|Wireless News Aggregation|
Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
— INTEGRITY —
We have another article this week from Rex Lee — a long one — but a good one. Rex has been exposing how apps on smartphones are following everything we do and sharing this “private” information with third parties. I say private — at least I thought it was private until I started publishing articles that Rex has written.
I want to assure the readers of this newsletter that Rex Lee and I are personally acquainted and that he is a trustworthy person and definitely not some conspiracy wacko-nut case. I have talked with Rex at length and I have received good reports on him from other friends and colleagues.
It is my opinion that honesty and integrity are the two most important characteristics that a person can possess. I recommend that you take a little extra time to read this week's article. Grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable.
Notice Rex's reporting style. He doesn't say how he thinks things are, he offers the facts backed up by publicly available quotations from identified sources. I am sure we will hear more about his analysis and research in the near future.
We need your help. This is the only remaining news source dedicated to information about Paging and Wireless Messaging.
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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Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones
Small Brass Horn — Wood Base
This is an acoustic amplifier for a smartphone. It doesn't need electric power to operate and there are no moving parts. I works like a megaphone (speaking-trumpet, bullhorn, blowhorn, or loudhailer). Everyone that I have shown it to has said something like “Wow, I want one of those!” So I am building a few of them.
Of course there are more “Hi-Fi” ways to listen to audio on your smartphone but who would want to plug an elegant smartphone into some cheap, plastic gadget? Or even use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which are a pain in the neck to set up, even on a smartphone.
These will be made with hardwood bases and some of them will be exotic hardwoods with interesting grain patterns. The horns are polished brass — made from mostly old horns that had rubber bulbs on the ends and were used in “times gone by” by taxis and even clowns in circuses. These horns have been re-purposed, reshaped, and re-polished.
Of course when not listening to music or other interesting audio, you can appreciate it for its beauty, it looks just plain cool. This is a work of art.
Sorry to say that I didn't design this myself. It was designed by Daniel Jansson in Sweden. He is a graduate of Umeå Institute of Design with an MFA degree in Interactive Design.
This one has been made from a Horn of Plenty (an antique hammered-brass planter) that came from India.
The Smartphone to brass adapter will be made from various hardwoods.
For questions or to order, click here.
Can Social Media Users Continue to Trust Facebook?
Mark Zuckerberg’s Privacy Manifesto:
At this point, is Facebook willing to retract these types of application permission statements and capabilities from Facebook apps that include WhatsApp?
As of today, Facebook does not mind collecting your intimate SMS texts messages between you and your friends, family and significant others to use for financial gain so what the heck is he talking about?
Mr. Zuckerberg went on to say this:
- “People are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they've shared. And we all expect to be able to do things like payments privately and securely.” — Mark Zuckerberg
Has Mark Zuckerberg ever read the app permissions that support Facebook apps including WhatsApp? Facebook is not only keeping a permanent record of all messaging associated with the Facebook platform and all associated apps such as WhatsApp but I imagine they are also keeping a permanent record of your smartphone and tablet PC SMS text messages as well.
He also mentions keeping your payments private, however the Facebook app enables Facebook to collect information on any account you set up on your smartphone including medical, credit card, and banking accounts according the Facebook Android app permission: “Allows the app to get a list of accounts known by the phone. This may include any accounts by applications you have installed.”
Per the account Android app permission, Facebook is also keeping track of all of your banking and purchases by way of any banking or credit card apps you set up on devices such as your smartphone.
Paragraphs 4 - 8 are encouraging in regards to the fact Mr. Zuckerberg seems to be saying that a private social media network needs to be developed.
I agree, but given Facebook’s track record of abuse, negligent, and harmful use of their user’s personal and professional information coupled with the fact that Facebook’s platform is designed to be addictive and exploitive, I would not trust Facebook to develop a private platform.
Would you trust a bank robber with writing laws that govern bank robbery?
Mr. Zuckerberg had this to say about WhatsApp in regards to the app being private:
- “We plan to build this the way we've developed WhatsApp: focus on the most fundamental and private use case — messaging. . .” - Mark Zuckerberg
Below is a list of personal and professional information (digital DNA) that Google enables Facebook to collect via the WhatsApp while enabling Facebook to conduct audio and video surveillance of the app user 24x7 365 days per year even when the WhatsApp user is not on the platform or using the app:
Google Play, WhatsApp Messenger Android Application Permissions:
Keep in mind that the personal and professional information listed above is associated with the WhatsApp user’s smartphone and is totally separate from the personal and professional information that is collected by Facebook by way of the use of the WhatsApp Messenger’s Facebook platform.
