newsletter logo

Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — September 1, 2017 — Issue No. 770

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Lots of news this week but not much in the editorial department.

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
wireless logo medium

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.



* required field

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
STI Engineering
WaveWare Technologies

OnStar Assisting With Hurricane Harvey Emergency Communications

With cell phone and landline networks disabled, GM's subsidiary is pitching in to help.

AUGUST 31, 2017

Disasters like Hurricane Harvey push communication systems to their limits and often beyond. Between exceptionally high demand and issues like damaged cell towers and flooded landlines, people in trouble may not be able to contact the emergency services they desperately need. While amateur radio operators are hard at work supplementing the crippled networks, another, unexpected network is proving useful: OnStar.

Automotive News reports the various ways that GM's location and emergency communication service is helping customers in the Houston area keep in touch when all else fails. With local Red Cross call centers overwhelmed with calls for help, they asked OnStar to assist. OnStar's four North American call centers are located in Michigan, North Carolina, Ontario, and Nova Scotia—far outside Harvey's reach and unaffected by the storm. It is also already equipped and trained for these types of calls, so OnStar is a natural choice to help. But it is not strictly providing OnStar services to Red Cross overflow calls; OnStar is integrating with the Red Cross as closely as possible to get callers the services they need, regardless of who provides them.

But some people who have cars equipped with OnStar have found them to be their only contact with the outside world. With no power or cell service, OnStar's satellite network has been the only way some people have been able to call for rescue. Others have taken advantage of OnStar's Wi-Fi capability to maintain digital contact with the outside world, informing others that they are safe. Removing some of this "health and welfare traffic" from the amateur radio networks frees them up to focus on more time-sensitive and emergency communications.

With high demand for services in the affected areas, OnStar call centers have been operating around the clock since last Thursday. Unlimited overtime is available to all who want it, both for the extra money and to do their part to help people who need it.

Source: The Drive  

STI Engineering

Web Site: E-mail:

North Korea’s Missile Launch Triggered Japan’s Smartphone Emergency Alert System

Japan only activates its J-Alert system in times of real emergency.

29/08/2017 14:32
Thomas Tamblyn
Technology editor, HuffPost UK

When North Korea fired its missile over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido it triggered a rarely seen emergency warning system.

You see in addition to using Japan’s huge network of early warning sirens, the government decided to employ an almost never seen and relatively new technology.

In a matter of seconds Japan is able to send an Emergency Alert notification to just about every smartphone in the country.

It’s all tied into the country’s J-Alert emergency broadcast system. Created in 2007, the system uses a single satellite orbiting the Earth to then broadcast universal warning messages to TV, Radio and now smartphones as well.

The government can also target specific geographical regions.

Meanwhile J-Alert can hijack television channels in much the same way that our own emergency broadcast system can.

Thanks to its unified system, J-Alert can send follow up notifications keeping residents informed of what’s happening or giving them new instructions.

Once it was clear that the missile was heading past Japan and safely into the ocean a notification was sent reassuring residents.

The system is currently undergoing a massive upgrade. By 2019 Japan wants all local municipalities using the new receivers which can receive and process a alert in just a few seconds, compared to the 20 seconds it currently takes.

That may not sound like much but in the case of a military attack or major natural disaster seconds can mean everything.

Japan isn’t the only country to use an advanced warning system like J-Alert.

The UK actually has something very similar that uses a combination of SMS text messages or cell broadcast messages that would appear on smartphones as notifications similar to those sent by J-Alert.

Source: HuffPost UK  





WaveWare Technologies

Enhancing Mobile Alert Response
2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

Contact Us for OEM Requests

BluTrac (Bluetooth Tracking and Control)

  • Monitor and Report Bluetooth Beacon Signals via Wi-Fi
  • Autonomous or Networked Applications
  • Audible/Visual Annunciation and Output Switching
  • Applications include:
    • Mobile Asset Tracking
    • Mobile Resident Call and Wandering Resident Tracking (MARS Only)
    • Access Control
    • Remote Switching Control
  • Learn More at

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.


Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

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

Microsoft tells some Mac Office users to pass on Apple's High Sierra

Microsoft warns Office for Mac 2011 users not to upgrade to Apple's macOS High Sierra when the new operating system launches in September.

By Gregg Keizer
Senior Reporter
AUG 31, 2017 11:32 AM PT

Microsoft has warned users of Office for Mac 2011 not to upgrade to Apple’s macOS High Sierra when the new operating system launches next month.

“Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Lync have not been tested on macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and no formal support for this configuration will be provided,” Microsoft wrote in a support document.

In the same document, Microsoft told those running the newer Office 2016 for Mac that they must update its applications to version 15.35 or later, if they intend to upgrade their Macs to High Sierra. (Version 15.35 was released in June; since then, Microsoft has issued 15.36 in July and 15.37 in August.) “In some cases, you may not be able to launch the Office apps [of version 15.34 under High Sierra],” Microsoft said.

Apple is expected to release High Sierra to customers in September.

Microsoft’s advice about Office for Mac 2011 wasn’t unexpected, since support for the application suite is slated to end Oct. 10, a date Microsoft first stamped on the calendar two years ago, but has not widely publicized since. As of that date, the Redmond, Wash., developer will cease supplying patches for security vulnerabilities or fixes for other bugs, and halt both free and paid assisted support.

The individual applications—Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Word—will continue to operate after support ends, but companies will be taking a risk, however small, that malware exploiting an unpatched flaw will surface and compromise systems.

To receive security and non-security updates after Oct. 10, IT administrators must deploy Office for Mac 2016 or instruct workers covered by Office 365 to download and install the newer suite’s applications from the subscription service’s portal.

Office for Mac 2011’s end-of-support deadline was originally slated for January 2016, approximately five years after the productivity package’s release. But in the summer of 2015, when it was clear that 2011’s successor would not be ready by early 2016, Microsoft extended its lifespan by 21 months. At the time, Microsoft cited the long-standing policy of supporting a to-be-retired product for “2 years after the successor product is released” when it added time to 2011.

Mac users: Steerage Class

The impending cutoff for Office for Mac 2011 is an issue only because Microsoft shortchanges Office for Mac users. Unlike the Windows version of Office, which receives 10 years of security support, those that run on macOS are allotted half that. Microsoft has repeatedly classified Office for Mac as a consumer product to justify the half-measure, even for the edition labeled “Home and Business.”

Nor does Microsoft update and service Office for Mac for corporate customers as it does the far more popular Windows SKU (stock-keeping unit). The latter will be upgraded with new features, Microsoft said in April, twice each year for enterprise subscribers to Office 365 ProPlus, with each release supported for 18 months before giving way to a pair of successors.

Mac editions, however, are refreshed with new tools at irregular intervals, often long after the same feature debuts in the same Windows application. (Recently, for example, Microsoft added a delivery-and/or-read receipt option to the Mac version of Outlook; that functionality has been in Outlook on Windows since 2013.) And because there are no regular, large-scale feature upgrades to Office for Mac, support is not curtailed by the release schedule as with Windows.

The difference between Offices—the behemoth Windows on one side, the niche Mac on the other—has been put into even starker relief recently: Microsoft has adopted March and September dates for launching new upgrades to Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus and Windows Server, but made no similar promises for Office for Mac 2016.

It’s clearly the odd app out.

