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Indianapolis' Most Iconic Local Commercials: 21st Century Paging
Mickey Levy has been a lot of things—a carnival connoisseur, an automobile salesman, a grandfather.
But around Indianapolis, he’s best known for his 12-year reign as Crazy Mickey the Beeper King.
Levy—who says he’s nearly always been self-employed because he “doesn’t play well with others”—started his beeper venture, 21st Century Paging, after he got out of the automobile business in 1991.
His first pager store was located on west Washington Street in a 300-square-foot storefront he shared with a barbershop.
But by 2000, his little pager business was booming. It grew to eight locations around the city and was grossing $4 million a year.
“It was like it was Christmas every day,” he said.
In the peak years of his beeper business, Levy said he was spending $250,000 on advertising—the medium that propelled him into Indianapolis stardom.
Levy’s advertisements were off-the-wall. They were low budget, yet strangely high profile.
He was even written up in the papers as one of the best advertisers in the city, named along with Don Davis of Don’s Guns and Buddy Kallick of Buddy’s Carpet.
And the best part is, Levy was in on the joke, planning to make the spots as “stupid-looking” as he could.
“I mean, I could’ve made other ads, but I made these ads myself,” he said. “Some of these ads I shot with my own camera equipment and recorded them myself. I tried to make these as dumb as possible—and some days that’s not that simple. But I wanted these to be so different. I’ve always wanted to be different.”
Each of his commercials included his singing jingle: “I’m Crazy Mickey, the Beeper King, sellin’ pagers for a buck 19. Call 390-3000 right away. Stop at 21st Century Paging today.”
One of Levy’s friends helped him develop the jingle in the beginning, but it was Bill Shirk—a guy who used to own a radio station and who Levy called his “wing man” back in the day—who took him to the next level.
But some of the most basic elements of Levy’s brand came from his days in the carnival business.
He got the “Crazy Mickey” nickname while discussing his first business idea with a friend, to start a T-shirt business and follow the carnival with it.
His friend replied, “That’s crazy, Mickey.”
The rest was history.
Maybe it was his name, or maybe it was the crazy commercials, but something about Levy made him magnetic around Indianapolis. People were drawn to his genuineness and silliness.
Mickey said he used to go to Pacers games, sit courtside and bribe one of the camera guys with a 21st Century Paging wristwatch in order to his picture up on the jumbotron at half time, crowd cheering.
“I was, really, reasonably popular through every barrier—white, black, Hispanic,” he said. “It didn’t make any difference. Old people, young people. Everybody just seemed to like the silly commercials that I was doing and the way we operated. It was pretty neat.”
Business was really rocking in 2000. But by 2003, he closed his doors.
“And then at 58 years old, I got an opportunity to start over,” he said.
Levy now owns a sign company, and in his office, he keeps around remnants of his days as a commercial king.
His office phone ringer is his Beeper King jingle.
His old, plastic jeweled crown sits in his office window.
His face sits plastered on a bus bench advertisement in the back room.
To this day, Levy can’t put his finger on why people liked his commercials so much—and why they still do.
“I have no idea to tell you the truth,” he said. “I don’t know. I mean, I tried to make this funny stuff. I tried to make it so that it crossed every barrier. I tried to make it simple.”
This story is part of WFYI Public Media’s Curious Indy series, a news experiment that includes listeners in our editorial decision-making to strengthen multimedia coverage of Central Indiana .
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iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Rumoured Specs & Features Detailed
We gaze into our crystal ball to see how the 2015 and 2016 iPhones will differ, as we look at the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7
By Michael Grothaus 09:42, 29 Jul 2016
The mobile tech industry is one of the most rapidly advancing consumer spaces on the planet, meaning there's plenty of interesting stuff to cover pretty much all the time; innovation and change are pretty much par for the course. But the space is still subject to the same forces as any other, and one ruling influence seems to be people's love of gossip. Yes, knowing what you're not supposed to know, and well before you're supposed to hear about it, drives a lot of the interest in mobile tech; like it or not, the coverage that gets the most reader attention is the leaks and rumours about hot new phones coming in the next few months. AND that seems to apply regardless of whether something that was hotly rumoured and much anticipated has JUST launched — that's old news man, that's yesterday's old hat. No two ways about it folks, like it or not, tech site readers (that's YOU LOT), actually seem to prefer the chase and anticipation of a forthcoming phone; once a new device is released, the hype kinda trails off.
And chief amongst these interest-generating devices is anything related to Apple. Indeed, it seems part of the reason the rumour mill has become such a huge, sprawling, and proficient network of analysts, informants and insiders is largely in response to people wanting to know about the iPhone after the next one! Yes, we meant that literally; we're getting very used to hearing about new iPhone handsets projected a year or more into the future, before the currently anticipated model is even out the gate.
