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Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
This issue is dedicated to Professor Joe Taylor, Ph.D., winner of a Nobel Prize in Physics (1993). Details on his life and career are in the formerly THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK and VIDEO OF THE WEEK sections following below. He recently spoke at a Ham Radio Meeting in New Jersey. After his presentation on Ham Radio weak-signal propagation using apps that he and his team have developed, he was asked THE BIG QUESTION.
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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.
We are having a cold spell in Southern, Illinois
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
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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.
Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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Securing NHS communications and protecting patients by using the right comms mix
APRIL 8, 2019
Peter Lomax from Multitone Electronics, contributed to the latest MedTalk Podcast regarding the discussion around the use of pagers in the NHS. Here, he writes about the recent announcement from health secretary Matt Hancock which should see pagers phased out of the NHS by 2021.
UK health secretary Matt Hancock’s call to fully digitise the NHS is a very positive step forward but finding the right approach to this needs careful consideration. Critical communications in the NHS literally saves lives, so any changes need to ensure the highest levels of care are maintained and assured.
Mr Hancock has cited pagers as “…archaic technology…”. However, paging systems as a concept have continued to evolve and develop, with the latest generations being far more sophisticated, offering powerful two-way, multimedia and voice messaging solutions.
Pagers continue to play a vital role by being highly robust, reliable, and cost-efficient – where as many other broadcast methods would struggle to offer the same levels of service. Interestingly pagers are also an essential and proven critical communications tool for other emergency services, such as the RNLI and practically all Fire Brigades in the UK and Éire, whose volunteer crews rely on this location-aware technology in areas with limited mobile phone coverage.
Multitone works with numerous NHS Trusts across the UK and in doing so we have learnt about many of the challenges faced when it comes to providing effective communications systems. Smartphones rely upon Wi-Fi or GSM coverage, but unfortunately some hospital sites (especially older buildings) struggle to get good coverage for operational communications, let alone critical comms.
By using their own dedicated private networks, modern paging systems offer exceptional coverage and service, unfettered by a patchy Wi-Fi signal or considerable traffic and congestion that can affect Wi-Fi and public GSM networks.
The best mix
Whilst pagers continue to be a perfect choice for many critical comms, the NHS would best be served (both on service levels and costs) by using an intelligent mixture of communications options to best serve patient and staff needs.
App-based solutions are perfect for running many services, both in hospitals and in wider community-based care. However, for security and confidentiality, all these communications need to be controlled and supported under a fully integrated messaging platform, able to pull together all of these individual systems.
A fully integrated communications solution such as Multitone i-Message ensures messages reach the right person by the best method — be that via a secure smart device app (such as Multitone Appear ), voice or SMS using WiFi/GSM, a pager using a private network, IM, email or even a landline where appropriate. Where the WiFi or GSM network does give adequate coverage to support critical messaging, this kind of solution makes it easy to smoothly migrate to smart devices, without disrupting critical services.
At Multitone we have supported many NHS customers migrating from legacy, paging only systems, to highly flexible, resilient, secure messaging solutions, based on the Multitone i-Message platform. These NHS organisations benefit from being able to use the right combination of messaging and communication tools to offer a fully integrated solution for all of their employees, regardless of the time of day.
This integrated approach sees seamless media rich messaging to individuals and teams, regardless of the end devices being used, and this does include media rich on-site critical paging, via pagers for emergency responders including (but not limited to) crash teams.
With the pace of technology change it can be a challenge for the NHS to keep up with every new device. Along with pagers, the NHS has invested in many ‘legacy’ systems throughout the years and if these are still successfully used and relied upon it makes little sense to change them unless actually required. Upgrading the communications control system is far more cost-efficient than suddenly changing all the end-point devices for costly new smart devices.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach also makes sense for some healthcare workers, but strict security needs to be maintained on private devices – something a modern integrated communications hub such as Multitone i-Message is perfectly placed to deliver. It also evolves with future communications platforms, rather than having to invest in new infrastructure each time.
Embracing future communications
By using a secure smart messaging system such as Multitone i-Message, the NHS can embrace the communications vision suggested by Mr Hancock as it becomes appropriate, but without the risk of compromising patient care.
