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TEXTING DURING WORLD WAR II
In the September 21, 2018 issue I mentioned that I had ordered the book, Code Girls: The Untold Story of American Women Code Breakers of World War II .
My interest was in the code-breaking part of the story but as I read the book, I really enjoyed the revelation that “the United States' Army and Navy secretly recruited more than 10,000 women from elite women’s colleges and small towns throughout the country and trained them to do this intellectually challenging work.” [source]
They played a major role in the Allied Powers winning World War II by reading the secret messages of the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan).
Enemy submarines frequently sent out messages telling where they would be at noon the next day, then when they popped up, they had a surprise waiting for them. These messages were usually read in Washington D.C. before they were read in Berlin or Tokyo.
As the father of three daughters, it was good to see young women get the credit they deserve for their part in the war. By the way, one of my daughters did this type of work as well. Of course it was a long time after WWII since I was born during the war.
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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.
Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here .
We need your help. This is probably the only weekly news source about paging and wireless messaging.
Surveillance Capitalism: Monetizing the Smartphone User
BY REX M. LEE October 14, 2018 Updated: October 15, 2018
This article is part of a series on corporate surveillance highlighting civil liberty, privacy, cyber security, safety, and tech-product user exploitation threats associated with connected products that are supported by the Android (Google) OS, Apple iOS, and Microsoft Windows OS.
Today, people, businesses, government officials, and law makers are unaware of the business model that supports their favorite technology such as smartphones and connected products that are supported by the Android, Apple, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
The connected-product business model comprises surveillance and data mining business practices rooted in “surveillance capitalism.” These are terms that the public is unaware of because all parties concerned are not transparent about their business practices.
Addictive, Intrusive, and Exploitative
Companies that have adopted a surveillance capitalism business model are in the business to exploit their paying customers or product users for financial gain at the expense of the user’s civil liberties, privacy, cybersecurity, and safety, whether the product user is an adult or a child.
Don’t take my word for this claim: Former Alphabet Inc. executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, and former Google designer Tristan Harris admit that Google and Facebook develop addictive, intrusive, and even potentially harmful technology in order to exploit the product user for financial gain.
“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. . . They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next,” Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal in 2010.
“We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less guess what you’re thinking about. Now, is that over the line?” he said in an interview with The Atlantic at the Washington Ideas Forum in 2010.
Parker said in an interview with Axios in November 2017:
What is frightening is that Parker indicates that companies such as Facebook are not concerned that they may be harming their product users and customers, whether the product user is an adult, business professional, or child.
The Federal Trade Commission, lawmakers, individuals, parents, and businesses that use Facebook should be highly concerned over Parker’s admission that Facebook is designed to be addictive in order to exploit the user for financial gain at the expense of the user’s privacy, cybersecurity, and safety.
Harris reveals more about how the products are designed to be addictive in his essay on Medium:
Monetizing the Smartphone User
Surveillance capitalism simply means that social media, smartphone, and connected-product users have been monetized by data-driven technology providers, which include social media providers, telecom providers, device manufacturers, operating system developers, and content (apps, widgets, etc.) developers.
I want to be clear that companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook do not sell their product users’ personal information directly to any third-party. However, these companies sell access to their users via intrusive and exploitative pre-installed (“rooted”) content such as apps, widgets, and emojis.
Additionally, third-parties can gain access to the connected-product user via intrusive and exploitative third-party content that is distributed through sources such as Google Play and the Apple App Store.
People need to understand that pre-installed and third-party content such as apps are primarily designed to enable the content developer with the ability to monitor, track, and data mine the user for financial gain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
As Parker said, it’s the kind of thing a hacker would come up with. To the user, apps provide convenience, entertainment, and information. However, to the app developer, the app is the vehicle that is used to collect, use, share, sell, and aggregate the product user’s information for financial gain.
The New Gold Rush
Data-driven technology providers such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Baidu, and other tech giants are in the business to exploit product user’s personal and professional information, known as a person’s “digital DNA.”
A person’s collective digital DNA is the most valuable commodity in the digital age.
The product user produces personal and professional digital DNA by simply using a connected product such as a smartphone, tablet PC, TV, vehicle, and popular voice-automated products such as the Amazon Echo powered by Alexa.
Connected-product users can be described as “uncompensated information producers” who are being exploited for financial gain at the expense of the user’s civil liberties, privacy, cybersecurity, and safety by the very tech companies that the user patronizes with their trust, loyalty, and hard-earned money.
