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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — December 1, 2017 — Issue No. 783

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

The VIDEO OF THE WEEK is about my friend David Clark who if from my home-town area where I live now. He lives in Vietnam and has a very interesting story to tell.

I have been in touch with three or four industry insiders recently and (coincidentally) they all told me the same thing, “Paging is alive and well, especially in healthcare.”

I hope to focus more on this market segment in the future. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Don't miss the following article by Igor Gluic, CTO of Citipage Ltd. Edmonton, Alberta (one of the supporters of this newsletter).

Now on to more news and views.













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Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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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.

About Us

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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There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

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)

Multitone Expands its Appear Range of Powerful and Secure Mobile Messaging Applications


Multitone Electronics plc, a specialist in the design, manufacture and implementation of integrated communication systems, has unveiled two new versions of its powerful but intuitive and fully secure corporate mobile communications application. The Multitone Appear smart app now operates in a number of healthcare and retail sectors, showing the status and availability of contacts. Ensuring voice, text, video and image messaging are properly routed and acknowledged.

Multitone Appear+ provides new multimedia and rich-content functionality, whilst Multitone Appear Lite simplifies the application for high speed and convenient messaging, with acknowledgement and proof of delivery. Both new versions are powered by Multitone’s i-Message unified messaging platform bringing together your different (phone, email, paging) and disparate communications together (e.g. BMS, security & fire alarms).

Multitone’s Technical Director, Ron Wray, explained the rationale behind the new versions: ”One application that has proven to be particularly useful is for medical teams as it provides a rich multi-media communications environment, but unlike superficially comparable social media platforms, it provides enhanced corporate features for security and protection. From our extensive consultation with medical staff, it became clear that additional versions would be well suited to specific needs and budgets.”

Ron continued: “Multitone Appear+ provides features which enable medical clinicians to share information, images and video content to collaborate more effectively, while the Lite app has been designed to provide simple but quick messaging for staff on the go.”

Multitone Appear+

As well as all the key components of the original application, Multitone’s Appear+ offers new options. For example, a copy of the patient consent form can be attached as a digital signature, providing approval for sensitive clinical images to be shared between authorised users within a secure corporate network.

The app also features an inbuilt SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) phone client, which is linked directly to Multitone i-Message and enables the user to securely call and talk to other app or phone users. Coupled with an inbuilt conference bridge the app also allows for users to come together for quick and easy group discussions. At the same time, Multitone Appear+ can be fully integrated with other building or medical facility systems, such as fire alarms and nurse call solutions, to ensure relevant staff can be immediately updated.

Additionally, the app offers a ‘Smart Buttons’ option which can be configured to directly link and operate other organisational systems (including doors, lights, alarms), or to show a list of tasks for better time management.

Multitone Appear Lite

Designed as an intelligent and dynamic pager alternative, this app ensures messages are shared with the right team members and escalates to a supervisor in a timely manner if unanswered. The application features acknowledgement receipts and stores information securely. As with the other versions, Multitone Appear Lite can be operated over a Wi-Fi or mobile network, meaning it can be used on or off site as required.

Ron concluded, “The Multitone Appear range has almost limitless options with regards to communications and resource management. Our development team works closely with our customers to develop solutions that are essential and practical. We highly value this input and it will be a key part of the product evolution moving forwards.”

To find out more about Multitone’s Appear range and how it can help your medical facility, please call us +44 (0)1506 418198 or visit the website:

Multitone Electronics

As a pioneer of wireless messaging, Multitone Electronics plc is a specialist developer of integrated communication systems for on-site and global use. The organisation; which is best known for its supply of critical communications, continues to explore and develop reliable communications and controls, whilst offering robust, targeted systems that effectively and reliably integrate with customers’ existing systems and technologies. The product offering combines the best in wireless telephony, radio-paging systems and personal security systems with professional services and tailored software to create a truly cohesive communication platform. Multitone is part of Champion Technology Holdings, with a turnover in 2016 in excess of £498M.

Source: Business Computing World  

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

  • Single channel up to eight zones
  • Connects to Linux computer via USB
  • Programmable timeouts and batch sizes
  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
  • Other mounting options available
  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
  • USB or RS-232 interface
  • Two contact closures
  • End-user programmable w/o requiring special hardware
  • 16 capcodes
  • Eight contact closure version also available
  • Product customization available

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
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

Hark Technologies


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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.

Dr. George Cembrowski

Health Care Leaders Focus On People - Not Symptoms

Pagers work when seconds count in an emergency

Pagers are not subject to the same congestions as smartphone networks.

Top 12 reasons why we still need pagers

Published on November 24, 2017

Igor Gluic CTO
Citipage Ltd.
*Business Leader in Critical Messaging

Healthcare leaders always impress me. They are independent thinkers who understand the evolution of medicine and they are passionate about serving the needs of patients.

This type of professional starts by focusing on people, not a walking list of symptoms. Legendary management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” For hospital personnel, this means delivering the best solution to a hospital’s competitive challenges through evidence-based results.

Dr. George Cembrowski, Director of Medical Biochemistry for the University of Alberta, is keen on quality control in the lab and believes in ways to efficiently care for the patient while controlling costs for the healthcare system. Dr. Cembrowski is the author of Laboratory Quality Management and is often invited to address medical symposiums around the world.

Dr. Cembrowski talked about the efficiency of healthcare in Canada and the United States. He believes the escalating cost of medicine can be reduced with a better analysis of big data originating in the laboratory. The need for ongoing education was a central theme of his insights and the conversation soon moved to telecommunications in healthcare.

Does he have a pager?

“I love my pager!” enthused Dr. Cembrowski as he pulled aside his coat to reveal a pager clipped to his belt. “Even when I am in the underground parking lot, the page reaches me so that I am always prepared for my next visit.” His pager had the name of our brand on it: *Medipage. “Many of my associates use them, too.”

Dr. Cembrowski added that while he has a smartphone and likes the functionality it offers in his day-to-day workflows, he never goes without his pager. “I trust it,” he said.

Hospital Code Blue: The group paging feature reaches multiple pagers—at the same time—with 1 page/message.

There’s much to love about pagers in hospital settings today. Besides the reliability, there’s the ability to be discreet since they’re smaller and quieter than a smartphone. Phones alert for anything and everything, even when things aren’t urgent. Pagers generally are used when seconds count in an emergency.

Here are 12 reasons for carrying a pager, some of which might surprise you.

