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This Week's Wireless News Headlines:
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This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
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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Russia’s Destruction of an Orbiting Satellite Raises Space Debris Concerns
Russia tested an anti-satellite weapon on November 15, destroying one of its own old and defunct satellites, Kosmos 1408. Launched in 1982, Kosmos 1408 was some 300 miles above Earth. Its destruction generated a debris field in Earth orbit that prompted the seven International Space Station crew members, including one Russian cosmonaut, to take cover in their crew capsules for several hours, in case they had to abandon the station. Occupants of the Chinese space station are reported to have taken similar action. The incident also has generated criticism from many corners and a grave discussion on the possible impact of any future such tests, by Russia or anyone else.
The danger of damage to the ISS or an orbiting satellite aside, tracking a debris field that could include thousands of pieces, in order to head off collisions, is a concern all its own. Very small debris in space is essentially impossible to track reliably, if at all. The incident also comes at a time when the number of spacecraft in Earth orbit continues to grow. AMSAT President Robert Bankston, KE4AL, said that Russia’s action will pose a threat to all activities in low Earth orbit for years to come, placing satellites and human spaceflight missions at risk.
“Space is already crowded, but now there are at least 1,500 trackable fragments and, possibly, hundreds of thousands of smaller yet still-threatening pieces of debris in low Earth orbit,” Bankston said. “While space stations have the capability to move out of the way, with sufficient notice, most satellites in low Earth orbit, including those designed, built, launched, and operated by AMSAT, do not. As such, they face greater risk of catastrophic destruction or degraded mission functionality, if struck by fragments from Russia’s destruction of Kosmos-1408.”
Bankston said AMSAT is closely monitoring the situation and hoping for the best.
NASA Chief Bill Nelson echoed Secretary of State Antony Blinken in expressing his own outrage at Russia’s action. “Their actions are reckless and dangerous threatening as well the Chinese space station at the taikonauts on board,” he said. “The [ISS] is passing through or near the cloud every 90 minutes, but the need to shelter for only the second and third passes of the event was based on a risk assessment made by the debris office and ballistics specialists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston,” Nelson explained.
FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington condemned the incident as “irresponsible” and noting that orbital debris fields pose a threat to hopes for the peaceful use of space and “make the work of using space complicated and difficult,” he said in a statement. “For decades to come, they stifle scientific research, inhibit communications, and pose threats to the lives of explorers. And in the here and now, they pose a great threat to [existing] satellites of all nations” deployed for peaceful purposes.
“No one owns space,” Simington said. “And no one should intentionally make it more difficult to use.”
The FCC’s orbital debris rules date back to 2004, when the FCC adopted requirements affecting not only Part 97 Amateur Service rules but Parts 5 (experimental) and 25 (communications satellites) The FCC has made it clear that orbital debris rules apply to amateur satellites, in general requiring submission of an orbital debris mitigation plan with each license application.
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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CFO: Fixed Wireless is Killer App for 5G and it’s Driving a Verizon Nationwide Broadband Strategy
During the virtual Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecom Conference today, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis outlined the company’s strategy to become a nationwide provider of broadband access. That strategy involves a dramatic expansion of fixed wireless access to complement the company’s Fios fiber footprint.
Posted on November 17, 2021 by Bernie Arnason
By the end of 2025, Verizon intends to make broadband available to close to 70 million locations, including its eastern seaboard Fios footprint. Fixed wireless will serve just over 70% of all those locations, or 50 million, according to Ellis.
“Consumers are going to think about ‘I have my connectivity partner and it works when I’m on the move and it works when I’m at home,’” Ellis outlined. “The ability to go from being just a regional player on broadband as we were a couple of years ago to nationwide and how we market to our customer base in terms of offering those products together is a significant part of the growth opportunity that we discussed up front.”
Join Telecompetitor, Corning, and key industry thought leaders from ComNet, NRECA, and Black&Veatch for a roundtable discussion that explores the critical role middle mile connectivity plays in the success of community broadband projects. We’ll explore the challenges in middle mile planning and execution, and the different approaches to solving them.
Verizon is on track to hit 15 million locations by the end of this year, having hit 11.6 million by the end of 3Q21, he reports. The company reported adding 55K fixed wireless subscribers in 3Q21.
Fixed Wireless as a 5G Killer App
Ellis labeled fixed wireless a killer app for 5G, citing the carrier’s strategy to use both mmWave and C-band 5G spectrum for fixed wireless access. Ellis cites 30K mmWave cell sites as up and running, providing more 5G fixed wireless footprint. As they turn up C-Band, the Verizon broadband footprint will expand, courtesy of 5G fixed wireless.