The user pays for a product such as a smartphone and produces digital DNA that is then exploited for profits by the service providers, who do not compensate the product user for producing the valuable digital DNA.
This would be like buying your own tools to dig up diamonds only for the diamond mine operators to sell the diamonds for cash without compensating the diamond miner, even though the diamond miner had paid for the tools.
People say privacy is dead and we should not care. If you are one of these people I would like for you to meditate on the following statement:
Corporate surveillance rooted in surveillance capitalism poses a greater threat to civil liberties, privacy, cybersecurity, and safety than National Security Agency surveillance programs such as PRISM (exposed by Edward Snowden) because the product user has been monetized by for-profit companies.
Frankly, we do not know how our digital DNA is being used by data-driven technology providers such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
Silicon Valley tech giants want us to be transparent with our personal and professional lives, yet these tech giants do not want to be transparent about their surveillance and data-mining business practices.
We’re not sure if our personal and professional digital DNA is being used in a harmful manner, which was the case for Facebook users in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal should be a wake-up call to all connected-product users, because the exploitation threats associated with the scandal are also systemic in all connected products that are supported by the Android OS, Apple iOS, and MS Windows OS.
At the end of the day we are not sure if Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and other tech giants are in fact using, sharing, selling, purchasing, and aggregating our collective digital DNA in a harmful manner.
For example, is our digital DNA ending up in the hands of data brokers (e.g., Cambridge Analytica), state actors (foreign/domestic), law enforcement, business competitors, employers (current/future), insurance and bank underwriters, institutions of higher learning, or any other entity that could bring harm to the product user?
Future articles will pursue the answer to this important question plus many others.
In closing, let’s not forget that the connected-product user is the “paying customer,” and all companies concerned are required by law to be transparent in regards to surveillance and data-mining business practices to the paying customer.
After all, who wants to pay for intrusive, exploitative, and harmful products such as smartphones, tablet PCs, TVs, vehicles, or any other connected product that could bring harm to the product user, including children?
It is time that the public data mines the data miners by demanding transparency regarding surveillance and data mining business practices employed by all parties concerned.
Contact your service providers today and demand transparency!
Rex M. Lee is a privacy and data security consultant and Blackops Partners researcher.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
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!
Apple Watch Series 4: Top Features
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
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Technology firm Voxpro announces creation of 400 jobs in Cork
The announcement will bring the total number of Voxpro jobs in Cork and Dublin to 3,000.
Wed 7:43 AM
400 JOBS ARE to be created in Cork by technology outsourcing specialist Voxpro.
The full-time roles will be spread across the business in management, training, tech support, CX operations, sales, trust and safety, and finance.
The announcement will bring the total number of Voxpro jobs in Cork and Dublin to 3,000 and globally to 5,000.
The company said further expansions are planned over the next 18 months.
Alongside the new jobs, the company is also opening a new office in City Gate Mahon, adjacent to Voxpro’s current headquarters in Cork.
As well as its Irish locations, Voxpro has offices in Northern America, Central America, Europe and Asia. It supports customers in over 400 languages around the world.
Voxpro was founded by Dan and Linda Kiely, starting with just six employees in 1995.
“This rapid growth for Voxpro is a testament to the quality of service and talent displayed by our wonderful teammates, both here in Ireland and in our international locations,” Dan Kiely said.
“Looking ahead, we are excited by opportunities that are available to us, as a result of our partnership with Telus International, working together to combine our strengths as one team.”
The announcement has been welcomed by the IDA.
|Product Support Services, Inc.|
Repair and Refurbishment Services
Apple to US users: Here's how you can now see what personal data we hold on you
Apple's privacy tools now go beyond Europe, so more now get to download the personal data it has collected.
Liam Tung By Liam Tung | October 18, 2018 — 09:42 GMT (02:42 PDT) | Topic: Security
Apple customers in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can now download a copy of all the personal data Apple holds on them that's linked to an Apple ID.
The move brings the four countries in line with Europe, where Apple began offering a simpler way to download a copy of user data in May, just before the EU's strict GDPR privacy legislation came into effect.
Under GDPR, EU residents have the right to obtain a copy of data a company holds about them.
They can also withdraw previously given consent for a company to collect data about them and request that collected data be deleted. And consumers have the right to take data to another service, as well as to know how a company is processing it.
Microsoft in May similarly extended the privacy features it made available for Europeans under GDPR to all users outside the EU.
To find Apple's privacy tools, sign in to your Apple ID account page on a Mac, PC, or iPad. Then scroll down to Data and Privacy and select 'Manage your data'.
