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When I was working for BBL Industries as an international sales manager back in the early 80s, I received an invitation to make a presentation in Washington DC to a group of businessmen from Saudi Arabia.
I thought wow! — this is a great opportunity. I was already familiar with a small “on site” system that ARAMCO, the Saudi oil company, had using a BBL terminal and I had visited the kingdom once before trying to stir up some interest in a nation-wide paging system.
So, I flew into Washington National Airport and got a room in the hotel where the meeting was to be held the next day. I spent several hours preparing my presentation and I was really “pumped up” for the next day.
I didn’t sleep well and I got up very early to review my notes and my presentation once again. Being ex-military, I shined my shoes, pressed the wrinkles out of my pants and put on a freshly laundered shirt with a nice necktie.
There was a good crowd in the conference room. Several people were wearing the traditional Saudi Arabian attire but many others were wearing U.S. style business suits and ties and some were even wearing what we call business casual.
So, the presentations began. Many different kinds of businesses were pitched by U.S. companies to our distinguished visitors.
Finally, my turn came. I went to the podium and began my talk. I had lots of notes and slides showing what a great business opportunity a nation-wide paging system would be in Saudi Arabia. I started off by holding my pager up to the microphone and saying “I want to come to Saudi Arabia and make these work everywhere” and then I turned on my pager and let it beep into the microphone. I could see the looks on their faces — there was a lot of interest.
No sooner than turning off my pager, the U.S. attorney that was conducting the event jumped up and said, “OK Brad, thank you. That’s enough — we are about out of time.
I had barely gotten started.
He practically dragged me off of the stage and out of the room. I thought I was going to be sick, thinking that I must have said something or done something to offend everyone. I knew that you could offend someone over there by touching them with your left hand or showing them the bottom of your foot but I had been careful — I thought.
We went into the next room where three men were seated at a table. They weren’t wearing Saudi clothing or business suits and just looked like three ordinary guys from the middle east.
I sat down and they began to tell me that they were from Saudi Arabia and wanted to be my agents there and to help me supply a large paging system. I smiled and told them that I had frequent visits from people wanting to do the same and claiming they knew an influential sheikh.
The attorney was standing right behind them and he was practically jumping up and down he was so excited. He said, “Brad these are the sheikhs! We stopped your presentation because we didn’t want anyone else to hear the rest of it.”
I could breathe normally again.
And that is how my boss Al Loverde and I ended up going to Saudi Arabia.
Obituaries of friends, relatives, and colleagues are always sad. This week I am publishing an obituary for Al Loverde. Al and I traveled together to Saudi Arabia, as a result of my presentation in Washington, where we tried to win an award to supply a large paging network to the kingdom. We didn't get the order and I was later told by some of the old-timers who had done business there that if you don't have a “royal” as a partner on your team, you won't get the order. We didn't . . . we had sheikhs but no royals.
Oh yes, as we are almost at the end of the year, now would be a good time to spend what's left in your advertising budget right here in The Wireless Messaging News.
Now on to the news and views.
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.
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.
Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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FCC retest vindicates Apple on iPhone RF exposure claims
By Malcolm Owen Thursday, December 19, 2019, 01:14 pm PT (04:14 pm ET)
The iPhone complies with U.S. standards for RF exposure, the FCC has confirmed after performing a battery of tests on the smartphone. Regulators promised to evaluate Apple's handset following an August report by the Chicago Tribune claiming that the model breaches consumer safety rules.
In August, it was claimed by independent testing conducted by the Chicago Tribune that there was an issue with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, with regards to radio frequency broadcasts. Performed by the RF Exposure Lab, the tests showed iPhone 7 exceeded the amount of exposure the FCC permits devices to expose to a user, by a considerable margin.
The retest, conducted by the FCC, included a mix of devices supplied by Apple and Samsung, as well as others purchased by the FCC. Testing was performed between Aug. 30 and Sept. 23.
All of the devices tested at the FCC's own lab — not a contractor — were under the maximum legal limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram or less, over 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal. The legal limit is derived from a safe limit, which is about 50 times higher.
The previous testing commissioned by the newspaper measured levels between 2.5 watts per kilogram and 2.81 watts per kilogram, far above the legal limit for exposure.
