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Phishing alert: This fake email about a bank payment delivers trojan malware
Researchers detail new attacks using a new version of keylogging and information-stealing Remcos malware.
Danny Palmer By Danny Palmer | October 22, 2019 — 16:28 GMT (09:28 PDT) | Topic: Security
A highly customisable form of trojan malware has returned and is being distributed via phishing emails claiming that a payment is being made to a bank account.
The Remcos remote access trojan first emerged on underground forums in 2016 and has received a number of updates over the course of the last few years.
Available to crooks for as little as $58, the malware is an information stealer and surveillance tool, using capabilities including key-logging, taking screenshots, and stealing clipboard contents to secretly take usernames and passwords from infected victims.
Now researchers at Fortinet have uncovered a new Remcos campaign – with the new variant titled "2.5.0 Pro", according to hard-coded strings in the malicious code that was compiled in September – indicating the freshness of this variant.
These attacks begin with an attempt to trick the victim into opening a malicious ZIP file under the pretence of payments being made into a bank account. The phishing email users spoofing to make it look as if it comes from a valid domain.
The .ZIP file is a gateway to a .TXT extension, which runs a PowerShell script when activated, executing the installation of the malware onto the victim's Windows machine.
As part of the process, the dropped .EXE file will sleep for 20 seconds in an effort to avoid being discovered before installing itself into a new Windows folder.
Remcos also adds itself to the auto-start group in the system registry to help maintain persistence on the infected victim by automatically starting when the machine is turned on.
When the malware is running, it records all information entered in the web browser, providing information on what websites the user is visiting and what they enter into the site – enabling the attacker to see and steal usernames and passwords.
Not only does this immediately compromise the victim by allowing the attacker access to accounts, the information could be exploited in further attacks or even sold on dark web forums.
Researchers have detailed the full capabilities of the new version of Remcos, along with its Indicators of Compromise, in their analysis of the malware. [source]
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.
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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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Spok Holdings, Inc. (SPOK) Surges to 52-Week Low, Is Now Worst Performer
Posted by Dennis Silva on October 21, 2019 at 8:01 pm
The stock of Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPOK) hit a new 52-week low and has $10.07 target or 9.00 % below today’s $11.07 share price. The 5 months bearish chart indicates high risk for the $212.87M company. The 1-year low was reported on Oct, 21 by Barchart.com. If the $10.07 price target is reached, the company will be worth $19.16M less.
The 52-week low event is an important milestone for every stock because it shows very negative momentum and is time when sellers come in. During such technical setups, fundamental investors usually stay away and are careful buying the stock.
The stock decreased 1.42% or $0.16 during the last trading session, reaching $11.07. About 69,636 shares traded. Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPOK) has declined 11.33% since October 21, 2018 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 11.33% the S&P500.
More notable recent Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPOK) news were published by: Businesswire.com which released: “Matt Mesnik, MD, Named Chief Medical Officer for Spok, Inc. — Business Wire” on August 19, 2019, also Benzinga.com with their article: “Stocks That Hit 52-Week Lows On Wednesday — Benzinga” published on August 14, 2019, Businesswire.com published: “Spok Unveils Two-Way Pager With Encryption Capabilities — Business Wire” on November 30, 2016. More interesting news about Spok Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPOK) were released by: Businesswire.com and their article: “Spok Introduces a New Cloud-Native Clinical Communication Platform Powered by Amazon Web Services — Business Wire” published on February 11, 2019 as well as Businesswire.com‘s news article titled: “Spok Reports 2019 Second Quarter Operating Results; Software Bookings up More Than 15 Percent From Prior Year; Continued Strong Wireless Trends — Business Wire” with publication date: July 31, 2019.
Spok Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Spok, Inc., provides various communications solutions to healthcare, government, and other enterprises in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East. The company has market cap of $212.87 million. The firm provides one-way messaging, including numeric messaging services, which enable subscribers to receive messages comprising numbers, such as phone numbers; and alphanumeric messages, including numbers and letters that enable subscribers to receive text messages. It currently has negative earnings. It also offers two-way messaging services that enable subscribers to send and receive messages to and from other wireless messaging devices, such as pagers, personal digital assistants, and personal computers; and voice mail, personalized greeting, message storage and retrieval, and equipment loss and/or maintenance protection to one-way and two-way messaging subscribers.
