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Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
For several years I have been publishing articles submitted by my friend Rex Lee. There is another one this week — Rex says it is his best yet, and I agree.
I remember when I started writing technical papers. A little encouragement from friends and colleagues convinced me to keep going. I would say, “Why should I write about paging technology when there are so many other people more qualified?” One response that I still remember was, “Maybe so, and maybe not — but they don't write.”
I am sure that I have told this story before, but I am repeating it here to encourage other readers to write something for the Newsletter.
When I am gone, I am not going to take all the knowledge that I have learned about paging with me.
It's all available on BradDye.com.
I am sure that everyone who works or worked in paging has something interesting to contribute. Even if you only emptied wastepaper baskets.
MARKETING — SALES — ENGINEERING — MANAGEMENT
Come on! Get off your duff and write something for the newsletter. You'll be glad you did and you will be helping others.
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
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.
We need your help. This is the only remaining news source dedicated to information about Paging and Wireless Messaging.
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Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones
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Our industry must do its part to address asymmetrical hybrid warfare in critical communications.
By Rex M. Lee
The U.S. government, telecommunications providers and operating system (OS) developers must address cybersecurity and privacy threats from adversarial countries such as China and Russia. These threats are centered on intellectual property (IP), telecommunications, smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, Internet of things (IoT)/industrial IoT (IIoT) devices and PCs that use the Android, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows OS.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford said in March that countries such as China enable U.S. technology companies to sell U.S. products and services to Chinese citizens, which is good for our economy. However, the Chinese government then adopts the U.S. technology to oppress its citizens and enables the Chinese military to use the technology against adversaries such as the United States.
The Chinese government legally and illegally acquires the IP for such technology for nation-state smartphone and social media app and platform developers such as Baidu and Tencent to compete against U.S. companies such as Google and Facebook.
We are seeing a re-rise of great power competition from adversarial countries in competition with western countries such as the United States and the European Union.
“Companies are waking up to the fact they have been squarely in the gray area between peace and war,” says T. Casey Fleming, CEO of BLACKOPS Partners, a cybersecurity mitigation firm. “They are finding that current strategies and tactics (cybersecurity and business) are ineffective and must give way to more proactive measures rooted in adversarial intelligence.”
Great power competition is nothing new. There were threats associated with great power competition pre-World War II from Germany, Japan and Italy.
We are seeing a re-rise of great power competition from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, which are competing against the U.S. for global economic and military power.
Global competition from these adversarial countries presents cybersecurity and privacy threats coupled with unprecedented risk associated with asymmetrical hybrid warfare (AHW) that the U.S. government and U.S. companies associated with the defense, technology, critical infrastructure and enterprise business industries need to address.
U.S. companies are making billions selling products to adversarial countries while enjoying cheap labor by manufacturing U.S. goods and services in China and other countries. CEOs, board members and senior executives of U.S. multinational companies need to realize nation-state companies from adversarial countries do not compete at the same level as U.S. companies. U.S. firms compete on an individual basis, but nation-state companies compete to advance their host countries’ political agendas.
Nation-state companies from China and Russia apply AHW as a means to compete. During the Black- Energy malware attacks in the Ukraine in 2015, state-sponsored Russian hackers used NotPetya ransomware to cause blackouts to Ukraine’s grid, affecting about 1.4 million people.
The Crash-Override malware, as it is known, targets industrial control systems (ICS), affecting critical infrastructure including IoT/IIoT devices. The BlackEnergy malware was believed to be installed via Windows and Linux plug-ins and remained dormant until activated, a sign the malware was related to military or state-sponsored techniques rather than an individual hacker.
In similar attacks on Saudi oil refineries in 2017 and 2019, Triton Trisis malware attacked industrial control systems centered on safety at Petro Rabigh refinery and another unnamed oil refinery. Fortunately, nobody was injured or killed in either attack.
