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Fire department pagers getting reprogrammed
GENESEE COUNTY — Issues with new pagers going in and out of service have frustrated firefighters in Genesee County for months and has now prompted 911 to reprogram the devices as a possible solution.
Last summer, the Genesee County 911 Consortium purchased 800 new pagers for all of the firefighters in the county at a cost of $450,000.
The new 800 MHz pagers went into service last fall and since, many departments have reported problems with the devices. As a result, the consortium has taken all the pagers back and have reprogrammed them in hopes of eliminating the problem or lost signals and firefighters potentially not receiving pages.
"We have indeed experienced issues with the new 800 MHz pagers, including out-of-range. We have been providing written documentation to Genesee County 911 on specific issues that our personnel have experienced,” said Chief Thomas Stadler of the Flint Township Fire Department. “Our personnel currently are relying on the old system (VHF paging) to receive alarms. All 800 MHz pagers for our personnel have been gathered, and are awaiting reprogramming by Genesee County 911. There is not a timeline for correcting all issues, and this has certainly been a frustrating process (to implement the new pagers) for us."
In Davison, the Fire Authority discussed the problem last month, with Chief Mike Wright calling the problem “very frustrating.”
“It’s a safety issue,” said Wright. “You don’t know if the pagers are working or not.”
He added the pagers worked well in testing last year, but have had constant issues since going into service. Davison, like the other fire departments, have kept their old pagers in service so they will be warned if there’s a fire by one or both systems.
The Grand Blanc Fire Department experienced the same problems with the 800 MHz pagers that many of the departments from around the county experienced; battery charging was not successful, shorter operating life of the pager when the battery showed that it was fully charged and frequent warnings that the pager is out of range and will not receive calls.
Multiple attempts were made to correct problems, said officials, which included changing the pager battery, to multiple reprogramming attempts by the fire department to which the pager was assigned.
Only recently, the Genesee County Central Dispatch decided that the pagers needed to be reprogrammed by them to correct the problem.
In addition, they recognized a need to improve the training to the dispatchers on the new system.
Since this occurred, Grand Blanc Fire Chief Robert Burdette said he has not heard of any charging problems or pagers not receiving a call.
The firefighters that use the pagers said they like the way they operate. The voice announcement is clearer having little static interference, so the dispatcher’s announcement and fire ground operations are heard.
Gaines Township Fire Chief Joe Hyrman said his crews' pagers have been adjusted and seem to be working better. Hyrman referred further questions to township Supervisor Paul Fortino.
"The pagers are more sophisticated than the old ones; they go offline more often," said Fortino.
"No one knows for sure how often. They beep when they go out and they beep when they come back on."
Fortino said it appeared that buildings, trees, and even heavy coats may have been blocking the signals.
"For a couple of firefighters, the things just wouldn't work at their houses," he said.
While the leadership at 911 works to reprogram all of the pagers, the old VHF pagers are still up and running and many firefighters, particularly in rural areas on the perimeter of the county, are carrying both, he said.
He added that the fire department has not yet had enough fire runs to determine whether the adjustments have been effective.
Fortino said he is aware that some area fire chiefs did not want the public informed about the pager problem.
"I'm not sure why they want to keep it a secret," he said. "There's a big controversy with the chiefs' association. I don't know why. It's not a military secret. It's just a problem we have. It's one of those darn things they didn't know it was going to happen. There's no real reason not to talk about it other than maybe they don't want people to be unnecessarily concerned."
Davison Township Supervisor Karen Miller, who also sits on the county 911 board, said the reprogramming will hopefully be the end of the issues with the pagers.
“When they were ordered and came in they gave the pagers to the departments and the departments programmed them,” she said. “Then there were problems with good reception. So we’ve gone to a person who is second highest programmer in the state. He’s setting the programming to what he thinks it should be.”
She said the board also voted to allow the chiefs in each department to decide if the pagers should be set to notify users with a noise when they go in or out of range. Previously they were not set up to give a warning.
