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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — July 20, 2018 — Issue No. 815

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News


I found a quotation on the Internet from an unknown author: “Maturity is being able to apologize and admit when you’re wrong because you know that your mistakes don’t define you.” Of course it is better to apologize without an excuse, but my excuse is that I was having a bad week. See, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR following below about last week’s newsletter.


I am 76 years old. I first became interested in radio and electronics when I was in junior high school. I built my first crystal (1N34) radio receiver using an old wall-telephone earpiece that my grandmother had given me.

When transistors first became available and the price dropped to where a kid could afford one with his allowance money, supplemented by refunds at the local grocery store for used soft-drink bottles, I constructed a transistor radio using a Raytheon CK722 transistor.

“The CK722 was the first low-cost junction transistor available to the general public. It was a PNP germanium small-signal unit. Developed by Norman Krim, it was introduced by Raytheon in early 1953 for $7.60 each; the price was reduced to $3.50 in late 1954 and to $0.99 in 1956.” [source]

So I was “hooked” and spent the rest of my life in one form or another in Radio Communications and Electronics.

In the early sixties I was a Radioman in the US Navy. After that I taught Industrial Electronics at Greenville Tech. in Greenville, South Carolina. It was part of the Clemson University group. radioman second class

Then I went off to Central and South America to learn Spanish and help missionaries out in the bush with their radio communications. I also maintained the medical-lab equipment in a missionary hospital.

Once back in the good 'ol USA, I went to work for Motorola International. They sent me back to Latin America, using the Spanish I had learned, to teach digital electronics to engineers and technicians. Integrated circuits were brand new then.

Over the next twenty-plus years I was fortunate enough to be promoted to progressively more responsible positions, eventually managing a department of engineers handling sales, systems engineering, field technical support, and programs management for Paging Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Motorola wristwatch pager

Oh yes . . . I forgot to mention my best job in the Motorola Paging division was international market development manager for Pagers.

Then on to a several positions in sales and marketing of Paging infrastructure for companies like BBL Industries, Real Time Strategies, and Spectrum Communications.

I finally ended up in my last job at WebLink Wireless as V.P. of International Networks where I managed the build-out the international portion of one of the world's largest terrestrial, paging networks (second only to Skytel). This network, at its peak, covered 14 countries in North America, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean and used a method that I invented and RTS developed to send paging messages over the Internet.

Wow, it makes me tired just trying to remember all of this. Travel to over fifty countries has taken its toll but I am still plugging away.

I certainly don't know everything about Paging but I search the Internet every week to bring you the most interesting news that I can find. Sometimes I receive really good articles written by other Paging people.

My web site The Paging Information Resource, is like a large public library of various kinds of information about our industry — technical and marketing information not found anywhere else. pagerman

I am doing the best that I can and I appreciate — very much — all the support and encouragement that I receive from readers of the newsletter.

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 own opinions.


We need your help. This is probably the only weekly news source about paging and wireless messaging.

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I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.

GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.

If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.

Subscribe Here


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

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site.
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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Product Support Services  (PSSI, Robert Cook, et al )
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)

Doctors should 'throw away their pagers', says Health Secretary in new technology drive for the NHS

By Anna Mikhailova The Telegraph 19 July 2018

Matt Hancock — © Jeff Gilbert

Matt Hancock will call on doctors and nurses to “throw away their pagers” and replace them with smartphone apps as the new Health Secretary sets out his vision for the NHS.

Mr Hancock, who gained a reputation for promoting new technology as Culture Secretary and was the first MP to launch his own app, will focus on “tech transformation” in the health service.

He will make his first speech as Health Secretary today at West Suffolk hospital, and will set out his three early priorities — “technology, the health and care workforce and prevention”.

One of his first targets will be to rid the NHS of pagers, the Daily Telegraph can reveal.

More than one in 10 of the world’s pagers is being used in the NHS. The dated technology costs the NHS an estimated £6.6 million a year, according to a report by the digital solutions company CommonTime.

One pilot study has shown that replacing pagers to smartphone apps will save nurses more than 20 minutes and doctors almost 50 minutes every shift.

