|Wireless News Aggregation|
Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
GPS Week Rollover
Don't miss an important LETTER TO THE EDITOR from Vaughan Bowden (easysolutions4you.com) about the upcoming GPS Week Number Rollover, and the possible effect it could have on paging systems.
Readers who have made voluntary donations in the past — to help support the newsletter — are encouraged to repeat their contributions. Advertising and support has fallen off considerably in the last couple of years so now would be a good time to help again.
We need your help. This is probably the only remaining news source about paging and wireless messaging.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week agreed to pay a journalist $43,000 to settle a lawsuit over the agency's decision to withhold records about fake comments posted to its website. [source]
When I first saw these acoustic amplifiers for Smartphones I thought they were really cool, so I decided to make some of them for sale. I have been pleasantly surprised that people are buying them before they even know the price. Go figure.
The most popular model — so far — has been one made from a Horn of Plenty brass planter that came from India. Like this:
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
We are having a cold spell in Southern, Illinois
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
TIME TO HUDDLE UP
I spend the whole week searching the INTERNET for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here.
Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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Chinese and Russian Companies Exploit Flaws in US Cybersecurity
Are Google and Apple violating US sanctions against Russia?
March 12, 2019 Updated: March 12, 2019
As I’ve previously discussed, Google and Apple distribute Chinese surveillance and data-mining technology. They also distribute similar technology developed by Russian companies, which could be in violation of existing U.S. sanctions against Russia and China.
In 2017, Google and Apple pulled apps developed by Iranian app developers from Google Play and the Apple App Store in regards to U.S. sanctions against Iran that date back to the late 1970s or early 1980s.
Google and Apple may violate existing U.S. sanctions against Russia by distributing Russian apps via Google Play and the Apple App Store.
In addition to a potential violation of U.S. sanctions, apps developed by Russian companies pose huge civil liberty, privacy, cybersecurity, and safety threats to U.S. citizens and our national security. The apps seem harmless at first, but when you consider that they are nothing more than malware that enables the app developer to monitor, track, and data-mine the user for financial gain, the privacy and cybersecurity threats these apps pose to the user become noticeable.
Active Russian app-development firms include Prisma Labs, Magora, e-Legion, Mercury Development, Shakuro, Touch Instinct, and many others.
Potential Violations of US Sanctions Against Russia
Doing business with these app developers may violate existing U.S. sanctions against Russia, according to information posted on the Centers for Strategic and International Studies’ website, which lists more than 60 rounds of sanctions.
Below are examples of several U.S. sanctions against Russia that may be relevant to U.S. companies that conduct business with Russian technology development firms:
I’ve identified more than 10 technology- and cyber-related U.S. sanctions against Russia, yet companies such as Apple and Google distribute intrusive apps developed by Russian companies.
Additionally, many U.S. companies that contract numerous Russian app development firms to develop apps that support smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, and PCs in general may also be in violation of existing U.S. sanctions against Russia.
In light of Russia’s alleged meddling in our elections and Chinese companies stealing intellectual property (IP) from U.S. companies, why is any U.S. company voluntarily doing business (directly or indirectly) with Russian or Chinese app development firms when apps are malware that enable the app developer to surveil and data-mine the app user?
Furthermore, why have Google and Apple pulled apps developed by Iranian companies from their app stores due to existing U.S. sanctions against Iran but haven’t pulled apps developed by Russian and Chinese companies?
Due to the serious privacy and cybersecurity threats that intrusive Android, Apple, and Microsoft apps pose to smartphone, tablet PC, and PC users, the U.S. government should impose new sanctions against doing any business with nation-state technology companies from adversarial countries such as China and Russia.
Why Apps Are a Threat
As I’ve discussed before, companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft don’t sell your identifiable personal information to third-parties, they do much worse—they auction off their operating system (OS) product users to data-driven technology providers such as Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, and Tencent for profits.
This means that when you purchase a product such as a smartphone supported by the Android OS or Apple iOS, you become a commodity for sale by Google and Apple, regardless of whether these companies expose you to nation-state companies from adversarial countries such as China and Russia.
Is there a better way than using an intrusive app that is legal to steal IP from a smartphone or PC user versus using illegal methods to hack the same smartphone or PC user? Apple, Google, and Microsoft enable this to happen.