Today we are comparing the current-gen iPhone 6s (the one released in September 2015) with 2016's as-yet unannounced iPhone 7. (The image above is an awesome mockup by Computerbild.de of what the iPhone 7 could look like, by the way).
This is worth a look because of a few other factors. First being how unnervingly thorough, far-reaching and accurate the modern rumour mill is — nothing escapes its tendrils and already we've getting plenty of juicy information about this year's iPhone 7 since about the middle of 2015, much of it from repeatedly proven reliable sources. On top of that, Apple has likely been at work on the next iPhone for at least a few years now.
The iPhone 6s saw a raft of major improvements in several key areas, though most notably imaging and processing power. Beyond this we saw more RAM included, 2GB to be specific, as well as slightly thicker chassis overall, owing to the inclusion of 3D Touch technology in the display panel. So while it might look A LOT like last year’s model it does function quite a bit differently.
Nevertheless, more and more sources claim Apple is switching to a three year hardware update cycle which, if true, means next year’s iPhone range will be the one that receives a ground-up redesign akin to what we saw with Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. 2017 is also the iPhone’s 10th birthday, so Apple saving something special for it certainly makes sense. The only issue with this approach is selling it to consumers — why would you want a new iPhone if it looked just like your old one?
The iPhone 7 — according to latest leaks — will launch on the week commencing September 12 with a retail release date scheduled for September 16, which lands on a Friday this year. News of the release date schedule comes via the always reliable @evleaks — so this is likely how things will play out.
Apple is expected to unveil two models: the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, though there has been plenty of talk about an iPhone 7 Pro model. As we see it there are two possible scenarios here: 1) Apple releases three models, with Pro being a new addition to its iPhone line-up, or 2) Apple re-brands the iPhone 7 Plus the “iPhone 7 Pro” — to be honest, the latter makes more sense to us.
Nevertheless, Apple’s iPhone isn’t doing as well as it once did, so perhaps Cook and the boys are thinking outside the box and looking to boost sales by adding in another iPhone tier, which, in theory, would make the standard model cheaper, keep the Plus premium, and then have an UBER premium option for those that want the absolute best of the best.
In order to sell this Apple will need some big USPs and one of those is expected to be the iPhone 7’s camera abilities, which will include, amongst other things, a dual-lens camera and improved video. Apple is likely looking to get all current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to adopt. Current iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users will likely hold fort for another 12 months and wait for the iPhone 7s — or whatever it’s called.
So without further ado, let's gaze into our crystal ball to see how the current iPhone 6s will compare with this year’s iPhone 7, starting with the specs:
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Major Specs
Current iPhone 6s
Likely iPhone 7
As far as specs go you can expect the iPhone 7 to see a new A10 processor and M10 motion-coprocessor. They’ll no doubt be an improvement over the A9/M9 found in the current iPhone 6s, but by how much, who knows? If you go by averages, you can expect about a 20% speed bump from the processor.
With the iPhone 6s Apple boosted the RAM to 2GB. There’s a chance the iPhone 7 will boast 3GB of RAM, though Apple doesn’t like making RAM upgrades every year. However, because of the lack of major design changes expected to the iPhone 7, Apple’s going to have to add some pretty good internal changes to get people to upgrade. 3GB of RAM could do the trick.
As for storage options, with the iPhone 7 we finally expect Apple to drop the 16GB entry level option for a 32GB entry level model. But what’s really interesting is the iPhone 7 could feature up to 256GB of storage space. If Apple keeps with its current 3-tier storage offerings, that means the iPhone 7 could come in 32, 128, and 256GB models.
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Ports
The biggest expected change to the ports of the iPhone 7 are the rumored death of the headphone jack. Instead, users will be expected to plug in their headphones via the Lightning port or use Bluetooth headphones. But if the iPhone 7 does ditch the headphone jack, it may gain a new port: the Smart Connector. Currently this Smart Connector is found on the iPad Pro like and allows smart accessories like keyboards to be attached. It’s possible Apple may be planning a mini-keyboard accessory for the iPhone 7.
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Design
The iPhone 7 will look almost exactly as the iPhone 6 does. Yeah, that’s a major disappointment to us too. And it’s unexpected (until multiple rumors seem to have confirmed it, anyway) as Apple has always revealed a new design every other product cycle. The only thing that is expected to be different with the iPhone 7’s design is the removal or shifting of the antenna bands that are found on the iPhone 6s.
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Waterproofing
Earlier this autumn the internet freaked out when videos surfaced of the iPhone 6s surviving 30 minutes underwater . It turns out Apple secretly added new adhesive strips inside the iPhone 6s to block any moisture getting in. Now a Chinese Mac blog is claiming that this was just a dry run (get the pun) for Apple, and that the iPhone 7 will officially be certified as waterproof.
