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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — April 2, 2021 — Issue No. 953

Welcome Back To

The Wireless
Messaging News

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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This Week's Wireless News Headlines

  • Supreme Court’s pro-Facebook ruling could unleash “flood” of robocalls
  • Celebrate World Amateur Radio Day 2021 on April 18
  • Undeletable Coercive Loan Apps First Hobble Then Shut Down Your Smartphone If You Fall Behind On Repayments
  • Codan Communications To Acquire Zetron
  • Inside Towers
    • Veteran Climber Fatality Puzzles Employer
    • Biden Unveils Multi-Billion Dollar Broadband Plan
  • BloostonLaw Telecom Update (3/26/21)
    • REMINDER: Broadband Speed-Testing Reports are Due April 7
    • FCC Extends Push Notification Requirements Through September
    • Comments on Preliminary Cost Catalog and Replacement List for Supply Chain Program Due April 26
    • Commissioner Carr Calls for Complete Bar to Equipment that Poses a Security Threat
    • FCC’s New Application Fee Schedule Effective April 19, 2021
    • FCC Seeks Comment on Proposal to Improve EAS Alerts to the Public
    • National Football League Seeks Partial Waiver of CBRS Rules
    • New Broadcast Internet Rules Effective
    • FCC Extends 12 GHz Comment Deadline to May 7
    • Sen. Wyden Proposes Additional $6 Billion for Emergency Broadband Benefit Access Program
    • WISPA Introduces “Path to Gigabit” Plan
    • FCC Establishes Docket for TracFone/Verizon Transfer of Control
    • Deadlines
    • Calendar At-a-Glance
  • BloostonLaw Private Users Update
    • FCC Fines Health Insurance Telemarketer a Record $225 Million for Spoofed Robocalls and Six Cease and Desist Letters
    • FCC Dismisses Pending Requests for Waiver of T-Band Suspension Notice
    • FCC Publishes Initial List of Equipment Posing a Threat to National Security
    • FCC Dismisses Junction City Police Department Petition for Reconsideration of License Renewal Dismissal – Wideband Emissions Need to be Removed from Licenses
    • Blooston Law Contacts
  • Music Video Of The Week
    • Diaporama — Erika Lewis
    • (One of my favorite singers.)


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.

What happens if you don't advertise? . . . NOTHING!

Click on the image above for more info about advertising in this newsletter.



These are uncertain times.

How would you like to help support The Wireless Messaging News? Your support is needed. New advertising and donations have fallen off considerably.
A donation through PayPal is easier than writing and mailing a check and it comes through right away.

There is not a lot of news about Paging these days but when anything significant comes out, you will probably see it here. I also cover text messaging to other devices and various articles about related technology.

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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
Frank Moorman
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
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

IFR 500A Service Monitor

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

Qty Item Notes
2 Late IFR 500As  
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

Calibration and Repair (NIST 17025)
Upgrades: We can add the FE 5680A 10 MHz rubidium clock to your unit. Small unit fits into the well in the battery compartment — making it a world standard accuracy unit that never needs to be frequency calibrated.
Please inquire by telephone or e-mail.
Most Service Monitor Accessories in stock.

Leavitt Communications


50 years experience providing and supporting radio and paging customers worldwide. Call us anytime we can be useful!






Minitor VI

Leavitt sells and supports most pager brands. We stock Unication G1, G5, Secure and some Elegant pagers. Call or e-mail for price and availability.

Philip C. Leavitt, V.P.
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


Supreme Court’s pro-Facebook ruling could unleash “flood” of robocalls

Robocall systems aren't "autodialers" if they don't generate random numbers.

JON BRODKIN — 4/1/2021, 3:29 PM

Aurich Lawson | Getty Images

A Supreme Court ruling today in favor of Facebook limits the reach of a 1991 US law that bans certain kinds of robocalls and texts. The court found that the anti-robocall law only applies to systems that have the ability to generate random or sequential phone numbers. Systems that lack that capability are thus not considered autodialers under the law, even if they can store numbers and send calls and texts automatically.

Advocates say the ruling will make it harder to block automated calls and texts, potentially unleashing a "flood" of new robocalls.

The ruling "nullifies one of the most important protections against unwanted robocalls: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) prohibition against autodialed calls and texts to cellphones without the called party's consent," said the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), which had filed a brief in the case.

"Companies will use autodialers that are not covered by the Supreme Court's narrow definition to flood our cellphones with even more unwanted robocalls and automated texts," said Margot Saunders, the group's senior counsel. The court ruling "interpreted the statute's definition of autodialer so narrowly that it applies to few or none of the autodialers in use today," the NCLC also said.

Facebook system not an autodialer

The Facebook case was decided over a question of grammar, as the court had to decide exactly what Congress meant in a key section of the TCPA. The law imposes restrictions on calls made with an "automatic telephone dialing system" and defines that term as "equipment which has the capacity—(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers."

What that sentence means was at the heart of the case that Noah Duguid filed against Facebook. Today's court decision recounted how the case began:

In 2014, respondent Noah Duguid received several login-notification text messages from Facebook, alerting him that someone had attempted to access the Facebook account associated with his phone number from an unknown browser. But Duguid has never had a Facebook account and never gave Facebook his phone number. Unable to stop the notifications, Duguid brought a putative class action against Facebook. He alleged that Facebook violated the TCPA by maintaining a database that stored phone numbers and programming its equipment to send automated text messages to those numbers each time the associated account was accessed by an unrecognized device or web browser.

Facebook countered "that Duguid failed to allege that Facebook used an autodialer because he did not claim Facebook sent text messages to numbers that were randomly or sequentially generated. Rather, Facebook argued, Duguid alleged that Facebook sent targeted, individualized texts to numbers linked to specific accounts," today's ruling said.

In 2017, the US District Court for the Northern District of California agreed with Facebook and dismissed Duguid's case. But the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed that ruling, holding that a system can be an autodialer even if it doesn't use a random or sequential generator to store numbers, as long as it has the ability to "store numbers to be called" and "to dial such numbers automatically."

The Supreme Court decided to hear the case, noting that another circuit appeals court had ruled differently than the 9th Circuit, creating a conflict among the courts of appeals over whether an autodialer must be able to generate random or sequential phone numbers. Today, the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit judgment.

