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Friday — September 15, 2017 — Issue No. 772

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Extreme CEO On Being 'More Competitive Than We've Ever Been,' And Why NFL Stadium Networking Opportunities Are A Wide-Open Field For Partners

by Mark Haranas
September 8, 2017, 10:19 am EDT

Extreme Networks CEO Ed Meyercord said there's never been a better time for partners to attack the enterprise market as the vendor is acquiring strategic networking assets from Zebra Technologies, Brocade Communications and Avaya.

“Extreme is more competitive now than we've ever been in more places in the network. So from the access edge, wired and wireless, all the way through the core of the network, then all the way into the large-scale data center, we are very, very competitive,” said Meyercord in an interview with CRN at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

“We're the only player exclusively focused on networking. So if you're looking for an alternative for some of the big guys like Cisco, etc., you're going to find a great alternative with Extreme,” he said.

Extreme, the official network and analytics provider for the NFL, has acquired network assets from Avaya and Zebra in an effort to move up the enterprise networking food chain. The vendor is also slated to acquire Brocade Communications' data center business within the next few weeks.

“With Zebra we picked up great wireless technology, with Avaya their fabric technology, modular switching platforms with Brocade—the large-scale data center combined with our wireless, with our software, it creates a great opportunity for a partner to provide end-to-end wireless and wired software-driven network solutions for all enterprise customers,” said Meyercord.

Meyercord also talked about the stadium market, which the company is investing in. Extreme has been enhancing its NFL relationship and increasing the number of professional football stadiums it supports.

Of the 32 NFL teams, 22 have chosen Extreme to provide the network. Extreme unveiled its newest customer in August—the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

“If you’re a partner and you have a stadium opportunity that you're aware of, there's no better company to partner with than Extreme,” said Meyercord. [source]

From: ARRL Members Only Web site
Subject: Ham Radio Operators needed in the Keys
Date: September 14, 2017 at 2:49:06 PM CDT

There is a potential need for Amateur Radio operators to provide communications support in the Florida Keys. Volunteers will need to bring a dual-band HT with earphone/headset, external (gain) antenna, spare batteries, chargers. While food & beverage, sleeping quarters and showers are available, responders need to be self-sufficient for other personal needs. Deployment requests will vary as will the served agencies. DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY. These missions will be filled through the State of Florida EOC, ESF2 liaison.

Hams interested will need to register at  

Select the “Casework/Recovery” option under the type of work on Step 1, and under “Step 3”, “Volunteer Skills”, select “Amateur Radio”. Once requests are made to the State, you will be notified of the mission and can accept or decline the assignment. THESE ARE VOLUNTEER ASSIGNMENTS. Non-compensated. You may be required to pass a background check.

Steve Szabo WB4OMM
NFL Section Manager
ESF2 State Liaison left arrow


“As this customer stated in a recent meeting, the XSLATE B10 will not just modernize their patrolmen’s capabilities, the original goal of this mobility project,” added Kirk Meyer, director of sales for Xplore in Latin America. “The Xplore fully rugged tablet solution will also protect ...

Congratulations Kirk. You were one of the stars in my Latin American team at Motorola Paging in the “glory days” of Paging. [source]

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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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
STI Engineering
WaveWare Technologies


Spectrum Policy Time Warp

By Mark E. Crosby

Mark Crosby

Waiting for results for an extended period of time can warp one’s memory. This applies to spectrum policy. Over time, advocates on either side of regulatory matters may be unwilling or willingly prone to forget initial objectives and facts, as well as lose sight of all reasonableness.

Waiting 11 years—and still counting—for 800 MHz rebanding to come to some form of closure along the Mexican border is less than optimum for U.S. interests. Freezes are a horrible spectrum management tool. They damage commerce, prohibit the use of valuable spectrum, disregard wireless communications planning, and devalue system investments for business, critical infrastructure and mission-critical entities. Has the FCC conducted a cost/benefit analysis on this delay?

Therefore, can you blame the Arizona Public Service Co. (APSC), a legitimate contender for the 800 MHz spectrum that is unmercifully frozen in southern Arizona, from seeking a waiver of the rules to secure access to this critical spectrum, which realistically only APSC could put to good use to serve the public interest?

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) supported APSC’s waiver request to access expansion band (EB) spectrum (860 MHz) for use in a new statewide, 57-site, digital system. APSC requested two new 800 MHz business/industrial land transportation (B/ILT) channels, some of which are EB channels, at each location in addition to reusing current 800 MHz channels throughout the system. APSC committed to surrendering channels no longer needed once the cutover to the new system is complete. These channels would then become available to other licensees.

It is a fair proposal. A letter from the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) stating that it “concurs with the issuance of this authorization and does not foresee any impact on 800 MHz band reconfiguration resulting from grant of the application” accompanied APSC’s applications. The purpose of the 800 MHz licensing freeze is to ensure that spectrum is available for rebanding purposes, and the TA letter confirms that the requested waiver would not interfere with that purpose.

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) supported APSC’s waiver request, highlighting the FCC’s public notice that indicated the APSC request selected frequencies that will neither cause interference to incumbent licensees nor disrupt the rebanding process. From a policy perspective, NPSTC stated that APSC “serves as an example of the very type of applicant that NPSTC had in mind in supporting an advance filing window for incumbent licensees.”

But after such a long time, parties may lose sight of the original intended benefits and fall back on fuzzy recollections of long-ago discussions. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International filed comments that suggest an unfamiliarity with the APSC filing and the rules governing 800 MHz EB spectrum. APCO recommended that if a waiver is granted, APSC should “be held accountable and ensure that it will immediately act, at its own cost, to resolve any issues it causes that impact the needs of public-safety licensees to access channels during the rebanding process.” However, the TA, charged with overseeing the assignment of replacement channels to all systems subject to rebanding, said that granting the waiver would have no such effect. If the TA was mistaken in that conclusion, why would APSC be responsible for correcting the error?

APCO also urged the FCC to be cautious in allowing APSC to access B/ILT EB channels because “certain public-safety licensees are eligible for EB channels, and thus would rightfully benefit from the priority under consideration.” But, there are no EB channels assigned for public-safety use. In 2015, the FCC stated, “to accommodate public-safety licensees exercising their option to retune, the commission (1) reclassified 12 SMR channels below the expansion band as public-safety channels and (2) reclassified the 12 public-safety channels in the expansion band as SMR channels, but allowed public-safety licensees to remain on those channels notwithstanding their reclassification.” Public-safety licensees that remain on EB channels are permitted to modify their systems, including expanding their contours, but there are no additional EB channels for which they are eligible. By contrast, APSC is eligible for the requested B/ILT EB channels, and there should be no fear of disadvantaging future public-safety waiver applicants.

