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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — November 3, 2017 — Issue No. 779

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

I have included an off-topic article this week because it illustrates one of my “pet peeves” — corporate excesses. It's about GE's former Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, who had two GE-owned Bombardier Global Express jets so one could follow him on trips just in case of a mechanical problem.

I have also included a re-print of one of my “soap box” articles from the May 14, 2010 issue in the THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK section.

But don't worry there are lots of news articles about wireless messaging issues.


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Now on to more news and views.

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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If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter just fill in the blanks in the form above, and then click on the “Subscribe” button.

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

Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates a/k/a IWA Technical Services
Leavitt Communications
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
RF Demand Solutions

People have been queuing outside Apple Stores for days to buy the iPhone X

By Rob Price
November 2, 2017

People queuing outside the Regent's Street, London Apple Store on Thursday afternoon. Rob Price/BI

  • All over the world, people are queuing up hours or days early to get their hands on the new iPhone X.
  • In London, the first man in the queue has been there since Tuesday.
  • There are similar queues everywhere from San Francisco to Singapore.

The iPhone X finally goes on sale on Friday morning — but people have already been queuing up outside Apple Stores for days to be the very first to get their hands on it.

In London and elsewhere in the world, queues of die-hard Apple fans are forming, prepared to camp out for a night or more to buy the eagerly anticipated tenth anniversary Apple smartphone.

Announced in September, the iPhone X is the first major redesign of the iPhone in years — introducing an almost edge-to-edge screen, facial recognition technology, and an increased emphasis on augmented reality. It became available to pre-order on October 27, but sold out within minutes.

There's currently an estimated delivery wait of four-to-five weeks — leaving people determined to get one on day one with little choice but to wait in line for a day or more to get one of the scarce handsets.

Would-be customers are bringing chairs, sleeping bags, and other supplies to help them wait. Rob Price/BI

As of early Thursday afternoon at the flagship Apple Store in London on Regent's Street there were a little over a half a dozen men in the queue.

The first person in line had been there since Tuesday. He told Business Insider he had originally turned up on Sunday night, but saw there was no queue yet, before going home, doing the same on Monday, and finally deciding to wait there properly from Tuesday. Like others in the queue, he was equipped for the long haul, with a camping chair, sleeping bag, clothes, and more.

Another queuer said he he had already managed to pre-order four — one for him, one for his partner, and two to sell to make some cash — and now intended to buy another two. They were for his family abroad, he said, and buying them this way would help avoid additional taxes.

A third man had no interest in buying an iPhone X, but had been asked to queue so his boss could get one. He was going home at 6pm on Thursday night, when another colleague would take his spot for the overnight shift.

There are similar queues at Apple Stores all over the world, including San Francisco, USA and Singapore.

Fabrizio Bellina

First people in queue in #applestore in #sanfrancisco for #iPhoneX
9:48 AM - Nov 2, 2017 · Union Square, San Francisco

( ゚д゚)

Man, the queue in front of Apple Store is insane. Does Apple even have this many iPhone X to go around?
6:39 AM - Nov 2, 2017

The queues have been encouraged by Apple, which has told customers to "arrive early" if they want a chance to nab themselves an iPhone X on launch day on November 3. It goes on sale at 8am local time at stores around the world.



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


“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

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

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


Easy Solutions

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Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
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Experts in Paging Infrastructure

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Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Is public safety in jeopardy?

St Mary's County 10/31/2017 By Joy Shrum

Lexington Park, MD—Many questions remain unanswered regarding the failure of the emergency response alert system in St. Mary’s County on Tuesday, Oct. 24. reported the system went down during the 4 a.m. hour. This system failure meant emergency pagers, fire and rescue squad alerts were not being received for emergency calls. Despite the system failures, no attempt was made by dispatchers to alert the chiefs of the volunteer rescue squads and fire departments that the system was down. At a meeting of the County Commissions this morning, October 31, President Randy Guy apologized saying, “I'm sorry the chiefs were not notified.”

According to an email sent to all of the fire and EMS chiefs within the county, this is an ongoing problem. Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad Chief Shawn Davidson told us there is a standing policy in place by management of the Emergency Communication Division to the effects of—“Don’t tell the volunteers the radios are down.”

Sources close to the story have told that dispatchers have had their jobs threatened if they do alert the volunteers about system failures. Our sources also tell us the dispatchers who were on duty the morning of Oct. 24 were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements before making statements about the issues with the system to management.

In a press release sent out by St. Mary’s County government Oct. 26, there was acknowledgement the system failed at 4:15 a.m. on Oct. 24. Tony Jones, Public Information officer for St. Mary’s County Government, said the sheriff’s office and Maryland State Police were notified of the issues with the radio alert system. However, the St. Mary’s County Fire Chief was not alerted. has obtained the procedures that should be followed in the event of a system failure. This is an excerpt from the Emergency Communications Procedure Manual:

23.9 Radio System Outages: The County Fire and Rescue Chiefs are notified when the radio system or radio paging system goes down. The Chiefs will be advised if someone should man the radios at their stations.

34.3 Radio System Failures: When there is a failure of the P25 Next Gen Radio system, Fire/EMS units will be moved to NPSPAC Channel 8TAC92, and Law Enforcement units will be moved to NPSPAC Channel 8TAC93. Immediate notification should be made to MJOC, the Director, or the Deputy Director. Log the issue in the CAD using the “ECCR” Unicode, then log the specific issue with basic information. Dispatch ECCR. Broadcast the outage/issue information to all users of the radio system. Dispatch using the ALL CALL Talk Group. Notify the MJOC, Director, Deputy Director, and Radio Support Technician. After the radio announcement, make any other notifications as directed by the Director or designee.

It seems many of these procedures were not followed on the morning of Oct. 24. Danny Davis, chairman of the Emergency Services Committee, confirms protocol wasn’t followed. “Whoever was in charge was supposed to follow a process. They’re supposed to contact County Fire Chief Dennis Brady. Brady would then alert the other chiefs and make sure the stations are manned or aware there is a problem.” Davis said once the companies are aware of an issue, they either switch to phones or the back-up Emergency Operation Center (EOC).

Notification was made to Deputy Director of Emergency Services and Technology (ES&T) Steve Walker the morning of the system failure, per the policy procedure. Both he and a radio technician arrived at the 9-1-1 Center at 5:50 a.m. and started troubleshooting the problem.

According to the county’s press release, a test was performed with successful tones transmitted to Forestry and Fire Company 9’s pager and tones and it worked properly. Davis said that test wasn’t good enough. “Company 9 in the southern part of the county—they didn’t test in the northern part of the county. They should have tested more than one station.”

After the test was completed, the technician then advised dispatchers to restart the console radios and resume dispatching from the consoles. “Everything tested successfully. It was just one console that went down, the radio system itself was still working,” Jones stated.

According to emergency volunteers, that was not the case. “At the time of this event, folks who were working are telling us radios were still down, the system was not at 100 percent. When I was made aware of the situation at 6:45 a.m., I was told we are dispatching off of portable radios.” Davidson explained.

