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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — September 22, 2017 — Issue No. 773

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News


Not much excitement when you live in the country, but I did catch a mouse in a trap last night. S/he just couldn't resist the smell of that delicious extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Reminds me of some people I know.

It has been unseasonably warm here in Southern Illinois lately: 92º (F.) but I'm not complaining, (electric) Air Conditioning is cheaper than propane heat.

Need 2 Glenayre Power Supplies

A reader needs two Glenayre power supplies for UHF transmitters. Can you help? This is all the information I have. E-mail me here. left arrow

Now on to more news and views.

Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my opinions.



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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.

Advertiser Index

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

NASA reveals what will happen when Planet X Nibiru hits Earth on September 23

Richard Hartley-Parkinson for
Friday 22 Sep 2017 7:24 am

Earth as we know it is going to stay as we know it and Nibiru is not going to destroy it (Picture: Getty)

NASA has given an update on hidden Planet X, AKA Nibiru and has given a stark warning about what will happen when it strikes Earth tomorrow.


Author David Meade says it’s going to wipe out the entire planet because of a passage in the Bible – Revelation 12:1.

The passage says:

“A great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. And being with child, she cried out in her travail and was in anguish of delivery.”

However, NASA has now poured water on the rumours.

The space agency said: “Various people are ''predicting' that the world will end Sept. 23 when another planet collides with Earth.

NASA reveals what will happen when Planet X Nibiru hits Earth on September 23 “The planet in question, Niburu [sic], doesn’t exist, so there will be no collision.”

They gave a Q&A about Nibiru in 2012 answering ‘why the world didn’t end’. If you change the dates 2017 and September 23, you get pretty much the same answers.

NASA points out that the catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003.

But it didn’t so it was moved to December 2012. There have been other similar predictions about this non-existent Planet X/Nibiru.

NASA said there would be no major blackout in 2012 and we aren’t expecting it this time either.

To the direct question of Nibiru or Planet X, NASA said: ‘Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax.

“There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye.”

They added: “For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence?”

“There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact.”

“There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.”

The same applies this time around.

More: TV programs in California interrupted with end-of-world prediction FOX News

STI Engineering

Web Site: E-mail:

FCC chairman asks for emergency communication feedback during Joplin stop

By Crystal Thomas
Sep 20, 2017

After seeing hurricane after hurricane pummel the Gulf Coast, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai stopped in Joplin on Wednesday night to get feedback about emergency communications from area public safety officials.

Pai, who is originally from Parsons, Kansas, said that when he was growing up, Joplin was the "big city" he would visit. He has been outside Washington, D.C., taking a tour of states to talk about the "digital divide" and to gather feedback.

"I recognize the digital divide is probably most salient when it comes to that rural-urban divide," Pai said. "One of the ways to change is to spend time in those areas."

Several of the area dispatch, radio, police and fire officials told Pai of the lessons they learned during the 2011 Joplin tornado and the changes they have made since to better communications.

"After the tornado, communications was the biggest issue," Joplin police Chief Matt Stewart said.

At the meeting, Stewart said that there has been more training for officers on how to use the radio system effectively after the tornado. During a regular weekend, the Joplin radio system gets about 6,000 "push-to-talk" pings from first responders. In the aftermath of the tornado, there were about 46,000 on average, according to Brian O'Dell, Joplin radio technician.

Another problem during the tornado was that since Joplin, Jasper County and Newton County first responders all use different communication systems, it was hard for agencies to communicate with each other or share calls. Since then, the three have set up a channel for communication.

April Tarrant, Jasper County dispatch director, said what the agencies really need is funding to have all of the same radio systems and to upgrade its 911 technology to Next Generation 911, which is a digital 911 network that streamlines information sharing. Unlike Iowa, Kansas and Illinois, Missouri hasn't put any resources toward updating its 911 system.

Even though Jasper County is part of a regional buying consortium, the price of equipment can be prohibitive, especially for smaller, more rural departments, Tarrant said.

She also asked Pai if there was a faster way to get out advisories through the Blue Alert System, a program Missouri recently implemented that, similar to Amber Alerts, would let the public know when a police officer has been injured and the perpetrator is still on the loose.

Pai said that the FCC has been looking for ways to create a national Blue Alert System so that states can share the advisories with one another.

"To us at least we want to be a very cooperative friend to the law enforcement community, and the national Blue Alert System that is uniform might be one way to do that," Pai said.

After the meeting, Pai toured the new Joplin dispatch center and listened to a dispatcher who had been working when the tornado first hit.

"It was a little crazy that day," the dispatcher said. "The phone didn't stop ringing unless it went down because it was so overloaded."

Next stop

Ajit Pai's next stop is Parsons, Kan., where he will talk to students at the school from which he graduated.

Source: The Joplin Globe  





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  • Monitors Rauland Nurse Call SIP Protocol
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WaveWare Technologies


“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

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

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


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How Windows 10 S is different from the Windows 10 you know

Windows 10 S isn't just for education; Microsoft hopes the new Windows edition will find its way into homes and enterprises, too. But beneath the familiar user interface are some significant differences.

