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This Week's Wireless News Headlines
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
I spend the whole week searching the INTERNET for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
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There is not a lot of news about Paging these days but when anything significant comes out, you will probably see it here. I also cover text messaging to other devices and various articles about related technology.
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Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
Friday June 10, 2022 12:30 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple on Monday introduced macOS Ventura, the newest version of the operating system that runs on the Mac. Set to come out this fall, macOS Ventura is currently available to developers, so we thought we'd take a deep dive to show MacRumors readers all of the new features that are in the update.
Our latest YouTube video highlights Stage Manager, FaceTime Handoff, Continuity Camera, and more, with a full list of what's covered in the video available below.
macOS Ventura is limited to developers at the current time, but Apple plans to provide a public beta in July. The operating system will see a public launch this fall.
Apple Mail modernizes with several new features in macOS Ventura and iOS 16
Allison McDaniel - Jun. 7th 2022 7:57 am PT
While Apple’s Mail app didn’t quite get the overhaul we were looking for at WWDC, the app is still getting its largest update in years. We have notable new features coming to Mail alongside macOS Ventura, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16 later in the fall; let’s see what’s ahead.
New features coming to Mail
Users can schedule emails in advance and have a “moment” to cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches the recipient’s inbox. We don’t know yet how long this moment will last. Also, Mail will now detect if a users forgot to include part of the message like an attachment. Thankfully, we can save ourselves some embarrassment. Who’s sent emails to dozens of people at once, only to forget the attachment?
Additionally, users will have the option to go back to previous messages at a later date and time with Remind Later and Follow Up suggestions. These features automatically remind you to follow up on an email if you haven’t received a response.
The update also brings a revamp to searching within the Mail app, delivering more relevant and accurate results. Users can view their recent emails, contacts, documents, and links as soon as they begin to search for e-mails.
I’m glad to see Apple making efforts to bring new features to its Mail app. While Mail has potential, it needed a bit of TLC. I’m personally looking forward to scheduling e-mails; I like to plan ahead, and this sounds like it’ll help me stay efficient.
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
The Wireless Messaging News
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|Source:||C Net||Click on image for complete coverage of Apple's WWDC 2022|
|PRISM IPX Systems|
Thousands of Users Worldwide Depend on Prism IPX
Our Customers Trust Us To Make Sure That Their Messages Get Delivered
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.
Experts in Paging Infrastructure
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
Protect Your Confidential Business & Personal Information!
Learn How to Secure Apps, Smartphones, Connected Products & PCs
Intrusive app developers, including those from China and Russia, pose massive cybersecurity, privacy and safety threats to:
Smartphones, tablet PCs, connected products and PCs are supported by intrusive and addictive apps/social media platforms enabling the developers to monitor, track and data mine end users for financial gain posing threats to highly confidential information.
My Smart Privacy can help you protect your confidential business, personal, medical, legal and employment information through cybersecurity and privacy advisory services that include an executive briefing, needs analysis and best practices.
My Smart Privacy has provided advisory services to the U.S. Government, Major Corporations, Oil & Gas Companies, Healthcare Providers, Cybersecurity Professionals, Defense Contractors and Lawmakers.
My Smart Privacy is here to help you, or your organization protect the most valuable commodity on the planet, your business and personal information.
|Source:||My Smart Privacy|
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.
Apple Maps Copying Google Maps Isn’t a Bad Thing
10 Jun 2022, 22:40 UTC · by Bogdan Popa
The rivalry between Apple and Google has made many diehard fans accuse the two companies of copying each other’s ideas on way too many occasions.
In fact, almost every new major update that Android and iOS receive typically comes with such claims, as fanboys see even the smallest resemblance as an intention of stealing the ideas pioneered by rivals.
Case in point, Apple’s debut of multi-stop routing in Apple Maps.
Announced at WWDC earlier this week, this new feature essentially makes it possible for Apple Maps users to configure a route that includes more than a single stop.
This option can be useful in a wide variety of ways, but in order to understand its impact, just think of someone who delivers stuff for a living. With this new feature, they can configure Apple Maps in one go before even leaving on a journey, obviously optimizing their routes and saving precious time.
While for Apple users this is an all-new capability, the multi-route support has been around for a very long time in Google Maps. The only difference is that Apple allows up to 15 stops in Apple Maps, while Google Maps supports a maximum of 9.
