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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — February 1, 2019 — Issue No. 841

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

IS BROADBAND "TELECOMMUNICATIONS"?

Net neutrality court case preview: Did FCC mess up by redefining broadband?

Ajit Pai's net neutrality repeal faces legal test in oral arguments Friday.

JON BRODKIN - 1/31/2019, 11:20 AM


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai speaking at a press conference on October 1, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Oral arguments in the case against Ajit Pai's net neutrality repeal are scheduled for Friday morning, and net neutrality advocates are confident that they will be victorious.

The groups that sued the Federal Communications Commission to reverse the repeal argue that Pai offered insufficient legal justification for deregulating the broadband industry.

The Obama-era net neutrality rules, which were upheld in court in 2016, relied on the FCC's Title II authority over telecommunications services. When it eliminated the net neutrality rules, Pai's FCC argued that broadband is not a telecommunications service and that it should be treated instead as a lightly regulated information service.

Courts generally give deference to FCC classifications, so Pai's opponents will have the burden of proving that the FCC's reasoning wasn't legally sound.

"We are confident the court will vacate the FCC's decision and we look forward to Friday's oral arguments," said Chris Lewis, vice president of advocacy group Public Knowledge, one of dozens of petitioners seeking to overturn the repeal.

Is broadband “telecommunications”?

The oral arguments are scheduled to begin Friday at 9:30am at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and should last about three hours. The court provides live audio streams of all oral arguments. The sides have also detailed their arguments in court filings—here's the petitioners' joint brief and the FCC and Department of Justice defense of the repeal.

Lewis and other net neutrality proponents spoke to reporters about the upcoming oral arguments in a press conference Wednesday.

Under US law, telecommunications is defined as "the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received."

The FCC's argument that broadband isn't a telecommunications service doesn't hold up, according to advocacy group Free Press, another petitioner in the case.

"As a legal matter, broadband should be classified as a telecommunications service under the Communications Act," Free Press Policy Director (and attorney) Matt Wood said at the press conference. "ISPs send our speech to each other. They don't step in and dictate what we can say or change it in any way."

The topic was also addressed by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who helped write the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a major update to the Communications Act that contains the definition of telecommunications.

"Both the plain language [of the law] and congressional intent make clear that broadband is a telecommunications service," Markey said. "As the House author of the bill I know firsthand what we intended in 1996. Yet Chairman Pai ignored the statute and our intent when the FCC reclassified broadband to an information service and eliminated net neutrality rules."

It could be months before the court's three-judge panel issues a decision, and either side could appeal. There was a six-month wait between oral arguments and a ruling in the case that upheld Obama-era rules.

FCC: Broadband is an information service

US law defines an information service as "the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications."

The FCC/DoJ brief notes that the FCC had classified broadband as an information service under previous administrations before the Obama-era FCC decided that broadband is telecommunications. The government brief argues:

The Commission reasonably classified broadband Internet access as an information service because, among other things, it offers users the "capability" for "'acquiring' and 'retrieving' information" from websites and applications "and 'utilizing' information by interacting with stored data." The Supreme Court held in Brand X that it was reasonable for the Commission to conclude that Internet access is an information service, given that "subscribers can reach third-party Web sites via 'the World Wide Web, and browse their contents, [only] because their [broadband] provider offers the capability for… acquiring, [storing]… retrieving [and] utilizing… information.'" The agency made the same reasonable finding here.

The FCC's opponents argued in their brief that the Brand X decision from 2005 doesn't apply here. Brand X dealt with the question of how consumers perceive broadband provider services, but the business model used by ISPs at the time of Brand X is now "largely extinct," they wrote. Early ISPs "created their own portals and bolted their own add-on information services [such as email] onto their transmission path," the brief noted. But ISPs today serve primarily as a pathway to third-party services.

"The question on which the FCC now dwells is entirely different: is a transmission that otherwise meets the definition of 'telecommunications' properly classified as [an] 'information service' based on its 'capability' of facilitating interaction with third-party providers of information services? This question has nothing to do with consumer perception—the subject of Brand X's inquiry," they wrote.

FCC “ignored” investment evidence

The federal Administrative Procedure Act requires the FCC to "show that there are good reasons for the new policy," the 2016 ruling that upheld net neutrality rules said. Net neutrality proponents argue that Pai's FCC didn't provide a compelling policy justification for repeal.

Pai's argument for repeal was based almost entirely on his claim that broadband capital spending declined in response to net neutrality rules. Yet Internet providers admitted to investors that the rules did not harm broadband capital spending, and capital investments for some major ISPs fell after Pai's repeal.

The FCC "ignored evidence that undercuts its case, which proceeds from the false premise that network investments turn on a dime in reaction to the latest developments in Washington," Lewis said. "The FCC emphasized industry submissions that purported to show that [Title II] reclassification decreased network investment, while ignoring contrary statements from the same industry parties made to their investors."

The FCC/DoJ brief argues that "Total capital investment by broadband providers increased each year from 2009 to 2014; began to decrease when the Title II Order was enacted in 2015; and fell again in 2016—even though the economy as a whole continued growing." The FCC/DoJ brief said that Internet providers' statements to investors are "selective quotations," "susceptible to multiple interpretations . . . and do not address whether these companies would have increased investment in their networks" if net neutrality rules hadn't been adopted.

Pai's opponents are also challenging his attempt to preempt state net neutrality laws. The problem with the FCC's preemption argument, according to opponents, is that the FCC is trying to preempt state laws while simultaneously arguing that the FCC itself has no authority to strictly regulate broadband. If the FCC doesn't have authority over broadband, the FCC also lacks authority to preempt state broadband rules, the argument goes.