This story, "Microsoft tells some Mac Office users to pass on Apple's High Sierra" was originally published by Computerworld.

Source: Macworld  

Voluntary Newsletter Supporters By Donation

Kansas City


Premium Newsletter Supporter

gcs logo

Premium Newsletter Supporter

Canyon Ridge Communications

canyon ridge

Premium Newsletter Supporter

ProPage Inc.


Newsletter Supporter

Metropolitan Communications


Newsletter Supporter

e*Message Wireless Information Services Europe

Newsletter Supporter

Lekkerkerk, Netherlands

Newsletter Supporter

Incyte Capital Holdings LLC
Dallas, Texas

Premium Newsletter Supporter

Le Réseau Mobilité Plus
Montreal, Quebec


Newsletter Supporter

Communication Specialists

communication specialists

Newsletter Supporter

Cook Paging

cook paging

Premium Newsletter Supporter



Premium Newsletter Supporter

Citipage Ltd.
Edmonton, Alberta


Newsletter Supporter


Can You Help The Newsletter?

animated left arrow

You can help support The Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.

Reader Support

Newspapers generally cost 75¢ $1.50 a copy and they hardly ever mention paging or wireless messaging, unless in a negative way. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially?

A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year period. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!



Newsletter Advertising


If you are reading this, your potential customers are reading it as well. Please click here to find out about our advertising options.

Newsletter Advertising


Prism Paging

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo

pssi pssi

Product Support Services, Inc.

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

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


08.29.1707:00 AM

A woman checks her smart phone as it charges at a shelter in the George R. Brown Convention Center during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, TX.

THE DAMAGE DONE by Hurricane Harvey is, as the National Weather Service, tweeted ominously over the weekend, “unknown & beyond anything experienced.” Rain continues to fall over the water-soaked region of Southeast Texas where the category 4 hurricane made landfall Friday night. It’s a living nightmare already drawing comparisons to Hurricane Katrina.

One comparison offers a glimmer of hope amid the devastation: Communications networks have held much better. While connectivity was almost completely lost in Rockport, Texas, which was hit hardest by the storm, the Federal Communications Commission says just 4 percent of the 7,804 cell sites in Harvey’s path were wiped out, affecting 148,565 people. By contrast, more than 1,000 cell sites were knocked out during Katrina, preventing millions of calls from going through, according to a post-Katrina FCC report.

Now, Texas’s 9-1-1 system has been overloaded with calls, but “those calls are going through,” says Adm. Jamie Barnett, former chief of public safety and homeland security at the FCC. “By and large we’re hearing that the cellular networks stood up. That means there’s been some learning.”

That may come as cold comfort to the families fleeing ruined homes in boats and on floating air mattresses, but it is crucial nonetheless. As central as connectivity has become to our everyday lives, in times of disaster it is a matter of life and death. That’s particularly true of cellular service, as disaster victims use smartphones to send SMS, Twitter, and Facebook notifications about their needs and their whereabouts.

“Communications ranks up there with having fuel in the police cars,” says Trey Forgety director of government affairs at the National Emergency Number Association, 9-1-1’s official professional organization.

Disaster preparedness has become a critical component of cellular networks. Companies such as Verizon and AT&T deploy mobile cell sites on light trucks and are now experimenting with drone technology to both survey damage to their infrastructure and beam LTE service to areas that remain under flood waters. In this case, Hurricane Harvey was slow-moving enough that companies like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T had time to pre-arrange fuel delivery for their cell sites’ backup generators and ready their mobile cell units to be deployed into hard-hit areas. AT&T has deployed seven portable cell sites, two charging stations, and an emergency communications vehicle to the affected areas.

Texas’s 9-1-1 system has also progressed since the days of Katrina, Forgety says. Shortly after that hurricane, state and local governments began assembling lists of qualified telecommunications workers called Telecommunicator Emergency Response Teams who can fill in for 9-1-1 dispatchers1. “When all the people who work in your call center have houses that are flooded, they’re in trouble themselves,” says Forgety. “These are trained go-teams of people that can go into the affected area and start handling calls for the folks who normally would do that.”

These systems are not perfect, of course. During the height of Hurricane Harvey, some callers could not reach 9-1-1, either because of endless hold times or busy signals. That’s partly due to the fact that the United States has a balkanized emergency response system, based on legacy wired phone networks that can only direct calls from one physical location to a single call center. To offload excess call capacity to another call center—as is common practice in parts of Europe—would require rewiring the system, and lots of money. Even if there were a way to handle the immense call volume, there would still be a shortage of first responders.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to respond to really millions of people who are in distress or danger right at the same minute,” says Barnett.

For all of their investments in hardening their cellular networks, mobile carriers have opposed efforts to modernize other parts of the emergency-response system. As Recode noted, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile have lobbied against efforts by the FCC to change text-based emergency alert systems, so they could provide more useful information to more targeted segments of the population.

Other promising innovations also face roadblocks. Mesh networks, for example, are decentralized networks that enable one device to communicate with another nearby device, which communicates to a third device, creating a daisy chain of connectivity that, in theory, could provide an entire region or neighborhood with cell signal. Do-gooder hackers set up such mesh networks in places like Red Hook, Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy. But in order for mesh networks to functions as widespread substitutes for failed cellular infrastructure, smartphone manufacturers would need to embed that capability into their phones, which they have, so far, been unwilling to do.

“They see it as a feature that’d only be used once in awhile and is not a big money maker,” says Jeff Robble, a senior software systems engineer at Mitre, a research and development non-profit, which designed its own mesh network called SPAN in 2011. That network required users to purchase a specific Android device and download a new operating system—not exactly the kind of easy-to-use tool that an elderly person trapped in a Houston home would turn to for help.

The pace of progress has not been quick enough to help all of the people of Southeast Texas now. But once the flood waters recede, there will no doubt be lots to learn from Hurricane Harvey—like Katrina before it—that could help even more people in the future.

1Correction: 9:58 AM ET 08/30/2017 An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that FEMA organizes the Telecommunicator Emergency Response Teams.

Source: Wired  

RF Demand Solutions

Codan Paging Transmitters

  • The smart choice for Critical Messaging
  • Proven performance in extreme conditions
  • Trusted by the World's largest mission critical security, military, & humanitarian agencies

Flexible Modern Design:

  • Analog & Digital
  • VHF, UHF & 900 MHz
  • WB, NB, & Splinter Operation
  • Multiple Frequencies & Protocols
  • High Power Output Configuration available
  • Integrates with Motorola & Glenayre Simulcast
  • Compatible with most popular Controllers


Time to Upgrade?

 Thousands In Use...

  • Utility Load Demand
  • Healthcare
  • Enterprise

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 1, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 172

Local Telecoms Working 24/7 on Harvey Restoration Efforts

Several USTelecom members have operations in and around the areas that have been impacted by Harvey, and their employees are working 24/7 in emergency operations centers to keep networks up and running, as well as restore service in areas around Houston that have been flooded. While Inside Towers has been keeping readers up-to-date with the restoration efforts of the larger carriers, USTelecom shines a light on what some of its other members are doing in a blog post.

Consolidated Communications activated its Emergency Operations Center, equipping its fleet with extra fuel, ensuring backup generators are working and placing extra emergency supplies in key areas, so employees can focus on keeping the network operational.

