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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — May 3, 2019 — Issue No. 855

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Here is an interesting article: “The Mathematics of (Hacking) Passwords” it is too long to include in the newsletter but has helpful information about what not to do with passwords.

I received a nice new ad from Media 1 this week. It looks like an interesting business opportunity.

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


by: Jonathan Bennett
May 1, 2019

Ah, Facebook. Only you could mess up e-mail verification this badly, and still get a million people to hand over their email address passwords. Yes, you read that right, Facebook’s email verification scheme was to ask users for their email address and email account password. During the verification, Facebook automatically downloaded the account’s contact list, with no warning and no way to opt out.

The amount of terrible here is mind-boggling, but perhaps we need a new security rule-of-thumb for these kind of situations. Don’t ever give an online service the password to a different service. In order to make use of a password in this case, it’s necessary to handle it in plain-text. It’s not certain how long Facebook stored these passwords, but they also recently disclosed that they have been storing millions of Facebook and Instagram passwords in plain-text internally.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has been called out for serious privacy shenanigans, either: In early 2018 it was revealed that the Facebook Android app had been uploading phone call records without informing users. Mark Zuckerberg has recently outlined his plan to give Facebook a new focus on privacy. Time will tell whether any real change will occur. [source]

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

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Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

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

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

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.

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

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  

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(254) 596-1124

E-mail address has been corrected.

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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

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Leavitt Communications

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

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

Small Brass Horn — Wood Base

This is an acoustic amplifier for a smartphone. It doesn't need electric power to operate and there are no moving parts. I works like a megaphone (speaking-trumpet, bullhorn, blowhorn, or loudhailer). Everyone that I have shown it to has said something like “Wow, I want one of those!” So I am building a few of them.

Of course there are more “Hi-Fi” ways to listen to audio on your smartphone but who would want to plug an elegant smartphone into some cheap, plastic gadget? Or even use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which are a pain in the neck to set up, even on a smartphone.

These will be made with hardwood bases and some of them will be exotic hardwoods with interesting grain patterns. The horns are polished brass — made from mostly old horns that had rubber bulbs on the ends and were used in “times gone by” by taxis and even clowns in circuses. These horns have been re-purposed, reshaped, and re-polished.

Of course when not listening to music or other interesting audio, you can appreciate it for its beauty, it looks just plain cool. This is a work of art.

Sorry to say that I didn't design this myself. It was designed by Daniel Jansson in Sweden. He is a graduate of Umeå Institute of Design with an MFA degree in Interactive Design.


This one has been made from a Horn of Plenty (an antique hammered-brass planter) that came from India.

The Smartphone to brass adapter will be made from various hardwoods.

If you see a horn that catches your fancy let me know and I will build an amp for you.


  • Small Brass Horn — Wood Base
  • Large Brass Horn — Wood Base
  • Horn of Plenty (Cornucopia) — Wood Phone Holder
  • Gramophone (special order)
  • Polished Cow Horn (design not yet finalized)
  • Trombone project
    • This will have a large wooden base covered with African Zebrawood veneer and filled with about 20 lbs of lead shot for stability. I am probably going to keep it for decoration in my living room unless I get an offer I can't refuse.

Make an offer.

Do you really want it?

For questions or to order, click here. left arrow


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:

Commissioners consider tower lease

By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Monday, April 22, 2019

The Pitt County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to approve a lease agreement needed to further boost the county’s emergency radio and paging system in Pitt County when it meets today at 6 p.m.

Staff is recommended the county lease space on a tower owned by American Tower Corporation that is located in the Grimesland area. The leased space will be used to install paging equipment that is needed to boost the signal so first responders in the areas of Simpson, Grimesland and Clarks Neck can receive pages.

County Engineer Tim Corley reported in February that first responders in the area were having trouble receiving emergency pages because it’s a low area of the county.

The monthly lease will be $950 per month. The contract also provides for a 4 percent annual increase in the lease amount. The contract calls for a 10-year lease with the ability to renew for three additional periods of five years each, according documents in the commissioners’ agenda.


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!

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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

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


“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
  • Click here for more information

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.