The FCC "claims to preempt state law without having under its own theories any authority to do so," Lewis said.

The FCC and DoJ argue that state net neutrality laws violate a "federal policy of non-regulation," and that broadband "is an interstate service that should be subject to uniform regulation."

Repeal’s risk to consumers

The FCC failed to consider how its repeal would increase risks for consumers, said Sarah Morris, deputy director of New America's Open Technology Institute. There's a long history of ISPs interfering with content, she said, pointing to interconnection payment disputes that slowed down Internet access for months at a time before the Obama-era FCC imposed net neutrality rules.

Incompas General Counsel Angie Kronenberg said that with net neutrality rules off the books, ISPs "can charge higher prices to their competitors over the Internet, they can slow them down, they can throttle them, they can favor their own programming. These are the things we're fighting for."

Things could get worse if the FCC wins in court, because ISPs seem to be on their "best behavior" while the neutrality repeal is still subject to court review, Mozilla COO Denelle Dixon said. Mozilla is the lead petitioner against the FCC in the case against the repeal.

Yesterday's press conference also included representatives of the Santa Clara County Fire Department, which suffered throttling at the hands of Verizon while fighting California's largest-ever wildfire last year.

"What the Verizon example shows is ISPs will act in their economic interest, disregarding public safety," Santa Clara County Counsel James Williams said.

Verizon's throttling of the fire department's "unlimited" data plan wouldn't necessarily have violated net neutrality rules. But the FCC could have evaluated the case under its Title II authority if it hadn't ceded its Title II authority over broadband.

"Right now, there is no cop on the beat to assess whether problematic behavior from ISPs is a violation of net neutrality," Morris said. "Under the previous net neutrality regime, we would have been able to have an administrative agency look at the facts [in Santa Clara] and determine whether a violation of the rules occurred. We no longer have that."

Source: arsTECHNICA

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
Wireless
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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.

 

 

 

 

 

About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIME TO HUDDLE UP

Let's get together and share ideas. Our competitors are not other paging companies, they are other technologies.

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 Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need your help. This is probably the only weekly news source about paging and wireless messaging.

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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)
Wex International Limited

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Leavitt Communications

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leavitt

Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

bendix king COM

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

   
UNICATION

WE ARE STILL STOCKING AND SELLING THE UNICATION ELEGANT PAGERS

Contact us for price and availability please

Philip C. Leavitt
Manager
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
CONTACT INFORMATION
E-mail: pcleavitt@leavittcom.com
Web Site: www.leavittcom.com
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt

WEX INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

Hong Kong
ONE SOURCE FOR ALL YOUR REQUIREMENTS OF PAGERS
FOR IN-HOUSE AND WIDE AREA NETWORK PAGING

POCSAG ALPHANUMERIC PAGERS TO SUIT EVERY REQUIREMENT

W8001 (4 Line/8 Line IP67 Alphanumeric Pager)

W8008 Thinnest IP67 Rated Alphanumeric Pager 4 Line/8 Line, OLED Display

W2028 (2 Line/4 Line Alphanumeric Pager)

For Trade inquiries contact:
Eric Dilip Kumar
eric@wex.com.hk

  • Available in VHF, UHF & 900 MHz Full Range Frequency Bands
  • We are OEM for Major Brand names in USA and Europe
  • We also Design and Manufacture POCSAG Decoder Boards
  • We can Design and Manufacture to customer specifications
  • Factory located in Shenzhen, China
  • Pagers have FCC, RoHs, C-Tick, CE-EMC, IC Approvals

Visit our websites for more details www.wex.com.hk

For ESPAÑOL, PORTUGUÊS AND DEUTSCH versions, please go to:
www.pagermaker.com

FCC Revises Deadlines
Following Resumption of Operations

January 30, 2019

In a Public Notice issued January 29, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it has further extended deadlines for filings following the resumption of standard operations after the shutdown and that this new schedule supersedes all previously communicated extensions. In addition, through this Notice, the FCC announces the status of filings received during the shutdown. Below are highlights of the Notice that pertain to most members and customers of the Enterprise Wireless Alliance.

  • General deadlines for filings in proceedings that were due between January 3 and January 7, inclusive, will be due on January 30, 2019. Filings that would otherwise be required to be filed between January 8 and February 7 will be due for filing on February 8.
  • All ULS applications and notifications that were originally due to be filed in accordance with FCC rules on January 3 through and including February 8 are now due on February 8. This extension does not apply to filings associated with spectrum auction activities authorized by Section 309(j), including the broadcast incentive auction.
  • All ULS Filings that were held during the lapse in funding through January 25 —as well as any other ULS filings that were held from January 26 through January 29 — will be considered received on January 29, 2019.
  • Any Special Temporary Authority that would have expired from January 3 through January 29 is extended until February 8, except to STAs that relate to the post-incentive auction transition or other activities authorized under Section 309(j).
  • The Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System will resume operations on the afternoon of January 30.

The Public Notice also contains information regarding the Tower Construction Notification System, Environmental Assessments and other systems. If your business pertains to the use of these systems, please review the Public Notice.

If you have questions, please contact your EWA Spectrum Advisor or call Customer Service at 800-482-8282.

Sincerely,

Andrea Cumpston
Communications Director

Source: Enterprise Wireless Alliance  

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.

  • Commercial Paging systems.
  • Healthcare Paging systems.
  • Public Safety Emergency Services Paging systems.
  • Demand Response Energy Grid Management.

Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.

