|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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Apple’s changes seek to make it harder for criminals to track you using AirTags
PUBLISHED THU, FEB 10 202212:58 PM EST — Kif Leswing @KIFLESWING
Apple announced several changes on Thursday to the way its AirTag product works as the $29 quarter-sized tracker is being linked to suspected crimes, including stalking and car theft.
Apple said it will update the iPhone and AirTag software to show a message during setup that using AirTags to track people is a crime in many regions around the world, and that law enforcement can request its associated user information.
The Big Tech company will also introduce a feature it calls Precision Finding, which will point iPhone users to unknown AirTags when they’re nearby.
The changes are the most significant attempts Apple has made to date to limit the privacy and stalking downsides of the product that went on sale last April.
Apple added that it’s working with law enforcement to provide serial number and Apple ID information in response to subpoenas related to AirTag crimes. It also said it has been able to work with authorities in some cases to find suspects who were subsequently arrested and charged.
Apple markets AirTags as a lost item finder useful for attaching to things like your keys, wallet and backpack. The product uses Bluetooth signals and a global network of other people’s iPhones to calculate where an AirTag is and display it on a map in the user’s Find My app. Because iPhones are common in urban areas, an AirTag effectively can pinpoint its location to a small area.
AirTags don’t use GPS, and the company says it employs advanced encryption to make AirTags “private and secure” by ensuring anonymity for iPhones in the Find My network.
But after they were released, AirTags started showing up in alleged crimes. For example, thieves could place one in a car in order to track the motorist’s destination, and then, using their own Find My app, obtain an ideal location for a robbery, police allege. Alleged victims also reported on social media that AirTags were slipped into women’s pockets at bars or clubs in an example of stalking.
Police in Colorado, Georgia, Michigan and Texas have reported the misuse of AirTags, NBC News previously reported.
Apple said on Thursday that incidents of AirTag misuse are “rare” and that it has built tools into iPhones to alert users of unwanted tracking. Lost item trackers, like those made by Tile, existed before Apple released AirTag.
“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” Apple said. “Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag.”
In December, Apple launched an Android app for AirTags called Tracker Detect, which looks for unknown AirTags (like one placed by a criminal) within Bluetooth range. Phones with recent software automatically detect AirTags that aren’t in an owner’s possession and play a sound. Apple said on Thursday that it would make the AirTag’s sound louder, and will show a popup to nearby users when there’s another person’s AirTag nearby. In addition, users can disable AirTags they find by taking the cover off and removing the battery.
The company previously said that only the owner of an AirTag will be able to see where to find their lost item protector. This will slightly change in a future software update. A new feature called Precision Finding allows people with recent iPhones to precisely locate unknown AirTags through “a combination of sound, haptics and visual feedback.”
Apple hasn’t released sales figures for AirTags, but at $29 apiece, it is unlikely to be a big driver of sales. However, it is strategic for Apple: Features like the Find My app make users more likely to upgrade to another iPhone.
Company marketing has focused on privacy and security as a major reason to buy its products, and the reports of stalking and crimes using AirTags is forcing the technology giant to walk a fine line between offering a useful lost item finder and the downside of making location tracking available to anyone with an iPhone and a $29 tracker.
Super Bowl LVI: Kickoff time, teams, how to watch and halftime show
BY AUSTIN KNOBLAUCH ASSISTANT EDITOR, SPORTS
Super Bowl LVI (56) will be played at 3:30 p.m. PST on Sunday. It will take place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, the home of the Rams and Chargers.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
Who will be playing in the Super Bowl?
The Rams will play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. For the second consecutive season, a team will be hosting a Super Bowl matchup in its home stadium — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last year on home turf.
The Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl following their 27-24 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game Sunday. It marks the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1988 season, when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII.
The Rams defeated the 49ers 20-17 in the NFC championship game at SoFi Stadium to reach their first Super Bowl since the 2018 season. The Rams’ victory ended their six-game losing streak to the rival 49ers. The Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals and the Buccaneers before Sunday’s NFC title triumph. The Rams’ only Super Bowl win came at the end of the 1999 season when the “Greatest Show on Turf” powered the then-St. Louis franchise to a thrilling win over the Tennessee Titans.
What channel is the Super Bowl on?