License Renewal

Seven years ago, the FCC launched a proceeding to recover spectrum perhaps not in use when licensees filed their renewal applications to contribute to recovering 500 megahertz of spectrum for broadband. EWA thought it was a great idea and would have substantial benefits in the predominately site-specific-based spectrum-access world. The FCC caused all kinds of consternation when it started adding a special condition on licenses warning that the future of the license itself was subject to the outcome of this proceeding. As if the license might be yanked at some future but unknown date? But then remarkably, the commission went dark as it pursued more urgent telecom priorities. Everyone got worked up, and then nothing happened for some six years until earlier this year when the proceeding suddenly resurfaced. On Aug. 3, the FCC released its second report and order and further notice of proposed rulemaking in WT Docket No. 10-112, establishing “uniform license renewal and discontinuance of operation” rules, among others.

A quirky and unexplained policy adopted in this proceeding is the FCC’s decision to exempt public-safety licensees from discontinuance of operation notifications at renewal. No one recalls requesting such an exemption seven years ago, and the FCC’s order did not recognize the 2010 Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) recommendation that public safety be included in whatever obligations are applicable to similarly situated non-public-safety licensees, nor did the commission take time to explain why that recommendation was rejected even after the LMCC reminded the FCC of its earlier position.

Shouldn’t all classes of licensees be accountable for properly managing the nation’s spectrum resources, at least the pieces they use? Accessing the nation’s spectrum resources is not a right but a privilege. The associated responsibilities that spectrum licensees assume should not be minimized under the claim that there is a lack of resources within the public-safety community to manage the licenses.

Are you kidding? Find the resources! No one should get a free pass! The FCC did not justify the exemption policy. And an FCC footnote said, “No public-safety entity has commented in the proceeding requesting application of the renewal framework to public-safety licensees. In fact . . . APCO no longer supports LMCC’s position or recommendations.” What about the five other public-safety organizations listed as LMCC supporters in the LMCC letter? Why were their opinions ignored?

“Renewing licenses that are not being used presents a significant challenge to frequency coordination,” one respected public-safety official commented. “Unused licenses should be canceled so that the channels can be assigned to legitimate users.”

Mark E. Crosby has served as president and CEO of the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) since 2004. Crosby is a member of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, which advises the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on spectrum policy issues, and serves as an officer and member of the board of directors of the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC). Email feedback to

Source: September 2017 MissionCritical Communications pp. 8-10  

STI Engineering

Web Site: E-mail:

Facebook Messenger Day hits 70M daily users as the app reaches 1.3B monthlies

Posted September 14, 2007
by Josh Constine

Facebook has finally revealed how its Snapchat Stories clone is doing, though it’s not seeing the same explosive growth as Instagram or WhatApp’s versions. Messenger Day now sees 70 million daily users posting and viewing photos and video slideshows six months after launch.

For comparison, Instagram Stories took just two months to get to 100 million users, while WhatsApp Status reached 175 million users in merely 10 weeks. Both of those now have 250 million daily users each while competitor Snapchat has 173 million dailies for its whole app.

Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger as a whole continues its ascent, entrenching itself as the top cross-OS messaging app in the West. Messenger now has 1.3 billion monthly users, up from 1.2 billion in April and 1 billion in July 2016. That’s the same count as Facebook’s other chat product, WhatsApp.

Messenger’s growth rate has slowed slightly over the years. It took just six months to go from 800 million to 1 billion, and nine more months to get 1.2 billion, and five months to add the last 100 million. That could signal that Messenger is beginning to hit saturation in some core markets.

Messenger’s closest competitors that aren’t owned by Facebook include China’s WeChat with 938 million monthly users as of May, China’s QQ with 861 million monthly users as of Q1 2017 and Snapchat with 173 million daily users as of Q2 2017 (though not all use it for messaging). Apple’s iMessage has also reasserted itself, transforming from a lackluster SMS replacement to dynamic experiences, including animations, an app platform and, in the upcoming iOS 11, Animoji you can control with your face using augmented reality.

Messenger has had a bit of a rocky year in terms of design. It rolled out an aggressive redesign that made the whole inbox just a layer on top of the Messenger Camera, with awkward round edges atop the rectangular screen. It later rolled back some of that styling, and moved to a tabbed inbox in May.

The app’s Snapchat Stories clone Messenger Day launched in March to heavy criticism, with some saying the broadcast social media feature doesn’t fit in the chat utility and stole screen space from the message threads. Growth has been much slower than for its other Snapchat copies. Some Facebook lovers may have shifted usage to Instagram’s messaging feature Direct. It’s swelled to 375 million monthly users, and now offers both permanent and ephemeral messaging.

Meanwhile, Facebook has struggled to make Messenger bots the ubiquitous utility it was hoping for. After a sloppy launch in 2016, Messenger has augmented bots with group chat capabilities, begun suggesting them through its AI assistant M and built a bot discovery section into Messenger. Still, they haven’t driven much buzz. And Facebook hasn’t added any new voice features to Messenger despite that rabid adoration for products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

On the plus side, Messenger’s video chat has proven popular. The feature hit 245 million monthly users as of December when Messenger added six-way split-screen group video chat reminiscent of teen app Houseparty. Now Messenger is doubling down with integration into Facebook’s full-fledged Houseparty clone called Bonfire that was just spotted in the wild yesterday. Rather than force Bonfire to grow from scratch, Messenger’s 1.3 billion users can instantly jump into the group video chats without downloading a separate app.

Messenger has finally started to ratchet up monetization. Brands can pay to send Sponsored Messages to people who’ve already chatted with them, or buy display ads within the inbox, which rolled out in July.

If Messenger wants to keep growing, it must continue to copy the best features of its competitors while innovating where it has natural advantages through its ties to Facebook. One opportunity could be the video chat hardware device Facebook is reportedly building, codenamed Aloha. With a 13-inch to 15-inch, it could help people video chat with grandparents or other family that aren’t as familiar with smartphone apps. Facebook could parlay the device into an attack on home phones that could hold serious growth opportunities.

Still, while chat may be the center of the mobile experience, and all of mobile is adapting to the visual communication era, Messenger can’t let the bells and whistles obstruct the speedy utility at its core.

Source: TechCrunch  





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MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)

  • Paging Protocol Monitoring and Wireless Sensor Monitoring (Inovonics and Bluetooth LE)
  • Improves Mobile Response Team Productivity using Smartphone App
  • Low-Latency Alerts using Pagers, Smartphones, Browsers, and Digital Displays
  • Automated E-mail Based Alert Response and System Status Reports
  • Linux Based Embedded System with Ethernet and USB Ports
  • Browser Based Configuration
  • Mobile Resident Call and Wandering Resident Tracking with Bluetooth Beacons
  • SMTP and SIP Inputs and XMPP Output in Development

STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)

  • Monitors Rauland Nurse Call SIP Protocol
  • Outputs TAP protocol to Ethernet and Serial Port Paging Systems
  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Browser Based Configuration

WaveWare 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.


