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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — December 15, 2017 — Issue No. 785

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Be sure to read, “FCC chairman Ajit Pai says his children are being harassed over net neutrality.” This article describes an awful act by people that are called sinvergüenza (shameless) in Spanish. I hope they catch the ones who did it. Too bad we can't hang people like this by their thumbs in a public square. Whether or not you agree with the commission's policies, this kind of behaviour should not happen—never ever!

Farewell, AIM: AOL Instant Messenger has signed off permanently

AIM's final away message.

By Brad Chacos Senior Editor, PCWorld
DEC 15, 2017 6:37 AM PT

It’s the end of an era that realistically ended a decade ago. On Friday, AOL shut down AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) permanently. Plans for its death were first announced in October.

When I heard the news, my mind flashed back to the boxes full of America Online CDs in every store, to the dubstep-like beeps and boops of a 28.8K modem connecting to the Internet, and AIM chat rooms providing a real-time connection with people around the world long before social networks accomplished the same task.

But the rise of social networks like Facebook and Whatsapp were the final nail in AIM’s coffin. The company acknowledges that the times aren’t just a-changing now that we’re in the smartphone era—they’ve already been altered forever. “AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed,” wrote Michael Albers, VP of communications at Oath (the Verizon brand that gobbled up AOL).

AOL discontinued active AIM development in 2012, and cut off third-party apps (like Adium, Trillian, and Pidgin) earlier this year. And AOL Instant Messenger isn’t the only turn of the century vanguard to fall on hard times; Microsoft shut down MSN Messenger in 2014, while Yahoo Messenger closed up shop last year.

An AOL help page says you’ll continue to have access to your e-mail address, but there was no way to save or export your AIM buddy list for posterity. That era is really, truly dead. So pour one out for AIM. Who could’ve guessed that AOL’s dial-up Internet business would outlast the one-time chat giant? If you’re looking for an all-encompassing AIM alternative, this handy Chrome extension lets you access Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, Discord, Steam chat and more from a single window.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 6, 2017 when the shutdown was announced, and updated when it actually happened.

So . . . on to the news.





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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.

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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 Policy

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 opinions.



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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

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.

Advertiser Index

Hark Technologies
IWA Technical Services, Inc. (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications
Prism Paging
Product Support Services (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC (Ron Mercer)

FCC chairman Ajit Pai says his children are being harassed over net neutrality

By Hamza Shaban November 27

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said protest signs were put up at his home.
(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)

After proposing to dismantle net neutrality rules, and setting off a firestorm of criticism, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said his family has become the target of harassment.

During an interview Monday on “Fox & Friends,” viewers were shown cardboard signs that host Steve Doocy said were put up at Pai's home in suburban Virginia. One sign, appearing to refer to Pai's children, read: “They will come to know the truth. Dad murdered Democracy in cold blood.”

Pai said those signs crossed a line, even as he noted the charged debate over net neutrality. “I understand that people are passionate about policy, but the one thing in America that should remain sacred is that families, wives and kids, should remain out of it. And stop harassing us at our homes.”

Last week Pai took aim at the signature Obama-era regulation designed to ensure that all websites are treated equally by Internet providers. Under Pai's plan, those rules would be stripped, granting Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers see and use. Republicans hold three out of five seats at the FCC. And Pai said he expects the plan to pass at a Dec. 14 meeting on a party-line vote.

The FCC moved to undo net neutrality. So what's next? The FCC voted May 18 to begin undoing Obama-era Internet regulations that disallowed Internet providers from favoring or blocking websites. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

Pai has said his proposal would restore a “light-touch” regulatory framework for Internet services and would stop the government from micromanaging the Internet. Broadband and wireless companies such as Comcast and Verizon applauded Pai's move. But Internet companies and activists see the undoing of net neutrality as an invitation for corporate abuse, in which service providers block websites they do not like and charge Web companies for speedier delivery of their content. “They've listed your children's names on the signs and said that you were an evil man who murdered democracy,” said Doocy. “How freaked out were your kids to know that whoever left that there knew who they were?”

“It was a little nerve-racking, especially for my wife,” Pai said.

Pai suggested that the intense criticism leveled at him for targeting neutrality rules can lead to the type of harassment his family experienced. “That's one of the things I think is very unfortunate about all the vitriol and hot air that's out there is that if you keep going out there and peddling this misinformation like, 'This is the guy who is going to break the Internet and destroy democracy,' it's not surprising that some people get alarmed by it.”