  1. Reliability. They are more dependable than smartphones that need cellular service or even Wi-Fi coverage. The pager itself is simple and durable. Plus, they are not subject to the same congestion as consumer cellular networks where everyone is competing for the same bandwidth
  2. Trust. Encryption capabilities are integral for many pager users, so patients’ healthcare information is protected. You can trust your pager to keep your message exchange private.
  3. Independent networks. Pagers don’t rely on the same transmitters used by mobile networks; instead, they operate with stronger transmitters that are able to send signals much further. If a cell phone network goes down, such as during natural disasters, it is critical for reliable communication to remain. It’s the reason that first responders such as fire departments rely heavily on pagers.
  4. Group communication. Pagers allow users to send the same message to multiple people at the same time. Think of a hospital Code Blue when the emergency alert needs to concurrently reach 20 team members. The cardio patient depends on the speed, ease, and reliability of this process which is much greater than the same method for smartphones.
  5. Secure messages. More secure than mobile phone messaging, pagers provide hospitals, security companies, and doctor offices a secure platform to communicate with staff. Permission levels are based on an authenticated login.
  6. Long life. Ever run out of power at the end of the day for your smartphone? Pagers don’t need to be plugged into electricity to charge. If the power is out and a mobile phone dies there’s nothing you can do in the case of an emergency. With most pagers only requiring one AA battery they’re designed to last significantly longer than your phone battery.
  7. Ever run out of power at the end of the day for your smartphone? Pagers don’t need to be plugged into electricity to charge. If the power is out and a mobile phone dies there’s nothing you can do in the case of an emergency. With most pagers only requiring one AA battery they’re designed to last significantly longer than your phone battery.
  8. Budget-friendly. A mobile phone plan can be costly to manage. Imagine the annual feed that hospitals are spending per person to send patient records. Instead, paging service contracts will often cost the same for one year as a smartphone contracts costs for one month, making pagers much more cost-effective.
  9. Smashed screen. Ever dropped your mobile phone, even by accident? Then you know how expensive it is to repair a cracked lens, broken button, or damage from water. Pagers are a tough case.
  10. Easy to use. Quick now. Which icon do you tap when an emergency happens from the many different ones possible. Pagers are not complicated, therefore easy to activate with minimal installation.
  11. Privacy. It’s entirely possible to overhear a conversation on someone’s smartphone, even if you don’t want to hear the conversation. It’s also reasonably easy to glance over to see a message on one of those 5” mobile phone screens. Not so private. Pagers make it possible to receive and read a message without others seeing.
  12. Integration. Messages can be delivered to individuals or groups by sending to pagers, cell phones, smartphones, e-mail, and other devices. Recurring messages and reminders can be received daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.
  13. Mature Technology. Yes, pagers were developed post WW2 in London to alert doctors who needed to attend an emergency immediately. The technology has been enhanced ever since. Pagers have eliminated glitches and bugs in the process.
  14. Equipment Replacement 24/7. Most of the paging companies provide 24/7 equipment replacement which is not the case with cellphone companies.

Pagers may not be as glamorous as your smartphone but you can trust them times of emergency.

* Medipage is the trademark brand that Citipage Ltd. uses for employees with Alberta Health Services. same bandwidth.

Source: Linked in  

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Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems
Critical Messaging that works
Secure . . . Dependable . . .
and Encrypted

Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

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.

Contact Us left arrow

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo

pssi pssi

Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

Leavitt Communications


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

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COM motorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt


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:

Paging Network

  • It’s much faster to send individual and stacked pages digitally than with analog voice.
  • If you want better indoor coverage, you put sites closer together at lower heights.
  • A self-healing system that also remains reliable in various disaster situations.
  • Place base station where you need them, without the usage of an expensive backhaul network.
  • Protect victim confidentiality and prevent unauthorized use of public safety communications, with integrated encryption service.


  • Reliable message reception, thanks to the best sensitivity in the industry.
  • Ruggedized and waterproof, IP67 and 6 1/2-feet drop test-certified products.
  • Battery autonomy of up to three months, with a standard AA battery.
  • Bluetooth enables the new s.QUAD pager to respond back to the dispatch center or fire chief.


  • Two-way CAD interfaces will make dispatching much easier.
  • The new s.ONE solution enables the dispatcher or fire chiefs to view the availability of relief forces.
  • A graphical screen shows how many of the dispatched team members have responded to the call.

Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
Visit: or call 800-596-1914.

Amateur Radio-Carrying D-Star One CubeSat among Spacecraft Apparently Lost


The first Amateur Radio satellite to employ the D-Star digital voice and data format — D-Star One — was among about 20 secondary payloads lost on November 28 after an otherwise nominal launch of a three-stage Soyuz 2.1 booster from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far reaches of eastern Russia. The mission carried the Russian Meteor M2-1 satellite — the primary payload — as well as a Canadian Telestar experimental satellite, and 17 other secondary payloads, including D-Star One. According to reports, a fault occurred in the sophisticated and autonomous Fregat upper stage, which, after separating from the launch vehicle, inserts multiple spacecraft into their respective orbits. A so-called “space tug,” Fregat has been in service for nearly 2 decades and has suffered three previous failures. Russian space agency Roscosmos is investigating the Fregat failure.

D-Star One, the first German commercial CubeSat, carried four communication modules, two designated for Amateur Radio use. It was developed by German Orbital Systems in cooperation with the Czech company iSky Technology as part of a plan to eventually assemble a low-Earth orbit communication network.

“Hopefully, we'll get another chance to utilize D-Star communications with a satellite repeater sometime in the future,” Wayne Day, N5WD, commented on the AMSAT-BB.

The Fregat upper stage functions as an orbital vehicle in its own right to access a range of orbital configurations through a series of “burns.” Made up of 6 spherical tanks arrayed in a circle, Fregat is “independent from the lower three stages, having its own guidance, navigation, control, tracking, and telemetry systems,” according to Gunter’s Space Page.

The November 28 launch was only the second from the new cosmodrome.

Source: ARRL  

Leavitt Communications

We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

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

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Friday, December 1, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 234

Verizon Plans to Deploy Broadband in Up to Five Markets in 2018

Verizon Communications announced it will launch wireless residential broadband services in at least three and up to five U.S. markets in 2018. Verizon’s first commercial launch is planned for Sacramento, CA, in the second half of 2018. Details will be forthcoming, according to the carrier.

Verizon trialed 5G residential applications in 11 markets this year. The commercial launch is based on customer experience and on the carrier’s confidence in new technology using millimeter-wave spectrum. The carrier estimates the initial 5G market opportunity for residential broadband at 30 million households nationwide.

Verizon Global Networks President/CTO Hans Vestberg called the announcement a “landmark” and said the 5G launch will not “have a material impact on Verizon’s consolidated capital expenditures in 2018.” Also, the initial launches “will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G’s future deployment.”

T-Mo Rolls Out Roll Out Plans for 28,000 Small Cells

T-Mobile plans to deploy 28,000 small cells “in the short term,” according to Karri Kuoppamaki, T-Mo’s VP of Technology Development and Strategy. Although he didn’t say anything else about the rollout, he did go into a bit more detail about T-Mobile’s approach to deploying small cells:

“You can do small cells in so many different ways, and I think we have a little bit of a different approach when it comes to small cells. We found the best way to do that is to partner with fiber providers… that not only build and bring that fiber to you, but also build those small cells for you. And that is a very efficient way to actually get to the point when you go from having a few (small cells) to having tens of thousands in the network.”

