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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — May 4, 2018 — Issue No. 804

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

MAY 3, 2018 @ 06:40 PM

iPhone X2 Leak Reveals Apple's Essential Upgrades

I write about technology's biggest companies.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Everyone, without exception, agrees Apple AAPL +0.2% got one thing very wrong with its current iPhones. Now new information reveals Apple has listened and in the upcoming iPhone X2, iPhone X Plus and iPhone X SE models this will be addressed…

Supply chain leakers’ hangout Weibo says Apple will supply all its new 2019 iPhones with 18W fast chargers in the box. What’s more, the leak has diagrams of the new USB-C chargers Apple will provide.

Leaked diagram of Apple's bundled fast charger with new iPhones

Now before you shout “Finally!” note that the inclusion of fast USB-C chargers does not mean Apple is, at last, moving the iPhone range to USB-C. The iPhone X2, iPhone X Plus and iPhone X SE (all models names to be confirmed) will still use the Lightning connector, Apple simply uses USB-C on all its fast chargers.

That said, the improvements out the box for new iPhone owners would be substantial. With a fast charger, current iPhones can deliver a 0-50% charge in approximately 30 minutes and full charge within 90 minutes. It’s not the fastest available (Dash Charge from OnePlus takes that trophy), but it’s almost half the time of the standard charger supplied at present.

There would also be significant savings.

Right now Apple has no 18W charger, which is bizarre as that’s the confirmed maximum rate iPhones fast charge. Instead, it sells a 29W charger for $49 and a one-metre USB-C to Lighting cable for $19 (or 2m for $35). That’s an immediate $70 saving for buyers of the new iPhones and it comes in addition to major price cuts Apple will make to the new entry-level iPhone X SE and iPhone X2.

Second generation iPhone X concept by Concept Creator

What’s more, I’d argue this is an essential move from Apple.

Literally, every rival supplies their flagship smartphones with fast chargers (and most midrange models too). Meanwhile, it would end the crazy situation right now where iPhone owners cannot connect to the new USB-C only MacBooks without adapters or a separate cable.

And as a further upside, if iPhones are getting fast chargers in the box then expect the impending iPad Pro refresh to bring bundled fast chargers to them as well. Everyone wins. In fact, in light of this, I may even forgive Apple for the one irritating way we know it will claw back some money…

Source: Forbes

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.

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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.


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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)

By Zeus Kerravala, Network World | MAY 1, 2018 3:30 AM PT

It’s time for network professionals to elevate their game

Extreme Networks urges users to embrace change and help their companies do more through network innovation.

Zeus Kerravala

Enterprise networks certainly aren’t new. They’ve been around for decades and have historically been considered a tactical resource or even a commodity that most business leaders didn’t give a second thought to or really even understand.

It’s my belief, though, that the network should be considered a strategic resource that can create competitive differentiation. In fact, for as long as I’ve been analyst, it’s been my thesis that compute changes have continually driven network evolution and have made it more and more important.

The network is now a strategic business asset

As the industry has gone from mainframes to minicomputers to client-server to the cloud era, a couple of things have happened. The first is that the cost of computing has continued to fall through the floor. When I started my career, just a few megabytes of storage could cost thousands of dollars. Today, I can buy terabytes of cloud-based storage for just a few dollars per month.

The second trend is that the role of the network continued to grow in importance. A couple of decades ago, the network was used to transmit best effort traffic. Today, we live in a world where everything is connected, and the network connects users and things to applications, data, cloud services, and anything else we can think of.

In late April, I attended Extreme Networks user event, where the theme of the conference was “Elevate Your Game.” Given the shift in the role of the network, this theme was appropriate for the audience, which was primarily composed of network professionals. I don’t think all engineers are ready for this message, but it’s certainly one they need to hear.

Extreme CEO Ed Meyercord talks digital transformation and network skills

During his keynote, Extreme CEO Ed Meyercord discussed digital transformation trends. He shared a few data points on what CEOs were hoping to accomplish with their digital transformation efforts, such as how 56 percent say digital transformation has increased profits and 58 percent say growth is their top priority.

Meyercord also showed where the investment areas will be for digital transformation over the next 12 months, including mobility, cloud, IoT, cyber security and artificial intelligence (AI). All of these technology areas rely heavily on the network, supporting my thesis that the network is now strategic and should be considered the foundation for digital transformation.

Ed Meyercord

Another interesting set of data points during Meyercord’s keynote looked at the biggest challenges with networks today. Not surprisingly, the top response was a lack of agility, meaning changes can’t be made fast enough to keep up with the needs of the business. The second highest response was “culture — trapped in 1999,” which is an admission that network teams still do things the old way. Meyercord’s message to the audience was clear: If network professionals are to elevate their games, they must give up on the ways of the old and be willing to change and do things differently.

I’m in full agreement with the message from Extreme’s CEO. There is some urgency to make changes because businesses are evolving very fast, and those that are willing embrace the new world will indeed elevate their game and be more valuable to their organizations. Those that do not will struggle to remain relevant.

Skills network engineers need to adopt

If you don’t believe that is true, ask yourself, how many mainframe or legacy PBX administrator are there today? Sure, a few may be kicking around, but most of those jobs have gone away — and so will network engineers who insist on doing things the old way.

For professionals looking to evolve their skill set, here are few tips on how to proceed:

  • Embrace automation. This is perhaps the most important element of evolving one’s skill set. Automating many of the mundane, day-to-day tasks will free up the necessary time to learn new things. If you’re too busy running the status quo, you’ll never be able to look ahead and modernize your skill set. Automation has long been a dirty word in network circles because it was viewed as a threat to people’s jobs. The opinion of automation must change; it should be viewed as the engineer’s savior instead of the enemy.
  • Shift to a policy-driven model. For most companies today, the network is the business. So if something changes in the business, the network also needs to adapt. The reactive way networks have operated is holding companies back, as it often takes months to implement a network change company-wide, which is far too slow for a digital business. Organizations need to automate, but what is the automation based on? The answer is business policies. These policies will dictate what changes need to be made and when, and they will ensure that the intent of those rules is always adhered to. A policy-driven model ensures the needs of the business are always being met.
  • Be willing to look at alternate architectures. The network architectures currently used in the majority of data centers, campuses, WANs, and edges have been in place for over 20 years and were designed for an era long gone. I understand change is scary and often intimidating, but network agility and automation really aren’t possible with older network devices and architectures. It’s time to take the blinders off and look at many of the newer platforms that can transform the network. For example, Extreme’s Fabric, from the acquisition of Avaya Networking, is based on the shortest path bridging (SPB) protocol and obviates the need for spanning tree and all the issues that come with it. It greatly simplifies network operations and increases agility.
  • Think data and analytics. We live in a world where virtually everything is being connected. Businesses aren’t connecting things just because it’s cool or “the new black.” Analyzing the data being generated from all these connected devices allows for new insights to be discovered to transform the business. The same can be said for the network. Collecting data and analyzing it, preferably with machine learning, can shed some light on how to optimize and tune the network for optimal performance. Data analysis can also be used for cyber security, as those anomalies and variances can be an indicator of a breach or advanced threat.

    Machine learning plays a key role here because machines can discover these insights much faster than people, and given the rise in the volumes of data, the gap between what people can do and what machines can do is widening.
  • Become software fluent. Every networking vendor today is putting more and more innovation in its software stack. Products from vendors such as Extreme all have rich APIs to interface with them and are programmable using modernized languages. This enables network professionals to pull information out of the product without having to go through the command line interface (CLI). Also, switches and routers today can be managed via orchestration tools such as Puppet, Ansible, and Chef. If you’re working with network equipment today, it’s critical to understand how to make API calls and write basic scripts. Understanding how to program isn’t crucial, but it is certainly beneficial.

Extreme's user event was long overdue, especially for the “New Extreme,” which is now a billion-dollar company from rolling up the assets of Avaya Networking, Zebra wireless, and Brocade's data center business. It now has a sizable customer base, and the Extreme team showed some good vision and thought leadership by urging its customers to elevate their game.


Network World

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 ore-mailus 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.


Rick McMichael has some equipment for sale — left over from the inventory of his business that he recently sold.