Pai said in a statement, “Internet regulation activists have crossed the line by threatening and harassing my family. They should leave my family out of this and focus on debating the merits of the issue.”

Craig Aaron, the president of Free Press, an advocacy group that supports diverse media ownership, told The Washington Post: “We condemn any racist comments or harassing messages sent to the chairman of the FCC. We don't think there is any place for that in the debate.” Aaron said his group was not involved in the sign-posting incident at Pai's home.

Critics of the Trump-era FCC have scrutinized the agency's handling of public comments submitted to provide feedback on the net neutrality proposal. Some advocates and officials, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, say thousands of fake or automated comments submitted to the FCC have unfairly skewed the policymaking process. The FCC has said that it lacks the resources to review every comment and that automated feedback came from both opponents of net neutrality and supporters.

Although the criticism over fake comments may not alter the commission's upcoming vote to repeal the rules, some experts say it may benefit supporters of the rules in any legal challenge to the FCC's plan.

Source: The Washington Post  

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paging encoder

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  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
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  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
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Other products

Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
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Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!



“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.

Radio tower fills one of last gaps in Larimer County emergency communication

Officials celebrate effort to fill need in northwest county first noted in the 1990s

By Sam Lounsberry Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
POSTED: 12/12/2017 04:27:18 PM MST

The Larimer County Public Safety Communications Site at Killpecker, which is about six miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, provides better emergency The Larimer County Public Safety Communications Site at Killpecker, which is about six miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, provides better emergency radio communications in the Poudre Canyon, Laramie River Valley, and the Red Feather areas.
(Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Loveland Reporter-Herald)

FORT COLLINS — One of the last gaps in emergency radio communication coverage in Larimer County has been filled with the completion of Killpecker Radio Tower, enhancing the safety of emergency responders, residents and travelers in the Poudre Canyon.

Radio signals from the tower about six miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes went live in October, allowing radio communication coverage between Larimer County's law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders where it was previously impossible.

The tower's initiation was celebrated by nine public officials and even an employee of Poudre Valley Rural Electrical Association, all gathered to be recognized by the Larimer County commissioners Tuesday morning.

A 12-mile power line to the tower was installed by PVREA to make it functional.

"I want to thank people ... from PVREA," Larimer County Under-sheriff Bill Nelson said. "... They built a line in an area that is technically not in their coverage area. They were very willing to come in and build that power line once we worked out the details."

The need for the tower was noted as long ago as the 1990s, Sheriff Justin Smith said, as spotty radio communication coverage in the canyon would often force first responders to drive miles from an emergency scene in order to simply keep dispatchers informed or call for backup.

In 2006, the sheriff's office proposed solving the issue by building a tower in the Middle Bald Mountain area, but a later environmental study by the U.S. Forest Service opposed that site, and suggested the current Killpecker site instead.

Several U.S. Forest Service officials were present at the commissioners meeting to join in the celebration of the project's completion.

Major public safety threats such as the 2012 High Park fire and the 2013 floods highlighted the danger of the lack of communication abilities in the canyon, Smith said.

"Certainly, the High Park fire, and the 2013 floods showed what this was all about, that we were out of sync in that area," Smith said.

Construction on the tower began in 2015, according to a press release from the sheriff's office, and came at a cost of $2.35 million, under the $3 million budgeted for the project. The county received a $1.5 million grant for the tower from the state's Department of Local Affairs.

"Our holes in communication, they're an incredible hit to the safety of our officers when they make a routine traffic stop," Commissioner Lew Gaiter said. "Nobody knows that they're there. They have no way to call for help if something goes wrong. The cops have to be able to do their job. If we can't make sure you're safe, then we're doing something wrong."

Some spots in the mountainous areas of the county, however, such as the community of Rustic, are still outside the range of radio communications, even with the Killpecker tower.

"There's not a good way to get a signal into Rustic itself," county systems administrator Dave Rowe told commissioners. "Most of it is just a bad spot."

From just outside Rustic, though, through the upper Poudre Canyon including Cameron Pass, the tower can provide solid 800 megahertz and VHF radio reception. It also improved reception around the Red Feather Lakes area and in the Laramie River Valley.

Commissioner Steve Johnson asked if Killpecker Radio Tower would provide any opportunity for improved civilian cellphone coverage, and the answer is currently no. Only one cellphone signal provider that was contacted about the project responded and expressed a desire for a larger tower to be built for cellphone use, Nelson said.

"Right now, it's a public safety radio tower. At some point down the road, I suppose there could be (cellphone use)," Nelson said.