In addition to waterproofing by using internal gaskets, another Chinese site is claiming Apple will ditch the aluminum casing of the iPhone 6s for an all new plastic material on the iPhone 7 to make sure the device is fully waterproof. We don’t see Apple’s iPhone 7 being a plastic phone, but only time will tell. What's more there have been plenty of metal waterproof phones in recent months such as the Xperia Z line and Samsung's Galaxy S7 happily putting to rest the nonsensical old claim that a metal phone couldn't be waterproofed.
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: LTE chipset
Right now the iPhone 6s uses an LTE chipset from Qualcomm, but recent rumors point to Intel working on an iPhone-compatible LTE chipset for the iPhone 7 . If this is true users won’t likely notice much of a difference. Instead, Apple would use the Intel LTE chip so it can drive component costs down.
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Display
The iPhone 6s gained the 3D Touch display that the Apple Watch has (there, it is called the Force Touch display)–of course the iPhone 7 will adopt this 3D Touch display as well. But we also expect the iPhone 7 to get a higher resolution display, specifically a QHD one with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, as many Android handsets have. By autumn of 2016 anything less that 2560x1440 will be the equivalent of what standard definition is today.
Apple could also make subtle upgrades to the 3D Touch display in the iPhone 7–for example, making it sensitive to more than two types of pressure inputs, but other than that we don’t expect the 3D Touch display to change much.
Also, it is unlikely that the iPhone 7 will adopt an AMOLED display, which is found in Samsung phones and the Apple Watch, according to Kuo. In a recent investors note he stated:
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Camera
Internally the iPhone 6s gained a huge camera upgrade with its 12MP rear camera (up from the 8MP camera in the iPhone 6) and its 5MP front FaceTime camera (up for 1.8 MP in the iPhone 6). But going to the iPhone 7 we expect the camera upgrade to be less pronounced. Apple will probably keep to a 12MP rear camera but add optical image stabilization across the line (right now only the “Plus” models feature it). The iPhone 7 will also probably retain the same FaceTime camera.
The iPhone 6s also gained 4k video recording on the rear camera–something we don’t see changing or expanding on for the iPhone 7. Apple is all about refinement with its imaging technology; it doesn’t bother with arbitrary specs-wars style updates to megapixels or things like laser-guided focus. Instead, it consistently updates the core components of what make a camera good at imaging — optics, lens-technology and software.
The company some 800 people working on the future-generations of iPhone camera technology and, for one of the first times, Apple actually allowed Charlie Rose’s film grew inside its secretive R&D labs to see how the company goes about building its iPhone. Other topics under discussion during the TV show were the iPhone, Apple’s aspirations inside the automotive industry and plenty of chatter about how the company and its teams of engineers and designers tackle new projects.
The iPhone’s camera features 200 separate individual components. Apple’s imaging design studio is so vast and complex that it can simulate almost every condition imaginable in order to test out the camera technology before it goes to production. Take the iPhone 6s Plus’ imaging prowess, for example. It is pretty much unparalleled in the mobile space at the moment, according to a raft of AV review and testing sites.
Despite all that, there’s not many rumors regarding the megapixels of the cameras in the iPhone 7. After all, the iPhone 6s each got a big boost from the iPhone 6. The 6s got a 5MP front camera upgrade and a 12MP rear camera upgrade. It’s possible the iPhone 7 will keep the same megapixel lenses.
However, the iPhone 7 is expected to get one major camera upgrade: a dual lens rear camera. This would mean there would be TWO 12MP cameras on the back of the device which will take insanely detailed pics. the bad news is that this dual lens system is rumored to be limited to the iPhone 7 Plus, sadly.
iPhone 6s vs Likely iPhone 7: Verdict
Obviously the iPhone 7 will be the better phone, but for the first time ever it's hard to argue that most people should upgrade from their 6s. After all, if the rumors are true, the design will look exactly the same — and while internal spec upgrades, including RAM, CPU, and storage are nice, not everyone needs them. I’d say that a dual lens camera system is going to be game changing on the iPhone 7 — and that alone is worth the upgrade — but that will only be for people who like the larger 5.5in Plus model. If you like the smaller 4.7in model it’s hard arguing that the iPhone 7 is a “must” upgrade.
|Source:||Know Your Mobile|
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Public safety increased with the ability to remotely disable vehicles
July 29, 2016
To increase public security, the EU SAVELEC project has demonstrated a prototype device that can stop non-cooperative vehicles, both safely and at distance.
In its endeavour to keep the public safe, one of the key challenges facing European security services is the ability to control and stop, at distance, non-cooperative vehicles posing a threat. However, this ability presents more than a technical challenge. To comply with EU legislation, as well as adhere to ethical concerns, the technology would also have to be safe for the user, the driver (and passengers), as well as members of the public and the material infrastructure of the surrounding environment.
The SAVELEC (Safe control of non cooperative vehicles through electromagnetic means) project developed a prototype device, after testing signals (magnetic pulses and microwave), which interfered with key car components, forcing it to slow down and stop. With the contribution of security forces as the ultimate end users, the researchers were able to simulate the technology's use in realistic scenarios.
