|Wireless News Aggregation|
Welcome Back To
This Week's Wireless News Headlines:
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
I spend the whole week searching the INTERNET for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
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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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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea Cumpston, Communications Director
EWA Urges Sharing of 4.9 GHz to Maximize Use of Band
December 1, 2021 (Herndon, VA) — The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) has filed comments urging the Commission to adopt rules in response to the Eighth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that will enable the 4.9 GHz band to reach its full potential. The FCC’s FNPRM confirmed that this band must continue to maximize its use by public safety entities, but also explored various models for shared spectrum use. In its comments, EWA recommended the FCC adopt the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) plan recommended in 2013, which NPSTC has continued to endorse over the past eight years. That plan, a consensus proposal from the public safety community, recommended that the 4.9 GHz band be shared with Critical Infrastructure Industry (CII) entities. EWA represents a number of CII entities and other large business enterprise companies eager to invest in private broadband networks. The Alliance generally supports the NPSTC Plan but recommends expanding the CII category to track the definition developed by the Department of Homeland Security, which includes — in addition to governmental and emergency services — energy, healthcare and public health, water and wastewater systems, information technology, food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, and transportation systems. This more inclusive list will promote robust enterprise activity, activity that will significantly expand investment in the band with the expected concomitant reduction in equipment cost and expansion of technology options that will benefit public safety entities as well.
Public safety and business enterprise entities have demonstrated an ability to share exclusive spectrum rights in other bands, such as 800 MHz, through a frequency coordination process that has been tested over many decades. They have a desire to do so at 4.9 GHz, a band in which commercial service providers and unlicensed spectrum proponents have expressed little or no interest. The record supports the sharing arrangements endorsed by public safety and business enterprise representatives. Adopting the NPTSC plan with an expanded definition of CII will support the FCC’s goals of protecting the operations of incumbents, while promoting new entrants that will maximize investment in and utilization of this spectrum.
About the Enterprise Wireless Alliance
The Enterprise Wireless Alliance is an FCC-certified frequency advisory committee and leading advocate for business enterprises, private carrier operators, wireless sales and service organizations and private wireless equipment vendors. EWA provides spectrum acquisition strategies, frequency coordination, license preparation, license management and associated reporting services. Membership in EWA is open to users of wireless communications systems, vendors, system operators and service organizations. EWA develops cutting-edge services to support member businesses, such as Spectrum Intel, Cevo®, a powerful online frequency coordination solution, which simplifies the FCC-license application process and allows users to select their own frequencies, and Cevo Go™ a mobile app that delivers frequencies certified by EWA in hours, not days. More information about membership and services is available at www.enterprisewireless.org.
|Source:||Enterprise Wireless Alliance|
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
The Wireless Messaging News
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Arecibo Observatory: A year after telescope's collapse, an icon gets continuing cleanup and a new documentary
By Meghan Bartels — December 1, 2021
A year after the collapse of an iconic radio telescope tucked away in a natural sinkhole, scientists and Puerto Ricans are still reeling from the loss of a decades-old observatory.
Arecibo Observatory's radio telescope was instantly recognizable, thanks to its 1,000-foot-wide (305 meters) dish, trio of soaring towers and delicate web of cables and platform that held science instruments above the dish.
But in late 2020, first one cable failed, then a second one. By mid-November, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the site, decided that the telescope was too unstable to be repaired — but before the agency could demolish it, gravity did the job. On Dec. 1, 2020, the platform fell, smashing through the delicate dish.
The collapse left Arecibo's dedicated science community reeling — and wondering what would come next for the site. A year later, that's still unknown. The NSF has prioritized cleaning up the site over making any big decisions about the facility's future, even as scientists begin dreaming up ambitious ideas to carry on the iconic telescope's legacy.
A special telescope
The radio telescope began observations in 1963 and was unique in that it was a valuable tool for three different scientific fields: studying Earth's atmosphere, detecting radio light from the universe around us (including possible signals from intelligent aliens), and using an active radar system to study the solar system, particularly near-Earth asteroids. Over the decades, the telescope also became an icon of Puerto Rico, as well as a film star thanks to appearances in "GoldenEye" and "Contact."