Mr Hancock replaced Jeremy Hunt last month in a reshuffle following the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

Mr Hancock is expected to say today: “Technology used right is a catalyst for greater connectivity and empowerment — on both sides. Not only can the right use of technology save time and money, it can improve patient safety.”

“I strongly believe that technology has the power to further enhance safety and improve outcomes for patients.”

The question is how do we harness the best modern technology has to offer? How do we achieve this holy trinity of improving outcomes, helping clinicians and saving money?

The minister will praise hospitals who have already decided to stop using pagers.

“Right here in the West Suffolk, junior doctors and nurses will soon throw away their pagers and install a new smartphone app, removing the need to phone colleagues for details after getting paged,” Mr Hancock is expected to say.

“Smartphone apps are only the start. Cutting edge technology is also improving safety and saving clinicians’ time.”

He will also announce that £412 million will be made available to improve patient care and allow more patients to access health services at home.

A further £75 million will be available to hospital trusts to install state-of-the-art electronic systems, to save money and “reduce potentially deadly medication errors by up to 50 per cent” when compared to the old paper systems.

It is understood that one of Mr Hancock's aims as Health Secretary will also be to reset the relationship between the Government and NHS staff.



Not much I can say about this very negative article attacking Paging Technology that hasn't already been well said by Jim Nelson. Those of us who steadfastly support Paging continue to address this issue instead of ignoring it and hoping people will learn the truth by themselves.

I really hate to think what will happen in times of major disasters when cellphones will not work at all e.g. when smartphones get stupid. They normally work so well that we get a false sense of security and reliability.

We were taught lessons about this after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and after Hurricane Katrina damaged much of New Orleans, Louisiana.

I am not saying that doctors and nurses should not use smartphones, just that they shouldn't throw away their pagers.

Brad Dye, editor

Here is my contribution to this topic:

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“Is Paging Going Away?”

by Jim Nelson

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

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.


YAHOO! Finance UK

Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz

The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.

  • Commercial Paging systems.
  • Healthcare Paging systems.
  • Public Safety Emergency Services Paging systems.
  • Demand Response Energy Grid Management.

Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.

  • Use as a stand-alone unit or in wide area network.
  • Mix with other transmitter brands in an existing paging network.
  • Adjustable from 20-250 watts.
  • 110/240 VAC or 48VDC.
  • Absolute Delay Correction.
  • Remote Diagnostics.
  • Configurable alarm thresholds.
  • Integrated Isolator.
  • Superb Reliability.
  • Improved amplifier efficiency.
  • Most reliable high-powered paging transmitter available.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

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.

Easy Solutions

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Providing Expert Support and Service Contracts for all Glenayre Paging Systems.

The GL3000 is the most prolific paging system in the world and Easy Solutions gladly welcomes you to join us in providing reliable support to the paging industry for many more decades in the future.

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
  • 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
Telephone: 214 785-8255

Easy Solutions


“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

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

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.









Board of Advisors

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.


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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.

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Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems
Critical Messaging that works
Secure . . . Dependable . . .
and Encrypted

Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

Contact Us   left arrow

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo

PSSI Repair Pricing
Repair Turn-Around Time 5-10 Business Days
1.1 Messaging Device - Repair Fees (parts additional change, 90-day warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code Model Type Pricing (USD$)
  AE-Advisor Elite AE-Advisor Elite Alphanumeric $14.25
  AG-Advisor Gold AG-Advisor Gold Alphanumeric $13.12
  ALPE-UniElite (All New Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $34.83
  ALPE-UniElite (Used Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $14.94
  ALPG-Alpha Gold ALPG-Alpha Gold Alphanumeric $14.51
  Apollo Apollo Numeric $13.37
  Bravo 850 B8-BR850 Numeric $17.02
  BF-Bravo FLX BF-Bravo FLX Numeric $11.44
  T900 T9-T900 2Way $18.56
  BP-Bravo Plus BP-Bravo Plus Numeric $11.44
  BR-Bravo LX BR-Bravo LX Numeric $11.44
  GS-Coaster Coaster Numeric $26.97
  M90-UNI Messenger M90-UNI Messenger 2Way $18.56
  NP88-UNI-NP88 NP88-UNI-NP88 Numeric $9.68
  Pronto PL-Pronto LX Numeric $9.68
  Unication Elegant EL-Elegant Numeric $14.51
  RA-Ranger RA-Ranger Numeric $12.02
  ST800 ST800 Numeric $12.02
  ST800-P ST800-P Numeric $12.02
  T3-Titan Sun Telecom T3-Titan Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $13.37
  Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $12.06
1.2 Messaging Device - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $1.15
  Frequency Change - Synthesized Models $3.45
  Frequency Change - Non-Synthesized Models (parts not included) $4.03
1.3 Infrastructure Network Equip. - Repair Fees (parts additional charge, 6-mth. warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code  
  Motorola Amplifier MO-AMP $581.20
  Motorola SCM/Exciter MO-SCM-EXC $561.25
  Motorola External NIU MO-NIU-EXT $511.92
  Glenayre Tx Controller GL-C2000 $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Narrow Band GL-EXC-NB $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Wide Band GL-EXC-WB $128.34
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8500 $303.60
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8600 $303.60
1.4 Infrastructure Network Equipment - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Inventory Receiving Processing Fee $18.40
  Pick, Pack, and Order Fulfillment Fee $29.90
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $80.50

Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
817-527-6322 left arrow left arrow

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Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.

Internet Protocol Terminal

The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.

An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

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Leavitt Communications

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

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

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BlackBerry dusts off oldest trick in the book to push new keyboard phone

Andy Boxall @AndyBoxall POSTED ON 7.19.18 - 3:05AM

BlackBerry may have another device on the list for 2018 — a lower cost version of the Key2. And dropping the price is of course the oldest and most reliable trick in the book to increase sales. Evidence of its possible existence comes from a leaked picture allegedly showing what’s being called the BlackBerry Key2 Lite, which shows the back of a phone with BlackBerry’s familiar logo, and a Key2-like shape.

blackberry key2 lite news leak

The device differs from the Key2 slightly. The chassis on the pictured device is red, and will apparently be made of plastic rather than metal. It will come in a blue or copper color as well, according to mobile leaker Evan Blass, who posted the picture on Twitter. The dual-lens camera BlackBerry introduced on the Key2 is present though, although the specifications may not be the same. While the Key2’s rear panel is also textured, the effect is different on the Key2 Lite.

The device is apparently code-named BlackBerry Luna, and the cheaper materials used in its construction should make the phone cheaper to buy than the Key2, which starts at $650. What’s interesting is that being called the Key2 Lite and sharing the Key2’s basic design, means the phone will have a physical keyboard, potentially introducing the feature to a wider audience. Outside of the expensive KeyOne and Key2, the only other Android-based BlackBerry phone you could buy was the all-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion.

We’ve already had indirect hints about the Key2 Lite. When Digital Trends spoke to BlackBerry’s global head of device portfolio Gareth Hurn in January, he told us there would be two phones with keyboards released in 2018. The BlackBerry Key2 turned out to be the first, and now it appears the Key2 Lite will be the second.

When will the phone arrive? Blass mentions in a subsequent tweet the phone could launch at the end of August or in September, potentially at the IFA technology show in Berlin, which begins on August 31 and runs until September 5. We don’t know anything about the specification yet, or if BlackBerry will remove some of the Key’s special keyboard functionality to lower the price further. It’s always possible the Key2 Lite will use the KeyOne’s keyboard, just with the Key2’s improved design.


Digital Trends

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Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.

Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.

  • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
  • Large capcode capacity.
  • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
  • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
  • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
  • Message activated Alarm Output.
  • 8 programmable relay outputs.
  • Send notifications of a system problem.
  • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
  • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
  • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
  • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
  • Power 5VDC.
  • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

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 left arrow left arrow

Wireless Network Planners

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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

Remote AB Switches

ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.


ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.


