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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — June 1, 2018 — Issue No. 808

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Radar gun that can tell if drivers are texting is in the works

This is a technology that could save lives.

By Christine Loganbill — May 29, 2018
CDL Life News

A Virginia-based company is developing a new radar gun that not only detects speeding, but texting and driving as well

The new radar guns detect radio frequencies emitted from cell phones. When a text message is sent, the phone emits a distinct frequency, allowing officers to see the violation.

By pairing the new radar with Range-r technology, officers can discern which area of the vehicle the text was sent from. This helps eliminate false claims that the text message was sent by a passenger.

ComSonics hopes that the new tech will keep the roads safe and driver’s eyes away from their phones.

According to a National Safety Council report, texting and driving causes 330,000 crashes annually, making it six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.

This is a technology that could save lives.

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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We need your help.

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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.


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.


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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.

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)

macOS 10.13.5 now available for Mac, includes Messages in iCloud

By Zac Hall - Jun. 1st 2018 10:07 am PT

Apple has released a new version of macOS High Sierra that brings Messages in iCloud to the Mac. macOS 10.13.5 is now available for all compatible Macs through the Mac App Store.

Release notes:

The macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update improves the stability, performance, and security of your Mac and is recommended for all users.

This update adds support for Messages in iCloud, which lets you store messages with their attachments in iCloud and free up space on your Mac. To enable Messages in iCloud, go to Preferences in Messages, click Accounts, then select “Enable Messages in iCloud”.

For more detailed information about this update, please visit:

For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit:

The release comes a few days after iOS 11.4 shipped for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Read our FAQ on Messages in iCloud here.

Messages in iCloud can be turned on from the preferences section of the Messages app: Preferences → Accounts → Enable Messages in iCloud.

Once enabled, Messages in iCloud has a few benefits. If you delete a message from your Mac, it will disappear from all Macs, iPhones, and iPads running the latest software update. The other benefit is all message history will appear when setting up a new Mac from scratch. This previously required restoring your Mac from a backup.

macOS 10.13.5 is available for all Macs running macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store.



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

easy solutions

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.

Russians hack Wi-Fi Routers: What to do right now

By Paul Wagenseil Senior editor, security, privacy and gaming
Fox News
May 30. 2018

FBI warns hackers are targeting Internet routers

Feds encourage anyone with an Internet router in their home or business to reboot the devices to help protect against sophisticated malware from Russian hackers.

It's a pain in the neck, but you should probably factory-reset your home wireless router as soon as possible. You definitely need to do this if you own one of several Netgear, Linksys, TP-Link or MicroTik models.

That's because at least 500,000 routers and other devices worldwide have been infected by sophisticated malware that likely comes from Russian state-sponsored hackers, as Cisco Talos labs disclosed last week. The malware, which Cisco Talos calls "VPNFilter," can steal personal information, redirect web traffic, infect other devices and — worst of all — even "brick" infected devices to make them unusable.

The FBI said owners of any small-office/home-office (SOHO) routers should reboot their devices, but that won't fully get rid of the malware. (The FBI seized a web domain crucial to the malware's operations, but that may be only a temporary fix.)

You actually have to reset the router to factory-default settings to make sure the VPNFilter malware is gone. Several specific router models are known to be affected by VPNFilter, but Cisco Talos fears those might just be the tip of the iceberg.

Cisco Talos listed the definitively affected routers as the Linksys E1200, E2500 and WRVS4400N; the Netgear DGN2200, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000 and WNR2000; and the TP-Link TL-R600VPN SafeStream VPN router. MicroTik Cloud Core routers, mainly used by enterprises, may be affected if they run versions 1016, 1036 or 1072 of the MicroTik RouterOS.

Cisco Talos found that two QNAP networked-attached-storage (NAS) drives, the TS-251 and TS-439 Pro, were also affected by VPNFilter.

But Cisco Talos isn't done with its research, "Given our observations with this threat, we assess with high confidence that this list is incomplete and other devices could be affected," Cisco Talos researchers wrote in a blog posting.

"We recommend that users of SOHO routers and/or NAS devices reset them to factory defaults and reboot them," the posting said. "Due to the potential for destructive action by the threat actor, we recommend out of an abundance of caution that these actions be taken for all SOHO or NAS devices, whether or not they are known to be affected by this threat."

All the routers affected by VPNFilter had previously disclosed vulnerabilities, and Cisco Talos assumes that the bad guys got in by exploiting those flaws. However, it's hard to detect the VPNFilter infection, and updated devices may have been infected before patches were applied, so it might be best to start from scratch.

How to Factory-Reset Your Router

Before you reset your router, do a little preparation. Write down the names of and passwords for your wireless networks. That way, you can set up the router again with the same information and all your devices will re-connect easily.

Make sure that you have any router setup disks, instructions or software at hand if you need to refer to them. If you don't, you can get them from the router maker's website. You should also have an Ethernet cable; there's usually one in the retail box with the router.

Finally, make sure that no one else, and no device, in your household is actively using the Internet connection, as the reset and setup process can take up to an hour.

Next comes the actual reset. There's often a small pinhole button on the underside or back of the router that performs a factory reset if you press it with a pin or the end of a paper clip. If there isn't, check your router maker's website for specific factory-reset instructions.

Press the button, or do what the router maker's website tells you do. Then follow the regular setup instructions. You'll probably have to run a setup program from a PC or Mac while connected to the router via an Ethernet cable.

