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USB4 Officially Announced, Will Offer 40Gbps, Power, and Display Support
SEP 05, 2019
Earlier this week, the USB Implementation Forum (USB-IF) finally revealed the specifications for USB4, and it looks like USB will catch up to Thunderbolt 3 in every respect. With dual-lane 40Gbps transfer rates, power delivery, and continued support for display protocols, single-cable computing will soon become the standard.
According to the official technical specifications, USB4 will use the same USB Type-C connection we’ve all grown (at times begrudgingly) accustomed to while offering twice the speed of the current standard. USB4 is based on Intel’s Thunderbolt protocol, and will offer up to 40Gbps (5,000MB/s) bandwidth when using compatible USB-C cables.
This means that you’ll no longer have to figure out if the port on your PC is USB or Thunderbolt, a confusing state of events since USB 3.2 is only half as fast. Once USB4 comes to market—and we expect the first devices to appear sometime in 2020—there will truly be one universal connection that offers the best combination of speed and versatility. And since USB4 will be backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2, and USB 2.0, you’ll still be able to connect all of your older peripherals.
The sometimes confusing transition to USB 3.2 and USB Type-C connections hasn’t always been the easiest, and the superiority of Thunderbolt 3 has been frustrating for users who didn’t want to pay for the more expensive computers that feature the connection. The arrival of USB4 promises to level that playing field, delivering the same high level of performance to all consumers. [source] [via Engadget]
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
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|Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones|
The rest of the Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones page has been move to a separate page.
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Stop in for a demo and a great cup of espresso.
Hackers Ask for $5.3 Million Ransom, Turn Down $400k, Get Nothing
By Ionut Ilascu September 5, 2019 03:33 AM
Hackers infecting the computer systems of the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, with ransomware wouldn't settle for anything less that than $5.3 million to decrypt the data. The ransom was too high and they got a big fat nothing in return.
The attack occurred on Friday, July 5, before working hours, and details remained unknown at the time as cybersecurity consultants "strongly advised" against providing information about the attack.
Blame it on greedy Ryuk
In a communication on Wednesday, Mayor Jon Mitchell disclosed that the city fell victim to a ransomware attack that affected 4% of the City's computers, or 158 workstations.
The infection did not spread to other machines due to Management Information Systems (MIS) staff's response to contain the data encryption process from spreading by disconnecting servers and shutting down workstations on the network.
Mitchell says that the attacker deployed a variant of Ryuk ransomware, a threat which according to Malwarebytes has climbed to the top spot in the list of file-encrypting malware targeting businesses.
The Providence Journal reports that the attackers demanded a bitcoin cryptocurrency payment of $5.3 million for the release of the data decryption keys.
The city tried to negotiate for $400,000, which was in line with payments from other cities hit by ransomware attacks. The offer was rejected and the negotiations stopped at this as the hackers made no new demand and the city decided to try and recover the data on its own.
For Ryuk incidents, cybersecurity company Emsisoft says they can decrypt files in 3% to 5% of the cases. The ID Ransomware service can confirm if decryption works with a particular sample or not.
Not paying the ransom has been a strong recommendation from the infosec community for years, since giving in to the attacker's demand keeps the ransomware business humming.
Administrators of this sort of malware are making big money and have partnered up with other cybercriminals for distribution to victims. One of the most recent ransomware families is Sodinokibi. Although its activity started in April, the average payment for decrypting a network of computers is $150k. Its handlers have already found affiliates to spread it and take a portion of the ransom.
Creating backups and storing them off the main network is a good way to prevent significant losses and lower the downtime caused by a ransomware attack.
Mayor Mitchell said that systems will continue to be restored and the city will be vigilant for such incidents in the future. Without offering details, the mayor states that additional measures will be taken to avert these episodes.
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.
GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.
If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.
The Wireless Messaging News
The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.
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FCC Targets June 2020 for 3.5 GHz CBRS "Priority Access License" 5G Auction
September 5, 2019
In a blog post issued yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans for the Commission to vote later this month on issuing draft procedures for the auction of 70 MHz of "Priority Access License" (or "PAL") spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, with the auction to begin on June 25, 2020. This next batch of 5G spectrum is touted to feature better signal propagation, building penetration and ability to serve mobile applications than the spectrum sold in recent 5G auctions. While not offering the same bandwidth capacity as some of the earlier auctions, 3.5 GHz may serve as either a stand alone 5G opportunity or a tool to supplement higher band 5G offerings.