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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Oct 21, 2019, 01:15pm
13 Tech Experts Predict The Next Big Trend In Software Development
POST WRITTEN BY
In recent years, many technologies have moved out of the realm of science fiction and become realities of the modern world. Advancements in software development are largely to thank for these technological evolutions, from cloud computing to artificial intelligence.
As experts in their field, the members of Forbes Technology Council are always looking ahead to understand the “next big thing” in tech. We asked a panel of them to share their predictions for upcoming trends in software development. Here’s what they had to say.
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
Windows 10 1909 and 1903: These are our new CPU requirements, says Microsoft
The 1909, 1903 updates support up to Snapdragon 850, 8cx, and Intel Comet Lake CPUs on new devices.
Liam Tung By Liam Tung | October 21, 2019 — 10:46 GMT (03:46 PDT) | Topic: Hardware
Microsoft has updated its processor requirements for Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm on new hardware that ships with Windows 10 version 1903 and the forthcoming version 1909.
The newly updated living document for Windows 10 CPU requirements is an important one for manufacturers that intend to ship new laptops and desktops with Microsoft's latest versions of Windows 10.
The requirements are the same for both versions of Windows 10, which is probably because the two are basically the same — Windows developers, for example, don't even need new tools to target version 1909 if they're already working on software for version 1903.
Microsoft last updated the document in April, shortly before it released Windows 10 version 1903 or the May 2019 Update, which listed Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 for its Windows on Arm PCs but excluded the new 5G Snapdragon 8cx from the list.
The timing of the 8cx's exclusion coincided with Intel scrapping its 5G modems, but now the 8cx is back on the list for versions 1903 and 1909.
There aren't many Windows on Arm PCs, but Samsung recently launched the Snapdragon 8cx-powered Windows 10 Galaxy Book S, which rivals Microsoft's brand-new Windows on Arm Surface Pro X tablet. Microsoft co-designed the Qualcomm SQ1 Arm chip on the Surface Pro X.
Microsoft demands that new PCs ship with AMD's 7th gen processors: "Up through the following AMD 7th Generation Processors (A-Series Ax-9xxx & E-Series Ex-9xxx & FX-9xxx); AMD Athlon 2xx processors, AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 3xxx, AMD Opteron and AMD EPYC 7xxx."
On the Intel-based PCs, Microsoft lists Intel's 10th generation 'Comet Lake' processors as requirements. "Up through the following 10th Generation Intel Processors (Intel Core i3/i5/i7/i9-10xxx), and Intel Xeon E-22xx, Intel Atom (J4xxx/J5xxx and N4xxx/N5xxx), Celeron and Pentium Processors."
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
Why macOS Catalina is not Apple's finest moment
by Erik Eckel in Software
After using macOS Catalina for one week, Erik Eckel shares the problems he experienced with the release.
Some OS releases are better than others. macOS Catalina? I don't believe the operating system's introduction is Apple's finest moment. Let me count the reasons why not.
In fact, I began encountering trouble even before Catalina, macOS version 10.15, was released October 7, 2019. Apple readied iOS 13 first, which I dutifully loaded upon release September 24, 2019. Subsequently, for two weeks I was presented with recurring errors in which critical Notes and Reminders, updated on various iPads and iPhones, failed to synchronize to my primary Mac. Confusion and frustration resulted, impacting and interrupting daily production, as no practical fix was available until macOS Catalina hit the streets. If I had known the trouble would arise, I would have waited to update my iPhones and iPad.
Problems with the macOS Catalina installation
Even the macOS Catalina installation proved problematic. Sufficiently experienced to recognize one should never interrupt an OS installation or macOS update in progress, or hard reset a Mac installing a new release, I was required to do just that.
After staring at the Setting Up Your Mac screen, and watching the corresponding Setting Up twirling cursor image for hours, I was forced to search for others' experiences with the same problem. I immediately found I wasn't alone. Numerous users were complaining online about the same problem, with the only readily identifiable guidance being to interrupt the install by depressing and holding the Mac's power button. Fortunately, the macOS installation proceeded after doing so, but there were anxious moments wondering whether I was going to have to recover all my data from a local Time Machine backup.
Once macOS Catalina was installed, I presumed trouble related to the new OS was over. I was wrong.
