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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — July 22, 2022 — Issue No. 1,020

Welcome Back To

The Wireless
Messaging News

Wireless Messaging News

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

  • M2 Pro, M2 Max, and beyond: Examining the Apple Silicon release cycle
  • Analyst forecast calls for U.S. cable subs to halve by 2030 as fiber gains ground
  • GPS Accuracy Issue Impacted Garmin, Suunto, and Polar Watches Over Past Week
  • 5 Places to Put an Apple AirTag That You Never Thought About
  • Apple introduces Lockdown Mode to protect iPhones from state-sponsored hacking
  • Why You Should Never Plug In an Unknown USB Device
    • FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Provide Mobile Starlink Internet Service
    • BloostonLaw Telecom Update to Move to Monday Distribution
    • FCC Extends COVID Lifeline Waivers to September 30 for Tribal Subscribers Only
    • FCC Reminds Broadband Providers that Form 477 and BDC Filings are Due September 1
    • FCC Extends Waiver of Voice-Only Lifeline Phase-Out and Minimum Service Standard for Mobile Data
    • FCC Grants Authority for Starlink to Offer Internet Service to Moving Vehicles in the US
    • FCC Seeks Comment on NFL Request for Extension of CBRS Rule Waiver
    • FCC Announces Conditional Forbearance from Lifeline Voice Obligation
    • CTIA Launches Initiative to Combat Text Message Spam
    • Deadlines
    • BloostonLaw Contacts
    • Calendar At-a-Glance
    • Who Is BloostonLaw?
    • 21 Facts and Features Of A Standard Outlet
    • Bruce Springsteen — “I'm On Fire” — (Allie Sherlock Cover)


This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

I spend the whole week searching the INTERNET for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.

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



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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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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
Frank Moorman
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism-IPX Systems  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)

Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale

Motorola Service Monitor

IFR Service Monitor

IFR 500A Service Monitor

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

Qty Item Notes
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1 Motorola R 2001D  
4 Motorola R 2400 and 2410A  
5 Motorola R 2600 and R 2660 late S/Ns  
4 Motorola R 1200  
2 Motorola R 2200  
2 Stand-alone Efratom Rubidium Frequency Standards 10 MHz output
1 Telawave model 44 wattmeter Recently calibrated
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M2 Pro, M2 Max, and beyond: Examining the Apple Silicon release cycle

Malcolm Owen — Jul 05, 2022

With the introduction of the M2 chip, rumors have already started about Apple's next chip launches. Here's when to expect Apple's next Apple Silicon launches.

Apple is now firmly in the second generation of its M2 chip generation, shipping the first devices housing the updated SoC design. So far, it has only brought out the M2, but more are expected to be on the horizon.

After practically two years under the first generation, which involved four released variations of the M1 chip, the start of a new cycle raises fresh queries, including what Apple will bring out next and when it will happen.

AppleInsider has already looked into its crystal ball to speculate about the M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra releases. That forecast indicates the next batch of chips could be an extremely useful upgrade for Mac users down the road.

How far down that road is another matter entirely.

Given what we know about the M1 generation and rumors about the second, some educational guesses can be made on when Apple's next Apple Silicon moves will take place.

A trillion-dollar creature of habit

One of the big lessons observers of Apple can take is that it is a habitual company. It's obvious when you examine the cadence of product launches throughout the year, the annual iPhone updates that follow the same trends each time, and the gradual changes to the overall product lineup.

With the exception of products like the single-generation AirTag, some AirPods models, HomePod, and relatively few others, Apple has a tendency to regularly update its hardware to a fairly fixed schedule.

This is unsurprising considering it is a massive operation valued in trillions of dollars. With wealthy shareholders to answer to each quarter, it must carefully contemplate its activities.

Preparing updates to products that ship in the millions is a logistical nightmare, requiring intensive scheduling and budgeting to get right. For some products, this could mean laying the supply chain groundwork months or even years in advance.

The reasons for sticking to a predefined cadence aren't just an operations issue. It can also be a consumer-oriented one.

Buyers of hardware, especially bleeding-edge purchasers, want to know that their devices will be at the forefront of performance for a reasonable amount of time before being usurped by newer, faster products. For devices costing thousands of dollars sometimes, such buying decisions can be tough for consumers.

If you're shelling out thousands for a just-launched 16-inch MacBook Pro with the fastest possible configurable chip, the last thing you want is to find Apple updates the model a few months later, with new features and a better configuration. Buyer's remorse can be a killer to a brand.

A year's gap between updates in an iPhone may be acceptable, partly because Apple has adopted that cadence for that product line. That gap has to widen for a potentially more expensive and less frequently updated device like a MacBook Pro, or else consumers will be upset.

This means that, for the M2 Apple Silicon generation, we do have to look at Apple's timing for its launch against the M1 and take that into account with our forecasts.

The M1 schedule

Since repetition is a theme for Apple, it makes sense that any analysis of the M2 series schedule should consider what Apple did for the M1.

The M1 generation started with Apple's introduction of Apple Silicon itself, which took place during WWDC 2020. While it didn't release actual consumer hardware during the event, it did lay the groundwork for the chips by providing developers with a modified Mac mini.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introducing Apple Silicon during WWDC 2020

Apple didn't actually introduce M1 itself until November 2020, which it did alongside the first Apple Silicon hardware launches: Mac mini, MacBook Air, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

There wasn't any further movement forward on M1 until five months later, with the introduction of the 24-inch iMac, as well as adding the chip to the iPad Pro lineup.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max didn't appear until October 2021, almost a year after the original M1 landed and 16 months after Apple first introduced Apple Silicon. The 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro were the vessels for the new chip pairing, but even then, Apple wasn't finished.

It wasn't until March 2022 that Apple brought out the Mac Studio and the last M1-series chip, the M1 Ultra. That occurred a year and nine months after Apple Silicon's launch, a year and four months after M1 was introduced, and five months after the M1 Max the Ultra is based on.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

With the launch of M2 at WWDC, you could reasonably assume that the event was the end of Apple's two-year transition period. M2 appeared approximately 19 months after M1, just eight months after M1 Pro and M1 Max, and a mere three months after M1 Ultra.