The game will be broadcast by NBC (Channel 4 in the Los Angeles market) and Telemundo (Español).
Where can I stream the Super Bowl?
Super Bowl LVI can be livestreamed through the following connected TV, iOS and Android applications:
How can I listen to the Super Bowl?
You can listen to the Super Bowl on the following providers:
How can I purchase Super Bowl tickets?
Super Bowl tickets are available through the following vendors:
Who will perform in the Super Bowl halftime show?
Recording artists Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar are scheduled to perform in the Super Bowl halftime show. It marks the first time the five prolific artists have performed together and it will be the third Super Bowl halftime show produced in part by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
Who will perform the national anthem?
Three-time Grammy-nominated country artist Mickey Guyton will sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before the start of the Super Bowl.
Also pregame, six-time Grammy nominee Jhené Aiko will perform “America the Beautiful” and Mary Mary, accompanied by Yola, will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.
Will fans be allowed to attend the game?
A full-capacity crowd of 70,240 fans is expected to attend the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium. Under Los Angeles County’s coronavirus health and safety guidelines, all fans in attendance must be vaccinated. Fans attending the game will be required to wear masks and will be given KN95 masks.
Latest game odds
Immediately after their 20-17 victory over the 49ers, the Rams emerged as consensus four-point favorites over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The line for total points for the game sat at either 49½ or 50 as of Sunday night.
Here are the latest gambling odds and prop bets for Super Bowl LVI:
What are the overtime rules for NFL playoff games?
The NFL’s current postseason overtime rules were implemented in 2010 and are under renewed scrutiny after the Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC divisional playoff win over the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 23. Of the 11 playoff games that have gone to overtime under the current rules, 10 have been won by the team that got the ball first. Here’s a rundown of the rules:
Who is the referee for Super Bowl LVI?
NFL referee Ronald Torbert stands on the field. NFL referee Ronald Torbert(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press) Ronald Torbert, an NFL official since 2010, has been named the referee for Super Bowl LVI. His crew is set to include Bryan Neale (umpire), Derick Bowers (down judge), Carl Johnson (line judge), Rick Patterson (field judge), Keith Washington (side judge), Scott Halverson (back judge) and Roddy Ames (replay official).
Ronald Torbert, an NFL official since 2010, has been named the referee for Super Bowl LVI. His crew is set to include Bryan Neale (umpire), Derick Bowers (down judge), Carl Johnson (line judge), Rick Patterson (field judge), Keith Washington (side judge), Scott Halverson (back judge) and Roddy Ames (replay official).
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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Seven Steps to Effective Emergency Communication and Response
By Magen McGahee February 01, 2022
The tragic school shooting in Oxford Township, Michigan, that left four teenagers dead and seven other people injured—including a teacher—has put the threat of school violence once again at the top of every K–12 leader’s mind.
While the Michigan shooting was the deadliest of the 2021–22 school year to date, it wasn’t the first such occurrence this year, which has seen a rise in school violence coinciding with a return to in-person instruction during the pandemic. Unfortunately, these events serve as a stark reminder of the need for every school to have a sound crisis response and communications plan.
The Michigan shooting was part of a troubling upswing in school violence that experts attribute, in part, to the psychological toll the pandemic has inflicted on young people. U.S. News reports that between Aug. 1 and Nov. 3, 2021, there were 123 incidents of gunfire on school property in the United States. During the same three-month period in 2019, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s K–12 School Shooting Database recorded only 40 such incidents.
Having to attend school remotely, not being able to meet up with friends, and other pandemic-related incidents have all contributed to the stress that many students are feeling. In some cases, this emotional trauma spills over into violence.
In May 2021, the Department of Homeland Security issued a public awareness bulletin that noted, “The threat of targeted violence in schools will remain elevated as more children return to school full-time.” The bulletin warned of the impacts of social isolation brought on by remote schooling, with 30 percent of youth ages 13–19 reporting that they feel unhappy or depressed and 29 percent saying they don’t feel connected to adults at school. These conditions are potential risk factors for an eruption of violence at school, DHS said.
Maintaining a safe school environment begins with establishing a culture of caring, in which every student feels seen and valued. K–12 leaders must ensure that every child has a positive relationship with at least one adult they can trust and that students understand the need to treat each other with kindness and respect.
