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Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
I only received one response to my lawyer jokes last week, and yes it was from a lawyer. Fortunately he didn't seem to be offended but he did ask that I even the score by including some jokes this week about ham radio operators. So here goes. . .
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
We are having a cold spell in Southern, Illinois
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
TIME TO HUDDLE UP
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Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
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Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones
The star of WWDC wasn’t the Mac Pro or Dark Mode. It was privacy
Sign In with Apple could be the first step toward locked-down Apple authentication.
By Michael Simon
During Apple’s two-and-a-half hour WWDC keynote, we were treated to lots of great moments. Craig Federighi’s quip about how bloated iTunes has become. The introduction of iPadOS. And of course, the new Mac Pro.
But the theme of the show was a familiar one: privacy. For the past several years, Apple has hammered home its belief in our devices and data staying in our hands, but at WWDC, Apple put its privacy where its mouth is. Rather than rehashing themes or trotting out the usual rhetoric, Apple gave privacy a central role in every new product it announced, drawing attention to both how our devices protect our data and what could be a target.
Anyone can talk a good privacy game, but Apple is one of the few companies that is actually taking action. While Apple didn’t specifically mention Google or Facebook when talking about any of the new privacy features, the line in the sand between them and Apple became even deeper with features like one-time location sharing and background tracking alerts.
Apple’s privacy push extends to watchOS, too. One of the main features is an app called Noise, which routinely monitors background sound and alerts you when a sustained sound might be damaging to your hearing. It’s the kind of surprise-and-delight feature only Apple would think of putting in a smartwatch—let alone attempt to implement in an existing consumer product at a massive scale—but Apple also considered something most people wouldn’t think of: All of Noise’s audio processing are done in real time, and Apple doesn’t record or save any of the sounds it hears.
For any other company, that’s not a day one feature. It’s something that’s added following an apology when someone uncovers a secret trove of audio recordings on a server. Or even worse, after said recordings are stolen as part of a hack. The Noise app announcement could have came and went without a promise of privacy and no one would have questioned it. No one would have even thought of it.
Apple thought of a bunch of other things too. Click on any of the WWDC software announcements and you’ll find a section devoted to privacy. Apple is committed to making privacy and tracking simple, automatic, and easy to understand and limit, a stark difference to the way things work on all those other phones. And now Apple isn’t limiting privacy to iPhone users anymore.
Single, simple, and secure sign-ins
Apple privacy everywhere Single, simple, and secure sign-ins One of the low-key killer WWDC announcements is Sign In with Apple. Similar to the programs already offered by Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, the Sign In with Apple button will let you use your Apple ID to log into apps and websites without needing to set up a new account or create a new password.
But convenience is only part of what makes Sign In with Apple such an excellent feature. Apple has baked privacy and security so deep into Sign In with Apple that it won’t work unless your account is protected with two-factor authentication. It uses Face ID or Touch ID on the iPhone and iPad. The coolest feature of all: you can opt to use a fake email address that forwards to your real one so the service you’re signing into won’t have access to your contact info.
And of course, neither does Apple. To make sure developers adopt it, Apple is requiring it for all iOS apps that offer a sign-in option. Apple’s received a bit of criticism for making it mandatory, but I’m all for it. Yes, Apple customers are more likely to click the Sign In with Apple button, but that also means they’ll have a protected account. According to Aaron Parecki of Okta, who made a test app to try it out, Sign In with Apple prompts for a 2FA code every time you log into an app, which could get tedious for apps and devices that don’t use biometric authentication, but it’s a necessary step for insuring security.
Developers won’t even have access to your email when using Sign In with Apple.
Parecki also writes, “The only piece of useful data in the claims really is the sub value. This is the unique identifier for the user. It’s notable that this value doesn’t mean anything in particular, which is Apple’s way of preserving user privacy.” That means developers can track how often a certain user is signing into their service, but they won’t know who that user is.
Simply put, that’s a massive step forward for privacy. Developers may gripe that it’s a requirement it—and the rumor that Apple is forcing developers to put Sign in with Apple at the top of the list might go a little too far—but there’s no downside for users here. They can log into their favorite accounts and be protected from both prying eyes and unscrupulous developers. Truth be told, we don’t know what Google, Facebook, and developers are doing with the e-mails and info they get when you use an “easy” button to log in. With Sign In with Apple, we do know: nothing.
