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AAPC Wireless Messaging News

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FRIDAY - APRIL 9, 2010 - ISSUE NO. 402

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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,

Apple: iPad sales, App Store downloads climbing

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 12:38 pm by Aayush Arya, Macworld.com

The iPad has been out for less than a week, but Apple says it’s already sold 450,000 tablets. The news came straight from Apple CEO Steve Jobs who led off Thursday’s iPhone 4.0 event at the company’s Cupertino campus with a string of statistics about the iPad, iPhone, and App Store.

The forthcoming iPhone 4.0 OS update may have been the headliner at Apple’s press-only event, but iPad sales figures opened Jobs’ presentation. In addition to revealing iPad sales figures, Apple’s CEO also noted that customers have bought more than 600,000 books through the iPad’s iBooks app. What’s more, the App Store has served more than 3.5 million iPad apps, with a total of 4 billions apps downloaded overall from the store.

The growth of the the App Store shows no sign of slowing down, with the inventory having grown to 185,000 apps—3,500 of which are apps that are either built exclusively for the iPad or run on all of Apple’s mobile devices.

Earlier this week, Apple reported that it had sold 300,000 iPads on the first day of sales, meaning its added to the total by 150,000 since then. On Thursday, Jobs said that Best Buy—which is selling the iPad along with the Apple Store and select resellers—is out of stock in most locations.

In addition to announcing iPad sales, Jobs said Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones and 30 million iPod touches. That brings the total number of iPhone OS devices out there to more than 85 million. [source]

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Apple showcases iPhone 4.0 features

by Philip Michaels
Macworld.com

Apr 8, 2010 1:58 pm

Apple gave iPhone users and developers a sneak preview of the next major version of the iPhone operating system on Thursday. Multitasking capabilities, changes to the Mail application, and a built-in advertising system highlight the features that make up iPhone OS 4.0.

Read Macworld’s live coverage of the iPhone 4.0 preview

Developers could get their hands on a preview of the 4.0 update on Thursday. Users will have to wait until at least the summer. When the iPhone 4.0 update ships, iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch users will be able to take advantage of all the features, while second-generation iPod touch and iPhone 3G models will only support some of the update’s enhancements. iPhone 4.0 won’t be available for the newly released iPad until the fall.

When the iPhone 4.0 update does arrive, it will introduce 1500 new application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers and more than 100 new user features, including playlist creation, 5x digital zoom in the camera app, tap-to-focus for video, auto photo-geo-tagging, and support for Bluetooth keyboards. But during Thursday’s preview, Apple focused on seven new aspect that it called “tentpole” features: multitasking, folders, Mail improvements, iBooks for the iPhone, enhancements for business users, a social gaming network, and iAd.

Learn more about iPhone 4.0’s tentpole features

As for iAds, that’s Apple’s new advertising platform designed specifically for the iPhone OS. iAd allows developers to include ads directly into their apps; the ads, written using the HTML5 standard, are designed to provide a rich promotional environment, complete with what are essentially mini apps-inside-the-app.

Learn more about Apple’s iAd advertising platform

While the iPhone OS took center stage during Thursday’s live event, Apple also briefly addressed the iPad, noting that it’s sold 450,000 devices since the tablet went on sale less than a week ago. The iPad is also driving growth in the App Store—users have downloaded 3.5 million iPad apps, with the total number of downloads from the store passing the 4 billion mark.

Read more on Apple’s iPad sales announcement

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Now on to more news and views.

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Wireless Messaging News
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WIRELESS
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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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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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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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NEWSLETTER ADVERTISING

If you would like to have information about advertising in this newsletter, please click here.

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PAGING CARRIERS

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You are cordially invited to join . . .

. . . the American Association of Paging Carriers (AAPC)
and the European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA)
for the second annual

Global Paging Convention

June 16 – 18, 2010
The Mills House Hotel • Charleston, SC

Be a part of an international gathering of industry representatives who want to promote partnerships that will foster the global success of paging technology. Healthcare telecommunications experts and first responders will tell us what they like, want, and need from our technology. Hear about the latest updates to personal communication devices utilizing paging technology; see presentations about new markets and products that have been successful in increasing the bottom line for paging companies; and listen to a panel of experts explain why their product complements or competes with paging technology.

www.pagingcarriers.org
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www.emma-info.org
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Thanks to our Premier Vendor!

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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 Preferred Wireless
CVC Paging Prism Paging
Daviscomms USA Ron Mercer
Easy Solutions UCOM Paging
Hark Technologies Unication USA
HMCE, Inc. United Communications Corp.
Northeast Paging WiPath Communications
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  

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GLOBAL BUSINESS — UNITED STATES

Motorola's Binary Code

By Kathleen Kingsbury
Monday, Apr. 12, 2010
Time Magazine

jha
Motorola's co-CEO Sanjay Jha
Michael Lewis

Greg Brown, Co-CEO of Motorola, likes to compare his company's recent performance to the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities. Yes, that's got to be the most clichéd literary reference in Western history, but Brown is not a wordsmith. He runs a gadget company. And that's the problem: Motorola was once renowned for manufacturing ultra-chic mobile phones. Yet since 2006, that business has been in free fall, and the company's overall revenue has dropped by half. The recession didn't help much. Keeping the $22 billion firm afloat were its less glamorous but profitable units that sell two-way police radios, barcode scanners and networking equipment for telecom carriers.

Brown says 2008 "marked the best year ever for our home and enterprise-mobility segments and the worst year ever for our mobile-device business. There were really two stories behind one Motorola."

Motorola's dire straits required a dramatic reinvention. So over the course of 2008, it slashed costs, replaced nearly 70% of its senior executives, transformed its corporate culture and hired Sanjay Jha, Brown's co-CEO, to resurrect its handset segment. Then it took the turnaround one step further, announcing plans in February to split the corporation into two independent entities.

By the first quarter of 2011, Motorola's assets will be divided evenly, with both parts sharing intellectual property and the brand name. Jha will oversee the mobile-device and television-set-top-box businesses. Brown will run the rest, which the company calls Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Networks, a name that could only have been fashioned by engineers. "I've long advocated that these were two distinctly separate companies," Brown says. "The split will mean renewed focus, improved innovation, better customer satisfaction and increased employee engagement."

Conglomerates have fallen out of favor in corporate America, and Motorola is the latest to be torn apart. As a separate entity, a company comprising the radio and networks units — both mature, stable businesses — could become a classic widow-and-orphan value stock that investors love, generating high dividends. Mobile, however, will be the growth opportunity.

After two difficult years — in 2009, the mobile market declined for the first time since 2001 — the handset industry appears to be on its feet again, according to research firm Gartner Technology, with sales stabilizing at 340 million units sold in last year's fourth quarter. Some analysts expect the worldwide mobile-subscriber base to almost double by 2013.