Companies may claim they use app users’ personal and professional information to improve the users’ experience or use the information for advertising purposes. However, the fact remains that companies from China and Russia may have also found a flaw in U.S. cybersecurity policy that they can exploit in order to surveil and data-mine U.S. telecommunication subscribers (individuals or businesses) and authorized device users (spouse, children, employees, etc.) by way of protected telecom products such as smartphones.
Many of these companies work closely with their nation’s governments, if they’re not directly state-owned, or must comply with repressive cybersecurity laws that require them to store customer data on local servers—accessible to the state on demand.
Existing U.S. telecom laws require any state actor (foreign or domestic) to acquire a warrant from a domestic judge or a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) in order to lawfully surveil and data-mine a U.S. telecom product user.
A nation-state company from an adversarial country cannot legally acquire a warrant from a domestic judge or a FISA court in order to surveil and data-mine a U.S. citizen.
Threat Remains Unaddressed
Why are nation-state companies from China and Russia enabled to surveil and data mine U.S. citizens through their smartphones?
Who in our government or what government agency provides oversight when it comes to these types of privacy and cybersecurity threats associated with telecom-related products and PCs that are supported by protected telecom infrastructure?
In 2016, I conducted research on smartphone security as part of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study. In my report to the DHS, I included the fact that bad actors from adversarial countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea could easily distribute intrusive apps through partnerships with companies such as Google or through sources such as Google Play, the Apple App Store, and the Microsoft App Store.
“For example, what security measures have Google, Apple, and Microsoft put into place to keep state actors (foreign, domestic, hostile, friendly) from starting software companies to develop predatory and surveillance apps such as games that are pre-installed, installed-by-update, and/or are distributed in the apps stores?” I asked in my report.
“These are predatory and surveillance apps that can be embedded in app-driven telephones and computers used by citizens, children, private industry, and/or government entities.
“What oversight has agencies such as a state attorney general’s office, the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and DHS put into place to protect citizens, children, private industry, and government entities from predatory entities who use connected products as a vehicle to hack personal and professional information?”
To date, the DHS has still yet to address these types of threats.
This flaw regarding our national security needs to be addressed immediately due to the level of surveillance conducted on the app user, and the amount of highly confidential information that these nation-state companies can data-mine from a smartphone, tablet PC, or PC.
Rex M. Lee is a privacy and data security consultant and Blackops Partners senior analyst and researcher. Visit him at MySmartPrivacy.com.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
|Source:||The Epoch Times|
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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T-Band Fact vs. Fiction
March 18, 2019 As a 470-512 MHz (T-Band) licensee or an organization that provides service
s and/or access to T-Band systems, you are familiar with the fact that the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (Act), passed by Congress in 2012, mandates the repurposing of this critical spectrum for consumer-based uses following a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction. It is debatable that the Congressional decision to take this heavily used band away from public safety (and collaterally from business entities) in exchange for 700 MHz spectrum for deployment of a national public safety broadband network was prudent policy, but the private land mobile industry is now stuck with the impending consequences.
What is particularly worrisome to EWA are the individuals or organizations that attempt to capitalize on FCC inaction and licensees’ lack of understanding of spectrum policy processes to promote premature system migrations. This bulletin is being circulated to minimize the confusion and to provide T-Band licensees with reliable information they can use when making strategic decisions regarding their communication systems.
Share this bulletin with others you feel would benefit from a T-Band informational update.
Fact vs. Fiction
Fact — The Act requires that not “later than 9 years after the date of enactment,” the FCC must reallocate the spectrum and commence an auction, the proceeds of which will be used by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to make grants that cover relocation costs for public safety entities. The FCC has until February 21, 2021, to begin the auction process and public safety licensees are required to vacate the band two years after the auction is completed. (Notably, the Act failed to recognize business enterprises that also occupy the T-Band.)
Fiction — Incumbent licensees are required to leave the band in 2021. The FCC is required to start an auction process in 2021 that eventually will trigger relocation. No one in authority has any idea at this time when licensees will need to leave the band regardless of the Act’s provisions. Beware of anyone who says otherwise. The FCC has yet to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would initiate the public discourse on how T-Band will be repurposed, how business enterprises systems will be treated given their absence in the Act, how the auction will be conducted, exactly when the auction will commence, how auction proceeds will be disbursed by NTIA to cover relocation costs, what happens if the auction proceeds are not enough to cover public safety relocation costs, and what comparable spectrum is supposed to accommodate the requirements of displaced T-Band incumbents. Until these questions are answered, it is not possible to identify an absolute relocation date. It is “years away” is a safe estimate.