1 Motorola NAC board, P/N: TTN4017
1 Motorola NAC board, P/N: PTTN44097A
1 Interface board (mounts beside the NAC)
1 Internal Modem Daughter board
P/N: 0184843T02
1 CRIB board, receiver interface daughter board
P/N: TTN4088A
1 VHF Nucleus Exciter, for a NAC controlled unit

If you are interested, please e-mail Rick directly by clicking here . left arrow


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.


Can You Help The Newsletter?

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Reader Support

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

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

Orange County’s Emergency Communications System Is Outdated, But Fixing It Will Cost a Ton of Money

By Adrian Wagner
May 2, 2018

Photo by Adrian Wagner

Orange County needs a major update to its emergency communications systems, but how, when, where, and how much it will cost depend on crucial decisions by county officials in the near future. In the balance could hang the high-speed Internet for under-served and unserved populations as well as the safety of emergency medical services workers and the people they serve.

In an emergency, communication is key, but Orange County EMS has had difficulty with that. Ten years ago, the county switched from an analog radio system to a digital one, which had an unintended consequence: EMS workers couldn't use their radios inside some buildings.

“Our radio system utilized by fire, rescue, and police is outdated and routinely places our emergency workers at risk,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood told reporters last week.

The sheriff, up for reelection Tuesday, says he's worried about what might happen in the case of a terrorist attack or school shooting.

In schools, hospitals, and public buildings, the weak radio signal has trouble penetrating walls. In these cases, EMS workers rely on cell phones to stay connected. Blackwood warns that cell-phone lines can become jammed in mass emergencies, adding another hurdle for rescuers.

In 2007, the county joined in the state's $83 million emergency communications initiative, VIPER, which stands for Voice Interoperability Plan for Emergency Responders. The county contributed new interfaces, and VIPER increased the number of EMS workers who could talk at once by giving the county access to more radio frequencies. It made organizing calls easier because they could be routed by someone sitting at a computer.

But the state and county have different needs for the system.

"The highway patrol uses car-mounted radios from the roads, which is a very different situation than using a handheld in a building," says Orange County emergency services system technician Pat Campbell.

The state has little incentive to solve the inter-building communication problem, Campbell says. This means Orange County is on its own.

Federal Engineering, the county's consultant, is scheduled to release a request for proposals to update the system in September. When lawmakers receive bids, they'll have to weigh the cost—as much as $20 million, according to Commissioner Earl McKee—against the urgency.

“I'm not willing to pull money away from other needed services in order to address this on a narrow time frame,” says McKee.

At the same time the county is considering an upgrade, so is the state. In April, the General Assembly's Program Evaluation Division recommended an appropriation that would keep VIPER running while replacing equipment and upgrading outdated software.

No matter what the state does, the county still needs new communications towers to increase coverage and improve signal strength. These can be expensive eyesores, but communities might get something out of it—not just improved EMS capabilities, but also faster Internet service.

And that, McKee says, may be a way to reduce costs for a new communications system: selling space on towers to Internet providers.

In 2014, Orange County identified under-served or unserved Internet coverage areas along with sites for fiber towers to increase Internet speeds. Campbell says these same sites could be shared for EMS towers. The locations have not yet been made public.



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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, May 4, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 88  

Load Requirements Standards Released by ANSI/TIA-222-H and the 2018 IBC

The ANSI/TIA-222 Standard and the IBC have traditionally adopted the methodology of the ASCE 7 Standard for determining the minimum loading requirements for new and existing structures. The ASCE 7 Standard has evolved since the publication of the ANSI/TIA 222-G Standard (Rev G). The release of Revision H of the ANSI/TIA-222 Standard (Rev H) in January 2018 and the publication of the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) brings these standards up-to-date with the latest ASCE 7 Standard (ASCE 7-16).

The intent of this document is to provide clarity and insight regarding the Risk Category for a new or existing communication structure by comparing the risk categories from Rev H (Table 2-1) to the risk categories defined in IBC for buildings and other structures.

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 87 

Commerce Secretary: Building 5G Network is Priority

As part of their explanation for merging, T-Mobile and Sprint say combining efforts means they can deploy 5G faster. Building a 5G mobile broadband network is a chief concern for the administration, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“I think the pitch that Sprint and T-Mobile are making is an interesting one, that their merger would propel Verizon and AT&T into more active pursuit of 5G,” Ross said during an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. “Whoever pursues it, whoever does it, we’re very much in support of 5G. We need it. We need it for defense purposes, we need it for commercial purposes,” he added.

In announcing the merger plan on Sunday, T-Mobile and Sprint said they planned to spend a combined $40 million over three years to upgrade their networks for 5G, Inside Towers reported. The FCC plans new auctions of high-band spectrum starting in November to speed the launch of next-generation 5G networks.

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. 19 May 2, 2018 

FCC Sets Forth 2018 Tariff Review Plans

On April 25, the FCC issued an Order setting forth the Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) to be used by all ILECs to support interstate access service tariff revisions filed in 2018. These TRPs reflect the implementation of the transitional rate changes and recovery rules adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order of 2011, as well as the implementation of the universal service reforms and related tariffing requirements adopted in the Rate-of-Return Reform Order of 2016.

The 2018 TRPs can be found here. Carriers seeking additional information about or assistance with preparing their 2018 TRPs are invited to contact the firm.

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


Rate of Return Reform Report and Third Order on Reconsideration Effective May 31

On May 1, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Third Order on Reconsideration regarding rate-of-return carrier regulation. The rules are effective May 31, except for certain revisions containing information collection requirements that have not been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The FCC will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those rules awaiting OMB approval.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Report and Third Order on Reconsideration addresses funding and related issues affecting the High Cost Program mechanisms for rural local exchange carriers (RLECs). The FCC has portrayed its action as providing an additional $500 million in universal service funding for RLECs to build out their rural broadband networks, and indeed the document contains many new rulings and funding allocations, and some rulemaking proposals, that should be welcomed by most of the RLEC industry. At the same time, the FCC shows an aversion to and distrust of legacy rate-of-return regulation, and takes several actions and proposes others that have a potential to make things more unpredictable and difficult for RLECs that, for one reason or another, do not have a viable option to elect Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) support.

Revisions include:

  • prohibiting the use of federal high-cost support for expenses that are not used for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services covered under Universal Service;
  • additional compliance obligations aimed at determining whether high-cost recipients comply with the requirement to spend high-cost funds only on eligible expenses;
  • a presumption against recovery through interstate rates for specific types of expenses not used and useful in the ordinary course and identify other expenses that the FCC presumes are not used and useful unless customary for similarly situated companies; and
  • in exchange for increased broadband deployment obligations, offers additional high-cost support to those rate-of-return carriers that previously accepted model-based support.

The Report and Third Order on Reconsideration also revised the annual reporting requirements for high-cost recipients to require them to provide the name of any cost consultant and cost consulting firm, or other third-party, retained to prepare financial and operations data disclosures submitted to the National Exchange Carrier Association; and to provide to NECA the number of consumer broadband-only loops for each study area, calculated as of December 31st of the calendar year preceding each July 31st filing. Because these revisions are collections of information subject to approval of the OMB, they will not go into effect until such approval is received.

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

OpEx Limitation Modification for Carriers Serving Tribal Lands Effective May 31

On May 1, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Order in which it increases the amount of operating expenses (OpEx) that certain carriers that predominantly serve Tribal lands can recover from the universal service fund (USF). Accordingly, the revisions will go into effect May 31.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC raised the OpEx limitation to 2.5 standard deviations above the regression-determined amount for those serving Tribal lands who have not deployed broadband service of 10 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload to 90 percent or more of the housing units on the Tribal lands in its study area, and where unsubsidized competitors have not deployed broadband service of 10 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload to 85 percent or more of the housing units on the Tribal lands in its study area.

The Report and Order does not make clear where the additional funding will come from, however the FCC indicates it expects only five carriers will be eligible: Pine Telephone Co.; Terral Tel Co; Gila River Telecom; Fort Mojave Tel, Inc.; and Saddleback Comm Co.

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

FCC Seeks Comment on Specifics for Auction of 24 GHz and 28 GHz (LMDS) Spectrum.