As The Epoch Times article, “Smartphone App Users Are Data Mined Even When Not Using The Apps”, I authored, apps such as the Facebook app and WhatsApp enable companies such as Facebook to surveil and data mine the app user even when the app user is not on the Facebook or WhatsApp platform or using the all associated apps.
Additionally, apps such as the Facebook app and WhatsApp enable Facebook to collect personal and professional information associated with devices such as smartphones that has nothing to do with the use of the apps and platforms such as the app user’s smartphone SMS text messages or audio and video of the user’s personal and professional activities associated with the smartphone.
In paragraph 9- Mr. Zuckerberg had this to say:
- “But one great property of messaging services is that even as your contacts list grows, your individual threads and groups remain private. As your friends evolve over time, messaging services evolve gracefully and remain intimate” — Mark Zuckerberg
In regards to the WhatsApp SMS text messaging app permission, Facebook has a total disregard for the privacy of the smartphone user so this statement is another half-truth, lie, or misleading statement according to the Facebook App and WhatsApp Android SMS app permission.
Furthermore, Android app permissions that support apps such as the Facebook app and WhatsApp enable the app developer to identify the app user: “Allows apps (Facebook/WhatsApp) to read personal profile information stored on your device, such as your name and contact information. This means apps can identify you and may send your profile information to others.”
I stress that Mr. Zuckerberg either is lying or he has no idea how his platform and apps collect the app user’s personal and professional digital DNA so that Facebook can exploit it for financial gain increasing Mr. Zuckerberg’s personal wealth.
In paragraph 11 Mr. Zuckerberg had this to say:
- ”In WhatsApp, for example, our team is obsessed with creating an intimate environment in every aspect of the product.” — Mark Zuckerberg
If the WhatsApp team is so obsessed with a private and intimate environment, how come the team developed WhatsApp to enable Facebook with the ability to surveil the user while the app data mines the user’s personal and professional digital DNA from the host device such as a smartphone?
What Mr. Zuckerberg is not addressing here is the fact that the WhatsApp user experience may seem private in regards to the use of the app and platform, but what he is not addressing the fact that WhatsApp is intentionally designed to be addictive in order so that Facebook is enabled to surveil and data mine the app user by way of the host device that supports the app.
Facebook app and WhatsApp users must understand that there is two types of surveillance and data mining associated with apps such as the Facebook app and WhatsApp which include:
Combined, Facebook is collecting personal and professional information associated with both the use of the device such as a smartphone and the use of all associated Facebook products such as WhatsApp or the Facebook social media platform.
Social media users such as Facebook subscribers have no idea that they are being surveilled and data mined by way of the Facebook apps and associated platforms plus by way of the devices that support the Facebook apps including WhatsApp.
People must also understand that free apps such as WhatsApp are not free, the user pays for the app with their personal and professional information and/or digital DNA which is exploited for financial gain by Facebook even at the expense of the user’s privacy and safety as admitted by Sean Parker, Co-founder of Facebook.
Again, it sounds like Mark Zuckerberg does not even understand Facebook’s surveillance and data mining business practices which are predatory to say the least.
In paragraph 13 Mr. Zuckerberg had this to say:
- “People expect their private communications to be secure and to only be seen by the people they've sent them to — not hackers, criminals, over-reaching governments, or even the people operating the services they're using.” — Mark Zuckerberg
This statement is incredible to me considering Facebook was one of many tech giants to have exposed their user’s personal and professional information to the U.S. government by way of the NSA’s Prism program as exposed in 2013.
Facebook has already cooperated with an over reaching government regarding the Obama administration.
Did Mr. Zuckerberg forget that he was in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about a year ago regarding the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal in which Facebook irresponsibly sold access to the Facebook user to a data broker named “Aleksandr Kogan”?
I guess that he forgot that Mr. Kogan used the Facebook user’s personal information in a harmful manner by selling it to Cambridge Analytica.