Fiction — If we voluntarily relocate from T-Band now, we will be entitled to compensation from the auction proceeds. Any licensee who leaves the band now will not receive an NTIA grant to cover its relocation costs. In accordance with the FCC’s rules, should licensees vacate T-Band, they are required to cancel their licenses. It is near impossible to game this process since NTIA surely will not provide remuneration to former licensees who vacated the band on their own accord or, have not operated a system within T-band for a year or more. Licenses automatically cancel under the later instance. Having been persuaded to leave the band early based on inaccurate information or misunderstanding will not serve as an excuse.
Fiction — The “Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act” has significant bi-partisan momentum in the House and Senate, will soon pass, and will be signed into law by the President enabling T-Band incumbents to remain in place and the FCC to sigh in relief. While efforts to reverse the craziness of the Act are well intentioned, that optimistic outcome has substantial policy obstacles, even for the public safety lobby. The T-Band was originally repurposed as an economic quid-pro-quo in return for public safety receiving a 10 MHz allocation at 700 MHz necessary to build the nationwide broadband network now known as FirstNet. If T-Band is to be returned to public safety (and business enterprises), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) first will need to find that the Federal budget will not be adversely affected. One way to address that would be by surrendering other public safety spectrum with auction revenue potential equal to or greater than whatever the CBO thought auctioning T-Band might bring. The strategy of identifying an alternative block of spectrum that may be exchanged for T-Band has not received universal support; nor is there consensus on what band should be under consideration, although 4.9 GHz has been mentioned. And the clock keeps on ticking towards 2021.
Fiction — The FCC will lift the T-Band application freeze. Despite all efforts, the FCC is disinclined to allow almost any flexibility, even to incumbent licenses, on the premise that the spectrum landscape must not be altered in any way that might reduce future auction proceeds. Incumbents may, however, incorporate spectrum efficient technologies within their systems that require new emission designators and may add/relocate sites as long as previously authorized service areas are not expanded. Assignments of authorizations are also permitted subject to rules governing those transactions.
When important T-Band news is released, we will immediately inform our members and customers. We recommend that those interested in T-Band matters refer to the T-Band Fact Sheet which was prepared by the FCC. Contact Robin Cohen, EWA Vice President Spectrum Strategies and Regulatory Affairs at email@example.com if you have any questions.
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INTERNET Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
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.
USTelecom, Others Unveil Broadband Map Improvement Project
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
The FCC’s broadband coverage maps have long been maligned by the agency’s own Commissioners, Congress, and others for being inaccurate, and not a reliable indicator of where broadband has been deployed and where connectivity is non-existent. But carriers and the government need to rely on the maps to direct federal broadband funding.
That’s why USTelecom, The Broadband Association, ITTA, The Voice of America’s Broadband Providers, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, and several broadband companies and associations unveiled on Thursday, the creation of a new initiative to better map broadband deployment nationwide and help close the digital divide.
USTelecom President/CEO Jonathan Spalter called the project at yesterday’s announcement in Washington, D.C., “simple, common sense. If our aim is to leave no American behind, we must be capable of pinpointing” where broadband is available and where it is not.
The Broadband Mapping Initiative begins with a pilot program in Virginia and Missouri. The pilot will “test different methods to report availability,” Spalter said.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the maps are based on the agency’s Form 477 data. Under his leadership, the Commission has required carriers to submit improved data, and the agency established an economics office a year ago to provide, “rigorous analysis. Our USF programs are on a fixed budget,” he said. “We want to ensure we target those dollars to those in need.”
In addition to USTelecom, other companies that are part of the effort include: AT&T, CenturyLink, Consolidated, Frontier, ITTA, Riverstreet, TDS, Verizon, Windstream, and WISPA. Some representatives of these companies took part in a panel discussion to explain the pilot.