Adults in the building should also recognize the warning signs of students who might be at risk of violent behavior and should know how to follow up as appropriate. Students should be encouraged to report their concerns, and there should be some mechanism for them to do so safely and discretely, such as an anonymous hotline. Take all threats and concerns seriously, and do your due diligence in investigating them.
Despite the best efforts of K–12 leaders, violence can occur at any time and in any school setting. An effective crisis response and communications plan can mitigate the threat of injury or death during such an occurrence.
Here are seven essential steps for developing an effective emergency communication plan.
#1: Be prepared.
Create a system for quickly alerting building occupants during an emergency, as well as a strategy for managing external communications with parents and other stakeholders. Produce easy-to-use communication templates in advance, so you don’t have to draft messages on the fly when a crisis occurs.
#2: Know your roles.
Your plan should outline who can activate an emergency alert and under what circumstances. It should also define who’s responsible for which tasks. Assemble a crisis response and communications team and designate who’s responsible for collecting information, monitoring the situation, and providing updates to stakeholders, so that you’re communicating with a single, unified voice during an emergency. Practice your response a few times a year so that everyone knows their roles. Also, assign backups for these functions in case the main person for each role is incapacitated.
#3: Identify key stakeholders.
Know who to contact in advance. Keep all contact information up to date, and identify everyone’s preferred method of communication if possible. With all of the other priorities that K–12 leaders have today, proactively collecting this information can be challenging; however, having current contact information is critical in an emergency.
#4: Use multiple methods of communicating.
Using a variety of ways to reach stakeholders during an emergency increases the likelihood that they’ll see your messages. An automated communications system can send notifications via text message, email, intercom, visual alerts, and other means instantly at the push of a button.
#5: Provide frequent updates.
An emergency situation is highly fluid, and circumstances can change rapidly. Getting up-to-the-minute information to the building’s occupants can help save lives. Make sure you communicate frequent updates as the situation evolves and new information becomes available.
#6: Keep emergency first responders in the loop.
Notifying law enforcement and other first responders instantly when an emergency arises—and continuing to provide quick, accurate information as the situation develops—can make a huge difference in an event where every second matters. Tying first responders into your emergency communications system can keep them apprised of the situation in real-time so that they can respond quickly and effectively.
#7: Integrate communication with other security measures.
To improve safety even further, consider supplementing your emergency alert system with other security measures such as remote door locks. With remote locking, administrators who have the right credentials can lock any door in the building with the touch of a button from their personal device of choice—helping to keep students out of harm’s way. In an emergency, every second counts. Timely and effective communication is critical during an emergency. Rapidly assessing the situation and getting stakeholders the information that they need to respond quickly and effectively can mean the difference between life and death—and these seven steps can help.
|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.
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
Page last updated on: Wednesday, February 2, 2022
TV News: Ham radio emergency communications
ABC affiliate WCJB-TV talks to Lorilyn Roberts KO4LBS and Vann Chesney AC4QS about the role of amateur radio in emergency situations
The TV station says:
The Gainesville Amateur Radio Society practiced setting up ham radios to show the public how they can communicate in severe emergency situations.
Vann Chesney AC4QS the president of GARS said the radios are used to in case the power grid goes out.
“The cell phones the communication equipment for the police. If it’s severe enough all of those can go out. when that happens there’s always the fall back that hams have the equipment can put it up and use it easily.”
Lorilyn Roberts KO4LBS started using ham radios just a year ago so she’ll be to contact someone if she’s not able to use her phone.
“Many, many years ago here in Gainesville we did lose power and there was no way to communicate. So I got into radio so if something happened i could actually talk with somebody besides my next-door neighbor.”
With a ham radio you are able to exchange call letters and wait for people to respond.
Roberts was able to talk to a man from Italy just by having an antenna on the top of her home and she feels it’s important everyone know.
“There have actually been people that have been saved through the use of ham radio. Maybe they were on a boat out in the middle of nowhere and got caught in a storm and how are you going to communicate?”
In case these emergency situations happen you can count on a ham radio for communication.
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
Dolby Presents: The World Of Sound | Demo | Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos creates an amazing mobile entertainment experience with breathtaking, moving audio — sound that flows all around you.
