|Wireless News Aggregation|
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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.)
Prism-IPX Systems LLC
For Immediate Release
PRISM-IPX SYSTEMS WELCOMES SENIOR VP OF SALES AND MARKETING
ATLANTA, September 1, 2021 — Prism-IPX Systems is very pleased to announce that Kirk Alland has joined Prism-IPX Systems as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Kirk is well-known with over 35 years of experience in the Paging and Critical Messaging industry and recently retired from Unication.
During his 19 years with Unication, Kirk and his team established the Unication brand as a premier supplier of Critical Messaging solutions. Prior to Unication, Kirk was with Motorola for 17 years, holding senior management positions in Product Development, Sales and Marketing. Kirk holds a Degree in Business Management from Texas Christian University.
Kirk will be responsible for expanding marketing and sales activity for the company through the development of new business opportunities and creation of customized solutions for customer needs.
Jim Nelson, President and CEO of Prism-IPX, states “I am very excited to have Kirk join our team. I've known Kirk for over 20 years, and I know he will excel at this challenge. Kirk has a proven record of facilitating long term business relationships with both customers and partners in our industry. His in-depth knowledge of signaling and alerting devices for Critical Messaging complement and enhance Prism-IPX's ability to meet the needs of our customers as it continues to provide unique and innovative products to our market segments.”
About Prism-IPX Systems:
Prism-IPX is an innovative market leader and a major developer and distributor for paging, including innovative P25 products, and has working relationships with other manufacturers to round out its product line as a full system supplier. The company has won several major domestic and international contracts for reliable modern IT-centric messaging systems that address cyber-security and IP based networking with centralized management and monitoring. Prism-IPX Systems LLC is a privately held company headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia USA with Engineering and support offices in several locations. The company has a development and support location in Adelaide, Australia to better serve its AU and Global markets.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Prism-IPX Systems website at www.prism-ipx.com
The FCC wants to know if you’re paying too much for Internet access
The Commission is investigating whether landlord-service provider relationships are limiting tenant choices.
BY COLLEEN HAGERTY | PUBLISHED SEP 7, 2021 8:00 PM
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday that it is requesting comments from the public to better understand some of the challenges that apartment dwellers have when choosing Internet service providers. The move comes after the Biden Administration raised concerns earlier this summer about the lack of competition in this space.
The Commission said in a release that it wants to learn more about the impacts of some common agreements between broadband service providers and the landlords of multi-tenant buildings. While the FCC prohibits these two parties from entering into exclusive contracts—meaning a building can’t make a deal to only offer residents one option for Internet access—the agency acknowledged there are other types of agreements that can limit choices for residents.
For example, the FCC pointed to revenue sharing agreements, which it describes as an arrangement between a landlord and a specific Internet service provider (ISP) that rewards the former when their tenants sign with the latter. The Commission identified two additional types of agreements it is particularly interested in hearing more about: exclusive wiring agreements, which grant one service provider the sole ability to use a building’s wiring, and exclusive marketing agreements, which allow only one provider to advertise to tenants, with the complex landlord often receiving some sort of payment.
Though these types of deals were singled out, the agency wrote in a Public Notice that it is also interested in learning about other sorts of agreements that might be impacting the ability of providers to compete within a given building. The notice offers the identifying information needed to submit a comment, multiple methods for sending it in, and relevant deadlines (the FCC also has a primer for first-time commenters that breaks down the basic process). In a press release, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the Commission will then be “reviewing the record” to see if there are ways the agency can “promote increased competition, consumer choice, and lower prices.”
Axios reports that this is the first step the FCC is taking to comply with an executive order President Biden issued in July. In a sweeping directive, the Biden administration called on more than a dozen federal agencies to address “competition problems” in industries including transportation, healthcare, and travel, among others, in response to the rise of corporate consolidation and increase of consumer costs in recent decades. Internet service was identified as another area of concern, with the administration citing a study that found more than 200 million U.S. residents live in places with just one or two high-speed Internet providers—and that costs in these areas can be as much as five times higher than those with more choices.
As the study’s author, Tejas N. Narechania, told Popular Science in July, these differences can be hyper-localized. “At the end of one street, someone has two or three service providers, and at the other end of the street, there’s only one service provider,” he said, offering one example. “The same provider, on the same street, in one town of 900 people, will charge the monopoly-served consumer way more than they will charge the consumer at the other end of the street that has competition.”