United States: Utah Requires Warrant For Law Enforcement Access To Certain Types Of Data

Last Updated: April 29 2019
Article by Alyssa Watzman and Bryan Thompson
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Alyssa Watzman

Bryan Thompson

On March 27, 2019, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill (HB) 57 — known as the Electronic Information or Data Privacy Act — into law, making Utah the first state to protect information that individuals have shared with certain third parties. Among its provisions, HB 57 states that, effective May 14, 2019, law enforcement may not generally obtain certain types of "electronic information or data" for use in a criminal investigation or prosecution without first obtaining a search warrant.

HB 57 also states if "electronic information or data" is obtained with a warrant, law enforcement must, within 14 days after obtaining the information specific in the warrant, issue a notification to the owner of the information that states, among other things:

  1. that a warrant was applied for and granted,
  2. the kind of warrant issued,
  3. the period of time during which the collection of information was authorized, and
  4. the offense specified in the warrant application.

Notably, HB 57 defines "electronic information or data" protected under the law to include "the location information, stored data, or transmitted data of an electronic device." This definition specifically excludes a wire or oral communication, a communication made through a tone-only paging device, and electronic funds transfer information stored by a financial institution.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: mondaq  

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Prism-IPX Systems

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

Who We Are

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

What We Make

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

Contact Us   left arrow

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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:

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Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

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

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

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

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

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Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

Remote AB Switches

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


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


Common Features:

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

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

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Leavitt Communications

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

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

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

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Volume 7 | Issue 87 

Pai: We Must See 5G Threats ‘Clearly’ And Act on Them

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told attendees of a Prague 5G Security Conference Thursday the United States believes issues that threaten a nation’s telecom network security need to be addressed upfront.

“Making the right choices when deployment is beginning is much easier than trying to correct mistakes once network construction and operation is well underway. Moreover, decisions that impact 5G security need to be made with the long term in mind. Focusing too heavily on short-term considerations could result in choices that are penny wise but pound foolish,” he said.

To protect the security and integrity of the telecom supply chain, the Commission proposed to ban the use of the broadband funding the agency administers to purchase equipment or services from any company that poses a national security threat to the integrity of U.S. communications networks or supply chain, Pai explained.

In addition, the FCC will vote next week to reject China Mobile’s petition to provide international telecommunications services in the U.S. The decision comes after a lengthy Executive Branch review of the application and consultation with the U.S. intelligence community, “which concluded China Mobile posed substantial national security and law enforcement concerns that could not be adequately mitigated,” Pai said.

Similarly, when making decisions that impact 5G security, countries need to remember that its implications are wide-ranging. 5G will have a “transformational” effect on militaries, industries, critical infrastructure (from ports to electric grids), and entrepreneurs, noted Pai.

In the international realm, too, security cooperation will depend in part on secure 5G networks. “I will put it plainly: when it comes to 5G, we cannot afford to make risky choices and just hope for the best. We must see clearly the threats to the security of our networks and act to address them.”

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

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.

 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 22, No. 19 May 1, 2019 

FCC Eliminates Public File Requirement for Channel Lineups

Effective May 1, the FCC has eliminated its rules that require cable television operators to keep copies of their channel line-up in their online public file and at their local office. Going forward, cable operators can publicize the video channels they offer to their customers in any manner they wish.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy.


Blooston and Small Company Coalition Support Reconsideration of RoR Reform Order

On April 24, BloostonLaw and the Small Company Coalition (the “SCC”) filed comments in support of the Petition for Reconsideration of Silver Star Telephone Company, Inc., in which Silver Star argued that the FCC’s Rate of Return Reform Order failed to adequately address record evidence of the harm to carriers and the public caused by the Rural Growth Factor (“RGF”), and failed to adequately explain its reasoning in refusing to modify the RGF. Blooston and the SCC urged the FCC to reconsider its decision not to modify the RGF, and either eliminate it entirely or remove the effect of negative line growth on the formula.

Blooston and the SCC pointed out several arguments made by commenters in the rulemaking demonstrating that HCLS support should not decline because of the RGF, which the FCC failed to consider. Specifically, the Concerned Carriers, WTA, and GNVW all pointed out that while the RGF appropriately addresses growth because costs increase with additional lines when building a network, the corollary is not true: costs do not decrease with the loss of lines. Failing to address these valid concerns violates the Administrative Procedures Act (the “APA”).

Similarly, Blooston and the SCC highlighted alternatives in the record that the FCC failed to address. Instead, the FCC simply stated that “[i]ncreasing HCLS support provides a disincentive for legacy carriers to deploy broadband capable networks.” However, as Blooston and the SCC demonstrated to the FCC, the proposals in the record would not increase HCLS support, but rather prevent it from shrinking.