About Dolby: Dolby transforms the science of sight and sound into spectacular experiences. Through our innovative research and engineering, we develop breakthroughs that we share with the world through collaborations that span artists, businesses, and consumers worldwide. These breakthroughs deliver incredibly vivid experiences in the cinema, at home, at work, and on the go — experiences so lifelike that people feel as if they’ve been transported into a cinematic story or a pulsing sphere of music, a distant conference room or an action-packed game. In both entertainment and communications, through audio and imaging, we give everyone the power to see, hear, and feel the spectacular.
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
How much Internet speed do you actually need for your home broadband connection: What to know and not miss
Gadgets Now Bureau10 Feb, 2022, 02:28AM IST
50Mbps speed: Suitable for up to 2-3 devices and tasks like email, browsing, social media and moderate video
If you have a small family and do not use more than 3 devices at a time. And, your usages are limited to checking emails, social media and watching some videos at standard resolution, up 50Mbps speed will be more than enough for you.
100Mbps speed: Suitable for up to 5 devices and talks like online classes, online gaming, 4K streaming, etc.
For those who are more inclined towards consuming high resolution content on OTT platforms, streaming games and music, then a faster 100Mbps connection should be your choice.
200Mbps speed: Suitable for bigger houses with up to 7 devices and heavy usages
As mentioned, bigger houses require slightly faster Internet connection than required, so a 200Mbps plan is suitable for up to 7 devices and heavy usages like multiple 4K streaming, online gaming, online classes and more.
More than 200Mbps speed: Suitable for bigger houses with 10 or more devices and simultaneous use case scenarios
Internet service providers provide up to 1Gbps speed currently in India. If you have relatively more people living under the same roof and have a really demanding use case scenario, then you should go for faster connection than 200Mbps.
How much Internet speed do you actually need
Always remember, you are not alone. What we want to say is that you and your Internet requirement isn’t the only thing you should consider before choosing a plan. Keep all the requirements like usages, number of devices, area of house and number of people at home in mind before choosing the Internet plan.
Good Internet speed is required for HD quality video calls or attending conference calls
Popular video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meet have specified that a user needs at least 3 to 4Mbps Internet speed for a full HD video conferencing call. The bandwidth requirement increases if you start using features like screen sharing, media sharing, etc. So, do keep that in mind.
Online gaming is a bandwidth hog, but it also requires low ping and latency
Playing online games can also be very demanding on the bandwidth front. Not only this, for smooth gaming experience, you will also need to check the ping and latency of the Internet connection. Google recommends at least 35Mbps connection to stream online games at 4K resolution. A less than 150milisecond ping is also a must.
Upload speed is important especially for those who exchange large files over the Internet
Most Internet service providers provide good download speed, but they cut corners with upload speed. Do understand that upload speeds are equally important for a good Internet speed. The packet transfer goes both upstream and downstream, so you also need a good upload speed along with download speed. This comes handy when uploading files to cloud storage, taking online backup of smartphones, photos, videos, etc.
Streaming 4K content consumes more bandwidth, so it requires more speed and more data
Steaming consumes a lot of bandwidth, especially 4K content. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video recommend users to have at least 25Mbps connection to stream 4K content. So, do keep that in mind before choosing the Internet plan.
Federal Engineering Selected to Help Georgia County Upgrade Radio System
Monday, February 07, 2022
Dawson County, Georgia, awarded Federal Engineering (FE) a contract to assist with the upgrade of the county’s public-safety mobile radio system including the development of specifications and support of the system procurement and implementation.
“Because of the broad range of skill sets that this project will demand, we needed a consulting firm that has done this type of work many times before,” said Major Greg Rowan, project manager for the county.
FE will assist Dawson County with the evaluation of options to upgrade the current aging, analog VHF, simulcast Motorola SmartNet, two channel, three-site radio system to a Project 25 (P25) compliant system. FE will determine and verify the requirements to provide standards-based radio service to Dawson County, write specifications for a request for proposals (RFP) for the services and equipment, and provide project management to oversee and manage the installation, implementation and testing of the chosen system.
