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New 911 integration pilot will allow D.C. Uber passengers to utilize an in-app emergency button
by Prince Of Petworth November 1, 2018 at 4:00 pm
From the Mayor’s Office
“Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC) and Uber announced the launch of a 911 integration pilot in the District of Columbia, allowing DC Uber passengers to utilize an in-app emergency button that will notify the Office of Unified Communications of an emergency and instantly share their real time location, car make/model, and license plate number with 911 call takers.
“For many years, the biggest challenge in the 911 industry has been location accuracy. A faster response with enhanced location services will save lives, and we are so grateful for partners like Uber who have stepped up to change the landscape. Mayor Bowser is committed to utilizing cutting-edge technologies to keep residents safe and continuing to raise the bar for emergency communications across the District.” said Karima Holmes, Director of the Office of Unified Communications.
Federal regulators estimate about 10,000 lives could be saved every year if first responders were able to get to a 911 caller just one minute faster. As a result, the Bowser Administration contracted RapidSOS to develop the technology used in this app, which will allows 911 call takers to receive vital information quickly, reducing the length of time between a call taker and a first responder being dispatched in an emergency situation.
“At Uber, we believe technology can help make the roads safer than ever before. Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure our users get help quickly with accurate information if faced with an emergency situation,” said Nirveek De, Uber’s Safety Products Lead.
Earlier this year, the Bowser Administration and Uber completed the state-of-the-art Greenlight Hub in the East River Park Shopping Center in Ward 7, which will result in the creation of full-time jobs, millions of dollars in investment into the community, and access to support services for Uber drivers and UberEATS couriers.” [ 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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Officials looking to fix Marine City firefighters' 'bonking' pagers
Jackie Smith, Port Huron Times Herald Published 1:54 p.m. ET Oct. 30, 2018
The same wireless headache that has plagued residents up and down the St. Clair River for well more than a year has also been a challenge for some public safety officials.
And around Marine City, the issue had a distinctive sound over the scanner.
“It sounds almost of a shipping horn when it bonks,” said Tina Bricker, St. Clair County Central Dispatch director. “It’s just letting you know, ‘Hey, you better get this pager in a better spot.’”
The 800-megahertz digital pager system was laid out in April 2017 for agencies across the county, and by that May, firefighters with the Marine City Area Fire Authority knew they had a problem.
Just a few months before, in late 2016, at least one cellular carrier was given an order to turn down its local signal strength from the Federal Communications Commission after Canadian carriers complained American signals were bleeding over the border. Verizon has since said it’s working on the issue, while other carriers previously said their customers weren’t as affected or ignored the question.
“Fortunately, when fire calls or emergencies were happening, they got response and people showed up,” said County Commissioner Greg McConnell, who’s also among the area officials responding to the issue. He and Bricker have attended more recent fire authority meetings in Marine City.
“But they were concerned about the day when nobody had service,” he said. “It wouldn’t be totally forgotten, but what if there’s a 10-minute delay and there’s a medical emergency? Ten minutes could be life and death.”
A month ago, Bricker said they were rolling out prototype antennas to boost signals but only started with a few.
Marine City Fire Chief Joe Slankster said his pager and that of Assistant Chief Dave Vandenbossche had them — and so far, so good.
“We’ve only lost signal twice,” he said. “Just on my pager. His hasn’t lost signal yet, and his used to be two times a day.” Before, the chief said someone would lose signal 10 or 11 times a day.
Of the 24 members in the fire authority, Slankster said, “They don’t all carry them because we’re having so (many) issues. So, they were using our phones also as a way of getting” calls. “Sitting at the computers and sitting in the office, and we would have no signal at all,” he said. “That would go on until we walked outside.”
Bricker said now, they’re bringing in more to the authority. As a prototype from Unication, she said it didn’t come at a cost to give them a try.
“I would say they’re close to a hundred percent,” Slankster said. He said they got 21 prototypes Monday, and on Tuesday, he said he just got another update: Micro towers.
He said they already had one repeater in the station that’s additionally been helpful in boosting calls.
Bricker said the longer-term plan is to get other tower sites in Marine City.
But that takes regulation. County Commissioner Bill Gratopp, who’s also worked on the wireless connection issue, has previously pointed to a bill making its way through Lansing that would set up framework for towers to boost close-range signals. That passed in the Senate last March and has come up for discussion in the House’s energy policy committee.
“I’m hoping the micro sites work,” Slankster said. “From what they were saying, I believe we’ll have them at the end of the year by our station.”
Bricker said Central Dispatch has also been trying to work with the FCC to be able to boost signal strength, adding, “That’s long term. That’s not something that’s going to turn around right away.”
She said the other solutions, while helpful, may also just be Band Aids. She said she’s also reached out to fire officials in St. Clair, though they weren’t as affected.
Vandenbossche said that effort will benefit other public safety agencies. He laid credit with Bricker and Central Dispatch.
“What they did in the last month versus the last 18 months is amazing,” he said, adding it helps in improving the system all along the river. “She’s trying to increase the signal strength on all of our border (towers) — for us and PD. For all of our first responders.”
In Marine City, McConnell said, “So far, knock on wood, they’ve been working.”
But he shared a similar sentiment to Vandenbossche — that it’s a much bigger issue than pagers.
“This is the cell phone, this is everything,” McConnell said. “Through Tina, as the first responder, that’s her jurisdiction — she needs to make sure that when they send a page out to these fire departments, that they know they have a call. But it is big picture. We have a police officer (in a) certain area (and) lose them. That’s OK if they’re pulling someone over, but (for) major incidents — that’s the last thing we can do is afford to lose communication.”
Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.
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Benson warns of emergency radio system breakdown
Bond issue will be required to pay for the improvements
November 2, 2018
"Our communications system is failing at an alarming rate," Tama County Emergency Management and E911 Director Mindy Benson told the Board of Supervisors on Monday, Oct. 29. "We've been putting this off for years and years and years."
Benson is calling for replacement of emergency and law enforcement radios, some of the existing towers and related transmission equipment.
Saying "It keeps me awake nights" Benson said the dangers which could be felt are many from citizens needing an emergency response for accidents or fires to law officers needing assistance and the radio system failing.
Benson said her study has centered on options provided by Raycom, a Marshalltown radio firm which currently services the county system.
Costs range anywhere from $4.9 million to $7.2 million depending upon the number of towers and related costs.
Of the various options, Benson said she would recommend the mid-level one which she said should provided service to the county for at leasts 20 years.
Raycom cost estimates for this are: hosted controller- five tower sites, infrastructure, radio, paging system and pagers $4,251,883; civil estimate $2,138,920; 10-year maintenance $1,570,433.
Benson said the estimated cost is the maximum and she would expect final expenses to be less.
Other proposal cost ranges are (from Raycom estimates) Hosted Controller- six tower sites, infrastructure, radio, paging system and pagers- $4,597,191; civils estimate $2,623,020; 10 year maintenance $1,684,531 ranging to three tower sites, infrastructure, radio, paging system and pagers- $3,569,687; civils estimate $1,339,420; 10-yearmaintenance $1,349,656.
The expenditure would require passage of a bond issue which the board of supervisors must call for, Benson said.
Benson said Emergency Management and E911 funds have about $700,000 in carryover money which could be spent on the project.
Benson said she has searched for any available grants and has been unable to find any to aid the project.
See Need For Bids
1st District Supervisor Larry Vest said he recognized the need for the system upgrade but questioned if bids shouldn't be secured, a position agreed to by 3rd District Supervisor Dan Anderson.
2nd District Supervisor Kendall Jordan, who is the board representative on the Emergency Management and E911 commissions, said he agreed the proposal needed to be taken back before the board for further consideration of the need for a bidding process.
The commissions then would make recommendation to supervisors.
Benson said the radio communications system is classed as an essential service and does not require bidding.
Area, Divisions Served
The Emergency Management and E911 commissions serve all cities in Tama County, the Meskwaki Settlement and surrounding communities which are in the county service area.
The Tama County Dispatch Center in the Tama County Courthouse in Toledo handles calls for the Tama County Sheriff's Office, Tama, Toledo, Dysart and Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police forces; fire departments in Tama, Toledo, Chelsea, Montour, Vining, Elberon, Garwin, Clutier, Traer, Dysart, Gladbrook and Lincoln; ambulance services in Tama, Toledo, Garwin, Elberon, Gladbrook, Traer and Dysart; and first responders at Montour, the Meskwaki Settlement, and Clutier.
In other business on Monday the supervisors approved:
the Veterans Affairs Commission quarterly report showing a total of $$1,916 in payments and expenses.
Alliant utility permits in Otter Creek and Buckingham townships. weekly claims totaling $121,465.
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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Windows 10 October 2018 Update still not released, running out of October
Latest fixes address an issue with extracting files from ZIP archives.
PETER BRIGHT - 10/30/2018, 1:49 PM
Microsoft is making yet more fixes to Windows 10 build 17763, the build that has been blessed as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
The update was initially published on the first Tuesday of the month, but within a few days, Microsoft had to pull the update due to a bug that could cause data loss. It turned out that the bug had been reported numerous times during the preview period, but for whatever reason, Microsoft had overlooked or ignored the feedback items describing the problem.
Microsoft fixed that bug and sent the fixed build to Windows Insiders to test. The fixes published today include a fix for another widely reported (but apparently ignored) bug affecting users when dragging files from .ZIP archives in Explorer. If a file within the archive has the same name as a file in the destination directory, Explorer is supposed to show a prompt to ask whether to overwrite the existing file or rename the new one. For some reason, Windows build 17763 was not asking the question. Instead, it was skipping the extraction of the file with the conflicting name.
The company pushed these patches out to the Insider Slow and Release Preview rings. With today being the penultimate day of October, it looks unlikely that the October 2018 update will actually ship in October 2018—a rather unfortunate state of affairs for a software release that was thought to be finalized in mid-September.
We continue to believe that these problems indicate that the Windows development process is flawed . Inadequate testing (both automated and manual), combined with a general attitude of "add the new code now, we'll fix the bugs later," means that with each new feature update, code quality takes a hit. Months can go by before the code gets back up to where it should be, with Windows users being caught in the resulting quagmire.
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Repair and Refurbishment Services
November 1, 2018
FCC Enforcement Monitor ~ October 2018
Pillsbury’s communications lawyers have published FCC Enforcement Monitor monthly since 1999 to inform our clients of notable FCC enforcement actions against FCC license holders and others. This month’s issue includes:
FCC Launches Hearing in Response to LPFM’s Undisclosed Foreign Ownership
The FCC has designated for hearing a Low Power FM (“LPFM”) licensee’s modification application after an investigation into whether the licensee misrepresented the makeup and citizenship of its ownership in various Commission filings.
Under Section 309 of the Communications Act (“Act”), the FCC must first determine that the public interest will be served before it can grant a station license or modification application. If there is a substantial question that prevents the Commission from making that determination, it must designate the application for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). The FCC can revoke the license if an ALJ determines that the applicant lacks the “requisite qualifications” to be a licensee, taking into consideration the applicant’s record, character, and truthfulness in dealings with the FCC.