  • Use as a stand-alone unit or in wide area network.
  • Mix with other transmitter brands in an existing paging network.
  • Adjustable from 20-250 watts.
  • 110/240 VAC or 48VDC.
  • Absolute Delay Correction.
  • Remote Diagnostics.
  • Configurable alarm thresholds.
  • Integrated Isolator.
  • Superb Reliability.
  • Improved amplifier efficiency.
  • Most reliable high-powered paging transmitter available.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

Back To Paging

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Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!

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Easy Solutions

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Providing Expert Support and Service Contracts for all Glenayre Paging Systems.

The GL3000 is the most prolific paging system in the world and Easy Solutions gladly welcomes you to join us in providing reliable support to the paging industry for many more decades in the future.

Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full-time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or  e-mail  us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119
Telephone: 214 785-8255
Website: www.EasySolutions4You.com
E-mail: vaughan@easysolutions4you.com

Easy Solutions

No Change in Motorola-Hytera ITC Decision Following Presidential Review

By Danny Ramey, Web Editor
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The presidential review period in Motorola Solutions’ patent infringement suit against Hytera Communications with the International Trade Commission (ITC) passed with no change to the ITC’s final determination.

As a result, exclusion and cease-and-desist orders preventing the importation, sale and distribution of Hytera Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products found to infringe three Motorola patents went into effect Jan. 16.

In November, the ITC released a final determination confirming an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) initial determination that Hytera infringed several Motorola patents and recommending exclusion and cease-and-desist orders against the infringing products. However, the ITC also overturned the ALJ’s finding that redesigned products submitted by Hytera for the ITC’s approval infringed Motorola patents.

Under ITC rules, the U.S. president, or a representative, has 60 days to disapprove a final determination by the ITC. The ITC’s final determination was issued Nov. 16.

Hytera products affected by the exclusion and cease-and-desist orders are the MD652, MD782, BD302, BD362, BD502, PD412, PD502, PD562, PD602, PD662, PD682, PD702, PD752, PD782, PD792, PD982, X1e and X1p radios, as well as the RD622 and RD982 repeaters.

“The commencement of the importation ban and the rejection of Hytera’s request for a repair and service exception are major steps in holding Hytera accountable for its theft and serial infringement of our patents, technology and innovation,” said Mark Hacker, general counsel and chief administrative officer for Motorola Solutions, said in a statement. “Motorola Solutions welcomes legitimate competition, but it is only legitimate when companies compete on the basis of their own original technologies. We will continue to vigorously defend our intellectual property for the benefit of our stakeholders around the world, and we look forward to presenting our trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement claims to a jury in Chicago in November.”

Hytera released a firmware update that upgrades existing products to the capabilities of the new, redesigned i-Series products and began selling the i-Series products in place of existing products in November.

“The review is simply the procedural conclusion of a process all parties understood two months ago, and the main takeaway remains that Hytera’s new generation of i-Series DMR radios do not infringe any patents, and we will continue to be able to offer our entire product line in the U.S.,” a Hytera spokesperson said. “The new generation of i-Series products is already available to our dealers and customers, despite Motorola Solutions’ attempts to suggest otherwise. Motorola Solutions’ continued efforts to misinform, rehash and reframe the ITC ruling are aimed at confusing our customers in an ongoing campaign seeking to exclude us from competing in the market. That is why Hytera is suing Motorola Solutions for various forms of anticompetitive conduct under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Motorola has also filed theft of trade secrets and patent infringement suits against Hytera in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The patent infringement suit was put on hold pending the outcome of the ITC case, while the theft of trade secrets case is scheduled to go to trial in November.

Meanwhile, Hytera filed an anticompetitive practices lawsuit in the U.S. District for New Jersey, alleging that Motorola has used a monopolistic scheme including sham litigation to interfere with Hytera’s relationship with distributors and customers and prevent it from competing in the U.S. market. That case was recently transferred to Illinois after a judge determined that it rose out of similar claims to the patent infringement and theft of trade secrets suit and the legal factors favored transfer.

Source: Radio Resource International  

IMPORTANT

“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.

GLENAYRE INFRASTRUCTURE

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.

SUBSCRIBE HERE

Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

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.

CAN YOU HELP?

Can You Help The Newsletter?

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Newspapers generally cost 75¢ $1.50 a copy and they hardly ever mention paging or wireless messaging, unless in a negative way. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially?

A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year period. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems
Critical Messaging that works
Secure . . . Dependable . . .
and Encrypted

Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

Contact Us   left arrow

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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.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
TAP TNPP SNPP
HTTP WCTP SMTP
POTS (DTMF) DID (DTMF)  
 
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
TAP TNPP SNPP
HTTP HTTPS SMPP
WCTP WCTPS SMTP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

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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.

  • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
  • Large capcode capacity.
  • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
  • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
  • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
  • Message activated Alarm Output.
  • 8 programmable relay outputs.
  • Send notifications of a system problem.
  • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
  • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
  • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
  • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
  • Power 5VDC.
  • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Consultant
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359
www.wirelessplanners.com left arrow
wirelessplannerron@gmail.com left arrow

Wireless Network Planners

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Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

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-1

ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.

ABX-3

Common Features:

  • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
  • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
  • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
  • Form C relay—control local connection.
  • Power Loss Indicator.
  • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
  • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

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New macOS malware steals your cookies to swipe your cryptocurrency

I never liked the Cookie Monster

STORY BY: Matthew Beedham

Update 08:12 UTC, February 1: Original reporting placed MyEtherWallet alongside the affected crypto-currency exchange services. MyEtherWallet is not a true exchange, it is an interface service for the Ethereum blockchain. MyEtherWallet contacted Hard Fork to clarify that it doesn’t use cookies so won’t be affected by CookieMiner in that sense, however, if you save your passwords in Chrome you may still be vulnerable.