As Motorola knows all too well, it will take a red-hot hit to capture those new customers. The 81-year-old American institution, based in Schaumburg, Ill., has a celebrated history: its engineers invented the cell phone and, before that, the walkie-talkie, as well as one of the world's first semiconductors. By the early 2000s, it had also produced the best-selling mobile phone of all time, the StarTAC, the world's first clamshell. It surpassed that feat with the ultra-sleek Razr, introduced in 2004. The Razr transformed the mobile market, and more than 100 million units were sold in its four-year run. It was the iPhone of its time.

Today the iPhone is the iPhone of its time, a sleek machine with the ability to handle the Web, e-mail and photos and run a jillion apps — features that Motorola mostly failed to develop in following up on Razr's achievements. "Razr's success hid some fundamental shortcomings in how the business was being run," Jha says. Meanwhile, he adds, "the Chinese and Koreans were coming in and innovating faster than we were."

The cost of that failure? By 2008, market value had fallen by more than $37 billion in less than 18 months, and in 2009, Motorola's market share was halved from the prior year. Motorola fell from the No. 2 mobile manufacturer globally to barely eking out a spot in the top five, leading some to suggest that the handset unit should close shop. Investors, including billionaire activist shareholder Carl Icahn, began agitating for Motorola's breakup.

Source: Time Magazine

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UNICATION USA

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Complete Technical Services For The Communications and Electronics Industries

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HMCE Inc.

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hmce@bellsouth.net left arrow Click to e-mail
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Joshua's Mission left arrow Joshua's Mission Press Release

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HMCE Inc.

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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
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Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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Deadline looms for Mass. data protection law

One year and several changes later, the law is set to go into effect March 1

By Jaikumar Vijayan
February 11, 2010 05:03 PM ET

Computerworld - After more than a year of delay and several modifications, a contentious Massachusetts data protection regulation appears set to go into effect March 1.

The law is aimed at getting companies to better protect consumer data. It affects all businesses that store personal information on Massachusetts residents, regardless of where the companies might be based.

The rules (see PDF) require businesses to encrypt sensitive personal information on Massachusetts residents that is stored on portable devices such as PDAs and laptops or on storage media such as memory sticks and DVDs. Any personal information that is transmitted over a public or wireless network will also need to be encrypted.

Companies are required to take reasonable measures to control end-user access to sensitive data and to protect authentication information that can be used to gain access to the data. Businesses will also need to limit the amount of personal data they collect and must maintain an inventory of the information, monitor its usage and have a formal security plan for protecting the data. The rules were crafted by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) and were originally supposed to go into effect Jan. 1, 2009. The deadline was extended twice as a result of considerable resistance from businesses covered under the law. The first extension pushed the deadline back to last May, and the second one pushed it to March 1.

One of the biggest concerns had to do with a provision — that has since been modified — requiring businesses to ensure that all third parties with access to personal information are also compliant with the Massachusetts law. The provision would have required companies to rewrite their vendor contracts and to take steps to ensure their service providers were compliant with the Massachusetts regulations.

As it stands, businesses only have to take "reasonable steps" to verify that their third-party service providers have the ability to protect personal information via measures that are comparable to those prescribed by the OCABR. Companies have until March 2012 to include language in their third-party contracts obligating their vendors to employ reasonable measures for protecting personal information.

Several trade associations and companies have blasted the bill as being overly prescriptive, intrusive and costly to implement. Last January, a coalition of 70 organizations, including the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and several companies — including Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Target and Google — sent a letter to the OCABR demanding a "rigorous shareholder analysis" of the bill. The letter listed six areas of concern, including the mandatory encryption and data inventorying provisions.

Mobile devices still a concern
Boston attorney Deborah Birnbach, who has been advising clients on the regulations, said today that many companies appear to have put considerable effort into getting ready for the new provisions.

One remaining area of concern pertains to the encryption requirement for mobile devices. Many companies are struggling to figure out how to efficiently encrypt data that's stored on mobile devices such as BlackBerries and other smartphones, she said. Some companies are also struggling to ensure that personal data stored on backup storage media is encrypted, she said.

The regulations give the Massachusetts attorney general's office enforcement authority for the bill. It remains unclear what might provoke an enforcement action by the AG's office or what such enforcement might entail, Birnbach said. The most likely scenario is that the AG's office will use its authority to investigate data breaches to see if a breached entity was compliant with the requirements of the statute, she said.

Source: Computerworld

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PRISM PAGING

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ERF Wireless FY09 Loss Per Share Narrows - Quick Facts

4/5/2010 11:45 AM ET

(RTTNews) — ERF Wireless (ERFW) posted fiscal 2009 loss per share of $0.07, narrower than $0.15 per share in the same period last year.

Net sales for fiscal 2009 increased to $5.5 million from $5.2 million in the year-ago period.

The $378 thousand increase in net sales during 2009 as compared to the net sales generated in 2008 is primarily attributable to a $1.2 million increase in recurring WISP services from acquisitions and oil and gas deployments of our Mobile Broadband Trailers or MBTs, partially offset by a $583 thousand decline in wireless paging service and infrastructure construction revenues and a $203 thousand decline in banking network installation and services revenues.

Source: RTTNews

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April 6, 2010 6:12 PM PDT

Is Net neutrality dead? (FAQ)

by Marguerite Reardon

A federal appeals court decision against the Federal Communications Commission has left many people wondering if the open Internet's days are numbered.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out an FCC cease-and-desist order against cable giant Comcast. The FCC said in 2008 that Comcast had illegally slowed its customers' Bit Torrent traffic. Comcast, which changed its practices voluntarily before the FCC took action, claimed it was simply managing its network. The cable giant appealed the FCC's order to clear its name and set the record straight.

The recent court ruling has indeed cleared Comcast's name. But some consumer advocates say the consequence of this ruling is that it has also stripped the FCC of its power to enforce basic Internet openness principles. These advocates are calling for new laws and regulations that will protect the Net.

But the ruling, which is still being examined by lawyers on both sides of the debate, may not cause as much damage as some people fear. To get the low-down on how this court decision will affect the FCC, broadband Internet service providers, and consumers, check out this FAQ.

Let's start with the basics. What is Net neutrality?
There is no clear definition of the term Net neutrality, but in general it refers to the concept that Internet users should have unfettered access to content and services. In other words, service providers should not be allowed to either impede or favor access to particular sites or applications, the theory goes.

There have been several efforts to create laws to protect Net neutrality, but they've all failed. Instead the FCC, has tried to guide the Internet community by coming up with guidelines. In 2005, under then FCC chairman Michael Powell, the agency adopted four Open Internet Principles (PDF), which can be summarized this way: network operators cannot prevent users from accessing lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, nor can they prohibit users from attaching non-harmful devices to the network.

