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TECH FIX Your Wi-Fi Security Is Probably Weak.
Here’s How to Fix That.
June 13, 2018
Chances are that when you bought a Wi-Fi router, you probably did not prioritize strong network security.
After all, when we think about wireless connectivity in our homes, most of us generally care more about speed of data transmissions and how much range the router can cover.
But it’s time to change our views. Network security needs to be high on our list of considerations because a Wi-Fi station is the gateway for devices to get on the Internet. If your router is infected with malicious software, all your Internet-connected devices become vulnerable, including your smartphone, computer, smart watch, television and Amazon Echo.
A recent cyberthreat underscores the need to take network security more seriously. Last month, Cisco’s threat research arm, Talos, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, discovered that a malware system with links to Russia had infected hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi routers made by popular brands like Netgear, TP-Link and Linksys. This month, Talos revealed the problem was even worse than initially thought: Routers from other brands like Asus and D-Link had also been infected.
That means base stations from every well-known router brand were a target for this malware, known as VPNFilter, which is capable of manipulating your web traffic. Attackers could use it to load a fake banking site on your computer browser that looks like the one you normally use and steal your credentials and clean out your bank accounts. They could also load spoof versions of an email site you use to steal your password and gain access to your communications.
Netgear, D-Link and Linksys said they advised people to install the latest security updates and to choose strong user names and passwords. TP-Link and Asus did not respond to requests for comment.
Our remedy? For starters, make sure your Wi-Fi station is always running the latest version of its “firmware,” or software system, just as you are supposed to keep operating systems up-to-date for your smartphone and computer. In a 2014 survey of I.T. professionals and employees who work remotely conducted by the security firm Tripwire, only 32 percent said they knew how to update their routers with the latest firmware.
“Most consumers don’t know to patch these things,” said Matt Watchinski, a senior director of Cisco Talos, who helped research the VPNFilter malware. “They don’t treat it like they do their air-conditioner or refrigerator, where we all know we should change the filters.” Here’s a guide to some of the best practices you can embrace to ensure that your router — and, by extension, all your Internet gadgets — is safe.
Routinely update the firmware
Even though a router lacks moving parts, it needs to be maintained with the latest security updates. Easier said than done, right? Here is a basic step-by-step for how to do that:
Set a unique user name and password
When you log in to your router, if your user name and password are something like “admin” and “password,” you have a problem. Many Wi-Fi stations come with weak, generic passwords by default that manufacturers intend for you to change.
The problem with having a weak user name and password is that anybody within range of your router could log in to it and change its settings, potentially opening it up to the outside world, said Dave Fraser, chief executive of Devicescape, a company that helps make public Wi-Fi networks more reliable for mobile phone service.
So while you are checking for firmware updates in your router’s web dashboard, make sure to also check your security settings and change the user name and password to something strong and unique. Security experts recommend creating long, complex passwords consisting of nonsensical phrases and added numbers and special characters. (Examples: My fav0rite numb3r is Gr33n4782# or The cat ate the C0TT0n candy 224%.) Write down these credentials on the same piece of paper where you recorded your IP address.
Replace your router every few years
Even if your router still appears to work properly, the device has reached the end of its life when manufacturers stop supporting it with firmware updates, leaving it vulnerable to future cyberthreats. You can expect this to happen every three to five years. At that point, it is crucial to upgrade to a new piece of hardware.
The best way to check is to look up your router on the manufacturer’s website and read notes about its firmware releases. If there hasn’t been a firmware update in the last year, the router has probably been discontinued.
Among the routers affected by the VPNFilter malware, a significant portion of them were more than five years old, said Cisco’s Mr. Watchinski.
How did we get here in the first place? Historically, manufacturers have designed routers by cobbling together open-source software platforms with commodity components to produce base stations as cheaply as possible — with little care for long-term security, Mr. Fraser said.
“It is a miserable situation, and it has been from day one,” he said. But Mr. Fraser added that there were now “new world” routers with operating systems, tougher security and thoughtful features to make network management easy.
