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Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
“PAGERS KICK CELLPHONE'S BUTT”
When the good Lord handed out artistic talent, I must have been playing hooky that day. I can make a computer sing and dance with text but when it comes to drawing pictures I am less than talented.
Several months ago Jim Nelson (Prism IPX Systems International) asked me to start working on his idea for a cartoon of a “pager man figure” kicking a “cell man's butt.” I thought it was a great idea and have worked on it off and on ever since.
Finally — last week — I published a version of the cartoon that we both liked. Jim was polite enough to not say that it still looked like an amateurish paste-up job. Never-the-less, I convinced him to let me continue on with the project but with some professional artistic help.
You will see the result of the new cartoon below.
We continue doing everything we can think of to dispel the mistaken idea that paging technology is obsolete or that cellphones can completely replace pagers.
Yes, I have a cellphone and I love it! Reliability is one of its main features. It just works all the time — at least when I remember to re-charge it every day.
So here is my latest analogy:
You are on a boat far beyond the shore but you feel safe because you have this nice Coast-Guard-approved life jacket on. What you don't know is that the life jacket is defective and it won't float when you get into the water.
And another one:
Having a bad parachute on an airplane. You won't know that it doesn't work right until you jump out of the airplane and pull on the ripcord.
OK, OK, OK . . . you get my point. Right when you need it the most — during a major emergency — your cellphone won't work due to system congestion. Ask anyone who tried to call into or out of the New York City area during the 9/11 disaster or New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina passed through.
I could go on but I have preached to the choir before.
Be sure to read Derek Banner's goodbye in the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section below.
Now on to the news and views.
NO POLITICS HERE
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.
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 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.
Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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CMA Appoints Dietmar Gollnick as new President
The longstanding and esteemed president had already made a prior announcement that he would no longer be running for the office due to his age. At the suggestion of the board of directors, Dr Dietmar Gollnick was unanimously elected as the new president. Ron Wray of Multitone Ltd. from the UK and Jurgen Poels from the nationwide operator of the public safety network in Belgium were also unanimously elected as new executive board members of the globally active CMA.
The election took place during an extraordinary general meeting before the annual CMA Summit. One of the new board members needs to get in addition approval by employers' management.
The new president has a clear vision:
The new president was born in Berlin, studied mathematics and worked for many years at a large software company. He has been working at e*Message WIS in France and Germany since 2000 and has also been active in various management roles at CMA.
The services of CMA, in particular mobile communications, are very widely accepted, irreplaceable in many parts and now already well combined with standard ‘cellular’ services, such as LTE and 5G. While the original focus was almost exclusively on paging, today there are many other applications that complement paging or expand it with NP2M (narrowband point-to-multipoint/see ETSI TR 103 102), such as with ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute/Antipolis, France).
For example, the services of CMA members are used to alert fire brigades in the Dordogne, Marseille and Paris, in all of Belgium, in Zurich, Berlin, Moscow, and in Australia. CMA members are guarantors for mo- bile alternative infrastructure, one that still works when nothing else does. CMA has a strong affinity with healthcare not only in the US and the UK, and with energy companies in the US, France and Germany. More than 1,000 hospitals work with CMA members and hundreds of energy providers throughout the world.
The new Board of Directors has many plans for the future. One of its priorities is to ensure the availability of the corresponding frequency ranges to fire services, healthcare, energy, industry and other important customer groups in Europe and worldwide, and to provide them with even more. It intends to support the efforts made by the European CEPT, the FCC and the other national regulatory organisations. Accessibility is key, especially in critical cases, and even in situations where conventional mobile networks fail or power outages occur.
The organisation’s well-established annual summits will continue to be held. Cooperation with other associations will be strengthened. Various working groups are currently being established in which basic documents and a proprietary quality seal, where appropriate, are being developed. The focus is always to ensure the economically configurable security of critical communications, availability even in crisis situations and business continuity through independent mobile infrastructures.
The next regular summit of the CMA will take place in spring 2020. The location and date have not yet been determined. Others than mentioned members of the CMA Board are:
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.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
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.