Whilst it is premature to write-off using highly reliable and trustworthy pagers for critical comms for the time being, flexibility in digital communications is undoubtedly a progressive and intelligent use of NHS communications budgets. Using the most appropriate blend of both onsite and wide area solutions, such secure smartphone apps and pagers could be just what the doctor ordered for many healthcare applications.
|Source:||Digital Health Age|
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!
I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.
GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.
If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.
The Wireless Messaging News
The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.
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Apr 17, 2019, 07:20pm
Microsoft Issues Serious Windows 10 Update Warning
Gordon Kelly Senior Contributor
Windows 10 just made the most important change in its history, but rewriting the update rules matters for nothing if Microsoft has to keep apologising for the quality of the updates themselves. And it has happened again.
Just one week after freezing Windows 10 computers with an earlier update, Microsoft has warned users of serious new problems with another. Writing on the page of update KB4493509 , Microsoft has confirmed the update can freeze PCs both in operation and boot up.
Freezes in operation are more likely to impact business PCs as it impacts Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs), though the lock-ups which “may cause the system to become unresponsive upon restart after installing this update” are caused by conflicts with antivirus software. Microsoft calls out ArcaBit, but in TenForums a number of other brands seem to be affected too.
The good news is things are about to change. Microsoft’s aforementioned U-turn allowing all versions of Windows 10 to delay both minor updates and major upgrades, will finally give users the control they deserve and enable them to proactively block buggy software. That said, the change doesn’t come in until May, and April is proving to be a particularly bad month for Windows 10.
In fact, it has been a particularly bad 18 months with even the company’s most ardent supporters stating Microsoft has a “ Software Quality Problem ”. Updates to Windows 10 alone caused serious problems for users in January , April , October and November 2018 as well as February 2019 prior to the current ‘Awful April’.
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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
iPad Pro Diary: The 12.9-inch model has cured my Kindle Paperwhite envy
Ben Lovejoy - Apr. 17th 2019 7:29 am PT @benlovejoy
It will surprise no-one that I was an early adopter of the Kindle, buying one almost the moment they went on sale back in 2007. I was doing a lot of business travel at a time, and absolutely loved the ability to carry a whole load of books with me at all times in essentially zero space.
My Kindle went literally everywhere with me, whether it was across town or to the other side of the world. That changed, however, when the first iPad came out…
I did initially carry both iPad and Kindle, but after a while it felt kind of redundant to carry two tablet-style devices when I could instead read books on my iPad. I switched to using my iPad as my ebook reader, something I’ve done ever since.
However, it did always feel like a compromise. The Kindle was much lighter, and easier to read in sunlight. On the other hand, the iPad was better at night, enabling me to read in bed in the dark without disturbing my partner.
When the Kindle Paperwhite came out, however, that addressed the biggest weakness of the device, and I did very briefly consider getting one. I decided in the end that my original decision was still valid — it was silly to carry two devices — but I must say that I still glanced enviously in their direction when I saw someone using one. The simplicity and lightweight form factor were very appealing, and I did find it required something of an effort to resist temptation when visiting Amazon.
The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro has, however, cured that envy! I recently found myself sat close to someone in a coffee shop. We were both reading, they on their Kindle Paperwhite, me in the Kindle app on my iPad. And I realised that the 12.9-inch iPad is the better experience.
The screen is better, the bezels are far smaller and — most importantly — the two-page layout on the iPad is just so much more pleasant. It feels much more like a paper book, and the Kindle screen feels cramped in comparison.
So that’s one gadget from which I’m now officially safe.
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.
The High Cost of Not Doing Business
After agreeing to establish high speed Internet in Louisville, KY, Google Fiber has backed out of the deal, reports GovTech.com. Over the next twenty months, Google will be paying back the $3.84 million it accepted for the project.
Google's obligations are many, including re-establishing service providers’ right-of-way now that their own service has ended. Additional funds will be directed towards clearing the fiber and sealant from affected roads, digging and paving as needed, and taking down above ground infrastructure support components that are no longer of use.
“Infrastructure in neighborhoods and public properties affected by Google Fiber will look as good or better than they did before the company began construction, just as our franchise agreement stipulated,” stated Grace Simrall, Louisville's Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology. “The city will diligently repair these roads and public spaces over the 20-month period.”
The exit of Google Fiber has been described as “a major hit” by local reporting outlets. No information about an alternate provider of affordable high speed Internet has been put forth. In an effort to lessen the blow, Google Fiber will be donating $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Digital Inclusion Fund. The Louisville Metro Housing Authority is also slated to receive 275 refurbished computers for use by public housing residents.