Similar to the BlackEnergy malware attacks, Triton Trisis, according to FireEye, is likely linked to Russian state-sponsored hackers believed to be linked to the TeleBots group.
Russian officials deny responsibility for such attacks, but malware such as Crash-Override and Triton Trisis are so sophisticated that it can probably only be developed by military and/or state-sponsored Russian hackers associated with groups such as TeleBots and Sandworm.
The modern battlefield is no longer limited to warfare between military forces alone. The battlefield now includes non-military and trans-military warfare targeting civilians, companies and critical infrastructure. AHW poses huge threats to national security, cybersecurity, privacy, safety and critical infrastructure associated with telecommunications networks and hardware.
Networks and hardware at risk include 4G and 5G networks, licensed and unlicensed private networks, smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, IoT/IIoT devices and PCs manufactured by Chinese companies such as Foxconn, ZTE and Huawei. Additionally, platforms that support social media services plus software such as apps, widgets and other content developed by nation-state companies include Baidu, Tencent and Prisma Labs.
Threats posed by ZTE and Huawei have been highly publicized in the news during the past two years. In fact, in May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to bar U.S. communications firms from acquiring technology from foreign companies. He later backed off the order during trade talks with China.
We have also heard of threats posed by Russian software companies such as Kaspersky Labs, which develops antivirus/malware software that millions of American citizens and companies use.
However, we have not heard many government warnings regarding nation-state companies that produce intrusive apps sold by and used on Google, Apple and Microsoft hardware and smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, IoT/IIoT devices and PCs supported by Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows OS.
Apps can be classified as a legal form of malware that enables the app developer to monitor, track and data mine the app user. Chinese app developers Baidu and Tencent have this capability. Why are the Crash-Override and Triton Trisis malware relevant to apps distributed by Google, Apple and Microsoft?
Apps that support connected products such as smartphones are also capable of launching distributed denial of services (DDoS) and man-in- the-middle (MITM) attacks.
BlackEnergy malware was originally designed to launch DDoS attacks but morphed into sophisticated Crash-Override ransomware, with a KillDisk component. Theoretically, the malware could be launched from a disguised app, enabling the malware to be distributed.
Google, Apple and Microsoft apps that can launch attacks are not being developed by the everyday hacker but by state-sponsored hackers from both Russia and China. Consider the required investment in research and development (R&D) coupled with the amount of knowledge needed to develop such intrusive and destructive apps while meeting all of the quality control criteria imposed by Google, Apple and Microsoft. Other than a state-sponsored hacker, who could afford to develop apps that can launch DDoS and MITM attacks knowing the apps are not designed to make a profit but instead to find holes in our nation’s cybersecurity?
Attacks through apps are a serious cybersecurity and safety threat that needs to be addressed immediately by chief information officers (CIOs), IT professionals, telecom providers, app developers, the FCC and other relevant agencies.
Surveillance and Data Mining
What is concerning is that some U.S. tech giants, telecom providers and government agencies are enabling companies from adversarial countries to monitor, track and data mine U.S. citizens via smartphones supported by protected telecom infrastructure regulated by the FCC.
Enabling nation-state companies to surveil and data mine U.S. citizens via apps is an existential threat to our national security and economy while posing cybersecurity, privacy, civil liberty and safety threats to smartphone users.
This flaw in U.S. cybersecurity is a greater threat to our national security and economy than Huawei and ZTE combined because companies such as Baidu and Tencent can distribute legal malware as apps through Google Play, Apple and Microsoft app stores. For example, these three app stores actively distribute intrusive apps such as Baidu’s DU-Browser, Tencent’s WeChat and Prisma Labs’ Prisma Photo Editor apps.
In essence, companies from China and Russia are able to lawfully hack confidential personal and professional information, including IP. If you are skeptical, read the app permissions for verification.