“Is it one of the 5G killer apps? We absolutely believe that to be the case,” Ellis said in response to a question from the moderator about 5G for fixed wireless access.
While 5G fixed wireless is a key component, so too is 4G LTE. By leveraging excess capacity with its 4G LTE spectrum, Verizon is expanding its fixed wireless reach with 4G and 5G. In many cases, subscribers will gain access to both variants from the same CPE.
Verizon began shipping 4G fixed wireless CPE last summer with C-band capability baked in. As C-band sites get turned up, those subscribers will be able to migrate to a faster 5G C-band enabled experience.
On the Fios front, Ellis sees much momentum as well. He reports 400K net Fios adds over the past four quarters. The company is also adding about 400K new Fios addressable locations each year, through new housing formation and in a footprint copper replacement strategy. Ellis expects this momentum to continue for the next two to three years.
Verizon Plans for Broadband Infrastructure Funding
Ellis also sees broadband infrastructure funding flowing from the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 as a possible source to fuel even more Verizon broadband network investment.
“Absolutely we have the opportunity to look at ways of using those funds to accelerate some of the work we’re doing,” Ellis said. “We’ll do that in a thoughtful fashion, find the right opportunities to do that.”
Given Verizon’s reliance on fixed wireless, Ellis was quick to lobby that the funding should be technology neutral.
“I think it’s really important that the bill doesn’t favor particular technologies,” Ellis said. “Let’s let the marketplace determine the right solution in each geographic location. Does it have to be fiber into each individual premise, or is it fiber to the cell site and then fixed wireless access [that] provides a compelling product and a great price point for those customers as well.”
|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
How the first year of Apple silicon changed the Mac forever
A look back–and forward–after a thrilling year of Apple silicon
By Jason Snell NOV 17, 2021 4:00 AM PST
A year ago this week the era of Apple silicon truly began, as the first reviews of M1 Macs arrived, followed shortly thereafter by M1 Macs arriving in Apple Stores and in the hands of Mac users everywhere.
We had hope that the future would be brighter with Apple-designed processors, but that optimism was tempered by Apple’s recent Mac missteps. There were also a lot of questions about a processor that had only really seen success in iPhones and iPads. Would there be unexpected pitfalls of abandoning Intel? Could Apple pull off its latest Mac chip transition with the same skill that it showed during the two previous transitions?
The Mac is in a safer place
Right away it was clear that the M1 would provide to the Mac what we had all hoped it would: impressive performance and excellent power efficiency–leading to great battery life on laptops. Over the last year, as Apple-designed chips have spread to most Mac models, those facts have remained intact.
In just the last month, one of the biggest questions of the entire chip transition has been answered. The M1 chip was capable enough to run lower-end systems that needed about as much processing power as an iPad Pro, but could Apple’s chips scale to meet the needs of professional Mac users? With the release of the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, we got the answer. It’s a definitive yes.
This was not a given. It’s easy to say “just throw more processor and graphics cores at the problem,” but computer performance doesn’t necessarily scale so easily. Apple’s advantage really came into play with its unified memory architecture, which doesn’t just offer a lot of fast memory for processing operations, but also offers an enormous pool of fast memory for GPU use.
A few years ago, if you had told me that Mac laptops would be shipping with 10-core processors with 32-core GPUs, I would believe you–but I would have been seriously impressed that Intel had managed to make those processors and that Apple had been able to ship them in its laptops.
Bottom line: Apple’s skill in making chips for iPads and iPhones does translate to the Mac, after all.
There were very few growing pains
Shifting to an entirely new processor architecture isn’t easy, but Apple has done it to the Mac three times, and in every case it’s acquitted itself well. That said, there’s probably nobody left at Apple who worked on the PowerPC transition, and even the Intel transition is probably only a distant memory in the mind of the most grizzled of veteran Apple engineers.
And yet the streak remains intact. In fact, I’m tempted to call the past year painless. Compatibility has largely been a non-issue, starting with Rosetta 2, the code-translation system that allows Intel-based apps to run on Apple silicon without trouble. Rosetta got a huge leg up with the speed of the M1 chips, of course–it’s a lot easier to run translated code when it’s running on a really fast processor–but Apple also did a good job in letting translated apps tie into native code that runs at full speed. (For example, an Intel-built game using the Apple silicon-native Metal graphics engine may run faster on an M1 Mac than it did on an Intel model.)
