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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — August 16, 2019 — Issue No. 870

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News


It's the unfortunate public perception based on inaccurate information that Paging—just because it has been around for a long time—is obsolete and not the best choice for communicating critical messages.

The first following article: “Public safety officers pager system approved with expected cost savings” tells how Ashwaubenon, a Village in Wisconsin has chosen to drop their Paging service with American Messaging in favor of a web-based texting to cellphone service.

Regular readers of this newsletter know our position on this issue. If you don't know, I recommend that you read Jim Nelson's excellent article, “Is Paging Going Away?”

The short point is simply this, these cellphone-based systems work well now but in the event of a major disaster (when they are needed the most) they will not work at all.

Paging always has been and continues to be, the best means to communicate with people in times of emergency.

If I am just "preaching to the choir" then it is time for the choir to start preaching to the rest of the world.


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.

We are having a cold spell in Southern, Illinois

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.


Let's get together and share ideas. Our competitors are not other paging companies, they are other technologies.

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

Editorial Policy

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

We need your help. This is the only remaining news source dedicated to information about Paging and Wireless Messaging.

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4 Motorola R 2400 and 2410A  
5 Motorola R 2600 and R 2660 late S/Ns  
4 Motorola R 1200  
2 Motorola R 2200  
2 Stand-alone Efratom Rubidium Frequency Standards 10 MHz output
1 Telawave model 44 wattmeter Recently calibrated
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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Media 1
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)
Wex International Limited

Leavitt Communications


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

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motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS



Contact us for price and availability please

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

Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones


The rest of the Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones page has been move to a separate page.
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These horns are now on display and for sale at:

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2006 Kelty Road
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Tel: 303-954-8229
Location: Map
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Social Media: Facebook
Twitter: @owlsnestfranktown
E-mail: Virginia Angus
Allan Angus

Stop in for a demo and a great cup of espresso.


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Public safety officers pager system approved with expected cost savings

By The Press August 12, 2019

By Kevin Boneske Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – The village board has approved a change to the Public Safety Department officer’s paging system projected to save $6,580 by the end of 2022.

Board members acted on the change at their meeting Tuesday, July 23, when they heard from acting chief Tom Rolling.

He described the pager system the department has been using through American Messaging as a “dinosaur at the wayside.”

“The company that we have . . . charges us $3,200 a year just for that service,” Rolling said. “The problem is that if these pagers drop, break, quit working, we have to turn them back in at the cost of $50 a pager, and that continues, then, to add to what we’re budgeting each year for our officers to be called in on an emergency, which is the reason for these pagers.”

Rolling said the new pager system known as Ten-33 sends web-based texting to each officer’s phone.

“Sometimes you go out, you forget your pager, but you never forget your phone,” he said. “So with this, we’re looking at a cost savings of, for this year especially, $940, if we implement, and for the next three years, we’re looking up to approximately $6,500 (of cumulative savings), and that’s just for the service that we have.”

Rolling said it has cost the department around another $200 annually to replace pagers with the system through American Messaging.

“We’ve got a system that we’re paying, we think, way too much money for when everyone has their cell phones,” he said.

Rolling said he believes the Ten-33 system will be timelier for calling officers in to assist the department when someone would have a phone and not necessarily a pager when away from home.

Trustee Chris Zirbel said implementing the Ten-33 paging system would be a “no-brainer… financially and otherwise.”

Rolling said the Ten-33 system has been in use in Kewaunee County for several years with no issues, and an update of the system is now being implemented.

Source: The Press  

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.

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Easy Solutions

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

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

Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
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Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or  e-mail  us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119
Telephone: 214 785-8255


“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.


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.


  • Broadcast Services over the Internet for Corporate Communications
  • Seeking Parties for Live Response Applications on Smartphones
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Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

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

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


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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.

Kaspersky Antivirus Software Exposed Millions to Web Tracking

By Paul Wagenseil
August 16, 2019

Security Program injected JavaScript, unique IDs into web pages

Eugene Kaspersky on stage at Mobile World Congress 2017, Barcelona. (Image credit: catwalker/Shutterstock)

UPDATED with comment from Kaspersky.