Cambridge Analytica in turn applied artificial intelligence (“AI”), predictive analytics, and suggestive technology to the user’s personal information in order to develop micro-targeted ads based on the user’s personal preferences in order to manipulate the Facebook user to vote for a presidential candidate named Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Zuckerberg also must not have seen the Axios interview with Sean Parker who said that the Facebook platform was intentionally designed to be addictive so that Facebook could exploit the product user for financial gain even at the expense of the user’s privacy and safety whether the user is an adult, teen, or child.
Mr. Parker even addresses himself as a hacker within the interview by stating “It's a social-validation feedback loop . . . exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with. . .” while referring to the addictive, intrusive, and harmful nature of the Facebook platform.
Furthermore, Mr. Parker said Mr. Zuckerberg was aware that the Facebook platform was intentionally designed to be addictive, intrusive, exploitive and harmful but he and Mr. Zuckerberg developed the platform anyway regardless of the harm to the platform user.
Mr. Zuckerberg needs to understand that Sean Parker has already incriminated Mr. Zuckerberg as being a hacker who develops addictive, intrusive, and harmful products in order to exploit the Facebook and WhatsApp user for financial gain.
In this segment Mr. Zuckerberg tries to ensure the privacy of the new Facebook platform through encryption yet he is not addressing the fact that the apps which will support the platform will still enable Facebook to surveil and data mine the product user for financial gain.
Mr. Zuckerberg is not addressing the fact that the only way to truly make the new Facebook platform private and secure is to simply not enable Facebook to monetize the Facebook platform and app user.
Furthermore, he is not addressing the fact that another way to make the new Facebook platform private and secure is to enable the user to delete all of their personal and professional information on demand.
He also needs to address the fact that the new Facebook platform and all associated apps cannot be intentionally designed to be addictive, intrusive, exploitive, and harmful if he is serious about the user’s privacy and safety.
Encryption alone does not protect the Facebook platform and app user from predatory surveillance and data mining business practices that can bring harm to the product user.
The name of this segment, “Reducing Permanence” is in regards to reducing the time that a company such as Facebook can store a Facebook user’s personal and professional information.
The name of this segment by Mr. Zuckerberg already sounds like a statement from a shady politician who is trying to use flexible words such as “reducing” to distance himself from a phony promise made today and then broken tomorrow.
The name of this segment should be titled “Eliminating Permanence” rather than using a watered down word such as “reducing.”
However, Mr. Zuckerberg is correct in regards to how a social media platform should be designed as he had this to say in paragraph 23:
- “For example, messages could be deleted after a month or a year by default. This would reduce the risk of your messages resurfacing and embarrassing you later. Of course you'd have the ability to change the timeframe or turn off auto-deletion for your threads if you wanted.” — Mark Zuckerberg
The problem with this statement and this segment is the fact that Mr. Zuckerberg is only addressing the personal and professional information associated with the use of the new Facebook platform rather than addressing the personal and professional information the Facebook app and WhatsApp enables Facebook to collect from the host device such as a smartphone.
The scam is the fact that Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and other tech giants use their platforms as a means to support their intrusive apps of which do the dirty work in terms of enabling these tech giants to collect personal and professional information from the host device separate of the use of all platforms and apps concerned.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s statements in this section ring hollow until he addresses the collection of personal and professional surveillance data (location data) and sensitive user data that the Facebook app and WhatsApp enables Facebook to collect from the user’s host device such as a smartphone.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s contention that WhatsApp is private, secure, and safe needs to be challenged due to the numerous application permission statements associated with WhatsApp which enables Facebook to collect personal information from the user’s host device in addition to the personal information collected by the use of the WhatsApp Messenger.
Interoperability in this segment refers to a unified messaging platform that can manage all forms of messaging such as text messaging coupled with the use of a messenger app such as WhatsApp.
Interoperability would be a good thing in regards to a unified messaging platform as long as the messages are not monetized and exposed to third-parties such as advertisers and data brokers.
Aside from encryption, the user should be able to control the deletion of their messages on demand meaning that if the user hits delete, the messages are permanently deleted immediately without delay.
Regarding Facebook’s track record, would you trust Facebook to have access to all of your messages including your Android text messages as he is suggesting regarding paragraphs 26 & 27?
- “We plan to start by making it possible for you to send messages to your contacts using any of our services, and then to extend that interoperability to SMS too…. For example, many people use Messenger on Android to send and receive SMS texts. . . ” — Mark Zuckerberg
Oh, I forgot, the Facebook app and WhatsApp today already give Facebook access to your Android SMS text messages by way of the Android SMS application permission statement that supports the Android version of the Facebook app and WhatsApp as I noted earlier in this article.
