|Wireless News Aggregation|
Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
As I have mentioned before, I have a great new computer, courtesy of an anonymous donor. Although it is a “Cadillac” of computers, it has been very limited in speed due to a slow Internet connection from my ISP.
Just a few minutes ago I got upgraded to a much faster service—60 times faster in fact. I am still on a copper-wire line using aDSL but only a couple of hundred yards to a major fiber-optic line. Hooray! (cost $5/mo. extra)
After Google Gets Caught Tracking Users' Locations Without Permission, It Makes Changes—to a Help Page
By GLENN FLEISHMAN
On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Google’s apps and websites continue to track a user’s location even if Location History were turned off in that user’s settings. Google responded on Thursday—by changing its help page, not the feature.
AP reported this afternoon that Google had updated a page that explained how the Location History setting works. It now notes, “This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.” Google did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment.
With the revelation that users cannot easily turn off tracking, Google has seemingly found itself in the midst of swirling debates over privacy, particularly with the rollout of the Europe Union’s new sweeping privacy disclosure and tracking regulations in late May, and a consumer data protection law passed in California in June.
The AP’s Monday report described how using Google search, many of its websites, and some of its apps still lead to a user’s location being tracked on as precise as a minute-by-minute basis, including recognizing one’s home address and all the places visited. The Location History feature only controls whether locations tracking get added to an account-wide Timeline feature.
But there is a way to disable this app and website tracking. While logged in via a web browser to any Google product, select your avatar and then Google Account, and navigate to Manage Your Google Activity. Follow that to Go To Activity Controls, and under Web and App Activity, flip the switch to pause it. Still, Google’s site notes, “even when this setting is paused, Google may temporarily use information from recent searches in order to improve the quality of the active search session.”
Tim Cook posts gif of Apple Park's spectacular sliding doors
The Apple CEO tweeted a gif of Apple Park's giant motorized sliding doors, with the caption: "Lunchtime at Apple Park just got a whole lot more exciting." Here are the doors in action:
The gif is from a timelapse video, meaning the actual speed the doors move at is probably much slower, but you'd still be forgiven for thinking it resembles something from a sci-fi movie. [source]
We need your help. This is probably the only weekly news source about paging and wireless messaging.
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
TIME TO HUDDLE UP
I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
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There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here.
HAWKE'S BAY TODAY (NZ)
First response trio no stranger to pager
16 Aug, 2018 11:09 am
The Waipukurau St John volunteers behind the wheel of Central Hawke's Bay's new First Response Unit say they are getting used to being joined at the hip to their ever-present pagers.
The electronic pagers alert first responders like Suzanne Jordan, a physiotherapy assistant at Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings, Vaughn Thomson, a Waipawa-based employee of Hawke's Bay Regional Council, and Kendell O'Connor, the friendly face behind the counter and classified advertising sales rep at the CHB Mail, to call-outs at any time of the day or night — sometimes even during their working day.
The trio, part of a team of five trained first responders, are certainly no strangers to pagers having all worked on frontline St John ambulances previously. But after their new bright yellow Hyundai SUV hit the streets in July after a St John restructure to provide only double-crewed vehicles, they now carry pagers at all times, rather than hand them back with the ambulance keys at the end of a 12-hour shift.
After being alerted by her beeping pager last month, Kendell O'Connor found herself dashing to get changed after she was called out to respond to her first emergency during a work day.
She was recently given approval by her employers, NZME, the publishers CHB Mail and Hawke's Bay Today, to respond to call-outs during working hours.
"It got pretty exciting when the pager went off. I have a uniform hanging up out the back of the office. I was straight down the corridor to get changed and then out the back door. It helps that the office is right behind the St John station," grinned the mum of two, a St John volunteer for four years, who appreciated the gesture from her employers.
"I love my job at the paper, but my volunteer role with St John and serving the community is equally important to me."
Vaughn Thomson said he appreciated the contrast between his day job and his "other job".
"I like the difference between the two, going from heavy equipment to helping people," he said.
"It was something I wanted to do for a long time and I've been [with St John] for seven years now," said Vaughn, who is a trained EMT (Emergency medical technician] and is now also seeking permission from the regional council to attend call-outs during work hours.
Another trained EMT who has been with St John for 12 years, Suzanne Jordan, said her first responder role was a logical extension of her work as a health professional at the region's hospital in Hastings.
"I like the contact with people and just being there to help people in our community."