“Anytime you have a change, that massive of a change, there’s going to be problems,” said Miller.
The new 800 MHz pagers are an upgrade to VHF paging, in use since the 1980s. That system has reached the end of its life in Genesee County, meaning if it is not upgraded, there is a possibility it will cease to work. The new pagers are supposed to be the next generation of communications for emergency and fire responders.
(Staff writers Paula Schmidt, Lania Rocha, Rhonda Sanders and Gary Gould contributed to this report.)
Source: Grand Blanc View (Davison, MI)
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A Brief History of Paging
|Source:||Citipage (Edmonton, Alberta)|
I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.
GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.
If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.
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He escaped war in Yugoslavia to manage critical communications in Alberta
Igor Gluic could be featured in a poster to dispel myths about newcomers to Canada.
Originally from Yugoslavia, Igor is the general manager of Citipage Ltd. headquartered at Edmonton. The company, part of the Wireless Solutions Group, delivers pagers, paging apps and critical messaging services to healthcare professionals, first responders, and fire fighters. Some of the myths he’s broken down?
At age 21 in 1996, Igor escaped as a refugee to our nation – strong and free. His homeland was on the cusp of war when he left Bosanski Brod for Belgrade to begin his journey of a lifetime. The young man’s father died when Igor was 12, so his mother made the arrangements to leave his birth town in the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the biggest city in Central Yugoslavia where international embassies were housed. His mother and two sisters followed to Canada six years later in 2002.
“There’s absolutely nothing that I miss about back home,” said Igor. “If I had I stayed, I would have had to join the army and start shooting people. That wasn’t for me.”
Igor was willing to go anywhere in the world. “It was the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade that asked me a lot of questions and appreciated that I knew English,” Igor recalled. “Most people from Yugoslavia were choosing Toronto but I did research to find the economy was very good in Alberta.
“Edmonton was a perfect place for me,” said Igor. “On November 21, 1996, I traveled from Belgrade to Rome to Toronto to Edmonton. It was -35 degrees.”
In Eastern Europe, students start on their career path at a young age. Given little choice, Igor began studying electronics in Grade 10, so the natural path for him to pursue in Edmonton after studying English at MacEwan University was to enroll at NAIT for the Telecommunications and Technology Engineering Program. At night, he worked as a part-time security guard in the TD Tower where it was quiet and he could concentrate on his studies while making money to live. “I needed a $20K loan for the program but the Alberta Government was very good, and they gave me a grant that paid half.”
How does he compare Alberta with Yugoslavia? “Here, I could find a job and buy a condo,” said Igor. “There’s way less paperwork to live and work, too.”
Many of his NAIT friends went to work at Telus after graduation. But two weeks before school ended, the soon-to-be graduate saw an advertisement in the Edmonton Journal for a technical manager with Citipage. “At first, I didn’t think I should send the resume as I was just a student. But one Saturday night…I had nothing to do…and I was single. So, I sent it.”
On Monday morning, there was a call from Joe Kantor, President, and CEO of Citipage. Joe had built up the company from scratch and he was now looking for help to run the growing enterprise.
Joe said, “Listen, there were many applications that were technically better than yours. But I need to work with you, so I want to know that I like you, too.” Joe called references to learn that Igor was responsible with good work ethics. “I started working two weeks before I graduated.”
Citipage had 8200 pagers in 2000 when Igor started with the company. Today, he manages 10,000 pagers. The location of every pager is recorded and supported on a 24/7 basis with a MTBF (Meantime Between Failure) of 99.9%. This means that users can trust that their pager is dependable in every situation.
Igor likes to say, “Pagers are not going away.” Especially today – since paging has its own dedicated network and functions during well-known disasters. For example, Australia recently installed 240 towers for the Government of Victoria because of their natural disasters involving fires.
When Igor started with Citipage, Alberta Health Services already was a customer and Igor brought on the City of Edmonton in 2003 with 600 pagers. “At the time, we only had 8 or 9 transmitters,” said Igor.