The administration had laid out a series of recommendations for the FCC to address these concerns—the top one being to “prevent Internet service providers from making deals with landlords that limit tenants’ choices.” Axios explains that the findings from this request for comment could “lay the groundwork” for the FCC to impose new regulations on these relationships.
The executive order also encouraged the FCC to revisit a number of initiatives started under the Obama-Biden administration that were either abandoned or reversed under President Trump, including developing a “Broadband Nutrition Label” that breaks down basic Internet service offerings to help consumers better compare provider options.
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.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
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The FCC's broadband map won't be ready for a year. This data company has already built one
LightBox, which helped Georgia build a detailed map of Internet service, has put information together to show where coverage gaps exist across the US.
Sept. 8, 2021 9:01 p.m. PT
This story is part of Crossing the Broadband Divide, CNET's coverage of how the country is working toward making broadband access universal.
The federal government is poised to allocate billions — $65 billion, to be exact — to make sure all Americans have speedy Internet at home. But it still doesn't know where the problem areas are. That's because of bad Federal Communications Commission maps that aren't detailed enough to show the gaps.
Now a real estate data company thinks it's created one of the most detailed maps available, showing exactly where coverage is strong and where it's lacking. LightBox, which helped the state of Georgia build what some experts call the most detailed broadband map in the country, published its own US map late Wednesday that combines its precise address data with information from about 2 billion Wi-Fi access points across the country.
LightBox "basically can, with a high degree of confidence, tell you, 'This is what the situation is in reality,'" CEO Eric Frank said in an interview ahead of the map's release. "These are the places that have Internet, and these are the places that don't show any appearance of Internet"
Millions of Americans around the country lack access to fast Internet at home, a need that's become especially critical over the past year and a half as the COVID-19 pandemic forced everything from family gatherings to classes and business meetings to go online. The federal government has an opportunity to fix this problem through the $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending package the Senate passed in August. The bill, which would allocate $65 billion to help close the digital divide, now must be approved by the House before it can head to President Joe Biden's desk.
Though federal, state and local governments want to deliver better Internet access, a fundamental flaw remains in not knowing where the problems lie. The faulty FCC national broadband map has essentially made millions of Americans without fast Internet "invisible," as Microsoft put it, and unless the data improves, they're likely to remain so.
A flawed map
Up to now, FCC maps have been too vague to be helpful. The agency collects what's called Form 477 data from Internet service providers, which contains information about where ISPs say they can provide service within 10 business days. It's measured at the census block level, the smallest geographic area used by the US Census Bureau, and if only one home in a census block can get service, the whole block is considered served and isn't eligible for public funds. If only one home in a census block can get service, the whole block is considered served and isn't eligible for public funds.
If only one home in a census block can get service, the whole block is considered served and isn't eligible for public funds.
The flawed maps present a big hurdle as the government tries to allocate billions through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, or RDOF, which the FCC has called its "largest investment ever to close [the] digital divide." Since the first phase of RDOF funding ended in November 2020, complaints have surfaced that some winning bids went to entities funding broadband to parking lots or well-served urban areas.
Critics like Steven Berry, head of the Competitive Carrier Association, which represents rural wireless companies, says the FCC's faulty maps aren't detailed enough to indicate to the bidders whether the areas they're bidding on were already served or didn't require service (the maps included geographies with airport runways or large parking lots).
"Pervasive errors in broadband data unfortunately led to some of the nation's wealthiest, most densely populated areas set to receive RDOF Phase I funds," he said.
To address these issues, the FCC in July issued letters to 197 RDOF winners with offers to allow them to withdraw their funding requests for areas that were already being served or where there were questions of whether service was even needed.
The latest FCC data, from January, which includes numbers provided through the end of 2019, determined that fewer than 14.5 million Americans — or 4.4% of the population — lack access to fixed broadband, which is defined as download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps. But Microsoft, which looks at how quickly people across the US download its software and security updates, estimated in June that 120.4 million people, or more than a third of the US population, don't use the Internet at broadband speeds.
LightBox's map pegged the number of people without home Internet at all to be nearly 60 million. The company hopes its data will let local governments figure out where their gaps are and apply for funding to bridge them.
"This allows those organizations to come at applications for funding and prepare the best case for their state so they are competitive," Frank said.
