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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — August 30, 2019 — Issue No. 872

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News


Be sure to read Derick Banner's message in the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section near the end of the newsletter. It was forwarded to me by Jim Nelson.

I used to enjoy these industry get-togethers back when I had a job and an expense account.

Aug 27, 2019, 05:23pm

New Android Warning: 100M+ Users Installed App With Nasty Malware Inside—Uninstall Now

Zak Doffman
I write about security and surveillance.


Google's Play Store has come in for serious criticism in recent weeks, with a procession of disclosures of malware-laced apps being installed by millions of users around the world. In the latest such disclosure, Kaspersky researchers have reported that the CamScanner app, "a phone-based PDF creator that includes OCR (optical character recognition) and has more than 100 million downloads," has been "shipping with an advertising library containing a malicious module."

CamScanner was "a legitimate app," the researchers explained, "with no malicious intentions." At that time, ads were used openly to generate a normal commercial return for the apps developers and there were in-app purchases to generate additional revenue. "However, at some point, that changed."

According to the researchers, the malicious module is a "Trojan Dropper," this means it's malware designed as a delivery mechanism for other malware with a specific purpose. So a dropper might be used to install malware that steals banking credentials or generates fake advertising clicks or signs up for fake subscriptions.

This particular malware — Trojan.Dropper.AndroidOS.Necro.n — has been seen before by the Kaspersky team "in some apps preinstalled on Chinese smartphones." Some users have already reported this behavior to Google, and on finding the malware in a version of the app, the researchers reported it and it was "promptly removed from Google Play."

The researchers also reported that the latest versions of CamScanner have seemingly removed the malware module, although they warn that "versions of the app vary for different devices, and some of them may still contain malicious code."

Google is continually improving its defenses against the abuse of its platform, but developers of such malware are working just as hard to keep a few steps ahead.

Google Play Protect is designed to guard against app vulnerabilities and, in 2018, Google "detected and removed malicious developers faster, and stopped more malicious apps from entering the Google Play Store than ever before. The number of rejected app submissions increased by more than 55%, and we increased app suspensions by more than 66%."

In the last month, we've seen reports of dozens of apps with hundreds of millions of installs being found to contain dangerous modules. We have seen reports of tens of millions of devices shipping with malware inside the preinstalled apps. And we have seen Google Play extend the review time for new apps as it looks to combat the issue.

But, as I've said before, there's no substitute for common sense and treating apps from unknown sources as potential threats. [Source: Forbes]

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
wireless logo medium


This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

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

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

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

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

Editorial Policy

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

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

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Charlotte County first responders get $2.8 million to fix communication system

by Elizabeth Tyree & Valencia Jones
Thursday, August 29th 2019

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved a $2.8 million communication system they say will fix the problem (WSET)

CHARLOTTE Co., Va. (WSET) — First responders in Charlotte County are thrilled because they're finally seeing a solution to a big problem: a lackluster communications system.

They say it's kept them from getting emergency calls, but the county has just approved a fix.

Firefighters said the pagers and mobile radio units that they currently use barely work because of the poor signal, which keeps them calling for additional units when needed.

Now, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved a $2.8 million communication system they say will fix the problem.

The new system will benefit several agencies, including the sheriff's office, fire and rescue operations, and the school system.

It includes new radios, pagers, and upgraded towers.

The county will use a total of five existing towers, partnering with surrounding counties.

"We are very excited the county is finally moving forward with it, and looking forward to enhanced communications to better serve the citizens of Charlotte County and surrounding areas," said Walt Bailey, the president of the Charlotte County Fire & Rescue Association.

Fire officials say despite the problems, they have procedures in place to make sure the emergency calls are covered until the new system is up and running.

County officials say they have to complete licensing agreements and other logistics, so it could take up to a year before the new system is online. [source]


Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale

Motorola Service Monitor

IFR Service Monitor

Efratom Rubidium Standard

(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)

Qty Item Notes
2 Late IFR 500As with new batteries
1 Motorola R 2001D  
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
1 IFR 1000S  
All sold with 7 day ROR (Right of Refusal), recent calibration, operation manual and accessories  
Factory carrying cases for each with calibration certificate  
Many parts and accessories  

Frank Moorman animated left arrow

(254) 596-1124

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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:

bendix king COM

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.
TAKE ME THERE. animated left arrow





These horns are now on display and for sale at:

The Owl’s Nest
2006 Kelty Road
Franktown, Colorado 80116

Tel: 303-954-8229
Location: Map
Web site:
Social Media: Facebook
Twitter: @owlsnestfranktown
E-mail: Virginia Angus
Allan Angus

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


Hong Kong


W8001 (4 Line/8 Line IP67 Alphanumeric Pager)

W8008 Thinnest IP67 Rated Alphanumeric Pager 4 Line/8 Line, OLED Display

W2028 (2 Line/4 Line Alphanumeric Pager)

For Trade inquiries contact:
Eric Dilip Kumar

  • Available in VHF, UHF & 900 MHz Full Range Frequency Bands
  • We are OEM for Major Brand names in USA and Europe
  • We also Design and Manufacture POCSAG Decoder Boards
  • We can Design and Manufacture to customer specifications
  • Factory located in Shenzhen, China
  • Pagers have FCC, RoHs, C-Tick, CE-EMC, IC Approvals

Visit our websites for more details

For ESPAÑOL, PORTUGUÊS AND DEUTSCH versions, please go to:

How to Get Verizon to Block Robocalls for You

Brendan Hesse
August 28, 2019 — 1:30pm

Photo: SOPA Images / Getty Images

After endless complaints from customers, service providers are making moves to reduce—and hopefully eliminate—the modern-day nuisance of robocalls. Verizon customers have been able to download a free spam filter that blocks robocalls on iOS and Android, but some Android users are now automatically enrolled in the service (no extra app downloads required).

