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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — April 17, 2020 — Issue No. 904

Welcome Back To

The Wireless
saging News


Posted By: Coltrane Carlson April 15, 2020 @ 5:34 am

It’s National Tele-communicators Week and the job of a dispatcher isn’t for everyone.

Matt Roberts has been a dispatcher for the Greene County Sheriff’s Office since 2009. He tells Raccoon Valley Radio there are several responsibilities, including paging out law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical services, along with monitoring the weather, business alarms and the county jail, as well as doing administrative work such as entering warrants on suspects and intercepting all calls that come into the law enforcement center in Jefferson.

Roberts says through being an emergency medical technician and a firefighter, he’s learned how to manage what can be a stressful job as a dispatcher.

“You’ve got to be calm, you’ve got to get the information. It’s sometimes tough, we’ve had tough calls before. You’re trying to calm people down and it’s really hard because something drastic has happened or something tragic, they’re really emotional. It’s sometimes hard because you only have one dispatcher and we could have two emergencies in separate parts of the county, and you’ve got to do what you need to do, as quick as possible, and make timely decisions in seconds.”

Roberts explains that he enjoys being a dispatcher to help other people and the community, when a lot of the job is “behind the scenes.”

“I also like helping people sometimes during the worst times of their lives when they are calling us. And that’s because they’re usually in an emergency of some sort, and you’ve got to talk to these people and get the information you need so you can get help to them, but you’re also helping them because you’re the first contact of anybody.”

Roberts recalls one call he took at the end of a shift about a baby who was not breathing.

“So I took the call and paged out whoever I needed to page out. And since I was just getting off (my dispatch shift) I’m an EMT so I went to the call myself, and actually did CPR on the baby and the baby lived. It’s the only time I’ve ever done CPR on anybody that has lived.”

To hear more from Roberts about National Telecommunicators Week, listen to today’s Community State Bank in Paton Let’s Talk Greene County program.


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.


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Advertiser Index

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

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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Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones

These are acoustic amplifiers for smartphones. They don't need electric power to operate and there are no moving parts. They work like a megaphone (speaking-trumpet, bullhorn, or loudhailer). Everyone that I have shown one to has said something like “Wow, I want one of those!” So I have built a few of them.

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

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

They horns are now on display and for sale at:

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Franktown, Colorado 80116

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

The two large horns — the trombone and the gramophone — are difficult to pack and ship to they are for local pickup only. The remainder can be sent to you.

Please call for pricing and availability or stop in for a demo and a great cup of espresso.

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

Lee De Forest, Pioneer Broadcaster

Radio scientist was playing a key role years before KDKA’s historic broadcast


One in a series of articles celebrating radio’s first century. Nov. 2, 1920, traditionally is recognized as the start of radio broadcasting in the United States. It’s the date that station KDKA broadcast the Harding-Cox election returns from a primitive transmitter atop a Westinghouse factory building in Pittsburgh. But in reality, broadcasting had been taking place on an experimental, irregular basis for more than 10 years prior.

Notable early experimenters included Reginald Fessenden in Massachusetts, Charles Herrold in California, Vincent Kraft in Seattle and Frank Conrad in Pittsburgh. And perhaps the most prominent of these early experimenters was Lee de Forest (1873-1961), the radio scientist noted for his invention of the triode vacuum tube.


De Forest had envisioned the concept of broadcasting news and music to an unseen audience as early as 1907, while experimenting with the transmission of voice using primitive arc transmitters.

Here is de Forest with one of his first Oscillon transmitters, similar to one used at Highbridge. Before 1915, de Forest and others used arc transmitters, and he was apparently the first to develop a tube transmitter. (Perham de Forest papers, History San Jose)

“I had in mind its great usefulness as a means for broadcasting news and music entirely in addition to the use of the wireless telephone as a means of two-way communication by voice,” he wrote later. “From the beginning, (as) a great lover of opera and fine music, I was intent on developing the means and methods for broadcast distribution of these elements of culture to widely scattered audiences.”