At the time of the original test, Apple took issue with the results and in a statement said the results "were inaccurate due to the test setup not being in accordance with procedures necessary to properly assess the iPhone models." Apple added that "all models are fully certified by the FCC and counterparts in other countries where iPhones are sold, with Apple further proclaiming "we are in compliance and meet all applicable exposure guidelines and limits."
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.
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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Paging Infrastructure For Sale
— Great Prices —
Sale prices are $250.00 (or best offer) for each item. Please contact Adam Jaster direct for more information. Some of the items do not have a complete description. Cost of packing and shipping is the buyer's responsibility.
|Source:||Adam Jaster email@example.com|
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.
Dec 17, 2019, 11:36am
Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Has Officially Moved (Toward Russia)
Earth’s magnetic north pole has been moving East at an unusually fast pace, heading from the Canadian Arctic toward Russia.
The rapid change of the magnetic poles has caused concern over navigation, GPS systems, military operations, etc.
The northern magnetic pole has been drifting toward Russia at a speed of 34 miles per year (55 kilometers per year) but has slowed recently to 25 miles per year (40 kilometers per year).
What Causes Earth’s Magnetic Pole To Move?
Wandering and flipping of Earth’s magnetic poles is common and has happened many times in Earth’s history.
The magnetic poles are a result of Earth’s molten iron outer core, which moves and flows as the Earth spins. These convection currents trigger electric currents and create a magnetic field around Earth which protects it from solar wind and charged particles from the Sun.
Currently, Earth’s North and South poles match the magnetic North and magnetic South poles. However, that has changed in Earth’s history when the poles flipped, magnetic south was at the true north pole and vice versa. Scientists can see these flips in rock records which fingerprint the current magnetic north location while the rock is molten.
The record of magnetic reversals in mid-oceanic ridges was a cornerstone in changing our understanding of plate tectonics.
How Has The Updated North Pole Changed Things?
The 2020 World Magnetic Model (WMM) was recently updated by the National Centers for Environmental Information and the British Geological Survey to forecast how the magnetic north pole has changed and predict where it is headed for the next 5 years until the next update. They found that the magnetic north pole has officially crossed the prime meridian.
Over the past two decades, the magnetic north pole has moved toward Russia. It was moving so fast that the WMM released an interim update in February of 2019 to ensure there were no navigational or operational issues with the difference of the true magnetic north pole and what the previous model used.
The WMM’s location of the magnetic north pole is used in numerous ways for navigation around the world. Everything from smartphone apps to air navigation to army operations all use the official location of the magnetic north pole.
In geologic record there is a large range in time between magnetic field reversals from every 100,000 years to every 50 million years. Given that and the difficulty in measuring the activity within Earth’s outer core means it’s nearly impossible to predict a magnetic field reversal in advance. However, we have seen a recent weakening of Earth’s magnetic north pole on the order of 10 to 15%.
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
LOVERDE, Albert Santo
Mr. Albert Santo Loverde, age 79, a native of Chicago, IL, and a 34 year resident of Dunwoody, GA, passed away on Nov. 24, 2019. He was well known for his kindness, generosity, humor, wisdom, and his powerful and wonderful storytelling. He will be deeply missed by the many family members, friends, and colleagues he leaves behind.
Mr. Loverde was a scholarship-level athlete in high school and an honors graduate of Purdue University. He spent his career as an engineer, leader, and mentor in the telecommunications field. He was perhaps best known for his work, along with his lifelong friend Roger Linquist, to create the cellular company MetroPCS, taking it from mere concept to its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the opening bell. Outside of his career, he enjoyed golf, scuba diving, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends. His lifetime of adventures included sailing up the Nile and the Amazon rivers, visiting Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, seeing the Great Pyramids of Egypt, standing on the Great Wall of China, and fulfilling his dream of watching the wildebeests migrate across the African plains. He told many amazing stories, but his favorite tales included the time he played pee-wee football at halftime during a Chicago Bears game, colorful histories of living on the Pacific island of Kwajalein as part of his role at Bell Labs in the late 1960s, and numerous recollections of his extended Sicilian-American family and childhood in Chicago. He was also generous to a fault, supporting many charities throughout his lifetime. His indelible smile and terrific sense of humor left an impression on all who knew him, and the most profound legacy he leaves is one of love and laughter that will long outlast his time upon this earth.
