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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — November 15, 2019 — Issue No. 882

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Once in a while an issue of this newsletter stands out as having a large amount of important content.

This week's issue is one of them.

If you want to stay up to date with what is going on in the wireless industry, I encourage you to read it in its entirety.

OK, you can skip the music video if you want to, but be sure to read the rest.

We have a letter from Jim Nelson (President & CEO Prism-IPX Systems) reporting of the recent Brussels meeting of the Critical Messaging Association.

I would like to add my congratulations to Dr. Dietmar Gollnick, unamaously elected by the CMA as its new Chairman. He has always been good about sending content for inclusion in the newsletter and I look forward to a new closer relationship with the CMA under his leadership.


I received a whitepaper about a new kind of paging being studied. It is long but very interesting. I hope to receive several comments from readers so I can add my own — in a future discussion.

I believe “As 5G Rolls Out, Troubling New Security Flaws Emerge” is also very important.

Another very important paper about 5G security “THE COMING REGULATORY WAR OVER 5G” is here. This was published last April.

Wireless Messaging News

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

About Us

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

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

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

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

Editorial Policy

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

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

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Advertiser Index

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

Leavitt Communications


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

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November 14, 2019

Dear Brad,

RE: 2019 CMA Meeting in Brussels

Many thanks for the last-minute tribute to Derek Banner and for the cartoon. Both were well received.

Derek has been the Chairman since the 2005 meeting in Helsinki where European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA) was organized (you attended) and has led the Association through 15 years of excellent meetings and incorporated many changes as the paging markets evolved into the critical messaging market.

Among these changes were the joining of EMMA and AAPC at a meeting in Stockholm in November 2012. Derek, as Chairman of EMMA, and Ted McNaught, President of AAPC at the time, signed the historic Agreement which led to a formal name change to CMA-Americas and CMA-Europe thus creating a global Association.

Most recently Derek led the consolidation of CMA-Americas with CMA-Europe into a single CMA body further establishing a very recognizable global leadership in critical messaging that was based on paging technology but now leverages other compatible and complementary technologies.

Significant at this recent 2019 Brussels meeting, CMA unanimously elected Dr. Dietmar Gollnick as its new Chairman. Dietmar has long been a promoter of CMA even before the name changes. He is very active in social media and always in the news gaining positive attention to CMA, our technologies and the many vital uses. He is very popular choice to lead CMA. A formal press release will provide more details.

Thanks also to the CMA Board of Directors for allowing me to make three significant presentations and to assist Dietmar in presenting awards to Derek as he officially retired from the role of Chairman of CMA.

Before the first award I gave a brief summary of what Derek has meant to the Association and how much we will miss him. After a few emotional moments Dietmar and I presented Derek with a commentative plaque with a golden Chairman’s gavel.

For the second award I reviewed each meeting Derek led us through for the past 15 years. Shared a few pictures and several funny memories. Then I listed many of the outstanding achievements Derek has been part of, including his many years running British Telecom paging in many countries and of great importance, his role as Secretary of the POCSAG Committee where the POCSAG protocol was created and accepted as a free and open standard. Dietmar and I then presented Derek with the CMA Paging Industry Recognition Award.

And lastly, I expressed how much all of us would miss him and he said he would come to future meetings when convenient. That was a perfect lead-in for Dietmar and I to present Derek with the Lifetime Membership Award in CMA, complimentary membership with full member benefits.

After all the emotions, both sad and happy, Derek gave his good-bye speech and we all celebrated the event. Since this was only a 1-day event not everyone made the meeting but we still had 25 people and a fantastic time socializing. Here are most of the attendees.

We all wish Derek a very happy and enjoyable retirement and his daughter Jodie and son Carl who were in attendance did promise to find him a good nursing home as you suggested 😊.

We all further promised to support Chairman Dietmar Gollnick and find more ways to improve CMA. Dietmar also has Ron Wray of Multitone and Jurgen Poels of ASTRID as new Directors on his Board. Congratulations to all three of them and I personally look forward to many more years of working with them.

Happy for you edit and crop as needed for the newsletter. There is lot more that can be reported and many more pictures but I’ll leave that to CMA and its social media experts.

Thanks again for your help, as always.

Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism-IPX Systems LLC
11175 Cicero Drive
Suite 100
Alpharetta GA 30022

Source: Jim Nelson  


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“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.

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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.

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Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

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

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


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Reader Support

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

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

FCC sued by dozens of cities after voting to kill local fees and rules

Cities challenge FCC vote to preempt local fees and broadband regulations.

JON BRODKIN - 11/14/2019, 2:23 PM

The Federal Communications Commission faces a legal battle against dozens of cities from across the United States, which sued the FCC to stop an order that preempts local fees and regulation of cable-broadband networks.

The cities filed lawsuits in response to the FCC's August 1 vote that limits the fees municipalities can charge cable companies and prohibits cities and towns from regulating broadband services offered over cable networks.

"At least 46 cities are asking federal appeals courts to undo an FCC order they argue will force them to raise taxes or cut spending on local media services, including channels that schools, governments, and the general public can use for programming," Bloomberg Law wrote Tuesday.

Various lawsuits were filed against the FCC between August and the end of October, and Bloomberg's report said that most of the suits are being consolidated into a single case in the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. An FCC motion to transfer the case to the 6th Circuit, which has decided previous cases on the same topic, is pending.

The 9th Circuit case was initially filed by Eugene, Oregon, which said the FCC order was arbitrary and capricious and that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act, the Constitution, and the Communications Act. The cities' arguments and the FCC's defense will be fleshed out more in future briefs.

Big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Denver, and Boston are among those suing the FCC. Also suing are other municipalities from Maine, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington, according to a Bloomberg graphic. The state of Hawaii is also suing the FCC, and New York City is supporting the lawsuit against the FCC as an intervening party.

FCC lost net neutrality preemption battle

Chairman Ajit Pai's FCC already lost one attempt to preempt local regulation throughout the country. When it repealed federal net neutrality rules, the FCC also preempted states from imposing net neutrality laws. While a federal appeals court upheld the repeal of the US-wide regulations, it ruled that the FCC can't preempt all state laws in one fell swoop. The state of Washington continues to enforce its net neutrality law, and other states may do so in the future.