Now, the telescope stars in a new film: "The Biggest Dream," a documentary about Arecibo's origins, legacy and loss. The film premieres in special showings in Puerto Rico this week and is scheduled to begin showings beyond the island next year.
"The creation of the film reflects the Puerto Rican spirit and demonstrates the magnitude of the contributions this facility and its people have made to the scientific community," Arecibo Observatory director Francisco Cordova said in a statement released by the University of Central Florida, which manages Arecibo Observatory.
A trailer available on YouTube offers a glimpse of the documentary.
"I have no words to explain what an honor it was to tell the story of the Arecibo Observatory," producer and director Andrew Hernandez said in the statement. "I dedicate this film to the great dreamers who decide to believe that they can bring positive changes to this world by inspiring others."
Meanwhile, in a report released Nov. 17, the NSF offers the first update about the site's status since the summer.
"The emergency cleanup team has completed the majority of the emergency cleanup and repairs," NSF officials wrote in the report. "Next steps include completing repairs to areas with damaged concrete, removal of work vehicles and equipment from the site and storage of salvaged items."
Over the past months, on-site crews have worked on tasks including planting greenery to hold soil in place, testing groundwater, identifying and removing soil contaminated with hydraulic oil and removing two large pieces of concrete that broke off one of the three supporting towers.
In addition, crews have removed some 38,000 metal panels covering more than one-third of the dish's surface, which had incurred damage during the collapse and clean-up. Crews have also installed a temporary, hurricane-proof roof on the observatory's learning center and patched minor damage to the visitor center's roof and observation deck.
(An estimate from March suggests the cleanup process could cost the NSF $50 million.)
An investigation into what caused the collapse is also continuing, according to an NSF spokesperson, although, "to date, no obvious single point failure has been identified."
Thanks to the decades-long legacy of Arecibo, the NSF must also evaluate how to manage the site with an eye toward history. Although no details are offered, the report notes that the NSF and UCF met with the Puerto Rico State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in June and are scheduled to do so again this autumn.
The report also notes that in 2021, the NSF established a separate Salvage Survey Committee, which included experts familiar with the site and which evaluated objects of "potential scientific, cultural, or historic value to be preserved for potential display at the site or in other museums," according to the report. The committee's work resulted in a report submitted to the NSF in September that is not yet available online.
What's next for science at the site is relegated to a corner of the last page of the Nov. 17 update, where the NSF highlights the workshop series it held this summer with members of Arecibo's science community to begin talking through opportunities that Arecibo Observatory may offer into the future.
|PRISM IPX Systems|
|Prism IPX Products|
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.
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
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.
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INTERNET Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
Facebook Messenger is testing a new ‘Split Payments’ feature in the US
Aisha Malik@aiishamalik1 / 9:23 AM CST • December 3, 2021
Facebook Messenger announced today that it’s starting to test out a new “Split Payments” feature that introduces a way for users to share the cost of bills and expenses through the app. The company says the new feature is a “free and fast” way to handle finances through Messenger. The new feature is rolling out next week for U.S. users.
To use Split Payments, users need to click on the “Get Started” button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. From there, you can split a bill evenly or modify the contribution amount for each individual in the group chat, either with or without yourself included. You’ll also have the option to enter a personalized message. Lastly, you will be asked to confirm your Facebook Pay details, after which your request will be sent and viewable in your group chat thread.
“If you’ve struggled with dividing up (and getting paid back for) group dinners, shared household expenses or even the monthly rent, it’s about to get easier,” the company said in a blog post about the new feature.
The launch of Split Payments comes as Messenger added Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments a few months ago. The codes launched in the U.S. and allow anyone to send or request money through Facebook Pay — even if they’re not Facebook friends. The feature can be accessed under the “Facebook Pay” section in Messenger’s settings.
Facebook Pay first launched in November 2019, as a way to establish a payment system that extends across the company’s apps for not just person-to-person payments, but for other things like donations and e-commerce.