In addition to deploying these small cells, T-Mobile is working to build out its 700 MHz and 600 MHz coverage. T-Mo has said that while its 700 MHz Extended Range LTE rollout is largely complete, it does plan to deploy 700 MHz coverage “in a few remaining areas” through December.

Meanwhile, 600 MHz LTE has been deployed in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Scarborough, Maine. T-Mobile said that it plans to roll out 600 MHz LTE coverage in a handful of other markets in 2017, including West Texas, Eastern Washington, Western North Dakota, and Central Virginia.

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. 48 November 21, 2017 

BloostonLaw wishes our clients a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.
Our offices will be closed Thursday, November 23
and Friday, November 24

Holiday Edition

FCC Circulating Draft Order on Net Neutrality, Title II Broadband Regulation

On November 21, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released the following statement on his draft Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which will be released tomorrow and will be voted on at the FCC’s Open Meeting on December 14:

“Today, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would abandon this failed approach and return to the longstanding consensus that served consumers well for decades. Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the Internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate. Additionally, as a result of my proposal, the Federal Trade Commission will once again be able to police ISPs, protect consumers, and promote competition, just as it did before 2015. Notably, my proposal will put the federal government’s most experienced privacy cop, the FTC, back on the beat to protect consumers’ online privacy,” said Chairman Pai.

“Working with my colleagues, I look forward to returning to the light-touch, market-based framework that unleashed the digital revolution and benefited consumers here and around the world,” the Chairman concluded.

His colleagues, however, seem less enthusiastic.

“In just two days, many of us will join friends and family in celebrating the spirit of Thanksgiving. But as we learned today the FCC majority is about to deliver a cornucopia full of rotten fruit, stale grains, and wilted flowers topped off with a plate full of burnt turkey. Their Destroying Internet Freedom Order would dismantle net neutrality as we know it by giving the green light to our nation’s largest broadband providers to engage in anti-consumer practices, including blocking, slowing down traffic, and paid prioritization of online applications and services,” said Commissioner Clyburn in a concurrent statement.

“Our Internet economy is the envy of the world because it is open to all. This proposal tears at the foundation of that openness. It hands broadband providers the power to decide what voices to amplify, which sites we can visit, what connections we can make, and what communities we create. It throttles access, stalls opportunity, and censors content. It would be a big blunder for a slim majority of the FCC to approve these rules and saddle every Internet user with the cruel consequences,” said Commissioner Rosenworcel.

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

FCC Adopts All Items on November Meeting Agenda

On November 16, the FCC voted to adopt all of the items on its November meeting agenda. Highlights from the adopted item list include:

  • Blocking Unlawful Robocalls: a Report and Order that would expressly authorize voice service providers to block certain types of robocalls that falsely appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls. It also would prohibit voice service providers from blocking 911 calls under these rules, encourage voice service providers to provide a mechanism to allow subscribers whose legitimate calls are blocked in error to stop such blocking, and clarify that providers may exclude calls blocked under these rules from their call completion reports. (CG Docket No. 17-59)
  • Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz: a Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order that would make available 1,700 MHz of additional high-frequency spectrum for flexible terrestrial wireless use; provide 4 gigahertz for core satellite use; and adopt, refine, or affirm a number of service rules to promote robust deployment in these bands, and a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on certain related earth station, buildout, and licensing issues. (GN Docket No. 14-177; IB Docket No. 15-256; WT Docket No. 10-112; IB Docket No. 97-95)
  • Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment: a Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order that will revise and seek comment on further changes to the FCC's pole attachment rules, network change disclosure processes, and section 214(a) discontinuance processes to remove barriers to infrastructure investment and promote broadband deployment, and will seek comment on taking targeted actions to facilitate rebuilding and repairing broadband infrastructure after natural disasters. (WC Docket No. 17-84)
  • Bridging the Digital Divide for Low-Income Consumers: a Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, Memorandum Opinion and Order, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Notice of Inquiry to adopt and propose measures to effectively and efficiently bridge the digital divide for Lifeline subscribers and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline program. (WC Docket No. 17-287)

A full list of the items considered at the Open Meeting can be found in the November 1 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update.

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

Elimination of International Traffic and Revenue Reports Effective Dec 21

On November 21, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Order eliminating the annual international Traffic and Revenue Reports and streamlining the Circuit Capacity Reports filed by providers of international services. Accordingly, the international Traffic and Revenue Reports, which are usually due on July 31 of each year, are no longer required, and the Circuit Capacity Reports, which are usually due on March 31 of each year, will no longer require carriers to file world total circuit data for terrestrial and satellite facilities.

Previously, any entity that held an international Section 214 authorization to provide International Telecommunications Services (ITS) and/or any entity that was engaged in the provision of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Services through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) between the United States and any foreign point was required to file an annual Traffic and Revenue Report covering (1) International Calling Service (ICS); (2) International Private Line Service; and (3) International Miscellaneous Services. All facilities-based international common carriers and cable landing licensees were also required to provide two types of data regarding submarine cables to the FCC: (1) submarine cable operators report the available and planned capacity of their submarine cable systems and (2) common carriers and submarine cable licensees report the capacity that they own or lease on a submarine cable, as well as world total circuit data for terrestrial and satellite facilities.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

Comment Deadline Established for Robocall Blocking NPRM

On November 17, the FCC released the text of its Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, in which the FCC allows service providers to block calls from phone numbers on a Do-Not-Originate (DNO) list and those that purport to be from invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers. Comments on the FNPRM portion of the document are due January 23, 2018, and reply comments are due February 22.

In the FNPRM, the FCC seeks comment on two of the findings it adopted in the Report and Order. First, the FCC seeks comment on potential mechanisms to ensure that erroneously blocked calls can be unblocked as quickly as possible and without undue harm to callers and consumers. In the Report and Order, the FCC encouraged providers who block calls under certain criteria to identify and quickly rectify any erroneous blocking; now, the FCC seeks comment on whether it should require providers who block calls to provide a formal challenge mechanism. Second, the FCC seeks comment on ways it can measure the effectiveness of its robocalling efforts as well as those of industry.

Carriers interested in filing comments on the FCC’s proposals should contact the firm for more information.

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


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

Nov. 24 – Deadline for petitions to suspend or reject 15-day price cap access charge tariff revisions.
Nov. 27 – Reply comments are due on the Maintenance of Copies of FCC Rules proceeding.
Nov. 27 – Reply comments are due on Revisions to Reporting Requirements for HAC Mobile Handsets.
Nov. 29 – Deadline for petitions to suspend or reject 7-day price cap access charge tariff revisions.