Problems after the macOS Catalina installation
If my Mac were a car's dashboard, the equivalent of multiple warning and check engine alarms displayed upon booting. Apple ID, iCloud, and related features generated alerts. Previously validated services, such as a remote desktop connectivity application, aggressively and repeatedly generated failure pop-up windows. I had to invest time navigating System Preferences Security settings and re-enabling these applications' behaviors, even though these applications had already previously been configured. Then I turned my attention to Mac and Apple passwords. The Apple ID window repeatedly popped up requiring a fresh login, which upon completing, continually re-appeared. Frustrating. I expect better from Apple. The issues reminded of similar experiences so often associated with Windows, the very ones that prompted me years ago to convert to using a Mac as my daily production platform. Ultimately, I traced Apple ID, iCloud, and local computer login errors to the need to change my already complex passwords to new entries. Changing all the passwords, both local and cloud-based, was the only solution I found to work.
With those issues resolved, I encountered more trouble. Photos were no longer synchronizing and, as a result, new images were missing. After much trial and error troubleshooting, the only solution I found to work was logging out of iCloud completely and logging back in, a process that literally required days for the corresponding photo and file downloads to complete.
I also found Apple Pay and associated credit cards no longer worked on my Mac. After several attempts, in which I received only an innocuous error message stating the action failed because the Mac security configuration changed, I discovered the solution was simply to open my Mac's lid while re-enabling the feature. Mind you, the lid didn't need to be open for Face ID or fingerprint authorization; the lid just needed to be open.
Meanwhile, on a deadline to perform a Windows-specific task, I found my VMware Fusion 11 virtual machine no longer worked. That's a frustrating discovery to make at midnight the evening before you go out of town. While that's not Apple's fault, the problem was due to a macOS Catalina incompatibility with previously installed software that operated flawlessly before the macOS upgrade was installed. Following a free VMware upgrade to Fusion version 11.5, I was back in business, but the overall process was anything but smooth.
The bottom line
Apple boasts a long track record of elegant operating system upgrades. But as these issues—most all confirmed to be widespread—indicate, macOS Catalina wasn't quite up to those typical standards. Hopefully, future releases prove to be more polished.
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
FCC Turns Down Petition to Amend Amateur Radio Identification Rules
The FCC has denied a Petition for Rule Making to amend Part 97 station identification rules to better accommodate and simplify station identification during emergency nets, drills, or activations. ARRL member Robert A. Dukish, KK8DX, of Canfield, Ohio, had sought a change to Section 97.119(a) of the rules to allow a single point of transmission for station ID on those occasions. He proposed permitting a net control station or other designated participant to announce the call signs of every station taking part in the net or exercise, when tactical call signs often are in use, at 10-minute intervals, using automatic CW identification.
In turning down Dukish’s petition, Scot Stone, the Deputy Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division, said commenters overwhelmingly opposed the proposal.
“They argue that the current rule strikes the appropriate balance between the need to identify the source of transmissions and ease of communication,” Stone wrote. “Commenters state that, in their years of experience with amateur emergency communications, the station identification requirement has not proven to be a burden or obstacle, and that the current procedure actually contributes to efficient operations by providing a clear indication that a communication has ended and the channel is available.”
Stone said some commenters asserted that Dukish’s proposed procedure would be unworkable and cause confusion, while others characterized his proposal as a solution in search of a problem.
“The purpose of the station identification requirement is to make the source of transmissions clearly known to those receiving those transmissions,” Stone wrote. “Separating the call sign from each transmission would defeat this purpose.” Moreover, he said there’s no evidence that the current station ID requirements have hindered Amateur Radio emergency communications.
Dukish had filed his petition in December 2018, and the FCC invited comments on it in February 2019.
Wireless History Foundation Inducts Six to Hall of Fame
The Wireless History Foundation (WHF) named six honorees into the Wireless Hall of Fame during the Foundation’s Awards Dinner in Los Angeles last night at the Omni Hotel Los Angeles at California Plaza.
This year’s inductees are:
“Our inductees this year are representative of the rapid change of technologic and business innovation that runs throughout the history of wireless,” said WHF Board member Rob Mechaley, CEO of MobileSphere Holdings and chairman of the 2018 selection committee. “These new members are emblematic of a culture that seizes and builds upon the need for constant growth and innovation.” The Wireless History Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to preserve and promote the history of the wireless industry.