Kaspersky antivirus software let websites track users for years, a German journalist revealed today (Aug. 15).

Ronald Eikenberg of c't magazine detailed how the Kaspersky software installed on a test laptop injected JavaScript code onto every web page rendered on every browser on a test laptop.

Even worse, the Kaspersky JavaScript contained an ID number that was replicated in every page rendered on a single machine. The ID number was changed on other PCs.

"That's a remarkably bad idea," Eikenberg wrote in the English version of his article (it's also available in German). "Other scripts running in the context of the website domain can access the entire HTML source any time, which means they can read the Kaspersky ID. In other words, any website can read the user's Kaspersky ID and use it for tracking."

You can disable the Kaspersky ID injection entirely by going into your Kaspersky software's settings, then Additional/Network, then locating Traffic Processing and unchecking "Inject script into web traffic to interact with web pages."

Eikenberg set up a website that would read the Kaspersky ID of visiting computers and display it back to them, and asked his c't colleagues to browse to his site.

"From that moment on, my test page greeted them personally whenever they opened the site -- no matter which browser they used or how often they deleted cookies," he wrote. "Even the incognito mode did not offer any protection against my Kaspersky-infused tracking. At this point, it was clear that this was a serious security issue."

Antivirus software often screens web pages against drive-by downloads and other web-based attacks, but, as Eikenberg pointed out, injecting JavaScript into all web pages may be going too far. (Other brands, however, inject code into search-results pages to add green check marks or other symbols to indicate which web links are safe.)

Whoops, our bad

Eikenberg notified Kaspersky of the problem, and after a couple of weeks, the company confirmed that the issue existed on all versions of Kaspersky antivirus software, ranging from Kaspersky Free Anti-Virus to Kaspersky Total Security, dating back to the fall of 2015.

"Several million users must have been exposed" overall, Eikenberg reasoned.

The company downplayed the danger of the tracking ID, but nonetheless fixed it in June with a security patch for all affected Kaspersky software and published a security advisory alerting users to the flaw.

At his request, Eikenberg said, the company also registered the bug with the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) bug-tracking system run by the MITRE Corporation outside Boston, so now it has its own CVE number.

Bad optics

Kaspersky has been viewed with extreme suspicion by U.S. governmental agencies who fear its antivirus software could be used for espionage or sabotage on the part of the Russian government. The company's products have effectively been banned from U.S. government agencies and defense contractors.

The German federal government has found no evidence that Kaspersky is up to any kind of no good, and we here at Tom's Guide have yet to be convinced that Kaspersky software is unsafe to use for most people. But this arguably minor incident will only enhance some people's suspicions about Kaspersky.

Tom's Guide has reached out to Kaspersky for comment, and we will update this story when we receive a response.

Not out of the woods yet?

Eikenberg installed the June patch on his and his colleagues' machines, and found that Kaspersky software still injects an ID into every displayed web page. The difference is that the ID is now identical for all machines running the same version of Kaspersky software.

Of course, "that is actually valuable information to an attacker," as Eikenberg wrote. "They may use that information to distribute malware tailored to the protection software, or to redirect the browser to a suitable scamming page."

Eikenberg has reported that to Kaspersky as a separate flaw.

UPDATE: Kaspersky responded to our query for comment with this statement, in full:

"Kaspersky has changed the process of checking web pages for malicious activity by removing the usage of unique identifiers for the GET requests. This change was made after Ronald Eikenberg reported to us that using unique identifiers for the GET requests can potentially lead to the disclosure of a user's personal information."

"After our internal research, we have concluded that such scenarios of user's privacy compromise are theoretically possible but are unlikely to be carried out in practice, due to their complexity and low profitability for cybercriminals. Nevertheless, we are constantly working on improving our technologies and products, resulting in a change in this process. We'd like to thank Ronald Eikenberg for reporting this to us."

Source: tom's guide  

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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

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

Internet Protocol Terminal

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

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

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

Additional/Optional Features

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

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

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 e-mail:

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

AUGUST 15, 2019 4:40pm PT
by Ashley Cullins

ABC Fined $395K by FCC for 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' Emergency Alert Misuse

ABC/Randy Holmes 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

AMC and Discovery were also hit with fines.