Security researchers from Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 have identified a new cryptocurrency stealing malware. What has been dubbed as “CookieMiner,” specifically targets Mac users and the cookies related to their logon credentials for cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitstamp, and Ethereum blockchain service, MyEtherWallet.

There be gold in them cookies
The new malware was uncovered after examining the infamous OSX.DarthMiner which surfaced late last year.

“It sparked our interest as it was a new variant with additional functionality,” Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat intelligence at Unit 42, told Hard Fork.

It also attempts to steal passwords saved in Chrome, and text messages stored in iTunes backups. When all this information is in the hands of attackers, it’s quite easy for them to steal cryptocurrency from the victim’s exchange accounts.

Having a person’s login credentials usually isn’t enough to gain access to their account if they have 2FA enabled. However, if the hacker has their authentication cookies too, they can use these to make the login attempt appear as if it’s connected to a previously verified session. If so, the website won’t ask for the login attempt to be authenticated.

According to Miller-Osborn, this attack is indicative of old-school malware methods being tweaked for success in the cryptocurrency space.

“There are a lot of coin-miners and other malware in the wild and targeting credentials or cookies stored in browsers is not new,” Miller-Osborn added. “Targeting all of these with apparent focus on gaining access to cryptocurrency exchanges and trying to avoid [multi-factor authentication] protections is newer.”

Sneaky sneaky
That’s not all. The malware also installs some coin mining software that uses the victim’s system to mine cryptocurrency without them knowing.

The crypto-jacking software, on the surface, takes a similar form to the XMRIG coin miner which usually mines Monero. But in this case, the miner is configured to mine Koto, a small-time Japanese cryptocurrency. Although Miller-Osborn clarified, “[t]here isn’t enough data to point to who is behind this or where they are located.”

Perhaps Koto was chosen as it’s a privacy coin and can be used to cover the attacker’s tracks. The fact it has ties with Japan might just be something else to try to throw digital forensic researchers off the trail.

Having your cryptocurrency stolen because of some purloined cookies can be avoided.

Miller-Osborn urges people to avoid ever saving credentials or credit card information within their browsers, as it’s a common attack vector for malware like this.

“They should also clear web browser caches regularly, particularly after logging into financial or other sensitive accounts. It’s quick and ensures the data is not within web browsers to steal,” she advised.

Source:

The Next Web

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Volume 7 | Issue 22


Iowa
13-Year Old Boy Falls to His Death Climbing a Tower

After discovering last week that 13-year-old Corey Brown was missing from his Marshalltown, Iowa home, police reports confirm that the body found beneath the town's cell tower is his. All indications suggest that Brown attempted to climb the tower and fell. His parents first reported his disappearance on Tuesday, January 22. The family indicated there had been an argument the night before about a cell phone.

Refusing to cite a reason for the boy's decision to climb the tower, Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper told the Times Republican, "We don’t know why Corey was climbing the tower, what happened, how he fell off the tower. All I know is that he was there and he fell. Nobody was there to talk to Corey, so we obviously can’t know his frame of mind.” Tupper added that preliminary autopsy reports suggest that Brown suffered the fatal head injury on the same night that he went missing.

In an attempt to discourage intruders, the cell tower site is surrounded by fencing. Police have confirmed that Brown climbed over the fence prior to climbing the communications tower and falling. The Marshalltown School district has released an official statement offering support and condolences to the students and community. “We want to just continue to pray for Corey and the Brown family,” Police Chief Tupper said.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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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.


 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 22, No. 5 January 28, 2019 

Special Edition


FCC Reopened – Suspended Filings Due Tuesday, January 29

The FCC reopened today after President Trump signed a bill late Friday funding the government through February 15. During that time, Congress will continue to negotiate the border security funding the President is seeking.

Per the FCC’s announcement of January 2, all FCC submissions that were due during the suspension are now due on the second day of normal operations: Tuesday, January 29. Affected filing deadlines include:

  • Reply comments on Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act NPRM (PS Docket Nos. 18-261 and 17-239).
  • Comments on Wireless Network Resiliency (PS Docket No. 11-60).
  • Comments on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM (MB Docket Nos. 17-105, 02-144; MM Docket Nos. 92-266, 93-215; CS Docket Nos. 94-28, 96-157).
  • Comments on State 911 Fee Report (Docket No. 09-14).

To the extent the due dates for filings to which reply or responsive pleadings are allowed were extended, the due dates for reply or responsive pleadings were extended by the same number of days. Accordingly, since the comment deadline for the Wireless Network Resiliency (PS Docket No. 11-60) was extended for 20 days (originally due January 9, now due January 29), reply comments for that item are now due February 13 (20 days after the original filing deadline of January 24).

Carriers with questions about deadlines that occurred during the shutdown should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Sal Taillefer.

28 GHz Auction Bidding Ends; Payments and Long Form Applications Due Shortly

On Friday January 24, there were no bids, withdrawals, or proactive activity rule waivers placed in Round 176 of FCC Spectrum Auction No. 101. Therefore, bidding in the Commission’s first auction of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses, which includes 28 GHz band 5G licenses, has concluded.

The FCC will release a public notice this week that specifies the deadline for payments and long-form application (FCC Form 601) filing, and gives details for other post-auction procedures. Consistent with the Commission’s limited information disclosure procedures for Auctions 101 and 102, the identities of winning bidders will remain non-public until after the close of bidding in Auction 102, the upcoming auction of 24 GHz licenses.