Spectrum Access System (SAS) administrators including Federated Wireless, CommScope and Google are expected to have their final test reports approved by the Commission in the coming weeks and this paves the way for initial commercial deployments using the unlicensed General Authorized Access (or "GAA") portion of the CBRS band to begin later this month. Taken together with the Chairman’s announcement, these developments mean that the long-awaited 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service ("CBRS") will soon be reality for our clients who wish to deploy 4G LTE and/or 5G networks using valuable mid-band spectrum.
Chairman Pai praised Commissioner Mike O’Rielly for his leadership in updating the licensing and technical rules for the 3.5 GHz band with the aim of promoting investment and innovation and American leadership in 5G wireless services. "Thanks to Commissioner O’Rielly’s leadership, we put the rules in place last year that will facilitate the deployment of 5G in the 3.5 GHz band," wrote Pai. "And we are now ready to start the process that will lead to the 3.5 GHz auction commencing next June."
The FCC has come under some criticism from the wireless industry recently for focusing its initial 5G spectrum licensing efforts on the millimeter wave "Spectrum Frontiers" bands, such as the 28 GHz band (Auction 101 - which ended in late January) and 24 GHz band (Auction 102 - which ended in late May), rather than clearing and auctioning mid-band spectrum, which has significantly less capacity but which has more favorable propagation characteristics for covering wide areas. The Commission is proceeding with another Spectrum Frontiers auction (Auction 103 - for PEA licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 47 GHz bands) that is scheduled to begin December 10th. Short-form applications for Auction 103 are due by 6 pm this Monday (September 9).
The revised 3.5 GHz PAL licensing framework improves upon the 3650—3700 MHz Band Service by offering an additional 100 megahertz of contiguous spectrum, and allowing greater frequency protection for county-based PAL licensees. Next year's 3.5 GHz PAL auction will provide spectrum opportunities for our law firm's clients who wish to deploy fixed and/or mobile wireless networks. County-based licensing for 70 MHz of PALs means that smaller and rural companies should have a better chance at acquiring spectrum that is tailored for their area(s) of interest. We will be preparing comments on the FCC's proposed auction rules this fall and encourage interested clients to begin their budgeting and planning soon. Please contact the firm if you have any questions or would like us to assist you in planning.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell, John Prendergast
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Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP
|Source:||Blooston, Mordkofsky et al|
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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
WSPR Explained: How to Get Started With One-Way Ham Radio
By Geoff Fox on September 3, 2019 at 2:06 pm
Last Tuesday at 1744 UTC (1:44 PM EDT) UR3RM, a ham radio station in Ukraine blindly sent out a message on 7040.138 kHz. It was automated. It was text. Maybe someone would hear it. Maybe not.
The “maybe not” part is easy to understand because UR3RM’s transmitter was putting out one milliwatt, .01 watts. To put that in perspective, a Class 2 Bluetooth transmitter, the ones good for around 30 feet, run 2.5 milliwatts.
UR3RM was using a mode called WSPR for Weak Signal Propagation Reporting. Unlike most of ham radio, this is a one-way mode. Not only is there little expectation anyone will be listening, but there’s even less that the signal would make it back. Radio propagation isn’t always a two-way path.
WSPR’s biggest selling point is you can do it on the cheap. It’s easy to set yourself up for not much more than $100 and often a whole lot less. And, though a ham radio license is needed to transmit, anyone can put up a receiver. And the US ham license test is multiple-choice, all published and online.
Most WSPR transmitters run very low power, many well under a watt like UR3RM. And sometimes, like UR3RM that peanut whistle goes far. Tuesday’s 1744 UTC transmission was heard on the Australian island of Tasmania, a distance of 15,140 km. Stated more impressively, the transmission/reception worked out to 9,235,000 miles per watt! This isn’t being done with fancy gear and immense antennas. This particular transmission took place on what we quaintly still call “short wave” radio. WSPR’s greatest accomplishment is it lets this be done on noisy, unreliable, staticky radio bands. And, it lets the receiver know what it’s gotten is good without any confirmation from the sender.