As indicated above, create the wireless network or networks using the same network names and access passwords as before, so that your Wi-Fi-enabled devices can connect painlessly.

But make sure you change the default administrative password that came with the factory reset. You should also disable remote administrative access if you can.

Then install the latest firmware updates for your router. We've got instructions on how to do this with the major router brands here.


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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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For Sale – Apollo Pilot XP A28 Alpha Numeric Pagers w/Charging Cradle

  • $70 each, discount available for volume purchases
  • Freq Range:450-458MHz & 462-470MHz
  • Format: POCSAG, Wide or Narrow Band
  • IP54 rating, protection from dust and water ingress
  • Powered by a standard AAA rechargeable battery

Contact Information

For Sale: Power-One 24VDC Linear Power Supplies

  • $70 each
  • Max output: 3.6 Amps
  • Input: 100/120/220/230/240 VAC 50/60Hz

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-failover 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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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, June 1, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 107  

Battle for 3.5 GHz Spectrum Gets More Intense

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

CTIA President Meredith Attwell Baker is urging the FCC to finish rules for the 3.5 GHz portion of mid-band spectrum in time for the agency’s July meeting. The former FCC Commissioner is also pushing the agency to schedule an auction for that Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum in 2019.

South Korea plans to auction its 3.5 GHz spectrum next month, Baker notes in a filing to the agency this week, and other countries are making similar plans. “Given that South Korea, China, and Japan are moving forward rapidly with mid-band spectrum, it is critical we move forward expeditiously to both finalize the rules and set an auction date for 2019,” says Baker.

The future of the 3.5 GHz CBRS band has been fiercely contested between large carriers, who advocate for larger geographic areas and longer licensing terms and smaller carriers who argue to keep the rules the same to allow them to innovate.

Baker referenced the compromise proposed in April by CTIA and the Competitive Carriers Association for what Baker calls “investment-friendly” changes, including longer license terms, license renewal expectation, and larger geographic area licenses. They proposed the agency should license Priority Access License (PAL) geographic license areas using Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the top 306 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) and use county-based geographic area licenses in the remaining 428 CMAs. “We continue to work with the Commission and other stakeholders on the right geographic licensing approach, and believe that the CTIA-CCA approach represents a meaningful compromise that will maximize the value of the 70 megahertz of PAL spectrum,” writes Baker.

But a group consisting of the Rural Wireless Association, the Rural Broadband Association, Ruckus Networks, Frontier Communications, Motorola and others, presented Commissioner Michael O’Rielly this week with what they say is a more inclusive compromise. They describe their coalition as “the largest yet” in this proceeding. “In the spirit of compromise, all of these diverse parties are willing to accept some obstacles to their own CBRS opportunities in order to ensure that the largest possible group of stakeholders can derive value from the 3.5 GHz band,” they say. They assert their proposed mix of large-area and small-area licensing under a compromise CBRS PALs framework will accommodate the needs of all stakeholders in the 3.5 GHz band.

However, a collection of consumer organizations, calling themselves the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, oppose any efforts to increase license size. They support neither compromise, saying: “A FCC policy aimed at redefining spectrum rights to fit the business model of very wide-area regional and national coverage networks is neither necessary nor appropriate in this band given the opposition of virtually every other stakeholder to effectively rigging the PAL auctions so that only large ISPs will have either the financial incentive or resources to win permanent and large-area PALs at auction.” The coalition adds: “Very large-area and expensive licenses are simply not a good fit for small cell, high capacity use cases, and are likely to result in spectrum lying fallow for many years, if not indefinitely, in low-density environments outside of central urban areas and well-trafficked venues.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 Volume 6 | Issue 105  

FCC Releases More Capital for PR, USVI Network Restoration

The FCC on Tuesday okayed capital to speed up restoration of communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) that were destroyed during last year’s hurricanes. The Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking includes an immediate infusion of about $64 million in additional funding for short-term restoration efforts. The agency also seeks comment on injecting nearly $900 million in medium- and long-term aid to expand and improve broadband access across the islands.

Island-based carriers asked the FCC for more help toward the end of 2017. Tuesday’s decision means in 2018, the Commission will continue to provide, at a minimum, current levels of high-cost support to carriers in Puerto Rico and USVI. Fixed carrier Puerto Rico Telephone Company will continue to receive approximately $36 million annualized and mobile carriers (Centennial Puerto Rico Operations Corp., Suncom Wireless Puerto Rico Operating Co., Cingular Wireless, Puerto Rico Telephone Company, PR Wireless Inc., and Worldnet Telecommunications, Inc.) will continue to receive about $79.2 million annualized, according to the Commission. In the USVI, fixed carrier Viya will continue to receive roughly $16.5 million annualized and mobile carrier Choice Communications will continue to receive approximately $67,000 annualized.

Though the FCC initially anticipated offsetting advance payments against future support, it no longer thinks that’s prudent because “continuing difficulties in bringing service and power back to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have impeded and delayed restoration efforts,” says the agency in the item. Indeed, “Restoration efforts are still ongoing rather than largely complete and persistent power outages and other logistical challenges have made the continued operation of restored networks more expensive than some expected.”

The Commission’s action also converts $65.8 million advanced to carriers on the islands last year, into new money by not recovering that funding from future Universal Service support payments. The Commission seeks public input on a plan to allocate some $259 million in medium-term aid to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband deployments on the islands.

First stage capital is available to voice and broadband providers on the islands, subject to being designated an eligible telecom carrier. To participate, carriers must certify their eligibility no later than 14 days after the Order is published in the Federal Register.