If we were working on a proper two-year cycle for launches, the WWDC 2022 event would've had Apple talking about a "next-generation Apple Silicon chip" without naming it and certainly without any hardware launches.

Instead, we had M2, the MacBook Air got overhauled, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro got a chip change.

The M2-equipped MacBook Air

You could interpret this as Apple running to a 19-month cadence, but that seems unfitting for Apple. It could just as easily be Apple taking advantage of the early stages of creating a release cycle to shift its Apple Silicon update timing to coincide with WWDC, instead of later in the year, as it did with M1.

It's entirely plausible that Apple could be aiming for a 2-year Apple Silicon release schedule centered around WWDC.

As for product launches, a two-year update cycle for a Mac isn't entirely unreasonable to expect. Even a 1.5-year cycle isn't too bad, or even an annual refresh that could include minor incremental changes some years.

Rumored M2 moves

For the most part, the rumor mill tends to focus on products that will be sold to consumers rather than specific components, and this applies to Apple Silicon Macs.

On M2-specific rumors, a late June claim had Apple booking capacity with chip partner TSMC to use a 3-nanometer process for its next chip line, instead of the 5-nanometer techniques used on the existing Apple Silicon lineup. The report said it would be used on M2 Pro and higher chip tiers, with volume production starting in late 2022.

Returning to Macs, February had a report outlining Apple's attempts to bring out more Macs in 2022, including a 24-inch iMac with M2, an updated iMac Pro, and whatever Apple's plans are for the Mac Pro.

M2's initial release was similar in nature to the M1.

By March, after the launch of the Mac Studio, Apple was thought to be preparing a Mac mini with M2 for release later in the year, while an M2 Pro-equipped version was also being worked on, albeit without an intended release date.

It was around this same time period that Apple would reportedly bring out the M2 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro in "late 2022." Obviously, that was incorrect.

By June, the rumor mill started up again with the M2 Apple Silicon claims, including a supposed 12-inch MacBook and a 15-inch MacBook Air. Both would run M2, but with expected release dates for the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Others were quick to doubt the existence of the 12-inch model, while at the same time supporting the 15-inch MacBook Air rumor, with an additional caveat of an M2 Pro version on the way.

By late June, a report floated the idea of an M2 Pro Mac mini, and M2 Pro and M2 Max-equipped 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro sometime in the next year, as well as an M2 Ultra and "M2 Extreme" Mac Pro at some point.

Interestingly, that report also said that Apple was not only working on M3, the next generation, but that it was also planning to use it as early as "next year," meaning 2023.

If true, this could shorten the chip launch cadence by a few months, potentially matching a 1.5-year cycle.

The almighty supply chain

Apple's internal work on its next-generation chips isn't surprising to anyone. Neither is the lengthy development cycle for its products and the components that go into the devices.

These processes take months to play through and can last over a year before reaching the manufacturing stage. Then, Apple must work with its partners in the supply chain to create parts, which can take months to complete to Apple's standard of quality.

In the case of Apple Silicon, Apple has to turn to TSMC, its sole partner on SoCs used throughout its ecosystem.

TSMC is a major partner to Apple, since it makes Apple Silicon chips.

TSMC doesn't just work with Apple, but Cupertino is one of its biggest clients.

The closeness of the two has led to Apple being in an advantageous position amid the global semiconductor shortage. A problem that has led to reduced production of chips used in many different industries and obviously could affect Apple.

So far, Apple has been insulated from the chip crisis due to working with TSMC well in advance, and it seems the situation will remain stable for the moment.

Like other chip companies, TSMC is working to expand its production capabilities to combat the global shortage of chips. That includes 3-nanometer factories that could be used in the as-rumored future M2 Pro's production.

The global shortage could be a factor in extending the timeline of Apple's future M2 chip launches and product releases. Except both Apple and TSMC are working to avoid that becoming a reality.

It's anyone's guess, but estimates can be made

No-one outside of Apple knows precisely when the company will release new Apple Silicon chips and hardware that will run it.

Once established, Apple could easily bring its Apple Silicon product launches into a similar cadence as its previous Intel-based product updates. It's just a little too early in the Apple Silicon lifecycle to pin it down.

As a guess for when Apple could bring out the next versions of its chips, based on a sub-two-year cadence and rumors, something like the M2 Pro and M2 Max could surface in late 2022, if not early 2023.

If the rumors of a shift to 3-nanometer production are true, then it would be extremely unlikely for M2 Pro and M2 Max to arrive before early 2023. If false and Apple sticks to 5-nanometer, then the late-2022 schedule is a lot more viable.

The M2 Ultra and the supposed "M2 Extreme" will be a while longer again, towards the tail end of the overall cycle. If the cadence is closer to one year than two, that could be around WWDC time, though more likely later on in 2023 itself.

Apple could even introduce M3 by WWDC 2023 if it wanted to, but that would severely compress the M2 lifecycle and be a further tweak from the expected cadence.

Whether it actually does so is another matter entirely.


Apple Insider

Leavitt Communications


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






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Analyst forecast calls for U.S. cable subs to halve by 2030 as fiber gains ground

By Diana Goovaerts
July 1, 2022 09:37 am

By Q4 2030, Point Topic forecast the U.S. will have just over 40 million cable subscribers, while China will have around 16 million. (Mshake/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

A new report from U.K.-based analyst outfit Point Topic predicted India and Indonesia will experience rapid growth in fiber broadband subscribers toward the end of the current decade, a shift which will see them become two of the top five largest markets in terms of subscriber count by 2030. On the cable front, the U.S. was set to continue leading, though the number of subscribers there was tipped begin a steep downward slide starting at the end of 2025.

