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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.
Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities
Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.
Practice everyday preventive behaviors! Stay home when sick. Cover coughs and sneezes. Frequently wash hands with soap and water. Clean frequently touched surfaces.
Americans should be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community. The community can take measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.
Decisions about the implementation of community measures will be made by local and state officials, in consultation with federal officials as appropriate, and based on the scope of the outbreak and the severity of illness. Implementation will require extensive community engagement, with ongoing and transparent public health communications.
Other Guidance and Resources
|Source:||CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention|
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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
Breaking: The NAB Show Is Off, at Least for April
National Association of Broadcasters says it is “reviewing options” in face of coronavirus, but will not hold the event in April
PAUL MCLANE ⋅ March 11, 2020
The National Association of Broadcasters will not hold the NAB Show, at least in April, due to public health concerns about coronavirus.
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith made the announcement. See the full text at bottom of this article.
“We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community,” Smith said.
The show markets itself the world’s “largest and most comprehensive convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology.” It drew approximately 91,400 people to Las Vegas in 2019, and featured some 1,600+ exhibitors.
International attendance is an important part of the event; last year about 26% of people came from abroad. Of those, about 30% were from Asia.
As of Wednesday afternoon the show’s website proclaimed “The show is on” and continued its message that organizers were “moving forward responsibly” while taking direction from the WHO and CDC. But the World Health Organization on Wednesday declared coronavirus a pandemic, and the NAB announcement followed quickly. The number of U.S. cases surpassed 1,000 this week, according to a dashboard published by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
“This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our NAB Show community for engaging with us as we grappled with the rapidly-evolving situation,” Smith said.
Recent days had seen an increasing number of exhibitor cancellations including familiar video names like Ross Video, Avid and Adobe, and some separate conferences that had timed their events to the big show pulled out, such as PBS TechCon, as other event organizers watched and worried.
Beyond broadcasting, a number of major events in cities around the United States have been cancelled or postponed. In many cases their planners say they intend to conduct virtual events or to offer other platforms for dissemination of show content and product information.
Here is the NAB statement:
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith Announces NAB Show Off for April, Reviewing Options for Event Later This Year
Washington, D.C. – NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith today issued the following letter to the NAB Show community regarding plans for NAB Show in light of coronavirus concerns:
Dear NAB Show community,
As you know, we have been carefully monitoring coronavirus developments both domestically and globally over the past few weeks.
In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community.
We have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April.
This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our NAB Show community for engaging with us as we grappled with the rapidly-evolving situation. This Show is as much yours as it is ours, and it is important to us that we move forward together.
For nearly 100 years, NAB Show has provided superior value and the best possible experience for exhibitors and attendees. We knew that if we could not deliver on those expectations, we would not move forward. More importantly, keeping the community safe and healthy is NAB’s highest priority; therefore, we are deferring to the developing consensus from public health authorities on the challenges posed by coronavirus.
We are deferring to the developing consensus from public health authorities on the challenges posed by coronavirus.
We are still weighing the best potential path forward, and we ask you for your patience as we do so. We are committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting where the industry can engage with the latest technology, hear from industry thought leaders and make the game-changing connections that drive our industry forward.
I want to stress that despite our disappointment at how this year’s Show has been impacted by global public health concerns, we are more excited than ever about the future of NAB Show and our relationship with you.
We are grateful for each and every member of our Show community. It is your passion for the industry that makes NAB Show a success year after year, and it is that same passion that will drive us into the future as we look ahead to new possibilities later this year and beyond.
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
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Apple says it's fine to wipe your iPhone with a Clorox wipe
By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
New York (CNN Business)Apple says you should feel free to use disinfectant wipes to clean your iPhone. Smartphones are notorious germ magnets, and Apple issued new gadget-cleaning guidance as the novel coronavirus outbreak spreads.
The new guidance, which appeared Monday on Apple's support page, tells people that they can "gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces," such as displays or keyboards, of Apple (AAPL) products with a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
Apple says people should not to use bleach to clean their gadgets and they should avoid letting moisture seep into any opening to prevent internal damage.