Jones referred back to the press release sent last week, stating the time stamps show the system was working properly. “At 6:36 a.m. dispatch alerted Company 3 (BDVFD), Duty Ambulance Station 39 (LPVRS) and ALS (Advanced Life Support). At 6:37 a.m., Sheriff’s units and Maryland State Police units were also alerted and received those alerts.”

“Police are on different broadcast systems and different channels, so they will receive alerts differently than we will. If the system was working properly, everyone would have received the alerts,” Davidson explained.

Also according to the procedure manual, the radio issue should be logged in the CAD system. has a copy of the CAD dispatches from the morning of Oct. 24 and the radio failure was not logged.

Robert Wahrenbrock, chief of Bay District Volunteer Fire Department (BDVFD), sat down with on Monday, Oct. 30. Wahrenbrock said he spoke with County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett first thing Monday morning and had one question for her. “I asked her, ‘Have you directed management over at Emergency Communication Center (ECC) to implement an immediate policy to notify us when these radios go down?’ She wouldn’t answer the question. She said, ‘We’re still looking into this and still investigating.’”

When we advised Wahrenbrock there was a current policy in place in the Emergency Communication Procedure Manual, he said he was unaware it existed. He’s not the only chief within St. Mary’s County who is unaware there is a procedure in place.

On Friday, Oct. 27, we spoke with Jessica Vallandingham, chief of Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad Station 29. She told she requested a copy of the Emergency Communications Procedure Manual from ES&T Deputy Director Walker. Her request was forwarded to ES&T director Bob Kelly who then submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and it was denied. Vallandingham provided us with a copy of the response to her request. It reads, “The request has been denied as it is a record of response procedures or places prepared to prevent or respond to emergency situations, the disclosure of which would reveal vulnerability assessments, specific tactics, specific emergency procedures or specific security procedures and would endanger life or physical safety.” asked Jones why the chiefs, who are ultimately responsible for the response to emergency situations, are not permitted to have a copy of the procedure manual he said, “It’s a privileged human resources document.”

Wahrenbrock, who has a degree in Emergency Management, said it comes down to Public Safety 101. “There are very basic things that could have been done to prevent this and had the county done that, we wouldn’t even be talking about this.”

Davis agrees. “If nothing else, they should have put it out on Active 9-1-1 that there was a radio problem.”

Davis said he’s working with the county to figure out if there was a breakdown in the system to make sure it doesn’t happen again. He suggests an outside company look into the problems, “I think the county should have someone outside of the county government investigate.”

St. Mary’s County Commissioner John O’Connor agrees. “I hope that my colleagues share my sentiments on this issue and agree to have an outside agency investigate. This would remove all personalities and politics from the process.” When we asked O’Connor if he thinks that will happen, he said, “No.”

At this morning's meeting of the County Commissioners, in which several of the county volunteer fire chiefs attended, Commissioner Mike Hewitt said he would also be in favor of an external investigation, if needed, after a top down internal investigation was completed.

St. Mary’s County Commissioner Todd Morgan told he’s waiting for the county’s report before making a recommendation. “I strongly support our county employees. Rather than rely on finger pointing or innuendos, I will wait for the report from Human Resources. If the report calls for further investigation by an outside agency, I would support that.”

There are also contradictions when it comes to Human Resources’ involvement with this incident. Jones told there are complaints about internal problems, but said they’re not related to this incident. O’Connor said those complaints are connected to this investigation and the allegations made against ES&T management.

Davis said the Emergency Services Committee is trying to gather the committee and fire chiefs to work on a solution to send it to the commissions to clear up the communication problems. will continue to investigate the allegations between emergency services personnel and ES&T management, including flaws within the radio system provider, Harris Corporation.


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GE Board Was Kept in the Dark About CEOs Extra Plane

By Thomas Gryta, Joann S. Lublin and Mark Maremont
Published October 29, 2017 — Dow Jones Newswires

General Electric Co. executives didn't notify the company's board until this month about its regular flying of a spare business jet for its CEO, and it didn't tell directors that GE had received an internal complaint about the practice several years ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

GE management first informed the board about the practice after The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 18 that former Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt had an extra aircraft follow his corporate jet on some overseas trips during much of his 16-year tenure, the people said.

The company told GE's directors the company had reduced the practice in mid-2014 and that the continued use of the backup plane was limited to isolated situations such as travel to risky destinations. The board members were previously unaware, the people said, and some were dismayed to learn of the practice. "Obviously, this was an excess," one of these people said.

Mr. Immelt told the Journal on Thursday that he, too, didn't know the spare plane was flying. "This is not a practice I would have allowed," he said in an e-mailed statement. Mr. Immelt stepped down as GE chairman in early October after earlier resigning as CEO.

The practice came to an end when Mr. Immelt's successor, John Flannery, decided to ground the company's fleet of corporate aircraft as part of broader cost-cutting moves. Mr. Flannery plans to sell the aircraft and changed policy so GE executives would instead fly on commercial or charter flights.

The two-plane trips continued until at least this past spring, according to people familiar with the matter and flight records. They flew in years when the Boston-based giant was under investor pressure to cut spending and boost profits, part of an effort to reverse a prolonged stock slump. GE shares have tumbled more than 33% this year, and investors are bracing for a potent cut to its dividend.

On March 11, for example, two GE-owned Bombardier Global Express jets took off from Boston within 19 minutes of each other and flew to Anchorage, Alaska, according to Federal Aviation Administration flight records reviewed by the Journal.

One plane stayed in Anchorage for more than five days, while the other flew on to South Korea and China, according to FAA records. Mr. Immelt tweeted a photo of his visit to a Chinese factory during the trip. His plane returned to Anchorage on March 17, and within 90 minutes of his arrival, both planes left Alaska to return to the East Coast, the records show.

There were similar two-plane trips to Anchorage in 2013, 2014 and 2016, with one Bombardier plane each time continuing on to Asia and back. Both planes traveled together to the Canary Islands in February 2016 and Honolulu in April 2017, flight records show.

And in September 2016, the two jets followed each other around the globe on a nine-day voyage that included stops in Anchorage, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Helsinki before returning to the East Coast, according to FAA records and flight-tracking services. Mr. Immelt visited several South Asian nations during the trip, according to local press reports, and was photographed with Malaysia's prime minister.

The extra plane added about $250,000 to the cost of the round-the-world trip, based on an estimated hourly cost of $6,500 to operate each Bombardier, including fixed costs such as pilot salaries and maintenance, according to Conklin & de Decker, an aviation-consulting firm. The large jets are the size of a regional airliner and typically are configured to seat 10 to 14 passengers.

Sending a backup plane along is "extremely unusual," said Jim Cannon, an aviation consultant who formerly directed a large-company flight department. "I hope it would only be done in circumstances where there was a significant need."