The Act also prohibits entities with greater than 20% alien ownership or voting control from holding a broadcast license where the FCC finds such foreign ownership is not in the public interest. Many FCC filings require the licensee to identify all officers, directors, and entities with attributable ownership interests in the licensee, including their citizenship.
According to the Hearing Designation Order (“HDO”), the Missouri-based licensee initially applied for a construction permit for a new LPFM station in 2013. In that application, the licensee listed five individuals as board members and identified all of them as U.S. citizens. In two separate modification applications in January and November 2017, the licensee identified the same board members as U.S. citizens.
The Enforcement Bureau began its investigation after another licensee alleged that four of the five listed board members were not actually U.S. citizens. The Bureau discovered that one of the board members had, only weeks before the licensee’s January application, lost an appeal before a federal court to reopen his deportation order to Guatemala. The court decision referred to him as a Guatemalan citizen. His wife, another board member, had already been deported to Guatemala. These revelations indicated that foreign ownership and control of the licensee not only exceeded 20 percent, but that the licensee had also falsely certified the U.S. citizenship of the two board members.
In addition to questions of citizenship, the Bureau also found evidence that the licensee may not have even identified all individuals with attributable interests in the licensee. Specifically, in documents filed with the Missouri Secretary of State, the licensee listed several officers and board members that it had not disclosed to the FCC.
According to the FCC, these discoveries raised a “substantial and material question of fact” as to whether the licensee misrepresented to the Commission both the makeup and the citizenship of its attributable owners.
The FCC sent the licensee two Letters of Inquiry seeking information about the licensee’s board members, but never received any response. Failure to respond to a Commission inquiry is also a violation of the FCC’s Rules.
As a result, the FCC commenced an administrative hearing to determine whether the licensee: (1) made misrepresentations in its applications; (2) violated the Commission’s foreign ownership rules; (3) failed to maintain the accuracy of its pending application; and (4) failed to respond to the FCC’s inquiries.
In light of these questions, the ALJ must also examine the facts to determine whether granting the licensee’s pending application is in the public interest, and whether the licensee is even qualified to hold an FCC license at all.
FCC Proposes $40,000 Fine for Impersonating a Firefighter
In a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”), the FCC found a North Carolina man apparently liable for transmitting on a frequency licensed to local first responders while impersonating a member of the local Volunteer Fire Department.Section 301 of the Act prohibits the transmission of radio signals without prior FCC authorization. The FCC reserves certain frequencies for first responders as “public safety spectrum.” As noted on many occasions by the FCC, unauthorized transmissions on these frequencies pose a threat to first responders and the general public by disrupting communications that are vital for emergency management and disaster response.
Last year, Chairman Pai affirmed that “within the realm of public safety, the FCC has no higher purpose than promoting secure and reliable public safety and emergency response communications.” To this end, the FCC has historically responded aggressively to the unauthorized use of these frequencies.
On October 17, 2017, a North Carolina county’s emergency dispatcher transmitted a message over the county’s licensed public safety radio system requesting a response to an activated residential fire alarm. Seconds later, an individual claiming to be a member of the local Volunteer Fire Department and identifying himself as “Unit 7331,” transmitted over the radio that he was on his way to the scene. A few minutes later, the same individual called in again to cancel the call, meaning that no other personnel would need to be dispatched. Unbeknownst to the dispatcher, “Unit 7331” did not exist and, as a result, no first responders ever responded to the triggered alarm. Fortunately, the lack of a response did not result in any damage to life or property.
In its investigation of the event, the county sheriff’s office identified and interviewed the individual. The man initially denied any involvement but returned to the sheriff’s office the next day and admitted making the transmissions from a mobile radio in his car, even though he was not a member of the Volunteer Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, he was charged with interfering with emergency communications in violation of North Carolina law, and now awaits trial in state court.
Almost a year later, the FCC issued an NAL proposing the statutory maximum of $19,639 for each unauthorized transmission, for a total fine of $39,278. Though the base forfeiture for each violation is $10,000, the FCC adjusted this amount upward to the maximum to reflect the disruption to the public safety radio system and the risk to life and property that the man’s behavior caused.
Licensee of Hospital Paging System Warned Over Harmful Interference
The FCC presented a Notice of Violation (“NOV”) to a Private Carrier Paging Station licensee for operating a paging transmitter at an Ohio hospital that was causing harmful interference on nearby frequencies.
A Private Carrier Paging Station is a commercial radio service that is interconnected to the public switched telephone network. This system is popular in hospital systems because it allows nurses, physicians, and other staff to quickly and efficiently communicate via simple text. Though a pager may seem low-tech for 2018, a private paging system offers certain benefits. Pagers do not rely on cell service, which can be spotty inside hospitals and overwhelmed during emergencies. Further, upper band paging systems operate in the 929 MHz and 931 MHz bands, which offer strong propagation through walls. Sections 22.359 and 90.210 of the FCC’s Rules set emissions limits for paging systems.
According to the NOV, the Enforcement Bureau responded to a complaint of harmful interference from a mail delivery company that was experiencing disruptions on nearby frequencies. When agents inspected the paging licensee’s equipment at the hospital, they found two paging transmitters generating spurious emissions that could affect services across several adjacent frequencies.
The licensee was given 20 days to respond to the NOV. In its response, it must explain: (1) the facts and circumstances surrounding the violations; (2) any corrective action taken to prevent further violations; and (3) a timeline for completing the corrective actions. The FCC will then consider all relevant information to determine what, if any, enforcement action it will take against the licensee.