You can request a copy of all data from the App Store, iTunes, Apple ID account and device information, Apple retail store activity, Apple Care support history, iCloud bookmarks, calendar information, contacts, notes, and more.
You can also request iCloud Drive files, iCloud Mail, and iCloud Photos, but these could take a while to download due to their size. The files don't include actual purchased iTunes content as this information isn't considered personal data.
The page also has links to request that Apple corrects your data, deactivates your account, and permanently deletes your account.
Apple plans to extend the tools to users in other countries in coming months. Until then, these users can still contact Apple via its legal page to request of copy personal data held by Apple.
Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.
INTERNET Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
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.
Chrome 70 brings picture-in-picture support to Windows and Mac
The mobile functionality is coming to desktop
By Jon Porter@JonPorty Oct 19, 2018, 10:04am EDT
Its been available in Android since 2017’s Oreo, but now, picture-in-picture mode is coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux with Chrome 70. Android Police reports that it’s now enabled by default. The functionality will need to be enabled on a per-website basis by web developers, after which you’ll be able to overlay an online video onto your desktop where it can be kept in sight, regardless of which website or program you’re using.
If you want to see how the functionality works, you can head over to YouTube, where you can right-click any video twice and click “Picture in Picture” from the context menu. Once you enable picture-in-picture mode, the tab that the video is playing from will display a small icon, similar to how Chrome will show a speaker symbol to let you locate the source of any audio that’s playing. The video overlay can be moved anywhere on the screen with a quick drag and drop.
Although the functionality is now enabled, it’s up to developers to add it to their websites. YouTube already supports it (albeit via a clunky method that will almost certainly change), but otherwise, you’re going to have to use a Chrome Extension to enable it for other websites.
Pai Heads to Florida, Scolds Carriers for Hurricane Response
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai chastised wireless carriers for their response to the damage of Hurricane Michael in the Florida panhandle. He directed the agency’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau to begin an investigation, saying he’s concerned “their actions on the ground aren’t matching the urgency” Commission officials have conveyed in conversations with the carriers.
Pai joined Florida Governor Rick Scott in calling on wireless carriers to waive the bills of Floridians in these affected areas for the month of October and to allow them to change carriers without penalty. “These carriers also need to immediately disclose publicly to Floridians how they will quickly restore service,” said Pai. Scott is trying to unseat Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Bill Nelson (D) in a tight Senate race.
Chairman Pai intends to go to Florida tomorrow to assess the damage and get an update on recovery efforts from service providers and government officials working to restore communications. “I hope to see that wireless coverage in the area near where the hurricane made landfall is being restored more quickly than was the case earlier this week.”
Verizon suffered “unprecedented” damage to its fiber network in parts of the Florida Panhandle. However, yesterday, the company said it restored service to sites throughout Bay County and “service has returned to the majority of Panama City Beach.” Verizon has restored its primary fiber hubs and is prepared to “quickly repair any additional fiber cuts” resulting from recovery workers clearing debris and restoring power. It plans to re-deploy portable cell sites with satellite backhaul that were temporarily serving first responders to areas still experiencing service disruptions. Verizon customers in Bay and Gulf counties, will receive three months of free mobile service.
AT&T said its networks in the affected areas are “nearly fully restored. We continue to move quickly to keep our customers, FirstNet subscribers and public safety agencies connected as they work to keep our communities safe.” AT&T is supporting communications with portable cell sites in numerous locations throughout Florida and Georgia.
Sprint extended the assistance it’s providing to impacted customers. From October 10, through October 18, Sprint will waive call, text and data overage fees.
T-Mobile said service in Bay and Gulf Counties, including Mexico Beach, has “largely been restored.” In Panama City, the carrier is waiting to get remaining sites working as soon as fiber is operational. Through the end of the month, or until service is fully restored, T-Mobile is suspending bill collections for impacted customers. It’s providing one month of free service to customers in Gulf and Bay Counties.
|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.