As previously reported, the FCC has voted to begin the process of conducting 5G spectrum auctions later this year; and the FCC has issued an April 17 Public Notice seeking detailed comments on the procedures to govern these auctions. Comments are due May 9, and Reply Comments are due May 23. Interested clients should contact us to participate in comments to make sure the rules reasonably allow participation by small and rural bidders.

In particular, as part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to promote U.S. leadership in the next generation of wireless connectivity ( i.e., 5G), the FCC has announced plans to hold an auction for county-based Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the 28 GHz bands (Auction 101) with bidding scheduled to begin November 14, 2018. Following the close of Auction 101, the Commission will commence a second auction of UMFUS spectrum, this time for Partial Economic Area (or PEA)-based licenses in the 24 GHz band (Auction 102).

Auctions 101 and 102 will provide our clients with opportunities to obtain large blocks of “high band” or millimeter wave (“mmW”) spectrum that has been allocated for fixed and mobile fifth-generation (5G) wireless, including Internet of Things (IoT) and other advanced spectrum-based services. Clients who may be interested in bidding should let us know of their interest and plan to participate in comments and reply comments that our law firm is drafting to facilitate meaningful opportunities for smaller and rural service providers. A description of the two auctions and licenses offered, as well as the proposed auction procedures, is provided below.

High-frequency mmW spectrum will greatly increase wireless capacity and speeds for future 5G networks. While mmW bands feature short transmission paths and high propagation losses, the FCC believes these characteristics can be useful in developing high-capacity networks, because cells can be placed close together without causing interference to each other. Where longer paths are desired, the Commission has observed that extremely short wavelengths of mmW signals make it feasible for very small antennas to concentrate signals into highly focused beams with enough gain to overcome propagation losses. The short wavelengths of mmW signals also make it possible to build multi-element, dynamic beam-forming antennas that will be small enough to fit into handsets. But mmW signals can’t easily travel through buildings or obstacles and they can be absorbed by foliage and rain. As a result, this spectrum is more likely to be used as a high-capacity adjunct to mobile networks using small cells rather than large towers. It may be possible to use this spectrum to serve wider areas in certain situations by building a mesh network whereby each customer location serves as backhaul as well, but that will depend on customer density and other factors.

According to the IEEE, 5G networks will deliver data with less than a millisecond of delay (compared to about 70 ms on today’s 4G networks) and offer peak download speeds of 20 gigabits per second (compared to 1 Gb/s on 4G) to users. 5G networks hold significant promise, but clients are urged to do their due diligence because the technology is still in somewhat of a nascent state of development.

28 GHz County-Based UMFUS Licenses – a.k.a. “Auction 101”

The 28 GHz band spectrum that is available for bidding will be divided into two (2) 425 megahertz wide channels and licensed in available markets on a county basis. The spectrum was “re-purposed” from former LMDS A-Block Basic Trading Area (or “BTA”) licenses that were initially auctioned in 1997 for high-capacity commercial point-to-multipoint services but many licenses were returned to the Commission for non-construction when reliable and affordable equipment was slow to develop. The Commission is essentially carving off 850 megahertz of contiguous A-Block spectrum (27.5 GHz-28.35 GHz or the former “A1” segment) and it is dividing that into two equal-sized channels. Since the former BTA service areas do not “nest” into CMAs or other geographic service areas that the FCC uses for licensing mobile wireless services, it is further breaking down each incumbent BTA license into its constituent counties. As a result, a single BTA license consisting of twelve (12) counties will result in twenty-four (24) separate county-based 28 GHz licenses, each with its own construction requirement.

In a January 2017 agreement between Verizon Wireless and XO Holdings, Verizon agreed to acquire control of Nextlink Wireless LLC and spectrum including 92 LMDS BTA licenses for major U.S. cities including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Miami, and Portland, OR. As a result, Verizon is the overwhelming incumbent in the band, and its development of 28 GHz products and services will likely drive the larger market.

Below is the specific spectrum associated with each block to be auctioned:

Block Frequencies (GHz) Total
Area Type
Number of
1 27.5–27.925 425 megahertz County 1,537
2 27.925–28.35 425 megahertz County 1,537

A complete list of offered licenses, upfront payments and minimum opening bids can be found in Attachment A files HERE . Clients who may be interested in bidding for county-based 28 GHz licenses should review the inventory of licenses to confirm that their counties of interest are available for bidding ( i.e., are not held by a former-LMDS incumbent).

Our clients that still hold an A-Block LMDS license need not participate in the auction to protect their own spectrum. Instead, their licenses are being re-issued to them to provide county-wide rights to the 28 GHz spectrum they already hold. However, these licensees may want to use the auction as an opportunity to expand their 5G spectrum, by adding adjoining counties.

24 GHz PEA-Based UMFUS Licenses – a.k.a. “Auction 102”

Like the 28 GHz spectrum, the 24 GHz band spectrum was previously licensed by the FCC for point-to-point use and auctioned as EA-based licenses in 2004. The band was expected to facilitate competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and wireless backhaul services, but after a series of high-profile bankruptcies ( e.g., Teligent) and subsequent acquisitions, a majority of the 24 GHz licenses are back in the hands of the FCC. These licenses have been reconfigured into 100 megahertz blocks that will be available for bidding on a Partial Economic Area (or PEA) basis:

Block Frequencies (GHz) Total
Area Type
Number of
1 24.25–24.35 100 megahertz PEA 416
2 24.35–24.45 100 megahertz PEA 416
3 24.75–24.85 100 megahertz PEA 416
4 24.85–24.95 100 megahertz PEA 416
5 24.95–25.05 100 megahertz PEA 416
6 25.05–25.15 100 megahertz PEA 416
7 25.05–25.15 100 megahertz PEA 416

UMFUS Construction Requirements

With respect to construction/performance requirements, the FCC has adopted a series of metrics tailored for each type of service a UMFUS licensee might choose to offer. For mobile and point-to-multipoint services, a licensee must show as part of its renewal application (year 10) that it is providing coverage to 40 percent of the license area and must be using the facilities to provide service. For fixed service, licensees must construct and operate at least four links in counties with less than 268,000 POPs, and at least one link per 67,000 POPs for counties with greater population. The Commission is in the process of developing an appropriate geographic area metric for IoT deployments or other innovative services that may not be a good fit for traditional population-based metrics. Showings that rely on a combination of multiple types of services will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a licensee is also a Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) licensee and uses its UMFUS spectrum in connection with a satellite earth station, it can demonstrate compliance with the construction requirements by demonstrating that an earth station in a particular county is in service, is operational, and is using the spectrum associated with the UMFUS license.

Items for Comment

The Public Notice seeks comment on proposals to make UMFUS licenses available through two separate auctions, using different auction procedures due to “fungibility” of the 24 GHz licenses, and value in acquiring contiguous spectrum blocks. Some of the more significant issues that are out for comment include the following:

  • The FCC is proposing that the 28 GHz band auction (Auction 101) would follow standard simultaneous multiple-round (SMR) auction format. This format offers every license for bid at the same time and consists of successive bidding rounds in which bidders may place bids on individual licenses. Most of the Commission’s previous auctions have used SMR procedures, in which licenses are assigned a certain number of bidding units (BUs) and bidders make an earnest money “upfront payment” to purchase BUs that they can allocate for bidding on licenses they have listed for bidding eligibility on their short-form application. We believe the standard SMR procedures make sense for the county-based 28 GHz licenses because they are straightforward and easier to understand, and will encourage participation by the largest number of small and rural service providers.
  • The FCC is proposing that its auction of 24 GHz band licenses (Auction 102) would employ a clock auction format. Under this approach, the first phase of the auction will consist of successive clock bidding rounds for generic license blocks in specific geographic areas (with the price of all license blocks rising in unison so long as there is more demand than supply), and the second phase will consist of bidding rounds for frequency-specific license assignments. Clock bidding procedures were used in the 600 MHz forward auction portion of the Broadcast Incentive Auction, and make sense where channel blocks are largely interchangeable.
  • With respect to the timing of the two auctions, the FCC seeks comment on whether it should accept applications to participate in Auction 101 and/or 102 during separate filing windows, and seeks comment on whether the filing window for Auction 102 should occur prior to the close of bidding in Auction 101. While it may be efficient for large companies that are bidding for themselves and that assemble auction “teams” to simultaneously manage their bidding and application process for two auctions, we think this could lead to both financial and administrative difficulties for smaller bidders and rural service providers. Notably, if the filing window for Auction 102 opens before the close of Auction 101, applicants in both Auctions 101 and 102 would be subject to overlapping “prohibited communications” periods. We think this could preclude discussions between small companies that may wish to bid for themselves for county-based licenses available in Auction 101 and potential partners or consortia that may be needed for bidding on the larger PEA-based licenses in Auction 102. Budgets are limited, and understanding what resources a small carrier may have to devote to a joint 24 GHz effort won’t be known until after the 28 GHz auction is complete. Delaying the Auction 102 filing window until after Auction 101 closes would give applicants an opportunity to talk and finalize planning between the two auctions. While this would delay the start of bidding in Auction 102, delay of just a few months shouldn’t appreciably delay the development or rollout of new 5G services for which equipment is only now being developed. Ensuring a manageable auction process would appear to be the most important issue for small and rural carriers to focus their advocacy. Otherwise, small and rural carriers could be precluded from initial mmW licensing opportunities.
  • The FCC seeks comment on its proposal to require applicants to submit upfront payments based on $0.001 per megahertz of bandwidth per population (per “MHz-POP”) as a prerequisite to becoming a qualified bidder. As in previous auctions, the agency proposes that the amount of the upfront payment will determine the applicant’s initial bidding eligibility—assigning one bidding unit (BU) per dollar of upfront payment. The FCC also proposes to establish minimum opening bid amounts on a license-by-license basis using a $0.002 per MHz-pop calculation. The Commission seeks comment on these minimum opening bid amounts, which are listed in the Attachment A files HERE . The upfront payment formula means that minimum opening bid amounts may be very low (a few thousand dollars) for some smaller counties. To the extent that IoT products and services may be developed for agricultural and other rural-centric applications, the possibility of low initial licensing costs (which can be further lowered by bidding credits) could make county-based 28 GHz licenses a worthwhile risk. The same holds true for some of the PEA-sized 24 GHz licenses.
  • As in previous auctions, the FCC is planning to conduct Auctions 101 and 102 using “limited information” procedures, where the licenses or license areas that an applicant selects for bidding on the short-form application is kept confidential, as well as the amount of the upfront payment, and identify of bidders placing a bid, though bidders would be able to view their own eligibility status via the FCC’s Auction Bidding System. Our clients should be familiar with limited information auctions, which tend to level the playing field among bidders, so we would support the Commission’s proposals.
  • Likewise, the Commission’s auction rules prohibit applicants from discussing bids or bid strategies, or negotiating settlement agreements between the short-form application deadline and post-auction down payment deadline. If the application window for Auction 102 is scheduled before the down payment deadline for Auction 101, entities participating in either auction would be applicants during overlapping periods. The FCC therefore proposes to apply the prohibited communications rule across both auctions—prohibiting an applicant in either auction from communicating bids or bidding strategies to any applicant in either Auction 101 or 102. To facilitate small and rural carrier participation in both auctions, including formulation of bidding strategies, partnerships and capital formation, we believe the FCC must allow smaller entities to treat the UMFUS auctions as separate auctions for prohibited communications purposes.
  • In 2016, the FCC determined that it was appropriate to make small business bidding credits available in UMFUS auctions in conformity with the amended Part 1 rules. Specifically, the Commission determined that an entity with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $55 million would be designated as a “small business” eligible for a 15 percent bidding credit, and that an entity with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $20 million would be designated as a “very small business” eligible for a 25 percent bidding credit. The Commission further determined that entities providing commercial communication services to a customer base of fewer than 250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband, and cable subscribers in primarily rural areas would be eligible for the 15 percent “rural service provider” bidding credit. The Public Notice seeks comment on a $25 million cap on the total amount of bidding credits that may be awarded to an eligible small business in each auction. We think this is a reasonable cap because it should help to prevent deep-pocketed startups from abusing the DE program and potentially running bid prices up in rural areas. The Commission anticipates that the range of potential use cases suitable for the UMFUS bands, including localized fiber replacement and IoT, combined with the small license areas in these bands, may permit deployment of smaller scale networks with lower total costs. Likewise, the FCC is proposing to adopt a $10 million cap on the total amount of bidding credits that may be awarded to an eligible rural service provider in Auction 101 and Auction 102. This cap should not constrain the ability for our clients to participate fully and fairly in the UMFUS auctions.

We are drafting suggested comments consistent with the points discussed above, to help ensure that bidding by small and rural carriers in the UMFUS auctions is manageable and that our clients have a reasonable opportunity to participate in the initial licensing of new 5G wireless services and hope to circulate draft comments for our

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast

Comment Sought on Use or Shared Use of 3.7-4.2 GHz Spectrum

On May 1, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment for an upcoming FCC report that will address the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services to use or share use of the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum band, per the requirements of the MOBILE NOW Act passed in March. Comments are due May 31, and replies are due June 15.

Section 605(b) of the MOBILE NOW Act requires the FCC to submit a report (3.7-4.2 GHz Report), to appropriate committees of Congress and to the Secretary of Commerce no later than September 23, 2019, “evaluating the feasibility of allowing commercial wireless services, licensed or unlicensed, to use or share use of the frequencies between 3700 megahertz and 4200 megahertz.” Although there is currently no federal allocation for the 3.7–4.2 GHz band, the FCC seeks comment on the following questions:

  • How should the FCC assess the operations and possible impacts of sharing on Federal and non- Federal users already operating in this band?
  • How might sharing be accomplished, with licensed and/or unlicensed operations, without causing harmful interference to Federal and non-Federal users already operating in this band, and in which parts of the band would such sharing be feasible?
  • What other considerations should the FCC take into account in preparing the 3.7-4.2 GHz Report?

The MOBILE NOW Act further provides that the report should include an assessment of the operations of Federal entities that operate Federal Government stations authorized to use the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. The FCC intends to consult with NTIA and the heads of each affected Federal agency regarding the Federal entities, stations, and operations in the band, and the required issues and assessments.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Reconsiders Certain Aspects of Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process

On April 30, the FCC issued an Order on Reconsideration in which it reconsidered certain aspects of the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) challenge process adopted in February. The FCC has reconsidered its procedures on its own motion and increased the maximum distance between speed test measurements to 800 meters (approximately one-half of one mile) and the associated buffer radius to 400 meters (approximately one-quarter of one mile).

In the MF-II Challenge Process Procedures Public Notice, the FCC determined that speed test measurements submitted to support and/or respond to a challenge to an area that is initially deemed ineligible for MF-II support must be no more than one-half of one kilometer (500 meters) apart from one another. The FCC also decided to assess challenges using a uniform grid with cells of one square kilometer and a “buffer” with a radius equal to one-half of the maximum distance parameter, i.e., one-quarter of one kilometer (250 meters). Subsequent to the release of the MF-II Challenge Process Procedures Public Notice, new evidence in the record illustrated the considerable increase in area covered by speed test measurements resulting from using a radius of one-quarter of one mile rather than a radius of one-quarter of one kilometer. In light of the new evidence, the FCC found that modifying these parameters will reduce the number of speed test measurements needed to file a successful challenge. BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Commences Limited CAF Phase I Challenge Process for FairPoint Blocks in Virginia

On April 27, the FCC issued a Public Notice initiating a limited challenge process for a list of 185 previously unidentified census blocks in Virginia in which it deployed broadband using Connect America Phase I Round 2 incremental support. A machine readable list of these census blocks is available at . Challenges are due May 29.

Specifically, interested parties have 30 days from the release of this Public Notice to indicate that they currently offer Internet service at speeds of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream or higher in the identified census blocks. FairPoint will then have 30 days from the end of the challenge period to respond. All challenges and responses must be supported by evidence. For example, documented evidence may include a signed certification from an officer of the provider under penalty of perjury that it offers 3 Mbps/768 kbps Internet service to customers in a particular census block, current customer billing records with appropriate redactions, or statements from residents of an area noting that they have attempted and failed to receive service from a putative unsubsidized competitor.