“Dawson County needs a system that is affordable and practical and that can be implemented with a minimum of risk,” said FE Director Travis LePage. “Federal Engineering will apply almost four decades of corporate experience to deliver a radio system that meets or exceeds the needs of Dawson’s first responder. We will provide comprehensive project management throughout all four phases of the project to keep the county informed and to minimize risks. In addition, FE will serve as the county’s trusted advisor to deal with technical, operational, and other issues as they arise during the project.”
|Source:||Radio Resource International|
|Inside Towers Newsletter|
Mexico OK’s America Movil's Telcel to Offer 5G Services
Yesterday, Mexico's telecommunications regulator authorized America Movil to offer 5G services through subsidiary Telcel, according to Reuters. Market analysts said the decision helps pave the way for creating the largest 5G commercial network in Latin America.
Telcel has been cleared for market entry by the Federal Telecommunications Institute, with the approved modification of 18 concession titles, the regulator said in a statement on Wednesday. The company will provide service for frequency bands in the 3450-3550 MHz segment.
America Movil executives, controlled by the family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, told investors on Wednesday they expect the roll out to occur later this year.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.
REMINDER: Annual CPNI, Form 477, and HUBB Deployment Reports are Due March 1
March 1 is the filing deadline for several annual reports and certifications, including the Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) certification that carriers have a CPNI protection program in place; the FCC Form 477, on which carriers are required to provide voice and broadband data; and the HUBB Deployment Report and certification, which requires USF recipients to report new locations built out in 2021 and certify the same.
The FCC is threatening steep fines for failure file certain reports. See our Deadlines section and related stories below for more information on these and other filings due March 1.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory, Threatens Big Fines if CPNI Certifications Not Filed by March 1
On February 7, the FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory reminding reminds telecommunications carriers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers of their obligation to file their annual certification documenting compliance with the Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) rules by March 1, 2022. CPNI refers to sensitive personal information that carriers collect about their customers during the course of their business relationship, and includes telephone numbers of calls made and received; the frequency, duration, location, and timing of such calls; and any services purchased by the consumer, such as call waiting and voicemail.
Per the Advisory:
The annual certification should include the following three exhibits: (a) a detailed “Statement Explaining How The Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance With The FCC’S CPNI Rules”, to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken Against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion.
Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
Chairwoman Rosenworcel Reports $5.6 Billion Initial Demand on Rip and Replace Program
On February 4, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel notified Congress that providers have initially requested approximately $5.6 billion from the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program to cover the costs of removing, replacing, and disposing of insecure equipment and services in U.S. networks. This is approximately $3.7 billion in excess of the $1.9 billion budgeted for the program.
As we reported in previous editions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the Supply Chain Reimbursement Program will reimburse providers of advanced communications services for costs reasonably incurred for removing, replacing, and disposing of communications equipment and services produced or provided by Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation. The FCC opened the filing window for the program on October 29, 2021, and the window closed on January 28, 2022.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
FCC Issues Update on Clean Water Act Permits
On February 8, the FCC issued a Public Notice notifying tower builders about a recent change in the definition of the “waters of the United States” provision of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which could affect tower builders with facilities requiring CWA permits. This includes facilities whose construction will involve significant change in surface features triggering the environmental assessment (EA) provisions under the FCC’s environmental rules.
Specifically, on August 30, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona vacated the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), which had defined the term “waters of the United States” since 2020, and remanded the rule to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Corps has indicated they are applying the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” to all requests for an approved jurisdictional determination (AJD) that were either pending on or received after the Court vacated the NWPR rule on August 31, 2021.
Property owners, agents, or project proponents, including tower builders, submit requests for Corps “jurisdictional determinations” (JD) to identify projects requiring CWA permits due to potential impacts to protected waters. A tower builder may request a preliminary (advisory) JD or an ADJ, which officially documents the presence or confirms the absence of “waters of the United States” on a parcel of land. The Corps has advised that it will not rely on an AJD issued under the NWPR in making a new permit decision.
