2009 Pandata Corp. All rights reserved. Reprinted from the May 2009 issue of RadioResource MissionCritical Communications. For more information about MissionCritical Communications and the RadioResource Media Group please call 303-792-2390 or visit www.mccmag.com

Source: MissionCritical Communications Magazine, May 2009 digital issue, pages, 44-47.

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gtes logo gtes logo
GLOBAL TECHNICAL ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS

YOUR SERVICES PARTNER FOR GLENAYRE™ PAGING EQUIPMENT
GL3000 Paging Terminals - C2000 Transmitter Controllers
GL3200 Internet Gateways - Transmitter Equipment

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GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the paging industry. With years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering staff available.

EQUIPMENT SUPPORT PROGRAMS
GTES Partner Maintenance Program
Glenayre Product Sales
Software Licenses, Upgrades and Feature License Codes
New & Used Spare Parts and Repairs
Customer Phone Support and On-Site Services
Product Training

CALL US TODAY FOR YOUR SUPPORT NEEDS

   Sales Support - Debbie Schlipman
  E-mail: Debbie.schlipman@gtesinc.com
  Phone: +1-251-445-6826
  
   Customer Service
  E-mail: cs@gtesinc.com
  Phone: +1-800-663-5996 or +1-972-801-0590
  
   Website - www.gtesinc.com
 

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sun telecom logo

THE LOGICAL CHOICE

sun titan 3

Titan3

The Titan3 POCSAG & FLEX

Sun Telecom's Best selling Alpha-Numeric pager. The Titan3 offers enhanced features and advancements that keep it on the leading edge. This is the pager your customers are looking for.

www.suntelecom.com

CONTACT:
Michelle Choi
Director of Sales & Operations
Sun Telecom International, Inc.
Telephone: 678-541-0441
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Bid to boost fire warning system ignored

Melissa Fyfe
April 26, 2009
The Sunday Age (Australia)

THE State Government ignored Victoria Police's requests to upgrade the state's ailing emergency communications systems — parts of which failed during Black Saturday's bush fires — despite warnings that the community could be put at risk, leaked documents show.

Police documents obtained by The Sunday Age reveal police last year asked for money to replace the ageing Statenet Mobile Radio system, which became badly clogged on Black Saturday.

Police also wanted more staff and resources to improve the computer-aided dispatch, or triple-O, system, which was overwhelmed during February's disaster. But applications to the Department of Justice for the 2008-09 budget were rejected.

The high-level police documents, which form a risk register that catalogues the force's problems, specifically raised bush fires as an area where resources would be stretched. There was a risk, the documents said, of a shortage of trained and deployable staff to provide communications support in an event "such as major bush fires/searches/incidents".

The police also named towns at extreme risk of having no radio coverage. They were Berwick, Beaconsfield, Pakenham, Upper Pakenham, Cockatoo, Gembrook, Warrandyte, Eltham, North Ringwood, Donvale and Mt Evelyn.

These radio black holes presented a "safety risk to (police) members and the community", one document stated.

Sources have told The Sunday Age that the clogging of the radio network — the backbone of the state's emergency communications — hampered the response effort to the bush fires, which killed 173 people. The system, which the police are responsible for, is used by the force, Department of Sustainability and Environment firefighters and some parts of the Country Fire Authority.

The documents reveal that police have, for several years, flagged to government that it needed replacing, yet funding was not approved. The triple-O system also struggled during Black Saturday, with some calls going unanswered. The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority runs this system, but the police, as well as other emergency services, provide staff and expertise.

In the documents, police highlight confusion about control over the system and question whether the authority and the force had sufficiently trained staff to provide a reliable computer-aided dispatch system. The call-taking and dispatch systems, the documents said, were of "poor quality". The reasons given for the problems included a lack of adequate budgeting to upgrade the radio system, a lack of staff to repair radios and run emergency communication services, problems in the organisation of the police IT department, and a lack of response from the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority.

The documents also reveal that the authority had been waiting for at least two budget rounds for funding to renew the computer-aided dispatch system. The Bush fires Royal Commission will scrutinize communication system breakdowns as part of its inquiry.