Kevin Martin used these principles as the basis for the FCC's action against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent traffic on its network.

So what did the court actually say in its ruling?
The court on Tuesday ruled that the FCC "has failed to tie its assertion" of regulatory authority to an actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the power to regulate an Internet provider's network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

But the ruling did not strip the FCC of all authority. It simply said the FCC didn't have any right to dictate how a service provider manages its network.

"We must decide whether the Federal Communications Commission has authority to regulate an Internet service provider's network management practices," Tatel wrote in his 36-page opinion. "The commission may exercise this 'ancillary' authority only if it demonstrates that its action—here barring Comcast from interfering with its customers' use of peer-to-peer networking applications—is 'reasonably ancillary to the . . . effective performance of its statutorily mandated responsibilities.'"

The FCC is currently working on drafting Net neutrality regulation. How will the court ruling affect those efforts?
In September, the FCC's current Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed making the four Open Internet principles plus two additional principles official regulation. The commission opened the issue for public comments and that comment period ended earlier this year.The agency is currently in the process of writing that regulation, which will be presented and voted on by the five-member commission at some point.

Judging from its official comments on Tuesday, it looks like the FCC is moving forward with its plans to make these rules official regulation.

"The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans. It will rest these policies—all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers—on a solid legal foundation," the agency said in a statement.

But the FCC emphasized that its approach to ensuring an open Internet differs from the previous FCC under Martin.

"Today's court decision invalidated the prior commission's approach to preserving an open Internet. But the court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end."

Will the FCC appeal the court's decision?
The FCC has made no mention of appealing the decision, and my guess is that it won't. The court decided unanimously. Genachowski seemed to recognize this action was on shaky legal ground, which is why he likely proposed making the principles official regulation. What's more when the FCC voted to take action against Comcast, the commission was split. Three commissioners voted for it and two commissioners voted against it.

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who was one of the two commissioners on the FCC in 2008 opposing the order against Comcast said Tuesday that he was pleased with the court's decision that "Title I of the Communications Act provides the FCC with no authority to regulate the network management practices of an Internet service provider."

But won't the new official regulation be meaningless, because the FCC has no authority to regulate the Net? Will Congress have to pass legislation to make the FCC's role clearer?
Consumer advocacy groups, such as Public Knowledge, say that the ruling Tuesday provides consumers with no protections in the law. This may be a bit of an overstatement. The court didn't strip the FCC of all its authority, but the ruling does call into question how far the FCC may go in certain instances. Two things could happen going forward to clarify the FCC's authority and bolster the agency's authority. The agency can change the classification of broadband Internet services from Title I information services to Title II telecommunications services, or Congress could enact a new law that specifically addresses Net neutrality.

What would reclassifying broadband services mean?
If broadband is reclassified a Title II telecommunications service, the FCC could have authority to regulate prices and competitive access under what's known as common carrier rules on these networks.

Public Knowledge argues that the FCC should bring "Internet access service back under some common carrier regulation similar to that used for decades." They argue that this would prevent unjust and unreasonable discrimination on the network.

How likely is it that broadband will be reclassified a Title II telecommunications service?
I think it's unlikely the FCC will reclassify broadband. For one, Genachowski has said repeatedly that he does not want to "regulate" the Internet. He believes an open Internet is the best way to spur innovation and improve services on the Net. His approach so far indicates he isn't looking to enact heavy-handed regulation. Instead, he seems to be working with industry to provide incentives to keep the Net open and to encourage competition.

The other reason that reclassification is unlikely is because ISPs would fight it tooth and nail, and there is already legal precedent that would make a legal challenge certain. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Brand X case that cable modem service was a Title I information service and not a Title II telecommunications service, which meant that it was not subject to FCC regulation. Later that year, the FCC voted to reclassify DSL as an information service to keep it consistent with cable services. It's unlikely the FCC would go back and change these classifications without some new law from Congress.

Is it likely that Congress will take action to pass a Net neutrality law or some law reclassifying Internet traffic?
I think it's unlikely that Congress will do anything anytime soon. For one, midterm elections are coming up. So nothing is likely to happen until that is over.

Looking out even further, I still think it's unlikely that Congress will pass a Net neutrality law. In 2006, Congress rejected five bills, backed by groups including Google, Amazon.com, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, that would have handed the FCC the power to police Net neutrality violations. Even though the Democrats have enjoyed a majority on Capitol Hill since 2007, the political leadership has shown little interest in resuscitating those proposals.

As for reclassification, Congress is also unlikely to pick this up. In an e-mail to my colleague Declan McCullagh earlier on Tuesday, Sam Feder, a former FCC general counsel who's now a partner at the Jenner and Block law firm in Washington, seems to agree.

"The court decision is not broad enough to have a good shot at overturning it in the Supreme Court, and for the same reason, it is unlikely to prod Congress into enacting legislation," he said in an e-mail. "Reclassifying broadband (as a common carrier)—a path advocated by some public interest groups—might provide a more sound legal basis for moving forward, but the politics of that move are awful. The ISPs would fight tooth and nail to avoid reclassification, and the public interest groups are unlikely to be happy unless reclassification is accompanied by significant regulation. In the end, that move makes nobody happy."

What are Internet service providers, such as AT&T and Comcast, expected to do? They got what they wanted, so will they be monkeying with everyone's traffic?
The major broadband service providers say they plan to continue to adhere to the Open Internet principles. So the short answer is that it's highly unlikely they will slow customers' traffic or degrade service from a potential competitor.

These companies recognize that the FCC is pushing forward with making official Net neutrality regulation. And they know that there are at least three votes on the FCC in favor of such regulation. The last thing ISPs want is to push Congress into passing a law that would increase regulation.

This means that the ISPs are likely to work with the FCC in developing new Net neutrality regulation that they can live with. AT&T, Verizon Communications, Comcast, and others say they plan to continue to support the FCC's Open Internet principles, regardless of Tuesday's ruling.

"AT&T supports an open Internet," Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president of legislative affairs, said in a statement. "That is what our customers count on us to deliver, and we will not disappoint them. Moreover, the FCC's Open Internet Principles work. In the nearly five years since these principles were put in place, the FCC has encountered only one serious complaint, and even in that case, which was before the court today, the company took steps to address the complaint long before the FCC ruled."

Even Comcast said that it plans to continue to adhere to the Open Internet principles.

"Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation," Sena Fitzmaurice, vice president of government communications at Comcast, said in a statement. "We have always been focused on serving our customers and delivering the quality open-Internet experience consumers want. Comcast remains committed to the FCC's existing open Internet principles, and we will continue to work constructively with this FCC as it determines how best to increase broadband adoption and preserve an open and vibrant Internet."