He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Kristi (Posvar) Loverde; his daughters and son-in-law, Karen (Loverde) Albregts and Amanda (Loverde) and DJ Dobbs; sons and daughters-in-law, Patrick and Ginger (Tanner) Loverde and Michael and Stacy (Barnabei) Loverde; stepdaughter and son-in-law Karin (Posvar) and Craig Picket; and stepson and daughter-in-law Scott and Kathy (Halsell) Posvar. He is also survived by grandchildren Alexander and Mitchell Loverde; Cecilia and Steven Albregts; Sydney, Samantha, and Addison Loverde; Roxanne and Nicolette Dobbs; and step-grandchildren Dean and Jacob Posvar; Lillian and Weston Picket; and Jason, Joshua, and Justin Albregts; as well as multiple great-grandchildren. In addition, he leaves behind his sister Alice (Loverde) Savage, brothers and sister-in-law Vernon Loverde and Charles and Alicia (Perez) Loverde, and additional brothers-and-sisters-in-law Dennis Linn and Paul and Caryl (Linn) Kaplan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert Angelo and Charlotte (Prather) Loverde, his sister, Elizabeth (Loverde) Bagwell, his wife of 47 years, Sharon (Linn) Loverde, his sisters-in-law, Carol (Egenolf) Loverde and Shirley (Huddleston) Linn, and his son-in-law, Steven Albregts. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, from 9 AM - 12 PM, at Dunwoody Country Club, 1600 Dunwoody Club Drive, Atlanta, GA, followed by a graveside ceremony from 1 PM - 2 PM at Arlington Memorial Park, 201 Mt. Vernon Hwy NW, Sandy Springs, GA. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made in his memory to Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, ATTN: Pam McAdams, 1440 Clifton Road, Suite 170, Atlanta, GA 30322.
|Source:||Dunwoody Crier||(Thanks to Barry Kanne)|
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.
Relive the 90s with a Ham Radio Pager! POCSAG!
Dec 19, 2019
Ham Radio Crash Course
Pagers are alive and well in ham radio! Using your digital Hotspot you can relive the 90's with a pager that receives on ham radio frequencies. You can also set your pager up to receive ham radio news like band conditions, SOTA spots and DXCluster information. It is also a great environment to homebrew your own applications to send information to your pager!
Big thank you to Andrew Sims KBØOTY for sending me the pager, programing cable and software.
The following is all the gear and accounts you need to setup a pager (no affiliation to my channel):
Monthly newsletter, stickers, private content:
Links to products in the video: https://www.amazon.com/shop/hamradioc...
Companies can send demo products to: Josh Nass P.O Box 5101 Cerritos, Ca. 90703-5101
|Source:||YouTube||(Thanks to Barry Kanne)|
Auction 103 Bids Top $3 Billion
The take in the FCC’s third auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses is topping $3 billion. After 19 rounds of bidding on Wednesday, gross proceeds were more than $3.6 billion. Round 21 bidding is slated to begin at 10 a.m. today.
Auction 103 is the agency’s third auction of UMFUS licenses. A total of 3,400 megahertz of spectrum, the most spectrum ever offered in an auction, is being offered in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. These bands will be licensed as 100-megahertz blocks covering Partial Economic Areas.
FCC Authorizes Nearly $89M in Funding for Rural Broadband
The FCC Monday authorized nearly $89.2 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to more than 123,000 unserved rural homes and businesses across 21 states. The action represents the eighth wave of support from last year’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction. Broadband providers will begin receiving funding later this month. Here is a list of companies receiving funding.
|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.
Gross Bids Approaching $4 Billion in FCC’s Third Millimeter Wave Spectrum Auction
Gross revenues topped $3.92 billion at the end of Round 20 on the seventh day of bidding in the FCC’s Auction 103. The auction is the Commission’s third consecutive auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses since this time last year, and offers a total of 3,400 megahertz of spectrum — the most spectrum ever offered in an auction — in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. The massive capacity and ultra-fast speeds enabled by these millimeter wave (mmW) bands make them particularly well suited for the next generation of wireless services, known as 5G. The spectrum is being licensed as 100-megahertz blocks covering Partial Economic Areas (PEAs).
The auction is currently proceeding on a three round per-day bid schedule, and bidding will go on hiatus for the holidays starting at 5:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) on Friday, December 20th. Bidding will resume on Monday, January 6, 2020, at 10:00 AM ET. The auction is being conducted using limited information procedures, so the identities of bidders for licenses in any given area will not be made public until after the auction has completed.