The Wireless Messaging News
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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NSA Publishes Advisory Addressing Encrypted Traffic Inspection Risks
By Sergiu Gatlan November 19, 2019 05:26 PM
The National Security Agency (NSA) published an advisory that addresses the risks behind Transport Layer Security Inspection (TLSI) and provides mitigation measures for weakened security in organizations that use TLSI products.
TLSI (aka TLS break and inspect) is the process through which enterprises can inspect encrypted traffic with the help of a dedicated product such as a proxy device, a firewall, intrusion detection or prevention systems (IDS/IPS) that can decrypt and re-encrypt traffic encrypted with TLS.
While some enterprises use this technique for monitoring potential threats such as data exfiltration, active command and control (C2) communication channels, or malware delivery via encrypted traffic, this will also introduce risks.
Enterprise TLSI products that don't properly validate transport layer security (TLS) certificates, for instance, will weaken the end-to-end protection provided by the TLS encryption to the end-users, drastically increasing the likelihood that threat actors will target them in man-in-the-middle attack (MiTMP) attacks.
Forward proxies misbehaving
The use of a not properly functioning forward proxy with TLSI capabilities can lead to unexpected consequences such as rerouting decrypted network traffic to an external network, traffic that can be intercepted by third party inspection devices that can get unauthorized access to sensitive data.
"Deploying firewalls and monitoring network traffic flow on all network interfaces to the forward proxy helps protect a TLSI implementation from potential exploits," the NSA says.
"Implementing analytics on the logs helps ensure the system is operating as expected. Both also help detect intentional and unintentional abuse by security administrators as well as misrouted traffic."
When it's essential to use a TLSI product, the NSA recommends independently validated products that can properly implement data flow, TLS, and CA functions.
Moreover, products validated by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) "and configured according to the vendor’s instructions used during validation" should meet the requirements.
TLS sessions and CAs
Since TLSI will take place in real-time and, to work, TLSI products have to manage two separate TLS connections, this could and will, in most cases, lead to TLS chaining issues that cause TLS protection downgrade problems, eventually leading to potential exploitation of weaker cipher suites and TLS versions.
TLSI forward proxy devices also come with a built-in certification authority (CA) function used for creating and signing new certificates, an embedded and trusted CA that could be used by bad actors "to sign malicious code to bypass host IDS/IPSs or to deploy malicious services that impersonate legitimate enterprise services to the hosts" upon a successful attack.
Attackers could also directly exploit the TLSI devices where the traffic is decrypted thus gaining access to plaintext traffic, while an insider threat such as an authorized security admin "could abuse their access to capture passwords or other sensitive data visible in the decrypted traffic."
"To minimize the risks described above, breaking and inspecting TLS traffic should only be conducted once within the enterprise network," the NSA advisory adds.
"Redundant TLSI, wherein a client-server traffic flow is decrypted, inspected, and re-encrypted by one forward proxy and is then forwarded to a second forward proxy for more of the same, should not be performed."
TLSI risk mitigation measures
More measures to mitigate risks stemming from the use of TLSI devices in an enterprise network are provided by the NSA as part of its security advisory on Managing risk from Transport Layer Security Inspection [PDF].
"The mitigations described above can reduce the risks introduced by a TLSI capability, provide indicators that alert administrators if the TLSI implementation may have been exploited, and minimize unintended blocking of legitimate network activity," the NSA adds.
"In this way, security administrators can successfully add TLSI to their arsenal and continue to step up their methods to combat today’s adversaries and TTPs."
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also issued an alert on risks associated with HTTPS inspection in March 2017, stating that "in general, organizations considering the use of HTTPS inspection should carefully consider the pros and cons of such products before implementing."
"Organizations should also take other steps to secure end-to-end communications, as presented in US-CERT Alert TA15-120A" on securing end-to-end communications CISA says.
A list of potentially affected software used for TLSI compiled by CERT/CC vulnerability analyst Will Dormann is available here while a simple tool for checking if a TLSI product is correctly verifying certificate chains can be found at badssl.com.
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.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Apple breaks ground on $1B Austin, Texas, campus as Trump tours Mac Pro plant
Ben Lovejoy — Nov. 20th 2019 4:46 am PT @benlovejoy
Apple has announced that it has begun construction of its new Austin, Texas, campus, on the day that President Trump is due to tour the Mac Pro production line a short distance away.