It was obviously just a matter of time until Google fans expressed their frustration online, once again accusing Apple of copying features available in Google Maps.
But no matter if Apple indeed looked at Google Maps or not before rolling out multi-stop routing in Apple Maps, the iPhone maker copying its rival’s ideas isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
First and foremost, let’s be honest about it. Multi-stop routing in a navigation app is a no-brainer. Sure, Apple needed way too much time to understand this is a key feature of a navigation solution, but at the end of the day, this option should be part of the essential feature arsenal of pretty much any piece of software in this software category.
Then, it’s not a secret that Apple Maps is lagging behind Google Maps in terms of features. So while Apple Maps doesn’t yet come with as many navigation features as Google Maps, it’s getting better, especially as far as the essential package I told you about is concerned. As a result, it doesn’t make much sense to accuse Apple of stealing Google’s ideas when, in fact, what the company does is only bring essential functionality to its app.
And last but not least, even if Apple is indeed copying Google’s features, this could end up becoming a good thing for users out there.
Google Maps is by far the best navigation app on the market, and Apple is pretty much the only company that can build a worthy competitor on mobile devices. Sure, the likes of Sygic, TomTom, and HERE also developed advanced solutions on this front, but let’s not forget that Apple Maps comes pre-loaded with every iPhone out there, so it’s often the first choice for most users anyway.
But before turning Apple Maps into a fully-featured alternative to Google Maps, Apple must first make sure everything is there. Obviously, investing in innovations that could help set its software apart from the rest of the crowd should at one point become a priority, but right now, Apple Maps isn’t necessarily in a place where such a thing should be the main focus.
So at the end of the day, Apple Maps getting better, no matter if this means getting the capabilities available elsewhere, is something that could eventually help Apple build a worthy alternative to Google Maps.
Competition is a good thing, there’s no doubt about it, but sometimes, maybe it just has to start with a close look at what your rivals have to offer before eventually doing the same thing better than them.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
FCC Proposes to Fine Ham for Firefighting Interference
Jason Frawley told commission he was trying to help
BY PAUL MCLANE
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fine an amateur radio operator for alleged interference with firefighting efforts in Idaho last year.
It said Jason Frawley, WA7CQ, apparently interfered with radio communications that were guiding fire suppression aircraft working the “Johnson fire” near Elk River. It said that he used his amateur hand-held radio eight times over two days on frequencies allocated and authorized for government use.
Frawley later told the FCC he was only trying to help.
The $34,000 fine would the largest of its kind, the commission said in issuing its notice of apparent liability. All four commissioners approved the NAL. Frawley now has the opportunity to respond, and the FCC would then consider final action.
Commenting on the notice, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote: “You can’t interfere with public safety communications. Full stop. So today we propose the largest fine of its type for this interference that put fire suppression and public safety itself at risk.”
The U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Lands were fighting the 1,000-acre wildfire on national forest land.
“As firefighting crews from the Forest Service and Idaho Department of Land worked to fight the wildfire, Forest Service radio communications received eight unauthorized transmissions on government frequencies from an individual identifying himself as ‘comm tech,’” the FCC said in its announcement.
“The individual interfered with communications between fire suppressant aircraft and ground crews by communicating his observations of hazards near the Elk Butte airstrip, where he and his radio equipment were located.”
According to the FCC account, a Forest Service supervisor drove to the airstrip, identified Frawley as the person and told him to stop.
“Mr. Frawley admitted to the supervisor to broadcasting on government frequencies as ‘comm tech.’ Mr. Frawley subsequently admitted to his conduct in a taped interview with an agent from the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations Branch at his residence and in response to an FCC letter of inquiry which followed a Forest Service complaint to the commission.”
The commission says Frawley — the owner of Leader Communications, licensee of eight microwave licenses and one business license — told the FCC he did not mean harm and instead meant to help the firefighters by providing them with details regarding Elk Butte.
“Regardless of the intent, the FCC finds that the apparent willful violations cannot be overlooked as interfering with authorized radio communications — and especially public safety related communications — is a serious violation of the law and can put lives and property at risk.”
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.
HDMI cables are about to get a big upgrade to make your life easier
By Nick Pino published June 7, 2020
HDMI Cable Power promises stronger transmission over longer distances without external power
Connecting the best TVs and best soundbars with HDMI cables is about to get a new feature that should make your life a lot easier. Dubbed HDMI Cable Power, the feature allows devices like Blu-ray players and streaming video players to power HMDI cables over a certain length.