Only certain Android devices are eligible for the automatic blocking so far, a list you can check here. If you’re on any of Verizon’s unlimited plans on an eligible device, you are now automatically enrolled in Call Filter, and many Android phones purchased directly from Verizon will come with the Call Filter app preloaded (which you can use to auto-enroll yourself, if you haven’t been enrolled anyway.) It’s unclear if you’ll still want or need to have the app installed in that case, but it doesn’t hurt.

Android devices on a prepaid plan, and all iOS users regardless of their plan, will need to manually download Verizon’s Call Filter app for access to the spam service.

Once Verizon’s Call Filter is active for your account, your phone will send suspected robocalls and other spam straight to voicemail, and any numbers that have been filtered will be listed as “potential spam.” Users can adjust how strict the call filter is from within the Call Filter app’s settings. There is also a premium version of the app that requires a $2.99 monthly subscription, which grants access to other privacy tools like creating a customized block list.

Verizon isn’t the only company with robocall-blocking services—AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all have their own tools. Similarly, there are several third-party apps available, and both Android and iOS users have a few spam-reducing options included on their devices as well.

Source: Life Hacker  

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:

  • Broadcast Services over the Internet for Corporate Communications
  • Seeking Parties for Live Response Applications on Smartphones
  • Click here for more information


“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.

Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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

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

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

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full-time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or  e-mail  us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

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

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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You can help support The Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.

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.

Google Maps will make the beginning and end of your road trips a little easier with this new feature

Jared Peters
August 29, 2019

Google has announced a new feature for Google Maps that will help you deal with multiple modes of transportation on your trips. Right now it’s pretty tough to coordinate some complex trips, especially if you have to mix ride sharing or biking or something with a regular bus ride or driving. The beginning and end of your trip can be a much bigger pain than they need to be.

So to make that just a little bit easier, you’ll now be able to attach those different modes of transport to the start and finale of your trips. Take a bus to get close to your destination, then throw in an Uber trip at the end to get where you need to go.

There’s very little you’ll need to do to make it happen, too. Just type in your destination, and in the Transit tab of your trip you’ll be able to select routes that combine everything you need to get you to your destination. It’s all fairly seamless, and doesn’t take much extra work compared to regular travel. The ETA will update appropriately, too.

Expect this new feature to roll out to Android and iOS in 30 countries soon, with more to follow.

Source: Talk Android  

Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems

prism-ipx systems
prism-ipx systems


prism-ipx systems


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

Secure-erasing your Mac’s disks is no longer secure, Apple says


Encrypting your disk is way safer than trying to 'secure' erase it. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In the olden days, when you wanted to replace your hard drive with a bigger one, you’d run a “secure erase” on it to completely remove any personal data. This would write zeros to the entire disk, overwriting anything already there.

But now, thanks to advances in storage tech, this no longer does the trick. (Not that you can change your own Mac SSDs now anyway.) The new secure-erase, says Apple, is to just encrypt your disk.

What’s wrong with just putting everything in the trash?

Computers don’t actually delete much when you move your files to the trash. They just pretend that those files are no longer there, marking the space they occupy as free. Then, at some time in the future, those bits may be overwritten with new bits, from a new file. This is how recovery software works. It lets you find your deleted photos, as long as nothing has been written over them since you “deleted” them.

Secure erase writes data over those orphaned files (from once to 35 times on the Mac) until they can no longer be recovered. But in the manual for Apple’s Disk Utility (available to read in the Mac’s Terminal app by typing man diskutil), you can read why Apple no longer considers this approach secure:

NOTE: This kind of secure erase is no longer considered safe because modern devices have wear-leveling, block-sparing, and possibly-persistent cache hardware.

The modern solution for quickly and securely erasing your data is strong encryption, with which mere destruction of the key more or less instantly renders your data irretrievable in practical terms.

Hard drive security: Encryption vs. secure erase

An encrypted disk can’t be read at all without the key to unlock it. And if you delete that key, all that remains is the encrypted data, which is just unintelligible gibberish.

The storage of your iPhone and iPad is encrypted by default, which is why you can use the Erase All Content and Settings (under General > Reset in the Settings app) to wipe your iOS device instantly. This comes in very handy when taking the iPhone in for repair, for example. It means you can keep using your iPhone until the moment you hand it over, and then erase it in a few moments. (Just make sure you have a current backup to restore from.)

On the Mac, you must enable FileVault to get full-disk encryption. However, if you set up a new Mac since OS X Yosemite, you probably already did that. In Yosemite, Apple checks the box to enable FileVault during the setup process. In order to not use FileVault, you must explicitly opt out. This is good for almost everyone, in most cases. In fact, between that and the T2 security chip, the Mac is almost as impervious to a hands-on attack as the iPhone and iPad.

So, to sum up: Don’t bother with secure-erasing your Mac disk. Instead, make sure to encrypt it from the very beginning.

Source: Cult of Mac  

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 30, 2019

Volume 7 | Issue 170

Anyone Order a Category Four Hurricane for the Holiday Weekend?

At deadline, the latest forecast on Hurricane Dorian showed the storm will strengthen over the coming days and has the potential to become a Category 4 as it moves toward the southeastern United States, reported NBC. The National Hurricane Center forecast Thursday that Hurricane Dorian could reach maximum winds of 130 mph, putting it at a Category 4 on Saturday. It’s still too soon to tell exactly where the storm will make landfall along the east coast of Florida and possibly as far north as South Georgia, but the Center added: "there is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast late this weekend or early next week."