There is a price to pay for making all this reliable: bandwidth. A WSPR signal is 6 Hz wide. A typical voice channel would be around 2,500 Hz. This allows the tiny WSPR of power to be more concentrated and much more effective.
Low bandwidth also limits the signaling rate. In today’s gigaworld, you’ll be shocked to know WSPR runs at 1.4648 baud. No typo. The structured WSPR transmission sends 50 characters in 110.6 seconds, beginning one second after each even minute.
Each message contains the station’s callsign, a grid locator, and transmitter power expressed in dBm. So, when the station in Tasmania picked up the Ukrainian transmission he immediately knew where it was from and how much power got it there.
Because of their very narrow bandwidth, WSPR signals can often be decoded when human ears can’t detect the signal is even there. It’s claimed a signal 28 dB below the noise in a 2500 Hz bandwidth receiver can be decoded with WSPR. I’ve had the volume turned up and watched stations decoded that were totally indistinguishable from the background noise by my ears.
The narrow bandwidth actually allows a receiver to hear and decode multiple stations at once, often handfuls at a time when the bands are open. Since the receiver has no way to tell the originating stations “job well done,” the reception is reported to a central hub on the Internet. Want to know what ham bands are good for contacting what parts of the world at this moment? Head over to wsprnet.org, where these are plotted out and otherwise quantified.
WSPR was produced by Joe Taylor, a ham operator (K1JT) and Nobel Physics prize winner. In the past, he’s developed other transmission/reception methods to help with moonbounce and meteor scatter radio work.
Like so many other radio advances, this one is really helped by the advent of inexpensive SDR receivers. Though the $20-ish variety sold on Amazon, eBay and others doesn’t do well on these long-distance low frequencies, more sophisticated models are now selling for under $100. The software to decode (and the transmit software too) is free and open source. Prebuilt or mostly built transmitters are also widely available for under $100. Some folks have even figured out how to make a Raspberry Pi act like a 10 milliwatt WSPR transmitter (pictured at top), though some outboard filtering to make sure it only transmits where it’s supposed to is necessary.
Every ham radio band is different, and with the current solar sunspot cycle down near the minimum, conditions are definitely lousy. But WSPR is so vigorous and resilient that even now worldwide communication is possible with flea power. If you’re interested, you can actually dip your toe in the water for free. The dozens of receivers aggregated through http://sdr.hu all have WSPR as an available mode. If you’re like me, you’ll end up spending hours listening to radio signals you actually don’t hear and wouldn’t understand if you did!
Top image credit: Gerolf Ziegenhain/CC BY-SA 3.0
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.
Dorian Raises Its Sights to the Carolinas
Hurricane Dorian gradually left Florida behind Wednesday, setting its sights on the coasts of Georgia and then the Carolinas. These areas face a triple threat of “destructive winds, flooding rains, and life-threatening storm surges,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
While Dorian stayed far enough off the coast to largely spare Florida from the worst of its wrath, forecast to make a much closer approach to the Carolinas coastline today. Impacts are thus expected to be more severe, reports The Washington Post.
The historic storm diminished to Category 2 but actually had grown in size following its devastating sweep through the Bahamas, reported USA Today. As of 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, the storm was 115 miles east of Jacksonville, FL, and moving north-northwest at 9 mph. The storm’s peak sustained winds were 105 mph, making it a high-end Category 2 storm. Dorian is expected to maintain its intensity through Thursday.
Parts of the Florida coast were experiencing heavy rains and winds Wednesday. The center of Dorian was forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina on Thursday through Friday morning. AccuWeather said Dorian could draw within 30 miles of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — and possibly make landfall there — late today.
AT&T said Wednesday overall, its network continues to perform well in areas affected by Hurricane Dorian. The carrier is completing final preparation efforts in the Carolinas, which includes protecting its facilities against flooding with sandbags, and identifying and staging network recovery equipment. “With the storm’s changing direction, our teams are relocating assets to strategic locations to deploy quickly if needed once conditions allow,” the carrier said.