In a published statement, Google Fiber general manager Mark Strama commented on the company’s actions, saying, “discontinuing service in Louisville was a very difficult business decision for Google Fiber.”
|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.
Intermediate Provider Registration Due May 15; Use Restriction Effective July 15
On April 15, the FCC published in the Federal Register notice of approval of the intermediate provider registration requirements adopted in its Third Report and Order of August 2018 in WC Docket No. 13-39. Accordingly, carriers meeting the definition of an intermediate carrier must register by May 15, and covered providers are restricted from using unregistered intermediate carriers starting July 15. See the article below for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Eliminates Rate Floor, Partially Grants USTelecom Petition for Forbearance at Open Meeting
At its April 12 Open Meeting, the FCC adopted a Report and Order repealing the minimum rate floor rule originally adopted back in 2011 and the associated reporting requirement on FCC Form 481. The repeal of the rule itself will become effective 30 days after publication of the Report and Order in the Federal Register, likely in time to avoid the scheduled increase from $18 to $26.98 currently scheduled for July 1, 2019. The reporting requirement will remain in effect for the 2019 and 2020 Form 481 filings.
In eliminating the rate floor requirement, the FCC found (1) that the rate floor creates a perverse incentive for carriers to raise local rates, harming consumers in rural areas and making telephone service less affordable; (2) that the rate floor places unnecessary regulatory burdens on state commissions and rural telephone companies; (3) that the rate floor is an ineffective and untargeted means of using federal funding; (4) that the rate floor is no longer useful; and (5) recent changes to the Fund’s support mechanisms for rural carriers since the rate floor’s adoption have largely eliminated any potential impact rates would have on the universal service.
The FCC disagreed with NCTA, the only commenter that supported maintaining the rate floor. NCTA argued that eliminating the rate floor would skew competition and increase subsidies at the expense of consumers, but the FCC found the opposite to be true: “[r]ural carriers receiving high-cost loop support can only recover their operating costs and investments where they face high per-line costs of providing service. FCC rules already require carriers to use subsidies to offset demonstrated high costs—not to subsidize below-market rates.”
The FCC also adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part a Petition for Forbearance filed by USTelecom. This item granted forbearance from: (1) the requirement that independent rate-of-return carriers offer long-distance telephone service through a separate affiliate; (2) nondiscriminatory provisioning interval requirements applicable to BOCs and independent price cap carriers; and (3) the redundant statutory requirement that BOCs provide nondiscriminatory access to poles, ducts, conduit, and rights-of-way.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Initial Phase of 24 GHz 5G Spectrum Auction Ends, Bringing In Nearly $2B
The initial phase of FCC Auction No. 102, featuring 24 GHz band 5G spectrum, ended on April 17 after 91 rounds spread out over a little more than a month. A total of 2904 licenses were sold, with only five licenses not receiving a bid. Gross proceeds from the “clock” phase of the auction were $1,988,888,836. Auction participants included nationwide carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, as well as smaller rural carriers. The FCC and the Trump administration have been expediting the sale of 5G spectrum in order to position US companies to lead the way on the development of 5G technology and services. The FCC has already announced the next 5G auction, involving spectrum in the 37, 39 and 47 MHz bands (see related story).
The FCC will now proceed to the Assignment Phase of Auction No. 102, during which winning bidders will have the opportunity to submit sealed bids to secure particular spectrum blocks, rather than having the FCC a sign which spectrum goes to which bidder. All bidders (including those that did not win) are reminded by the FCC that they are still under the “Prohibited Communications Rule” until down payments are made by the winners. This rule restricts auction participants from discussing their bids, bid strategies, and the post-auction market structure, to deter possible cheating during the auction process. In this case, it also restricts bidders from revealing whether they were successful in Auction 102, or the companion Auction 101 (28 GHz) auction held just before.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
FCC to Make More mmW Spectrum Available for 5G; Auction to Begin December 10, 2019
At its April Open Meeting last Friday, the FCC adopted a Public Notice (FCC 19-35) seeking comment on procedures for its next significant auction of 5G millimeter wave spectrum, known as Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. The proceeding is being billed as "the largest spectrum auction in American history" and will make a total of 3,400 megahertz of spectrum across the Upper 37 GHz (37.6-38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz), and 47 GHz (47.2-48.2 GHz) bands in one single auction. Comments on the FCC’s proposed bidding procedures will be due May 15, and reply comments due May 30.