Split Payments was introduced alongside a few other Messenger updates, including four new group AR effects designed with creators Emma Chamberlain, Zach King, Bella Poarch and King Bach. The company notes that it also recently launched two new “Stranger Things” Soudmojis, which are emoji that play a sound when you send them within Messenger, and a new chat theme. Messenger also recently rolled out a new Taylor Swift Soudmoji to celebrate the release of “Red.”
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 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
Remote AB Switches
ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.
ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes.
The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of 2023.
As usual, this process advancement should allow for performance and power efficiency improvements, which can lead to faster speeds and/or longer battery life on future iPhones and Macs. The first series of Apple silicon Macs powered by M1 chips already deliver industry-leading performance per watt while running impressively quiet and cool.
The first Apple devices with 3nm chips will likely debut in 2023, including iPhone 15 models with an A17 chip and Apple silicon Macs with M3 chips — all names are tentative. The Information's Wayne Ma last month reported that some of the M3 chips will have up to four dies, which the report said could translate into those chips having up to a 40-core CPU, compared to the 8-core M1 chip and 10-core M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
In the meantime, Macs with M2 chips and iPhone 14 models are expected to use chips based on TSMC's N4 process, which is another iteration of its 5nm process.
17 words worth $1.56 million
In 1922, one year after he won the Nobel Prize, Einstein traveled to Japan for a lecture series and found himself continually surrounded by curious admirers. Apparently even back then, he was turning over the question of happiness in his mind, because one day when a bellboy came to make a delivery to his hotel room, Einstein handed him a pair of signed notes rather than a tip.
One of them read (in German): “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
It's unclear whether Einstein was passing a note to posterity or was simply caught without pocket change and knew his signature would be worth a lot more than any tip one day. But whatever Einstein's motivations, his gesture turned out to be incredibly generous. In 2017 the note, now owned by one of the bellboy's descendants, sold for $1.56 million at auction.
|Inside Towers Newsletter|
Intelsat, SES Clear C-Band Early
UPDATE Intelsat and SES say they’ve cleared a 120 MHz swath of C-band ahead of the FCC’s deadline, paving the way to obtain more than $2 billion in combined proceeds. The satellite operators hold the largest share of the 500 MHz C-band in the U.S., according to SpaceNews. The satellite companies say the agency validated their activities needed to clear their spectrum by December 5, under Phase I of the regulator’s accelerated schedule.
“Over the past two years we have worked tirelessly to quickly clear spectrum while also carefully transitioning our customers’ services, and we are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished,” SES CEO Steve Collar said in a statement. “This was a tremendous undertaking, and our success reinforces our confidence in our ability to meet the FCC’s Phase II deadline in 2023.”
C-band holders in the U.S. are in line to receive $9.7 billion in total for clearing 300 MHz of the band for terrestrial 5G wireless operators by December 5, 2023, by moving customers to the upper 200 MHz of the band.
Intelsat and SES are set to get $4.9 billion and $3.97 billion, respectively, under the FCC’s plan. But SES is disputing Intelsat’s share of the proceeds in legal action taken at Intelsat’s bankruptcy court, according to the account. SES is one of Intelsat’s largest creditors in its Chapter 11 process, complicating the operator’s restructuring plans.
In August, Inside Towers reported, Intelsat said it had widespread support for a reorganization plan to cut the company’s debt by more than half to $7 billion. The operator is seeking approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for this plan. A hearing was set to begin yesterday. If approved, Intelsat would emerge from bankruptcy as a private company.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.
Lifeline Fixed Broadband Usage Allowance Increases; Other Lifeline Changes Delayed
Effective today, December 1, 2021, the fixed broadband usage allowance for Lifeline is 1,229 GB per month. USAC advises service providers who provide Lifeline-supported fixed broadband services to notify their Lifeline subscribers of this change.
The phase-out of Lifeline support for voice-only services, and the scheduled increase in the mobile broadband data capacity minimum service standards for the Lifeline program, were also scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2021. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, these changes were delayed one year. As a result, voice-only Lifeline support will continue until, and the mobile broadband data capacity minimum service requirement will not increase (from 4.5 GB/mo to 18 GB/mo), until December 1, 2022.