A GE spokeswoman said, "This practice, which GE has discontinued, involved business-critical itineraries with tight schedules, multiple international stops and, in most cases, security concerns."

"We do not believe that the understandable criticism of this discontinued practice fairly reflects on Jeff's dedicated service to GE for over 30 years," she added, referring to Mr. Immelt.

While CEO, Mr. Immelt wanted a backup jet in case there was a mechanical issue that could lead to delays, the people said. Flight crews were told to not openly refer to the backup planes, for fear of raising eyebrows, especially at the small airport facilities for private jets, the people said. One person said the flight manifest sometimes listed "Robert Jeffries" or "Jeffrey Roberts" as the passenger on the second plane, when in fact the seats were empty.

Mr. Immelt said he didn't request the extra plane. "The Corporate Air team at GE had a practice around managing air travel that I neither instituted nor asked for," he said. "Apparently, this policy was put in place after numerous plane failures on complicated travel to difficult global locations."

Early in Mr. Immelt's tenure, GE would fly spare jets on domestic flights, the people said, but it later stopped that practice. On some trips, both overseas and domestic, the company would charter standby jets at different destinations, the people said.

GE's board required its CEO to fly on the company's aircraft for both business and personal use for security reasons.

GE informed its board's compensation committee each year about how much the company had spent to fly Mr. Immelt on corporate aircraft, the people said. But those total amounts lacked details such as how many flights the CEO took, the number of pilots involved or the cost of aircraft fuel, people familiar with the process said.

Directors assumed that GE's human-resources executives had reviewed details about Mr. Immelt's personal and business trips, according to one person.

The GE board's compensation committee should have requested more detail about Mr. Immelt's usage because "corporate jets have become such a lightning rod" for criticism, said Beverly Behan, a corporate-governance consultant who has never advised GE.

—Coulter Jones contributed to this article.

Source: Fox Business  


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

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Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
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Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swissphone sets new standards in paging:

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 216

Rural Telcos Get a Break on WEA-Embedded URLs

The FCC upheld its original timeline for all carriers to support basic, geo-targeting in Wireless Emergency Alerts yesterday. But it did give more time to small, regional wireless carriers to support clickable, embedded references (like URLs) in the alerts and held the five major carriers — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular — to the original timeline.

The FCC in September 2016, passed various technology updates to WEA, including that carriers geo-target alerts to “best approximate” the target area and provide “clickable” embedded references in the alerts by November 1 of this year, which was Wednesday. Concerned about network congestion, wireless association CTIA asked the agency to defer mandating embedded elements in a WEA message until after feasibility testing and standards efforts are completed and “clickable” links are defined.

The Competitive Carriers Association also asked for more time, telling the FCC it would be “unreasonably burdensome and costly” for many of its members to meet the deadlines because several rural telcos are still transitioning from 2G to 3G networks. The FCC agreed and granted an extra 18 months for smaller, regional operators — specifically, all carriers other than the largest five — to comply. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular previously indicated they intended to support embedded references on smartphones capable of processing them by November 1.

But on geo-targeting, the agency held firm and rejected arguments from both wireless associations. It said the standard is flexible and takes into consideration the specific capabilities of each carrier taking part in the voluntary WEA program.

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel supported the actions but said “recent events demonstrate the need to move” faster. She pointed out that Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein said California emergency officials couldn’t use WEA during the recent wildfires “because of significant technical deficiencies,” including the lack of geo-targeting.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai anticipates moving forward soon to improve WEA’s capabilities for geo-targeting alerts more precisely. “I intend to provide my colleagues with a proposal for action in the near future,” he said.

National Park Service in CA Cited For Unchecked Tower Growth

This week, a complaint was filed with the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General, claiming that national parks throughout the country are allowing towers to spread too far into the wilderness areas without public involvement, without knowing who owns the towers, and without reaping financial benefits. Currently, 1,500 towers are peppered throughout the national parks and forests, some with co-location capabilities, reported Courthouse News Service.

In addition to the complaint filed with the government, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) are voicing their grievances about towers being built without adequate government or public oversight. PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said there’s a tendency of many national park superintendents to “ensure every square inch of their park has a strong 4G signal, thus creating conflict between connectivity and serenity in remote corners of wired parks.”

The law states, however, that allowing commercial telecommunications equipment in America’s backcountry forests and parks is perfectly legal. In fact, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 directed federal agencies to develop access to federal property – including parkland – for the siting of mobile telecommunications equipment.

Regarding the concern over lack of revenue when it comes to towers, there are benefits that come from the law. The Act offers a rate schedule where the federal government charges rent to carriers for placing their equipment on federal land. The rates are based on the population base and vary based on whether an area is considered rural (fewer than 50,000 people) or urban (1 million to 5 million people) and can range from $4,000 to $19,000 annually. Additionally, roads that lead to telecom infrastructure are paved and maintained by the county and federal government.

When it comes to what infrastructure is added in a park, Babette Anderson, national press officer for the U.S. Forest Service, said there is little central oversight of tower development in national parks and national forests. Each entity can make its own decisions and recommendations regarding carriers and infrastructure. She also noted that “communications use on National Forest System lands provide critical services, emergency services, homeland security, television and radio broadcast, and cellular communications.”

There are still towers being built, for example, six projects are underway in Yosemite National Park. And PEER has something to say about it. “Yosemite also claims to own four of the towers, putting it into the telecom business, yet it lets Verizon collect rent from companies co-locating on those towers,” PEER director Ruch said. “Not only is the public unaware, but Park Service headquarters is also in the dark and does not even track, let alone evaluate, cell towers springing up in parks across the country.”

In response, Jeffrey Olson, public affairs officer for the National Park Service said, “The National Park Service does not maintain a complete national database of parks that have cellular service, or which parks are considering applications from service providers or have equipment installation underway.”

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. 45 November 1, 2017 

FCC Adopts New Wireline HAC Volume Control Standards for Wireline and Wireless Phones

In the FCC’s October Open Meeting, the FCC voted to adopt a Report & Order and Order on Reconsideration with updates to various FCC rules for hearing aid compatibility and volume control on wireline and wireless telephones. Importantly, hearing aid compatibility requirements will now apply to wireline telephones used with advanced communication services, including phones used with Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services. Compliance with these provisions (which generally apply to device manufacturers) must be achieved within two years.

With respect to wireless handsets, the Order also requires within the next three years that all wireless handsets with HAC capability must include volume control suitable for consumers with hearing loss. It also reminds manufacturers and service providers of their existing outreach obligations to ensure that consumers are informed about the availability of HAC phones by posting information on web sites and other points of sale.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and Sal Taillefer.


FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for November Open Meeting

On October 27, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the November Open Commission Meeting, which is currently scheduled to take place on November 16:

  • 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)
  • Replacement Utility Poles Report & Order: a Report and Order to eliminate the requirement for historic preservation review where utility poles are replaced with substantially identical poles that can support antennas or other wireless communications equipment, and to consolidate the FCC's historic preservation review rules into a single rule. (WT Docket No. 17-79)
  • 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)
  • Reconsideration of Broadcast Ownership Rules: an Order on Reconsideration and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that updates the FCC's broadcast ownership and attribution rules to reflect the current media marketplace, denies various other requests for reconsideration, finds that the FCC will adopt an Incubator Program to promote ownership diversity, and seeks comment on how to structure and administer such a program. (MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256, 17-289)
  • Modernizing Cable Data Collection: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on whether to eliminate Form 325, Annual Report of Cable Television Systems, or, in the alternative, on ways to modernize and streamline the form. (MB Docket Nos. 17-290, 17-105)
  • 'Next Generation' Broadcast Television Standard: a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking authorizing television broadcasters to use the Next Generation television transmission standard (ATSC 3.0) on a voluntary, market-driven basis. (GN Docket No. 16-142)

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

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

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

At the Competitive Carriers Association trade show last week 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 of this year, 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, nine states/jurisdictions (including MA, RI, CT, NH, VT, MD, DC DE and NJ) have opted to issue their own RFPs and provide an alternative to the nationwide FirstNet deployment. AT&T timely delivered deployment plans to 56 others, and slightly less than half of these (27) have opted in to the FirstNet RAN.

States that have not yet approved 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: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.

FCC Seeks Comment on NTCA Petition for Temporary Waiver of Lifeline Speed Increase

On October 26, the FCC issued a Public Notice on a Petition for Temporary Waiver by NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA). Comments are due November 27 and reply comments are due December 12.

In its petition, NTCA seeks a temporary waiver of the Lifeline Program’s updated minimum service standards for fixed broadband speeds, which were announced on June 26, 2017, and which are scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2017. The minimum service standards for fixed broadband speeds are scheduled to increase to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream, from 10 Mbps and 1 Mbps, respectively.

Carriers interested in supporting NTCA’s petition should contact the firm for more information.

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

FCC Seeks Comment on TCPA Declaratory Ruling

On October 27, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a petition for clarification or, in the alternative, declaratory ruling filed by ContextMedia, Inc. d/b/a Outcome Health (Outcome). Comments are due November 27 and reply comments are due December 12.

According to the Public Notice, Outcome states that “an unknown and inadvertent technical error . . . caused the improper processing of unsubscribe requests in certain limited circumstances” in connection with its health-related text messaging program to which recipients had previously consented. Outcome asks the FCC to clarify that an unknowable technical error is protected from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act pursuant to the FCC’s SoundBite decision. Alternatively, Outcome requests that the FCC clarify that an undetected and inadvertent technical error satisfies the requirements for a safe harbor from TCPA liability.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Sal Taillefer.

Law & Regulation

Comment Deadline Established for International Circuit Fees, MDU Cable Subscriber Calculation

On November 1, the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking further comment on the appropriate tiers for calculating terrestrial and satellite international bearer circuit fees, and the methodology by which cable television subscribers in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) are calculated, was published in the Federal Register. Accordingly, comments are due December 1 and reply comments are due December 18.

Regarding the international circuit bearer fees, the FCC is proposing to revise the tiers for submarine cable and for terrestrial and satellite IBCs systems as follows: systems with capacity of 10,000 Gbps or more, paying 16 payment units each; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 5,000 Gbps but less than 10,000 Gbps, paying eight payment units; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 2,500 Gbps but less than 5,000 Gbps, paying four payment units; systems with capacity equal to or greater than 1,000 Gbps but less than 2,500 Gbps, paying two payment units; and systems with capacity below 1,000 Gbps paying one payment unit.

Regarding the calculation of MDU cable subscribers, the FCC is seeking comment on whether it should keep the current bulk rate calculation, or alternatively, whether it should modify the methodology to more accurately calculate the numbers of subscribers in a MDU.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

House Judiciary Committee Holds Net Neutrality Hearing

Today, the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law held a hearing entitled “Net Neutrality and the Role of Antitrust.” According to a press release, this hearing will discuss the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to reverse the 2015 “Open Internet Order,” commonly known as the “Net Neutrality Rule.” Specifically, this hearing will allow lawmakers to evaluate the role of antitrust law to ensure a competitive and open Internet marketplace.

Witnesses at the hearing include the Honorable Maureen Ohlhausen, Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission; Mr. Michael Romano, Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs & Business Development at NTCA (The Rural Broadband Association); the Honorable Terrell McSweeny, a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission; and the Honorable Robert McDowell, Former Commissioner at the FCC. Testimony from the hearing will be made available here in the near future.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has issued the following statement ahead of the hearing: “The success of the Internet as a marketplace and a means of exchanging ideas and information is unparalleled. And we owe this success, in large part, because the Internet has remained relatively free from regulations that would stifle innovation and drive up costs. Antitrust laws encourage competition, and should continue to be used to ensure competition and empower consumers to choose the services that best fit their needs, including on the Internet. One-size-fits-all regulations from government bureaucrats inhibit innovation and should be avoided.”

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

FCC Issues $1.7M Fine to Securus for Providing Misleading Information

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 closing, and to provide accurate information.

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. “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 three 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 not be incorrect or misleading, or omit material information. 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.

With the resolution of the Enforcement Bureau investigation and Securus’ commitment to the compliance plan, the FCC found that this transaction, which involves a transfer of control to a holding company entity with no competing operations and that was not involved in the violations of FCC rules, 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.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak.


FCC Approves CenturyLink Acquisition of Level 3

On October 30, the FCC issued a Memorandum Report and Order approving a series of applications pursuant seeking approval to transfer control to CenturyLink various licenses and authorizations held by operating subsidiaries of Level 3. Last year, CenturyLink and Level 3 entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (Merger Agreement) pursuant to which CenturyLink will acquire Level 3 in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $34 billion, including the assumption of debt. Pursuant to their Merger Agreement, Applicants will enter into a series of concurrent internal merger transactions with CenturyLink entities that were created for the purpose of facilitating the transactions that will result in Level 3 and its operating subsidiaries becoming indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of CenturyLink. Following consummation, Applicants estimate that current CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51 percent of the combined company, and former Level 3 stockholders will own approximately 49 percent of the combined company.

As a condition of approval, the applicants agree to divest their fiber and other assets in the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boise City-Nampa, Idaho; and Tucson, Arizona; and to divest, via indefeasible rights of use (IRUs), 24 strands of dark fiber in each of 30 overlapping long-haul transport routes.