A Jimmy Kimmel Live! bit making fun of President Donald Trump is going to cost ABC $395,000, as the FCC is cracking down on use of the emergency alert tone in entertainment.

The network agreed to pay a fine to the agency after late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in October used a simulated tone three times during a sketch about the nationwide presidential wireless emergency alert test. The bit, which is posted on YouTube, featured a trailer for a fake movie called The Textening. According to the FCC filing, ABC says it was a "misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible."

A network spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that "ABC takes regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue."

Kimmel wasn't the only show hit with a fine. AMC will pay $104,000 in connection with a tone used in a February episode of The Walking Dead, and Discovery will pay $68,000 for an episode of Lone Star Law on Animal Planet that captured a real emergency alert while filming. Each of the companies has agreed to implement a compliance plan to avoid future misuse.

FCC rules state the use of EAS tones is limited to actual emergencies and legitimate system tests and misuse is a public safety concern. According to a Thursday announcement issued by the agency, "these rules aim to protect the integrity of the alert system by helping to avoid confusion when the tones are used, alert fatigue among listeners, and false activation of the EAS by the operative data elements contained in the alert tones."

Full details on the settlements are available here.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter  

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 e-mail:

Leavitt Communications

We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( ) for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Friday, August 16, 2019

Volume 7 | Issue 160

Fact-Fuzzy Floridians Encounter Balanced Reporting

August 16, 2019 5:56 am

Local jurisdictions in Florida have been caught between a rock and a hard place, hearing cries for better reception matched by cries for having no cell towers at all. After complaints about poor cell service became overwhelming, the Palm Coast government relented and approved four towers proposed by Diamond Communications, reports

However, the appearance of towers on the skyline has brought the protesters out of the woodwork in Flagler.

With health concerns being raised as their major case against towers, FlaglerLive presented a balanced counter to those claims. The e-publication quoted the World Health Organization as stating, “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

The e-paper also cited a recently published report from Scientific American, noting that study results attempted to link EMF exposure to cancer development in rats was inconclusive. The study, the story said, did reach one undeniable conclusion: “the radiation-treated animals also lived longer than the non-exposed control [animal]s.”

Florida resident and tower detractor Sonya Snyder argued that, “If you look at Israel, and you look at Germany, who have already decided to disband their cell towers, they noticed a 400 percent increase in cancers by anybody within five miles of those towers, so they are dismantling theirs.” While it sounds dramatic, it is also inaccurate as both Israel and Germany continue to build more cell towers and encourage the rollout of 5G technology.

A recent scare at the Ripon School District in California initially had parents worried that a nearby cell tower was a cancer contributor. Later reports, as documented by Inside Towers, shifted the focus of the investigation to carcinogenic components in the ground water as the more likely cause.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
It is daily by subscription. Check it out.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less — sometimes the whole updates] 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. 22, No. 34 August 14, 2019 

REMINDER: FCC Form 477 Due September 3

On August 9, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding filers that Form 477, which is due on September 3. Providers of fixed broadband to end users; local telephone service; VoIP; and/or mobile telephony services must file. According to the Public Notice, “[s]ervice providers that are required to file Form 477 but fail to do so may be subject to enforcement action under sections 502 and 503 of the Communications Act and any other applicable law.”

See the article in the Deadlines section in this edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.


Chairman Pai Announces Plan to Maintain Radio-frequency Exposure Safety Standards

On August 8, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a “proposal that would continue to ensure the health and safety of workers and consumers of wireless technology.” The proposal, which has begun circulation among the other Commissioners, would maintain the FCC’s existing radio-frequency (RF) exposure limits and also establish a uniform set of guidelines for ensuring compliance with the limits regardless of the service or technology, replacing the FCC’s current inconsistent patchwork of service-specific rules. In addition, Chairman Pai is proposing that the FCC seek comment on establishing rules formalizing its existing methods of determining compliance with the RF exposure standard for high-frequency devices.