India’s fiber subscriber trajectory was forecast to really take off in the 2025 timeframe and by the end of 2028 a chart from Point Topic showed it will tie or narrowly surpass the U.S. to occupy the number two position. Indonesia’s acceleration appeared to begin more in 2026, with it due to pass Brazil and Japan for the number four spot in the 2029 timeframe. China is set to remain at number one throughout the forecast period.

All told, Point Topic predicted China will have 523 million fiber broadband subscribers by 2030, while India will have somewhere in the realm of 110 million. The U.S. was forecast to reach around 80 million in the same timeframe with Indonesia following with just under 60 million. Brazil is expected to narrowly edge out Japan for the number five spot, though both will have around 40 million subscribers.

Looking at fiber penetration, however, Spain and the U.K. are expected to dominate, with rates of 100% or more by 2030. Vietnam, Chile, China and Japan will all have rates around 90%.

“In terms of household penetration, fiber will be used by more than half of all global households, while overall fixed broadband penetration will be 70%,” the firm wrote.

Cable slide

By technology, fiber was forecast to be used by 52.3% of households globally by Q4 2030, with cable the second most prevalent at 7%. Fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) and vDSL were tipped to be used by 5.8% of households with DSL/ADSL bringing up the rear with 3.0%. Approximately 1.5% of households were predicted to use other technologies.

The U.S. currently holds a dramatic lead as the country with the largest cable broadband subscriber count, with around 80 million compared to second place China’s 30 or so million. But figures in both countries were forecast to take a dramatic downward turn starting in 2025. By Q4 2030, Point Topic forecast the U.S. will have just over 40 million subscribers using cable technology, while China will have around 16 million.

Point Topic’s prediction for the U.S. cable market jibes with commentary from MoffettNathanson in June 2021 which suggested the impact of fiber builds on cable operators would peak in 2024 or 2025. It offers a stark contrast to a forecast put out by New Street Research in July 2021 which tipped U.S. cable operators’ overall subscriber count to grow from 73.3 million in 2020 to 85.9 million by 2030. However, New Street's forecast covers the total number of residential customers cable operators will have regardless of technology, rather than just those on DOCSIS connections.

Editor's note: The cable numbers in the Point Topic report refer to the number of users on cable technology (i.e. DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1) rather than the total number of subscribers cable operators are forecast to have. New Street's forecast is inclusive of all of cable operators' broadband subscribers regardless of technology. The story has been updated to reflect this.

Source: Fierce Telecom  

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.

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Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.


  • Use as a stand-alone unit or in wide area network.
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IMPORTANT left arrow

“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.

Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism IPX Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.


Can You Help The Newsletter?

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You can help support The Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.

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Newspapers generally cost 75¢ $1.50 a copy and they hardly ever mention paging or wireless messaging, unless in a negative way. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially?

A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year period. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above .

GPS Accuracy Issue Impacted Garmin, Suunto, and Polar Watches Over Past Week


Over the past 7 days there’s been a slew of folks with certain GPS watches seeing accuracy issues, whereby the GPS track is offset from reality (usually in a specific direction). This often results in GPS tracks where the visual pattern might be correct, but it’s not in the correct location. Meaning, it’s as if someone shifted your route slightly to the side, ultimately letting you walk on water, or run through buildings. Alternatively, it just might have weird gaps, or be outright dumpster-fire wrong. In theory, the issue should be resolved as of last night.

This issue specifically impacted those with Sony GPS chipsets, which is essentially a repeat of an issue that occurred 18 months ago that was far greater reaching (for a variety of reasons). The first time, the issue happened over the New Year’s Holiday Weekend, and was the first time these companies saw it, which significantly slowed the response rate (and also, increased how many people it impacted).

This time around, the impact was certainly measurable (as my inbox can attest to), but the duration was more limited. It initially impacted people last Tuesday/Wednesday (June 28th/29th), then again over this past weekend and into the early week (July 1-July 5th). The number of impacted watches is vast here, and essentially any Garmin watch released in the last few years (but not most of those in 2022, as they use a different chipset), as well as all Suunto/Polar watches, and theoretically all COROS watches except the Vertix 2 (though, I haven’t seen any COROS reports, so perhaps they’ve put in place a different filter).

Roughly speaking, that’d be the following watches (plus the 29 million variants of these watches Garmin has):

  • Garmin Forerunner 45/245/745/945/945 LTE/Fenix 6/MARQ/Vivoactive 3/4/Venu
  • Garmin Edge 130 Plus, Edge 530/830/1030 Plus
  • Garmin Enduro watch — Garmin Instinct Series 1 & Series 2 watches
  • Polar Vantage Series, Grit Series, and Pacer Series Watches
  • Suunto 5/5 Peak & Suunto 9/9 Peak
  • Again, the above list is not all-inclusive. There are tons more watches impacted, especially from Garmin, which uses near-identical watches in various other divisions such marine, golf, and aviation. Additionally, this would theoretically impact the Wahoo RIVAL & COROS watches (except Vertix 2), though, I can’t find any instances of people with issues there. Which means either they were reported, or they’ve put in place mitigations.

    Meanwhile, the Garmin and COROS watches not impacted are:

    All of those watches use a different multiband chipset from MediaTek/Airoha, which isn’t impacted here.

    The issue has to do with the ephemeris data file, also called the EPO file (Extended Prediction Orbit) or Connected Predictive Ephemeris (CPE). Or simply the satellite pre-cache file. That’s the file that’s delivered to your device on a frequent basis (usually every few days). This file is what makes your watch near-instantly find GPS satellites when you go outside. It’s basically a cheat-sheet of where the satellites are for the next few days, or up to a week or so.

    Your watch or bike computer automatically gets this file via Bluetooth Smart from your phone, WiFi, or USB, depending on how you connect your watch. Most companies deliver it anytime your watch syncs and needs a new version. So from your side, you never do anything — it just quietly happens in the background. The data in this file was wrong, and thus the data your watch uses for those first few minutes is also wrong — leading to the offsets.

    The good news is the fix is simple: Just sync your watch to get an updated copy. Garmin for example says that if your watch is connected to your phone, as of last night, it should have/be downloading a new EPO file, which will fix the issue. Garmin also says they’ve put in place blocks to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Albeit, they said that 18 months ago too, so my assumption is whatever Sony did this time broke it in a new and special way that wasn’t the same as last time.