BloostonLaw Contact: Sal Taillefer.
FCC Waives Enrollment Freeze and Notice Requirements for EBB; Provides Preliminary Guidance
On November 26, the FCC adopted a waiver of its rules governing the enrollment freeze and notice requirements for the end of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program), in light of the recently-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act). The FCC also provided preliminary guidance to help prepare for the transition from the EBB Program to the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Specifically, the FCC found that the enrollment freeze is no longer necessary because the Infrastructure Act extended and modified the EBB Program and replaced it with the Affordable Connectivity Program, and appropriated an additional $14.2 billion (in addition to the fact that based on current budget projections, EBB Program funds will be not be fully expended before December 31, 2021). As such, according to the FCC, there is no longer any concern that the EBB Program will run out of funding before the effective date of the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Next, the FCC found that requiring providers to issue notices to households about the end of the EBB Program in the manner prescribed by the rules could cause alarm about a perceived loss of service, and confusion, since the Infrastructure Act provided that EBB households will continue to receive a benefit at the EBB-level support amount for a limited 60-day period beyond the end of EBB Program. The FCC also anticipates that the vast majority of households enrolled in the EBB Program will remain eligible to receive a broadband benefit through the Affordable Connectivity Program, even beyond the 60-day transition period.
To promote the orderly transition from the EBB Program to the Affordable Connectivity Program, the FCC also provided preliminary guidance to help stakeholders begin to plan and prepare for the transition period. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Infrastructure Act makes certain modifications to the eligibility criteria used for the EBB Program, and changes the monthly benefit amount from $50 to $30 (with the exception of consumers residing on qualified Tribal lands and qualifying high-cost areas). These amendments are expected to take effect on December 31, 2021, but as noted above the Infrastructure Act provides for a 60-day transition period for households that “qualified for the EBB Program” before December 31, 2021. Accordingly, the FCC indicated it will still be necessary to stop enrollments in the EBB Program prior to the December 31, 2021 effective date for administrative purposes and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Infrastructure Act, and, there may be a de minimis gap between the date that EBB Program enrollments cease and the date that applications are accepted in the Affordable Connectivity Program.
The FCC further indicated that USAC may also need to remove access to the online and paper applications for the EBB Program before the close of the Program. USAC will identify a date(s) by which applications will be removed in order to prevent consumer confusion and to support the administration of the end of the EBB Program. To retain the benefit at the EBB-support level during the 60-day transition window, households must be enrolled in the EBB Program before the Affordable Connectivity Program begins. According to the FCC, a qualified EBB Program application alone does not constitute enrollment in the EBB Program. The FCC indicated it will provide subsequent guidance on the specific timing when EBB Program applications will no longer be accepted by USAC. Households that are enrolled in the EBB Program as of December 31, 2021 will automatically participate in the 60-day transition period and are not required to separately opt-in or affirmatively request enrollment solely for purposes of continuing to receive their benefit during the 60-day transition period.
Finally, the FCC also indicated that it will be necessary to reverify the eligibility of EBB Program households that qualified under eligibility criteria that have been removed by the Infrastructure Act for the Affordable Connectivity Program. This reverification will only be necessary for the limited number of households that enrolled in the EBB Program based on a substantial loss of income after February 29, 2020, or participation in a service provider’s approved COVID-19 relief program. Absent demonstrating eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program, these households must be de-enrolled at the conclusion of the 60-day transition period. The FCC indicated that it will provide additional guidance on this reverification process and steps that providers and affected EBB Program households will need to take in order to establish their eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program by the conclusion of the 60-day transition window.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Decommissions Electronic Fee Filer and Red Light Display Systems Effective December 15
The FCC has announced that it will be decommissioning its current Fee Filer and “Red Light Display” systems effective December 15, 2021. The Fee Filer system will be replaced with a new payment module in the Commission’s Registration System (CORES).