The FCC has just come out with its comprehensive 10-year National Broadband Plan, which is a blueprint for getting affordable broadband access to every American. Will this court ruling affect those plans?
Some consumer advocates argue that the decision will hamper the FCC's ability to get universal broadband to all Americans.

But I disagree. I don't think that this ruling changes anything in terms of the National Broadband Plan. The plan does not give the FCC authority to mandate broadband deployment. It's simply an outline for policy makers and legislators. Much of the plan is devoted to finding ways in which public policy can encourage investment from private industry. For example, this ruling does not affect the FCC's ability to put more wireless spectrum in the market that will be auctioned to build new networks or bolster existing ones.

So what does all of this mean for broadband consumers?
Right now, it means very little. Consumers are not likely to see any change in their service as a result of this court ruling. They will be able to access the same services and Web sites they have always been able to access. They will likely continue to see new services being added to the Net. And they will not likely face any degradation in service.

CNET's Declan McCullagh contributed to this report.

reardon Marguerite Reardon has been a CNET News reporter since 2004, covering cell phone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate, as well as the ongoing consolidation of the phone companies. E-mail Maggie.
Source: CNET News

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United Communications Corp.
Serving the Emergency Service Market Since 1986
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BloostonLaw Telecom 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. 13, No. 14 April 7, 2010   

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FCC’s April 21 Meeting

The following items are tentatively scheduled for consideration at the FCC’s April 21 open meeting:

USF Reform NPRM and NOI: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes reforms to the existing high-cost support mechanisms to identify funds that can be refocused toward broadband, and a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) that seeks comment on the use of a model to determine efficient and targeted support levels for broadband deployment in high-cost areas.

Mobile Roaming Order and FNPRM: An Order implementing rules to ensure the availability of reasonable automatic roaming arrangements for voice service and an FNPRM seeking comment on roaming arrangements for mobile broadband services.

Network Gateway NOI: An NOI seeking comment on best approaches to assure the commercial availability of smart video devices and other equipment used to access the services of multi-channel video programming distributors.

CableCARD NPRM: An NPRM that proposes changes to the CableCARD rules for set-top boxes used with cable services, to improve the operation of that framework pending the development of a successor framework.

Survivability NOI: An NOI seeking comment on the present state of survivability in broadband networks and potential measures to reduce vulnerability to network failures.

Cybersecurity Certification NOI: An NOI seeking comment on whether the Commission should establish a voluntary program under which participating communications service providers would be certified by the FCC or a third party for adherence to cyber-security objectives and/or practices.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

  • Court deals blow to FCC on net neutrality.
  • FCC sets schedule for 2010 annual access tariff filings.
  • NBP proposes opening up 300 MHz of spectrum within next 5 years.
  • FCC sets comment dates for extending jurisdictional separations freeze for one year.
  • FCC seeks comment on revising performance requirements for 2.3 GHz WCS band.

Court Deals Blow To FCC On “Net Neutrality,” Broadband

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has dealt the FCC a blow on “net neutrality”—the agency’s policy of maintaining an open Internet—as well as undermining its authority to regulate broadband service providers just as the Commission is unveiling its National Broadband Plan. In Comcast v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit, in a 3-0 decision, ruled that the FCC lacked authority to require Comcast to treat all Internet traffic equally on its network.

The case dates back to 2007, when several subscribers to Comcast’s high-speed Internet service discovered that Comcast was interfering with their use of peer-to-peer networking applications. These programs allow users to share large files directly with one another without going through a central server, and also consume significant amounts of bandwidth. Public interest groups filed a complaint; Comcast responded that it needed to manage scarce network capacity. The FCC eventually ruled that Comcast’s method of bandwidth management contravened federal policy, and ordered the company to make a set of disclosures regarding a new approach toward managing its network. Comcast complied with the FCC order, but petitioned for review, primarily on the ground that the Commission had failed to justify exercising jurisdiction over its network management practices. The D.C. Circuit agreed. Essentially, the Court said the FCC was stretching its Communications Act Title I ancillary authority into Title II regulation. The decision came only two days before the comment deadline in the FCC’s “net neutrality” rulemaking proceeding.

In its opinion, the Court said that the FCC maintains that congressional policy by itself creates “statutorily mandated responsibilities” sufficient to support the exercise of its “ancillary” authority. Not only is this argument flatly inconsistent with several previous cases, the Court said, but if accepted it would virtually free the Commission from its congressional tether. As the Court has previously explained, “without reference to the provisions of the [Communications] Act” expressly granting regulatory authority, “the Commission’s [ancillary] jurisdiction…would be unbounded.”

“Indeed,” the Court said, “as Commission counsel told us at oral argument that just as the Order seeks to make Comcast’s Internet service more ‘rapid’ and ‘efficient,’ the Commission could some day subject Comcast’s Internet service to pervasive rate regulation to ensure that the company provides the service at ‘reasonable charges.’ Were we to accept that theory of ancillary authority, we see no reason why the Commission would have to stop there, for we can think of few examples of regulations that apply to Title II common carrier services, Title III broadcast service, or Title VI cable services that the Commission, relying on the broad policies articulated in section 230(b) and section I, would be unable to impose upon Internet service providers.”

In conclusion, the Court said that notwithstanding the “difficult regulatory problem of rapid technological change” posed by the communications industry, “the allowance of wide latitude in the exercise of delegated powers is not the equivalent of untrammeled freedom to regulate activities over which the statute fails to confer…Commission authority.” Because the Commission has failed to tie its assertion of ancillary authority over Comcast’s Internet service to any “statutory mandated responsibility,” the D.C. Circuit granted Comcast’s petition for review and vacated the FCC’s order.

The FCC, as an agency, issued a statement which, in part, said that the “court decision invalidated the prior Commission’s approach to preserving an open Internet. But the Court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end.” Chairman Julius Genachowski had not issued his own separate statement at our deadline.

However, Commissioner Michael Copps said: “My criticism…is not of the Court, but of my own FCC for the bad policy choices it has made. It is time that we stop doing the ‘ancillary authority’ dance and instead rely on the statute Congress gave us to stand on solid legal ground in safeguarding the benefits of the Internet for American consumers. We should straighten this broadband classification mess out before the first day of summer.”

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said: “The Court of Appeals has made clear that, in its view, the Commission does not have the authority to enforce its prior framework designed to preserve an open Internet. The Court’s decision, however, does not change the importance of our goal nor should it weaken our resolve.”

Commissioner Robert McDowell said: “I am pleased that today’s court order makes clear that Title I of the Communications Act provides the FCC with no authority to regulate the network management practices of an Internet service provider. I hope this decision will provide certainty in the marketplace and will not lead to the unnecessary classification of broadband service as a monopoly phone service under Title II of the Act.”