As someone who relies on a few apps that were what Steve Jobs used to call “laggards”–they took a long time to run natively on Apple silicon, or are still not there — I am happy to report that they run just fine, to the point where it doesn’t matter that they’re not native. (And yet, I am angry at those laggard developers, because I know their software could run much faster than it does. One of these days they’ll release an update and all of a sudden, those apps will fly. I continue to wait.)
Even better, it seems like there are very few apps that are actually laggards. Most of my apps embraced Apple silicon very, very quickly. That’s down to the flexibility and motivation of Apple’s developer community, and to Apple for providing them with tools to make the transition relatively painless.
The competition doesn’t have an answer
Apple’s long-time frenemy Qualcomm insists that it is going to make chips that can match up with Apple silicon–maybe by 2023. Fans of PCs running AMD and Intel processors cling to the fact that while the new MacBook Pros might be the fastest laptops around–especially if you unplug them from the wall–at least there are still more powerful computers on the desktop. (Let’s see what happens when Apple releases its Apple silicon-based Mac Pro.)
The truth is, Apple caught the tech world flat-footed. They’re all scrambling to catch up. Apple was already more than a year ahead of Qualcomm, every single year, in terms of smartphone processor performance. Now it’s shown that it can extend that performance to the Mac–and in the process, use all the tricks it used to surpass Qualcomm to blow past Intel, too.
But rest assured, they all know now. Qualcomm’s next-generation processor (which might challenge the M series in a couple of years) will be designed by a company founded by Apple silicon engineers which was recently bought by Qualcomm. Intel talks about having to beat Apple at its own game–or, failing that, convince Apple to use Intel’s factories to build Apple-designed chips.
The game continues. The future isn’t guaranteed. But Apple has the drop on the competition, and this past year has shown that everything we thought Apple’s chips might be able to do, they can do.
The transition’s half over
As with the transition from PowerPC to Intel, Apple’s first steps from Intel to Apple silicon were conservative. The MacBook Air, Mac mini, and 13-inch MacBook Pro were identical on the outside–but transformed on the inside.
Then came the next step, with new designs (the iMac and MacBook Pro) being coupled with upgrades to M-series processors. A redesign of the MacBook Air is likely on the horizon.
Now that the professional-level version of the M1 chip has arrived, there really aren’t that many chapters left to write in the story of the transition to Apple silicon. All along, Apple has said that this is a two-year transition, and it sure feels like it will meet that self-imposed timetable.
All that is left to revise is the Mac Pro, the larger iMac, and the high-end Mac mini. All but the Mac Pro could probably be solved with the existing M1 Max and M1 Pro chips. And with a second generation of M-series processors due in 2022, who wants to bet against Apple shipping an M2 Max Mac Pro about 12 months from now?
Not me. If the last year has taught any of us anything, it’s that Apple silicon delivers. I don’t expect the next year to change that perception one bit.
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.
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“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.
TV manufacturer Vizio makes more money selling data than TVs
THOM DUNN 7:28 AM THU NOV 18, 2021
Early this year, electronics company Vizio filed an IPO, and their newly-released third quarter earnings reveal an interesting business success: they made more than twice as much profit from their "Platform Plus" service, which includes advertising and data farming, than they did from actual TVs.
As The Verge explains:
To be fair, television manufacturing also has a much higher overhead — as the company's earning reports note, they netted $502.5M from devices, compared to $85.9M from Platform Plus. In terms of profit, however, this translated to $25.6M from devices … and $57.3M from Platform Plus.
Vizio's profit on ads, subscriptions, and data is double the money it makes selling TVs
Arecibo’s Legacy Lives On, a Year After Its Collapse
Space scientists Abel Méndez, Génesis Ferrer, and Arianna Colón Cesaní spoke with Motherboard about the incalculable impact of Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory.
By Becky Fereira
For more than half a century, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico was the largest single-dish telescope on Earth, a source of countless astronomical breakthroughs, and a beloved pop culture icon. So when Arecibo dramatically collapsed in 2020, it was mourned around the world. But despite this tragedy, Arecibo's legacy lives on, inspiring new generations of scientists.
In addition to its immense impact on the scientific community, Arecibo enjoyed a star-studded career as a background setting in movies and games, while also serving as a tourist attraction and landmark in Puerto Rico.
To honor the enormous impact that Arecibo left on the scientific community, Motherboard’s “Space Show,” spoke with Abel Méndez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, along with one of his students, Génesis Ferrer, an up-and-coming Puerto Rican space scientist.