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ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.
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TIA Looks to Update Bonding, Grounding Standards
Friday, October 26, 2018
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42.3 Engineering Committee Telecommunications Administration, Pathways, Spaces, Bonding and Grounding issued a call for interest for document TIA-607-D initially titled “Generic Telecommunications Bonding and Grounding (Earthing) for Customer Premises.”
TR-42.3 is developing guidelines that specify requirements for a generic telecommunications bonding and grounding infrastructure and its interconnection to electrical systems and telecommunications systems. This standard may also be used as a guide for the renovation or retrofit of existing systems.
Revision is needed to incorporate an addendum, to update references and to harmonize with addendum to International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 30129.
TIA is actively seeking interest from the user/general interest community. Stakeholders may include architects, installers, building owners, electrical inspectors, electrical contractors, engineers, telecommunications contractors, designers, consultants and others.
Big Gaps Exposed by FCC C-Band Sharing Plan
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
Conflict is rampant concerning what the FCC should do to carve out more C-band spectrum for wireless use. Satellite operators, carriers and broadcasters presented disagreeing viewpoints to the FCC this week, as comments were due on the agency’s proposals for the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. Nearly 80 filings were made in the past 30 days.
The Satellite Industry Association says in its effort to further 5G, the agency “must not sacrifice established, vitally important C-band fixed-satellite service (FSS) operations,” that supply video and audio programming to consumers via radio and television broadcasters, and provide “basic, lifeline connectivity in remote regions that lack terrestrial alternatives, to enabling government services critical to public safety and national security.” SAS notes that satellite operators and their customers have invested “in dozens of C-band space stations and thousands of C-band earth stations.” Moreover, C-band FSS operations can’t be readily duplicated on other bands, says SAS. “Ku- and Ka-band frequencies have a lower resistance to rain fade than does the C-band, and satellites in these higher bands have insufficient available capacity to take over the traffic carried by C-band spacecraft.” It also says fiber has limited reach.
NAB agrees incumbents must be protected in any plan to allow expanded operations on the band. “That means requiring a documented, enforceable and fully-funded plan for accommodating existing users.” NAB says “under no circumstances” should the Commission allow shared operations in the non-reallocated portion of the band because that could risk interference to current and future use.
NAB, NPR and C-SPAN agree the band is critical for content delivery. C-SPAN says the FCC’s “effort to squeeze spectrum for new users” could prevent the broadcaster from fulfilling its public service mission. “C-band satellites allow us to reach even the most remote and rural parts of the country at a reasonable cost, and fiber does not.”
The C-Band Alliance, comprised of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat, has proposed to make up to 200 MHz of mid-band spectrum, including a 20 MHz guard band, available for terrestrial 5G, while ensuring that satellite operators can protect the services that enable their customers’ businesses. Instead of an FCC auction, the Alliance would negotiate secondary market agreements directly with terrestrial mobile operators to clear and repack incumbent C-band downlink operations.
SAS and T-Mobile don’t agree this is the right approach. SAS says co-frequency sharing between FSS and terrestrial 5G operations is “infeasible” because “significant required separation distances would preclude ‘meaningful’ wireless deployment.” T-Mobile notes a market-based auction would generate more broadband spectrum. Verizon agrees, and urges “swift action” by the FCC.
|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 Releases Auction 101/102 Qualified Bidder Lists, and Auction 101 Bidding Guide and Tutorial
On October 31, the FCC issued Public Notices announcing the qualified bidders for Auction 101 (28 GHz), and the applications that have been accepted for Auction 102 (24 GHz). For Auction 101, __ bidders are qualified, while 10 applicants failed to qualify. For Auction 102, 58 applications were accepted, while 2 were found unacceptable. The FCC also issued a Public Notice announcing the availability of the FCC Auction Bidding System User Guide, which describes the features of the auction bidding system that will be used for Auction 101. This guide provides detailed instructions for bidding and viewing round results, and it includes the specifications for data file formats, including the format required for the bidding system’s bid upload feature. The user guide is available in electronic form under the “Education” section of the Auction 101 website at www.fcc.gov/auction/101, or directly at www.fcc.gov/file/14584/download, and will remain accessible on the Auction 101 web page for reference. In addition, a bidding tutorial is available for viewing at:
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast.
FCC Announces Tentative November Open Meeting Agenda
On October 26, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the tentative agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, which is currently scheduled for November 15. The FCC publicly releases the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Commission Meeting with the exception of items involving specific, enforcement-related matters. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. Links to these materials are embedded in the text below.
At the meeting, the FCC will consider:
Open Meetings are streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
FCC Announces Competitive Study Areas for BDS
On October 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the release of a list of study areas served by rate-of-return carriers receiving fixed universal service support (i.e., A-CAM recipients, price-cap model company affiliates, and Alaska Plan recipients) that are deemed competitive for purposes of regulating the pricing of their lower speed (DS3 and below) TDM end user channel terminations and certain other lower speed TDM-based business data services pursuant to the Rate-of-Return Business Data Services Order. The list is available here .
