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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — September 20, 2019 — Issue No. 875

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Microsoft Silent Update Torpedoes Windows Defender

Author: Tara Seals September 19, 2019 12:47 pm

Microsoft broke its built-in antivirus utility, thanks to a patch for a different issue.

A broken Microsoft Windows Defender signature file that was causing system file checks to fail got a patch this week – but the patch caused an even bigger issue, making Defender user-triggered antivirus scans fail altogether.

The issue was in place for about a day before Microsoft re-patched the built-in endpoint protection utility — but not before a slew of press reports and user complaints shone a bright light on the gaffe.

By way of background, the System File Checker (specifically, its administrative prompt “sfc/scannow”) had been out of commission since July. SFC is used to find corrupted files and fix them after installing updates. Since the July Patch Tuesday updates though, it had been failing.

It turns out that SFC was flagging internal Windows PowerShell files within Defender (Microsoft’s) as malformed.

The system essentially responded to this with a “does not compute” reaction, causing SFC to cancel itself. In August, the computer giant issued a notice, explaining that “the System File Checker (SFC) tool flags files that are located in the
folder as corrupted or damaged. When this issue occurs, you see error entries that resemble the following: Hashes for file member do not match.”

The fix for that bug was issued on Tuesday in a silent update — but that update ended up causing manual or scheduled Defender malware scans to fail if the “Quick” or “Full” scan options were selected – causing users to take to online forums to report the bug. Real-time scanning was still enabled; and the “Custom” scan option, where users can choose the folders they want to be checked, was also still working, according to reports.

The issue caused some commentators to point out that Microsoft is building a reputation for breaking things when trying to fix them:

Jason Falter ⚔️

Oh look... #WindowsUpdate strikes again. The CPU spikes, the battery drain issues, and a few other things from the last month still haven't been cleaned up and now this... #Win10 stick a fork in it... here

Windows Defender Antivirus Scans Broken After New Update

Microsoft has released a new update for Windows Defender that has broken both the Quick and Full antivirus scans. When users use these scan options, Windows Defender will only scan approximately 40 files. In August, Microsoft announced that they were releasing Windows Defender 4.18.1908.7 to fix a bug that was causing the SFC /scannow command to fail with an error stating that "Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them."


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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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale

Motorola Service Monitor

IFR Service Monitor

Efratom Rubidium Standard

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

Qty Item Notes
2 Late IFR 500As with new batteries
1 Motorola R 2001D  
4 Motorola R 2400 and 2410A  
5 Motorola R 2600 and R 2660 late S/Ns  
4 Motorola R 1200  
2 Motorola R 2200  
2 Stand-alone Efratom Rubidium Frequency Standards 10 MHz output
1 Telawave model 44 wattmeter Recently calibrated
1 IFR 1000S  
All sold with 7 day ROR (Right of Refusal), recent calibration, operation manual and accessories  
Factory carrying cases for each with calibration certificate  
Many parts and accessories  

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(254) 596-1124

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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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Contact us for price and availability please

Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt

Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones


The rest of the Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones page has been move to a separate page.
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These horns are now on display and for sale at:

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

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

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

Motorola Solutions Opens Innovation Center at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Business Wire
September 13, 2019


Motorola Solutions ( MSI ) today announced the opening of its first college campus innovation center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Research Park .

The innovation center will employ undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of backgrounds and talents to focus on developing products, applications and services in key growth areas, including command center software and video security and analytics. Students will focus on projects for the company’s Chief Technology Office, Advanced Technology and Products organizations.

“Partnering with the University of Illinois provides access to a depth of talent across a number of disciplines, encouraging research in areas that are critical to Motorola Solutions’ future,” said Kelly Mark, executive vice president, Services & Software, Motorola Solutions and University of Illinois alumnus. “The new innovation center will provide an opportunity for the next generation of students and employees to make valuable contributions to the company and broader tech community.”

The new Motorola Solutions innovation and design center, located in the University’s Research Park, opened in the Fall 2019 semester and has capacity for up to 40 interns with an option for full-time employees in the future. Interns and employees will work directly with Motorola Solutions staff to help move ideas to test mode more quickly.