The Corps has announced that it does not intend to reconsider permit decisions that relied on the NWPR before the Court’s vacatur. While previously granted permits thus remain valid, tower builders should be aware that the Corps will not rely on a NWPR AJD in evaluating pending or future permit requests. In light of the Corps’s announcement, the FCC encourages tower builders holding a NWPR AJD or preliminary JD to contact the Corps to ascertain the potential implications of the revised “waters of the United States” definition on permitting and environmental compliance obligations for their proposed facility.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Law and Regulation
Senate (Finally) Holds Second Confirmation Hearing for Sohn
On February 9, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a second full committee hearing to consider the nomination of Gigi Sohn to be a Commissioner of the FCC. Senators will have until February 14 to submit additional questions to Ms. Sohn, who then has one week to respond.
As we reported in previous editions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, Ms. Sohn’s path to confirmation has been winding. Back in January, Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) called for a new hearing on Sohn’s nomination after obtaining the terms of a confidential settlement agreement that top national broadcasters entered into with a streaming service called Locast in 2021. Sohn was a member of the board of Locast’s non-profit parent. Most recently, her nomination was slated to be considered again on February 2, but was pulled from the agenda at the last moment.
At the hearing, Sens. Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Cruz (R-Texas) in particular grilled Sohn over the existence of a second document purporting to actually settle the case for a significantly smaller amount than what was announced to the public. Sohn explained that the higher amount — $32 million — was requested to be announced by the broadcasters to scare off other companies from attempting to recreate Locast’s operations. Sen. Cruz asserted that the actual amount — $700,000 — represented a “sweetheart deal,” though Sohn maintained that she was simply on the board of the parent company and did not have anything to gain or lose from the settlement.
In the run-up to the second hearing, Sohn agreed to voluntarily recuse herself from broadcast copyright and retransmission matters during the first three years of her term in order to help quell concerns, but Republican Senators took the opportunity to question Sohn on why she shouldn’t also recuse herself from the matters in which she was involved during her time at Public Knowledge. “(N)o one with any knowledge who has ever spoken about these issues would ever be qualified to be an FCC commissioner, and that is perverse,” she responded.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Comments on Broadband Consumer Label NPRM Due March 9
On February 7, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to require broadband providers to display broadband information at the point of sale. Accordingly, comments are due March 9, and reply comments are due March 24.
As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the labels resemble nutrition labels on food products, and show prices, including introductory rates, as well as speeds, data allowances, network management practices, and other broadband service information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
Comments on EAS NPRM Due March 11, EAS NOI Due April 11
On February 9, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on proposed rules and examining broader measures to improve the overall functionality and accessibility of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Comments on the NPRM are due March 11, and reply comments are due March 28. Comments on the NOI are due April 11, and reply comments are due May 10.
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC proposes to adopt rules to ensure that mobile devices cannot opt-out of receiving Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) alerts from the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The FCC also proposes rules to encourage chief executives of states to form State Emergency Communications Committees (SECC) if none exist in their states and to adopt additional requirements concerning their SECC’s administration of State EAS Plans, and for states that already have a SECC, encourages chief executives to review its composition and governance. The FCC also proposes to enable the Administrator of FEMA and State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments to report false EAS and WEA alerts when they occur. Finally, the FCC proposes rules to permit repeating EAS alerts issued by the President, the Administrator of FEMA, and any other entity determined appropriate under the circumstances by the FCC.
In the Notice of Inquiry, the FCC seeks comment on whether it is technically feasible to deliver EAS alerts through the Internet, including through streaming services. The FCC also seeks comment on whether and how to leverage the capabilities of the Internet to enhance the alerting capabilities of the radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers that currently participate in EAS (EAS Participants).
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Chairwoman Rosenworcel to Serve as Chair of Interagency Cybersecurity Forum
On February 3, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing that Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will serve as Chair of the “relaunched and revitalized” Cybersecurity Forum for Independent and Executive Branch Regulators, a federal interagency group that shares information and expertise to enhance the cybersecurity of America’s critical infrastructure. According to the Press Release, the Forum was initially launched in 2014, but has been mostly inactive for the past several years. As part of the rechartering process, participants are working to set priorities and establish the framework for Forum activities.
In addition to the FCC, participants include representatives from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Treasury, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Reserve Bank, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Securities Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
FCC Announces Grant of 900 MHz Segment Applications
On February 2, the FCC announced the grant of nine 900 MHz broadband segment license applications, all of which belong to PDV Spectrum Holding Company, LLC. By way of background, on May 13, 2020, the FCC realigned the 900 MHz band to make available six megahertz of low-band spectrum for the development of critical wireless broadband technologies and services, while reserving the remaining four megahertz of spectrum for continued narrowband operations. In accordance with the 900 MHz Report and Order, the Bureau announced that the opening date for acceptance of 900 MHz broadband segment applications began on May 27, 2021.