Dec. 1 – Biennial Ownership Report filing window opens (Form 323 and 323-E).
Dec. 1 – Comments are due on international circuit bearer fees and MDU calculation.
Dec. 12 – Comments are due on Toll Free Assignment Modernization proceeding.
Dec. 18 – Reply comments are due on international circuit bearer fees and MDU calculation.
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 – Annual Hearing Aid Compatibility Report is due.
Jan. 23 – Comments are due on Robocall Blocking FNPRM.
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. 22 – Reply comments are due on Robocall Blocking FNPRM.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 18, No. 11 November 2017 

Final Reminder: November 30 Registration Deadline for Number Portability NPAC USERS

Any entity that uses the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) must register with Telcordia Technologies d/b/a iconectiv. This is because Neustar is transitioning the operation of the NPAC to iconectiv pursuant to a new FCC contract. Affected users include providers of telecommunications and telecommunications-related services as well as Service Bureaus, law enforcement/public safety agencies and users of Wireless Do-Not-Call services.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety agencies that use the NPAC to look up the carriers that provide service to particular telephone numbers, even if only occasionally, should be aware that the NPAC is being transitioned from the current provider, Neustar, to a new provider, iconectiv. Law Enforcement and Public Safety agencies need to take affirmative steps to complete this transition and will need to be registered with inconectiv in order to continue to utilize the NPAC. The FCC has commenced outreach to law enforcement agencies and Public Safety Answering Points who will access the inconectiv NPAC Interactive Voice Response (NPAC-IVR) Service.


Law Enforcement and Public Safety entities and Users of Wireless Do-Not-Call Service must register by November 30, 2017 if they want to participate in pre-cutover testing and December 31, 2017 for all users, whether or not they are participating in testing. Failure to register in a timely manner will result in disruption to your access to the NPAC system until the registration process is completed.

Upcoming Important Milestones

  • Testing will begin in December 2017
  • Cutover for services will begin in early March 2018

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Reaches $1.7M Settlement With Securus for Providing Misleading Information in Merger Approval Application

On October 30, the FCC announced that it has reached a $1.7 million consent decree with Securus Technologies resolving an investigation into whether Securus provided inaccurate and misleading information to the FCC regarding the company’s transfer of control to Platinum Equity, LLC. As part of the consent decree, Securus will implement a strict compliance plan. With the resolution of the investigation and the commitment of Securus to the compliance plan, the agency approved the company’s proposed transfer of control from Securus Investment Holdings, LLC to Platinum Equity, LLC. The FCC’s action underscores the need to file the required approval applications well before any planned merger, sale or other transaction, and to provide accurate information — whether in connection with wireline matters or wireless licensing matters.

Specifically, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau, in its review of the merger application, found “Securus’s cavalier and willful attitude towards the FCC and its transaction review process unacceptable.” Because this conduct was wholly relevant to the pending merger applications, the Wireline Competition and International Bureaus paused further consideration of the transaction and referred the matter to the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. The approval application stated: “We have received approvals for 48 of 48 state money license transfer approvals, Hart Scott Rodino Justice Department approval, and all necessary State/PSC/PUC approvals.” However, when the company executives made their representations, four State Regulatory Authorities had not yet approved the transfer of control.

As a result, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau opened an investigation into apparent violations of FCC rules requiring all material information submitted to the agency be correct and complete, and not misleading. To conclude the investigation, Securus has agreed to pay a $1,700,000 civil penalty and to implement a three-year compliance plan to ensure that it adheres to FCC rules. The compliance plan requires Securus to appoint a compliance officer, implement internal procedures, submit periodic reports and ensure that all FCC filings be reviewed and receive written approval by legal counsel.

The Securus transaction involves a transfer of control to a holding company entity that has no competing operations, and that was not involved in the violations of FCC rules. With the resolution of the Enforcement Bureau investigation and Securus’ commitment to the compliance plan, the FCC found that this transaction imposes no public interest harms. Additionally, the FCC found that the transaction may increase capital resources available to Securus to implement or continue offering certain services and programs for inmates and law enforcement that it has committed to offer.

While this case does not involve the transfer of FCC wireless licenses, it is nonetheless instructive. When filing applications, it is critically important that applicants be forthright with the Commission. A failure to be forthright could result in the FCC determining that an applicant lacks “candor”, which could preclude the applicant from holding an FCC license authorization.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Grants 800 MHz Waiver to Arizona Public Service Company

The FCC has granted the request of Arizona Public Service Company (APSC) for waiver of the 800 MHz application freeze along the border with Mexico, to permit licensing and implementation of a new statewide radio system. APSC is Arizona’s largest electric service company, serving more than 1.2 million customers (out of a state population of 1.85 million).

APSC utilizes two-way radio to maintain reliable communication between dispatchers and service personnel working on substations, distribution and transmission lines, and generation facilities throughout the state. Additionally, APSC shares its radio system with the State of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency, and the Emergency Operations Center in each of Arizona’s fifteen counties. APSC also stated that its radio system is an aging 800 MHz radio system that is difficult to maintain and relies on equipment that has been discontinued and is no longer supported by the manufacturer. As a result, APSC has a need to implement a new Project 25 radio system that will have redundancy and resiliency to ensure reliable communications during critical outages.

APSC plans to deploy this new system in parallel with its existing system in order to ensure that service is not interrupted. However, it does not have enough spectrum to operate both the legacy system and the new system in parallel, while the new system is tested and communications are transitioned from one system to the other.

In granting a waiver of the freeze, the FCC noted the unique and unusual factual circumstances of the instant case, and concluded that APSC had met the standard for grant of a waiver of the border freeze and for early access to Expansion Band channels. The FCC found that application of the rules would be unduly burdensome and contrary to the public interest, and APSC has no reasonable alternative. Reliable communication is essential for critical infrastructure industry entities like APSC and the public safety agencies that share APSC’s radio system.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Senators Introduce Next Generation 911 Act

On November 2, Sens. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) introduced legislation to accelerate the deployment of next-generation 911 (NG-911) services. Among other things, the so-called Next-Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2017 would expand a federal NG-911 grant program and establish an advisory board to recommend updates to the definition of NG-911.

Specifically, the bill would extend the current NG-911 grant program for five years and authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2018 to 2022. It would also lower the matching requirement from 40% to 20%. Interestingly, funds could not be used for any part of the FirstNet system; however, states would be required to coordinate with FirstNet to ensure that NG-911 services were interoperable. Additionally, a 17-member Advisory Board for Next Generation 9-1-1 Interoperability would be responsible for recommending any updates to the definition of NG-911 that was adopted in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2017.

“Upgrading the nation’s 9-1-1 system is literally a life and death matter that must become more of a national priority,” said Sen. Nelson. “In this digital world, Americans must have more than one way to access the 9-1-1 assistance they need and expect when emergencies occur. No plea for help should go unanswered because a call center doesn’t have the technology to receive a text, video or picture.”

“As a former prosecutor and co-chair of the NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus in the Senate, I know how important it is for our first responders, law enforcement officers, and public safety leaders to be able to communicate seamlessly during times of crisis,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “Our legislation would provide state and local governments with the resources they need to efficiently transition to NG 9-1-1 and strengthen our country’s emergency response networks.”

