|Wireless News Aggregation|
Welcome Back To
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.
We need your help. This is the only remaining news source dedicated to information about Paging and Wireless Messaging.
* required field
Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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.
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.
Can You Help The Newsletter?
You can help support The Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.
Newspapers generally cost
A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year period. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.
Microsoft Confirms Massive Windows 10 Upgrade Changes
Gordon Kelly Gordon Kelly Senior Contributor
Despite still being secretly free, Windows 10 continues to frustrate (and anger) its users thanks to dodgy updates and concerning recent revelations about transparency. But today Microsoft revealed the future of Windows updates and it’s a massive upgrade.
At its Microsoft 365 Developer Day, the company detailed Windows 10X, it’s next-generation “expression” of Windows 10 which the company will release later this year. And the most remarkable aspect: Microsoft states that Windows 10X updates will take less than 90 seconds to complete.
02/13 Update: Microsoft has released a Windows 10X emulator and development tools so anyone can test out a beta of new platform. Users will require a PC running Windows 10, using an Intel chipset (AMD support is coming later), 8GB RAM, 15GB space and a WDDM 2.4 graphics driver or later. You will also need the following bios features to be supported and enabled:
Lastly, if your system meets these requirements, enable 'Hyper-V' (Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off) and ensure Hyper-V is selected for the Emulator or the installation will not be successful. Yes, it's a lot of hoops to jump through but you will be among the first to get a taste of the future of Windows.
How does this work? Through a fundamental rebuild of the Windows upgrade process. Microsoft explains that Windows 10X will isolate the operating system, drivers and apps from user data. This means they can be seamlessly updated in the background with the platform switching to the latest version of the OS whenever it is rebooted. It’s exactly the sort of ground-up rethink that Windows users have been crying out for for years.
Downsides? While Windows 10X will run traditional win32 desktop apps, Microsoft currently has no plans to port it to Windows 10 computers. Instead, Microsoft will target it at an upcoming wave of dual-screen devices, like its futurist Surface Neo (below) that is “Coming Holiday 2020”.
That said, the big question is if and when Microsoft can take what it learns from Windows 10X updates and apply it to Windows 10. And we all know Windows 10 needs dramatic update improvements sooner rather than later.
No pressure, Microsoft.
Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.
Internet Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
Dangerous new malware spreads over Wi-Fi: Protect yourself now
By Paul Wagenseil
Latest strain of Emotet is an airborne worm
A newly-found variant of the feared Emotet Trojan hops from one Wi-Fi network to the next, giving it the power to spread as a Wi-Fi worm through offices and apartment buildings.
Fortunately, the malware's spread is easy to stop if you have good, strong passwords on all your routers and Windows PCs.
"Previously thought to only spread through malspam [spam e-mail infected with malware] and infected networks, Emotet can use this loader-type to spread through nearby wireless networks if the networks use insecure passwords," said a technical analysis posted late last week by Ohio-based security firm Binary Defense, which discovered the variant.
"Binary Defense's analysts recommend using strong passwords to secure wireless networks so that malware like Emotet cannot gain unauthorized access to the network," the report adds.
Another tool in the collection
Emotet is a jack-of-all-trades strain of malware that began life in 2014 as a banking Trojan, but later added the abilities to steal personal information, install ransomware, form botnets and download other pieces of malware.
It's been one of the most aggressive malware campaigns of the past few years. In a report released Feb. 11, Malwarebytes noted that Emotet activity jumped 375% in 2019 alone. Most recently, it's been spotted using both the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus scare and the Christmas holidays as lures to get people to open booby-trapped e-mail attachments.
The Emotet name also refers to the criminal operation responsible for the development and distribution of the malware and the leasing of its botnet operations. (It must be a small group — the Emotet operators took three months off in the summer of 2019, and then another month off around Christmas.)
The ability to spread between Wi-Fi networks may have been added to Emotet's toolkit as long ago as April 2018, judging by a timestamp found by Binary Defense.