Don’t believe me? Read the Android Facebook SMS app permission again: “Allows the app (Facebook & WhatsApp) to read SMS messages stored on your phone (Android phone) or SIM card. This allows the app to read all SMS messages, regardless of content or confidentiality.”
Again, Mr. Zuckerberg is either lying or simply is oblivious to Facebook’s surveillance and data mining business practices associated with all Facebook products concerned.
He seems to have a vision one day of gaining access to Android SMS text messages when Facebook is already collecting Android SMS text messages by way of the Facebook app user’s smartphone without the Facebook app user’s consent or knowledge.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s contests that the Facebook philosophy is not to store their user’s personal and professional information in countries with a poor human rights record which is a good philosophy when he had this to say in paragraph 33:
- “We've chosen not to build data centers in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression.” — Mark Zuckerberg
However, nation-state companies from adversarial countries such as China and Russia pose a huge threat to platforms as I wrote about regarding the article Google, Apple, and Microsoft Distribute Chinese Surveillance Technology which exposes Google, Apple, and Microsoft apps developed by Tencent and Baidu.
This is a big problem for platforms such as Facebook since Facebook’s business model is to sell access to the Facebook user to data brokers who develop intrusive apps such as the case with Aleksandr Kogan as noted earlier in this article.
These types of app developers use their apps to surveil and data mine the Facebook user such as was the case regarding Aleksandr Kogan and the Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal as noted earlier in this article.
The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal proved that the Facebook user’s personal information can be collected and used in a harmful manner by other Facebook app developer who develop apps to be deployed within the Facebook app ecosystem such as Angry Birds and other entertainment apps that are designed to collect personal information from the app user.
Mr. Zuckerberg needs to stop selling access to the Facebook user to third-parties such as data brokers who develop innocent looking entertainment apps that are really a legal form of malware designed to enable the app developer to surveil and data mine the app user.
Mr. Zuckerberg closes by stating this in regards to next steps:
- “I believe we should be working towards a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won't all stick around forever. If we can help move the world in this direction, I will be proud of the difference we've made.” — Mark Zuckerberg
In my opinion, so far the only difference companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have made is the elimination of civil liberties, privacy, cyber security and safety associated with smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products, PCs, and the Internet in general.
This is a statement coming from a man who runs a company that censors political adversaries while exploiting his patrons for financial gain at the expense of the patron’s privacy and safety which is hilarious to say the least.
Mr. Zuckerberg sounds sincere in regards to addressing privacy and safety issues associate with all Facebook platforms concerned but after numerous apologies and promises, can we trust Mr. Zuckerberg?
I say No due to his track record of meaningless resolve and phony apologies. He sounds like a broken algorithm stuck in a constant loop of damage control by way of phony apologies and meaningless resolve.
It is time the FTC and state AGs hold Facebook accountable for the abuse, negligent, and harmful use of personal and professional information by way of deceptive trade practices.
Case and point, he sets the expectation that Facebook will address privacy now but sets the expectation that the process will take some time:
- “Over the next year and beyond, there are a lot more details and trade-offs to work through related to each of these principles. A lot of this work is in the early stages, and we are committed to consulting with experts, advocates, industry partners, and governments— including law enforcement and regulators — around the world to get these decisions right.” — Mark Zuckerberg
Like a true politician making another phony promise that will never be kept, he sets expectations that change is in the near but far away future at the same time.
So it will be business as usual at Facebook in the interim which is to make money at the expense of the user’s privacy and safety.
Until there is real changes and companies such as Facebook are held accountable for their negligent actions, the next steps the Facebook product user needs to take to ensure their privacy and safety is to simply disable all apps associated with all Facebook products and simply delete all user accounts associated with all Facebook platforms concerned.
Rex M. Lee is a privacy and data security consultant and Blackops Partners senior analyst and researcher. For more information go to www.MySmartPrivacy.com Plus follow Rex on Twitter @RexMLee1
P.S. Watch this NBC Today news story where Facebook Co-founder, Chris Hughes, says Facebook needs to be broken up.
|Source:||Rex M. Lee|
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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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.