The current Mac Pro facility measures 244,000 square feet and employs around 500 people, while the new campus will be very much larger…
Apple says the new facility will also have substantial capacity for further expansion.
Some local residents had been upset that Apple was chopping down trees to make room for the Austin, Texas, campus. The company has sought to address these concerns, promising to plant more than it has removed.
Apple has already spent more than $200M on the existing Mac Pro plant.
Mindful of the fact that most of the components are made in China, with final assembly in the US, Apple is keen to stress that it does use US components too.
The company also says it is on track to meet its 2018 promise to contribute $350B to the US economy by 2023. This figure is exclusive of the tax payments the company makes. The company says it is the largest taxpayer in the US.
You can see a render of the new campus below.
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.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Wireless Network Planners
Apple reportedly focusing on its buggy iOS problems again with iOS 14
iOS 13 woes have forced Apple to rethink how it tests iPhone updates
By Tom Warren@tomwarren Nov 21, 2019, 7:02am EST
Apple will reportedly focus on overhauling the way it tests its iOS software. Bloomberg reports that Apple recently revealed changes internally that involve the company using software flags in daily builds of iOS in an attempt to stabilize future releases. The flags would allow Apple’s own developers to include changes to beta versions of iOS 14 that internal testers could then switch on, allowing Apple to better isolate any bad code.
It’s a process that Google, Microsoft, and many others have been using for years to isolate and test changes in Chromium, Windows, and other software products. Apple is overhauling the way it tests all of its software, including macOS updates, because iOS 13 has been a buggy mess since its introduction in September. Apple has released eight updates to iOS 13 in just two months, addressing a variety of problems like apps crashing, visual glitches, unfinished areas of dark mode, and even missing features. iOS 13 was in such a bad shape that Apple reportedly considered the 13.1 update as the “actual public release” that debuted five days after iOS 13 was released.
Bloomberg doesn’t reveal exactly what will be part of iOS 14, but work is clearly underway to address the underlying stability of Apple’s mobile operating system. This should hopefully mean even public beta versions of iOS 14 will be more stable than what many experienced with iOS 13. This isn’t the first time that Apple has focused on bugs, performance, and stability with iOS. The company’s iOS 12 release focused on making things work better over adding new features.
Still, Apple has not yet separated its major iOS releases from its new iPhone hardware. Every year a new iPhone arrives with a new iOS update, and it often feels like the OS and features have been rushed to make it to these new devices in time. New hardware obviously needs new software, and perhaps software flags might help here, but they won’t fully address the underlying issue of focusing on an iPhone release date instead of software quality.
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.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
How Swissphone Celebrates it's 50th Anniversary in Paging
Oct 16, 2019
Sitetracker Salutes Heroes of Telecom in Vegas
The Heroes of Telecom Awards presented by Sitetracker kicked off it’s inaugural event last night in Las Vegas in grand style as attendees made their way to center ice at T-Mobile Arena. As the judges in a variety of categories, Sitetracker officials chose the winners from 146 nominations from over 90 companies.
The purpose of the awards according to Sitetracker CEO Giuseppe Incitti, is to “celebrate the USA’s most innovative telecom companies, products, and people, those that push the industry boundaries and upend the status quo.” Incitti said having not come from the telecom industry, he was “blown away by the quality of the work they do to build infrastructure and wanted to have an event to honor them and show our appreciation.”
The categories and award winners were:
SAFETY ALERT! Crosby Shackle May Have Defect
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
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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.
Louis T. Fiore To Be Inducted into Radio Club of America
On November 23, Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) Chairman Louis T. Fiore will be inducted as a Fellow of the Radio Club of America in New York, New York. The firm works extensively with Mr. Fiore, and congratulates him on this significant achievement.
Mr. Fiore is the past chairman of the SIA's Security Industry Standards Council (SISC) and a longtime member of the Supervising Station Committee of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72, chairing its transmission task group. He is also a member of various Underwriters Laboratories' Standards Technical Panels and a former member of NFPA's Premises Security Committee (NFPA 730 & 731). He is also past president of the Central Station Alarm Association (now The Monitoring Association), and a widely recognized expert in alarm security industry.