Police and Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron did not answer specific questions from The Sunday Age about why the Government ignored police budget requests to improve the state's emergency communications systems. Spokeswoman Sofia Dedes provided a statement about a record-high budget for increased numbers of officers and the refurbishment of police stations.

Victoria Police have refused to answer any more of The Sunday Age's questions about its IT systems.

It was revealed recently that, in August last year, Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin raised questions about the triple-O service in his review of the April 2009 windstorms.

The CFA also had its own communication problems on Black Saturday with messages on its paging system delayed for hours.

Source: theage.com.au

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Houston Representative Introduces Amateur Radio Bill in Congress

On Wednesday, April 29, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 in the US House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, would "promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security planning and response." The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The bill currently has five co-sponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Representative Thompson currently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Representatives Jackson-Lee, Lofgren and Kilroy are members of that committee.

"We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We are grateful to her and to the five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the encouragement that their bill offers."

ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: "We are excited to have Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors — including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee — who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio's long history of public service. Once the text of the bill is available we will be asking ARRL members to seek co-sponsorship and support from their own representatives."

Source: ARRL.org

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1 GL3000L Terminal
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1 Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
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4 Motorola Nucleus 350W, NAC
3 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
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2 Motorola UHF Nucleus 125W NAC
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110W, TRC
3 Motorola PURC-5000 225W, ACB
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
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24 Glenayre GLT-8500, 250W, C2000, w/ or w/o I20
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BLOOSTONLAW TELECOM UPDATE

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BloostonLaw Telecom Update

Published by the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP

[Selected portions reproduced here with the firm's permission.]

www.bloostonlaw.com

   Vol. 12, No. 17 April 29, 2009   

 

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda For May 13 Open Meeting

Acting FCC Chairman Michael J. Copps has circulated the following items for consideration by his fellow Commissioners as the tentative agenda for the next open Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2009:

1. Internet Protocol (IP)-Enabled Services A Report and Order on discontinuance requirements for interconnected VoIP providers.

2. Local Number Portability A Report and Order on the local number portability porting interval for wireline-to-wireline and intermodal port requests.

3. Fiscal Year 2009 Regulatory Fees A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order on the assessment and collection of regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2009.

In addition, FCC staff will present a status report on the Digital Television (DTV) transition 30 days from the June 12 deadline and an action plan for helping consumers navigate the end of full-power analog broadcast service.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

***

President Obama has formally nominated FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to be Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

 

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

• RUS sets June 19 window for FY 2009 community connect grant program.

• FCC sets “unassigned” BRS auction for October 29.

• NTIA publishes final FONSI for PSIC grant program.

• FCC announces annual adjustment of revenue thresholds.

• Iowa Telecom seeks waiver of Section 61.41 “all or nothing” rule regarding acquisitions.

RUS Sets June 19 Window For FY 2009 Community Connect Grant Program

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has announced the fiscal year (FY) 2009 application window for its Community Connect Grant Program. You may submit completed applications for grants on paper or electronically according to the following deadlines: Paper copies must carry proof of shipping no later than June 19, 2009, to be eligible for FY 2009 grant funding. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2009 grant funding. Electronic copies must be received by June 19, 2009, to be eligible for FY 2009 grant funding. BloostonLaw is available to assist clients with preparing applications for Community Connect grants.

1. Funding Opportunity: The purpose of the Community Connect Grant Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide currently unserved areas, on a “community-oriented connectivity'' basis, with broadband transmission service that fosters economic growth and delivers enhanced educational, health care, and public safety services. Rural Utilities Service will give priority to rural areas that it believes have the greatest need for broadband transmission services, based on certain criteria. Grant authority will be used for the deployment of broadband transmission service to extremely rural, lower-income communities on a “community-oriented connectivity'' basis.

2. Award Information: $13,406,000 is available for grants. The Administrator has established a minimum grant amount of $50,000 and a maximum grant amount of $1,000,000 for FY 2009.

3. Eligibility Information: Only entities legally organized as one of the following are eligible for Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance:

a. An incorporated organization,
b. An Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b(b) and (c),
c. A State or local unit of government,
d. A cooperative, private corporation or limited liability company organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.