By Mary Branscombe
SEP 21, 2017 3:16 AM PT


The sleek new Surface Laptop comes with it, and so do $300 two-in-one tablet PCs for education. But exactly what is Windows 10 S, and how is it different from other versions of Windows 10?

The “S” in Windows 10 S doesn’t stand for anything, although Microsoft throws around words such as safe, secure, streamlined, superior performance, simple and student to explain it. Standardized and super locked down might be closer to the mark. This is a full version of Windows with some limitations, one that’s designed to start up quickly, have long battery life, and keep working properly month after month after month, without resets or support calls.

“Windows 10 S was inspired by teachers,” Mohammed Samji from the Windows engineering team told Computerworld. “It’s about making sure the operating system is safe and secure, but most importantly whether it’s for school or for consumer or enterprise, when you have a device, you want it to work great the day you open it, and the next day and a thousand days later.”

The education market is the first focus for the Windows 10 S push. To some extent, “Windows 10 in S mode,” as Microsoft frequently refers to it to emphasize that this is the full version of Windows underneath, is a reaction to the danger posed by competition from Chromebooks. A key point is that devices you’re relying on in a classroom need a battery that lasts all day, because they have to work in the last lesson of the day as well as the first. Another is that schools are usually short on IT resources, so they’re looking for simpler management options that rely on the cloud.

But education is only the first market for Windows 10 S, and Microsoft wants home users and even enterprises to see its advantages as well. And simpler management does appeal to a lot of enterprises; last year 83% of the businesses in a CCS Insight enterprise survey said they planned to “converge their PC management and Enterprise Mobility management strategy and teams” and use Mobile Device Management (MDM) to manage PCs as well as phones.

“The entire industry is pushing toward modern management,” Samji said. “Education is a great candidate for that, but it’s very common for enterprises to be asking for the exact same solution. With this current version of Windows 10 S our focus is on education, but a lot of the requirements are exactly the same.”

A pristine PC

The point of all the locking down that Windows 10 S does is to keep Windows feeling shiny and new, or pristine, as Microsoft puts it; “We want to make sure that users have a pristine experience with Windows 10 S,” said Samji.

It strives for that pristine state in several ways.

First, Windows 10 S starts with all the features in Windows 10 Pro (there’s even a Windows Insider option), which means it includes new security protections such as code integrity checks.

More significantly, this is a Windows that restricts which applications you can run (they have to come from the Windows Store) and that explicitly removes key enterprise management technologies.

Windows 10 S can’t join a domain or use Active Directory; instead, it connects to Azure Active Directory, which means there are no log-on scripts or startup applications to slow down start time. That removes Group Policy, a feature that gives IT admins control but also slows systems down and makes Windows fragile. And the registry keys that implement it let power users tweak their setup, which isn’t conducive to pristine devices.

Instead of Group Policy, it’s managed the way smartphones and tablets are, using MDM tools and cloud identities. To appeal to the schools it hopes will be the first big customers for Windows 10 S, Microsoft has a version of its Intune cloud management service especially for the education market, and it offers tools to set up accounts and language and Wi-Fi settings and to install apps – either online or via a USB stick that teachers or admins plug into Windows 10 S devices.

The registry is still there, but Windows 10 S doesn't have the Registry Editor that applications can use to change system behavior. That also means users can’t tweak things in lamentable ways, and registry “cleaner” utilities likely to cause problems are blocked. With normal desktop software, any application can add and change registry keys and file associations. Because Windows 10 S only runs software from the Windows Store, all the apps use a virtualized registry, so one app can’t affect the settings another app uses.

Windows Store restrictions

Windows Store apps can be uninstalled cleanly, so you can try out apps without worrying that they’ll add unwanted services and applications that can reduce performance and battery life — another thing that makes Windows 10 S less fragile than Windows 10. Not everyone will realize it’s software they’ve installed that slows Windows down, and even if they do it can be tricky to remove cleanly.

The restriction to Windows Store apps also limits the apps that OEMs can pre-install on devices; they can’t add a different antivirus client from the built-in Windows Defender or add utilities that intercept website certificates and allow them to inject advertising.

Limiting Windows 10 S to the Store may not be as much of a limitation as you might think. For example, if you want to use the scanning feature in your multifunction printer (something you can’t do with just the device drivers delivered through Windows Update), most hardware vendors have Store apps for their recent devices with these kinds of features.

There’s no command line in Windows 10 S — neither the Microsoft-DOS-style command console nor PowerShell — and no scripts that could introduce malware or change settings to degrade performance and battery life. That means you can’t side-load your own apps, even if you have the code. And you can’t add a command-line tool.

Not all apps available from the Windows Store will run on Windows 10 S. For example, because Windows 10 S lacks the Windows Subsystem for Linux and the command line, the Linux distros in the Windows Store won’t work. But Linux binaries are exactly the kind of arbitrary code that Windows S is designed to keep off your system. Even if Microsoft packaged up Visual Studio Code for the Store, it would produce code that you couldn’t test or run on a Windows 10 S device.