“We are excited to expand Motorola Solutions' footprint to the University of Illinois, a top-tier engineering university and my alma mater,” said John Kedzierski, senior vice president, Video Security Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “The university’s Research Park is an incubator for new ideas and technologies, and we look forward to contributing to that culture of innovation and creativity.” “We are excited to welcome Motorola Solutions to the Research Park. Their presence offers new opportunities for collaborations around some of the most critical elements of our public safety infrastructure,” said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chancellor Robert J. Jones. “The Motorola Solutions design center is an example of our university strategic goal of establishing ourselves as a testbed for the technologies and services that will enable the safe, healthy and sustainable communities of the future.”

The team will be managed by site director Craig Ibbotson, distinguished member of the technical staff, Motorola Solutions and computer science alumnus of the University of Illinois.

About Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions is a global leader in mission-critical communications. Our technology platforms in communications, command center software, video security solutions and managed and support services make cities safer and help communities and businesses thrive. At Motorola Solutions, we are ushering in a new era in public safety and security. Learn more at .

About the Research Park at the University of Illinois

The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a technology hub for startup companies and corporate research and development operations. Within the Research Park there are 120 companies employing students and full-time technology professionals. More information at . Find the Research Park on Twitter at UIResearchPark.

MOTOROLA, MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS and the Stylized M Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC and are used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2019 Motorola Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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iOS 13 Is Here, but the Department of Defense Is Telling People Not to Upgrade Yet. Should You?

In an email, the DOD is 'strongly encouraging' its employees and contractors to wait for iOS 13.1.

By Jason Aten, Writer and business coach

Last night, the Department of Defense (DOD) sent employees and contractors an email "strongly encouraging" them not to upgrade their iPhones to iOS 13, but rather to wait for iOS 13.1. Users in the Apple's Developer and Public Beta programs are already using 13.1, indicating that release is likely not far away. The e-mail, which I reviewed (and which was not classified), explains that iOS 13 is expected to ship with known issues that will be addressed in the upcoming 13.1 update.

DOD Mobility strongly encourages you to NOT update, to avoid known Apple iOS 13 bugs. Apple is expected to release iOS 13.1 at the end of September 2019 to address bugs. DMUC users can expect follow-on messaging within the next two weeks with updated guidance.

DMUC refers to the DOD service that allows commercial devices like iPhones to access enterprise functions like Defense Department email. Granted, the Department of Defense network, in general, has some pretty important information stored on it, and it makes sense that it would be more than hyper-sensitive about the software installed on devices that connect to that network. Still, you have to at least ask yourself whether you should be upgrading your device or waiting for the next release.

Interestingly, the DOD doesn't say what specific issues it has with iOS 13, beyond an action item that says:

Do NOT update to iOS 13 and iPadOS until further notice due to known functional issues that may break enterprise services.

It's worth noting that iPadOS won't be available until the end of the month, but the fact that it is not prohibiting the update should give you some level of comfort that your iPhone isn't going to start recording your phone calls and sending them to Russia. Instead, it's more likely that the DOD is referring to the fact that some enterprise services may not be immediately compatible with the update, and that Apple appears to be holding back some features for iOS 13.1.

I reached out to the Public Affairs Office for the Defense Information Systems Agency for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

If you're wondering whether or not you should update your phone today, I'm not aware of any major issues with iOS 13 after running the developer beta for a few months. There were bugs associated with connecting to Wi-Fi and even cellular towers, which are the type of thing you expect in a beta software release. It would be highly uncharacteristic of any software company to release a mobile operating system to the public that still had those problems.

I wrote previously about the best new features of iOS 13, but the privacy features alone--like the restriction on apps tracking your location, and the new Sign in with Apple are worth the download. That, and the increased speed benefits will make even devices as old as the iPhone 6S feel newer and faster.

There are a few features that are apparently being held back for iOS 13.1, like the ability to send an ETA of your arrival from Maps, the ability to create automations in Shortcuts, and some visual changes (like dynamic wallpapers). There was also reportedly a bug that allows users to bypass FaceID, however beta testers and developers have confirmed that the version of iOS 13 that is shipping today is stable and Apple likely already patched a flaw that severe.

If you're convinced that updating your device won't be the end of civilization as you know it, there actually is a really good reason to wait at least a few hours or even a day. While the update will likely be available around mid-day on the East Coast, you should probably just plan to wait until you get home from work. iOS downloads can be notoriously slow at launch due to the number of people trying to update at the same time.


The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of


Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz

The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.