If it is time to update your router, rid yourself of some of these headaches by looking for a smarter router. Check for Wi-Fi systems that offer automatic updates to spare you the headache of having to check and download updates periodically. Many modern Wi-Fi systems include automatic updates as a feature. My favorite ones are Eero and Google WiFi, which can easily be set up through smartphone apps.
The caveat is that smarter Wi-Fi systems tend to cost more than cheap routers that people are accustomed to. Eero’s base stations start at $199, and a Google WiFi station costs $119, compared with $50 for a cheap router. For both of these systems, you can also add base stations throughout the home to extend their wireless connections, creating a so-called mesh network.
Another bonus? Mr. Fraser noted that more modern Wi-Fi systems should have longer life spans because the companies sometimes relied on different revenue streams, like selling subscriptions to network security services.
Brian X. Chen, our lead consumer technology reporter, writes Tech Fix, a column about solving tech-related problems like sluggish Wi-Fi, poor smartphone battery life and the complexity of taking your smartphone abroad. What confuses you or makes you angry about your tech? Send your suggestions for future Tech Fix columns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this article appears in print on June 13, 2018, on Page B6 of the New York edition with the headline: Don’t Overlook the Security of Your Wi-Fi.
Source: The New York Times
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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.
Do Amazon's Movement-Tracking Wristbands Violate Workers' Privacy Rights?
A look at the legal precedents shows Amazon could get into trouble with its newly patented devices.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted Amazon two patents directed to remote control of human hands. The Amazon patents are able to obtain and record users' location and the detailed movements of their hands. Therefore, highly private information such as when an employee takes a bathroom break or pauses to scratch may be obtained and recorded by the patented system. That, in turn has led to concerns that the patents could violate protected privacy rights of employees under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment applies to government actions, and would be implicated in a legal challenge to the Amazon patents, since patents are issued and enforced by the government. In addition, Amazon patents can run afoul of state statutes and common law privacy protections, which have adopted similar Fourth Amendment privacy standards.
Article I Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Patent and Copyright Clause authorizes Congress to grant inventors and authors exclusive rights to their respective inventions and works of authorship for limited periods of time. Under current law, patents enjoy a 20-year monopoly period, backed by the power of Federal Government.
The U.S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. However, the Supreme Court, in numerous decisions since the 1920s, has relied on the Bill of Rights to carve out certain rights based on privacy considerations. These carved out rights include privacy of a person's freedom from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment.
The pulse on Amazon's tracking mechanism
The Amazon patents describe a system and mechanism for tracking and guiding workers' hands relative to the position of inventory storage bins. The stated aim of the patents is to improve the efficiency of inventory management system by making it faster and easier for workers to accurately locate the bins in which items are stored and retrieve ordered items from them. The Amazon patents criticize existing processes for keeping track of inventory bin locations as uneconomical and inefficient, and find proposed improvements in the form of a computer vision apparatus to track location of inventory bins inadequate as cumbersome and costly.
Instead, the patents propose a system that uses ultrasonic communication to track employee hand movements by sending ultrasonic pulses at predetermined intervals to the worker's wristband in order to keep track of the relative positions of the worker's hands and the target inventory storage bins. The patented system directs the worker's hands toward the correct bin by sending a pulse to alert the worker when the worker's hands are in close proximity to a target bin.
Amazon has dismissed potential privacy concerns raised by the implementation of its patents as "speculation" and "misguided." In a released statement, Amazon analogized its proposed wristband system to handheld scanners, which are in widespread use for checking inventory and for fulfilling customer orders. According to the company, the wristbands and their accompanying mechanism improve efficiency by freeing up employees' "hands from scanners and their eyes from computer screens."
The debate regarding the trade-off between privacy and efficiency at workplace is not new. Common worker monitoring techniques, including cameras, employer monitoring and access to employee emails and Internet browsing, have been around since the 1990s. However, such concerns have come into renewed focus with the Amazon patents as they potentially cross the currently prevalent arena of surveillance and monitoring of employees into the uncharted territory of directing and even physical control of employees.
