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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — December 29, 2017 — Issue No. 787

My New Year's resolution follows in the THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK SECTION below. It is the same one that I renew every year.

As subscriber paging continues to decline, so does advertising in this newsletter. I know that when any company sees their business decreasing, they frequently cut back on advertising. One thing my father taught me about business management was that when times are tough, that is when you need to advertise the most. So here is my wish list for 2018:

  • that former advertisers return;
  • that new advertisers join-up to support this newsletter;
  • that current advertisers continue to renew and if possible pay for all of 2018 during January;
  • that individual supporters repeat their voluntary contributions;

I worked for a guy once who drove a Porsche, wore a Rolex watch and had a private plane. He said he couldn't afford to pay me more because it was time for his plane's overhaul.

I didn't have much sympathy for his problem and soon found a job elsewhere.

I just want to assure readers that support for this newsletter does not go towards maintaining a luxury lifestyle for me. I drive an old jalopy and I don't have an airplane. I will admit, however that my wristwatch is better than a Rolex. It is a new Apple Watch (series 3 with GPS and cellular). It was a Christmas gift this year and I love it.

My goals for 2018 are:

  • to expand readership into the private paging and healthcare segments of the market;
  • upgrade the computer equipment used to publish the newsletter.


So . . . on to the news.





Click on the image above for more info about advertising.


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)

Apple to Offer $29 iPhone Battery Replacements, More Battery Health Info in iOS

Thursday December 28, 2017 1:55 pm PST by Juli Clover

Apple this afternoon addressed customer concerns about an ongoing controversy over power management features in older iPhones, pledging to introduce more detailed information about battery health and reducing the price of battery replacements for all of 2018.

In a letter explaining its policies, Apple apologizes for the misinformation that's been spread and says that it would never "intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

At issue is a power management feature that was initially introduced in iOS 10.2.1 in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, which was implemented to prevent unexpected shutdowns due to high power draw peaks. Apple's lack of clarity about the feature has led to a number of lawsuits being filed in recent days claiming that Apple is purposefully slowing down older iPhones.

Apple explains the situation and the aging of batteries both in the letter and in a new support document.

quote A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.

To help customers learn more about iPhone's rechargeable battery and the factors affecting its performance, we've posted a new support article, iPhone Battery and Performance.

It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable. We don't want any of our users to lose a call, miss taking a picture or have any other part of their iPhone experience interrupted if we can avoid it. quote

These power management features are implemented in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus, and will be added to future iPhones as required. They kick in when the battery begins to degrade and can be fixed with a new battery.

Apple says it began to receive feedback this fall from customers who were seeing slower speeds, which it initially thought might be due to software updates and minor bugs in iOS 11, but it now believes the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older devices is at fault.

To allay customer concerns and address recent customer feedback, Apple says it will implement several changes.

  • The price for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements is being dropped from $79 to $29, starting in late January and lasting through December 2018. Apple plans to provide more information on the price drop in the near future, but it will apply to anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced.
  • In early 2018, an iOS update will introduce new features to give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can clearly see whether the state of the battery is affecting performance.

Apple says its team is also always working on ways to make the user experience better, including how performance is managed to avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.

Source: MacRumors  

Hark Technologies

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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.

The Brocade Sale Concludes a Year-Long Shopping Frenzy

By Linda Hardesty
December 28, 2017 5:00 am PT

When Broadcom announced in November 2016 that it was buying Brocade for $5.9 billion, it was complicated right from the get-go. Broadcom immediately said it would divest Brocade’s IP networking business and its Ruckus Wireless assets. That seemed weird considering Brocade had only recently purchased Ruckus Wireless.

It got even weirder when Brocade started to sell off its IP networking assets in bits and pieces. Finally, the messy sale of Brocade almost fell apart in October because a U.S. government agency didn’t like the fact that Broadcom was a Singapore company. Then in November Broadcom announced that it was relocating its headquarters to California, and shortly thereafter the deal closed.