Paging networks have more broadcast power than those used for cellphones, so the transmitter sites are located farther apart.
“Now, we have 17 transmitters – at an average cost of $50K plus maintenance – in these places:
Pager messages are broadcast from multiple towers at the same time. If one transmitter tower stopped working, an adjacent tower’s signal would fill in which increases reliability. Towers are deceivingly small with 2’ x 3’ cabinets that are connected to antennae mounted on a pole. Paging signals also are much better at penetrating buildings and use simulcast technology to combine signals for better reception.
“Even though I am the general manager, I also install the towers and the transmitters at the hospitals and fire stations,” said Igor. He surveys the site and installs the poles while he brings in crews to mount the antennae.
“Our success is due to how we meet the demands of our customers,” said Igor. “They need exchange services 24/7. Pagers also are replaced immediately at no cost and we have expanded coverage with the towers.”
Paging systems can use “one-to-many” coding technology that makes it easy to send group messages that are received by all intended pagers instantaneously. For professionals, especially those involved in providing critical services, a missed message can mean life or death.
Igor explains how trauma teams work. Maybe it’s a baby delivery or a highway accident. The switchboard operator using Web paging, dispatches a critical message to the ambulance driver. The trauma team gets the same message and all pagers beep at the same time.
After the ambulance driver gets to the accident, first responders switch to radio for managed communications to say they’re on their way to the hospital. Hospitals have relentless quality measures in place for emergencies so critical information is handled at the exact moment—and, more important, in the exact way they need it. This provides them with the tools they need to react to an emergency, prevent a disaster, and save lives.
Five years ago, Igor signed up for another degree. This time it was for his Bachelor of Information System Technology; he graduated with Honours.
The Canadian also is on the board of directors for the Critical Messaging Association of North America and now also has a certificate in project management and leadership from NAIT.
“I loved Edmonton from the first moment,” said the married father of two boys.
Citipage (Edmonton, Alberta)
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!
Rick McMichael has some equipment for sale — left over from the inventory of his business that he recently sold.
If you are interested, please e-mail Rick directly by clicking here .
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History of emergency communications in Carroll celebrated
By Catalina Righter
April 18, 2018, 7:05 PM
Bob Alexander remembers reporting to the second floor of the old Westminster fire station at 9 p.m. on April 16, 1966, with Clarence Souders and waiting with anticipation for a call to come through to their number, 848-4343. This was before area codes and before 911 was established as the nationwide standard for emergency response.
For hours, no calls came, so they spent the time working on their equipment, waiting to respond to the first emergency that they would handle as Carroll County Central Alarm, the predecessor to today’s Carroll County Emergency Communications Center.
Then, at 6:30 a.m. the phone rang. It was a chimney fire. Using the single-site, low band radio system, they quickly dispatched Westminster and Pleasant Valley Fire Departments, marking a major milestone for standardized emergency communications in the county.
Monday afternoon, guests gathered in the John Street Quarters to celebrate the history of Carroll County Central Alarm formed by the Carroll County Fire Chief’s Association, 52 years to the day of that first day on air. Three of the original members of the Central Alarm team — Alexander, Oscar Baker and Bob Cumberland — and many more who have worked for emergency communications in the county since then attended.
Baker, who will soon turn 96, said it was good to celebrate the anniversary and to “see people I haven’t seen for a long time.”
Director of Carroll County Public Safety Scott Campbell said the people are the most important part of the history that was shared at Monday’s celebration.
“You can have all the technology and the fancy facility, but if you don’t have dedicated, professional, committed, well-trained people, the technology is all for naught,” Campbell said. “The people are the foundation here. Everything else just enhances their ability to do the job they’re committed to do.”
Carroll County Commissioner Stephen Wantz gave the keynote address of the celebration, reflecting on his times as a dispatcher when the operation was headquartered in the tight quarters of the basement of the Carroll County Detention Center. He spoke about the “unforgettable cast of characters” that he worked with during his years there.
“Today’s event pays tribute to something that is, quite honestly, typically taken for granted,” he said.