Apple privacy everywhere
Apple has long hammered home the belief that the iPhone is the most secure smartphone on the planet, but for the first time, it’s extending that beyond Siri and iCloud encryption. With Sign In with Apple, the privacy that you get with Apple apps to the other services we use.
You don’t even need an Apple device to take advantage of it. Apple will be allowing Sign In with Apple buttons for web log-ins as well, so people on Android and Windows could be using it as well, enjoying iPhone-caliber privacy without an Apple device. And I’m willing to bet Apple is working on taking it even further. I could see iOS 14 bringing an Apple Authenticator app for generating unique codes across platforms and apps. Or maybe just turning the Apple Watch into a Bluetooth security key.
Apple often says that privacy is a right and not a privilege. With iOS 13 and Sign In with Apple, it’s proving that you don’t need to buy a thousand-dollar device to get it.
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!
I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.
GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.
If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.
The Wireless Messaging News
The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.
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Ignore HIPAA At Your Own Peril
Jun 4, 2019 | Posted by Industry Expert
The results of the investigation are where things turn a dramatic turn for the worse. According to the recitation of findings in the Resolution Agreement between OCR and TMI, the non-compliant conduct discovered included:
As suggested, the initial underlying facts of not properly securing the FTP server could be chalked up to inadvertent error that would not bring a hammer down. However, as always happens following notification of a breach, OCR investigated the entity. When the investigation uncovered the widespread non-compliance, enforcement was bound to follow.
While the facts, as noted, are hopefully not indicative of how the majority of entities respond to breaches, there are some lessons to take away from the TMI settlement.
First, always check how all servers are implemented. No matter how secure a server, device, or other tools can be, the security will be quickly undercut by inadequate implementation. Oftentimes default settings will not be consistent with what an entity necessarily wants. To be sure security is effective, run through the settings and compare to best practices.
Second, do not share patient information with any downstream entity (namely from a covered entity to a business associate or from a business associate to a subcontractor) without putting a business associate agreement into place. The BAA is always the obligation of the entity higher up on the chain. If helpful, use a checklist where the boxes need to be completed when going through contracting. One of the foremost boxes to check needs to be putting a BAA into place. The fact that TMI may potentially still be sharing PHI without a BAA begs the question of how deliberate and willful the alleged misconduct may be classified. Avoiding the problem is easy though with careful attention to contracting detail.
Third, the frequent flier violation of no or delayed risk analysis appears again. It is possible that every settlement has found an inadequate risk analysis. The risk analysis is fundamental to being able to implement comprehensive and compliant security policies. The risk analysis is time-consuming and resource intensive, but skipping is not an option.
Lastly, when a breach occurs, notification is mandatory. As highlighted in a prior blog post, the required breach notification needs to be provided within 60 days of discovery of the breach. Discovery does not necessarily mean that all of the details have been finalized. When an entity is told about the breach by the FBI or other law enforcement, disputing the time of discovery will become difficult if not impossible. Pay attention to the ticking clock and inform individuals of breaches, even when such disclosure may be embarrassing.
As always, every settlement offers lessons even if the lessons may not be clear from the first glance. Ultimately, taking compliance obligations seriously and trying to do the right thing will go a long way to making those goals a reality.
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More On Apple and Privacy
By Rex Lee
Apple is only telling a half-truth but not addressing the real problem which is the fact that products such as a smartphone are supported by an “Open API Architecture.”
To fully privatize and secure a smartphone, tablet PC, connected product, or PC supported by the android OS, Apple iOS, or MS Windows OS, the APIs associated with the preinstalled apps need to be closed (see graphic below):
Your personal and professional information associated with the use of a rooted (“preinstalled”) app such as your text messaging, contact, calendar, or location app is collected by the app developers via the “open” API that supports the app and that information is then exported to the app developers servers.
What Tim Cook, CEO Apple, is saying is that Apple enables the Apple product user to secure to the device so that Apple and other developers cannot collect “certain” personal and professional information associated with the use of an app but they do not enable the user to fully secure all of data associated with the use of the Apple product which is misleading.
Additionally, if the user does not disable all permissions associated with any app (rooted or third-party- apps downloaded by user), the unsecure app will still enabled the app developer to surveil and data mine Apple product user for financial gain.
If Apple plans on addressing open APIs by closing the APIs while returning full control over the device back to the Apple product user, then I will believe that Apple is truly addressing the issues associated with surveillance and data mining business practices.
Previous article by Rex Lee on The Epoch Times published January 11th, 2019:
Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.