Each qualified bidder will be sent a copy of the public notice along with an individualized confidential letter providing detailed information regarding its payment obligations. These will be mailed overnight to the contact person on the bidder’s FCC Form 175. Additionally, the public notice will be posted on the Auction 101 website at www.fcc.gov/auction/101.

The FCC is reminding all Auction 101 applicants that they remain subject to the Commission’s rules prohibiting certain communications relating to the auction (i.e., information about bids, bidding strategies, market selection and the post-auction market structure) until after the deadline for winning bidders in Auction 102 (the upcoming auction of 24 GHz licenses) to submit down payments. All Auction 101 applicants remain subject to the prohibition regardless of developments during the auction process and regardless of whether they qualified to bid or became winning bidders. Thus, auction participants are under a form of gag order that is different from other spectrum auctions. This will mean that each auction applicant and its owners, affiliates, etc. will need to be careful about not having auction results discussed in public announcements, on their websites, during annual meetings or board meetings that the public can attend, or in board meeting minutes that may be publicly available because of the company’s status as a regulated entity. Since long form applications have traditionally been available for public inspection and protest, it will be interesting to see how the FCC handles this restriction. We will presumably see more discussion of this matter in the confidential instructions to be issued later this week.

In addition, the FCC will release a public notice next week that announces the upfront payment deadline and bidding start date for Auction 102.

BloostonLaw Contact: John Prendergast

Deadlines


JANUARY 31: FCC FORM 555, ANNUAL LIFELINE RECERTIFICATION FORM. Lifeline service providers are required to re-certify each of their Lifeline customers by the customer’s anniversary date – i.e., 12 months from the customer's service initiation date, or the date when their eligibility was last verified – each year. Form 555 reports the results of the annual rolling recertification process and includes data accuracy certifications. Form 555 is due January 31 to USAC, the FCC, and state regulatory commissions. Due to hurricanes, certain carriers have extensions of this filing requirement, per the FCC’s Hurricane Relief Orders applies.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

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 and Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM FOR CABLE COMPANIES. This form, plus royalty payment for the second half of calendar year 2018, is due March 1. The form covers the period July 1 to December 31, 2018, and is due to be mailed directly to cable TV operators by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office. If you do not receive the form, please contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: CPNI ANNUAL CERTIFICATION. Carriers should modify (as necessary) and complete their “Annual Certification of CPNI Compliance” for 2019. The certification must be filed with the FCC by March 1. Note that the annual certification should include the following three required Exhibits: (a) a detailed Statement Explaining How The Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance With The FCC’S CPNI Rules to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken Against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion. Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy

MARCH 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION & BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This annual form is due March 1 and September 1 annually. The FCC requires facilities-based wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service providers to report on FCC Form 477 the number of broadband subscribers they have in each census tract they serve. The Census Bureau changed the boundaries of some census tracts as part of the 2010 Census. Specifically, three types of entities must file this form:

  1. Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections — which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction — must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, BRS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services (e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.)
  2. Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs).
  3. Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: HIGH COST UNIVERSAL BROADBAND PORTAL FILING. Carriers participating in Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II, Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM), Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE), Alaska Plan, and Connect America Fund-Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) programs must file broadband deployment data with USAC where they are building out mass-market, high-speed Internet service. This information includes latitude and longitude coordinates for every location where service is available.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

MARCH 31: FCC FORM 508, CAF-BLS PROJECTED ANNUAL COMMON LINE REQUIREMENT. Each rate-of-return incumbent telecommunications carrier that does not elect voluntary model-based support to provide information needed to calculate the projected annual cost and revenue data for each of its study areas in the upcoming funding year to USAC. This information must be submitted on March 31st of each year, in order for the carrier to be eligible to receive Connect America Fund-Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS).

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

MARCH 31: FCC FORM 525, CETC LINE COUNTS. Competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs) are eligible to receive High Cost support if they serve lines in an incumbent carrier’s service area, and that incumbent carrier receives High Cost support. CETCs are eligible to receive the same per-line support amount received by the incumbent carrier in whose study area the CETC serves lines. Unlike the incumbent carriers, CETCs will use FCC Form 525 to submit their line count data to USAC. Form 525 is due by March 31 each year.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance


January
Jan. 29 – Reply comments are due on Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act NPRM.
Jan. 29 – Comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
Jan. 29 – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
Jan. 29 – Comments are due on State 911 Fee Report.
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

February
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 502 (Number Utilization and Forecast Report) is due.
Feb. 4 – Comments are due on State 911 Fee Report.
Feb. 11 – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
Feb. 13 – Reply comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
Feb. 19 – PRA comments are due on Payphone ANI Report.

March
Mar. 1 – Copyright Statement of Account Form for cable companies is due.
Mar. 1 – Annual CPNI Certification is due.
Mar. 1 – HUBB Portal Filing is due.
Mar. 1 – FCC Form 477 (Local Competition & Broadband Reporting) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 508 (CAF-BLS Projected Annual Common Line Report) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 525 (CETC Line Counts) is due.


 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 22, No. 6 January 30, 2019 

FCC Extends Deadlines for Filings Due During Shutdown

On January 29, the FCC issued a Public Notice revising filing and other deadlines following the resumption of normal operations. These revisions supersede the January 2 and January 28 Public Notices to the extent that they are inconsistent with any deadlines or time periods set forth in the January 29 Public Notice. Among other revisions, the FCC adopted a general deadline extension for filings that came due during the shutdown, as follows: filings that were due between January 3 and January 7, inclusive, are due on January 30, 2019, and filings that were due between January 8 and February 7 are due for filing on February 8, 2019. Note, however, that this extension does not apply to NORS and DIRS filings and filings related to spectrum auction activities, including the broadcast incentive auction. Furthermore, the FCC also set different deadlines for certain specific types of proceedings; see the full article below for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, John Prendergast, and Sal Taillefer.

