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AAPC Wireless Messaging News

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FRIDAY - AUGUST 7, 2009 - ISSUE NO. 371

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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,

I hope everyone had a good week.

I continue to be amazed at all the news on TV about "texting." Two-way-text messaging continues to grow in popularity. I can remember being involved in some of the early planning sessions for ReFLEX and seeing slides showing the decline of one-way paging quickly replaced and then surpassed by two-way paging. Surely there is some way to capture part of this very large wireless-texting market segment with two-way paging. Is it too late?

I have said before, that we "missed the boat" or the "window of opportunity" to turn two-way paging into an international fad. We (the paging industry) invented two-way text messaging and now we are seeing millions of people use their cell phones for something they were not originally designed to do.

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I know of a regional VHF paging company that is selling off their subscribers. I am helping them look for a buyer of their pagers and infrastructure—including a Unipage terminal. Click here to send me an e-mail if you are interested.

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Please remember that pertinent articles are welcome here.

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Now on to more news and views.

aapc logo
Wireless Messaging News
  • 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 the AAPC's 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

Editorial Opinion pieces present the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of AAPC, its publisher, or its sponsors.

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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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aapc logo American Association of Paging Carriers

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AAPC Discussion Forum now active!

As a new benefit for our AAPC members, AAPC has launched a discussion forum. The goal is to provide our members with the ability to easily and quickly exchange ideas and questions with one another.

As AAPC members you are automatically included in the forum. If you have a question and would like immediate input from fellow members, just send it to aapcdiscussion@pagingcarriers.org.

right arrow Click here to become an AAPC member.

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enterprise wireless

This fall, AAPC will join with the Enterprise Wireless Alliance at Enterprise Wireless 2009, November 4-6, at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, GA, a Four Diamond location with renowned business services and a truly convenient location. This year the event will focus on the business and technological challenges faced by the wireless industry in 2009. Click here for registration and conference details.

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Thanks to our Gold Vendor!

prism paging
Prism Paging

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Thanks to our Silver Vendors!
recurrent software
Recurrent Software Solutions, Inc.
unication
Unication USA

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Thanks to our Bronze Vendors!

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AAPC Executive Director
441 N. Crestwood Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Tel: 866-301-2272
E-mail: info@pagingcarriers.org
Web: www.pagingcarriers.org
AAPC Regulatory Affairs Office
Suite 250
2154 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007-2280
Tel: 202-223-3772
Fax: 202-315-3587

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ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

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Advertiser Index

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

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LEAVITT COMMUNICATIONS

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leavitt animation

Zetron's Paging and Remote Monitoring Solutions

leavitt zetron The Model 640 DAPT-XTRA Paging Terminal is a cost effective solution for small to medium-sized systems and private organizations offering a paging service based on bureau-type operator paging and/or direct telephone access. The 640 supports up to 1,500 users with up to 4 telephone lines. It also supports voice paging, voice prompts, talkback paging, and alphanumeric paging.

zetron Zetron's Remote Monitoring equipment provides monitoring and notification of unusual conditions and status changes. Messages are automatically transmitted over a radio or a public address system. Notification can be sent via speaker or radio announcement, telephone, cellular phone, or paging.

leavitt logo pcleavitt@leavittcom.com
www.leavittcom.com
(847) 955-0511
zetron reseller

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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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Canamex Communications

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Do you want to increase airtime revenue?

Resell PageRouter to increase traffic and sell more pagers

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  • 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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Iowa 911 center is first to accept text messages

Other emergency call centers around the country look to follow suit

By Peter Svensson
updated 3:28 p.m. CT, Wed., Aug. 5, 2009

An emergency call center in the basement of the county jail in Waterloo, Iowa, became the first in the country to accept text messages sent to "911," starting Wednesday.

Call centers around the country are looking at following in its footsteps, as phone calls are now just one of many things phones can do.

"I think there's a need to get out front and get this technology available," Black Hawk County police chief Thomas Jennings said.

He said 911 texting should be of particular help to the county's deaf and hard-of-hearing residents, who have had to rely on more cumbersome methods to reach 911.

There have also been several cases around the country of kidnap victims summoning help by surreptitiously texting friends or relatives, who then called 911. With direct texting to 911, they should be able to get help faster.

John Snapp, senior technical officer of Intrado, which upgraded the call center, said calling should still be the preferred way to reach 911, but texting is a useful complement. A lot of kids already think they can text 911, he said.

For now, only subscribers to i wireless, a local carrier affiliated with T-Mobile USA, will be able to use the service, and only within Black Hawk County. Those on other carriers will get a reply saying they need to call 911 instead.

Snapp said Intrado is working with other carriers to help them handle 911 texts as well. As a future upgrade, call centers may be able to receive photos and video from cell phones, which could help emergency responders prepare for an accident scene or identify a suspect.

While most 911 call centers can now get a rough location for callers, that is not yet possible with texts. That means i wireless subscribers who text 911 will get a reply asking them for the city or ZIP code they're in. If the response corresponds to the Black Hawk County call center's area, the text messages goes through to an operator. Otherwise the texter is told to call 911.

The call center's operators are able to text back from their computers to conduct a conversation with the texter.

Source: MSNBC.com (Thanks to vic Jackson.)

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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

gl39000

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
 

What happens when you don’t advertise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

. . . Nothing !

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to find out how.