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

Comment Deadline Established for USF Equipment Spending Safeguards

On May 2, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on ensuring that universal service support is not used to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain. Comments are due June 1, and reply comments are due July 2. If your company is using switches or other equipment manufactured by Huawei or other foreign manufacturers, your operations may be affected by this rulemaking proposal. Please contact the firm is you have any questions or wish to participate in comments.

Comment is sought on the following aspects of codifying the FCC’s proposal:

  • Whether other federal agencies have rules that the FCC should follow as a model for limiting USF recipients’ purchase of equipment or services from companies that trigger national security concerns.
  • What types of equipment and services covered by the FCC’s proposed rule.
  • Whether the FCC should limit use of USF funds both directly by the recipient of that funding as well as indirectly by any contractor or subcontractor of the recipient.
  • How long USF recipients would need to begin compliance with the rule.
  • How the proposed rule should affect multiyear contracts or contracts with voluntary extensions between USF recipients and companies identified as posing a supply chain integrity risk.
  • How to identify companies that pose a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain for purposes of the proposed rule.
  • How to ensure that USF recipients (especially smaller USF recipients, including schools, libraries, and rural health care facilities) can learn which companies fall within the scope of the FCC’s proposed rule.
  • How to enforce the FCC’s proposed rule, including how USAC should recover funds disbursed in violation of the proposed rule.

Importantly, the FCC is also seeking comment on the costs and benefits of its proposed rule, particularly with regard to the impact on small and rural carriers, as well as any modifications or alternatives that might ease the burden of this proposed rule on small businesses. Specifically, the FCC invites commenters to discuss the effectiveness of the proposed rule or any alternative and provide any quantitative or qualitative data to demonstrate the potential impact of the proposed rule or any alternative on network deployment and services offered by small and rural carriers and on their subscribers.

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

Law & Regulation

FCC Imposes $22,000 Forfeiture for Signal Jammer Operation

On April 25, the FCC 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 of 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.

FCC Extends VRS Relay User Equipment Profile Deadline to 2019

On April 26, the FCC issued an Order suspending for one year the April 27, 2018 deadline for video relay service (VRS) provider compliance with the Interoperability Profile for Relay User Equipment (RUE Profile). The RUE Profile, a technical standard that has been incorporated by reference in the FCC’s telecommunications relay service (TRS) rules, defines a standard interface between VRS provider services and end user devices equipped with the open-source user software known as the VRS access technology reference platform (VATRP).

Although the FCC set the April 27, 2018 compliance deadline based on the expectation that the VATRP would be available to support interoperability testing well before this date, this has not occurred. Accordingly, the FCC found that it serves the public interest to suspend the RUE Profile compliance deadline for one year, or until April 29, 2019. The FCC indicated that it expects that this time period will be sufficient to enable completion of the VATRP, as well as to provide a reasonable opportunity for VRS providers to prepare for compliance with the RUE specifications.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

FCC Proposes $5.3 Million Fine for Slamming, Cramming, and Providing False Evidence

On April 27, the FCC proposed a $5,323,322 fine against Tele Circuit Network Corporation, a Duluth, Georgia-based phone company. According to a Press Release, the company allegedly switched consumers from their preferred carrier to Tele Circuit without their permission, misled consumers into believing that telemarketing calls were from the consumer’s current carrier, provided fabricated verification recordings of consumer consent to the FCC, added unauthorized charges to bills, and failed to fully respond to a FCC inquiry.

The FCC’s investigation into Tele Circuit was prompted by consumer complaints to the FCC, state regulators, and the Better Business Bureau. The FCC alleges that Tele Circuit’s telemarketers misrepresented their identities by stating that they were calling on behalf of the consumer’s current service provider. The telemarketers also apparently discussed a fictitious government program for low-income individuals and senior citizens as a way to solicit consumer consent. Following such calls, the company switched consumers’ local and long-distance service providers—often called slamming—and, in some cases, added unauthorized charges to the consumer’s bill—often called cramming. Tele Circuit apparently disconnected local and long-distance service in some cases after not receiving payment for the unauthorized charges—with Tele Circuit allegedly refusing to reinstate service until the crammed charges were paid in full. This dangerous practice left vulnerable consumers without telephone service for extended periods of time.

In response to FCC requests, the company provided the agency with recordings that purported to verify consumer consent. The FCC followed up with the consumers supposedly on these recordings and was told that the recordings were fake or that the consumers did not have any such communications with Tele Circuit or its third-party verifier. Many of the third-party verification recordings provided to the FCC also failed to adequately confirm that the consumer wanted to change carriers and understood what was being asked. The company also apparently failed to fully respond to formal inquiries from the FCC as required.

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


Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Definitive Merger Agreement

On April 29, Sprint and T-Mobile announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction at a fixed exchange ratio of 0.10256 T-Mobile shares for each Sprint share or the equivalent of 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile US share. Based on closing share prices on April 27, this represents a total implied enterprise value of approximately $59 billion for Sprint and approximately $146 billion for the combined company.

The combined company will be named T-Mobile. John Legere, current President and Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile US, will serve as Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Sievert, current Chief Operating Officer of TMobile, will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of the combined company. The remaining members of the new management team will be selected from both companies during the closing period. Tim Höttges, current T-Mobile US Chairman of the Board, will serve as Chairman of the Board for the new company. Masayoshi Son, current SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO, and Marcelo Claure, current Chief Executive Officer of Sprint, will serve on the board of the new company.

Sprint and T-Mobile tried unsuccessfully to merge four years ago, but were blocked by regulators. The companies revisited the idea of a merger last year, but were unable to agree to terms and abandoned those negotiations.

New FTC Chairman and Commissioners Confirmed

Recently, the U.S. Senate confirmed Joseph Simons, who will become the new Federal Trade Commission Chairman, as well as Noah Phillips, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Rohit Chopra, and Christine Wilson to become new FTC Commissioners. Since the repeal of the previous FCC’s net neutrality and broadband privacy rules, carriers offering Internet access service can expect the FTC to take a larger role in addressing consumer issues related to those areas of law.

Of the confirmations, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “These leaders will bring tremendous experience and expertise to our sister agency, and I look forward to working closely with them. From promoting competition to protecting consumers against scam robocalls to ensuring Internet freedom, the FCC and FTC have a long track record of effective cooperation, and I’m confident that will continue.” Commissioner O’Rielly said, “With a full slate of new Commissioners and Chair at the agency, the FTC has the unique opportunity to appropriately protect consumers given the agency’s statutory charge, while acknowledging the realities of the current marketplace. I have no doubt that this strong group of nominees is up to the task and I stand ready to work with each individual when our jurisdictions or views align.” Commissioner Carr said, “I look forward to continuing the strong partnership between our agencies and working together to promote the interests of consumers across the country.”

All three FCC members issuing statements also thanked Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen for her tenure as head of the FTC.


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 June 1. 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 3 – Comments are due on FCC CVAA Report.
May 9 – Comments on 5G auction procedures are due.
May 9 – Comments are 24/28 GHz auction procedures are due.
May 18 – Comments are due on Wireless Signal Booster FNPRM.
May 23 – Reply Comments on 5G auction procedures.
May 25 – Comments are due on RoR Reform FNPRM.
May 29 – Reply Comments are 24/28 GHz auction procedures are due.
May 29 – Challenges for FairPoint additional CAF-I blocks are due.
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. 5 – Comments are due on Status of Gov’t Relocation from AWS Bands.
Jun. 7 – Comments are due on Robocall Database FNPRM.
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. 19 – Reply comments are due on Rural Call Completion FNPRM.
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. 3 – 15-Day and 7-Day Tariff Filings effective.
Jul. 5 – Reply comments are due on Status of Gov’t Relocation from AWS Bands.
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.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 18, No. 4 April 2018 

Certain CMRS Providers Must Certify Compliance with Three-Year E911 Location Accuracy Benchmark by June 4, 2018

The FCC has recently issued a Public Notice announcing that Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) providers must file their certifications of compliance with the three-year E911 location accuracy benchmark by Monday, June 4, 2018. While the Public Notice uses broad language, it will apply only to those CMRS providers who (a) provide real-time two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and that utilize an in-network switching facility that enables frequency re-use and seamless hand-off of calls, such as those clients who are providing an interconnected cellularized SMR type service and (b) have also received a request for Phase II E911 service from a PSAP.