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Commission adopted a competitive market test to assess the competitiveness of study areas served by rate-of-return carriers that receive fixed universal service support. The test uses publicly available Form 477 data as of June 30, 2017. A study area is deemed competitive if the Form 477 data demonstrates that a cable operator not affiliated with the rate-of-return carrier offers a minimum 10 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload broadband service in 75% of census blocks. In study areas that are deemed competitive, the lower capacity (DS3 and below) TDM end user channel terminations offered by carriers that elect to move to the “lighter touch” regulatory framework adopted by the Commission in the BDS Order will no longer be subject to ex ante pricing regulation on the effective date of the carrier’s election.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
California Agrees Not to Enforce Net Neutrality Rules
In recent filings with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, California has agreed not to enforce its new Internet regulation law pending the resolution of a petition for review of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and any subsequent proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court. All parties have requested that further proceedings in the District Court be stayed pending final resolution of that litigation. The agreement must be approved by the District Court.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of California alleging that Senate Bill 822, an Internet regulation bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown which, according to the complaint, unlawfully imposes burdens on the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach to the Internet. The bill prohibits ISPs from engaging in certain activities that impact a consumer’s ability to lawfully access content on the Internet, including, but not limited to blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, and zero-rating.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement about the matter:
“I am pleased that California has agreed not to enforce its onerous Internet regulations. This substantial concession reflects the strength of the case made by the United States earlier this month. It also demonstrates, contrary to the claims of the law’s supporters, that there is no urgent problem that these regulations are needed to address. Indeed, California’s agreement not to enforce these regulations will allow Californians to continue to enjoy free-data plans that have proven to be popular among consumers.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Seeks Comment on Interoperable Devices Under “Adequate Replacement” Test
On October 29, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on expanding the list of key applications and functionalities for which a carrier must demonstrate interoperability when requesting to discontinue a legacy voice service pursuant to the adequate replacement test. Comments are due on November 28, and reply comments are due on December 13.
When it adopted the “adequate replacement” test – which allows a carrier to discontinue voice service if it can establish, among other things, that a suitable replacement service is available – the Commission identified five low-speed modem devices as the initial list of key applications and functionalities (the interoperability list). These devices are: fax machines, home security alarms, medical monitoring devices, analog-only caption telephone sets, and point-of-sale terminals. The FCC now seeks comment on whether additional applications and functionalities should be added to the interoperability list, as well as changes in market conditions, industry developments, or Commission rules since the interoperability component of the adequate replacement test was adopted in 2016.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Announces 134 Long-Form Applications Filed for CAF Phase II Auction
On October 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that identify 134 applicants in the Connect America Fund Phase II auction (Auction 903) that submitted the long-form application portion of the FCC Form 683 by the October 15, 2018 deadline. Winning bidders had the opportunity to assign some or all their winning bids to one or more related entities. A spreadsheet, available on the Data tab of the Auction 903 web page, at www.fcc.gov/auction/903 , identifies the long-form applicants and lists the number of census blocks and locations, as well as the support amounts, by state, associated with each applicant. Where applicable, the winning bidder that assigned bids to the applicant is also identified. In addition, we list the eligible census blocks associated with each long-form applicant.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Sal Taillefer.
Law & Regulation
FCC Establishes Electronic Filing System for OVS Applicants
On October 24, the FCC adopted an Order establishing electronic filing procedures for parties seeking to operate an Open Video System (OVS) to submit a certification application and notice of intent. This electronic system would replace the current paper filing requirements for OVS applications and notices. The change will not be effective until the Order is published in the Federal Register.
Instead of filing on paper, OVS applicants will send certification applications, including FCC Form 1275 and all attachments, as well as notices of intent, via electronic mail (e-mail) delivery to a designated Commission email address. Comments or oppositions also will be required to be sent via e-mail to this same designated e-mail address. It is important to note, however, that these rule changes do not affect the requirement that the certification application must be served on all local communities in which the applicant intends to operate.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.
Uniform Comment Deadline Established for Reconsideration of Pole Attachment Order
On October 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing a uniform comment cycle for Petitions for Reconsideration of its Third Wireline Infrastructure Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling. Oppositions are due November 9, and replies are due November 19.
In the Third Report and Order, the FCC adopted rules to allow one-touch make-ready for most pole attachments and further reform its pole attachment process, and in the Declaratory Ruling the FCC concluded that section 253(a) prohibits state and local moratoria on telecommunications facilities deployment. (WC Docket No. 17-84; WT Docket No. 17-79). Four petitions for reconsideration were filed: the Smart Communities and Special Districts Coalition and the County Road Association of Michigan have each filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the Declaratory Ruling, the City of New York has filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the Declaratory Ruling and of a portion of the Third Report and Order, and the Coalition of Concerned Utilities has filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the Third Report and Order.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Seeks Comment on Phase I Testing for U-NII-4 (5.9 GHz) Devices
On October 29, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the report for Phase I of tests performed to evaluate potential sharing solutions between the proposed Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) operations in the 5850-5925 MHz (UNII- 4) frequency band. The full report can be found here . Comments are due November 28, and reply comments are due December 13.
The report is the product of a 2016 request to refresh the record in the FCC’s pending proceeding that is evaluating the potential for U-NII devices to share the 5850-5925 MHz frequency band with DSRC systems operating under the Intelligent Transportation Service (ITS). Five parties—Cisco, Qualcomm, KEA Tech, Broadcom, and CAV technologies—submitted a total of nine devices in response to the U-NII-4 Public Notice for Phase I testing. In addition, Qualcomm, Cisco, KEA, Broadcom, and DoT submitted DSRC devices to use for the testing program.
As summarized in the report, the FCC found the prototype devices reliably detected DSRC signals. However, in light of developments since the three-phase test plan was announced in 2016—such as the introduction of new technologies for autonomous vehicles, the evolution of the Wi-Fi standards, the development of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology, and the limited deployment of DSRC in discrete circumstances, the FCC seeks comment on how any of these factors or others should impact our evaluation of the test results, the three-phase test plan, or the pending proceeding on unlicensed use in the 5.9 GHz band.