Commissioner Meredith A. Baker said: “With regard to the substantive policy at issue in this case—net neutrality—I would oppose calls to use the court’s decision as a pretext to reclassify broadband Internet access services under monopoly-era Title II regulation.”

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

FCC Sets Schedule For 2010 Annual Access Tariff Filings

The FCC has established the procedures and deadlines for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to file their 2010 access tariff revisions. Whereas price cap ILECs must file interstate access tariff revisions every year, rate of return ILECs need file such revisions only every other year. In addition, rate of return ILECs that file their own traffic-sensitive interstate access tariffs under Section 61.38 of the Commission’s rules are required to file in even-numbered years. Those filing pursuant to Section 61.39 of the Commission’s rules are required to file in odd-numbered years and are not required to submit supporting material with the revised tariff.

Because 2010 is an even-numbered year, only the price cap ILECs and the ILECs filing pursuant to section 61.38 are required to file revised access tariffs this year. Any rate-of-return ILEC subject to section 61.39 may elect to make a voluntary tariff filing at this time. ILECs are permitted to make their tariff filings on either 15 or seven days prior to the effective date of their tariffs, depending on the type of changes the tariffs propose. ILECs proposing to increase any of their rates file their tariff revisions on 15 days’ notice, while ILECs proposing to de crease all of their rates file their tariff revisions on seven days’ notice.

The Commission’s rules require that annual access tariff filings must be filed with a scheduled effective date of July 1, 2010. (Refer to WCB/Pricing File No. 10-03)

ILECs filing tariffs on 15 days’ notice must make their annual tariff filings on June 16, 2010, and ILECs filing tariffs on seven days’ notice must make their annual tariff filings on June 24, 2010.

In accordance with the tariff filing schedule, petitions to suspend or reject tariff filings made on 15 days’ notice will be due June 22, 2010 and replies will be due June 25, 2010. Petitions to suspend or reject tariff filings made on seven days’ notice will be due by 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time on June 28, 2010, and reply comments will be due no later than 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time on June 29, 2010.

Price cap ILECs are required to submit both a short-form Tariff Review Plan (TRP) and a long-form TRP. Section 61.49(k) of the Commission’s rules requires price cap carriers to file a short-form TRP without rate detail information 90 days prior to the usual effective date of July 1. For this year’s filing, the FCC waives the 90-day requirement and permits the short-form TRP to be filed on May 17, 2010. The FCC will issue a separate order that will provide the details of the price cap short form and regular TRPs. Comments on the short form TRP will be due on May 27, 2010. Reply comments will be due June 3, 2010. (Contact the firm with regard to material required to be filed in support of the access charge filings.)

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

NBP Proposes Opening Up 300 MHz Of Mobile Spectrum Within Next Five Years

As part of our continuing coverage of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan (NBP), we review the Broadband Task Force’s recommendation that the FCC should make 300 megahertz between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz should be made newly available for mobile use within five years. This is part of the Task Force’s larger plan to make a total of 500 megahertz of spectrum available for broadband use within the next 10 years. Five recommendations of the Task Force with respect to wireless spectrum are summarized below.

In the bands below 3.7 GHz, the Task Force identifies 547 megahertz as flexible use spectrum that can be used for mobile broadband. This includes the Cellular and PCS bands (totaling 170 megahertz) which are the most intensively used spectrum today. Most of the remaining 377 megahertz was auctioned or rebanded within the past six years and is just now coming online for mobile broadband deployment. This includes 70 megahertz of commercial spectrum in the 700 MHz band (from Auction 73 and earlier Auctions 44 and 49), 90 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum (from Auction No. 66) and 194 MHz of Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum in the 2500-2690 MHz Band. The Task Force views these already-licensed bands as a "runway" for the launch of next-generation mobile broadband services.

Aside from these existing services, which may provide opportunities for our clients who wish to provide wireless broadband services, the Task Force has made the following recommendations as to spectrum bands that should be prioritized for reallocation and rule changes. Clients that are interested in future opportunities to obtain wireless spectrum should take note of the projected timetables for upcoming auctions and participate in related rulemaking proceedings to ensure that there are sufficient opportunities for small businesses and rural telephone companies.

Recommendation 1: The FCC should make 20 megahertz available for mobile broadband use in the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) band, while protecting neighboring federal, non-federal Aeronautical Mobile Telemetry (AMT) and satellite radio operations.

The FCC established and auctioned the 2.3 GHz WCS spectrum in 1997. At that time, the FCC adopted strict operating parameters to protect operations in the adjacent Satellite Digital Audio Radio (SDARS) band. In particular, strict out-of-band emission limits precluded the provision of mobile broadband services in the WCS spectrum. Based on the record developed in WT Docket No. 07-293, the Task Force recommends that the FCC should revise its WCS technical rules to enable mobile broadband use of the 2.3 GHz WCS spectrum, while protecting federal, non-federal AMT and satellite radio operations in the neighboring SDARS band.

Recommendation 2: The FCC should auction the 10 megahertz Upper 700 MHz D Block for commercial use that is technically compatible with public safety broadband services. (See BloostonLaw Telecom Update, March 31.)

The Task Force has recommended that the FCC auction the Upper 700 MHz D Block for commercial use with limited technical requirements that would ensure technical compatibility between the D Block and the adjacent public safety broadband spectrum block. This would enable, but not obligate, the licensee to enter into a spectrum-sharing partnership with the neighboring Public Safety Broadband Licensee (PSBL). It would also support the public safety broadband capability through equipment development, roaming and priority access, pursuant to the recommendations described in Chapter 16 of the NBP.

The D Block consists of 10 megahertz (2x5 megahertz) that did not receive a winning bid in Auction No. 73. The original rules required the D Block licensee to enter into a public-private partnership with the PSBL to build a public safety broadband network. The absence of meaningful bids indicated that the public safety obligations as designed were not commercially viable. The approach recommended by the Task Force would allow for a voluntary partnership between public safety broadband spectrum holders and other commercial licensee(s) (i.e., not only the D Block). The Task Force recommends that the D Block be auctioned with the following rules:

The D Block licensee(s) must use a nationally standardized air interface. The NBP does not mandate that the LTE family of standards be used, but it recognizes the public safety community’s unanimous endorsement of LTE.

The FCC should initiate a proceeding to enable authorized state, local and federal public safety users to have roaming and priority access rights for broadband service on commercial networks subject to compensation.

D Block licensee(s) must develop and offer devices that operate both on the D Block and the neighboring public safety broadband block, with a path toward scale production of components and devices that can utilize both blocks, in order to stimulate the public safety broadband equipment “ecosystem.”