Frank Simone, Vice President of Federal Regulatory, AT&T, said the current maps indicate connectivity to a census block level. In an urban area that’s about a city block, and some 14 households in a suburban area. But in a rural area, that block can be several miles in length and width. Census block, “addresses don’t give us a serviceable location. The address may be on a mailbox on a road while the actual structure [that needs service] could be miles away,” said Simone.
In the pilot, the carriers will use, “improved longitude and latitude for the structure we have to build out to,” using geocoding software. Knowing exactly how far the build-out is, is critical for the carrier cost-wise, Simone said.
Companies told the FCC they’ve tried various geocoding methods and received different results. “We need a consistent geo-locating process that everybody can build to,” Simone explained.
Diana Eisner, Director of Federal Regulatory, Frontier Communications, said location technology is better than it used to be and artificial intelligence can help carriers estimate structure sizes. That will give the pilot effort “data we didn’t have before.”
The companies will combine all their location and other usable data together, and format it into what they’re calling a “fabric” of locations that need access to broadband. A vendor will clean up the data and assign a unique latitude and longitude to the actual building where broadband service is most likely to be installed. The pilot will also test a crowd-sourcing platform so customers can submit information to improve accuracy of the database.
The group believes the pilot will take between four to six months to complete. They will share information with the FCC in hopes it would be adopted on a national basis. Pai said he’s “excited to see how things go.”
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.|
Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.
REMINDER: Revised A-CAM Offer Acceptance Letters Due March 27
On February 25, the FCC announced 262 revised offers of Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) support and the associated revised deployment obligations. Recipients of these revised offers have until March 27, 2019, to notify the FCC, on a state-by-state basis, whether they elect to receive the revised amount of model-based support.
Carriers with questions about the revised offers, revised deployment obligations, or seeking assistance in filing acceptance letters should contact the firm for more information. A list of carriers receiving revised offers can be found here.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Adopts Items at March Open Meeting
On March 15, the FCC adopted the following items at its monthly Open Meeting:
Two items were deleted from the tentative agenda and were not considered at the meeting:
Links to the final versions of these items are included in the brief descriptions above, if available. Carriers with questions should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Gerry Duffy.
FCC Provides Information on 2019-2022 Radio Station License Renewal Cycle
On March 15, the FCC issued a Public Notice providing additional provides information on the upcoming 2019- 2022 radio license renewal cycle. Specifically, applications for stations in the first license renewal group (radio stations licensed to communities in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) must be filed between May 1 and June 1, 2019. The base forfeiture amount for a late-filed AM or FM station (including NCE station) license renewal application is $3,000.
Each AM, FM, noncommercial educational (NCE) FM, FM translator, and Low Power FM (LPFM) station must electronically file its license renewal form. Each AM, FM, and NCE FM station, regardless of how many full-time staff it employs, must also file with the FCC a Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program Report, which will be referenced in the license renewal application form.
Licensees with pending applications from the prior renewal cycle are also subject to these filing requirements. The FCC advises such licensees to file new license renewal forms with updated information and certifications to cover all periods from the end of their last license term through the date of filing.
Stations must also upload documents to the FCC’s Online Public Inspection File. Failure to comply with the public inspection file requirements, including the political file requirements, prior to the deadline for filing a station’s renewal application may result in forfeitures and may impact a station’s renewal application.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
Comment Sought on 900 MHz Band Realignment Rules
On March 14, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposals to reconfigure the 900 MHz band to facilitate the development of broadband technologies and services as well, including for critical infrastructure. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.
Specifically, the FCC proposes to realign the 900 MHz band to create a 3/3 MHz broadband segment between 897.5-900.5 MHz and 936.5-939.5 MHz, leaving two separate narrowband segments: a 1.5/1.5 megahertz segment (896-897.5/935-936.5 MHz) below the broadband segment and a .5/.5 megahertz segment (900.5- 901/939.5-940 MHz) above the broadband segment, and to reserve the remainder of the 900 MHz band for continued narrowband operations. This would entail replacing the Land Mobile Service allocation in the 900 MHz band with a Mobile Except Aeronautical Mobile Service allocation on a co-primary basis with the Fixed Service, consistent with the allocations in the 890-902 MHz and 928-942 MHz bands in Region 2 of the International Table of Frequency Allocations.