Source: Reporter-Herald NEWS  

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Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

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Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

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Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
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Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety

Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!

Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide. 

Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.

DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.

Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.

Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.

Swissphone sets new standards in paging:

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E-mail Phil Leavitt ( ) for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 241

Tower Worker Dies in Year’s Seventh

Fatality A 39-year-old man died when he fell from a tower in southern Trego County near Wakeeney, KS Saturday, reported the Salina Journal.

A release from the Trego County Sheriff's Office said the man died at approximately 3:17 p.m. after an apparent accidental fall from a tower on CC Road between U.S. Highway 283 and 260th Avenue. The tower worker was employed by Worldwide Towers Communication, according to KWCH-TV.

The accident is under investigation. Inside Towers will report on the ensuing details as they become available.

FCC Warns KHKA About Tower Light Outage

The FCC issued a Notice of Violation to Blow Up LLC, owner of KHKA(AM), Honolulu, HI. An agent from the Enforcement Bureau’s Honolulu office inspected the tower for the Class B SportsTalk station and found one of the two required steady burning lights at the mid-level was out.

The bureau told Blow Up to submit a written statement within 20 days describing the circumstances for each violation, and actions taken to correct them. The bureau said the response does not preclude the agency from taking further enforcement action. The tower (ASR# 1213943) was built in 2001, according to the FCC.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 244

‘Twilight Towers’ to Get Co-location Approval

By Leslie Stimson, Washington Bureau Chief, Inside Towers

By a unanimous vote, the FCC took action to exempt most so-called “twilight towers” from routine historic preservation review Thursday. They couldn’t accept co-location because either they were built without historic preservation review or don’t have documentation that such a review occurred.

Some 4,000 of these structures, built from 2001 to 2005, will now be available for co-location for wireless antennas, Inside Towers reported. The notice the Commission approved, requests input on whether to formally ask the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to adopt a document to allow the co-locations. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai hopes to have the process wrapped up by the middle of next year.

In 2013, as Acting Chair of the FCC, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said yesterday, she saw how important it would be to “release” these towers from what she and other Commissioners called “regulatory purgatory.” Indeed, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said the decision will add more towers for FirstNet, and now these tower owners can accept co-locating partners, adding a possible 6,500 antennas. “We must operate in the present with the facts as they are, not as they want them to be,” he said of the 10 years the item languished. “Most of these towers are not subject to complaint,” he said.

The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) applauded the action. WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein called it “an historic win for the wireless industry” that “opens up more wireless infrastructure and strengthens mobile networks so that the industry can provide greater service to consumers.”

“There is no reason to believe Twilight Towers are any different than towers that were built during any other time period,” Adelstein said. “No formal complaints were filed by a Tribe or a Tribal Historic Preservation Office claiming a tower has had an adverse effect on their cultural preservation efforts. In fact, opening up Twilight Towers will actually reduce the number of new towers and therefore reduce the amount of ground disturbance that comes with new construction.” WIA and CTIA both worked with the FCC on the issue. CTIA VP for Regulatory Affairs Scott Bergman lauded the agency for its common sense approach which will allow certain cell towers to be used for the next generation of wireless infrastructure. “We look forward to working with all interested parties to finalize this approach, which will enable consumers to benefit from faster and broader mobile broadband networks.”

The National Association of Tower Erectors, too, praised the move, saying it frees up structures for wireless co-location deployment activities. “NATE member companies are on the front lines building, deploying and maintaining wireless infrastructure in the United States and today’s action by the FCC is yet another positive development for our membership as we continue to lead the way on the road to 5G,” NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway told Inside Towers.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.

 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 20, No. 51 December 13, 2017 


In lieu of holiday cards this season, BloostonLaw will be making a donation to Healthcare for the Homeless, a local charity program. We wish our clients a happy and safe holiday season! In observance of the holiday, our next newsletter will not be published until Jan. 3.

Our office will be closed Dec. 22 and 26. Our office will close at 2 p.m. Dec. 29.

Holiday Issue

T-Mobile to Acquire Cable TV Innovator and Launch New Video Services in 2018

While many telecom and cable companies are sizing up their next big wireless play, T-Mobile US, Inc. made a bold move in the other direction today, announcing that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Denver-based cable television innovator Layer3 TV, Inc. (“Layer3 TV”) and that it plans to work with Layer3’s technology to launch a new TV service aimed at disrupting the $100B US pay TV industry.