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. 23 May 30, 2018 

FCC to Release MF-II Challenge Handset Lists; Confidentiality Requests Due June 4

On May 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice providing notice of its intent to publicly release a list of the handsets designated by each mobile wireless provider in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process for challengers to use when conducting speed tests in areas deemed presumptively ineligible for MF-II support. Currently, this information is available only through the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) challenge portal, which challengers may access only after agreeing to keep the information confidential. Carriers that submitted handset lists have until June 4 to submit requests for confidential treatment. The lists will be made publicly available on June 5 for those carriers that do not submit such requests.

See the article below for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.


Blooston Rural Carriers File Comments on Rate of Return Reform Proceeding

On May 25, the initial round of comments was filed on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, in which the FCC sought comment on revising the high-cost budget for RoR carriers, extending a new offer of model-based support, fully funding carriers that have already accepted A-CAM support and changing the budget control mechanism, as well as other related topics. Reply comments are due June 25.

The Blooston Rural Carriers filed comments urging the FCC to adopt a minimum budget for HCLS/CAF BLS that more accurately reflects the real costs of rural broadband networks by eliminating arbitrary adjustments, as well as the implementation of a realistic inflation factor. This includes adopting a threshold support level uncapped by the Budget Control Mechanism (BCM) if not eliminating it entirely, and eliminating the RGF mechanism. At the same time, the Blooston Rural Carriers cautioned the FCC to tread carefully when considering whether to increase deployment obligations in exchange, proposing rather that the FCC fix these mechanisms first, in order to develop a data set warranting specific deployment obligations.

The Blooston Rural Carriers also supported the FCC’s proposals to make a second model offer to so-called glide path carriers; increase funding under the initial A-CAM offer to $200 per location; and to extend a second model offer to all carriers, but only if these proposals did not result in a reduction in support for legacy mechanism carriers. Finally, the Blooston Rural Carriers support the maintenance of the current challenge process for areas that have 100% overlap with an unsubsidized competitor.

Other commenters included NTCA, ITTA, the Small Company Coalition, USTelecom, WISPA, and WTA. Copies of the comments filed to date can be found here. Clients interested in participating in Reply Comments should contact the Firm promptly.

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

FCC Announces Intention to Release MF-II Speed Test Handsets

On May 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice providing notice of its intent to publicly release a list of the handsets designated by each mobile wireless provider in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process for challengers to use when conducting speed tests in areas deemed presumptively ineligible for MF-II support. Currently, this information is available only through the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) challenge portal, which challengers may access only after agreeing to keep the information confidential. Carriers that submitted handset lists have unto June 4 to submit requests for confidential treatment. The lists will be made publicly available on June 5 for those carriers that do not submit such requests.

When submitting standardized coverage data on qualified 4G LTE service for use in the MF II challenge process, each mobile wireless provider also submitted a list of readily available handset models that challengers could use to test such coverage. Because providers considered the coverage data to be competitively sensitive or proprietary, the FCC required that challengers access such data only through the USAC portal after agreeing to keep the information obtained through the portal confidential.

In the Public Notice, the FCC found that making public the handset lists submitted by providers will facilitate the ability of parties without access to the challenge process portal to assess whether they wish to participate in the challenge process. However, since providers were not required to include with their handset list submissions a request that such information be withheld from public inspection, the FCC is providing those carriers the opportunity to do so before releasing the information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Approves Additional Funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

On May 29, the FCC announced that it has approved additional immediate $64 million in funding to accelerate the restoration of communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were damaged and destroyed during the 2017 hurricane season. The FCC is also seeking comment on injecting almost $900 million in medium- and long-term funding into expanding and improving broadband access on the islands. To accomplish these goals, the Commission created the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund (Bringing Puerto Rico Together Fund) and the Connect USVI Fund.

“The Commission’s action today will not only help complete the recovery from last year’s devastating storms, but seeks comment on much-needed funding for long-term improvement and expansion of broadband throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “During my visits to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, I saw that it was critical for the FCC to not only address today’s urgent needs, but to look ahead to support the broadband networks the islands need to thrive in the 21st Century.”

The Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking includes:

  • An immediate infusion of approximately $64 million in additional funding for short-term restoration efforts.
  • Conversion of $65.8 million in advanced funding the Commission provided last year to carriers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands into new funding by declining to recover that advanced funding from future universal service support payments.
  • Solicitation of public comment on a proposal to allocate over the next decade for the expansion of fixed broadband connectivity approximately $444.5 million in funding for Puerto Rico and $186.5 million for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Solicitation of public comment on a proposal to allocate approximately $259 million in medium-term funding for the expansion of 4G LTE mobile broadband connectivity in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To expedite buildout, opportunities for the first stage of funding are open to all facilities-based providers in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands of voice and broadband service, subject to receiving an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation. To participate, providers must certify their eligibility no later than 14 days after publication of the Order in the Federal Register.

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

Law & Regulation

Senate Introduces Bill to Re-prioritize Unserved Areas

On May 25, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Steve Daines (R- Mont.) have introduced the bipartisan Re-prioritizing Unserved Rural Areas and Locations for Broadband (RURAL Broadband) Act of 2018, which will prioritize federal funds that are used to provide broadband access to areas that are unserved with no access, before they are used to upgrade areas with existing service. Their bill is a significant step toward prioritizing unserved rural areas in Vermont and other states.