Bid activity to this point has been decidedly focused on the Category MN license blocks (representing contiguous spectrum in the Upper 37 and 39 GHz bands) and has largely steered clear of to the higher frequency Category P (47 GHz) blocks. This is likely because AT&T and other nationwide carriers already have significant incumbent 39 GHz holdings, which licenses they recently returned to the FCC as part of the incentive auction and rebanding process. Incumbent licensees will receive a cash payment equal to the winning bid price for the 39 GHz spectrum they returned, or they can use the cash to reduce the cost of new mmW licenses they seek to acquire.
A list of the 35 qualified bidders for Auction 103 is available here and includes many of the usual suspects. AT&T is participating in the auction through its FiberTower subsidiary; Verizon through its subsidiary Straight Path Spectrum; T-Mobile and Sprint filed separate short-form applications (Sprint as “ATI Sub LLC”) but each included a prohibited communications rule waiver request in light of their pending merger; and DISH Network is participating as Window Wireless LLC. Short-form applicants are precluded from communicating or disclosing any information related to bids or bidding strategies – including post-auction market structure – or discussing settlement agreements during a “quiet period” that extends until after post-auction down payment deadline.
AT&T and T-Mobile emerged as top spenders at the 24 GHz auction (Auction 102), where AT&T spent close to $980 million for 831 licenses covering 383 PEAs. On average AT&T has about 600 MHz of mmW spectrum nationwide, company executives have said. T-Mobile, meanwhile, bid about $800 million for spectrum licenses in the 24 GHz band and the company spent close to $40 million on 28 GHz spectrum in Auction 101. Verizon has extensive 28 GHz incumbent license holdings from its acquisition of XO Communications and its NextLink subsidiary, and it spent an additional $505 million for 28 GHz licenses in Auction 101.
It is unclear how long Auction 103 bidding will continue, but analysts have suggested that overall demand for mmW spectrum is cooling as more and more mmW spectrum becomes available, and the industry’s attention turns to other types of spectrum — specifically midband spectrum – for 5G.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.
FCC Adopts NPRM on 5.9 GHz Band Sharing
The FCC last week voted to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to the 5.9 GHz (5.850-5.925 GHz) band, so this spectrum can be repurposed for unlicensed use. For the past two decades, the entire 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band has been reserved for use by Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), a radio service originally designed to enable vehicle-related communications. However, according to the FCC, DSRC still has not been widely deployed, and this spectrum therefore generally remains unused.
In the NPRM, the FCC proposes to designate the lower 45 megahertz of the band for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi. This 45-megahertz sub-band can be combined with existing unlicensed spectrum to provide cutting-edge high-throughput broadband applications on channels up to 160 megahertz wide. “The adjacent 5.725-to-5.850 GHz band is currently available for unlicensed operations, making this 45 MHz sub-band ideally suited for unlicensed use,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a prepared statement. “Having more contiguous spectrum here is essential for the larger channels needed to support innovative use cases.”
The FCC is proposing to dedicate the remaining 30 megahertz of the band for use by transportation and vehicle safety-related communication services. Specifically, in the NPRM, the FCC proposes to revise its rules to provide Cellular Vehicle to Everything (CV2X), an emerging standard for transportation applications, with exclusive access to the upper 20 megahertz of the band. Under the FCC’s current rules, no spectrum is allocated for C-V2X. The NPRM seeks comment on whether to retain the remaining 10 megahertz for use by DSRC systems or to dedicate it for C-V2X use.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Senate Committee Approves 5G Spectrum Bill
On December 11, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, approved a group of bills which included S. 2881, the 5G Spectrum Act, and S. 2204, the Data Analytics Robocall Technology Act (DART Act). These bills are now subject to approval by the full Senate.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Committee, said, “Today the committee approved several important bills, including the 5G Spectrum Act. This legislation would get crucial mid-band spectrum into the market as fast as possible, and the auction proceeds would benefit Americans who have been on the wrong side of the digital divide.”
The 5G Spectrum Act requires the FCC to make available via auction 280 MHz in the band of frequencies between 3700 2megahertz and 4200 megahertz, inclusive. The bill would also require the FCC to deposit 50% of the gross revenues from the auction (less relocation costs) in the Treasury, with the remainder to compensate those relinquishing rights to spectrum to be auctioned.
BloostonLaw: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
FCC Announces FM Minor Change Application Freeze Ahead of Auction 106
On December 13, the FCC announced that it will not accept FM commercial and noncommercial educational (NCE) minor change applications during the Auction 106 Form 175 application filing window. This window will open on January 29, 2020, and close on February 11, 2020.