BloostonLaw Contact: Ben Dickens.
FCC Adopts Order Modifying Lifeline Enrollment, Increases Stat Authority on Designation
On November 14, the FCC adopted an Order focused on “strengthening the Lifeline program’s enrollment, recertification, and reimbursement processes” and “restores the traditional and lawful role of the states in designating carriers to participate in the Lifeline program.” The Order is accompanied by a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on ways to ensure the accuracy of carriers’ claims that subscribers are using their Lifeline service on an ongoing basis, and whether providers’ practice of providing free cell phones during in-person Lifeline enrollment events encourages ineligible applicants to attempt to enroll in the program.
Specifically, the reforms seeking to improve the enrollment, recertification, and reimbursement processes include:
With regard to state Lifeline authority, the Order also rolls back the FCC’s 2016 Lifeline Order, which created a new type of ETC – the Lifeline Broadband Provider ETC – and then preempted any state authority over this new ETC. As a result, the FCC restored the status quo ante, wherein ETCs must offer all supported services, not just one, and must seek designation as an ETC from the state commission (unless it lacks jurisdiction).
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC proposes additional requirements to improve the integrity of the Lifeline program. First, the FCC proposes requiring ETCs to upload their internal customer account numbers into the NLAD in order to help USAC match its records with those of the ETC. Second, the FCC proposes requiring ETCs and the National Verifier to record and retain a Lifeline applicant’s eligibility proof number and the type of proof the applicant used to qualify for the program. The FCC also proposes requiring ETCs to provide the NLAD or National Verifier with access to the same data maintained by the ETC, including non-usage data and the time the customer enrolled. The FCC also seeks comment on the best ways to ensure that consumer usage is accurately measured and defined.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC to Propose Public Auction of C-Band Spectrum
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Monday that the FCC plans to quickly auction the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz band, commonly called the “C-band,” as a way to free up additional mid-band spectrum for terrestrial 5G, to generate revenues for the U.S. Treasury, and to ensure continuity in the provision of C-band satellite services. The decision rejects a proposal from commercial satellite operators (that was favored by some nationwide wireless carriers) that the satellite industry be permitted to hold a private sale of C-band.
In a statement released via Twitter, Commissioner Pai said, “After much deliberation and a thorough review of the extensive record, I've concluded that the best way to advance these principles is through a public auction of 280 megahertz of the C-band conducted by the @FCC's excellent staff.” Pai emphasized the FCC’s strong track record for successful auctions, and said a public auction would “give everyone a fair chance to compete for this #5G spectrum, while preserving availability of the upper 200 MHz of the band for continued delivery of programming.”
The C-band spectrum is widely seen as a critical swath of mid-band spectrum that could help drive American leadership in 5G. The band has been targeted as a “sweet spot” for 5G because of favorable propagation characteristics and consistency with decisions by other countries to use the band for the next generation of wireless connectivity. The band is currently used nationwide for satellite delivery of radio and video programming.
Satellite operators recently told the FCC that they could clear 200 megahertz of C-band spectrum within three years and make a significant “voluntary contribution” to the U.S. Treasury if they were allowed to conduct a private auction. Verizon supported the proposal as the quickest way to repurpose the band, but competitive carriers and many congressional representatives strongly disagreed, citing the departure from FCC precedent and likelihood of lawsuits, which would ultimately delay that spectrum’s availability for the 5G market.
Chairman Pai’s announcement did not specify a date for a C-band auction, but reports suggest an auction could be targeted for the end of 2020. If true, this is a dramatic acceleration of the previous timelines under discussion, which assumed the FCC taking up to three years to get an auction done.
The FCC is expected to issue an order on the C-band auctions early next year, to be followed at some point by a public comment period on auction procedures.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Chairman Pai Announces Membership, First Meeting of Precision Agriculture Task Force
On November 19, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the membership and first meeting date of the new task force assigned to explore ways to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the nation’s farms and ranches through broadband-based technologies – a.k.a. “precision agriculture.” Construction of wireless precision agriculture networks, and provision of high-capacity backhaul services to support these systems, should be viewed as significant current and future business opportunities, and an application for 5G wireless that is targeted to rural areas.