The bill, if adopted, would amend the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to provide requirements on the use of assistance for broadband deployment, and for other purposes. Specifically, the bill expressly permits the use of RUS funding to provide retail fixed broadband service in areas in which there is no qualifying broadband-capable infrastructure owned or operated by another service provider; and prohibit the use of RUS funding by a service provider to provide retail fixed broadband service that would overbuild or otherwise duplicate qualifying broadband-capable infrastructure that another service provider is using to provide retail fixed broadband service in the same area.

Roger Nishi, vice president of industry relations, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom said: “Senator Leahy’s leadership in introducing this legislation demonstrates his consistent commitment to advancing rural broadband in Vermont and to promoting the efficient use of federal resources toward this goal. This bill will help ensure broadband programs are effectively coordinated and can enable delivery of robust and sustainable broadband services to as many rural Americans as possible.”

Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of the Rural Broadband Association (NTCA) said: “Senators Daines and Leahy are proven leaders on rural broadband and have offered a thoughtful bill to ensure that necessary federal resources are coordinated for maximum impact in high cost rural areas in need of broadband. NTCA welcomes this legislation and appreciates these senators’ steadfast commitment to improving the quality of life in rural America by ensuring as many Americans as possible will be able to experience the benefits of broadband access.”

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

Senate Introduces Bill to Improve Wireless Coverage Maps

On May 24, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced S. 2955, the “Mobile Accuracy and Precision Broadband Act” (MAP Broadband Act). If enacted, the bill would help improve the accuracy of the FCC’s mobile broadband coverage map to “ensure that federal resources are targeted to unserved communities that do not have access to reliable mobile broadband service.”

According to a press release, the legislation would “address problems with the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) presumptive eligibility maps” and “address concerns with the FCC’s challenge process for the presumptive eligibility map.”

Specifically, the “MAP Broadband Act” would require the FCC to:

  • Extend the challenge process window by 90 days to ensure that challengers with limited resources and personnel have enough time to challenge the map;
  • Disclose the eligible handsets (i.e. phones) that each mobile wireless service provider has approved for challengers to use in the challenge process;
  • Provide monthly updates on the number of entities that the Commission has approved to participate in the challenge process as challengers, and the percentage of the total geographic areas initially determined to be ineligible for MF-II support that have been challenged under the challenge process; and
  • Provide annual updates on the expansion of mobile wireless service through the MF-II program.

“The FCC’s seriously-flawed mobile coverage map threatens to exclude many rural communities from much-needed wireless broadband support,” Senator Wicker said. “Ensuring that all Granite Staters have access to broadband is critical to the success of our people and businesses in the 21st century economy,” Senator Hassan said. “Bridging the Digital Divide and deploying high-speed Internet to rural communities continues to be a top priority for me and for my colleagues representing rural America,” said Senator Moran.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Sen. Joe Manchin Granted Waiver to Participate in MF-II Challenge Process

On May 25, the FCC granted a request for waiver filed by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III to participate as a challenger in the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process, subject to certain conditions. Specifically, Sen. Manchin filed a petition for a waiver of the rule limiting participation in the MF-II challenge process, as he is neither a governmental entity nor a service provider required to file Form 477 data.

In granting the request for waiver, the FCC found that Sen. Manchin has a bona fide interest in the challenge process “because the promotion of 4G LTE service throughout the state of West Virginia is an issue with which he has a long record of engagement.” The FCC also found that Sen. Manchin has plausible ability to submit the necessary data because he has “assigned an employee to review the technical requirements of the challenge process” and that said employee “has demonstrated an understanding of the technical requirements, asking Commission staff a series of questions about the requirements.”

As a condition of participation, Sen. Manchin is required to “purchase an appropriate service plan and an approved handset from each unsubsidized service provider in the areas he wishes to challenge” and “personally certify, under penalty of perjury, that:

    1. he has examined all data submitted; and
    2. all data and statements contained in the submission were generated in accordance with these specifications and are true, accurate, and complete to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.


FCC Grants 800 MHz Waiver Request for Sprint

By letter dated May 30, the FCC granted a modification request by Sprint Corporation (Sprint) that will allow Sprint to deploy its 800 MHz wideband operations in certain portions of the San Antonio — Texas National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) Region 53 before 800 MHz Band reconfiguration has been completed in that Region. According to the letter, granting the Modification Request will permit LTE deployment in a total of 39 counties, “providing Sprint’s subscribers access to these valuable broadband wireless services while protecting the remaining public safety entities from harmful interference.”

In 2014, Sprint sought and was granted a waiver of Section 90.209(b) that permitted it to deploy LTE in 30 counties in the San Antonio — Texas NPSPAC Region, subject to several conditions. Since then, Sprint states that it has deployed LTE broadband services at nearly 300 sites in those counties under its conditional waiver of Section 90.209(b). However, contended Sprint, certain San Antonio — Texas NPSPAC Region public safety licensees have not completed their retunes. Sprint explained that many of these remaining retunes will take place in, if not before, early 2018 when “the Mexican-side retunes will clear the path for U.S. licensees to retune to their replacement frequencies.” Accordingly, Sprint sought modification so that it may accelerate its broadband deployment by also operating LTE sites in the nine additional San Antonio — Texas NPSPAC Region counties in which 800 MHz rebanding is now complete.

FCC Announces Completion of Transition to New Porting Administrator

On May 29, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the successful completion of the transition to the new Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA), Telcordia Technologies, doing business as iconectiv. The LNPA operates the system that allows consumers to keep their telephone numbers when they switch communications service providers, thereby promoting consumer choice and competition among those companies. It also provides critical services to our nation’s law enforcement and public safety communities.