The opinion for the court written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor said:

The question before the Court is whether that definition encompasses equipment that can "store" and dial telephone numbers, even if the device does not "us[e] a random or sequential number generator." It does not. To qualify as an "automatic telephone dialing system," a device must have the capacity either to store a telephone number using a random or sequential generator or to produce a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.

Facebook's notification system is not an autodialer because it "neither stores nor produces numbers 'using a random or sequential number generator,'" the court found. All nine justices agreed with the ruling, though Justice Samuel Alito filed an opinion questioning some of the court's reasoning while concurring in the judgment.

Justice explains grammar rules

Sotomayor's opinion explained the question of grammar upon which the case turned:

We begin with the text. Congress defined an autodialer in terms of what it must do ("store or produce telephone numbers to be called") and how it must do it ("using a random or sequential number generator"). The definition uses a familiar structure: a list of verbs followed by a modifying clause. Under conventional rules of grammar, "[w]hen there is a straightforward, parallel construction that involves all nouns or verbs in a series," a modifier at the end of the list "normally applies to the entire series." The Court often applies this interpretative rule, usually referred to as the "series-qualifier canon." This canon generally reflects the most natural reading of a sentence. Imagine if a teacher announced that "students must not complete or check any homework to be turned in for a grade, using online homework-help websites." It would be strange to read that rule as prohibiting students from completing homework altogether, with or without online support.

With the robocall law, "the series-qualifier canon recommends qualifying both antecedent verbs, 'store' and 'produce,' with the phrase 'using a random or sequential number generator,'" Sotomayor wrote. This grammatical interpretation is "the most natural construction" and is supported by other text in the law, the justices found.

"The statutory context confirms that the TCPA's autodialer definition excludes equipment that does not use a random or sequential number generator," the opinion said. "Congress found autodialer technology harmful because autodialers can dial emergency lines randomly or tie up all of the sequentially numbered phone lines at a single entity. Facebook's interpretation of [the TCPA] better matches the scope of the TCPA to these specific concerns. Duguid's interpretation, on the other hand, would encompass any equipment that stores and dials telephone numbers."

The court also said, "It would make little sense... to classify as autodialers all equipment with the capacity to store and dial telephone numbers, including virtually all modern cell phones."

Congress might act as ruling sparks outrage

US Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), one of the TCPA's authors in 1991, and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) issued a joint statement calling the ruling "disastrous."

"Today, the Supreme Court tossed aside years of precedent, clear legislative history, and essential consumer protection to issue a ruling that is disastrous for everyone who has a mobile phone in the United States," the lawmakers said. "It was clear when the TCPA was introduced that Congress wanted to ban dialing from a database. By narrowing the scope of the TCPA, the court is allowing companies the ability to assault the public with a non-stop wave of unwanted calls and texts, around the clock."

Markey and Eshoo said they "plan to soon introduce legislation to amend the TCPA, fix the court's error, and protect consumers."

Consumer Reports urged Congress to act quickly. "Resting on a strained reading of the punctuation in the definition of 'autodialer,' the court ruled that the technology involved, which Facebook was using to send automated texts to its users, falls through the cracks of the definition," Consumer Reports said. "As a result, prior consent is not required for unleashing a potentially unlimited number of calls and texts using this technology, and there is no enforceable way for a consumer to stop them."

Source: ARS Technica  

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:


“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.




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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.

Celebrate World Amateur Radio Day 2021 on April 18


Sunday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD). This year marks the 96th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), founded at the 1925 International Radiotelegraph Conference in Paris. ARRL cofounder and first president, Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, was there, and today, ARRL is the International Secretariat of the IARU. ARRL has resources that members can use to celebrate WARD, including graphics for social media posts and radio club websites, as well as a printable flyer.

IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for WARD 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, amateur radio stands out as a welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities.

Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the HF spectrum was not the wasteland experts of that time considered it to be, but a resource that could support worldwide communication. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” IARU history has noted, prompting the founding of the IARU. At the 1927 International Radiotelegraph Convention, amateur radio gained allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. Over the years, the IARU has worked to give all radio amateurs new bands at 136 kHz, 472 kHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 18 MHz, 24 MHz, and 50 MHz, and a regional European allocation at 70 MHz, and IARU defends those allocations.

The 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925 have grown to include more than 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and North Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of amateur radio.

On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to share global goodwill with other amateurs. ARRL encourages members to promote the value of amateur radio to family and friends, and in their communities. Many volunteer ARRL Public Information Officers and Public Information Coordinators throughout the US use the time leading up to WARD as an opportunity to reach out to the media to share information about amateur radio.

“The amateur radio community has a great story to tell on the occasion of World Amateur Radio Day,” ARRL Product Development Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, said. “While the pandemic has kept many of us at home, radio amateurs have still been able to get on the air.” In June 2020, ARRL Field Day, held annually as amateur radio’s largest on-the-air operating event and demonstration, included nearly 19,000 participants making more than 1.8 million radio contacts in a single weekend.

“Over the last year, many ARRL-affiliated radio clubs and in-person ham radio events have moved their group activities online. This has helped to keep radio amateurs active and involved in the common pursuit of skill, service, and discovery in radio communication and radio technology,” Inderbitzen added.

Coincidentally, the SSB running of the ARRL Rookie Roundup falls on WARD (1800 – 2359 UTC). The event is aimed at hams licensed for 3 years or less. Take the opportunity to wish participants “Happy World Amateur Radio Day 2021” on the air.

Some WARD 2021 Activities around the Globe

  • Bahrain: The Amateur Radio Society of Bahrain will operate A91WARD during April 14 – 18, 2021, using SSB, FT8, and DMR modes.
  • Canada: Radio Amateurs of Canada are sponsoring a “Get on the Air on World Amateur Radio Day” special event.
  • Germany: The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club is operating DA21WARD for WARD, from April 18 through June 30. QSL to DK5ON.
  • New Jersey: The Fair Lawn (New Jersey) Amateur Radio Club will operate club station W2NPT on CW and phone throughout the day on April 18. In support of the theme of this year’s event, the operators will share information about the Health & Welfare Net that the club is running during the pandemic.
  • Alabama: The Disaster Communication Action Team will operate club station KD1CAT on April 18, in support of WARD. Operation will be on all HF bands.
  • VOIP/ECHOLINK *ROC-HAM* Conference node #531091 April 18 – 19, 13:00 – 05:00 UTC (9 AM EDT – 1 AM EDT) via VOIP/ECHOLINK *ROC-HAM* Conference node #531091/Allstar #2585. W2JLD, VO1UKZ, GW8SZL, and 2W0KYH will be net controllers. All stations from around the world are encouraged to check in. A QSL card will be available via SASE.
Source: ARRL  


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


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.