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SWISSPHONE

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swissphone

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Lack of coordination stalls emergency response planning

BY JILL R. AITORO 07/28/2009

Agencies have failed to collaborate in developing emergency response plans, making it more difficult to support state and local authorities during a terrorist attack or natural disaster, according to a report released on Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

The Federal Communications Commission and agencies in the Homeland Security Department are responsible for emergency response programs, with lesser responsibility falling to the Commerce, Interior and Justice departments. But "limited collaboration and monitoring" among those agencies "jeopardize progress in emergency communications, even as the federal government has taken significant and strategic steps to assist first responders," GAO said in a report.

DHS leads the development of equipment standards and technological innovation for first responders. As part of that responsibility, it issued in July 2008 the National Emergency Communications Plan, the first strategic document focused on improving emergency communications nationwide. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for distributing grant funding, maintaining and providing emergency communications assets, and developing assessment and planning tools for state and local jurisdictions, and FCC currently is developing a nationwide, interoperable broadband network for public safety.

The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration is responsible for managing spectrum the federal government uses, and the Justice Department is following through on its 2001initiative to provide secure, seamless and interoperable wireless communications for federal agents and officers engaged in law enforcement, homeland defense and disaster response.

Despite those shared responsibilities, "DHS and FCC have not established a common vision or mutually reinforcing strategies for a nationwide broadband public safety policy," GAO said. For example, FCC officials described the interoperable broadband network for public safety and the National Emergency Communications Plan as two separate, but parallel efforts, but GAO argued that they could be better aligned.

While DHS provides technical assistance and guidance to state and local jurisdictions, less assistance is given to other federal agencies, some of which have no formal emergency communications plan. DHS officials said one reason for the limited engagement is lack of incentives. Grant funding is one means of encouraging state and local government to participate in emergency response plans, for example, but because federal agencies aren't eligible for federal grants, "DHS has limited authority to compel [them] to participate or align their emergency communication," GAO said.

Delays in establishing the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center, which will be jointly operated by a number of federal agencies including DHS, FCC, Justice and Commerce, also undermine implementation of the National Emergency Communications Plan, GAO reported. The 2006 Post-Katrina Act required the center be established to manage disaster response, GAO reported. As of June 2009, the agencies were still working on the memorandum of understanding that would provide goals and realistic performance measures from participating agencies.

GAO recommended DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano complete the Memorandum of Understanding for the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center and provide guidance to agencies that are developing formal emergency communications plans. GAO also recommended Napolitano work with the Julius Genachowski, chairman of FCC, to establish a forum to discuss how to better collaborate on each agency's emergency communications efforts.

Homeland Security and the Federal Communications Commission generally agreed with the recommendations included in GAO's report, and noted that steps were already under way to implement them.

Source: NextGov.com

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PRISM PAGING

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prism paging

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CRITICAL RESPONSE SYSTEMS

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Critical Response Systems

Over 70% of first responders are volunteers
Without an alert, interoperability means nothing.

Get the Alert.

M1501 Acknowledgent Pager

With the M1501 Acknowledgement Pager and a SPARKGAP wireless data system, you know when your volunteers have been alerted, when they’ve read the message, and how they’re going to respond – all in the first minutes of an event. Only the M1501 delivers what agencies need – reliable, rugged, secure alerting with acknowledgement.

Learn More

FEATURES
  • 5-Second Message Delivery
  • Acknowledged Personal Messaging
  • Acknowledged Group Messaging
  • 16 Group Addresses
  • 128-Bit Encryption
  • Network-Synchronized Time Display
  • Simple User Interface
  • Programming/Charging Base
  • Secondary Features Supporting Public Safety and Healthcare

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DAVISCOMMS USA

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daviscomms usa

www.daviscommsusa.com

  Deal Direct with the Manufacturer of the Bravo Pager Line 
br502 numeric
Br502 Numeric
VHF/UHF-900 MHz FLEX
  Bravo Pagers FLEX & POCSAG  
br802 front
Br802 Alphanumeric
VHF/UHF-900 MHz FLEX

Intrinsic Certifications:
Class I, Division 1, Groups C and D.
Non-Incendiary Certifications:
Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C and D.

The Br802 Pager is Directive 94/9/DC [Equipment Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX)] compliant.
ex  II 1 G EEx ia IIA T4

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Telemetry Messaging Receivers (TMR) FLEX & POCSAG
tmrp-1 tmr1p-2 tmrp-3 tmr1p-7 With or Without Housing
With or Without BNC Connector

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MTD2000 GPRS/GPS
Mobile Tracking Device
New For 2009
mtd2000

daviscomms mtd2000
25-pin Connector

Dimensions:
127 x 70 x 35 mm
(Including Flange)

mtd2000

The MTD2000 System provides the following features:

  • Vehicle locating and tracking via GPS (Dead Reckoning – Optional).
  • Wireless communications to control center (computer) via SMS/GSM and GPRS.
  • Wireless communications via remote control using ASK/FSK 433MHz/900MHz receivers.
  • Vehicle Alarm System.
  • Vehicle Console with LCD for message, keypads, speaker and microphone for audio communications, and camera (still picture).
  • Mapping Software (Windows OS) for vehicle tracking and management (using Google Maps).
  • Command and Control Software (Windows OS) to configure, control and monitor the device.

For information call 480-515-2344 or visit our website
www.daviscommsusa.com
E-mail addresses are posted there!