  • Commercial Paging systems.
  • Healthcare Paging systems.
  • Public Safety Emergency Services Paging systems.
  • Demand Response Energy Grid Management.

Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.

  • Use as a stand-alone unit or in wide area network.
  • Mix with other transmitter brands in an existing paging network.
  • Adjustable from 20-250 watts.
  • 110/240 VAC or 48VDC.
  • Absolute Delay Correction.
  • Remote Diagnostics.
  • Configurable alarm thresholds.
  • Integrated Isolator.
  • Superb Reliability.
  • Improved amplifier efficiency.
  • Most reliable high-powered paging transmitter available.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

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


“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.

GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.

If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.

Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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

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

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

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

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

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

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

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

Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

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

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


Can You Help The Newsletter?

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

Reader Support

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

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

Air Force Awards Iridium $738M 7-Year Contract

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Iridium Communications was awarded a $738.5 million, seven-year, fixed-price contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSpC) to provide unlimited satellite services from its low Earth orbit (LEO) constellation.

Through the AFSpC’s Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program, Iridium will continue to deliver access to global secure and unsecure voice, broadcast, netted or distributed tactical communications system (DTCS) and select other services for an unlimited number of DoD and associated DoD-approved subscribers.

During the previous contract period, DoD subscribers grew from about 51,000 to more than 125,000, a 145 percent increase. This growth in adoption has also resulted in increased collaboration between the government and Iridium’s ecosystem of partners, bringing their expertise to further enhance the capabilities of the DoD’s satellite communications portfolio.

Source: Radio Resource International  

Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems

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prism-ipx systems


prism-ipx systems


Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.

Internet Protocol Terminal

The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.

An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

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

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

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

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359 left arrow left arrow

NIST Radio Station WWV 100-year Anniversary

The National Institute of Standards and Technology Radio Station WWV will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of its call letters on October 1, 2019. WWV is not only one of the world’s oldest continuously operating radio stations, but also one of the oldest scientific and technical services provided by the United States government. Please join us in celebrating this historic occasion.


NIST is accepting a limited number of requests to attend a short ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of Radio Station WWV. The event will be held at Radio Station WWV, 5703 North Highway 1, Fort Collins, Colorado on the 1st of October from 9 AM until 12 noon MDT. The event will include a presentations of the history and current uses of WWV followed by a tour of the facility.

Requests to attend the event are limited and will be handled on a first come first serve basis. Please Visit to sign up for this event.

Source: NIST  

Consulting Alliance

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

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

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

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

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

Consulting Alliance

Remote AB Switches

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


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


Common Features:

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

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

Leavitt Communications

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

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

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

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Friday, September 20, 2019

Volume 7 | Issue 184


Satellite Startup Says Bandwidth for 5,000 Texts = One 5-Minute Phone Call

In an effort to eradicate dead zones all around the world, a startup from Falls Church, VA called Lynk is launching satellites intended to allow cell phone users to send and receive SMS texts, according to Tysons Reporter. Lynk plans to provide secondary service from satellites when it isn’t available from towers, said CEO and Co-founder Charles Miller.

Lynk satellites can work for people within 55 degrees north or south of the equator. Miller, a former senior advisor for NASA, is confident in the capabilities of his team. “Basically people thought it was impossible and assumed it couldn’t be done because it defied conventional wisdom,” Miller said.

The company secured a total of $12 million in funding from 33 partners in June, including Vodafone and Telefonica. Lynk is now ready for test runs, planning to launch satellites via the International Space Station in Florida. For continued growth, Lynk is trying to secure one more investor before the end of the year.

According to Miller, the company will focus first on establishing reliable text messages before moving on to phone calls or data streaming services. He said 3,000-5,000 text messages could be sent with the same bandwidth that it takes to support one five-minute phone call.

Once Lynk raises enough capital, it will expand to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard, Miller said. As part of Lynk’s growth, the company is recruiting for eight different positions, including a vice president of business development and a telecommunications software engineer, per Tysons Reporter.

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

BloostonLaw Newsletter

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

 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 22, No. 39 September 18, 2019 

FCC Regulatory Fees Due Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019; Be Careful in Calculating De Minimis

We would like to clarify that ALL FCC regulatory fees will be due on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) . NOTE: While the body of our wireless memorandum correctly listed the Sept. 24 deadline, the headline of that memo inadvertently had the incorrect date. Failure to pay the regulatory fee in a timely manner will result in a 25% penalty as well as other administrative actions by the FCC, including being placed in a “Red-Light” status – which means the FCC will not make USF payments that might be due to you or process any applications until the debt is cleared.