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:

Undeletable Coercive Loan Apps First Hobble Then Shut Down Your Smartphone If You Fall Behind On Repayments

(Mis)Uses of Technology from the still-think-you-own-your-hardware? dept

Thu, Apr 1st 2021 12:05pm — Glyn Moody

The modern smartphone is a technological wonder, cramming into its compact form factor multiple functions — phone, pager, computer, camera, calculator, diary, multimedia player, radio, TV, clock, maps, GPS, voice recorder, eBook reader, gaming device, WiFi hotspot, flashlight etc. etc. — that required over a dozen separate devices a couple of decades ago. No wonder, then, that most people want one, and would like to buy a model that offers all these features. However, in many parts of the world, the price of a good smartphone represents a big chunk of their annual wages. The obvious solution is to take out a loan, but that typically requires a credit rating, and many people in those countries lack a credit history, and may not have a bank account. To get around that problem, companies have come up with a new kind of smart loan for the "unbanked", as they are known. A fascinating article on the Rest of the World site, about the Indian Datacultr app, explains how the system works:

The easiest way for retailers and online stores to get high-end devices into working-class people's pockets has been through a new method of lending: collateralizing smartphones. Vendors are selling smartphones to first-time borrowers on high-interest payment plans financed by loan companies, but only after users install an undeletable app at the point of sale. The apps can then monitor repayment behavior throughout the duration of the loan. One late payment leads to instant blocking of the phone, rendering it useless. For loan providers and smartphone sellers, this form of lending opens their products to a new class of consumers. But users purchasing phones on loan are bearing the brunt of the coercive repayment tactics built into their devices.

The lack of formal credit scores is addressed by using the undeletable loan app to spy on the smartphone user. By looking at how people are using the smartphone, and accessing their texts, images and location, the app can gauge how likely the borrower is to default on the loan. To prevent that, software like the Datacultr app uses "nudges" of increasing severity:

The app starts by sending audiovisual prompts in regional languages as reminders. If the user misses their first repayment, it forcefully changes the wallpaper on their cellphones. If Datacultr's data scrape reveals a user to be a prolific selfie-taker, for instance, the app will send notifications every time the camera function is opened. If the user continues to default on the loan, frequently used messaging and social apps like Facebook or Instagram are progressively blocked, severely restricting the use of the device and ultimately shutting down all of the phone's functionalities.

It's not just India where these loan apps are being rolled out. The Rest of the World article says that the US company PayJoy has licensed its smartphone locking technology to lenders in over 20 countries, for example in South America and Africa. Google, too, is active in Africa with its own app called "Device Lock Controller".

Although "collateralizing smartphones" may indeed allow the "unbanked" to acquire models that would normally be well beyond their budget, there are some obvious problems. The first is the intrusive and coercive nature of the nudges and shutdowns. Secondly, the approach requires people to give access to personal files on their smartphone in order to assess their creditworthiness in real time. In other words, they must give up their privacy in return for the loan.

Finally, it's worth noting that the use of undeletable apps that can take over control of the smartphone at any time means that people don't fully own their device. That's not a new problem: Techdirt was writing about it back in 2011. And in 2014 the New York Times noted that companies lending money for cars required starter interruption devices to be fitted that could immobilize the vehicle if people fell behind on repayments. What's new is that nowadays all that is required is that most mundane of 21st-century artifacts — a smartphone app — which not only watches you constantly, but can punish you for "bad" behavior with a variety of tailor-made digital tortures.

Source: TechDirt  

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

Exciting News

Codan Communications To Acquire Zetron

Codan Communications is excited to share that we have entered into an agreement to acquire Zetron. We would like to call your attention to formal press releases from our organizations: Codan and Zetron.

For those of you not familiar with Zetron, they have been a trusted provider of mission critical communication systems since 1980, becoming a leader serving hundreds of millions of people in public safety, transportation, and utilizes around the world. Their comprehensive portfolio of solutions includes integrated next generation call taking, dispatch, CAD, mapping, fire station alerting, logging/reporting systems and more.

This acquisition provides the opportunity for both Codan and Zetron customers to benefit from combined capabilities providing unique and valued solutions with greater flexibility and choices. We will be building on our heritage of providing trusted solutions and true interoperability. That means that even as a blended organization, we will remain focused on open standards and support.

If your organization has current relationships with both Codan and Zetron, please continue to work with them the way you do. If you have any questions, please speak with your current points of contact or you can reach out to Paul Moskowitz, Vice President Sales and Marketing.


Once the acquisition has completed its closing process in later April, we will be sharing more information.

Source: CODAN Communications  

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

WHAT IS 5G? 5G is the ext generation of wireless networks and promises a mobile experience that's 10x to 100x faster than today's 4G networks. We say the word promise because we're in the early days of 5G. When more smartphones and networks support 5G tech, it will have far-reaching consequences for consumers, from the cars we drive (or that drive us) to the food we eat to the safety of our roads to the ways we shop to the entertainment we share with family and friends. And that doesn't include things we haven't yet imagined because we've never had the capability to unlock those new scenarios. Today, 5G may seem confusing even as it's widely hyped. We're here to help you sort fact from fiction, weed through the acronyms and jargon, and figure out when and how 5G can change the way you live. And we'll keep you from getting caught up in hyperbole — and empty promises. [ source ]

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

Inside Towers Newsletter

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Volume 9 | Issue 63

Veteran Climber Fatality Puzzles Employer

A 26-year veteran of the tower industry, Shane Jenson of Orfordville, WI, died Sunday from injuries he suffered following a 95-foot fall from a cell tower in Le Roy, KS. Jenson was working for Blackhawk Tower, a subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Wave Communications, performing welding repairs on the tower at the time of the accident. He was reportedly with one other worker at the site owned by UScellular.