Orlando-based Smart City Telecom, which provides internet services in convention centers, amusement parks and hotels, flew staff to Texas to help relieve local employees and keep its WiFi and voice networks operational for storm victims who’ve taken refuge at the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Stadium in Houston.

CenturyLink, which provides service in several areas hit hard by the storm, including Port Aransas, told USTelecom, it has had some customers lose service. It is providing free emergency call forwarding for customers impacted by the storm, which will allow consumers and businesses to forward their calls to a different number for the next month.

Houston seen via drone. Photo courtesy FAA

Several other Texas-based members, including Big Bend Telephone, GVTC Communications and Southwest Texas Telephone, have not had service interrupted by the storm. “We are doing all we can for our industry family affected by this mess,” stated Big Bend Telephone GM Rusty Moore.

Texas-based providers are offering to help other companies in the impacted areas, sending staff to help restore service or offering their networks to help responders trying to help Texans get back on their feet. “Thankfully, we were not affected by the storm. We send our best wishes to others in our industry who, unfortunately, were not so lucky. Together, we are Texas strong,” stated Rosa Cerda, Commercial Manager of Southwest Texas Telephone Company.

Less Than 4% of Harvey-Hit Tower Sites Inoperable

Percent Cell Sites Out-of-Service By County

8/31/2017 11:06:46 AM

This image shows the percentage of cel sites that were out of service by county as of Thursday morning. Source: FCC

As remnants of Harvey continue to affect eastern Texas and southwest Louisiana, the number of inoperable cell tower sites continues to drop. Of the 55 counties in both states impacted by the storm, 3.8 percent were out of service on mid-morning Thursday, compared to 4.2 percent on Wednesday. The figures come from the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS). There are no Texas counties with greater than 40 percent of cell sites out of service and all sites are operating in Louisiana. Of the total 7,804 sites, 295 were out of service.

FEMA asked the Commission to extend the data collection to nine additional counties in Texas, for a total of 64 counties, for this morning’s report.

Seven emergency call centers remained down, the same as Wednesday, however all those calls are being re-routed, according to the FCC. Nine radio stations were reported off the air Thursday, up from five the day before. Two TV stations are off the air, compared to three on Wednesday.

AT&T and Verizon continue to use drones to speed their assessment of towers in the impacted areas. AT&T increased the number of drones deployed in south Texas to 46 on Thursday (up from 26 on Wednesday); It has an additional 58 on standby, spokesman Jeffrey Kobs told Inside Towers.

Verizon, meanwhile, named three non-profit agencies it previously committed $10 million towards to fund Harvey relief efforts in South Texas. The carrier partnered with local and state government officials to identify non-profit agencies to support that are working on-the-ground on both immediate and long-term needs. They are: The Greater Houston Community Foundation-Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund for Houston, the One Star Foundation and Salvation Army Southern Territory.

Sprint extended the date, to September 8, for waiving casual call and text overage fees for Sprint, Boost and Virgin Mobile customers in Texas and Louisiana impacted by Harvey; it’s also waiving data overage fees for those customers who are not on unlimited plans during the timeframe.

Sprint, SoftBank Commit $2.5 Million in Harvey Relief Efforts

Sprint, its employees and SoftBank committed at least $2.5 million to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The commitment will benefit Sprint employees in the impacted area, as well as the American Red Cross and other community relief organizations, according to the announcement. In response to the outpouring of support from employees across the country ready to help hundreds of Sprint team members impacted by the storm, the carrier’s employees set up a GoFundMe campaign. It will fund recovery and restoration efforts for those employees left struggling in Harvey’s wake. “The impact of Hurricane Harvey has been devastating for South Texas and the Gulf Coast, and we know the road to recovery will be long and difficult,” stated Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “So, we’re stepping up to contribute at least $2.5 million to the Harvey relief efforts, and will continue to focus on the safety of our employees, keeping our customers connected, and supporting the entire impacted region.” Read more about Sprint’s Harvey relief efforts here.

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. 36 August 30, 2017 

REMINDER: DIRS Activated for Hurricane Harvey; Reports Sought From Louisiana, Texas

The FCC requests that communications providers that provide service to any areas listed below expeditiously submit and update information through the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power:

Louisiana: Acadia, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion

Texas: Aransas, Atascosa, Bee, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Duval, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Live Oak, Matagorda, McMullen, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton, Willacy, Wilson

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.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.


Year End Reminder: Ownership Changes and Internal Restructuring May Require FCC Approval

We want to remind our clients that many types of reorganizations, estate planning and tax savings activities and other transactions require prior FCC approval; and given the frequent need to implement such transactions by the end of the year, companies engaging in such transactions should immediately determine whether they must file an application for FCC approval, and obtain a grant, before closing on a year-end deal. Transactions that likely require prior FCC approval include (but are not limited to):

  • The distribution of stock to family members in connection with estate planning, tax and other business activities, if there are changes to control levels discussed below;
  • Any sale of a company that holds one or more FCC licenses;
  • Any sale, transfer or lease of an FCC license;
  • A change in the form of organization from a corporation to an LLC, or vice versa, even though such changes are not regarded as a change in entity under state law.
  • Any transfer of stock that results in a shareholder attaining a 50% or greater ownership level, or a shareholder dropping below a 50% or greater ownership level;
  • Any transfers of stock, partnership or LLC interests that would have a cumulative effect on 50% or more of the ownership, even if done as a series of smaller sales or distributions;
  • The creation of a holding company or trust to hold the stock of an FCC license holder;
  • The creation of new classes of stockholders that affect the control structure of an FCC license holder;
  • Certain minority ownership changes (e.g., transfer of a minority stock interest, giving the recipient extraordinary voting rights or powers through officer or board positions);
  • The filing of a bankruptcy petition, appointment of a receiver or similar development;
  • A transfer of a company holding FCC equipment type certification authorizations (e.g., an equipment manufacturer) or FCC tower registrations may trigger required filings, although often after the fact.

Fortunately, transactions involving many types of licenses can often be approved on an expedited basis. But this is not always the case, especially if bidding credits and/or commercial wireless spectrum licenses are involved. Also, in some instances, Section 214 authority may be required, especially in the case of wireline and other telephony services. Clients planning year-end transactions should contact us as soon as possible to determine if FCC approval is needed.

BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

Comment Sought on 700 MHz Relicensing Process

On August 28, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on proposed approaches to the relicensing process for 700 MHz Lower A, B, and E Block, and Upper C Block spectrum that is returned to the FCC’s inventory as a result of licensees’ failure to meet applicable construction requirements. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.

Under the 700 MHz rules adopted in 2007, if a licensee fails to meet its end-of-term construction deadline, its authorization to operate will terminate automatically without Commission action for those geographic areas of its license authorization in which the licensee is not providing service on the date of the end-of-term deadline, and those areas will become available for reassignment by the Commission. In the Public Notice, the FCC seeks comment on a process to demonstrate served/unserved areas for 700 MHz spectrum holders, as well as a process to relicense unserved spectrum.