FCC Announces Agenda for 800 MHz Public Forum

On October 25, the FCC issued the agenda for its upcoming public forum on improving the co-existence of Cellular Service (and other commercial wireless service) licensees and public safety licensees in the 800 MHz band. The forum will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The FCC will webcast this forum on the FCC webpage. To view the webcast, go to the FCC webpage at Viewers will be able to submit questions during the forum by e-mail to

The forum will include:

  • A session that will explain how the 800 MHz interference problem arose and how the FCC’s rebanding proceeding addressed the problem. This session will also include a status report as rebanding nears its conclusion, and a case study on public safety interference abatement methods. This session will be led by PSHSB with the participation of Pericle Communications Co. and Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.
  • A panel of 800 MHz Cellular and Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio Service (ESMR) stakeholders, including AT&T, Rural Wireless Association, Sprint Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon will discuss broadband deployment plans for 800 MHz and how the radio frequency environment may change going forward. Cellular licensees will be asked to discuss their LTE test plans, as committed to in the Cellular Reform proceeding, and all parties may be asked about site deployment best practices to prevent interference. This session will be co-moderated by WTB and OET.
  • A panel of public safety radio manufacturers and public safety licensee representatives and stakeholders will discuss the state of public safety receivers and how public safety systems can be designed for greater tolerance of interference. The following organizations will participate: the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc.; the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council; the New York City Transit Authority; the Public Safety Communications Research Division of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology; Motorola Solutions, Inc.; Sepura PLC; and Harris Corp. This session will be co-moderated by PSHSB and OET.
  • A roundtable discussion among the stakeholders from the morning sessions and will be co-moderated by WTB, PSHSB, and OET. This session will promote an open dialogue by the various 800 MHz stakeholders on ways to improve coexistence among wireless carriers and public safety operations, identify deployment best practices, explore ways to design interference-resistant systems, and examine other factors that may lead to elimination of objectionable interference.

Senior FCC leadership will summarize the lessons learned from the day’s presentations and share their views on progress going forward.

BloostonLaw contacts: Richard Rubino and John Prendergast


NOVEMBER 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: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

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

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

Calendar At-A-Glance

Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 1 – Reply comments are due on Mid-Band Spectrum NOI.
Nov. 9 – Reply comments are due on the Competition in Video Programming Report.
Nov. 13 – Extended deadline for EAS test participants in Hurricane areas to file ETRS Form Two.
Nov. 13 – Deadline for EAS test participants to file ETRS Form Three.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on Intercarrier Compensation Reform Public Notice.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on Streamlining Complaint Processes NPRM.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on UI accessibility compliance deadline.
Nov. 13 – Comments are due on the Maintenance of Copies of FCC Rules proceeding.
Nov. 13 – Comments are due on Revisions to Reporting Requirements for HAC Mobile Handsets.
Nov. 13 – Comments are due on Toll Free Assignment Modernization proceeding.
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. 16 – Annual Hearing Aid Compatibility Report is due.
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.
Jan. 4 – Deadline to submit 4G Data Collection data.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 18, No. 10 October 2017 

Beware of Solicitations to Modify Your License for Narrowbanding

Some of our clients have received solicitations from Business Radio Licensing and Federal License Management (“FLM”) concerning either the need to remove wide-band emissions or renew licenses which will not expire for a period of years. These solicitations appear to be an attempt to make money off of our clients by making it seem like the Company is under focus of the FCC for being out of compliance with the FCC’s narrowbanding or renewal requirements.

Under the FCC’s narrowbanding policy, licensees are not obligated to immediately remove the wideband emission if the license already reflects the narrowband emission for the transmitter and (b) the transmitter is being operated in a narrowband configuration. The wideband emission designator does not have to be removed until a request is made for the FCC to take further action on the license (e.g., license renewal, modification, transfer/ assignment, etc.).

As we previously noted in our March 4, 2016 Private User Update Supplement, the FCC is well aware that licensees with both narrow-band and wide-band emission designators on their licenses have narrowbanded, and those licensees are not in a non-compliance situation. The FCC’s staff has confirmed that if you are operating with compliant narrowband equipment and have added the narrowband designator to the license, you can wait to delete the wideband designator from your license the next time you do a filing for another purpose (such as a renewal application, address change, etc.). This saves the Company the cost and hassle of having to do a separate filing. Pursuant to this understanding with the FCC, we are routinely removing the wideband emission designator from client licenses with each renewal or other filing we do, and we will do the same with any licenses covered by a retainer arrangement with the firm.

Our clients have also contact us indicating that they have received similar “warning” mailings for not renewing their license in a timely manner, even though the license is years away from license expiration and therefore nowhere close to the window for license renewal. If you receive official looking mailings making such claims about license renewal or narrowbanding, you can contact us to confirm your license status.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FirstNet has Competition from Rivada Networks; Opt-Out Deadline is Dec 28

Fierce Wireless and other sources are reporting that Rivada Networks is trying to make things difficult for FirstNet as it prepares for its Oversight Hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. FirstNet is the nationwide public safety broadband network provider, which recently entered into a contract with AT&T to operate the network after Rivada Networks was eliminated from bidding on the contract.

Rivada sponsored a discussion Thursday at the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, featuring Rivada board members (and recent presidential contenders) Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD). During the discussion, Bush stated that "[t]here's no sunshine, no transparency, no accountability," and called the process "hidden from congressional oversight" while O’Malley stated that FirstNet is being "shoved down people's throats” and is a “pig in a poke.”

A spokesman for FirstNet issued the following statement in response to the criticism from Rivada: “It’s unfortunate that some feel the need to resort to name calling instead of having a substantive conversation on the communications needs of our nation's first responders.” According to the FirstNet website, 27 states and territories out of 56 have elected to opt-in to the federal network being implemented by FirstNet, while none have affirmatively chosen to opt-out. The deadline for states and US territories to Opt out of FirstNet is December 28, 2017. Not only must the Governors’ notices be provided to the FCC, but Opt-out notices must also be filed concurrently with FirstNet and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

In the meantime, Rivada indicates that it is working to team with smaller wireless carriers to create public-safety proposals at the state level that will represent an alternative to the AT&T and FirstNet option. Already Rivada has announced it will partner with U.S. Cellular for such a proposal in New Hampshire. In those proposals, Rivada and its carrier partner would jointly build out coverage for public safety users with 700 MHz spectrum from FirstNet, with Rivada taking the responsibility for meeting a state’s possible coverage requirements.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Imposes $25,000 Fine for Violation of Part 90 Rules

The FCC has imposed a penalty of $25,000 against Public Safety Technologies, Inc. (PST), licensee of private land mobile radio (PLMR) station WQJM334, West Covina, California (Station), for causing harmful interference to other licensed stations operating on a shared frequency in the Los Angeles area. Specifically, on several occasions in 2015 and 2016, agents from the Bureau’s Los Angeles Field Office (Los Angeles Office) investigated interference complaints filed against PST by a co-channel licensee. During the investigations, agents observed PST transmitting continuously on 451.350 MHz and 451.600 MHz, thereby depriving nearby co-channel licensees of any opportunity to operate on those frequencies. Agents also observed that PST caused harmful interference to another licensee and that PST failed to transmit the Station’s call sign as required by Section 90.425(a) of the Commission’s rules. PST was given both verbal warnings and a written Notice of Violation describing these violations of the Commission’s rules, yet, despite its assurances that it was working to move its clients to a system licensed to a different entity, PST continued to make exclusive use of frequencies that it was only authorized to use on a shared basis, and did not monitor for other communications before using the channels.