    With that, hopefully that helps folks understand what’s going on, and how to fix it.

    Thanks for reading!

    Source: DC RAINMAKER  

    PRISM IPX Systems

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    I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.

    GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.

    If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.

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    INTERNET Protocol Terminal

    The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.

    An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.

    Input Protocols: Serial and IP
    Output Protocols: Serial and IP
    FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

    Additional/Optional Features

    • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
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    Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

    The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.

    Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.

    • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
    • Large capcode capacity.
    • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
    • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
    • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
    • Message activated Alarm Output.
    • 8 programmable relay outputs.
    • Send notifications of a system problem.
    • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
    • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
    • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
    • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
    • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
    • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
    • Power 5VDC.
    • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

    Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

    11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
    Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail:

    Wireless Network Planners

    Wireless Network Planners
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    217 First Street
    East Northport, NY 11731

    ron mercer
    Telephone: 631-786-9359 left arrow

    5 Places to Put an Apple AirTag That You Never Thought About

    Save yourself time and stress by knowing where these things are at all times.

    Katie Teague July 5, 2022 8:00 a.m. PT

    Katie Teague

    Katie is a Writer at CNET, covering all things how-to. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.

    AirTags help you find lost items
    . Sarah Tew/CNET

    If you're prone to losing personal items on a regular basis, then listen closely because this tip will change your life. Place an Apple AirTag on or in whatever it is that you tend to misplace.

    While generally you need to be within Bluetooth range to find your AirTag, you can use Apple's Find My service to locate it if it's further away but -- and this is important to remember -- in range of another Apple device (here's how the Find My network works). To do so, just put your AirTag into Lost Mode and you'll get a notification once it's within range of the Find My network.

    We'll tell you where you can place an AirTag that you may not have thought of before. For more details, here's how to tell if an AirTag is tracking your location on Android.

    In your tent when you go hiking

    If you're setting up camp in a location you've never visited, it could be useful to place an AirTag inside your tent so you can easily find your campsite. For instance, if you decide to hike several miles one day, you can use Find My to look up the AirTag's last location (your tent) and get directions back to the campsite. Remember, it'll need to be within range of anyone else's device, so don't rely on this out in the wilderness. (This is also why Apple advises you not to use AirTags on pets.)

    In your jacket pocket

    How often have you left your coat behind in a restaurant, bar or friend's house? Forgetting to grab your jacket when you head out is easy to do, especially if the weather is warmer than you expected or your hands are full of leftovers and to-go cups.

    If you know you'll be hanging your jacket on a coat rack — or the back of a chair — when you arrive, place an AirTag inside the pocket so you know where you left it. This can help prevent yet another favorite jacket from getting lost, and less money out of your wallet to replace it.

    Inside your luggage

    Airports can be tricky to navigate, and can become especially difficult when you're trying to find the correct luggage pickup. Sometimes you wait 30 minutes until your bags finally roll out on the conveyor belt -- and sometimes they get lost. To relieve the stress of trying to locate your suitcase, you can put an AirTag tracker inside so you can track its whereabouts.

    This can help you find out if your bags were left on the airplane, if they're on the conveyor belt but you haven't spotted them yet or if someone mistakenly grabbed your luggage. Once you find out where your bags are, you can remedy the situation and continue on to where you're going.

    Place an AirTag inside your laptop bag so you'll stop misplacing it.
    Sarah Tew/CNET

    Inside your laptop bag

    Laptop bags can be easily left behind at a cafe when you're picking up coffee for everyone at the office. When your hands are full and you're distracted wondering how you're going to open your car door, it's hard to remember to grab your bag from the booth you were sitting in.

    That's why it's a good idea to place an AirTag inside one of the pockets. You will be able to not only locate your expensive laptop but also save any confidential company or personal information you had in your bag.

    In a hidden place on your bicycle

    If it hasn't happened to you, you probably know someone who has had this experience. You get home from a bike ride, go inside to grab water and something to eat and completely forget about your bike you left outside. Or maybe you went to the store, didn't lock your bike up and when you came back it was gone.

    If you place an AirTag in a hidden place on the bike, you can easily locate it. We don't recommend tracking the bicycle down on your own though. It's best to notify the police and let them retrieve your bike for you to avoid any dangerous situations.

    This method also works on your car if it's been stolen or towed away -- or if you can't remember where you parked it. Although if you have an iPhone and it's connected to your car via Bluetooth, your phone can locate where you last left it.

    Your iPhone can find your AirTag.
    Sarah Tew/CNET

    More common areas to put your AirTag

    AirTag is commonly used to locate these items.

    • Your purse or wallet
    • Your keychain
    • Your phone or tablet
    • The remote to your TV
    • Anything valuable that you leave outside your home
    Source: CNET

    Consulting Alliance

    Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

    Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

    Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

    Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

    “If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.” — Chinese Proverb

    Remote AB Switches

    ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.


    ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.


    Common Features:

    • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
    • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
    • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
    • Form C relay—control local connection.
    • Power Loss Indicator.
    • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
    • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

    Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

    11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
    Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail:

    Apple introduces Lockdown Mode to protect iPhones from state-sponsored hacking

    PUBLISHED WED, JUL 6 20221:00 PM EDT
    Kif Leswing


    • Apple announced a new feature for iPhones called Lockdown Mode on Wednesday.
    • It’s intended for high-profile users such as politicians and activists who may be targeted by state-sponsored hackers.
    • Lockdown Mode turns off several features on the iPhone in order to make it less vulnerable to spyware by significantly reducing the number of features that attackers can access and potentially hack.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a keynote during the European Union’s privacy conference at the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium October 24, 2018. Yves Herman | Reuters

    Apple announced a new feature for iPhones called Lockdown Mode on Wednesday to protect high-profile users such as politicians and activists against state-sponsored hackers.