The FCC lost its preemption battle on net neutrality largely because it had given up its primary authority to regulate broadband. "[I]n any area where the Commission lacks the authority to regulate, it equally lacks the power to preempt state law," the appeals court ruling in that case said.

When the FCC preempted local cable regulation, a consumer advocate pointed out a similarity with the net neutrality case. The cable decision "is consistent with the commission's current perplexing view that it has no statutory authority over broadband but can nevertheless preempt states and local authorities from exercising their own authority," John Bergmayer, legal director of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, said after the August 1 vote.

The FCC argues that states and localities cannot collect fees and impose requirements that aren't explicitly allowed by Title VI, the cable-regulation section that Congress added to communications law with the Cable Act of 1984. The FCC acted partly in response to an Oregon State Supreme Court decision that upheld a 7% "telecommunications" license fee the city of Eugene imposed on Comcast. The FCC wants to get that fee and others off the books.

The US cable law prevents local authorities from collecting more than 5% of a cable operator's gross revenue in any 12-month period. The FCC said that some local governments have been requiring in-kind contributions from cable operators to get around the 5% cap and ruled that most in-kind contributions must count toward that cap.

Pai claimed that the preemption will spur companies to expand broadband networks, but Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel pointed out that ISPs haven't actually promised to deploy more broadband in exchange for the regulatory favor from the FCC. She added that "there is no enforceable obligation to expand broadband capacity."

Five groups representing local governments detailed some of the arguments against the preemption in a filing with the FCC last month. They argued, among other things, that the FCC "has exceeded its authority, inserting itself where Congress provided no authority or direction to do so in a manner contrary to the clear and unambiguous terms of the Cable Act." The local-government groups also said the FCC order violates the 10th Amendment by overriding states' rights, specifically by "directing state and local governments to surrender their property and management rights to 'advance... federal policies' related to broadband deployment."

Local governments also say the FCC order will make it harder to provide public, educational, and government access (PEG) programming. More generally, they say the FCC has "commandeered" the municipalities' "budgets and other resources... for the purpose of compensating cable operators in violation of legitimately adopted local franchises and state laws."

Separately, the FCC is facing another lawsuit filed by cities over the federal agency's September 2018 decision to preempt about $2 billion worth of fees related to deployment of wireless equipment such as small cells used for 5G.

Source: arsTECHNICA  

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2017.02.13 (Original version 2016.09.18)


Fire and EMS services across the United States still rely on paging technology to communicate emergency incident information. The infrastructure for these paging systems is typically owned, operated, and maintained by the local government or agency to ensure coverage includes as close to 100% of the jurisdiction as possible. This paper proposes the use of datacasting technology to serve the paging needs of public safety and uses North Carolina as a test case. This concept could lead to cost-sharing, greater collaboration across jurisdictions, and reduced response times for mutual aid requests. The public deserve the best possible response from the public safety sector and therefore, public safety deserves the best technology available in order to achieve their mission. Note that certain topics, such as automated voice systems, smartphone apps, alphanumeric pagers, fire station alerting, and CAD-to-CAD interfaces are not discussed here for the sake of focus and clarity.


Currently, paging is still widely used in the Fire and EMS disciplines for emergency call alerting. This can be true for both volunteer and staffed/career agencies. In these instances, paging is generally only a one-way page sent from fixed infrastructure to a device worn by a member of that agency. Call alerting can occur for agency members while they are at a station, at home, or even as they go about their daily jobs. A Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), or 911 center, send the page to a voice pager with information about the location and type of emergency. This type of pager allows the responder to hear the dispatch. These devices are also known as a Tone & Voice Pager, Fire Pager, Voice Pager, and/or by the common vendor models such as the Motorola Minitor Pager, Unication G4/G5 Voice Pager, SwissPhone Voice Pager, or Apollo Voice Pager, just to name a few.

This voice pager has a speaker listening to a specific radio channel with a ‘selective’ call setting that will keep the speaker silent until a trigger (such as a specific set of tones) is heard on that channel. When a trigger is heard, the pager will then alert the user, either with a special beep and/or vibration, and unmute the speaker so that the dispatcher can be heard. There are a number of manufacturers of these voice pagers, each with a number of different features such as audio recording (stored voice), a display screen, customized audio alerts, etc.

The selective call feature allows responders to be alerted only for emergency incidents or for other 911 Center information that is targeted for a specific group. The group being targeted can be a fire department, a particular station within a department, or even a specific fire truck or officer. The criteria used for determining how many groups is a mutual arrangement between the responding agency and the 911 Center that dispatches that agency. The criteria will often take into consideration such factors as: the number of agencies served by the 911 Center, the operational nature of those agencies (career, volunteer, staffed stations, etc.), and the call volume of both the agency and 911 Center.

Fire and EMS services have to be assured that this information will be delivered to the responders in the field. It is not viable to rely on commercial service for this type of mission critical communication and industry best practices do not recognize such systems, as they are not controlled by the agency or a governmental partner. In other words, commercial cellular or commercial paging services are not approved by organizations such as the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and Insurance Services Office (ISO), who provide guidance on such communication systems. For this reason, each agency is likely to purchase (or lease) paging infrastructure and equipment to serve their response district, and multiple transmitters would be needed to serve a large area or a regional system. This is typically done in coordination with the 911 Center as the information originates there and is then sent out to responders.


The voice pager is based on outdated technology that is slow at delivering emergency information. This type of pager uses an analog radio channel and the selective call feature relies on an audible set of tones. Each unique group’s tone sent from the 911 Center can be 2-3 seconds long (depending on setup). When multiple groups need to be paged, all of the tones have to be transmitted sequentially before any of the dispatch information can be delivered. Then, the actual voice dispatch can take 20-40 seconds depending on how much verbal information is provided. During all of this, other emergencies are queued waiting for the paging transmitter to become available.

For example, consider the fictitious city of Eloise. The Eloise Fire Department has 15 fire stations and 10 EMS stations. For a large building fire, there are 7 fire stations and 3 EMS stations that will be dispatched in order to get all of the appropriate equipment on scene. Even at only 2 seconds per station tone, this will leave 20 seconds of tones being transmitted before the dispatcher can speak and provide information about the emergency. It will also take the dispatcher 25 seconds to say “Engine 1, Engine 2, Ladder 5, (etc.) respond to a building fire located at 123 Main Street on map grid 34 Bravo, respond on Tac channel 15, time is 14:22hours” which means that this particular dispatch will take a total of 45 seconds of transmission time. Any additional emergencies will have to wait until this dispatch is completed.