Common Features:

  • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
  • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
  • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
  • Form C relay—control local connection.
  • Power Loss Indicator.
  • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
  • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

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Leavitt Communications

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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

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 141

FCC Sorting Through License Transfers for Proposed T-Mo-Sprint Deal

The FCC is tackling the nitty-gritty aspects of the proposed T-Mobile acquisition of Sprint. The telecoms asked for agency permission to transfer Sprint’s licenses, authorizations and spectrum leases to T-Mobile. They’d also like the agency to okay the pro forma transfer of T-Mobile’s licenses, authorizations and spectrum leases to the combined company, should the deal be approved. Interested parties must file petitions to deny by August 27, to Docket 18-197.

T-Mobile asked the Commission for a ruling to allow foreign ownership in the U.S. company higher than the current 25 percent threshold. This concerns the proposed transfer to T-Mobile of common carrier wireless licenses and leases, and common carrier fixed satellite earth station licenses, held by Sprint subsidiaries. The companies have said the combined entity would occupy about 85,000 macro tower sites and roughly 50,000 small cells.

The FCC says initial review of data submitted by the two telecoms indicates that, in countries where their spectrum holdings overlap, the merged entity (New T-Mobile) would hold a maximum of 361.7 megahertz of spectrum. See this list of all the licenses involved.

Post-transaction, 69 percent of T-Mobile’s equity and voting interests will be held by subsidiaries of Deutsche Telekom (42 percent) and SoftBank (27 percent), subject to a proxy that would be held by T-Mobile to direct the voting of SoftBank’s T-Mobile shares. The other 31 percent of T-Mobile shares will be held by public shareholders.

T-Mobile asked the Commission to specifically approve foreign equity and voting interests that would be held directly or indirectly in T-Mobile post-closing by:

  • Deutsche Telekom Holding B.V. (DT Holding) (Netherlands);
  • SoftBank Group Capital Limited (SoftBank Capital) (United Kingdom);
  • T-Mobile Global Holding GmbH (T-Mobile Global Holding) (Germany);
  • T-Mobile Global Zwischenholding GmbH (T-Mobile Global) (Germany);
  • Deutsche Telekom AG (Deutsche Telekom) (Germany);
  • Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) (Germany);
  • Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) (Germany);
  • SoftBank Group Corp. (SoftBank Group) (Japan);
  • and Masayoshi Son (Japan)
Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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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. 21, No. 30 July 18, 2018 

REMINDER: Form 477 Data Due September 4

On July 11, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding all parties required to file Form 477 data that the filing deadline for the Form 477 data as of June 30, 2018 is September 4, 2018. The FCC’s Form 477 filing interface, available online at, is now accepting data as of June 30, 2018.

Accurate and timely submission of FCC Form 477 is mandatory. Service providers that are required to file Form 477 but fail to do so may be subject to enforcement action under sections 502 and 503 of the Communications Act and any other applicable law.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.


FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for August Open Meeting

On July 12, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the August 2, 2018 Open Commission Meeting. Linked in each summary item is the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Commission Meeting. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. However, it is important to note that these documents are subject to change before final consideration at the Meeting.

  • Spectrum Frontiers Auction Procedures
    The Commission will consider a Public Notice establishing application and bidding procedures for auctioning Upper Microwave Flexible Use Licenses in the 28 GHz (Auction 101) and 24 GHz (Auction 102) bands. (AU Docket No. 18-85)
  • Making 39 GHz Band Auction Ready
    The Commission will consider a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing an auction mechanism that would transition existing spectrum holdings in the 39 GHz band (38.6-40 GHz) to a new flexible-use band plan and would offer new licenses for contiguous spectrum in the band. (GN Docket No. 14-177)
  • Wireline Infrastructure
    The Commission will consider a Report and Order that will allow one-touch make-ready for most pole attachments and further reform its pole attachment process, and a Declaratory Ruling that will conclude that section 253(a) prohibits state and local moratoria on telecommunications facilities deployment. (WC Docket No. 17-84; WT Docket No. 17-79)
  • Connected Care Pilot Program
    The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry on creating a Universal Service Fund pilot program to promote the use of telehealth services among low-income Americans. (WC Docket No. 18-213)
  • LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Broadcast Station Reimbursement
    The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order that begins the process of implementing Congress’s directive in the Reimbursement Expansion Act that the Commission reimburse certain low power television, television translator, and FM broadcast stations for costs incurred as a result of the Commission’s broadcast television spectrum incentive auction. (MB Docket No. 18-214; GN Docket No. 12-268)
  • Promoting New Entry and Ownership Diversity in the Broadcasting Services
    The Commission will consider a Report and Order establishing the requirements which will govern an incubator program that seeks to promote the entry of new and diverse voices into the broadcast industry. (MB Docket No. 17-289)

Open Meetings are streamed live at and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.