To accomplish this, the FCC proposes to authorize a market-driven, voluntary exchange process that would allow existing licensees to come together and mutually agree to a plan for relocating site-based incumbents and transitioning the band for broadband use. The process would limit basic eligibility for broadband licenses to those incumbents that hold 20 geographically licensed blocks of 900 MHz SMR spectrum, which the FCC anticipates would be “best positioned to facilitate the transactions necessary to effectuate relocation.” To be eligible for a new 900 MHz broadband license in a given county, the FCC proposes that the applicant must: (1) hold licenses covering the entire county for all 20 geographically-licensed SMR blocks, (2) reach an agreement to clear from the broadband segment, or demonstrate how it will protect, all covered incumbent licensees, and (3) agree to return to the FCC all 900 MHz licenses for the relevant county, including any site-based B/ILT or SMR licenses.
As alternatives to the proposed market-driven process, the FCC also proposes two auction processes to accomplish the relocations necessary to provide sufficient contiguous spectrum for broadband services. The first is an auction of overlay 900 MHz broadband licenses, coupled with the right to mandatorily relocate narrowband incumbents in the entire band. Under this approach, the FCC would conduct, where appropriate, an auction of a single 3/3 megahertz overlay license in a geographic area (e.g., county or other area which the FCC finds most suitable for this transition method). The second is an incentive auction authority to reduce encumbrances in the 900 MHz band. Under an incentive auction approach, the FCC would create a single 3/3 megahertz broadband license in each market by offering incentive-payments to existing MTA licensees in exchange for relinquishing spectrum usage rights, while also repacking site-based and any holdout MTA licensees.
Finally, the FCC proposes to designate the 900 MHz broadband service as a Miscellaneous Wireless Communications Service governed by Part 27 of the FCC’s rules. Broadband licensees in the 900 MHz broadband segment would be required to comply with licensing and operating rules that are applicable to all Part 27 services, including foreign ownership reporting, renewal criteria, permanent discontinuance of operations, partitioning and disaggregation, and spectrum leasing. The FCC also seeks comment on technical rules for the new broadband service.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
Comment Deadlines Established for IP CTS Management Rules
On March 14, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on new Internet protocol captioned telephone service (IP CTS) requirements. Comments are due April 15, and reply comments are due April 29.
In the NPRM, the FCC proposes to require IP CTS providers to include user account identifiers in monthly call records submitted for compensation; allow new IP CTS users to receive service for up to two weeks, while their identities are verified in the User Registration Database; and simplify the handling of 911 calls placed by IP CTS users who connect to an IP CTS provider via the Internet in order to place a call. According to the FCC, these proposals will improve IP CTS by better facilitating compensation of providers by the TRS Fund administrator, preventing unnecessary inconvenience to IP CTS registrants seeking new service, and eliminating outdated 911 rules that no longer appear to serve a valid public safety purpose.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Opens Frequencies Above 95 GHz for Experimental Use
The FCC has created a new category of experimental licenses for use of frequencies between 95 GHz and 3 tetrahertz (THz) to encourage the development of new communications technologies and to expedite the deployment of new services. This spectrum has long been considered the outermost horizon of the usable spectrum range, but rapid advancements in radio technology have made these bands especially ripe for new development.
Proponents believe there are substantial opportunities for innovation in these frequencies, especially for dataintensive high-bandwidth applications as well as imaging and sensing operations. Prior to this decision, the FCC had no rules for authorizing communications above 95 GHz, other than by amateur operators or through experiments of limited duration and scope.
The new “Spectrum Horizons” experimental licenses will give innovators the flexibility to conduct experiments lasting up to 10 years, and to more easily market equipment during the experimental period. The new rules also allow a total of 21.2 gigahertz of the spectrum to be used by unlicensed devices.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai invited NYU Wireless Professor Ted Rappaport, who was instrumental in conducting ground-breaking millimeter wave research, to present his institution’s findings thus far on the opportunities afforded by the spectrum bands above 95 GHz, where “science fiction will become reality,” Rappaport told the FCC. A presentation that Rappaport delivered during the Open Meeting describes potential mmWave and THz applications involving wireless cognition (for robotic and drone fleet control), sensing (e.g., air quality detection and touchless smartphones), imaging (HD video radar and security body scanning), and what could eventually become 6G wireless services (e.g., wireless fiber for backhaul, intra-device radio communication).