In response to the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) sent by the FCC, PST argued that that it relied on the advice from Motorola that the “FB7 classification was appropriate for the type of use by COM-Net.” PST stated that it “merely followed the lead” of Motorola, “was never allowed to carry out deployment matters on its own,” and relied on Motorola’s assertion that its radio facilities were properly configured and coordinated in order to avoid interference to other licensees. The FCC held that, “[l]icensees are charged with full knowledge of, and compliance with, the Commission’s rules” and that it “cannot countenance the cancellation of the NAL or a reduction of the proposed forfeiture merely on PST’s assertions that the violation of the Commission’s rules stemmed from the abdication of its responsibility for operation of the Station to Motorola.” The moral of this story is that regardless of advice or actions by consultants or vendors, the licensee is ultimately responsible to the FCC for any actions taken – whether deliberate or not and whether with ill intent or not.

As you can see, the FCC takes a dim view of improper or unlicensed operations because of the potential for harmful interference to other licensed operations. While this interference may seem innocent enough, there is the potential for harmful interference to safety of life communications. We recommend that our clients take this opportunity to verify that all stations are operating in accordance with the terms of the underlying FCC radio license.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

FCC Enforces Freeze on 800 MHz Guard Band/Expansion Band Spectrum for Commercial Use

The FCC received various requests from Kenneth L. Erickson and Vantage FBO Kickos Kouroglos Roth IRA and Kirk O’Brian Asset Management, Sierra Capital Management and Wireless Acquisitions Group for waiver of the FCC’s spectrum freeze in order to permit assignment of SMR channels in the 806-824/851-869 MHz Band. One application requested five channels in the 806- 824/851-869 MHz (800 MHz) band for two new Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) stations at a single location in Keokuk, Iowa, while the other three applications requested a total of 15 channels in the 806-824/851-869 MHz (800 MHz) band for three new Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) stations at a single location in Las Vegas, Nevada. In each case, a rule waiver was required because the requested spectrum is not yet available for assignment, since the time period during which the requested channels are reserved for public safety or critical infrastructure industry (CII) entities had not yet expired.

In the FCC’s 800 MHz Report and Order, the Commission ordered 800 MHz rebanding to resolve interference between commercial and public safety systems in the band, which was accomplished on a region-by-region basis. Channels in the Expansion Band (815-816/860- 861 MHz) and Guard Band (816-817/861-862 MHz) become available for licensing after the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (the “Bureaus”) announce that the required level of clearing has been achieved in that particular National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (“NPSPAC”) region.

Erikson and Vantage Applications

Erickson and Vantage filed applications proposing base stations on Guard Band and Expansion Band channels at Keokuk, Iowa with a 50 kilometer mobile operating radius that overlapped into Illinois. In the case of Erickson, the application was filed prior to the FCC’s Public Notice announcing the completion of rebanding in NPSPAC Region 13. In making this announcement, the FCC did not make the Expansion Band or Guard Band channels in those regions available for licensing, because doing so would have prejudiced its on-going rule making proceeding to allow 800 MHz incumbent licensees a six month period within which to apply for Expansion Band or Guard Band channels before making them available for new 800 MHz systems.

O’Brien/Sierra Capital/Wireless Acquisitions Applications

These applications seek a total of 15 channels in the 806-824/851-869 MHz (800 MHz) band for three new Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) stations at a single location in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Applicants sought a waiver of the 800 MHz application freeze currently in effect for that location, as well as a waiver of Rule Section 90.617 because the period during which the requested channels are reserved for Public Safety or critical infrastructure industry (CII) entities has not elapsed.

In both cases, the Commission denied the rule waiver requests in order to protect the integrity of the 800 MHz licensing process in the post-rebanding license environment. First, with respect to the Erickson and Vantage applications, the Commission has an ongoing rule making proceeding that could be compromised if the FCC granted the rule waiver request, since spectrum that should be reserved for incumbent licensees would be granted to two new applicants. And second, the FCC wanted to ensure that public safety and CII entities had the opportunity to apply for spectrum before it was made available for general use. In this regard, the Commission noted that the fact that public safety and CII entities had not sought spectrum under special temporary authority (STA) or rule waiver prior to it being made available was no indication as to demand once that spectrum is actually made available to public safety and CII entities for licensing.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Grants Waiver for Michigan to Share 800 MHz System with Rural Electric Coop

The FCC has granted the State of Michigan’s request to allow it to share its public safety 800 MHz system with Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. and its cooperative members: Great Lakes Electric Cooperative; Home Works Tri-County Electric Cooperative; Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op; and Midwest Energy Cooperative (collectively, the “Wolverine Group”).

A waiver of the Rule Section 90.179 cost sharing rules, which permits licensees to enter into non-profit cost sharing arrangements with other entities eligible for use of the spectrum, was necessary because the Wolverine Group, a collection of rural electric cooperatives and critical infrastructure industry (“CII”) providers, were not eligible to use public safety spectrum.

The Commission found that Michigan could justify this rule waiver and that it was consistent with similar waivers granted to Michigan and other electric utilities such as Detroit Edison, Cherryland Electric Cooperative and DTE Energy Company. In particular, the Commission noted that there was sufficient spectrum to accommodate the planned sharing of its 800 MHz MPSCS network with the Wolverine Group, and that the Wolverine Group will fund construction of additional infrastructure using 800 MHz Business/Industrial Land Transportation Category frequencies to mitigate its impact on the MPSCS network.

The shared use will improve the ability of public safety entities and the Wolverine Group to communicate with one another and coordinate power restoration in the event of an emergency. Finally, Michigan showed that the sharing arrangement will be on a cost-shared, nonprofit basis as required by Rule Section 90.179 and that it would retain control over the system as the licensee and define the conditions under which the Wolverine Group could use the system.

The action taken by Michigan to partner with its CII utility providers shows of what other states and local governments could do in order to ensure interoperable communications between public safety and CII in the event of an emergency and ensure that service to the public is restored as rapidly as possible.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Advances Up To $76 Million to Restore Networks in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

On October 4, the FCC issued an Order, on its own motion, making up to $76.9 million immediately available for the restoration of communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Specifically, eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) operating in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands may, consistent with their statutory obligations, use high-cost universal service support that they are currently receiving in order to repair and maintain telecommunications infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Maria. Such ETCs may also elect a single advance payment of up to seven months of high-cost support to assist with their immediate needs and anticipated large repair costs in restoring their communications networks.