The draft item includes these main components:

  • Maintaining the current standard: The item would maintain the existing RF exposure limits and thus resolve the FCC’s 2013 Notice of Inquiry that sought public input on whether to strengthen or relax its existing RF exposure limits.
  • Establishing uniform rules for determining compliance with RF standards: The item would establish a uniform set of guidelines, agnostic to the service or technology, using science-based metrics around frequency, distance, and power, to determine how entities assess whether they are in compliance with RF standards.
  • Formalizing the application of the existing standard to certain frequencies: The item would seek comment on establishing a rule to formalize the FCC’s existing methods of determining compliance with the RF exposure standard for devices operating at high frequencies.

“The FCC sets radio-frequency limits in close consultation with the FDA and other health agencies. After a thorough review of the record and consultation with these agencies, we find it appropriate to maintain the existing radio-frequency limits, which are among the most stringent in the world for cell phones,” said Julius Knapp, chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

D.C. Circuit Affirms in Part, Vacates in Part Small Cell Order

On August 9, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today vacated a portion of an FCC order that exempted small cells from environmental and historic preservation reviews, while affirming provisions dealing with tribal review under the National Historic Preservation Act and the promulgation of the order itself. The order was the second report and order adopted in the FCC’s Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment docket (WT 17-79) in March of 2018. This is significant because it could hinder the FCC’s efforts to facilitate rapid deployment of 5G networks using millimeter wave spectrum and small cells.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Order exempted most small cell construction from historic-preservation review under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In considering the challenges to the Order, the court said:

We grant in part the petitions for review because the Order does not justify the Commission’s determination that it was not in the public interest to require review of small cell deployments. In particular, the Commission failed to justify its confidence that small cell deployments pose little to no cognizable religious, cultural, or environmental risk, particularly given the vast number of proposed deployments and the reality that the Order will principally affect small cells that require new construction. The Commission accordingly did not, pursuant to its public interest authority, 47 U.S.C. § 319(d), adequately address possible harms of deregulation and benefits of environmental and historic-preservation review. The Order’s deregulation of small cells is thus arbitrary and capricious.

In a statement, Commissioner Brendan Carr, who is the point person at the agency on wireless infrastructure issues, emphasized that the court refused to vacate the entire FCC order.

“I am pleased that the court upheld key provisions of last March’s infrastructure decision,” he said. “Most importantly, the court affirmed our decision that parties cannot demand upfront fees before reviewing any cell sites, large or small. These fees, which had grown exponentially in the last few years, created incentives for frivolous reviews unrelated to any potential impact on historic sites. Those financial incentives are gone, and we expect our fee restrictions to continue greatly diminishing unnecessary and costly delays. I’m also pleased that the court affirmed our accelerated timelines for reviews. Already, these reforms have resulted in significant new builds. We are reviewing the portion of last March’s decision that the D.C. Circuit did not affirm and look forward to next steps, as appropriate.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino

FCC Settles Cramming Complaints Against CenturyLink for $550,000

On August 13, the FCC announced that it has entered into a settlement with CenturyLink to resolve an investigation into the company’s placement of unauthorized third-party charges and fees onto consumers’ bills. This practice, known as cramming, is unjust and unreasonable under the Communications Act. As part of the settlement, Century has agreed to pay $550,000 to the U.S. Treasury and has committed to a compliance plan designed to protect consumers and prevent future cramming.

During its investigation, the Enforcement Bureau reviewed complaints from CenturyLink customers. Consumers stated that they discovered unauthorized third-party charges on their CenturyLink bills and, in some cases, had difficulty getting timely refunds.

The settlement also requires CenturyLink to cease billing for third parties, with certain narrow exceptions, and to implement a process for providing refunds or credits to customers with valid complaints about unauthorized charges. The settlement strengthens CenturyLink customers’ ability to dispute unauthorized charges, including ensuring that customers are not required to first contact the third-party company to be eligible to receive a refund or to pay a disputed fee until that dispute is resolved. CenturyLink will also allow customers to block future third-party charges and have available upon customers’ request all recent billing information related to third-party charges. In addition, CenturyLink commits to revise its processes, conduct staff training to avoid any further placement of unauthorized third-party charges on customers’ bills, and file regular compliance reports with the FCC.