Communications infrastructure companies are preparing for the storm. For example, NATE Chairman and President/CEO of MillerCo. Jimmy Miller tweeted that NATE members were, “having meetings/planning with wireless providers to move in after Hurricane Dorian to restore wireless service.”

All the major carriers are monitoring the storm and prepared to move anticipated restoration equipment and personnel to affected areas. Preparations include topping off generators at fixed and portable cell sites. Carriers are also preparing COWS, COLTS, SatCOLTS and other mobile cellular infrastructure for potential deployment to areas where coverage may be needed.

AT&T is monitoring the storm as it heads towards Florida and Georgia. Personnel are protecting physical facilities against flooding by moving electronics essential to network operations above expected flood levels.

“Our local and regional Network support teams and the Network Disaster Recovery team, in partnership with the FirstNet team at AT&T, continue to stage network assets along the Southeast coast for quick deployment if needed,” the carrier said in a statement. T-Mobile said its teams are ready to respond in both locations and it has a range of recovery equipment and supplies on hand including generators, network recovery equipment and community response trucks, should they be needed in the aftermath of the storm.

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. 36 August 28, 2019 

REMINDER: Legacy Rate-of-Return Carriers Must Elect Deployment Obligation Calculation

On August 26, the Universal Service Administrative Company issued a notice to rate-of-return carriers that have remained on legacy support that they must directing them to elect one of two methods by which their five-year deployment obligations will be calculated. This election is due by Friday, August 30.

Rate of return carriers that continue to receive legacy support should ensure they received the notice, which was sent by email, and respond appropriately. Carriers with questions should contact the firm for more information. See the full article below for more information.

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


Legacy Rate-of-Return Deployment Calculation Election Due August 30

On August 26, USAC sent out a notice reminding carriers remaining on Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) that they must select a method for calculating revised five-year broadband deployment obligations. This selection must be made by Friday, August 30.

Each carrier can choose to have its deployment obligations calculated by one of two methods: the applicable CAF-BLS amount divided by (1) the average cost of providing 25/3 Mbps service, based on the weighted average cost per loop of carriers that have deployed 25/3 Mbps service to 95 percent or more of the locations in their study area, or 150 percent of the weighted average cost per loop of companies with similar density and level of deployment, whichever is greater, or (2) the A-CAM II calculation of the cost per location of providing 25/3 Mbps service in the unserved census blocks in the carrier’s study area. Please note that some carriers cannot choose the A-CAM II calculation methodology because they do not have any unserved census blocks (reflected as NA in the CAF-BLS revised deployment obligations file). These carriers must choose the deployment obligation derived from the average cost of providing 25/3 Mbps service.

Carriers with questions about the deployment obligation or the election should contact the firm for more information.

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

Enhanced Geo-Targeting, Point-of-Sale Disclosures Required for WEA by November 30

In January of 2018, the FCC adopted an Order designed to improve Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) by increasing the geographic accuracy of these alerts so that they reach the intended communities without disturbing others. In particular, the Order requires participating CMS Providers to deliver WEA alerts to the target area specified by the alert originator with no more than a one-tenth of a mile overshoot. Clients that have elected to provide Wireless Emergency Alerts are reminded that this enhanced geo-targeting requirement will go into effect on November 30, 2019.

By that same date, our firm’s wireless service provider clients that are participating in WEA “in part” must provide point-of-sale notice to consumers that WEA may not be available on all devices or within the entire service area, as well as the extent to which enhanced geo-targeting is available on their network and devices, and the benefits of enhanced geo-targeting. These disclosures will allow consumers to make more informed choices about their ability to receive WEA Alert Messages that are relevant to them. The FCC suggests, but does not require, that participating CMS Providers disclose to consumers at the point of sale that if they have not enabled location services on their devices, they may receive Alert Messages that are not relevant to them.

Our clients that are participating CMS Providers should contact the firm if they have any questions or need assistance in preparing appropriate point-of-sale disclosures.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.

Comment Sought on Wireless Facilities Siting Fees Petition for Declaratory Ruling

On August 26, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a petition for declaratory ruling filed by Verizon on August 8 asking the FCC to declare that the recurring fees charged by Clark County, Nevada (County) for small wireless facilities in public rights-of-way are unlawful. Comments are due September 25, and reply comments are due October 10.

Specifically, Verizon argues that the County’s recurring fees materially inhibit the provision of telecommunications services by wireless providers because: (1) they do not reasonably approximate the County’s actual and direct costs associated with a provider’s use of the public rights-of-way and other assets; (2) they consequently are not limited to the County’s objectively reasonable costs; and (3) they are inherently discriminatory. Verizon asks that the FCC declare that the County may not charge recurring fees to Verizon that exceed the presumptively reasonable annual rate of $270, as set forth in the Small Cell Declaratory Ruling.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Law & Regulation

FCC Proposes Fines for FAA Radar Interference in Puerto Rico

On August 22, the FCC announced that it proposed fines and issued a formal industry warning related to devices that apparently caused interference to the Federal Aviation Administration’s terminal doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The FCC proposed three separate $25,000 fines against wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless, and WinPR.

The companies used Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices for point-to-point wireless broadband communication. In each case, the companies apparently mis-configured the devices by turning off a required feature that would have prevented the devices from causing interference to the FAA terminal doppler weather radar station at San Juan International Airport. Interference to these weather radar stations, which are used to detect wind shear and other dangerous weather conditions, is potentially life threatening.