Keeping track of it all kept us busy at SDxCentral. Here’s a final break-down to close out 2017.


After Broadcom said it planned to divest Brocade’s IP networking business and its Ruckus Wireless assets, rumors circulated that the cable-equipment vendor Arris might buy these.

Those rumors turned out to be at least partially true. In February, Arris announced that it would buy the Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch businesses from Brocade for $800 million in cash. Ruckus COO Dan Rabinovitsj would lead the business as a separate unit within Arris. He would be joined by an additional 1,600 Ruckus employees.

Extreme Networks

In March, Extreme Networks announced it was buying Brocade’s data center networking assets for $55 million in cash. Extreme planned to close on the Brocade assets within 60 days following Broadcom’s acquisition of that company. Extreme’s deal included Brocade’s data center switching, routing, and analytics business.

Extreme said it expected the Brocade acquisition to generate over $230 million in annual revenue, and that the Brocade assets would also expand its relationship with Broadcom. “We already have our 200 Series of value-oriented switches leveraging Broadcom’s FASTPATH operating system software, and this transaction will only broaden our strategic partnership,” said Extreme Networks President and CEO Ed Meyercord.


It wasn’t just other vendors picking through Brocade’s assets. In June, AT&T proclaimed it was buying Brocade’s Vyatta assets, including the Vyatta vRouter. And AT&T also said it was going to hire certain Brocade employees associated with that business who are mostly located in California and the United Kingdom. AT&T’s deal called for the transaction to close in early summer, prior to the closing of Broadcom’s purchase of Brocade. And that did, in fact, happen.

Pulse Secure

Also in June, Pulse Secure said it would buy Brocade’s virtual application delivery controller (vADC) assets for an undisclosed amount. Pulse Secure makes security products for access control, VPN, and devices. The company said that the combination of Pulse’s unified client, Policy Secure, combined with the vADC, would be a key development in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The vADC deal, which included a leased R&D facility in Cambridge, U.K., as well as associated customer support and maintenance contracts, closed in August.

Mavenir Systems

In July, Mavenir Systems — a company dedicated to creating a software-based RAN — purchased Brocade’s virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) product line, including the company’s research and development facility in Mumbai, India. Mavenir also hired certain Brocade employees associated with the vEPC business and will support existing Brocade vEPC customers. Mavenir wanted the vEPC products as part of its multi-access edge computing (MEC) and IoT strategy.

As a side note, both Mavenir and Pulse Secure are owned by Siris Capital.

Lumina Networks

Andrew Coward, the former VP of strategy at Brocade, created a new company, Lumina Networks, built with the software-defined networking (SDN) controller assets from Brocade. Lumina Networks launched in August with Coward as CEO. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in the U.K., India, and Australia. Its controller, which is based on OpenDaylight (ODL), is named the Lumina SDN Controller.

With its purchase, Lumina got all the former Brocade customers that were already using the controller, which totaled about 200 customers.

Delays to Broadcom Deal

While Brocade was busy selling off parts of its business, the deal with Broadcom hit a snag in July. The Federal Trade Commission became concerned that once Broadcom owned Brocade’s fibre channel switches, it would essentially have a monopoly on the market that provides the ASICS for those types of switches. Broadcom supplies Cisco with ASICs for its fibre channel switches. And it would soon own Brocade’s fibre channel switch assets for which it supplies ASICs. The FTC was concerned that Broadcom would use its massive market share to “substantially lessen competition,” or “by increasing the likelihood of coordinated interaction between the two competitors.”

To try and thwart any antitrust activity, the FTC created some requirements and didn’t give its stamp of approval to the deal until August.

But a bigger problem arose in October after a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Reportedly, that CFIUS was concerned about national security related to investments by Chinese companies. Broadcom was domiciled in Singapore and headquartered in San Jose, California.

In the midst of all this, Extreme Networks decided to complete its acquisition of Brocade’s data center switching, routing, and analytics business, without waiting for the Broadcom deal to close.