De Forest conducted a number of demonstrations of voice transmission between 1906 and 1910, principally for the U.S. Navy, in which he broadcast phonograph music as well as the live voices of opera singers. In 1910, he broadcast a live performance from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, although the sound quality was poor and almost no one heard the broadcast.

In 1914, Lee de Forest sold his “Audion” vacuum tube patents to AT&T, but he wisely retained the rights to use tubes for distribution of news and music, and to manufacture devices capable of receiving these broadcasts. AT&T foresaw no commercial value in broadcasting, and so readily conceded to this clause in the contract.

Then de Forest established a laboratory at 1391 Sedgewick Avenue in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx, where he developed a high-power vacuum tube capable of radio transmitting, which he called the Oscillon.

Lee de Forest transmits into an early arc transmitter, about 1910. Two telephone microphones are joined in parallel to create a double button carbon mic. The arc chamber is attached to the right side of the transmitter cabinet. To the right is an Audion receiver.

In 1915, de Forest received an experimental station license with the call sign 2XG and began experimental transmissions of concerts and news bulletins on a wavelength of 800 meters (375 kHz). It was the first radio station to use vacuum tubes instead of obsolete arc or spark technologies.

In October of 1916, he made a cross-promotion agreement with the Columbia Gramaphone Company, and 2XG began broadcasting the latest Columbia recordings three nights a week.

Carl Dreher, a young amateur operator, later recalled being a regular 2XG listener: “The quality was quite good, and I used to listen to the station for hours at a time.”

On Nov. 7, 1916, de Forest broadcast the returns of the Woodrow Wilson- Charles Evans Hughes presidential election, four years before KDKA. De Forest later wrote: “The New York American ran a wire line into our office so as to have the up-to-the-minute reports. I myself served as one of the announcers. At 11 o’clock that night we signed off, after assuring our invisible audience that Hughes had been elected president.” The next morning, he was horrified to find out that late results from California had in fact reelected Woodrow Wilson for a second term. It was estimated that 7,000 people heard de Forest’s broadcast that night, including listeners as far away as North Carolina.


De Forest with singer Mary White, broadcasting from 6XC at the California Theater in San Francisco.

After the United States entered the World War, all private radio stations were ordered off the air on April 17, 1917. The operators were instructed to take down their antennas and disassemble their transmitters. The general public was even prohibited from operating a radio receiver. As a result, all other early broadcast experimentation was halted.

Lee de Forest’s 2XG was shut down, along with the stations operated by Frank Conrad in Pittsburgh and Charles Herrold in California.

The receiver ban was not lifted until April 15, 1919, while the restriction against transmitting ended on September 26. De Forest immediately reopened his 2XG Highbridge station, and on Nov. 8 he broadcast the play-by-play results of a Wesleyan-New York University football game. Popular New York vocalist Vaughn De Leath also made the first of a series of live broadcasts, earning her the title of “The Original Radio Girl.”

Soprano Ruth Phipps sings over 6XC in San Francisco.

Early in 1920, de Forest moved the 2XG transmitter to the top of the World Tower Building in Manhattan, giving him improved coverage and easy access to performers in the city’s theater district. But Radio Inspector Arthur Batcheller ordered 2XG to cease operations because he had not requested prior government approval for the move. “There is no room in the ether for entertainment,” Batcheller declared.

Undaunted, de Forest packed up his equipment and took it to San Francisco, where he opened 6XC in the California Theatre, the city’s most opulent motion picture house. His 1,000 watt transmitter broadcast on 1260 meters (238 kHz) into an antenna suspended between the theatre building and an adjoining bank building. On Jan. 28, 1920, he wrote: “California Theater radiophone is in pretty good shape. Antenna on Humboldt Tower is not ideal, but the music has been heard 1,200 miles out to sea.”

Vaughn De Leath, the “Original Radio Girl,” first broadcast over de Forest’s station 2XG in 1920.

By April of 1920, six months before KDKA, 6XC was airing daily broadcasts of Herman Heller’s 50-piece orchestra live from the stage of the theatre.