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UNITED COMMUNICATIONS

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make your minitor II like new again

minitor
before

Finally, Minitor II housings available
As low as $19.95
Pieces sold separately

Repair of Minitor II pagers
$45.00 per pager
$60.00 for repair and new housing with 90-day warranty

minitor
after
United Communications Corp.
Serving the Emergency Service Market Since 1986
motorola paging 888-763-7550 Fax: 888-763-7549
62 Jason Court, St. Charles, MO 63304
www.uccwireless.com
motorola original

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CVC Paging

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NEWS FLASH — SATELLITE FAILURES

  • January 11, 1997—Telstar 401 suffers a short in the satellite circuitry—TOTAL LOSS May 19, 1998—Galaxy 4 control processor causes loss of fixed orbit—TOTAL LOSS September 19, 2003—Telstar 4 suffers loss of its primary power bus—TOTAL LOSS March 17, 2004—PAS-6 suffers loss of power—TOTAL LOSS
  • January 14, 2005—Intelsat 804 suffers electrical power system anomaly—TOTAL LOSS

DON’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT SATELLITE OUTAGE

Allow us to uplink your paging data to two separate satellites for complete redundancy! CVC owns and operates two separate earth stations and specializes in uplink services for paging carriers. Join our list of satisfied uplink customers.

  • Each earth station features hot standby redundancy UPS and Generator back-up Redundant TNPP Gateways On shelf spares for all critical components
  • 24/7 staffing and support

cvc paging cvc antennas For inquires please call or e-mail Stephan Suker at 800-696-6474 or steves@cvcpaging.com left arrow

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CVC Paging

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If it is to be . . . it must begin with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEWSLETTER SPONSOR

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Want to help the newsletter?

Become a SPONSOR

Promote your company's image with one of these posters.

OPTIONS SIZE COST*
Small 100X35 $7.69
Medium 200X70 $11.54
Large 300X100 $15.38
Extra Large 340X340 $19.23
Package 1 340X800 $23.08
Package 2 340X800 $26.92
Package 3 340X800 $34.62
Package 3XL 714X800 $46.15

* cost per week—six-month minimum—or 26 issues.

For more details, and pricing on the various advertising options please click here left arrow CLICK HERE

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NEWSLETTER SPONSOR

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WiPath Communications

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wipath header

Intelligent Solutions for Paging & Wireless Data

WiPath manufactures a wide range of highly unique and innovative hardware and software solutions in paging and mobile data for:

  • Emergency Mass Alert & Messaging Emergency Services Communications Utilities Job Management Telemetry and Remote Switching Fire House Automation
  • Load Shedding and Electrical Services Control

black line PDT3000 Paging Data Terminal pdt 2000 image

  • FLEX & POCSAG Built-in POCSAG encoder Huge capcode capacity Parallel, 2 serial ports, 4 relays
  • Message & system monitoring

black line Paging Controlled Moving Message LED Displays

welcom wipath

  • Variety of sizes Indoor/outdoor
  • Integrated paging receiver

black line PDR3000/PSR3000 Paging Data Receivers paging data receiver

  • Highly programmable, off-air decoders Message Logging & remote control Multiple I/O combinations and capabilities
  • Network monitoring and alarm reporting

black line Specialized Paging Solutions paging data receiver

  • Emergency Mass Alerting Remote telemetry switching & control Fire station automation PC interfacing and message management Paging software and customized solutions Message interception, filtering, redirection, printing & logging Cross band repeating, paging coverage infill, store and forward
  • Alarm interfaces, satellite linking, IP transmitters, on-site systems

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Mobile Data Terminals & Two Way Wireless  Solutions

mobile data terminal
  • Fleet tracking, messaging, job processing, and field service management Automatic vehicle location (AVL), GPS
  • CDMA, GPRS, ReFLEX, conventional, and trunked radio interfaces
radio interface

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Contact
Postal
Address:
WiPath Communications LLC
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
Street
Address:
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
Web site: www.wipath.com left arrow CLICK
E-mail: info@wipath.com left arrow CLICK
Phone: 770-844-6218
Fax: 770-844-6574
WiPath Communications

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Preferred Wireless

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preferred logo

Equipment For Sale
Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola C-Net Platinum Controller
1 Motorola ASC1500 Controller
25 C-2010 Controllers
50 Glenayre GPS Kits, Trimble RX & cables
1 Skydata Model 5090 Uplink Power Control
1 Skydata Model 8360 MSK Modulator
8 Skydata Multi Channel Receivers - NEW
1 GL3000L Terminal
2 GL3100 RF Director
2 Zetron Model 2200 Terminal
Link Transmitters:
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
1 Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
VHF Paging Transmitters
4 Motorola Nucleus 350W, NAC
3 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
3 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 350W, ACB or TRC
UHF Paging Transmitters:
10 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
2 Motorola UHF Nucleus 125W NAC
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110W, TRC
3 Motorola PURC-5000 225W, ACB
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
1 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
24 Glenayre GLT-8500, 250W, C2000, w/ or w/o I20
6 Motorola PURC 5000, 300W, DRC or ACB

 SEE WEB FOR COMPLETE LIST:
www.preferredwireless.com/equipment
left arrow CLICK HERE

Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail
Preferred Wireless
Rick McMichael
888-429-4171

rickm@preferredwireless.com
left arrow CLICK HERE
www.preferredwireless.com/equipment
left arrow OR HERE

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HMCE Inc.

pat merkel ad

hmce@bellsouth.net left arrow Click to e-mail
http://www.h-mce.com left arrow Paging Web Site
Joshua's Mission left arrow Helping Wounded Marines Homepage
Joshua's Mission left arrow Joshua's Mission Press Release
HMCE Inc.