The three-year benchmark requires such CMRS providers to provide, as of April 3, 2018, dispatchable location or x/y location (latitude and longitude) within 50 meters for 50 percent of all wireless 911 calls. Additional bench marks will apply at years 5 and 6 for non-nationwide CMRS providers, as follows: At year 5 – 70% of all wireless 911 calls (including VoLTE calls) and within 6 years – 80% of all wireless 911 calls (including VoLTE calls).

Under the FCC’s Rules, CMRS providers will be presumed to be in compliance with the FCC’s rules by certifying “that they have complied with the test bed and live call data provisions in the rules.” Further, the FCC has indicated that all CMRS providers “must certify that the indoor location technology (or technologies) used in their networks are deployed consistently with the manner in which they have been tested in the test bed.” Additionally, non-nationwide CMRS providers that do not provide service or report quarterly live call data in any of the six Test Cities must also certify that they have verified based on their own live 911 call data that they are in compliance with the applicable accuracy requirements.

While the FCC’s Rules do not require a specific format for making the certifications, the FCC has indicated that a CMRS provider will be presumed to have met the three-year benchmark set forth at 47 CFR § 20.18(i)(2)(i) if it certifies either of the following by June 4, 2018:

  • As of April 3, 2018, (1) it provides service and reports live call data from one or more of the six Test Cities; (2) it is providing dispatchable location or x/y location information within 50 meters for 50 percent of all wireless 911 calls, (3) it has deployed the indoor location technology or technologies used in its networks consistently with the manner in which such technologies have been tested in the test bed, and (4) its deployment of location technologies throughout its coverage area is consistent with its deployment of the same technologies in the areas that are used for live call data reporting.
  • As of April 3, 2018, (1) it does not provide service or report live call data in one or more of the Test Cities, (2) it is providing dispatchable location or x/y location information within 50 meters for 50 percent of all wireless 911 calls, (3) it has deployed the indoor location technology or technologies used in its networks consistently with the manner in which such technologies have been tested in the test bed, and (4) it has verified based on its own live call data that it is in compliance with the three-year benchmark set forth at 47 CFR § 20.18(i)(2)(i)(B)(2).

Please note that this certification must be signed by an officer or director of the CMRS provider who is familiar with and has responsibility for the provider’s indoor location accuracy compliance. If you are unable to meet this three-year benchmark, you should contact our office for assistance in preparing a request for waiver, which must be filed before the June 4, 2018 certification deadline.

Separate from this certification requirement, CMRS providers are also required to establish an indoor location accuracy test bed and to validate indoor location technologies through the test bed process. The FCC also requires CMRS providers to periodically collect and report aggregate data on the location technologies used for live 911 calls in their networks. Non-nationwide CMRS providers must report live 911 call data in one or more of the Test Cities identified by the FCC or the largest county in their footprint, depending on the area served by the provider, but are only required to file their reports every six months.

The FCC has also announced additional E911 Accuracy filing deadlines for the remainder of 2018:

  • Live 911 Call Data Reports. CMRS providers must submit live call data reports to the designated FCC email box ( by the first business day of the second month after each period for which data is reported. Reporting deadlines for 2018 are:
    • August 1, 2018 – Nationwide CMRS providers submit 2018 second quarter data; non-nationwide providers submit 2018 first and second quarter data.
  • Provision of Uncompensated Barometric Data to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) (Deadline: August 3, 2018). Starting on this date, all CMRS providers shall make uncompensated barometric sensor data available to PSAPs with respect to any 911 call placed from any handset that has the capability to deliver barometric sensor information.
  • CMRS Provider 36-Month Progress Reports (Deadline: August 3, 2018). By this date, all CMRS providers shall provide progress reports indicating what progress each provider has made consistent with its indoor location accuracy implementation plan. Nationwide CMRS providers shall include an assessment of their deployment of dispatchable location solutions. For any CMRS provider participating in the development of the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD), this progress report shall include detail as to the implementation of the NEAD database.

Please contact our office for assistance in preparing and filing these reports.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

911 Call Centers Vulnerable to Hacking

NBC News is reporting that over the past two years, hackers have attempted 184 cyber attacks on public safety agencies and local governments, including in some cases, ransomware attacks on 911 centers. Similar sorts of attacks have also occurred in Europe, which have likewise affected public safety and public health facilities including hospitals.

In Henry County, Tennessee, the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system was disabled by a ransomware attack. Rather than pay the $2,000 in Bitcoin currency, the County chose instead to rebuild its system – which took the better part of three days. Baltimore City was able to repel an attempted ransomware attack by shutting down the system and requiring call takers to switch to paper and pencil to take calls for service. In Henry County, access was gained through a weak password while in Baltimore, access was gained because a change had been made to the fire wall that left an opening for intruders when work was being performed to trouble shoot an issue with the CAD system. Even if you can protect yourself from ransomware and malware attacks, hackers have used other methods, including “denial of service” attacks which flood 911 call centers with automated phone calls.

It is important to note that most 911 centers are interconnected, so that if a 911 center goes down, there are emergency plans to shift resources to other locations or to operate out of a temporary emergency operations center. Nonetheless, a cyber attack on a 911 center could have deadly consequences — especially if calls for service are delayed or dispatching is delayed because the CAD system is not available everything must be manually dispatched.

Call center operators and their local government partners should periodically test the resiliency of their 911 systems and practice procedures for operating during outages and major malfunctions, in order to minimize any adverse consequences. Additionally, experts recommend that if it is practical, call centers should have back up software that can be used to restore a system that may have been compromised during a ransomware attack.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

FCC Affirms $22K Fine for Cell Phone Jamming

The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order affirming a $22,000 fine against Ravi’s Import Warehouse for operating a cellular phone jammer at its commercial premises in Dallas, Texas. Such jammers, which transmit a signal that is designed to overpower, jam, or interfere with authorized communications, are illegal in the United States.

In this case, the FCC received a complaint from AT&T that one of its base stations was receiving harmful interference in a manner that made it appear as though a signal jammer was in use. Ravi’s owner admitted that it had been using a signal jammer to prevent workers from using their wireless phones while at work, and that it had previously been warned by AT&T against the use of signal jamming equipment. The owner of Ravi refused to surrender the signal jammer to the FCC, but instead, offered to sell it to the FCC’s enforcement agent.

The use of signal jammers can create risks to public safety, due to the potential for harmful interference to wireless mobile communications. In particular, signal jammers have been known to block cell phone activity, including callers’ ability to make 911 or other emergency calls. Likewise, jammers can also prevent consumers and businesses from engaging in numerous daily forms of communications, including “routine” uses with safety implications, such as mapping/GPS applications. If you receive harmful interference that cannot otherwise be explained, please call our office for assistance.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Brokers $11.6 Million Settlement Over Wireless Tower Violations

On April 10, the FCC announced it has entered into settlements with Sprint and Mobilitie in two separate but related investigations into whether the companies completed proper tower registration as well as environmental and historic impact reviews prior to construction of wireless infrastructure facilities. According to a Press Release, Sprint contracted with Mobilitie, a telecommunications infrastructure company, to deploy wireless network equipment. Last year, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau began investigations into whether the parties had met certain regulatory requirements before constructing wireless infrastructure facilities. Under the FCC’s rules, deploying wireless infrastructure facilities, such as communications towers and structures for small cell systems, require environmental and historic preservation reviews, including Tribal consultation, prior to construction of certain facilities. In addition, certain facilities are required to be registered with the FCC prior to construction.

To settle the investigations, Sprint agreed to pay $10 million, and Mobilitie agreed to pay $1.6 million to the U.S. Treasury. In addition to the settlement amounts, Sprint and Mobilitie have committed to enhancing their environmental and historic preservation review compliance procedures going forward.

Under FCC rules and orders implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, applicants and licensees are required to assess whether certain proposed facilities may significantly affect the environment or historically significant properties. Environmental and historic impact reviews include reviewing possible impacts on wildlife, flood plains, Tribal historic sites, and other sites of historic or cultural significance. BloostonLaw can help clients make sure they have taken the necessary steps to comply with environmental/historic preservation regulations, and to make required filings and reports.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino.