Google, Apple and Microsoft enable these app developers to virtually collect, use, share, sell, store and aggregate nearly 100% of all location data and sensitive user data from the use of a smartphone, tablet PC, laptop PC or even a desktop PC. Tencent, a Chinese nation-state company, can collect nearly 100% of the OS user’s location and sensitive user data, including biometric data.
It is clear no oversight, policies or regulations are in place to protect app users from predatory surveillance and data-mining business practices employed by tech and telecom giants.
All organizations, including government entities, should eliminate all BYOD programs. The Apple iPhone is the most secure smartphone on the market, but not all personal and professional information can be secured on iPhones or any smartphone supported by the Android OS, according to T-Mobile, Verizon and My Smart Privacy research.
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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Extreme Networks: Extra Headwinds Against An Ambitious Goal
Aug. 6, 2019 6:38 AM ET
Extreme Networks (EXTR) released its fiscal Q4 earnings with revenue exceeding the high end of the guidance. Despite a weak outlook for the next quarter, the stock price increased by more than 12% since the publication of the results.
But I don't share this optimism. During the previous quarter, the weak outlook disappointed the market. The company delivered gross and operating margin within the modest guidance.
Management forecasted improved performance by fiscal H2 2020. But the company is facing some extra headwinds that could prevent the operating margin to reach the ambitious goal of 15% by the end of fiscal 2020.
Despite the negative GAAP operating margin, management reiterated its goal of improving the operating margin to 15% by the end of fiscal 2020. Ed Meyercord, the CEO, said:
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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
Japan tops 177 mln mobile subscribers in June
Friday 9 August 2019 | 09:31 CET
Japan ended June with 177.2 million mobile customers, up from 175.3 million in the quarter ended 31 March 2019. Mobile operator Softbank had 41.94 million mobile subscribers in the quarter ended 30 June, up from 41.6 million in March, according to a report from the Telecommunications Carrier Association (TCA). KDDI (au) ended June with 56.36 million subscribers in total, up from 55.22 million in March. NTT Docomo's subscriber base topped 78.89 million users at 30 June, up from 78.4 million in March.
Japan also had 33.33 million broadband wireless access subscribers at end-June, served by Wimax services provider UQ Communications. At en-June, there were also 204,400 radio paging users in Japan.
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.
Feds Aren’t Going Out For Chinese on Tuesday
U.S. government contractors are getting their first look at the Administration’s interim rule banning federal purchases of telecommunications equipment and technology from five Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE.
The rule states the ban on Chinese telecom and video surveillance companies is set to go into effect August 13, according to Reuters. It implements a provision of a previous defense policy bill that the president signed into law.
The ban is part of the U.S. push against Huawei, which federal security agencies say uses its gear to spy on our government for the Chinese government and steal intellectual property. Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over restrictions in the defense policy bill. In its latest statement, Huawei said it, “continues to challenge the constitutionality of the ban in federal court.”
Government contractors told Reuters, they’ve been confused about the ban’s scope and what it will mean for their businesses. The first rule implementing the ban was posted on a General Services Administration for contractors. The government will accept comments on the rule for 60 days before it comes to a final version. It will allow agencies some ability to grant waivers through August 13, 2021, for contractors where security is not at issue.
The broader ban, which will apply to contracts with any company that uses equipment from the companies, will take effect in August 2020. That’s because the White House Office of Management and Budget asked Congress in June for two extra years to phase in the ban.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less — sometimes the whole updates] 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 Sets HAC Deadlines
Last November, the FCC revised its rules to eliminate the annual HAC Reporting requirement for wireless service providers. In its place, the FCC updated and enhanced its rules pertaining to HAC record retention and website posting, and it adopted a streamlined annual certification requirement.
On August 1, the FCC announced that Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 is the compliance deadline for the new HAC record retention and expanded website posting requirements. Carriers must submit an electronic certification of compliance with HAC rules to cover calendar year 2018 during a filing window that extends from September 3rd to October 3, 2019. See the article below for more information.
BloostonLaw Contact: John Prendergast.