That's a big change from how this works currently, where you need to connect a USB-C cable with the HDMI cable for lengthier connections. HDMI Cable Power will do away with that requirement.
HDMI Cable Power has gotten the OK from the HDMI Licensing Administrator (LA), the organization that oversees the launch of new HDMI products.
All that said, you won’t need HDMI Cable Power for consoles or devices located right next to your TV. But it will be useful for anyone connecting devices from one room to a display in another room.
In terms of technical specs, new cables with the feature can draw up to 300 mA from the 5V supply of the source — enough to maintain signal integrity over long distances. The HDMI LA hasn’t quite said how far yet those distances are, and there are some unique limitations on it.
For one, you’ll need both an HDMI cable that supports Cable Power and a device that supports Cable Power — of which, none yet exist.
For another, you’ll need to be careful about how you connect those cables. According to the HDMI LA: “One end of the cable is specifically labeled for attachment to the HDMI Source (transmitting) device, and the other end of the cable must be attached to the HDMI Sink (receiving) device.”
According to the HDMI LA, manufacturers will start producing HDMI cables with Cable Power in all four of the major HDMI cord types currently available: Standard, High Speed, Premium High Speed and Ultra High Speed. (The latter of which is the one that supports HDMI 2.1a.)
The good news is that any HDMI cable with Cable Power will work like any standard HDMI cable — you can just plug it in and it will work like normal. Even better, the cables will support ARC and eARC, which is nice if you need to connect an external sound system.
There’s no word yet on when the new version of the cables will start to roll out but we’ll be keeping an eye out for them… and the inevitable eye-rolling they cause for folks who now have yet another specification they need to look for on a pack of HDMI cables.
FCC to Accept Applications for 800 MHz 12.5 kHz Channels Starting July 7
In a Public Notice released June 6, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureaus) announce the availability for licensing of interstitial (12.5 kHz bandwidth) channels in the 800 MHz Mid-Band (809-817/854-862 MHz). The Bureaus will begin accepting applications for interstitial channels on July 7, 2022.
Please note that if you have filed an application that is now pending at the FCC that includes a waiver request seeking early access to interstitial channels in the 800 MHz mid-band, the Bureaus will dismiss the application without prejudice. The dismissal intends to provide equal opportunity to all applicants and establish a stable spectral environment for the release of these interstitial channels. Any dismissed application must be refiled to be considered.
Please contact your Enterprise Wireless Alliance Spectrum Advisor or call EWA at 800-482-8282 to apply for these channels, which are available nationwide.
Copyright © 2022 Enterprise Wireless Alliance, All rights reserved.
|Source:||Enterprise Wireless Alliance|
|Inside Towers Newsletter|
Stop Use Recall on Select 3M Lanyards
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.
Comment Window on BDC Engineer Certification Requirement Closes June 15
The FCC has established an initial comment deadline of June 8, and a reply comment deadline of June 15, for the proposal to require the certification of broadband data by a Professional Engineer (P.E.)
FCC to Consider ACAM Extension Proposal and Other Targeted USF Changes
In October 2020, the ACAM Broadband Coalition, a group of current Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) I and II support recipients (including Great Plains, TDS, Arvig and others), submitted a Petition for Rulemaking that proposed a six-year extension of the current ACAM terms at the same levels of support in return for increased obligations to deploy 25/3 Mbps service. Subsequently, the Coalition modified its service proposal to encompass the deployment of 100/20 Mbps service to 90% of eligible Fabric locations and 25/3 Mbps service to the remaining 10%, plus an increase of their ACAM support to the higher of $300 or 80% of the estimated ACAM cost per location.
The FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 19 to consider questions whether it should adopt an Enhanced ACAM Program that may be similar in some or many respects to the modified Coalition proposal. The NPRM has not yet been published in the Federal Register. When it is, comments will be due in 30 days, with reply comments initially due 15 days thereafter (a schedule that is likely to be extended, at least for the reply stage). We will advise our clients once these comment dates have been fixed.