A microphone attached to a large Magnavox horn was hung 40 feet above the stage to pick up the music. Live singers also performed into individual microphones, and harp and piano soloists were broadcast. To allow the transmission of phonograph records, a steel needle was connected directly to the diaphragm of a microphone mounted on the tone arm. Demonstration receivers were set up in clubs, hospitals and hotels around the area to introduce the public to the potential of radio broadcasting.

In September, ARRL President Hiram Percy Maxim addressed the 6XC audience, predicting that radio broadcasting would one day serve audiences in the millions.


But de Forest was beginning to lose interest in radio. His professional interests were being directed towards the development of his “Phonofilm” sound-on-film technology, and his radio work was delegated to others in the company.

And so in late 1921, after originating more than 1,500 separate broadcasts from the California Theatre, 6XC was shut down and the equipment was transferred to the Atlantic-Pacific Radio Corporation, the de Forest Radio Telephone and Telegraph Company’s Western representative. A new station was installed in the company president’s home in the Rock Ridge area of Oakland, and KZY, “The Rock Ridge Station,” soon debuted.

Late in 1921, Lee de Forest closed 6XC at the California Theater. It was relicensed as KZY by the Atlantic-Pacific Company, and installed in the Rock Ridge neighborhood of Oakland. Seen here is the de Forest 1 kW transmitter, left, and an Interpanel receiver at right.

KZY went on the air at midnight on Christmas Day, 1921, broadcasting several hours of Christmas carols. It quickly developed a large and loyal following in the Bay Area, and was heard clearly at night throughout the Western states. Live and recorded music programs were supplemented by news reports provided by the San Francisco Call and the Oakland Post-Enquirer.

But soon, like so many pioneer broadcasters, the new operators lost interest in funding the high cost of a radio station without any incoming revenue, and KZY had ceased operation by the end of 1922.

Back in New York, one of de Forest’s employees, engineer Robert Gowen, assumed responsibility for the company’s broadcasting activities. He built station 2XX at his home in Ossining and broadcast phonograph and live music each night at 11 p.m.

Vaughn De Leath again was heard on the New York airwaves, and news reports were broadcast nightly. 2XX operated from December 1919 to May 1921 with 300 watts on 330 meters, and was heard by amateurs around the country.

Lee de Forest works on his invention of the “dynatherm,” a medical device used on radio waves, in 1937.

In 1921, the Department of Commerce became concerned that too many amateur and experimental stations were broadcasting programs intended for the general public, and so in the fall of 1921 it created a new “Limited Commercial” license class specifically for broadcasting. All stations were required to share just two frequencies: 360 meters (833 kHz) and 485 meters (619 kHz). All other classes of licenses were forbidden from broadcasting music and news.

And so, in order to continue broadcasting, the de Forest Company closed 2XX and obtained a Limited Commercial license on Oct. 13, 1921, with the randomly-assigned call sign WJX. But apparently, the station was never a serious venture and appears to have operated only sporadically. The license was finally deleted in June of 1924, marking the end of Lee de Forest’s radio broadcasting activities.

The renowned inventor spent the majority of his remaining career on the development of his sound-on-film system. It fell to the big electrical corporations — General Electric, Westinghouse, RCA and AT&T — to develop radio broadcasting into a solid commercial technology.

John Schneider is a lifetime radio historian, author of two books and dozens of articles on the subject, and a Fellow of the California Historical Radio Society. He wrote in Radio World in December about KJR in Seattle, perhaps the first station in the U.S. to achieve a century of continuous broadcast activity.

Source: April 15, 2020 issue of RADIOWORLD  


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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:

  • LIVE response possible to any program with Media 1 Live app from Android or Apple stores, summed up immediately for producer on web site
  • Propose LIVE broadcast on Internet with live response to reach youth with low cost quality education, seeking persons interested.
  • Contact:


“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.

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.


10 Vanadium Place, Addington
Christchurch 8024, New Zealand
Ph: +64 (0)3 379 2298
Web Page:
Free: 0508 Salcom (NZ Only)


Prism-IPX Systems

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

Internet Protocol Terminal

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

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

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

Additional/Optional Features

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

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

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

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

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Telephone: 631-786-9359 left arrow left arrow

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

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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

Thursday, April 17, 2020 Volume 8 | Issue 75

Pai Signals Approval of Ligado L-Band Use for 5G

Thursday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft to his colleagues regarding the approval of satellite provider Ligado’s application to deploy a nationwide broadband network in the L-Band. The network would primarily support 5G and Internet of Things services. The order comes with conditions to ensure existing L-band users are protected from harmful interference.