Delgado Urges Action on Rural Broadband
Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-D) Thursday introduced the Broadband Speed Act and the Community Broadband Mapping Act. The measures are meant to address flawed broadband mapping practices and support communities working to challenge their “served” status. Delgado then spoke on the House floor urging Congress to address broadband needs in upstate New York and take action on his legislation. He called access to rural broadband a “crisis in our communities.”
“Over the district work period, I held a Congressional Field Hearing on Rural Broadband with FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks where NY-19 residents shared their stories about the need to improve rural broadband Internet in upstate New York,” said Delgado. “The Commissioner heard from educators, health care providers, small business owners all impacted by this issue.”
As a member of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband, Delgado amended House appropriations legislation to address broadband mapping practices. This legislative package builds on this amendment and is comprised of two bills that empower communities to improve broadband mapping procedures.
The first, the Broadband Speed Act, would require Internet service providers to annually report data to the FCC that shows the actual speeds they are capable of providing, as opposed to what they can potentially provide within seven to ten business days. This will help demonstrate to the agency where broadband service is actually matching the speeds being advertised, and where there are still service gaps. It would also require that new FCC funding awards be built out at speeds of 100 mbps or higher to ensure that they are built to last.
The second bill, the Community Broadband Mapping Act, would allow local governments, electric/telephone cooperatives, economic development/community groups and small Internet providers to access USDA Rural Utility Service broadband programs for grant funding to make their own broadband maps, to challenge FCC data.
|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.
Blooston on the Road: Wireless Hall of Fame Induction, Alarm Monitoring Meeting
Managing Partner John Prendergast addresses the Wireless History Foundation Hall of Fame at its 2019 Awards Dinner in Los Angeles, California this evening. John will present remarks as part of the posthumous induction of Lawrence “Larry” D. Garvey into the Hall of Fame. Larry and his brother Don were co-founders of Radiofone, Inc., a major cellular and paging operation in New Orleans, with affiliated operations in other states. Larry was an early pioneer of cellular telephony and was influential in the FCC’s decision to allocate cellular frequencies beyond large incumbent local exchange carriers. Radiofone was a BloostonLaw client until its sale approximately 20 years ago.
Last week, the Monitoring Association (TMA) held its annual meeting in Napa Valley, California. BloostonLaw partner Ben Dickens, who is general counsel to TMA since 1987, chaired a panel on leveraging technology to protect and advance monitoring operations. BloostonLaw partner Mary Sisak appeared on the panel to discuss recent FCC activity. Mary and John also delivered remarks to the General Business Meeting of the members on this subject.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Mary Sisak.
FCC Notifies Participants of Auction 103 Data Breach
On October 22, the FCC disclosed an Auction 103 data security failure that resulted in the market selections of Auction 103 applicants being inadvertently made available to the public for close to three hours on October 7th. During this brief window, the FCC says the license area selections of “a small number of applicants” were viewed.
The FCC does not believe the data breach will have any impact on the competitiveness of the auction. According to its internal investigation, each PEA whose selection was inadvertently revealed was selected by a minimum of 18 applicants. In addition, there are 34 blocks available in each license area, and the selection by an applicant of any particular PEA does not necessarily convey an intention to place bids on that PEA, nor does it provide any information about the number of blocks being targeted by the applicant. Consequently, the FCC believes it would not be possible to discern with any certainty the particular bidders placing bids on any specific license area.
Nevertheless, to mitigate the potential harm to those applicants who selected less than “All Markets” and whose market choices were revealed, the FCC is waiving its rules to allow these applicants to change their license area selections, if desired, so they can implement different bidding strategies and backup bidding strategies.
The data breach did not lead the Commission to make any other changes to the Auction 103 schedule or procedures. Bidding will start as previously scheduled on December 10, 2019.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
Official Agenda for October Open Meeting Announced
On October 18, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the official agenda for the October Open Meeting, currently scheduled to take place on October 25:
Please note, the links included in the descriptions of these items are to public drafts that are not final and may differ from what the FCC ultimately considers.
Open Meetings are streamed live at www.fcc.gov/live and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.