In a statement released the same day, Commissioner Rosenworcel said, “Today, roughly 240 million calls are made each year to 911. But like so much else, we need to remake our 911 services to reflect the digital age we live in. The future will bring Next Generation 9-1-1 to call centers to support voice, text, data and video communications. But to get there, we need strong coordination, a focused effort, and real leadership. So kudos to Senator Nelson and Senator Klobuchar for introducing the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2017.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Mary Sisak.

Wireless Industry Urging FCC to Hold Millimeter Wave Spectrum Auction in 2018

With the Commission having voted on a Second Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration and Memorandum Opinion and Order in the Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz proceeding (GN Docket No. 14-177, also known as the “Spectrum Frontiers” proceeding), the commercial wireless industry has been pressuring the FCC to hold auctions for 28 GHz and 37-39 GHz band spectrum by the end of next year. The 28 GHz spectrum to be sold has been reconfigured from the LMDS band.

An exparte notice filed recently by CTIA emphasized the importance of making significant blocks of spectrum available for licensed terrestrial mobile use to facilitate 5G mobile broadband networks and services. In the filing, CTIA urged the Commission to set a deadline of 2018 for moving forward with an auction of the bands made available in the 2016 Spectrum Frontiers Order and to be addressed in the forthcoming Second Order. For our clients holding LMDS A Block licenses, the FCC’s vote would help advance the reconfiguration of their licenses in the manner we reported last year.

CTIA also urged the Commission to move rapidly to allow use of the 32 GHz, 42 GHz, and 50 GHz bands within a fixed timetable, to seek expeditious comment on the use of the 26 GHz band for terrestrial mobile wireless, and to not foreclose discussion of expanding the Part 30 framework to the remaining Local Multipoint Distribution Service bands (i.e., smaller non-contiguous portions of the LMDS A block and the LMDS B-Block that have not been allocated for 5G).

AT&T on its own today ramped up the pressure on the agency to auction the millimeter wave spectrum without delay. "Now that the Commission has the 5G ball rolling with spectrum allocations, we urgently need to get to the next step — auctioning this newly allocated spectrum so that mobile broadband providers can deploy as quickly as possible," wrote AT&T Assistant Vice President Stacey Black in a company blog post.

The Second Report and Order in the Spectrum Frontiers proceeding makes available 1,700 MHz of additional high-frequency spectrum for flexible terrestrial wireless use; provides 4 gigahertz for core satellite use; and adopts, refines, or affirms a number of service rules to promote robust deployment in these bands. A Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on certain related earth station, buildout, and licensing issues.

Accenture has estimated that the network deployment build of 5G will involve ten to 100 times more antenna locations than 3G or 4G, meaning that all manner of infrastructure will be required, including traditional towers, small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and unlicensed Wi-Fi offload.

With an anticipated explosion in 5G “small cell” deployments, efforts to clear the way for rapid 5G network buildout has also prompted industry efforts on Capitol Hill. In this regard, Wireless Infrastructure Association President Jonathan Adelstein recently testified at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on 5G that "it is more important than ever to plan for future spectrum need," according to his written statement.

According to Adelstein’s testimony, “5G networks will be up to 100 times faster and five times more responsive than today’s networks. It will be able to support 100 times more wireless devices. It will bring faster speeds, greater value, and more choices for consumers. 5G will spur life-altering innovations in telemedicine, distance learning, improved public safety response, mobile banking, and a host of industrial and manufacturing functions.”

Adelstein’s testimony concludes that the enormous opportunity of 5G will only happen if Congress adopts sound policies that encourage investment and innovation.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell

AT&T, Verizon, and Tillman Infrastructure Partner to Build Cell Towers

On November 13, Verizon announced that AT&T, Verizon, and a third party named Tillman Infrastructure entered into a joint agreement to build hundreds of cell towers. The Verge reports that Tillman is a private company that makes and owns towers, and will construct the towers to suit AT&T and Verizon in locations in need of more coverage. The new towers may be available for lease to our clients and other private radio users, as adjunct tenants.

"We continue to focus on technology innovation and investing in the latest software platforms to provide the best possible customer experience on our network," said Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer for Verizon Wireless. "At the same time, it is imperative to reduce operating costs. We are reviewing all of our long-term contracts as they come up for renewal and we are excited to develop new vendor partners to diversify our infrastructure providers."

"We need more alternatives to the traditional tower leasing model with the large incumbents. It's not cost-effective or sustainable. We're creating a diverse community of suppliers and tower companies who will help increase market competition while reducing our overhead," said Susan Johnson, SVP of Global Supply Chain, AT&T. "We look forward to working with Verizon as we establish site locations and sign new lease agreements with additional suppliers in the coming years."

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

AT&T May Be Seeking Rural Carriers for FirstNet Build; Competing Proposals on the Table

At the recent Competitive Carriers Association trade show in Fort Worth, a representative for AT&T was reportedly reaching out to smaller wireless carriers about working with AT&T to build out coverage for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). This could be a significant opportunity for our rural clients to participate in a major infrastructure project that will cover all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, including rural communities and tribal lands in those states and territories.

FirstNet is an independent authority within the Commerce Department that has been charged with responsibilities for deploying and operating the nationwide public safety broadband network and will hold the license for both the existing public safety broadband spectrum (763- 769 MHz / 793-799 MHz) and the reallocated D Block (758-763 MHz / 788-793 MHz). The FirstNet public-private operating framework allows the network’s commercial partner to access a portion of the partnership’s spectrum for commercial use, subject to public safety’s priority and possible preemption at times and in areas where the spectrum is needed by first responders. The immediate goal for FirstNet is to provide a broadband (4G LTE) network nationwide to carry data, although it will provide an option for voice communications as well. The cost of constructing and maintaining a nationwide network has been estimated by many experts to be in the tens of billions of dollars over the long term. The law anticipates that most of these costs will be covered by partnerships between FirstNet and the private sector in return for commercial access to FirstNet’s spectrum.

On March 30, 2017, the Department of Commerce and FirstNet announced their selection of AT&T to build a $46.5 billion wireless broadband network for first responders. The broad terms of this 25-year agreement between FirstNet and AT&T are:

  • FirstNet will provide 20 MHz of high-value, telecommunications spectrum and success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to support the Network buildout – FirstNet’s funding was raised from previous FCC spectrum auctions;
  • AT&T will spend about $40 billion over the life of the contract to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network, with a focus on ensuring robust coverage for public safety;
  • Additionally, AT&T will connect FirstNet users to the company’s telecommunications network assets, valued at more than $180 billion.

AT&T was the only commercial vendor/partner selected under the FirstNet contract, which required it to deliver detailed deployment plans to each state and territory within 180 days. Governors would then have 90 days to decide whether to opt-in to FirstNet, or to opt-out and build their own Radio Access Network which must be interoperable with FirstNet. To date, fourteen states/jurisdictions (including AL, CO, GA, MA, MS, MO, NH, NC, OK, PA, RI, VT and WI) have opted to issue their own RFPs and provide an alternative to the nationwide FirstNet deployment, while Washington and Oregon have announced plans to issue a joint RFP as a preliminary step before making a final decision. AT&T timely delivered deployment plans to the 56 states and territories and to date, and almost 60% of these (33) have opted in to the FirstNet RAN.