To determine served/unserved areas, licensees would demonstrate the “served” area of the license by filing a shapefile showing a smooth enclosed 40 dBμV/m field strength contour (Smooth Contour) of existing facilities as of the end-of-term deadline, or, if the 40 dBμV/m Smooth Contour would result in a reduced licensed area that is at least 25 percent smaller than the licensee’s actual service area, the licensee could demonstrate the
service area using a lower dBμV/m field strength smooth contour (Alternative Smooth Contour). An issue that deserves focus is whether the FCC’s relicensing approach will provide an adequate interference protection “buffer zone” around the areas that the licensee actually serves. If every bit of territory not served by a reliable signal is reclaimed, then the new licensee for the reclaimed area may be entitled to interference protection under the existing rules such that the incumbent may have to reduce its coverage along the boundary between the two.

To relicense the spectrum, the FCC proposes a two-phase process. 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.

Comments on Form 477 Revisions are Due September 25

On August 24, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on revising FCC Form 477. Accordingly, comments are due September 25, and reply comments are due October 10.

The purpose of this NPRM is to improve the value of the data Form 477 collects, while also identifying and eliminating unnecessary or overly burdensome filing requirements.

Proposals regarding mobile services include:

  • Making certain collected data that are currently treated as confidential public, such as minimum advertised or expected speed data and any detailed propagation model parameters that are submitted in the Form 477 filings;
  • requiring some “on-the-ground” data as part of any Form 477 data collection, such as actual speed test data from Ookla;
  • requiring separate reporting of 5G mobile broadband deployment;
  • eliminating the requirement that mobile broadband providers submit their broadband deployment data by spectrum band;
  • eliminating or modify the requirement that mobile broadband providers report coverage information for each technology deployed in their networks;
  • collecting subscribership data at the census-tract level; and
  • eliminating the requirement to submit mobile broadband service availability data.

Proposals regarding fixed services include:

  • Releasing disaggregated subscriber data after a certain period of time has passed;
  • eliminating the separate reporting of available contractual or guaranteed data throughput rates for business/enterprise/government services, while maintaining separate indicators for mass
    market/consumer service and/or business/enterprise/government deployment;
    • requiring filers to report the maximum bandwidths of business service offered in a given census block
    and indicate whether the service is best efforts and/or contractually guaranteed;
    • requiring fixed broadband providers to indicate whether total customers served on a particular technology could be increased in each census block listed when they report deployment data;
  • giving fixed-broadband providers the option of reporting their deployment data by filing geospatial data showing coverage areas (i.e., polygons of coverage filed via shapefiles or rasters) as providers of mobile broadband and voice service currently are required to do – instead of reporting a list of census blocks; and • collecting data at a sub-census-block level.

Finally, the FCC is also seeking comment on whether to shift to an annual collection for all filers, for certain filers (such as smaller filers), or for certain parts of the form. Currently, the filing requirement is bi-annual in March and September.

Carriers interested in filing comments on the proposed Form 477 revisions should contact the firm for more information.

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

Comment Sought on Status of Competition in Video Programming Market

On August 24, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment for the Commission’s Nineteenth Report on the Status of Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming (19th Report). Comments are due on October 10, and reply comments are due November 9.

Specifically, the FCC is seeking data, information, and comment on the similarities and differences between the delivered video services offered by MVPDs, online video distributors (OVDs), and broadcast stations. This includes important operating and financial statistics, consumer access to MVPDs, OVDs, and broadcast stations, and upstream and downstream relationships of these groups of video providers.

The FCC is also seeking data on competition within groups of video providers. For MVPDs, the FCC asks whether there are significant differences in the number and types of MVPDs between rural and urban areas, and to what extent MVPD customers also use OTA broadcast signals or OVD services to view video content, among other things. For OVDs, the FCC seeks data on the number of subscribers or viewers, the number of linear channels, the amount of OVD programming available, and the types of programming offered to consumers. For broadcast television, the FCC seeks data on the number of households that use OTA broadcast television service; how many households view broadcast programming over the air exclusively, and how many households receive such programming over the air on some televisions not connected to an MVPD service, among other things.

The FCC especially seeks data on competition across groups of video providers. This includes data on consumer views of MVPD, OVD, and broadcast television station services; particularly which consumers view these groups as alternatives and which consumers view these groups as supplements. The FCC also seeks data regarding the significant similarities and differences that currently exist between the three groups.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

FCC Seeks Comment on Changes to Form 601 to Implement Cellular Rule Changes

The FCC is requesting comment on proposed changes to the FCC Form 601 application which are designed to implement changes to reporting and record keeping requirements in its Part 22 cellular rules. Comments are due September 18, 2017.

The information collected by the FCC on FCC Form 601 is used to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not to grant licenses authorizing construction and operation of wireless telecommunications facilities to common carriers. Additionally, the FCC may use this information to develop statistics about the demand for various wireless licenses and/or the licensing process itself, and occasionally for rule enforcement purposes. Over the past few years, the FCC has revised or eliminated certain cellular licensing rules and modernized outdated technical rules. In addition to those rule revisions that did not affect the FCC’s information collection under FCC Form 601, the FCC revised the Cellular radiated power rules, giving licensees the option to comply with effective radiated power limits based on power spectral density (PSD), and giving licensees the additional option to operate at PSD limits above a specified threshold (Higher PSD Limits) so long as certain conditions are met. One of these conditions is a requirement that the applicant provide advanced written notification to public safety entities within a specified radius of the proposed cell sites to be deployed at the Higher PSD Limits. The FCC stated that this third-party disclosure requirement was an important component of its approach to protect public safety entities from the increased potential for unacceptable or harmful interference to their communications. The FCC also eliminated the requirement for licensees to make filings for certain changes to cell sites. In addition, the FCC deleted the Part 22 Cellular comparative hearing/license renewal rules, resulting in discontinued information collections for the following rule sections: 22.935, 22.936, 22.939, and 22.940.

On November 7, 2014, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reform its rules governing the 800 MHz Cellular Radiotelephone (Cellular) Service. A second Report and Order was released on March 24, 2017, which revised certain technical and licensing rules applicable to the Cellular Service. Additionally, the FCC made other technical changes which did not affect the information collection requirements of the Form 601 application. Its current effort to reform the 601 is based on the changes made in
those orders.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

DC Circuit Requires FCC to Give Dish DEs Another Chance at $3.3B in Bid Credits

The DC Circuit has issued a ruling that would appear to give two Dish Network-controlled DEs another chance at securing the $3.3 billion in bidding credits that the companies lost when the FCC denied their request for small business status in the AWS-3 auction.

The companies, SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC and Northstar Wireless LLC, were “startups” that borrowed billions of dollars from DISH Network Corporation and its subsidiaries to bid in the 2014 mobile spectrum auction. The companies had combined winning bids totaling $13.3 billion for hundreds of AWS-3 band licenses. With 25% small business bidding credits, total net winning bids for the DISH DEs was just under $10B — a $3.3B discount.

However, the FCC denied the companies' requests to use bidding credits, finding that extensive management contracts and financial pressure meant SNR and Northstar were not simply partners with DISH, but were under DISH’s control. As a result, DISH’s $13 billion in annual revenues were joined to be attributable to petitioners, making them ineligible for bidding credits.

After the FCC denied their application to use bidding credits, the DISH DEs informed the FCC that they could not afford to pay for all of the licenses they won. They bought some of the licenses at full price and relinquished the rest to the FCC. The FCC fined the companies hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to comply with the auction terms that required all bidders to purchase the licenses they won. A court appeal followed. Arguments in the case were heard last September.