Wave Vice President Mike Veith told Inside Towers he’s very confident his company had furnished the workers with all of the proper climbing and safety gear necessary and “everything was in place.”

“It’s puzzling,” Veith said. “He was the last guy in our workforce I would expect that to happen to.” An experienced climber, Jenson had done tower painting and maintenance for 25 years. He had been working with Blackhawk since 2019.

An investigation into the cause of the fall is now underway by OSHA. Donations are being taken by the Tower Family Foundation. Information on funeral services was not known at press time.

Thursday, April 1, 2021 Volume 9 | Issue 64

Biden Unveils Multi-Billion Dollar Broadband Plan

President Joe Biden revealed details of the first part of his more than $2 trillion infrastructure plan on Wednesday. The first portion includes provisions delivering $100 billion aimed at closing the digital divide and billions more to foster R&D for innovation in areas like semiconductors. The second portion is expected to be released in April, according to The Washington Post.  

During a speech in Pittsburgh, Biden said: “Millions of Americans lack access to high-speed broadband Internet, including more than 35 percent of rural America. This [plan] makes sure every single American has access to high-speed affordable Internet Americans pay too much” for such service now, he explained. “We’re going to drive down the price and make it easier for families,” he said.  

According to a White House fact sheet, the Biden plan calls for building high-speed broadband infrastructure “to reach 100 percent coverage.” The President’s plan prioritizes building “future proof” broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas. “It also prioritizes support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives — providers with less pressure to turn profits and with a commitment to serving entire communities,” according to the White House.  

The plan ensures funds are set aside for infrastructure on tribal lands and that tribal nations are consulted in program administration. Along the way, “it will create good-paying jobs with labor protections and the right to organize and bargain collectively,” notes the plan.

However, the way Biden plans to pay for what the Administration is calling the “historic” effort is a gamble, notes The Washington Post. Biden’s betting that Americans will support as much as $3 trillion in new tax hikes for rich individuals and corporations. Biden would like to see progress in Congress on the effort before Memorial Day and will consider breaking up the legislation into more parts if needed.

Republican lawmakers criticized the effort after being briefed on the details earlier. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expected the final effort “to be a Trojan horse for massive tax hikes and other job-killing left-wing policies.”  

The proposal calls broadband the electricity of the 21st Century. It discusses the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, when the federal government made a “historic investment in bringing electricity to nearly every home and farm in America,” according to the White House. 

“Looking backwards to 1930s utility regulation and our nation’s crumbling power grid as a model for high-speed Internet is a mistake. This isn’t building back better, this is barreling towards a broadband blunder,” tweeted FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican, on Wednesday.  

Democrats on the Hill defended the President’s proposal. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said the big price tag recognizes the severity of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and the need for historic investment. “I don’t know why people think you’re going to get broadband into American homes by clipping coupons from the Sunday papers,” he told The Post. “You got to spend the money.”

As for the tax hikes, Clyburn said: “People are already going to grumble about taxes. They are going to grumble no matter what.”

Industry had varied reactions to the proposal. 

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's partners. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.

  BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 24, No. 13 March 26, 2021  

Special Edition

REMINDER: Broadband Speed-Testing Reports are Due April 7

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC has adopted a pre-testing period in advance of its full broadband speed testing requirement, to ensure that carriers are familiar with the required testing and how to properly measure the speed and latency of their networks. During pre-testing, carriers are required conduct performance measures testing at a random sample of locations selected by USAC and submit the results to USAC within one week of the end of each quarter. Since March 31 marks the end of this quarter, all seven days’ worth of data must have been collected by March 31, and must be uploaded to USAC by April 7.

This year, A-CAM I, Revised A-CAM I, Alaska Plan, and Rural Broadband Experiments participants are required to conduct pre-testing. Carriers will not face penalties for failing to meet speed and latency requirements during pre-testing, but may face penalties for failing to participate. Specifically, carriers that fail to upload speed testing results by April 7 will be considered to be in Level 1 non-compliance of the FCC’s speed testing requirements, and subject to a 5% reduction in support for each month they remain in non-compliance.

Upon reaching compliance, amounts withheld will be returned to the carrier. However, carriers that were not able to comply with the pre-testing requirement — whether due to supply chain delays or any other reason — and expect to remain in non-compliance for a significant period of time may request a waiver the FCC.

BloostonLaw’s attorneys are experienced in obtaining such waivers and are available to assist.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

  BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 24, No. 14 March 31, 2021  

FCC Extends Push Notification Requirements Through September

On March 25, the FCC issued an Order extending through September 30, 2021 a waiver of the push notification requirements for fixed and Mode II personal/portable white space devices and white space databases that was due to expire on March 31, 2021. The extension of the waiver comes at the urging of several parties filing petitions for reconsideration of the requirements, who argue that there are a number of difficulties in implementing the notifications.

Under the rules, when a database administrator receives a request for access to channels for licensed wireless microphone use, the database administrators must share the licensed wireless microphone’s channel registration information among themselves within ten minutes and push information about changes in channel availability for fixed and Mode II personal/portable white space devices within 20 minutes of receiving it, identifying for the white space devices other available channels that could be used instead. White space devices were to incorporate a push notification capability.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.


Comments on Preliminary Cost Catalog and Replacement List for Supply Chain Program Due April 26

On March 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the Supply Chain Reimbursement Program Study (Report) prepared by Widelity, as well as a preliminary Catalog of Eligible Expenses and Estimated Costs (Catalog) designed to assist the FCC with establishing the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program (Reimbursement Program). Comments are due April 26, 2021.

Specifically, Widelity produced a Report detailing the “requirements, timing, and costs involved in the removal, replacement, and disposal of covered communications equipment, or services, from the networks of advanced communications service providers” participating in the Reimbursement Program. Comment is sought on the Report in general, the methodologies used, and on how the FCC should use the Report to inform its next steps.