California State Univ Cited for Unlicensed Operation

In response to an interference complaint on the frequency 464.6375 MHz in Daly City, California, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation against California State University at East Bay for unlicensed operations on the frequency 464.6375 MHz at its Hayward, California campus. The University was notified that operation of its transmitter without a license was a violation of Federal law and that it could be subject to enforcement, including, but not limited to fines and seizure of equipment. While the FCC generally goes after individuals and businesses, this case is telling that governmental entities are not given a “free pass.” We urge all of our clients to verify that all of their radio facilities are being operated in accordance with their station licenses. If there is a discrepancy, please contact our office as soon as possible so that we can assist in bring your operations back into regulatory compliance with the FCC’s Rules.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Pursues Enforcement for Unregistered 3650-3700 MHz Base Station Facilities

Agents from the Region Three field office of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (covering the Western United States including Hawaii and the Pacific island territories) have just issued a Notice of Violation to a Colorado-based independent wireless carrier for its failure to register 3650-3700 MHz band base station facilities and causing harmful RF interference to properly registered 3650-3700 MHz band operations of a petroleum company.

As our clients who operate 3650-3700 MHz facilities should be aware, this is a shared-use band that is available for use on the basis of non-exclusive nationwide licenses which serve as a prerequisite for registering individual fixed and base stations. A licensee cannot operate a fixed or base station before duly registering it under its license, and licensees must delete registrations for unused fixed and base stations. These registrations (which are available to the public via the FCC’s web site) allow licensees to identify other operators in the band and to coordinate their shared frequency use, thereby minimizing the risk of harmful interference.

While 3650-3700 MHz band operations in the process of being transitioned to the 3550-3700 MHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), this Notice of Violation should serve as a reminder to clients who operate 3650-3700 MHz facilities of the ongoing need to register their fixed 3650-3700 MHz base stations deployments before initiating service. Clients with facilities in the 3650-3700 MHz band should verify that each of those facilities is properly registered and that the operations are consistent with the technical information that was provided to the FCC for approval of the registration application. Our office can assist you with this process.

The Enforcement Bureau has directed the company responsible for the non-registered 3650-3700 MHz operations to respond with a written statement concerning the matter to explain the facts and circumstances around each violation, steps being taken to remediate each violation and preclude recurrence, as well as to provide a time line for completing its corrective actions. Moreover, issuance of the Notice of Violation does not preclude the Enforcement Bureau from further auction, if warranted, including issuance of a Notice of Liability for Forfeiture (NALF) for the violations in question.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

New Tact in FCC Campaign Against Pirate Radio Stations

Recently, the FCC has added a new tactic to its arsenal in going after pirate radio stations which operate without the required FCC license. Pirate station operators have been known to cause harmful interference to private land mobile communications — including public safety (police, fire and EMS) and critical infrastructure communications — as well as to the reception of over the air AM and FM broadcast radio. In addition to going after the pirate station operators themselves, the FCC is searching real estate records in order to hold property owners responsible, even though the property owner may or may not have had actual prior knowledge of the illegal operation. Operation of pirate stations is illegal and can subject the pirate station operator to severe penalties, including substantial fines, seizure of equipment and criminal prosecution which could lead to imprisonment.

In a recent statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated “Fighting unlawful broadcasts is a top enforcement priority for the FCC.” Chairman Pai continued that “[p]irate operators can interfere with important public safety announcements and hurt licensed broadcasters’ business. Consumers should be able to get the news and information programming they count on.” Since January 2017, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has conducted 306 pirate radio station investigations, issued 210 Notices of Unlicensed operation, issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for the statutory maximum penalty and entered into a record breaking settlement with a Miami-area pirate radio operator. The FCC has also referred cases to the US Attorney to obtain court orders seizing equipment. The FCC has issued fines in the amount of $143,800 and proposed an additional $323,688 in fines.

While the FCC’s notices indicate that the pirate station operators are subject to sanction, it is also important to note that any property owners who are served with the FCC notices are required to respond to the FCC within 10 days of receipt of the notice. A failure to respond to the notice could also result in enforcement action against the property owner even if it was not the pirate station operator. Likewise, the FCC is also applying an “aiding and abetting” standard against property owners who “actively aid pirate radio operations” which could also result in fines and other sanctions for property owners who do not actively curtail illegal activity on their property. While there may be room for debate about FCC jurisdiction over an unknowing property owner, the litigation process alone can be expensive and uncertain.

Any client who receives any notices from the FCC should contact our office so that we can assist you with the preparation of a timely response.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Marketing of Illegal LED Signs Results in $59K Penalties

Media Resources, Inc. and Boyce Industries, Inc. have entered into consent decrees to resolve the FCC’s investigation into the illegal distribution of LED signs that can be used in digital billboards and other commercial and industrial applications. The issue with these LED signs was that they were marketed without the required equipment authorization, labeling and user manual disclosures in violation of the FCC’s equipment authorization rules. These rules are designed to ensure that devices which emit radio frequency energy, do not cause harmful interference to licensed radio operations or interfere with the reception of over the air broadcast radio or television reception.

Media Resources – The FCC’s investigation reflected that while it had marketed the LED signs without the required equipment authorization, labeling, user manual disclosures and failing to retain testing records, it had engaged an accredited testing laboratory to test its equipment. As a result, Media Resources was able to demonstrate to the FCC that products were in compliance with the FCC’s technical standards. Further, Media Resources submitted additional documentation that it was in compliance with the FCC’s Equipment Authorization rules.

Boyce Industries – Boyce is a family-owned business that advertises, imports, assembles and sells LED display signs. The FCC’s investigation revealed that like Media Resources, Boyce had violated the Equipment Authorization by marketing LED signs without the required equipment authorization, labeling, and user manual disclosures, and by failing to maintain required test records. In this regard, it also appeared that unlike Media Resources, the LED signs marketed by Boyce did not comply with the FCC’s rules since it discontinued marketing its non-compliant LED signs and began the process of bringing those models into compliance with the FCC’s Rules.

While both of these cases appear to be similar, there also appears to be a significant distinction which resulted in Boyce paying a civil penalty of $39,500 as compared to the civil penalty of $19,500 paid by Media Resources. That distinction is that the equipment marketed by Media Resources was in technical compliance with the FCC’s Rules, while it appears that the equipment marketed by Boyce was not.

For those of our clients who develop and/or market or import devices that emit radio frequency (RF) energy – whether as intentional or unintentional radiators, it is critically important to comply with the FCC’s equipment authorization rules. There are many nuances to the rules and certain changes to equipment may or may not trigger filing or retesting requirements. Additionally, those clients which market devices that have been tested under a different brand may also be required to obtain an FCC equipment authorization as well. Our office can help you through this process.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

False Statements to FCC Nets Proposed $235,688 Fine

The FCC has proposed to fine Aura Holdings of Wisconsin, Inc. (Aura) $235,688 for the failure to provide truthful and accurate information in FCC application filings. This case arises out of the filing by Aura of 10 different applications for ownership change with respect to various antenna towers in the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system. Additionally, Aura allegedly made falls statements to a Commission employee by claiming that it owned an antenna tower that it in fact did not own — thereby delaying the resolution of a tower lighting issue. Finally, Aura failed to respond to an FCC order directing that it answer questions regarding the truthfulness of the information Aura had provided in its change of ownership filings as well as statements/representations made to an FCC employee.

This case started with a complaint from a pilot about an unlit tower in Footville, Wisconsin which rapidly snowballed. At the initiation of the field agent’s investigation, the ASR database reflected that the tower was owned by Puri, LLC. When the field agent went back into the ASR database, the ownership information had been changed to reflect that Aura was now the owner. Upon being contacted by the FCC on January 12, 2017, Aura advised the FCC that it had recently acquired the tower, was aware of the light outages and that while it had the necessary equipment, could not make repairs until the weather cleared to allow technicians to safely climb the tower. In response to follow up inquiries by the FCC’s Field Agent, Aura indicated that repairs were in progress (which included attachments to demonstrate progress towards completion) and that it would be taking steps to clear the NOTAM for the tower. In April 2017, the FCC’s Wireless Bureau received a complaint from Subcarrier Communications, Inc. (Subcarrier) that the ownership information for 41 of its antenna towers had been changed in the ASR database to show Aura’s FRN even though Subcarrier was the actual owner. Upon investigation, the Wireless Bureau was able to confirm that one of these towers was the very Footville antenna tower that Aura claimed was being repaired. The Field Agent was notified that the Footville antenna tower was actually owned by Subcarrier. Upon inquiry, Subcarrier explained that Aura had stolen its equipment and changed the locks at the tower sites, and then stolen equipment needed to repair the tower lights at the Footville site. The FCC’s further investigation revealed that Aura had filed 42 ownership change applications for towers that it did not own, despite certifying otherwise in its ASR ownership change applications. Additionally, Aura filed six requests for no-hazard studies with the FAA for that Aura did not own even though it had changed the ownership information in the ASR database.