Like the eight full-time paid paramedics and EMTs that crew the district's frontline ambulance, the first response vehicle must be double crewed for any call-outs.
The vehicle itself is not designed to transport people to hospital, instead the first responders provide early treatment of patients while an ambulance is en route.
But Vaughn said the new vehicle contained all the same life-saving equipment found in a St John ambulance — including a defibrillator and trauma kit.
"The only thing we don't have is a stretcher to transport people [to hospital]. It's the first of its type in Hawke's Bay so it's a learning curve, but it's working well."
The decision to replace one of the district's ambulances with a vehicle unable to transport people to hospital angered some local residents, but Vaughn believed its arrival as part of the move to double crews was "absolutely the best thing for patients," to which Kendell agreed.
"It's better because you are getting a response unit out in a shorter period of time," she said.
The volunteers said the other strength of the new structure was the camaraderie between the first responders.
"We work easily together as a team, we all know each other, and it seems to flow nicely," said Suzanne.
"We really do get along together inside and outside of St John," Kendell said.
St John territory manager Brendon Hutchinson said five more CHB volunteers would soon come on board as first responders.
"St John thanks all volunteers who give their time and acknowledge that this is a significant commitment. It's great to see employers such as NZME prepared to release volunteers to attend jobs during their regular working hours, also a significant and generous undertaking."
NZME central region general manager Glen Smith said it was an "easy decision" to grant Kendell permission to attend call outs during the day, despite the potential loss in productivity. "NZME is proud of what our staff do out in the community and when Kendell approached us with what she wanted to do, it was an easy decision for us.
"As a first responder, Kendell's presence at the scene may save lives. That factor outweighed all other considerations," he said.
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!
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.
The Wireless Messaging News
The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.
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Repair and Refurbishment Services
Bonneville County has new notification system for emergencies. Here’s how you can sign up to receive them.
The following is a news release from Bonneville County.
IDAHO FALLS — The Bonneville County Emergency Communication Center has transitioned to a new mass notification system called “AlertSense”. The center is the Public Safety Answering Point for all 911 and non-emergency calls in Bonneville County and Idaho Falls.
The alerts will be related to public safety or emergency issues. Members of the public may choose to receive notifications by e-mail, pager, text message, mobile app, or voice call.
Sign up to receive alerts here or download the free MyAlerts app from the Google Play Store or the App Store.
Types of Alerts
Simply add all the locations that matter to you, both within the county and even in other parts of the country. For example, you could identify your home, your child’s school, where your aging parent resides, the university where your older child attends, and your office. When you travel, you can enable the app to “monitor my current location” in order to receive any emergency alerts issued for the city or area you are visiting.
Public Safety Alerts
Receive emergency alerts from public safety alerting authorities, notifying you of situations that threaten the safety of yourself or those you care about. Public safety alerts include events such as crime, active shooter, imminent danger, hazardous materials, wildfire, floods and the need for immediate evacuation.
Severe Weather Alerts
Receive advanced warning of severe weather when you or one of your locations is in the direct path of the storm. AlertSense receives feeds from the National Weather Service, automatically interprets the geographic area affected, and delivers targeted alerts immediately to app users when one of their locations falls within the impact area. You can tailor your alert settings by location, selecting the severity level for which you want to receive notifications. For example, you can choose to receive only the most severe weather warnings or all watches and advisories as well.
Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.
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.
HAARP’s WSPR Research Campaign Yields Hundreds of Reports on 40 and 80 Meters
Just-completed research at the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitters in Gakona, Alaska, successfully took advantage of the WSPR digital protocol and the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network (WSPRnet) on July 30 through August 1. University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Space Physics Group researcher and HAARP Chief Scientist Chris Fallen, KL3WX, told ARRL that the research — HAARP’s fourth research campaign under management of the University of Alaska Fairbanks — went well.
“My ‘citizen science’ experiments were funded by the National Science Foundation and were conducted for approximately 30 minutes at the end of each campaign day,” Fallen told ARRL. “They consisted of 2-minute transmissions using the WSPR digital mode in the 40- and 80-meter bands, with a 2-minute off period between transmissions.” He said HAARP transmitted in full-carrier, double-sideband AM because it does not have SSB capability. HAARP operated under its Part 5 Experimental license, WI2XFX, with Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the FCC to transmit on amateur bands.
“I systematically varied the HAARP transmission parameters, such as gain, net power, beam direction, and polarization, to see how they affected the reception reports collected in the WSPRnet.org database,” Fallen said. “During the 3 days, we gathered more than 300 confirmed reports of signal strength and location from nearly 100 unique participants throughout Canada and the US.”