Yesterday's appellate ruling found that the FCC reasonably determined that DISH exercised de facto control over SNR and Northstar’s businesses, that DISH had contractual rights to manage almost all of the essential elements of the businesses, and that the DEs faced enormous financial pressure to sell their companies to DISH after five years. In addition, petitioners’ auction bids suggested they were both functioning as arms of DISH, rather than as independent small companies each pursuing their own, independent interests. In all, the
FCC reasonably concluded that DISH held a disqualifying degree of control over the DEs.

However, the court also found that the FCC's remedy — allowing the companies to pay full price for their winning bids — was lacking because the Commission's auction precedent did not provide the DISH DEs with adequate notice that they would not have an opportunity to try and cure any identified control problems.

We have not yet had time to review the fine print of the DC Circuit's decision, but the ruling found that a 2001 case decided by the Commission had granted a different company in similar circumstances the opportunity to seek a negotiated cure with respect to the merits of their de facto control issue. Because the FCC did not give clear notice that such an opportunity would be denied to applicants for the AWS-3 auction, the court has remanded the case to the FCC and ordered the Commission to give the DISH DEs an opportunity to renegotiate their agreements with DISH.

We have not yet seen any statement from the FCC about the case as of our newsletter deadline. It may be impossible for the companies to cure all of the deficiencies in their complex web of agreements with DISH. However, a remand will at least allow the DISH DEs an opportunity to renegotiate the terms of their sizeable (in excess of $500m) forfeiture.

BloostonLaw contacts: Cary Mitchell, John Prendergast

Law & Regulation

FCC Waives Numbering Rules for Carriers Affected by Hurricane Harvey

On August 29, the FCC issued an Order in which it temporarily waived its numbering rules to allow carriers in the states of Texas and Louisiana, and the numbering administrators that support them, to port telephone numbers geographically outside of rate centers during this period of service disruption.

According to the Order, the FCC’s numbering rules require certain types of carriers to offer local number portability (“LNP”), but do not extend to location or service portability. However, due to the substantial damage to telecommunications systems caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and the expected impact in Louisiana, carriers may need to port numbers to destinations outside the affected rate centers. Therefore, the FCC has chosen to waive, on its own motion, the FCC’s local number portability and number assignment rules to the
extent necessary to permit carriers to port customers’ numbers to remote locations, on a temporary basis. This waiver applies to carriers to the extent that they provide service in the states of Texas and Louisiana, or to carriers assisting affected carriers in their efforts to continue or restore service. This waiver also applies to the numbering administrators, to the extent necessary to support carriers in the affected areas.

The waiver is in effect retroactively beginning August 28, 2017, for ninety days, until November 26, 2017. If carriers are unable to resume service on a normal basis in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey after this time period has elapsed, they should request additional relief from the Wireline Competition Bureau.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Mary Sisak.

REMINDER: Comments on CAF Phase II Public Notice Due September 18

On August 4, the FCC issued a Public Notice in which it proposes and seeks comment on. Comments on the FCC’s Public Notice seeking comment on a number of procedures to be used in the upcoming Connect America Phase II auction are due September 18, and reply comments are due October 18.

Procedures discussed in the Public Notice include (i) how an applicant can become qualified to participate in the auction, (ii) how bidders will submit bids, and (iii) how bids will be processed to determine winners and assign support amounts. The FCC also proposes procedures for, among other things, aggregating eligible areas into larger geographic units for bidding, setting reserve prices, and making auction information available to bidders and the public.

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

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

Rep. Bill Johnson Calls for Improving Internet Access in Rural America

On August 27, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) wrote an op-ed piece for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel to call for improving internet access in his Ohio district and across rural America. In his article, Rep. Johnson noted that he is “leading the charge for a further rollout of broadband internet access in rural areas.” He also notes that the Energy and Commerce Committee, of which he is a member, “is currently considering legislation to streamline federal permitting processes, create common contracts for siting wireless facilities on federal properties, and create an inventory of federal assets.”

“As we prepare for the economy of the future, rural broadband must be an integral component,” wrote Rep. Johnson. “It’s time we work together — at the federal, state, and local levels — to ensure: our children have the technology and tools they need at home to further their education; businesses have the high-speed internet connectivity they need to effectively compete, succeed, create jobs, and provide opportunities for the hardworking people that like here; patients have access to telemedicine; and, we all have the ability to take advantage of “being connected.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.


FCC Releases International Circuit Capacity Report

On August 29, the FCC released the 2015 U.S. International Circuit Capacity Report. The report presents circuit capacity data submitted by U.S. facilities-based common carriers, non-common carrier satellite operators, cable landing licensees, and U.S. international carriers that owned or leased capacity on a submarine cable between the United States and any foreign point, as of December 31, 2015.

The report shows that the total available capacity of U.S. international cables grew in 2015 to approximately 120,000 gigabit per second (Gbps) circuits, up from 91,000 Gbps circuits in 2014. Submarine cable capacity grew 35 percent per year from 2007 to 2015 and, based on data submitted for this report, is projected to grow 17 percent per year from year-end 2015 to year-end 2017.

Highlights from the 2015 U.S. International Circuit Capacity Report include:

  • Among the three regions into which the Commission traditionally groups submarine cables (the Americas, Atlantic, and Pacific regions), the Atlantic region accounted for 40% of total available capacity, the Pacific region had 37%, and the Americas region had more than 23%.
  • Over 87% of global capacity on U.S. international cables was activated. The non-activated capacity varied among regions with the Americas region reporting 18%, the Pacific region reporting 17%, and the Atlantic region reporting 3%.
  • The top eight foreign landing points (in descending order) for U.S. international submarine cables were Colombia (9 landing points), Japan and the United Kingdom (7 landing points each), Panama (6 landing points), Brazil and Venezuela (5 landing points each), and Australia and Mexico (4 landing points each).
  • The report is available at


SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Three types of entities must file this form. (1) Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections — which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction — must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, MMDS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services (e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.) (2) Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs). (3) Providers of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service: Interconnected VoIP service is a service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications; requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; requires Internet-protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network. Interconnected VoIP providers must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide interconnected VoIP service to one or more subscribers, with the state determined for reporting purposes by the location of the subscriber’s broadband connection or the subscriber’s “Registered Location” as of the data-collection date. “Registered Location” is the most recent information obtained by an interconnected VoIP service provider that identifies the physical location of an end user. (4) Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

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

Aug. 30 – Reply comments are due on Broadband Title I Reclassification NPRM.

Sep. 1 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
Sep. 7 – Comments are due on Section 706 NOI.
Sep. 11 – Comments are due on RoR Overlap Map.
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. 3 – Comments are due on Mid-Band Spectrum NOI.
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. 9 – Reply comments are due on the Competition in Video Programming Report.
Nov. 13 – Deadline for EAS test participants to file ETRS Form Three.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 18, No. 8 August 2017 

FCC Response to Hurricane Harvey

With the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Harvey in the State of Texas and along the Gulf Coast, the FCC has taken a variety of regulatory actions:

  • Implementation of the Disaster Information Re-porting System. Reporting is voluntary for wire-less, wireline, broadcast, cable and VoIP providers to report communications infrastructure status and situation awareness information during times of crisis. The FCC requests that daily re-ports be provided by 10:00 AM each day until the system is deactivated. NOTE: Clients that do not participate in DIRS may be under a Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) reporting ob-ligation due to storm-related outages.
  • Announced special procedures to assist licensees and service providers with maintaining or resuming operations. Emergency requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA) that are prompted by the effects of Hurricane Harvey may be submitted to the FCC by informal letter, email or, if necessary, telephone.