"This hints that this Wi-Fi spreading behavior has been running unnoticed for close to two years," says the Binary Defense report.
Relying on user laziness
However, it's not like Emotet has a magic ability to break Wi-Fi network defenses. It just takes advantage of lousy passwords.
When this variant of Emotet is installed on a PC, a component called "worm.exe" checks to see how many Wi-Fi networks (other than the one the infected PC is already linked to) are with range. (This step fails on Windows XP but not later versions of Windows.)
Then Emotet uses brute force to try to crack the access passwords of each nearby Wi-Fi network, pulling them from a precompiled list of likely passcodes one after another until one works.
Once it's granted access to a network, Emotet sends the network name and password of the newly cracked network up to its command-and-control server, apparently adding the information to a master list of hacked Wi-Fi networks.
Then the malware ditches its host PC's existing Wi-Fi connection and connects the PC to the newly linked network, after which Emotet scans for connected Windows machines. It then tries to brute-force the Windows usernames and user passwords on each newly infected machine, drawing from another precompiled list of likely text strings.
If that fails, Emotet switches to trying to brute-force the passwords of any Windows accounts with the username "Administrator," and the cycle of evil begins again.
How to stop Emotet from spreading
The upshot is that if you have strong, unique passwords on your home Wi-Fi network and for the user accounts on your Windows PCs, then you're pretty well protected against malware jumping over from a neighboring network.
Emotet will focus instead on your neighbors who don't use such good passwords, or who never changed the factory-default access passwords when they set up their routers. That just makes things that much easier for hackers.
Taking advantage of weak Wi-Fi passwords is just one of the ways in which Emotet spreads, however. It most frequently shows up in an infected e-mail attachments and also spreads among machines on a local network.
To really protect yourself from Emotet, no matter how it arrives, you need to be running some of the best antivirus software.
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.
Apple Just Made A Striking New Security Move That Could Impact All Users
Kate O'Flaherty Senior Contributor
As a standalone form of authentication, passwords are pretty poor. Passwords are exposed in data breaches, people forget them, use insecure credentials and repeat them across services. It’s with this in mind that Apple has just made a bold move to try and help all users move away from passwords alone, and towards more secure forms of authentication, such as security keys.
Apple has joined the FIDO Alliance (AKA Fast Identity Online), an organization already including giants such as Google, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung.
Given Apple’s status and size, the iPhone maker’s move is significant. But it has also come very late in the day: Apple is one of the last big firms to join FIDO.
What is the FIDO Alliance and what is its mission?
Founded in 2012 by companies including PayPal and Lenovo, the FIDO Alliance’s mission is to create authentication standards to reduce reliance on passwords. It has two aims: The adoption of multi factor authentication U2F tokens, and authentication (FIDO2).
The Alliance wants to develop technical specifications that can apply across platforms. The FIDO site reads: “Based on free and open standards from the FIDO Alliance, FIDO Authentication enables password-only logins to be replaced with secure and fast login experiences across websites and apps.”
The FIDO site lists additional forms of authentication including security keys and biometrics such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanners and voice.
The idea is that in the future, a device can be used to log into another device: for example, your Apple Watch could be used to log in to your iPhone.
Why Apple joining FIDO makes sense
Apple joining FIDO makes absolute sense, the only question is why the U.S. firm didn’t do it sooner. Apple has already been promoting FIDO-like abilities on its iPhones and iPads for years, with biometric authentication such as Face ID and Touch ID.
Meanwhile, in iOS 13.3, Apple has added the ability for FIDO compliant security keys such as the Yubico YubiKey to be used to authenticate your services in Safari. The key can be inserted directly into your iPhone, as I demonstrated in a video last year.
Recently, the Secure Enclave on Apple’s A-Series chips has allowed iPhones to be used as a security key themselves: using your iPhone, you can now log into Google services. Expect more of this sort of thing in the future.