Fallen said the spots, collected along with the corresponding HAARP transmission parameters, are available online, (1) and (2). He said the spreadsheet at the second link is editable by the public, “specifically by citizen scientists who want to manually add their spot or other interesting data analysis,” he added. “In this sense, the experiment continues.”
He said that HAARP’s low-elevation transmissions on 40 meters resulted in the greatest number of spots. “The 40-acre phased array antenna at HAARP, with its vertically oriented normal, is not designed for low-elevation transmissions, and so these directional experiments most likely included significant grating lobes in the opposite directions,” Fallen explained. “The most distant spot was located at grid EL96xi, near Boca Raton, Florida, reported by W1NEJ, from a distance of 6,154 kilometers. Interestingly, HAARP was aimed in the magnetic west direction during that spot. Those grating lobes!” A grating lobe occurs when the signal is steered too far with a phased array and the main beam reappears on the opposite side.
Fallen said a few Alaskans participated in the test, and all spots from there were on 80 meters, with the exception of a single 40-meter spot reported by KL4IU, located near Fairbanks. “KL4IU used a 30 MHz turnstile antenna recycled from the old Poker Flat Research Range imaging riometer, essentially a phased array HF receiver, that was destroyed by lightning many years ago,” he said.
HAARP and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico are planning to conduct heating campaigns this fall, Fallen noted, although not at the same time, as experimenters are shared.
Funding agencies for the recent HAARP research campaign included the National Science Foundation, Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Office of Naval Research, with experimenters from the Naval Research Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eastern Michigan University, Cornell University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
HAARP is holding its annual open house on August 25.
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.
FAA Lighting Letter Leaves Contractors In the Dark
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
A recent letter from the FAA Office of Airport Safety and Standards has created an unsettling atmosphere in the tower lighting community. “This is a big deal,” one lighting executive told Inside Towers, wishing to remain off the record. Industry execs are concerned about the ramifications of the FAA invalidating the certification of lighting systems with non-OEM components.
Inside Towers obtained a copy of the letter dated June 27, 2018 that came from the FAA’s Khalil Kodsi, P.E., PMP, Manager, Airport Engineering Division.
“Only entire systems and devices with production parts are certified under the current FAA certification program and Advisory Circular (AC) 150/535-53C. The certification is invalidated for a product modified with non-OEM replacement parts or non-production components.”
“The purpose of this letter is to rescind the previous letter dated Nov. 22, 2005. The Nov. 22, 2005 letter established an interim procedure to certify entire devices with non-Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components installed. The decision to rescind this industry letter is due to the myriad of logistical issues as well as the follow-up quality assurance provisions related to the certification of equipment with non-OEM replacement parts installed.”
The FAA contacted Inside Towers stating, “nothing has changed” in the interpretation or enforcement of the code and cited a 2012 Advisory Circular on the Airport Lighting Equipment Certification Program canceling the 2005 edict and installing it as the current policy en force. Tower owners must now evaluate the compliance of their systems as listed in the FAA AC 150/5345-53d addendum.
“Thousands of non-OEM replacement components which also includes cable have been used over the past 13 years,” the industry source said.
Much of the confusion came from interim program the FAA introduced in 2005 to allow for testing an approval of non-OEM components. “That program never materialized,” the source told Inside Towers. “It’s unfortunate companies promoted the use of non-OEM components because it will take some time to rectify this.”
|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.
Section 214 Discontinuance Revisions Effective August 8
The Second Report and Order in the FCC’s Accelerating Wireline Deployment proceeding (WC Docket No. 17-84) became effective on August 8. Among other things, the Second Report and Order took further action to revise the discontinuance process, and the customer notice process. It also forbore from applying discontinuance requirements for services with no customers and no reasonable requests for service during the preceding 30 days. Carriers with questions about the revised discontinuance procedures should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Adopts Rural Call Completion Intermediate Provider Registration Rules
On August 15, the FCC released a Third Report and Order in which it adopted rules to establish a registry for intermediate providers, and require intermediate providers to register with the FCC before offering to transmit covered voice communications, and other measures. Intermediate providers will be required to submit their registration to the FCC within 30 days after a Public Notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the final rules establishing the registry. Covered providers will be required to be using only registered intermediate providers within 90 days after the date by which intermediate providers must register with the FCC.