Auction 103 Applications Due Sept. 9; Interested Clients Should Contact Us Immediately
Last month, the FCC issued the final procedures for Auction 103, the incentive auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the Upper 37 GHz (37.6–38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6–40 GHz), and 47 GHz (47.2–48.2 GHz) bands. With short-form applications due in just a few weeks (and an application filing window opening on August 26th), clients and groups that are interested in bidding should contact us immediately so we can assist you with structuring your auction applicant and gathering the necessary application information.
Auction 103 is the Commission’s third and largest auction of high-band spectrum that is intended to further the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless services, and will sell up to 3400 MHz of spectrum in any given area. Licenses will be sold as Partial Economic Areas (“PEAs”), as was done for the recent 700 MHz and 24 GHz auctions. While PEAs can consist of a somewhat large territory in rural areas, the FCC is again applying a discount when establishing upfront payments and minimum opening bids for smaller markets, making the auction more affordable for rural carriers.
In addition, the FCC will offer small business and rural service provider bid credits (as was done in the past two 5G auctions), thereby discounting the amount of bids submitted by small and rural applicants. A list of the licenses for sale, along with the upfront payments and minimum opening bids, appears HERE. Given the large number of licenses that will be available for bid in many markets, and the recent completion of other 5G spectrum auctions, bidding may be depressed in certain areas. As always, bidders will want to check with vendors and appropriate consultants regarding the business case for their proposed millimeter wave services, especially in rural areas, and set their bidding strategy accordingly. Much of that evaluation can be done right up to the start of bidding on December 10, since merely applying to participate in the auction by September 9 does not obligate the applicant to bid.
The auction will offer licenses for 100 megahertz blocks of spectrum in each PEA through a clock phase and an assignment phase. The clock phase will allow bidding on generic blocks in two categories—one for Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz, and one for 47 GHz—in each PEA. The clock phase will serve to determine both the winners of generic spectrum blocks and the amount of incentive payments due to those incumbent licensees in the 39 GHz band that opt to relinquish their spectrum usage rights. The assignment phase will allow bidding for frequency-specific license assignments, while ensuring contiguous block assignments within a PEA.
We encourage interested clients to contact the firm without delay so we have sufficient time to assist in structuring your applicant entity and preparing your short-form application.
BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, Richard Rubino
FCC Sets Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Regulatory Compliance Deadlines
As our law firm’s mobile wireless service provider and resale clients may recall, the FCC last November revised its rules to eliminate the annual HAC Reporting requirement for wireless service providers. In its place, the FCC updated and enhanced its rules pertaining to HAC record retention and website posting, and it adopted a modified annual certification requirement.
On August 1st, a notice was published in the Federal Register establishing Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 (i.e., the day after Labor Day), as the compliance deadline for the new HAC record retention and expanded website posting requirements. Carriers must submit an electronic certification of compliance with HAC rules to cover calendar year 2018 during a filing window that extends from September 3rd to October 3, 2019. Compliance certifications for calendar year 2018 will be on a new electronic FCC Form 855.
Carriers that previously filed HAC reports and that sold their wireless spectrum during 2018 or 2019 should file a 2018 compliance certification for their partial year operations (or certifying de minimis status for carriers that did not sell handsets but held their spectrum licenses) and this will be your final HAC regulatory compliance obligation.
We expect that the FCC will issue a Public Notice announcing that the web site is open for submissions. BloostonLaw is available to help our clients with the new certification process.
Going forward, annual compliance certifications for wireless service providers will be filed by January 15th. Thus, the service provider compliance certification for calendar year 2019 will be due Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
Clients with questions regarding the HAC rules and/or the annual certification requirement should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.
Comment Sought on Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments
On July 31, the FCC issued a Public Notice setting comment and reply comment deadlines for the Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted on July 10. Comments are due August 30, and reply comments are due September 30.