Widelity also produced a proposed Catalog, which includes a range of cost estimates, organized by category and subcategory of communications equipment and services, that may be eligible for reimbursement under the Reimbursement Program. These suggested costs are estimates only and are not meant to indicate that reimbursement will reflect the estimated costs; instead, all claimed cost estimates submitted in a reimbursement application are subject to review by FCC staff to ensure each expense and request for reimbursement is reasonable. Comment is sought on the suggested ranges of estimated costs and cost categories and subcategories, and how the Catalog should inform the Reimbursement Program.

Finally, Widelity produced a preliminary List of Categories of Suggested Replacement Equipment and Services (Replacement List) to aid with the replacement of communications equipment and services deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons (i.e., covered communications equipment or services). Comment on the proposed Replacement List, such as whether there are there additional categories of equipment and services that could be used to replace potentially covered communications equipment and services that the FCC should include in the Replacement List.

All three items described above can be found here.

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

Commissioner Carr Calls for Complete Bar to Equipment that Poses a Security Threat

On March 30, at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called for the FCC to go further in its effort to remove equipment from communications networks across the country that pose a threat to national security. Specifically, Commissioner Carr called for complete prohibition of the purchase and use of this equipment, rather than a bar on the use of just federal dollars. Specifically, Commissioner Carr said:

“It is time to close this glaring loophole,” Carr stated. “Once we have determined that Huawei or other gear poses an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow that exact same equipment to be purchased and inserted into our communications networks as long as federal dollars are not involved. The presence of these insecure devices in our networks is the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them. Yet the FCC, through its equipment authorization process, continues to approve for use in the U.S. thousands of applications from Huawei and other entities deemed national security threats. The FCC should move swiftly to eliminate Communist China’s backdoor into our networks. Doing so would be consistent with the policies underlying the Secure Networks Act of 2019,” Carr added.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC’s New Application Fee Schedule Effective April 19, 2021

The FCC has adopted a new application fee schedule that is designed to more closely reflect the FCC’s actual costs in processing applications, as required by the RAY BAUM’S Act. This new fee schedule updates the fee schedule that was originally adopted in 1987. As a result, certain applications and notifications that previously did not require an FCC filing fee will now be subject to filing fees, while existing filing fees will be adjusted upward or downward — depending upon the fee category. Below is the news schedule of application filing fees (which do not include the associated FCC regulatory fee that is due at the time of application for many new license or license renewal filings):

Site-Based Applications (Wireless)

Category Fee
New License, Major Modification $95.00
Request for Extension of Time $50.00
Special Temporary Authority $135.00
Assignment/Transfer of Control (Initial Call Sign) $50.00
Assignment/Transfer of Control (@ Additional Call Sign, capped at 10 call signs) $35.00
Rule waivers $380.00
License Renewal 35.00
Spectrum Leasing 35.00


Geographic-Based Applications (Wireless)

Category Fee
New License (other than Auctioned Licenses), Major Modification $305.00
New License (Auctioned Licenses, Post-Auction Consolidated Long Form and Short-Form Fee) per application (not per call sign) $3,175.00
License Renewal $50.00
Minor Modification $200.00
Construction Notification/Extensions $290.00
Special Temporary Authority $335.00
Assignment/Transfer of Control, initial call sign $195.00
Assignment/Transfer of Control, subsequent call sign (no limit) $35.00
Spectrum Leasing $165.00
Rule Waivers $380.00
Designated Entity Licensee Reportable Eligible Event $50.00


Experimental Licenses (Office of Engineering and Technology)

Category Fee
New Station Authorization $125.00
Modification of Authorization $125.00
Renewal of Station Authorization $125.00
Assignment of License or Transfer of Control $125.00
Special Temporary Authority $125.00
Confidentiality Request $50.00


Equipment Approval Applications (Office of Engineering and Technology)

Category Fee
Assignment of Grantee Code $35.00


Satellite Earth Station Applications (International Bureau)

Category Fee
Initial Application, single site (Transmit/Receive) $360.00
Initial Application, multiple sites (Transmit/Receive) $6,515.00
Initial Application or Registration, single site (Receive Only) $175.00
Initial Application or Registration, multiple sites (Receive Only) $465.00
Initial Application for Blanket Earth Stations, Per Call Sign $360.00
Amendments to Earth Station Applications (Single Site) $430.00
Amendments to Earth Station Applications (Multiple Sites) $630.00
Applications for Modification of License or Registrations (Per Call Sign) $545.00
Application for Assignment of License or Transfer of Control of Earth Station License or Registration (First Call Sign) $745.00
Application for Assignment of License or Transfer of Control of Earth Station License or Registration (Each Additional Call Sign) $400.00
License Renewal Application (Single Site) $115.00
License Renewal Application (Multiple Sites) $145.00

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposal to Improve EAS Alerts to the Public

Pursuant to Section 9201 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA21), the FCC has initiated a rulemaking proceeding and notice of inquiry to explore opportunities to improve the way the public receives emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions, and radios. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.

The current Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) are designed to ensure that the public promptly receives emergency alerts issued by federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and delivered over the radio, television, and mobile wireless devices. These announcements keep the public safe and informed and have ever-increasing importance in the wake of the emergencies and disasters Americans have faced in the past few years. Nonetheless, a 2018 false emergency alert was issued in Hawaii which warned of an inbound ballistic missile. This incident highlighted the need for improvements to the EAS and WEA systems in order to ensure public safety.

The essence of the FCC’s proposal is to consider proposals that will ensure that more people receive relevant emergency alerts, enable EAS and WEA participants to report false alerts when they occur and improve the way in which states plan for emergency alerts. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to implement Sections 9201(a)-(d) of the NDAA21 by adopting rules that will ensure that mobile devices cannot opt-out of receiving WEA alerts from the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Additionally, the FCC has also proposed rules to encourage state Governors to form a State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) if none exists in their state, and to adopt additional requirements concerning their SECC’s administration of State EAS Plans. For states that already have an SECC, the FCC is encouraging state Governors to review its composition and governance. Further, the FCC is proposing to enable the Administrator of FEMA as well as State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments to report false EAS and WEA alerts when they occur. Finally, the FCC has proposed rules to permit repeating EAS alerts issued by the President, the Administrator of FEMA, and any other entity determined appropriate under the circumstances by the FCC. The FCC believes that these proposals will facilitate the further development of a robust and redundant system for distributing vital alert information to all Americans.