Prototype device for a variety of security scenarios
SAVELEC first set up an end-user advisory panel comprising of law enforcement agencies and associated security organisations from different European countries, to better understand the likely operating environment for any technology developed. Scenarios were identified in terms of operational distance, target speed, distance to nearby persons and any immediate environmental considerations. As the project's coordinator, Dr. Marta Martínez Vázquez points out, 'This analysis included land and maritime missions, with the device implemented on a ground, seaborne or airborne platform.'
Developing the technology itself first required a review and cost analysis of what was currently available on the market, as well as establishing the car components best targeted for remote interference. In lab bench testing SAVELEC evaluated signal frequency, waveform and duration — principally of electromagnetic pulses (EMP) and high power microwaves (HPM) — to determine which could best disrupt the functioning of a vehicle's electronic components.
Assessing the project's success, Dr. Martínez Vázquez asserts that, 'An EMP/HPM car-stopping device prototype at a breadboard level was designed, fabricated and tested. Its performance was successfully demonstrated in an open field controlled track, in of the presence of SAVELEC affiliated end-users'. The capacity of the prototype also surpassed expectations. 'It demonstrated the functionality of the whole device, with a car moving on an open air track,' she comments. 'Conservative expectations had been to only demonstrate a sub-system of the device, or the whole system, but with a stationary car.'
The project also used the simulated environment to investigate the wider impact of the technology on humans and materials. For example, it looked at driver reactions to loss of vehicle control under six different scenarios including high speed, dense traffic and narrow roads, involving over 70 volunteers. A literature review of previous results allowed the assessment of the likelihood of petrol tank explosions from electromagnetic exposure or damage to airbags. Additionally, it assessed three different electromagnetic exposure scenarios for the pedestrian/bystander, car driver and device operator to ascertain safety limits.
A core outcome of the project, with the help of the European security forces and an Independent Ethics Advisory Board, was a regulatory framework proposal within which this technology could function. The framework included compatibility with European legislation which ensures the safety of all those exposed to electromagnetism.
For the prototype device to progress beyond the successful proof-of-concept stage, there are two principal challenges which would have to be overcome. 'Further investigation should concentrate on the miniaturisation of the different components, and in extending its operational range (by increasing the power that can be generated),' Dr. Martínez Vázquez says. She also recommends that different car models should be tested, as SAVELEC concentrated on only one. There should also be further investigation on human health and safety implications.
Whilst SAVELEC specifically tested the technology on cars, it could easily be adapted to other vehicles such as fast vessels, trucks or motorbikes. The project's results have also contributed to improvements in other fields, such as the study of human exposure to electromagnetic fields and the development of better driving simulators.
Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety
Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!
Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide.
Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.
DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.
Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.
Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.
Swissphone sets new standards in paging:
Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
New radio tower goes up in Whitfield County to improve emergency communications
BY HANNAH LAWRENCE THURSDAY, JULY 28TH 2016
The new tower will allow Whitfield County to join the Tennessee Valley Radio system for a total cost of about 12 million dollars.
Whitfield County — If a police officer needs help in Whitfield County, they don’t always know if someone will answer.
A new radio tower is trying to solve that spotty-service problem.
Thursday, crews put up a massive new radio tower at the Whitfield County 911 center, bringing Whitfield County emergency responders are one step closer to communicating across county lines with their radios.
The current system is more than 40 years old.
The new tower will allow Whitfield County to join the Tennessee Valley Radio system for a total cost of about 12 million dollars.
Director of Emergency Services Claude Craig says taxpayers would have spent more than double building their own system.
Police officers say they need the new radio tower for better communication. We rode along with Sgt. Jason Bishop to see what it's like communicating without it.
We went to a neighborhood that was the scene of a bad accident just last week. He could not get a radio message out to other officers.
"Not being able to communicate with dispatch, its hard to know what we are doing and what we are not doing in those areas," he said. "It does make you nervous a little bit worrisome sometimes as far as getting the radio to transmit and get someone there if you need them."
Crews have to finish building two other similar towers in the county before the system is up and running.
Craig says that should take 3 to 4 weeks.
Whitfield and Gordon Counties are the only other bordering counties that are not on the Tennessee Valley Radio System right now.
|Source:||News Channel 9 abc||.|
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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section with the firm’s permission.
The BloostonLaw Telecom Update newsletter will be on our traditional August recess, in light of the usual slowdown in the news cycle at this time of year. We will resume publication on September 7. Meanwhile, we will keep clients apprised of significant developments via memos and special supplements.