Improving FCC maps
Thanks to $65 million in funding from Congress in December, the FCC now will require Internet service providers to share more detailed data, giving a better picture of what areas are unserved by broadband. These requirements, outlined in the Broadband DATA Act passed in March 2020, require the FCC to open the map to public feedback, letting people flag when something's wrong and provide more data points on gaps. In February, acting FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel launched a new task force to fix the data, saying, "it's no secret that the FCC's existing broadband maps leave a lot to be desired."
ISPs have long resisted sharing address-level data with the FCC, and still won't under the new plan. Instead, carriers will report on access based on regions called "shapefiles," which will be overlaid on census blocks to depict the areas where broadband-capable networks exist. But until the FCC publishes its new maps — expected some time next year — it won't be clear whether those shapefiles are detailed enough to help.
The FCC says it's been making progress on its mapping effort over the past six months. The agency has selected a system developer to build and implement the map, and it's released a detailed public notice seeking comment on technical aspects of the mobile challenge and verification processes.
In August, the agency released a mobile LTE broadband and voice coverage map. It includes a snapshot of the type of precise mobile broadband availability data, based on new standardized parameters, that the FCC will collect through its Broadband Data Collection program. A spokeswoman for the agency said that the mobile map provides a preview of how it'll make data available to the public for fixed broadband service maps.
In the meantime, states have been building their own, more detailed maps. That includes Georgia, a LightBox customer.
Building detailed maps
Georgia state officials passed a law to protect ISP data and make the providers comfortable enough to share details about what addresses they served. But the officials realized they needed to find a way to know what addresses actually were homes, not post office boxes or structures where people don't live or work. That's where LightBox came in. The company has data on precise geospatial extent, address, occupancy classification and number of business or dwelling units for nearly all structures across the United States.
ISPs provided Georgia with information on the addresses they served, and the state then matched that with LightBox's data to identify locations that didn't have broadband.
"The Georgia broadband map is the most granular in the nation," Gigi Sohn, an FCC staffer from 2013 to 2016 under Chairman Tom Wheeler and current distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy, said in a speech in late January.
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.
Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.
INTERNET Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
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.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Wireless Network Planners
GENESIS Ham Satellites among Payloads Lost in Launch Failure
The GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N ham radio satellites were among several carrying amateur radio payloads lost following the failure of the Firefly Alpha rocket during its first launch on September 2 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. An anomaly occurred about 2 minutes into the mission, causing controllers to destroy the launcher in flight. The anomaly has yet to be explained.
This was sad news for AMSAT-EA (Spain), as GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N were the first satellites they had built themselves.
According to the AMSAT-EA website, the GENESIS satellites were destroyed after the Firefly Alpha vehicle presented an anomaly as it hit a velocity of Mach 1 and reached Max Q, a point of maximum aerodynamic pressure on the vehicle. The launch had been halted a few seconds before takeoff, but the countdown was subsequently resumed.
GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N were to conduct a series of telecommunications-related experiments, while a ground-station analysis of the received signals would try to attain Doppler variations in order to perform orbit determination and satellite identification from radio amateur stations around the world.
Also lost in the launch failure were the Serenity, Hiapo, the Cresst Dream Comet, and QUBIK-1 and QUBIK-2 satellites, and Spinnaker-3/Firefly Capsule 1. All were designed to use amateur radio frequencies for telemetry and/or communication.
Serenity, a 3U CubeSat, was developed by Teachers in Space (TIS) to provide low-cost opportunities to test educational experiments in space. TIS has previously guided high schools and other academic institutions in developing and flying sub-orbital experiments using high-altitude balloons, stratospheric gliders, and rockets. This was the first orbital satellite mission for TIS. Serenity carried a suite of data sensors and a camera to send data back to Earth using amateur frequencies.
Hiapo was an educational 1U CubeSat developed by the Hawaii Science and Technology Museum (HSTM). The Hiapo project was intended to provide hands-on STEM curriculum for Hawaii students in grades K – 12. Part of this curriculum involved obtaining data about solar flares, solar particle events, and disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field. Data would be available for amateur operators to download directly from the satellite.
The Cresst Dream Comet was a 3U CubeSat developed by the University of Cambridge as a small satellite for technology demonstrations.