Note: Individuals are not eligible for Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance directly. Applicants must have the legal capacity and authority to own and operate the broadband facilities as proposed in its application, to enter into contracts and to otherwise comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations.

4. What are the basic eligibility requirements for a project?

A. Grant applicants must demonstrate a matching contribution, in cash or in kind (new, non-depreciated items), of at least 15 percent of the total amount of financial assistance requested. Matching contributions must be used for eligible purposes of Community Connect grant assistance.

B. To be eligible for a grant, the Project must:

a. Serve a Rural Area where Broadband Transmission Service does not currently exist, to be verified by Rural Development prior to the award of the grant;
b. Serve one Community recognized in the latest U.S. Census or the latest version of the Rand McNally Atlas;
c. Deploy Basic Broadband Transmission Service, free of all charges for at least 2 years, to all Critical Community Facilities located within the proposed Service Area;
d. Offer Basic Broadband Transmission Service to residential and business customers within the proposed Service Area; and
e. Provide a Community Center with at least 10 Computer Access Points within the proposed Service Area, and make Broadband Transmission Service available therein, free of all charges to users for at least 2 years.

5. Funding Restrictions:

A. Eligible Grant Purposes Grant funds may be used to finance:

a. The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, including spectrum, to deploy Broadband Transmission Service to all participating Critical Community Facilities and all required facilities needed to offer such service to residential and business customers located within the proposed Service Area;

b. The improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a Community Center that furnishes free access to broadband Internet service, provided that the Community Center is open and accessible to area residents before, during, and after normal working hours and on Saturday or Sunday. Grant funds provided for such costs shall not exceed the greater of five percent (5%) of the grant amount requested or $100,000;
c. End-User Equipment needed to carry out the Project;
d. Operating expenses incurred in providing Broadband Transmission Service to Critical Community Facilities for the first 2 years of operation and in providing training and instruction; and
e. The purchase of land, buildings, or building construction needed to carry out the Project.

B. Ineligible Grant Purposes

a. Grant funds may not be used to finance the duplication of any existing Broadband Transmission Service provided by another entity.
b. Facilities financed with grant funds cannot be utilized, in any way, to provide local exchange telecommunications service to any person or entity already receiving such service.

6. Reporting: All recipients of Community Connect Grant Program financial assistance must provide annual performance activity reports to Rural Development until the project is complete and the funds are expended. A final performance report is also required; the final report may serve as the last annual report. The final report must include an evaluation of the success of the project. Bloostonlaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy and John Prendergast, Mary Sisak, and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Sets “Unassigned” BRS Auction For October 29

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has announced it will auction licenses for unassigned Broadband Radio Service (BRS) spectrum, in Auction No. 86, to commence on October 27, 2009. This auction will include 78 licenses within the 2496-2690 MHz band.

The Commission previously made available for licensing all spectrum allocated to the Multipoint Distribution Services (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS), the predecessor services to BRS. Specifically, in Auction 6, which was completed in 1996, the Commission conducted competitive bidding for 493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs) licenses to provide access to all BRS spectrum nationwide that was not assigned to pre-existing MDS or MMDS site-based licenses.

The licenses to be offered in Auction 86 consist of the available spectrum in 78 BRS service areas. BRS service areas are BTAs or additional service areas similar to BTAs adopted by the Commission. Overlay licenses for 75 of the BTAs originally offered in Auction 6 are available now as a result of default, cancellation, or termination. Underlying, pre-existing incumbent BRS licenses within these geographic areas remain intact. In the BRS/EBS 4th MO&O, the Commission amended its rules to establish Gulf of Mexico Service Areas for BRS. This auction will, therefore, also include three additional licenses for BTAs in the Gulf of Mexico. Please contact BloostonLaw for a copy of the Public Notice and a complete list of licenses available for Auction 86.

Where unencumbered, the licenses to be auctioned consist of 76.5 megahertz of spectrum at 2496-2502, 2602-2614, 2614-2615, 2616-2618, and 2618-2673.5 MHz. The FCC notes that the licenses issued pursuant to this auction will be issued pursuant to the post- transition band plan contained in Section 27.5(i)(2) of the Commission’s Rules. A table showing the channelization of this spectrum is also included in the Public Notice.