FCC Concludes Streamlined Challenge Process for A-CAM
On July 25, the FCC issued an Order announcing that it has concluded the streamlined challenge process for the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) and making a final determination regarding the broadband coverage data that will be incorporated into the final version of the model for purposes of the voluntary election of model-based support. The FCC is making the necessary adjustments in A-CAM in order to make final calculations of the offer of model-based support to rate-of-return carriers and will shortly release the Public Notice summarizing offer amounts and associated deployment obligations, which will trigger the 90-day deadline for carriers to indicate their intent to elect model-based support.
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has been refining the A-CAM since the first version was released in December 2014. In particular, the Bureau has updated the broadband coverage data used in the model to identify census blocks served by unsubsidized competitors and rate-of-return carriers in multiple versions of ACAM, based upon the input of rate-of-return carriers. On April 7, 2016, the Bureau commenced the challenge process and released A-CAM v2.2, which incorporated updated broadband coverage to reflect the publicly available June 2015 FCC Form 477 data.
The Bureau received 147 comments in the streamlined challenge process, including: competitors seeking to correct their own data; incumbents seeking to correct their own data for their incumbent service territory; and incumbents seeking to challenge certified FCC Form 477 data filed by another provider that reported coverage in a particular census block within the incumbent’s service territory. Ultimately the Bureau:
The Order contains specific information about the individual filings, and can be found here .
Commissioner O’Rielly Blogs About New Mobility Fund Phase II
On July 25, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly made a post on the official FCC blog regarding the long awaited Mobility Fund Phase II. According to the post, “Commission leadership recently indicated that [the FCC] will issue final rules for a new mobile-only universal service subsidy program by the end of this year.”
Later in the blog, Commissioner O’Rielly expressed concerns about the program. “Specifically, it seems illogical that we would have a technology-specific fund when the wireless and wired worlds are merging. Even the most objective person would see them as substitutes, rather than complements, which is backed up by user perspective and behavior,” he wrote. Moreover, the Commissioner continued, “At $500 million, the new Mobility Fund would equate to more than 10 percent of the total high-cost program budget. At a minimum, the budget should be re-evaluated in light of the widespread deployment of 4G LTE.” Ultimately, he expressed support for combining the Phase II funding with all other undecided and unallocated high-cost programs and “tackle the open funding needs holistically.”
Nevertheless, Commissioner O’Rielly offered six basic principles for reform:
The full blog post can be read here .
FCC Announces Roll-Out Schedule for New Network Outage Reporting System
On July 22, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing the roll-out schedule for the new version of the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) platform. According to the Notice, the new platform contains improvements that will enhance the overall security and reliability of NORS and allows for its future evolution to best support new communications technologies and analytic methods. The new version of NORS has two interfaces:
The web-based interface opened on July 25, 2016, and companies that are not using the API/XML interface must use the web-based interface beginning that day, as the old version of the NORS system is no longer be available for these filers.
On August 15, 2016, the API/XML interface will be available. Companies that plan to use the API/XML interface will be expected to file outage reports using the new version of NORS beginning on August 15th. Access to the old version of NORS will be terminated on August 15th. After August 15, 2016, all NORS filings must be submitted using the new NORS production system.
The new NORS production system can be accessed directly at https://fcc.appiancloud.com/suite/ . The FCC should have transferred existing User IDs from the old NORS system to the new NORS production system by now, but did not transfer any of the User IDs from the new NORS testing system to the production system. If a user needs a new User ID, they can obtain one at https://www.fcc.gov/eform/submit/Network-Outage-Reporting-System-Registration .
The new NORS testing system is currently available, and will remain open for testing purposes until August 31, 2016.
PSHSB Announces Filing Deadlines for Outage Reporting Revisions
On July 19, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing the comment deadlines for comments on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding modifications to the outage reporting requirements under Part 4. Comments are due August 26, and Reply Comments are due September 12.
In the FNPRM, the FCC proposes:
Law & Regulation
FCC Finalizes Rules Governing 3.5 GHz Band
On July 26, the FCC published the Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second Order), in which it finalized the rules governing the “Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz Band),” in the Federal Register. As a result, the rules will become effective August 25, except for certain sections that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget.
Originally adopted on May 2, the Second Order finalizes the regulatory scheme first created in 2015 in the 3.5 GHz R&O. In that Order, the FCC adopted specific licensing, technical, and service rules to enable dynamic sharing between three tiers of users in the 3.5 GHz Band. In this Second Order, the FCC resolves the three outstanding issues raised in the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding. First, it adopts an engineering-based approach for determining when a Priority Access License (PAL) area is in use. Second, it adopts a flexible secondary market regime for Priority Access Licenses, allowing a single PAL to be issued in License Areas located in Rural Areas in the absence of mutually exclusive applications. Finally, it expands access for wireless broadband operators with the need to protect fixed satellite service operations, and adopts protections that will be tailored to the characteristics of each grandfathered earth station, by making clear that Spectrum Access Systems must be capable of receiving and responding to interference complaints from Fixed Satellite Service earth station licensees.