The First Report and Order in ET Docket No. 18-21 provides opportunities for new experimental and unlicensed use in the frequencies above 95 GHz and the FCC believes this will help ensure that the United States stays at the forefront of wireless innovation. Moreover, study of these uses could ultimately lead to further rulemaking actions and additional licensing opportunities within the Spectrum Horizons bands.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell
Law & Regulation
FCC Terminates Certain Proceedings as Dormant
On March 13, the FCC issued an Order terminating certain docketed FCC proceedings as dormant. A complete list of the terminated dockets can be found here. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC’s rules require the FCC to periodically review all open dockets and to identify those dockets that appear to be candidates for termination. In September 2018, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on whether certain docketed FCC proceedings should be terminated as dormant. Comments were due in November. Since the FCC received no comments, it found that there is no justification to keep any of the referenced dockets open. Accordingly all dockets referenced will be closed upon publication of the Order in the Federal Register.
BloostonLaw encourages all carriers to review the linked spreadsheet and contact the firm for more information if a relevant docket is listed for termination.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Senate Holds Hearing on Rural Broadband Investment
On March 12, U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, convened a hearing titled, “The Impact of Broadband Investments in Rural America.” The hearing focused on the Federal Communications Commission’s order to improve the quality and expand availability of rural broadband. The subcommittee also discussed opportunities and investments to support carriers in rural America, efforts to prevent overbuilding among federal broadband programs, and the next steps to close the digital divide.
Witnesses at the hearing were: Mr. Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Relations, Midcontinent Communications; Dr. Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Mr. Denny Law, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Golden West Telecommunications; and Ms. Carol Mattey, Principal, Mattey Consulting, LLC. Witness testimony and a recording of the hearing can be found here.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Moves EEO Audit and Enforcement Functions to Enforcement Bureau
On March 15, the FCC announced that it has officially moving its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) team from the Media Bureau to the Enforcement Bureau. The FCC voted in 2018 to move its EEO audit and enforcement functions to the Enforcement Bureau to better serve the public interest and improve the FCC’s operations. This transfer required approval from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the Office of Management and Budget. The FCC also negotiated an agreement regarding the implementation of the realignment with the National Treasury Employees Union. All of these steps have now been completed, which clears the way for the move effective immediately.
The EEO team’s work is primarily focused on periodic random audits of broadcast licensee and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) EEO programs, along with any necessary enforcement actions arising from those audits. The team also investigates complaints and takes enforcement action based on those investigations when necessary. However, with the Enforcement Bureau now tasked with focusing on the EEO compliance of broadcasters and MVPDs, it may bring focus by the Bureau on EEO compliance of telcos and wireless service providers as well. Therefore, we urge our clients to make sure that they have an EEOP program in place, and in writing; and that they have filed annual Form 395 Employment/Employment Complaint Reports. If there are issues with either of these measures, we can help clients make appropriate corrective filings now, before there is an enforcement focus on the matter.
“By moving our Equal Employment Opportunity team to the Enforcement Bureau, we will improve the FCC’s enforcement of these rules and strengthen our commitment to fighting discrimination,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “For half a century, the FCC has been tasked with ensuring that broadcasters, cable operators, and other multichannel video programming distributors comply with our national policy against discrimination in hiring. This reform will help us fulfill that charge.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.
Senate Introduces Broadband Mapping Act
On March 14, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband coverage maps. The Improving Broadband Mapping Act directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to consider using consumer-reported data and state and local data from government entities to improve broadband mapping accuracy while also considering ways that both fixed and mobile coverage data can be challenged. According to a press release, the bill will help close the digital divide by giving policymakers more accurate data on broadband coverage nationwide.
“In order to deploy broadband nationwide, we need reliable data on where service exists and where it does not,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan legislation will help ensure we are closing the digital divide with accurate mapping and bringing high-speed Internet to every family, regardless of their zip code.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
Verizon Announces Price, Initial Coverage for 5G Service
On March 13, Verizon issued a press release announcing that it will launch its 5G “Ultra Wideband Network” in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 11. According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon’s service will be centered in downtown areas of its launch cities, particularly around landmarks such as the Art Institute of Chicago and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
To coincide with this launch, Verizon is offering a new 5G moto mod exclusive with the company. According to Verizon, this mod, when paired with the moto z3 smart phone, “creates the world’s first 5G-enabled smartphone.” Of course, due to varying definitions of what exactly constitutes 5G, whether it’s the technology or the brand, the field has enjoyed several “firsts” so far; Verizon began offering in-home 5G broadband service last year in a few markets, which wasn’t based on the international 5G standard set by a global industry trade group.