People have been rushing to purchase Clorox and other anti-bacterial wipes because they can kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, but it remains unclear about how effective they are at eliminating the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus from hard surfaces.
But disinfectant products that have been proven effective in protecting against the other human coronaviruses are thought to be effective against the novel coronavirus, too, Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, previously told CNN.
Saskia Popescu, a senior infection prevention epidemiologist and consultant for Clorox (CLX), said Americans should not panic and recommends following the same practices they would if they were trying to avoid the common respiratory infections, such as scrubbing hands clean with soap and water, wiping down shared work spaces with disinfectant wipes and to cover coughs and sneezes.
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
— PHYSICAL WORLD —
GPS is going places
Here are five things you didn’t know the navigation system could do
By Alexandra Witze 10.29.2019
You might think you’re an expert at navigating through city traffic, smartphone at your side. You might even hike with a GPS device to find your way through the backcountry. But you’d probably still be surprised at all the things that GPS — the global positioning system that underlies all of modern navigation — can do.
GPS consists of a constellation of satellites that send signals to Earth’s surface. A basic GPS receiver, like the one in your smartphone, determines where you are — to within about 1 to 10 meters — by measuring the arrival time of signals from four or more satellites. With fancier (and more expensive) GPS receivers, scientists can pinpoint their locations down to centimeters or even millimeters. Using that fine-grained information, along with new ways to analyze the signals, researchers are discovering that GPS can tell them far more about the planet than they originally thought it could.
Over the last decade, faster and more accurate GPS devices have allowed scientists to illuminate how the ground moves during big earthquakes. GPS has led to better warning systems for natural disasters such as flash floods and volcanic eruptions. And researchers have even MacGyvered some GPS receivers into acting as snow sensors, tide gauges and other unexpected tools for measuring Earth.
“People thought I was crazy when I started talking about these applications,” says Kristine Larson, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder who has led many of the discoveries and wrote about them in the 2019 Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. “Well, it turned out we were able to do it.”
Here are some surprising things scientists have only recently realized they could do with GPS.
1. Feel an earthquake
For centuries geoscientists have relied on seismometers, which measure how much the ground is shaking, to assess how big and how bad an earthquake is. GPS receivers served a different purpose — to track geologic processes that happen on much slower scales, such as the rate at which Earth’s great crustal plates grind past one another in the process known as plate tectonics. So GPS might tell scientists the speed at which the opposite sides of the San Andreas Fault are creeping past each other, while seismometers measure the ground shaking when that California fault ruptures in a quake.
Most researchers thought that GPS simply couldn’t measure locations precisely enough, and quickly enough, to be useful in assessing earthquakes. But it turns out that scientists can squeeze extra information out of the signals that GPS satellites transmit to Earth.
Those signals arrive in two components. One is the unique series of ones and zeros, known as the code, that each GPS satellite transmits. The second is a shorter-wavelength “carrier” signal that transmits the code from the satellite. Because the carrier signal has a shorter wavelength — a mere 20 centimeters — compared with the longer wavelength of the code, which can be tens or hundreds of meters, the carrier signal offers a high-resolution way to pinpoint a spot on Earth’s surface. Scientists, surveyors, the military and others often need a very precise GPS location, and all it takes is a more complicated GPS receiver.
Engineers have also improved the rate at which GPS receivers update their location, meaning they can refresh themselves as often as 20 times a second or more. Once researchers realized they could take precise measurements so quickly, they started using GPS to examine how the ground moved during an earthquake.
In 2003, in one of the first studies of its kind, Larson and her colleagues used GPS receivers studded across the western United States to study how the ground shifted as seismic waves rippled from a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Alaska. By 2011, researchers were able to take GPS data on the magnitude 9.1 earthquake that devastated Japan and show that the seafloor had shifted a staggering 60 meters during the quake.