FCC to Launch Broadband Health Mapping Tool
On July 22, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that on August 2, 2016, its Connect2Health Task Force (C2H) will unveil a new mapping tool in support of its efforts to further chart the broadband future of healthcare. According to the Public Notice, the tool allows users to ask and answer questions about broadband and health at the county and census block levels, thereby providing valuable data and insights to drive broadband health policies and connected health solutions. Gaps and opportunities in rural and underserved areas will also be featured.
This event, which will be held in collaboration with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, will be held at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, DC between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Additional details, including an event agenda, will be issued at a later date. Details also will be posted on the Connect2Health Task Force website: http://www.fcc.gov/health .
FCC Denies Allband Petition for Further Waiver
On July 20, the FCC issued an Order and Order on Review denying Allband Communications Cooperative’s (Allband) Petition for Further Waiver of Section 54.302 of the FCC’s rules, and denying Allband’s Application for Review of the Wireline Competition Bureau’s original July 25, 2012 waiver grant.
In the 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order, the FCC adopted Section 54.302, which established a presumptive per line cap of $250 per month on total high-cost universal service support for all eligible telecommunications carriers, including ILECs, which was phased in over three years. In 2012, the Bureau granted Allband a three-year waiver of section 54.302 so that Allband could receive the lesser of high-cost universal service support based on its actual costs or the annualized total high-cost support that it received for the period January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. On December 31, 2014, Allband filed a petition for further waiver of Section 54.302, asking the FCC extend its current waiver until the end of 2026 so that Allband could repay its RUS loan and continue operations. The FCC instructed USAC to conduct an inquiry into Allband’s accounting practices and, in light of that inquiry, found that:
As a result, the FCC denied the Petition for Further Waiver.
Allband had also filed a Petition for Review of the Order granting the 2012 request for waiver, mentioned above, in which it requested that same waiver of the $250 cap be extended to 2026 and that it receive a waiver of the benchmarking rule for the same period of time. In support of extending its waiver request beyond three years, Allband argued that by 2015 it could neither reduce expenses to meet the $250 cap nor increase penetration sufficiently to reduce funding requirements. However, the FCC found these arguments unpersuasive, because, “circumstances can vary substantially over a few years.” In support of its finding, the FCC noted that since the Bureau granted the waiver in 2012, Allband has been earning substantial revenues through a wholly owned subsidiary that it was not earning in 2012. “Because carrier expenses and revenue are subject to change, particularly as carriers deploy more broadband, a frequent review to ensure that a waiver is still necessary is warranted,” said the FCC. Therefore, the FCC denied the Petition for Review as well.
Wireless Companies Address Consumer Privacy Concerns with Anti-Theft Commitment
Some of the largest mobile carriers and smartphone vendors in the US have hit a milestone in the implementation of theft deterrence tools that also protect consumer privacy.
Wireless trade group CTIA this week announced that all 16 members of its Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Committee had met a July 2016 deadline to give consumers the ability, if desired, to disable anti-theft tools — such as remote “kill switch” technology — if they didn’t want their devices to be remotely tracked or accessed.
The Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitmen t, first announced in April of 2014, promises that a "baseline anti-theft tool" would either come preloaded or be available for download at no cost on new models of smartphones made by participating handset manufacturers and sold by participating carriers after July of 2015.
CTIA said the industry's education efforts are paying off, as a recent survey found 69 percent of mobile consumers are using PINs and passwords on their smartphones, a 13 percent increase from 2015 and a 38 percent increase from 2012. Additionally, 51 percent of consumers have built-in remote lock and erase software installed, up 42 percent from 2015 and 31 percent from 2012.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement praising the industry milestone.
“I applaud the wireless industry’s steps to make anti-theft tools accessible and available for consumers,” wrote Wheeler. “By fulfilling the Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment, they make a meaningful difference for consumer safety.”
Participants in the voluntary commitment include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, LG, Samsung, HTC and Huawei, as well as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. As a result, an overwhelming majority of devices and mobile plans in the US are now compliant with the anti-theft commitment.
CCA Calls for Proceeding on Mobile Data Roaming
On July 20, Telecommunications Reporter Daily reported that the Competitive Carrier Association has asked the FCC to initiate a proceeding to explore how mobile data roaming should be treated in light of the recently upheld 2015 Open Internet Order. According to the ex parte, the FCC should “immediately initiate a proceeding on mobile roaming obligations as applied to BIAS providers. This type of proceeding to facilitate data roaming policies is critical to foster competitive arrangements and spur network development and deployment as the industry moves toward next generation technologies.” The CCA also urged the FCC to “settle stagnant roaming complaints with clear guidance for carriers, including special attention to those that have been pending for multiple years, and commit to act on future complaints in a timely manner.”
Verizon Buys Yahoo for $4.8 Billion
On July 25, Verizon officially agreed to pay $4.83 billion in cash for Yahoo, Inc., which includes its advertising, content, search, and mobile activities. “Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in the release. “The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising.”