Internet Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
The Evolution of Mobile Phone Usage
Posted: Jun 03, 2019 6:39 PM CDT
By Matt Foley, President and Co-Founder, Scooch
Fifteen years ago, we owned several different gadgets to help us through the day, each offering a separate function. An iPod for music on the way into work, a GPS system to navigate our travels, a calculator to solve our problems, a computer to search the web, a television to watch the big game and a chunky mobile phone or landline to verbally communicate with the outside world. Today, we aren’t carrying several gadgets with us at all times. Instead, we now only need one device to perform all these functions, plus more – and it fits right in our pocket.
The mobile industry is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, the United States is one of the largest smartphone markets worldwide. Tech juggernaut, Apple, has grown its stock value by over 15,000% since 2001, leading to a worth of $1 trillion today, and the number of smartphone users in the U.S. is now 256.9 million. With millions using their smartphones nearly every minute of every day, it’s no wonder the way we use our phones has changed over the years. From pagers to T9 texting to touch screen technology, our phone usage has experienced a significant evolution and dramatically impacted each generation.
Understanding the past, present and future of the usage of our constant sidekicks will give us a glimpse into the history of the mobile industry and what lies ahead.
Pagers and beepers, also known as portable mini radio frequency devices, allowed for instant communication. Throughout the 80s and 90s, pagers developed a certain kind of status. To have one dangling from your belt loop or constantly on your person made users feel exceptionally important – the kind of importance where you need to be reached at a moment’s notice. At the beginning of the 1980s, there were 3.2 million pager users, a number that climbed to 61 million by 1994.
In the midst of the beeper boom, the world gained its first glimpse of the cell phone in 1983 with the portable mobile phone from Motorola. It cost a whopping $4,000 and resembled a home phone that you could take with you – but size-wise, tossing it into your purse was out of the question. The phone allowed you to make calls, but that was its only function. Instead of a simple message like pagers, users could communicate anytime, anywhere, without the constraints of a landline. At the time, that was okay! We had other devices to use for our daily functions. Though, as the Internet boom began to rumble in the late 90s and 00s, the mobile industry knew only offering calls was no longer going to cut it.
Texting? There’s an app for that.
As years went on, keyboards with T9 (Texting on 9 keys) texting capabilities became all the rage. Flip phones with keypads allowed users to click through numbers for access to letters, allowing texting to take place of our calls. Now, users didn’t need to communicate verbally, they could simply send a text-based message to share with a loved one. When T9 texting proved to be inefficient, full-on keyboards were added to cellphones. With its full keyboard and data capabilities, the Blackberry was marketed towards the constantly on-the-go businessman who needed to do more – draft emails, search Google, and share text messages – to name a few.
Throughout the 00s, the mobile data revolution required phones to have access to wi-fi and full web browsing capabilities. The Apple iPhone was introduced in June 2007, and with it, phones began to work smarter. The term “smartphone” was coined and with it, a new function for the mobile industry. Applications, or apps for short, were a necessary component of the iPhone. These apps gave users the chance to switch between a wide array of various phone functions, all with the touch of a finger. “There’s an app for that” became a universally popular phrase, adding to the idea that anything you could think of could become an app.
Ready, set, stream.
With the exponential rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu in the mid to late 2010s, phones became more than ever before. In fact, as of May 2019, Netflix remained the alpha of streaming services with 60 million U.S. subscribers; Hulu “trails” behind at 28 million. The “I want it now” attitude of younger generations paved the way for this type of video, TV and film content to be accessible wherever they want it, whenever they want it. With one-third of online activity spent watching videos, phone usage switched gears to stream content fast. And not just pre-recorded content – live streaming saw a boost in popularity with the creation of Facebook Live. In fact, 82% of viewers now prefer live video over social media posts. Additionally, 80% also prefer live video to reading a blog. With users demanding video content, instead of the once popular text-based content, a new era began its rise.
The growth of video streaming has also shaken up the travel industry. Instead of maneuvering a heavy laptop in the airport just to binge The Office, more people than ever simply need to bring one device – their phone. Travelers consider their smartphones to be the single most indispensable item they bring with them on their trip, ahead of their driver’s license, deodorant and toothbrush. Think about it: The last time you were on an airplane, how many people did you see glued to their phones for entertainment?