In addition to the proposed fines, the Bureau’s Enforcement Advisory warned operators, manufacturers, and marketers of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices that these devices must be certified under FCC rules. Such devices that operate in the 5.25 GHz to 5.35 GHz and 5.47 GHz to 5.725 GHz bands risk interfering with radar systems if not properly configured to share the spectrum.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

Local Franchising Authority Regulations Effective September 26

On August 27, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that its rules governing how local franchising authorities (LFAs) may regulate cable operators and cable television services will be effective September 26.

In its Third Report and Order of August 1, the FCC concluded that: (i) cable-related, “in-kind” contributions required by a cable franchise are franchise fees subject to the statutory five percent cap on franchise fees in section 622 of the Communications Act, with limited exceptions, including an exemption for certain capital costs related to public, educational, and governmental access channels; (ii) under Title VI of the Act, LFAs may not regulate the provision of most non-cable services, including broadband Internet access service, offered over a cable system by an incumbent cable operator; (iii) the Act preempts any state or local regulation of a cable operator’s non-cable services that would impose obligations on franchised cable operators beyond what Title VI of the Act allows; and (iv) FCC requirements that concern LFA regulation of cable operators should apply to state-level franchising actions and state regulations that impose requirements on local franchising.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.

FCC Initiates Probe to Test Whether Certain Smart Phones Produce Too Much RF Radiation

The Chicago Tribune has reported that it completed testing of 11 smart phones from four different manufacturers and noted, in particular, that measurements from the Apple iPhone 7 exceeded the legal safety limit and was more than double what Apple had previously reported to the FCC in its testing results. It was further noted that when testing a new phone for compliance with FCC RF radiation limits, the phone may be positioned up to 25 millimeters from the body – which is nearly an inch – depending upon how the device will be used, since the testing standards were developed in the 1990s when most people put the devices in belt clips or holsters. Today, phones are carried closer to the body – frequently in pockets.

The Chicago Tribune performed two series of tests. In the first series, the Chicago Tribune positioned the phones at the same distance from simulated tissue that manufacturers used for their testing – which ranged from five to 15 millimeters. In the second series of testing, the phones were placed two millimeters closer to the tissue (and less than the maximum distance allowed by the FCC). At two millimeters closer, the RF emissions from the Samsung Galaxy S8 were reportedly more than five times the standard. ZD Net stated that the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy J3 were also implicated.

The FCC is reviewing the Chicago Tribune test results and will conduct independent testing to verify its results. FCC spokesperson Neil Grace stated that “We take seriously any claims on non-compliance with the RF (radio frequency) exposure standards and will be obtaining and testing the subject phones for compliance with FCC rules.” Apple has denied that its phones violate the FCC’s RF exposure limits, claiming that the test methodology did not properly assess the iPhones. In that regard, Apple stated that all of its iPhones were “fully certified” by the FCC. Apple has also told the press that "[a]fter careful review and subsequent validation of all iPhone models tested in the [Tribune] report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable … exposure guidelines and limits."

ZD Net and Apple Insider are reporting that Apple and Samsung are now subjects of a class action lawsuit based upon the Chicago Tribune report. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Northern California two days following release of the report.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino


Attorneys General Announce Agreement with Major Carriers to Combat Robocalls

On August 22, AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and Windstream signed an anti-robocall memorandum of understanding with 51 state attorneys general. The memorandum contains eight “Anti-Robocall Principals” that the signing carriers declare that they will incorporate into their business practices:

  • Principle #1. Offer Free Call Blocking and Labeling.
  • Principle #2. Implement STIR/SHAKEN.
  • Principle #3. Analyze and Monitor Network Traffic.
  • Principle #4. Investigate Suspicious Calls and Calling Patterns. Taking appropriate action may include, but is not limited to, initiating a traceback investigation, verifying that the originating commercial customer owns or is authorized to use the Caller ID number, determining whether the Caller ID name sent to a receiving party matches the customer’s corporate name, trademark, or d/b/a name, terminating the party’s ability to originate, route, or terminate calls on its network, and notifying law enforcement authorities.
  • Principle #5. Confirm the Identity of Commercial Customers. Confirm the identity of new commercial VoIP customers by collecting information such as physical business location, contact person(s), state or country of incorporation, federal tax ID, and the nature of the customer’s business.
  • Principle #6. Require Traceback Cooperation in Contracts. For all new and renegotiated contracts governing the transport of voice calls, use best efforts to require cooperation in traceback investigations by identifying the upstream provider from which the suspected illegal robocall entered its network or by identifying its own customer if the call originated in its network.
  • Principle #7. Cooperate in Traceback Investigations.
  • Principle #8. Communicate with State Attorneys General.

The memorandum is not legally binding, however, and it is clearly stated that “[f]failure to adhere to these principles is not in itself a basis for liability nor does adherence to these principles protect or release any party from liability.”

“These principles align with the FCC’s own anti-robocalling and spoofing efforts,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pail. “Earlier this month, the FCC adopted rules to apply anti-spoofing prohibitions to international robocalls, as called for by many of these same state attorneys general. In addition, we continue to see progress toward adoption of caller ID authentication using SHAKEN/STIR standards. And our call blocking work has cleared the way for blocking of unwanted robocalls by default and of likely scam calls using non-existent phone numbers. The FCC is committed to working together with Congress, state leaders, and our federal partners to put an end to unwanted robocalls.”