“I’m pleased that, after years of hard work and extensive preparation, we have successfully transitioned to a new and less expensive LNPA,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This change should reduce costs for consumers. I applaud the work of all involved in this complex endeavor, especially the dedicated staff in the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of General Counsel. I thank them for working tirelessly to ensure a seamless and on-time transition for the communications industry, the law enforcement and public safety communities, and most importantly, the American public.”


MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.

MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on May 31. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.

JULY 2: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired.

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

JULY 2: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the FCC an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the FCC, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the FCC’s rules.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Sal Taillefer.

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.

Calendar At-a-Glance

May 31 – Comments are due on 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum use.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

Jun. 1 – Comments are due on USF Equipment Spending Safeguards.
Jun. 2 – E911 horizontal location accuracy benchmark certification due to be filed.
Jun. 4 - Three-year E911 location accuracy benchmark certification due.
Jun. 4 – Comments are due on Rural Call Completion FNPRM.
Jun. 4 – Requests for Confidential Treatment of MF-II Handset Lists are due.
Jun. 5 – Comments are due on Status of Gov’t Relocation from AWS Bands.
Jun. 5 – Deadline for CAF Phase II Auction corrections.
Jun. 7 – Comments are due on Robocall Database FNPRM.
Jun. 7 – Comments or oppositions due on USTelecom Petition for Forbearance.
Jun. 15 – Reply Comments are due on 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum use.
Jun. 18 – 15-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 18 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Signal Booster FNPRM.
Jun. 18 – Comments are due on Over-the-Top VoIP Compensation Petition.
Jun. 18 – Comments are due on A-CAM BDS Migration NPRM.
Jun. 19 – Reply comments are due on Rural Call Completion FNPRM.
Jun. 21 – Deadline to elect revised model-based support.
Jun. 22 – Replies are due on USTelecom Petition for Forbearance.
Jun. 25 – Reply comments are due on RoR Reform FNPRM.
Jun. 25 – Petitions to suspend 15-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 26 – 7-Day Tariff fillings are due.
Jun. 27 – Petitions to suspend 7-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 28 – Replies to Petitions to suspend 15-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to suspend 7-Day Tariff Filings are due.

Jul. 2 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 2 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 2 – Reply Comments are due on USF Equipment Spending Safeguards.
Jul. 2 – Reply comments are due on A-CAM BDS Migration NPRM.
Jul. 3 – 15-Day and 7-Day Tariff Filings effective.
Jul. 3 – Reply comments are due on Over-the-Top VoIP Compensation Petition.
Jul. 5 – Reply comments are due on Status of Gov’t Relocation from AWS Bands.
Jul. 6 – Comments are due on Expansion of 4.9GHz Band Use NPRM.
Jul. 9 – Reply comments are due on Robocall Database FNPRM.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

Aug. 6 – Reply comments are due on Expansion of 4.9GHz Band Use NPRM.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 18, No. 5 May 2018 

LMCC Requests Modification of T-Band Freeze

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) has requested that the FCC modify the application filing freeze for applications requesting modification of existing licenses in the T-Band (470-512 MHz Band). The current freeze was adopted by the FCC in 2012 in order to prevent further changes to the licensing structure of the band in advance of the spectrum auctions that will be required under the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. As a result, incumbent licensees – whether public safety or industrial — have been unable to modify their radio systems without a rule waiver from the FCC. In order to allow incumbent licensees in this band to make adjustments to their operations, LMCC has proposed that existing T-Band licensees located within a 50-mile radius of a defined T-Band market be permitted to:

  • Relocate or add sites on already licensed frequencies even if the new or additional location would expand the existing contour of the frequency. In this case, both the existing and proposed sites must be within a 50-mile radius of a defined T-Band market.
  • Change frequencies on a one-for-one basis, meaning that an incumbent licensee could swap frequencies but could not obtain additional frequencies.
  • Add frequencies through the license assignment or coordination process without being limited to existing contours.

We anticipate that the FCC will seek public comment prior to taking action on this proposal. We encourage our clients with licenses in the T-Band (470-512 MHz Band) to support the LMCC proposal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Comments on 4.9 GHz Further Not ice of Proposed Rulemaking Due July 6

The FCC has published its Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WP Docket No. 07-100 in the Federal Register: Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules. In this FNPRM, the FCC seeks comment on several alternatives to stimulate expanded use of and investment in the 4.9 GHz band. Comments are due July 6, 2018 and reply comments are due August 6, 2018.

The FCC’s proposals for the 4.9 GHz band include:

  • Band Plan: The FCC proposes to retain the existing channelization plan for the band, but to modify the 4.9 GHz band plan by aggregating Channels 1 - 5 to form a five-megahertz bandwidth channel for aeronautical mobile and robotic use; allow existing channel aggregation bandwidth limit to 40 megahertz; and to grandfather all incumbent users as of the date any final rules become effective.
  • Aeronautical and Robotic Use: The FCC proposes to require aeronautical mobile and robotic operations to be frequency coordinated around incumbent terrestrial users of Channels 1-5; allow manned aeronautical use of Channels 1-5; establish a maximum altitude limit of 1500 feet (457 meters) above ground level (AGL) for manned airborne operations on Channels 1-5; allow air-to-ground and robotic transmissions only from low power devices as defined in Section 90.1215; and to amend Section 2.106 of the Commission’s rules to remove the prohibition on aeronautical mobile service use from the 4940-4950 MHz band in the non-Federal Table of Frequency Allocations.
  • Coordination: The FCC proposes to require certified frequency coordination for licensing in the 4.9 GHz band; permitting Public Safety Pool frequency coordinators which the FCC has certified to coordinate in other Part 90 spectrum bands be eligible to coordinate applications in the 4.9 GHz band; and waiving frequency coordination for certain technology to serve as incentive for manufacturers and licensees to use such technology in the 4.9 GHz band without creating harmful interference.
  • Database and Existing Licenses. The FCC proposes to require incumbent licensees and new applicants to provide technical information that will enhance frequency coordination and help mitigate the possibility of interference, while permitting more new users; adding the 4.9 GHz band to the microwave schedule for P-P, P-MP, and fixed receiver stations; and uncoupling base and mobile stations from geographic licenses (instead requiring that base and mobile technical parameters be entered on the existing location and technical data schedules). Thus, the FCC proposes to maintain ULS as the comprehensive licensing database for the 4.9 GHz band, which frequency coordinators will use to base their coordination. The FCC also proposes to set a one-year timetable, starting on the release date of the ULS public notice described above, for incumbent licensees to provide data.
  • Technical Standards: The FCC seeks comment on how to encourage voluntary implementation of technical standards for equipment in the band that can provide certainty for public safety users while also providing appropriate incentives for manufacturers to develop innovative and cost-effective equipment that will encourage interoperability, discourage fragmentation, and reduce equipment costs through higher economies of scale.
  • Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint: The FCC proposes to allow licensees to use individual 1-MHz bandwidth Channels 14-18 for permanent fixed P-P and P-MP operations on a primary basis, while existing permanent fixed P-P and P-MP operations on individual 1-MHz bandwidth Channels 1-5 would remain secondary, with no such further licensing allowed on those channels due to the proposed aeronautical mobile and robotic designation.
  • Power Limits: The FCC proposes to allow P-P transmitting antennas to operate with a minimum directional gain of 26 dBi, maximum 5.5 degree beamwidth and minimum 25 dB front-to-back ratio.
  • Construction Deadlines: The FCC proposes to establish a one-year construction deadline for all 4.9 GHz licensees, with a corresponding construction reporting requirement. The current rules impose an 18-month construction deadline only on fixed P-P stations that are licensed on a site-by-site basis, and no construction deadline for base and temporary fixed stations.
  • Eligibility and Shared Use: The FCC seeks comment on whether offering Critical Infrastructure Industries (CII) co-primary status with public safety is likely to create incentives for increased investment in the 4.9 GHz band, and whether eligibility for CII entities should be conditioned on using the band to provide “public safety services,” comment on extending 4.9 GHz band co-primary eligibility to all private internal systems. Alternatively, the FCC seeks comment on the feasibility of a two-tiered sharing approach, in which Tier 1 would consist of primary licensees in the band (including all incumbent users), while Tier 2 would allow other non-public safety users to access the band on a secondary basis, with safeguards to ensure priority and interference protection for Tier 1 operations. The FCC also asks whether it should allow the alarm industry to access the band, given its close cooperation with public safety.
  • Redesignation: The FCC seeks comment on redesignating the 4.9 GHz band, wholly or partially, to support commercial wireless use.

Clients interested in filing comments or reply comments should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino

FCC Issues Citation for Unauthorized Operation on Private Radio Frequencies

As we have previously reported, the FCC has been stepping up its enforcement actions against individuals and companies that are operating pirate radio stations — meaning radio facilities without a license. While most efforts have centered on frequencies in the FM radio band, the FCC recently took action against Rand Redhots, LLC for operating a radio system on the frequency 465.0375 MHz at a drive-through window.

We wish to remind our clients that it is important to make sure that all radio operations are covered by a license and that the stations are being operated consistent with the parameters specified on the license. If there are any issues, you should contact our office promptly so that we can assist in the preparation of a license correction to bring your station into regulatory compliance.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Grants Waiver to Permit Travelers Information Radio Station in Miami

The City of North Miami Beach Florida requested a waiver for a new Travelers Information Station (TIS), which would operate on the frequency 1610 kHz in the AM radio band. In particular, North Miami Beach requested a waiver of Rule Section 90.242(a)(2)(i), which requires a separation of 15 kilometers between a TIX transmitter and the 0.5 mV/m daytime contour of an adjacent channel AM broadcast station. In justifying its waiver request, the City noted that it satisfied the distance requirement with respect to the closest point at which the contour for AM Broadcast station WPOM at Riviera Beach, Florida falls over land. However, because an orthogonal measurement would be less than the required 15 kilometer distance, a waiver is required. The FCC noted that while alternative frequencies are available, the City demonstrated that the frequency 1610 kHz is the only channel that will provide satisfactory TIS operations. This is because the only location that the City had for the antenna is on a flat roof of a city owned building and that “TIS antennas require ground planes installed beneath the vertical portion of the antennas due to AM’s long wavelengths.”