REMINDER: NUMBERING WAIVER EFFECTIVE DURING HURRICANE SEASON
On October 9, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding carriers that a temporary waiver of its telephone number “aging” rule is in effect for areas covered by emergency declarations during the 2018 hurricane season. Service providers in the affected areas may, upon customers’ request, disconnect temporarily customers’ telephone service to avoid billing issues, and then reinstate the customers’ same numbers when service is reconnected. The waiver is applicable for nine months, and for areas of Florida affected by Hurricane Michael will expire on July 9, 2019.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Announces Official Agenda for October 23 Meeting
On October 17, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the official agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, which is currently scheduled for October 23. 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 Poised to Adopt County-Based Licensing for 3.5 GHz Band
In its October 2018 open meeting next week, the FCC will consider a Report and Order that will make changes to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (“CBRS”) in 3.5 GHz band to increase incentives for innovation and investment, including for fixed and mobile 5G services. Based on our review of the item currently on circulation, the FCC will likely adopt the following changes:
Seven County-Sized PAL Licenses
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 last summer by CTIA and T-Mobile sought a wholesale reworking of the CBRS framework by requesting that PAL licenses be issued on the basis of 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, the Blooston Law Firm 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 the draft R&O, the FCC concludes that increasing the size of the PAL license area from census tracts to counties would be 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.
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 appears to be choosing 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 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.
Ten-Year Renewable License Terms
The CBRS rules adopted in the 2015 established a three-year license term for PALs. Under the current rules, during the first application window, an applicant may apply for up to two consecutive three-year terms for a given PAL. During subsequent regular application windows, however, an applicant is able to apply for only a single three-year license term for any given PAL. The CTIA and T-Mobile petitions sought a more traditional 10-year renewable license terms to promote wide-area 5G deployments.
BloostonLaw comments proposed that the license term for county-based PALs should be extended to five years, with the ability for applicants to secure two consecutive terms during the first application window for a total of ten years. We and other rural advocates were concerned that lengthening PAL license term to ten years, especially when coupled with large geographic area licensing, would leave PAL rights lying fallow in rural areas.
The draft R&O extends PAL license terms to 10 years and makes 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 Spectrum Frontiers, 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.
End-of-Term Performance Requirements
Given the other changes to PALs that the Commission is poised to adopt (i.e, longer license terms, larger license areas, and renewability), the FCC determined it was necessary to adopt new performance requirements for PALs. Specifically, the new rules would require Priority Access Licensees to provide a bona fide communications service that meets a “substantial service” standard of performance, and provide two specific safe harbors to meet this standard, one for mobile or point-to-multipoint services and a second for point-to-point services.
A licensee providing a mobile service or point-to-multipoint service would be able to demonstrate substantial service by showing that it provides reliable signal coverage and offers service over at least 50 percent of the population in the license area. A licensee deploying a point-to-point service would be able to demonstrate substantial service by showing that it has constructed and operates, using Category B CBSDs, at least four 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 would 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.
Other Changes to CBRS Rules
Aside from the main changes summarized above, the Commission’s draft 3.5 GHz R&O would ensure that 7 PALs are available for bidding nationwide and allow the use of bidding credits for small businesses, rural service providers and Tribal entities. The revised 3.5 GHz rules would also allow partitioning and disaggregation of PALs on the secondary market. With respect to technical rules, the R&O 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 would also facilitate transmission over wider channels without significant power reductions.
Again, the order is still in draft form, but it is expected it will be adopted with few if any changes at the October 23 Open Meeting.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.
Wireless Infrastructure Order Effective January 14
On October 15, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order designed to clarify the scope and meaning of Sections 253 and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act, establish shot clocks for state and local approvals for the deployment of small wireless facilities, and provide guidance on streamlining state and local requirements on wireless infrastructure deployment. The effective date for the Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order is January 14, 2019.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Declaratory Ruling:
The (Third) Report and Order:
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Law & Regulation
Comments on Termination of Certain Proceedings as Dormant Due November 16
On October 17, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Public Notice seeking comment on whether certain docketed FCC proceedings should be terminated as dormant. A complete list of the dockets under consideration can be found here . Comments are due November 16, and reply comments are due on December 3.
The FCC’s rules require the FCC to periodically review all open dockets and, in consultation with the responsible Bureaus or Offices, to identify those dockets that appear to be candidates for termination. The FCC stated that these candidates may include dockets in which no further action is required or contemplated as well as those in which no pleadings or other documents have been filed for several years, but it specified that proceedings in which petitions addressing the merits are pending should not be terminated, absent the parties’ consent. The termination of a dormant proceeding also includes dismissal as moot of any pending petition, motion, or other request for relief that is procedural in nature or otherwise does not address the merits of the proceeding.
BloostonLaw encourages all carriers to review the linked spreadsheet and contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues 26% Rural Healthcare Funding Reduction to GCI Communications
On October 10, the FCC announced that it has approved key rates for GCI Communications Corp. (GCI), a major Alaska telecommunications carrier participating in the FCC’s Rural Health Care (RHC) Program. Specifically, the FCC determined that GCI only justified $77.8 million in RHC funding for FY 2017, a 26% reduction from the $105 million originally sought.