FCC Names New Chief Economist

On August 28, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the appointment of Jeffrey Prince as chief economist at the FCC. The FCC chief economist advises the Chairman, Commissioners, Bureaus, and Offices on economic issues and typically serves a one-year term. Dr. Prince will work within the recently established Office of Economics and Analytics. He will begin work at the Commission on September 3.

Dr. Prince currently serves as a professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Dr. Prince is also the Harold A. Poling Chair in Strategic Management and the co-director of the Institute for Business Analytics at the Kelley School of Business. He earned his doctorate in economics from Northwestern University and currently serves as a co-editor at the Journal of Economics and Management Strategy and on the board of editors at Information Economics and Policy. Dr. Prince’s research at Indiana primarily focuses on the fields of industrial organization and applied econometrics. He has published works on dynamic demand for computers, Internet adoption and usage, the inception of online/offline product competition, and telecom bundling. His works have appeared in top economics and management journals. His teaching responsibilities have included predictive analytics, econometric methods, and managerial economics.

“Dr. Prince’s wealth of experience and research on the telecommunications market and Internet adoption will be of great value to the Office of Economics and Analytics and the entire Commission,” said Chairman Pai. “I’m pleased that Dr. Prince has agreed to join the agency and look forward to his input on the economic aspects of important policy issues such as closing the digital divide and auction design and execution.”


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. 30 – Comments are due on Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments NPRM.
Aug. 30 – Deployment Obligation Calculation Election for Legacy Carriers is due.

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. 16 – Comments are due on NCIC USF Contribution Forbearance Petition
Sep. 20 – Comments are due in EEO Improvement NPRM.
Sep. 20 – Comments are due on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
Sep. 26 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Facilities Siting Fees Petition for Declaratory Ruling.
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. 1 – Comments are due on NCIC USF Contribution Forbearance Petition
Oct. 3 – HAC Certification Due.
Oct. 10 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Facilities Siting Fees Petition for Declaratory Ruling.
Oct. 15 – 911 Reliability Certification.
Oct. 21 – Reply comments are due on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 4 – Reply comments are due in EEO Improvement NPRM.
Nov. 30 – Enhanced Geo-Targeting and Point-of-Sale Disclosure requirements are effective for WEA.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 19, No. 8 August 2019 

Year End Reminder: Ownership Changes May Require FCC Approval

We want to remind our clients that many types of reorganizations, estate planning and tax savings activities and other transactions require prior FCC approval; and given the frequent need to implement such transactions by the end of the year, companies engaging in such transactions should immediately determine whether they must file an application for FCC approval, and obtain a grant, before closing on a year-end deal. Transactions requiring prior FCC approval include (but are not limited to):

  • The distribution of stock to family members in connection with estate planning, tax and other business activities, if there are changes to the control levels discussed above;
  • Any sale of a company that holds FCC licenses; - Any sale, transfer or lease of an FCC license;
  • A change in the form of organization from a corporation to an LLC, or vice versa, even though such changes may not be regarded as a change in entity under state law.
  • Any transfer of stock that results in a shareholder attaining a 50% or greater ownership level, or a shareholder relinquishing a 50% or greater ownership level;
  • Any transfers of stock, partnership or LLC interests that would have a cumulative effect on 50% or more of the ownership, even if done as a series of smaller sales or distributions.
  • The creation of a holding company or trust to hold the stock of an FCC license holder;
  • The creation of new classes of stockholders that affect the control structure of an FCC license holder.
  • Certain minority ownership changes (e.g., transfer of a minority stock interest, giving the recipient extraordinary voting rights or powers through officer or board positions).
  • The conversion of a corporate entity or partnership into another form of organization under state law
  • e.g., from corporation to LLC or partnership to LLP and vice versa.

Fortunately, transactions involving many types of licenses can often be approved on an expedited basis. But this is not always the case, especially if bidding credits and/or commercial wireless spectrum licenses are involved. Also, in some instances Section 214 authority may be required, especially in the case of wireline and other telephony services. Clients planning year-end transactions should contact us as soon as possible to determine if FCC approval is needed.

BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

Employee Using GPS Signal Jamming to Avoid Employer’s Tracking is Fined Up to $20,000

The FCC has entered into a consent decree with Frank Reimer for a fine of up to $20,000 in connection with his illegal operation of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal jamming device in the vicinity of the Newark International Airport. It appears that he was aiming to block the GPS tracker that his employer had installed in the company-owned truck he was driving. Signal jammers are designed to overpower, jam and/or interfere with authorized communications. In order to protect public safety and preserve immediate access to emergency communications, the FCC’s rules and regulations prohibit the importation, manufacture, marketing, sale or use of any jamming device in the United States or its territories.

This case arose out of a complaint by the Federal Aviation Administration that its Ground-Based Augmentation System at Newark International Airport was experiencing harmful interference. Based upon this complaint, the FCC monitored a stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike that runs adjacent to the airport for passing vehicles operating GPS signal jamming devices. Using direction finding techniques, the FAA determined that Mr. Reimer’s company issued truck was the source of the interference. Mr. Reimer refused to allow the FCC to inspect the vehicle and drove away. At that point, the jamming signal from the truck immediately ceased. Following this incident, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau contacted Mr. Reimer’s employer and received permission to inspect his truck in which it found a GPS tracker that had been installed by the employer. The inspection revealed that the electronic equipment installed in the truck (including the employer’s GPS tracker) was not the source of the interference to the FAA’s systems at Newark International Airport.