QUBIK-1 and QUBIK-2 were picosatellites developed by the Libre Space Foundation, a nonprofit association developing PocketQube picosatellite technology. They were built following the 1P PocketQube form factor. The mission of these satellites was similar to that of the GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N satellites.
Spinnaker-3 was a collaboration between the Cal Poly CubeSat Laboratory, Purdue University, and NASA. It was designed to provide rapid de-orbit capability for the second stage of Firefly Alpha’s launch vehicle, using frequency shift keying (FSK) on 70 centimeters for communications. Firefly Capsule 1 consisted of nontechnical items from around the world, including photos, artwork, and books.
Perdidos los satélites GÉNESIS junto con el vehículo Alpha
Fecha:03 septiembre, 2021
Los satélites GÉNESIS han resultado destruidos en la madrugada del viernes 3 de septiembre junto con el vehículo Alpha de Firefly al presentar éste una anomalía cuando ascendía a velocidad Mach 1 cerca de dos minutos después del lanzamiento. Se trataba del primer vuelo de Firefly y era el segundo intento después de que el primero se abortase una hora antes unos segundos antes del despegue. La compañía Firefly aún no ha ofrecido más detalles de las causas de la pérdida del lanzador así como de las cargas que portaba.
En la imagen el momento de la explosión (créditos Everyday Astronaut/Firefly)
|Source:||ARRL||Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles|
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.
11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Cell Broadcast: Bundestag unanimously approves new cell phone warning system
Published by: MRT Published on: September 9, 2021
“Warnings of impending or spreading major emergencies and catastrophes” should be triggered via a central federal warning system and sent to cell phones in a certain area via the mobile network. Technically, this is done by means of so-called cell broadcasts, i.e. transmissions to all cell phones that are ready to receive in individual cellular cells. German network operators now have to install this. The Bundestag unanimously decided on a corresponding legal basis for the Cell Broadcast system on Tuesday.
The authorities for hazard prevention and civil protection and disaster control are responsible for drafting the warnings. The actual Amendment of the Telecommunications Act (TKG) is part of a Set-up aid package for those affected by the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in July. In addition to the mobile network operators, number-based messengers such as Signal, WhatsApp and Threema are also to contribute “to the extent necessary” to ensure that the warnings are delivered promptly.
Detailed specifications follow by ordinance. It should be about basic technical requirements, security requirements, organizational matters including availability and reaction times as well as performance features.
Cell broadcast is based on all current cellular standards. As with SMS, the signaling channels of the cellular network are used to transmit messages. Individual addressing is not required, as all devices registered in a radio cell receive the warning messages at the same time.
According to the European Code for Electronic Communications adopted in 2018, EU member states must ensure by June 21, 2022 that providers of mobile communications services can send public warnings to end users. The federal government had long assumed that apps like Katwarn and Nina would be sufficient for this. After the most recent alarm failure in August, the federal government finally got Cell Broadcast off the ground.
|Inside Towers Newsletter|
AT&T, OneWeb Agreement Brings Broadband to Remote Areas
By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor
Satellite providers and terrestrial telecom companies, it seems, have always been at odds. But that may be changing. As Congress and the FCC have pushed for companies to provide broadband Internet to remote rural areas, satellites have become smaller, cheaper and certainly more plentiful. There may soon come a day when every fiber provider will be allied with a low earth orbit (LEO) constellation of satellites.
A step in that direction, AT&T has signed an agreement with OneWeb, the LEO satellite communications company. The carrier plans to use the LEO satellites to serve areas that its existing fiber networks can’t reach with the high-speed, low-latency broadband essential to business operations.
“I think that there are opportunities for the terrestrial and satellite industries to continue to coordinate their services,” said Thomas Stroup, President, Satellite Industry Association. “Satellites provide one of the most cost-effective means of being able to provide service to hard to reach areas. It is just so incredibly expensive to put in all of the infrastructure necessary to provide coverage to remote parts of the earth that don’t have coverage.”
The AT&T announcement follows OneWeb’s agreement in August with Northwestel, northern Canada’s largest telecommunications provider, to expand remote mining, enterprise business and government broadband options in northern Canada.
Although geostationary satellites have provided backhaul, this is the first agreement for a LEO satellite to provide coverage, Stroup said.
OneWeb-owner Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal said OneWeb plans to sign agreements with at least one telco in each of the 135 markets globally, ET Telecom.com reported.