It’s worth noting that Yahoo’s ownership interest in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan are not part of the acquisition. According to web news site TechCrunch , “As of Friday July 22nd, Yahoo’s 15 percent stake of Alibaba represented $31.2 billion, and its 34 percent of Yahoo Japan was worth $8.3 billion.” TechCrunch goes on to report that Yahoo will be integrated with Verizon’s AOL holding.
Fortune speculates that Verizon bought Yahoo for its ad and content business. “Verizon is trying to pivot its business from analog to digital,” analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson told The Wall Street Journal . “Verizon believes that a combined AOL/Yahoo would provide the digital advertising platform they need to execute their video reinvention strategy.”
JULY 29: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 29). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.
AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). Because July 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due August 1. This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2013. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2014); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, 2015, for lines served as of September 30, 2014).
SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Three types of entities must file this form.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
FCC Clarifies that LED Lighting Devices Must Comply with Part 15 RF Emissions Limits
The FCC recently reiterated that RF light-emitting diodes (RF LEDs) are subject to the FCC’s emission limits in order to ensure that these devices do not cause harmful interference to radio communications. In addition to being found in certain calculators and automotive application, LEDs have also made their way into the home and workplace environment as well as manufacturing and agriculture applications. LEDs are seen as environmentally friendly alternatives to incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.
In determining whether a lighting device is an RF LED, the Commission looks to see whether the primary function is the generation of light by electrically powering semiconductor materials. These devices intentionally radiate RF energy via an electric power conversion or through digital circuitry, but are not intended to radiate RF energy by radiation or induction. As a result, these devices are classified by the FCC as unintentional radiators under Part 15 of the FCC’s Rules and are subject to the FCC’s “verification” equipment authorization procedure.
The FCC has reinforced that operation of unintentional radiators, such as RF LED devices is subject to the condition that they may not cause harmful interference to authorized radio operations. Thus, should there be an instance of interference, operation of the LED device must cease. This requirement is applicable to both the manufacturer and end-user. In this regard, the FCC has previously fined end-users for not mitigating interference or ceasing operation after being notified by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.
The FCC pointed out that users of RF LED devices are encouraged to use good engineering design and construction techniques that meet or exceed the required attenuation of unwanted emissions from these devices. Additionally, the FCC recommends that equipment manufacturers (a) extend compliance testing beyond the frequency range guidance that is generally required and (b) provide end-users with suggested interference mitigation techniques as well as information on resolving harmful interference problems.
Verizon Confirms Shutdown of 2G CDMA Network by 2020
FierceWireless is reporting that Verizon recently confirmed that it is planning to shut down its CDMA 1X network by Dec. 31, 2019, but would work with its current CDMA 1X customers and would consider operating its CDMA 1X network into 2020 if those customers need more time to move onto Verizon's LTE network.
"We will not abandon a single customer," Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby told FierceWireless. "We will work with each of the customers one-on-one."
"Should there be stragglers, we will continue to work with them," Hamby added.
If your business is dependent on the use of wireless sensors, telematics or other devices that operate on Verizon’s CDMA 1X network, you will need to replace such devices by the 2019 sunset unless you reach out to Verizon and arrange for more time.
FCC Proposes Revocation of Commission Authorization for Failure to Pay Annual Regulatory Fee
The FCC has issued LDC Telecommunications, Inc. (LDC) an Order to Pay or Show Cause why its FCC authorizations should not be revoked for failure to pay delinquent annual regulatory fees owed to the Commission. For most of our private radio clients, this issue should not arise, since fees are collected up front as part of the application fee for new stations or license renewal applications. However, to the extent that private radio clients may hold other types of authorizations that are subject to the annual regulatory fee (such as licenses allowing for profit services to the public), the issuance of this order is significant.
In October, 2014, the Commission issued a letter demanding that LDC pay delinquent regulatory fees (including interest, penalties and collection costs), or demonstrate why such fees are not applicable or should be waived or deferred. LDC did not respond to the demand letter, and as required by the Debt Collection Act, the delinquent debt was transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for collection.
The Communications Act requires the FCC to “assess and collect regulatory fees” in order to recover the costs of certain FCC regulatory activities. Additionally, when the payment is not made in a timely manner prior to the due date, the FCC is required to assess a penalty of 25% of the amount of the fee which was not paid.
Under the FCC’s Order, LDC is required to file proof of payment with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau as well as the operating bureaus which issue its authorizations. The FCC has made clear that a failure to provide evidence of payment or show cause may result in the revocation of its authorizations.
The steps being taken against LDC are rare, but may signal an intent to get tough on regulatory fee delinquents. Clients who owe regulatory fees, but have not paid them (or who have otherwise ignored FCC collection efforts) should contact our office so that we can assist you in coming into compliance with this requirement.