States that have not yet made a decision on the AT&T/FirstNet proposal could be sizing up other choices. In this regard, one of the bidders eliminated from consideration, Rivada Mercury, has been urging smaller carriers to lobby their state officials and encourage them to evaluate their options. Two high-profile politicians appointed to Rivada’s board of directors, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, attended the CCA convention and criticized the FirstNet/AT&T proposal as a “pig in a poke” and lacking transparency/accountability. Rivada filed a lawsuit last November in the U.S. Court of Appeals of Federal Claims over what the company says is the illegal and wrongful exclusion of Rivada from the FirstNet procurement process.

According to industry reporting, Rivada seems to have made some progress in its efforts to get smaller wireless carriers behind its public safety proposal. Representatives from C Spire, Shentel and VTel Wireless each voiced support for Rivada’s proposed alternative to AT&T/FirstNet at the CCA event, and the company is working with U.S. Cellular to develop alternative network proposals in several states.

“These states [that are opting in to the AT&T/FirstNet proposal] are opting into something that is ill-defined and not in their best interest,” argued William Pirtle, SVP of wireless for Shentel, a regional wireless operator based in Virgina.

We are available to help interested clients reach out to AT&T with regard to a possible relationship concerning the FirstNet buildout in their area of operation.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Richard Rubino and Cary Mitchell

State of Hawaii Cited for Improper Operation on Aeronautic Frequency

The FCC has issued a Notice of Violation to the State of Hawaii for operation of an aeronautical utility mobile unit in Honolulu. Pursuant to a complaint from the Honolulu International Airport, the FCC located a mobile radio unit inside a State vehicle transmitting on the frequency 121.9 MHz while on the airport tarmac.

The FCC’s Rules state that at “an airport which has a control tower, control tower remote communications outlet station (RCO) or FAA flight service station in operation, communications by an aeronautical utility mobile station [such as the state’s mobile unit] are limited to the management of ground vehicular traffic.” Here, the FCC noted that the state vehicle’s mobile radio was operating continuously on the frequency 121.9 MHz, which caused harmful interference to the FAA’s SOC tower and other users at the airport.

When operating on radio frequencies, it is critically important that operations comply with all special conditions and the FCC’s rules (including any restrictions that may exist in the rules). A failure to do so could result in a finding of improper operation – which could lead to the imposition of significant fines.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Accepts 800 MHz Transit ion Administrator Recommendation for Separation of the 800 MHz Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio (ESMR) systems from non ESMR Systems in Canadian Border Regions 1 Through 6

The FCC has announced the Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio (ESMR) dividing line in the 800 MHz band for ESMR and non-ESMR systems in the Canada Border Regions (CBR) 1 through 6. In 2008, the Bureau released a Report and Order establishing a post reconfiguration band plan in the 800 MHz band for licenses operating in the CBR. The CBRs encompass the geographic area in the U.S. within 140 kilometers (87 miles) of the border with Canada and are divided into eight regions.

In the 800 MHz Second Report and Order, the FCC directed the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) to assign post-reconfiguration replacement channels to border area licensees while ensuring that ESMR systems were separated from non-ESMR systems in the CBRs by assigning non-ESMR licensees to replacement channels in the lower segment of the 800 MHz band while maintaining the upper portion of the band for licensees operating ESMR systems. The FCC noted that because U.S. licensees have limited access to primary spectrum in CBRs 1 through 6, the dividing line between ESMR and non-ESMR segments of the band would vary depending on the number of channels occupied by Business, Industrial, Land-Transportation (B/ILT) and high-site Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licensees in each region. Thus, the Bureau advised the TA that it “may wait until replacement frequencies have been assigned and negotiations are complete” before identifying the dividing line for CBRs 1 through 6.

Through recommendations from Sprint, the TA has identified (and the FCC has accepted) the following dividing lines for each of the six CBRs, as follows:

CBR 1 Region 19 – New England 863.300 MHz
CBR 2 Region 19 – New England
Region 30 – Upstate NY
Region 55 – Western NY
Region 55 – Western PA
863.900 MHz
863.900 MHz
864.575 MHz
864.825 MHz
CBR 3 Region 33 – Ohio
Region 21 – Michigan
862.925 MHz
862.925 MHz
CBR 4 Region 22 – Minnesota
Region 32 – North Dakota
Region 25 – Montana
Region 12 – Idaho
864.150 MHz
864.150 MHz
864.150 MHz
864.150 MHz
CBR 5 Region 43 – Washington State 864.150 MHz
CBR 6 Region 2 – Alaska 862.250 MHz

The boundaries of CBRS, based on longitude and distance to the US/Canadian border are, as follows:

Region 1 - 66°W - 71°W (0-100 km from border)
Region 2 - 70°W - 80° 30’ W (0-100 km from border)
Region 3 - 80° 30’ W - 85° W (0-100 km from border)
Region 4 - 85° W - 121° 30’ W (0-100 km from border)
Region 5 - 121° 30’ W - 127° W (0-140 km from border)
Region 6 - 127° W - 143° W (0-100 km from border)

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Denies Waiver to Allow High Power Maritime Broadband Radios in 5 GHZ Band

Kongsberg Seatex AS requested a waiver of the Commission’s Rules to permit certification and use of maritime broadband radios (MBRs) in either the 5460-5660 MHz or 5850-5925 MHz bands. Kongsberg manufactures the MBR, which is a real-time, phased array digital radio that operates in the 5 GHz band. Kongsberg sought a waiver to permit equipment authorization and use of the MBR in United States waters on two channels (to allow the operation of two separate networks in the same area) in the 5460-5660 MHz or 5850-5925 MHz bands. A waiver is necessary because the Commission’s rules do not provide for the certification and use of the MBR in these frequency bands, since they are allocated for other purposes.

With regard to the 5460-5660 MHz band, the FCC noted that International Telecommunication Union Resolution 229 (Rev. WRC-12) restricts wireless access systems in the 5470-5725 MHz band to an EIRP of one watt in order to protect existing services in the band. Kongsberg’s proposed maximum EIRP of 60 dBm equates to 1000 watts, which far exceeds this limit. The FCC also noted that aircraft operate airborne weather radars in the 5460- 5470 MHz band for storm avoidance. As a result, the FCC concluded that it would not be in the public interest to grant a waiver that could interfere with other services, especially safety-related services, so we deny the waiver for the 5460-5660 MHz band.