A paging systems is generally designed to cover only an area for the specific jurisdictions that it will serve. A county 911 Center will commonly have a paging system that provides a coverage footprint for that county, and coverage beyond the county lines is typically not by design. This can leave a gap in the ability to dispatch a fire engine that is called to help staff a fire station in a neighboring county, or to contact responders that might be conducting business just outside the county.

Access to paging systems is generally only available to the 911 Center responsible for dispatching specific agencies. Every 911 Center has a jurisdictional boundary within which it receives emergency calls and dispatches responders. Although, emergencies do not adhere to these political boundaries and the closest responders may come from agencies that are dispatched by two or more 911 Centers. There are many fire departments that rely on automatic mutual aid from a neighboring department that is dispatched by a different 911 Center. When dispatching a unit or alerting responders of an agency from a different 911 Center, there are policy implications to consider. However, such a capability can enhance mutual aid responses and assist in backup and contingency planning for 911 Centers.

Let’s look at a fictitious example in which mutual aid is challenging due to jurisdictional boundaries. The Eloise Fire Department (EFD) is dispatched by the Eloise 911 Center while the Angelo Fire Department (AFD) is dispatched by the Angelo 911 Center. EFD and AFD jurisdictions are adjacent, and there are many incidents which require them to respond together. Currently, when Eloise 911 Center receives a call for an incident that requires EFD and AFD they are able to dispatch EFD directly, and then they make a call to Angelo 911 Center to have AFD dispatched. This relay of information can increase the likelihood of fragmented information reaching AFD and can also add minutes to the actual dispatch (and subsequently the response). Looking at a map, there are areas in the EFD district where the AFD fire station is actually closer. There are times when a cellular 911 call actually gets routed to the Angelo 911 Center for emergencies in Eloise. This common 911 call routing error also adds a delay in dispatching the correct units.

Though the Next Generation 911 (NG911) project will make the transferring of 911 calls and data much easier in the future, there are other challenges to meeting the general public’s expectation that the closest help in an emergency will be dispatched in a timely manner. Collectively, the above examples show the very real situation existing within public safety in which agencies have “silos” of communications for dispatching and communicating with responders. These silos are closed systems, in which each agency has their own separate communication paths. Such silos are very prevalent throughout the country and impact the time it takes for responders to react to a public safety need.


In the late 1990’s, television stations in the United States began broadcasting a digital transmission service. All analog broadcasts ended in 2009, making broadcast television digital only. This transition to digital television (DTV) uses the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standard. DTV allows for more video (in the form of data) to be delivered using the same amount of spectrum as an analog transmission. This data stream can also be used to broadcast many other types of useful information besides video, such as TV program guides, emergency alerts, etc. Any portion of this data stream that is unused is a missed opportunity. Datacasting is a concept to transmit useful data utilizing the unused capacity of the DTV transmission signal. Datacasting is the ability to send data over digital broadcast television signals to specialized receivers. This data can include video streams, audio streams, pictures, documents, and other computer files. The nature of broadcasting is that it is a one-to-many form of communication used to deliver a huge volume of data quickly to many receivers at the same time. It is not a two-way exchange of information.

For several years, Datacasting has been explored in multiple areas of the country to support public safety. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Group (FRG) has conducted projects using datacasting to provide incident response data and high quality video to responders in the field. More information, such as the after action reports from two pilot projects in Houston and Chicago, is available at by searching for the term “datacasting”. The Department of Justice has also studied datacasting in support of Criminal Justice needs. From these exploratory efforts, it is clear that datacasting has benefits unavailable with other current or planned technologies.

Television stations use high power transmitters and antennas atop tall towers, buildings and mountains. Their signals are in the VHF and UHF bands, and the coverage footprint and in-building coverage are unmatched by any other current technology.

An enhancement to the current ATSC digital broadcast system is on the horizon. The proposed standard, ATSC 3.0, will utilize a different delivery scheme that is far more robust and useful for mobile applications. It also has the added benefit of better building penetration, especially when using UHF channels. Areas that may not receive a robust signal from the full power transmitter may be candidates for lower power transmitters to “fill in”. ATSC 3.0 allows for the development of a Single Frequency Network (SFN) for synchronized, on-channel transmitters to accomplish the fill. The ability of ATSC 3.0 to be reliably received by a device that is moving (mobile) is an important requirement of this proposed concept.


Datacasting may present a perfect solution for the current challenges found with existing analog voice paging. TV infrastructure already exists and the transmitting equipment, towers, antennas, power, and spectrum is already in use supporting broadcast television. The footprint of this Public Safety Datacast Paging system would be far greater than current paging systems, which would increase interoperability, reliability, and dependability. Similarly, many 911 Centers, which provide the information needed by public safety responders, already support the export of such information to their existing paging system. Using datacasting for public safety paging is particularly timely as the association of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) recently announced that APTS members are setting aside 1 Mbps of their signal specifically for public safety use (reference Having a centralized paging system available to several 911 Centers will also increase the ease of providing backup dispatch services between jurisdictions.

Datacasting may provide an opportunity to advance public safety paging to a new level for more timely public safety service delivery. The ability to alert multiple responders will only take milliseconds using a datacast digital format, which is literally a thousand times faster than today’s analog paging format. Datacasting is a one-to-many broadcast, similar to today’s public safety analog paging. The number of receivers is unlimited, unlike a cellular service which can only support a limited number of devices in a given area. By delivering the emergency dispatch information in a digital format over datacasting, the technology can support over 2000 dispatches during the same time frame that it would take an analog system to perform a single dispatch. At that rate of delivery, it may not seem important to prioritize the messages or dispatches, but a Public Safety Datacast Paging service could also support such prioritization.


A favorable window of opportunity has recently opened that could make datacasting paging available for responders in North Carolina. The North Carolina 911 Board (NC 911 Board) is currently working to move the NG911 project forward in a statewide approach. One aspect of NG911 effort in North Carolina is the work to better support PSAP outages. In particular, there is a need for backup 911 Centers to dispatch responders that they do not normally dispatch.