In granting the waiver, the FCC noted that the application of its rules regarding orthogonal measurements would frustrate the underlying purpose of the rule – which is to ensure interference free operation. At the outset, the FCC noted that its AM interference rules do not apply to areas entirely over sea water and that the separation of 19 kilometers to the contour’s closest point on land gives the FCC confidence that the TIS station will not interfere with the reception from Station WPOM. Further, the FCC noted that the City has been operating in this manner pursuant to a grant of Special Temporary Authority since October 19, 2017 without any interference complaints. That, taken together with the purpose of TIS stations — which is to ensure the safety of the traveling public — demonstrates the public interest in fostering TIS station deployment. The City noted that in the wake of Hurricane Irma, this TIS station was used to “provide emergency and life-saving communications during and after this and other extreme weather events where large portions of the city are without power or have a weak cellular service.” In addition to providing traveler’s advisory information, the City would be able to use the station to communicate with the public in the event of an emergency.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Seeks Revocation of Metro Two-Way, LLC Land Mobile Licenses

The FCC has taken the unusual step of issuing a Show Cause Order in order to hold a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in order to “determine whether Metro Two-Way, LLC (“Metro”) is qualified to be and to remain a Federal Communications Commission . . . licensee”, including whether its four Trunked Industrial/Business Pool Service licenses should be revoked and its pending application denied.

Metro provides two-way radio communications services in Los Angeles, California — an area in which there is significant spectrum congestion. Metro has been engaged in litigation at the FCC since 2014, when a competitor filed a Petition to Dismiss or Deny its application. At the time of the initial Petition, an allegation was made that the real party in interest behind Metro was actually Acumen Communications — which had received numerous violation notices from the FCC and was then under investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Metro had stated that it was not related to Acumen and provided relevant supporting documentation from the California Secretary of State that Mr. Mosquera was the sole member of Metro. However, the Commission notes that Mr. Mosquera was an officer and the sole shareholder of Acumen Communications (an entity whose licenses the FCC revoked earlier this year, in part for failing to properly disclose Mr. Mosquera’s felony convictions).

Issues being designated for hearing include whether Mr. Mosquera directly or indirectly controls Metro, and whether Metro engaged in a misrepresentation/lack of candor in its FCC applications.

There are three teaching points from this case:

  • The FCC takes seriously and relies on the integrity of the information provided in its applications - Any changes which make an application inaccurate must be promptly corrected - Failure to provide information regarding character qualifications (such as felony convictions) could lead to significant enforcement action
  • to include substantial fines and license revocation

Please contact our office if you have any questions.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Issues $120 Million Fine for Spoofed Robocalls

The FCC has fined Adrian Abramovich $120 million for malicious spoofing that was part of his massive robocalling operation aimed at selling timeshares and other travel packages. The caller ID spoofing operation made almost 100 million spoofed robocalls over three months.

Specifically, Mr. Abramovich, of Miami, Florida, or companies he controlled, spoofed 96 million robocalls in order to trick unsuspecting consumers into answering and listening to his advertising messages. To increase the likelihood that consumers would answer his calls, Mr. Abramovich’s operation made calls that appeared to be local—a practice known as “neighbor spoofing.” The messages indicated that the calls came from well-known travel or hospitality companies such as Marriott, Expedia, Hilton, and TripAdvisor, and prompted consumers to “Press 1” to hear about “exclusive” vacation deals. Those who did were transferred to foreign call centers where live operators attempted to sell vacation packages—often involving timeshares—at destinations unrelated to the named travel or hospitality companies.

The Commission received numerous consumer complaints about these calls. In addition, the Commission heard from companies such as TripAdvisor, which received complaints from consumers who believed the robocalls had come from the company. Medical paging provider Spōk also complained after its network was disrupted by these calls, thus interfering with hospital and physician communications. Both companies actively helped the investigation.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy and Richard Rubino

Senate Introduces 180 Day Shot Clock for FCC Merger Review

On May 15, 2018, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act, or SMARTER Act, a bill that would require the FCC to issue a decision within 180 days of receiving a completed merger application. According to a press release, the bill is designed to address the Senators’ perception that the FCC’s merger review procedures “create an open-ended process that fuels uncertainty and is potentially insulated from judicial review.” The bill also requires the FTC to go through the same procedures that the Department of Justice must go through when enforcing antitrust law.

In a statement, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said: “I commend Senators Lee, Hatch, Tillis, and Grassley on the introduction of The SMARTER Act of 2018. Among other improvements, the bill includes two key reforms to the FCC’s merger review process that I have longed championed: setting a non-aspirational, 180-day shot clock for agency review of license transfers and addressing the abusive practice of designating an application for hearing to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), which effectively serves to kill a transaction.” Commissioner Brendan Carr said: “I applaud Senator Lee for working to ensure that good government is the law of the land. With the SMARTER Act, Senator Lee would put the Federal Communications Commission on a shot clock and thus codify the agency’s commitment to open, transparent, and timely decision making.”

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

FCC Imposes $22,000 Forfeiture for Signal Jammer Operation

The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order imposing a $22,000 penalty against Ravi’s Import Warehouse, Inc., (Ravi’s) for operating a cellular phone jammer in its commercial establishment in Dallas, Texas, in willful violation of the Communications Act. The penalty included an upward adjustment for egregious behavior: namely, attempting to sell the signal jammer in question to the FCC field agent.

In April, 2017, an agent from the FCC’s Dallas Field Office (Dallas Office) responded to a complaint from an AT&T representative asserting that an AT&T base station was receiving interference from what appeared to be a signal jammer. While the agent was en route to the general location of the suspected signal jammer, the AT&T representative separately, and using his own equipment, determined that the jammer was likely located within Ravi’s commercial establishment. When the agent arrived on the scene, the AT&T representative was already present and stated that shortly after Ravi’s security personnel noticed the AT&T representative’s presence, the jammer ceased operating.