The decision comes over the objections of 13 government agencies, led by the Department of Defense, who warn it might interfere with military GPS operations. They said so in a memo co-signed by representatives of the Army, Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. It was also signed by the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice and Transportation as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA and National Science Foundation, according to Inside Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

At the center of the debate is a proposal to take frequencies allocated primarily for use by satellites and allow them to be used for broadband communications. Extensive testing has shown that the proposal, even in a lower power form, would cause interference to GPS receivers. Those receivers are used for navigation and positioning but also for accurate timing that enables the synchronization of mobile communications and Internet traffic.

The Defense Department is “strongly opposed” to the proposed service which “would adversely affect the military potential of GPS,” according to filings. Frequencies near Ligado’s handle faint GPS signals from satellites, and critics fear that traffic would be overwhelmed by Ligado’s strong 5G signals linking towers and handsets, reports Bloomberg.

The matter is urgent for Ligado, which faces due dates in December on $4.6 billion in debt, notes Bloomberg.

The issue has been pending at the FCC for nearly 10 years. Earlier objections over possible interference forced the company, then called LightSquared Inc., into bankruptcy in 2012. It later offered a revised plan it said would lessen prospects of GPS interference. The company reduced power levels and said it wouldn’t use some of its spectrum.

Pai said it’s time for the agency to make a decision about Ligado. “We have compiled an extensive record, which confirms that it is in the public interest to grant Ligado’s application while imposing stringent conditions to prevent harmful interference.” He said the draft order would make more efficient use of “underused” spectrum and promote the deployment of 5G.

“Although I appreciate the concerns that have been raised by certain Executive Branch agencies, it is the Commission’s duty to make an independent determination based on sound engineering,” Pai explained. “And based on the painstaking technical analysis done by our expert staff, I am convinced that the conditions outlined in this draft order would permit Ligado to move forward without causing harmful interference.” For more industry reaction, click here.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.

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. 23, No. 16 April 15, 2020 

FCC Waives Certain Requirements of CAF Phase II Speed Testing Template Requirements

On April 10, the FCC adopted an Order on its own motion granting a limited waiver of the requirements for filing speed and latency testing results for recipients of Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II model-based support. Specifically, the FCC will allow CAF Phase II carriers to make reasonable assumptions to determine certain information for the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) Speed and Latency Testing Templates, provided such assumptions do not change the carriers’ speed and latency testing results. The purpose of the waiver is to accommodate carriers who have not yet had time to implement all aspects of their speed testing regimes necessary to complete the Templates due to COVID-19. See the full article below for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.


FCC Adopts Limited Waiver of CAF Phase II Speed Testing Filing Requirements

On April 10, the FCC adopted an Order on its own motion granting a limited waiver of the requirements for filing speed and latency testing results for recipients of Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II model-based support. Specifically, the FCC will allow CAF Phase II carriers to make reasonable assumptions to determine certain information for the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) Speed and Latency Testing Templates, provided such assumptions do not change the carriers’ speed and latency testing results.

According to the Order, the purpose of this waiver is to allow CAF Phase II carriers to use their existing performance testing systems, “which, because they have had only limited time to prepare for testing, may not provide all the information required by the USAC Templates.” The FCC is essentially permitting carriers to use the information they do collect, along with certain assumptions, to reverse engineer all of the information required in the Templates. The FCC provided the following example:

[S]ome carriers may collect only the time a speed test is conducted, rather than the starting time and ending time of the test. Using a reasonable assumption based on a carrier’s particular testing software, for example that a speed test takes approximately 30 seconds to complete, the carrier can estimate the ending time of the test.

However, all carriers testing for other high-cost programs are expected to be able to collect all of the information required by the USAC Templates because these carriers will have time to build and/or adjust their systems before pre-testing and testing commence for those programs.