According to the Public Notice, no petitions to deny these applications were filed, and the applications sufficiently demonstrate conformance with the eligibility conditions (Eligibility Certification) and requirements for transitioning the 900 MHz band in the particular county requested (Transition Plan).
MARCH 1: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM FOR CABLE COMPANIES. This form, plus royalty payment for the second half of last year, is due March 1. The form covers the period July 1 to December 31, and is due to be mailed directly to cable TV operators by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office.
BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.
MARCH 1: CPNI ANNUAL CERTIFICATION. Carriers should modify (as necessary) and complete their “Annual Certification of CPNI Compliance” for this year. The certification must be filed with the FCC by March 1. Note that the annual certification should include the following three required Exhibits: (a) a detailed Statement Explaining How The Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance With The FCC’S CPNI Rules to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken Against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion. Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact the firm for more information. Note: If you file the CPNI certification, you must also file the FCC Form 499-A Telecom Reporting Worksheet by April 1.
BloostonLaw contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
MARCH 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION & BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This annual form is due March 1 and September 1 annually. The FCC requires facilities-based wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service providers to report on FCC Form 477 the number of broadband subscribers they have in each census tract they serve. The Census Bureau changed the boundaries of some census tracts as part of the 2010 Census.
Specifically, three types of entities must file this form:
BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
MARCH 1: HUBB LOCATION DATA FILING AND CERTIFICATION. Carriers participating in modernized Connect America Fund (CAF) programs with defined broadband buildout obligations have until March 1 of each year to file deployment data with USAC's High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal showing where they built out mass-market, high-speed Internet service in the previous calendar year. Carriers that have no locations to upload must certify this fact in the HUBB. Affected programs include: CAF Phase II Model; Alternative Connect America Cost Model (Original A-CAM) and Revised ACAM; ACAM II; Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS); Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE); Alaska Plan (other than carriers with individualized performance plans that only require them to maintain service at existing levels); CAF Phase II Auction; and Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).
Carriers with 2021 deployment milestones must also complete milestone certifications as part of the annual HUBB filing and will face verification reviews tied to those milestones. Carriers subject to defined deployment milestones must notify the FCC and USAC, and relevant state, U.S. Territory or Tribal governments if applicable, within 10 business days after the applicable deadline if they have failed to meet a milestone. Carriers that miss milestones face increased reporting obligations and potential loss of support.
BloostonLaw attorneys have successfully assisted clients in uploading and certifying their HUBB location data, as well as obtain petitions for waiver of the FCC’s rules where necessary.
BloostonLaw Contact: Sal Taillefer.
APRIL 1: FCC FORM 499-A, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. This form must be filed by all contributors to the Universal Service Fund (USF) sup-port mechanisms, the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the cost recovery mechanism for the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP). Contributors include every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications, and certain other entities that provide interstate telecommunications for a fee. Even common carriers that qualify for the de minimis exemption must file Form 499-A. Entities whose universal service contributions will be less than $10,000 qualify for the de minimis exemption. De minimis entities do not have to file the quarterly report (FCC Form 499-Q), which was due February 1, and will again be due May 1. Form 499-Q relates to universal and LNP mechanisms. Form 499-A relates to all of these mechanisms and, hence, applies to all providers of interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications services. Form 499-A contains revenue information for January 1 through December 31 of the prior calendar year. And Form 499-Q contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. (Note: the revised 499-A and 499-Q forms are now available.) Block 2-B of the Form 499-A requires each carrier to designate an agent in the District of Columbia upon whom all notices, process, orders, and decisions by the FCC may be served on behalf of that carrier in proceedings before the FCC. Carriers receiving this newsletter may specify our law firm as their D.C. agent for service of process using the information in our masthead. There is no charge for this service.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, and Gerry Duffy.
APRIL 1: ANNUAL ACCESS TO ADVANCED SERVICES CERTIFICATION. All providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications carriers subject to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act are required to file with the FCC an annual certification that
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.
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