Headlines


FCC Revises Filing and Other Deadlines Following Resumption of Operations

On January 29, the FCC issued a Public Notice revising filing and other deadlines following the resumption of normal operations. These revisions supersede the January 2 and January 28 Public Notices to the extent that those previous deadlines are inconsistent with any deadlines or time periods set forth in the January 29 Public Notice.

The biggest revision is a general extension for deadlines that fell due during the shutdown. According to the FCC, a further extension is warranted due to the fact that parties did not have full access to some electronic systems and databases during the suspension of operations. Specifically, most filings are due according to the following schedule:

  • Filings that were due between January 3 and January 7, inclusive, will be due on January 30, 2019.
  • Filings that would otherwise be required to be filed between January 8 and February 7 will be due for filing on February 8, 2019.

Due dates for fee payments that can only be made through the FCC’s Fee Filer System and that otherwise fell due between January 3 and February 7 are extended according to the same schedule set forth above for regulatory filings. All other payments remain due on their originally scheduled dates. It is important to note that this extension does not apply to NORS and DIRS filings and filings related to spectrum auction activities, including the broadcast incentive auction. Moreover, separate filing deadlines were specified for certain proceedings:

  • All ULS applications and notifications that were originally due to be filed on January 3, 2019, through and including February 8, 2019, are now due on February 8, 2019. This extension does not apply to filings associated with spectrum auction activities, including the broadcast incentive auction. In addition, all ULS filings that were held during the lapse in funding through January 25, 2019 – as well as any other ULS filings that were held from January 26 through January 29, 2019 – will be considered received on January 29, 2019.
  • Written provider responses to informal consumer complaints filed via the Consumer Complaint Center that became due during the suspension of normal operations are due on January 30, 2019, as provided in the January 28 Public Notice.
  • All online public inspection quarterly filings that were to be filed by January 10, as well as all non-quarterly filings that were required to be placed in a station’s online public inspection file between January 3 and January 28, will now have a deadline of February 11. Any filings that were made during the shutdown will need to be resubmitted to the proper Online Public Inspection File site.
  • • The comment and reply deadlines established by the Media Bureau for the Carriage Election Notice Modernization, MB Docket No. 17-317 have been extended. A new Public Notice will be published in the Federal Register establishing a new comment cycle.

To the extent the due dates for filings to which reply or responsive pleadings are allowed are extended by this Public Notice, an equivalent extension applies to the due dates for the reply or responsive pleadings so as to afford responding parties the same amount of time following the comment deadline.

Any Special Temporary Authority (STA) that would have expired from January 3, 2019, through January 29, 2019, are extended until February 8, 2019, except to the extent such STAs relate to the post-incentive auction transition or other auction activities. The Commission’s informal 180-day shot clocks for review of transactions that were suspended on January 2, 2019, due to the suspension of operations are restarted as of January 29, 2019.

Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS); Electronic Section 106 System (E-106); and the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System will resume operations on January 30, 2019. Due to the unavailability of these systems during the period of time that the Commission suspended operations, deadlines and Tribal review timelines for filings made in connection with these systems or programs, including related submissions for environmental and historic preservation review, are tolled between January 3, 2019 and January 30, 2019. Regarding the TCNS database, Tribal Nations have a 30-day period to review an application once it is uploaded to the E-106 system. Tribes that fail to respond after 30 days may be referred to the Commission to conclude review obligations. As to ASR and Environmental Assessments (EAs) filings, the public comment deadline is similarly tolled during the Commission’s suspended operations. Commission staff will adjust dates accordingly for applications that were pending within any of these systems at the time the Commission suspended operations.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC Announces Tentative Schedule for February 14

Open Meeting On January 29, the FCC announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the February Open Commission Meeting. These items were originally circulated for the January meeting but were withdrawn due to the lapse in appropriations. Further, the FCC announced that because the agency is currently funded under a Continuing Resolution that runs through February 15, the FCC's statutorily-required monthly meeting has been moved from February 21 to February 14.

The FCC publicly releases the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Commission Meeting, and one-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. These materials are linked in the summaries below; the final item considered at the meeting may differ.

  • Transitioning to CAF Phase II Auction Support in Price Cap Areas: a report and order establishing a schedule to end Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase I support in price cap areas where winning bidders in the CAF Phase II auction will begin receiving Phase II support and in areas that were not eligible for the auction, while providing interim support in areas that did not receive any bids. (WT Docket No. 10-90)
  • Licensing Noncommercial Educational Broadcast and Low Power FM Stations: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes revisions to the Commission's NCE and LPFM comparative processing and licensing rules. (MB Docket No. 19-3)
  • Elimination of Form 397: a Report and Order eliminating the requirement in Section 73.2080(f)(2) of the Commission's rules that certain broadcast television and radio stations file the Broadcast Mid-Term Report (Form 397). (MB Docket Nos. 18-23, 17-105)
  • Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS): a Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order to adopt measures, and seek comment on others, to enhance program management, prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, and improve emergency call handling in the IP CTS program. (CG Docket Nos. 13-24, 03-123)
  • Anti-Spoofing Provisions of the RAY BAUM'S Act: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to amend its Truth in Caller ID rules to implement the anti-spoofing provisions of the RAY BAUM'S Act. (WC Docket Nos. 18-355, 11-39) Open Meetings are streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Commissioner Starks Sworn In, Commission at Full Five