FCC Amends Part 15 Rules to Facilitate Experimentation and Market Trials for Certain RF Based Medical Devices — New Rules Effective August 24, 2016
The FCC established three new types of experimental licenses in 2013. These licenses included program licenses and were designed to (a) benefit the development of new technologies and (b) expedite the introduction of these new devices. Because of inconsistencies between medical testing experimental licenses and program licenses raised by Medtronic, the Commission has modified Rule Section 15.303 to permit program licensees to experiment in the restricted bands for medical devices — provided that the experimental medical devices comply with the service rules contained under Part 18 of the FCC’s Rules. This rule change will be effective on August 24, 2016 .
During the original proceeding in 2013, the Commission concluded that expansion of the eligibility criteria for medical testing experimental licenses to include entities other than hospitals and health care institutions would not be appropriate. The FCC reasoned that other entities, such as device manufacturers, could conduct clinical trials under a Part 5 market trial authorization or at a specific geographic area that has been designated by the Commission as an innovation zone.
Pursuant to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that was issued as part of the 2013 Order, the Commission is again revisiting the issue. In particular, Medtronic, an RF medical device manufacturer, pointed to a disparity in the frequencies that could be used by medical testing licensees and program licensees. Specifically, the restricted frequencies in Rule Section 15.2015(a), which includes the 401-406 MHz Medical Device Radiocommunications Service (MedRadio) band, are available to medical testing experimental licensees for clinical trials, but not to program licensees for basic medical research. Medtronic argued that program licenses are less flexible than medical experimental testing licenses. Based upon this argument, the Commission proposed to amend Rule Section 5.303 in order to allow program licensees to experiment with medical devices on the same frequencies listed in Rule Section 15.205(a).
In adopting the rule amendment, the Commission noted that there was no reason to impose greater frequency restrictions on program licensees who conduct basic research on the same medical devices as medical experimental testing licensees. The Commission concluded that this amendment will establish parity between all qualified medical device manufacturers without regard to whether it is a health care institution or a medical device manufacturer.
FCC Increases Application Fees to Reflect Inflation
On July 7, the FCC issued an Order increasing application fees to reflect the net change in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”) of 1.8 percent, an increase of 4.292 index points calculated from October 2013 (233.546) to October 2015 (237.838). The new fees go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Some items of note include:
Since some of our Private User clients also hold common carrier and commercial wireless authorizations, we are also including the relevant fee increases for those services as well:
FCC Grants Waiver to Allow New Implanted Medical Device
In response to a request from the Alfred Mann Foundation for Scientific Research (the Foundation), the FCC has granted a waiver of Rule Section 15.209 in order to permit the Foundation to obtain Commission certification for and to market the first generation implantable myoelectric sensor (IMES) system as an unlicensed device.
In requesting this waiver, the Foundation stated that the IMES is a medically implanted device that is designed to allow amputees to have more intuitive control over their prosthetic devices by wirelessly controlling the electro-myographic (EMG) sensors, which are implanted in specific muscles in order to collect and transmit EMG data. This data is then analyzed and used to control the prosthetic device. The Foundation stated that this technology is an innovative improvement over current body-worn devices which are placed on the skin since those devices can pick up EMG signals from more than one muscle at a time.
In particular, the Foundation has requested a waiver of Rule Section 15.205(a) in order to allow the IMES system to transmit data in the 94.6-157.4 kHz band during start-up modes in order to configure the device. These data transmissions would last for less than one second and would result in the momentary transmission in the restricted 90-110 kHz band. The Foundation noted that there would be no harmful radiation to authorized radio operations since the federal government has permanently discontinued its LORAN C radio-navigation system (primarily used in the 90-110 kHz band).
The FCC noted that the Foundation’s request is limited to first generation devices and that FDA approval is expected in October 2016. The Foundation stated that a redesign to comply with the requirements of Rule Section 15.205(a) would delay FDA approval because next generation IMES devices rely on the approval for first generation devices.
In granting the waiver, the FCC concluded that the public interest would be served because the proposed device will improve the quality of life for amputees based upon the speedy approval of the FDA for this first generation design. In so doing, the FCC noted that the potential for harmful interference is minimal and that operation of these devices is subject to the condition that the devices must accept interference but cannot cause interference to other authorized operations.
|This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org .|
State to test new emergency communication system for schools
Monday, July 25, 2016 4:49 PM
A new communication system that will be tested at three Central Iowa schools will provide first responders with critical information in the event of emergencies, state officials said today. Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan highlighted the WISE (Wi-Fi Internet for School Emergencies) School project, which will be tested at the Marshalltown, Norwalk and Martensdale community school districts. The Iowa Communications Network is working with three Wi-Fi vendors: Aruba, Cisco and Fortinet, on the project, which will be a private, dedicated system for public safety agencies and emergency responders to use when they are responding to incidents at schools. If testing is successful, officials hope to expand the project to other schools.
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