The question regarding the Amazon patents is whether they will pass muster in the face of likely challenges to their constitutionality. Challenges to patents duly issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are not new. Back in 2013, the Supreme Court found genes to be not eligible for patent protection.
The legal precedents
As noted above, because implementation of the Amazon patents in the workplace would involve obtaining potentially private information from employees, they would likely raise concerns about violation of workers' constitutionally protected privacy rights. Amazon, in turn, has downplayed such concerns and has instead tried to focus the debate on the enhanced efficiency resulting from the introduction of its patented technology.
The U.S. Supreme Court has identified certain factors that courts must consider in determining whether employer monitoring of employees and obtaining information from them passes legal muster. In City of Ontario v. Quon, the Supreme Court affirmed that workers do enjoy Fourth Amendment rights in their workplace to guarantee their "privacy, dignity and security of persons against certain arbitrary and invasive acts" by the government as an employer. Factors, identified in City of Ontario, which courts are to consider in determining the permissible scope of employer intrusion on its employee's Fourth Amendment rights include: 1. whether the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information obtained; 2. whether the employer has a legitimate work-related rationale for the intrusion; 3. whether the intrusion is reasonable in scope; 4. availability of less intrusive means to achieve the same purpose; and 5. public acceptance of the conduct.
In City of Ontario, the city had provided its employees with pagers which were used to send and receive text messages to allow employees to be contacted in the event of an emergency. The city's employee policy manual made clear that the city had the right to access and monitor communications to and from the city issued pagers and that employers should not have any expectation of privacy or confidentiality in using the pagers. When Jeff Quon, a city employee with a city-issued pager, repeatedly exceeded the monthly character limit for use of his pager, the city ordered an audit of his communications to determine if the usage was work related. In conducting the review, the city discovered that most of the messages sent by Quon were not work related but were personal and many were of sexually explicit nature, and proceeded to implement disciplinary measures against Quon. Quon responded by filing suit against the city for violating his Fourth Amendment rights.
Discussing the particular facts and circumstances of the case, the Supreme Court allowed for a certain extent of privacy in communications on the pagers provided by the city but concluded that expecting complete privacy would not be reasonable since Quon had been informed of the potential auditing of his messages and that his position as a law enforcement officer indicated his likely awareness of scrutiny of his actions and that such scrutiny may involve examination of his communications during the work hours. Next, the Supreme Court concluded that the search of Quon's messages was motivated by a proper purpose, that it was tailored to the problem at hand and had been reasonable in scope. The Court did not give much weight to the availability of less intrusive methods by the city to achieve the same goal.
Efficiency or privacy?
With respect to the Amazon patents, the question before the courts will be whether the additional intrusive step of controlling and directing an employee is justified by the expected incremental improvement in efficiency and productivity resulting from the patents. In the long run, the answer may lie in the public's acceptance of the trade-off between efficiency and privacy in response to new technology.
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!
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Zetron Mission Critical Communications Systems Are End-To-End NG9-1-1 i3 and FirstNet Compliant
Redmond, Wash, June 14, 2018 — Zetron, a global leader in integrated mission critical communications technology, today announced its unique capability to deliver end-to-end communications in a fully standards-compliant lifecycle, from NG9-1-1, into the command and control center, and out to FirstNet. This enables public safety answering points (PSAPs) on Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) networks to receive and handle emergency communications beyond just voice.
MAX Call Taking now supports fully integrated VoIP, Text To 9-1-1, robust location services, and mapping technologies. And earlier this year, Zetron announced its MAX Dispatch and ACOM Command & Control systems are FirstNet Ready. These systems have long supported core voice communication standards, including Project 25 (P25), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), and Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA).
“We believe developing our solutions to the latest industry standards is imperative for our customers,” said Gary Stidham, Vice President of Product Management at Zetron. “It provides the flexibility to purchase for best of breed according to their specific needs, while enabling integration and seamless accessibility across disparate systems, agencies, and jurisdictions for voice and data.”