This year, the number of smartphone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark. For those five billion demanding more from their phones, what’s next for our devices? With internet video accounting for 80% of all consumer internet traffic in 2019, streaming will continue to grow exponentially. With it, our phones must adapt, and be capable of faster, higher quality streaming. A buffering YouTube video or a non-HD Game of Thrones episode is no longer going to cut it. As our phones have slowly evolved into our constant sidekicks, phones are no longer simply a tool to make calls or texts. Our devices are now branches of our own personality, each used for a different function based on an individual’s needs.
As pagers evolved to full keyboard texting which turned into video streaming, the mobile industry has experienced an incredible transformation in a short 30 years. As technology advances seemingly by the second, our smartphones might soon become smarter than us. All in all, the ability to adapt to change is necessary for the mobile industry to do more.
Matt Foley is the President and Co-Founder of Scooch.
|Source:||Inside Indiana Business|
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.
Pennsylvania is Not a ‘Happy Valley’ For Rural Coverage
Last week, a recently updated FCC report was criticized for overstating the availability of Internet service. Now, Penn State University has released a study on behalf of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania that shows the digital divide in rural parts of the state is widening rather than closing, according to TribLive.com.
The “Broadband Availability and Access in Rural Pennsylvania” study found there isn’t a single county where at least 50 percent of the population received broadband connectivity.
Additionally, the study found that while the Commission notes that more than 800,000 Pennsylvania residents do not have access to broadband connectivity, that number downplays the real digital divide across the state.
FCC maps rely on self-reported data by ISPs, while the Penn State research team conducted its study in 2018 by collecting more than 11 million broadband speed tests across the state. It found that median speeds did not meet the FCC’s criteria to qualify as a broadband connection, according to TribLive.com.
“The take-home message from these analyses is this: It appears that official broadband maps are becoming less accurate over time — particularly those for rural areas — and the methodology used by the FCC not only overstates broadband speeds and availability but also shows results that are less and less accurate year after year,” the study said.
In response to the study, Gov. Tom Wolf said, “Broadband is as essential in today’s society as electricity. Not having broadband limits your ability to do business, find a job, access information, and so much more. Our lack of broadband access keeps children from accessing online assignments and homework and deters businesses from moving to our state.”
Wolf introduced a Restore Pennsylvania initiative to “bridge the digital divide” in communities across the state, notes TribLive.com.
|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.
Correction to Form 481 Filing Reminder
Last week, the BloostonLaw Telecom Update inadvertently ran an older version of its annual Form 481 reminder, which described several aspects of the Form 481 filing that are no longer required. Form 481 is still due July 1. However, as with last year’s filing, network outage information for voice; unfulfilled service requests for voice and broadband; number of complaints per 1,000 subscribers for voice and broadband services; voice and broadband service rates; and the service quality certification are not required. Further, the FCC does not require copies of Form 481 to be filed with the FCC, state commissions, or tribal authorities. However, state commissions may have their own rules regarding the form that are still in effect.
We apologize for any confusion the previous Update caused.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues Proposed Rulemaking on USF Cap
On May 31, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, originally adopted May 15, seeking comment on establishing a cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF or Fund). Comment and reply comment deadlines have not yet been established.
First, the FCC broadly seeks comment on establishing an annual combined USF cap and how to adjust it over time. By way of example, the FCC proposes $11.42 billion, which is the sum of the budgets for all four USF programs in 2018, but seeks comment on whether some other amount would be appropriate. The FCC also seeks comment on whether there are ways to adjust the budget for inflation other than those methods currently in effect.
Second, the FCC seeks comment on how an overall cap could be successfully implemented. One example would be to determine when disbursements are projected to exceed the overall USF cap and, in that event, to reduce projected universal service expenditures to stay within the cap. Another method proposed by the FCC is to cap the commitments issued by USAC. As a part of this aspect of the NPRM, the FCC also seeks comment on how it can use USAC demand projections to better implement a cap. Specifically, the FCC proposes a process whereby USAC will notify the FCC if demand calculations suggest the cap will be exceeded, and seeks comment on limiting commitments by USAC that exceed the demand forecast window. In conjunction with this proposal, the FCC also seeks comment one extending USAC demand forecasts beyond the calendar year, and whether to make this information public.
Third, the FCC seeks comment on how to reduce expenditures if USAC projects the cap will be exceeded. One such proposal is to direct USAC and FCC staff to make administrative changes to reduce the size or amount of funding available to the individual program caps in an upcoming year if demand is projected to exceed the overall cap, such as limiting some or all of the automatic inflation increases in the programs projected to exceed the cap. Another is to prioritize the funding among the four universal service programs and other possible universal service pilots or programs to expenditures where USAC projects that total disbursements will exceed the overall cap. Potential metrics of prioritization could be rurality of recipient, or cost-effectiveness based on estimates of improper payments.