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During hurricanes, emergency officials turn to ham radio

Jon Santucci, The Stuart (Fla.) News
Published 7:09 p.m. ET Sept. 10, 2017 | Updated 7:21 p.m. ET Sept. 10, 2017

Amateur radio operators Paul Bartoszewicz (yellow shirt) and Willie Thompson (green) at the Indian River County EOC on Sunday.

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Operators of amateur radios, also known as ham radios, play a vital role in the gathering of information during hurricanes like Irma.

“We take for granted our communications,” said Etta LoPresti, emergency management coordinator for Indian River County.

“But when you have something catastrophic like they do in the Keys and in the west coast of Florida, where you’re not going to have communication, these amateur radio operators take care of things for us.”

In Indian River County, Paul Bartoszewicz and Willie Thompson work 14-hour shifts during Hurricane Irma. They’re part of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) — a group of licensed radio operators who help with communication during storms.

They work in a small room off the main area inside Indian River County’s Emergency Operation Center.

Bartoszewicz, 66, and Thompson, 61, do hourly calls to fellow amateur radio operators at each of the shelters in Indian River County.

“Are there communications such as land lines? Are they still up and running? Is their electrical up and running or down?, " Bartoszewicz said. "Then we notify either FPL (Florida Power & Light) or City of Vero Beach because we have to get these shelters back up online. They all have generators; sometimes the generators fail.”

Irma is Bartoszewicz’ second hurricane since moving to Vero Beach six years ago. He also worked during Matthew last year.

Thompson moved to Vero Beach in 2004—just in time for hurricanes Frances and Jeanne.

“I started (amateur radio) way back in the day,” he said. “I enjoyed the hobby and then I started doing emergency communications. When I was in the army I was able to travel a lot and got to work in Texas with ARES there and then Oklahoma, so I got tornado experience and then I got hurricane experience here.”

The hours are challenging—8 a.m. to 10 p.m.—but Bartoszewicz and Thompson feel a special responsibility for people in shelters.

“(The days are) long,” Bartoszewicz said. “But it’s rewarding to the fact that we are in charge of over 1,200 clients at our shelters that are located here.”


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Rural Woodbury County Fire/EMS agencies to get new pagers

By Tiffany Lane, Multimedia Journalist

KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Posted: Sep 13, 2017 10:40 PM CDT

In an emergency, seconds count.

And, first responders can't afford to lose a single second to a call for help that may not reach them.

Wednesday night, potentially lifesaving news for rural Woodbury County Fire and Emergency Service agencies.

The Woodbury County 911 Service Board authorized the purchase of more than 480 new pagers for each member of the 14 fire and EMS agencies throughout the county.

Every person will have a pager thanks to this project.

The county communications director says the new pagers will bring many benefits, and offer new ways to efficiently respond to calls.

“With the new technology now, we'll actually be able to page and use the Starcomm radio system for paging on our 800 proof radio system," said Glenn Sedivy, communications director for Woodbury County. "So, it's a much better paging system than what they've been using over the last 12 years.”

In all, the pagers will cost about $400,000.

The board set aside money for the pagers during the budgeting process, last fall.

The funding will come from the 911 surcharge that they collect on a monthly basis from all the phones that can access 911.

The new pagers should be operational by the beginning of next year.



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Regulatory Fee Payments Due September 26, 2017,
Electronic Filing is Mandatory

The FCC has announced that all annual regulatory fee payments for fiscal year 2017 will be due no later than Tuesday, September 26, 2017. However, as discussed below, the FCC’s financial management software has been known to put licensees into “red light” status even when they have timely paid their regulatory fees, if the fee payment has not been processed by the deadline. Therefore, we recommend submitting the fee payment several days before the September 26, 2017 deadline if at all possible. Please let us know if you need assistance in preparing and/or making your regulatory fee payments. We can also help clients by preparing a filing establishing that they are exempt from having to make this payment, as discussed below.

New this year, the FCC has increased the de minimis threshold for annual regulatory fee payments from $500.00 to $1,000.00. Thus, if an entity’s total regulatory fee due is less than $1,000.00, it will be exempt from payment of the fee. This is a significant win for many of our clients.

It is important to note that a failure to make the payment by Tuesday, September 26, 2017 will result in the imposition of a 25 percent late payment fee.

Calculation of the FY 2017 Fee

The method for determining the method of regulatory fee payment is as follows:

Cellular, Broadband PCS, SMR (More than 10 MHz Bandwidth), Public Coast, Advanced Wireless Service (AWS), 700 MHz and Wireless Communications Service (WCS)

Fees are assessed annually based upon the number of telephone numbers or subscriber units. If you received an electronic Assessment Letter from the FCC regarding your CMRS cellular or mobile subscriber count, you should use the subscriber count identified on the assessment letter, which contains the FCC’s final assessment for your subscriber base unless you have challenged the subscriber count. All other CMRS cellular and mobile licensees who did not receive a letter from the FCC should use the count of telephone numbers or subscriber units as of December 31, 2016. Include in your counts any numbers that are provided to resellers and non-paying end users. The regulatory user fee is $.21 per unit in service on December 31, 2016.

With respect to the 700 MHz service, licensees have the capability of providing mobile service as well as fixed service. While it is clear that the $.21 fee per unit applies to mobile services, it is not altogether clear that it applies to fixed services since this issue has not been addressed in the FCC’s Order. Nonetheless, the logic behind the regulatory user fee would suggest that the fee applies to both mobile and fixed subscriber units, and we suggest, out of an abundance of caution, that licensees in the 700 MHz service pay the fee on a “per unit” basis if they are providing a fixed service such as Internet access. In this way, you would avoid the costs associated with late fees, responding to FCC inquiries and clearing red-light issues. If it turns out that the regulatory fees do not apply to this service, then you could request a refund of the fee.

Air-ground Service

The unit count is based upon the number of leased transceivers provided to end-users. The regulatory user fee is $.21 per unit in service on December 31, 2016. Service provided to customer-owned units should not be included in the count.

Paging, Narrowband PCS, IMTS, Private Carrier Paging, 220 MHz, SMR (Less than 10 MHz Bandwidth), and Commercial Business Radio Service.

Fees are based upon subscriber unit counts. The regulatory user fee is $.08 per unit, in service on December 31, 2016.

Broadband Radio Service (BRS) [formerly Multipoint Distribution Service]

Fees are assessed annually. Fees are based upon the number of call signs licensed as of October 1, 2016, even though the station may not be constructed or operational until after that date. The regulatory user fee for this service is $800.00 per call sign. Please note that the regulatory fee is still due and payable even if the license was cancelled or otherwise not renewed after October 1, 2016 but before the regulatory fee payment is due.

Local Multipoint Distribution Service or (LMDS)

Fees are assessed annually. Fees are based upon the number of call signs licensed as of October 1, 2016, even though the station may not be constructed or operational until after that date. The regulatory user fee for this service is $800.00 per call sign. Please note that the regulatory fee is still due and payable even if the license was cancelled after October 1, 2016 but before the regulatory fee payment is due.