The D Block license should be subject to commercially reasonable buildout requirements. The Commission should also consider the use of incentives to promote additional deployment by the D Block licensee(s) for the benefit of rural citizens and for public safety agencies.

Recommendation 3: The FCC should make up to 60 megahertz available by auctioning Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) bands, including, if possible, 20 megahertz from federal allocations. (See BloostonLaw Telecom Update, March 31.)

The Task Force urges the FCC to move expeditiously to resolve the future of the spectrum already allocated for AWS. The AWS-2 and AWS-3 allocations consist of the AWS-2 “H” Block (10 megahertz at 1915–1920 MHz paired with 1995–2000 MHz; the AWS-2 “J” Block 910 megahertz at 2020–2025 MHz paired with 2175–2180 MHz) and the AWS-3 Band (20 megahertz unpaired at 2155–2175 MHz).

The FCC proposed rules for AWS-2 spectrum in 2004 and sought comment on AWS-3 spectrum in 2007. Potential synergies exist between the AWS-3 band and spectrum currently allocated to federal use at 1.7 GHz. There are a number of countries that have allocated spectrum in the 1710–1780 MHz band for commercial use and devices already exist in the international market for that spectrum. Consequently, pairing the AWS-3 band with spectrum from the 1755–1780 MHz band has the potential to bring benefits of a global equipment ecosystem to this band.

Recommendation 4: The FCC should accelerate terrestrial deployment in 90 megahertz of Mobile Satellite Spectrum (MSS).

MSS is a radio communication service involving transmission between mobile earth stations and one or more space stations. MSS can provide mobile communications, from a handheld device such as a smartphone, in areas where it is difficult or impossible to provide coverage using terrestrial base stations, such as in remote or rural areas and non-coastal maritime regions, and at times when coverage may be unavailable from terrestrial-based networks, such as during hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The FCC first allocated spectrum for MSS in 1986. Since then, the Commission has allocated spectrum in four bands to MSS: the Little LEO Band, the L-Band, the S-Band, and the Big LEO band. The latter three MSS bands are capable of supporting broadband service, and several public comments have identified MSS as a potential focal point for a broadband spectrum strategy.

The FCC adopted rules in February 2003 that allow MSS operators to construct and operate Ancillary Terrestrial Components (ATCs) in their licensed spectrum. Although satellites permit nationwide coverage, satellite links are limited without line-of-sight transmission, particularly in urban areas and inside buildings. The ATC rules allow MSS providers to deploy terrestrial networks to enhance coverage in areas where the satellite signal is attenuated or unavailable.

When it enacted the ATC rules, the FCC stated that it would “authorize MSS ATC subject to conditions that ensure that the added terrestrial component remains ancillary to the principal MSS offering.” In this regard, the FCC adopted gating criteria that require MSS operators to satisfy certain requirements prior to using ATC. Specifically, the FCC requires MSS licensees to provide substantial satellite service, including satisfying geographic and temporal coverage requirements, maintaining spare satellites, and offering commercial service to the public for a fee. In addition, MSS licenses must integrate MSS and ATC services, including, notably, a requirement that all ATC handsets must have a satellite communications capability

The Task Force recommends that the FCC take the following actions to promote more productive use of MSS spectrum:

The FCC and other government agencies should work closely with L-Band licensees and foreign governments to accelerate efforts to rationalize ATC-authorized L-Band spectrum to make it usable for broadband ATC service.

The FCC should add a primary “mobile” (terrestrial) allocation to the S-Band, consistent with the international table of allocations, which will provide the option of flexibility to licensees to provide stand-alone terrestrial services using the spectrum. Exercise of this option should be conditioned on construction benchmarks, participation in an incentive auction, or other conditions designed to ensure timely utilization of the spectrum for broadband and appropriate consideration for the step-up in the value of the affected spectrum.

The FCC should grant licensees flexibility under the ATC regime in the 2.4 GHz Big LEO band, already being used for terrestrial broadband deployments, to make this spectrum permanently suitable for terrestrial broadband service, subject to appropriate safeguards to promote the public interest.

Recommendation 5: The FCC should initiate a rule making proceeding to reallocate 120 megahertz from the broadcast television (TV) bands.

One of the most interesting, and likely most controversial provisions of the NBP involves the Task Force’s recommendations with respect to reallocation of spectrum from the broadcast TV bands. As our clients know, this VHF and UHF spectrum has excellent propagation characteristics, and is particularly well suited for use in mobile communications networks in both urban and rural areas. Reallocation would focus primarily on major markets where the broadcast TV bands are most congested and the need for additional spectrum for broadband use will be greatest.

Because of their complexity, we will provide further details of the NBP recommendations for the TV band in a subsequent report, but a brief summary is provided below:

Update rules on TV service areas and distance separations and revise the Table of Allotments to ensure the most efficient allotment of six-megahertz channel assignments as a starting point.

Establish a licensing framework to permit two or more stations to share a six-megahertz channel.

Determine rules for auctions of broadcast spectrum reclaimed through repacking and voluntary channel sharing.

Explore alternatives—including changes in broadcast technical architecture, an overlay license auction, or more extensive channel sharing—in the event the preceding recommendations do not yield a significant amount of spectrum.

Take additional measures to increase efficiency of spectrum use in the broadcast TV bands.

In those areas where the FCC has already developed a significant record, such as WCS, the FCC should be able to adopt rules to implement task force recommendations in a relatively short time frame. However, in most other cases, the FCC will need to issue proposed rules and conduct notice and comment rulemaking proceedings. Since the NBP will likely set the FCC’s spectrum agenda for the foreseeable future, clients that currently provide wireless services or who are interested in expanding their wireless offerings in the future should participate in these proceedings to ensure that small businesses and rural telephone companies can obtain spectrum licenses and are able to compete on equal footing with the nationwide carriers.

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

LAW & REGULATION

FCC SETS COMMENT DATES FOR EXTENDING JURISDICTIONAL SEPARATIONS FREEZE FOR ONE YEAR: The FCC has established a comment cycle for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on whether it should extend for one year, until June 30, 2011, the current freeze of jurisdictional separations category relationships and cost allocation factors in Part 36 of its rules (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, March 31). In this NPRM, the FCC notes that although the Federal-State Joint Board on Separations is in the process of preparing a recommended decision, the scope and complexity of the referral makes it unlikely that the process will be completed prior to the current expiration of the freeze on June 30, 2010. As the Commission has previously observed, if the Commission does not extend the separations freeze and instead allows the earlier separations rules to return to force, incumbent LECs would be required to reinstitute their separations processes that have not been used since the inception of the freeze almost nine years ago. Comments in this CC Docket No. 80-286 proceeding are due April 19, and replies are due April 26. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON REVISING PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR 2.3 GHz WCS BAND: The FCC has asked for comment on revising the performance requirements for the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) band. The Commission is seeking comment on possible revision of the performance requirements (also known as buildout or construction requirements) for the 2.3 GHz WCS band to ensure that that the spectrum is used intensively in the public interest. Comments in this WTB Docket No. 07-293 proceeding are due April 21, and replies are due May 3. The current construction requirement for all spectrum blocks in the 2.3 GHz WCS band is a substantial service showing at the end of the license term. The Commission seeks comment on whether, if it alters the technical rules for this band, it should also revise the substantial service performance requirements. In order to aid the Commission's consideration of alternative performance requirements for the 2.3 GHz WCS band, the Commission requests that interested parties comment on the following requirements and possible alternatives to the following:

For mobile and point-to-multipoint services, reliable signal coverage to:

  • 40% of a license area's population within 30 months; and
  • 75% of a license area's population within 60 months.