Finally, the FCC seeks comment on how it can make changes to individual USF programs to better manage the overall budget, such as implementing self-enforcing caps on each program, or combining the E-Rate and Rural Healthcare caps.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Service Quality Standards for Intermediate Providers Effect July 5
On June 4, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Fourth Report and Order on the implementation of the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017 (RCC Act). As a result, the service quality standards for intermediate providers — as well as the exception to those standards for intermediate providers that qualify for the covered provider safe harbor — will be effective July 5.
First, the FCC imposed on intermediate providers a general duty to complete calls. Specifically, the FCC required intermediate providers to take steps reasonably calculated to ensure that any calls they handle are in fact completed. If an intermediate provider knows, or should know, that calls are not being completed to certain areas, the intermediate provider may be in violation of this general duty if it engages in acts or omissions that allow or effectively allow these conditions to persist. According to the FCC, nothing in this rule should be construed to dictate how intermediate providers must route their traffic, nor does the general duty to deliver covered voice communications impose strict liability upon intermediate providers who fail to complete calls.
Second, when routing traffic destined for rural areas, intermediate providers must actively monitor the performance of any directly contracted downstream intermediate provider and, based on the results of such monitoring, take steps to address any identified performance issues with that provider. According to the FCC, the monitoring obligation “entails both prospective evaluation to prevent problems and retrospective investigation of any problems that arise.” The FCC clarified that prospective monitoring “includes regular observation of intermediate provider performance and call routing decision-making; periodic evaluation to determine whether to make changes to improve rural call completion performance; and actions to promote improved call completion performance where warranted,” and that retrospective monitoring requires intermediate providers to take steps reasonably calculated to correct any identified performance problems.
Third, intermediate providers must ensure that any additional intermediate providers to which they hand off calls are registered with the FCC. However, the FCC declined to require intermediate providers to submit a certification to the FCC stating that they do not transmit covered voice communications to other unregistered intermediate providers. The FCC also declined to require intermediate providers to take responsibility for ensuring the registration status of downstream intermediate providers with which they do not share a direct relationship, as it did for covered providers.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Delays Performance Measures Testing Until 2020
On May 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing a delay in the requirement to begin testing and reporting of speed and latency results until the first quarter of 2020. These requirements, adopted in July of 2018 in the FCC’s Performance Measures Order, originally required carriers subject to performance measures to begin testing in the third and fourth quarters of 2019 and report these results with an accompanying certification by July 1, 2020.
In light of issues raised in Petitions for Reconsideration and Applications for Review of the Performance Measures Order, however, as well as the need for additional technical development of the interfaces required, and the requirement for PRA approval, the FCC has elected to delay the requirement that carriers begin testing until the first quarter of 2020.
Carriers with questions about the broadband speed and latency testing requirements should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Announces Official Agenda for June Open Meeting
On May 31, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the official agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, currently scheduled for June 6. At the meeting, the FCC will consider the following items:
The links included in the descriptions of these items are to public drafts that are not final and may differ from what the FCC ultimately considers.
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.
Law & Regulation
Senate Introduces STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act
On June 3, Senator John Thune and Senator Brian Schatz introduced the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act, which would cut costs and streamline the approval periods for small cells. Specifically, this bill amends the Communications Act to require that the regulation of the placement, construction, or modification of small personal wireless service facilities by any state or local government: (1) not unreasonably discriminate among providers of the same service using comparable equipment; and (2) only permit a state or local government to approve or deny a permit or other permission to deploy such a facility. The bill further states that a state or local government may charge a fee to consider an application for such placement, construction, or modification, or to use a right-of-way or a facility in a right-of-way owned or managed by the state or local government if the fee is: (1) competitively neutral, technology neutral, and nondiscriminatory; (2) publicly disclosed; and (3) based on actual and direct costs.
Senators Thune and Schatz previously introduced this bill in the 115th Congress. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr released the following statement:
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Comment Sought on E-Rate Petition for Rulemaking
On May 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Central Texas Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Peoples Telephone Cooperative, Inc., and Totelcom Communications, LLC regarding use of E-Rate funding in areas with existing fiber networks. Comments are due July 1, and reply comments are due July 16.