Incumbency Issues. There are pre-existing BRS incumbent licenses. The service area for each of those incumbent licenses is a 35-mile circle centered at the station’s reference coordinates, and is bounded by the chord(s) drawn between the intersection points of the licensee’s previous protected service area and those of respective adjacent market, co-channel licensees. Any licenses granted pursuant to this auction will not include the geographic service areas of any overlapping, co-channel incumbent licenses. If an incumbent license cancels or is forfeited, however, the right to operate within that area shall revert to the overlay licensee that holds the license for the BRS service area that encompasses that BTA. BRS incumbent licenses are entitled to interference protection in accordance with the applicable technical rules.

In addition, on the E and F channel groups, grandfathered Educational Broadband Service (EBS) licenses originally issued on those channels prior to 1983 may continue to operate indefinitely. Such grandfathered EBS licenses must be protected in accordance with the applicable technical rules.

Operations within the 2614-2618 MHz band are secondary to adjacent channel operations.

Finally, in the 2496-2500 MHz band, BRS licensees must share the band on a co-primary basis with the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Mobile Satellite Service (MSS), grandfathered Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) stations, and grandfathered land mobile and microwave licenses licensed under Parts 90 and 101 of the Commission’s rules, respectively. In addition, the 2400-2500 MHz band is allocated for use by Industrial, Scientific, and Medical equipment under Part 18 of the Commission’s rules.

The FCC also seeks comment on bidding practices and procedures for the upcoming auction. Comments in this AU Docket No. 09-56 proceeding are due May, and replies are due May 29.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, Richard Rubino, and Cary Mitchell.

NTIA Publishes Final FONSI For PSIC Grant Program

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has published a notice of availability of a Final Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in the Federal Register. The Final FONSI was written to evaluate the environmental impact of the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grant Program. The effective date of the Final FONSI is April 24, 2009.

The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 directed NTIA, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to establish and administer a grant program to assist public safety agencies in the advancement of interoperable communications. The Act authorized NTIA to make payments not to exceed $1 billion, in the aggregate, through fiscal year 2010 to carry out the PSIC program. The grant program assisted public safety agencies in the acquisition of, deployment of, or training for the use of interoperable communications systems that can utilize reallocated public safety spectrum in the 700 MHz band for radio communication.

The PSIC grant program requirements were subsequently amended by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.

On September 30, 2007, the PSIC Grant Program awarded $968,385,000 to fund interoperable communications projects for 56 States and Territories. These awards represent the largest single infusion of Federal funding ever provided for State, Territory, and local agencies to implement interoperable communications solutions for public safety.

On February 19, 2009, NTIA published a Notice of Availability of a Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) and Draft FONSI for the PSIC Grant Pro- gram.The comment period closed on March 23, 2009.

NTIA received three comments. These comments were from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), and the FCC, which NTIA did not elaborate on. The APCO and NPSTC commenters suggested that NTIA's chosen environmental procedures would be overly burdensome and that NTIA should use the FCC's environmental evaluation process. NTIA notes that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) would not permit this approach under these circumstances, and thus, did not amend the draft FONSI in response. NTIA did clarify in the final FONSI that the Tower Construction Notification System should only be used for projects involving communication of towers and is not suitable for use for other types of PSIC-funded projects.

NTIA prepared the Final FONSI in accordance with the requirements of NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

LAW & REGULATION

FCC ANNOUNCES ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT OF REVENUE THRESHOLDS: The FCC has announced the inflation-adjusted 2008 revenue thresholds used for classifying carrier categories for various accounting and reporting purposes: (1) distinguishing Class A carriers from Class B carriers; and (2) distinguishing larger Class A carriers from mid-sized carriers. The revenue threshold between Class A carriers and Class B carriers is increased to $142 million. The revenue threshold between larger Class A carriers and mid-sized carriers is increased to $8.374 billion. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