For point-to-point services, construction and operation of point-to-point links:

  • 15 per million persons in a license area within 30 months;
  • 30 per million persons in a license area within 60 months; and,
  • A minimum payload capacity (megabits/second for a given bandwidth) to ensure that the spectrum is used intensively.

The Commission also seeks comment on whether it should require WCS licensees to fulfill performance requirements for an entire license area and for defined market areas therein. Additionally, comment is sought on various compliance procedures. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Cary Mitchell.

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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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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.

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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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WiPath Communications

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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

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

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  • Variety of sizes Indoor/outdoor
  • Integrated paging receiver

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

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  • 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

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

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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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Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola C-Net Platinum Controller
1 Motorola ASC1500 Controller
1 Skydata Model 5090 Uplink Power Control
1 Skydata Model 8360 MSK Modulator
8 Skydata Multi Channel Receivers - NEW
1 Gilat Transmitter
2 Gilat Skyway ODU Controller
2 Rad RSD-10
3 Gilat Satellite Transmitter
2 Gilat Skymux Controller
8 Skymux Expansion
2 Gilat Transmitters
2 GL3100 RF Director
30 Zetron Model 66 Controllers
Link Transmitters:
6 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
1 Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX
3 Glenayre QT-6201, 100W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
VHF Paging Transmitters
14 Motorola Nucleus 125W, NAC
3 Motorola Nucleus 350W, NAC
1 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
10 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
UHF Paging Transmitters:
24 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
2 Quintron QT-7795, 250W UHF, w/TCC & RL70 Rx.
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110W, TRC or ACB
3 Motorola PURC-5000 225W, ACB
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
20 Glenayre GLT-8500, 250W, C2000, w/ or w/o I20
4 Motorola PURC 5000, 300W, DRC or ACB
3 Motorola PURC 5000, 150W, 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
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www.preferredwireless.com/equipment
left arrow OR HERE

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Preferred Wireless

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iPad security for the enterprise still subject to debate

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 8:45 am by Matt Hamblen, Computerworld

Category | Security

Editor’s Note: This story is excerpted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

Whether the iPad is secure enough for enterprise uses is debatable, based on a survey of several analysts and experts.

Some analysts say that with tougher data protection laws, such as one that recently took effect in Massachusetts, the iPad deserves an “F” for security readiness for financial services companies and other federally regulated industries.

But that view contrasts with the opinion of other security professionals who give the iPad a “B” grade for overall enterprise readiness. One of them, Wolfgang Kandek, CTO for security firm Qualys, predicted today that “the iPad will make its inroad into the enterprise just by force of users, and it’s going to be a really interesting conundrum for IT managers. I don’t think the iPad is ready today, but it will make it’s way into the enterprise even as it clashes with the typical enterprise IT mentality.”

The iPad will come crashing into the enterprise on the hands of average workers, the same way the iPhone did, Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler said in a earlier blog.

Some information about iPad’s security features is apparently not well-known, leading to more suspicions than the device deserves. Some industry analysts interviewed today were unaware that the iPad ships with a native IPSec VPN from Cisco Systems Inc. One analyst said there is wide speculation on the Web that a third-party VPN would not be supported, calling into question whether data transmissions would be secure.

However, the Cisco IPSec VPN can be found in the iPad, along with a section to make settings for other L2TP and PPTP VPNs. All three are located under the setting icon and then under “networks” and likely require information from system administrators to be fully configured.

Even with the VPN for creating a tunnel to send data securely from place to place, analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates questioned whether encryption of data stored on the iPad would be protected from from hackers.

Gold said some experts have demonstrated the ability to hack certain versions of the iPhone, which contains earlier versions of the OS used in the iPad, and also provides data encryption.

“Some of that encryption can be worked around, which means the iPad gets an ‘F’ from any regulated corporation that must protect data,” Gold said.

Gold said IT managers may be unaware of the stiff new Massachusetts data protection law that affects businesses working in the state and requires encryption of data on all kinds of devices.

Perhaps the iPad’s encryption would be sufficient to meet the conditions of the new law, but Gold said the iPad’s vulnerability to the same kind of hacks used to penetrate the iPhone suggests otherwise.

Regarding that related iPhone security, Gartner Inc. released a research note in February stating that early versions of the iPhone were vulnerable to jailbreaks. Even an Apple OS 3.1.3 update with firmware revisions for late-model iPhone 3GS devices could be vulnerable to “hackers [who] may discover new access methods,” the note said.

The iPad, which runs Apple’s iPhone OS 3.2, presumably has the same firmware updates provided in version 3.1.3. Later in the same note, Gartner said that the iPhone 3GS also has embedded 256-bit AES hardware encryption that cannot be turned off, which nonetheless still leaves data vulnerable if the device is jailbroken or otherwise hacked.

The note also includes a series of tips for iPhone security in the enterprise, which Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said would also apply to the iPad. The tips include some fairly standard measures such as enforcing use of pass codes and using complex pass codes, locking the device after a maximum number of password retries, enforcing device timeout to prevent theft of data when a device is unused, select disabling of YouTube, App Store and iTunes, preventing capture of screenshots, and installing certificates for VPN use.

Despite Apple’s updates and the inclusion of the Cisco VPN, Dulaney said Gartner concludes that the iPad is “not enterprise ready . . . and Apple would have no problem with Gartner saying this was not enterprise ready.”

“We don’t endorse use of netbooks, and the iPad is in the same category,” Dulaney added referring to the firm’s enterprise clients. “We don’t think it has the security and manageability capabilities for offline applications and, more importantly, the support of Apple for the enterprise.”

Even so, Dulaney said he knows that some companies will support the iPad, just as they have the iPhone, including companies that want to project a high-tech reputation. He also said a variety of companies will deliver applications to iPad users to stay in touch with the company’s buying groups, the same way some banks internally avoided using the iPhone at first, but also built banking applications for the iPhone for their customers.