As part of the consent decree, Mr. Reimer (a) destroyed the signal jamming equipment and (b) agreed not to use illegal signal jamming equipment. Additionally, Mr. Reimer agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and be liable for an additional $15,000 if in the next 10 years, the Commission finds that he has illegally operated a GPS signal jamming device.

Over the past few years, the FCC has taken enforcement action against users of illegal signal jammers. This case demonstrates that there is no legal use for a signal jammer, to jam GPS or other types of radio signals. When the use of signal jammers is found, the FCC takes strict enforcement action since the use of jamming equipment can have an adverse impact on safety of life communications.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Bans Malicious Caller ID Spoofing of Text Messages and Foreign Robocalls

In its continuing war on robocalls and spoofing of Caller ID information, the Commission adopted new rules which ban malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign calls. The FCC’s new rules are designed to close a loophole in the law that prevented the Commission from pursuing scammers sending spoofed text messages, and international fraudsters making spoofed calls to the American public.

The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 prohibited anyone from causing a Caller ID service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate Caller ID information (spoofing) with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value. Until the passage of the RAY BAUM’S Act in 2019, the Truth in Caller ID Act did not include text messaging or international calls. The Commission’s new rules extend these prohibitions to text messages and calls originating outside of the United States to recipients inside the United States, as well as additional types of voice calls such as one-way VoIP calls. The FCC expects that these new rules will curtail fraudsters who operate call centers outside the United States with the intent of pretending to be “trusted” callers such as the IRS or a major consumer corporation such as Microsoft, so that they can obtain your banking information or otherwise scare you into a financial transaction. The new rules will make these fraudsters subject to enforcement action by the FCC.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Sal Taillefer and Richard Rubino

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, radioed the dispatcher to cancel the call and place responding units in service. 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 Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

LMCC Releases Letter Concerning Trunking and Safe-Harbor Tables Seeking Approval of Consensus Protocol

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) recently sent a letter to the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau concerning issues in the coordination of centralized trunking systems in the Industrial/Business pool spectrum below 800 MHz. The letter seeks approval of a consensus protocol that was developed by an LMCC sub-committee, relating to engineering practices and methodologies for resolving interference issues regarding interference protection under Rule Section 90.187 and application of the “safe harbor” tables under Rule Section 90.205.

Under the proposed protocol, the Frequency Advisory Committees would

  • use the Carey R6602 model as the preferred method for calculating contours under Rule Section 90.187. However, in areas of high terrain density it was agreed that Longley Rice or other generally accepted propagation analyses are acceptable alternative models that can be used to clear frequencies that would otherwise fail a traditional Carey interfering-to-service contour analysis.
  • protect mobile units associated with FB8 stations even if they were not classified as an MO9. In this regard, LMCC noted that VHF systems present a unique issue since VHF base station frequencies are not paired with dedicated mobile frequencies as is the case with the UHF band.
  • for mobile areas of operation that exceed 80 kilometers, those areas beyond 80 kilometers would be treated as secondary and not entitled to protection from primary operations.

With respect to the safe harbor rule under Rule Section 90.205, LMCC noted that licenses were previously granted on the basis of the actual service area requested, provided that the application otherwise satisfied the FCC’s Rules. However, more recently, the FCC has required applicants to specify a defined operating radius even if that radius was greater than the required operating area. The LMCC committee believes that this change in policy has resulted in a reduction in spectrum efficiency, since protection is being extended past the applicant’s desired area of operation. As a result, the Committee requested that the FCC go back to its prior interpretation of the safe harbor under Rule Section 90.205.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Make Sure Regulatory Fees Are Paid in a Timely Manner

Each year, the FCC collects annual regulatory fees for the fiscal year that ends on September 30 of each year. While most private radio licenses are not subject to annual regulatory fees because the fee is collected at the time of application for a new license or license renewal, we have some private radio clients who are subject to annual regulatory fees due to their other activities with the FCC.

If you are subject to annual regulatory fees, it is critical that they be paid in a timely manner. A failure to pay the fee will result in the FCC placing the Company into a “red-lighted” status (which means that it will not be able to conduct any business with the FCC – such as filing applications for a new license, license renewal or modification of license) as well as being subjected to other penalties and fees. In this regard, the FCC has recently issued Orders to Pay or Show Cause against three broadcast licensees for failure to pay regulatory fees going back several years. In these orders, the FCC has initiated proceedings to revoke licenses held by the broadcast licensees for failure to pay the delinquent regulatory fees and associated interest, administrative costs and penalties owed to the FCC.

It is important to note that the FCC has a large tool box in order to ensure that collection of all fees due to the FCC. In addition to interest and penalties, the FCC will also take action to revoke licenses for non-payment of regulatory fees.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Do Certain Smart Phones Produce Too Much RF Radiation? FCC Initiates Probe to Find Out

The Chicago Tribune has reported that it completed testing of 11 smart phones from four different manufacturers. In particular, the Chicago Tribune noted that measurements from the Apple iPhone 7 exceeded the legal safety limit and was more than double what Apple had previously reported to the FCC in its testing results.

It was noted that when testing a new phone for compliance with FCC RF radiation limits, the phone may be positioned up to 25 millimeters from the body – which is nearly an inch – depending upon how the device will be used (since the testing standards were developed in the 1990s when most people put the devices in belt clips or holsters). Today, phones are often carried closer to the body – frequently in pockets.

The Chicago Tribune performed two series of tests. In the first series, the Chicago Tribune positioned the phones at the same distance from simulated tissue that manufacturers used for their testing – which ranged from five to 15 millimeters. In the second series of testing, the phones were placed two millimeters closer to the tissue (and less than the maximum distance allowed by the FCC). At two millimeters, the RF emissions from the Samsung Galaxy S8 were reportedly more than five times the standard. ZD Net stated that the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy J3 were also implicated.