FCC Says Hard “No” to China Mobile’s Offer For Telecom Services Here
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
As expected, the FCC Thursday denied China Mobile USA’s application to provide telecommunications services between the U.S. and foreign countries. Commissioners said the action is the result of careful review by the Commission and consultation with Executive Branch national security and law enforcement agencies.
China Mobile USA is owned and controlled by the People’s Republic of China. In its decision, the Commission found that China Mobile USA has not demonstrated its application is in the public interest. Several factors related to China Mobile USA’s ownership and control by the Chinese government gave the FCC pause. It said granting the request would, “raise substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks that cannot be addressed through a mitigation agreement between China Mobile and the federal government.”
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly called the China Mobile situation, “extremely serious.” He explained: “One basic reality should go undisputed: there is nearly zero daylight between the communist government of China and its ‘companies.’ They use unfair advantages in an effort to take a dominant position in 5G and expand the reach of their networks and equipment.”
His colleague, Commissioner Brendan Carr, said it’s time for the U.S. to take another step. He suggested the evidence in the record goes further than just this one application. “China Unicom and China Telecom, state-owned carriers, received Section 214 authorization to interconnect with U.S. networks in the early 2000s,” said Carr.
He called on national security agencies to examine whether the FCC should revoke those authorizations for the same reasons it voted Thursday to deny China Mobile’s application. “Security threats have evolved over the many years since those companies were granted interconnection rights to U.S. networks in the early 2000s,” explained Carr.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
It is daily by subscription. check it out.
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.
FCC Announces Revised A-CAM II Offers, Information on Legacy Obligations
On May 2, the FCC released two items of import to rate-of-return carriers: one announcing the official offers of model-based A-CAM II support to rate-of-return carriers that are still receiving legacy support adopted by the FCC at the end of last year (to be accepted by June 17), and another providing information regarding the revised mandatory deployment obligations that will apply to rate-of-return carriers that decline A-CAM II support.
BloostonLaw attorneys have assisted clients in previous A-CAM offers and is available to assist. See the full articles below for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
BloostonLaw to Present on Rural Growth Factor Reconsideration at SCC Annual Meeting
Next week, BloostonLaw partner Sal Taillefer will present at the Small Company Coalition (the “SCC”) annual meeting in Texas on recent comments filed in support of the Petition for Reconsideration of Silver Star Telephone Company, Inc. As we reported in last week’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, Silver Star argued that the FCC’s Rate of Return Reform Order failed to adequately address record evidence of the harm to carriers and the public caused by the Rural Growth Factor (“RGF”), and failed to adequately explain its reasoning in refusing to modify the RGF. BloostonLaw and the SCC urged the FCC to reconsider its decision not to modify the RGF, and either eliminate it entirely or remove the effect of negative line growth on the formula.
The presentation will provide a brief overview of the RGF, and get into some depth about why the FCC deemed no revision or elimination was necessary at this time. It will also outline the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (the “APA”), and provide discussion of the various ways in which the FCC failed to meet those requirements in the Order of which Silver Star seeks reconsideration.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Sal Taillefer.
FCC Announces Revised A-CAM II Offers for Legacy Rate-of-Return Carriers
On May 2, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the offers of model-based A-CAM II support to rate-of-return carriers that are still receiving legacy support adopted by the FCC at the end of last year. Carriers have until June 17 to indicate, on a state-by-state basis, whether they elect to receive model-based support. BloostonLaw is available to assist carriers that wish to elect model-based support in preparing and filing these letters.
The Public Notice includes four reports, available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357276A1.xlsx. Specifically:
The FCC also reminded carriers that electing model-based support requires them to exit the National Exchange Carrier Association common line pool before they will be authorized to receive model-based support, and that carriers that accept the A-CAM II offer are also eligible to move their business data services (BDS) offerings to incentive regulation next year. BloostonLaw is also available to assist in making these changes.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Releases Information on Deployment Obligations for Legacy Rate-of-Return Carriers
On May 2, the FCC posted information regarding the revised mandatory deployment obligations that will apply to rate-of-return carriers that decline the Alternative Connect America Cost Model’s (A-CAM II) offer of model-based support and instead will remain on legacy universal service support mechanisms. Specifically, carriers will be able to select one of two methods for determining their deployment obligation that must be fulfilled over a five-year period (2019-2024), outlined below. No deadline or method of filing the selection has been issued.