Colorado Withdraws from T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Dispute
On October 21, the Colorado Attorney General’s office announced it has entered into a settlement with TMobile that sees the state withdrawing from the lawsuit to block the company’s merger with Sprint. According to a press release, Dish Network will locate its new wireless headquarters with at least 2,000 full-time employees in Colorado and T-Mobile will significantly build out a statewide 5G network, particularly in rural areas. “Because of the substantial benefits that Coloradans will gain from these commitments, the Attorney General’s Office will end its participation in a multi-state lawsuit it joined in June to halt the T-Mobile and Sprint merger.”
Specifically, the Dish agreement requires the company to locate and maintain its wireless headquarters at its Riverfront facility in Littleton for at least seven years. The company will also employ a minimum of 2,000 full-time employees working primarily on wireless at Dish facilities in Colorado including Riverfront, and their Inverness and Meridian facilities in Englewood. In addition, Colorado will be among the first ten states where Dish plans to deploy 5G broadband services by 2023. Dish faces up to $20 million in penalties if it does not meet its commitments to the state.
In a separate agreement with T-Mobile, the New T-Mobile has agreed to the following commitments:
T-Mobile faces up to $80 million in penalties if it fails to meet its commitments to the state.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Comment Sought on Effectiveness Tribal Engagement Guidance
On October 21, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the effectiveness of practical guidance provided by the FCC on facilitating coordination between Tribal governments and eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) on the deployment of communications services on Tribal lands, including areas where additional clarification and guidance would be beneficial. Comments are due on December 5, and reply comments are due January 6.
Specifically, the FCC seeks to assess the effectiveness of the Tribal Engagement Further Guidance in 2012, a document prepared by the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP), in coordination with the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB). The goal of the Guidance, according to the FCC, was “to ensure the effective exchange of information that will lead to a common understanding between Tribal governments and communications providers receiving USF support, on the deployment and improvement of communications services on Tribal lands.” General guidance included recommendations that the discussions include decision-makers on both sides, highlighted the need for good documentation and record keeping, and outlined actions Tribal governments and providers could take in advance to prepare for the engagement. Specific practical guidance included, for example, recommending Tribal governments perform assessments of the Tribe’s communications goals, needs, and priorities and keep them updated, consider Tribally-driven opportunities that would factor into the business case for deployment on Tribal lands, and identify opportunities where Tribes and carriers could partner.
The FCC also invites carriers that filed Petitions for Reconsideration of the tribal engagement requirement, adopted in the 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order, to refresh the record and indicate whether any issues raised therein have been resolved or otherwise rendered moot.
Carriers interested in participating in this proceeding should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.
Law & Regulation
Plan for Private C-Band Auction Under Attack from Legislators
A proposal by satellite operators for private sale of the C-band in lieu of an FCC-run auction came under attack on Capitol Hill last week. In a hearing on oversight of the FCC auctions program last Thursday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said he was unconvinced a private auction led by commercial satellite operators will be faster at transitioning the spectrum for 5G wireless service than the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC has been under significant pressure from both the wireless industry and Congress to identify and clear spectrum for 5G. While the agency has made significant strides in repurposing and holding auctions for millimeter wave spectrum, including Auction 103 that is scheduled to start in December, the satellite C-band (3.7-4.2 GHz) has been targeted as the “sweet spot” for 5G because of favorable propagation characteristics and decisions by other countries to use the 3.5 GHz band for 5G. The FCC voted unanimously back in July 2018 to find ways to open up the C-band spectrum – either all of the 500 MHz or some portion of it – for terrestrial wireless use.
A coalition of commercial satellite operators including Intelsat, SES and Telesat have told the FCC that they can clear 200 megahertz of C-band spectrum within three years if they are permitted to hold a private auction for the spectrum, which is expected to raise billions of dollars. The satellite operators have said they will pay taxes on the proceeds and make a “voluntary contribution” to the U.S. Treasury as part of the sale, but there is little transparency to this process. Verizon appears to be in on the deal as it filed comments with the FCC back in August saying that a “satellite operator-led market-based solution” would be the fastest and most efficient way to reallocate a portion of the C-band.
"I need to ask the FCC what they're planning on doing and whether they're going to do the right thing and bid this out and put the American taxpayer first or are they going to do a smoke-filled-room private deal," said Kennedy.