Clients that have experienced a disruption to their radio facilities should contact our office for assistance in obtaining emergency STA so that you can resume operations, and to determine if outage re-porting requirements apply. Emergency STA will allow the operation of radio facilities that differ from the parameters specified on your license.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Adopts New Rules for License Renewals and Construction Requirements

Earlier this month, the FCC issued its long awaited order adopting new rules which define (a) the requirements for renewal of wireless licenses and (b) when a station is deemed to have permanently discontinued operation. The FCC’s rules concerning license renewal and discontinuance of operation will become effective following approval of the FCC’s information collection requirements by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Once OMB approval is received, the FCC will publish a notice in the Federal Register which announces the effective date of these rules.

Discontinuance of Operation

The FCC’s rules concerning permanent discontinuances of operation remain largely unchanged for private internal radio operations. For site-based licenses (which are the vast majority of the licenses held by our clients), a licensed facility will be deemed to have permanently dis-continued operation if it has not operated a transmitter for a period of 365 consecutive days. For those of our clients who operate under geographic area licenses (e.g., auction licenses), the time period is 180 days. It is important to note that the operation of a “Channel Keeper” (devices which only transmit test signals, tones, color bars or some combination) do not constitute station operation and will therefore not stop a discontinuance of operation clock. Instead, the FCC expects bona fide operation of radio facilities featuring the sending of actual communications.

For those of our clients who provide commercial service, such as SMR, private carrier paging or other for profit services, the standard is more stringent. In order to be considered operational, you must be providing commercial service to at least one unaffiliated subscriber. Thus, the FCC could conclude that your commercial station had permanently discontinued operation if you had no customers even though the station was fully operational and you were ready, willing and able to provide service if requested. Any for profit licensee, and anyone holding a license classified as “CMRS” must be ready to meet this additional requirement. If despite a CMRS status the company only uses its station for private, internal communications, it may be advisable to convert to “PMRS” status so that the customer requirement (and other common carrier reporting requirements) do not apply to the station. We can assist clients with this process.

License Renewal

As discussed in last month’s article, the FCC has adopt-ed a license renewal standard which is purportedly designed to ensure standardized review of license applications without placing an undue burden on licensees. As a result, the FCC has created different safe harbors for site-based and geographic area licensees which will re-quire certifications regarding license operations over the prior license term:

Site Based

  • Licensee must certify that it is continuing to operate consistent with its most recently filed construction notification (or most recent license authorization if a construction notification was not filed); and
  • Licensee must certify that no permanent discontinuance of service occurred during the license term

Geographic Area (Private Systems)

  • For a licensee in its initial term with an interim performance requirement, the applicant must certify, as follows:
    • It has met its interim construction performance requirement and that over the portion of the license term following the interim construction performance requirement, it continued to use its facilities to further its private internal communications needs or public safety needs; and
    • It has met its final construction performance requirement and continues to use its facilities to provide the minimum level of operation re-quired by its final construction performance requirement through the end of the license term.
  • For a licensee in any subsequent license term, the licensee must certify as follows:
    • It continues to use its facilities to further its private business or public safety needs at or above the level required to meet its final construction performance requirement and
    • No permanent discontinuance of operation occurred during the license term.

    Regulatory Compliance Certification

In addition to certifications concerning the physical operation of the license to be renewed, the FCC is also re-quiring all license renewal applicants to certify that it has “substantially” complied with all applicable FCC rules, policies and the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Importantly, the FCC dropped its proposal to require each renewal applicant to report every violation or fine it has ever received, which BloostonLaw objected to as onerous.

    What Happens if I Cannot Make a Certification?

The FCC will require a demonstration of compliance, if a licensee cannot make an appropriate safe-harbor showing or the regulatory compliance showing. Any client who is unable to make the appropriate showing should contact our office as soon as possible so that we can work with you to develop the necessary information. In this regard, the FCC’s staff has informally indicated that special showings should be the exception to the rule, and that most license renewal applications should be covered by safe-harbor certifications.

    Keep Your Licenses Up-to-Date

Because the FCC is focused on the construction status of licensed facilities, it will become even more important for you to notify us when you have removed a licensed radio facility from operation. This is because these facilities need to be removed from your license so that you can make accurate certifications at the time of license renewal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Opens Notice of Inquiry Regarding 900 MHz Band

The FCC has opened a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) to examine whether there should be any rule changes in order to increase access to spectrum, improve spectrum efficiency, and expand flexibility in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band (“900 MHz band”) for next generation technologies and services. Comments are due September 18, 2017 and Reply Comments are due October 18, 2017.

The 900 MHz band was designated in 1986 for narrow-band private land mobile radio (“PLMR”) communications by Business/Industrial/Land Transportation (“B/ILT”) licensees and Specialized Mobile Radio (“SMR”) providers. Since its creation in 1986, there have been few changes to the technical and operating rules associated with the 900 MHz band. Consistent with the FCC’s re-cent efforts to promote flexibility, efficiency, and access in the use of spectrum, the FCC is seeking comment regarding whether it should modify the operational rules and band configuration for the 900 MHz band, in light of continuing evolutions in technology and the marketplace.

The 900 MHz band contains 399 narrowband frequency pairs that are grouped into 10-channel blocks which alternate between the SMR blocks and the channel blocks which are licensed to site-based B/ILT users. The FCC’s license database reflects that approximately 500 B/ILT 900 MHz users hold licenses for 2,700 sites that have not been converted to SMR use. Of these, the greatest use is along the coastal Northeast, the Carolinas, the greater Atlanta area, Florida, the Gulf Coast, Texas, California and coastal Washington State. In response to re-cent proposals, B/ILT entities have indicated that their need for narrowband spectrum will continue – both for voice and data applications.

The FCC has various proposals before it.

    • EWA/PDV have proposed that a single licensee in each MTA be assigned the Private Enterprise Broadband (“PEBB”) license for a broadband 900 MHz segment, while a narrowband segment would continue to be used for site-based B/ILT and MTA SMR narrowband operations. Under this proposal, current B/ILT and SMR licensees below 898/937 MHz would retain their existing channel assignments. For those licensees above 898/937 MHz, the PEBB licensee would be required to fund the relocation of current B/ILT and SMR licensees.
    • M2M Petition – M2M requests that the FCC amend its rules to permit SMR systems on the 900 MHz B/ILT channels, provided that the end users are B/ILT eligible. This proposal was universally opposed due to a concern that it would deplete the availability of spectrum for traditional B/ILT users, and limit their ability to expand capacity or coverage for their private internal systems.

Among various subjects, the FCC is seeking broad comment on whether it should change its existing regulatory structure for the 900 MHz band. The FCC is asking that commenters address factors that would affect its public interest determination, including: (a) whether any changes to improve the technical and operational flexibility and efficiency of the 900 MHz band are appropriate; (b) 900 MHz band users’ current and future needs; (c) 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 (d) the financial and non-financial impacts of any changes on existing users’ operations. The FCC is encouraging affected entities to provide up-to-date information, including economic data, to supplement the overview of the needs of various groups of B/ILT 900 MHz band users. Additionally, the FCC is seeking comment on how to ensure that the 900 MHz band is put to its “best and highest” use. In this regard, the FCC is urging commenters to discuss current and future needs for both narrowband and broadband communications within the 900 MHz band. Comments are due September 18, 2017 and Reply Comments are due October 18, 2017.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Verizon Announces FirstNet Alternative

In response to the award of the FirstNet contract to AT&T, Verizon Wireless has announced that it will build and operate its own 4G LTE private network that is dedicated to public safety communications. The network core will operate separately from Verizon’s commercial core and provide first responders with access to the Company’s 4G LTE system.