Commissioner Rosenworcel issued the following statement:
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Comment Cycle Established for Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act NPRM
On October 26, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on the implementation of the Kari's Law Act of 2017 (Kari's Law), which requires implementation of direct 911 dialing and on-site notification capabilities in multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), and Section 506 of RAY BAUM'S Act (RAY BAUM'S Act), which requires the Commission by September 23, 2019 to “conclude a proceeding to consider adopting rules to ensure that the dispatchable location is conveyed with a 9-1-1 call, regardless of the technological platform used and including with calls from [MLTS].” Comments are due December 10, and reply comments are due January 9.
In the NPRM, the FCC proposes to implement Kari's Law by adopting direct dial and notification rules governing calls to 911 made from MLTS. As required by RAY BAUM'S Act, the FCC also consider the feasibility of requiring dispatchable location for 911 calls from MLTS and other technological platforms that currently complete calls to 911. The FCC proposes establishing a dispatchable location requirement for MLTS 911 calls, which would apply contemporaneously with the February 16, 2020 compliance date of Kari's Law. Additionally, in keeping with the directive in RAY BAUM'S Act to address dispatchable location for 911 calls “regardless of the technological platform used,” the FCC proposes to add dispatchable location requirements to our existing 911 rules for fixed telephony providers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). The FCC also considers the feasibility of alternative location mechanisms for MLTS and other services that could be used as a complement to dispatchable location or as a substitute when dispatchable location is not available. Additionally, the FCC considers whether dispatchable location requirements should be extended to other communications services that are not covered by existing 911 rules but are capable of making a 911 call.
Finally, the FCC proposes to take this opportunity to consolidate existing 911 rules, as well as the direct dialing and dispatchable location rules proposed in the NPRM, into a single rule part.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Receives Final Approval for Office of Economics and Analytics
On October 25, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing that it has received all approvals required to launch its new Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA). The FCC earlier this year voted to create OEA to better integrate the use of economics and data into its rulemakings and other proceedings. This reorganization of the agency required approval from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the Office of Management and Budget. It also required the FCC to reach an agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union. All of these steps have now been completed.
This clears the way for the office to become operational by the end of this year. According to the Press Release, OEA will bring together FCC economists, data professionals, and attorneys from across the agency, enabling them to work closely to improve economic analysis and data usage in agency proceedings. OEA will be staffed by approximately 100 employees drawn from bureaus and offices across the agency. The Acting Chief will be Giulia McHenry, who recently joined the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis (OSP) after previously serving as Chief Economist at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. OSP and its authorities and functions will shift to OEA.
“I’m excited that we are in the final stages of standing up the Office of Economics and Analytics,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Pursuant to the agreement that was reached with the union, we are committed to helping all FCC employees involved make a smooth transition to the new office. I look forward to the new opportunities they will have to make sound economic thinking a cornerstone of FCC decisions.”
Commissioner Rosenworcel issued a separate statement urging the Commission to proceed with two pieces of advice in mind: “First, the work of this office must include peer review. It is unacceptable that so much of the recent economic work of this agency was not subject to any standard of peer review … Second, the work of this office must be transparent. The FCC needs to be honest about how much of the economic data presented to it is advocacy. We must avoid the risk of relying on numbers masquerading as fact when they simply add up to an effort to champion a desired outcome. . . ”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
JANUARY 15: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. At this time, the next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is January 15, 2019. The FCC is considering an item at its November 2018 meeting that may impact this requirement. As of today, non-Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2018. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. Following the T-Mobile USA Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 12-39), the FCC’s enforcement policy calls for multiplying the $15,000 per-handset fine by the number of months of the deficiency, creating the potential for very steep fines. It is therefore crucial that our clients pay close attention to their HAC regulatory compliance, and monthly checks are strongly recommended. In this regard, we have prepared a HAC reporting template to assist our clients in keeping track of their HAC handset offerings, and other regulatory compliance efforts. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE FCC’S HAC RULES — INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION — MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING. To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the FCC’s revised rules.
BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Adopts Changes to UHF and 800 MHz Rules
On October 19, the FCC adopted a Report and Order and Order to update its rules to provide new spectrum capacity and eliminate unnecessary restrictions in the private land mobile radio (PLMR) bands, while reducing administrative burdens on applicants and licensees. This item was originally scheduled for consideration at the FCC’s October 23 Open Meeting. The order adopted several proposed changes to various Part 90 rules:
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
FCC Proposes Fine for Unauthorized Radio Communication, Impersonating Fire Department
The FCC has proposed a $39,278 fine against Mr. Ocean Hinson of Surry County, North Carolina, for the apparent intentional misuse of a local public safety radio communications network. Mr. Hinson faces the proposed fine after impersonating first responders in unauthorized radio communications on a public safety frequency licensed to Surry County.
On October 17, 2017, Surry County officials, responding to a fire alarm triggered at a local residence, transmitted a request for a unit from the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hinson posing as “Westfield VFD Unit 7331” responded by radio and stated that he was en route to the scene of the fire alarm. Approximately four minutes later, Mr. Hinson, still identifying himself as Westfield VFD Unit 7331, contacted the dispatcher by radio and canceled the call. As a result of these two transmissions, no real fire department investigated the residential fire alarm. Fortunately, there was no fire actual fire and the call for service was a false alarm. Mr. Hinson later admitted to local law enforcement that he had made the two unauthorized transmissions using a mobile radio in his personal vehicle.