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

FCC Adopts Filing Procedures for 2020 Access Charge Tariffs

On April 15, the FCC adopted an Order establishing procedures for the 2020 filing of annual access charge tariffs and Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) for incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) subject to price cap regulation, as well as rate-of-return LECs subject to sections 61.38, 61.39, and 61.50 of the FCC’s rules. The schedule for this year’s filings is as follows:

June 16, 2020
July 1, 2020
June 23, 2020
June 26, 2020
June 24, 2020
July 1, 2020
June 26, 2020
June 29, 2020

The TRPs also implement adjustments from the USF/ICC Transformation Order, which require incumbent LECs to adjust, over a period of years, many of their switched access charges effective on July 1 of each of those years.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Mary Sisak.

FCC Corrects Comment Deadline on Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Exposure

On April 15, the FCC published in the Federal Register a correction to the comment deadlines for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to develop a record on RF exposure limits and compliance issues raised by recent developments, such as millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave frequencies for mobile applications. A previous Federal Register publication stated comments were due May 6, 2020, and reply comments were due May 21, 2020. The correct comment deadlines are May 15 and June 15, respectively.

Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on expanding the range of frequencies for which its radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits apply; on applying localized exposure limits above 6 GHz in parallel to the localized exposure limits already established below 6 GHz; on specifying the conditions and methods for averaging the RF exposure, in both time and area, during evaluation for compliance with the RF exposure limits in the rules; on addressing new RF exposure issues raised by wireless power transfer (WPT) devices; and on the definition of a WPT device.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Waives Broadcast Pr-Filing Announcement Requirements for June Renewals

On April 9, the FCC issued an Order waiving, on its own motion, the requirement that broadcast stations scheduled to file an application for renewal of license on June 1, 2020 comply with pre-filing announcements. This waiver applies only to those broadcast licensees whose licenses expire on October 1, 2020, with renewal applications to be filed by June 1, 2020.

Specifically, given the disruptions caused by COVID-19, including the significant loss of advertising revenue due to economic disruptions and the need to cover breaking news and air public service announcements relating to the pandemic, the FCC has determined that good cause exists to relieve stations of the burden of scheduling and airing pre-filing announcements of their renewal applications, “so they may focus on keeping the public informed of developments concerning the COVID-19 outbreak.” The FCC recently sought comment in a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on revisions to the local public notice rule to, among other things, eliminate the pre-filing on-air announcements currently broadcast by license renewal applicants. The FCC has not yet acted on this proposal.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

FCC Staff Report Details Potential State-By-State Eligibility for 5G Auction

On April 9, the FCC issued a staff report detailing how much of each state’s area and population could be eligible for funding for next-generation 5G wireless service if the auction proceeds in 2021. The report includes maps showing how this approach could impact each state. The staff report, entitled “Working Toward the 5G Fund for Rural America: Option A Eligibility Analysis,” is available at:

According to a Press Release, the report demonstrates, for example, that “with this investment approach, 92% of Nebraska’s land, 91% of North Dakota, 90% of South Dakota, 89% of Montana, 86% of Wyoming, 85% of Vermont, 85% of Kansas, 83% of Maine, 81% of Colorado, and 81% of Idaho would be potentially eligible to receive funding for 5G service. In terms of population, 47% of Vermonters, 34% of Mainers, 33% of Montanans, 33% of North Dakotans, 32% of South Dakotans, 31% of Mississippians, 27% of Kentuckians, 26% of Wyomingites, 24% of New Hampshirites, and 23% of Iowans live in areas that would potentially be eligible to receive funding.” The report notes that the areas potentially eligible for Phase I support under the 2021 proposal represent an upper bound on eligibility, and the actual areas that would be eligible in the Phase I auction may be reduced due to T-Mobile’s binding 5G commitments.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC will be considering a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at this month’s Open Meeting that would seek comment on two options the Commission could take in implementing the first phase of the 5G Fund. Under one approach, the Commission would hold an auction in 2021 by defining eligible areas based on current data sources that identify areas as particularly rural and thus in the greatest need of universal service support and prioritize funding to areas that have historically lacked 4G LTE or even 3G service.