Finally, Blooston and the SCC argued that the FCC failed to consider evidence in the record that the RFG was having an unwarranted negative impact on USF recipients. The APA requires an agency to take into account all relevant factors before making a determination, and the FCC’s Order does not provide any discussion as to why these cuts in support are appropriate.

Reply comments on the Petition for Reconsideration are due May 6.

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

FCC Authorizes 186 Carriers for Revised A-CAM Support

On April 29, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that it has authorized 186 rate-of-return companies that elected 242 revised offers to receive additional Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) support in exchange for extending broadband service to additional locations. Collectively, the net increase in annualized support compared to the previously-elected A-CAM support is approximately $65.7 million.

Specifically, these carriers have committed to deploying 25/3 Mbps service to 106,365 homes and small businesses that would have otherwise only received slower 10/1 Mbps service. The boost represents a 31.8% increase in the number of locations that will have faster service available through the A-CAM program.


According to the FCC, this increase will be partially offset by transition payments already disbursed that will be reduced or eliminated going forward due to the per-location cap’s increase.

Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and John Prendergast.

FCC Issues Advisory on WEA Improvement Deadline: May 1

On April 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding Commercial Mobile Service providers (CMS Providers) participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) of their obligation to support the following WEA improvements by May 1, 2019:

  • longer WEA messages (from 90 to 360 characters) for 4G LTE and future networks;
  • a new class of alerts (“Public Safety Messages”) to convey recommended actions for saving lives or property (e.g., emergency shelter locations after a disaster);
  • • Spanish-language alert messages;
  • presentation of WEA messages on the mobile device as soon as they are received; and
  • State/Local WEA Tests, with the ability for consumers to opt in to receive such tests.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure through which all alerts are authenticated, validated, and delivered to Participating CMS Providers, has recently informed the Bureau that IPAWS will not be ready to support these additional features until June 10, 2019. Notwithstanding this development, Participating CMS Providers must have taken all necessary steps to ensure that their networks and deployed WEA-capable handsets are able to support these improvements by the May 1 deadline as required by the FCC’s rules. It is not clear why the Advisory was issued only one day before the deadline.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell

Law & Regulation

FCC Issues Spate of Orders Over Third-Party Verification Failures

On April 24, the FCC issued several separate Orders addressing slamming complaints, all of which dealt with carriers using third-party verifiers (“verifier”) to meet the FCC’s requirements to obtain individual subscriber consent before switching the subscriber's telecommunications service provider. In each case, the verifier failed to comply in one way or another with the FCC’s rules, and accordingly exposed the carrier to liability.

America Net, LLC (America Net), Multiline Long Distance, Inc. (Multiline), Quasar Communications Corporation (Quasar) Roman LD, LLC (Roman), and South American Telecom, Inc. (SAT) were all found to have violated the FCC’s rules because the verifier failed to confirm that the person was authorized to make a carrier change. In America Net’s case, the verifier asked the person on the call if she was authorized “to make changes to and incur charges on these telephone lines.” In Multiline’s case, the verifier asked the person on the call, “are you authorizing the change of your long distance service?” In Quasar’s case, the verifier asked the person on the call if she was “authorized to make changes to this telephone number.” In Roman’s case, the verifier asked the person on the call if he/she was authorized “to make changes to and incur charges on this telephone account.” In SAT’s case, the verifier asked the person on the call if he was authorized “to make changes to this telephone number.” In each case, the FCC found that an affirmative response to these questions did not establish whether the person was authorized to make a carrier change, and that a switch from one carrier to another carrier differs from merely being authorized to make changes on a telephone number.

United Telecom, Inc. (United) was found to be in violation of the FCC’s rules because the verifiers’ speech was “so rapid so as to be extremely difficult to understand and, in some places, completely indecipherable.”

Spectrotel, Inc. d/b/a Touchbase Communications (Touchbase) was found in violation because the verifier failed to elicit “the telephone numbers to be switched.” Here, the verifier identified one telephone number but failed either to elicit from the consumer or to list all of the telephone numbers that Touchbase ultimately switched. Instead, the verifier simply stated he/she was confirming a switch for the “telephone numbers associated with this order.” The FCC held that confirming numbers “associated with this order” does not elicit each telephone number the consumer authorizes to be switched.