The FCC will have various payment methods, depending upon the type of fee that is being paid:
We suspect that as the FCC migrates its various systems to newer platforms that there will be further changes over the next few years.
The FCC is also decommissioning its legacy Red Light Display System, which indicates if an FCC-regulated entity owes money to the government, and thus may not be able to obtain FCC action on applications, etc. until the debt is paid. This functionality was previously moved into the FCC’s CORES system and can be accessed through the FCC Username account.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
USDA Begins Accepting Next Round of ReConnect Applications
On November 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Department has begun accepting applications for up to $1.15 billion in loans and grants under its ReConnect Program. Eligible applicants are state, local or territory governments; corporations; Native American Tribes; limited liability companies and cooperative organizations.
This funding, which does not include the nearly $2 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is available for projects that serve rural areas where at least 90 percent of the households lack broadband service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). USDA indicates that it will give funding priority to projects that will serve people in low-density rural areas and areas lacking Internet access services at speeds of at least 25 Mbps (download) and 3 Mbps (upload).
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, applicants must commit to building facilities capable of providing broadband service at speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in a proposed service area at the same time. In making funding decisions, USDA has indicated it will also consider the economic needs of the community to be served; the extent to which a provider will offer affordable service options; a project’s commitment to strong labor standards; and whether a project is serving Tribal lands or is submitted by a local government, Tribal government, non-profit or cooperative.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Law and Regulation
FCC Provides Guidance on Conversational MOS Testing for CAF-II High Latency Networks
On November 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice providing guidance on the environmental and procedural requirements to be used for conversational Mean Opinion Score (MOS) testing of voice service provided over Connect America Fund (CAF)-supported high-latency networks. According to the Public Notice, MOS testing applies to those technologies unable to meet the 100 ms latency standard (such as traditional geostationary satellite services) and that instead must demonstrate a MOS score of four or higher and that 95 percent or more of all testing hour measurement of network round trip latency are at or below 750 ms.
The following requirements apply to all MOS testing:
Additional Requirements apply to Active Subscriber Testing and Centralized Testing. The FCC also provides guidance on specific MOS testing procedures, tasks, and scoring, such as ITU-T Rec. P.805.
Carriers subject to the MOS testing requirement must report the opinion scores obtained from each conversation test. A conversation test record must include the date of the test, the test variation (i.e., active subscriber testing, centralized testing, or subscriber-to-centralized location testing), start time of the conversation, the approximate length of the conversation in minutes, and the opinion scores and location identifiers of both test subjects who participated in the test.
Carriers with questions about MOS testing for high-latency networking may contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Comments on TRS Fund Compensation for IP Relay Due December 20
On November 29, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the publication of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposals to modify the compensation methodology for Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay) supported by the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (TRS Fund) in the Federal Register. Comments are due December 20, and reply comments are due January 18.
In the NPRM, the FCC proposed to amend the compensation rules for IP Relay to “take account of the changed environment in which this service is provided and to avoid providers routinely seeking ad hoc compensation adjustments in the future.” The FCC also proposed to continue setting the compensation level for a multi-year period, subject to annual adjustment based on predetermined factors, but included a number of changes in how reasonable costs are determined. Comment is sought in particular on whether to change the specific duration of the compensation period (i.e., how often the base compensation level is redetermined) and on the appropriate criteria for annual adjustment of the compensation level, as well as other aspects of the methodology. The FCC also sought comment on which specific aspects of the cost-based approach have been problematic in the IP Relay context, and on the MARS-based alternative proposed in T-Mobile’s related petition for rulemaking.
Carriers with questions about the proceeding may contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Comments on FM Directional Antenna NPRM due December 30
On November 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to update its rules for applicants proposing directional antenna facilities for FM and Low Power FM (LPFM) broadcast stations was published in the Federal Register. As a result, comments are due December 30, and reply comments are due January 14. In this proceeding, the FCC sought comment on specific rule revisions allowing an FM or LPFM applicant to verify a directional antenna pattern through the use of computer modeling.