You can install desktop applications on Windows 10 S, but only if they’ve been sandboxed by Microsoft’s Desktop Bridge tool and come through the Windows Store. That’s how you can get Office 2016; you download Office Home and Student from the Store and get desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Other Office suite productivity apps, such as Sway and Teams, are already available as Store apps. But compromises are necessary; you're limited to Skype instead of Skype for Business, and the Store version of OneNote doesn’t have all of the features of desktop OneNote. But Microsoft offers Publisher, another desktop application, as part of the Office download from the Store, and Microsoft’s Samji hints that “you’ll see us continue to have more things available from the suite.”

Other software publishers using the Desktop Bridge tool to deliver software include Evernote, Slack, Spotify, Turbo Tax and — when the Fall Creators Update is available — iTunes.

Slightly more surprising, Windows 10 S doesn’t let you run desktop browsers other than Edge and Internet Explorer (for backwards compatibility). That’s because Windows Store policies only allow browsers that use the Edge and Chakra HTML and JavaScript engines included in Windows; Chrome and Firefox would need to install their own HTML engines and make the kinds of changes to the Windows system that Windows 10 S doesn’t allow.

If you download an application that is blocked on Windows 10 S, it won’t install. But if there’s a version of the same software — or what Microsoft considers to be a comparable app — in the Windows Store, the error message will include a link to download that instead, and it will give you the option of upgrading to Windows 10 Pro so you can go back and install the software you want.

Businesses that need a different browser or a desktop tool that isn’t in the Windows Store can turn to remote desktop apps; for example, Citrix Receiver is in the Store.

How to get Windows 10 S

Although Windows 10 S devices aren’t just for schools, some devices are only sold to educational institutions, and schools are given other privileges as well. For example, Windows 10 S ISO is available on the Microsoft Developer Network so schools can put it on their existing hardware and IT departments can test it. But if you’re a consumer, you can’t buy Windows 10 S to upgrade your existing PC; you have to get it on a new PC.

“Getting [Windows 10 S] from the manufacturer allows us to guarantee a great experience with the right drivers and defaults,” Samji explained. That includes having Active Hours turned on and set to the school day, so that Windows 10 S machines won’t update or restart during class or business hours, but instead wake themselves up at night to update and service the system. On older PCs, the BIOS settings may need changing to make that work properly, something that Microsoft now checks for when it certifies new PCs as Windows-compliant.

Currently, Windows 10 S is running only devices with Intel processors. Although Microsoft hasn’t announced anything yet, it seems likely that Windows 10 S will be one of the options for the new ARM-based Windows devices planned for later this year, which should extend the battery life even further.

How to get off of Windows 10 S

If the limitations of Windows 10 S mean it’s not right for you, you can switch any device that comes with it to Windows 10 Pro. Schools can switch to Windows 10 Pro Edu at any time and at no cost.

It’s a little more complicated for consumers. If you pay $799 or more for your Windows 10 S device, you can switch to Windows 10 Pro for free, for a limited period. The initial date has already been extended by three months, until March 31, 2018, and Samji suggested that Microsoft would “continue to re-evaluate” how long the offer would be available. When it does end, you’ll still be able to upgrade, probably for the same $49 that it costs to upgrade a sub-$799 Windows 10 S device to Pro.

Switching to Windows 10 Pro doesn’t wipe your system; your files, applications and browser favorites will still be there. And if you switch to Pro because an app you needed isn’t available in the Windows Store but then later it does pop up there, you can switch back. Of course, you might also decide to go back to 10 S because you miss the simplicity and extended battery life.

Going back is more disruptive, though. You can download an image from the Surface website that you can use to reset a device back to Windows 10 S factory defaults by using a USB stick; that will delete your files, apps and accounts completely. Don’t confuse that with the push-button reset that you can do on either Windows 10 S or Windows 10 Pro; that reinstalls the same version of Windows.

“We’re continuing to look at the options,” Samji said, “but we want to make sure users have a great experience with Windows 10 S. So you have to start from a known point or you can’t have that experience.”

But Microsoft is also hoping that you won’t want to switch away. “Windows 10 S is the mode we’d like users to be in, because we think it provides the most pure Windows experience,” Samji said.

“We know it’s not for everyone; there are professional users who have additional needs, and we knew that when we went in. But we think it’s great for most users, and for schools. And as we’re having more users experience Windows 10 S, we’re seeing more users than we expected who are saying ‘this is all I need.' At the end of the day, Windows 10 S is full Windows and, more and more, everything you need is there.”

How true that is for you depends entirely on what you need.

This story, "How Windows 10 S is different from the Windows 10 you know" was originally published by Computerworld.

Source: techconnect  

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Do they hear us now?

by WEB ADMIN on Sep 21, 2017 • 3:21 pm

Photo by Ann McCreary
Local, state and AT&T representatives met in Twisp last week to discuss potential improvements for emergency communications

In the three years since the Carlton Complex Fire burned 420 square miles in the Methow Valley, knocking out power and disrupting most forms of communication for more than a week, So Ing-Moody has become a crusader for improved communications in the Methow Valley — especially for emergency responders.

As mayor of Twisp, Ing-Moody has been asked to speak to state conferences and before committees to share the many ways communications failed during the most urgent times, leaving frantic citizens unable to call 911, first responders unable to communicate with dispatch or each other, and community leaders like herself struggling to respond during the disaster.