Apple could help drive adoption
Apple is a strong company for the FIDO Alliance to have on board–and major vendors joining the alliance should hopefully help drive adoption, says security researcher Sean Wright.
Wright says not having all the big tech firms on board has so far “been one of the limiting factors of these technologies.”
And although security can often hinder functionality, he says FIDO also comes with improved usability. “As adoption improves, I only see further improvements to usability—especially with Apple involved, which is renowned for taking a technology and polishing it really well.”
ESET cybersecurity specialist Jake Moore agrees: “Keeping the same level of security or increasing it while making the account more convenient for the user is a step in the right direction.
“It’s well known that passwords are still being reused across multiple accounts so if this security layer can be taken away from the user altogether, with the same security in place, we are improving the process and moving forward.”
Legere Crows “Huge Victory” as Industry Applauds Court’s Decision
Reaction from the telecom world began pouring in quickly following the appeals court judge’s approval of the T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint on Tuesday, two years after they first announced the proposed transaction. Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused a request from a group of state Attorneys General to block the deal. In his opinion, Judge Marrero cited the Justice Department’s settlement as a key factor, noting it made Dish “well poised to become a fourth MNO in the market, and its extensive preparations and regulatory remedies indicate that it can sufficiently replace Sprint’s competitive impact.”
T-Mobile and Sprint are taking final steps to complete their transaction to create the New T-Mobile. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called the decision a “huge” victory. “Now we are FINALLY able to focus on the last steps to get this merger done! Look out Dumb and Dumber,” he said, presumably referring to competitors AT&T and Verizon. “And Big Cable — we are coming for you … and you haven’t seen anything yet!”
Bernard Borghei, Executive Vice President of Operations for Vertical Bridge, told Inside Towers, the merger is a positive for the industry as a whole although their exposure was limited compared to their competitors’. “2020 will be a great year,” Borghei said. “Although there will be a quarter or two of integration, we are excited about the future. With CBRS and C-band, a third carrier will force the competition to react as well. Verizon and AT&T will be forced to upscale their infrastructure,” he said. “DISH is well positioned as the fourth carrier.”
The associations representing tower workers were pleased, saying the decision clears the way for 5G builds. Both the National Association of Tower Erectors and the Wireless Infrastructure Association said the ruling provides “much-needed” clarity in the industry.
The Wireless Infrastructure Association agreed the ruling’s clarity clears the way for 5G work. “Now, all parties, and the entire wireless industry, can return its full focus to the heavy lifting of building new 5G networks,” said WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “We need to move fast to enact the right policies and build a 5G-ready workforce to support the massive effort ahead.”
“We are particularly pleased that this decision came prior to our annual NATE UNITE 2020 Conference as this merger will be a major topic of conversation at our event,” said NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “NATE and our 930 member companies are optimistic that this T-Mobile/Sprint merger news will ultimately lead to increased carrier and vendor spending investments that are necessary in order to build, install and maintain the next generation networks and related infrastructure that are so critical to the 5G deployment cycle in the United States.”
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.
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.
FCC Releases Text of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund; Prepares NPRM for Phase I Auction
Late Friday last week, the FCC released the text of the Rural Development Opportunity Fund order adopted at last week’s Open Meeting, which Commissioner Rosenworcel called “rushed”, and indicated some apparently substantial changes were made at the 11th hour. While stakeholders are digesting the final version, the FCC has teed up an item for this month’s Open Meeting that would launch the process of establishing pre- and post-auction application procedures and competitive bidding procedures for Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues Tentative Agenda for February Open Meeting
On February 7, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the February Open Commission Meeting, currently scheduled for February 28:
Links to public drafts of each meeting item are linked in the descriptions above. The drafts, which are prepared and released by the FCC, include a one-page cover sheets to help summarize each item. The final item as considered and adopted by the FCC at the Open Meeting may differ.