Sprint said yesterday afternoon there were no storm related impacts to its network in Florida. Sprint’s Emergency Response Team expanded preparations along the east coast. The ERT is conducting operational readiness checks for all power generators, preparing COWS, COLTS, SatCOLTS and other mobile cellular infrastructure for potential deployment, staging a number of satellite assets that can provide temporary cellular and Internet connectivity, and prepping charging stations for deployment, according to the company. Sprint will waive call, text and data overages through September 8 for affected customers in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. The company will also offer U.S. customers free calls to the Bahamas and waive roaming fees for customers in the Bahamas through September 9.
Verizon is offering customers unlimited calling and texting from the U.S. to the Bahamas, through September 9, (applicable taxes and surcharges will apply). “Our Verizon roaming partner in the Bahamas is working quickly to restore services impacted by the storm and we will stay in contact with them as their work continues,” the company stated.
As Dorian made its way up the coast of Florida, Verizon said its network felt negligible impact with performance remaining at normal levels. “We continue to stay vigilant and move mobile assets and Verizon Response teams up the coast to be ready for Dorian’s potential impact in Georgia and the Carolinas.” Through September 9, Verizon is expanding its unlimited calling, texting and data offer to consumer and small business customers who live in several Florida and North Carolina counties.
At the FCC, carriers reported minimal damage to cell sites in Florida as of early yesterday. Out of 9,711 cell sites, 0.1 percent were not working, according to the agency’s Disaster Information Reporting System. That’s down from 0.2 percent Tuesday.
Three cell sites were damaged, 9 were out due to transport issues and one was down because there was no power to the site. Cable and wireline companies reported 35,430 subscribers (up from 6,884 Tuesday) out of service in Florida. These figures may include the loss of telephone, television, and/or Internet services, according to the Commission. No broadcasters reported being off-air.
In addition to 34 Florida counties, the FCC added the following counties to DIRS:
Georgia: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Liberty, Long, Mcintosh, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Tattnall, Telfair, Toombs, Ware, Wayne, and Wheeler
South Carolina: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg
North Carolina: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less — sometimes the whole updates] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.
DIRS Active in Florida Counties for Hurricane Dorian
The FCC has activated the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in response to HURRICANE DORIAN. Carriers that provide service to any of the following areas are requested to “expeditiously submit and update information through DIRS regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power or back-up power).”
Florida: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Union and Volusia.
For providers that participate in DIRS, the separate Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) obligations are suspended for the duration of the DIRS activation with respect to outages in the counties/municipalities where DIRS has been activated.
Similar announcements can be expected for other coastal states as the hurricane makes its way north.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Fee Filer Opens for FY 2019; Regulatory Fees Due September 24
On August 27, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the opening of the Commission’s automated filing and payment system (Fee Filer) for fiscal year (FY) 2019 regulatory fees. While FY 2019 regulatory fees will not become effective until the rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the FCC reminded regulatees that, at their own discretion, they may submit payments at any time before the effective due date of FY 2019 regulatory fees. Regulatory fee payments must be received by the Commission no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on September 24.
The Communications Act requires the FCC to impose a late payment penalty of 25 percent of the unpaid amount to be assessed on the first day following the deadline for filing these fees. Failure to pay regulatory fees and/or any late penalty will subject regulatees to sanctions, including withholding action on applications, including license applications, petitions for reconsideration, any application for review of a fee determination, or requests for authorization. The Commission also assesses administrative processing charges on delinquent debts to recover costs incurred in processing and handling the debt, in addition to the 25 percent late charge penalty. In the case of partial payments (underpayments) of regulatory fees, the payor will be given credit for the amount paid, but if it is later determined that the fee paid is incorrect or not timely paid, then the 25 percent late charge penalty (and other charges and/or sanctions, as appropriate) will be assessed on the portion that is not paid in a timely manner.
EAS Test Reporting System Form Three due September 23
On September 4, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding all Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants of the deadline to file Form Three in the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) on or before September 23. ETRS Form Three requests detailed, post-test data regarding the nationwide test of the EAS, conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC, on August 7, 2019.
Specifically, ETRS Form Three requests information regarding the filer’s participation in the nationwide EAS test, including the source from which the facility first received the test message. Form Three filers may also provide information about any complications the facility may have experienced in the receipt or retransmission of the test. The Bureau emphasizes the importance of submitting accurate, detailed, and timely information about each EAS Participant’s experience with the test in their ETRS Form Three.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
FCC Extends Completion Date for Phase 5 of Post-Incentive Auction Transition
On September 3, the FCC announced that because of the threat that Hurricane Dorian poses for portions of the southeast coast of the United States, it has decided to extend the phase completion date for phase 5 of the Transition Scheduling Plan for the post-Incentive Auction transition from September 6 to September 11, 2019, at 11:59 PM.