We have also learned that NECA is mailing letters to wireline carriers indicating that it is not paying wireline fees if the amount due is less than $1,000. It is important to note that if your aggregate fee for ALL activities (e.g., wireline, wireless, cable, etc.) is more than $1,000, you must still pay all fees (including that which NECA has indicated is de minimis ), since the FCC’s de minimis exemption is based upon the total fee owed by the particular regulated company.

BloostonLaw Contact: Richard Rubino.


FCC Approves First Deployments of 3.5 GHz Access Systems Needed to Coordinate Use of Band

On September 16, the FCC announced that the Spectrum Access Systems (SASs) operated by Amdocs, Inc. (Amdocs), CommScope, Federated Wireless, Inc. (Federated), Google, and Sony, Inc. (Sony) (collectively, SAS Administrators) have satisfied the FCC’s SAS laboratory testing requirements and are approved to begin their initial commercial deployments (Initial Commercial Deployment or ICD) as described in their ICD proposals in the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz band). This is an important milestone on the path to allowing unlicensed “GAA” access to additional CBRS spectrum by users with Part 96-certified equipment.

In 2015, the FCC adopted rules for shared commercial use of the 3.5 GHz band, establishing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and creating a three-tiered access and authorization framework to accommodate shared federal and non-federal use of the band. Access and operations are managed by an automated frequency coordinator, known as an SAS. When managing spectrum access, SASs may incorporate information from an Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC), a sensor network that detects transmissions from incumbent Department of Defense radar systems and transmits that information to the SAS. Both SASs and ESCs must be approved by the FCC. SASs will coordinate operations between and among users in three tiers of authorization in the 3.5 GHz band: Incumbent Access, Priority Access, and General Authorized Access.

After the ICD period is over, the FCC will decide whether to open up commercial use for all other companies.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

House Energy and Commerce to Hold Hearing on Eliminating Huawei Products

On September 24, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a legislative hearing entitled, "Legislating to Secure America's Wireless Future." Based on a joint statement issued by Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), the purpose of the hearing is “pushing ahead with legislation to root-out suspect network equipment nationwide.”

Recently, the Senate approved S. 1625 - the United States 5G Leadership Act of 2019 - which would authorize $700 million in equipment replacement grants to help carriers “replace communications equipment and services obtained from a covered company or another entity posing a national security risk.”

In a statement to POLITICO, E&C ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) reportedly said, “[t]he smaller ones are probably the ones that need the help, and how you draw that line will be a challenge.” Under the most recent version of the bill, the grants are available to carriers with less than 6 million subscribers. Several rural carriers have deployed Huawei equipment.

A list of witnesses for the hearing as well as written testimony should be available here in the coming days.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.

FCC Adopts Order on Reconsideration of CAF Satellite Performance Metrics

On September 12, the FCC adopted an Order on Reconsideration of performance testing measures required of high-latency CAF winners. Specifically, the FCC refined the requirements for Mean Opinion Score (MOS) testing and allowed for substantially equivalent testing methodologies. The FCC also rejected arguments that certain clarifications regarding testing made in a previous Order are inapplicable to CAF Phase II support recipients awarded support in conjunction with New York State through its New NY Broadband Program.

For high-latency CAF winners, such as satellite providers, the FCC requires carriers to conduct a conversation-opinion test under the following conditions:

  1. providers must use operational network infrastructure, such as actual satellite links, for conducting MOS testing, not laboratory-based simulations intended to reproduce service conditions;
  2. the tests must be implemented using equipment, systems, and processes that are used in provisioning service to locations funded by high-cost universal service support;
  3. live interviews and surveys must be conducted by an independent agency or organization (Reviewer) to determine the MOS;
  4. testing must be conducted over a “single hop” satellite connection with at least one endpoint at an active subscriber location using the subscriber’s end-user equipment; and
  5. the second endpoint may be a centralized location from which the Reviewer conducts live interviews with the subscriber to determine the subscriber’s MOS evaluation.