“During the 2014 breakdown in communications, I couldn’t reach the police chief to initiate Level 2 evacuation, due to the cell towers being overwhelmed — I had to find him in person on the street, then have staff go door-to-door,” Ing-Moody said.

The next year, the Twisp River and the Okanogan Complex fires again demonstrated communications failures, with loss of landlines and problems maintaining communication between Twisp and emergency resources that were stretched thin throughout the county.

“Since that time this has been a passion of mine — to ensure we are in a better position in emergencies,” Ing-Moody said.

Last week, she hosted a meeting at Twisp Town Hall focused on a national initiative to improve emergency communications through a program called the First Responder Network Authority, or “FirstNet.”

Established by Congress to deliver a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety, FirstNet is the result of the 9/11 Commission report, which identified gaps in emergency communications in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attack.

The federal government has contracted with AT&T, the nation’s second-largest cell phone carrier, to build a new wireless network that is designed to give priority to first responders.

That national program has important implications for small, rural communities like the Methow Valley, and Ing-Moody said she wants Twisp and the valley to be well positioned to take advantage of the communications improvements that are promised.

AT&T visits

Ing-Moody invited an AT&T consultant for the FirstNet program to meet with the Methow Valley Public Safety Committee last Thursday (Sept. 14). Paul Braunstein has been visiting rural communities in Washington to learn about their communications issues.

Ing-Moody also invited Shelley Westall, a state official who is the liaison for Washington’s participation in the program.

During their visit, they heard from local law enforcement, emergency managers, firefighters, ambulance services and elected officials.

The Methow Valley and Okanogan County are continuing recovery efforts after fires and landslides of 2014 and 2015, Ing-Moody said. “We are working to strengthen emergency response and public safety, and communications is a main concern,” she said.

“We invited you to visit to demonstrate where our vulnerabilities are, and how you can help us prepare for the next emergency. We’re counting on you to watch out for us when you develop this program,” Ing-Moody said.

Through the FirstNet program, the federal government and AT&T are contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to “build out rural networks,” Braunstein said. The program will bring networks to areas where AT&T and other commercial cellular companies would probably not build in the next 20 years, because there is not enough commercial business to justify the investment, or because it is difficult to build in those locations, he said.

In Washington, AT&T plans to build 35 new cell towers, Braunstein said. Recently, he said, Mazama was added to the list of tower sites, and AT&T also plans “adjustments” in Twisp, where AT&T service is spotty.

Not a done deal

The goal of FirstNet is to create a communications system that gives first responders priority over other cell users. Today, first responders use commercial networks, the same ones used by consumers and businesses, for mobile data and applications.

That can become a public safety issue during an emergency, when networks become congested due to the high volume of calls. In addition, first responders use many different networks for voice communications, and those networks don’t always mesh — or inter-operate — which means it can be difficult for responders to communicate with each other.

AT&T, through its 25-year contract with FirstNet, has been charged with developing a system that gives first responders priority during emergencies and the ability to communicate across agencies and jurisdictions.

Development of FirstNet in Washington, however, is not a done deal. Under the federal law that created FirstNet, every state and U.S territory will receive an individualized plan. Once the plan is delivered, each state governor has 90 days to decide whether to opt in or opt out.

If a governor chooses not to opt in, the state is responsible for developing its own complementary network that will achieve the same public safety objectives. As of early this week, 21 states had opted in, according to FirstNet’s website. A few states are seeking proposals from other companies to develop an alternative system.

Washington’s state plan is expected to be delivered by the end of this month, Braunstein said. If Gov. Jay Inslee opts in, “we are going to start [cell tower] site acquisition immediately,” he said. “We would need to stay in close communication with both community leaders and first responders to prioritize where network enhancements are needed.”

Local decisions, lingering doubt

If the state opts in, local public safety agencies, government officials and others who would utilize FirstNet capabilities would have to decide whether to sign contracts with FirstNet that provides priority access on AT&T commercial networks.

Public-safety agencies in “opt-in” states are eligible to sign FirstNet contracts that give first responders priority access across AT&T’s commercial networks immediately. By the end of the year, FirstNet will also provide preemption to fire, police and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), which gives them dedicated access to the network when they need it.

“If the state opts in, AT&T takes on responsibility for building the broadband public safety network,” Braunstein said. “Every local agency has a decision of what they want to do and who they want to use.”

He said new technology is being developed to increase the communications capability of emergency responders, including phones that use press-to-talk features, much like police walkie-talkies do.

Cody Acord, interim chief of Okanogan Fire District 6, expressed concern about the potential cost of joining the system. “Everyone is talking about reliability. That’s a huge issue for us. But no one’s mentioned affordability,” Acord said.

Braunstein said pricing to contract with FirstNet would be “on a par with what government pricing is today.” He mentioned $60 per month as a potential cost for a plan with unlimited data and texting, but did not provide specific costs. In response to a request for further details, an AT&T spokesman said, “For competitive reasons, we aren’t sharing the pricing at this time, but we can tell you that pricing will be compelling for public safety.”

Another concern expressed to Braunstein during the meeting was lingering doubt about AT&T resulting from the failure of AT&T cell services during and after the Carlton Complex Fire.