Each carrier can choose to have its deployment obligations determined by one of two methods: the applicable CAF-BLS amount divided by (1) the average cost of providing 25/3 Mbps service, based on the weighted average cost per loop of carriers that have deployed 25/3 Mbps service to 95 percent or more of the locations in their study area, or 150 percent of the weighted average cost per loop of companies with similar density and level of deployment, whichever is greater, or (2) the A-CAM II calculation of the cost per location of providing 25/3 Mbps service in the unserved census blocks in the carrier’s study area.
The deployment obligations under each method for each study area are set forth on the spreadsheet available at: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357277A1.xlsx. The spreadsheet also includes further information used for the calculations for each study area.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues Official Agenda for May Open Meeting
On May 2, the FCC issued the official agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, currently scheduled for May 9. At the meeting the FCC will consider:
As a reminder, the items linked in the above descriptions are drafts, and may not match exactly what the FCC considers or adopts at the Open Meeting. The Open Meeting will be 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. Comments on Next Millimeter Wave 5G Spectrum Auction Procedures Due Next Week As assignment phase bidding in the 24 GHz Auction (Auction 102) has just begun, the FCC is seeking comment on procedures for its next significant auction of 5G millimeter wave spectrum, known as Auction 103, which is scheduled to begin on December 10, 2019. The proceeding is being billed as "the largest spectrum auction in American history" and will make a total of 3,400 megahertz of spectrum across the Upper 37 GHz (37.6-38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz), and 47 GHz (47.2-48.2 GHz) bands in one single auction. Comments on the FCC’s proposed bidding procedures will be due May 15, and reply comments due May 30.
Auction 103 will provide our law firm’s clients with an opportunity to acquire a significant amount of millimeter wave spectrum that could be utilized for 5G services such as precision agriculture as well as IoT services and/or high capacity last half-mile links. Interested clients should discuss business plans with their strategic partners and begin their due diligence now. We are available to assist our clients in this regard.
The “high-band” spectrum that is the subject of Auction 103 has similar technical characteristics to 28 GHz Band spectrum that was made available in Auction 101 and 24 GHz Band spectrum that is the subject of Auction 102, although the propagation is not quite as far. It offers significant bandwidth for wireless services, but also limited coverage which makes it suitable for high capacity backhaul links or localized, small cell deployments. It will be divided into 100 megahertz blocks and licensed by Partial Economic Area (PEA) geographic service areas. Bidding credits will be available to reduce the cost of licenses won by eligible small businesses and rural service providers.
The specific number of Upper 37 and 39 GHz Licenses to be auctioned in each PEA will be determined by a reconfiguration process that is currently underway for incumbent 39 GHz licensees. The process allows them either to accept modified licenses that conform with the new band plan and service areas, or to relinquish their existing spectrum rights in exchange for a share of the auction proceeds. If all incumbents choose to relinquish their licenses, the FCC will offer new licenses for 3,400 megahertz of spectrum across all three spectrum bands, i.e., 34 licenses in every PEA. After receiving incumbents’ binding commitments, the FCC will issue a Public Notice announcing the specific licenses available in the Upper 37 and 39 GHz bands for auction. The FCC says this Public Notice will be released well in advance of the deadline for the submission of short-form applications to bid in Auction 103, so that potential applicants can make informed decisions whether to participate.
The FCC has not yet set a deadline for short-form applications or other pre-auction requirements for Auction 103. However, in light of the December 10 start date announced last week by FCC Chairman Pai, we would expect short-form applications will likely be due as early as late September or during the month of October. Interested clients should therefore begin their due diligence and pre-auction planning now.
With respect to Auction 103 bidding procedures, the FCC is proposing to use an ascending clock auction format for generic spectrum blocks in each band, followed by a sealed bid assignment phase whereby winning clock-phase bidders have the option to submit additional bids for particular channels or channel groupings. All winning bidders, regardless of whether they bid in the assignment phase, will be assigned licenses for contiguous blocks within a category in a PEA. The clock phase of Auction 103 will serve as both the forward and reverse portions of the incentive auction, by determining the prices and winners of new flexible use licenses as well as determining the amount of “incentive” payments to incumbent 39 GHz licensees that relinquish their licenses.