The second approach would delay the 5G Fund Phase I auction until at least 2023, after collecting and processing improved mobile broadband coverage data through the Commission’s new Digital Opportunity Data Collection.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Law and Regulation

House Republicans Introduce Rural Broadband Bill

On April 6, Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) introduced the Serving Rural America Act. According to a press release, this legislation would create a five-year pilot grant program at the FCC, authorizing $100 million a year for a total of $500 million over five years to expand broadband service to unserved areas of the country. To be eligible, an Internet service provider is required to partner with a locality, city, county, wireless authority, or planning district commission to ensure the needs and input of residents are included.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Prioritizes funding to areas without 25Mbps/3Mbps.
  • Includes important measures to ensure interagency coordination and safeguards against overbuilding of other federally funded broadband projects.
  • Features a challenge process that allows the public or other existing service providers in the proposed service area to submit a challenge to the FCC, to determine whether the proposed project would duplicate existing broadband service in the proposed service area.
  • Includes important measures to improve mapping including: analysis of third party data, crowd sourcing, and site specific testing in service areas where mapping data has been contested.
  • Instructs the FCC to report to Congress annually on the progress of the program based on buildout data provided by recipients.

The current coronavirus crisis has starkly illustrated the lack of high-speed broadband in sections of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio,” said Bill Johnson. “The Serving Rural America Act, if enacted, would greatly help the hard-working people I represent. Importantly, it would require community partnerships between providers and local governments and stakeholders, institute transparency throughout the process, and provide testing to determine if providers are meeting the necessary requirements. If solutions like this aren’t enacted soon, there won’t be a rural broadband problem left to solve, because people will leave rural America and move to places where they and their children have access to the ever-expanding digital world. The coronavirus outbreak didn’t create this crisis, but it has highlighted it. I’ll continue fighting to close the urban-rural digital divide, and I encourage all of my colleagues to support this critical grant program I introduced with my colleague, Rep. Rob Wittman.”

“In this time of crisis, demand for high speed broadband has never been greater; closing the digital divide is the key to lifting up countless communities and populations in unserved areas,” said Rep. Rob Wittman. “The Serving Rural America Act will help bring access to the approximately 19 million Americans who still lack high speed Internet The grant program created by this legislation encourages coordination between providers to better determine the available service in a proposed service area and prevents overbuilding by limiting federal broadband support to one provider in a rural area. Finally, it is technology neutral to ensure new infrastructure is viable for generations. This is must-pass legislation to ensure we close the digital divide in America.”

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

FCC Waives Children’s Television Pre-emption Rescheduling Requirements

On April 9, the FCC issued a Public Notice waiving, of its own motion, the full power and Class A television station requirement to reschedule any preempted weekly, regularly scheduled children’s programming within seven days before or seven days after the preemption in order for the originally scheduled children’s program to count towards the Commission’s annual children’s television programming processing guidelines. This limited waiver will run through April 30, 2020.

Specifically, the FCC will not require stations to reschedule preempted children’s programming that is not otherwise exempt from the rescheduling requirement if the purpose of the preemption is to encourage compliance with the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance and government efforts to limit gatherings and promote social distancing by broadcasting live or same-day tape delayed locally produced community events, including religious services. While the FCC encourages stations to attempt to reschedule the preempted programming when they are able to do so, the preempted programming is not required to be rescheduled in order to have the preempted weekly, regularly scheduled program count towards compliance with the Commission’s annual children’s television programming processing guidelines.

Stations are still required to provide on-air notices to viewers of the preemption. Because stations are not required to reschedule the program, the FCC also waived the requirement that stations must include in their on-air preemption announcements the alternate date and time when the preempted program will air. If stations do choose to reschedule the preempted program, the FCC encourages them to inform viewers through reasonable means (e.g., website, social media, on-air announcements) when the preempted program will be aired.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.


Frontier Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing

On April 14, Frontier Communications Corp. filed for bankruptcy to implement a proposal to swap $10 billion of its approximately $11 billion in unsecured bonds in exchange for 100% equity in the business. The Wall Street Journal reported that “unsecured bondholders would also receive $750 million in new debt and $150 million in cash under Frontier’s plan.” The company also reportedly intends to proceed with its sale of operations and assets in the pacific northwest to Northwest Fiber.