The Commission is reviewing the Chicago Tribune test results and will conduct independent testing to verify its results. FCC spokesperson Neil Grace stated that “We take seriously any claims on non-compliance with the RF (radio frequency) exposure standards and will be obtaining and testing the subject phones for compliance with FCC rules.” Apple has denied that its phones violate the FCC’s RF exposure limits, claiming that the test methodology did not properly assess the iPhones. In that regard, Apple stated that all of its iPhones were “fully certified” by the Commission. Apple has also told the press that "[a]fter careful review and subsequent validation of all iPhone models tested in the [Tribune] report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable … exposure guidelines and limits."

ZD Net and Apple Insider are reporting that Apple and Samsung are now subjects of a class action lawsuit based upon the Chicago Tribune report. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Northern California two days following release of the report.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Acts to Prevent Interference to FAA Terminal Doppler Weather Radar Stations

The FCC has issued three separate $25,000 fines against wireless Internet Service Providers Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless and WinPR, and a formal industry warning related to devices that caused harmful interference to the FAA’s terminal Doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. These companies use Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) devices for point-to-point wireless broadband communications. In each case, the UNII devices were improperly configured by turning off the required feature that would have prevented the devices from causing harmful interference to the FAA’s terminal Doppler radar station the San Juan International Airport. Doppler radar is a critical tool for ensuring safety of air navigation, since it is used to detect wind shear and other dangerous weather conditions. The loss of this tool could have resulted in an aviation accident and a loss of life.

In addition to the fines, the Commission has issued an Enforcement Advisory to warn operators, manufacturers and marketers of UNII devices that they must be certified under the Commission’s rules in order to be legal for importation, marketing and sale in the United States. UNII devices that operate in the 5.25-5.35 GHz and 5.47-5.725 GHz bands are susceptible to causing harmful interference with radar systems if not properly configured to share the spectrum.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Forecasters Fear 5G Will Interfere with Weather Predictions

On August 7, Science Magazine reported that NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are concerned that 5G antennas will emit signals near the frequencies their satellites use to gather water vapor data, to the detriment of forecasts and other scientific pursuits. According to the article, at a certain spectrum band water vapor molecules emit a small amount of radiation, and measuring that radiation is “one of the best ways to remotely sense the atmospheric water content that fuels clouds and storms.” Acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs has, on several occasions – including at a hearing by the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment on 16 May – said that US weather forecasting capabilities could be degraded by 5G in certain spectrums, and that NOAA and NASA have concluded that the out-of-band emissions limits set by the FCC will not prevent interference with the ability to detect water vapor.

In June, Ars Technica reported that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai criticized the NASA and NOAA data about interference at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Specifically, Pai reportedly said the data is faulty, and that the agencies were late in raising their concerns. Pai said, "For example, it ignores the fact that 5G will involve beam forming, essentially adaptive antenna arrays that will more precisely send 5G signals — sort of a rifle shot, if you will, instead of a shotgun blast of 5G spectrum." Pai also pointed out: “Indeed, the federal government and private sector have deployed nearly 40,000 high powered fixed microwave links in the 21.2—23.6 GHz band, immediately below and actually adjacent to the 23.6—24 GHz passive band, at the same emission limit the FCC adopted for 5G operations. No interference has ever been reported. Moreover, these fixed microwave links are directly adjacent to the passive band, whereas the portion of the 24 GHz band to be used for 5G (24.25—24.45 GHz and 24.75—25.25 GHz) is separated by a 250 MHz guard band.”

The FCC recently completed its auction for 24 GHz spectrum, which will primarily support wireless backhaul for 5G networks.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino

FCC Staff Recommends Designating ‘988’ as National Suicide Prevention Hotline

On August 15, the FCC announced that it has sent a report to Congress which recommends that the Commission consider designating 988 as the 3-digit dialing code to be used for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The report, mandated by the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, finds that such a 3-digit number “would likely make it easier for Americans in crisis to access potentially life-saving resources.”

Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a 10-digit number, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Calls to the Lifeline are routed from anywhere in the United States to the closest certified crisis center, and in 2018, trained Lifeline counselors answered over 2.2 million calls and over 100,000 online chats. Chairman Pai is planning to launch a rulemaking proceeding in which the Commission would consider designating a 3-digit number — specifically, 988 — for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. The report examines the feasibility of using various 3-digit numbers and finds that 988 could be implemented more easily and quickly than repurposing an existing 3-digit N11 code like 511 or 611. The rulemaking would collect further public comment from all interested stakeholders on the findings in the report.

“There is a suicide epidemic in this country, and it is disproportionately affecting at-risk populations, including our Veterans and LGBTQ youth,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Crisis call centers have been shown to save lives. This report recommends using a three-digit number to make it easier to access the critical suicide prevention and mental health services these call centers provide. I intend to move forward on this recommendation. In the meantime, my heart goes out to anyone facing a crisis. I hope they will contact 1-800-273-TALK for support today.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Ben Dickens, Richard Rubino

FCC Settles Investigations into Misuse of EAS Tones by Cable Channels and Broadcasters

On August 15, the FCC announced that it has reached settlements with a TV broadcaster, cable TV networks, and a radio broadcaster for misusing Emergency Alert System (EAS) or Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) tones. Episodes of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law,” as well as promos aired by Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC’s Los Angeles-area KDAY and KDEY-FM’s morning radio show, all aired actual or simulated alert tones in violation of the Commission’s rules.