In the Order, the FCC declined to allow self-testing for MOS to avoid the possible introduction of bias into the test results. However, recognizing that there are few laboratories that specialize or are in a position to conduct such testing and that the cost of such testing may be high, the FCC decided to permit carriers to use any independent entity with telecommunications testing, polling or consumer research expertise to conduct the testing. The FCC also allowed, as an alternative to testing of actual customers, a methodology such that carriers may perform MOS testing at a centralized location using test subjects rather than customers.

BloostonLaw Contact: John Prendergast.

Comments on Tower Siting Petitions Due October 15

On September 13, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that comments are being sought on a Declaratory Ruling filed by the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) and a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by CTIA, asking the FCC to adopt new rules or clarify existing rules regarding approval of tower siting proposals under Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act of 2012. Comments are due October 15, and reply comments are due October 30.

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. In Section 6409(a) of the 2012 Spectrum Act, Congress mandated that state or local governments “may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.” 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 requests that the FCC take the following actions to clarify which deployments qualify for streamlined processing and the remedies available under 6409(a):

  • Concealment Requirements. The Commission should clarify that the term “concealment element” in its rules applies only to a stealth facility or design element, such as an artificial tree limb or screen, and that concealment requirements may not be used to disqualify an application as an “eligible facilities request” (“EFR”), i.e., a proposal for which Section 6409(a) mandates approval.
  • Equipment Cabinets. The Commission should clarify that the term “equipment cabinet” in its rules means cabinets that are placed on the ground or elsewhere on the premises, and does not include equipment attached to the structure itself, which is covered by other parts of the rule.
  • Modifications to Non-Tower Structures. The Commission should clarify that the entire structure or building is the “base station” being modified, and thus that the size of the structure determines if a modification qualifies as an EFR.
  • Failure to Act. The Commission should clarify that if a siting authority fails to timely act on an application for an EFR under 6409(a), and the application is thus deemed granted, applicants may lawfully construct even if the locality has not issued related permits.

CTIA also requests that the FCC take the following actions to remove uncertainty about access to utility poles under Section 224:

  • Access to Light Poles. The Commission should declare that the term “pole” includes light poles, and that utilities thus must afford nondiscriminatory access to light poles at rates, terms, and conditions consistent with the requirements of Section 224 and the Commission’s implementing pole attachment rules.
  • Access to Space on Poles. The Commission should reaffirm that utilities may not impose blanket prohibitions on access to any portions of the poles they own.
  • Pole Attachment Agreements. The Commission should declare that utilities cannot ask providers to accept terms and conditions that are inconsistent with the Commission’s rules.

Carriers interested in filing comments should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Law & Regulation

FCC Grants Waiver to Florida Public Service Commission of Lifeline Certification Deadline

On September 16, the FCC granted a brief, limited waiver – on its own motion – of the filing deadline for the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to certify eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) pursuant to the FCC’s rules. Under the limited waiver granted, the FPSC must file the certification through USAC’s database by October 11, 2019. We do not believe this should have any impact on Florida carriers themselves, but they should be aware of the extension.

Typically, a state must certify annually that federal high-cost support awarded to ETCs within that state has been used and will be used “only for the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of facilities and services for which the support is intended.” In order for a carrier to be eligible for high-cost universal service support for all of calendar year 2020, section certification must be submitted to the FCC by October 1, 2019.

The FCC decided to extend the deadline for the FPSC because of Hurricane Dorian. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated all Florida counties to be eligible for individual assistance through the agency’s programs and the President of the United States declared a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida. The FPSC was set to meet on September 5, 2019, to vote on whether to certify to the FCC that federal high-cost support awarded to 11 ETCs within Florida had been properly used in anticipation of the October 1, 2019 certification deadline. The FPSC postponed this meeting until October 3, 2019 given Hurricane Dorian’s potential landfall.

BloostonLaw Contact: Ben Dickens.

Comment Sought on Changes to Administrative Hearing Process

Earlier this month, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on procedural changes to streamline many administrative hearings under the Communications Act. Comment and reply comment deadlines have not yet been established.

Specifically, if adopted, the proposals would (a) codify and expand the use of a process that would rely on written testimony and documentary evidence in lieu of live testimony and cross-examination; (b) enable FCC staff to act as a case manager that would supervise development of the written hearing record when the FCC designates itself as the presiding officer at a hearing; and (c) dispense with the preparation of an intermediate opinion whenever the record of a proceeding can be certified to the FCC for final decision. According to the FCC, the proposed procedures would expedite the FCC’s hearing processes consistent with the requirements of the Communications Act and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) while ensuring transparency and procedural fairness. The proposal is also consistent with the reduction in the FCC’s enforcement resources, and movement away from traditional trial-like hearings to adjudicate individual violations and/or disputes.