NC 911 Board is developing a statewide Emergency Services Information Network (ESInet) to provide a platform for all 911 Centers in the state to be connected via an IP network. This ESInet will allow for easier call transfers between 911 Centers, as well as support a higher degree of information sharing. The important aspect of Public Safety Datacast Paging in North Carolina, is the desire to have a method for 911 Centers to not only receive 911 calls rerouted from another center, but to also have the ability to dispatch the emergency responders in the appropriate jurisdiction. Without the ability for another 911 Center to also dispatch units to an emergency incident, sending 911 calls to another 911 center is not useful.

Similarly, it’s timely and opportune that the Public Television Network in North Carolina, UNC-TV, is well-established and is already capable of supporting datacasting. UNC-TV has a network of transmitters and translators that provide almost 100% coverage throughout the state of North Carolina. This includes extensive coverage in the mountainous areas, lakes, sounds, and several miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. The footprint of this coverage also includes hundreds of square miles in neighboring states. Public Television also has an enviable record for system reliability, as well as a long history of supporting public safety voice radio communications using UNC-TV towers and microwave communications network. UNC-TV is also perfectly situated to provide such a paging service to public safety, as it is not a commercial entity.

Datacasting coverage can be provided to the entire state using this network of transmitters. If a datacast needs to be kept more local, the separate transmitters and translators can also be partitioned in the network to provide coverage in a smaller segment of the state.


There would have to be a centralized collection point for 911 Centers to send paging requests. The connection between such a centralized point and each 911 Center would have to be government-controlled in order to provide the robust and resilient service that is required to handle public safety grade information. An ESInet represents the ideal type of network to handle such a connection.

Due to the mobile nature of public safety personnel, the concept of using Datacasting to provide a paging solution would be dependent on transmitters operating in the ATSC 3.0 standard. The current DTV standard is designed for receivers that are not moving. The upcoming ATSC 3.0 standard will support a receiver that is moving. This concept is meant to support individual emergency responders carrying a small receiving device throughout their normal day, which includes driving.

Today’s public safety agencies have the ability to program their own equipment. The only thing that is needed to be programmed is the frequency that the pager needs to listen to, and the tones that will trigger an alert. It is possible to accomplish the same thing on such a Public Safety Datacast Paging system. One possible method would be to assign each 911 Center a unique character code, leaving another set of characters to be managed by the 911 Center (an equivalent of today’s various groups or tones). For example, a prefix of NC001 could designate Alamance County in North Carolina (using the same standard as the US Census Bureau Using an 8-character code would leave Alamance County another 3 characters for a total of 1000 other triggers. This would maintain the independence of each 911 Center’s ability to manage how their various departments are dispatched and alerted. It would also keep the programming of the receivers the responsibility of each department, in coordination with their 911 Center. Since current pagers can be configured at the device level for which trigger(s) to use by each department, any new device developed for a Datacast Paging System should have the same configurability. The datacast stream would contain all of the information and the local device would be programmed to trigger or monitor any parts of the stream.

The receiving device itself could take many forms. Manufacturers would need to develop a device that is appropriate for the public safety industry. Such a device could follow the same form as today’s tone and voice pagers. Using software to deliver text-to-speech will still allow for a device with a speaker to be utilized. Such a digital device would also allow for a visual display to relay the information. A receiver is also being developed as a smartphone case that would integrate this public safety pager function, allowing for enhanced applications such as navigation, response updates, and messaging. Such a smartphone case would allow an app to receive the datacast paging information even when the phone is out of range of the cellular network.

A greater look at the policy implications and operational impact will have to be conducted. 911 Centers would have to develop policies for units that are requested to multiple incidents. If a centralized system allows any 911 Center to send a page to any unit, what happens if a unit is dispatched to two different incidents by two different 911 Centers? The centralized paging system could be configured to alert a 911 Center when their paging prefix is used by another 911 Center, which would close the loop on mutual aid requests.

A datacast paging receiver in the 911 Center could provide a confirmation that the appropriate dispatch has occurred by monitoring and decoding the datacasting stream. This level of transmission confirmation is not widely used today, and would add another level of system integrity monitoring.

This would require an investment in new devices for departments. The roll out and adoption could be slow, but the benefits are great. As many radio systems are looking at converting to digital, new paging receivers may already be on the horizon.

While the promise of FirstNet may deliver LTE coverage with priority for first responders, it is known that the rural coverage may be provided as needed, utilizing deployable or non-terrestrial assets. This would leave gaps in coverage for first responders who may need to be notified of emergencies. A datacast paging system could provide the needed coverage in rural areas.


Tone and voice paging has been used by public safety for decades. This technology delivers emergency notification information at a slow pace compared to today’s digital world. The advent of datacasting presents a unique opportunity to serve emergency notifications to first responders in a more efficient manner over a greater distance with better coverage than ever before. The timing is perfect for further development of this concept. The following highlights the key ideas presented in this paper:

  • Digital delivery of information will greatly increase the speed of reception, thus decreasing response times
  • Datacasting capacity allows for dozens of separate dispatches within milliseconds
  • A centralized paging system serving a large region will decrease mutual aid requests
  • A larger coverage footprint will allow departments to notify members outside their jurisdiction
  • Transmitting infrastructure is already in place
  • Receivers could also support live audio streaming, video, data files, maps, and sensor data


The contributors of this paper acknowledge that this concept is part of the public domain. The concept and further development of such products supporting this concept should be openly available for all to use without formal, informal, implied, or explicit restriction or permission. The desire is to prevent a proprietary implementation which could cause interoperability issues, increase costs, and decrease quality incentives. Regardless of what is developed or where the industry takes this concept, it is time to upgrade the paging and call notification technology for public safety personnel. This should be done as an open standard-based approach that enables the technology to support different manufacturers, eliminating dependency on any single manufacturer.


The following people contributed to this paper:

Source: Red Grasso, Deputy Director of FirstNetNC  

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

11.12.2019 11:30 AM

As 5G Rolls Out, Troubling New Security Flaws Emerge

Researchers have identified 11 new vulnerabilities in 5G—with time running out to fix them.