“People love their TV, but they hate their TV providers. And worse, they have no real choice but to simply take it — the crappy customer service, clunky technology and outrageous bills loaded with fees! That’s where we come in. We’re gonna fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers across the country,” said T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere.

A news item posted on the T-Mobile web site did not discuss the financial terms, and is short on detail, but teases the new offering in a style that the “Un-carrier” has become famous for.

“We’re in the midst of the Golden Age of TV, and yet people have never been more frustrated by the status quo created by Big Cable and Satellite TV,” said Mike Sievert, Chief Operating Officer of T-Mobile. “That’s because the world is changing — with mobile video, streaming services, cord cutting, original content and more — and yet, the old guard simply can’t — or won’t — evolve. It’s time for a disruptor to shake things up and give people real choice like only the Un-carrier can.”

In recent years, T-Mobile has put a major emphasis on mobile video services, allowing customers to use their phones to stream YouTube, Netflix and HBO NOW and other services without cutting into allotted data. The carrier doesn't charge overage fees, but it slows data transmissions down to 2G speed after a customer reaches their limit. To save wireless network capacity, video is compressed to 480p resolution which uses much less data but which still looks good on a smaller smartphone screen.

That is where Layer3 comes in. The company has figured out how to reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to transmit video. Rather than the typical 10 to 15 Mbps download speed needed to support high-definition service, Layer3 indicates that it is able to send high-def video into a home at less than 4 megabits per second using a different video compression technology called HEVC (high efficiency video coding). And rather than relying on the public Internet, Layer3 has leased its own 12,000-mile fiber backbone, which takes it into the communities the company serves. For the critical “last mile”, Level3 has entered into agreements with large infrastructure companies to carry Internet protocol over their networks. This differs from Internet TV because it gives Level3 the ability to manage the network end-to-end, ensuring the quality of the video.

T-Mobile recently quadrupled its low-band spectrum holdings (to an average of 31 megahertz nationwide) with winning bids of almost $8B for 600 MHz Band licenses in the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction. In August, the company began offering 600 MHz LTE service in Cheyenne, Wyoming and a handful of other markets where the 600 MHz band spectrum was already clear. Merging the Layer3 technology with T-Mobile’s repurposed TV-band spectrum would therefore seem to be a natural fit.

Layer3 TV service is not available in all communities, however, so the T-Mobile deal may help it spread to more areas. The third-largest U.S. telecom company by subscribers, T-Mobile claims to have the country's fastest LTE data network.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell

FCC Announces Official Agenda for December 14 Meeting

On December 8, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the official agenda for tomorrow’s Open Meeting. At the Meeting, the FCC will consider the following items:

  • Restoring Internet Freedom: a Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order that will restore Internet Freedom by returning broadband Internet access service to its prior classification as an information service, and reinstate the private mobile service classification of mobile broadband Internet access service. The item also will eliminate the Internet Conduct Standard, along with the bright-line rules. Additionally, it will modify the transparency rule to promote additional transparency, while eliminating burdensome and unnecessary requirements. (WC Docket No. 17-108)
  • New Emergency Alert System Event Code for Blue Alerts: a Report and Order that would amend the FCC’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to add a dedicated event code to facilitate the delivery of Blue Alerts over the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alert system. Blue Alerts can deliver actionable information to the public when a law enforcement officer is killed, seriously injured, missing in connection with his or her official duties, or if there is an imminent and credible threat to a law enforcement officer. (PS Docket No. 15-94)
  • Rural Health Care Support Mechanism: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order to strengthen the Rural Health Care Program and improve access to telehealth in rural America. (WC Docket No. 17- 310)
  • Twilight Towers Public Notice: a Public Notice seeking input on a draft Program Comment addressing the historic preservation review requirements for collocating wireless communications facilities on certain communications towers. (WT Docket No. 17-79
  • CMRS Presumption Report & Order: a Report and Order to harmonize the FCC’s rules by eliminating the commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) presumption, to be consistent with our flexible use approach to licensing. (WT Docket No. 16-240)
  • Electronic Delivery of Cable Communications: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on ways to modernize certain notice provisions in Part 76 of the FCC’s Rules governing multichannel video and cable television service. (MB Docket Nos. 17-317, 17-105)
  • National Television Multiple Ownership Rule: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on whether to modify, retain or eliminate the 39 percent national audience reach cap and/or the UHF discount used by broadcast television station groups to calculate compliance with the cap. (MB Docket No. 17-318)

The Open Meeting will be streamed live at and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC. Continuing with the FCC’s pilot program, public drafts of each item described above is linked within the description. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. These are not final drafts and may be different than what the FCC ultimately considers and adopts.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