“It was a great loss for everybody personally and professionally. But now we are thinking of the future and trying to get the best instrument we can for the observatory,” said Mendez in the episode, which was posted on Wednesday.
|Inside Towers Newsletter|
OSHA Suspends Biden’s COVID Mandate For Employers
UPDATE The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Thursday suspended enforcement of the Biden administration's new rules ordering larger employers to either require that their workers get vaccinated against COVID or undergo weekly testing, reports CBS. OSHA posted the announcement on its website, on Thursday. It added it "remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies."
It appears smaller tower contractors would be exempt, because the rule was to have affected companies with more than 100 workers. NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, recently surveyed members on the issue. The association said several member companies feared losing employees over such a mandate, Inside Towers reported.
The agency’s decision to stop implementing and enforcing the new rule comes after a federal appeals court on Friday reaffirmed an earlier temporary halt to the administration’s vaccine rule and ordered OSHA to stop enforcing or implementing the regulation.
The future of the government directive remains uncertain, with the case headed to the Sixth Circuit Court in Ohio.
Meanwhile, businesses across the nation question what this means for the new vaccine rule. Under the original plan, by December 5, employers with more than 100 employees must choose whether their workers must get fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.
By January 4, those businesses must implement the rule — a timeline that doesn’t provide employers much leeway if the Sixth Circuit upholds the rule.
Also on Thursday, Rep. James (R-KY) introduced a bill that, if passed, would block Biden from requiring the employees of federal contractors to get vaccinated against COVID, according to Fox. The Fairness for Federal Contractors Act of 2021 would ban executive agencies from requiring federal contractors’ employees to get vaccinated and require the Government Accountability Office to report the ways in which a federal contractor mandate has created job losses and disrupted worker performance and the national supply chain within 180 days of the legislation’s passage.
“American workers should not be forced to get the jab to keep their job. President Biden’s authoritarian mandate on employees of federal contractors requiring vaccination or termination is unfair to those who support the federal government and jeopardizes services such as defense and border security,” Comer, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, told Fox News in a statement.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.
Lifeline System Maintenance Scheduled for November 19
USAC indicates that the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), National Verifier (NV), Lifeline Claims System (LCS), and Representative Accountability Database (RAD) will be unavailable due to scheduled monthly maintenance starting Friday, November 19 from 10 p.m. until Saturday, November 20 at 2 a.m. ET.
NLAD, NV, LCS, and RAD staging and production environments will not be available for use during this time.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
President Biden Signs Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
On November 15, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure deal which, among other things, includes $65 billion for broadband.
The lion’s share of the funding — $42 billion — is dedicated to the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. This program allocates a minimum of $100 million to each state and $100 million to be allocated between the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, for the purpose of bringing broadband to unserved and underserved areas. $4.2 billion of the money will be allocated to “high cost” areas. The bill lays out certain specifics of the program - including application requirements, scoring, and funds matching - which are reminiscent of the Broadband Infrastructure Program and Broadband Technology Opportunity Programs administered by NTIA. Unlike those programs, however, the Equity, Access, and Deployment Program will require coordination with state and local government, as funding will be competitively awarded by states in the form of sub-grants.
The bill also allocates approximately $1.3 billion for funding under the Digital Equity Act of 2021. This Act creates a “State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program” and a “Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.” The purpose of the Capacity Grant Program is to promote the achievement of digital equity, support digital inclusion activities, and build capacity for efforts by States relating to the adoption of broadband by residents of those States, while the purpose of the Competitive Grant Program is to award grants to support efforts to achieve digital equity, promote digital inclusion activities, and spur greater adoption of broadband among covered populations.
The bill also allocates $1 billion to include a grant program to encourage the expansion and extension of middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas to the backbone of the Internet (a.k.a. the ``last mile'') and to promote broadband connection resiliency through the creation of alternative network connection paths that can be designed to prevent single points of failure on a broadband network.
Lastly, the bill includes a section on Broadband Affordability, which extends indefinitely the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, and renames it the “Affordable Connectivity Program;” requires the display of “consumer broadband labels,” and requires the FCC to adopt rules “to facilitate equal access to broadband Internet access service, taking into account the issues of technical and economic feasibility presented by that objective, including (1) preventing digital discrimination of access based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion or national origin and (2) identifying necessary steps for the [FCC] to take to eliminate such discrimination.”