Carriers interested in filing comments may contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
USAC Files Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Report
On November 30, the Universal Service Administrative Co. published its report on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. Highlights from the report include:
The total claims amount for the October 2021 service month was $259.43 million with approximately 9.6% of claims for the one-time connected device discount and 90.4% for monthly broadband support. As of November 15, 2021, providers had claimed reimbursement for 985,600 one-time connected devices. Approximately 98% of these device claims were for tablets, approximately 1% were for laptops, and 1% were for desktop computers.
DECEMBER 1: FCC FORM 323, BIENNIAL OWNERSHIP REPORT. In odd numbered years, all licensees of commercial AM, FM, and full power television broadcast stations, as well as Licensees of Class A Television and Low Power Television (LPTV) stations, must file FCC Form 323 December 1. The information in each ownership report shall be current as of October 1 of the year in which the ownership report is filed.
In the case of organizational structures that include holding companies or other forms of indirect ownership, a separate FCC Form 323 must be filed for each entity in the organizational structure that has an attributable interest in the licensee. If a licensee holds multiple station licenses and the information submitted on the licensee’s ownership report is equally applicable to each such license, the licensee may file a single Form 323 listing all such licenses. Similarly, if a non-licensee holds attributable interests in multiple licensees and the information submitted on that entity’s ownership report is equally applicable to each such licensee and all licenses, that entity may file a single Form 323 listing all such licensees and licenses. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any entity that both (1) is a licensee and (2) holds attributable interests in one or more licensees must file two ownership reports — one as a licensee and one as a non-licensee.
JANUARY 18: Form 855 HAC Compliance Certification. The next Hearing Aid Compatibility regulatory compliance certification, certifying compliance with the FCC’s HAC handset minimums as well as enhanced record retention and website posting requirements for the 2021 calendar year, will be due Monday, January 18, 2022, for all CMRS service providers (including CMRS resellers) that had operations during any portion of 2021. Companies that sold their wireless licenses during the 2021 calendar year will need to file a partial-year HAC compliance certifications if they provided mobile wireless service at any time during the year. Under current FCC rules, at least 66% of a Tier III provider’s handset must meet ratings of M3- or better and T3- or better. The benchmark applicable to Tier III providers will increase from 66% to 85% on April 3, 2023. BloostonLaw has prepared a 2022 HAC Regulatory Compliance Template to facilitate our clients’ compliance with the revised HAC rules. Contact Cary Mitchell if you would like to obtain a copy of the HAC Regulatory Compliance Template.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.
JANUARY 31: FCC FORM 555, ANNUAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER CERTIFICATION FORM. All Lifeline Program service providers are required to file the FCC Form 555, except where the National Verifier, state Lifeline administrator, or other entity is responsible. Since January 31 falls on a weekend or holiday this year, Form 555 may be filed by February 1. The FCC Form 555 must be submitted to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) electronically via USAC’s E-File (One Portal). Carriers must also file a copy of their FCC Form 555 in the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System, Docket 14-171, and with their state regulatory commission. The form reports the results of the annual recertification process and non-usage de-enrollments. Recertification results are reported month-by-month based on the subscribers’ anniversary date.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.
FEBRUARY 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.
FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.
BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.
FEBRUARY 1: Live 911 Call Data Reports – Non-Nationwide Providers that do not provide coverage in any of the Test Cities must collect and report aggregate data based on the largest county within its footprint to APCO, NENA, and NASNA on the location technologies used for live 911 calls in those areas. Clients should obtain spreadsheets with their company’s compliance data from their E911 service provider (e.g., Intrado / West).
BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell.
Reply Comments on PSAP Robocall Blocking Due December 16
On November 1, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing new rules designed to protect Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) from unwanted robocalls. Reply comments are due December 16.
The FCC’s NPRM, originally released in September, would require voice service providers to block robocalls made to 911 call center telephone numbers listed on a PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. The FCC is also seeking comment on several related questions, including the extent to which autodialed calls and text messages continue to be a problem for 911 call centers, as well as whether the number of unwanted calls and texts has significantly changed as a result of anti-robocall efforts since 2012, when the FCC first took steps to establish a PSAP Do-Not Call registry at Congress’ direction. Finally, the FCC is seeking comment on ways to protect PSAPs from cyberattacks and disruptions other than those conducted with robocalls.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Sal Taillefer and Richard Rubino.