On January 30, Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks was sworn in to office, bringing the FCC to five members. Commissioner Starks takes the vacant seat left by Mignon Clyburn. According to news source Politico, Starks selected some former Clyburn staffers for interim posts in his office, including Daudeline Meme to be acting chief of staff and wireless legal adviser, and Michael Scurato to be acting media adviser. Randy Clarke, who previously served as FCC counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee, will be Starks' acting wireline adviser.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Law & Regulation


FCC Fines LPTV Station $144,000 for Continued Operation without Renewal

On January 30, the Commission fined the operators of a Kentucky unlicensed low-power television station $144,344. According to a Press Release, an FCC investigation found that the individuals operating the station, Vearl Pennington and Michael Williamson, continued to operate years after the FCC license for their station was canceled after they failed to file a valid renewal application. In 1990, Mr. Pennington was granted an FCC license to operate low-power television station W10BM in Morehead, Kentucky. Mr. Pennington renewed the station’s license in 1993 but failed to do so again in 1998. In 2004, the FCC’s Media Bureau wrote to Mr. Pennington to inquire if he had submitted a renewal request in 1998. Receiving no response, the Media Bureau canceled the station’s license in 2004. Mr. Pennington, joined by Mr. Williamson, continued to operate the station despite their lack of an FCC-issued license. After learning of the continued, unlicensed operation of the station, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau field agents personally warned Messrs. Pennington and Williamson that their unlicensed broadcasts violated FCC rules and the Communications Act. Despite the warning, the duo continued to operate the station.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.

Industry


U.S. Department of Justice Indicts Huawei Device Co., CEO

On January 28, the United States Department of Justice unsealed a 10-count indictment in the Western District of Washington State against Huawei Device Co., Ltd. and Huawei Device Co. USA, charging the companies with theft of trade secrets conspiracy, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice. The indictment, returned by a grand jury on January 16, details Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets from Bellevue, Washington based T-Mobile USA and then obstruct justice when T-Mobile threatened to sue Huawei in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The alleged conduct described in the indictment occurred from 2012 to 2014, and includes an internal Huawei announcement that the company was offering bonuses to employees who succeeded in stealing confidential information from other companies.

According to the indictment, in 2012 Huawei began a concerted effort to steal information on a T-Mobile phone-testing robot dubbed “Tappy.” In an effort to build their own robot to test phones before they were shipped to T-Mobile and other wireless carriers, Huawei engineers violated confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with T-Mobile by secretly taking photos of “Tappy,” taking measurements of parts of the robot, and in one instance, stealing a piece of the robot so that the Huawei engineers in China could try to replicate it. After T-Mobile discovered and interrupted these criminal activities, and then threatened to sue, Huawei produced a report falsely claiming that the theft was the work of rogue actors within the company and not a concerted effort by Huawei corporate entities in the United States and China. As emails obtained in the course of the investigation reveal, the conspiracy to steal secrets from T-Mobile was a company-wide effort involving many engineers and employees within the two charged companies.

As part of its investigation, FBI obtained emails revealing that in July 2013, Huawei offered bonuses to employees based on the value of information they stole from other companies around the world, and provided to Huawei via an encrypted e-mail address.

Under the maximum sentencing provisions applicable to corporate entities, Conspiracy and Attempt to Commit Trade Secret Theft are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000,000 or three times the value of the stolen trade secret, whichever is greater. Wire Fraud and Obstruction of Justice are punishable by a fine of up to $500,000.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Deadlines


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 and Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM FOR CABLE COMPANIES. This form, plus royalty payment for the second half of calendar year 2018, is due March 1. The form covers the period July 1 to December 31, 2018, and is due to be mailed directly to cable TV operators by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office. If you do not receive the form, please contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: CPNI ANNUAL CERTIFICATION. Carriers should modify (as necessary) and complete their “Annual Certification of CPNI Compliance” for 2019. The certification must be filed with the FCC by March 1. Note that the annual certification should include the following three required Exhibits: (a) a detailed Statement Explaining How The Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance With The FCC’S CPNI Rules to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken Against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion. Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy

MARCH 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION & BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This annual form is due March 1 and September 1 annually. The FCC requires facilities-based wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service providers to report on FCC Form 477 the number of broadband subscribers they have in each census tract they serve. The Census Bureau changed the boundaries of some census tracts as part of the 2010 Census.

Specifically, three types of entities must file this form:

  1. Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections — which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction — must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, BRS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services (e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.)
  2. Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs).
  3. Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

Calendar At-a-Glance


January
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

February
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 502 (Number Utilization and Forecast Report) is due.
Feb. 8 – Reply comments are due on Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act NPRM.
Feb. 8 – Comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
Feb. 8 – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
Feb. 8 – Comments are due on State 911 Fee Report.
Feb. 19 – PRA comments are due on Payphone ANI Report.
Feb. 25 – Reply comments are due on State 911 Fee Report.
Feb. 25 – Reply comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.

March
Mar. 1 – Copyright Statement of Account Form for cable companies is due.
Mar. 1 – Annual CPNI Certification is due.
Mar. 1 – FCC Form 477 (Local Competition & Broadband Reporting) is due.
Mar. 11 – Reply comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 525 (Delayed Phasedown CETC Line Counts) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 508 (ICLS Projected Annual Common Line Requirement) is due.


 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 19, No. 1 January 2019 

FCC Reopens Following Partial Federal Government Shutdown; Equipment Authorization Process Reactivated

The FCC reopened on Monday, January 28, 2018 after President Trump signed a bill late Friday funding the Federal Government through February 15.