    Lockdown Mode turns off several features on the iPhone in order to make it less vulnerable to spyware by significantly reducing the number of features that attackers can access and potentially hack.

    Specifically, it disables many preview features in iMessage, limits JavaScript on the Safari browser, prevents new configuration profiles from being installed, blocks wired connections — therefore preventing the device’s data from being copied — and shuts down incoming Apple services requests, including FaceTime.

    The tech giant will pay up to $2 million to researchers who find a security flaw in Lockdown Mode.

    The announcement comes months after revelations that state-sponsored hackers had the ability to hack recent-model iPhones with “zero-click” attacks distributed through text messages. These attacks can be successful even if the victim doesn’t click on a link.

    The iPhone maker has faced increasing calls from governments to address the issue. In March, U.S. lawmakers pressed Apple about attack details, including whether it could detect them, how many had been discovered and when and where they occurred.

    Most hackers are financially motivated and most malware is designed to make a user give up valuable information like a password or give the attacker access to financial accounts.

    But the state-sponsored attacks that Lockdown Mode are targeting are different: They employ very expensive tools sold directly to law enforcement agencies or sovereign governments, and use undiscovered bugs to gain a foothold into the iPhone’s operating system. From there, the attackers can do things like control its microphone and camera, and steal the user’s browsing and communications history.

    Lockdown Mode is intended for the small number of people who think they may be targeted by a state-sponsored hacker and need an extreme level of security. Victims targeted by military-grade spyware include journalists, human rights activists and business executives, according to The Washington Post. Spyware also has allegedly been used to target public officials, including a French minister and Catalan separatist leaders in Spain.

    “While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are,” Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture, said in a statement.



    There are several types of mercenary spyware, but the best-known version is Pegasus, which was developed by NSO Group in Israel. Recently, researchers at the University of Toronto and Amnesty International have discovered and documented versions of this kind of spyware targeting iPhones.

    NSO Group has previously said that its technology is used lawfully by governments to fight pedophiles and terrorists.

    NSO Group is disliked by big tech companies, especially Apple, which markets its devices as more secure than the competition. Apple sued NSO Group last year, saying that it is malicious and that it damaged Apple’s business. Facebook parent Meta is also suing NSO Group over its alleged efforts to hack WhatsApp.

    Last November, the U.S. Commerce Department blacklisted NSO Group, preventing U.S. companies from working with it, one of the strongest measures the U.S. government can take to strike at foreign companies.

    Apple says the vast majority of the 1 billion iPhone users will never be targeted. Mercenary spyware like Pegasus can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, Apple says, so the tools are valuable and are only used to target a small number of users. Once new versions of spyware are discovered, Apple patches the bugs that they use, making the original exploits ineffective and forcing vendors like NSO Group to reconfigure how their tools work.

    Lockdown Mode will not be on by default, but can be turned on from inside the iPhone’s settings with a single tap, Apple said. It will also be available for iPads and Macs.

    The new feature will be available for testing on a beta version of iOS this week before its planned wide release in the fall.

    Source: CNBC

    Leavitt Communications

    We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

    We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

    E-mail Phil Leavitt ( ) for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

    Phil Leavitt

    7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
    Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

    Why You Should Never Plug In an Unknown USB Device

    If you find a random USB flash drive on the ground, turn and run away.

    By Jake Peterson July 7, 2020 — 1:30PM

    Photo: Antonio Guillem (Shutterstock)

    Let’s set the scene: You’re out in the world, doing what you do, when you stumble upon an abandoned USB flash drive. What could be inside? Perhaps it’s simply someone’s spreadsheets from work—maybe alongside some information identifying the owner, allowing you to return it. But also, maybe government secrets? The only way to find out is to plug it into your computer and investigate. Here’s the thing, though: Don’t do that.

    Sure, the USB device you found could be perfectly innocent, unknowingly dropped by someone taking the same path as you. However, it could also be a trap, designed to prey on your curiosity, and that when you decide to plug it into your personal computer, all you’ll find on it is malware.

    Malware-infected USB devices are a real problem

    Although it might sound like something out of the movies, people really do infect USB devices with malware and drop them for unsuspecting victims to find. Targets range big and small, with the highest profile hack likely being against Iran in 2010: one such attempt infected the country’s nuclear facilities with Stunext malware, despite the entire system’s disconnection from any Internet communications.

    In less high-stakes cases, it might seem like a rather roundabout and random means of attack. After all, phishing emails and texts can be sent directly to marks, while a USB device must be first picked up then plugged in order for it to work.

    As it turns out, the chances of someone plugging in a strange USB are pretty high. One study dropped nearly 300 USB devices through a “large college campus,” and found that 98% of the devices were picked up by students and staff, and nearly half decided to plug in the USB device to their computer—with the first connection happening six minutes after the study launched. All that to say, there’s likely a return on a hacker’s investment in this scenario.

    This isn’t a new problem. The US-CERT (Computer Emergency Response Teams) issued a warning in 2008 about malware-infected USB devices. Before that, floppy disks were used in a similar way. And while we might have moved away from physical storage in favor of the cloud, USB devices are still ubiquitous enough to pose this threat.

    It’s difficult to say how common this threat really is, but with cyberattacks on the rise, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Avoiding connecting a strange USB device to your personal computer is simply a cybersecurity best practice, just as not reusing the same password twice helps keep your accounts safe.

    That said, if you can’t fight off your curiosity, you aren’t totally out of options (although you might be stepping into unethical territory). In a Reddit thread on the subject, one user describes how they take each USB device they find to a Best Buy to test on the store’s computers. I won’t vouch for this method, since I can’t condone risking the store’s property, but the general idea—check the USB out without risking your personal device and information, or the information of anyone else—is sound. Which is good, since, let’s be real: You’re definitely going to plug that USB device in.

    Source: Life Hacker  

    Inside Towers Newsletter

    Wednesday, July 6, 2022 Volume 10, Issue 130

    FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Provide Mobile Starlink Internet Service

    By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

    The FCC authorized SpaceX to provide Starlink satellite internet to vehicles in motion. “Authorizing a new class of [customer] terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move, whether driving an RV across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight,” FCC International Bureau Chief Tom Sullivan wrote in the authorization. It also approved a request from Kepler Communications Inc. to operate unlimited Ku-band Earth Stations on Vessels.