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

Chairman Pai Announces Diversity Incubator Program for Broadcast

On July 11, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he has circulated a proposal that would establish the requirements to govern the incubator program that the Commission decided to adopt in 2017 to support the entry of new and diverse voices into the broadcast industry. The proposal, which the FCC will vote on at its August Open Meeting, outlines a program in which established broadcasters would pair with small aspiring new entrants or struggling broadcast station owners who lack access to capital and operational experience, among other things. The established broadcaster—the incubator—would help provide financial and operational support, including training and mentoring, to the new or struggling broadcaster. The program would initially apply to AM/FM full-service broadcast radio station ownership, as radio has traditionally been the most accessible entry point for new entrants and small businesses seeking to enter the broadcasting sector.

“The FCC is committed to taking action to promote diversity in the broadcast industry,” said Chairman Pai. That’s why we will be voting at our August meeting to move forward with a new incubator program. This program will encourage new voices, including women and minorities, to enter the broadcast business. In particular, it will help address the significant barriers, including lack of access to capital, that currently make it hard for many to join the broadcast industry. I would like to thank all of the stakeholders, including the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, that shared their recommendations on how this program should be structured. I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting this important initiative.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

Commissioner Carr Announces USF Connected Care Pilot Program

On July 11, Commissioner Brendan Carr announced that the FCC will seek to establish a new $100 million “Connected Care Pilot Program” to support telehealth for low-income Americans, especially those living in rural areas and veterans.

According to a Press Release, the FCC will vote on a Notice of Inquiry at its August Open Meeting that seeks comment on:

  • budgeting for $100 million in USF support;
  • targeting support to connected care deployments that would benefit low-income patients, including those eligible for Medicaid or veterans receiving cost-free medical care; and
  • supporting a limited number of projects over a two- or three-year period with controls in place to measure and verify the benefits, costs, and savings associated with connected care deployments.

“I want to thank Chairman Pai who, as the son of two doctors, appreciates the role that telemedicine plays in connecting rural communities to health care opportunities. I am grateful for the support he has shown as my office has worked on developing this Pilot Program,” Commission Carr stated. “I also want to thank the leadership shown on these issues by Senators John Thune, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Cory Gardner, and Todd Young who have all urged the FCC to take additional steps in support of connected care deployments,” Commissioner Carr said.

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

Law & Regulation

FCC Adopts Items at July 12 Open Meeting

At the July 12, 2018 Open Commission Meeting, the FCC adopted the items listed below. A link to the final, as-adopted version of each item is linked where available.

  • Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band: an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would continue the Commission’s efforts to make mid-band spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band available for expanded flexible use, primarily by seeking comment on mechanisms for clearing for mobile use and whether to allow point-to-multipoint use on a shared basis in portions of the band. To inform the Commission’s decision-making on the future of the band, it would also collect information from FSS earth stations and space stations to provide a clear understanding of the operations of current users. (GN Docket Nos. 18-122, 17-183; RM Nos. 11778, 11791)
  • Cellular Reform Third Report and Order: a Report and Order eliminating unnecessary rules that apply to cellular service and other licensees. (WT Docket Nos. 12-40, 10-112, 16-138; RM Nos. 11510, 11660)
  • Children’s Television Programming Rules: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposed revisions to the children’s television programming rules to provide broadcasters greater flexibility in meeting their children’s programming obligations. (MB Docket No. 18-202)
  • Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts: a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to improve emergency alerting, including facilitating more effective EAS tests and preventing false alerts. (PS Docket Nos. 15-91, 15-94)
  • Nationwide Number Portability: a Report and Order that forbears from legacy requirements and amends rules to facilitate the move toward complete nationwide number portability to promote competition between all service providers and increase network routing efficiencies. (WC Docket Nos. 17-244, 13-97)
  • Formal Complaint Rules Consolidation Order: a Report and Order that consolidates and streamlines the rules governing formal complaint proceedings delegated to the Enforcement Bureau. (EB Docket No. 17-245)

Open Meetings are streamed live at and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.