Domestic Satellite Earth Stations (Not Including Earth Station Receive Only)

Fees are assessed annually. Fees are based upon the number of call signs licensed as of October 1, 2016, even though the station may not be constructed or operational until after that date. The regulatory user fee for this service is $360.00 per call sign. Please note that the regulatory fee is still due and payable even if the license was cancelled after October 1, 2016 but before the regulatory fee payment is due.

Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave

The regulatory user fee is no longer collected on an annual basis. Instead, the fee, which for FY 2017 is $25.00 per year for the license term, will be collected at the time an application for a new station or a license renewal application is filed. Thus, since microwave licenses are granted for a ten-year term, the up-front user fee, at the time of application, would be $250.00, and would be added to the application filing-fee.

Rural Radiotelephone Service/BETRS

Regulatory user fees for these stations, which include BETRS, are no longer collected on an annual basis. Instead, the fee, which for FY 2017 is $10.00 per year for the license term, will be collected at the time an application for a new station or a license renewal application is filed. Thus, the up-front user fee, at the time of application would be $100.00, and will be added to the application filing-fee.

The FCC has indicated that it will rely on its own records, to the extent possible, in order to verify that the proper regulatory fee payments have been made. In those circumstances where its records do not contain the necessary information (e.g., mobile unit counts), it will rely on the representations made by the regulatees, subject to random audits. Therefore, in accordance with Rule Section 1.1157(d), our CMRS clients are required to keep supporting records for a minimum of two years from the date the regulatory user fees are paid. In those circumstances where an insufficient fee has been calculated, the entity will be responsible for payment of the additional fee together with any penalties and interest.

Payment Instructions

Mandatory Use of the Fee Filer SystemAll regulatees that pay annually must make their regulatory fee payments electronically via the Commission’s online Fee Filer payment system or by wire funds transfer directly to the US Treasury. The FCC no longer accepts paper checks, cashier’s checks or money orders.

Payments for Cellular, PCS, AWS, 700 MHz, Paging, SMR and most other CMRS/commercial licensees, as well as telecommunications and cable television services, must be made annually by the September deadline described above. As a result, regulatees will be required to access the FCC’s Fee Filer system ( with their valid CORES FRN and password in order to initiate the process of filing their annual regulatory fees. For FY 2017, payment may be made electronically through the Fee Filer system as a credit card transaction or as an ACH Payment that utilizes your bank account information. In this regard, it is critical that you verify with your bank whether an ACH payment can be drawn on your account, and if so, the correct routing number and account information for this payment method, since certain banks utilize different information from what is printed on the account holders’ checks. Wire funds transfers to the US Treasury will be addressed below. As in prior years, the FCC no longer accepts payment by check or mails invoices for regulatory fees. These invoices are instead viewable in the FCC’s Fee Filer System.

Please note that the FCC accepts VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. In addition to the credit card number and expiration date, you will also need to know the security code for the credit card. Failure to provide accurate credit card information will result in rejection of the credit card payment and a 25% late fee if the payment is refiled after the payment due date. If you choose to make a payment via credit card, please note that the US Treasury has set the maximum charge that can be made on a single credit card at $24,999.99 per day. Additionally, the US Treasury does not permit the total amount due to be split into multiple payments in order to circumvent this restriction. In particular, an amount that exceeds the maximum dollar amount of $24,999.99 may not be split into two or more payment transactions in the same day by using one or more cards or over multiple days by using one or more cards. Thus, if your fee is greater than $24,999.99, it will be necessary to pay by another method such as ACH or wire funds transfer (EFT/FEDWire).

Should you desire to make your payment by wire funds transfer to the US Treasury, the following instructions will apply:

  ABA Routing Number:
Receiving Bank:
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
  BNF: FCC Acct — 27000001
OBI Field (Skip one space between each information Item): “REGULATORY PAY”
Payer FRN: (Exactly as on FCC Form 159-E)
Payer Name: (Exactly as on FCC Form 159-E)
Contact Phone or E-mail:
Voucher Number: (Exactly as on Form 159-E)

We recommend scheduling your payment for no later than Thursday, September 21, 2017 in case there is an issue with the wire funds transfer. Additionally, it will be necessary to fax a copy of the Fee Filer generated Form 159-E to the Federal Communications Commission at (202) 418-2843 at least one hour before (and on the same business day) the wire funds transfer is initiated so that there are no delays in crediting your account. The Form 159-E should be captioned at the top with “WIRE TRANSFER — REGULATORY FEE PAYMENT.” Finally, you should make arrangements with your banker a few days in advance so that your financial institution has enough time to initiate the wire funds transfer without running up against the payment deadline. The FCC cautions that any wire transfer that is initiated after the financial institution’s cut off will be credited the next business day. We therefore recommend that you check with your financial institution in order to determine the appropriate deadlines for the sending of the wire transfer and receipt by the US Treasury.

Assessment Notifications

The FCC has made Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSPs) and CMRS regulatory fee assessment data available for review in its Fee Filer system. For ITSPs, the fee assessment data is based upon revenues data reported in the Form 499 for 2016. For CMRS providers, the fee assessment data is based upon subscriber counts derived from the Form 502 numbering report. The FCC will not be mailing out this data to CMRS providers. Because some carriers do not file their numbering data on the Form 502, the FCC will not have a telephone number count as of December 31, 2016. In those cases, CMRS providers should calculate their regulatory fee based upon the number of telephone numbers assigned to subscribers as of December 31, 2016.

In order to view this data and verify its accuracy, it will be necessary to log into the Fee Filer System. Once logged into the system, you should click on the link to view the appropriate revenue data (for ITSPs) or subscriber data (for CMRS providers.) The data for ITSPs cannot be revised, since it is based upon the 2016 ITSP revenue data that was reported on FCC Form 499.

Payments by NECA for ITSP Fees

Several of our wireless clients are also local exchange carriers that pay their ITSP regulatory fees through NECA. While the FCC permits regulatees to use other entities for the payment of fees, it is important to remember that the ultimate responsibility rests with the regulated entity. In this regard, it is also important to note that if there are other ITSP regulatory fees for which you are liable that are not covered through NECA (e.g., CLEC, long distance or VoIP interstate revenue), it will be necessary for you to initiate the payment of those fees in the FCC’s Fee Filer system.

Exemptions from Regulatory Fees

Governmental entities and non-profit entities under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code are exempt from the payment of regulatory fees. Any entity claiming exempt status must submit (or have on file with the Commission) a valid IRS Determination Letter documenting its non-profit status or a certification from a governmental authority attesting to its exempt status. Additionally, a regulatee will be exempt from the payment of regulatory fees if the sum total of all of its regulatory fees owed is $1,000.00 or less. As a result, we anticipate that most of our paging clients and some of our other small CMRS clients will be exempt from paying the annual regulatory fee this year. In order to minimize the potential for being placed in a red-light status for non-payment of the regulatory fee, we recommend that any client with an exemption file a letter with the FCC that specifically states that they are exempt from the payment of regulatory fees for FY 2017. We will be glad to prepare and file such letter for you if desire.