Combined, the companies agreed to pay over $600,000 in civil penalties, and each committed to a strict compliance plan to ensure such actions do not recur. The specific settlements include:

  • ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” — On October 3, 2018, ABC broadcast an episode of the late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” which used a simulated WEA tone three times during a comedic sketch. ABC transmitted the episode nationwide to 250 TV stations, including eight of its owned and operated stations, which in turn broadcast the episode in their markets. ABC admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $395,000 civil penalty, and committed to a compliance plan.
  • AMC’s “The Walking Dead” — In February 2019, AMC Networks twice included EAS tones in the “Omega Episode” of its television program, “The Walking Dead.” This was transmitted on eight separate instances across cable and satellite systems nationwide. AMC admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $104,000 civil penalty, and committed to a compliance plan.
  • Animal Planet’s “Lone Star Law” — Discovery’s Animal Planet network broadcast an episode of “Lone Star Law” entitled “Thousand Year Flood,” which included an actual WEA signal. The crew was filming Texas Game Wardens following Hurricane Harvey and caught the tone of a real wireless alert received by phones during filming. Discovery transmitted the episode eight times to cable and satellite systems nationwide from January to March 2018. Discovery admitted the violation and agreed to pay a $68,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.
  • Meruelo Radio Holdings — In the fall of 2017, Meruelo’s KDAY and KDEY-FM included a simulation of an EAS attention signal in a promotion for its morning show. The promotion was broadcast 106 times on KDAY and 33 ties on KDEY-M’s simulcast of KDAY. The company admitted to the violation, and agreed to pay a $67,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.

Concurrently with the announcement of the settlements, the FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory formally reminding the industry about the existing law as it applies to the misuse of emergency alert tones. The advisory states: “We remain concerned about the misuse of the EAS codes and EAS and WEA Attention Signals, or simulations thereof, to capture audience attention during advertisements; dramatic, entertainment, and educational programs, and at any other time that there is no genuine alert, authorized test, or authorized PSA about the EAS or WEA that is accompanied by an appropriate disclaimer. The FCC may issue sanctions for such violations, including, but not limited to, monetary forfeitures.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak and Richard Rubino

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)

Design  •  Installation  •  Maintenance  •  Training


From: Derek Banner
Subject: CMA Autumn Conference — 7th November Brussels.
Date: August 27, 2019 at 8:58:14 PM CDT
Forwarded To: Brad Dye

Dear All,

This year’s CMA Autumn meeting will take place in Brussels on 7th November 2019. A conference dinner will be held on the evening of the 6th. Please reserve these dates in your diary. It will take place at the Warwick Brussels Hotel, 5, Rue Duquesnoy, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

The Warwick Brussels is situated amongst the ancient cobbled streets in the heart of Brussels, the grand, distinguished and historic hotel stands just next to the picturesque and world famous Grand Place. Located one block away from the Central Train Station, this 5 Star luxury hotel is within a short walk of the renowned Antique District of Le Sablon, Mont des Arts, iconic Manneken Pis and the city’s best restaurants and boutiques. Exuding old world charisma and a long tradition of first class service, the Warwick Brussels serves as the ideal focal point to explore the best that this fabulous city has to offer.

The location upon which The Warwick Brussels stands has an interesting and historic past dating back to the early 18th century —  when the British Duke of Wellington inspected his troops before departing for the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. You can soak in the history of the capital of Europe in the authentic Belgium Brasserie, Chutney’s, or over champagne in our Bubbles Bar.

This will be the last event that I chair as I will be retiring immediately afterwards, so please make every effort to attend even if it is just to say goodbye. I have worked in this business for well over 40 years (that’s nearly half as long as Jim) and have chaired the Association in one form or other for twenty years. There cannot be many industries where competitors and colleagues become true friends whereby help is often sought and always given. I am very proud to say that paging and critical messaging is one of those businesses and it is truly an honour to have worked with you all.  

CMAE will bear the cost of the conference and evening meal but the hotel accommodation will be paid by delegates at a rate of €190.00  (plus €20 for double occupancy). Breakfast, Wi-Fi, spa and gym, etc are included.  We will start the meeting at 9:30 on the 7th and then move on to a full and rich agenda, finishing around 4.00 PM.

Hotel reservations can be made HERE.  This link is valid until October, 1st 2019. This URL is a bit confusing so please ensure that you reserve for the nights you want to stay. Please be careful not to reserve a room for the 5th unless you purposely want to stay that night. I am working with the hotel to resolve this.

By making a reservation you will be registered for the event but please email me with your date of arrival and departure just so that I can be sure. The conference will be free for one member of CMA member companies, for further company members the cost will be €300. Non-members will be charged €500.

Please do your best to attend as it might be my last opportunity to see you. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in magnificent Brussels in November.

Kindest Regards,

Derek Derek


“Too Late”

Tuba Skinny

James Sterling
Published on Aug 28, 2019

April 13, 2019. On Royal Street, New Orleans. King Oliver's “Too Late.”

Source: YouTube  


“You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Technician note: After much grief trying to get a stable RS-232 link to stay open in Windows 10 using those cheap USB to serial cables with embedded chips, I obtained an opto-isolated, industrial model (made in the USA), that solved the problem. It comes with a special USB cable and via DIP switches can be set for other serial protocols. It also has its own com-port driver. [happy camper]

Check it out: USB to 1-Port Isolated RS-232, RS-422, RS-485 DB9 Serial Interface Adapter

Best regards,
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Brad Dye
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I am a person in long-term recovery.


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