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

Slamming and Cramming Rule Amendments Effective August 16

On July 17, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Order codifying rules against sales call misrepresentations and cramming and revising rules to improve the effectiveness of the third-party verification (TPV) process. These rules and revisions go into effect on August 16.

Specifically, the FCC codified a rule to prohibit material misrepresentation, including material omissions, in sales calls to further reduce the incidence of slamming. Codifying this prohibition will provide carriers and consumers with more specific information and notice of this prohibited practice. The Commission also revised the Slamming and Cramming NPRM's proposed rule, published August 14, 2017, on sales calls by deleting the reference to “deception.” The Commission found that term to be vague and subject to an unclear interpretation absent a record to define it.

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

FCC to Announce Future Timetable for Filing of Next Gen TV License Applications

On July 17, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that the Next Gen TV local simulcasting rules are now in effect, and television broadcasters are authorized to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television transmission standard on a voluntary, market-driven basis. However, the Media Bureau is in the process of making changes to its Licensing and Management System (LMS) to accommodate Next Gen TV license applications and completion of such changes is expected in the beginning of 2019. Accordingly, the Bureau is not yet accepting applications for Next Gen TV licenses. The Bureau will issue a public notice announcing when it will start accepting applications for Next Gen TV licenses.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

Rep. Coffman Introduces No-Paid-Prioritization Net Neutrality Bill

On July 17, Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced his ‘21st Century Internet Act’. If enacted, the legislation would permanently codify into law the ‘four corners’ of net neutrality: no throttling, no blocking, no paid prioritization and oversight of interconnection (exchange points between ISP’s and backbone transit providers). Additionally, the legislation creates a new title for broadband, under the Communications Act of 1934 and contains enhanced protections for both consumer and businesses.

“The fight to keep the internet open belongs in Congress, not at the Federal Communications Commission,” said Representative Coffman. “The American people deserve to know that their elected officials, not unelected bureaucrats, are fighting for their interest. That fight begins with my bill, which will create an ‘internet constitution’ with the foundational elements of net neutrality.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.


FCC Announces Emergency Alerting Webinar on July 25

On July 12, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced an upcoming webinar on the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts. The free webinar will focus on issues relevant to broadcasters, cable television service providers, wireless service providers, state and local emergency managers, and other emergency alert and warning stakeholders. Topics will include:

  • A description of these alerting systems and how they work;
  • Who is eligible to initiate alerts, and how they are authorized;
  • How authorized alert initiators are trained and available training resources;
  • Lessons learned from recent alerting events, including the Hawaii false ballistic missile alert;
  • Recent FCC regulatory actions and changes under consideration; and
  • Recent FEMA updates to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The webinar is designed to help ensure that participants are familiar with these alerting systems and how to use them. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions. The WebEx webinar will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 and will be closed captioned. The registration page can be found at Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the event, the password, and the link for the meeting.

FCC Circulates Draft Hearing Designation Order for Sinclair/Tribune Transaction

On July 16, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a Press Release announcing circulation of a draft hearing designation order (HDO) regarding the Sinclair/Tribune transaction:

“Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair/Tribune transaction. The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law. When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction. Instead, the law requires the FCC to designate the transaction for a hearing in order to get to the bottom of those disputed issues. For these reasons, I have shared with my colleagues a draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.”

Commissioner Rosenworcel said: “Today’s announcement is welcome. As I have noted before, too many of this agency’s media policies have been custom built to support the business plans of Sinclair Broadcasting. With this hearing designation order, the agency will finally take a hard look at its proposed merger with Tribune. This is overdue and favoritism like this needs to end. I have voted to approve.”