It's not yet prime time for 5G networks, which still face logistical and technical hurdles, but they're increasingly coming online in major cities worldwide. Which is why it's especially worrying that new 5G vulnerabilities are being discovered almost by the dozen.

At the Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London today, researchers are presenting new findings that the 5G specification still has vulnerabilities. And with 5G increasingly becoming a reality, time is running out to catch these flaws.

"The thing I worry about most is that attackers could know the location of a user."


The researchers from Purdue University and the University of Iowa are detailing 11 new design issues in 5G protocols that could expose your location, downgrade your service to old mobile data networks, run up your wireless bills, or even track when you make calls, text, or browse the web. They also found five additional 5G vulnerabilities that carried over from 3G and 4G. They identified all of those flaws with a new custom tool called 5GReasoner.

"We had a hunch when we started this work that there were more vulnerabilities to find," says Syed Rafiul Hussain, a mobile security researcher from Purdue who led the study. "Since many security features from 4G and 3G have been adopted to 5G, there is a high chance that vulnerabilities in previous generations are likely inherited to 5G too. Additionally, new features in 5G may not have undergone rigorous security evaluation yet. So we were both surprised and not so surprised by our findings."

One purported benefit of 5G is that it protects phone identifiers, like your device's "international mobile subscriber identity," to help prevent tracking or targeted attacks. But downgrade attacks like the ones the researchers found can bump your device down to 4G or put it into limited service mode, then force it to send its IMSI number unencrypted. Increasingly, networks use an alternative ID called a Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity that refreshes periodically to stymie tracking. But the researchers also found flaws that could allow them to override TMSI resets, or correlate a device's old and new TMSI, to track devices. Mounting those attacks takes only software-defined radios that cost a few hundred dollars.

The 5GReasoner tool also found issues with the part of the 5G standard that governs things like initial device registration, deregistration, and paging, which notifies your phone about incoming calls and texts. Depending on how a carrier implements the standard, attackers could mount "replay" attacks to run up a target's mobile bill by repeatedly sending the same message or command. It's an instance of vague wording in the 5G standard that could cause carriers to implement it weakly.

The 5G rollout is very much in progress now after years of development and planning. But researchers' findings underscore that the data network is going live with some vulnerabilities and flaws still in place. No digital system is ever perfectly secure, but this many flaws still emerging is noteworthy, especially since researchers have found so many bugs clustered around serious issues like network downgrading and location tracking.

The researchers submitted their findings to the standards body GSMA, which is working on fixes. "These scenarios have been judged as nil or low-impact in practice, but we appreciate the authors’ work to identify where the standard is written ambiguously, which may lead to clarifications in the future," GSMA told WIRED in a statement. "We are grateful to the researchers for affording industry the opportunity to consider their findings and welcome any research that enhances the security and user confidence of mobile services." The researchers note that a limitation of their study is that they didn't have access to a commercial 5G network to test the attacks in practice. But they point out that while GSMA says the attacks are low impact, it still listed the work in its Mobile Security Research Hall of Fame.

"The thing I worry about most is that attackers could know the location of a user," Purdue's Hussain says. "5G tried to solve this, but there are many vulnerabilities that expose location information, so fixing one is not enough."

Improving the security of the 5G standard through community scrutiny is a necessary process. But with 5G rolling out more and more widely every day, time is running short to catch and resolve vulnerabilities that could expose user data worldwide.

[Another very important paper about 5G security (“THE COMING REGULATORY WAR OVER 5G”) is here.]

Source: WIRED  

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:

Apple iOS 13.3 Is Poised To Launch With This Killer Security Feature

Kate O'Flaherty Senior Contributor
I’m a cybersecurity journalist.

Apple’s iOS 13.3 is coming very soon, with an exciting new security feature that allows you to use ... [+]AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Apple’s iOS 13.3 should be coming to your iPhone pretty soon, and with it a bunch of cool new features. One of the interesting and exciting iOS 13.3 updates for anyone who is concerned about their security is the ability to use security keys with Apple’s Safari browser.

The move is revealed in Apple’s release notes for the second developer beta, which says iOS 13.3 supports NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari.

In other words, when the iOS 13.3 update drops, you will able to use physical security keys such as Yubico’s iPhone compatible YubiKey 5Ci–which was previously unavailable to browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. However, it could be used with some password manager apps such as 1Password.

It is expected that iOS 13.3 will probably hit sometime in December. So what’s the deal with security keys?

Security keys in iOS 13.3: A great idea

A security key is a convenient and secure form of authentication because you can simply plug it into your device.

Security researcher Sean Wright goes one step further, saying security keys are “fantastic.”

“Keys are a rare case in security where a good mechanism comes with something that is relatively easy to use. They represent a desire to move away from password based authentication to something that is often more secure as well as hopefully more user friendly.”

He points out that security keys also prevent phishing attempts, where an attacker will try to steal your details by, for example, sending you an email prompting you to enter your credentials onto a fake page.

ZeroDayLab’s director of cyber security strategy, Stuart Peck agrees the move is a “great idea.” However, he points out that support for YubiKey is limited–although this is likely to change over time.

But like any form of authentication, security keys aren’t bulletproof. You might even want to avoid carrying them around with you, especially if there is a chance they may get lost. “Like any key, you will want to ensure that you keep them safe, and avoid leaving them around and losing them,” Wright says.

In order to protect yourself while still getting the most benefit out of the key, Wright advises having another means–perhaps another backup key–to access your account. “So if you lost your key or it was stolen you would immediately revoke it.”

Security keys in iOS 13.3: Should you use one?

It’s an exciting change, and security keys are a definite yes for a technical user who is concerned about their data. However, Peck thinks they could be overkill for the average person. “Unless your personal threat model requires the use of security keys, an app for two factor authentication is just as acceptable.”

Apple’s iOS 13 is certainly moving in the right direction for security and privacy. The iPhone maker has added a host of new security features to the updated operating system including the ability to lock down its voice assistant Siri.

It has also introduced new features that could be a blow to firms such as Facebook and Google by highlighting how much data they collect in the background and giving you the opportunity to prevent this.

Personally, I’m looking forward to iOS 13.3 and the ability to try out a security key on my device. But it isn’t for everyone–and it’s certainly not something you’d want to lose–so if you do use one make sure you have a back up.