In response to the signing of the bill, Commissioner Starks issued the following statement:
“Broadband connects us to jobs, education, healthcare, and each other. But tens of millions of Americans without reliable, high-quality Internet access cannot share equally in those benefits. The plan President Biden signed into law today makes historic investments in righting that longstanding wrong: expanding broadband infrastructure, making broadband affordable, and empowering Americans with digital skills and inclusion. We now have a once-in-a-generation chance to bring broadband to all Americans. Let’s get to work.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Clock Phase of 3.45-3.55 GHz Auction 110 Ends; Assignment Phase Next
After 151 rounds of bidding over 29 days, the clock phase of the FCC’s 3.45-3.55 GHz Auction (Auction 110) drew to a close, raising just under $22 billion for the U.S. Treasury. Bidders that have active bids at the conclusion of the clock phase are winning bidders, and will have the opportunity to bid for specific frequency bands in the assignment phase, if they perceive a strategic advantage to doing so. Participation in the assignment phase is voluntary, and all clock phase winners in a PEA will be assigned contiguous frequency blocks within a category regardless of whether they bid in the assignment phase.
The FCC will release a Public Notice within the next few business days announcing details about the assignment phase, the date and time when bidding in the assignment phase will begin, and the availability of additional educational materials. The public notice will also provide information about a preview period during which bidders can download their bidding options, and a mock auction that will provide bidders an opportunity to practice using the assignment phase bidding system.
Auction “Quiet Period” Still in Effect
All Auction 110 applicants that they remain subject to the Commission's rules prohibiting certain communications relating to the auction until after the deadline for winning bidders in Auction 110 to submit down payments. All Auction 110 applicants remain subject to the prohibition regardless of whether they qualified to bid or became winning bidders. In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holidays, and auction Public Notice requirements, we would expect the assignment phase will take place during the month of December, and post-action down payments and long-form applications will likely be due in early 2022.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell
NARUC Adopts Infrastructure Sharing Resolutions
At its 2021 Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners adopted a resolution supporting energy company communications infrastructure for broadband expansion. Specifically, the resolution encourages (1) regulators and industry to facilitate deployment by utilities of wired/wireless broadband networks for critical grid communications, (2) energy companies to consider sharing wired and wireless “middle mile” communications infrastructure to support expansion of consumer broadband access and, with respect to any wireless networks, coordinate to reduce equipment costs and enable provision of network services to other utilities with overlapping service territories, and (3) State legislatures and commissions to identify and mitigate any overly burdensome legislative or regulatory obstacles.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Mary Sisak.
Law and Regulation
President Biden Signs Secure Equipment Act into Law
On November 15, President Biden signed into law the Secure Equipment Act of 2021. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, 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).
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Authorizes 311 Additional RDOF Winning Bids
On November 12, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the authorization of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (Auction 904) support for 311 more winning bids. A full list if the latest authorized winning bids can be found here.
For each of the winning bids identified, the FCC has reviewed the long-form application information, including the letter(s) of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letter(s) from the long-form applicant’s legal counsel. Upon issuance of this Public Notice, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is authorized and directed to obligate and disburse from the Universal Service Fund the amounts identified in Attachment A to the long-form applicant associated with each study area specified. USAC will make disbursement payments to the account on file for the 498 ID associated with the study area code (SAC). The support will be disbursed in 120 monthly payments, which will begin at the end of this month.
FCC Announces 2,081 Winning Bids Ready for Authorization
On November 10, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that it is ready to authorize $709,060,159 for 2,081 winning bids in its fourth round of funding for new broadband deployments through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. A list of those bids ready to be authorized can be found here.
In order to be authorized, these applicants are required to submit acceptable irrevocable stand-by letter(s) of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letter(s) from their legal counsel for each state where they have winning bids that are ready to be authorized in accordance with the instructions provided below by the applicable deadline — prior to 6:00 p.m. ET on November 30, 2021.
According to a Press Release, the 26 states slated for this round of funding include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The bulk of this funding will go to nonprofit rural electric cooperatives to deploy broadband throughout their service areas.
“This latest announcement highlights the agency’s commitment to supporting even more opportunities to connect hundreds of thousands of Americans to high-speed, reliable broadband service while doing our due diligence to ensure the applicants can deliver to these unserved communities as promised,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “This program can do great things to help expand broadband in our country.”
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 2020 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.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
This is a first reminder. On Monday, Nov. 22nd 2021 the Follow-Up Meeting of the #CMASummit21 Industry will start at 3.00 pm CET. I am are looking forward to your participation by:
And at the end of this meeting is time for Q&A and a glass of whatever you like.
I'm look forward to welcoming you all online on Monday.
Have a nice and healthy weekend.
|THIS WEEK'S MUSIC VIDEO|
Tuba Skinny Broken Hearted Blues Longwood Garden 2021-08-15
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