Commissioner O’Rielly said: “In general, I have long stated that parties to merger applications are entitled to an answer from the Commission and have expressed deep objections to blindly sending decisions to the Commission’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Accordingly, I believe that to the extent there are HDOs, to garner my support they must include sufficient and defined timelines for the ALJ to conduct and process a hearing. If included in the Sinclair/Tribune HDO, I am inclined to support it. The ALJ process is in need of significant reforms, including putting an end to the interminable hearing.”

Announced in May of last year, TV station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. said it is acquiring Tribune Media Co. for $3.9 billion, in order to increase negotiating leverage over programmers and distributors and improve the ability to launch new channels or wireless streaming services. Sinclair has 173 stations in mid-size and small markets, and the Tribune has 42 stations. The merger would give Sinclair outlets in almost every major market.


JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31 of the previous year. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, for lines served as of September 30 of the previous year).

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

JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 31). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines. . . The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

AUGUST 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 recent 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 (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT: Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks--including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks--from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by August 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2014 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.

BloostonLaw contact: Gerry Duffy.

SEPTEMBER 4: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Normally due September 1, this year’s filing falls on a federal holiday, pushing the deadline back to the next business day. 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.

OCTOBER 1: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the Commission an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Because September 30 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due the following business day on October 1.

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.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Jul. 20 – Comments are due on FCC Robocalling Report.
Jul. 26 – Comments are due on FCC Mobile Wireless Competition Report.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 502 due (North American Numbering Plan Utilization and Forecast Report).
Aug. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Aug. 1 – Comments are due on Station License NPRM.
Aug. 6 – Reply comments are due on Expansion of 4.9GHz Band Use NPRM.
Aug. 6 – Comments or oppositions due on USTelecom Petition for Forbearance.
Aug. 8 – Comments are due on 2.5GHz Transformation NPRM.
Aug. 16 – Reply comments are due on FCC Mobile Wireless Competition Report.
Aug. 16 – Reply comments are due on Station License NPRM.
Aug. 20 – Reply comments are due on FCC Robocalling Report.
Aug. 29 – Copyright Statement of Accounts is due.

Sep. 4 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
Sep. 4 – Comments are due on Toll-Free Arbitrage FNPRM.
Sep. 5 – Reply comments are due on USTelecom Petition for Forbearance.
Sep. 7 – Reply comments are due on 2.5GHz Transformation NPRM.

Oct. 1 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).
Oct. 1 – Reply comments are due on Toll-Free Arbitrage FNPRM.

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.


Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520,
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510,
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528,
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540,
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519,
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554,
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538,
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562,

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New Legislation Suggests Implementing Emergency Alerts Into Streaming Services Like Netflix and Spotify

Thursday July 19, 2018 8:21 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard

Currently, when users in a certain area face potentially bad weather, threats of danger, or a nearby AMBER alert, their iPhone or other smartphone sounds off and displays a message explaining the emergency.

In new legislation shared today, United States senators Brian Schatz and John Thune hope to "explore" ways this system could improve to enhance reliability, including implementing these alerts into audio and video online streaming services (via TechCrunch)

According to the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act, more people would be successfully alerted to and aware of potential emergencies if these alerts played on services like Netflix and Spotify. In these situations, the legislation argues, users might have left their smartphone behind in another part of the house while streaming on a TV or computer, missing an alert in the process.

Senator Schatz explained that the mishap with the false missile alert in Hawaii earlier this year "exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts," inspiring change and the new legislation.

“When a missile alert went out across Hawai‘i in January, some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios. Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts,” said Senator Schatz, lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet. “Our bill fixes a number of important problems with the system responsible for delivering emergency alerts. In a real emergency, these alerts can save lives so we have to do everything we can to get it right.”

“Emergency alerts save lives but management mistakes can erode their credibility and effectiveness. The READI Act implements lessons learned from past incidents and recognizes that emergency protocols must change along with communication technology,” said Senator Thune, Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Other aspects of the READI Act also propose eliminating the option for users to opt out of receiving “certain” federal alerts, like missile alerts, on smartphones. For iPhone, users can toggle off AMBER Alerts and Emergency Alerts completely under the “Government Alerts” section in Notifications settings.