MAX Systems also support network-integrated, broadband Push-To-Talk (PTT) interoperability with three of the four largest US cellular carriers, as well as interoperability with over-the-top PTT solutions, such as ESChat. Both MAX Dispatch and ACOM systems are also ready for IOC-1, pre-MCPTT integration with FirstNet, and are field-upgradable for future 3GPP Mission Critical PTT (MCPTT) interworking.
For more information on Zetron’s integrated suite of mission critical standards-compliant communications solutions, visit www.zetron.com.
About Zetron, Inc.
|Product Support Services, Inc.|
Repair and Refurbishment Services
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.
NATE Debuts Video on Dropped Object Prevention
NATE unveiled a video entitled “Look out Below” that focuses on the risks associated with dropped objects and provides safety guidance on preventing these scenarios while working at elevation on a communications structure. The video is the fourth in Volume 3 of the Association’s popular Climber Connection series.
The video includes personal anecdotes and experiences from a tower technician on measures that can be implemented by elevated workers to prevent dropped objects. The video also portrays a live demonstration of the impact a dropped tool can make when it falls to the ground at a tower site.
“The tower industry has been a leader in dropped object prevention for a long time,” said Nate Bohmbach, Product Director at Ergodyne. “Feedback from climbers has helped manufacturers develop better and safer solutions that are becoming more common today for all industries. This NATE video does a great job of capturing this evolution leading to a safer worker and tower site,” added Bohmbach. [...]
NATE encourages tower technicians and industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the video on their respective social networking platforms using the hashtag #ClimberConnection.
|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.
FCC Transparency Requirements Now In Effect
On June 11, the FCC’s transparency requirements, which were adopted as a part of the Order repealing Net Neutrality rules, went into effect. Per these requirements, Internet service providers must publicly disclose information regarding their network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of service. These disclosures must be made via a publicly available, easily accessible company website or through the FCC’s website.
Carriers with questions about these requirements should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Grants Petition for Forbearance of USF Contribution Requirements for Rural LECs
On June 7, the FCC adopted an Order granting a petition filed by NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA) and the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) (collectively, Petitioners) for forbearance from the application of Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution requirements to broadband Internet access transmission services provided by rural incumbent local exchange carriers (rural LECs). The Order is effective immediately.
In the Order, the FCC found that it has consistently declined to impose USF contribution obligations on retail broadband Internet access service, and therefore found that requiring a subset of rural LECs that provision a component of that service as a common-carriage offering to comply with our legacy rate-of-return rules is not “necessary” to ensure that the rural LECs’ charges or practices in connection with this service are “just and reasonable.” On the contrary, the FCC held that such obligation on a limited group of rural providers of this service is in itself “unreasonably discriminatory” because it raises the prices for consumers in rural areas served by small carriers.
The FCC also found no evidence that enforcement of USF contribution requirements on rural LEC-provided broadband Internet access transmission services offered on a common-carrier basis (but not any other input to broadband Internet access service nor that same input when provided by other carriers) served any significant consumer protection purpose. Rather, the FCC found that such enforcement negatively impacts customers of those rural LECs by effectively requiring them, but not other broadband consumers, to bear additional costs.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
FCC Adopts Items at June 7 Open Meeting
On June 7, the FCC adopted all eight items under consideration. Summaries of each item are set out below, along with links to the final documents.
Prior to the meeting the FCC considered and adopted — and thus removed from the agenda — the following items: Audacy satellite authorization, O3b market access grant, improving intercarrier compensation to eliminate access arbitrage, and the Enforcement Bureau action against HobbyKing.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
Chairman Pai Proposes Funding Increase for Rural Healthcare
On June 6, Chairman Ajit Pai announced that that he has circulated a draft order to the other Commissioners that would take immediate action to increase funding for the Universal Service Fund’s Rural Health Care Program. Specifically, Chairman Pai’s proposal would increase the program’s current annual funding cap from $400 million to $571 million.
According to a Press Release, this increase represents what the funding level would be today had the cap established in 1997 included an inflation adjustment. The order would apply the increased cap to the current funding year. The order would also allow unused funds from prior years to be carried forward to future years.