In the Notice of Inquiry, the FCC is implementing Section 9201(e) of the NDAA21 by seeking comment on whether it is technically feasible to deliver EAS alerts through the Internet, including through streaming services. The FCC is seeking comment on whether and how to leverage the capabilities of the Internet to enhance the alerting capabilities of the radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers that currently participate in EAS. As directed by Congress, the FCC will submit a report on its findings and conclusions from this inquiry to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Law and Regulation

National Football League Seeks Partial Waiver of CBRS Rules

The NFL is seeking a waiver of certain 3.5 GHz CBRS technical rules in order to allow teams on game-day to continue operating their coach-to-coach communications systems in the event of an Internet outage. Comments on the item (WT Docket No. 21-111) are due April 8, and reply comments are due on April 15th.

We don’t expect the NFL’s request to impact our clients who are CBRS Priority Access Licensees, since the NFL’s proposed operations will be using General Access (“GAA”)-tier spectrum, and the potential for harmful interference to commercial CBRS operators will be further limited by limited scope of operations (within an NFL stadium) and short window of time (during the game) that the NFL’s request seeks to address. However, we believe it important to keep an eye on how the FCC addresses this issue, since it’s possible that other businesses or niche operations may present the FCC with similar requests as CBRS systems and specialized use cases for the shared use spectrum become more common.

In brief, the NFL wants a waiver of the CBRS technical rule that would require the NFL to shut their coach-to-coach communications system off within 60 seconds of an Internet outage, and instead to allow continuous use of the CBRS system for the duration of the game, pursuant to the SAS grant of operating authority that was issued prior to the game. The NFL argues that its specially designed CBRS system is otherwise configured to comply with all of the FCC’s Part 96 (CBRS) rules. Thus, while the NFL CBRS system and its associated CBSDs are configured to enable compliance with Section 96.39(c) of the FCC’s rules, the obligation to discontinue operation within 60 seconds of a loss of Internet connectivity at any point just prior to, or during a (typically) three-hour football game would interrupt the game, as it would necessitate the discontinuance of operation of the system for an indeterminate period of time.

During such an outage, regardless of the duration, the NFL argues “there would not be time to replace the CBRS system with a wired coach-to-coach communications system that is ready to deploy. It would take several hours to accomplish that replacement, and during that interval the game would have to be suspended.” The league goes on that say “[t]his is not a tolerable circumstance from the perspective of the audience in the stadiums or the television audience, and as noted above, the use of a replacement, wired coach-to-coach communications system, even if it could be implemented timely (which it cannot) is not safe for those on the football field involved in the game, or for the coaches using that wired system, due to wires trailing on the ground on the sidelines.”

Clients should let us know if they have any questions or if they believe a contemplated CBRS application or use case may benefit from a waiver of the FCC’s rules.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

New Broadcast Internet Rules Effective

On March 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that its rule revisions relating to the ATSC 3.0 or “Next Gen TV” broadcast television standard went into effect. Specifically, the FCC clarified the fee structure pertaining to ancillary and supplementary services in a way intended to ensure that television broadcasters can “partner with third parties to provide new services without the risk of having to pay the federal government excessive fees.”

The FCC also adopted a number of additional proposals designed to facilitate their provision of Broadcast Internet services. Notably, the item allows NCE stations to offer nonprofit, noncommercial, educational Broadcast Internet services alongside their television programming as part of the primary use of their spectrum and cuts the fee on revenue from those services in half, from five percent to two-and-a-half percent.

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

FCC Extends 12 GHz Comment Deadline to May 7

On March 29, the FCC issued an Order extending the comment and reply comment deadlines for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it seeks comment on how to maximize efficient use of the 500 megahertz of mid-band spectrum in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. Comments are now due May 7, and reply comments are now due June 7.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC seeks comment on whether it is possible to add mobile service throughout the 12 GHz band without causing harmful interference to incumbent satellite and fixed licensees. Interestingly, the Notice draws no tentative conclusions but seeks comment on whether there are technical parameters that would allow additional terrestrial shared used of the band, methods for assigning flexible use rights in the band, and potential sharing mechanisms for the band if coexistence among the incumbent services and new flexible use service is technically feasible. The Notice also seeks comment on whether the public interest benefits of maintaining the current allocations and framework for the band outweigh the potential benefits of accommodating new services in the band.

Currently, the 12 GHz band is licensed to Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) operators, non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite systems, and fixed service providers—all on a co-primary basis. DISH Network and DirecTV, the two DBS licensees, use this spectrum to provide video programming content to millions of American consumers. The FCC has authorized several NGSO constellations in recent years to operate using this spectrum, in coordination with one-way, fixed Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS). NGSO and MVDDS services must operate on a non-harmful interference basis with respect to DBS.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Sen. Wyden Proposes Additional $6 Billion for Emergency Broadband Benefit Access Program

On March 25, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., along 15 other Democrats, introduced new legislation building on the Emergency Broadband Connections Act, about which we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update. According to a press release, the new legislation would authorize an additional $6 billion for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which provides $50 per month benefit to workers who have been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic, among other categories of eligibility.

The new bill also speeds up benefit approvals by providing funding to help states participate in the National Lifeline Eligibility verifier and requiring the FCC to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set up automated connections between the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier and the National Accuracy Clearinghouse for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Edward Markey, D-Mass, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., sponsored the new bill.

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


WISPA Introduces “Path to Gigabit” Plan

On March 24, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) announced its new federal policy proposal, called the “Path to Gigabit” plan, designed to “expedite deployment of future-proof broadband to the hardest reach areas of America.” According to a press release, the plan “works to address calls from policymakers to eradicate the digital divide once and for all, seeking to achieve this goal in a rapid, taxpayer-friendly, and evolutionary manner by leveraging the innovation and diversity of small solution providers such as WISPs already serving the marketplace.”