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UCOM Paging

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satellite dish ucom logo

Satellite Uplink
As Low As
$500/month

  • Data input speeds up to 38.4 Kbps Dial-in modem access for Admin Extremely reliable & secure
  • Hot standby up link components

Knowledgeable Tech Support 24/7

Contact Alan Carle Now!
1-888-854-2697 x272
acarle@ucom.com www.ucom.com

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UCOM Paging

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BLOOSTONLAW TELECOM UPDATE

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x

BloostonLaw Private Users Update

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

[Portions reproduced here with the firm's permission.]

www.bloostonlaw.com

   Vol. 10, No. 8 x August 2009   

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FCC Issues Further Notice On Remanded BPL Issues

The FCC has issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rule-making (FNPRM) to address certain issues from its Report and Order on rules for broadband over power line (BPL) systems and devices that was remanded back to the FCC by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In the BPL Order, the Commission established technical standards, operating restrictions, and measurement guidelines for Access BPL systems to promote the development of such systems while ensuring that licensed radio services are protected from harmful interference.

In ARRL v. FCC, in response to an appeal by the American Radio Relay League (an association of amateur radio operators), the court remanded the BPL Order to the Commission for further consideration and explanation of certain aspects of its decision. Specifically, the court directed the Commission to provide a reasonable opportunity for public comment on unredacted staff technical studies on which it relied to promulgate the rules, to make the studies part of the rulemaking record, and to provide a reasoned explanation of the choice of an extrapolation factor for use in measurement of emissions from Access BPL systems.

The FCC has placed the unredacted staff technical studies into the record of the proceeding and is requesting comment on the information in those studies as it pertains to the BPL decisions. The FCC is also placing into the record certain additional materials that contain preliminary staff research and educational information that was not previously available. In response to its remand of a portion of the BPL measurement procedure, the FCC is also providing an explanation of its reasons for selecting 40 dB per decade as the extrapolation factor for frequencies below 30 MHz. The FCC further explains why it believes the studies and technical proposal submitted earlier by the ARRL do not provide convincing information that the FCC should use an extrapolation factor that is different from that which the Commission adopted.

As the several studies now available show and as the FCC has observed previously, there can be considerable variability in the attenuation of emissions from BPL systems across individual measurement sites that is not captured in the fixed 40 dB per decade standard.

To address this variability, the FCC is requesting comment on whether it should amend its BPL rules to (1) adjust the extrapolation factor downward to 30 dB or some other fixed value and, or (2) as an alternative, also allow use of a special procedure for determining site-specific BPL extrapolation values using in situ measurements. The special in situ procedure the FCC is proposing is based on a concept under consideration by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) working group on power line communications technology electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). In addition, the FCC is clarifying that parties testing BPL equipment and systems for compliance with emissions limits in FCC rules may measure at the standard 30 meter distance rather than only the shorter distances recommended in the BPL measurement guidelines. The FCC requests comments on the unredacted staff studies, the FCC decision for selecting an extrapolation factor for BPL systems based on slant range method and its proposal to allow use of site-specific extrapolation factors as an alternative to the standard extrapolation factor. In the interim, the FCC will continue to apply the standard as adopted in the BPL Order.

Comments in this ET Docket No. 04-37 proceeding are due 30 days after publication in Federal Register, and replies are due 15 days thereafter.

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

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FCC Favors Sprint In 800 MHz “Touch” Dispute

In a mediation by the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) involving a dispute between the County of Flagler, Florida, and Sprint Nextel, the FCC resolved the dispute in Sprint’s favor and disallowed Flagler’s claimed expense for a third “touch” to its retuned portable and mobile radios. In the rebanding context, a radio “touch” refers to any time the radio is reprogrammed or otherwise modified to add or subtract channels or channel groups.

The parties had been unable to resolve their dispute relating to Flagler’s request for Sprint to pay the costs associated with a third touch of Flagler’s mobile and portable National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) radios. In the parties’ original Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA), Sprint and Flagler agreed that the radios in the Flagler system would be touched twice, the first time to program in Flagler’s new post-rebanding channels, and the second time to remove Flagler’s old pre-rebanding channels after the system had commenced operation on the new channels. The FRA further provided that as part of the second touch, all of the pre-rebanding NPSPAC mutual aid channels as well as Flagler’s individually assigned pre-rebanding channels would be removed from the radios.

The reconfiguration of Flagler’s radios initially proceeded in accordance with the FRA, i.e., Flagler completed the first touch in which post-rebanding channels were programmed into its radios. When Flagler implemented the second touch of the radios, however, it removed only the individually assigned pre-rebanding channels in the radios but did not remove the old mutual aid channels as provided for in the FRA. Flagler did not notify Sprint or seek a change to the FRA prior to taking this action. Only after the second touch was completed did Flagler submit a Change Notice to Sprint seeking an additional $82,316.92 to touch the radios a third time to remove the old mutual aid channels.

The TA Mediator recommended that the FCC find that Sprint is not responsible for paying for a third touch of Flagler’s radios. The Mediator’s recommendation rests in part on Flagler’s non-compliance with the FRA, i.e., its failure to notify Sprint that it was deviating from the agreed-upon reconfiguration procedure. The Mediator also found that Flagler had not shown that the proposed cost of a third touch would be the “minimum necessary” to complete rebanding in a reasonable and prudent manner.