In all cases, the unauthorized carrier was required to remove all charges incurred for service provided to the complainant for the first thirty days after the unauthorized change, and neither the complainant’s authorized carrier nor the unauthorized carrier could pursue any collection for those charges. Any charges imposed by the unauthorized carrier after the 30-day period were required to be paid by the complainant to the authorized carrier at the rates the complainant was paying the authorized carrier at the time of the unauthorized change of his telecommunications service provider.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer


FCC Modifies SpaceX Satellite Broadband Authorization

On April 29, the FCC issued an Order granting the application of Space Exploration Holdings, LLC (SpaceX) to modify its previously authorized 4,425 non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite constellation using Ku- and Ka-band spectrum. Specifically, the FCC authorized SpaceX to slightly reduce the number of satellites in this constellation, to operate a substantial portion of these satellites at a lower orbital altitude than previously authorized, and to include the use of Ku-band gateway earth stations for fewer than 75 of these lower-altitude satellites.

According to the FCC, grant of this modification “will allow SpaceX to make efficient use of valuable spectrum resources more safely, quickly, and cost-effectively as it initiates a new generation of broadband services available to customers worldwide, including those in areas previously underserved or even totally unserved by other broadband solutions.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast.


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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

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

BloostonLaw Contact: Richard Rubino.

JULY 1: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired.

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

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Sal Taillefer.

JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2018. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2019); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2019), and March 31, 2020, for lines served as of September 30, 2019).

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

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

Calendar At-a-Glance

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 3 – Reply comments on Truth in Caller ID Rules are due.
May 3 – Comments are due on 900 MHz Broadband Reconfiguration NPRM.
May 3 – Auction 102 Assignment Phase begins.
May 15 – Comments are due on Auction 103 Procedures.
May 15 – Deadline for Intermediate Providers to Register with FCC Database.
May 20 – Comments are due on Location Accuracy Requirements.
May 29 – Reply comments on Broadcast Ownership Rules are due.
May 30 – Reply comments are due on Auction 103 Procedures.
May 31 – Grant applications for ReConnect Program are due.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

Jun. 1 – Deadline to file AM/FM License Renewals – DC, MD, VA, WV.
Jun. 3 – Comments are due on MOBILE NOW Act Implementation NPRM.
Jun. 3 – Comments are due on 900 MHz Broadband Reconfiguration NPRM.
Jun. 17 – 15-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 18 – Reply comments are due on Location Accuracy Requirements.
Jun. 21 – Loan/grant combination applications for ReConnect Program are due.
Jun. 24 – Petitions re: 15-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 25 – 7-Day Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 27 – Petitions re: 7-Day Tariff Filings are due (no later than noon E.T.)
Jun. 28 – Replies to Petitions re: 7-Day and 15-Day Tariff Filings are due (no later than noon E.T.)

Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 2 – 7-Day and 15-Day Tariff Filings are effective.
Jul. 3 – Reply comments are due on MOBILE NOW Act Implementation NPRM.
Jul. 12 – Loan applications for ReConnect Program are due.
Jul. 15 – Deadline for Covered Providers to Use Only Registered Intermediate Providers.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 19, No. 4 April 2019 

Comments on 900 MHz Band Broadband Reconfiguration Due June 3

On April 3, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on facilitating broadband deployment in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band (900 MHz band) currently configured for narrowband operations. Comments are due on June 3 and reply comments are due on July 1.

As we previously reported, the Commission proposes to realign the band to create a paired 3/3 megahertz broadband segment, licensed on a geographic basis, while reserving two remaining segments for continued narrowband operations. The Commission proposes to authorize a market-driven voluntary exchange process that would allow existing licensees in the band to mutually agree to a plan for clearing of the broadband segment by relocating site-based incumbents to narrowband spectrum. The Commission also seeks comment on two other transition methods—an auction of overlay licenses and an incentive auction, options that might be needed to effectuate 900 MHz band realignment in certain markets.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

FCC Grants Waiver to St. Croix County, WI to Use Paging Channel for Base/Mobile Communications

The FCC has granted St. Croix County’s request for waiver to use the frequency 157.450 MHz for base/mobile communications with a maximum output power of 100 watts. The frequency 157.450 MHz is allocated in the public safety pool for one-way paging operations only.