Broadcom’s Big Move

The drama all culminated in early November with an announcement from the Oval Office of the White House. President Donald Trump and Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said Broadcom would change the nationality of its corporate structure from Singapore to the U.S. This paved the way for Broadcom’s purchase of Brocade to close.

On Nov. 17, Broadcom finally completed its $5.9 billion acquisition of Brocade after more than a year of waiting for regulatory approval. Brocade now operates as an indirect subsidiary of Broadcom with Jack Rondoni, previously Brocade’s SVP of storage networking, serving as the general manager.

On Dec. 1, long-waiting Arris was able to complete its acquisition of the Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch business from Broadcom.

Source: SDX Central  

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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

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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.

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2017


Sorry, My Crystal Ball for 2018 is Still Overheated From 2017

The newsletter we put out tomorrow is one of the toughest, composition-wise, I’ve dealt with all year: the Top 10 Stories of 2017. At first, it sounded easy. Not counting our 52 weekend roundups and a few skipped holidays, that’s about 255 issues from which to choose (my New Year’s resolution is not to dangle participles this year . . . and consume less dairy!). But after I had already chosen five and hadn’t left January, I knew I was in for a challenge.

We all faced the new year 365 days ago with the same slack-jawed wonderment of what was in store with a new administration taking office. The polarization of America was no longer an environmental term but one of political entrenchment. Lincoln’s description of “a house divided against itself” had not been this prescient for 159 years.

So with that backdrop, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (remember him?) announced the spectrum auction cleared $18 billion, declared it a success, dropped the mic and walked off the stage to kick off the new year. In parting, Wheeler said a total of about $10.05 billion would go to broadcast television owners who gave up their spectrum and the rest of the proceeds would go towards deficit reduction.

Taking the reins shortly afterward, was Obama-appointee (albeit a Republican one) and former Verizon counselor Ajit Pai. We headline writers rejoiced at all the great name-play opportunities it would bring to the new year (we’ve since gone through them all . . . maybe twice).

What followed in succession: repack, FirstNet, merger rumors spiking the markets (in our favor!), small cell/DAS battle lines being drawn in cities and states nationwide, one solar eclipse and one natural disaster after another kept 2017 as unpredictable as it was eventful. (We knew about the eclipse, of course, just not about it’s impact.)

The tower sector did what it does best and, by all indicators, will continue to do it again in 2018: build towers and infrastructure in response to the insatiable demand for connectivity. Repack, FirstNet and small cell/DAS will keep the market humming with activity throughout 2018 and beyond. The FCC has been a confederate in that regard, streamlining the process while drawing down some heat from all quarters with no indication of shirking from that duty in the coming year.

Yes, there will be politics in 2018. There will, alas, be more Acts of God reinforcing and redefining the importance of cellular communication and who knows who will merge in the year to come. Predictions are not my strong suit.

Hey, my Eagles are 13 and 2 . . . best record in the NFL . . . but does that mean they’ll win the Super Bowl? Magic Eight Ball says “Answer hazy.” Luckily, we’re in a ‘sure thing’ tower market that only requires perseverance, adaptation and quality control to maintain the prospect for a bright year ahead.

By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers

FirstNet Ends the Year on a High Note

All 50 states, two U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. have opted into FirstNet following yesterday’s deadline to sign up.

“With every state saying 'yes' to the FirstNet plan, America’s first responders now have a nationwide interoperable network they can rely on 24/7/365 — like their mission,” said First Responder Network Authority Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “I applaud these governors for their decision and congratulate public safety for its advocacy and partnership throughout the process. With more than 50 states and territories participating in FirstNet, public safety is assured of an enduring, self-sufficient network to serve them for years to come,” he said in the FirstNet press release. The First Responder Network Authority’s public-private partnership with AT&T provides first responders with immediate access to mission-critical capabilities over the FirstNet network. This includes priority and preemption features that give first responders their own ‘fast lane’ on the public safety network to communicate and share information during emergencies, large events or other situations when commercial networks could become congested.