The FCC found in favor of Sprint on this issue, determining that the record indicated that Flagler unilaterally deviated from the terms of the FRA in deciding not to remove the old mutual aid channels as part of the second touch; and there was no dispute that Flagler failed to give Sprint notice or seek a change order prior to taking this action. Instead, Flagler sought a change order only after the second touch had already been completed.

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

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FCC Denies El Segundo’s Application To Modify Public Safety System

The FCC has denied the City of El Segundo, California’s application to modify its public safety radio communications system in order to construct and operate two repeaters in the 470-512 MHz band as part of Conventional Public Safety Pool Station KDA289, El Segundo, California. Station KDA289 is currently licensed for operation on paired frequencies 470/473.3875 MHz, 470/473.6375 MHz and 471/474.1125 MHz, among others, for base and mobile transmissions. The FCC denied El Segundo’s application because it purportedly failed to satisfy the separation criteria of Section 90.313(c) of the Commission’s rules and lacked frequency coordination required under Section 90.175.

In 1975, El Segundo, along with other cities, entered into a frequency sharing pool agreement with the South Bay Regional Public Communications Authority (SBRPCA). As a member of the SBRPCA, El Segundo was entitled to use repeaters licensed to and operated by the SBRPCA. In March 2000, El Segundo notified the SBRPCA of its election to withdraw from the SBRPCA. When El Segundo officially withdrew from the SBRPCA in June 2000, it retained authorization for the Channels, among others, on a shared basis.

Because El Segundo no longer has access to the facilities of the SBRPCA, El Segundo filed its application to modify its license for the Channels in order to operate its base station channels in a repeater mode and its mobile units for control stations at two sites in areas already served by South Bay. Specifically, El Segundo sought authority to establish its own repeaters on the lower half of the channel pairs at two locations. El Segundo stated that, although the distribution of mobile units will change from fifty-seven vehicular units to twenty vehicular units and thirty-seven portable units, it planned to retain the same number of total mobile units.

The FCC denied El Segundo’s application because it did not satisfy the distance separation criteria of Section 90.313(c), and for failure to obtain frequency coordination.

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

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Resort Fined $5,000 For Unlicensed Operation Despite Reliance on Equipment Vendor for Compliance

The FCC has issued a monetary forfeiture in the amount of $5,000 to Bear Creek Mountain Resort for willfully and repeatedly operating radio transmitting equipment on the frequency 462.500 MHz without a license. The fine was issued even though Bear Creek was operating with equipment purchased from a radio vendor without warning of the need for a FCC license, and thus was in the shoes of an “innocent third party purchaser”.

On February 18, 2008, the Philadelphia Office received a complaint from a member of the Personal Radio Association that Bear Creek was operating radio communications equipment on several frequencies without a license. On February 19, 2008, an agent from the FCC’s Philadelphia Office conducted a search in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) database and found no evidence that Bear Creek was authorized to operate radio transmitting equipment on any frequencies in the Macungie, Pennsylvania area. On February 21, 2008, an agent from the FCC’s Philadelphia Office, using a mobile digital direction finding vehicle, monitored several frequencies near Bear Creek. The agent observed and recorded several transmissions on 461.3500 MHz, 462.5000 MHz, 464.4250 MHz, and 467.7625 MHz. On 462.500 MHz, the agent heard an individual request assistance bringing a girl with a broken wrist down the mountain.

The individual stated that the girl is located at the top of the “Broadway” trail near the exit of the “F” chairlift. Later that day, an agent interviewed a Bear Creek employee, who listened to the agent’s audio recordings and confirmed that the conversation transmitted on the frequency 462.500 MHz was between employees of Bear Creek. During a subsequent phone interview the employee acknowledged that Bear Creek had been operating radio transmitting equipment since 2001 on the frequency 462.500 MHz and others.

The Commission’s Philadelphia Office subsequently issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Bear Creek for a forfeiture in the amount of $10,000 for willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Act. Bear Creek filed a response to the NAL, requesting a cancellation of the NAL on three grounds. First, Bear Creek states that, prior to the inspection by FCC agents on February 21, 2008, it did not know that a license was required for operation of its private land mobile system. Bear Creek reports that it purchased its radios from Global 2-Way.com in Marco Island, Florida and that Global 2-Way never advised Bear Creek that it needed a license. Second, Bear Creek claims that cancellation of the NAL is warranted because Bear Creek personnel immediately applied for a license once the FCC agents advised them that a license was required. Third, Bear Creek submits that the absence of prior FCC violations warrants cancellation of the NAL.

The FCC concluded that Bear Creek willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act. However, the FCC said that Bear Creek’s unlicensed operation was not analogous to the intentional unlicensed operation of a "pirate" station operator who operates its station in flagrant violation of Commission rules. The FCC therefore downwardly adjusted the $10,000 base forfeiture amount to $5,000.

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

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FCC Declines To Act On Complaint Regarding Sea Rescue Incident

In a letter to Jean Pierre de Lutz of France, the FCC said that it has declined to take action on his complaint regarding ACR Electronics. According to the FCC, Mr. de Lutz stated that ACR duplicated the hexadecimal code for his 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB), and that this duplication caused him and his crew to be placed in life-threatening storm conditions at sea unnecessarily.