Source: Forbes  

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 , November 15, 2019 Volume 7 | Issue 224

Will IRS Investigations Threaten Merger?

By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers

A law firm representing T-Mobile, on November 8, requested binding relief from a proposed IRS rulemaking that might otherwise limit T-Mobile’s ability to utilize Sprint’s Net Operating Losses (NOLs). The letter was followed by one on November 12 from the Broadband Tax Institute, in support of the carriers, both of whom are members of the organization. The letters could signify significant liability arising from the ongoing investigation into Sprint allegedly overcharging the government for more than $800,000, on Lifeline accounts that did not qualify for reimbursement under the plan, according to Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson.

“Sprint took a rather significant charge in the most request quarter to reverse the overbilled revenues, but they have not yet attempted to estimate penalties, if any,” Moffett said. “As we’ve pointed out in the past, the FCC has a framework for evaluating Lifeline over-collection violations which suggest the penalty could be as high as $5K per line, or as much as $4.4B total.”

At the time, Sprint said it had no intention of defrauding the government. The carrier says it made an error after the FCC implemented new rules in 2016. Sprint was working on a fix, it said in September, Inside Towers reported.

Sprint had federal NOL “carryforwards” of $21.3B as of March 31, 2019, according to the Daily Tax Report. Note: a “carryforward” is an accounting method of allowing companies to apply losses to profits that have not yet occurred and thereby reduce the taxes they pay on those profits.

T-Mobile’s letter follows an earlier letter from the law firm Skadden Arps, on behalf of Sprint, dated October 21, requesting similar relief. The Skadden Arps letter notes that, “It is therefore likely that further extensions of the Outside Date or other amendments to the Agreement will be required before the transaction ultimately closes; as the parties consider how to approach these amendments, it is critical for Sprint and T-Mobile (as well as similarly situated taxpayers) to have certainty on whether or not the modifications to the longstanding guidance contained in Notice 2003-65 will be in effect with respect to such transactions.”

The letter from the Broadband Tax Institute asks for the same relief. “We respectfully request that Treasury and the IRS issue binding guidance as soon as practicable to provide transition relief that would ‘grandfather’ publicly announced and/or publicly filed transactions (collectively, ‘publicly announced transactions’) that close after the finalization and publication of the Proposed Regulations,” the letter states.

The comment period with respect to the proposed IRS regulation closed on Tuesday, November 12.

“Whether this issue, or the Lifeline issue, is enough to trigger a renegotiation of the exchange ratio, or simply an indemnification from Sprint shareholders (i.e. SoftBank) in the event of an adverse outcome, is unclear,” Moffett said. “As a reminder, the merger agreement between Sprint and T-Mobile expired on November 1, and either party is allowed to walk away from the deal unless and until a new agreement is reached, potentially with new terms and/or a new valuation.”

When announcing the kinds of public service projects a merged entity can accomplish, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told reporters last Thursday the merger agreement talks with Sprint are ongoing.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
It is a daily newsletter by subscription. Please 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. 58 November 13, 2019 

FCC Releases Order Establishing Locations Adjustment Process for Phase II Auction Winners

On November 12, the FCC adopted an Order establishing a voluntary process to facilitate post-auction review of the defined deployment obligations (and associated support) on a state-by-state basis when the total number of actual locations in eligible areas is less than the number of funded locations. The Order provides some specifics on participant requirements, evidentiary standards, stakeholder participation requirements, and location formatting requirements. More detailed information regarding evidentiary standards, location data formatting, confidentiality of information, and future post-adjudication verification will follow. Importantly, the FCC will only modify a participant’s defined deployment obligation to the extent that the participant produces adequate evidence demonstrating that it is more likely than not that the defined deployment obligation is greater than the number of actual locations within the state.

See the full article below for more information.

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


FCC Establishes Locations Adjustment Process for Phase II Winners

On November 12, the FCC adopted an Order establishing a voluntary process to facilitate post-auction review of the defined deployment obligations (and associated support) on a state-by-state basis when the total number of actual locations in eligible areas is less than the number of funded locations. The Order provides some specifics on participant requirements, evidentiary standards, stakeholder participation requirements, and location formatting requirements. More detailed information regarding evidentiary standards, location data formatting, confidentiality of information, and future post-adjudication verification will follow. Importantly, the FCC will only modify a participant’s defined deployment obligation to the extent that the participant produces adequate evidence demonstrating that it is more likely than not that the defined deployment obligation is greater than the number of actual locations within the state.

The challenge process will begin with a new, one-time collection of information from support recipients that seek to participate in ELAP (participants) that includes information about all eligible locations within the state as well as evidence substantiating the completeness and accuracy of such information. Participants must certify the accuracy of their submissions as of the date of submission under penalty of perjury.

Within 60 days following the information collection submission deadline, the Bureau will release a list of participants that have met the prima facie evidentiary standards for location modification, along with the certain location information for qualifying locations and prospective locations, i.e., state, study area code (SAC), addresses, geo-coordinates, and number of units. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will use the reported geo-coordinates of these locations to populate a publicly available map (ELAP Map) of presumptively eligible locations so that outside parties that qualify as a relevant stakeholder may decide whether to file challenges.

Eligible stakeholders will then have 90 days from the public release of the participants’ location information to establish their eligibility and review and challenge the participants’ evidence (challenge window). The stakeholder location information will be used to further populate and revise the ELAP Map to inform and supplement the work of other stakeholders filing challenges against the same participant in the same state prior to the close of the challenge window. Participants will have access to this information as it is processed but will not be able to file replies until after the close of the challenge window. Unlike participant location information, stakeholder location information will not be publicly available.

Challenged participants will have 30 days from the stakeholder submission deadline (response window) to: (1) access and review certified data submitted by the stakeholder with respect to the challenged area; and (2) submit additional data/information to oppose the challenge (response window). If a challenged participant does not oppose the challenge, the participant need not submit any additional information. A challenged participant, however, will not have a further opportunity to submit any additional information or data for the Bureau’s consideration after the response window closes.

The Bureau will order a pro-rata reduction in future payments for the remainder of the support term proportionally to reflect the total amount of reduction. Participants will be permitted to adjust their letters of credit to reflect the new authorized funding amount once the Bureau’s order modifying the authorized support is issued.