According to the Public Notice, the petitioners “urge the Commission to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to consider amending Part 54 of the Commission Rules, specifically with respect to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) Schools and Libraries Program (“E-Rate”) competitive bidding requirements, to include safeguards which would discourage overbuilding of existing federally supported fiber networks.” In particular, the petitioners urge the Commission to “adopt rules that prohibit the use of universal service funds for special construction of fiber networks that overbuild existing fiber networks.”
Carriers interested in filing comments or reply comments on the Petition should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Auction 103 Officially Scheduled to Begin December 10; FCC Issues Incumbent Reconfiguration Notice
On May 31, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Public Notice adopting procedures to reconfigure and modify existing 39 GHz licenses in preparation for Auction 103, an incentive auction that will offer licenses the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. In particular, publication of the Public Notice in the Federal Register establishes an official start date of December 10 for Auction 103.
Today, the FCC released the Public Notice establishing procedures for 39 GHz incumbent reconfiguration. This Public Notice provides information for incumbent 39 GHz licensees in making an Initial Commitment with respect to their existing 39 GHz holdings. As part of the reconfiguration process, each 39 GHz incumbent will submit its selection of one of three Initial Commitment options. Each incumbent may either: (1) accept modified licenses based on the FCC’s proposed reconfigured holdings announced in Attachment 1 to this Public Notice (Option 1); (2) accept modified licenses based on an acceptable alternative reconfiguration submitted by the incumbent that is consistent with FCC requirements (Option 2); or (3) relinquish spectrum usage rights under all its 39 GHz licenses in exchange for an incentive payment and eligibility to bid on new licenses (Option 3).
The Public Notice also sets forth the timeline for remaining steps in the reconfiguration process, which will be followed by the pre-bidding process for Auction 103 and then bidding on new licenses. As noted in the timeline, existing licenses will be modified or canceled in exchange for any incentive payments after Auction 103 has concluded. The timeline of upcoming events in the reconfiguration of existing 39 GHz licenses is as follows:
With the above timeline, short forms for the 39 GHz auction participants will likely fall due in September or early October.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
iconectiv Selected as SHARKEN/STIR Policy Administrator
On May 30, ATIS announced its selection of iconectiv as the Secure Telephone Identity Policy Administrator (STI-PA). As the STI-PA, iconectiv will apply and enforce the rules to operationalize the SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) framework.
The SHAKEN framework is a mechanism for service providers to authenticate calls and verify the information displayed on caller ID is accurate. The STI-PA will apply and enforce mechanisms designed to ensure that STI certificates are only available to authorized service providers, and that that STI Certification Authorities (STI-CAs) perform all security functions specified to maintain the integrity of the SHAKEN framework.
As reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been an open advocate of the SHAKEN/STIR framework, and sent letters demanding that the large carriers begin providing caller ID authentication for consumers in 2019. Chairman Pai indicated that he believes that wireless providers, interconnected VoIP providers, and telephone companies should make the SHAKEN/STIR framework a priority, and that major carriers can meet his 2019 goal.
Detailed Winning Bidder Information Announced for Auction 101 and 102
On June 3, the FCC issued a pair of Public Notices providing detailed information on the winners of Auctions 101, for 28 GHz licenses, and Auction 102, for 24 GHz licenses. Under the limited information procedures established for Auctions 101 and 102, the FCC released certain detailed Auction 101 results data remained non-public until after the close of bidding in Auction 102. With the close of bidding in the assignment phase of Auction 102 on May 28, the FCC now announces the availability of detailed Auction 101 application and bidding information that was previously withheld, including bidders’ license selections, upfront payment amounts, bidding eligibility, bids, and other bidding-related actions.
Files containing Auction 101 and 102 results are now available in the Public Reporting System (PRS), including the identities of bidders and the net amounts of bids. This information may be viewed on screen or downloaded as a comma-separated values (CSV) file. Additionally, the publicly available applications to participate in the auction (FCC Forms 175) now display the licenses that were selected by each applicant. The applications are viewable via the Auction Application Search at: https://auctionfiling.fcc.gov/form175/search175/index.htm.
JULY 1: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
JULY 1: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the FCC an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the FCC’s rules.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Sal Taillefer.
JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2018. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2019); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2019), and March 31, 2020, for lines served as of September 30, 2019).
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 31). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its recent decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual form (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
AUGUST 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 August 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 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.
AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2019 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Been a long time!
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Next week — Ham Radio Operator jokes!
ALAN S. TILLES
ATTORNEY AT LAW
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The above is just like the old men who have stickers on the rear window of their pickup trucks.
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