“Over the years, the FCC has done yeoman’s work in fighting cramming and getting major phone companies to stop this practice,” said Rosemary Harold, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “With today’s action, another major phone company will stop cramming and prevent unscrupulous third parties from adding fees to bills without prior express consent.”

Law & Regulation

FCC Officially Launches Fraud Division, will Focus on USF and other Funding Programs

On August 12, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Order of January 29 creating a division within the Enforcement Bureau specifically dedicated to investigating fraud. The effective date of the Order is August 13.

According to the Order, the division will be comprised of existing staff and will be dedicated to taking enforcement actions against fraud in the USF and other funding programs that the FCC oversees. The Fraud Division will work collaboratively with other law enforcement entities, including the Office of Inspector General, where appropriate. The Fraud Division will consist of the individuals who presently focus on fraud cases. Establishing this division will capitalize on and enhance the FCC’s expertise in rooting out fraud in programs over which the FCC has jurisdiction.

In a statement, Chairman Pai said, “Combatting fraud aggressively, especially fraud related to misuse of the Universal Service Fund, lies at the core of this agency’s responsibility to the American people to make sure that every dollar of taxpayer funding we oversee is used efficiently to close the digital divide. This new Fraud Division will play a key role in leading our efforts to get rid of waste, fraud, and abuse in the Universal Service Fund.”

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

Rep. Matsui Introduces WIN 5G Act to Free Up C-Band

On August 6, Rep. Doris Matsui (D., Calif.), vice chair of the House communications and technology subcommittee, introduced the “WIN 5G Act.” The text of the bill is not yet available, but according to a press release based on an older draft from June, this bill “proposes a consensus-based, compromise approach to rapidly and equitably reallocating spectrum between the frequencies of 3.7 GHz-4.2 GHz, commonly referred to as the ‘C-band.’” Recent statements indicate the final version has stricter timelines for completion than outlined below.

According to the press release for the June draft of the bill, the WIN 5G Act requires the FCC to designate Cband satellite operators to serve as a transition facilitator that will craft a transition plan for C-band spectrum. The transition plan will include how much spectrum will be made available in the continental United States, together with determinations that: 1) end users will continue to receive comparable quality of service after repurposing for terrestrial mobile use; and 2) that the amount of spectrum proposed is the maximum amount that can be made available. The transition facilitation plan will also include technical, frequency migration, and end-user protection plans and will be submitted to the FCC within 6 months. The FCC will then have 90 days to review the plan to ensure it is adequate.

The WIN 5G Act also:

  • Allows the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to use existing – otherwise unused – resources in the Spectrum Relocation Fund to support research-related activities that examine the feasibility of federal spectrum users relocating or sharing spectrum with non-federal users.
  • Requires, within 6 months, agencies operating on 3.45-3.55 GHz to submit a Pipeline Act study to assess whether that spectrum could be made available for commercial use.
  • Requires, after a finding that the 3.45-3.55 GHz band can be made available for commercial wireless services, that this band be identified for auction and reallocated for commercial use.
  • Requires NTIA to consult with the FCC and relevant federal agencies on whether spectrum subject to a plan could be made available on an unlicensed basis, if a study reveals it could not be made available for auction on a licensed basis.
  • Allows, if spectrum frequencies auctioned for non-federal use is the result primarily of NTIA’s research and development, OMB to transfer funds from that auction to go to independent research and development intended to improve the efficiency of federal spectrum use to make available frequencies that have not previously been identified for reallocation and auction.
  • Establishes a new Rural Broadband Deployment Fund to be used by the FCC to expand rural broadband access with proceeds generated by the auctions required by the WIN 5G Act.

“The U.S. needs to win the race to 5G and beyond. The WIN 5G Act will get us there. This legislation allows C-band spectrum to be reallocated in an efficient and equitable way so that we can take meaningful steps to facilitate the nationwide deployment of 5G,” said Matsui back in June.

BloostonLaw Contact: John Prendergast.

FCC Issues $39,000 Fine for Communications Impersonating Fire Safety Personnel

On August 7, the FCC issued a $39,278 fine against Mr. Ocean Hinson of Surry County, North Carolina, for intentional misuse of a local public safety radio communications network. Mr. Hinson impersonated first responders in unauthorized radio communications on Surry County’s licensed public safety frequency.