    Starlink is SpaceX’s network of satellites in low-Earth orbit, designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere on the globe. SpaceX has launched about 2,700 satellites to support the global network. As of May, SpaceX told the FCC that Starlink had more than 400,000 subscribers, according to MSNBC.

    The FCC imposed conditions on what is officially called Starlink Earth Stations in Motion service. SpaceX is required to “accept any interference received from both current and future services authorized,” and further investment in Starlink will “assume the risk that operations may be subject to additional conditions or requirements” from the Commission.

    SpaceX has deals with commercial air carriers in preparation for the decision, notes MSNBC. It has agreements with Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private charter firm JSX to provide WiFi on planes. The FCC’s authorization also includes connecting to ships and vehicles like semi trucks and RVs. SpaceX had already deployed a version of its service called “Starlink for RVs,” with an additional “portability” fee.

    12 GHz Use Remains Unresolved

    The ruling did not resolve a broader SpaceX regulatory dispute with DISH Network and RS Access, a company backed by billionaire Michael Dell, over the use of the 12 GHz band. The 12 GHz band is currently used for DBS, fixed satellite service multichannel video and data service, like Starlink’s broadband service. All are co-primary users, but DBS must be protected from interference, notes NextTV.

    The FCC continues to analyze whether the band can support both ground-based and space-based services. SpaceX is pushing for the regulator to make a ruling.

    RS Access and DISH oppose SpaceX use of spectrum between 12.2-12.7 GHz. Viasat challenged SpaceX services in the broader Ku-band, according to the FCC.

    Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
    Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.

    BloostonLaw Newsletter

    Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less — sometimes the whole updates] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm's partners. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.

      BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 25, No. 25 July 6, 2022  

    BloostonLaw Telecom Update to Move to Monday Distribution

    Beginning with next week’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, we will be distributing the weekly Update on Monday instead of Wednesday, as a way to provide more timely reporting on FCC public notices that are routinely issued on Wednesday evenings, and FCC monthly meeting results that occur on Thursdays. As such, there will be no issue next Wednesday. [The Wireless Messaging News reprint will remain unchanged.]

    This is a trial we are planning to run through the summer. We hope receiving the Update on Monday instead of Wednesday proves to be more timely and useful to our clients, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    BloostonLaw Contacts: Sal Taillefer.


    FCC Extends COVID Lifeline Waivers to September 30 for Tribal Subscribers Only

    On June 30, the FCC adopted an Order extending existing waivers of the Lifeline program’s recertification and reverification requirements for Tribal subscribers only. Otherwise, as we reported in last week’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the waivers - which have been in effect for over a year — expired on June 30.

    As a result, beginning July 1:

    • Except for Tribal subscribers, USAC resumed recertification activity. USAC further indicated that affected subscribers will only be re-certified once in calendar year 2022, and affected service providers will receive more information separately.
    • Except for Tribal subscribers, USAC resumed reverification activity. Affected service providers will reportedly receive more information separately.
    • Required de-enrollments of any existing subscribers will occur as needed.
    • USAC resumed outreach for subscribers to confirm eligibility.
    • Consumers who qualify for Lifeline through their income must submit the required documentation to verify their income meets Lifeline’s eligibility criteria.
    • Consumers living in rural areas on Tribal lands must provide supporting documentation required to complete their Lifeline application, and must have a qualified National Verifier application before their service provider can enroll them in NLAD and claim them for reimbursement.

    Finally, USAC will no longer accept driver's licenses or state identification cards that have expired, when needed to complete any applications.

    Carriers with questions about the effects of the expiring waivers may contact the firm for more information.

    BloostonLaw Contact: Sal Taillefer.

    FCC Reminds Broadband Providers that Form 477 and BDC Filings are Due September 1

    On July 1, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding facilities-based broadband service providers that they must file both their FCC Form 477 and Broadband Data Collection (BDC) data by September 1, as applicable. While the BDC report will ultimately replace Form 477, the filings will be concurrent for an indeterminate period.

    As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, on September 1 of each year facilities-based service providers are required to file granular data in the BDC system about where they make mass-market Internet access service available as of the prior June 30. The FCC has released a Public Notice and Enforcement Advisory reminding all facilities-based service providers of fixed or mobile broadband Internet access service of their duty to timely file complete and accurate data in the BDC system. A copy of the advisory is available here.

    This filing is in addition to the Form 477 filing that has been required for several years now. Four types of entities must file the Form 477: (1) facilities-based providers of broadband connections to end user locations; (2) providers of wired or fixed wireless local telephone services; (3) providers of interconnected voice over Internet protocol service; and (4) providers of mobile telephony services. Providers that meet the requirements for both Form 477 and the BDC must accordingly make both filings.

    Carriers with questions about either filing may contact the firm for more information.

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

    FCC Extends Waiver of Voice-Only Lifeline Phase-Out and Minimum Service Standard for Mobile Data

    On July 1, the FCC released an Order maintaining the current status quo for Lifeline support for voice-only services and the minimum service standards for Lifeline mobile broadband data capacity. Absent a waiver, support for services that meet only the voice minimum service standard (currently $5.25 per month) would be eliminated in most areas on December 1, and the minimum service standard for mobile broadband data capacity would rise from 4.5 GB to 6.5 GB per month, also beginning December 1.

    According to the Order, the FCC’s decision to extend the waiver stems from several new factors impacting the Lifeline program and the program’s role, including the newly formed Affordable Connectivity Program, the FCC’s upcoming Report on the Future of the Universal Service Fund, and the Affordable Connectivity Program’s transparency data collection. In addition, the FCC relied upon information showing a continued preference for voice-only services.