Enforcement Actions for Non-Payment or Late Payment

In addition to the 25 percent late fee, the Communications Act has provided the Commission with three methods for enforcing user fee requirements — monetary penalties for late payment, dismissal of pending applications, and license revocations. Additionally, the FCC’s rules also permit the FCC to withhold action on any applications or requests for benefits (including USF payments) filed by anyone who is delinquent on any non-tax debt to the FCC (including regulatory fees), and to dismiss those applications or requests if satisfactory payment arrangements are not made. Finally, the Commission is authorized to pursue other remedies for non-payment of fees under the Debt Collection Act.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance with your regulatory fee payments.

Any client with questions regarding this memorandum may call Richard Rubino at 202-828-5519.

Source: The Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP  

RF Demand Solutions

Codan Paging Transmitters

  • The smart choice for Critical Messaging
  • Proven performance in extreme conditions
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Flexible Modern Design:

  • Analog & Digital
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  • Compatible with most popular Controllers


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Your US Distributor for Codan Radio Paging Equipment
847-829-4730 / /

Leavitt Communications


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

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

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


Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swissphone sets new standards in paging:

Paging Network

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


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


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

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

Leavitt Communications

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

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

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

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Friday, September 15, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 181

More Than 86% of FL Cell Tower Sites Working: 13.4% Sites Out of Service

Percent Cell Sites Out-of-Service by County

9/14/2017 11:04:21 AM

The Percentage of cell sites that were out of service in AL, GA and FL by county as of 11 a.m. Thursday. Source: FCC

The number of cell tower sites out of service in Florida due to Hurricane Irma continues to decline. Overall, 13.4 percent of sites in the disaster area are not operational, compared to just over 18 percent the day before. Out of a total of 14,730 tower sites, 1,972 are not working, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System, accurate as of 11 a.m. Thursday. The number of counties with 50 percent or more of sites not operational is the same as Wednesday: Collier, Hendry and Monroe.

In Georgia, 2.2 percent of cell sites are not operational, down from 5.3 percent on Wednesday. In Alabama, 1.2 percent of cell tower sites in the disaster area are out of service, slightly up from the day before. No counties in either Georgia or Alabama have counties with 50 percent or more out of service.

Just over six percent of the sites are not working in Puerto Rico, compared to 10.1 percent on Wednesday. However in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 54.8 percent are not working, virtually unchanged from 54.7 percent the previous day.

The number of 911 call centers out of service in Florida dropped to 21, down from 29. Calls are being routed for all of those. One was reported out in Georgia and two in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the same as Wednesday.

In Florida, 30 radio (down from 39) and two TV stations were off the air.

Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Controller Gets American Tower Backing

Federated Wireless introduced what it says is the industry’s first controller for shared spectrum; the company also closed a $42 million round of Series B funding, including investments from partners American Tower Corporation, Charter Communications, ARRIS International PLC and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi said the availability of the spectrum controller and the investment of the wireless industry partners “will enable us to cement our leadership position and capitalize on the rapid industry shift to shared spectrum set to begin this year.”

With the spectrum controller, several types of companies can leverage the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services space when and where they need it, including: mobile operators, cable operators, broadband wireless access providers, managed service providers and enterprises across industries. The spectrum controller is an end-to-end solution for shared spectrum access, management and optimization, helping businesses to quickly and efficiently plan, optimize and monetize CBRS services, according to Federated Wireless. The system includes a nationwide sensor network that can identify and protect the federal agencies already using the 3.5 GHz band, to ensure defense and government communications aren’t impacted by commercial users.

“With the explosive growth of wireless data, it is imperative that the industry finds new and innovative ways to meet this demand cost effectively,” said Steven Marshall, President US Tower, a division of American Tower Corporation. “Federated Wireless has built a strong capability to facilitate access to the CBRS spectrum expected to be made available by the FCC shortly.” The tower company worked with Federated to develop in-building proprietary and shared wireless access networks that can enhance functionality and potentially develop new revenue streams for property owners.

The spectrum controller has conditional FCC certification and Federated Wireless anticipates full certification in January 2018. The company will continue to work with the FCC, Department of Defense, the Wireless Innovation Forum and CBRS Alliance to identify and develop additional use cases and applications.

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

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

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

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


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

Other products

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

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

Hark Technologies








A Problem

The Motorola Nucleus II Paging Base Station is a great paging transmitter. The Nucleus I, however, had some problems.

One of the best features of this product was its modular construction. Most of the Nucleus' component parts were in plug-in modules that were field replaceable making maintenance much easier.

One issue was (and still is) that two of the modules had to always be kept together. They are called the “matched pair.”

Motorola used some tricks to keep people in the field from trying to match unmatched pairs, and force them to send SCM and Exciter modules back to the factory for calibrating them with precision laboratory equipment.

The serial numbers have to match in the Nucleus programing software or you can't transmit . Specifically the 4-level alignment ID parameter contained in the SCM has to match the Exciter ID parameter.

Even if someone could modify the programing software to “fudge” these parameters, that would not let them use unmatched modules effectively without recalibrating them to exact factory specifications.

So now that there is no longer a Motorola factory laboratory to send them to, what do we do?

I hope someone can help us resolve this serious problem for users of the Nucleus paging transmitter.

Please let me know if you can help. [ click here ]

[Thanks to Tom Harger Chief Engineer at Contact Wireless for the correction above in ]


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. 38 September 13, 2017 

REMINDER: DIRS Activated in Multiple Counties for Hurricane Irma

Through activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) system, the FCC urges communications providers that provide service to specified counties to submit and update information through the DIRS system regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power. DIRS is a voluntary system separate from the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS). Clients that do not participate in DIRS may be under a NORS reporting obligation due to storm-related outages.

Please see the article below for a full list of counties in which DIRS is active.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.