This case, like similar recent cases in New York, demonstrates that impersonation of public safety officials and first responders is very serious – especially over the radio. As radio systems are upgraded, we encourage our public safety clients to include features that will identify the radio unit and shield the system from impersonators who could otherwise cause harm to the public and other first responders.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
FCC Adopts County-Based Licensing for 3.5 GHz Band
At its October 23, 2018 Open Meeting, the FCC adopted a Report and Order that made changes to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (“CBRS”) in 3.5 GHz band in order to facilitate fixed and mobile 5G services, thereby setting the stage for an auction of this spectrum next year. The changes are as follows:
As initially adopted in 2015, the Commission’s CBRS rules created a tiered framework for the shared 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum, with Incumbents comprising the first tier (Incumbent Access) and receiving protection from all other users, followed by Priority Access Licenses (PALs) as the second tier, and General Authorized Access (GAA) as the third tier. The initial CBRS framework called for licensing all seven (7) PALs on the basis of 74,000 census tracts nationwide, with a three-year non-renewable license term that for many seemed more like a lease. However, petitions for rulemaking filed by CTIA and T-Mobile sought a wholesale re-working of the CBRS framework by requesting that PAL licenses be issued on the basis of large Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) to facilitate wide-area 5G services. A later “consensus proposal” offered by CTIA and CCA sought PAL licensing on the basis of MSAs in the top 306 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), and stepped down to county-based geographic area licenses for PALs in the remaining 428 CMAs (i.e., the RSAs).
On behalf of our clients, BloostonLaw urged the Commission to adopt a hybrid approach that would instead use county-based licensing for five (5) of the PALs, while retaining census block licensing for two (2) PALs. WISPA, GE, and several other parties representing energy, rural, and IoT interests — which referred to themselves collectively as the CBRS Coalition – supported a similar mix of county-based and tract-based PALs.
In its Order, the FCC has concluded that increasing the size of the PAL license area from census tracts to counties is the best way to promote a variety of use cases (such as low-power small cells and wide-area mobile networks) in the 3.5 GHz band. We believe that county-based PAL licensing would seem to be a good compromise for our law firm’s clients, and is a significant win when compared to large PEAs that would have limited licensing opportunities for our rural and small business clients. The Commission has chosen not to offer any census tract-sized PALs due to “insurmountable technical issues” that these small license areas would create for licensees seeking to deploy wide-area networks in urban areas. However, we think the loss of census tract-sized PALs should not be a significant problem for rural service providers, because of the ability to partition county-based PALs, and the fact that census tracts may already be county-sized in sparsely populated rural areas. More targeted use cases are already encouraged by the “use-or-share” nature of the band and the GAA tier (which is similar in many respects to the 3.65 GHz registration scheme already in use). In this regard, a minimum of 80 out of 150 megahertz— more than half the band—will be available for GAA use even if all of the potential PAL channels are occupied.
County-based 3.5 GHz PAL licensing is consistent with county-based licensing that the Commission has adopted for the 28 GHz band, and this could create synergies for 5G network deployments that utilize both spectrum bands.
The CBRS rules adopted in 2015 established a three-year license term for PALs. Under the Report and Order, the FCC extended PAL license terms to 10 years, and made such licenses renewable in order to maximize incentives for large scale investments in the 3.5 GHz band. Longer PAL license terms are consistent with the adoption of larger license areas for PALs. The Commission also concluded that the economics and upgrade cycles of 3.5 GHz band deployments will likely be closer to those in other bands used for mobile broadband, such as those bands addressed in the Spectrum Frontiers rulemaking, for which the FCC also adopted a ten-year renewable license term. A longer license term should help to ensure a sufficient return on investment for companies investing in new equipment and wide-area networks.
Given the other changes to PALs that the Commission has adopted (i.e, longer license terms, larger license areas, and renewability), the FCC determined that it is necessary to adopt new performance requirements for PALs. Specifically, the new rules will require Priority Access Licensees to provide a bona fide communications service that meets a “substantial service” standard, through provision of service to the public or meeting private, internal communications needs. The FCC’s Rules also provide for two specific safe harbors to meet this standard, one for mobile or point-to-multipoint services and a second for point-to-point services. The safe harbor for mobile or point-to-multipoint services will be met by demonstrating the provision of a reliable signal and offering service over 50% of the population in a license area, while the safe harbor for point-to-point services will require construction and operation of at least links in license areas with 134,000 population or less, and at least one link per 33,500 population (rounded up) in license areas with greater population.
Licensees will be able to fulfill their performance requirements by showing that they meet at least one of these safe harbors, or they may make an individualized showing of substantial service by relying, for example, on a combination of different services for which there is a safe harbor or on services for which there is no defined safe harbor.
Aside from the main changes summarized above, the Commission’s 3.5 GHz Order ensures that 7 PALs are available for bidding nationwide, and allows the use of bidding credits for small businesses, rural service providers and Tribal entities. The revised 3.5 GHz rules will also allow partitioning and disaggregation of PALs on the secondary market. With respect to technical rules, the FCC’s Order updates information security requirements to protect sensitive CBRS device registration information while still ensuring that aggregate data on spectrum use is publicly available. The rules will also facilitate transmission over wider channels without significant power reductions.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino
FCC Takes Action to Implement Kari’s Law and the RAY BAUM’s Act
On September 26, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing calls to 911 made from multi-line telephone systems, pursuant to Kari's Law, and the conveyance of dispatchable location information with 911 calls, as directed by RAY BAUM'S Act. Comments are due December 10, 2018 and Reply Comments are due January 9 2019.