In the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on a variety of issues that may affect the deployment of broadband to multiple tenant environments (MTEs), including exclusive marketing and wiring arrangements, revenue sharing agreements, and state and local regulations. The Commission also seeks comment on its legal authority to address broadband, telecommunications, and video deployment and competition in MTEs.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and John Prendergast.
Law & Regulation
Senators Introduce Legislation to Eliminate FTC Common Carrier Exemption
On July 31, Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-Calif.], Sen. Richard Blumenthal [D-Conn.] and Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-Minn.] introduced the Protection from Robocalling Act of 2019 (S.B. 2349). If passed, this bill would eliminate the exemption for common carriers from regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The Federal Trade Commission Act empowers the FTC to prevent the use of unfair methods of competition. However, “common carriers subject to Acts to regulate commerce” — which term presently includes the Communications Act — are excepted from this clause. The two-page Protection from Robocalling Act of 2019 simply redefines the term “Acts to regulate commerce” to exclude the Communications Act, thereby eliminating the so-called “common carrier exception” for telecommunications companies.
It is unclear how this would affect the FCC’s authority under the Communications Act to address unjust and unreasonable practices. And indeed, although the bill has been fostered in light of the robocall epidemic currently facing the nation, it is further unclear whether and how this bill would limit FTC authority to just robocallers.
“Recently, the FTC in conjunction with 25 federal, state and local agencies announced a nationwide crackdown on illegal robocallers responsible for more than 1 billion illegal robocalls,” Senator Feinstein said. “These calls are more than a nuisance. Robocalls allow scam artists to target their victims and can tie up emergency service numbers, putting people’s lives at risk. We must do more than go after the people making the robocalls, we need to stop the phone services that make this illegal behavior possible. Our bill will give the FTC the tools it needs to do exactly that.”
“Most robocalls aren’t just unwanted and disruptive — they are illegal,” Senator Klobuchar said. “Our bill will close a loophole that robocall companies exploit to scam and annoy consumers and enable the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on illegal robocalling schemes.”
“Our bill will close loopholes and empower an FTC crackdown on phone carriers who knowingly ignore billions of illegal and intrusive robocalls on their service lines,” Senator Blumenthal said. “Phone service providers must be our first line of defense against the onslaught of robocalls that are often used by scammers and spammers to defraud unsuspecting consumers. The FTC to be able to hold these companies accountable for this onslaught of unwanted calls.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
Sen. Blackburn Introduces Trio of Rural Healthcare Bills
On August 1, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced her Rural Health Agenda, aimed at addressing health care delivery challenges in rural America to maintain quality care close to home. The Rural Health Agenda includes three bills: the bipartisan Rural America Health Corps Act, cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska); the Rural Health Innovation Act, cosponsored by Senator Murkowski; and the Telemedicine Across State Lines Act, cosponsored by Senator Cramer.
The Rural America Health Corps Act creates a new loan repayment program titled “NHSC Rural Provider Loan Repayment Program.” It includes a range of providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants; ensures practitioners would be eligible for loan repayment on a sliding scale, based on the severity of the shortage in that area; and waives any associated income tax liability for the loan repayment program.
The Rural Health Innovation Act creates two 5-year grant programs, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Community-Based Division. One grant program would help establish FQHCs and RHCs capable of meeting the community’s urgent care and triage needs; Grants will be limited to $500,000 for existing facilities and $750,000 for startup facilities. The other grant program would expand rural health departments to meet urgent care and triage needs; Grants will be limited to $500,000. Communities must have an existing health department with a government-funded building, some nursing staff, and medical equipment.
Communities must be rural and be located at least thirty minutes from the nearest emergency department, using the speed limit on the most direct route from the proposed site to the nearest emergency department or be inaccessible by road. Communities that have lost a hospital in the last seven years will have priority.