Open Meetings are streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
FCC To Propose December 8 Start for C-Band Auction; Short-Form Applications Likely Due in October
This morning, Chairman Pai circulated his proposal for reforming the satellite C-band (500 megahertz segment from 3.7-4.2 GHz) and draft rules designed to make a large amount of spectrum available for 5G. The band is currently used by fixed satellite companies to downlink content to video and audio broadcasters, cable systems and other content distributors. Advances in technology allow satellite companies to provide these same services with less bandwidth, and this frees up a significant amount of spectrum for terrestrial 5G.
The draft rules would make the lower 280 megahertz of the C-band available for flexible use, including 5G, through a public auction. Existing satellite operations would be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band with their reasonable relocation costs reimbursed by winning C-band bidders. Chairman Pai believes this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between making available critical mid-band spectrum for 5G and protecting incumbent uses.
The FCC is billing the C-band auction as the FCC’s most significant action yet to repurpose mid-band airwaves, which have somewhat better propagation. It would quickly free up a significant amount of spectrum for next-generation wireless services, and it would generate significant revenue for the U.S. Treasury. The full FCC will vote on this Report and Order at the FCC’s Open Meeting at the end of February.
Repacking the Spectrum
Chairman Pai’s plan would repurpose most of the C-band for 5G deployment while ensuring current users of the spectrum could continue to provide their services. The proposed rules would clear the lower 280 megahertz of the C-band (3.7-3.98 GHz) and make it available for flexible use, including 5G. The 20 megahertz above that (3.98-4 GHz) would serve as a guard band. And existing satellite operations would be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz). Incumbent satellite operators in the C-band have told the FCC that the upper 200 megahertz of the band would be sufficient for them to continue providing their current services to customers.
Under the Chairman’s proposal, the FCC would hold a public auction of the lower 280 MHz of the C-band. Exact details about the auction schedule and timeline are not yet known, and the FCC would need to take public comment on 3.5 GHz service rules and auction procedures (among other matters), but Chairman Pai is proposing that the C-band auction begin on December 8, 2020. Assuming a standard pre-auction timetable is followed, short-form applications would likely be due in early to mid-October. Our clients should begin auction planning now, including discussions with strategic partners, equipment vendors, and lining up their auction financing.
All satellite operations would need to be moved to the upper 200 megahertz of the C-band. Among other things, new satellites will need to be launched, and filters may need to be placed on earth station facilities. Satellite operators and other incumbents would have their reasonable relocation costs reimbursed by the winning bidders in the C-band auction. In addition, satellite operators would have the opportunity to receive accelerated relocation payments if they are able to clear the lower portion of the C-band on a faster timeline, thus advancing the national policy goal of making spectrum available for 5G deployment more quickly. These payments are intended to create incentives for incumbent operators to expedite the transition, and operators would only be paid if in fact they did so. The accelerated payments could total up to $9.7 billion and would be paid by winning bidders in the C-band auction.
Eligible satellite operators would have the option to clear according to the following accelerated timeline: (1) clearing 120 megahertz (3.7-3.82 GHz) by September 2021 in 46 of the nation’s top 50 Partial Economic Areas; and (2) clearing the remaining 180 megahertz (3.82-4.0 GHz) in those areas as well as all 300 megahertz (3.7-4.0 GHz) in the rest of the continental United States by September 2023.
Under the accelerated timeframe, 5G deployments could happen in the lower 100 megahertz of the C-band in 46 of the nation’s top 50 Partial Economic Areas by September 2021 and in the remaining spectrum by September 2023. This is two years sooner than September 2025, which would be the timeframe without accelerated relocation payments.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
District Court Rejects Lawsuit to Block Sprint/T-Mobile Merger
On February 11, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an opinion ruling in favor of Sprint and T-Mobile, rejecting arguments by several states’ Attorneys General that the merger would have deleterious effects on competition. In finding for the carriers, the court summarized its 173-page decision as follows:
In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “I’m pleased with the district court’s decision. The T-Mobile-Sprint merger will help close the digital divide and secure United States leadership in 5G. After the merger, T-Mobile has committed to bringing 5G to 97% of our nation’s population within three years and 99% of Americans within six years.” Commissioner O’Rielly said, “The New York District Court rightfully came to the same conclusion in considering the T-Mobile and Sprint merger as I did during my review, and I am pleased that the deeply flawed case made by the state Attorneys General was rejected. It is time to wrap up the entire process and allow these parties to merge.” Commissioner Carr said, “Today’s court decision notches another solid win for U.S. leadership in 5G.”