The FCC’s Rules require applicants for FCC authorizations or engaging in activities that require Commission authorizations to provide truthful and accurate information in all communications and filings with the FCC. This is because accurate and truthful information is critical to the FCC’s process in determining whether an application should be granted. And, in the context of ASR applications, the FCC has indicated that it is even more important since public safety is at stake. In this regard, the FCC’s ASR system is a publicly available system and is a product of a collaborative effort between the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This system contains information that is critical for air navigation safety, as it provides information used to protect aircraft from potentially catastrophic collisions with unlit or improperly painted antenna structures. As a result, the integrity of the ASR system, which contains ownership and contact information, is critical in order to ensure that the FCC can rely on this information when a tower issue involving air navigation safety arises.

Under the FCC’s Rules, any antenna structure which requires the filing of a Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration (FAA Form 7460-1) with the FAA must also be registered with the FCC in its ASR database. This information includes specific parameters regarding the tower as well as contact information for the tower. Upon grant of the registration, the FAA will issue an ASR for the antenna structure and the ASR number must be conspicuously posted at the tower site so that it can be easily identified.

While the proposed $235,688 fine may seem extremely high, we note that the conduct was egregious and that the proposed fine was limited to misconduct that fell within the one-year statute of limitations. Had the FCC been able to issue fines for all of the alleged misconduct, we expect that the proposed fine would have been significantly higher.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Announces Temporary Freeze on New Satellite Applications in 3.7-4.2 GHz Band

On April 19, the FCC announced a temporary freeze (effective immediately) on the filing of new or modification applications for fixed-satellite service (FSS) earth station licenses, receive-only earth station registrations, and fixed microwave licenses in the 3.7-4.2 GHz frequency band. The freeze is being delayed 90 days for those that have been constructed and are operational as of April 19, 2018, but not yet registered or licensed for interference protection.

According to the Public Notice, “[t]he purpose of this freeze is to preserve the current landscape of authorized operations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band pending FCC action as part of its ongoing inquiry into the possibility of permitting mobile broadband use and more intensive fixed use of the band.”

Earth stations. During the freeze the International Bureau will dismiss applications, or those portions of applications, received for new earth station licenses, new receive-only earth station registrations, and modifications to earth stations currently authorized to operate in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. EXCEPTIONS: The freeze does not extend to applications for renewal or cancellation of current earth station authorizations, or modifications to correct location or other data required in the earth station file. As noted above, it is also delayed 90 days for existing earth stations.

Fixed Microwave. During the freeze, the Wireless Telecommunications and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureaus will dismiss applications received for new or major modifications to fixed microwave stations to operate in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band. EXCEPTIONS: The freeze does not extend to applications for renewal, cancellation, minor modifications, or data corrections.

The FCC indicated that it will consider requests for waiver of this freeze on a case-by-case basis and upon a demonstration that waiver will serve the public interest and not undermine the objectives of the freeze.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell 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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Friends & Colleagues

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Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

Technical Services Inc.

Texas Registered Engineering Firm #F16945

“It's more than Push-To-Talk”

7711 Scotia Drive
Dallas, TX 75248-3112

Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

President • Principal Engineer

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

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ARRL Suspends Registration for Emergency Communications Course, as Online Platform Announces Shutdown


Registration for “Introduction to Emergency Communications” (EC-001) was suspended on April 30, after ARRL learned that the online platform provider for the course — Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) — is being dissolved, effective July 1, according to CTDLC’s parent, Charter Oak State College.

CTDLC officials cited the fiscal challenges that the Connecticut state college and university system and the state as a whole are facing as the reason for shuttering CTDLC.

As plans are made to move the course content to a new delivery platform, ARRL decided to halt registration. Anyone who signed up for the EC-001 session that starts on May 30 will receive a refund. ARRL has been developing new EC-001 content and will intensify the process of selecting a new platform to deliver it.

More information on the new course content and a new host site for the EC-001 course will be announced, as soon as a decision is made on an alternative delivery mechanism.


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From: Ken Krassy
Subject: Paging History
Date: April 30, 2018
To: Brad Dye

Trust all is well. Enjoyed your “Paging History” section in the News Letter. This brought back a fond memory when I was with Contact /Gabriel in the mid 1980's. We had 60,000 pagers on the street in south Florida when MOTOROLA came out with their first digital display pager (BPR2000?) that utilized a polarized lens.

While attending a convention, my wife, Susan, and I were speaking with MOTOROLA VP Ken Hessler when she started to complain to Hessler about the MOTOROLA pager that she was using in her Real Estate business. The buttons were too small for a woman with fingernails, and when she was in the sun with a customer and received a page, her polarized sun glasses blackened the screen.

Hessler pointed out a gentleman standing nearby and told Susan to go tell him what you think of his new pager. The person was Chris Galvin. Not a bashful Italian, she told him emphatically that she would rather use an NEC pager that did not have those problems while Hessler and I hid in a corner laughing.

Chris politely took notes and said he would personally look into her concerns and a new pager was born that was “user friendly!”

Personal regards,


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From: Steve Brodie
Subject: Wanted, KPT-20 or KPT-50, the “magic box” that programs older Kenwoods
Date: April 28, 2018
To: Brad Dye


Thanks for sharing your always entertaining and informative newsletter.

I am asking that you ask your readers, especially two-way shops if any of them might have, among their clutter, the Kenwood programming box used with the KTR series.

Our local US Coast Guard Auxiliary has access to several older Kenwood radios and we need the “magic programming box” (a KPT-20 or a KPT-50) to ready them for service.

We have the software, KPG-21D, on hand.

I hope that one of your readers can assist in this effort and “THANKS” for making our need known.

Steve Brodie
POB 1641
Pottsboro,, TX 75076

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“Down by the Riverside”

“Down by the Riverside” (also known as “Ain't Gonna Study War No More” and “Gonna lay down my burden”) is a Negro spiritual song. Its roots date back to before the American Civil War, though it was first published in 1918 in Plantation Melodies: A Collection of Modern, Popular and Old-time Negro-Songs of the Southland, Chicago, the Rodeheaver Company. The song has alternatively been known as “Ain' go'n' to study war no mo'”, “Ain't Gwine to Study War No More”, “Down by de Ribberside”, “Going to Pull My War-Clothes” and “Study war no more”. The song was first recorded by the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet in 1920 (published by Columbia in 1922). and there are at least 14 black gospel recordings before World War II.

Because of its pacifistic imagery, “Down by the Riverside” has also been used as an anti-war protest song, especially during the Vietnam War.

The song's central image is of casting off negativity and aggression, and putting on spiritual garb, at the side of a river before crossing it. The image has several meanings: it refers to baptism, which in the Southern Baptist tradition usually involves wearing a white robe and being submerged in a body of water. It also refers to ascending to heaven after death, using the metaphor of the River Jordan, which in the Old Testament was the final passage before the Hebrews entered the Promised Land after their years in the desert. As with many Negro spirituals, the biblical imagery can also be read as a hidden allusion to escaping slavery, with the river representing the Ohio River, which was a border between states where slavery was allowed and prohibited before the American Civil War. The refrain of "ain't gonna study war no more" is a reference to a quotation found in the Old Testament: “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” This quote occurs twice in the Bible, in Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3, and is part of the swords to ploughshares motif.

Source: Wikipedia  

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“Down by the Riverside”

Playing For Change

Playing For Change
Music video by Playing for Change performing Down by the Riverside. © 2014 Timeless Media LLC dba Playing for Change Records.

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

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