In Auction 106, scheduled to begin on April 28, 2020, the FCC will make available through competitive bidding procedures 130 vacant non-reserved band allotments in the FM broadcast service. FM minor change applications, which can now be filed on a first-come first-served basis, must protect the reference coordinates of each of these allotments.
As part of the pre-auction procedures, an auction participant must file Form 175, Application to Participate in an FCC Auction. In conjunction with its Form 175 submission, an auction participant also may specify preferred site coordinates, and thereby gain protection for a potential transmitter site. However, absent a freeze during the Form 175 filing period, an existing station could file a minor change proposal that would be mutually exclusive with an auction applicant’s new station proposal at its preferred site, thereby subjecting the minor change application to auction procedures. This freeze also will include reserved band minor change applications to avoid potential conflicts between these filings and Form 175 applications. According to the FCC, these temporary freezes are designed to avoid conflicts between the frozen filings and auction proposals, and to promote “a more certain and speedy auction process.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast.
House Passes Secure Supply Chain, Broadband Mapping Legislation
On December 16, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) announced the passage by voice vote in the House of Representatives of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act (HR 4998). According to a press release, the Act:
“Securing our networks from malicious foreign interference is critical to America’s wireless future. Companies like Huawei and its affiliates pose a significant threat to America’s commercial and security interests because a lot of communications providers rely heavily on their equipment. This bipartisan legislation will protect our nation’s communications networks from foreign adversaries, and help small and rural providers remove and replace suspect network equipment. We look forward to swift action in the Senate so we can send this bill to the President’s desk and protect our national security,” the leaders said.
The same day, Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) announced that two bipartisan bills to improve broadband mapping that passed the House.
Specifically, the House passed the following bills:
“The first step in expanding broadband to communities in America who lack adequate access is to understand exactly where those communities are. These bipartisan bills will help us assess the availability of Internet across our country and take the necessary steps to improve connectivity for all Americans, regardless of their zip code. Importantly, these bills will help ensure we are not repeating past mistakes and are directing our limited resources to the communities who need them most. We look forward to swift action in the Senate to send these bipartisan bills to President Trump’s desk,” Walden and Latta said.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Proposes $9.9 Million Fine for Spoofed Robocalls
On December 12, the FCC proposed a $9,997,750 fine on Kenneth Moser and his telemarketing company Marketing Support Systems for apparently making more than 47,000 unlawful spoofed robocalls over a two-day period. Moser apparently unlawfully spoofed the telephone number assigned to another telemarketing company when transmitting prerecorded voice calls containing false accusations against a political candidate shortly before California’s 2018 primary election.
Moser was in the business of providing robocall services, including political robocalls, to others. On May 30 and 31, 2018, Moser apparently made 47,610 robocalls that appeared to originate from a different telemarketing company, HomeyTel, with which Moser has had a long and contentious relationship. As a result of these calls, HomeyTel, which advertises that it provides legal robocalling services to political candidates, received a multitude of complaints from consumers who received the calls, and a cease-and-desist letter from the candidate.
The calls took place about one week prior to the primary election for the California State Assembly. The calls made allegations about a specific candidate which had already been investigated and disproven by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The California Secretary of State referred a complaint about the matter to the FCC, which investigated, resulting in the proposed fine.
In addition to finding that Moser apparently violated the Truth in Caller ID Act, the FCC found that Moser sent more than 11,000 prerecorded voice messages to wireless phones, without consent, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA). The FCC found that Moser also violated the TCPA’s requirement that prerecorded messages include the phone number and identity of the entity responsible for initiating the call. As a result, the FCC also issued a citation for TCPA violations.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Proposes to Facilitate Shared Use of the 3.1-3.55 GHZ Band for 5G
On December 12, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket No. 19-348 (FCC 19-130), proposing changes to the rules governing the 3.1-3.55 GHz band, which would be the first step to making spectrum in this band available for advanced commercial services, including 5G. This spectrum could eventually augment the 3.5 GHz “Mid-band” spectrum that is to be sold at auction in June 2020. Mid-band spectrum offers propagation more similar to PCS and AWS spectrum, and should therefore be better suited for mobile 5G operations that cannot be as easily accommodated in the 5G spectrum sold in the past several auctions. Many auction winners may view Mid-band spectrum as a tool to augment their mostly fixed 5G operations to add a mobility element.