By way of background—EPIRBs are carried on board ships to alert others of a distress situation, and to assist search and rescue units in locating those in distress. Specifically, the EPIRB transmits a digital signal, detected by satellite, that provides distress alerting, homing assistance, type of emergency, country and identification code of the station in distress, and other pertinent information. The identification code programmed into each 406 MHz beacon is a unique fifteen-character code, including a three-digit country code. Owners of EPIRBs on United States vessels must register them with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and provide emergency contact information. Upon receiving a 406 MHz distress signal, search and rescue authorities use this contact information to determine whether the activation was inadvertent or reflects a genuine distress situation.

According to the FCC, Mr. de Lutz indicated that in 2002, he purchased an ACR EPIRB from a vendor in the United Kingdom, and immediately registered it with NOAA. In 2007, he activated the EPIRB when his vessel encountered storm conditions during an Atlantic crossing. The FCC said Mr. de Lutz stated that a duplication of the code between his EPIRB and that of another vessel resulted in a potentially disastrous delay in the dispatch of Coast Guard personnel to rescue him and his crew.

The FCC noted that the events regarding this incident are well-documented in news reports, and have been confirmed by representatives of the Coast Guard. The identification code of Mr. de Lutz’s EPIRB was associated in NOAA’s database only with the other vessel’s EPIRB. Upon receipt of the distress alert, the Coast Guard contacted the owner of that vessel, who reported that he was not in distress. Consequently, that EPIRB’s distress alert was initially dismissed as a false alarm (but the Coast Guard has indicated that Mr. de Lutz’s subsequent rescue was timely due to the Coast Guard’s response to the signal from a redundant older 406 EPIRB on board his vessel that was simultaneously transmitting). The FCC said the vendor where Mr. de Lutz purchased his EPIRB changed the country code from that of the United Kingdom to that of the United States prior to delivery, because he had indicated that he was planning to register it in the United States. This resulted in his EPIRB having the same fifteen-character code as a different ACR EPIRB in the United States. When the other vessel’s EPIRB subsequently was registered with NOAA, Mr. de Lutz’s contact information associated with that identification code was overwritten.

Mr. de Lutz asserts that ACR is responsible for this duplication of identification codes. The FCC disagreed; the two ACR beacons in question had unique hexadecimal codes until Mr. de Lutz’s beacon was altered by the vendor. While the FCC is concerned that this situation occurred, it finds no basis to conclude that ACR violated FCC rules. Any complaint regarding the vendor’s alteration of the hexadecimal code should be referred to United Kingdom authorities. In addition, comments regarding EPIRB registration procedures in the United States should be addressed to NOAA, which the FCC understands has changed the procedures to ensure that similar duplications do not go undetected, and that the correct user registration information is retained.

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

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New FCC Chairman Announces Senior Staffers

New FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced four members of the senior leadership of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, who will join the other senior staff in WTB. The announcement includes: Bureau Chief Ruth Milkman, Senior Deputy Chief James Schlichting, Deputy Chief Renee Roland Crittendon, and Deputy Chief John S. Leibovitz. The Chairman also announced that Jamie Barnett will be the Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and David Furth and Jennifer Manner will serve as Deputy Chiefs.

Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Ruth Milkman: Ms. Milkman is currently Special Counsel, leading the transition effort in the Chairman’s office. Ms. Milkman served at the Commission between 1986 and 1998 in a variety of positions, including Deputy Chief of the International and Common Carrier Bureaus, and Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Reed Hundt, with responsibility for wireless issues and spectrum policy.

Senior Deputy Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, James Schlichting: Mr. Schlichting has been at the FCC for nearly 24 years, most recently as Deputy Chief and Acting Chief of WTB, and previously as Deputy Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology, Deputy Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau, Chief of the Pricing Policy Division in the Common Carrier Bureau, and Chief of the Policy and Program Planning Division of the Common Carrier Bureau.

Deputy Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Renee Roland Crittendon: Ms. Crittendon has been at the FCC for eight years. She most recently served as Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein where she was responsible for spectrum, broadband, international and public safety issues.

Before joining the Commissioner’s office in 2007, Ms. Crittendon served as Deputy Bureau Chief in the Wireline Competition Bureau. Prior to that, she was Chief of the Wireline Bureau’s Competition Policy Division. Ms. Crittendon also served as Associate Division Chief of the Mobility Division of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Before joining the Commission, Ms. Crittendon served as Deputy Chief Counsel – Telecommunications for Prism Communication Services, Inc, and was in private practice with a Washington, D.C. law firm specializing in media, wireline and satellite issues.

Deputy Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, John S. Leibovitz: Mr. Leibovitz was a staff member on the Presidential Transition Team, where he helped to coordinate the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform working group. Prior to the transition, Mr. Leibovitz worked as an entrepreneur and strategy consultant in the telecommunications industry, with an emphasis on the wireless sector. He started his business career with McKinsey & Company, in New York. He has written about technology and communications policy in the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of Law and Technology.

Chief of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Rear Admiral (ret.) Jamie Barnett: Admiral Barnett served 32 years in the United States Navy and Navy Reserve, retiring in 2008. His last active duty assignments were Deputy Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and Director, Naval Education and Training in the Pentagon. For the last two years, Admiral Barnett has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a policy think tank focusing on science and technology issues of importance to the nation, including cyber conflict and cyber security.