In justifying its waiver request, St. Croix stated that it is operating a simulcast communications system that provides public safety dispatch service for fire, emergency medical service (EMS), rescue and law enforcement activities within the County, and that additional capacity is needed to meet current and future communications needs of its public safety agencies. Based upon research, St. Croix determined that the frequency 157.450 MHz would be the best choice for deploying a new repeater channel at each of its transmitter sites. In this regard, the St. Croix noted that the frequency 157.450 MHz was underutilized within the County, since there were no co-channel licensees operating within 100 miles of the County’s boundary. This contrasted with all other channels that were considered, which reflected heavier usage. St. Croix County contended that the public interest would not be served by allowing the frequency 157.450 MHz to remain fallow “while a pressing need for its use exists for alternative types of critical public safety communications.” Further, the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) supported the County’s application during the frequency coordination process, and no opposing comments were received by the FCC.

In granting the waiver request, the FCC noted that the frequency 157.450 MHz had been allocated for hospital one-way paging systems. The channel was allocated exclusively for paging operations because the FCC had found that paging transmissions would be disruptive to voice communications on a regular two-way channel. Further, the FCC’s independent frequency search revealed that there were no co-channel licensees within 180 kilometers (112 miles) of the County boundary. As a result, the FCC concluded that the County had no other reasonable alternative for meeting its voice communications needs.

In granting the County’s request to operate at 100 watts output power, the FCC noted that the underlying purpose of Rule Section 90.20(d)(45) would not be served, since the normal 30 watt output power limitation was designed to reduce the possibility of paging operations causing harmful interference to voice communications on adjacent channels. Since the County was proposing voice communications, the purpose of the 30 watt output power restriction was not applicable.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory Regarding Non-Compliant CATV Set-Top Boxes

Due to a recent uptick in the marketing of non-compliant Video TV Set-Top Boxes that are designed to stream Internet-based content, the FCC has issued an Enforcement Advisory to remind the public that anyone marketing or operating non-compliant devices should immediately cease such activities. The FCC has pointed out that violations for marketing (which is defined very broadly) or use could result in substantial fines that could total more than $147,000 per violation.

The FCC has stated that Parts 2 and 15 of its rules require set-top boxes to be properly authorized prior to being imported, advertised, sold or operated in the United States. Additionally, these devices cannot be marketed without an FCC-required label and user manual disclosures. The FCC takes its equipment authorization rules seriously in order to ensure that devices do not cause harmful interference to licensed communications services.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Rose Tree Fire Company Obtains Waiver of T-Band Freeze to Increase Antenna Height

The Rose Tree Fire Company No. 1 (Rose Tree VFD) requested a waiver of the T-Band freeze so that it can modify its T-Band (470-512 MHz) public safety license to increase its antenna height from 19 meters to 47 meters above ground level, so that it can reliably communicate with its emergency responders in its primary response area. Since 2006, Rose Tree VFD has been authorized to operate in the T-Band in Upper Providence Township, Pennsylvania, an area with rough terrain that is wooded with hills and valleys that present challenges for radio transmissions. With an antenna height of 19 meters, Rose Tree VFD has found over the years that it does not have reliable coverage to mobiles and portables from the fire station to certain areas of the Township, which have required personnel to rely on cellular phones for emergency communications.

The FCC’s T-Band freeze was designed to preserve the current licensing environment in the T-Band, while the FCC considers issues surrounding implementation of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This legislation mandated that the FCC reclaim the T-Band from public safety, for future licensing by auction. The FCC recognized that the increase in antenna height proposed by Rose Tree would expand its licensed coverage, necessitating a waiver of the T-Band freeze. In justifying its request, Rose Tree VFD stated that an increase in antenna height would not materially increase the 21 dBu interference contour. Additionally, the FCC noted that since there are no co-channel incumbent licensees in the Philadelphia urbanized area, no licensees would be affected by the proposed modification. The FCC conditioned the waiver grant by stating that Rose Tree VFD’s future relocation reimbursement would be limited to the costs as if the modification of license had not been made.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Cites Cal Coast Machinery for Improper Operation

On November 20, 2018, the FCC investigated an interference complaint on the frequency 462.6125 MHz in Salinas, California. The station inspection revealed that Cal Coast Machinery was operating on the frequency at two unauthorized locations, even though it was licensed to operate on the frequencies 462.175 and 461.650 MHz in Santa Maria and Camarillo, California.