Separately, the FCC adopted a Fifth Report and Order in the Above 24 GHz docket (FCC 19-30) establishing rules to allow Fixed-Satellite Service earth stations to be individually licensed in the 50 GHz spectrum band, as well as a coordination process to accommodate the military’s potential need for additional sites in the Upper 37 GHz band with the needs of new commercial licensees. This latter item is not without some controversy, however, as some believe it could inject new uncertainty into the viability of portions of the Auction 103 bands just months before they are made available for licensing.
Auction 103 Proposals
The “high-band” spectrum that is the subject of Auction 103 has similar technical characteristics to 28 GHz Band spectrum that was made available in Auction 101 and 24 GHz Band spectrum that is the subject of Auction 102, which just completed its clock phase today. It offers significant bandwidth for fixed and mobile wireless services, but also limited coverage which makes it suitable for high capacity backhaul links or localized, small cell deployments. It will be divided into 100 megahertz blocks and licensed by Partial Economic Area (PEA) geographic service areas. Bidding credits will be available to reduce the cost of licenses won by eligible small businesses and rural service providers.
The specific number of Upper 37 and 39 GHz Licenses to be auctioned in each PEA will be determined by a reconfiguration process that is currently underway for incumbent 39 GHz licensees. The process allows them either to accept modified licenses that conform with the new band plan and service areas, or to relinquish their existing spectrum rights in exchange for a share of the auction proceeds. If all incumbents choose to relinquish their licenses, the FCC will offer new licenses for 3,400 megahertz of spectrum across all three spectrum bands, i.e., 34 licenses in every PEA. After receiving incumbents’ binding commitments, the FCC will issue a Public Notice announcing the specific licenses available in the Upper 37 and 39 GHz bands for auction. The FCC says this P ublic Notice will be released well in advance of the deadline for the submission of short-form applications to bid in Auction 103 so that potential applicants can make informed decisions whether to participate.
The FCC has not yet set a deadline for short-form applications or other pre-auction requirements for Auction 103. However, in light of the December 10 start date announced last week by FCC Chairman Pai, we would expect short-form applications will likely be due as early as late September or during the month of October. Interested clients should therefore begin their due diligence and pre-auction planning now.
With respect to Auction 103 bidding procedures, the FCC is proposing to use an ascending clock auction format for generic spectrum blocks in each band, followed by a sealed bid assignment phase whereby winning clock-phase bidders have the option to submit additional bids for particular channels or channel groupings. All winning bidders, regardless of whether they bid in the assignment phase, will be assigned licenses for contiguous blocks within a category in a PEA. The clock phase of Auction 103 will serve as both the forward and reverse portions of the incentive auction, by determining the prices and winners of new flexible use licenses as well as determining the amount of “incentive” payments to incumbent 39 GHz licensees that relinquish their licenses.
As in Auctions 101 and 102, the FCC is proposing lower upfront payment and minimum opening bid amounts for rural PEAs. Given the large supply of license blocks likely to be available, there is a good chance that rural carriers will be able to win spectrum for reasonable prices.
Auction 103 will provide our law firm’s clients with an opportunity to acquire a significant amount of millimeter wave spectrum that could be utilized for 5G services such as precision agriculture as well as IoT services and/or high capacity last half-mile links. Interested clients should discuss business plans with their strategic partners and begin their due diligence now. We are available to assist our clients in this regard.
Potential Concerns for Lower Upper 37 GHz Band Bidders about Future DoD Operations
The FCC last Friday also adopted a Fifth Report and Order in GN Docket No. 14-177 that takes two actions with respect to the millimeter wave bands. First, it adopted rules to allow Fixed-Satellite Service earth stations to be individually licensed to transmit in the 50 GHz spectrum band. This band is under consideration for future UMFUS services and the FCC’s ruling adopts the same licensing/technical criteria as it adopted for the 24.75–25.25 GHz band.
Second, and of immediate relevance to Auction 103, the FCC established a process for the Department of Defense (DoD) to operate an unspecified number of new sites on a shared basis in the Upper 37 GHz band (37.6-38.6 GHz). This is significant because the Upper 37 GHz band frequencies are allocated on a co-primary basis to federal and non-federal users, meaning that commercial users must share the band with DoD and federal Space Research Service (space-to-Earth) operations. Because of the FCC’s plans to auction spectrum in this band before the end of the year and because failure to address possible coordination with Federal users could create uncertainty for potential bidders in the auction for spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz band, the FCC sought to address the need for coordination in the Fifth R&O.