With respect to the 5850-5925 MHz band, the FCC stated that Kongsberg’s waiver request discounts the possibility of interfering with Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) because “[t]he MBR system will normally be used at a large distance from shore and a power-regulating algorithm in the system will secure that the lowest power possible for good communication is used,” but provides no technical analysis of the interference potential. Since Kongsberg did not provide sufficient technical information, the FCC agreed with commenters that Kongsberg had not shown good cause for use of the band.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

East Arkansas Broadcasters Cited for Obstruction Lighting Violations

The FCC has issued a Notice of Violation to East Arkansas Broadcasters for failure to timely replace or repair obstruction lighting on its antenna tower at Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Rule Section 17.56 requires tower owners to repair or replace lights, automatic indicators or automatic alarm control or alarm systems to be completed “as soon as possible.” In this case, the Notice to Airman (NOTAM) database indicated that four NOTAMs had been issued since February 2017 (February 2, 2017 – expiring on March 2, 2017; May 18, 2017 – expiring on July 14, 2017; June 29, 2017 – expiring on September 29, 2017 and October 2, 2017 – which will expire on December 31, 2017.) In this case, the FCC stated that it has no information that the lighting system had been repaired since the first NOTAM was issued.

The FAA and FCC specify obstruction marking and lighting on certain antenna towers in order to ensure that the tower does not constitute a hazard to air navigation. Failing to repair lights and other equipment that is designed to ensure that tower lighting properly functions creates hazards that can result in fatal aviation accidents. Thus, it is critically important that repairs to obstruction lighting and associated automatic indicators and alarm equipment be completed as soon as humanly possible. Simply put, a delay of months is not acceptable and will come to the attention of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

RADWIN Enters into $95K Settlement for Marketing Noncompliant U-NII Devices

RADWIN Ltd and RADWIN, Inc. (Radwin) is a privately held corporation that manufacturers and distributes point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and non-line-of-sight broadband wireless equipment operating in the 5 GHz band. The affected devices are Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices that were marketed in violation of the FCC’s equipment authorization and marketing requirements. The noncompliant U-NII devices allowed users to modify device settings in a way that could cause harmful interference to Terminal Doppler Weather Radar systems operated by the FAA’s air traffic controllers to detect hazardous weather conditions for aircraft. The Commission’s requirements ensure that devices that emit radio frequency radiation comply with the Commission’s technical requirements and do not cause harmful interference to Federal agency public safety systems, such as TDWR, or to other authorized Federal and non-Federal communications systems, once the devices are marketed to the public. To settle this matter, Radwin admits that it violated the Commission’s equipment authorization and marketing rules with respect to these noncompliant U-NII devices, will implement a compliance plan, and will pay a $95,000 civil penalty. Additionally, through software updates, Radwin took remedial action in order to ensure that current and deployed devices are modified to disable the DFS mitigation and sensitivity features that were contained in each device that was previously sold.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Grants Part 15 Waiver to Permit Deployment of Security Screening Devices

The FCC has granted a waiver of its Part 15 equipment certification rules so that Evolv Technologies, Inc. (Evolv) can apply for FCC certification to market its Edge System – which is a walk-through security screening system intended for use at airports and other indoor locations under supervised operation. A rule waiver was needed because the Evolv device produces signal levels that exceed the limits in Part 15 for unlicensed devices. Evolv stated that the higher signal levels are necessary for the device to achieve sufficient signal-to-noise ratio for its operation, and to permit it to scan 600 or more persons per hour.

In justifying its rule waiver request, Evolv noted that its system has similar technical specifications (e.g., power and operating frequency range) to a security screening system that is manufactured by a competitor for which the Commission has previously granted a waiver of three Part 15 rules. Additionally, Evolv’s waiver request was supported by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and American Airlines – who also expressed interest in deploying the Evolv technologies in their facilities. There were no comments in opposition.

In granting the rule waiver, the FCC noted that Evolv’s Edge device has the potential to “deliver strong public interest benefits.” In this regard, the FCC stated that the device is “designed to enable the rapid identification of concealed dangerous objects in places with high public foot traffic – including airports – where there is a strong interest in enhancing security and promoting safety of the public.” Further, the stronger signal level will allow the screening of people without requiring them to remove clothing or items in pockets as the walk through the screening device. Because of the importance of improving safety to the public in public places and the potential for the Edge device to provide these improvements, the FCC concluded that the public interest benefit in granting the waiver was “stronger” than applying the rule to the Edge device.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Updates Equipment Authorization Rules for Radio Frequency Devices – New Rules Effective November 2

As we reported in our July 2017 Private User Update, the FCC took action to streamline and simplify its equipment authorization procedures for most radio-frequency devices such as cell phones, televisions, and other devices that are marketed, imported or operated within the United States. Those rules have now been published in the Federal Register and are effective as of November 2.

Under the prior regulatory scheme, the Commission has two different procedures – self approval processes such as verification and declaration of conformity and certification processes. Verification and Declaration of Conformity (DoC) are self-approval processes that are reserved for RF equipment that has an established testing methodology, low risk of causing harmful interference and a high compliance rate. The more rigorous certification process is reserved for equipment and/or devices that either employ new technologies, involve complex testing procedures, or have a high risk of causing harmful interference. Under the FCC’s newly adopted procedures, verification and DoC have been replaced with a single process – “Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC). The Commission believes that this new process will be more efficient for RF devices that are well suited for self-approval – i.e., equipment that has a strong record of compliance and for which there is minimal risk of harmful interference. Equipment tested under the SDoC process is no longer required to display the FCC logo as was required for devices approved using the DoC process. Nonetheless, the FCC has maintained the requirement to display a compliance statement and the identity of the responsible party, and apply it to all self-approved devices, but permit it to be included with other information provided to the user instead of being displayed on the device itself. This compliance statement represents a new requirement for verified devices, but should not increase the burden on equipment manufacturers, since it replaces the requirement for a label on the device itself confirming the device’s compliance.

In order to permit equipment manufacturers to transition from the current verification of DoC systems to the SDoC regime, the FCC determined that while the new procedure will be effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register (November 2, 2017), equipment manufacturers will be permitted to “continue to self-approve products using the existing DoC or verification procedures for up to one year from the effective date of the rules [November 2, 2018] if they so choose.” Further, the FCC has clarified that any equipment authorized under the verification or DoC procedures prior to the end of the transition period will remain valid without any further action by the FCC, so long as the equipment has not been modified in a manner that would require the issuance of a new equipment authorization under the FCC’s new rules.

The FCC also modified its labeling rules to comply with the Enhanced Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act (E-LABEL Act). The E-LABEL Act applies to all RF devices that have the “capability to digitally display labeling and regulatory information”, and requires the FCC to adopt rules which would allow manufacturers of RF devices to utilize electronic labeling in place of a physical label. In this regard, labeling must be accessible within 3 steps, meaning that the end-user must be able to access the information without having to drill down more than 3 steps. Further, manufacturers are required to provide easily accessible instructions on how to access regulatory information – either in the product packaging material, operating instruction booklet or on a product-related website. If a product-related website is used, then the packaging material must contain a statement that the information on accessing the regulatory information is available on the product-related Internet site, along with instructions on how to access the direct website. Further, RF devices that rely on another device to operate or on a wireless or remote connection and have no display must have a physical label unless the RF device can only be used in conjunction with a device that does have a screen. This is consistent with Canadian equipment authorization procedures.