Office of Management and Budget Seeks Comment on Certain Part 90 FCC Record Retention Requirements
As part of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) periodically seeks comment on various information collection and record retention requirements. Here, OMB is seeking comment on whether record retention requirements specified in Rule Sections 90.215 and 90.443(b) should be retained, modified or eliminated. Comments are due December 20, 2021.
Rule Section 90.215 requires licensees to measure the carrier frequency, output power and modulation of each transmitter with power in excess of 2 watts when the transmitter is initially installed and when any changes are made that would likely affect the modulation characteristics. The FCC’s rules state that these measurements must be made by a qualified engineering measurement service and that the measurements must be retained in the station records, along with the name and address of the engineering measurement service and the name of the person making the measurements. The FCC’s justification for this requirement is that these measurements and information should normally be used by the licensee in order to ensure that the transmitting equipment is operating within the prescribed tolerances. Further, the FCC states that this requirement will help limit interference to other co-channel and adjacent channel licensees.
Rule Section 90.443(b) requires each licensee to maintain records for all stations by providing the dates and necessary details of any maintenance that is performed on station equipment. These records must include the name and address of the service technician who performed the work.
While the FCC believes that these requirements allow for efficient operation and limit the potential for harmful interference, any comments that might be in support of eliminating or modifying this requirement should be able to demonstrate why these requirements are no longer necessary for ensuring proper operation of licensed facilities.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
Violation Notice Issued for Improper Activation of Emergency Locator Transmitter
The FCC has issued a violation notice to Airmd LLC for improper activation of an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) in response to a complaint from the FAA’s Honolulu Service Operations Center. Upon inspection of the aircraft while it was parked in a hangar at the Honolulu International Airport, the FAA field inspector noted that the ELT onboard the aircraft had been activated. Rule Section 87.193 provides that ELTs are intended to be activated in an emergency as a locating aid for survival purposes. For those of our clients who operate aircraft, we recommend that steps be taken in order to prevent accidental activation of any ELTs located on your aircraft.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
President Biden Signs Secure Equipment Act into Law
On November 15, President Biden signed into law the Secure Equipment Act of 2021. The Secure Equipment Act, which was introduced by Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), requires the FCC to establish rules stating that it will no longer review or approve any authorization application for equipment that is on the list of covered communications equipment or services (i.e., the list of communications equipment or services that the FCC determines pose an unacceptable risk to national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons).
When passed by the Senate earlier this month, Rep. Scalise stated “I applaud the Senate for unanimously passing the Secure Equipment Act that I authored with Rep. Anna Eshoo. Our bipartisan legislation will prevent China from infiltrating America’s telecommunications networks and compromising our national security. The Secure Equipment Act forcefully signals to the Chinese Communist Party that America is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our citizens, and I look forward to this legislation becoming law.”
Rep. Eshoo said, “For over a decade, I have fought to address vulnerabilities in our telecommunications systems, and today my bill with Rep. Scalise passed in the Senate. Equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, companies linked to the Chinese government, increases the vulnerabilities of our telecommunication systems and puts our national security at risk. Our bipartisan, bicameral bill prohibits the FCC from issuing licenses for any telecommunications equipment made by Huawei or ZTE. Bravo to Senators Markey and Rubio who pushed our legislation through the Senate just days after it passed in the House. I’m eager to see this bill signed into law by the President soon.”