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

    FCC Grants Authority for Starlink to Offer Internet Service to Moving Vehicles in the US

    The FCC last week granted SpaceX’s request to use the 12 GHz band for Earth Stations in Motion (or ESIMs), allowing the company to provide its Starlink satellite Internet service to moving vehicles as well as to boats and aircraft. The grant, which came in conjunction with grant of a similar request from Kepler Communications to serve Earth Stations on Vessels (or ESVs), is subject to conditions related to the ongoing 12 GHz rulemaking.

    “These services, never before available, promise the potential for expanding reach to remote and rural areas and facilitating higher quality broadband services in the air, on the road, and on the water,” wrote the FCC’s International Bureau. “We recognize, however, that the introduction of a potentially significant number of additional end users could affect the 12 GHz spectrum environment. We therefore impose conditions to ensure grant of this application does not materially impact the outcome of the 12 GHz rulemaking proceeding.”

    The ruling came despite vehement objections filed by DISH Network and RS Access, two of the biggest proponents for terrestrial 5G use of the 12 GHz band. The companies have been seeking a change in FCC’s rules so that 500 megahertz of underutilized Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) spectrum can be used for a two-way mobile and fixed wireless broadband 5G service. MVDDS spectrum is currently used to deliver one-way direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service, among other applications.

    Over the 4th of July weekend, tens of thousands of reported Starlink users sent messages to the FCC urging the FCC to reject DISH’s proposal to use the 12 GHz spectrum for a 5G cellular network. As of July 5, more than 79,000 sets of comments were logged in the 12 GHz Flexible Use docket (WT 20-243) as part of the SpaceX grassroots lobbying campaign. It is unclear how many of the filings come from duplicate users.

    “The commission went to great lengths to impose numerous conditions in this order that ensure this decision will not reduce its flexibility in the ongoing 12 GHz rulemaking,” said V. Noah Campbell, CEO of RS Access, in a statement provided to FierceWireless. “By doing this, the FCC makes clear that any company exploring ESIM operations in the band is doing so at its own risk. They also put NGSO operators on notice that this issue will not distract the commission from exploring a coexistence framework that would make 500 MHz of prime mid-band spectrum available for 5G.”

    Operations of SpaceX and Kepler are authorized on an unprotected, non-harmful interference basis and must accept any interference received from both current and future services authorized in the 12 GHz band.

    BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Sal Taillefer

    Law and Regulation

    FCC Seeks Comment on NFL Request for Extension of CBRS Rule Waiver

    Last summer, the FCC Wireless Bureau granted the National Football League a conditional waiver of the CBRS technical rules, allowing it to operate a coach-to-coach communications system it had developed to protect against disruptions in service in the event of a localized Internet outage at an NFL stadium. The league now seeks to extend the waiver through the end of the 2025 Super Bowl. Comments on the NFL’s request are due July 11, 2022, with reply comments due July 18, 2022.

    Under Section 96.39(c)(2) of the CBRS rules, CBRS end user devices (or CBSDs) must register with and be authorized by an FCC-approved Spectrum Access System (SAS) administrator, and thereafter must receive and comply with any SAS commands about changes to power limits and frequency assignments. CBSDs must also cease transmission, move to another frequency, or change its power level within 60 seconds as instructed by an SAS. While the NFL’s CBRS system and CBSDs are configured to enable registration with the SAS, the league contends that the obligation to discontinue operations within 60 seconds of an Internet outage at any point just prior to or during a three-hour televised football game would lead to an inordinate disruption. There would not be time to replace the CBRS system with a wired coach-to-coach communication system that is ready to deploy.

    The FCC granted the NFL’s waiver request for the 2021-2022 season but imposed numerous conditions on the league, including the use of at least two independent, unaffiliated ISPs with separate physical connections at each NFL stadium throughout the season; immediate shutdown of operations if any authorized Incumbent Access or Priority Access tier user reports harmful interference; and limiting operations to the General Authorized Access (GAA) portion of the CBRS band. After the Order was adopted, the NFL worked closely with the SAS and equipment companies to implement the waiver, so that the communications system would continue in the event of multiple Internet failures and thus the waiver served its purpose.

    With respect to the first condition, the NFL, at each stadium, implemented both a hardwired Internet connection and LTE service as a backup Internet connection. The league used a switching system at each stadium to provide automatic rollover from the hardwired connection to LTE ISP service in the event of a hardwired Internet connection failure. This level of redundancy proved sufficient to minimize the chances of an outage. The NFL has always operated its CBRS system pursuant to valid, active authorizations from a SAS, and at no point at any stadium was any interference complaint received by the NFL or its agents from an authorized Incumbent, General Access or Priority Access tier CBRS user.

    The NFL reported that multiple Internet failures did not occur at any NFL venues last season (including 272 regular season games plus pre- and post-season games played at 30 venues during August through February for approximately five hours), so it never had to rely on the mechanism that it put in place pursuant to the waiver. However, because the prospect of multiple Internet failures at NFL venues remains during these limited circumstances, the NFL seeks extension of its waiver for an additional three years.

    The NFL’s coach-to-coach communications system is not the only game-day system that operates pursuant to an FCC rule waiver. The WTB last year granted smart tag company Zebra a trio of waivers so it could operate its UWB player tracking devices at higher power, allowing NFL stats to be integrated with broadcast and replay graphics systems.

    BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell

    FCC Announces Conditional Forbearance from Lifeline Voice Obligation

    On July 1, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the counties in which conditional forbearance from the obligation to offer Lifeline-supported voice service applies, pursuant to the FCC’s 2016 Lifeline Order. The list may be found here. This forbearance applies only to the Lifeline voice obligation of eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that are designated for purposes of receiving both high-cost and Lifeline support (high-cost/Lifeline ETCs), and not to Lifeline-only ETCs.

    The 2016 Lifeline Order established conditional forbearance from Lifeline voice obligations in targeted areas where certain competitive conditions are met. Specifically, the FCC granted forbearance from high-cost/Lifeline ETCs’ obligation to offer and advertise Lifeline voice service in counties where the following conditions are met: (1) 51% of Lifeline subscribers in the county are obtaining broadband Internet access service; (2) there are at least three other providers of Lifeline broadband Internet access service that each serve at least 5% of the Lifeline broadband subscribers in that county; and (3) the ETC does not actually receive federal high-cost universal service support.