IOWA TELECOM SEEKS WAIVER OF SECTION 61.41 “ALL OR NOTHING” RULE REGARDING ACQUISTIONS: Iowa Telecommunications Services has asked the FCC to waive relevant portions of the Commission’s Section 61.41 “all-or-nothing” rule. Iowa Telecom is an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) subject to price cap regulation. Iowa Telecom acquired Lakedale Telephone, a rate-of-return regulated carrier, on July 18, 2008. Iowa Telecom has also filed applications for the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Sherburne County Rural Telephone Corp. (SCRTC) (also a rate-of-return regulated carrier) within the next several months, and those assets will be transferred to Lakedale. Iowa Telecom requests a waiver of the Commission’s rules to permit it to continue to operate the Lakedale and SCRTC properties under rate-of-return regulation. Comments in this WC Docket No. 09-25 proceeding are due May 15, and replies are due May 26. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

ALEXICON ASKS FCC TO CHANGE FORM 499-A FILING DATE TO SEPTEMBER 1: Alexicon Telecommunications Consulting, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has filed a petition asking the FCC to the Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-A) filing deadline from April 1 to September 1 of each year. Alexicon believes changing this reporting deadline to September 1 will lead to less administrative burdens for rate-of-return regulated companies as well as Commission staff. Changing the current deadline will allow small companies to complete their annual financial audits before the reporting deadline, which is an issue many of these companies are facing today. In addition, moving the deadline will not only assist small companies (with limited staff) in allowing them to complete many other reporting deadlines already in place during the first quarter of each calendar year but will also necessitate these companies having to re-file this report due to incomplete prior period audited financial reporting. The petition was filed in CC Docket No. 96-45 but has not been placed on public notice. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

D.C. CIRCUIT DENIES NTCA LNP PETITION: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has denied the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association’s (NTCA’s) petition for review of an FCC order requiring Local Number Portability (LNP). NTCA had argued that the FCC violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which directs agencies to publish an analysis of how a rule will affect small business. The court ruled that the analysis completed by the Commission does comply with the RFA. The D.C. Circuit said: “Though [the RFA] directs agencies to state, summarize, and describe, the Act in and of itself imposes no substantive constraint on agency decision making. In effect, therefore, the Act requires agencies to publish analyses that address certain legally delineated topics. Because the analysis at issue here undoubtedly addressed all of the legally mandated subject areas, it complies with the Act.” The court also rejected NTCA’s arguments under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

DEADLINES

MAY 1: ENFORCEMENT OF RED FLAG RULES BEGINS: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year suspended enforcement of the “Red Flag” Rules until May 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions additional time to implement identity theft programs. Under the new rules, all businesses that maintain a creditor- debtor relationship with customers, including virtually all telecommunications carriers, must adopt written procedures designed to detect the relevant warning signs of identity theft, and implement an appropriate response. The Red Flag compliance program was in place as of November 1, 2008. But the FTC will not enforce the rules until May 1, 2009, meaning only that a business will not be subject to enforcement action by the FTC if it delays implementing the program until May 1. Other liabilities may be incurred if a violation occurs in the meantime. The requirements are not just binding on telcos and wireless carriers that are serving the public on a common carrier basis. They also apply to any “creditor” (which includes entities that defer payment for goods or services) that has “covered accounts” (accounts used mostly for personal, family or household purposes). This also may affect private user clients who use radios internally, as well as many telecom carriers’ non-regulated affiliates and subsidiaries. BloostonLaw has prepared a Red Flag Compliance Manual to help your company achieve compliance with the Red Flag Rules. Please contact Gerry Duffy (202-828-5528) or Mary Sisak (202-828-5554) with any questions or to request the manual.

MAY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. This filing requirement also applies to certain Private Mobile Radio Service (PMRS) licensees, such as for-profit paging and messaging, dispatch and two-way mobile radio services. The FCC has modified this form in light of its recent decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual form (Form 499-A) that was due April 1. For-profit private radio service providers that are “de minimis” (those that contribute less than $10,000 per year to the USF) do not have to file the 499-A or 499Q. However, they must fill out the form and retain the relevant calculations as well as documentation of their contribution base revenues for three years. De minimis telecom carriers must actually file the Form 499A, but not the 499Q. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