Unlike the current sites where commercial licensees must coordinate with the DoD, the Department seeks to turn the situation around and have the ability to coordinate its use of these additional sites with commercial licensees. Under procedures adopted in the Fifth R&O, the DoD will be allowed to submit requests for access to the Upper 37 GHz band for specific additional military bases and ranges, for the purpose of defense applications or national security. The requests must justify why the proposed operations cannot be accommodated in the Lower 37 GHz band. The FCC will determine whether the request for access can be accommodated without creating a significant risk of harmful interference to current or planned deployments by potentially affected licensees, and NTIA would provide the applicable military departments any new or revised frequency assignments that are successfully coordinated.
The risk of DoD operations limiting a commercial operator’s ability to use the Upper 37 GHz channels may be relatively small in areas that are far removed from the military and space research sites listed in the Part 30 rules. However, the lack of clear and transparent guidelines regarding the mechanics of spectrum coordination with the DoD has emerged as a source of concern for FCC Commissioners on both sides of the aisle. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said:
“At this point, all of this uncertainty and regulatory back-and forth could easily depress participation and bidding at auction. That would be a shame—because a lot of work has gone into developing these airwaves for new mobile use.” Commissioner Mike O’Rielly called the decision “far, far, far from ideal.”The extent to which these coordination issues will impact the potential utility of the Upper 37 band channels for commercial use, or whether the auction valuation and bidding for these channels will be depressed in all parts of the country, remains to be seen. However, we would strongly urge interested bidders to speak with equipment manufacturers about how these potential limitations may restrict the utility of equipment and/or types of services that may be offered, and to factor any risks into their bidding plans. Let us know if you have any questions or would like us to assist you with Auction 103 due diligence.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.
Effective Dates Established for Intermediate Provider Registration and Restrictions
On April 15, the FCC published in the Federal Register notice of approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the intermediate provider registration requirements adopted in its Third Report and Order of August 2018 in WC Docket No. 13-39. Accordingly, carriers meeting the definition of an intermediate carrier must register by May 15, and carriers that meet the definition of a covered provider are restricted from using unregistered intermediate carriers starting July 15.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom update, the new rules require intermediate providers to register via a portal on the FCC’s website and furnish certain identification and contact information. The new rules also prohibit covered providers from using unregistered intermediate providers and require them to take steps reasonably calculated to prevent use of unregistered intermediate providers anywhere in the call path.
For the purposes of these rules, an “intermediate provider” is defined as “any entity that: “(A) enters into a business arrangement with a covered provider or other intermediate provider for the specific purpose of carrying, routing, or transmitting voice traffic that is generated from the placement of a call placed (i) from an end user connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource; or (ii) to an end user connection using such a numbering resource; and (B) does not itself, either directly or in conjunction with an affiliate, serve as a covered provider in the context of originating or terminating a given call.” A “covered voice communication” is defined as “a voice communication (including any related signaling information) that is generated—(A) from the placement of a call from a connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource or a call placed to a connection using such a numbering resource; and (B) through any service provided by a covered provider.
“Covered provider” means providers of long-distance voice service, including LECs, IXCs, CMRS providers, and interconnected and one-way VoIP service providers, that make the initial long-distance call path choice for more than 100,000 domestic retail subscriber lines, regardless of whether those providers are facilities-based.
Carriers with questions about either the database registration requirements or the restrictions on use of unregistered intermediate providers should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
FCC Corrects Compliance Deadline for Reassigned Number Database
On April 11, the FCC published a correction in the Federal Register regarding the compliance date for its reassigned number database. Specifically, compliance will be required 30 days after the FCC publishes notice of approval of those rules by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Previously, the FCC’s Federal Register publication indicated that the FCC would publish a separate notice of announcing compliance dates. Accordingly, no further notice will be published after notice of the approval of the rules by OMB.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
Law & Regulation
FCC Reminds CMRS Providers in WEA of Upcoming Wireless Emergency Alert Deadlines
On April 17, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding CMRS providers participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that they must be able to deliver enhanced geo-targeted WEA messages to 100 percent of the target area with no more than one-tenth of a mile overshoot to new mobile devices offered for sale and to existing devices capable of being upgraded to support this standard by no later than November 30. As of November 30, participating CMS Providers must also provide, at the point of sale, information about the benefits of enhanced geo-targeting and the extent of its availability on their network and devices, to allow consumers to make more informed choices about their ability to receive WEA messages that are relevant to their safety.