The press release summarizes WISPA’s policy plan as follows:

  • Localize spectrum policy to supercharge competition, urging more accessible spectrum for diverse, smaller innovators to boost connectivity in the hardest to serve parts of rural, suburban and urban America;
  • Develop subsidy programs that leverage present providers, resulting in significant savings today while still delivering evolutionary capabilities of the future;
  • Align infrastructure policy to unleash competition by small innovators, ensuring access for underserved and unserved communities, putting them on the road to gigabit connectivity now rather than years from now; and
  • Achieve digital adoption, inclusion, recognizing that reducing these barriers makes sure the benefits of investing in future-proof deployment inures to all Americans.

PowerPoint slides for the Association’s policy plan can be found here.

FCC Establishes Docket for TracFone/Verizon Transfer of Control

On March 30, the FCC established an official proceeding for the application for consent to transfer control of TracFone Wireless, Inc. (TracFone) from TracFone’s 100% indirect parent, América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V. to Verizon Communications, Inc. (Verizon). Specifically, the FCC announces announce the opening of a docket, GN Docket No. 21-112, which is captioned “Proposed Transfer of Control of Tracfone Wireless, Inc. to Verizon Communications Inc.”


APRIL 1: FCC FORM 499-A, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. This form must be filed by all contributors to the Universal Service Fund (USF) sup-port mechanisms, the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the cost recovery mechanism for the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP). Contributors include every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications, and certain other entities that provide interstate telecommunications for a fee. Even common carriers that qualify for the de minimis exemption must file Form 499-A. Entities whose universal service contributions will be less than $10,000 qualify for the de minimis exemption. De minimis entities do not have to file the quarterly report (FCC Form 499-Q), which was due February 1, and will again be due May 1. Form 499-Q relates to universal and LNP mechanisms. Form 499-A relates to all of these mechanisms and, hence, applies to all providers of interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications services. Form 499-A contains revenue information for January 1 through December 31 of the prior calendar year. And Form 499-Q contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. (Note: the revised 499-A and 499-Q forms are now available.) Block 2-B of the Form 499-A requires each carrier to designate an agent in the District of Columbia upon whom all notices, process, orders, and decisions by the FCC may be served on behalf of that carrier in proceedings before the FCC. Carriers receiving this newsletter may specify our law firm as their D.C. agent for service of process using the information in our masthead. There is no charge for this service.

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

APRIL 1: ANNUAL ACCESS TO ADVANCED SERVICES CERTIFICATION. All providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications carriers subject to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act are required to file with the FCC an annual certification that (1) states the company has procedures in place to meet the record-keeping requirements of Part 14 of the Rules; (2) states that the company has in fact kept records for the previous calendar year; (3) contains contact information for the individual or individuals handling customer complaints under Part 14; (4) contains contact information for the company’s designated agent; and (5) is supported by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury signed by an officer of the company.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, Sal Taillefer.

MAY 26: STUDY AREA BOUNDARY RECERTIFICATION. In addition to the obligation to submit updated information when study area boundaries change, all ILECs are required to recertify their study area boundary data every two years. The recertification is due this year by May 26. Where the state commission filed the study area boundary data for an ILEC, the state commission should submit the recertification. However, where the state commission did not submit data for the ILEC and the ILEC submitted the study area boundary data, then the ILEC should submit the recertification by May 26.

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

MAY 31: 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. 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. Clients who would like assistance in filing Form 395 should contact Richard Rubino.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Mar. 31 – FCC Form 525 (Delayed Phasedown CETC Line Counts) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 508 (ICLS Projected Annual Common Line Requirement) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Line Count – CAF BLS) is due.
Mar. 31 – Performance Pre-Testing for Certain ETCs must be completed.

Apr. 1 – FCC Form 499-A (Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Apr. 1 – Annual Accessibility Certification is due.
Apr. 1 – CAF Phase II Auction Eligible Location Adjustment Process filing window opens.
Apr. 2 – Reply comments on CTS/IP CTS Standards and Metrics are due.
Apr. 5 – Comments are due on Emergency Connectivity Fund.
Apr. 7 – Performance Pre-Testing Report for Certain ETCs is due.
Apr. 12 – Comments are due on Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.
Apr. 15 – First Reassigned Number Database Report due (carriers with >100,000 subscribers).
Apr. 19 –STIR/SHAKEN Certificate Revocation reply comments are due.
Apr. 19 – Comments are due on State of Lifeline Marketplace Report.
Apr. 19 – Comments on TRS Contribution Base are due.
Apr. 19 – New Fee Schedule Effective.
Apr. 25 – Reply comments are due on Emergency Connectivity Fund.
Apr. 26 – Comments are due on Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.
Apr. 26 – Comments are due on Preliminary Cost Catalog and Replacement List for Supply Chain Program.

May 1 – 64.1900 Geographic Rate Averaging Certification is due.
May 1 – Lifeline usage requirement waiver ends.
May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 3 – Reply comments on TRS Contribution Base are due.
May 4 – Reply comments are due on State of Lifeline Marketplace Report.
May 7 – Comments are due on 12.2-12.7 GHz Band NPRM.
May 26 – Biannual Study Area Boundary Recertifications are due.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

Jun 7 – Reply Comments are due on 12.2-12.7 GHz Band NPRM.

  BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 24, No. 13 March 26, 2021  

FCC Fines Health Insurance Telemarketer a Record $225 Million for Spoofed Robocalls and Six Cease and Desist Letters

The FCC has issued an Order fining Texas based telemarketers $225 million – the largest fine in FCC history – for illegally transmitting approximately 1 billion robocalls seeking to sell short-term, limited duration health plans. The FCC found that these robocalls falsely claimed to offer health insurance coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna.

The spoofed robocalls were made by John C. Spiller and Jakob A. Mears, who used business names including Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom. These calls were made to telephone numbers throughout the United States during the first four-and-a-half months of 2019. In this regard, Mr. Spiller admitted to the USTelecom Industry Traceback Group that he made millions of spoofed calls per day and knowingly called consumers on the Do Not Call list as he believed that it was more profitable to target these consumers. Rising Eagle made the calls on behalf of clients, the largest of which, Health Advisors of America, was sued by the Missouri Attorney General for telemarketing violations in February 2019.