New Hampshire, which had been the only state to opt out in December, reversed its decision and will be joining AT&T. California made its decision yesterday. Three U.S. territories have until March 12, 2018, to make their decision: American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

“While getting to this point is a major achievement for public safety, our job is not finished,” said First Responder Network Authority CEO Poth. “We still have much work to do to realize the full potential of FirstNet for public safety everywhere, including rural America, and we will move full speed ahead to make it happen.”

So, what will the new year bring? According to its press release, FirstNet identifies its next steps as follows:

  • Expanding the Network and Building Out Band 14: The First Responder Network Authority will issue work orders to deploy the RANs in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the two opt-in territories in early 2018.  This will give AT&T the green light to expand FirstNet’s footprint and deploy Band 14 capacity and coverage throughout the nation, providing first responders with the bandwidth and mission critical connections they need to communicate, share information, and use innovative technologies every day and in every emergency.
  • Driving Public Safety Innovation: FirstNet will also unlock a new technology marketplace for public safety, enabling first responders to benefit from advancements in innovation.  The FirstNet App store will be filling up with FirstNet-approved mobile apps that are optimized for public safety use over the first responder network.
  • Securing Emergency Communications: FirstNet’s first-of-its-kind core infrastructure will give first responders the dedicated, highly secure, non-commercial network they deserve.  On schedule to be operational in March, the FirstNet public safety core will provide full encryption of public safety data over FirstNet and provide end-to-end cyber security.  FirstNet subscribers will also have access to a dedicated Security Operations Center, offering 24/7/365 support.
  • Engaging with Public Safety: Public safety outreach and advocacy will not stop as the network is further built out.  The First Responder Network Authority will continue to engage with public safety in the states, territories, federal agencies, and tribal nations to ensure the network meets their needs and incorporate their feedback in the design of future FirstNet products and services.

Regarding the announcement, Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said, “Talk is over, now it is go time for AT&T. With this agreement, T gets access to 20 MHz of nationwide 700 MHz (D Block) spectrum and gets paid by the government (~ $7B) to help with the cost of this build. However, in order for AT&T to be able to receive the government payment associated with FirstNet, it must hit specific milestones with the infrastructure build. As we have written in the past, we see this as a significant boon for the tower industry–beginning in 2018 and extending years after. Our checks show that with this build T will touch ~ 45K sites over a five year period–with as many as 15K in year one. We note CCI is the only tower co (of the three publics) which has given 2018 guidance. AMT and SBAC are to offer this guidance when they report Q4. We note CCI’s 2018 guidance does not include any contribution from FirstNet.”

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. 53 December 27, 2017 

Special Edition

Certain ISPs Need to Register or Re-register Their Designated Copyright Agents As Soon As Possible; Requirement Limited to ISPs That Allow Users to Store Content on Their Networks

During recent weeks, there have been a lot of questions and confusion regarding a requirement for some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to register their designated agents for service of copyright infringement notices with the new online registration system that was implemented by the U.S. Copyright Office in December 2016.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) included two primary and separate “safe harbors” that are of interest to rural telephone company ISP affiliates. These safe harbors are intended to protect ISPs from being included as “deep pocket” co-defendants in copyright infringement lawsuits brought against their customers and other end users.

  • The first is the Section 512(a) “pure conduit” safe harbor that applies to ISPs that serve solely as transmission and routing pipes between the Internet and their customers, and that do not “store” potentially infringing materials longer than required to provide connections and to complete the transmission and routing. This Section 512(a) “pure conduit” safe harbor DOES NOT require the designation of an agent with the Copyright Office.
  • The second is the Section 512(c) “notice and take down” safe harbor that applies to ISPs that allow users to post or store material on their networks, hosted websites, search engines, directories, and other information location tools. This Section 512(c) “notice and take down” safe harbor requires the ISP to designate and provide contact information for an agent that will receive service of notices of claimed copyright infringement. This agent contact information must both be filed with the Copyright Office and be posted on the ISP’s website. Upon receipt of an appropriate notice claiming copyright infringement, the agent is required to forward it to the ISP. The ISP, in turn, is required to engage in detailed procedures including: (a) the expeditious removal or disabling of access to the infringing material; (b) the prompt notification of the customer of the action taken; and (c) if applicable, the acceptance of a qualifying counter-notification from the customer and restoration of access to the material (after appropriate notice to the complaining entity).