The FCC adopted rules in 2018 requiring participating CMRS providers to support enhanced geographic targeting by delivering WEA messages to the area that matches the area specified by the alert originator. Currently, participating CMS Providers are required to support geo-targeting that “best approximates” the target area specified by the alert originator.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
House Passes Net Neutrality Legislation
Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644). As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the bill does not provide for specific rules; rather, it simply repeals the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order of December 2017 Order, and reinstates the Obama Administration’s 2015 Open Internet Order. Among other things, the Open Internet Order provided for:
The bill also creates an exception to the enhanced transparency requirements that the FCC adopted in 2015, rendering them inapplicable to any small business – i.e., a provider of broadband Internet access service that has not more than 100,000 subscribers aggregated over all the provider’s affiliates.
Commissioner Geoffrey Starks issued a statement approving of the passage of the bill, which will now go to the Senate:
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Senate Introduces Duo of Broadband Bills
On April 11, two bills supporting broadband accessibility and expansion, particularly in rural areas, were introduced in the Senate – the Digital Equity Act of 2019, and the Internet Exchange (IX) Act. The IX Act has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
The Digital Equity Act of 2019, which was introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), would create two new $125 million grant programs targeted toward “a diverse array of projects at the state and local level that promote “digital equity”— a concept defined by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as the “condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.” The legislation was cosponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jack Reed (D-RI) and a companion bill will also be introduced in the House of Representatives.
“For so many of us, having a reliable broadband connection is a given—we use the Internet to pay bills, do our taxes, book travel, do homework, and much more. We can do it on our own time, in our own homes—even from our phones. But for far too many individuals and families—including those from communities of color, people with disabilities, low-income households, and rural communities—getting online isn’t so easy to do, and I strongly believe that in 2019, we shouldn’t be a country of haves and have-nots when it comes to using the Internet,” said Senator Murray.
The Internet Exchange (IX) Act, introduced by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), is aimed at improving Internet access, especially in rural areas. The bill has two primary sections: (1) Authorizes matching grants to be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, to help establish new IX facilities where none exist, or to help an existing one expand if it is the only IX facility in a core based statistical area. (2) Permits eligible recipients under the E-Rate program (for schools and libraries) and Telehealth program to use such funds to contract with a broadband provider to obtain a connection to an IX facility, or to pay for the costs of maintaining a point of presence at an IX facility.
“You can’t have a 21st century education, 21st century healthcare, or a 21st century business without access to 21st century Internet,” said Senator Blackburn. “The bipartisan IX Act will make big strides in closing the digital divide in Tennessee by providing Internet access to areas with the highest degree of need.” “We need to strengthen our Internet infrastructure to better serve Middle America and rural communities, and improve the online experience for people in all parts of our country,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan measure will help expand broadband access across our country. By investing in our Internet infrastructure and adding more Internet exchanges in Wisconsin and throughout the heartland, we can help more rural households and rural businesses gain better access to high-speed Internet”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Inspector General Releases Lifeline Fraud Advisory
On April 16, the FCC’s Office of Inspector General has issued an advisory to alert Lifeline carriers, beneficiaries, and the public to a number of fraudulent enrollment practices found pervasive across the IG’s ongoing investigations targeting Lifeline carriers and the carriers’ sales agents. According to a Press Release, these enrollment practices rely on identity fraud and the manipulation of personal information, including enrollee names, to evade the program’s safeguards. The advisory describes simple tricks used by fraudsters to create phantom enrollments.
“Our office is committed to using every tool at our disposal to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in the Lifeline program,” said FCC Inspector General David Hunt. “My hope is that this advisory will deter fraudulent practices by educating and warning program stakeholders.”
The advisory is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357035A1.pdf .