While it is not likely that this law will have a direct impact on our private user clients, it is important to note that the elimination of equipment that poses an unacceptable risk to national security or the safety and security of US citizens could potentially create supply chain issues that may delay your equipment orders. We recommend that our clients keep this in mind and ensure that equipment orders are placed no later than 90 days after license grant. In this way, should it become necessary to request an extension of time to complete construction, you will be in a position to demonstrate the company acted with due diligence.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Aviation Groups Ask for Further Delay of 5G Rollouts Amid Interference to Aircraft Concerns
Politico and others are reporting that a coalition of aviation interests is asking the White House to weigh in on aviation industry concerns over the potential for interference to aircraft from new 5G services, and are asking that the current 30-day pause on the 5G rollouts be extended further as necessary. The group warns of dire consequences if the interference issue is not addressed. The issue arises because 5G systems can operate in the C-Band spectrum (3.7 to 3.98 GHz) recently won at auction by many wireless carriers; and aircraft electronics operate in another portion of the C-band, 4.2 and 4.4 GHz, which may suffer potential adjacent channel interference. AT&T and Verizon agreed to the temporary hold on certain aspects of their 5G implementation when the interference concerns appeared.
In a November 5 letter the Biden Administration’s deputy director of the National Economic Council, representatives from the airlines, manufacturers, and other components of the aviation industry requested that the Administration form a working group to address the potential for 5G interference to aircraft, and to delay further 5G implementation “until the safety and efficiency of the [aviation industry] is ensured.”
On November 24, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. advised the FCC that they will limit some of their fifth-generation wireless services for six months, while federal regulators review the effect of 5G signals on aircraft sensors, in an effort to address the interference issue.
BloostonLaw Contact: John Prendergast
T-Mobile Enters into $19.5 Million Consent Decree for 911 Violations
The FCC and T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile) have entered into a consent decree in which T-Mobile has agreed to pay $19.5 million and enter into a very detailed compliance program as a result of its failure to comply with the FCC’s 911 rules. These rules require wireless carriers to design and operate their networks to ensure reliable transmission of all 911 calls to public safety answering points (PSAPS). Additionally, carriers are required to provide 911 call back information as well as 911 location information. Finally, the rules also require wireless carriers to timely notify potentially affected PSAPs of reportable 911 outages.
The consent decree arises out of a 12+ hour outage on June 15, 2020, that led to congestion across T-Mobile’s 4G, 3G and 2G networks and caused (i) the complete failure of more than 23,000 911 calls, (ii) more than 23,000 calls to 911 without location information and (iii) more than 20,000 calls to PSAPS without call back information. At just over 2 hours into the incident, T-Mobile initiated mass 911 outage notifications to the thousands of potentially affected PSAPS, which warned that delivery of location information may be affected. These notifications indicated that 911 calls were still being completed. It was determined that the outage was caused by a brief failure of a leased fiber transport link in the T-Mobile network, which was compounded by a temporary routing flaw in a single location and two previously undetected flaws in third party software.
As indicated above, in addition to the $19.5 million penalty, T-Mobile has been required to implement a very detailed compliance program. This compliance program, which must be evaluated and updated periodically, is designed to ensure that T-Mobile is able to detect issues and make appropriate notifications in a timely manner.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Dear Friends of CMA,
The large number of participants at our "Industry"-Follow-Up Event has shown that it was so important to present a.o. the Blackout related speech and interview in any case in this Follow-Up Event.
It has been successful and we will use all the content for more visibility of what our messages are. Please, support any time and any place you can.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for the great interest in our CMASummit21 “Industry” and the Follow-Up Event. All presentations from Oct. 28th as well as from Nov. 22nd are now available for download as a video on the CMA homepage https://www.critmsg.org. You can access them at any time via the already familiar login https://www.critmsg.org/login with your registration data for the event.
For the next year, 2 events for a broader audience are already being planned. They will deal with the topics "Cooperation" and "User Focus." Of course we would be more than happy to find your names on the list of participants again. And the names of your colleagues and friends, too.
Please refer to our homepage for corresponding announcements. In addition, you will of course be informed again by mail about the exact dates and contents — as you are used to from the Critical Messaging Association.
And now I hope that everyone gets well through this difficult time. Please take care of your health and that of your loved ones.
And next wish: be successful in our and your specific businesses. Our association can not replace activities of our members and friends, but what we can do — we can support you. If you have any wishes, please give a short mail or a call with your proposals or questions.
I wish you all a peaceful and restful Advent season.
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