Today, scientists are looking more broadly at how GPS data can help them quickly assess earthquakes. Diego Melgar of the University of Oregon in Eugene and Gavin Hayes of the US Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado, retrospectively studied 12 large earthquakes to see if they could tell, within seconds of the quake beginning, just how large it would get. By including information from GPS stations near the quakes’ epicenters, the scientists could determine within 10 seconds whether the quake would be a damaging magnitude 7 or a completely destructive magnitude 9.
Researchers along the US West Coast have even been incorporating GPS into their fledgling earthquake early warning system, which detects ground shaking and notifies people in distant cities whether shaking is likely to hit them soon. And Chile has been building out its GPS network in order to have more accurate information more quickly, which can help calculate whether a quake near the coast is likely to generate a tsunami or not.
2. Monitor a volcano
Beyond earthquakes, the speed of GPS is helping officials respond more quickly to other natural disasters as they unfold.
Many volcano observatories, for example, have GPS receivers arrayed around the mountains they monitor, because when magma begins shifting underground that often causes the surface to shift as well. By monitoring how GPS stations around a volcano rise or sink over time, researchers can get a better idea about where molten rock is flowing.
Before last year’s big eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, researchers used GPS to understand which parts of the volcano were shifting most rapidly. Officials used that information to help decide which areas to evacuate residents from.
A GPS station sits on the shores of Kachemak Bay, Alaska (top). Data from this receiver track nicely with data from a nearby National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tide gauge (bottom), demonstrating how GPS signals can be used to monitor changing water levels.
GPS data can also be useful even after a volcano has erupted. Because the signals travel from satellites to the ground, they have to pass through whatever material the volcano is ejecting into the air. In 2013, several research groups studied GPS data from an eruption of the Redoubt volcano in Alaska four years earlier and found that the signals became distorted soon after the eruption began.
By studying the distortions, the scientists could estimate how much ash had spewed out and how fast it was traveling. In an ensuing paper, Larson called it “a new way to detect volcanic plumes.”
She and her colleagues have been working on ways to do this with smartphone-variety GPS receivers rather than expensive scientific receivers. That could enable volcanologists to set up a relatively inexpensive GPS network and monitor ash plumes as they rise. Volcanic plumes are a big problem for airplanes, which have to fly around the ash rather than risk the particles’ clogging up their jet engines.
3. Probe the snow
Some of the most unexpected uses of GPS come from the messiest parts of its signal — the parts that bounce off the ground.
A typical GPS receiver, like the one in your smartphone, mostly picks up signals that are coming directly from GPS satellites overhead. But it also picks up signals that have bounced on the ground you’re walking on and reflected up to your smartphone.
For many years scientists had thought these reflected signals were nothing but noise, a sort of echo that muddied the data and made it hard to figure out what was going on. But about 15 years ago Larson and others began wondering if they could take advantage of the echoes in scientific GPS receivers. She started looking at the frequencies of the signals that reflected off the ground and how those combined with the signals that had arrived directly at the receiver. From that she could deduce qualities of the surface that the echoes had bounced off. “We just reverse-engineered those echoes,” says Larson.
A growing number of researchers are using reflected GPS signals as remote sensing tools to study, for example, Earth’s water cycle. A signal reflecting off bare soil (top right) has specific qualities, some of which differ if the signal is bouncing off a snow layer, vegetation or wet soil.
This approach allows scientists to learn about the ground beneath the GPS receiver — for instance how much moisture the soil contains or how much snow has accumulated on the surface. (The more snow falls on the ground, the shorter the distance between the echo and the receiver.) GPS stations can work as snow sensors to measure snow depth, such as in mountain areas where snowpack is a major water resource each year.
The technique also works well in the Arctic and Antarctica, where there are few weather stations monitoring snowfall year-round. Matt Siegfried, now at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and his colleagues studied snow accumulation at 23 GPS stations in West Antarctica from 2007 to 2017. They found they could directly measure the changing snow. That’s crucial information for researchers looking to assess how much snow the Antarctic ice sheet builds up each winter — and how that compares with what melts away each summer.