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

FCC Grants Waiver of Location Requirements for Rural Broadband Experiment Recipients

On November 7, the FCC granted two petitions, separately filed by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative (ACEC) and Consolidated Communications Networks Inc. (Consolidated) (collectively, petitioners), seeking waiver of their obligations to provide service to a specific number of locations as part of the rural broadband experiments (RBE) program. The petitions provide insight into what the FCC considers acceptable evidence for such petitions, and what factors it considers in granting such requests.

As part of its waiver request, ACEC submitted detailed location information (including addresses, geo-coordinates, and census block identifiers) for each of the locations that it has identified. These locations were identified “by creating a three-layer map consisting of census block boundary data, parcel boundary data, and aerial photography of the census blocks (provided by the county and taken in 2016).” To support its findings, ACEC also submitted “detailed county parcel data, photographic evidence, and explanatory notes (including evidence for every census block within one SAC (356220) and for some of the census blocks in the remaining SACs).” Based on an overall assessment of its evidence, ACEC concluded that it had “reason to conclude some locations identified and counted in [modeled location count] were … non-residential structures such as barns, livestock buildings, machine storage structures, and grain operations where there would be no need for broadband facilities.”

Consolidated similarly developed and implemented a mapping system to identify all locations passed. Consolidated then overlaid this map with third-party aerial photographs and cross-checked its information against searches in the relevant county website. These searches, Consolidated explained, “identified properties by address on specific streets.” Consolidated stated that it used this information to identify addresses for locations and to “make sure it did not miss any locations.” Consolidated stated that the “mapping systems developer also completed a physical drive-by of approximately 180 miles to determine if locations were habitable Consolidated stated that it has reported every location it has identified (and currently serves) in USAC’s High Cost Broadband Portal (HUBB), pursuant to its annual reporting obligations. Consolidated also submitted, among other things, a list of census blocks in which it identified some structures as abandoned, and aerial photographs demonstrating the position of such structures within such census blocks.

According to the FCC, there was “no indication that either petitioner systematically or even unintentionally excluded eligible locations based on cost or difficulty in providing service, such as might be caused by density or terrain,” and that both petitioners “explain that they combined generally accepted methods of geolocation to identify locations and to control for inaccuracies and omissions.” Further, both petitioners “provide some supporting evidence for their findings.” Carriers considering similar waiver requests should contact the firm for more information.

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

FCC Grants Verizon Access Complaint

On November 8, the FCC adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting a complaint filed by MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services (Verizon) against Wide Voice, LLC (Wide Voice), a CLEC, concerning Wide Voice’s tariffed rates for terminating tandem-switched transport access service (tandem-switched transport). The FCC found that Wide Voice’s tariff was void ab initio with regard to its tandem-switched transport rate because Wide Voice failed to step down its tariffs when the price cap LEC to which Wide Voice benchmarked stepped down its own rates.

According to the Order, the key issue was how the step down in price cap carriers’ rates for certain tandem-switched transport service mandated in the 2011 Transformation Order applies to a CLEC that is required to benchmark its tandem-switched transport rates to those of a competing ILEC. Wide Voice construes the FCC’s rules and precedents to mean that this step down applies only to tandem-switched transport traffic that terminates to the end office of an affiliated price cap carrier. Verizon construes the FCC’s rules and precedents to mean that the step down applies to tandem-switched transport traffic that terminates to the end office of a competitive LEC that also owns the tandem or to the end office of an affiliated competitive LEC.

The FCC ultimately sided with Verizon, and concluded that when a CLEC/tandem owner benchmarks to a price cap carrier, the competitive LEC is the tariffing carrier for the purposes of the FCC’s rules. The maximum rate that the CLEC may lawfully charge is the “rate charged for such service[]” by the price cap carrier to which it benchmarks; thus, a benchmarking competitive LEC/tandem owner must step down its tandem-switched transport rate for traffic that traverses a tandem switch owned by it or its affiliate and terminates to its own end office. “The overlay of the benchmark rule on top of section 51.907 thus ensures that a benchmarking competitive LEC’s tariffed rate will not exceed the “rate charged for such service[s] by the competing [incumbent LEC,]” where the “service” is that described in sections 51.907(g)(2) and (h).”

The FCC also concluded that Wide Voice’s tariff was void ab initio, [Latin: “from the beginning.”] and was not afforded the protection of “deemed lawful” status despite the fact that the FCC did not suspend or reject Wide Voice’s tariff within the time allowed for challenging a streamlined tariff. According to the FCC, deemed-lawful status does not adhere to a tariff provision that the FCC’s rules prohibited at the time of filing.

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

Law & Regulation

FCC Extends Reply Comment Deadline on Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling

On November 8, the FCC adopted an Order granting in part a motion seeking an extension of time to file reply comments on a Petition for Rulemaking and a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) and a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by CTIA—The Wireless Association (CTIA). Reply comments are now due on November 20.

WIA’s Petition for Rulemaking and Petition for Declaratory Ruling ask the FCC to adopt new rules or clarify existing rules regarding Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act of 2012 (Section 6409). CTIA’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling similarly seeks clarification of rules relating to Section 6409 and also requests clarifications of rules implementing Section 224 of the Communications Act.

Specifically, WIA’s Petition for Rulemaking asks the FCC to amend its rules to reflect that collocations requiring an expansion of the current site—within 30 feet of a tower site—qualify for relief under Section 6409(a) and to require that fees associated with eligible facilities requests under Section 6409 be cost-based. WIA’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling asks the FCC to clarify: (1) that Section 6409(a) and related rules apply to all state and local authorizations; (2) when the time to decide an application begins to run; (3) what constitutes a substantial change under Section 6409(a); (4) that “conditional” approvals by localities violate Section 6409(a); and (5) that localities may not establish processes or impose conditions that effectively defeat or reduce the protections afforded under Section 6409(a).