The Commission also eliminated the requirement for importers to file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the FCC Form 740 – the FCC’s unique import declaration for RF devices brought into the United States. Because of the exponential increase in imported RF devices, this filing requirement became an unwieldy tool for the FCC and it placed an increasingly substantial burden on importers. At the same time, the CBP’s revised database and the increasing availability of product information on the Internet and through other means have reduced the practical need for the form.

Finally, the FCC updated its specific measurement procedures and clarified that certain standards may be used for demonstrating that RF equipment complies with the FCC’s rules. These changes allow the FCC to respond more quickly to changes in technology and international standards, and will speed the approval of new RF devices.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

December Open Meeting – FCC to Consider Elimination of CMRS Presumption for Wireless Licenses

The FCC will consider an Order at its upcoming December Open Meeting in which it will (a) remove the presumption that commercial service wireless licenses be treated as Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) and instead allow licensees to rely on the statutory definitions to identify the nature and regulatory treatment for their mobile services based upon how the spectrum is used rather than the spectrum band used by the licensee; (b) eliminate the outdated and incomplete list of radio services that meet the definition of “mobile service”; (c) eliminate unnecessary filings that some licensees must make to use spectrum as Private Mobile Radio Service (PMRS) rather than CMRS and (d) harmonize the FCC’s licensing rules across spectrum bands by removing rules that apply to some bands, but not other.

The FCC’s draft Order would remove Section 20.9 of the Commission’s Rules in favor of using the definitions in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act) and the FCC’s rules which clearly show what services constitute CMRS and PMRS. As a result, our private user clients should no longer be required to obtain rule waivers to utilize spectrum that has traditionally been CMRS, to meet private internal communications needs as long as the proposed operation will meet the FCC’s technical rules associated with that spectrum band. With the elimination of Rule Section 20.9, private user applicants would be able to meet their communications needs more quickly. Likewise, switching between CMRS and PMRS should become easier, since doing so would entail nothing more than a traditional license modification application without any additional showing. It is important to note that adoption of this rule change would in no way change the respective definitions of CMRS and/or PMRS services nor the regulatory obligations associated with CMRS operations.

Likewise, the Commission’s Order would also eliminate Rule Section 20.7, which contained an “outdated and incomplete list of some, but not all services that meet the definition of ‘mobile service” as used in the Act.” In so doing, the Commission acknowledges that the definition of CMRS in Rule Section 20.3 clearly defines “mobile service” in a manner that is consistent with the statutory definition in the Act. As a result, this change would not affect the application of the term “mobile service” under the Act or the FCC’s Rules.

We expect that the FCC will take favorable action on this item at its upcoming open meeting on December 14, 2017. That said, it is important to note that while the FCC has released an advanced draft of its Order, there could be further substantive changes following the FCC’s formal adoption of this item.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

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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You can text your emergency to 911 in the Long Beach area starting Friday

By JEREMIAH DOBRUCK | | Press-Telegram
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2017 at 2:57 pm | UPDATED: December 1, 2017 at 10:46 am

Starting on Dec. 1, 2017, anyone in Long Beach can text 911 to get emergency responders. (Courtesy)

Starting Friday, anyone with an emergency in Long Beach and most other nearby cities can text 911 for help, authorities announced this week.

On Dec. 1, Long Beach police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Downey police, Signal Hill police and the vast majority of other nearby jurisdictions will launch their text-to-911 services, said Reginald Harrison, Long Beach’s director of disaster preparedness and emergency communications.

Most of Los Angeles County is included in the program, according to Harrison.

Texting allows people who are deaf or hearing impaired to contact first-responders directly, city officials said. It is also especially useful for people in dangerous situations where someone might have to remain quiet, authorities said.

“It is important that all residents are able to contact police, fire and emergency medical services when needed,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “Texting is widely used to communicate so it only makes sense that we allow residents to use this technology, Text to 911, for emergency services as well.”

But Harrison emphasized that calling 911 is still the best way to get help.

“Call if you can — text if you can’t,” is the slogan being adopted by Long Beach and other agencies implementing the program.

For texting 911 to work, the cell phone sending the message must have locations services enabled, according to Long Beach. Harrison said that helps pinpoint which jurisdiction needs to receive the message.

Local law enforcement agencies have been testing the texting program since August, according to Harrison. Until then, anyone who tried to text 911 would get a message bounced back saying they need to call.

After a few months of experimenting, Harrison said local law enforcement agencies are satisfied with how the system functions and are ready to roll out the program in coordination on Friday.

“What we need to do now is to educate the public on how to use it,” he said.

Texters should be clear and concise in their messages and always include a location where the emergency is happening, according to Harrison.

“The location is very, very important,” he said. “Unlike a telephone call, we don’t get a location.”

Right now, text messages must be in English, although support for other languages may be added later. Also, officials cautioned, the system can’t yet receive photos or videos.

Long Beach also offered a few more tips for texting 911:

  • The first text message should contain the location and brief description of the emergency and the type of help needed.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 text taker.
  • Text in simple words. Do not use abbreviations, emojis or slang.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.
  • Do not text and drive.

A complete list of law enforcement agencies participating in the program wasn’t immediately available.

Source: Press-Telegram  

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Today in Vietnam

David Clark never wanted to return to Vietnam after the war. Today, working with Vietnamese war victims helps him master his past.

Isabella Scholda
1.12.2017, 11:10 clock

David Clark contacted the United States Marine Corps on February 16, 1966. Two years later he landed at the U.S. base in Da Nang in Vietnam. Over 42 years have passed since the end of the Vietnam War. After returning [home] from Vietnam, David Clark vowed never to return to this area. He stayed there [at home in Southern Illinois] for 40 years. At the urging of a colleague, he came back in 2009 and finds peace in Vietnam. In the video he tells his story.

David Clark wollte nach dem Krieg nie mehr nach Vietnam zurück. Heute hilft ihm die Arbeit mit vietnamesischen Kriegsopfern bei der Bewältigung seiner Vergangenheit.

Isabella Scholda
1.12.2017, 11:10 Uhr

David Clark meldete sich am 16. Februar 1966 beim United States Marine Corps. Zwei Jahre später landete er auf dem US-Stützpunkt in Da Nang in Vietnam. Über 42 Jahre sind seit Ende des Vietnam-Kriegs vergangen. Nach seiner Rückkehr aus Vietnam hat sich David Clark geschworen, nie mehr in diese Gegend zurückzukehren. Er hielt sich 40 Jahre daran. Auf Drängen eines Kollegen kam er 2009 doch zurück und findet in Vietnam seinen Frieden. Im Video erzählt er seine Geschichte.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG Zürich, Switzerland

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