In a statement, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau Chief Kris Monteith said, “Staying connected to reliable telephone and Internet services is essential in today’s America—perhaps never more so than during this unprecedented time as we confront the coronavirus pandemic. As such, I am pleased that Frontier has made clear that consumers will remain connected despite Frontier’s filing of a bankruptcy reorganization plan. As the company undertakes this process, we expect it to comply with all Commission regulatory obligations. We will be vigilant in ensuring both that Frontier’s customers stay connected to vital 911, voice, and broadband services and that Frontier continues to put the federal funds it receives through the Connect America Fund and other universal service programs to work for the American people.”

Executive Branch Agencies Recommend FCC Revoke China Telecom International Authorizations

On April 9, the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, State, Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative unanimously recommended that the FCC revoke and terminate China Telecom (Americas) Corp.’s authorizations to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States. In its recommendation, the Executive Branch agencies identified substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks associated with China Telecom’s operations, which render the FCC authorizations inconsistent with the public interest.

According to an official press release, the recommendation was based on:

  • the evolving national security environment since 2007 and increased knowledge of the PRC’s role in malicious cyber activity targeting the United States;
  • concerns that China Telecom is vulnerable to exploitation, influence, and control by the PRC government;
  • inaccurate statements by China Telecom to U.S. government authorities about where China Telecom stored its U.S. records, raising questions about who has access to those records;
  • inaccurate public representations by China Telecom concerning its cybersecurity practices, which raise questions about China Telecom’s compliance with federal and state cybersecurity and privacy laws; and
  • the nature of China Telecom’s U.S. operations, which provide opportunities for PRC state-actors to engage in malicious cyber activity enabling economic espionage and disruption and misrouting of U.S. communication.

The Department of Justice led the review of China Telecom’s authorizations, and it based the recommendation on developments since the authorizations were last transferred in 2007, including China Telecom’s failure to comply with the terms of an existing agreement with the Department.

“Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity. Today’s action is but our next step in ensuring the integrity of America’s telecommunications systems.”


MAY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its 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: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

JUNE 1: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. However, because the 31st is a Sunday this year, the filing will be due on June 1. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on June 1. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.

BloostonLaw Contact: Richard Rubino.

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

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

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Sal Taillefer.

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Apr. 20 – Comments on Restoring Internet Freedom/Lifeline Reform record are due.
Apr. 28 – Reply comments on Letter of Credit rulemaking petition due.
Apr. 29 – E-Rate application filing window closes.
Apr. 30 – Comments on NORS/DIRS report sharing are due.
Apr. 30 – Waiver of Children’s Television Pre-emption Rescheduling Requirements ends.

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 4 – Comments are due on Unlicensed White Space Devices NPRM.
May 4 – Comments are due on Cable Operator Record-keeping Rules.
May 15 – Comments are due on Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Exposure NPRM.
May 15 – TRS waivers expire.
May 16 – Lifeline rule waivers expire.
May 18 – Reply comments are due on Cable Operator Record-keeping Rules.
May 21 – Upfront payments for Auction 105 due.
May 20 – Reply comments on Restoring Internet Freedom/Lifeline Reform record are due.
May 22 – Huawei/ZTE Data Collection Responses are due.
May 29 – Lifeline De-Enrollment/Reverification Requirement waiver ends.

Jun. 1 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.
Jun. 1 – Reply comments on NORS/DIRS report sharing are due.
Jun. 2 – Reply comments are due on Unlicensed White Space Devices NPRM.
Jun. 15 – Reply comments are due on Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Exposure NPRM.
Jun. 16 – 15-Day Access Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject 15-Day Access Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 24 – 7-Day Access Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject 7-Day Access Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject 15-Day Access Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 25 – Bidding begins in Auction 105.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject 7-Day Access Tariff Filings are due.
Jun. 30 – Mobile Competitive ETC waiver ends.

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

2120 L St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20037
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(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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