Deputy Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, David Furth: David Furth has served at the FCC since 1992 and in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau since the Bureau’s formation in 2006. Since January 2009, Mr. Furth has served as Acting Chief of the Bureau. Previously, Mr. Furth was an Associate Bureau Chief in PSHSB, focusing on public safety spectrum policy issues, particularly 800 MHz rebanding and the 700 MHz rulemaking proceeding. Mr. Furth also worked in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in various capacities, including Deputy Chief and Chief of the Commercial Wireless Division, Senior Legal Advisor to the Bureau Chief, and Chief Counsel and Associate Bureau Chief. Mr. Furth also served as a Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Rachelle Chong.

Deputy Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Jennifer Manner: Most recently, Ms. Manner was a principal at ZComm Strategies, LLC, where she advised telecommunications companies on regulatory policy issues. Prior to that, Ms. Manner was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at SkyTerra Communications, L.P. Ms. Manner served as Senior Counsel to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, with responsibility for wireless, technology and international issues.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky and John Prendergast.

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FCC Fines PLMS Station For Operating On Unauthorized Frequencies

The FCC has issued a monetary forfeiture in the amount of $4,000 to Sims Metal East, LLC, the licensee of private land mobile station KNEM713, in Jersey City, N.J., for willfully and repeatedly violating the Commission's Rules by operating a mobile relay station and mobile units on unauthorized frequencies. On October 3, 2008, the Enforcement Bureau’s New York Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $4,000 to Sims for operating mobile units and a mobile relay station on the unauthorized frequencies 469.4 MHz and 464.4 MHz respectively. Despite evidence that Sims received the NAL, the FCC found that Sims did not file a response to the NAL. As a result, the FCC affirmed the forfeiture. This fine reinforces the need for FCC licensees to keep their contact information current, and to promptly respond to any FCC inquiries.

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

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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Hark Technologies

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ISI-LX Internet Serial Interface with Protocol Conversion

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Comverge Boosts Revenues, Narrows Loss in Second Quarter

Comverge also has boosted its residential contracts, which differentiate it from its competitors in the business of helping utilities shave peak power demand.

Comverge (NSDQ: COMV) on Thursday reported second-quarter revenues of $13.3 million, up 39 percent from the same quarter last year - a sign that providing "negawatts" for utilities facing peak power is still a service that's growing in demand.

The East Hanover, N.J.-based demand response provider reported a loss of $9.1 million in the second quarter, slightly better than its $9.6 million loss in the same quarter of 2008.

It also grew the amount of contracts for its "virtual peaking capacity" residential contracts, which are recognized in the fourth quarter, to $20.2 million as of June 30, up from $4.3 million at the end of 2008.

Those VPC contracts largely represent the residential load management services that differentiate it from demand response competitors such as EnerNoc (NSDQ: ENOC), CPower, EnergyConnect and Constellation NewEnergy, which serve commercial and industrial clients (see Comverge Reports $9.1M First-Quarter Loss).

Comverge also serves businesses and factories, but has been pushing into new ways to bring demand response services to homes, such as through smart meters made by Itron, Landis+Gyr, Elster and others via its Apollo software platform (see The Elusive Demand Response-Smart Meter Combo).

Two of its contracts - one with Maryland-based utility Pepco and another recently announced with Dominion Virginia Power - call for it to eventually manage residential demand response through smart meters the two utilities are deploying, although it will begin by serving those homes with its existing pager-based networks (see Comverge's Home Demand Response: Pagers First, Then Smart Meters).

Comverge also reported Thursday that it had 2,794 megawatts under management, which puts it behind EnerNoc, which said it had 3,150 megawatts under management as of June 30.

EnerNoc last month reported a second quarter loss of $10.4 million on revenues of $42.4 million, an improvement from the same quarter in 2008 (see Green Light post).

Both companies outperformed Wall Street expectations in their most recent quarterly earnings, and both have said they're on track to exceed their 2009 goals.

Privately held CPower recently landed an undisclosed investment from Intel Capital, on top of $10.2 million raised in April, indicating an optimistic outlook for the demand response industry (see Green Light posts here and here).

Source: Green Tech Media

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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From: Barry Kanne <tgacomm@gmail.com>
Date: July 31, 2009 8:35:23 PM CDT
To: Brad Dye <brad@braddye.com>
Cc: Ira Wiesenfeld <iwiesenfel@aol.com>
Subject: Lessons learned

Hi Brad:

What a wonderful thing to have a visit from Ira after all these years.  I am delighted he gave you passing marks on your station.  In reading your report of his visit I can also say that lesson #2 is something I learned as a volunteer fireman in Oregon.  That method of over and under wrapping also applies to hose as well as coax or other more rigid cables.

I ordered Ira's book and will share it with our ARES repeater manager to apply to the various repeater sites in the area.

Thanks for a delightful edition of the Wireless Messaging News.

73,

Barry Kanne (W4TGA)
TGA Communications LLC
tgacomm@gmail.com

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From: "Kit Haskins" <kit@ka0wuc.org>
Date: August 1, 2009 5:06:25 AM CDT
To: Brad Dye
Subject: Lessons learned

Brad,

I noticed a comment in your newsletter, I’ve known the technique as “Broadcast Wrap” with the “over, under” coiling.  This was a common practice for those that had to setup and teardown a “live remote” from a satellite or microwave “ENG” (Electronic News Gathering) vehicle.  It’s a common method for the “snake cable” that has both 3 wire balanced 600ohm audio and a 75ohm coaxial video cable.  They also wrapped any orange cords (the traditional orange colored extension cords) the same way.  With the wrap done correctly, you can leave the coil in the remote truck/van and spool out the cable to need where the tripod and video camera is setup.