Like FirstNet, Verizon’s public safety system will purportedly provide first responders with priority access and preemption services when necessary, at no additional charge. Additional features will include Push-to-Talk Plus (PTT Plus).

In creating this system, Verizon’s John Stratton, Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations stated: “We stand with the public safety officials that keep our cities, communities and neighborhoods safe." Mr. Stratton continued, "Support for public safety is in our company's DNA and our commitment to them never waivers.”

Verizon stated that its “public safety network solution does not require that states opt-out of FirstNet, does not require access to any federal funding provided to First-Net, and does not require any financial commitment from states to support network deployment. The creation of this dedicated public safety network core will be fully funded by Verizon. We will also make available multi-band devices that will provide access to Band 14 spectrum and enable full interoperability with any Band 14 radio access networks (RANs) deployed by FirstNet.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory Regarding Improper Use of Aviation Emergency Frequency

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, together with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has investigated in-stances of misuse of, and harmful interference to the frequency 121.500 MHz. This frequency is set aside for aviation emergency and distress communications and is regulated by the FCC with the cooperation of the FAA. This channel is continuously monitored by the FAA for distress calls in order to protect life and property. The FAA has reported that its ability to monitor aviation channel 121.500 MHz for actual emergencies has been impaired by an increase in the use of 121.500 MHz for non-emergency communications. The Enforcement Bureau has announced that it will (a) aggressively enforce its rules concerning aircraft radio operations and (b) investigate any reported violations by the FCC since ensuring the integrity of safety and distress frequencies is vital to safeguarding lives and property.

All aircraft operating within the United States are authorized to operate VHF aviation radios, radar, and emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) without having to obtain individual licenses from the FCC, while aircraft operating internationally must hold a license issued by the FCC. In both cases, pilots must follow the FCC’s operating procedures set forth under Part 87 of the FCC’s rules. In particular, the FCC’s Rules state that the frequency 121.500 MHz may only be used for emergency and dis-tress purposes. This frequency is continually monitored, and any distress call is treated as an emergency and immediately investigated. Unfortunately, prohibited communications such as false distress or emergency messages, superfluous communications, messages containing profane words, general calls, routine messages, radio tests, etc. can distract FAA personnel who are monitoring the channel for actual emergencies. As a result, a true emergency call could be missed.

The FCC has made clear that it will treat misuse of the frequency 121.500 MHz as a violation “of the most critical nature” and that it will aggressively enforce violations of its aviation radio communications rules. Penalties will likely include substantial fines (up to $19,246 per violation and up to $144,344 for continuing violations), as well as radio equipment seizure and criminal prosecution. If misuse of the frequency 121.500 MHz were to lead to death or critical injury, it is possible that there could be criminal prosecution for that as well.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Remotes Unlimited Inc. Enters into $30K Consent Decree

Remotes Unlimited Inc. (“RUI”) has entered into a consent decree for marketing radio frequency devices that did not comply with the Commission’s equipment authorization requirements. The FCC’s regulations are designed to ensure that RF devices do not cause harmful interference once the devices are marketed to the public.

RUI sells remote control transmitters for both factory key-less entry (“RKE”) and aftermarket car alarm systems. RUI apparently marketed marketing several RKE devices over the course of more than a year in violation of the Commission’s equipment authorization and equipment marketing rules. Under the Commission’s rules, these RKE devices are intentional radiators and must comply with the Commission’s equipment authorization procedures and technical rules. During the course of its investigation, the FCC determined that RUI had knowingly marketed various RKE models without the proper equipment authorization. The FCC noted that RUI had re-solved all matters relating to its noncompliance with the Commission’s equipment authorization and marketing rules prior to receipt of an inquiry from the FCC. Further, the Commission stated that it had not received any reports that the RUI devices RUI were non-compliant with the applicable technical requirements.

As a result of this investigation, RUI has not admitted any guilt and is required to make a $30,000 “voluntary contribution” to the US Treasury. Additionally, RUI will be re-quired to develop a compliance program and be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements to the FCC for a period of three years.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Comments Due October 3 for Mid-Band Spectrum NOI

On August 4, the FCC released the text of its Notice of Inquiry on mid-band spectrum uses. Comments are due October 3, and reply comments are due November 1.

In the NOI, the FCC seeks input on potential opportunities for additional flexible access—particularly for wireless broadband services—in spectrum bands between 3.7 and 24 GHz (mid-band spectrum). In particular, the FCC seeks detailed comment on three specific bands: 3.7-4.2 GHz; 5.925-6.425 GHz; and 6.425-7.125 GHz.

According to the NOI, these three bands have already garnered interest from industry stakeholders—both domestically and internationally—for expanded flexible broadband use. As such, the FCC believes that these three bands represent an appropriate starting point for our inquiry into expanding access to mid-band spectrum.

The FCC also asks commenters to identify other bands, allocated for exclusive non-federal use or shared federal and non-federal use, that might be suitable candidates for expanded flexible wireless broadband use so that the FCC can understand any other interest in these mid-band frequencies and make more informed proposals to explore such bands in future proceedings, if appropriate.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell

FCC to Hold 911 Outage Situational Awareness Workshop

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced that will host a public workshop on September 11 to discuss best practices for improving situational awareness during 911 outages. Topics addressed in the workshop will include how to strengthen Public Safety Answering Point 911 service outage notifications and how to best communicate with consumers about alternative methods of accessing emergency services.

Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC’s webpage at

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Senate Confirms Rosenworcel and Carr to the FCC

On August 3, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued a statement on the bipartisan nominations package that passed that night by unanimous consent, filling key administration positions appointed by President Donald Trump. Among the confirmed were Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr, to be members of the FCC. Mr. Carr’s term will expire on June 30, 2018 because he is filling an existing term.

“I congratulate Brendan and Jessica on their confirmations,” said Chairman Ajit Pai. “As I know from working with each of them for years, they have distinguished records of public service and will be valuable assets to the FCC in the years to come. Their experience at the FCC makes them particularly well-suited to hit the ground running. I’m pleased that the FCC will once again be at full strength and look forward to collaborating to close the digital divide, promote innovation, protect consumers, and improve the agency’s operations.”

“I congratulate Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr on being confirmed by the Senate to serve as Commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission,” said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. “I am confident that both Jessica and Brendan will carry on the Commission’s important work when it comes to closing the digital divide, promoting competition and defending the public interest.”