Seeking to answer the question “how far have we come?” he spoke about the early days of Carroll fire dispatching, when emergency calls went to a “party line” of homes within running distance of the fire house. When a call came through, the recipient would write down the address where the fire was taking place and sprint to the fire house to pull to the siren.
Later, a video detailed the history of Carroll Central Alarm, including the hurdles its founders overcame, from establishing the territory for each county fire station to finding funding when money was tight. The video is available to view on the CarrollCountyGov YouTube channel.
Alexander, Baker and Cumberland were interviewed in the video, and provided background information as the creators pieced together the history of the operation, from the many changes in location and communications technology that have altered response over the years.
For the project, Alexander took a leap of faith when he offered up a scrapbook in which he collected records, photos and articles dating back to 1953. Though they kept it for several months, he was relieved to have it returned intact from the county offices.
“The names have changed. The venues and the procedures have changed,” Wantz said. “But just like the past 52 years, we remain proud of all who have and currently serve our citizens as the first line of defense as they bravely serve their communities every hour of every day.”
To close the ceremony, Campbell spoke about the future of 911 operations in the next few years. This includes the “text to 911” system, which Gov. Larry Hogan recently announced will be implemented across the state. After that will come Next Generation 911 (NG911), expected in the next 2-3 years, a jump to mobile wireless communications, that will allow photos, video and even streaming to be a part of emergency communications.
“Emergency communications ... even though we’ve come a long long way, it’s a fluid situation,” Campbell said. “It’s going to continue to change.”
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For Sale – Apollo Pilot XP A28 Alpha Numeric Pagers w/Charging Cradle
Internet Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
Remote AB Switches
ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.
ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
OSHA’s Short List of Tower Safety Tips
Safety and Health magazine compiled a list of OSHA recommendations for communications tower workers to protect against falls, electrical hazards, inclement weather, equipment failure and structural collapse.
Tower climbers and ground crew employees should know how to properly report unsafe working conditions, use safety equipment and stop work completely if necessary safety equipment is unavailable or malfunctioning, according to OSHA. Other OSHA safety precautions include:
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.|
Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] 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 of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.
Comment Deadline Established for RoR Reform NPRM
In a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom update, we reported on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on revising the high-cost budget for RoR carriers, extending a new offer of model-based support, fully funding carriers that have already accepted A-CAM support and changes to the budget control mechanism, among other things. Comments are due May 25 and reply comments are due June 25.
BloostonLaw is preparing comments on the NPRM. Carriers interested in participating should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Mary Sisak.
FCC Releases Text of Rate-of-Return BDS NPRM
Shortly after last week’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update went to press, the FCC released the text of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it proposes a path by which rate-of-return carriers that receive universal service support under the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) can voluntarily migrate their lower speed business data services (BDS) offerings to incentive regulation. Comment deadlines have not yet been established for the NPRM.
Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on a regulatory framework that would provide electing A-CAM carriers a path to allow a move from rate-of-return regulation to a more efficient system of incentive regulation for their TDM transport and end user channel terminations at speeds at or below a DS3. First, the FCC proposes to allow electing A-CAM carriers to convert their lower capacity TDM BDS offerings to an incentive regulatory approach modeled on the rules the FCC adopted for price cap carriers’ lower speed BDS in noncompetitive areas, while still allowing such carriers to be subject to the switched access rate transition and the Eligible Recovery rules applicable to rate-of-return carriers. The FCC would allow conversion to incentive regulation for TDM transport and end user channel termination services offered at speeds at or below a DS3, as well as other generally lower speed non-packet-based services that are commonly considered special access services.
As part of the conversion, the FCC contemplates relieving electing A-CAM carriers of a variety of regulatory obligations that pertain to rate-of-return regulation, including the obligation to perform cost studies. Electing A-CAM carriers would be allowed to offer term and volume discounts and contract-based services for their TDM transport and end user channel termination services offered at speeds at or below a DS3. Electing A-CAM carriers would be required to maintain generally available tariffed rates subject to incentive regulation for these lower speed TDM transport and end user channel terminations, and other special access services included in their tariffs. At the same time, electing A-CAM carriers would be allowed to remain in the NECA traffic-sensitive tariff for switched access services, and to continue to be subject to the switched access rate cap provisions of section 51.909 and the Eligible Recovery rules in section 51.917 of the FCC’s rules.