FCC Releases Tentative Agenda for September Open Meeting

On September 7, the FCC issued the tentative agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, currently scheduled for September 26. At the Meeting, the FCC plans to consider the following items:

  • Amendment of Parts 74, 76 and 78 of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Maintenance of Copies of FCC Rules — a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to eliminate rules requiring certain broadcast and cable entities to maintain paper copies of FCC rules. (MB Docket Nos. 17-105; 17-231).
  • Cable Television Technical and Operational Standards — a Report and Order that modernizes its cable television technical rules to reflect the cable industry’s use of digital transmission systems. (MB Docket No. 12-217).
  • Revitalization of the AM Radio Service — a Third Report and Order that will relax or eliminate certain rules pertaining to AM broadcasters employing and maintaining directional antenna arrays. (MB Docket No. 13-249).
  • Updating Rules for Non-Geostationary Satellites in the Fixed-Satellite Service — a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that recommends updating and streamlining the Commission’s rules to facilitate the licensing of the next generation of non-geostationary, fixed-satellite service systems. (IB Docket No. 16-408).
  • Revisions to Reporting Requirements Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets — a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on revisions to the wireless hearing aid compatibility annual reporting requirement to provide relief to non-nationwide service providers. (WT Docket No. 17-228).
  • Toll Free Assignment Modernization — a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to amend the Commission’s rules to allow for use of auctions to assign certain toll free numbers and considers other means by which to modernize the administration and assignment of toll free numbers. (WC Docket No. 17-192; CC Docket No 95-155).
  • 911 Access, Routing, and Location in Enterprise Communications Systems — a Notice of Inquiry that seeks comment on the provision of 911 by enterprise communications systems that serve businesses, hotels, educational institutions, and government entities. (PS Docket No. 17-239).
  • 20th Mobile Wireless Competition — a Report analyzing the state of competition in the mobile wireless industry. (WT Docket No. 17-69).

The links above lead to the draft text of each item expected to be considered at the Open Commission Meeting. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item.

The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. EDT. Open Meetings are streamed live at and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.

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

FCC Seeks to Refresh Record on Intercarrier Compensation Reform

On September 8, the FCC issued a Public Notice inviting interested parties to update the record on (1) the network edge for traffic that interconnects with the Public Switched Telephone Network, (2) tandem switching and transport, and (3) transit (the non-access traffic functional equivalent of tandem switching and transport). Comment deadlines have not yet been established.

The Network Edge. The ‘edge’ is the point where bill-and-keep applies, a carrier is responsible for carrying, directly or indirectly by paying another provider, its traffic to that edge.” In the 2011 ICC Transformation FNPRM, the Commission sought comment on defining the network edge as (1) a ‘“competitively neutral’” location ‘“where interconnecting carriers have competitive alternatives—other than services or facilities provided by the terminating carrier to transport traffic to the terminating carrier’s network,’” (2) a point in each Local Access and Transport Area (LATA) determined by a terminating carrier for Mutually Efficient Traffic Exchange, or (3) a terminating carrier’s central office, among other possibilities. It also sought comment on its determination that the states should establish the network edge pursuant to Commission guidance. Specific questions related to the network edge include: What other developments in the marketplace should guide the Commission’s analysis of where the network edge lies (and thus the extent of bill-and-keep reforms)? Are there proposals raised in the record of the 2011 ICC Transformation FNPRM that should be revisited, or other proposals that would efficiently address these issues?

Tandem Switching and Transport. The rate transition adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order reduced tandem switching and transport charges only when the terminating price cap carrier also owns the tandem in the serving area. For rate-of-return carriers, most of these charges are capped at interstate levels. The FCC seeks comment on what steps it should take to transition the remaining elements associated with tandem switching and transport to bill-and-keep. Specific questions include: Would changes to intercarrier compensation (ICC) for tandem switching and transport lead to inadequate revenues for any type of service provider, and, if so, how should the Commission address such shortfalls? Should any limitations be placed on either the amount of potential recovery or the period of time within which such recovery should be available? What is the appropriate transition period to bill-and-keep for the remaining transport and tandem switching services? Should there be a different transition period for originating tandem switching and transport services? How would proposed changes impact other interrelated issues, such as the definition of a network edge for purposes of delivering traffic? How does the transition from voice centric to broadband networks affect further ICC reforms of tandem switching and transport?

Transit. In the 2011 ICC Transformation FNPRM, the Commission sought “comment on the need for regulatory involvement and the appropriate end state for transit service.” Since then, some state commissions have addressed the regulatory treatment of transit services. The FCC seeks comment on whether it should adopt regulations governing the rates for transit services. If so, the FCC further seeks comment on compensation regimes, the current market for transit services, and the effects of competition among transit service providers.

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

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

Comments on 700MHz Relicensing Rules Due October 10

On September 7, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Public Notice on the overall rules and policies for the relicensing of 700 MHz spectrum that is returned to inventory as a result of licensees’ failure to meet applicable construction requirements. Accordingly, comments are due October 10 and reply comments are due November 6.

Specifically, the FCC is proposing a two-phase process to relicense returned spectrum. The first phase will be a standard application process that bars any applicant that has any interest or ownership in, or any control of, the original licensee and to any applicant in which the original licensee has any interest, ownership, or control. The FCC specifically seeks comment on requiring applicants to certify in the application that: (1) the applicant is not the original licensee of the unserved area; (2) the applicant does not have any interest in or own or control any part of the original licensee of the unserved area; and (3) the original licensee of the unserved area does not have any interest in or own or control any part of the applicant. The second phase will consist of standard applications for unserved areas that were not licensed during Phase 1. Entities barred in Phase 1 may participate in this Phase 2.

For the relicensed areas under this proposal, the FCC would to treat any modification, cancellation, or assignment of a license as failure to provide signal coverage and offer service to the entire relicensed area, such that the penalty for failure would apply. The FCC also proposes that licensees would be permitted to file applications to assign licenses acquired through relicensing (including requests to partition and disaggregate) only after they have demonstrated that they have met the construction benchmark. Finally, the FCC proposes that, at the one-year construction deadline, licensees would be required to demonstrate that they provide signal coverage and offer service over 100 percent of the geographic area by filing either a Smooth Contour or an Alternative Smooth Contour. In light of this onerous buildout obligation, the FCC warns that it is particularly important that potential participants in the relicensing process only apply for portions of available unserved areas if they, through due diligence, have determined they can provide signal coverage and offer service over 100 percent of the area within one year from the date of license issuance. This approach may be difficult in rural areas, where no matter how dedicated the carrier is to providing service, there will be areas interspersed where no business case can be made for establishing transmitters at significant cost.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

DIRS Active in Multiple Counties Across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands

As of September 12, the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) remains active in the following counties:

Alabama: Geneva, Henry, Houston.

Florida: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, Washington.

Georgia: Baker, Brooks, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Echols, Glynn, Grady, Lanier, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell Seminole, Thomas, Ware.

Puerto Rico: Aguada, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Anasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamon, Cabo Rojo, Caguas, Camuy, Canovanas, Carolina, Catano, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Culebra, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guanica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Hatillo, Hormigueros, Humacao, Isabela, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Juncos, Lajas, Lares, Las Marias, Las Piedras, Loiza, Luquillo, Manati, Maricao, Maunabo, Mayaguez, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Penuelas, Ponce, Quebradillas, Rincon, Rio Grande, Sabana Grande, Salinas, San German, San Juan, San Lorenzo, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa, Yauco.

U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas.