Specifically, on October 17, 2017, Surry County officials, responding to a fire alarm triggered at a local residence, transmitted a request for a unit from the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hinson posing as “Westfield VFD Unit 7331” responded, using the mobile radio in his personal vehicle and stated that he was en route to the scene of the alarm. Approximately four minutes later, Mr. Hinson, still identifying himself as Westfield VFD Unit 7331, contacted the dispatcher by radio and cancelled the call. As a result of these two transmissions, no real first responder investigated the triggered residential fire alarm. Fortunately, no fire actually occurred at the scene of the alarm.

BloostonLaw Contact: Richard Rubino.


Chairman Pai Formally Endorses T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

On August 14, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he has circulated among the rest of the FCC a draft Order that would approve, subject to conditions, the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. According to a Press Release, the draft find that the transaction will, among other things, “ advance the rapid deployment of a new 5G wireless network” and “help to close the digital divide by bringing robust 5G deep into rural areas, with enforceable conditions in the draft Order requiring coverage of at least 99% of Americans within six years.”

The Order reportedly addresses concerns raised in the record as to the competitive effects of the transaction by concluding that the divestiture of Boost Mobile, along with other conditions, would address the potential for competitive harm from the transaction. In addition, the Order finds that DISH’s planned 5G deployment, in connection with its acquisition of Boost, would also be in the public interest.

“After one of the most exhaustive merger reviews in Commission history, the evidence conclusively demonstrates that this transaction will bring fast 5G wireless service to many more Americans and help close the digital divide in rural areas. Moreover, with the conditions included in this draft Order, the merger will promote robust competition in mobile broadband, put critical mid-band spectrum to use, and bring new competition to the fixed broadband market.” said Chairman Pai. “I thank our transaction team for the thorough and careful analysis reflected in this draft Order and hope that my colleagues will vote to approve it.”


AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2019 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

SEPTEMBER 3: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Normally due September 1, this year’s filing falls on a federal holiday weekend, pushing the deadline back to the next business day. Four types of entities must file this form:

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Aug. 14 – Reply comments are due on 3.7-4.2 GHz Band Proposals.
Aug. 15 – Auction 103 Initial Commitment filings are due.
Aug. 15 – Reply comments are due on Lifeline Minimum Service Standards Petition.
Aug. 23 – Reply comments are due on SHAKEN/STIR NPRM.
Aug. 26 – Reply comments are due on USF Cap NPRM.
Aug. 30 – Comments are due on Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments NPRM.

Sep. 3 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
Sep. 3 – HAC Record Retention and Website Posting Requirement Compliance Deadline.
Sep. 9 – Short Form Application Deadline for Auction 103.
Sep. 20 – Comments are due in EEO Improvement NPRM.
Sep. 30 – Reply comments due on Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments NPRM. Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

Oct. 3 – HAC Certification Due.
Oct. 15 – 911 Reliability Certification.

Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 4 – Reply comments are due in EEO Improvement NPRM.

Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

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Jolene — Dolly Parton

(Cover by The Petersens)

The Petersens
Published on Jul 1, 2019

The Petersens are a family band performing full-time in Branson, MO. The band consists of Katie Petersen on fiddle, Ellen Petersen on banjo, Matt Petersen on guitar, Julianne Petersen on mandolin, Karen Petersen on bass, and Emmett Franz on dobro.

Source: YouTube  


Feijoada à brasileira

(Cisne, Illinois Style)

In my travels to over fifty countries, I believe my favorite style of food was found in Brazil. I had a special treat Monday evening at the "Farmer T's Fresh Market Cafe & Smoothie Bug" (restaurant) in Cisne, Illinois — a village near here that my father was from. They serve various international dishes on Monday evenings and this week it was Brazilian. It was a really great dish of black beans, rice, collard greens, roasted pork, sausage, segmented oranges, toasted manioc flour, and a special sauce. The chef is a lady who has also traveled extensively and she has that knack of putting her unique blend of ethnic herbs and spices together to create signature dishes from other countries. Highly recommended.

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