The AT&T service will be supported by OneWeb’s network of satellites, which currently comprises 288 satellites. Global coverage with a total fleet of 648 satellites is expected by the end of 2022. AT&T business and government customers in Alaska and northern U.S. states will be covered later this year.
OneWeb competitors, SpaceX’s Starlink (42,000 satellites planned), Amazon’s Kuiper (3,236 satellites planned), and Telesat’s Lightspeed (298 satellites planned), are likely to hook up with a telco.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.
Form 477 Due Oct. 1 for Affected Filers; Sept. 15 for All Others. Reg Fees Due Sept. 24
On September 3, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that Form 477 data as of June 30, 2021 is due October 1 for filers in Louisiana and Mississippi designated as eligible for Individual or Public Assistance for the purposes of federal disaster relief as of September 3. For all other filers, Form 477 is due September 15.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, on August 30 the FCC extended the Form 477 filing deadline beyond the original September 1 date due to the effects of Hurricane Ida.
Additionally, FY2021 regulatory fees are due September 24. See the full article below for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
Comment Sought on STIR/SHAKEN Obligations; Small Provider Exemption
On September 3, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on two statutory obligations under the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act relating to the FCC’s caller ID authentication rules. First, the FCC seeks comment on STIR/SHAKEN implementation extensions granted by the FCC. This includes the exemption provided to small providers. Second, the FCC provides directions and filing instructions for the implementation verification certifications that voice service providers granted an exemption from the FCC’s caller ID authentication rule must file. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC granted three categorical extensions of the STIR/SHAKEN mandate on the basis of undue hardship: (1) small voice service providers; (2) voice service providers unable to obtain the “token” necessary to participate in STIR/SHAKEN; and (3) services scheduled for section 214 discontinuance. The TRACED Act further requires the FCC to assess burdens and barriers to implementation “as appropriate” after that initial assessment, and directs the FCC to, “not less frequently than annually after the first [extension] is granted,” reevaluate and potentially revise any extensions granted on the basis of undue hardship.
Regarding the FCC’s two-year extension for small voice service providers, defined as “a provider that has 100,000 or fewer voice service subscriber lines,” the FCC seeks comment on burdens and barriers to small voice service provider implementation and whether it should revise or extend their extension. Specific questions include:
Small providers currently taking advantage of this exemption may contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Seeks to Refresh the Record on MTE Competitive Access Proceeding
On September 7, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing it is seeking to refresh the record in an existing proceeding on competitive access to broadband in apartment and office buildings, also known as Multiple Tenant Environment (MTE) buildings. Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on three main issues related to broadband deployment in Multiple Tenant Environment (MTE) buildings. The first focuses on revenue sharing agreements between MTE owners and service providers, and whether such arrangements inhibit entry by competitive providers or affect the price and quality of service options for consumers. Second, the FCC seeks comment on exclusive wiring arrangements and whether such arrangements do not preclude access to new entrants or inhibit choice for tenants. The FCC also asks for input on whether exclusive marketing arrangements create confusion and lower choices for tenants.
“Across the country throughout the pandemic, the need for more and better broadband access has never been clearer,” said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “With more than one-third of the U.S. population living in condos and apartment buildings, it’s time to take a fresh look at how exclusive agreements between carriers and building owners could lock out broadband competition and consumer choice. I look forward to reviewing the record.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Extends Certain Deadlines in Areas Affected by Hurricane Ida to October 1
On September 3, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing that it has extended certain deadlines and waived certain rules to assist consumers, licensees and communications providers in Louisiana and Mississippi impacted by Hurricane Ida. These extensions and waivers apply only to the Louisiana parishes and Mississippi counties that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated as eligible for Individual or Public Assistance for the purposes of federal disaster relief as of September 3. This includes include those licensees and applicants that operate facilities, or, in a significant manner essential to the business or public safety operation, rely on personnel, records, or financial institutions located in the affected areas to provide services or to conduct substantial business activities with the FCC.