Okanogan County Commissioner Andy Hover wondered how AT&T would ensure the reliability of its services in the Methow Valley.

“What about actual boots on the ground?” Hover asked. During the Carlton Complex disaster, Hover said, “AT&T generators went down [during the power outage] and no one was here to refill them. AT&T effectively went down and that’s when a lot of people switched to Verizon. What kind of people services do we get?”

Braunstein said AT&T is working on “building relationships” with communities. He said the company is also proposing options like deployable cell towers mounted on trucks, called “cell on wheels” or COWS, that could be brought in to provide service if needed. “If the roads are closed, deployables don’t do us any good … and we are prone to closures,” said Ing-Moody. She suggested storing a deployable cell tower in the valley. Braunstein replied that the COWS cost $500,000 and require highly trained operators. He said Twisp might consider owning and operating a less-expensive option that could be delivered by trailer or even backpack.

No service

Ing-Moody gave Braunstein and Westall a brief tour before the meeting, taking them by bus out Twisp River Road, where she pointed out where the 2015 Twisp River Fire began, and noted areas where AT&T cell coverage is minimal. Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow and Okanogan Emergency Service Manager Maurice Goodall went along on the tour.

“Where the fire was being fought, where firefighters were staged, you will find there is no service,” Ing-Moody said.

The bus also made a stop at Hank’s Harvest Foods, where Ing-Moody encouraged Braunstein to test his cell service inside the store. “I could get one to two bars,” he said. “I couldn’t call my wife.”

Ing-Moody said she wants the needs of the Methow Valley to be on the radar of state officials as a decision is made about FirstNet.

“We’ve had natural disaster declarations in 2014 and 2015,” she said. “We know we have natural features that make communication more difficult. We live in a long narrow valley. Couple that with the fact that the community is prone to natural disaster — wildfire, flooding, landslides. And we are a small community in a rural setting, in the largest and one of the poorest counties in the state,” Ing-Moody said.

“It had better work for us given our history and vulnerability. It’s a good thing if it works. The devil is in the details,” she said.

Source: Methow Valley News  


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On Hurricanes and Spoofers

By Martha Buyer | September 20, 2017

The post-hurricane clean-up rush creates opportunities for consumer abuse by overly aggressive marketers, but the FCC is watching.

Aggressive telemarketers — or marketers in general — have a long, successful history of seizing opportunities and running with them. In fact, this is what all good marketers always intend to do regardless of industry. Certainly those marketers have relied on (and often exceeded the boundaries of) the ever-evolving rules established by the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA, 47 U.S.C. 227), signed into law in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush. You'd likely be accused — at least in this industry — of living under a rock if you'd never heard of or been affected by it, either when the landline rang at dinnertime, or when your mobile device received calls or texts from unidentified or familiar-looking numbers trying to offer you a vacation, free money, or home repair services.

What's worth considering now is that in light of the destruction wrought by this aggressive hurricane season, and the needs of enterprise and government to reach out to citizens, a quick recap of the rules is likely in order. TCPA prohibits autodialer calls or text messages, as well as prerecorded calls, to any telephone number assigned to a cell phone or other mobile device (such as a pager) unless made with the prior express consent of the called party or the calls or text messages are:

  1. Made for emergency purposes
  2. Free to the end user and have been exempted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), subject to conditions prescribed to protect consumer privacy rights
  3. Made solely to collect debts "owed to or guaranteed by the United States" (see 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) and 47 CFR § 64.1200(a)(1)(iii))

FCC on the Watch

Without question, public safety trumps the nuisance factor in the delivery of unsolicited messages to mobile devices. However, it's important to recognize the difference between those entities that have the right to text or call a mobile device without explicit opt-in permission in an emergency vs. those that choose to reach out to individuals and enterprises to solicit new business. This post-hurricane clean-up rush creates opportunities for consumer abuse by overly aggressive marketers. And the FCC is paying attention.

Earlier this summer, the FCC assessed a massive penalty — $120 million — on serial spoofer Adrian Abramovich. Over a three-month period in late 2016, the FCC was able to determine that Abramovich's companies, Marketing Strategy Leaders and Marketing Leaders, made just shy of ... wait for it... 100 million calls, appearing to originate from local phone numbers and often identified as coming from TripAdvisor. The records contained the called number, time stamp, call duration, and the caller's IP address.

By relying on a new phenomenon called “neighbor spoofing,” Abramovich's companies were able to spoof the first six digits (area code and exchange) of the numbers being dialed, thus making the recipient more likely to answer the call than ignore it because the number looked familiar. While acknowledging that there may be some valid reasons for spoofing a number (law enforcement, legitimate collection calls), the FCC, in seeking comment earlier this summer, recognized that any potential harm to consumers outweighs the benefit of allowing spoofing, which has created great opportunities for fraud and misuse.

Stir and Shake

With this in mind, the FCC has acknowledged the efforts of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), the SIP Forum and others to develop both protocols and a multi-phase framework “designed to validate calls and mitigate spoofing and fraudulent robocalling.” The FCC sought comments on the implementation of authentication standards for telephone calls as well as on the proposals made by both ATIS and the SIP Forum. More specifically, the FCC continues to evaluate and consider options on what it can do to promote development and adoption of the ATIS/SIP framework, or other alternative frameworks. Finally, the FCC is interested in learning whether existing market incentives exist to encourage the adoption of authentication technologies, as well as determine the best way to validate such authentication service providers.