Office clients are reminded that all radio operations must be in accordance with their licenses. We recommend that you review your radio operations and contact our office if there are any operations that do not precisely match your license so that we can assist you in bringing your stations back into regulatory compliance.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Releases Wireless Siting Guide

On April 11, the FCC released a Small Entity Compliance Guide pursuant to its Third Report and Order in WT Docket No. 17-79 and WC Docket No. 17-84, which codified set specific rules for how long government agencies can take to review and approve certain categories of wireless infrastructure siting applications. The new rules became effective on January 14, 2019.

The Third Report and Order established two new review period “shot clocks” for Small Wireless Facilities (60 days for collocation on existing structures and 90 days for new builds), and codified the existing 90 and 150 day shot clocks for deployments of wireless facilities that do not qualify as small wireless facilities. Small Wireless Facilities are facilities that meet each of the following conditions:

  1. are mounted on structures 50 feet or less in height including their antennas; or
  2. are mounted on structures no more than 10 percent taller than the other adjacent structures; or
  3. do not extend existing structures on which they are located to a height of more than 50 feet or by more than 10 percent (whichever is greater); and
  4. each antenna associated with the deployment (excluding associated antenna equipment) is no more than three cubic feet in volume;
  5. all other wireless equipment associated with the structure, including wireless equipment associated with the antenna and any pre-existing associated equipment on the structure, is no more than 28 cubic feet in volume;
  6. the facilities do not require antenna structure registration;
  7. the facilities are not located on Tribal lands; and
  8. the facilities do not result in human exposure to radio-frequency radiation in excess of the applicable safety standards established by the FCC.

The Third Report and Order also set out how the shot clock date is calculated, and how any applicable shot clock tolling periods are applied:

  • The shot clock dates (i.e., the dates by which the siting authority must act on an application) are determined by counting forward, by calendar days, including any pre-application period asserted by the state or local governmental siting authority for the completion of tasks related to the filing of an application (e.g., meetings with the affected community, notices to all nearby households, preparation of reports, etc.). If the shot clock date falls on a “holiday” under FCC rules or within the relevant State or local jurisdiction, the shot clock date is the next business day.
  • If an applicant to deploy small wireless facilities is notified that the submission is incomplete within 10 days of the initial submission, then the shot clock date calculation restarts at zero on the date that the submission is completed. If an applicant to deploy facilities other than small wireless facilities is notified that the submission is incomplete within 30 days of the initial submission, the shot clock pauses and resumes once the submission is completed.

All State and local government authorizations necessary for the deployment of personal wireless service infrastructure are subject to the applicable shot clocks. The Third Report and Order also determined that State or local inaction by the end of the Small Wireless Facility shot clock would amount to a presumptive prohibition on the provision of personal wireless services, which violates Section 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino

House Passes Net Neutrality Legislation

Earlier this month, the United States House of Representatives passed the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644). The bill does not provide for specific rules; rather, it simply repeals the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order of December 2017 Order, and reinstates the Obama Administration’s 2015 Open Internet Order. Among other things, the Open Internet Order provided for:

  • Bright Line Rules: no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization.
  • A Standard for Future Conduct: ISPs cannot “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” the ability of consumers to select, access, and use the lawful content, applications, services, or devices of their choosing; or of edge providers to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to consumers.
  • Interconnection: the FCC can hear complaints and take appropriate enforcement action if it determines the interconnection activities of ISPs are not just and reasonable.
  • Title II Regulation: Prohibition of “unjust and unreasonable practices” (Sections 201 and 202); Investigation of consumer complaints under section 208 and related enforcement provisions (Sections 206, 207, 209, 216 and 217); Protection for consumer privacy (Section 222); Fair access to poles and conduits (Section 224); Protection for people with disabilities (Sections 225 and 255); and Universal service fund support for broadband service in the future (partial application of Section 254).

The bill also creates an exception to the enhanced transparency requirements that the FCC adopted in 2015, rendering them inapplicable to any small business – i.e., a provider of broadband Internet access service that has not more than 100,000 subscribers aggregated over all the provider’s affiliates.