The NPRM deals predominately with ACAM issues. However, it does touch upon several Connect America Fund – Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) and High-Cost Loop Support (HCLS) matters. First, it asks whether Enhanced ACAM Program election offers should be extended not only to current ACAM recipients but also to CAF-BLS/HCLS recipients. Second, the NPRM states that the FCC will separately and subsequently consider the broadband deployment obligations and funding levels that will apply to CAF-BLS/HCLS recipients beginning in 2024, including how it should align the service obligations, funding levels, eligible locations and timeframes of such program with those that may be adopted for the Enhanced ACAM Program. Finally, the NPRM also seeks comment on a number of administrative issues common to all High-Cost Programs, including study area boundary waivers, mergers of commonly-owned study areas, exchange transactions involving both ACAM and CAF-BLS/HCLS recipients, relinquishment of Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designations, and various reporting and certification requirements.
The NPRM asks numerous questions about the Coalition proposals and the ultimate composition of an Enhanced ACAM Program. While it is not possible to read anything definitive in the NPRM’s approach at this time, it does appear that any Enhanced ACAM Program adopted by the FCC is likely to differ in at least some significant respects from the Coalition proposal.
Questions asked in the NPRM include:
As one can see, the FCC has initiated a substantial and far-reaching inquiry that can result in an Enhanced ACAM Program that is similar to or different from the ACAM Broadband Coalition proposal, and that can also create precedents that affect CAF-BLS/HCLS recipients as well. BloostonLaw is following this proceeding closely, and stands ready to advise and assist clients.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Ben Dickens
Proposed Data Privacy Bill Stands a Shot at Becoming First Comprehensive Federal Privacy Law
A discussion draft of a comprehensive data privacy bill was released last Friday by a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and Senate. Consumer rights advocates say the proposed compromise legislation is the biggest step to date toward granting individuals meaningful privacy protections.
The draft bill, currently known as the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (the “Data Privacy Act”), would allow users to opt out of target advertisements and to sue Internet companies that improperly sell their data. It is sponsored by US Reps Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who are Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and US Senator Roger Wicker (RMS), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. However, insiders say the legislation faces an uphill battle without the support of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who is chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. Cantwell is believed to support more liberal priorities for online user rights.
“This bipartisan and bicameral effort to produce a comprehensive data privacy framework has been years in the making, and the release of this discussion draft represents a critical milestone,” Pallone, Rodgers, and Wicker said. “In the coming weeks, we will be working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build support and finalize this standard to give Americans more control over their personal data. We welcome and encourage all of our colleagues to join us in this effort to enable meaningful privacy protections for Americans and provide businesses with operational certainty. This landmark agreement represents the sum of years of good faith efforts by us, other Members, and numerous stakeholders as we work together to provide American consumers with comprehensive data privacy protections.”
As summarized by a House Energy and Commerce Committee press release, the Data Privacy Act would:
The legislation would give individual users new rights to access, correct and delete their digital data, and companies would be responsible for informing third parties to make changes to the data of users that have submitted a verified request. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be required to maintain a public registry of data brokers and create a mechanism of users to opt out of targeted advertisements and other data sharing practices. Individuals would be permitted to sue companies, but only after a four-year waiting period after the legislation is enacted. They would also need to notify state and federal officials before proceeding, and they could not pursue their legal action of a government prosecutor takes up their case.
Proposed exceptions in the current draft (at Section 209) would generally allow collection, processing or transfer of covered data for narrowly-tailored purposes such as completing transactions, when data is collected to perform system maintenance, diagnostics or when addressing security incidents, among other things. The draft bill also provides exemptions for small entities that earned gross annual revenues of $41 million or less for the prior three years, that did not collect or process the covered data of 100,000 individuals in a year (except for processing payments and promptly deleting covered data for requested products/services) and that did not derive more than half their revenue from transferring covered data. These smaller entities may choose to delete, rather than correct, and individual’s covered data.
The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a nonprofit research group that receives funding from tech companies such as Apple and Google, issued the following statement upon the release of the proposal:
Our clients will want to monitor this legislation to determine whether it imposes new obligations on them.
Click here to read the discussion draft bill text.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Cary Mitchell.
Law and Regulation
FCC to Open Filing Window for 800 MHz Interstitial Applications on July 7
The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureaus have announced that the FCC will begin accepting applications for the 800 MHz interstitial channels on July 7, 2022. The interstitial channels are 12.5 kHz bandwidth channels in the 809-817/854-862 MHz band.