As a result, two new caller ID validation methodologies are evolving. Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) is the first method that carriers and providers are contemplating using to identify spoofers, and Signature-based-Handling of Asserted Information Using Tokens (SHAKEN) is another (yes, you're supposed to channel your inner James Bond). Both require the participation of all providers (at current count that's around 4,000), and remain a long way from implementation. However, they do create a step toward managing the challenging aspect of TCPA enforcement — that is, identifying the bad actors and chasing them down.

I've written about TCPA violations extensively, and certainly a well-organized class action bar has been quick to jump on any opportunity to create a class, win a judgment, and share the proceeds of the judgment with consumers who have been harmed. Recently, Hooters, American Eagle, and the L.A. Lakers have found themselves, for different reasons, on the losing side of a TCPA-based dispute. They've all paid dearly in legal fees, as well as in cash or gift cards.

When hurricanes strike and damage is massive, legitimate government entities along with related business interests (as well as those that are less savory) are likely to reach out to share time-critical information and generate business in the form of assisting in recovery efforts. That said, the priorities created to bring out a return to “normal” knock the management of unwanted robocalls or texts off the top of most people's lists. But the fact remains that unsolicited texts or calls are permissible only under the three circumstances I delineated above.

After a weather-related disaster, calls in the first category are what count. Others should not and cannot be tolerated. To report spoofed calls, visit the FCC's Consumer Complaint Center. When you think you're too small to make a difference, remember the FCC wasn't shy about taking action against serial spoofers and TCPA violators.

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer is an attorney whose practice is limited to the practice of telecommunications law. In this capacity, she has negotiated a broad array of agreements between providers and both corporate and government end users. She also provides a wide range of telecommunications consulting and legal services, primarily geared to support corporate end-users' work with telecommunications carriers and equipment providers. In addition, she works extensively with end users to enable them to navigate international, federal, state and local regulatory issues, with particular attention to emergency calling, along with issues related to corporate telecommunications transactions among and between carriers, vendors and end-users. She has also supported state and federal law enforcement in matters related to Telecommunications. Ms. Buyer's expertise lies in combining an understanding of the technologies being offered along with contractual issues affecting all sides of the transaction. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Buyer worked as a telecommunications network engineer for two major New York-based financial institutions and a large government contractor.
Source: No Jitter  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swissphone sets new standards in paging:

Paging Network

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


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


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

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

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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 22, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 186

Puerto Rico Suffering Over 95 Percent Outage of Cell Sites

Percent Cell Sites Out-of-Service by County

9/21/2017 11:1:12 AM

The percentage of cell sites that were out of service in PR by county as of 11 a.m. Thursday. Source: FCC

More than 95 percent of the cell tower sites in Puerto Rico are out of service, according to the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System. All counties have greater than 75 percent of their cell sites out of service and 48 out of the 78 counties on the island have 100 percent of their cell sites out of service.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Hurricane Maria had a “catastrophic impact” on Puerto Rico’s communications networks. “The FCC is proactively reaching out to communications providers in Puerto Rico to gather additional information about the situation on the ground and find out if there is anything that the Commission can do to assist with restoration efforts.” The agency is also working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and providing all requested support.

However, Pai cautions, getting Puerto Rico’s communications networks up and running “will be a challenging process, particularly given the power outages throughout the island.” Indeed, Ricardo Ramos, the CEO of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, told CNN on Thursday residents may not get power back for four to six months. "The system has been basically destroyed," said Ramos.

  • In the U.S. Virgin Islands, more than 76 percent of cell sites are out of service and all counties have 60 percent or more sites offline.
  • Two 911 call centers are functioning normally, according to DIRS. One TV station is off-air, however others have yet to report. No radio stations have reported to DIRS yet.
Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

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  • 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
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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. 39 September 20, 2017 

REMINDER: 911 Reliability Certifications Due Next Month

On October 16, Covered 911 Service Providers 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. Covered 911 Service Providers 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.” Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.


Verizon Wireless Terminates Service to at Least 8,500 Rural Customers

While Verizon Wireless spends millions promoting itself as having the best nationwide network and has gained political capital from consumer-focused marketing of its LTE in Rural America (LRA) program, the carrier has recently confirmed that it will be terminating service to at least 8,500 rural customers in 13 states due to their excessive data usage. The termination of service seems particularly unfair — and has drawn sharp criticism from public safety authorities and consumer advocates — because many had signed up for unlimited data plans that had been marketed to them.

“Approximately 8,500 customers — using a variety of plans – were notified this month that we would no longer be their service provider after October 17, 2017,” Verizon director of corporate communications Kelly Crummey said. “These customers live in 13 states (Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin) and in areas outside of where Verizon operates our own network.”