4. Sense a sinking
GPS may have started off as a way to measure location on solid ground, but it turns out to be also useful in monitoring changes in water levels.
In July, John Galetzka, an engineer at the UNAVCO geophysics research organization in Boulder, Colorado, found himself installing GPS stations in Bangladesh, at the junction of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The goal was to measure whether the river sediments are compacting and the land is slowly sinking — making it more vulnerable to flooding during tropical cyclones and sea level rise. “GPS is an amazing tool to help answer this question and more,” Galetzka says.
In a farming community called Sonatala, on the edge of a mangrove forest, Galetzka and his colleagues placed one GPS station on the concrete roof of a primary school. They set up a second station nearby, atop a rod hammered into a rice paddy. If the ground really is sinking, then the second GPS station will look as if it is slowly emerging from the ground. And by measuring the GPS echoes beneath the stations, the scientists can measure factors such as how much water is standing in the rice paddy during the rainy season.
GPS receivers can even help oceanographers and mariners, by acting as tide gauges. Larson stumbled onto this while working with GPS data from Kachemak Bay, Alaska. The station was established to study tectonic deformation, but Larson was curious because the bay also has some of the biggest tidal variations in the United States. She looked at the GPS signals that were bouncing off the water and up to the receiver, and was able to track tidal changes almost as accurately as a real tide gauge in a nearby harbor.
This could be helpful in parts of the world that don’t have long-term tide gauges set up — but do happen to have a GPS station nearby.
5. Analyze the atmosphere
Finally, GPS can tease out information about the sky overhead, in ways that scientists hadn’t thought possible until just a few years ago. Water vapor, electrically charged particles, and other factors can delay GPS signals traveling through the atmosphere, and that allows researchers to make new discoveries.
One group of scientists uses GPS to study the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere that is available to precipitate out as rain or snow. Researchers have used these changes to calculate how much water is likely to fall from the sky in drenching downpours, allowing forecasters to fine-tune their predictions of flash floods in places like Southern California. During a July 2013 storm, meteorologists used GPS data to track monsoonal moisture moving onshore there, which turned out to be crucial information for issuing a warning 17 minutes before flash floods hit.
GPS signals are also affected when they travel through the electrically charged part of the upper atmosphere, known as the ionosphere. Scientists have used GPS data to track changes in the ionosphere as tsunamis race across the ocean below. (The force of the tsunami produces changes in the atmosphere that ripple all the way up to the ionosphere.) This technique could one day complement the traditional method of tsunami warning, which uses buoys dotted across the ocean to measure the height of the traveling wave.
And scientists have even been able to study the effects of a total solar eclipse using GPS. In August 2017, they used GPS stations across the United States to measure how the number of electrons in the upper atmosphere dropped as the moon’s shadow moved across the continent, dimming the light that otherwise created electrons.
So GPS is useful for everything from ground shaking beneath your feet to snow falling from the sky. Not bad for something that was just supposed to help you find your way across town.
Alexandra Witze is a Colorado-based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Nature, Science News and other publications. She does not have a good sense of direction.
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.
Mar 9, 2020,04:38pm EST
Microsoft Issues Windows 10 Update Warning
Gordon Kelly Senior Contributor
Windows 10 users, yes it has been a rocky spell, but you need to be on high alert yet again. Here’s everything you need to know.
How To Upgrade To Windows 10 For 'Free' In 2020 [Updated]
FORBES Gordon Kelly
Picked up by both BleepingComputer and Windows Latest, the early problems with Microsoft’s new KB4535996 Windows 10 update are now spiraling out of control. Here are the main issues you need to be aware of.