CTIA’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling asks the FCC to clarify the terms “concealment element,” “equipment cabinet,” and “base station” in the FCC’s rules, and clarify that when an application is “deemed granted” under Section 6409, applicants may lawfully construct even if the siting authority has not issued construction permits. With respect to section 224, CTIA asks the FCC to: (1) determine that the definition of the term “pole” in section 224 includes light poles; (2) conclude that utilities may not impose blanket prohibitions on access to certain parts of the pole; and (3) clarify that utilities may not ask attachers to accept terms and conditions that are inconsistent with the FCC’s rules.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Further Extends Comment Deadline on IP TV Captioning Petition

On November 6, the FCC adopted an Order granting a further extension of time to file comments on a petition for limited waiver of its IPTV closed captioning rules. Comments are now due on February 21, and reply comments are due on March 6.

The petition, filed in May by Pluto, Inc., requested that the FCC waive the IP captioning rules with respect to programming accessed through Pluto’s platforms for a period that ends one year from the grant of this waiver petition in certain specific cases, and extending to three years from the grant of this waiver petition in other specific cases. According to the petition, Pluto TV is a free service that offers streaming of content over the Internet via the Pluto TV app, a web browser, or integrated into certain platforms. “[D]espite the dedicated efforts of [Pluto],” the petition recites, “in some cases, its content does not feature the required captions on certain platforms at this time, and the reasons vary. In some cases, the platform itself is dated and currently lacks certain core capabilities. For other platforms, [Pluto], which has fewer than 100 employees, has not yet completed the engineering work because its efforts were focused on the most heavily-used platforms.”

Comments were originally due on July 26, 2019, and reply comments were originally due on August 9, 2019. On July 22, 2019, after receiving an unopposed motion for extension of time related to the Pluto TV Petition, the FCC issued an Order extending the date for filing comments and replies to October 24, 2019 and November 7, 2019, respectively. On October 24, 2019, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc. (TDI) and Pluto TV (collectively, Requestors) filed an unopposed joint motion to extend the comment and reply comment deadlines by an additional 120 days to February 21, 2020 and March 6, 2020, respectively. They state that they have “discussed the technological challenges encountered by Pluto as it has been investigating and implementing improvements to its closed captioning functionality” and agree that it is in the interest of consumers to continue the technical review and “collaborate on methods to prevent future technological issues from arising.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.


ATIS Announces 5G Working Group

On November 6, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) announced the launch of a new working group to extend the development of 5G best practices and guidelines for the purpose of creating supply chain standards that can be operationalized in the public and private sectors.

ATIS’ 5G Supply Chain Working Group takes place at the request of the Department of Defense (DoD) in consultation with other government agencies. Among other things, the 5G Supply Chain Working Group will work to establish “assured” commercial 5G networks; develop or identify standards to be applied to 5G systems; and evaluate audit/certification options for ICT solution providers, infrastructure, and endpoint device original equipment manufacturers. These objectives are intended to address end-to-end ICT supply chain visibility, coordination of existing supply chain management best practices, industry alignment with federal guidelines, improved threat monitoring tools, and a method to influence national/international standards development. At present, working group leadership consists of Steven Baum, Global Supply Chain Risk Program Manager at Verizon Global Supply Chain, and Drew Morin, Director of Federal Cyber Security Technology and Engineering Programs at T-Mobile.

“5G services and solutions will be deeply integrated into the next generation of networks and services and ATIS has developed many of the standards that are setting the 5G network into action,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “Our organization is uniquely positioned to lead this initiative to apply Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) principles in the development of supply chain standards for trusted 5G networks and services. We look forward to working with the Department of Defense, other government agencies, and leading industry partners to achieve this goal.”

Arkansas Joins DOJ T-Mobile/Sprint Settlement

On November 8, the Department of Justice announced today that it has filed an amended complaint that adds Arkansas as a plaintiff in the suit and proposed settlement relating to the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Arkansas joins Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota in the settlement, which is designed to launch Dish Network Corp., a Colorado-based satellite television provider, as a fourth nationwide provider of retail mobile wireless services.

The Department’s Antitrust Division and now nine co-plaintiff states have sued to block this transaction, and have agreed to settle the lawsuit based on the proposed settlement. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid, to Dish. The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

“We are gratified that Arkansas shares our view of the tremendous benefits to competition that will arise out of the proposed consent judgment,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “A combined T-Mobile and Sprint, coupled with competition from Dish, will provide increased value to residents of Arkansas and consumers nationwide.”


JANUARY 15: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. At this time, the next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is January 15, 2019. The FCC is considering an item at its November 2018 meeting that may impact this requirement. As of today, non-Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2018. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. Following the T-Mobile USA Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 12-39), the FCC’s enforcement policy calls for multiplying the $15,000 per-handset fine by the number of months of the deficiency, creating the potential for very steep fines. It is therefore crucial that our clients pay close attention to their HAC regulatory compliance, and monthly checks are strongly recommended. In this regard, we have prepared a HAC reporting template to assist our clients in keeping track of their HAC handset offerings, and other regulatory compliance efforts. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE FCC’S HAC RULES — INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION — MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING.

To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the FCC’s revised rules.

BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Nov. 14 – Reply comments are due on Electronic Filing Requirements for ULS.
Nov. 20 – Reply comments are due on WIA and CTIA Wireless Infrastructure Petitions.
Nov. 22 – Comments are due on Fifteenth Annual Broadband Deployment Report.
Nov. 30 – Enhanced Geo-Targeting and Point-of-Sale Disclosure requirements are effective for WEA.

Dec. 1 – FCC Form 323 and 323-E are due.
Dec. 9 – Comments are due on Fifteenth Annual Broadband Deployment Report.

Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

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.

Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

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From: Grasso, Red
Subject: From The Paging Information Web Site
Date: November 14, 2019 at 1:35:26 PM CST
To: Brad Dye


I was referred your website by a colleague and thought I would pass along a whitepaper about fire paging using digital television. This concept is actively being explored in North Carolina as we work with our PBS member station on a proof of concept. Your ideas and feedback are welcome.


Red Grasso
Director, First Responder Emerging Technologies (FirstTech) Program
North Carolina Department of Information Technology

919-961-1131 (Office/Cell)

[This whitepaper was reproduced above so that the readers of this newsletter could read it and comment. Most of the “movers and shakers” in the traditional Paging industry are subscribers.]



John Cruz


Playing For Change
Oct 4, 2019

Bob Dylan's “Jokerman.” Filmed on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawai'i, we hope this soulful rendition touches your heart as much as it did ours. Turn it up and let the music take you to a peaceful place.

Source: YouTube  

Best regards,
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