Other reports suggest the number of customers impacted by Verizon’s “rural purge” is significantly higher, approaching 20,000 customers. It is unclear the extent to which the termination letters were targeted exclusively at customers receiving service from LRA participants, but Verizon is clearly losing money on consumers who have heavy data usage in rural markets. Rather than pay large monthly fees that would be owed to LRA participants or perhaps to off-network roaming providers, Verizon is taking the unprecedented step of terminating service to a large number of rural consumers who have relied on the company’s “best nationwide network” and “unlimited service” representations.

A termination of service letter that was posted in an online forum notes in terse language that the consumer is using “a significant amount of data while roaming off the Verizon Wireless network,” and gives the consumer just one month to port their number and transfer any affected lines of service to a different provider. The carrier seems so eager to ditch these rural customers that it has agreed to waive any outstanding installment payments on their mobile device.

Local media in Maine were among the first to note that Verizon’s actions could affect access to emergency services for rural consumers. In an interview to WLBZ-TV in Bangor, Police Chief Danny Mitchell of Winter Harbor, Maine expressed concern about the impact of Verizon’s decision on local public safety.

“From a public safety standpoint, a lot of our 911 calls come in via mobile phone,” said Mitchell. “And when you have less towers or less service to ping off from, then your area of location, instead of getting more specific in the location, is gonna get wider.”

Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins reports that Verizon staged a campaign to recruit new customers in rural “Down East” Maine as part of the expanded tower network three years ago.

“They advertised unlimited rural area and all that, so everyone signed up,” he says.

But Verizon is now saying that those customers are incurring roaming charges that are too expensive to maintain. And that’s the reason the company gives for dropping the coverage.

The unwillingness of Verizon to live up to its promises, to offer rural customers an alternative data service, and/or to fully support its LRA partners with respect to service plans it is offering nationwide is especially disappointing in light of Verizon’s public statements about the importance of delivering a reliable network experience to customers in areas that are remote, and in some instances, underserved. A 2015 press release claimed “It’s all about serving the customer — consumer and business — no matter where they live, work or play.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Releases NPRM on Section 208 Formal Complaint Rules

On September 18, the FCC released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “creating a uniform set of procedural rules for certain formal complaint proceedings delegated to the Enforcement Bureau and currently handled by its Market Disputes Resolution Division (MDRD) and Telecommunications Consumers Division (TCD).” Comment and reply comment deadlines have not yet been established.

Specifically, the NPRM proposes to streamline and consolidate the procedural rules governing formal complaints filed under Section 208; pole attachment complaints filed under Section 224; and formal advanced communications services and equipment complaints filed under Sections 255, 716, and 718 (Disability Access complaints). Proposed revisions include:

  • requiring that the deadline for answering any formal complaint be 30 days from service of the complaint, except as otherwise ordered by Commission staff, replies be due within 10 days of service of the answer.
  • extending the Commission’s information designation requirements (which currently apply to formal complaints and Disability Access complaints) to pole attachment complaints.
  • revising the discovery process such that (1) a complainant may file and serve up to 10 written interrogatories with its complaint; (2) a defendant may file and serve up to 10 written interrogatories with its answer; and (3) a complainant may file and serve up to five additional written interrogatories with its reply. Parties no longer need to request permission to propound interrogatories, although the party requesting the discovery still must include an explanation of why the information is both necessary to the resolution of the dispute and not available from any other source. Responding parties may object to an interrogatory, and Commission staff will rule in writing on the scope of, and schedule for answering, any disputed interrogatories.
  • eliminating the requirement in the Section 208 and Disability Access complaints rules that the complaint, answer, and reply include proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.
  • adding a rule imposing pre-complaint obligations on parties filing complaints subject to the 5-month deadline in Section 208(b)(1) of the Act.
  • adding to the Section 208 and Disability Access complaints rules the enhanced requirement from the pole attachment rules that pre-filing settlement discussions occur at the “executive-level.”
  • allowing Commission staff to have the option to direct a status conference for pole attachment complaints, not just Section 208 and Disability Access complaints.
  • adopting shot clocks for all three types of formal complaint proceedings at issue in this proceeding.

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

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

FCC Announces Deactivation of DIRS for Irma

On September 18, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced that, at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the FCC has deactivated the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for Hurricane Irma. Communications providers do not need to provide any additional reporting in DIRS in connection with this event. The FCC will, however, continue to monitor the status of communications services and work with providers and government partners as needed to support remaining restoration efforts.

The FCC anticipates that, within the next couple of days, FEMA will likely request activation of DIRS for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and if that occurs, the FCC will issue a separate activation public notice specific to that event.