Otherwise, the legislation would encourage State Emergency Communications Committees to “periodically review and update” their own alert system plans to keep them more up-to-date, as well as compel FEMA "to create best practices" for state, tribal, and local governments for issuing alerts, avoiding false alerts, and retracting false alerts if they happen. This false alert system would also see a reporting system implemented under the READI Act so the FCC can track when they occur and “examine their causes.”

Source: MacRumors  

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From: Roy Pottle
Subject: Re: Reduction in Coverage — Erdmann Letter
Date: July 18, 2018
To: Brad Dye


Rarely do I take exception to your newsletter or the letters you post, however, I do so with respect to Mr. Erdmann’s letter and your response to him. Based on facts unknown to you, I take issue with your suggestion this was a “great report.” I contend it was not, although I do agree it was painful to read, but for very different reasons. As you know, I have been involved in the paging industry for almost thirty years, first as a lender to the industry, then as CFO of Arch Wireless, Inc. and for the past thirteen years as Chairman & CEO of American Messaging Services, LLC. (“American Messaging”). So, like you “I know a thing or two because I have seen a thing or two.”

One certainty is that our industry’s challenges are not unique. Products and services are constantly disrupted by new products and services predicated on creativity and new technologies. Product displacement happens almost daily and often requires difficult decisions to allow a company or industry to survive and prosper. This is our reality. As product displacement occurred in our industry we became smaller, requiring many difficult decisions that negatively affected many people, including you. Those difficult decisions and the financial restructuring that occurred not only allowed our industry to survive but they created new opportunities to meet the unique needs of our industry.

American Messaging was born of this learning as we set out from the beginning “to be the best, most trusted provider of wireless messaging services to targeted customers in the United States.” Today, thirteen years later, this remains our Mission Statement because it focuses on two things — knowing our target customer and understanding their needs. These two principles ensure we do not endanger the viability of our business by trying to be all things to all people. In this regard, Mr. Erdmann is correct — we are very focused on the needs of our target customers and their coverage requirements and yes, we have worked hard to optimize and improve network coverage for our target customers.

Yet, let me be clear, beyond this fact Mr. Erdmann’s assertions are false. Several years ago, we did consolidate two networks in Florida but the footprint available to customers, although not identical, increased as we put each frequency in all transmitters and only eliminated transmitters that provided overlapping coverage. As a result, regardless of frequency a customer generally gained coverage. Today, we operate across the country with a total of 3,422 transmitters compared to 3,342 five years ago. We now have greater coverage although it is more concentrated in some areas and less so in other areas.

Over the last several months we communicated extensively with Mr. Erdmann, responding to his many enquiries time and again, but to no avail. The issue is simple, we made a network change that affected a small area frequented by Mr. Erdman. Although we understand Mr. Erdmann’s frustration we cannot justify maintaining service in an area for three pagers — this is the trade-off we make to improve coverage in other areas with greater customer concentration knowing we may lose a long-time customer such as Mr. Erdmann. We do not take these actions lightly but do so in the best interests of our constituents, including customers, employees and shareholders.

Please be assured that Mr. Erdmann’s other assertions related to our FCC licenses are based on frustration rather than fact. We have never had a license not granted or subsequently renewed. Mr. Erdmann first communicated his frustration in early April at which time we immediately contacted our FCC counsel to investigate his claims — there are no issues or concerns. American Messaging always strives to provide the best customer service possible and to be in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not express some disappointment that you did not contact me to garner my perspective in advance of publishing Mr. Erdmann’s letter, but your circumstances are understood and accepted. Today, our industry is performing very well and the value of our service remains strong. We should espouse this reality rather than eras of the past.


J. Roy Pottle
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
American Messaging Services, LLC

(508) 344-2640


OK, I apologize. This will end the discussion of this topic in the newsletter.

Brad Dye, editor

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“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Mbappé Creates a New Skill
Never Before Seen on the Soccer Field

I become a soccer fan every four years during the World Cup. When I first saw Kylian Mbappé kicking the football, I thought he had tripped, then I realized he had total control of his feet. This 19-year-old super star won the recent World Cup for France. He is amazing. Some are saying he is as good (or will be) as Pelé, the famous Brazilian soccer player.

Source: YouTube  

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