By way of background, when the FCC adopted the Connect America Fund, it preserved the discretion to maintain existing support levels for price-cap carriers serving non-contiguous areas of the United States if the model did not provide these areas with sufficient support. Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC), which operates in Puerto Rico, and Vitelco d/b/a VIYA (VIYA), which operates in the U.S. Virgin Islands, both elected to continue receiving frozen support instead of model-based support, and continue to receive annual high-cost support of approximately $36 million and approximately $16.3 million, respectively. According to the FCC, since PRTC and VIYA did not elect to receive model-based support, they do not have specific obligations to deploy broadband to a certain number of locations each year. Instead, they need only annually certify that “all frozen-high cost support the company received in the previous year was used to build and operate broadband-capable networks used to offer the provider’s own retail broadband service in areas substantially unserved by an unsubsidized competitor.” Therefore, the FCC reasoned, until an unsubsidized competitor can provide service, the rule does not prohibit these companies from using high-cost support in the areas they service. In other words, all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is presumptively unserved by unsubsidized competitors, and that presumption will end once an unsubsidized competitor of PRTC or VIYA informs the Bureau that it serves the area. At that point, PRTC or VIYA will have 60 days to wind down use of high-cost support in the identified area.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy

FCC Grants Importation/Marketing Waiver for Marine MF/HF Digital Selective Calling Radio

The FCC has granted a request by Icom America, Inc. (“Icom”) for a temporary waiver, until January 1, 2020, of Part 80 of the Commission’s Rules to permit the manufacture, importation, sale, and installation of its medium frequency/high frequency (MF/HF) Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio Model IC-M802 (M802).

MF/HF DSC radios, which operate in the maritime mobile portions of the 1.6-27.5 MHz band, are used by ship stations to communicate with other ship stations or coast stations for safety, navigation, and weather information. Under the FCC’s Rules, DSC radios must comply with certain international technical standards. The M802 complied with the technical standards at the time its FCC equipment authorization was issued in 2002. However, since that time, the FCC has amended its rules in order to incorporate subsequent revisions of this standard, including the requirement that radios comply with technical standard ITU-R M.493-13 as of January 1, 2013. Because the M802 does not comply with requirements in Appendix 4 of ITU-R M.493-13 regarding automated procedures initiated by sending a non-distress DSC message, this radio model was no longer offered for sale to the United States market.

The M802 radio is a Class E DSC radio which provides minimum functionality for MF/HF distress, urgency and safety communications as well as routine calling and reception. This radio does not fully comply with the requirements for those vessels that must carry an MF/HF DSC radio – which generally are Class A DSC radios. Icom states that its M802 radios are generally found in smaller vessels used for recreation, and therefore requests a temporary waiver in order to permit the manufacture, importation, sale and installation of this radio in the United States until 2020 – at which point it believes it will be able to produce compliant Class E equipment. In justifying its request, Icom noted that the M802 was the only Class E DSC radio that general users could afford, and that a waiver would be in the public interest because it would enable cruising vessels to communicate and obtain safety and weather information better than non-DSC alternatives.

In granting the waiver (which was supported by the United States Sailing Association’s Safety at Sea Subcommittee and the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services), the Commission noted that more than 200 comments were filed and all but one were in favor of granting the rule waiver. In this regard, most of the commenters were individual mariners who stated that there were no affordable alternatives to the M802 radio and that other countries have allowed the M802 radio without adverse consequence. Further, there was concern that the continued unavailability of an affordable MF/HF DSC radio for US recreational vessels could lead to the unnecessary loss of life.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Fines Individual $400k for Interfering with NYPD Radio System

The FCC has formalized its proposed $400K fine against a New York City resident for operating a radio transmitter on frequencies that the Commission has licensed to the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), causing interference with the NYPD’s radio system. The individual, Jay Peralta, has been fined $404,166 for this conduct.

As reported in our April 2017 Private User Update, Mr. Peralta engaged in egregious conduct that included the transmission of threatening messages directed at NYPD officers during a four month period from April – August 2016. These messages included false bomb threats and false officer-in-distress calls to NYPD dispatchers. The NYPD provided the FCC with a written statement by Mr. Peralta, who is currently in custody pending a trial for related charges, in which he acknowledged making nine unauthorized transmissions on the NYPD’s radio system. The FCC’s April Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”) provided Mr. Peralta with a 30-day opportunity to respond and demonstrate why the proposed fine should have been cancelled or reduced. Because Mr. Peralta chose not to respond, the FCC imposed the fine as proposed.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

FCC Expands Scope of RECCO Rule Waiver to Permit Continued Use of Avalanche Rescue System

In 2015, the FCC granted RECCO AB (“RECCO”) a waiver of section 90.353(h) of the Commission’s rules to permit equipment authorization and licensing of RECCO’s avalanche rescue system. This system consists of a handheld detector that transmits a signal on frequency 902.85 MHz and a passive reflector which is integrated into the wearer’s apparel, helmets, protection gear, or boots. This “passive reflector” doubles the signal and re-radiates on frequency 1805.7 MHz in order to allow search and rescue personnel to determine the location of skiers, snowboarders and others who become buried in avalanches. A waiver was required because the 902-904 MHz band being used by RECCO is designated for the non-multilateration Location and Monitoring Service (“LMS”) systems. Rule Section 90.353(h) prohibits non-multilateration LMS systems from providing non-vehicular location services. In making the 2015 waiver grant, the FCC concluded that grant of a waiver was in the public interest, because the proposed operations would enhance safety in mountain areas with little potential for interference to other users. RECCO is now requesting a blanket licensing for its avalanche rescue system.

Request for Blanket Licensing

At the time RECCO filed its 2015 waiver request, it also requested a waiver of the requirement for site-based licensing. At the time, the FCC denied the request because RECCO had not demonstrated why a separate authorization should not be required for each individual ski resort or other area being served. RECCO now asserts that blanket licensing is more appropriate than site-based licensing because RECCO owns, maintains, and controls the use of all detectors, which may be used only by specially trained staff. It also asserts that site-based licensing would impose unnecessary burdens and costs on avalanche rescue teams and that through discussions, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has not objected to the issuance of a blanket license.

In granting the waiver, the FCC noted that it rejected a blanket licensing approach for non-multilateration LMS systems so that other co-channel users and the Commission could ascertain the location of LMS transmitters in order to avoid interference. With respect to RECCO’s avalanche rescue system, the Commission believes that site-based licensing will not be necessary to ensure noninterference, since use of the system will be permitted only at ski resorts and other areas of high potential for avalanches, and is limited to actual emergencies involving threats to safety of life (and training related to such operations). The Commission also noted that RECCO owns the detectors, and users may operate them only as specified by RECCO. Finally, the potential for interference is remote, since the devices operate at a relatively low power, in limited numbers, and in remote ski areas. Nonetheless, in order to ensure interference free operation, RECCO will be required to apply for a nationwide license and to maintain a list of all entities that are authorized to use the equipment and the areas where they will operate. Further, RECCO must provide this list to the Commission on demand.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Announces Agenda for Nov 6 Public Forum on Co- Existence of Public Safety and Wireless Carriers in 800 MHz Band

The FCC has announced its agenda a public forum on improving the co-existence of Cellular Service (and other commercial wireless service) licensees and public safety licensees in the 800 MHz band. The forum will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017 at the FCC’s headquarters building in Washington, DC.