The FCC has proposed rules to provide clarity and specificity to the statutory requirements of Kari’s Law and how those requirements should be met by those companies to which it applies. Kari’s Law requires multi-line telephone systems to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix (such as a “9”) to reach an outside line. Kari’s Law also requires multi-line telephone systems to provide notification to a front desk or security office when a 911 call is made, in order to facilitate building access by first responders.
The FCC has also proposed rules that would apply dispatchable location requirements to multi-line telephone systems, fixed telephone service, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and Telecommunications Relay Service, in order to implement RAY BAUM’S Act. That law requires the FCC to consider adopting rules to ensure that “dispatchable location” information, such as the street address, floor level, and room number of a caller, is conveyed with 911 calls, regardless of the technological platform used. This requirement is designed so that first responders can be quickly dispatched to the caller’s exact location.
Finally, the FCC proposed to consolidate its 911 rules from multiple rule parts into a single rule part.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy and Richard Rubino.
FCC Cites Homeowner for Use of Surveillance Camera That Interferes with Cellular System
The FCC has cited a homeowner for operating a surveillance camera that caused harmful interference with AT&T’s LTE system. The citation arose out of an interference complaint filed by AT&T, and a subsequent investigation by the FCC that resulted in multiple warnings to the residents over a period of several months.
It is important to note that many consumer devices, such as surveillance cameras, LED lighting devices, printers, television sets, etc. are low-power Part 15 devices that use radio frequencies in their operation, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Under the FCC’s Rules, these sorts of Part 15 devices are not allowed to cause harmful interference to licensed radio operations, such as the AT&T cell site or other two-way land mobile communications such as those used by public safety personnel. Should a Part 15 device cause harmful interference, its use must cease operation immediately until the interference issue can be resolved. A failure to comply with the FCC’s requirements could result in fines of up to $19,639 for each day of violation.
As we have previously reported in connection with pirate stations, the FCC has stepped up enforcement actions to resolve instances of harmful interference to licensed operations. We therefore encourage you to ensure that all Part 15 devices have been approved by the FCC for use and that they installed and used in accordance with manufacturer instructions. Further, in the event that you are notified by the FCC that a device is causing harmful interference, its use should be suspended immediately until authorized by the FCC to resume operation.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
FCC Seeks Comment on Waiver Request to Use Paging Only Channel for Public Safety Non-Paging Repeater Communications
The FCC is seeking comment on two applications filed by the County of St. Croix, Wisconsin for waiver of Rule Sections 90.20(d)(13) and 90.20(d)(45) to use paging-only channel 157.450 MHz for repeater output voice communication. Rule Section 90.20(d)(13) limits operations on the frequency 157.450 MHz to one-way paging communications, while Rule Section 90.20(d)45) limits licensees to a maximum output power of 30 watts. Comments are due November 21, 2018; Reply Comments are due December 6, 2018.
The St. Croix applications propose to add a repeater output channel to the base stations making up its VHF simulcast public safety land mobile radio system. If granted, the repeaters would be licensed to operate at 100 watts output power. St. Croix asserts that its simulcast system provides public safety dispatching for fire, EMS, rescue and police/law enforcement agencies, and that additional capacity is needed to meet current and future communications needs. In justifying the waiver request, St. Croix stated that the frequency 157.450 MHz was the “best choice” for deploying a new repeater channel at each of the base stations that make up its wide-area simulcast system, and that the frequency 157.450 MHz is not in use within 100 miles of the county. When evaluating whether other spectrum might be available, the County stated that all other channels considered in its frequency search reflected “heavier usage.” The International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) has recommended the frequency 157.450 MHz as the best available frequency, and St. Croix argues that it would be contrary to the public interest to allow the frequency 157.450 MHz to remain unused when there are “pressing need[s] for its use exists for alternative types of critical public safety communications.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
FCC Denies Extension Requests for Maine’s Geographic Paging Licenses for Failure to Meet Construct Requirements
The State of Maine requested an extension of time within which to construct ten Part 22 Paging and Radiotelephone Service licenses that Maine had obtained to be used as part of its statewide interoperable public safety communications network (MSCommNet). Under the FCC’s Rules, Maine was required to notify the FCC at the three- and five-year license grant anniversaries that it had met certain service benchmarks. The FCC has denied extension requests, and determined that Maine had not satisfied the construction requirements for the ten licenses.
While the FCC found that the Maine had not met its construction obligations and would not extend the construction period, it did determine that the public interest would support a partial waiver of the construction requirements and its technical rules to allow Maine to continue operating on the Part 22 frequencies that were in service as of September 1, 2017. In essence, this will result in a modification of Maine’s licenses to reduce the boundaries to cover only those areas where Maine had transmitters in service as of the September 1, 2017 deadline. Additionally, the FCC determined that it would provide a limited grant of special temporary authority (STA) so that Maine could bring its system into compliance with the FCC’s rules. The FCC’s action was conditioned on Maine obtaining the consent of co-channel licensees and completing the required international coordination within six months, or by April 22, 2019. In this regard, it is important to note that licensees may not use a transmitter located north of Line A for the purpose of meeting their construction obligations until Canada has approved the use of the proposed transmitter. Thus, Maine should never have placed its transmitters in service without first completing the required Canadian coordination.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
“Racism is one of the worst things that happened to our human race. It has brainwashed many to focus on one's race or complexion instead of one's personality.”
― Edmond Mbiaka
|VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
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