Over the next two weeks, Congress will continue to negotiate the border security funding that the Administration is seeking. Unfortunately, news reports indicate that the President has given Congress less than a 50-50 chance of reaching a funding solution that he would be willing to sign. As a result, there is a distinct possibility that the FCC could once again shut down at midnight on February 15. If the FCC were to shut down again, we anticipate that the next partial government shutdown will have no impact on the FCC’s ongoing 28 GHz spectrum auction process or the upcoming 24 GHz spectrum auction since personnel responsible for running the auctions are funded from the auction proceeds. Thus, we expect the FCC to continue with the post-close auction schedule for Auction 101 and the soon to be announced schedule for Auction 102 irrespective of whether the FCC is otherwise open or closed.

Likewise, given the FCC’s recent action to reopen the Device Approval System on January 18, we anticipate that the Equipment Authorization System (EAS) would remain operational, given the FCC’s review of its statutory authority, the status of contract obligations, and lapse in funding plan. In this regard, Applications for equipment certification are reviewed and granted by private sector Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCBs). The TCBs are required to enter the application and grant of equipment certification into the EAS before the grant can become effective. Keeping the EAS active during a government shutdown will enable the TCBs to grant most equipment certifications, thereby allowing that equipment to be imported and marketed in the United States. However, TCBs will not be able to grant equipment certification for products subject to the pre-approval guidance procedure during a government shutdown that affects the FCC, because that process requires TCBs to consult with FCC staff before granting certification.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Announces Open Meeting for February 14 – Will Consider Proposed Anti-Spoofing Provisions of the RAY BAUM’S Act

The FCC has announced that it will hold its Open Meeting a week early, to ensure it can act on the agenda items ahead of a possible second government shut down. The Commission will take up the new anti-spoofing provisions of the RAY BAUM’s Act when considering a proposed Notice of Rulemaking (NPRM) at its February 14, 2019 Open Meeting. The Ray Baum’s Act has been of particular interest to Congress and the FCC given the amount of malicious caller ID spoofing that has occurred over the past few years, in which callers can manipulate caller ID information to trick the public into disclosing valuable personal information that can later be used for fraudulent activities. In particular, just last year, the FCC received over 52,000 consumer complaints about caller ID spoofing.

The NPRM would:

  • Propose changes to the FCC’s current Truth in Caller ID rules by tracking the overall language of recent amendments to the RAY BAUM’s Act by
    • Extending the reach of the FCC’s current Truth in Caller ID rules to include covered communications originating from outside the United States to recipients within the United States; and
    • Expanding the scope of covered communications services to include text messages and additional voice services.

Additionally, the FCC is seeking comment on new or revised definitions for the following terms: “text message,” “text messaging service,” “voice service,” “caller identification information,” and “caller identification service.” Finally, the FCC is interested in comments on any other changes to the FCC’s Truth in Caller ID rules that may be necessary to effectuate Congress’ intent in amending the RAY BAUM’s Act.

If the NPRM is adopted, comments would be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and reply comments would be due 30 days following the comment deadline.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Senators Reintroduce Robocall Bill

On January 17, U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), also a member of the Commerce Committee and author of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, this week reintroduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151).

When the bill was first introduced in November of last year, the TRACED Act:

  • Broadens the authority of the FCC to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call who intentionally flout telemarketing restrictions.
  • Extends the window for the FCC to catch and take civil enforcement action against intentional violations to three years after a robocall is placed.
  • Brings together the Department of Justice, FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other relevant federal agencies as well as state attorneys general and other non-federal entities to identify and report to Congress on improving deterrence and criminal prosecution at the federal and state level of robocall scams.
  • Requires providers of voice services to adopt call authentication technologies, enabling a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones.
  • Directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to help protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or texts from callers using unauthenticated numbers.

“Robocall scams are more than just a nuisance to folks, they’re a shameful tactic to prey on the vulnerable,” said Thune. “The TRACED Act holds those people who participate in robocall scams and intentionally violate telemarketing laws accountable and does more to proactively protect consumers who are potential victims of these bad actors.”

“As Americans continue to suffer an endless stream of harassing spoofed calls and robocalls, the bipartisan TRACED Act will provide every person with a phone much needed relief,” said Markey. “To address the scourge of calls, we need a simple formula: call authentication, blocking, and enforcement, and this legislation achieves all three. I thank Chairman Thune for his continued partnership on this effort, and look forward to seeing this legislation through to its passage.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy and John Prendergast

LAW OFFICES OF
BLOOSTON, MORDKOFSKY, DICKENS,
DUFFY & PRENDERGAST, LLP

2120 L St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 659-0830
(202) 828-5568 (fax)

— CONTACTS —

Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520, hma@bloostonlaw.com
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510, bhd@bloostonlaw.com
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528, gjd@bloostonlaw.com
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540, jap@bloostonlaw.com
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519, rdr@bloostonlaw.com
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554, mjs@bloostonlaw.com
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538, cary@bloostonlaw.com
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562, sta@bloostonlaw.com

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

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“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

― Plato

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK

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“Behind The Song: Congo to the Mississippi”

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Playing For Change
Published on Jan 25, 2019

Today, we take you behind the song "Congo to the Mississippi," from our latest album Listen to the Music. In this episode, we sit with Mermans Mosengo, Jason Tamba and Greg Johnson, who share their inspiration for writing this powerful Song Around The World. Take a look...

Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. The primary focus of PFC is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos called Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated PFC to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of its mission, featuring musicians met along their journey; and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting music programs for children around the world. Through these efforts, Playing For Change aims to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet. To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org

Source: YouTube  

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