USAC Announces Upcoming Changes in Payment Process for USF Contributions

On December 12, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) announced that it will be moving its banking services for the USF from its current banking institution to the U.S. Treasury. This change is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2018; USAC will confirm the date in a later notice. After the transfer, USAC will no longer accept payments to, or distribute funds from, its current bank account. Instead, USAC will process payments and distributions through the U.S. Treasury. The primary revision will be that USAC will no longer accept checks or wire transfers; instead, payments will be made through USAC’s online EFile system. USAC indicated it will provide additional information in early 2018 when the transition is nearer.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FCC Seeks Comment on Response Efforts Taken During 2017 Hurricane Season

On December 7, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) issued a Public Notice seeking comment on “the resiliency of the communications infrastructure, the effectiveness of emergency communications, and government and industry responses to the 2017 hurricane season.” Comments are due January 22, 2018, and reply comments are due February 21, 2018.

The 2017 season included four hurricanes which made landfall in the United States and its territories: Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. Comment is sought on a number of questions in the Public Notice, including:

  • Impacts to Communications Infrastructure What were the major causes of communications outages due to the hurricanes? What were the cascading effects of communications outages? To what extent was the communications infrastructure resilient to the hurricanes?
  • FCC’s Response Are there actions that the FCC could take to improve the support and coordination it provides to industry and government (federal and SLTT) partners? Are there any actions that the FCC should consider to improve the communications industry response to hurricanes? How effective were the FCC’s responses with respect to RFIs, RFAs, and requests for STAs and waiver requests?
  • Communications Service User Experience To what extent did government agencies issue emergency alerts to the public, particularly over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)? Were consumers able to effectively reach 911 services via voice and/or text (where text-to-911 was available) during and after the hurricanes? Were emergency communications services available to people with disabilities and others with specific communications needs?
  • Communications Service Provider Experience To what extent were service providers able to preposition equipment, supplies, and/or resources close to the affected areas in advance of each hurricane? Did small and rural providers, including those serving Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands, face any unique challenges in preparing for, responding to and recovering from the hurricanes? Was radio frequency information shared among service providers?

Carriers interested in filing comments in this proceeding should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Chairman Pai Announces FCC Online Dashboard

On December 11, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a Press Release announcing the launch of an online dashboard to provide the public with more information on the agency’s work. According to the Press Release, “[t]he Commission’s new dashboard will help keep the public informed about the FCC’s workload in areas like pending applications, petitions, complaints, and license renewals.”

The new dashboard is available here.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC Enters Into Memorandum of Understanding with FTC Over Consumer Protection

On December 11, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the intent of the FCC and the FTC to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two agencies “would coordinate online consumer protection efforts following the adoption of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order." The draft MOU outlines the ways in which the FCC and FTC intend to work together to protect consumers, including:

  • The FCC will review informal complaints concerning the compliance of Internet service providers (ISPs) with the disclosure obligations set forth in the new transparency rule. Those obligations include publicly providing information concerning an ISP’s practices with respect to blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, and congestion management. Should an ISP fail to make the required disclosures— either in whole or in part—the FCC will take enforcement action.
  • The FTC will investigate and take enforcement action as appropriate against ISPs concerning the accuracy of those disclosures, as well as other deceptive or unfair acts or practices involving their broadband services.
  • The FCC and the FTC will broadly share legal and technical expertise, including the secure sharing of informal complaints regarding the subject matter of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The two agencies also will collaborate on consumer and industry outreach and education.

The full MOU can be downloaded here.

The 9th Circuit is currently preparing to opine on whether or not the FTC has jurisdiction over common carriers, even when they are providing an unregulated service. It is likely that this decision will have a tangible impact on the MOU and the agencies’ behavior.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.


JANUARY 16: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. The next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is January 16, 2018. Non-Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2017. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. Following the T-Mobile USA Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 12-39), the FCC’s enforcement policy calls for multiplying the $15,000 per-handset fine by the number of months of the deficiency, creating the potential for very steep fines. It is therefore crucial that our clients pay close attention to their HAC regulatory compliance, and monthly checks are strongly recommended. In this regard, we have prepared a HAC reporting template to assist our clients in keeping track of their HAC handset offerings, and other regulatory compliance efforts. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE FCC’S HAC RULES – INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION – MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING. To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the FCC’s revised rules.

BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Sal Taillefer.

FEBRUARY 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 Mary Sisak.

FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

Calendar At-A-Glance

Dec. 18 – Reply comments are due on international circuit bearer fees and MDU calculation.
Dec. 27 – Comments are due on Nationwide Number Portability NPRM.
Dec. 29 – Comments are due on Ancillary or Supplementary Services and Broadcast Public Notices.
Dec. 31 – Carriers receiving CAF Phase II funding must complete deployment to at least 40 percent of supported locations in each state (the interim build-out milestone).

Jan. 4 – Deadline to submit 4G Data Collection data.
Jan. 16 – Reply comments are due on Ancillary or Supplementary Services and Broadcast Public Notices.
Jan. 16 – Annual Hearing Aid Compatibility Report is due.
Jan. 17 – Comments are due on Wireline Infrastructure NPRM.
Jan. 22 – Comments are due on 2017 Hurricane Response PN.
Jan. 23 – Comments are due on Robocall Blocking FNPRM.
Jan. 25 – Comments are due on Spectrum Frontiers / Above 24 GHz Report and Order. Jan. 26 – Reply comments are due on Nationwide Number Portability NPRM.
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

Feb. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 502 (Number Utilization and Forecast Report) is due.
Feb. 16 – Reply comments are due on Wireline Infrastructure NPRM.
Feb. 21 – Reply comments are due on 2017 Hurricane Response PN.
Feb. 22 – Reply comments are due on Robocall Blocking FNPRM.
Feb. 22 – Reply comments are due on Spectrum Frontiers / Above 24 GHz Report and Order.

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.


Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520,
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510,
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528,
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540,
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519,
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554,
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538,
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562,

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FCC Gives Blue Alerts a Green Light

Police officer-oriented messages to be options for EAS and wireless distribution

December 14, 2017
By Susan Ashworth

A new alert code has been added to the nation’s emergency alert system.

At its December Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission moved to amend the EAS rules by adding a new event code — a Blue Alert — that can be sent over the EAS and the Wireless Emergency Alert system. The alerts are designed to be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and to help apprehend dangerous suspects.

Blue Alerts are designed to warn the public when there is information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is a threat to an officer. At the meeting, the commissioners welcomed the family members and colleagues of two New York City Police detectives who were killed in the line of duty in 2014, officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. These new codes are being in put in place to help protect officers in future, Chairman Ajit Pai said.

“We owe [these detectives] and their brave family members who come here today a tremendous debt of gratitude,” Pai said. “We cannot begin to fathom your pain, but we can honor your sacrifice. And the FCC attempts to do that today by adopting rules that police officers across America and the communities they so proudly serve will be better protected.”

Under the adopted order, state and local agencies have the option to send warnings to the public via EAS broadcast or through the Wireless Emergency Alert system to consumers’ wireless phones. As with AMBER Alerts and weather alerts, usage of this code will be voluntary on a case by case basis.

The order provides a 12-month implementation period for Blue Alerts to be delivered over the Emergency Alert System and 18 months for delivery over the Wireless Emergency Alert system.

At the meeting, Chairman Pai and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Rielly, and Brendan Carr approved the order, while Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel approved in part and dissented in part. While Rosenworcel said this code has the potential to save lives and increase situational awareness for first responders, she objected at the way in which the commission evaluated the merits of the Blue Alerts, pointing to the cost/benefit analysis set up.

“[T]his cold calculus is neither needed or smart,” she said of the way in which the commission weighed the cost-of-industry compliance against the value of an officer’s life. “There’s a way to do cost-benefit analysis thoughtfully.”


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Bring It On Home To Me • Playing For Change • Song Around The World

Playing For Change
Published on Dec 8, 2017

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This is the final PFC Song Around The World featuring both Roger Ridley and Grandpa Elliott together and serves as a tribute to them both for all the love and talent they have shared with everyone who’s ever passed them by on the streets. I remember asking Roger Ridley, “Why with a voice like yours are you playing music on the street?” He replied, “Man I’m in the joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Check out the amazing vocals of Roger’s sister, Alice Tan Ridley, recorded live in Harlem, NYC, as she sings her final song with her brother. RIP Roger, you live through the good we all create together in this world.

As we close one chapter of Playing For Change with this video, we are excited to begin a new one with ALL NEW Songs Around The World being released each month next year along with a brand new album! We've traveled the globe and met some amazing musicians who we are honored to be able to share with you all. Thank you for continuing to take this journey with us.; together we effect real positive change in this world, one heart and one song at a time.

One Love,

Mark Johnson and the Playing For Change Family

Source: YouTube To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit

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