The Commission requests that communications providers that provide service to any areas listed below expeditiously submit and update information through DIRS regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power or back-up power). Reports are requested beginning at 10:00 a.m. on September 12, 2017, and every day after that by 10:00 a.m. until DIRS is deactivated. Communications providers are reminded that for providers that participate in DIRS, the separate Network Outage Reporting System obligations are suspended for the duration of the DIRS activation with respect to outages in the counties where DIRS has been activated.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Law & Regulation

FCC Officially Eliminates Certain Rules Currently Under Forbearance

On September 8, the FCC released a Report and Order in which it officially removed regulations from which it had previously granted unconditional forbearance for all carriers, as well as references to telegraph service from certain sections of the FCC’s rules.

Specifically, the FCC eliminated the following rules, from which it has unconditionally forborn as a result of the 2013 USTelecom Forbearance Order: (1) sections 42.4, 42.5, and 42.7, which required carriers to preserve certain records; (2) section 64.1, which governed traffic damage claims for carriers engaged in radio-telegraph, wire-telegraph, or ocean-cable service; (3) section 64.301, which required carriers to provide communications services to foreign governments for international communications; (4) section 64.501, which governed telephone companies’ obligations when recording telephone conversations; (5) section 64.804(c)-(g), which governed a carrier’s recordkeeping and other obligations when it extended unsecured credit for communications services to candidates for federal office; and (6) section 64.5001(a)-(c)(2), and (c)(4), which imposed certain reporting and certification requirements on prepaid calling card providers.

Additionally, the FCC removed references to “telegraph service” from the following sections: Section 36.126 of the Separations Rules; Section 54.706(a)(13) of the Universal Service Rules; and all of the Part 63 Discontinuance, Reduction, Outage and Impairment Rules.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

FCC Extends Comment Deadline on 900MHz Band

On September 8, the FCC issued an Order extending the comment deadline on its Notice of Inquiry regarding review of the FCC’s rules governing the 896-901/935-940 MHz band (900 MHz band). Comments are now due October 2, and reply comments are now due November 1.

By way of background, the 900 MHz band was designated in 1986 for narrowband private land mobile radio (PLMR) communications by Business/Industrial/Land Transportation (B/ILT) licensees and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) providers, and still has systems in place today. In the NOI, the FCC broadly seeks comment on whether the public interest would be served by making changes to the existing regime in the 900 MHz band.

Specifically, the FCC invites commenters to address factors that would affect this public interest determination, including, but not limited to, whether any changes to improve the technical and operational flexibility and efficiency of the 900 MHz band are appropriate; 900 MHz band users’ current and future needs; whether those needs would be adequately fulfilled by alternate spectrum bands that have been allocated to or will be available to B/ILT users; and the financial and non-financial impacts of any changes on existing users’ operations. Comments are sought specifically on competing proposals by EWA and M2M to reconfigure the band to better accommodate certain advanced services. More generally, the FCC seeks comment on how to ensure that the 900 MHz band is put to its best and highest use for the American public. Commenters should discuss current and future needs, narrowband or broadband, of existing or new potential users and suggest how these needs can be met within the 900 MHz band.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

Congress Passes SANDy Act

On September 11, the Senate passed the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act — or “SANDy Act”. The bill, which now only requires President Trump’s signature to pass into law, amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to expand the categories of essential communications service providers that may access a disaster site to restore and repair essential services in an emergency or major disaster without being denied or impeded by a federal agency. Under the bill, services to be considered essential will now include wireline or mobile telephone service, Internet access service, radio or television broadcasting, cable service, or direct broadcast satellite service.

The bill also requires the FCC to investigate and report on the public safety benefits, technical feasibility, and cost of providing the public with emergency access to 9-1-1 services, when mobile service is unavailable during certain presidentially declared emergencies or major disasters or during gubernatorially declared emergencies, through telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi access points and other communications technologies operating on unlicensed spectrum, without requiring any login credentials; non-telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi access points; and other alternative means.

In a statement, Commissioner Rosenworcel said: “In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, I was pleased to see the United States Senate’s unanimous passage of the SANDy Act of 2017 last night. We know that weather-related emergencies and other disasters can occur anywhere at any time–and this legislation comes not a moment too soon. Among other things, it promises to help speed restoration of essential communications in times of disaster. Kudos to Senators Cantwell, Booker, Thune, Nelson, Rubio, Menendez, and Schumer for their leadership as well as to Congressman Frank Pallone for his previous work to secure passage of this legislation in the House.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Cary Mitchell.


CenturyLink Delays Level 3 Acquisition

On September 12, FCW reported that CenturyLink will delay the close of its acquisition of Level 3 Communications until mid-October. According to the article, the delay will be to accommodate an upcoming California Public Utilities Commission meeting. Specifically, FCW writes that the company said its decision to push the closing date was because of a Sept. 8 ruling by a California administrative law judge. Although the judge found the transaction to be in the public interest, the company said the judge recommended the deal be reviewed by the California Public Utilities Commission at its Oct. 12 meeting for approval.

“We view the slight delay in our projected closing date as manageable, and it does not affect our integration planning process,” CenturyLink CEO Glen Post said in a Sept. 12 announcement. "Both teams are ready to begin the integration process as soon as closing occurs."

CenturyLink said it now anticipates the Level 3 transaction to close in mid-to-late October 2017.


SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

OCTOBER 16: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide[] 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate[] one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

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

Calendar At-A-Glance

Sep. 13 – Comments are due on USF Contribution Forbearance Petition.
Sep. 13 – Comments are due on Slamming NPRM.
Sep. 18 – Comments are due on Connect America Phase II auction procedures.
Sep. 18 – Comments are due on Form 601 revisions.
Sep. 22 – Reply comments are due on Section 706 NOI.
Sep. 25 – Reply comments are due on Rural Call Completion NPRM.
Sep. 25 – Comments are due on Form 477 revision.
Sep. 27 – Nationwide EAS test; deadline for participants to file ETRS Form Two.
Sep. 28 – Reply comments are due on USF Contribution Forbearance Petition.
Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

Oct. 2 – Comments are due on 900MHz Band NOI.
Oct. 3 – Comments are due on Mid-Band Spectrum NOI.
Oct. 10 – Comments are due on 700MHz Relicensing Rules.
Oct. 10 – Reply comments are due on Form 477 revision.
Oct. 10 – Comments are due on the Competition in Video Programming Report.
Oct. 13 – Reply comments are due on Slamming NPRM.
Oct. 16 – 911 Reliability Certification
Oct. 18 – Reply comments are due on Connect America Phase II auction procedures.

Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 1 – Reply comments are due on Mid-Band Spectrum NOI.
Nov. 1 – Reply comments are due on 900MHz Band NOI.
Nov. 6 – Reply comments are due on 700MHz Relicensing Rules
Nov. 9 – Reply comments are due on the Competition in Video Programming Report.
Nov. 13 – Deadline for EAS test participants to file ETRS Form Three.