BloostonLaw Contact: John Prendergast.

FCC Postpones Filing Deadline for Form 323 and 323-E

On September 17, the FCC released an Order postponing, on its own motion, the opening of the 2019 biennial filing window for the submission of broadcast ownership reports on FCC Form 323 and 323-E from October 1, 2019 to November 1, 2019, and extends the filing deadline from December 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020.

Pursuant to the FCC’s rules, all licensees of commercial and noncommercial AM, FM, TV, Class A, and Low Power Television (LPTV) stations, as well as entities with attributable interests in such stations, are required to file ownership reports on Form 323/323-E every two years. The rules require that these biennial ownership reports normally be filed by December 1 in all odd-numbered years.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and John Prendergast.

Comments on Carriage Election FNPRM Due September 30

On August 30, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in MB Docket Nos. 17-105 and 17-317, in which it sought comment on how best to modernize the carriage election notice process for entities that do not have a public file and do not use the Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS). Accordingly, comments must be submitted no later than September 30, 2019. Reply comments must be submitted no later than October 15, 2019.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC adopted a Report and Order in July to update its carriage election notice rules. At the same time, it also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking whether and how the modernized framework described in the Report and Order should be extended to certain broadcasters and MVPDs that do not use the FCC databases referenced in this therein.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.


FCC Grants Approval of Nexstar-Tribune Merger

On September 16, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the approval of the sale of Tribune Media Company broadcast stations to Nexstar Media Group, Inc. In connection with this transaction, the FCC also approved the divestiture to Scripps Broadcast Holdings, LLC; TEGNA Broadcast Holdings, LLC; and CCB License, LLC of broadcast stations in certain markets necessary for Nexstar to come into compliance with the FCC’s local and national television ownership rules. In the Indianapolis and Norfolk markets, the FCC found that the transfer of preexisting combinations of two top-four ranked broadcast television stations to Nexstar and Scripps, respectively, would be in the public interest.

The FCC found that the proposed merger would provide several public interest benefits to viewers of current Tribune and Nexstar stations. For example, the FCC found that viewers would benefit from their local stations having increased access to Nexstar’s Washington, DC, news bureau and state news bureaus. Additionally, the FCC found that Nexstar demonstrated that it would invest savings resulting from the merger into its stations, including investments in ATSC 3.0, the next-generation television broadcast standard.


SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide[] 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate[] one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Sep. 16 – Comments are due on NCIC USF Contribution Forbearance Petition
Sep. 20 – Comments are due in EEO Improvement NPRM.
Sep. 20 – Comments are due on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
Sep. 23 – ETRS Form Three is due.
Sep. 23 – Comments on Enhanced Transit Location System Request for Waiver are due.
Sep. 24 – 2019 Regulatory Fees are due.
Sep. 26 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Facilities Siting Fees Petition for Declaratory Ruling.
Sep. 30 – Reply comments due on Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments NPRM. Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

Oct. 1 – Comments are due on NCIC USF Contribution Forbearance Petition
Oct. 3 – HAC Certification Due.
Oct. 8 – Comments on Enhanced Transit Location System Request for Waiver are due.
Oct. 10 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Facilities Siting Fees Petition for Declaratory Ruling. Oct. 15 – 911 Reliability Certification.
Oct. 21 – Reply comments are due on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

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

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

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


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

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

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“The Weight”

Featuring Robbie Robertson


Playing For Change

We’re excited to share our newest Song Around The World, “The Weight,” featuring musicians performing together across 5 continents. Great songs can travel everywhere bridging what divides us and inspiring us to see how easily we all get along when the music plays. Special thanks to our partner Cambria® for helping to make this possible and to Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr and all the musicians for joining us in celebrating 50 years of this classic song.

Take a load off and turn it up!!

Dedicated To “The Band”:

  • Rick Danko
  • Levon Helm
  • Garth Hudson
  • Richard Manuel
  • Robbie Robertson

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Our primary focus is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos we call Songs Around the World. Creating these videos motivated us to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of our mission, featuring musicians met along our journey; and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world. Through these efforts, we aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet. Learn more:

Source: YouTube  

Best regards,
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