Specifically, the first meeting of the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture is set for Monday, December 9, at 9:30 a.m. Chairman Pai has designated Teddy Bekele, Land O’Lakes Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, to serve as Chair of the Task Force, and Catherine Moyer, Pioneer Communications Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, to serve as Vice Chair, among others.
“There is an urgent and growing demand for broadband from America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Chairman Pai. “As I’ve seen for myself in places like Rifle, Colorado, King Hill, Idaho, and Charles City, Virginia, farmers and ranchers are using connected technologies to collect real-time data in the field, make the most efficient use of resources like water, fuel, and seed, and increase yields, all to the benefit of American consumers. Making modern networks available from coast to coast is the FCC’s top priority. The Task Force’s recommendations and reports will enable us to help America’s food producers deliver more, better, and cheaper goods to the table.”
The Task Force is a federal advisory committee and was created by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which includes provisions directing the FCC to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land where service is not available. Federal advisory committees were established by Congress to provide federal agencies with outside, expert advice on policy matters.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
FCC Announces Official Agenda for November Open Meeting
On November 15, the FCC announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the November Open Commission Meeting, currently scheduled for November 22:
Each summary above contains a link to the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Commission Meeting. One-page cover sheets prepared by the FCC are included in the public drafts to help provide an additional summary.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
Law & Regulation
House Announces Markup of 9 Communications and Technology Bills
On November 14, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a markup of nine communications and technology bills: two bills on broadband mapping, one on spectrum policy, five on supply chain security, and one on STELA reauthorization. A markup session is when a subcommittee or committee considers the bill, possibly amending it, and then either accepts or rejects it. If accepted, either with or without amendments, the bill proceeds to the next stage of the process. If rejected, it expires.
Highlights from the marked-up bills include:
All of the bills considered at the markup session were forwarded to the full committee, some with amendments and some without.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.
Department of Commerce Extends Huawei Temporary General License
On November 18, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will extend for 90 days the Temporary General License (TGL) authorizing specific, limited engagements in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items – under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) – to Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates which are subject to the Entity List.
“The Temporary General License extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security.”
Huawei was added to the Entity List after the Department concluded that the company is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, including alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA by providing prohibited financial services to Iran, and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation of those alleged violations of U.S. sanctions, among other purported illicit activities.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
Chairman Pai Proposes to Designate 988 For Suicide Hotline
On November 19, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed to begin a rulemaking to establish 988 as a new, nationwide, three-digit phone number for a suicide prevention and mental health hotline. The Commission will vote on this proposal at its December 12 public meeting.
The Chairman’s proposal would designate 988 as the national 3-digit code. It would also require that all phone companies transmit all calls to 988 to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which today provides suicide prevention assistance at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and through online chats. The Lifeline is a national network of 163 crisis centers that is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Calls to the Lifeline are routed from anywhere in the United States to the closest certified crisis center. In 2018, trained Lifeline counselors answered over 2.2 million calls and over 100,000 online chats.
“The suicide rate in the United States is at its highest level since World War II, and designating 988 as the suicide prevention and mental health hotline would be a major boost for our nation’s suicide prevention efforts,” said Chairman Pai at an event today with federal agency partners and national leaders in preventing suicide and helping at-risk communities. “When it comes to saving lives, time is of the essence, and we believe that 988 can be activated more quickly than other possible three-digit codes. In addition, 988 has an echo of the 911 number we all know as an emergency number. Awareness of this resource—including how memorable the number is—should make a real difference in saving lives.”
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.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
My dear friends and colleagues,
After about 45 years in and around telecoms in general and paging in particular I have decided to hang up my beeper and make way for younger and more energetic people like Jim Nelson and Vic Jensen. This was a tough decision, not least because of all the acquaintances, colleagues and great friends I have made over the years.
I have been blessed with a career that has taken me over much of the world, rewarded me with meeting so many greatly talented people and fortunate enough to enjoy (nearly) every minute of it.
On this journey I met some very special people whom I do not intend to mention here, but you know who you are.
Suffice it to say that I wish you all the very greatest of success, happiness and good health in the coming years.
Thank you and good luck to you all.
|MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
“Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu)”
Hetty and the Jazzato Band
73 DE K9IQY
Licensed since 1957
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