Intermediate providers will be required to register via a portal on the FCC’s website furnishing the following five categories of information: (1) the intermediate provider’s business name(s) and primary address; (2) the name(s), telephone number(s), email address(es), and business address(es) of the intermediate provider’s regulatory contact and/or designated agent for service of process; (3) all business names that the intermediate provider has used in the past; (4) the state(s) in which the intermediate provider provides service; and (5) the name, title, business address, telephone number, and email address of at least one person as well as the department within the company responsible for addressing rural call completion issues. Further, this information will be made publicly available. Intermediate providers will also be required to furnish the name(s), business address, business telephone number(s), and email address for an executive leadership contact, such as the chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or owner(s) of the intermediate provider, or person performing an equivalent function, who directs or manages the entity.
Covered providers may not use unregistered intermediate providers and, furthermore, are required to take steps reasonably calculated to prevent use of unregistered intermediate providers anywhere in the call path. Specifically, covered providers are required to (i) ensure that any directly contracted intermediate provider is registered with the FCC; and (ii) implement “contractual restrictions . . . that are reasonably calculated to ensure” that any subsequent intermediate providers with which the covered provider does not directly contract are registered. Covered providers must be capable of disclosing to the FCC the identity of all intermediate providers in the call path.
For the purposes of these rules, an “intermediate provider” is defined as “any entity that: “(A) enters into a business arrangement with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for the specific purpose of carrying, routing, or transmitting voice traffic that is generated from the placement of a call placed (i) from an end user connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource; or (ii) to an end user connection using such a numbering resource; and (B) does not itself, either directly or in conjunction with an affiliate, serve as a covered provider in the context of originating or terminating a given call.” A “covered voice communication” is defined as “a voice communication (including any related signaling information) that is generated—(A) from the placement of a call from a connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource or a call placed to a connection using such a numbering resource; and (B) through any service provided by a covered provider.
Any intermediate provider “that offers or holds itself out as offering the capability to transmit covered voice communications from one destination to another and that charges any rate to any other entity (including an affiliated entity) for the transmission” must register under the new rules. As noted above, intermediate providers will be required to submit their registration to the FCC within 30 days after a Public Notice announcing the approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the final rules establishing the registry.
Intermediate providers that fail to register with the FCC on a timely basis will be subject to enforcement under the Communications Act and the FCC’s rules, including forfeiture.
“Covered provider” means providers of long-distance voice service, including LECs, IXCs, CMRS providers, and interconnected and one-way VoIP service providers, that make the initial long-distance call path choice for more than 100,000 domestic retail subscriber lines, regardless of whether those providers are facilities-based.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
FCC Seeks to Refresh the Record on Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls
On August 10, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking to refresh the record on how the FCC might further empower voice service providers to block illegal robocalls. Comments are due September 24, and reply comments are due October 8.
Specifically, the FCC now seeks to refresh the record in response to the Call Blocking NPRM and NOI on additional criteria voice providers could use to identify and block illegal calls. The FCC’s goal in seeking additional comment is to identify specific, enforceable criteria for targeting illegal calls that cannot be abused, while ensuring providers have sufficient flexibility available to adapt to dynamic calling patterns. Topics on which the FCC seeks comment include:
The FCC also seeks additional information regarding “white lists,” which could allow calling parties to provide numbers to voice service providers to avoid calls being blocked or otherwise adversely impacted. Companies interested in participating in this proceeding should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
Law & Regulation
Court of Appeals Stays Part of Fourth Lifeline Order
On August 10, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an Order granting a motion for stay parts of the FCC’s Fourth Report and Order on Lifeline Order pending review by the court. Specifically, the court has stayed all portions of the Fourth Report and Order that purport to limit eligibility for the Tribal Lifeline enhanced subsidy to “facilities-based” service providers, and to limit eligibility for that program to “rural areas.”