Carriers that elect to move off rate-of-return regulation for their BDS services would be required to move to incentive regulation at the holding company level for study areas in all states that elected to receive A-CAM support rather than electing on an individual carrier or study area basis. Incentive regulation for electing A-CAM carriers would be effective on the July 1st following adoption of an Order. A-CAM carriers that currently file their own tariffed rates for BDS offerings would be permitted to use their existing rates to set their initial BDS rates under incentive regulation, while electing A-CAM carriers in the NECA pool would establish initial BDS rates by multiplying the NECA pool rate the carrier has been charging by a net contribution/recipient factor.
The FCC also proposes to retain the special access basket, categories and subcategories, and the attendant rules governing the allowed annual adjustments. Each electing A-CAM carrier would initialize its PCI for the special access basket and associated service band indices (SBIs) at 100 and to use the rate adjustment rules for price cap carriers contained in sections 61.45-48 of our rules, as appropriate, to reflect the prescribed productivity factor, the inflation factor, and any required exogenous cost adjustment in the PCI, to ensure that the Actual Price Index (API) does not exceed the PCI, and that the SBIs for each category or subcategory do not exceed their upper limits. The FCC proposes to adopt an X-factor of two percent to reflect the productivity growth that electing A-CAM carriers are likely to experience in the provision of these services relative to productivity growth in the overall economy in the foreseeable future and to use Gross Domestic Product-Price Index (GDP-PI) as the measure of inflation that electing A-CAM carriers will use in their PCI calculations.
The FCC also seeks comment on adopting a low-end adjustment mechanism to provide an appropriate backstop to ensure that electing A-CAM carriers are not subject to protracted periods of low earnings; forbearance from application of our cost assignment rules, including jurisdictional separations requirements; and allowing electing A-CAM carriers to use GAAP for keeping their accounts, should they choose to do so.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
CCA and CTIA Offer “Compromise Proposal” Regarding 3.5 GHz Auction Licenses
In a joint ex parte filing submitted to the FCC last Friday, CCA and CTIA report that they have reached a compromise concerning the size of the licenses to be sold in the upcoming 3.5 GHz spectrum auction. In particular, these organizations are advocating that the FCC should license 3.5 GHz Priority Access Licenses (PALs) on the basis of MSAs in the top 306 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), and then step down to county-based geographic area licenses for PALs in the remaining 428 CMAs (i.e., the RSAs).
A licensing framework that assigns PALs on the basis of MSAs in urban areas and counties in rural areas is a significant improvement to using the very large Partial Economic Areas (or PEAs) for everything. County-based licenses may allow our clients to acquire PAL rights more efficiently over their areas of interest, for the provision of 4G and/or 5G services, or both. But at the same time, county-based PALs could limit the ability of private users and “niche” service providers to secure PAL rights for smaller targeted coverage areas, niche services that may encourage business models that could provide rural LECs with more opportunities to sell high-capacity backhaul services. County-sized licensing may also make it more difficult for a rural carrier to obtain PAL rights for targeted projects where greater interference protection rights are needed.
Comments and reply comments by our law firm and other small/rural service providers pushed back from large geographic service areas that unduly favored nationwide incumbents. As our own compromise, we proposed that the FCC should license five of the PAL spectrum blocks on the basis of counties rather than PEAs, and to retain census block licensing for the remaining two PAL blocks. If our clients want to ensure that some census tract-based PALs are available in rural markets, a modification of the CCA/CTIA joint proposal may be in order.