In the Public Notice, the FCC expressed its appreciation for the cooperation of all the communications providers that voluntarily submitted data to DIRS in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

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

Law & Regulation

FCC Consumer Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations on Call Blocking

On September 18, the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee adopted a recommendation regarding the blocking of unwanted calls. With the goal of enabling voice providers (wireline or wireless) to proactively block certain specific categories of calls, the CAC recommended that the FCC:

  1. Permit and encourage voice service providers to block robocalls in certain specified circumstances to protect subscribers from suspected illegal robocalls.
  2. Permit and encourage voice service providers to block calls when the subscriber to the originating number has requested that calls be blocked.
  3. Permit and encourage voice service providers to block calls (and to develop any industry practices and procedures needed to facilitate such blocking) in the following circumstances:
    1. calls originating from invalid numbers;
    2. calls originating from numbers not allocated to any provider; and
    3. calls originating from numbers that are allocated to a provider, but not assigned to a subscriber.
  4. Encourage voice service providers that have implemented any of the call blocking services described in 2. or 3. a, b, and c, to inform current and potential subscribers through, at minimum, their published terms of service.
  5. Encourage stakeholders from consumer and industry sectors to work collaboratively to develop processes and solutions whereby unintended blocking of legitimate callers can be remedied in a timely and efficient manner.
  6. Encourage voice providers to offer consumers optional tools to block robocalls beyond the four categories mentioned in the NPRM and NOI and make information about those options easily available to current and potential subscribers. Voice service providers (and third-party providers) should be afforded sufficient flexibility to establish standards that can be utilized to meet this goal.
  7. Study the implementation and effectiveness of blocking measures, within two years after the new rule is finalized in order to assess the impact of various blocking measures. The examination could include the availability to consumers of call blocking solutions; the fees charged, if any, for call blocking tools available to consumers; the proportion of subscribers whose providers offer and/or enable call blocking tools; the effectiveness of various categories of call blocking tools; and an assessment of the number of subscribers availing themselves of available call blocking tools.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, on March 23 the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry initiating a proceeding to facilitate voice service providers’ blocking of illegal robocalls. Specifically, the NPRM proposed rules that would allow providers to block illegal robocalls on their customers’ behalf, and the NOI inquired about further steps the FCC could take.

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

FCC Extends Deadline on Form 477 Comment Cycle

On September 19, the FCC issued an Order extending the deadlines for filing initial and reply comments in response to the Form 477 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Comments are now due October 9, and reply comments are now due October 24.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, 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.


FCC Schedules Public Forum on Improving Sharing in the 800 MHz Band for November 6

On September 15, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology (collectively, the Bureaus) will host a public forum on improving the co-existence of Cellular (and other commercial wireless) licensees and public safety licensees in the 800 MHz band. The forum will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC recently revised the Cellular Service power and related technical rules to provide more flexibility in deployment of advanced broadband services and promote spectral efficiency, while taking steps to protect public safety and other systems in the 800 MHz band from potential increased interference. According to the Public Notice, the forum on November 6th will include the perspectives of Cellular licensees, public safety entities, public safety equipment manufacturers, and various other interested parties in exploring the existing 800 MHz interference environment, realistic anticipated changes in that environment, and practical options for addressing both existing and anticipated interference problems without hindering technological advances in the Cellular Service. A detailed agenda will be released prior to the forum.

The FCC will webcast this forum on the FCC web page at Viewers will be able to submit questions during the forum by e-mail to

BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino and John Prendergast


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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service

(TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1. BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-A-Glance

Sep. 22 – Reply comments are due on Section 706 NOI.
Sep. 25 – Reply comments are due on Rural Call Completion NPRM.
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. 9 – 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.
Oct. 24 – Reply comments are due on Form 477 revision.

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.

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,

Ulrich Rohde, N1UL, Wins Prestigious W.G. Cady Award, Honored by RCA

Ulrich Rohde, N1UL

Well-known scientist and radio amateur Ulrich Rohde, NlUL, is the recipient of the 2017 W.G. Cady Award, “for pioneering research, development, and commercialization of signal-generating and processing devices for commercial and scientific applications.” Sponsored by the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control (UFFC) Society, the Cady Award recognizes outstanding contributions related to the fields of piezoelectric or other classical frequency control, synthesis, and measurement; and resonant sensor devices. Recipients are selected by the IFCS/EFIF Joint Program Committee. The Radio Club of America announced in August that it would confer its Lifetime Achievement Award on Rohde this fall, “for significant achievements and a major body of work accomplished over a lifetime that has advanced the art and science of radio and wireless technology.”

Source: QST® Magazine — October 2017, p. 90

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From: bernieS <>
Subject: offline?
Date: September 15, 2017
To: Brad Dye

Hi Brad,

I just tried viewing your newsletter for this week and am unable to bring it up. You probably know there's a problem, but I just want to be sure you knew.

In particular I wanted to read about the use of amateur radio in the hurricane-affected areas. I was hearing major news media outlets report that there was "no communications" from many areas, which I knew had to be untrue.

I find it ironic that people in the electronic communications (broadcast) business seem so ignorant about the existence of other means of electronic communications. This borders on willful ignorance and irresponsible reporting. I imagine that a scanning receiver tuning across the amateur and public safety bands in affected areas would find a lot of stuff going on. Not to mention HF communications and satellite comms (Iridium etc.)

Thanks for all the work you do to put out a fine newsletter each week.  I'm sure it's a lot of work, and I appreciate your doing it!



Thanks Bernie, yes the site was down for a while on Friday night. I sent customer service a report and it came back up. It is always good to get reports like this.

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Hurricane Maria
Catastrophe In Puerto Rico

Rubble atop a car in the Puerta de Tierra area of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday.

Source: The New York Times Credit: Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

Earthquake Catastrophe In Mexico

Volunteers and rescue workers search for children trapped inside at the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

Source: ABC News Photo credit: The Associated Press

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