MAY 1: RATE INTEGRATION CERTIFICATION. Non-dominant interexchange carriers (IXCs), including facilities- based and resellers, that provide detariffed domestic interstate services must certify that they are providing such services in compliance with their geographic rate averaging and rate integration obligations. An officer of the company must sign this annual certification under oath. The FCC has issued the following guidelines: (1) Any carrier that provides interstate services must charge its subscribers in rural and high-cost areas rates that do not exceed the rates that the carrier charges subscribers in urban areas; (2) to the extent that a carrier offers optional calling plans, contract tariffs, discounts, promotions, and private line services to its interstate subscribers in one state, it must use the same ratemaking methodology and rate structure when offering such services in any other state; (3) an interstate carrier may depart from geographic rate averaging when offering contract tariffs, Tariff 12 offerings, optional calling plans, temporary promotions, and private line services; and (4) carriers may offer optional calling plans on a geographically limited basis as part of a temporary promotion that does not exceed 90 days. But this limited exception does not exempt optional calling plans from geographic rate averaging requirements. Clients with questions about the FCC's detariffing or rate integration requirements should contact us. We have a model rate integration certification letter that may be printed on your letterhead. Blooston- Law contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

JUNE 1: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless service providers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. (But since May 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the report is due June 1.) This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report. Clients who would like assistance in filing Form 395 should contact Richard Rubino.

JUNE 30: ANNUAL ICLS USE CERTIFICATION. Rate of return carriers and CETCs must file a self-certification with the FCC and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) stating that all Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS) and Long Term Support (LTS) will be used only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended. In other words, carriers are required to certify that their ICLS and LTS support is being used consistent with Section 254(e) of the Communications Act. Failure to file this self-certification will preclude the carrier from receiving ICLS support. We, therefore, strongly recommend that clients have BloostonLaw submit this filing and obtain an FCC proof-of-filing receipt for client records. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

JULY 10: DTV EDUCATION REPORT. New 700 MHz licensees from Auction No. 73 are required to file a report with the FCC concerning their efforts to educate consumers about the upcoming transition to digital television (DTV). Last summer, we explained that the FCC’s Part 27 rules require 700 MHz licensees that won licenses in Auction No. 73 to file quarterly reports on their DTV consumer outreach efforts through the Spring of 2009. However, in an apparent contradiction, the same rules do not impose any substantive consumer education requirements on 700 MHz license holders. This situation has not changed. The reporting rule simply states that “the licensee holding such authorization must file a report with the Commission indicating whether, in the previous quarter, it has taken any outreach efforts to educate consumers about the transition from analog broadcast television service to digital broadcast television service (DTV) and, if so, what specific efforts were undertaken.” Many licensees may not have initiated 700 MHz service as of yet. However, to the extent they are also an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) and recipient of federal USF funds, separate FCC rules found in 47 C.F.R. Part 54 (Universal Service) require ETCs to send monthly DTV transition notices to all Lifeline/Link-Up customers (e.g., as part of their monthly bill), and to include information about the DTV transition as part of any Lifeline or Link-Up publicity campaigns until March 31, 2009. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky and Cary Mitchell.

JULY 20: FCC FORM 497, LOW INCOME QUARTERLY REPORT. This form, the Lifeline and Link-Up Worksheet, must be submitted to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) by all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that request reimbursement for participating in the low-income program. The form must be submitted by the third Monday after the end of each quarter. It is available at: www.universalservice.org. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2007. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2008); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2008), and March 31, 2009, for lines served as of September 30, 2008).. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