Chairman Pai released the following statement regarding his plan:
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
FCC Seeks Comment on 2.5 GHz Band for 5G Services; Additional Spectrum in Rural Areas
The FCC has recently adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to update the framework for licensing Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, and that could create new opportunities for our firm’s clients. In brief, the NPRM proposes to provide greater flexibility to existing EBS licensees, and to use competitive bidding to award licenses for areas where the EBS spectrum is not currently in use.
Since much of the unused EBS spectrum is in rural areas, the forthcoming auction could provide an opportunity for our clients to obtain unused 2.5 GHz spectrum for the provision of next generation wireless broadband, including 5G. Federal Register publication sets comments due Monday, July 9, 2018; and reply comments due August 6, 2018. Clients interested in participating in comments should contact us, especially if you can share any input about 5G spectrum needs and acquisition efforts that can help us shape rules that will be advantageous for rural providers.
The 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz) constitutes the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 gigahertz and is prime spectrum for next generation mobile (e.g., 5G) operations. The band includes 80 megahertz of spectrum allocated to the Broadband Radio Service (BRS), a radio service that was previously known as MDS and MMDS and licensed for multichannel video and later wireless broadband service, and 114 megahertz of EBS, a service that was previously known as Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) and is licensed primarily to public and private educational institutions and nonprofit organizations whose purposes are educational. Since 1983 the Commission has allowed EBS licensees to lease their excess capacity to commercial providers, but it has required EBS licensees to retain five percent of their capacity for educational use, and that they use each channel at least 20 hours per week for educational purposes.
The FCC proposes and seeks comment on a number of steps to encourage and facilitate more efficient use of the EBS spectrum. First, given the irregularity of current EBS geographic service areas (as well as outdated regulatory requirements), the Commission proposes to rationalize existing EBS holdings so that existing licensees have new opportunities to put 2.5 GHz spectrum to its highest and best use. Second, the Commission seeks comment on whether to open one or more local priority filing windows so that existing licensees, Tribal Nations, and educational entities could get access to unassigned spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. Third, the Commission proposes to use geographic area licensing to assign any remaining spectrum, which may result in the auction of any licenses for 2.5 GHz spectrum still unassigned after rationalizing holdings and any new filing windows. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on additional approaches for transforming the 2.5 GHz band, including by moving directly to an auction for some or all of the spectrum.
The ideas teed up in the NPRM seek to allow more efficient and effective use of this spectrum band and to provide new opportunities for EBS eligible entities, rural Tribal Nations, and commercial entities to obtain unused 2.5 GHz spectrum to facilitate improved access to next generation wireless broadband, including 5G.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.
Law & Regulation
Senate Democrats Urge Vote on Net Neutrality Repeal Resolution
On June 7, a group of 49 Democratic senators sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to schedule a vote on SJ.Res. 52, a resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal of the agency's 2015 net neutrality rules. The senators wrote:
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the repeal became effective on June 11, 2018.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Designates White Space Database Administrator
On June 11, the FCC adopted an Order conditionally designating Nominet UK (Nominet) as a white space database administrator pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC’s rules. Part 15 permits the operation of unlicensed intentional radiators on available channels in the broadcast television bands, the 600 MHz service band, the 600 MHz duplex gap, and in TV channel 37. The unused spectrum in these bands is commonly referred to as “white spaces.”
To prevent interference to authorized users of the bands where they operate, white space devices must include a geo-location capability and the capability to access a database that identifies incumbent uses entitled to interference protection, including, for example, full power and low power TV stations, broadcast auxiliary point-to-point facilities, PLMRS/CMRS operations on channels 14-20, and the Offshore Radiotelephone Service. The database is also used to register the locations of fixed white space devices and the protected locations and channels of incumbent services (including licensed wireless microphone and 600 MHz wireless service band operations) that are not otherwise recorded in FCC databases. The database indicates to a white space device which frequencies are available for use at its location.
The FCC can designate one or more entities to administer a white space database. At the beginning of this designation process in 2009, it issued a public notice inviting interested entities to apply. After reviewing the database administrator proposals and comments received in response to the public notice, OET designated all of the responding entities as white space database administrators.