The MOBILE NOW Act, passed by Congress last year, requires the Commission and the Department of Commerce to make available new spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use, and further requires the Commission to work with NTIA to evaluate whether commercial wireless services and federal incumbents could share use of mid-band spectrum between 3.1 and 3.55 GHz. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is an initial step toward potential shared use of this spectrum between federal operations and commercial services.
Specifically, the NPRM proposes to remove and relocate the non-federal users in the 3.3-3.55 GHz portion of the band, which currently is allocated for non-federal secondary radiolocation services and amateur use. The item also seeks comment on the relocation options and transition mechanisms for these incumbent non-federal users to the 3.1-3.3 GHz band or to other frequencies.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast
FCC Proposes Over $600,000 in Fines Against Pirate Broadcasters in Boston
On December 12, the FCC adopted two Notices of Apparently Liability proposing a combined total of $604,020 against two separate unlicensed radio station broadcasters in the Boston, Massachusetts area. It each case, the FCC proposed the maximum allowable fines.
First, the FCC proposed a $151,005 fine against Acerome Jean Charles, the operator of a longstanding unlicensed radio station called Radio Concorde. The FCC received a complaint from a local Boston-area licensed broadcaster alleging that Radio Concorde’s broadcasting on 106.3 MHz was interfering with the broadcaster’s new FM translator station at 106.1 MHz. FCC field agents investigated the complaint and formally and repeatedly warned Jean Charles, instructing him to cease unauthorized broadcasts, and outlining the consequences if he continued to do so. The FCC’s rules allow an exception for unlicensed low power operation in the FM broadcast band are permitted at very low power levels (250 microvolts/meter). Radio Concorde, according to evidence collected by FCC field agents, broadcast at much higher power levels and thus required a license. The apparently illegal radio station was broadcasting at 106.3 MHz from the Mattapan neighborhood in Boston.
Second, the FCC proposed three fines totaling $453,015 against Gerlens Cesar for simulcast programming on three unauthorized transmitters on two different frequencies in the same area. Cesar apparently simulcasts Radio TeleBoston on three unauthorized transmitters on two different frequencies. His operation thus had the potential to cause interference in various locations in and around Boston and at different channels on the FM dial. The FCC received complaints from residents of Boston and Randolph, Massachusetts of an illegal station operating at both 90.1 and 92.1 MHz. One of those complaints identified Cesar, owner of GC Computer, as the operator of Radio TeleBoston. FCC field agents were able to locate the transmitters and determine that they far exceeded the allowable power level for unlicensed broadcasting. The FCC issued Cesar multiple written notices that his conduct was illegal and had to cease. Cesar nonetheless continued to broadcast Radio TeleBoston from multiple transmitters and frequencies, none of which were licensed, resulting in the proposed fine.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.
JANUARY 15: Form 855 HAC Compliance Certification The next Hearing Aid Compatibility regulatory compliance certification, certifying compliance with the FCC’s HAC handset minimums as well as enhanced record retention and website posting requirements for the 2019 calendar year, will be due January 15, 2020, for all CMRS service providers that had operations during any portion of 2019. Companies that sold their wireless licenses during 2018 and that didn’t otherwise provide mobile wireless service (e.g., via resale) during the 2019 calendar year won’t have any obligation to file a HAC compliance certification for the 2019 calendar year. Under current FCC rules, Tier III service providers are required to offer at least 50% or ten (10) handsets that are rated M3- or better, and at least 33% or ten (10) handsets that are rated T3- or better. Beginning April 3, 2020, at least 66% of a Tier III provider’s handset must meet ratings of M3- or better and T3- or better BloostonLaw has prepared a 2019 HAC Regulatory Compliance Template to facilitate our clients’ compliance with the revised HAC rules. Contact Cary Mitchell if you would like to obtain a copy of the HAC Regulatory Compliance Template.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.
FEBRUARY 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: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks--including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks--from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
FEBRUARY 1: Live 911 Call Data Reports – Non-Nationwide Providers that do not provide coverage in any of the Test Cities must collect and report aggregate data based on the largest county within its footprint to APCO, NENA, and NASNA on the location technologies used for live 911 calls in those areas. Clients should obtain spreadsheets with their company’s compliance data from their E911 service provider (e.g., Intrado / West).
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell.
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