Commissioner Rosenworcel was less than pleased with the court’s decision, stating: “This is disappointing. I am concerned that antitrust enforcement is not working for consumers. Going forward it is absolutely essential that the FCC enforce the promises made by these companies in their effort to secure approval from this agency. Any other outcome would be unacceptable—because in our 5G future we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.” Commissioner Starks said: “The merger between T-Mobile and Sprint will dramatically alter America’s wireless landscape. The state Attorneys General presented a strong case. The court saw it differently.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Law and Regulation
FCC Establishes Process for Second Funding Stage for Puerto Rico/USVI
On February 12, the FCC issued an Order establishing procedures for the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund and the Connect USVI Fund Stage 2 Competition. This stage allocates more than $500 million over ten years in fixed broadband support through the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund. It also allocates more than $180 million over ten years for fixed broadband support through the Connect USVI Fund.
This funding stage will use a competitive process to award support for fixed voice and broadband services based on the weighting of price and network performance, including speed, latency, and usage allowance. The FCC will release an application form, instructions, and announce the application deadline soon, following approval by the Office of Management and Budget. The FCC also has allocated up to $258.8 million in support for mobile service, including 5G, in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands over a three-year period.
“Every step closer to providing this funding is a step in the right direction,” said Kris Monteith, Chief of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau. “Laying out this clear, manageable, and predictable process will ensure we get the best impact possible from this investment of funds. Bridging the digital divide is the agency’s top priority under Chairman Ajit Pai and we’ve put a special emphasis on helping connect Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Today is a big day in that effort.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
Comments on 5.9 GHz Band Proceeding Due March 9
On February 6, the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET Docket No. 19-138, which proposes to permit unlicensed devices to operate in the lower 45-megahertz portion of the band 5.850-5.895 GHz under part 15 of the FCC's rules, appeared in the Federal Register. Accordingly, comments are due March 9 and reply comments are due April 6.
Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on repurposing the lower 45 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band (5.850– 5.895 GHz) to allow unlicensed operations, and retain use of the upper 30 megahertz of the band (5.895–5.925 GHz) for Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) purposes, either solely for Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) or divided between C–V2X and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technologies. This 45/30 megahertz split for unlicensed operations and ITS applications would be intended to optimize the use of spectrum resources in the 5.9 GHz band by providing spectrum to support wideband unlicensed operations and continuing to dedicate sufficient spectrum to meet current and future needs for ITS applications. The FCC also asks whether alternate spectrum band approaches would better achieve the goal of maximizing the effective and efficient use of the 5.9 GHz band, including whether differently sized sub-bands or greater flexibility to introduce additional vehicular safety communications technologies into the band would be warranted.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
House Energy & Commerce Committee Announces Rural Broadband Field Hearing
On February 6, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), a member of the Subcommittee, announced that the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will hold a field hearing on Thursday, February 20, at 2 pm at the Prince George County Central Wellness Center in Disputanta, Virginia, on the importance of rural broadband access. The hearing is entitled, “Rural Broadband: Connecting Consumers and Empowering Small Businesses Across America.” Additional details will be announced next week.
“Access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband is critical to compete in today’s economy. At its best, the American story is one of furthering and preserving equal opportunity, yet despite broad bipartisan agreement on the importance of expanding broadband access, too many of our rural communities are still being left behind. The problems we face in Washington working to ensure every community has access to the high-speed Internet needed to grow small businesses and create good-paying jobs are complex; however, Virginia’s Fourth District is already implementing viable solutions,” said Congressman McEachin. “I am very much looking forward to working with Chairmen Pallone and Doyle to bring Congress to Prince George County, whose transformative story—from limited broadband access to gigabyte-speed fiber—offers a successful blueprint for underserved communities throughout the country.”