JULY 31: FCC FORM 525, COMPETITIVE CARRIER LINE COUNT QUARTERLY REPORT. Competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs) are eligible to receive high cost support if they serve lines in an incumbent carrier’s service area, and that incumbent carrier receives high cost support. CETCs are eligible to receive the same per-line support amount received by the incumbent carrier in whose study area the CETC serves lines. Unlike the incumbent carriers, CETCs will use FCC Form 525 to submit their line count data to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This quarterly report must be filed by the last business day of March (for lines served as of September 30 of the previous year); the last business day of July (for lines served as of December 31 of the previous year); the last business day of September (for lines served as of March 31 of the current year); and the last business day of December (for lines served as of June 30 of the current year). CETCs must file the number of working loops served in the service area of an incumbent carrier, disaggregated by the incumbent carrier’s cost zones, if applicable, for High Cost Loop (HCL), Local Switching Support (LSS), Long Term Support (LTS), and Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). ICLS will also require the loops to be reported by customer class as further described below. For Interstate Access Support (IAS), CETCs must file the number of working loops served in the service area of an incumbent carrier by Unbundled Network Element (UNE) zone and customer class. Working loops provided by CETCs in service areas of non-rural incumbents receiving High Cost Model (HCM) support must be filed by wire center or other methodology as determined by the state regulatory authority. CETCs may choose to complete FCC Form 525 and submit it to USAC, or designate an agent to file the form on its behalf. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

JULY 31: REPORT OF EXTENSION OF CREDIT TO FEDERAL CANDIDATES. This report (in letter format) must be filed by January 30 and July 31 of each year, but ONLY if the carrier extended unsecured credit to a candidate for a Federal elected office during the reporting period. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

FCC Meetings and Deadlines

May 1 – FTC begins enforcement of Red Flag Rules.

May 1 – Rate Integration Certification is due.

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q, Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet, is due.

May 1 – Deadline for price cap carriers to file short form Tariff Review Plan (TRP) associated with annual access tariff filing due July 1.

May 5 – Deadline for reply comments on NTCA petition requesting that FCC clarify and/or waive Part 36 jurisdictional separations rules concerning allocation of general and administrative costs (CC Docket No. 80-286).

May 8 – Deadline for comments on NOI to refresh record on non-rural USF support mechanism (WC Docket No. 05-337).

May 8 – Deadline for reply comments on various recon petitions regarding unlicensed devices below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz band (ET Docket No. 04-186, 02-380).

May 13 – FCC open meeting.

May 15 – Deadline for comments on price cap carriers’ short form TRP associated with annual access tariff filing due July 1.

May 15 – Deadline for comments on Iowa Telecom request for waiver of Section 61.41 “all or nothing” rule regarding acquisitions of Lakedale and Sherburne (WC Docket No. 09-25).

May 15 – Deadline for comments on unassigned BRS auction spectrum (Auction No. 86) practices and procedures (AU Docket No. 09-56).

May 20 – Deadline for comments on Supplemental NOI regarding video competition report (2008 data) (MB Docket No. 07-269).

May 22 – Deadline for reply comments on price cap carriers’ short form TRP associated with annual access tariff filing due July 1.

May 26 – Deadline for reply comments on Iowa Telecom request for waiver of Section 61.41 “all or nothing” rule regarding acquisitions of Lakedale and Sherburne (WC Docket No. 09-25).

May 29 – Deadline for reply comments on unassigned BRS auction spectrum (Auction No. 86) practices and procedures (AU Docket No. 09-56).

May 31 – FCC Form 395, Employment Report, is due.

June 8 – Deadline for reply comments on NOI to refresh record on non-rural USF support mechanism (WC Docket No. 05-337).

June 8 – Deadline for comments on NOI seeking comment on developing national broadband plan (GN Docket No. 09-51).

June 12 – DTV Transition.

June 13 – DTV Analog Nightlight program begins and runs for 30 days until July 12.

June 16 – Deadline for ILECs filing annual access tariffs on 15 days’ notice (carriers proposing to increase any of their rates).

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or halmor@bloostonlaw.com

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Easy Solutions

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Wireless Communication Solutions

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ISI-LX Internet Serial Interface with Protocol Conversion

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With best regards,

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Newsletter Editor

73 DE K9IQY

Brad Dye, Editor
The Wireless Messaging Newsletter
P.O. Box 13283
Springfield, IL 62791 USA
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Skype: braddye
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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“The most pleasant and useful persons are those who leave some of the problems of the universe for God to worry about.”

—Springtime quotes by Don Marquis

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The local newspaper here in Springfield, Illinois costs 75¢ a copy and it NEVER mentions paging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $25.00 would represent approximately 50¢ a copy for one year. If you are so inclined, please click on the PayPal Donate button to the left. No trees were chopped down to produce this electronic newsletter.

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