    The FCC releases a yearly public notice announcing the counties in which the competitive conditions are met.

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


    CTIA Launches Initiative to Combat Text Message Spam

    Last week, CTIA announced the Secure Messaging Initiative (SMI), a new program to help stop unwanted or illegal text messaging spam. The SMI includes a central clearinghouse that providers and government agencies will use to share suspected spam messages and techniques. The goal of the SMI is to more rapidly and effectively shut down spam activity and target the senders of unwanted or fraudulent messages

    “Texting is one of the most trusted and widely used forms of communication thanks to the wireless industry’s longstanding commitment to protecting consumers against spam,” said CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker. “The Secure Messaging Initiative builds on this commitment by creating a centralized clearinghouse for information about spam, spammers, and industry best practices — empowering the industry and government agencies with the information they need to help stop unwanted messaging.”

    Under the SMI, providers will report suspected spam messaging and activity to the clearinghouse, allowing other providers and government agencies to take action. Participants of the SMI will also share best practices and other information that can be used to further refine spam mitigation efforts. CTIA is also releasing new best practices that are the culmination of significant industry technical review and research.

    Consumers can also help with these efforts by forwarding spam text messages to 7726 (SPAM) or reporting them to security apps or government agencies like the FTC, FCC or to their state Attorney General. Visit CTIA’s new Consumer Resource page and Messaging Channel to learn more.

    USAC Releases CAF Map 5.0 Open Data Set On July 1, USAC announced that it has released the open dataset that will serve as the foundation of the next version of the Connect America Fund Broadband Map, available here. The map itself, which can be found here, is an interactive online map that shows Connect America Fund (CAF) funding for the Connect America Fund high cost program.

    Specifically, the map — which was originally launched in 2018 — shows the geographic locations (by latitude and longitude) where carriers that receive CAF support have built out high-speed Internet service. USAC indicated that Version 5.0 of the map, which contains updated information to include deployment completed in 2021, will go live soon.


    [WAIVED; NEW DEADLINE NOT YET ESTABLISHED] JULY 1: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable.

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

    JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, LINE COUNT DATA (A-CAM AND ALASKA PLAN RECPIENTS). Sections 54.313(f)(5) and 54.903(a)(1) of the FCC’s rules requires all rate-of-return telecommunications carriers to provide line count information on FCC Form 507 to USAC, the universal service Administrator. Carriers receiving Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) must submit this information annually on March 31st of each year, and may update the data on a quarterly basis. Carriers that receive Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) I, A-CAM II, or Alaska Plan support are required to file by July 1st of each year. For 2020, the FCC has extended the A-CAM filing deadline until July 31.

    BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

    JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July. These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

    BloostonLaw contact: Sal Taillefer.

    AUGUST 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 recent 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 (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.

    BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

    AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT: Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks--including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks--from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by August 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

    BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

    AUGUST 1: LIVE 911 CALL DATA REPORTS — Non-Nationwide Providers that do not provide coverage in any of the Test Cities must collect and report aggregate data based on the largest county within its footprint to APCO, NENA, and NASNA on the location technologies used for live 911 calls in those areas. Clients should obtain spreadsheets with their company’s compliance data from their E911 service provider (e.g., Intrado / West).

    BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.

    AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of year is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.

    BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

    SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Four types of entities must file this form: (1) Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations (must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations); (2) Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services (must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs)); (3) Providers of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service (must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide interconnected VoIP service to one or more subscribers, with the state determined for reporting purposes by the location of the subscriber’s broadband connection or the subscriber’s “Registered Location” as of the data-collection date); and (4) Providers of Mobile Telephony Services (must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers).

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

    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.

    Law Offices Of
    Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens,
    Duffy & Prendergast, LLP

    2120 L St. NW, Suite 300
    Washington, D.C. 20037
    (202) 659-0830
    (202) 828-5568 (fax)

    — CONTACTS —

    Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510,
    Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528,
    John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540,
    Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519,
    Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554,
    D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538,
    Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562,

    This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

    Calendar At-a-Glance

    Jul. 11 – Comments are due on location-based wireless 911 routing NPRM.
    Jul. 11 – Comments on NFL Request for Extension of CBRS Waiver are due.
    Jul. 18 – Comments are due on Enhanced A-CAM proposal NPRM.
    Jul. 18 – Reply comments on NFL Request for Extension of CBRS Waiver are due.
    Jul. 19 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Emergency Alert FNPRM.
    Jul. 25 – Comments are due on ACP Data Collection NPRM.
    Jul. 25 – Reply comments are due on location-based wireless 911 routing NPRM.
    Jul. 27 – Auction 109 – AM/FM Broadcast Auction begins.
    Jul. 27 – Reply comments are due on Pole Replacement FNPRM.
    Jul. 29 – Auction 108 – 2.5GHz Flexible-Use Auction begins.
    Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.
    Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 A-CAM/Alaska Plan Line Count Data is due.

    Aug. 1 – FCC Form 502 due (North American Numbering Plan Utilization and Forecast Report).
    Aug. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
    Aug. 1 – Live 911 Call Data Reports from Non-Nationwide Providers are due.
    Aug. 1 – Reply comments are due on Enhanced A-CAM proposal NPRM.
    Aug. 8 – Reply comments are due on ACP Data Collection NPRM.
    Aug. 29 – Copyright Statement of Accounts is due.

    Sep. 1 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
    Sep. 1 – Broadband Data Collection filings are due.
    Sep. 30 – Middle Mile Infrastructure Program grant applications are due.
    Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

    FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.

    Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP is a telecommunications law firm representing rural telecommunications companies, wireless carriers, private radio licensees, cable TV companies, equipment manufacturers and industry associations before the FCC and the courts, as well as state and local government agencies. Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small and medium-sized enterprises whose vitality and efficiency depend on the effective deployment of communications.

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