The Competitive Carriers Association, Charter Communications, and others have argued that repurposing C-band spectrum through secondary market transactions is improper and/or a departure from FCC precedent. If approved by the FCC, a private auction would likely spawn lawsuits that would add years to the process of transferring the spectrum to 5G service providers. A joint proposal from CCA, Charter and a coalition of cable, phone, and fiber-to-the-home operators and municipalities known as ACA Connects calls for using either a traditional auction or an incentive auction to repurpose at least 370 megahertz of the C-band spectrum for 5G.
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif), a co-chair of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, wrote to Chairman Pai last week criticizing the private C-band sale proposal as “both unprecedented and unlawful." She added, "Only the Commission can fulfill its requirements under the Communications Act to distribute licenses. ... The Commission cannot cede this authority to private parties — especially parties that have a financial interest in the outcome."
The House Communications & Technology Subcommittee has announced a hearing on the C-Band for October 29th. Chairman Pai has said that an FCC decision on repurposing the C-band is expected this fall.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell, John Prendergast
Facebook Seeks Constitutional Review of TCPA After Ninth Circuit Ruling
On October 17, Facebook filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States, asking the Court to address the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Specifically, Facebook seeks a ruling on (i) whether the TCPA prohibition on calls made using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) is an unconstitutional restriction of speech, and if so whether the proper remedy is to broaden the prohibition to abridge more speech; and (ii) whether the definition of ATDS in the TCPA encompasses any device that can “store” and “automatically dial” telephone numbers, even if the device does not “us[e] a random or sequential number generator.”
The petition for certiorari comes as a result of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit back in June to reverse a lower court’s decision to dismiss a TCPA lawsuit against Facebook. The original suit, a class action filed by Mr. Noah Duguid, alleged that Facebook had sent him and similarly-situated plaintiffs security messages in violation of the TCPA. The lower court concluded that Duguid inadequately alleged that Facebook sent its messages using an ATDS — a prerequisite for TCPA liability. The Ninth Circuit held that “Duguid’s nonconclusory allegations plausibly suggest that Facebook’s equipment falls within [the] definition [of ATDS].”
The Supreme Court is not obligated to grant Facebook’s petition and hear the case, though the question of what defines an ATDS has been raised on several occasions now — both in court and before the FCC — with mixed results. Major concerns are associated with the ability of smartphones to support apps that perform ATDS function, potentially sweeping them into the definition of ATDS writ large.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
USDA Awards $12.5 Million for Rural Broadband through ReConnect Program
Since the previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested more than $12 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure to create or improve e-Connectivity for rural households in Tennessee and South Carolina. According to the press release, these are the first of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.
Specifically, in Tennessee, Forked Deer Electric Cooperative will use a ReConnect Program grant to deploy a fiber to the home (FTTH) broadband network capable of simultaneous transmission rates of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater. The funded service areas include 347 households and one critical community facility spread over approximately 435 square miles.
In South Carolina, Orangeburg County will use ReConnect Program grant funding to deploy a fiber FTTH broadband network capable of simultaneous transmission rates of 100 Mbps or greater. The funded service areas include 3,911 households, 21 farms, 17 rural businesses, 13 educational facilities, nine critical community facilities and a health care center.
“Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America,” Secretary Perdue said. “We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is proud to partner with rural communities to deploy this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Thought you and some of your readers might be interested that I have come full circle and returned to the world of wireless messaging. I’ve put a great team with a wealth of wireless experience together and we are announcing this new product to FEMA and the directors of emergency services in every US state at a convention this weekend. We already integrated this product into the nationwide emergency alerting system called IPAWS (the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System).
It is called the Satellite Enhanced Emergency Messaging System that reliably gets the message through via satellite in the face of earthquakes, fires and other disasters that bring down radio towers and knock out every form of terrestrial messaging (mobile, radio, TV and Internet).
Here is a 3 minute promo video
And a link to the website
|MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
Camino Sonoro Jazz band
73 DE K9IQY
Licensed since 1957
|Current member or former member of these organizations.|
| Institute Electrical and
| A Public Library of
Paging and Wireless Messaging
| Critical Messaging
| European Mobile Messaging Association
Former Board Member
Radio Club of Paraguay
| Quarter Century
| Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable
| American Association
| U.S. Navy
| U.S. Navy
| Boy Scouts of America
National Honor Society
| Creator of the
Paging Wheel of Fortune
| National Skeet
| The National
| The Radio Club
| Life is good!
I am a person in long-term recovery.
CONTACT INFO & LINKS
United States Navy
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