On November 16, 2017, Nominet filed a proposal with OET seeking designation as a white space database administrator. Nominet’s proposal provided the information requested by OET’s 2009 public notice that invited proposals from parties seeking to be designated as white space database administrators.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
U.S. District Court Approves AT&T/Time Warner Merger
On June 12, US District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the merger of AT&T and Time Warner can proceed, finding that the Department of Justice had not met its burden of proof that the effect of the combination would be to “substantially to lessen competition” in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act.
CNBC reports that the judge did not impose conditions on the merger's approval, and also urged the government not to seek a stay when issuing his decision in a closed-door room with reporters.
“We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner,” AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said in a statement. “We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative.”
“We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. We will closely review the Court's opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a statement.
Commissioner Clyburn Signs Off
On June 6, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn issued her closing statement as she steps down from her seat on the FCC. “I want to begin by thanking President Barack Obama for nominating me, in 2009, to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission. Although humbled by the honor, I had no idea, then, how much this agency would mean to me,” she said.
Her statement, which can be found here, went on to recount a number of decisions she supported (including Title II classification for broadband, Lifeline reform, inmate calling reform, and 700 MHz interoperability). She also recounted a number of decisions she “wish[ed] came out differently” (including the repeal of Title II classification for broadband, repeal of media consolidation rules, and the reinstatement of the UHF discount).
Commissioner Clyburn concluded with a hope that the FCC “returns to basics and lives up to its “prime directive” consumers will, once again, be put first.” She wrote:
As reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, President Trump has tapped Geoffrey Starks to take Commissioner Clyburn’s seat.
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 16: 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 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.
InfoRad Technical Bulletin:
Problem: Delayed or Missing Messages on your phone
If you are sending text messages to cell phones via email, email-to-text, or using the email address of the phone and experiencing message receipt delays or missing messages all together, that can be a result of the cell carriers and or Internet service providers (ISPs) SPAM filters mistaking your messages as spam. ISPs and wireless providers constantly upgrade their SPAM filters to try and eliminate abusive messaging.
The InfoRad Messaging Gateway available in the InfoRad v10.4.2 software can resolve delayed or missing message issues thus greatly increasing the reliability of cell phone text messaging compared to using ‘email-to-text’ service. The InfoRad Messaging Gateway provides enterprise level connectivity to all the cell carrier service providers with only needing to know the cell phones 10 digit phone number.
Alternately, some carriers offer enterprise level messaging which also provides more reliable messaging. Usually there are additional fees associated and or require individual registration of each phone to use their enterprise level messaging service. Typically each carrier or service plans are different.
(If you prefer to use the carrier(s) enterprise level service(s), please note that InfoRad Messaging Software supports the major cell carriers enterprise level services. Contact InfoRad Support for setup information once you obtain an enterprise level account with your cell phone carrier(s).)
Please feel free to contact us with any questions on the InfoRad Messaging Gateway and to activate your free / no obligation 30-day/1000 message trial.
About InfoRad Inc.
Since 1983, InfoRad, Inc. has been developing and integrating wireless messaging technology, serving a broad range of wireless users in public safety, medical, industrial, and commercial markets. With continued advances in Smartphones, tablets, text pagers and infrastructure technology (IOT & M2M), InfoRad has maintained a leadership role in the industry. By designing and incorporating new features, providing first class support, and being customer focused, the more than one-half million InfoRad users continue to benefit from our software and system solutions that are robust, cost effective and state-of-the-art.
When a Failure to Communicate is Not an Option®
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
I read your quotations about poverty with interest. I just finished a bike ride across north Georgia where I was face to face with rural poverty. It is a disgrace that a country as wealthy as the US has many, many counties where the childhood poverty rate is over 25%. And in this case it is not an issue of discrimination. These are counties that are 90% white. There are no easy answers, but making the super-rich even richer is not one of them.
[Writer's name withheld on request.]
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”
By George Sand — French novelist
|VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
Love and Be Loved • Live Outside
|Source:||Vimeo||To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org|
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