We therefore propose to draft comments urging adoption of the CCA/CTIA plan with regard to five of the PAL license blocks, but with the wrinkle that two (2) of the PALs remain available on the basis of census tracts. We believe that this will create flexibility for our clients that need to tailor their acquisition of 3.5 GHz spectrum, thereby minimizing costs and build-out obligations. Please let us know what you think about this idea, and whether you wish to participate in comments on this matter.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for May Open Meeting
On April 19, the FCC announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the May Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 10, 2018:
The FCC publicly releases the draft text of each item expected to be considered at the next Open Commission Meeting, which are linked in the above descriptions. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
Law & Regulation
FCC Announces Temporary Freeze on New Satellite Applications in 3.7-4.2 GHz Band
On April 19, the FCC announced a temporary freeze (effective immediately) on the filing of new or modification applications for fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth station licenses, receive-only earth station registrations, and fixed microwave licenses in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency band. The freeze is being delayed 90 days for those that have been constructed and are operational as of April 19, 2018, but not yet registered or licensed for interference protection.
According to the Public Notice, “[t]he purpose of this freeze is to preserve the current landscape of authorized operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band pending FCC action as part of its ongoing inquiry into the possibility of permitting mobile broadband use and more intensive fixed use of the band.”
Earth stations. During the freeze the International Bureau will dismiss applications, or those portions of applications, received for new earth station licenses, new receive-only earth station registrations, and modifications to earth stations currently authorized to operate in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. EXCEPTIONS: The freeze does not extend to applications for renewal or cancellation of current earth station authorizations, or modifications to correct location or other data required in the earth station file. As noted above, it is also delayed 90 days for existing earth stations.
Fixed Microwave. During the freeze, the Wireless Telecommunications and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureaus will dismiss applications received for new or major modifications to fixed microwave stations to operate in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. EXCEPTIONS: The freeze does not extend to applications for renewal, cancellation, minor modifications, or data corrections.
The FCC indicated that it will consider requests for waiver of this freeze on a case-by-case basis and upon a demonstration that waiver will serve the public interest and not undermine the objectives of the freeze.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Comment Deadline Established for Robocall FNPRM
On April 23, the FCC filed in the Federal Register its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “ways to address the problem of unwanted calls to reassigned numbers.” Comments are due June 7 and reply comments are due July 9.
Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on, among other issues: (1) the specific information that callers need from a reassigned numbers database; and (2) the best way to make that information available to callers that want it. The FCC’s proposal is to ensure that one or more databases are available to provide callers with the comprehensive and timely information they need to avoid calling reassigned numbers. The FCC therefore seeks comment below on, among other things: (1) the information that callers who choose to use a reassigned numbers database need from such a database; (2) how to ensure that the information is reported to a database; and (3) the best approach to making that information available to callers.
Carriers interested in filing comments or reply comments are invited to contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
House Subcommittee Schedules Hearing on Robocalls
On April 27, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing entitled “Do Not Call: Combating Robocalls and Caller ID Spoofing.” The purpose of the hearing is to examine the tactics behind robocalls and caller ID spoofing that harm consumers, and to discuss the tools and strategies available for Americans to protect themselves and their families. Witnesses for the hearing are: Mr. Aaron Foss, Founder, Nomorob; Mr. Ethan Garr; Chief Product Officer, RoboKiller; Mr. Scott Hambuchen; Executive Vice President, Technology and Solution Development, First Orion Corp.; and Ms. Maureen Mahoney, Policy Analyst, Consumers Union.
The hearing will be webcast live at 9:00a.m. here.
FCC Webinar on Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process Scheduled for May 3
On April 18, the FCC announced that on May 3 it will hold a webinar on the process for challenging the identification of areas initially deemed ineligible for universal service funding through the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) reverse auction. According to the Public Notice, this free webinar will focus on the issues that affect state and local government offices and agencies and will explain the MF-II reverse auction, how to determine if a particularly locality has been identified as initially deemed ineligible for support and how to challenge that determination and seek inclusion of the locality among the areas identified as eligible for support.
The webinar will be available via WebEx. Registration will be open here.
MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.
MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on June 1. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.
JULY 2: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
JULY 2: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the FCC an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the FCC, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the FCC’s rules.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Sal Taillefer.
JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31 of the previous year. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, for lines served as of September 30 of the previous year).
BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 31). 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.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
|Friends & Colleagues|
Spok Reports 2018 First Quarter Operating Results; Software Revenue and Wireless Trends Improve
Wed April 25, 2018 4:10 PM|Business Wire|About: SPOK
Board Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend
SPRINGFIELD, Va.—(BUSINESS WIRE)— Spok Holdings, Inc. (SPOK) (NASDAQ: SPOK), the global leader in healthcare communications, today announced operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018. In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, payable on June 22, 2018 to stockholders of record on May 25, 2018.
2018 First Quarter Results: Consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2018 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) was $43.1 million compared to $41.4 million in the first quarter of 2017. On January 1, 2018, Spok adopted Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, using the modified retrospective method applied to those contracts which were not completed as of January 1, 2018. Unless otherwise stated, results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented under ASC 606, while prior period amounts have not been adjusted, and continue to be reported in accordance with the Company’s historic accounting under ASC 605
Other key results and highlights for the first quarter of 2018 included:
“We are encouraged with our performance in the first quarter of 2018 and believe that it provides a solid base for the remainder of the year,” said Vincent D. Kelly, chief executive officer. “First quarter results were in line with our seasonal expectations, and we saw strong year-over-year performance in a number of key operating measures, including revenue levels and average deal size, as well as wireless subscriber retention. We accomplished this as we increased our investment in our business by enhancing and upgrading our product development team and tools as well as our sales infrastructure and management. We believe this effort will yield significant future benefits in the form of our improved, integrated communication platform, Spok Care Connect®, as well as higher future bookings levels, and ultimately margins, supported by our enhanced and upgraded sales team. Overall, we continued to operate profitably, enhance our product offerings, and operate as a debt-free company. We also executed against our capital allocation strategy.” Kelly added, “Throughout 2018, we will remain focused on returning value to our shareholders through our capital allocation strategy, which includes dividends, share repurchases and key strategic investments in our products and business to create sustainable growth.”
For the full-year 2018, adjusted to exclude the adoption of ASC 606, the Company continues to expect total revenue to range from $161 million to $177 million, operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) to range from $158 million to $165 million, and capital expenditures to range from $4 million to $8 million.
2018 First Quarter Call and Replay:
The Company plans to host a conference call for investors to discuss its 2018 first quarter results at 10:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Dial-in numbers for the call are 334-323-0522 or 877-260-1479. The pass code for the call is 9101087. A replay of the call will be available from 1:00 p.m. ET on April 26, 2018 until 1:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 10, 2018. To listen to the replay, please register at http://tinyurl.com/Spok2018Q1earningsreplay. Please cut and paste this address into your browser, enter the registration information, and you will be given access to the replay.
Spok is a trademark of Spok Holdings, Inc. Spok Care Connect and Spok Mobile are trademarks of Spok, Inc.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act: Statements contained herein or in prior press releases which are not historical fact, such as statements regarding Spok’s future operating and financial performance, are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Spok’s actual results to be materially different from the future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations include, but are not limited to, declining demand for paging products and services, continued demand for our software products and services, our ability to develop additional software solutions for our customers and manage our development as a global organization, the ability to manage operating expenses, future capital needs, competitive pricing pressures, competition from both traditional paging services and other wireless communications services, competition from other software providers, government regulation, reliance upon third-party providers for certain equipment and services, unauthorized breaches or failures in cyber security measures adopted by us and/or included in our products and services, as well as other risks described from time to time in our periodic reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Spok believes the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Spok disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
The Scout Oath and Scout Law
A Scout is:
TRUSTWORTHY. Tell the truth and keep promises. People can depend on you.
|Source:||Boy Scouts of America|
|VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
All Along The Watchtower • Playing For Change • Song Around The World
|Source:||YouTube||To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org|
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