Verizon also disclosed that its 5G service plan is an extra $10/month with any current Verizon unlimited plan. It expects to expand availability to 30 cities in 2019.
APRIL 1: FCC FORM 499-A, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. This form must be filed by all contributors to the Universal Service Fund (USF) sup-port mechanisms, the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the cost recovery mechanism for the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP). Contributors include every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications, and certain other entities that provide interstate telecommunications for a fee. Even common carriers that qualify for the de minimis exemption must file Form 499-A. Entities whose universal service contributions will be less than $10,000 qualify for the de minimis exemption. De minimis entities do not have to file the quarterly report (FCC Form 499-Q), which was due February 1, and will again be due May 1. Form 499-Q relates to universal and LNP mechanisms. Form 499-A relates to all of these mechanisms and, hence, applies to all providers of interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications services. Form 499-A contains revenue information for January 1 through December 31 of the prior calendar year. And Form 499-Q contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. (Note: the revised 499-A and 499-Q forms are now available.) Block 2-B of the Form 499-A requires each carrier to designate an agent in the District of Columbia upon whom all notices, process, orders, and decisions by the FCC may be served on behalf of that carrier in proceedings before the Commission. Carriers receiving this newsletter may specify our law firm as their D.C. agent for service of process using the information in our masthead. There is no charge for this service.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, and Gerry Duffy.
APRIL 1: ANNUAL ACCESS TO ADVANCED SERVICES CERTIFICATION. All providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications carriers subject to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act are required to file with the FCC an annual certification that:
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, Sal Taillefer.
MAY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its recent decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual form (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.
BloostonLaw Contact: Richard Rubino.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
FYI — Just a reminder that the next major GPS event is almost here.
The GPS Week Number Rollover (WNRO) will occur at the transition of April 6th to 7th.
This happens approximately every 20 years when the satellites 10-bit week number value changes from 1023 to 0. The last time this happened was 08-22-1999.
Trimble has already released some support bulletins concerning issues with other receiver’s implementations but I have not seen any about the Acutime units. The Acutime product line is a staple in Glenayre equipment that use the C2xxx transmitter controller infrastructure.
As you might recall we planned for and experienced some glitches in 2016 when the older Trimble receivers jumped back to 199x era. At that time some locations had to swap out these older receivers at select output encoder locations to make it back to 2016. The vast majority of the transmitter located units continued to "party like it was 1999" (with mostly cosmetic 1996/1997 alarm reporting notations).
Because these older receivers have a past and have already successfully transitioned though the first WNRO we can have high confidence they will pass though this second pass with the same flying colors. What is not clear is the status of the newer Acutime receivers with their newer code that seeks to predict the correct 20 year cycle.
I've done some additional inquiries and to date no one I've spoken to is overly concerned, however I've haven't talked to anyone who has used a GPS simulator to test the actual GPS receivers. I'm still digging but I have not seen specific information from Trimble that confirms the status of the various Acutime receivers that are deployed.
The good news is there were no substantive problems during the 1999 rollover. The optimistic view is this was not a problem in 1999 so it shouldn't be a problem this time around. I’ll update you if I hear any important news.
If users have concerns or want to share information I'm available to share my experience and help if issues arise.
Local time for this event will be 8pm EDT on Saturday April 6 2019 . . . let's share information and stay in sync!
“Dixie was the Confederate's anthem. Does it make it racist? No, because: 1. The Confederacy wasn't formed because of slavery at first. 2. The song, along with it's lyrics, were composed well over a decade before the Confederacy was formed. . . This was one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite songs, and he had it played at many of his ceremonies and speeches.” [source]
Current member or former member of these organizations.
The above is just like the old men who have stickers on the rear window of their pickup trucks.
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
|MUSICAL SELECTION OF THE WEEK|
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