The Telemedicine Across State Lines Act creates a grant program to incentivize the expansion of effective telemedicine programs to reach rural communities. To qualify, applications should be an existing telemedicine program; meet criteria established by the Secretary; and have a planned expansion to a rural community as defined by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
“Tennesseans worry that as rural hospitals close, they will be left without access to health care,” said Senator Blackburn. “It is imperative that we find an appropriate substitute for maintaining care in these communities. If the old models of care delivery no longer work in our rural communities, we need new models. These three pieces of legislation, which come directly at the request of small-town mayors and community leaders, will fill gaps left by hospital closures. We need to make quality care accessible closer to home for rural America. The Rural Health Agenda targets areas that need improvement in order to meet that goal.”
BloostonLaw Contact: Sal Taillefer.
FCC Proposes $233,000 Fine for Sponsorship ID Rule Violations
On August 6, the FCC today proposed a $233,000 fine against four Cumulus Media subsidiaries for apparent violations of the FCC’s sponsorship identification rules, and for apparently failing to promptly self-report some of these violations to the FCC despite its agreement to do so under a prior Consent Decree with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.
In 2011, a Cumulus subsidiary failed to adequately identify the sponsor of announcements broadcast on its New Hampshire radio station. As a result, in 2016 Cumulus entered into a Consent Decree with the Enforcement Bureau in which, among other things, Cumulus agreed to pay a civil penalty, enter into a compliance plan, and report any noncompliance with the sponsorship identification rules within 15 calendar days after discovery of such noncompliance.
In today’s action, the FCC finds that in 2017 and 2018, seven of Cumulus’ radio stations apparently failed, in twenty-six instances, to air appropriate sponsorship identifications as required by FCC rules. In addition, Cumulus waited nearly eight months before reporting certain of these violations to the Bureau, in violation of its commitments in the 2016 Consent Decree.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
Forecasters Fear 5G Will Interfere with Weather Predictions
On August 7, Science Magazine reported that NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are concerned that 5G antennas will emit signals near the frequencies their satellites use to gather water vapor data, to the detriment of forecasts and other scientific pursuits.
According to the article, at a certain spectrum band water vapor molecules emit a small amount of radiation, and measuring that radiation is “one of the best ways to remotely sense the atmospheric water content that fuels clouds and storms.” Acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs has, on several occasions – including at a hearing by the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment on 16 May – said that US weather forecasting capabilities could be degraded by 5G in certain spectrums, and that NOAA and NASA have concluded that the out-of-band emissions limits set by the FCC will not prevent interference with the ability to detect water vapor.
In June, Ars Technica reported that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai criticized the NASA and NOAA data about interference at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Specifically, Pai reportedly said the data is faulty, and that the agencies were late in raising their concerns. Pai said, "For example, it ignores the fact that 5G will involve beam-forming, essentially adaptive antenna arrays that will more precisely send 5G signals—sort of a rifle shot, if you will, instead of a shotgun blast of 5G spectrum." Pai also pointed out: “Indeed, the federal government and private sector have deployed nearly 40,000 high powered fixed microwave links in the 2 1.2—23.6 GHz band, immediately below and actually adjacent to the 23.6—24 GHz passive band, at the same emission limit the FCC adopted for 5G operations. No interference has ever been reported. Moreover, these fixed microwave links are directly adjacent to the passive band, whereas the portion of the 24 GHz band to be used for 5G (24.25—24.45 GHz and 24.75—25.25 GI-Iz) is separated by a 250 MHz guard band.”
As we have reported in previous editions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC recently completed its auction for 24 GHz spectrum, which will primarily support wireless backhaul for 5G networks.
AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2019 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
SEPTEMBER 3: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Normally due September 1, this year’s filing falls on a federal holiday weekend, pushing the deadline back to the next business day. Four types of entities must file this form:
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
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.
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Hope all is well with you. Just a quick note to thank you for introducing me (several years ago) to the California Feetwamers but now to my current favorite, Tuba Skinny! I’ve become a big fan of theirs. I’m still following paging but only because of you [...]
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The Full Last Set @ Esplanade de la Jetée @ Andernos, France, July 28th, 2019
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