Kit Haskins

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From: Ron@advcom.net
Subject: Mobile alert system
Date: August 6, 2009 2:30:45 PM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Brad,

Whatever happened to the Paging Industry Alert System? All I recall is it was delayed as of last fall’s AAPC conference because Homeland Security or FEMA was going to manage the system and needed more time. I stated then that it was delayed just so the cellular carriers could get it going and not lose any business to Paging. Seems like that’s the case. Perhaps there is a Paging representative on the CMAS forum. Too bad the Paging industry missed a early opportunity.

Ron Mayes
Advantage Communications & Paging
Wichita, KS

This appeared today in “Urgent Communications” formerly Mobile Radio Technology Magazine/Newsletter.

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Proposed alerting system sounds promising

Aug 6, 2009 1:19 PM, By Donny Jackson

While considerable focus has been put on the need for better communications within the first-responder community, communications with the public being served and protected also needs considerable attention. In an increasingly mobile society, traditional alerting tools like the emergency broadcast system may not get the message to the growing number of people who rely almost solely on a handheld device to stay in touch with the world.

With that in mind, last week's initial meeting of the Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) Forum is welcome news. Hosted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 79 stakeholders — representatives of first responders, broadcasters, industry and academia, to name some sectors in attendance — laid the groundwork for an alerting system that would be used nationwide.

"We had great response and terrific levels of interest," said David Boyd, director of the DHS command, control and interoperability division. "Once the program is complete, we'll have a much more comprehensive alert and warning system than we do now."

Alerting technology has advanced considerably in recent years, but the effectiveness of alerting system has been limited by a couple of factors. For one thing, many alerting services rely on SMS technology, which has issues regarding security and timely delivery when capacity constraints are a problem — a common occurrence in an emergency situation. In addition, most alerting systems require users to subscribe to the service to receive alerts on their mobile devices, but it's rare for more than 10% of the population to take such action.

Although CMAS initially will be a text-based system (multimedia is a longer-term goal), it would not use SMS. Instead, 90-character messages will be distributed to users immediately using cell-broadcast technology, Boyd said.

"The carriers say they can handle this without any difficulty," he said.

[emphasis added]

Moreover, almost all mobile users would receive the alerts, because they would automatically be registered for the service unless they took the time to opt out, Boyd said. No user would be allowed to opt out of a presidential-directed alert — something that has never been issued to date — but they could opt out of lesser alert levels, he said.

"If we're able to design this the way we want, I can't imagine why anyone would want to opt out, because these are going to be life-or-death kinds of messages,” Boyd said.

Indeed, a key to the success of CMAS is establishing a system in which alerts are only distributed when there is an imminent danger or threat — something that inherently requires the ability to target messages geographically, Boyd said. If the CMAS system is used for lower-level alerts, it risks being less effective, he said.

"We wanted to avoid the car-alarm problem — that is, the car alarm goes off so often that no one pays attention to it anymore," Boyd said, noting that delivery of a CMAS alert may be accompanied by a unique ring tone or vibration pattern.

Of course, using CMAS sparingly means greater levels of education will be needed on various levels. It must be clear who is authorized to initiate such alerts and that they are trained to condense the message within the 90-character limit. Meanwhile, a public-education campaign is needed, so citizens know what CMAS alerts are and that they must be heeded immediately.

It will be interesting to follow the development of the CMAS as more meeting are conducted throughout the fall. If the ultimate system is able to meet the guidelines established in this initial meeting, CMAS looks like a much-needed upgrade in the nation's alerting capabilities.

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From: Brad Dye [mailto:brad@braddye.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 2:54 PM
To: Ron
Cc: GTES John de Boer
Subject: Re: Mobile alert system

You bring up some good points Ron. Stephan Oshinsky was the paging industry rep. on the group planning the new emergency alert system. Since Stephen [left] SkyTel, I haven't heard much more about it. I have copied John deBoer, to see if he has any knowledge or comments about this.

Best regards,

Brad Dye

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From: John.Deboer@usamobility.com
Subject: RE: Mobile alert system
Date: August 6, 2009 4:32:40 PM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com, Ron@advcom.net

Ron,

The specifications for a CMAS compliant paging device were completed by the PTC Device Standards Group (DSG) some time ago. I have been monitoring the development of the 'C' Interface specification by the CMAS development group. (This is the interface between the gov't alert gateway and the wireless carrier gateway.) Updates to the 'C' Interface specification document have been published on the PTC-WARN yahoo group for comment. The 'C' Interface specification is very close to being ratified by the CMAS development group.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thx
John

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From: Ron Mercer <rmercer@pagingplanners.com>
Date: August 3, 2009 10:34:54 AM CDT
To: Mike Lions <mlyons@indianapaging.com>
Subject: Toshiba Issue
Reply-To: rmercer@pagingplanners.com

Hi Mike. I have checked with Daviscomms, Commtech and Sun Telecom and we heard directly from Vic at Unication.

Based on the information received from these companies, it appears that each is pursuing a solution to the Toshiba plant shutdown and that four level FSK FLEX pagers will be available.

In this light, I consider the issue resolved and I am not planning any additional efforts re: the issue.

Regards,

Ron Mercer
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731
Tel: (631) 266-2604
Cell Phone: (631) 786-9359

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