FCC Releases Guide for Wireless Siting Order
On April 11, the FCC released a Small Entity Compliance Guide for its Third Report and Order in WT Docket No. 17-79 and WC Docket No. 17-84, which codified specific rules for the amount of time siting agencies may take to review and approve certain categories of wireless infrastructure siting applications. The rules in the Third Report and Order became effective on January 14, 2019. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Third Report and Order established two new review period shot clocks for Small Wireless Facilities (60 days for collocation on existing structures and 90 days for new builds) and codified the existing 90 and 150 day shot clocks for deployments of wireless facilities that do not qualify as small wireless facilities. The Third Report and Order also set out how the shot clock date is calculated and how any applicable shot clock tolling periods are applied:
All state and local government authorizations necessary for the deployment of personal wireless service infrastructure are subject to the applicable shot clocks. The Third Report and Order also interpreted State or local inaction by the end of the Small Wireless Facility shot clock will amount to a presumptive prohibition on the provision of personal wireless services, which violates Section 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
MAY 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 recent 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 (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.
BloostonLaw Contact: Richard Rubino.
Current member or former member of these organizations.
The above is just like the old men who have stickers on the rear window of their pickup trucks.
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Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. (born March 29, 1941) is an American astrophysicist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his discovery with Russell Alan Hulse of a "new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation."
Taylor was born in Philadelphia to Joseph Hooton Taylor Sr. and Sylvia Evans Taylor, both of whom had Quaker roots for many generations, and grew up in Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey. He attended the Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown Township, New Jersey, where he excelled in math. He received a B.A. in physics at Haverford College in 1963, and a Ph.D. in astronomy at Harvard University in 1968. After a brief research position at Harvard, Taylor went to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, eventually becoming Professor of Astronomy and Associate Director of the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory. Taylor's thesis work was on lunar occultation measurements. About the time he completed his Ph.D., Jocelyn Bell (who is also a Quaker) discovered the first radio pulsars with a telescope near Cambridge, England.
Taylor immediately went to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's telescopes in Green Bank, West Virginia, and participated in the discovery of the first pulsars discovered outside Cambridge. Since then, he has worked on all aspects of pulsar astrophysics. In 1974, Hulse and Taylor discovered the first pulsar in a binary system, named PSR B1913+16 after its position in the sky, during a survey for pulsars at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Although it was not understood at the time, this was also the first of what are now called recycled pulsars: neutron stars that have been spun-up to fast spin rates by the transfer of mass onto their surfaces from a companion star.
The orbit of this binary system is slowly shrinking as it loses energy because of emission of gravitational radiation, causing its orbital period to speed up slightly. The rate of shrinkage can be precisely predicted from Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and over a thirty-year period Taylor and his colleagues have made measurements that match this prediction to much better than one percent accuracy. This was the first confirmation of the existence of gravitational radiation. There are now scores of binary pulsars known, and independent measurements have confirmed Taylor's results.
Taylor has used this first binary pulsar to make high-precision tests of general relativity. Working with his colleague Joel Weisberg, Taylor has used observations of this pulsar to demonstrate the existence of gravitational radiation in the amount and with the properties first predicted by Albert Einstein. He and Hulse shared the Nobel Prize for the discovery of this object. In 1980, he moved to Princeton University, where he was the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Physics, having also served for six years as Dean of Faculty. He retired in 2006.
Joe Taylor first obtained his amateur radio license as a teenager, which led him to the field of radio astronomy. Taylor is well known in the field of amateur radio weak signal communication and has been assigned the call sign K1JT by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He had previously held the callsigns K2ITP, WA1LXQ, W1HFV, and VK2BJX (the latter in Australia). His Amateur Radio feats have included mounting an 'expedition' in April 2010 to use the Arecibo Radio Telescope to conduct moonbounce with Amateurs around the world using voice, Morse code, and digital communications.
He is actively developing several computer programs and communications protocols, including WSJT ("Weak Signal/Joe Taylor"), a software package and protocol suite that utilizes computer-generated messages in conjunction with radio transceivers to communicate over long distances with other amateur radio operators. WSJT is useful for passing short messages via non-traditional radio communications methods, such as moonbounce and meteor scatter and other low signal-to-noise ratio paths. It is also useful for extremely long-distance contacts using very low power transmissions.
Honors and awards
Taylor was among the first group of MacArthur Fellows. He has served on many boards, committees, and panels, co-chairing the Decadal Panel of that produced the report Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium that established the United States' national priorities in astronomy and astrophysics for the period 2000-2010. He was a guest of honor in the 2009 International Physics Olympiad.
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