According to the Public Notice, phase 5 includes a significant number of stations in areas that may be affected by the storm, including North and South Carolina. Although the deadline has been extended for all stations, the FCC noted that many stations in phase 5 are in markets not implicated by the impending hurricane, such as areas of western Georgia, Tennessee, California, and Minnesota, and “strongly encourages” stations that are not implicated by, and that do not have direct downstream linkages to stations implicated by, Hurricane Dorian to continue their transition efforts on their original schedules (with the transition to be completed by September 6).
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
Law & Regulation
Electronic MVPD Communications Effective Date Set; Comment Deadlines Set for Further Revision
On August 30, the FCC published in the Federal Register its revisions to the carriage election notice rules permitting broadcasters to post their carriage elections online and send notices to covered multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) by email, only when first electing carriage or changing their carriage election status from must carry to retransmission consent or vice versa. Additionally, all parties are required to post their contact information online on Commission databases.
The same day, the FCC also published in the Federal Register its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on how to modernize the carriage election process for entities that do not have a public file or Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) account. These entities were excluded in the Commission's Report & Order referenced above. Comments are due September 30, and reply comments are due October 15.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
Senate Communications Subcommittee to Hold Rural Broadband Hearing
On September 5, U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “Transforming Rural America: A New Era of Innovation.” According to a press release on, this hearing will be held at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will examine “the innovations high-speed broadband services bring to rural America in a variety of sectors such as agriculture, education, health care, and small business” and “explore the need to bring additional reliable broadband connectivity to rural America.”
Witnesses scheduled for tomorrow’s hearing are: The Honorable Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission; Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, President, Dakota State University; Ms. Deanna Larson, President, Avera eCARE; Mr. Mark Shlanta, Chief Executive Officer, SDN Communications; Mr. Craig Snyder, Chief Executive Officer, VIKOR Teleconstruction; and Dr. Michael Adelaine, Vice President for Technology and Security, South Dakota State University.
A broadcast of the hearing and written testimony from the witnesses will be available here sometime after the hearing.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Ben Dickens.
FCC Seeks Comment on Waiver Request of Part 15 Rules for Transit Location System
On September 3, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a request for waiver of the Sections 15.519(a)(2) and 15.250(c)-(d) of the Commission’s rules to allow Piper Networks, Inc. to obtain grant of equipment authorization for installation and operation of its enhanced transit location system (ETLS), a train positioning system for use on subway and commuter trains in urban and outdoor areas. Comments are due September 23, and reply comments are due October 8.
In its request, Piper stated that it is designing the ETLS to operate under the Part 15 ultra-wideband (UWB) rules in the 3200-3700 MHz and 4243-4743 MHz bands, as well as under the Part 15 wideband rules in the 6240-6740 MHz band. Once built, an ETLS deployment would only require use of one of these three frequency bands. Because Piper plans to affix its devices to trains, tunnel walls, and short wayside structures, it seeks a waiver of certain rules prohibiting the use of fixed infrastructure for UWB devices in these bands. It also seeks a waiver of the rule limiting the power limits for operation in the 6240-6740 MHz band, in order to compensate for the lower propagation characteristics of this frequency band as compared to those at 3200-3700 MHz and 4243-4743 MHz.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Office of Economics and Analytics Releases Data on Voice and Internet Services
On August 28, the FCC’s Office of Economics and Analytics released two status reports: the Internet Access Service report and the Voice Telephone Services report. The former summarizes information about Internet access connections in the United States as of December 31, 2017 as collected by FCC Form 477 (for purposes of this report, Internet access connections are those in service, over 200 kilobits per second (kbps) in at least one direction, and reported to the FCC through Form 477). The latter, formerly known as the Local Telephone Competition Report, summarizes the information collected about telephone services through Form 477 as of December 31, 2017.