As in Auctions 101 and 102, the FCC is proposing lower upfront payment and minimum opening bid amounts for rural PEAs. Given the large supply of license blocks likely to be available, there is a good chance that rural carriers will be able to win spectrum for reasonable prices.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.
Law & Regulation
Comment Sought on OTARD Rule
On May 2, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on updating the Over-the-Air Reception Devices (OTARD) rule by eliminating the restriction that currently excludes hub and relay antennas from the scope of the rule. Comments are due June 3, and reply comments are due June 17.
The Commission's previous decision to limit the applicability of the OTARD rule reflected the infrastructure needs of a previous generation of wireless technologies that relied on larger antennas spread over greater distances to provide service to consumers. However, the Commission suggests that the wireless infrastructure landscape “has since shifted toward the development of 5G networks and technologies that require dense deployment of smaller antennas across provider networks in locations closer to customers.” Therefore, the Commission anticipates that revising the OTARD framework would allow fixed wireless providers to deploy hub and relay antennas more quickly and efficiently and “would help spur investment in and deployment of needed infrastructure in a manner that is consistent with the public interest.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Comment Sought on Information Sharing under RAY BAUM’s ACT
On May 1, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on bidirectional sharing as directed by Congress in the Ray Baum’s Act of 2018. Comments are due May 31, and reply comments are due June 17.
Specifically, the Act requires the Commission to give notice and provide an opportunity for public comment before submitting to Congress no later than September 23, 2019, a report that (1) considers the regulatory certainty that commercial spectrum users and Federal entities need to make longer-term investment decisions for shared access to be viable; and (2) evaluates any barriers to voluntary commercial arrangements in which non-Federal users could provide access to Federal entities. Accordingly comment is sought to guide the FCC as it prepares this report.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Sal Taillefer.
Important Milestones Met for 3.5 GHz CBRS
Two important milestones were reached last week on the path to initial commercial deployments in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).
First, the FCC Wireless Bureau and OET on April 29 approved the Environmental Sensing Capabilities (ESCs) of CommScope, Federated Wireless and Google for use in the 3550-3650 MHz portion of the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz band). ESCs detect the presence of federal incumbent radar transmissions in the 3550-3650 MHz band segment and communicate with the Spectrum Access System (SAS) so that CBRS systems in the vicinity of the incumbent radar systems can be directed by the SAS to use alternative 3.5 GHz channels. This “managed sharing” allows commercial CBRS operators to access additional 3.5 GHz band spectrum at times and in areas where it isn’t being used by DoD.
Second, NTIA announced on May 1 that it has wrapped up the laboratory testing stage of its examination of the systems of five SAS vendors. The SAS is a cloud-based database that manages parameters that commercial CBRS networks use and is key to the CBRS spectrum sharing framework. Under the FCC’s rules, SAS systems manage and dynamically assign spectrum on an as-needed basis across the three tiers of users (i.e., Incumbent Access, Priority Access, and General Authorized Access). As a next step NTIA’s engineers and scientists will begin writing test reports for submission to the FCC, likely in June, according to NTIA.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
FCC Issues Report on Access by Veterans to Broadband Services
On May 1, the FCC issued a Report on the availability and adoption of broadband Internet access services by veterans throughout the nation. The report found that while many veterans have access to both fixed and mobile broadband options, a significant number still lack access to fixed broadband, mobile broadband, or both.
Specifically, for 92.5% of veterans at least one provider of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps fixed broadband services is available, while only 78.4% of veterans have 10 Mbps/3Mbps mobile LTE broadband coverage. Among households with veterans, approximately 85%, or 14.4 million, reported that they had paid connections to the Internet in their homes. However, households with veterans subscribe to mobile broadband services at lower rates than households without veterans. For those veterans who lack a broadband connection, barriers to broadband adoption may include lack of deployment where they live, price, and digital illiteracy or perceived irrelevance.
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.
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 outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, 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. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired.
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.
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.
|THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK|
What is “the Blues”?
Blues is an African-American music that traverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. “Feeling blue” is expressed in songs whose verses lament injustice or express longing for a better life and lost loves, jobs, and money. But blues is also a raucous dance music that celebrates pleasure and success. Central to the idea of blues performance is the concept that, by performing or listening to the blues, one is able to overcome sadness and lose the blues.
|Source:||International Blues Music Day|
|VIDEO INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK|
|Source:||YouTube||To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org|
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