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,

Here's everything Apple announced at its big iPhone launch event

Avery Hartmans
Sep. 12, 2017, 5:25 PM

Apple CEO Tim Cook and design chief Jony Ive display the new iPhone X. Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple unveiled not one, but three new iPhones at its hardware event on Tuesday.

The iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus join a slew of new products and services from Apple, many of which are set to roll out as early as this Friday.

Along with the new phones, Apple announced its first foray into wireless charging, new facial-recognition technology, and a 4K Apple TV. Plus, Apple finally added a cellular connection to its new Apple Watch Series 3.

Here are all the things Apple announced at Tuesday's event:

Apple announced its latest and greatest iPhone, the iPhone X.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

The new iPhone X — pronounced “iPhone ten” — features a strikingly different design from its predecessors like the iPhone 7. It has a 5.8-inch screen that Apple calls a “Super Retina Display,” which utilizes a superior screen technology called OLED. The iPhone X comes in just two colors for now: black, and white.

You can preorder the iPhone X on October 27. It ships on November 3, and has a starting price of $999 for 64GB of storage.

There are also two more new iPhones: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.


Like its predecessor the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 comes in two varieties: a standard 4.7-inch model, and a larger 5.5-inch “Plus” model. Apple is offering the two iPhone 8 models in three colors: silver, matte black, and a new gold color. Both the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus have a glass back and both support the Qi wireless charging standard.

The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus start at $699 and arrive on September 22.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is Apple's third-generation smartwatch.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple Watch Series 3 is the first Apple Watch, and the first Watch with cellular built in. The watch can make and receive calls allowing you to leave your phone at home, and will have the same number as your iPhone. The new watch comes in three colors: a new gold aluminum finish, silver, and space gray.

Apple Watch Series 3 will be available to order on Friday and will start at $329 — the watch with cellular will cost $399. It will be available a week later, on September 22.

Apple is launching its own heart rate study for Apple Watch users.


The new Apple Watch Series 3 will feature an enhanced heart rate app, watch will notify you when it detects an elevated heart rate specifically when you're not active. The sensor will also be able to analyze heart rhythm, so Apple is launching the Apple Heart Study in partnership with Stanford University. The study will use data from Apple Watch to analyze cardiac arrhythmia and will be available on the App Store later this year.

There's a new Apple TV that will stream video in ultra-sharp 4K resolution.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

The new Apple TV 4K will be able to stream 4K — or UHD (ultra high-definition) — resolution video, which is sharper than the full-HD 1080p resolution from previous Apple TV models. It will also support HDR (high dynamic range) to produce better colors and contrast between light and dark areas of a scene.

The Apple TV 4K will be able to stream live video, like sports, in 4K HDR from Apple TV apps. It will be available to buy for $179 and you can pre-order it starting on September 15 — it ships a week later.

Apple made its first wireless charging pad called AirPower.


AirPower is a wireless charging pad that will be large and powerful enough to charge your new iPhone — either the new iPhone 8 or the high-end iPhone X — as well as your Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods at the same time.

Unfortunately, it sounds like AirPower won't arrive until 2018. Apple must first work with the regulatory committee that oversees the Qi wireless charging standard to implement a new standard it developed for AirPower. Apple didn't say how much AirPower would cost or when it will be available.

iOS 11 will arrive on your iPhone and iPad September 19.


Apple's smartphone operating system, iOS 11, will arrive on phones September 19. The new OS features person-to-person payments in Apple Pay, a refreshed Control Center, a revamped Apple Maps, support for augmented reality (AR) applications, and much more.

Apple's smartwatch operating system, WatchOS 4, will also launch on the September 19.

MacOS High Sierra will be available to download on September 25.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple's latest operating system for Mac laptops and desktops, MacOS High Sierra, will be available to download on Monday, September 25.

MacOS High Sierra will include “Autoplay Blocking,” which stops media from autoplaying across the internet; an improved Photos app; an overhauled core file system, support for high-end virtual reality; and more.

There's a new system to unlock your iPhone X called FaceID.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Face ID is the new way to unlock your phone on the iPhone X. Face ID replaces Touch ID, which scans your fingerprint to unlock the iPhone. Since the new iPhone X doesn't have a physical home button or a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Face ID will be the only way to securely lock and unlock the iPhone X.

Apple says Face ID will be able to handle and recognize any changes to your face, like beards, different haircuts, and putting on or taking off glasses and hats. And the technology will recognize your face in the day and night time.

Animoji are animated emojis you can control with your face.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Animoji use Apple's new facial recognition software to turn you into animated emojis that can make facial expressions and talk. There are a dozen different Animojis, including the monkey, panda, alien, and fox.

Changes are coming to Apple's retail stores.

Chris Hondros/Getty

Apple's most famous store design feature will return late next year: The “cube” on 5th Avenue in New York City. Apple will open up its surrounding plaza and let light into the underground store. Apple is also opening a new flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Apple's retail boss Angela Ahrendts also announced another feature coming to Apple stores called “Today at Apple,” which gives customers tips for their devices, such as how to take great photos with photo walks around the town. There are also classes where people can learn to code and teachers can learn about the latest education apps.

Source: Business Insider  

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Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

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Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

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

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

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From: Dennis Riise <>
Subject: From The Paging Information Web Site
Date: September 8, 2017
To: Brad Dye

Mr. Brad Dye, K9IQY;

You requested feed back in your newsletter header this morning.

I am very pleased with your newsletter and proud too be allowed to receive it. I have been a communications business owner and consultant for many years. My second love was as an Avionics Engineer for Braniff Airlines and LTV for over 10 years. We are not learning a lot now that I am 80 and out of the active business circulation. The technology is really moving fast. Your newsletter helps me to keep up a little. Thanks in advance for your efforts and I appreciate all of your technical tid bits you put together in it. The various sources of the industry you provide info on is helpful to see a broader view of the communications spectrum and it's advancements.

I must admit that I am also a bit nuts in that I know Ira Wiesenfeld. Ira is a very fine personal friend of mine. He did work for me years ago, one summer while he was attending SMU for his EE degree. That kind of dates us a bit. Hee hee hee. Over the years he has been my consultant on several projects. He is a sharp Engineer and a good friend.

Thanks for you, your efforts and allowing me to be on your mailing list.

Dennis Riise, K5AVT
[AKA: Alphatronics Co.]

Hey Dennis,

Once in a while I receive a message like yours and makes all the hours (and years) of hard work worthwhile. Thank you so much. Ira is my friend as well. When he is in this part of the country we meet for lunch and a challenging conversation.

As you noticed, I am a ham too — 60 years now. It started out as a hobby and became my profession. I am 75 years old now.

Keeping up with technology is hard to do. Things are moving so fast. Did you see my article a week or two ago about flight tracking? I have been having fun with it — an easy project.

Brad Dye
Sent from my iPad

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