“I appreciate the U.S. Senate approving the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr, both of whom I know well, for seats at the Commission,” said Commissioner Michael O’Rielly. “I look forward to my ‘new’ col-leagues being sworn in and the opportunity to work with them in the months ahead on important communications issues for the benefit of the American people.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy and John Prendergast

Senate Passes Six Telecom Bills

On August 3, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced the Senate passage today of six technology and telecommunications bills, all of which were previously approved by the committee. The Senate passed the following technology and telecommunications bills:

  • S. 19, Making Opportunities for Broadband In-vestment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless Act (MOBILE NOW Act), Legislation to increase spectrum availability for next-generation gigabit wireless services and foster broadband deployment. Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
  • S. 96, Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017, Legislation to require the FCC to establish quality and reliability standards for rural phone networks. Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
  • S. 123, Kari’s Law Act of 2017, Legislation initiated after the murder of Kari Hunt in a hotel in Marshall, Texas, when Hunt’s daughter tried to call 911 but was unsuccessful due to a required “9” prefix on the hotel phone. This legislation bans the requirement of a prefix when dialing 911 for assistance. Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
  • S. 134, Spoofing Prevention Act of 2017, Legislation to stop the transmission of misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, including such calls and text messages originating overseas. Sponsors: Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
  • S. 174, Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2017, Legislation to require the FCC to condense duplicative re-ports on competition in the telecommunications market into one comprehensive report released every two years. Sponsors: Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
  • S. 88, Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act (DIGIT Act), Legislation to bring together private sector and government entities to assess the needs of the Internet of Things (IoT) and study the readiness of government to support the IoT. Sponsors: Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy and John Prendergast

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,

Amateur Radio Volunteers Assisting Where Needed in Hurricane Response

08/30/2017 [UPDATED: 2017-08-30@1833 UTC]

Hurricane Harvey

Amateur Radio Emergency Service ( ARES®) volunteers are pitching in to support communication at some Red Cross shelters in South Texas in the ongoing aftermath of catastrophic and unprecedented flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey. ARES members also are serving as net control liaisons to the Harris County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). At least 3 dozen volunteers were assisting at shelters. Another dozen were on tap to serve as OEM liaisons. ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said the Red Cross is in need of Red Cross-trained shelter managers and volunteer management specialists. Anyone interested should contact him.

A variety of emergency, health-and-welfare, traffic, and tactical nets in South Texas are active on HF at various times of the day as well as on a wide array of VHF and UHF repeaters, which remain available as needed. The Salvation Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has been active on 14.265 MHz, while the Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) has been using the 5.330.5 (USB) interoperability channel on 60 meters. As of mid-week, Harvey, now a tropical storm, was headed northeast toward Louisiana, where ARES volunteers are on standby.

This week, ARES® team members were being advised that the impact to the region’s communications infrastructure had been relatively minimal, considering the strength of the storm and the magnitude of the flooding.

ARRL South Texas Public Information Officer Mike Urich, KA5CVH, told ARRL on August 30 that “hardening” of the telecommunications infrastructure to make it more immune to storm damage has diminished the need for Amateur Radio communication support and altered hams’ traditional role there. Urich pointed out, however, that the Amateur Radio telecommunications infrastructure in South Texas has remained analog, as “the lowest common denominator” of technology — VHF/UHF FM, and HF — and has the highest degree of interoperability. “That’s what we train to, that’s what we teach, that’s what we practice,” he said.

Urich spent more than 40 hours alternating shifts at the Harris County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Urich said the area’s extensive system of repeaters makes it possible for local radio amateurs to serve as “another set of eyes and ears” in spotting and reporting problems that require official attention.

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) suspended operations for Hurricane Harvey on August 26 after 51.5 continuous hours of activation. The VoIP Hurricane Net, and WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the NHC in Miami, also activated as Harvey approached landfall in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane. VOIPWXnet has been informally monitoring EchoLink 7203, IRLP 9219, and Allstar *33007203 for requests from the affected area at the request of Humanity Road, said Lloyd Colston, KC5FM.

He said a station checked in via EchoLink today (August 30) to request the rescue of a grandmother and children. “That request was relayed to the United States Coast Guard Houston,” Colston told ARRL. He said hams in the affected region needing to relay rescue needs should first call 911, then their local emergency operations center, and, if those aren’t available, then the US Coast Guard — in that order. He also said individuals in the flood zone are reporting cellular telephone degradation.

ARRL South Texas Section Manager Lee Cooper, W5LHC, told ARRL on Monday that the disaster would remain in the response phase for several days, although needs may change later in the response phase or when it transitions to the recovery phase. ARRL South Texas SEC Jeff Walter, KE5FGA, said ARES members could participate in any nets related to the storm response from home. “Harris County and the City of Houston have issued a shelter-in-place order,” Walter pointed out over the past weekend. “The local region is paralyzed. Resources are stretched to accommodate all calls for assistance. Take care of your family first, then if you are able to help in the recovery phase contact your local Emergency Coordinator or District Emergency Coordinator for instruction on what to do. Do not show up without approval from your local EC.”

As of August 29, some 268,000 customers were without power in Texas. American Red Cross shelters were reporting more than 6,000 occupants in Texas; more than 725,000 people have been ordered to evacuate. The state Emergency Operations Center is at full activation, and Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster for 50 Texas counties, while evacuation orders and advisories are in effect for eight counties and several independent communities in Louisiana, where the state EOC is partially activated. A state of emergency also exists for all Louisiana parishes in preparation for widespread flooding.

Alfonso Tamez, XE2O, President of the FMRE in Mexico, has offered South Texas “all the help you need from our country in ham communications.” Tamez noted the extensive Mexican community in the Houston area.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston has announced that it will remain closed to all but mission-essential personnel through Labor Day, due to the effects of Harvey. The center will reopen on September 5. JSC said its primary concern was personnel and public safety, but that it also would allow the center to focus on its highest-priority mission activities, including the return to Earth this weekend of ISS crew members Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD; Jack Fischer, K2FSH, and Fyodor Yurchikin, RN3FI.

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) said it was monitoring the progress of Harvey, which could, in due course, brush the coastal waters of Newfoundland.

Source: ARRL  

Friends & Colleagues

Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

Technical Services Inc.

Texas Registered Engineering Firm #F16945

“It's more than Push-To-Talk”

7711 Scotia Drive
Dallas, TX 75248-3112

Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

President • Principal Engineer

Cell: 214-707-7711
Toll Free: 844-IWA-TECH (844-492-8324)

Design  •  Installation  •  Maintenance  •  Training

Consulting Alliance

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.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359

Wireless Network Planners

The Wireless Messaging News

Current member or former member of these organizations.

Best regards,
brad's signature
Newsletter Editor
Licensed 60 years

Brad Dye
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

mensa member

If you are curious about why I joined Mensa, click here

U.S. Navy

radioman second class
Second Class
Petty Officer



A Public Library of
animated gif
Paging Information


European Mobile Messaging Association
emma logo
Former Board Member

radio club paraguay
Radio Club
of Paraguay

Quarter Century qcwa k9iqy
Wireless Association

Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable Wireless Protocol For Emergencies!

Skype: braddye
Twitter: @BradDye1
Telephone: +1-618-599-7869
Wireless: Consulting page
Paging: Home Page
Marketing & Engineering Papers
K9IQY: Ham Radio Page

Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers

wireless logo medium

Radio Club
radio club of america
of America

Life is good!

I am a person in
long-term recovery.


quote The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. unquote

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


Celebrating 10 years of positive change

Celebrating 10 years of positive change from PlayingForChangeFoundation on Vimeo.


Source: Playing For Change Playing For Change

Home Page Directory Consulting Newsletters Free Subscription Products Reference Glossary Send e-mail