“Too many small businesses and families in rural America lack access to a broadband Internet connection. To close this gap, we must invest federal funds to bring affordable and high-speed Internet access to these communities, as well as improve the accuracy of coverage maps,” said Pallone and Doyle. “Congressman McEachin is a fierce advocate for bringing broadband to unserved and underserved areas. We are looking forward to holding this field hearing in his congressional district to explore how best to connect rural America and promote economic growth and innovation.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues NPRM on Robocall Traceback Consortium Registration
On February 6, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it proposes rules to establish the registration process for a single consortium that conducts private-led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls, as required by the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act) adopted last year. Comment deadlines have not yet been established, but will be fairly quick: 10 days for comment, and another 5 days for reply comment.
Under the FCC’s proposal, the agency would issue an annual public notice seeking registration of a single consortium that conducts private-led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls. An entity that plans to register as the consortium for private-led traceback efforts would submit a letter of notice of its intent to conduct private-led traceback efforts and its intent to register as the single consortium. The letter must:
In the event that multiple entities register, the FCC would select the single registered consortium based on its analysis of any letter and associated documentation submitted by an entity seeking to register as the single consortium.
While the FCC intends to continue to solicit interest by public notice on an annual basis, the incumbent consortium would not be required to file a new application each year. Rather, each certification in a letter will extend for the duration of each subsequent year that the incumbent consortium serves, unless the incumbent consortium notifies the FCC otherwise in writing on or before the date for the filing of such letters set forth in the annual public notice.
MARCH 2: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM FOR CABLE COMPANIES. This form, plus royalty payment for the second half of calendar year 2019, is due March 1. The form covers the period July 1 to December 31, 2019, and is due to be mailed directly to cable TV operators by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office. Because March 1 is a Sunday this year, this filing is due March 2. If you do not receive the form, please contact the firm.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
MARCH 2: CPNI ANNUAL CERTIFICATION. Carriers should modify (as necessary) and complete their “Annual Certification of CPNI Compliance” for 2020. The certification must be filed with the FCC by March 2, because March 1 is a Sunday this year. Note that the annual certification should include the following three required Exhibits: (a) a detailed Statement Explaining How The Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance With The FCC’S CPNI Rules to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken Against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion. Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact the firm.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy
MARCH 2: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION & BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This annual form is due March 1 and September 1 annually. The FCC requires facilities-based wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service providers to report on FCC Form 477 the number of broadband subscribers they have in each census tract they serve. The Census Bureau changed the boundaries of some census tracts as part of the 2010 Census. Because March 1 is a Sunday this year, this filing is due March 2.
Specifically, three types of entities must file this form:
BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
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 FCC. 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: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
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 (1) states the company has procedures in place to meet the record-keeping requirements of Part 14 of the Rules; (2) states that the company has in fact kept records for the previous calendar year; (3) contains contact information for the individual or individuals handling customer complaints under Part 14; (4) contains contact information for the company’s designated agent; and (5) is supported by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury signed by an officer of the company.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, Sal Taillefer.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
I chuckled when I read the article about folks complaining about birds and towers. Here's a picture of a tower in Peoria County, Illinois that is a favorite of the buzzard crowd. It was actually taken in 2011, not 2007. The picture would look the same this year, with updated antennas.
|MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
“Take Me Home, Country Roads”
(Home Free Cover)
|Source:||YouTube||Official Music Video|
73 DE K9IQY
Licensed since 1957
|Current member or former member of these organizations.|
| 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
|Home Page||Directory||Consulting||Newsletters||Free Subscription||Products||Reference||Glossary||Send e-mail|