03/09 Update: Microsoft has confirmed Windows 10 has run into more trouble. The company has published a support page explaining that a new bug in Windows 10 can prevent users from manually installing drivers on their PCs. Users will receive the error message: "A driver can't load on this device" and it can break installations even after they appear to complete successfully. Microsoft states "If you choose to continue using your device without addressing the driver problem, you might discover that the functionality the driver supports does not work any longer, which could have consequences ranging from negligible to severe." Third party drivers can be essential, particularly for legacy devices, so Microsoft has offered a workaround which (perhaps surprisingly) involves turning off a Windows 10 security setting that guards memory integrity to allow the driver installation to complete:
Microsoft offers no timeline for a proper fix to this issue but, given the level of inconvenience and potential problems, surely it will be a priority.
03/10 Update: the problems associated with KB4535996 are still increasing. The always diligent BetaNews, reports that some Windows 10 users who have installed the update are discovering that sleep no longer works correctly on their computers and Microsoft's KB4535996 community page is filled complaints including broken search, trouble opening apps and a growing number of users reporting their PCs will not boot after updating. Remarkably, three days on from these troubles beginning, Microsoft still states on its KB4535996 update page that it is "not currently aware of any issues with this update". Ignore this. If you haven't already, get the Windows Update troubleshooter and proactively block KB4535996. Until more is known, this is an update you need to avoid.
Boot Problems And Crashes
The former appears to be widespread among users who have installed KB4535996, with significant delays in PCs starting after installing the update and occasionally showing a disconcerting black screen partway through the elongated boot process. My own PC is exhibiting this problem.
That said, if you have this issue you are lucky because for others their PCs will not boot at all:
Blue Screen Of Death
The infamous BSOD is also hitting users with KB4535996 installed with the blue screen appearing as Windows loads the login screen. This appears to be less widespread, but when it does hit it can hit hard. Bleeping Computer highlights the plight of one company in particular:
Windows 10 stutters, dropped frame rates (primarily in games), high disk usage and thrashing have also all been reported.
“It's not extreme, but I say my framerate in games has gone down 10 frames or so and stuttering occurs once in a while,” wrote one user on Reddit. “After uninstalling the cumulative update, everything was fine. Weird.”
“Can confirm. Ramped up my CPU usage and caused stuttering even on the easiest games to run,” - source
“After I installed the update the disk usage in task manager is 100% all the time, and my PC is slow af now!” - source
Installing KB4535996 has resulted in reports of broken audio in Windows 10 too:
“Thanks to the recent update I no longer have any sound on my computer, I’ve tried everything and nothing will fix it besides rolling the update back, point is [I] shouldn't have to. Microsoft needs to get their **** together.” - source
“The latest Microsoft update has caused my audio to stop working.” - source
“I updated on the 1st March I have nothing but troubles now intermittent shutting down sound issues video issues I cannot uninstall this even after a reset” - source
Microsoft Visual Studio Impacted
The Visual Studio code-signing tool signtool.exe appears widely broken for many users. Coder Rafael Rivera appears to have found the root of it warning: “If you're having trouble with signtool.exe, check if you have KB4535996 (optional 2020-02 CU) installed. Looks like WTLogConfigCiScriptEvent got removed from wldp.dll without sufficient testing.”
Microsoft has also issued a warning about this stating: “We’re aware of issues with signtool.exe after installing the latest optional update for Windows 10, version 1903 or Windows 10, version 1909 (KB4535996). If you are encountering issues or receiving errors related to signtool.exe, you can uninstall the optional update KB4535996. We are working on a resolution and estimate a solution will be available in mid-March."
And yet here’s the crazy part: go to the KB4535996 page and Microsoft still writes “Microsoft is not currently aware of any issues with this update”. The company regularly fails to update the warnings on troubled Windows 10 updates (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) but this time it’s particularly poor.
While some users have experienced problems trying to uninstall KB4535996, these are the steps you need to follow:
You can also download Windows Update troubleshooter, which will enable you to block KB4535996 proactively / stop it from reinstalling.
All these problems come just weeks after a Windows 10 update started deleting user data while another was pulled days earlier for causing system crashes. Microsoft has recently rolled out Windows 10 optional update improvements first announced in September but the quality of updates themselves still leave a lot to be desired.
Microsoft, it's time to do better.