The FCC noted that beginning in 2018, there was an increase in consumer complaints and robocall traffic related to health insurance and other health care products, with approximately 23.6 million health insurance robocalls crossing the networks of the four largest wireless carriers each day. Rising Eagle originated a large portion of this unwelcome robocall traffic. It is important to note that the Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits manipulating caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. The FCC’s investigation found that the Rising Eagle spoofed its robocalls to deceive consumers and caused at least one company whose caller IDs were spoofed to become overwhelmed with angry call-backs from aggrieved consumers.

In issuing this fine, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted that “[t]he FCC receives more complaints about robocalls than any other issue. It’s easy to see why! Robocalls are intrusive and annoying – and during the last few years, the number has skyrocketed. Worse, many of those calls involve scams.” Rosenworcel noted that while the public relies on Caller ID to protect against robocalls, robocallers trick the public into taking the call by disguising themselves through the spoofing of numbers. In order to combat this, Rosenworcel announced the creation of a Robocall Response Team that will be comprised of 50 attorneys, engineers and analysts from across the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, International Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, Office of Economics and Analytics and Office of General Counsel. Under this initiative, the Robocall Response Team will have direct input from the Chairwoman’s Office – which hopefully, will lead to strict enforcement and a decline in illicit and annoying robocalls.

The FCC has also issued cease and desist letters to a number of companies whom the FCC has determined are “apparently transmitting illegal robocall traffic on behalf of one or more of [their] clients.” The list of companies receiving letters includes: IDT; Stratics Networks; Third Rock Telecom; Yodel Technologies; RSCom; and Icon Global Services. The letters instruct these companies to:

  • Promptly investigate the transmissions identified in the letter;
  • If necessary, “effectively mitigate” the identified unlawful traffic by determining the source of the traffic and preventing that source from continuing to originate such traffic;
  • Implement effective safeguards to prevent customers from using your network as a platform to originate illegal calls;
  • Inform the FCC and the Traceback Consortium within 48 hours of steps taken to mitigate the identified apparent illegal traffic; and
  • Inform the FCC and the Traceback Consortium within 14 days of the steps the company is taking to prevent customers from using its network to transmit illegal robocalls.

The letters go on to inform these companies that failing to take sufficient mitigating actions to prevent their networks from continuing to be used to transmit illegal robocalls may result in the FCC issuing a notice to all U.S.-based voice service providers that they may block ALL call traffic transmitting from the network in question, permanently.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Ben Dickens, Richard Rubino and Sal Taillefer

FCC Dismisses Pending Requests for Waiver of T-Band Suspension Notice

As a sign that the FCC is moving towards licensing in the T-Band (470-512 MHz) after an almost 10-year suspension of application processing in the T-Band, the FCC has dismissed three requests for waiver of the 2012 T-Band application suspension notice. This action is consistent with the Public Notice that we recently reported on in which the FCC announced that it would begin accepting applications during a 90-day filing window that opened on March 22, 2021 for incumbent T-Band licensees. While the waiver requests had been pending for over one year, the FCC noted that dismissal was necessary in order to provide equal opportunity to all applicants and to establish a “stable spectral environment” in advance of the incumbent T-Band application filing window. Since the applicants were incumbent T-Band licensees, the FCC noted that they could participate in the ongoing filing window.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Publishes Initial List of Equipment Posing a Threat to National Security

The FCC has issued a Public Notice which lists the communications equipment and services that have been deemed a threat to national security pursuant to the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019. The list includes five Chinese companies that produce telecommunications equipment and services that have been found to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons. They include certain equipment and/or services (depending upon use) provided by Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company and Dahua Technology Company. Please contact our office if you are interested in the full list of equipment and services that are affected by this notice.

The Secure Networks Act requires the Commission to publish and maintain a list of communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons. The FCC will update the list if other communications equipment and services are determined to meet the criteria under the law.

"This list is a big step toward restoring trust in our communications networks," said Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel. "Americans are relying on our networks more than ever to work, go to school, or access healthcare, and we need to trust that these communications are safe and secure. This list provides meaningful guidance that will ensure that as next-generation networks are built across the country, they do not repeat the mistakes of the past or use equipment or services that will pose a threat to U.S. national security or the security and safety of Americans."

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, Richard Rubino, and Sal Taillefer.

FCC Dismisses Junction City Police Department Petition for Reconsideration of License Renewal Dismissal – Wideband Emissions Need to be Removed from Licenses

This case raises two points. First, if it is necessary to seek reconsideration of an FCC action, the petition must be filed in a timely manner. Second, if an application is returned for corrective action — in this case, removal of the wide-band emission — the application must be amended within 60 days of the return letter.

On June 9, 2017, Junction City Police Department (the City) timely filed its license renewal application. The FCC returned the application with instructions that the City modify its license to delete the wide-band emission designators that were still showing on the license. The FCC’s return letter provided the City with a 60-day time clock to modify the license and amend the application reflecting that it had requested modification of the license. Unfortunately, the FCC’s Universal Licensing System reflects that the City did neither. As a result, because the license renewal application had not been amended pursuant to the return letter, the FCC dismissed the application. On November 22, 2017, one day after the close of the 30-day time period to seek reconsideration, the City filed its petition seeking reconsideration of the FCC’s action. Because the petition for reconsideration period is established by the Communications Act, the FCC does not have the flexibility to waive the period. As a result, because the petition was not timely filed, the FCC was forced to dismiss the petition – no matter how meritorious the petition might have been.

It is also important that office clients promptly respond to FCC correspondence. In that regard, we recommend that you contact our office for guidance in making the response so that you do not fall into an inadvertent trap. Here, the City failed to respond to the FCC’s return letter. Had it (a) modified its license to delete the wide-band emission designators and (b) amended its license renewal application to reflect the filing of the license modification application, it is all but certain that the FCC would have granted its license renewal application in the normal course. Now, the City finds itself in the untenable situation where it has no license and will now have to go through the added expense of obtaining special temporary authority to continue station operations and filing an application for permanent authority. Moreover, in some cases it may not be possible to get the same frequencies back, especially if the frequencies were exclusive use channels or if were subject to a legacy rule waiver. In those cases, it is quite possible that a late licensee might not be able to get the same frequencies (or even the same frequency band) when trying relicensing its system, or any frequencies at all in extreme cases.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

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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