The FCC’s finding is the result of a request for information that the FCC sent out to a number of carriers after it found that two non-Alaska carriers apparently falsified documentation to inflate their rural rates. The FCC proposed fines against these carriers totaling nearly $40 million, and initiated a program that involved issuing numerous carriers across the country basic information requests, asking them to substantiate the rural rates in their funding year (FY) 2017 requests.
According to the FCC’s press release, the $581 million RHC Program includes the Telecom Program, which is designed to ensure that rural health care providers do not have to pay more for telecommunications services than their urban counterparts. The Telecom Program thus enables participating rural health care providers to pay only the (typically lower) urban rate for such services, while paying participating carriers the difference between the urban rate and the (typically higher) rural rate. Carriers in Alaska receive over half of all funding from the Telecom Program, reflecting the importance of telecommunications services for the delivery of high-quality health care to the many remote areas of the state.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Proposes Fine for Unauthorized Radio Communication, Impersonating Fire Department
On October 11, the FCC proposed a fine against Mr. Ocean Hinson of Surry County, North Carolina, for apparent intentional misuse of a local public safety radio communications network. Mr. Hinson faces a $39,278 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 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 first responder investigated the triggered residential fire alarm. Fortunately, no fire actually occurred at the scene of the 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.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.
Chairman Pai Appoints New Wireline Advisor
On October 16, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that his special counsel, Nirali Patel, will now serve as his wireline advisor. Ms. Patel replaces Dr. Jay Schwarz, who is returning to the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis. In addition, Preston Wise is joining the Office of Chairman Pai as an acting special counsel.
“I’m grateful that Nirali has agreed to take on this vital role,” said Chairman Pai. “She’s done an outstanding job in my office as a special counsel handling complicated issues like the LNPA transition, and I look forward to our continued work together.”
Prior to joining Chairman Pai’s office in January 2018, Ms. Patel served as a legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and as a deputy chief in the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau. Ms. Patel graduated summa cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chairman Pai also thanked Dr. Schwarz for his work: “Jay has been an integral part of our work since January 2017 and an outstanding member of our team. I thank him for his numerous contributions – and for his commitment to bringing his economics expertise to bear on the Commission’s work. From traveling the Pacific Northwest with me, to putting up with good-natured teasing about having a Ph.D. rather than a J.D., Jay also brought a wonderful character to our team to go along with his sharp economic and policy mind.”
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.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
I just got back from the Panama City area. I have paging receivers from both American Messaging and Spok, and have discovered today that once out of range of Tallahassee, neither works in the areas most affected by the storm, including one of the largest automotive dealerships in the area where I was repairing their Internet link that had failed. Their Internet link is via a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP). WISP's are most often present in more rural environments that are often not very well served by Cable or Landline Telephone companies. They install antennas at high points that transmit Internet over the air to subscribers who have antennas at their homes or businesses. The WISP did not lose the central antenna, or its Internet uplink and has power by a natural gas fed generator. Once the damaged outdoor WISP supporting mast was repaired, and the dealership generator began providing power, they now have Internet Dealerships today are highly dependent on working Internet Neither the major phone company, nor the major cable company has working Internet service in most of the area, likely due to the lack of power to their remote nodes.
The pager service outage is NOT because the hurricane has knocked out any of the transmitter sites of either company. It is instead because these companies no longer choose to serve the area where the hurricane struck. In the past, 100% paging coverage was available. Despite the hurricane risk of all of Florida, and the usefulness of paging to Critical Messaging, there are large areas of the State that are unserved.
As discussed in the last issue, the closer to ground zero, the less that working cell service is available, and I found that there was no working cell service where I was working. Of course this meant that my backup SMS alerts to my phone did not work. The dealership had land lines from the local telephone company and these lines were working. I did give someone at home a duplicate pager with my capcode to monitor my pages and call me at the dealership in the event of any detected outage from my monitoring programs, but everything stayed up while I was working.
This dealership is outside of the "ground zero" of the hurricane, but they still had some broken glass, as well as a few of their lighting poles snapped off which damaged some cars. They do not have enough power to fully run the service department but hope that their regular power will be restored soon. It is clear a lot of vehicles in the area are in need of repair.
If this storm had hit a more urban area, things would have been a lot worse.
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
There is no good luck or bad luck,
90% of what happens to me is the result of my own behavior,
the other 10% I didn’t cause,
but I can control my reaction to 100% of the events in my life.
|VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
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