It is BloostonLaw’s understanding that most ISPs affiliated with our rural telephone clients serve as “pure conduits” that transmit and route the Internet traffic of their customers, but do not store material on their networks for longer than necessary to establish connections and provide basic routing and transmission. These ISPs are NOT required to designate an agent with the Copyright Office, or post agent contact information on their website. However, they are required to identify the customer using a particular infringing IP address if the copyright owner obtains a warrant or subpoena for the provision of such information, and to terminate an infringing customer’s service if a copyright owner or its representative obtains an appropriate court injunction. At a minimum, all ISPs (including those subject to either safe harbor) should adopt and reasonably implement (and inform subscribers and account holders of) a policy: (a) that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the ISP’s system or network who are repeat copyright infringers; and (b) that accommodates and does not interfere with standard technical measures employed to protect copyrighted materials.

With respect to ISP’s that do store material on their network and that wish to qualify for the Section 512(c) “notice and take down” safe harbor, the agent designation and registration requirement is not new, and has in fact been in the Copyright Act since the DMCA was enacted in 1998. The present change is that the U.S. Copyright Office introduced an online registration system and electronically generated directory in 2016 to replace its previous paper-based system and directory. Accordingly, the Copyright Office no longer accepts paper designations. Moreover, agents designated prior to December 2016 must be re-designated electronically by December 2017 to preserve their status as designated agents.

BloostonLaw is available to act as designated agent for clients electing to take advantage of the Section 512(c) “notice and take down” safe harbor, review the validity of infringement notifications and takedown requests, and otherwise advise clients in matters of this nature.

We note that, to ensure that designations remain current and accurate, each service provider must “renew” its agent designation at least every three years, either by amending it to correct or update outdated information or, if the information is still accurate, by resubmitting it through the online system without amendment. If a service provider fails to timely renew its designation, the designation will expire and become invalid, leaving the service provider without an active designation in the Copyright Office’s DMCA Designated Agent Directory.

BloostonLaw notes that some clients may be inclined to designate an agent with the Copyright Office out of an abundance of caution even if they do not believe that they “store” customer materials on their network long enough to be precluded from qualifying for the more favorable “pure conduit” safe harbor. Designating an agent in these circumstances is not unlawful, but does have a downside. We have found some of the clients that have designated a copyright agent to be receiving multiple notices of alleged copyright infringement — sometimes several hundred of such notices per week. Some of these notices are likely legitimate, while others appear to be from entities looking for a fast buck. Often, however, they have nothing to do with infringing material being stored on the ISP’s network, even though that is the type of infringement for which a designation of an agent is necessary. Given the time necessary to investigate both legitimate and bogus complaints, and the need to implement the notice and take down procedures promptly in the case of legitimate complaints, our advice is to determine whether your ISP “stores” potentially infringing material, and elect the appropriate safe harbor on that basis.

Finally, BloostonLaw notes that the “deadline” for registering or re-registering a Section 512(c) “notice and take down” safe harbor agent with the Copyright Office is December 31, 2017. However, our experience with the Copyright Office is that its deadlines are generally “soft” deadlines and that registrations will be accepted after December 31. It is unlikely that many copyright infringement notices will be filed against the customers of a rural ISP on New Year’s Day 2018 or during the first week or so of the year.