Coronavirus KO’s IWCE 2020 . . . For Now
Iconic industry conference organizer IWCE announced the cancellation of its upcoming March 30-April 2 trade show in Las Vegas. Yesterday, Stephanie McCall, IWCE Show Director, said, “after close consultation with our partners in the industry, we have made the difficult decision to postpone IWCE 2020. With the rapidly developing circumstances and in light of corporate travel considerations continuing to escalate, we’ve worked as quickly as possible to explore our options. The intention is to announce a new date shortly. Exhibitors and attendees will be contacted with further information regarding booth contracts and registrations.”
McCall said attendees will automatically have their registration transferred to the rescheduled event. She directed those with questions and concerns to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org where they will try to respond within 48 hours, although expected heavy volume could delay that further.
“For exhibitors and sponsors, we will transfer your program to the future event,” McCall said. “Your Account Manager will be reaching out personally in the next few days to discuss your immediate questions. We continue to work diligently to ensure all details are buttoned down and we thank you for your patience.”
Next Week's South Wireless Summit in Nashville is Postponed
The South Wireless Summit planned for March 16-18, in Nashville, has been cancelled with plans to reschedule the conference for this summer. The Summit is a joint effort by state wireless associations in AL, AR/OK, NC/SC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, TN and TX. The group issued the following statement yesterday:
“With the recent activity of COVID-19 and the closure of numerous college campuses (including Vanderbilt in Nashville), as well as various company travel bans, the South Wireless Summit is being postponed. We are working with all our venues to reschedule for this summer — dates will be provided to everyone as soon as they are confirmed. All sponsorships, fees and paid entries into the Summit will be transferred to the rescheduled event.
This decision was not an easy one to make, but we understand if we were to proceed with the event, many of our sponsors, speakers, and attendees wouldn't be able to attend, thus causing the event to be non-productive or serve our wireless community.
New dates will be sent out to everyone as soon as they are confirmed,” the statement read.
|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.
Form 499-A, Access to Advanced Services Certifications Due April 1
The Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet, known as FCC Form 499-A, is due on April 1. The filing, which applies to every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications, and certain other entities that provide interstate telecommunications for a fee, requires the reporting of revenue information from January 1 through December 31 of the prior year, along with certain other information.
Also due April 1 is the Annual Access to Advanced Services Certification. This filing, which applies to all providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications carriers subject to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, requires the filer to certify that it has procedures in place to meet the relevant record-keeping requirements and actually keeps the required records.
BloostonLaw has an extensive experience with both filings and has a compliance manual available for the Accessibility filing.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Releases Tentative Agenda for March Open Meeting
On March 10, the FCC released the tentative agenda for its next Open Meeting, currently scheduled for March 31 at 10:30 a.m. ET. At the meeting, the FCC will consider the following items:
The links above are for public drafts of meeting items. The FCC is publicly releasing the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Commission Meeting, along with one-page cover sheets prepared by the FCC to help summarize each item. It is important to note that these are only drafts, and may differ from the final version of the item actually considered at the Open Meeting.
Open Meetings are streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC to Consider Mandatory Implementation of STIR/SHAKEN
On March 6, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the FCC would be considering new rules requiring implementation of caller ID authentication using so-called “STIR/SHAKEN” technological standards at its March Open Meeting. According to a Press Release, Chairman Pai’s proposal would require originating and terminating voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN in the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks by June 30, 2021.
Although the FCC had initiated a proceeding to implement STIR/SHAKEN in June of last year, December saw the passage of the TRACED Act, which directs the Commission to require voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN in their networks within 18 months of the law’s enactment.
An accompanying Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, if adopted, would propose giving one-year extensions of this deadline for small and rural providers pursuant to the TRACED Act. The Further Notice would also seek public input on implementing other aspects of the TRACED Act, including requirements that voice service providers work toward deploying caller ID authentication in the non-IP parts of their networks.