Commissioner Geoffrey Starks issued a statement approving of the passage of the bill, which will now go to the Senate, in which he stated “I’m glad the House passed the Save the Internet Act today. It protects net neutrality by restoring enforceable rules and reinstating the FCC as the cop on the beat responsible for protecting consumers. The FCC was established to promote and police the communications networks of this country. Broadband is the communications network of our present and future. The endurance of the open Internet cannot be left to chance or the whims of massive profit-maximizing corporations.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer

Amtrak Receives Approval to Operate 52 PTC Base Stations on Automated Maritime Telecommunications System Spectrum

The FCC has granted the National Railroad Passenger Corporation’s (Amtrak’s) application for modification of license to operate 52 Positive Train Control (PTC) base stations on spectrum authorized to the Automated Maritime Telecommunications Service (AMTS). In granting this application, the FCC noted that Amtrak would be able to deploy its congressionally mandated PTC safety system along its rail lines between Porter, Indiana and Dearborn, Michigan.

Under the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (as amended by the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015), Amtrak and most US freight and commuter railroads were required to install and operate interoperable PTC systems by December 31, 2018 – although certain railroads are under extension until December 31, 2020. PTC systems are designed to reduce the risk of railroad accidents by removing the human element and thereby “preventing train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong direction.” In the United States, the railroad industry has chosen to implement PTC using radio spectrum that creates wireless networks with the capability of enabling real-time information sharing between trains, rail wayside devices and “back office” applications regarding train movement, speed restrictions, train position and speed and the status of train signals and switching devices.

In this case, even though Amtrak had obtained spectrum via license assignment, it was necessary for Amtrak to modify its license since its PTC transmitters would be located in close proximity to certain TV channel 10 and 13 stations. Rule Section 80.215(h)(3) provides different criteria for licensing of AMTS base stations affecting 100 or fewer households vs. those affecting more than 100 households. With respect to the base stations that would affect more than 100 households, Amtrak was able to show (1) that the proposed site is the only suitable location; (2) a plan to control any interference caused to TV reception from its operations; and (3) agreement to make adjustments to TV receivers to eliminate interference caused by its operations. And, while the FCC’s rules provide AMTS licensees with up to 90 days to resolve interference issues, Amtrak has committed to investigating consumer or broadcaster complaints of interference within 30 days with resolution of any such complaint within a 60-day period from receipt of the original complaint. As a result, the FCC found that a grant would be consistent with the public interest in ensuring railroad safety.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Initiates Action to Revoke Licenses for Failure to Pay Annual Regulatory Fees

The FCC’s Media Bureau and Office of Managing Director have jointly initiated proceedings against two FM Broadcast licensees to revoke licenses for failure to pay delinquent regulatory fees and associated interest and penalties owed to the FCC. While this action impacts Broadcast licenses issued by the Media Bureau, similar actions could be taken with respect to commercial Part 90 wireless licenses and other FCC authorizations.

Section 9 of the Communications Act and the Commission’s Rules require the FCC to “assess and collect regulatory fees.” One licensee had delinquent fees as far back to Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 while the other was delinquent as far back as FY2009. In both cases, the licensees have ignored prior collection efforts from the FCC and the US Treasury.

In the context of annual regulatory fees, the most pressing penalty is usually limited to the 25 percent late-fee penalty and associated service fees and being placed in a “Redlight” status – which prevents the FCC from taking any action until the debt is cleared. These two cases demonstrate that the FCC has additional tools at its disposal in order to recover monies that are owed. In addition to financial penalties, the Communications Act and the FCC’s Rules provide the FCC with the authority to revoke license authorizations for failure to pay regulatory fees (and associated interest and penalties) in a timely fashion. The FCC’s current action is the precursor to license revocation – which it would undertake if the licensees are not able to demonstrate that the debts have been cleared within 60 calendar days of the Order.

It is important to note that while regulatory fees for most private radio licenses are collected as part of the FCC filing fee for an application for a new station or license renewal, there are certain licenses that are subject to the annual regulatory fee program each Fall, such as commercial Part 90 paging and SMR licenses, commercial Part 80 Public Coast, Part 25 satellite earth station licenses and commercial use licenses.

Because of the potential for steep financial penalties or loss of radio licenses, it is important that these regulatory fees be paid in a timely manner.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp Obtains Approval to Use Statewide Tennessee 800 MHz Network

The Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (the Coop), a member owned non-profit electric cooperative which serves approximately 212,000 customers south of metropolitan Nashville, requested a waiver of the FCC’s Rules in order to share the use of the Tennessee Advanced Communications Network (TACN), which is a state-wide public safety 700/800 MHz radio system licensed to the State of Tennessee and administered by the Tennessee Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security (Tennessee). While the FCC granted a request for waiver with respect to MTEMC’s proposed use of the 800 MHz spectrum, it found that no waiver was required for the use of the 700 MHz spectrum, since the Coop had committed to follow the conditions necessary for eligibility under Section 337 of the Communications Act and Section 90.523(b) of the FCC’s Rules.