According to the Internet Access Services report, total Internet connections increased by about 4% between December 2016 and December 2017 to 421 million. Mobile Internet connections increased 4.5% year-over-year to 313 million in December 2017, while fixed connections grew to 108 million – up about 2% from December 2016. In December 2017, 3% of fixed connections (or 3 million connections) were slower than 3 Mbps downstream, 11% (or 12 million connections) were at least 3 Mbps downstream but slower than 10 Mbps, 17% (or 18 million connections) were at least 10 Mbps downstream but slower than 25 Mbps, 32% (or 34 million connections) were at least 25 Mbps downstream but slower than 100 Mbps, and 38% (or 41 million connections) were at least 100 Mbps. The full report can be found here.
According to the Voices Telephone Services report, the data shows that as of December 2017, there were 50 million end-user switched access lines in service, 67 million interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 340 million mobile subscriptions in the United States, or 456 million retail voice telephone service connections in total. Interconnected VoIP subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 7%, mobile voice subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 2%, and retail switched access lines declined at a compound annual growth rate of 12% per year. The 60 million wireline residential connections in December 2017 were: 31.7% ILEC switched access lines, 50.0% non-ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, 16.2% ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 2.1% non-ILEC switched access lines. Similarly, the 56 million wireline business connections were: 36.0% ILEC switched access lines, 40.6% non-ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, 7.0% ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 16.4% non-ILEC switched access lines. The full report can be found here.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
I have an old Motorola PURC Transmitter that has a password.
Would you happen to know how to reset?
Awards and Honors of Lauttamus Communications
|MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
“How Do They Do It That Way?”
Tuba Skinny on the big stage at the 2019 French Quarter Fest
Great cornet work by Shaye Cohn and great singing by Erika Lewis
Tuba Skinny — Photo by: Sarrah Danziger
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
|TECHNICIAN UPDATE (graduate engineers already know all this stuff)
By the way, this project was to keep my (old but very useful) Trimble Thunderbolt GPS-DOs working. I use them for time and frequency standards — generating 10 MHz reference signals in my workshop. My Tektronix 2247A oscilloscope has an external 10 MHz reference input on the back so that measured frequencies and times shown are exactly right because they are synced to the GPS-Disciplined Oscillator witch is in-turn synced to several GPS satellites (6 to 10 visible at all times).
With an SDR receiver I can look at a broad slice of the radio spectrum and the frequency read-out is calibrated correctly to one Hertz and is stable to within ±70 µHertz. (Note: that is microhertz not millihertz.)
Do you think I am a little OCD? Nah . . . been doin this stuff for over 65 years now.
“The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the most precise worldwide navigation system available. It is also capable of providing nanosecond-level timing accuracies, so, it is also one of the most accurate time sources. GPS is a satellite-based radio navigation and positioning system that is designed to provide global, all-weather, 24-hour, accurate navigation to an unlimited number of users. Each of the satellites contain atomic clocks. The satellites transmit a navigation message that provides satellite position, time, and atmospheric propagation correction data. The GPS receiver, which contains a quartz crystal clock, measures the transit time of the satellite signal and multiplies that time by the speed of light to compute range to the satellite. The satellite clocks are more accurate than the receiver clocks. Therefore, although three satellites can provide latitude, longitude and altitude, the signal from a fourth satellite is used to correct for the navigational error caused by the receiver clock's inaccuracy, i.e., the receivers calculate their x, y, z, and t from receiving each of four satellites’ x, y, z, and t. Velocity is determined from the Doppler shifts of the the transmitted carrier frequencies.”
Source: John R. Vig — “Quartz Crystal Resonators and Oscillators — For Frequency Control and Timing Applications.” Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
|THIS WEEK'S ART|
By Javier González-Hontoria
73 DE K9IQY
Licensed since 1957
|Current member or former member of these organizations.|
| Institute Electrical and
| A Public Library of
Paging and Wireless Messaging
| Critical Messaging
| European Mobile Messaging Association
Former Board Member
Radio Club of Paraguay
| Quarter Century
| Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable
| American Association
| U.S. Navy
| U.S. Navy
| Boy Scouts of America
National Honor Society
| Creator of the
Paging Wheel of Fortune
| National Skeet
| The National
| The Radio Club
| Life is good!
I am a person in long-term recovery.
CONTACT INFO & LINKS
United States Navy
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