ISPs with questions about the specific qualifying requirements and compliance procedures for each safe harbor, as well as the overall limitations on liability included in the DMCA, should contact the firm for more information. We also have a copyright policy template that we can customize to address the practices and circumstances of our ISP clients.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Sal Taillefer, 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

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. 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. 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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Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

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First responder communication network finally gets green light

From staff and wire reports Published 1:08 p.m. CT Dec. 28, 2017

Gov. Phil Bryant approved Thursday a buildout plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community.

Gov. Phil Bryant (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis, AP)

In a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, the first nationwide broadband network for emergency responders, AT&T will build, operate and maintain a secure wireless broadband communications network for Mississippi's public safety community at no cost to the state.

"I've determined this is the best deal with the least amount of risk for taxpayers," Bryant said. "It will provide our first responders with the tools they need to keep Mississippians safe."

Mississippi created a statewide wireless network for all levels of government after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. State agencies and local governments could not easily communicate with electric lines and cell towers damaged following the deadly storm.

First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, will expand Mississippi's statewide emergency communications system for first responders to also provide data. A fireman entering a burning building, for example, would be able to get information on the building's layout.

FirstNet will connect first responder subscribers to the information they need when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like the Mississippi State Fair.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created the First Responder Network Authority as an independent authority within the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.

The First Responder Network Authority has been working with the states’ Wireless Communication Commission to meet the state's communications needs, including expanding rural coverage beyond what is currently available from commercial carriers, providing quick access to deployable network assets and offering services at competitive prices.

Bryant’s decision comes nearly three years after U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker publicly rebuked federal telecommunications officials at a hearing for abandoning their investment in a broadband project in the state. Officials with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration had suspended a $70 million grant to Mississippi in 2012 to help build the network after laws changed and the federal government set about to create a national interoperable broadband public safety network. That national effort derailed the work and plans of Mississippi, which was one of seven recipients in 2010 of a Broadband Technology Opportunity grant.

NTIA officials said at the time that the state's plan was short on details and on assurances it would meet grant requirements and deadlines.

Then a year ago, Mississippi gained access to a new $33 million Broadband Technology Opportunity Project to be used to beef up coordination among emergency responders statewide. Approval of the grant ended years of negotiations among federal agencies, Mississippi's U.S. senators, state officials and others to improve the state's emergency communications capabilities in data sharing.

"Public safety across the Magnolia state will gain access to the broadband network specifically built to meet the demands of their mission, Mike Poth, CEO of First Responder Network Authority, said Thursday “They will gain access to the coverage, speed and connectivity needed to power the most advanced life-saving tools."

At the same time, FirstNet is expected to drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state and create life-saving tools for public safety, including apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 911 networks, an initiative aimed at updating the 9-1-1 service infrastructure in the United States and Canada from analog to digital to improve public emergency communications services, and Smart Cities' infrastructure in which technology is used to connect components to improve quality of life and support growing populations.

Source: Clarion Ledger  


From: Paul Piccola <>
Subject: Net Neutrality comments
Date: December 26, 2017 at 3:17:11 PM CST
To: Brad Dye


A few comments (or rant maybe) about net neutrality and the “what happens next” and “when does it happen?”

First a little history.  I live in a rural area in East Texas. I retired in 2000. Been here for 18 years. I had marginal cell service when I moved here (Alltel), then Verizon bought Alltel out.

The service got some better, but still not good.

Around 2013-2014 things got much better with Verizon wireless. I purchased a 40GB plan and seldom went over allowance.  I have 6 PCs running, 5 of which run radios in the shack, and one a weather station, so I get a lot of windows updates. Needless to say there are other electronics that run and connect to the internet now days.

I  was excited when Verizon Wireless announced the “Unlimited” stream all you want plan. SO I switched to the Unlimited plan. All went well for a few weeks, then Verizon announced the 22GB limit or we MAY slow your connection. 

SO when I could not get enough band width to do e-mail and surfing, much less streaming, I cancelled the streaming services I had paid for already to two months.  I had not reached the magic 22GB mark yet.