The FCC’s Rules permit the sharing of Part 90 frequencies, provided that the entity – in this case, the Coop – is eligible for licensing on the shared frequencies. In requesting its waiver for use of the TACN system, the Coop states that the shared use will “facilitate interoperability during incident response involving electrical networks and will further cooperation with local public safety providers.” The Coop has negotiated an agreement with Tennessee that would allow it to use the TACN system, if the Coop agreed to contribute additional 800 MHz capacity and coverage to the TACN system by sharing its existing 800 MHz licenses with Tennessee. The Coop further claimed that the combined system would provide better capacity without reliance on unlicensed spectrum, better coverage for first responders, and greater incident coordination between entities that are increasingly interdependent upon each other, all with a cost savings to the citizens of Tennessee. The FCC addressed the waivers for use of the 800 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum separately.

800 MHz

In granting the waiver request, the FCC found that blocking access to 800 MHz would not serve the purpose of the frequency sharing rule, which is to (a) ensure that adequate spectrum is available for each service category (i.e., public safety and industrial/business) and (b) avoid interference to communications from incompatible services. The FCC found that the Coop had demonstrated that there would not be a net loss of spectrum for public safety use, and that there is adequate spectrum to accommodate the Coop’s access to the TACN system. Further, the FCC noted that a grant would “allow faster and more efficient delivery of life-saving services.” Finally, the FCC noted that the agreement between the Coop and Tennessee would ensure that public safety communications would have priority, and that the Region 39 Regional Planning Committee supported the waiver request.

700 MHz

The FCC concluded that Tennessee may share its 700 MHz public safety facilities with the Coop, provided that it operates on the TACN system’s 700 MHz channels pursuant to the limitations in the amended agreement with Tennessee. In this regard, the agreement provides that the Coop will conduct its electrical distribution communications on the TACN system to ensure that it responds to incidents involving electricity distribution in ways that protect the health of its workers and the general public and the safety of property. The Coop and Tennessee have also implemented safeguards in the agreement in order to ensure that the Coop’s communications are limited to those permitted by the agreement, and that Tennessee will retain control of the TACN facilities, including those used by the Coop. Finally, the agreement also provides that the Coop’s use must not affect the total daily capacity or availability of the TACN.

As a result, the FCC found that the Coop’s proposed operation on the 700 MHz spectrum was consistent with the Communications Act without a waiver, that the Coop is eligible to use the TACN 700 MHz channels on a secondary, preemptible basis.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Law Offices Of
Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens,
Duffy & Prendergast, LLP

2120 L St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 659-0830
(202) 828-5568 (fax)


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

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

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K9IQY: Ham Radio Page

Amateur Radio

  • ex KN9IQY, KN4BK, KM5NK, WB4JCF, ZP5TQ, WA4VXU, WA9RVL, /TI2, /9Y4, /6Y5, /KP4, HH2FJ
  • Licensed FCC Amateur Radio operator since 1957
  • Licensed FCC First-Class-Commercial Operator/Engineer since 1964

United States Navy

The above is just like the old men who have stickers on the rear window of their pickup trucks.

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“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”
—Albert Einstein

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
—Nelson Mandela

“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man — the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
—Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

Source: Quotes on Overcoming Racism, Bigotry and Prejudice  

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“Everlasting Arms”

Playing For Change
Published on Mar 2, 2018

"You can lean on me brother, I can see you've carried too long..." This lyric is something we can all relate to. Sometimes life gets to be too much or too hard and we need somewhere positive to put our troubles so we can move on. Music is one of best places to put your problems and lay down your burdens, and when you hear Luke Winslow-King, Vasti Jackson, Dr. John, and Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi sing these words you know everything is going to be alright.

“Everlasting Arms” is the second song from our Listen to the Music series — our newest body of work comprising 12 new Songs Around The World and featuring Buddy Guy, The Doobie Brothers, Warren Haynes, Dr. John, Jack Johnson, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and many more. All music in this series was recorded live outside with a mobile studio and features over 200 musicians from 25 different countries. The album will be released on April 20th, 2018 (pre-order available now), with one new video from the series dropping every month!

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

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