According to the court’s Order, the Petitioners — which include the National Lifeline Association, Assist Wireless, LLC, Boomerang Wireless LLC (d/b/a Entouch Wireless), and Easy Telephone Services Company (d/b/a Easy Wireless) — credibly contended that the FCC failed to account for a lack of alternative service providers for many tribal customers, and that many tribal customers will lose access to telecommunications service under the Fourth Report and Order. Furthermore, the court held that Petitioners successfully demonstrated that the FCC failed to show that the historical record supports its assertion that its new requirements will encourage development of communications infrastructure in underserved areas. In the Fourth Report and Order, the FCC limited enhanced Tribal Lifeline support to facilities-based service providers. According to the FCC, “Lifeline funds disbursed to non-facilities-based providers will still lower the cost of the consumer’s service, but cannot directly support the provider’s network because the provider does not have one.” Accordingly, the FCC limited enhanced Tribal support to (1) fixed or mobile wireless facilities-based Lifeline service provided on Tribal lands with wireless network facilities covering all or a portion of the relevant Lifeline ETC’s service area on Tribal lands; and (2) facilities-based fixed broadband or voice telephony service provided through the ETC’s ownership or a long-term lease of last-mile wireline loop facilities capable of providing Lifeline service to all or a portion of the ETC’s service area on Tribal lands.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
FCC Seeks Comment on Wireless Priority Service Rulemaking Petition
On August 13, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), for the FCC to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to revise Appendix B to the Part 64 rules for Priority Access Service (PAS), now commonly known as Wireless Priority Service (WPS).
NTIA states that “Although WPS has evolved considerably since its creation under the PAS name in 2000, the rules governing the service have not changed since they were initially issued.” NTIA seeks to update those rules to “reflect the current operations of WPS, the current Executive Branch governance structure for the service, and the need for more robust and reliable communications by National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) users.” To that end, NTIA requests “a broad range of substantive changes and administrative and technical updates to the original WPS rules.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Tribune Calls Off Merger After FCC Votes Against Approval
On August 9, Tribune Media Company announced that it has terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., and that it has filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court against Sinclair for breach of contract. According to the press release, the lawsuit “seeks compensation for all losses incurred as a result of Sinclair’s material breaches of the Merger Agreement.”
According to Tribune, Sinclair committed to use its “reasonable best efforts to obtain regulatory approval as promptly as possible, including agreeing in advance to divest stations in certain markets as necessary or advisable for regulatory approval” as part of the companies’ merger agreement. Instead, Tribune argues, Sinclair “engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) over regulatory requirements, refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval, and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay—all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC concluded unanimously that Sinclair may have misrepresented or omitted material facts in its applications in order to circumvent the FCC’s ownership rules and, accordingly, put the merger on indefinite hold.
“In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable time frame, if ever,” said Peter Kern, Tribune Media’s Chief Executive Officer. “This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the Merger Agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.”
AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2018 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
SEPTEMBER 4: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Normally due September 1, this year’s filing falls on a federal holiday, pushing the deadline back to the next business day. Three types of entities must file this form.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
OCTOBER 1: 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. Because September 30 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due the following business day on October 1. 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.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
Murus Cybersecurity and Zetron Partner on DHS S&T Award for LMR/LTE Research
Redmond, WA, August 16, 2018 — Murus Cybersecurity, a specialized communications security consulting firm, and Zetron, a global leader in integrated mission-critical communications technology, today announced the award from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for new research to be conducted on Land Mobile Radio (LMR) Project 25 (P25) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) Mission Critical Push-to-Talk Interface Service.
Murus, a qualifying small business, has partnered with Zetron, a provider of LMR and LTE command and control solutions, to conduct the research funded by DHS S&T.
“LTE and mission critical push-to-talk technology has the promise to bring enormous benefits to first responders, enabling them to react to emergencies more quickly and safely,” said Gary Schluckbier, Managing Director for Murus Cybersecurity. “But these complex technologies could also potentially inhibit communications, as has been the unfortunate reality in past generations of new communications. Murus is excited to partner with Zetron in supporting S&T’s requirements to develop technology that will enable a standards-based Interworking Function (IWF) to seamlessly and securely connect first responders across disparate technologies and carriers.”
As the need for situational awareness between users of disparate systems and technologies increases, so too will the demand and subsequent development of interoperability solutions, which will enter the market with or without standards in place to guide them. Historically, proprietary solutions emerging in the absence of standards have significantly hindered longer term progress in building pervasive interoperability across communications platforms.
“Public Safety communications is transitioning from narrowband LMR to broadband LTE,” added Randy Richmond, Standards & Regulatory Specialist for Zetron working on the project. “But this transition will take time, so while the need for LMR/LMR interoperability is prevalent today, there will have to be LMR/LTE interoperability in the short term, and cross-carrier LTE/LTE interoperability in the future as the newer technology pervades.”
The in-depth research planned by Murus and Zetron aims to uncover the true state of relevant standards and identify key gaps where new standards are needed. Additionally, the companies plan to further collaborate on technology development for prototypes of proposed solutions in subsequent phases of the project.
About Murus Cybersecurity LLC
About Zetron, Inc.
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