Specifically, for affected entities:
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Law and Regulation
Fee Filer Opens for 2021 Regulatory Fee Payments; Fees Due September 24
On September 7, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that its automated filing and payment system (Fee Filer) is now available for filing and viewing of FY 2021 regulatory fees. Regulatory fee payments MUST BE RECEIVED by the FCC no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on September 24. While FY 2021 regulatory fees will not become effective until the rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, regulatees, at their own discretion, may submit payments at any time before the FY 2021 regulatory fees due date.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, on August 26 the FCC released its FY 2021 Regulatory Fees Report and Order, which contains specific information concerning regulatory fee payment obligations, the regulatory fee process, and regulatory fee requirements for payment. The FCC also publishes industry-specific guidance in FY 2021 - Who Owes Fees and What Is My Fee, which can be found on the FCC website at http://www.fcc.gov/regfees.
In the FY 2021 Regulatory Fees Report and Order, the FCC also extended the streamlined filing procedures for fee waiver, deferral, and installment payment requests implemented in FY 2020 to FY 2021 for financial hardship reasons related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The streamlined procedures include: (1) directing regulatees seeking relief to file their requests by email to a dedicated email address, and (2) permitting regulatees to file a single consolidated request for waiver, deferral and/or installment payment.
Carriers with questions about their annual regulatory fees may contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Richard Rubino.
2021 TRPs for Exogenous Cost Filings for ROR Business Data Services Posted
On September 2, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the release of the tariff review plan for use by rate-of-return carriers that elected incentive regulation for their business data services (BDS) offerings pursuant to the Rate-of-Return Business Data Services Order (electing carriers). The tariff review plan is posted on the FCC’s website at: https://www.fcc.gov/tariff-review-plan-incentive-regulation-rate-return-carriers.
The 2021 Tariff Review Plan Order requires electing carriers to file tariff review plans reflecting any exogenous cost adjustment for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), North American Numbering Plan Administration, and regulatory fees in rates to be effective October 1, 2021. As the FCC explained in the 2021 Tariff Review Plan Order, the exogenous cost adjustment for TRS must be “grossed up” to spread the entire adjustment over the remaining months in the tariff year. However, the October 1, 2021 exogenous cost filing and rate adjustment is optional for electing carriers if the total amount of such exogenous cost adjustments would either increase rates or meet a de minimus threshold of $960.00, which is the current tariff filing fee.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Mary Sisak.
Latest Hurricane Ida Report Indicates Cell Site Outage in Louisiana Down To 3.7%
On September 8, the FCC released the latest Communications Status Report for areas impacted by Hurricane Ida. According to the report, only 3.7% of cell sites in Louisiana are still down, from an initial figure of over 50%. While the overall figure has improved dramatically over time, certain parishes remain over 10%: Assumption, Lafourche, Palquemines, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist.
The FCC noted, however, that he number of cell site outages in a specific area does not necessarily correspond to the availability of wireless service to consumers in that area, as wireless networks are often designed with numerous, overlapping cell sites that provide maximum capacity and continuity of service even when an individual site is inoperable. In addition, wireless providers frequently use temporary facilities such as cells on-wheels (also known as COWs), increased power at operational sites, roaming agreements, or take other actions to maintain service to affected consumers during emergencies or other events that result in cell site outages.
Cable and wireline operations fare worse, with companies reporting 189,824 subscribers out of service in the disaster area in Louisiana (which may include the loss of telephone, television, and/or Internet services). This number was over 450,000 at its peak and has declined steadily.
SEPTEMBER 15: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This deadline was extended from September 1 due to Hurricane Ida. Carriers affected by Hurricane Ida. Filers in Louisiana and Mississippi designated as eligible for Individual or Public Assistance for the purposes of federal disaster relief as of September 3 have until October 1.
Three types of entities must file this form.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi- Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 611-T, DESIGNATED ENTITY REPORT. Each year on September 30, entities that won licenses at auction with bid credits must file a combined 611-T Designated Entity report for any licenses still subject to the “unjust enrichment” rule, which requires licensees to maintain their eligibility for small business and rural service provider bid credits for the first five years of the license term.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.
NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.
|THIS WEEK'S MUSIC VIDEO|
Erika Lewis & Shaye Cohn singing “Yesterday's Fool”
Written by Erika Lewis. The Lonesome Doves Album Version. Country / Folk song taken from the “Waiting for Stars” Album. Erika Lewis — vocals, guitar, Shaye Cohn — vocals, fiddle, Matt Bell — lap steel, Pete Olynciw — bass. Recorded by Justin LeCuyer in the Holy Cross, New Orleans.
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