In the presence of the AT&T representative, the agent spoke with the owner of Ravi’s, who admitted to the agent that Ravi’s used a signal jammer as a means of preventing its employees from using mobile phones while at work. The owner further stated that she disposed of the jammer shortly before the agent’s arrival, and refused to voluntarily retrieve and surrender the device to the agent or to identify the specific dumpster in which she disposed of the device. Instead, the owner offered to sell the signal jammer to the agent. The agent declined the offer and issued a Notice of Unlicensed Radio Operation informing Ravi’s that the operation of a signal jammer is illegal. According to the Forfeiture Order, the $22,000 included a $5,000 upward adjustment based on the egregiousness of the owner’s attempt to sell the jamming device to the agent.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Cloned Radio Nets 19 Year Old Two Felony Guilty Pleas, Loss of Amateur Radio License and $3,000 Fine

Cameron Thurston’s troubles began when he cloned a radio to make it appear as though it was authorized to Oscoda County, Michigan and therefore which allowed him to transmit on the Michigan Public Safety Communications Network (MPSCS) operated by the Michigan State Police since it recognized the radio as an authorized subscriber unit. Over the course of an almost two year period, Mr. Thurston transmitted on the MPSCS system almost 1,000 times with an average transmission of 4.8 seconds. These push-to-talk transmissions prevented other users on the talk group from being able to transmit. Mr. Thurston’s activities were discovered during a routine traffic stop when a police officer noticed the radio equipment in Mr. Thurston’s car.

On January 31, 2018, Mr. Thurston pleaded guilty to one felony count of Computers-Unauthorized Access and one felony count of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime. Both offenses arose out of Mr. Thurston’s activities surrounding the cloning of the radio equipment. Because of Mr. Thurston’s age, the nature of his offenses and his willingness to provide the Michigan State Police with information regarding the methods used to clone the Oscoda County radio, the Court imposed diversion — which if successfully completed will result in the dismissal of the criminal case. Based upon the Court’s action, Mr. Thurston entered into a consent decree with the FCC for unauthorized operation and has agreed to, among other things, to surrender his amateur radio license, pay a $3,000 civil penalty over the course of the next 36 months. Further, Mr. Thurston has agreed not to reapply for an amateur radio license for two years and will pay an additional civil penalty of $17,000 if in the next 20 years the FCC determines that he has operated on or caused interference to the MPSCS or otherwise has violated the terms of the consent decree or his diversion program with the State of Michigan.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Announces Webinar for State and Local Governments Addressing Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts

The FCC’s Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will hold a free webinar on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET. The webinar will focus on issues concerning emergency alerting systems that affect state and local governments, such as how these systems work, who is eligible to initiate alerts, and the targeting of messages to particular geographic areas — as well as the latest developments at the FCC. If you are interested in attending this webinar, you can register at The FCC will send a confirmation email to you once you have registered.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

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


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

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Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

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Eagles Guitarist Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, Promotes Amateur Radio in Media Announcements

Legendary rock guitarist Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, of the Eagles is featured in a just-released set of ARRL audio and video public service announcements promoting Amateur Radio. ARRL will provide the 30- and 60-second PSAs to Public Information Officers (PIOs) to share with their Section's television and radio stations. The ARRL Media and Public Relations Department also will provide these announcements files directly to interested television and radio outlets, and the announcements are available for downloading from the ARRL website for members to use in promoting Amateur Radio at club meetings and public presentations, such as ARRL Field Day on June 23-24 (PSAs specifically for ARRL Field Day also are available). Those PSAs will also be available for download from the ARRL website, so that members can present them at club meetings and other public gatherings

Joe Walsh

Walsh, who visited ARRL Headquarters last year for taping, wanted to deliver two main messages in his PSAs: Get involved in Amateur Radio, and become a member of ARRL. The messages highlight the tremendous service that radio amateurs provide to communities, and convey how ARRL advocates on behalf of Amateur Radio on a wide range of legal and political issues.

An ARRL Life Member and longtime radio amateur, Walsh personally has been a strong supporter and advocate of ARRL and Amateur Radio, and his ham shack is just as impressive as his home recording studio. "I want to give back to the hobby that has given me so much enjoyment," he said.

The setting for the PSAs was W1AW, which Walsh was especially eager to revisit. The occasion also offered him an opportunity to see equipment he'd donated to W1AW years earlier. Walsh's past on-the-air forays on W1AW have always attracted enthusiastic pileups. While at W1AW, he spent some chatting with station manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, about the station's operations. Walsh is a well-known collector of vintage Amateur Radio equipment.

Creating the videos were Media and Public Relations Assistant Michelle Patnode, KC1JTA; freelance videographer/photographer Chris Zajac, and former Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, who also recorded a tag line for ARRL Audio News with Walsh. Tips for getting audio PSAs on the air are available on the PSA for promotions web page.

Source: The ARRL Letter for May 31, 2018  

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“Natural Mystic/Just a Little Bit Coming June 1st • Playing For Change • Song Around The World”

Playing For Change

Playing For Change
Published on May 28, 2018

Featuring musicians from the island of Jamaica to the islands of Hawai'i and beyond, this Song Around The World combines the Bob Marley classic "Natural Mystic" with Paula Fuga's "Just a Little Bit." Coming Friday, June 1st!

This song is featured on our new album, Listen to the Music. Get it here:

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Playing For Change (PFC) is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. The primary focus of PFC is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos called Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated PFC to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of its mission, featuring musicians met along their journey; and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world. Through these efforts, Playing For Change aims to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

Source: YouTube To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit

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