“All of us are fed up with robocalls—including me,” said Chairman Pai. “We’ve taken many steps to stem the tide of spoofed robocalls. I’m excited about the proposal I’m advancing today: requiring phone companies to adopt a caller ID authentication framework called STIR/SHAKEN. Widespread implementation will give American consumers a lot more peace of mind when they pick up the phone. Last year, I demanded that major phone companies voluntarily deploy STIR/SHAKEN, and a number of them did. But it’s clear that FCC action is needed to spur across-the-board deployment of this important technology. There is no silver bullet when it comes to eradicating robocalls, but this is a critical shot at the target.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Law and Regulation
Senate Passes Broadband Mapping Bill
On March 10, the U.S. Senate unanimously agreed to amendments to the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act by the House of Representatives, officially sending the bill on to the President for signature into law. The DATA Act was originally introduced in June of last year by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, together with Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., John Thune, R-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
The DATA Act will:
“Flawed broadband maps are a huge problem for rural and underserved communities, including many in Mississippi,” said Wicker. “Accurate maps will pave the way for more Americans to access high-speed broadband and the economic opportunities that come with it.”
“From providing students the resources they need to succeed to helping small businesses connect with their customers, access to high-speed broadband is critical to families and communities across Michigan,” said Peters. “I am pleased that this bipartisan bill will soon be law and allow us to more accurately track broadband availability and help close the digital divide in rural and urban communities across Michigan.”
“In today’s ever-changing technological world, it’s more important than ever that folks in rural areas have access to high-speed broadband,” said Thune. “This bipartisan legislation would help deliver those broadband services to South Dakotans who need it most.”
“Broadband is key to keeping rural America competitive in the 21st century and beyond,” said Klobuchar. “Now that the Broadband DATA Act has passed the House and Senate and is headed to the President’s desk, we are one step closer to closing the digital divide.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Releases Technical Guide for 3.7 GHz “C-Band” Auction
On March 5, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the availability of guides that provide technical and mathematical detail regarding the proposed bidding procedures for the clock and assignment phases of Auction 107, which will offer 3.7 GHz Service licenses in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band. According to the Press Release, these guides provide examples and serve as supplements to the bidding and bid processing procedures for the clock and assignment phases as proposed by the Commission in the Auction 107 Comment Public Notice. The guides, which are entitled Auction 107 Clock Phase Technical Guide and Auction 107 Assignment Phase Technical Guide, respectively, are available on the Commission’s Auction 107 website (www.fcc.gov/auction/107) in the Education section, where they will remain available and accessible for reference.
As we reported in last week’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC released proposed competitive bidding procedures for Auction 107 in the Auction 107 Comment Public Notice. Under the Commission’s proposal, Auction 107 will offer 5,684 new flexible-use overlay licenses for spectrum in the 3.7– 3.98 GHz band throughout the contiguous United States, subject to incumbent user clearing requirements. The FCC is proposing that the 280 megahertz of spectrum be licensed on an unpaired basis in three blocks divided into 20-megahertz sub-blocks by partial economic area (PEA). The FCC expects bidding in Auction 107 will begin on December 8, 2020.
FCC Releases 2018 Data on Voice Services
On March 6, the FCC released its annual Voice Telephone Services report, which summarizes the information collected about telephone services through Form 477 as of December 31, 2018. According to the Voice Telephone Services report, the data shows that as of December 2018, there were 44 million end-user switched access lines in service, 67 million interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 348 million mobile subscriptions in the United States, or 459 million retail voice telephone service connections in total. Interconnected VoIP subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 4%, 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 56 million wireline residential connections in December 2018 were: 29.5% ILEC switched access lines, 52.6% non-ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, 16.1% ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 1.8% non-ILEC switched access lines. Similarly, the 54 million wireline business connections were: 32.3% ILEC switched access lines, 44.5% non-ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, 7.7% ILEC interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 15.5% non-ILEC switched access lines. The full report can be found here.
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.
MAY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its 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: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
JUNE 1: 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. However, because the 31st is a Sunday this year, the filing will be due on June 1. 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 June 1. 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.
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