I call Verizon Wireless support and complained!  I was told, after, 20 plus minutes on the line with support, my router was too OLD for it to work correctly.  I purchased a new router and connected it to the Verizon Wireless network, but no change.

I called support back and complained! Then I was told I was in a high traffic area and sometimes it would be slow, and even slower after I exceeded the data transfer limit.


What Happens Next with Net Neutrality?

Verizon Wireless has already blocked and throttle down lawful content for my area/connection! They have oversold the available band width for the area.

I have determined Netflix streaming will sometimes work, but none of the other streaming services will connect. Is Netflix paying for prioritization?

During times after I have exceeding data allocation, I cannot connect to my e-mail, bank, and Facebook, or the connection is very very slow or totally dropped before a complete screen can be returned to the PC. This is not slow down, it is non-existent.

When does the FCC’s net neutrality repeal happen?

Verizon wireless has already begun changes! In my rural area anyway! In my area Verizon Wireless is the only carrier! So no alternative!

As a first responder I support the FirstNet plan. I would even allow

ATT a 1$ three year lease to put one of the FirstNet cell towers on my land here if it also supports public cell service!

Anyway Brad, my 2 cents worth, for what ever its worth!


Benjamin Paul Piccola
563 County Road 2917
Hughes Springs, TX 75656
903-918-7290 cell
GHS Class of 65

From: Art Trout <>
Subject: The Wireless Messaging News for Art Trout
Date: December 25, 2017 at 10:02:33 AM CST
To: Brad Dye


I always enjoy reading your newsletter. I can confirm that your newsletter is non partisan from my reading. It’s so nice to read the works of an editor with a heart and a conscience.

I notice that your list of accomplishments includes the US Navy. I too was a second class petty officer back in 64-68 and worked with the Naval Security Group and Naval Research Labs in communications. These were good times for sure.  I often reflect back on my involvement and contributions as well as what I gained from serving our country.  It was a driving factor for my career working for Motorola (back when it was a real engineering company) and later for Intrastate Radio Telephone, Communications Industries, PacTel Paging, General Cellular and then back to working with Tom Cook at Cook Telecom.

I still do some consulting in telecommunications through my company MCAT Consulting.  I enjoy staying involved in the industry which gave my life so much in return. While the industry has evolved over time I’m so glad that I was on the leading edges as it matured.

I really enjoyed the Christmas story from the thespian. I work with the Pittsburg Schools District (CA) in the CAB theater doing sound engineering and working with high school kids. One of my favorite things to do in retirement. To me it’s giving back or paying forward and giving others a start.

Thanks for doing all you do and please keep on publishing your newsletter. May the recent FCC decision on neutrality fail.

May God continue to bless our great Country.

Merry Christmas.

Art Trout

Editor's note: Thanks Art. Comments like yours make all the hard work to publish this newsletter worthwhile. I was a Raopman (RM2) in the US Navy. I worked in a room next door to guys like you but they kept their door locked.

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quote As I pray for peace in the world,

I realize the only answer for real and lasting peace is:

that peace within;

that it only comes from God;

and that it must begin with me.

I am going to continue to try to do my part

in stopping bigotry, hatred, and prejudice,

by practicing love and tolerance.

I may not be all that I should be,

but then I am not what I once was,

and with God's help,

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—Brad Dye (2017)


Biko • Playing For Change Band • Live in New York

Playing For Change
Published on Aug 17, 2017

“You can blow out a candle but you can't blow out a fire, once the flames begin to catch the wind will blow it higher.” This summarizes the Playing For Change movement in which individuals can and will create a better world together. Enjoy this moving performance from the PFC Band recorded live at their recent show at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.

This is a tribute to all the forgotten heroes of the past who stood for peace and the enlightenment of the human spirit. “The eyes of the world are watching now.”

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Our primary focus is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos we call Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated us to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of our mission, featuring musicians met along our journey, and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world. Through these efforts, we aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

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

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