As part of its cellular reform effort adopted earlier this year, the FCC revised the technical rules for the Cellular Radiotelephone Service in order to provide more flexibility in the deployment of advanced broadband services, while at the same time, seeking to protect public safety and other systems in the 800 MHz band from the potential for increased interference.

In order to open a dialog which will resolve concerns about unacceptable interference to public safety mobile and hand-held portable units, the Commission is hosting a forum in order to develop the necessary background from all parties. The schedule includes sessions on the 800 MHz band RF environment and rebanding progress report and a case study on public safety interference abatement; Cellular and ESMR LTE deployment plans, testing, and deployment best practices; and how to coexist in a changing radio frequency environment.

Clients who are interested in attending the forum in person may register for this presentation by emailing Cecilia Sulhoff at with “800 MHz Form” in the subject line. Doing so, will expedite the check in process. While the forum is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM, the FCC urges members of the public to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance in order to get through security.

For those clients who are not able to make it to the Washington, DC, the FCC will webcast the forum on its web page. In order to view the webcast live, go to the FCC webpage at You will also be able to submit questions during the forum by e-mail to

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Assertion of Non-Interference is No Excuse for Unlicensed Operation of Pirate Station

The FCC has fined Michael Dudley $15,000 for operating an unlicensed radio station on the frequencies 103.9 and 107.9 MHz in Guntersville, Alabama. While Mr. Dudley did not deny operation of his “pirate” radio station, he claimed that no one was “harmed” by the stations’ operation. Additionally, Mr. Dudley claimed that he did not have an ability to pay the fine.

Mr. Dudley voluntarily surrendered his radio transmitter equipment to the FCC after he was caught transmitting on 103.9 MHz, but he apparently refused to turn off the second transmitter after he was caught a few months later operating from a nearby location on 107.9 MHz. As a result, Mr. Dudley was on notice that his pirate station operations were illegal. In response to the Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”), Mr. Dudley has nonetheless taken the position that he had ceased operating the station, that the station had not caused interference and so had not harmed anyone, and that he is unable to pay the forfeiture.

No Harmful Interference

A claim of no harmful interference will not justify unlicensed or improper operation. The FCC has long found that Section 301 of the Communications Act, which requires FCC authorization to transmit on radio frequencies, does not require a finding of harmful interference before the Commission an prohibit unauthorized transmissions. The FCC has found that enforcement of Section 301 is crucial “to protect the integrity of the licensing system and the operations of licensed users, regardless of whether the unauthorized transmission causes harmful interference.” The FCC therefore concluded that Mr. Dudley’s assertion that he did not cause interference is neither relevant to a finding of a Section 301 violation nor factually supported by the record, since the Commission had actually received two complaints.

Inability to Pay

The FCC bases the ability to pay a fine on the gross revenues of the offending party. Here, Mr. Dudley provided none of the financial documentation required, including affidavits to support a claim of inability to pay. In this regard, the FCC looks for federal tax returns for the prior three years as well as financial statements and other reliable and objective documentation that would accurately reflect the financial condition of the offending party. It is important to note that this is a high bar. Because the FCC found Mr. Dudley’s arguments unpersuasive, the proposed fine of $15,000 was affirmed.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Sprint Relieved of Paying Anti-Windfall Payment

The FCC has recently relieved Sprint Corporation (“Sprint’) of its potential obligation to pay an anti-windfall payment in connection with the Commission’s rebanding initiative. The anti-windfall payment obligation was imposed in order to ensure that Sprint was not unjustly enriched from the award of spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band that was provided as part of the inducement for Sprint’s undertaking of the 800 MHz rebanding obligation. In making this determination, the Commission notes that Sprint’s 800 MHz rebanding expenses exceeded $2.8 billion and that there is no longer any “economic or policy reason to keep the anti-windfall provision in place.” That said, the Commission made clear that Sprint’s rebanding obligations and license conditions remain in place until the 800 MHz rebanding process is completed.

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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This is a re-print from the May 14, 2010 issue:

On The Soapbox

Do you remember the famous quotation from former-Motorola CEO Ed Zander?

“Screw the nano,” said Zander. “What the hell does the nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs? People are going to want devices that do more than just play music, something that can be seen in many other countries with more advanced mobile phone networks and savvy users,” he said. [source]

Then Apple came out with the iPhone and took first place in cellphone market, leaving Motorola in the dust. Motorola finally got rid of Zander. His exit bonus package is reported to have been worth over fifty million bucks. While he was in office, Zander “cut costs” by reducing the number of employees by one-half.

“Let them eat cake.”

Here's another interesting quote:

“. . . former CEO Ed Zander, on whose watch Motorola acquired four top-of-the-line Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream jets in 2006 and 2007. Zander rang up $1.5 million in personal use on the company aircraft during his four-year tenure, even as Motorola descended into financial turmoil.” [source no longer available]

And another one—more recent:

“. . . Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha — Last year with stock and other compensation, no CEO made more than Sanjay Jha, coming in around $103 million.”
[source no longer available]

Without Conscience. Mad or bad?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy combined with strongly amoral conduct, masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal. [source]

Pink Slips and Poor Health: The Toxicity of Job Insecurity

job loss

“When you lose your job, with no prospect of finding another one quickly, you give up a lot more than income. You are deprived of a sense of security, a source of self-esteem, a certain status in the community. And, according to recent research, you also lose something even more precious: a year or more of your life.”

Source: “Pink Slips and Poor Health: The Toxicity of Job Insecurity” — Pacific Standard Magazine 06/29/2009.

The Golden Rule

Those Who Have The Gold, Make The Rules I would suggest that all the “un-needed” workers just be lined up in a parking lot and shot, but I had better not or someone might take me seriously. My point is simply this: many good people are being fired just so the corporate “fat cats” can pay themselves exorbitant bonuses and salaries. Personally I believe this is immoral and unethical. We should be looking for ways to save some of these jobs and return American industry to its leadership role in the world economy. A step in the right direction would be for senior management to think more about running their companies and less about their bonuses, stock options, private corporate jets, country-club memberships, and other perks. Another step would be to quit hiring outside “superstars” who don't know a company's culture, traditions, products, or customers. 'Nuff said—for now.

Source: May 14, 2010 issue  


Fumaza • Los Pinguos • Playing For Change • Live Outside

Playing For Change
Published on Aug 4, 2016

We are happy to share this beautiful video of the band, Los Pinguos, performing their song “Fumaza,” live outside on a boat in Marina del Rey, CA. We first met Los Pinguos as they were performing on the Santa Monica promenade and recorded them on our very first documentary featuring street musicians across the USA. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the band plays a mixture of Latin rhythms such as cumbia and rumba along with tango gypsy and rock influences. Put on your dancing shoes, forget about your troubles, and let the music carry you away.

Musicians featured in video: Adrian Buono, Fefe Lee, Enzo Buono, José Agote, Juan Manzur, Juan Manuel Leguizamón

Los Pinguos on PFC page:
Los Pinguos Website:
Los Pinguos Facebook:

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music.

Source: YouTube  

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