Dulaney also noted that supporting corporate e-mail via the iPad will be no different than with the iPhone. “It works … and the security enforced by [Microsoft] Exchange is sufficient,” he said.

In general, Dulaney expects some large business to support iPad applications “just because there is enthusiasm to support them. They will break their rules for security and manageability, but it is their right to do that.”

Tablet computers are best suited for workers who stand or walk, Dulaney said. For any company wanting to design a touch-screen application for workers, he recommended a Windows 7 tablet instead of the iPad, since it is part of a mature and well-tested market.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt’s RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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Brad's comment: After the article above came out, Apple announced many new features that will be available in their next upgrade to the operating system that is shared by the iPhone and the iPad. These improvements should satisfy all (or most) misgivings about the iPad's suitability for business use.

Enterprise features

iPhone 4.0 has added new features for business users. At the top of the list is better data protection: all e-mail, including attachments, can be encrypted with your PIN code. And Apple will make encryption APIs available to third-party developers, allowing them to do the same with data stored in their apps.

Apple also plans to roll out improvements for mobile device management for companies that deploy large numbers of iPhones. (Forstall noted on Thursday that more 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies use iPhones in some capacity.) Companies can now wirelessly distribute applications anywhere in the world from their own servers. In addition, there’s the aforementioned support for multiple Exchange accounts, and support for Exchange Server 2010. Plus, Apple is supporting SSL VPN for both Juniper and Cisco.

for more information, read: Multitasking tops tentpole features in iPhone 4.0

Source: Macworld

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Easy Solutions

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Easy Solutions

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Hark Technologies

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Wireless Communication Solutions

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USB Paging Encoder

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  • Single channel up to eight zones
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Paging Data Receiver (PDR)

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  • Frequency agile - only one receiver to stock
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Other products

  • Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.
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Hark Technologies

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UCOM Paging

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UCOM Paging

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City of Manassas to End BPL Service

manassas
After almost eight years, the City of Manassas has voted to discontinue BPL service.

(Apr 8, 2010) Once touted as "the most successful BPL deployment in the nation," the City of Manassas, Virginia has decided to get out of the BPL business, once and for all. At a Special Meeting on Monday, April 5, the Manassas City Council — acting on a recommendation from the Manassas Utilities Commission — unanimously voted to discontinue Broadband over Powerline (BPL) Internet service as of July 1, 2010 to the approximately 520 residents and businesses who currently subscribe to the service; these customers were told that they have three months to find a new Internet service provider.

According to Manassas City Clerk Andrea Madden, there was no discussion on the resolution to discontinue service and the motion was passed "without incident."

With the motion made by Councilman Jonathan Way and seconded by Mark Wolfe, the City Council cited three reasons for discontinuing BPL service: a declining customer base, an annual income deficit of almost $166,000 from providing Internet service, and a determination that AMI [Advanced Metering Infrastructure] platforms don't require BPL. Way and Wolfe favored shutting down the BPL system in November 2009, the last time this matter was brought to the Council's attention. "The City needs to get out of BPL forthwith," Way said back in 2009. "It's not a good product. The whole business is not financially sound and it never has been."

Manassas residents pay $24.95 each month to receive Internet service via BPL. In November 2009, the Utility Commission showed the Council that little more than 500 residents and 46 businesses currently subscribed to the service, which since 2008, has been run by the City. "It's costing a little more to maintain the system than we projected in the budget," Manassas Director of Utilities Michael Moon told the Council. "The original projections were that the customer base would be double this." In September 2008, the Manassas City Council voted to assume control of the BPL service from COMTek, the private company that served (back then) approximately 675 residents.

In January 2009, there were 637 residential and 51 commercial BPL subscribers in Manassas. In February 2010, those numbers had shrunk to 457 residential and 50 commercial subscribers. The Utilities Commission said that the total revenue brought in by BPL for FY2010 was almost $186,000, but the expense of keeping up the City-owned system was costing the ratepayers a little more than $351,000, resulting in a net loss of almost $166,000.

"In October 2003, the Manassas City Council was told that it could expect as much as $4.5 million in revenue from awarding a 10 year BPL franchise," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Instead, six months later, BPL had turned into a money pit for the City of Manassas. Anyone thinking of investing in BPL would do well to learn from the Manassas experience."

bpl pole
BPL technology uses the electricity grid in a city and the wiring in individual homes to provide direct "plug in" broadband access through electricity sockets, rather than over phone or cable TV lines.

In November 2009, Manassas' Assistant Utilities Director (Electric) Gregg Paulson told the ARRL that they had "every intention of putting BPL Internet service in the budget and the Council can decide its fate as they work through the budget process." Paulson also said that while Internet service to consumers would "probably" be the only thing that would be cut if the Council decided to forego BPL, he left the door open as to using the BPL infrastructure for other purposes: "We still own the BPL network, but we may or may not use this network for utility monitoring or other AMI purposes."

But according to the resolution passed by the Council, the Manassas Utilities Department will not be using BPL for AMI, but instead will use "a combination of fiber and wireless technology exclusive of the BPL." According to the Agenda Statement for the Special Meeting, the BPL equipment will be removed from the system and "inquiries will be made regarding the salvage value."

Sumner said that the ARRL's concern was not with the business plan — that he termed "obviously flawed" — but with "the interference to licensed radio services — and in particular the Amateur Radio Service — inevitably caused by putting radio frequency energy on unshielded, unbalanced conductors. Manassas was touted as 'the most successful BPL deployment in the nation' when FCC Chairman Michael Powell visited the site with much fanfare — and, the ARRL maintains, in violation of the FCC's own rules — on the eve of the FCC's vote to adopt inadequate protection for licensed radio services against interference from BPL systems. The taxpayers and ratepayers of Manassas are not the only ones who benefit from the end of this ill-considered foray into BPL. Radio amateurs in the Manassas area have good reason to celebrate, for they have spent countless hours documenting the widespread interference caused by the system."

BPL technology uses the electricity grid in a city and the wiring in individual homes to provide direct "plug in" broadband access through electricity sockets, rather than over phone or cable TV lines. Because BPL wiring is physically large, is often overhead and extends across entire communities, these systems pose a significant interference potential to over-the-air radio services, including Amateur Radio.

Source: ARRL.org

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UNTIL NEXT WEEK

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With best regards,

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Newsletter Editor

73 DE K9IQY

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Wireless Messaging News
Brad Dye, Editor
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype: braddye
Telephone: 618-599-7869

E–mail: brad@braddye.com
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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn.'”

“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”

— C.S. Lewis quotations

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Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as Jack, was an Irish-born British novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist. He is also known for his fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.

Source: Wikipedia contributors, "C. S. Lewis," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=C._S._Lewis&oldid=354708574 (accessed April 8, 2010).

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