The FCC will dismiss any pending applications for the interstitial channels that include a waiver request seeking early access to this spectrum, in order to provide an equal opportunity to all applicants and to establish a stable spectral environment for the release of these interstitial channels pursuant to the FCC’s Public Notice announcing the acceptance of applications for these 800 MHz Interstitial channels. The FCC has made clear that any dismissed application must be refiled in order to be considered without any preference or priority — meaning that applications should generally be processed in date receipt order/on a first-come, first-served basis.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
Wireless Carrier Agrees to Pay $48k to Settle Network Outage Reporting Errors
The FCC has entered into a consent decree with Liberty Mobile USVI, Inc. (Liberty) for failing to report in a timely manner to the Commission an outage on its wireless network on May 10, 2021, in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the terms of the settlement, Liberty has agreed to pay a $48,000 civil penalty and to implement a three-year compliance plan.
In Liberty’s case, a contractor performing excavation work on behalf of a third party inadvertently cut a fiber optic cable and Liberty didn’t provide the Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau with details until a week later. The PSHSB advised Liberty that the outage may be reportable under the Rules, and provided instructions on submitting reports in the Commission’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS). Liberty then submitted a late notification and a late initial report on June 1, 2021, almost three weeks after the outage was discovered.
Confirming when network outages are reportable to the FCC can be tricky but all outages of 30 minutes duration or longer should be scrutinized carefully to make sure any notifications and initial/final reports are timely filed. For instance, after determining that an outage is reportable, wireline, cable, satellite, wireless and Signaling System 7 providers must submit a NORS notification within 120 minutes with preliminary information. The service provider must submit an initial outage report within three calendar days, followed by a final report no later than 30 days after discovering the outage. Please contact our law firm immediately if you have any questions about outage reporting and we will be glad to assist you.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Sal Taillefer
EAS Providers May Need to Update Handset Displays by July 31
The National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 (NDAA21) Report and Order adopted new rules to improve the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Recent OMB approval for information requests associated with the NDAA21 R&O means that participating Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers will need to update their handset displays by July 31, 2022, to reflect the name change of “Presidential Alerts” to “National Alerts.”
Although the Commission does not require participating CMS providers to display Presidential Alert headers or to identify these alerts in settings menus, some providers have elected to do so. For those providers that have elected to display such headers, the change is intended to alleviate potential public confusion from receiving an alert from the FEMA Administrator that is labeled as a Presidential Alert.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell
FCC Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for FY2022 Regulatory Fees
The FCC has released its NPRM in order to establish the fee schedule and any procedural changes in connection with the collection of regulatory fees for the fiscal year that will end on September 30, 2022. For FY2022, the FCC is required to collect $381,950,000. As shown below, the FCC has proposed to increase certain regulatory fees, and reduce others, but none of the changes relevant to our clients seem to be substantial. Comments will be due July 5, 2022 and Reply Comments will be due July 18, 2022.
Of note, the FCC is asking for comment regarding whether it would be appropriate to increase the De Minimis dollar threshold which currently sits at $1,000. Any regulated entity with a total fee due of less than $1,000 from all regulated sources is currently treated as “de minimis” and therefore exempt from the payment of regulatory fees. The $1,000 de minimis threshold was based upon the FCC’s estimated cost of collecting a debt – which includes several administrative steps including: data compilation, preparation and validation; invoicing; debt transfer for third party collection; responding to debtor questions and disputes; and processing payments. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has requested that the Commission increase this threshold; and the FCC is now asking for comments concerning how it should calculate the costs of collection of regulatory fees and whether the cost of collecting a regulatory fee begins after the regulatory fees are due and once delinquencies occur. Alternatively, the FCC has asked whether the cost of collection should begin when the Commission collects data on a payor’s regulatory fee status, which is generally prior to the regulatory fee due date? The FCC has indicated that commenters who advocate for a higher annual de minimis threshold should discuss which steps in the debt collection process should be included in “the cost of collecting a regulatory fee.” As an example, should the Commission also consider the costs associated with reviewing and resolving waiver requests and installment payment requests?
Proposed FY 2022 Regulatory Fees
Sohn Nomination Stalled; No End in Sight for Partisan Deadlock at the FCC
The Biden administration’s telecom agenda appears to be in peril, with little movement in Congress on the confirmation of Gigi Sohn. In the absence of a fifth FCC commissioner to break the current partisan deadlock, Biden policy initiatives such as expanding broadband access and affordability may be at risk.
Ms. Sohn, a lawyer and co-founder of the telecom advocacy group Public Knowledge, has been a lightning rod for criticism because of her strong advocacy for net neutrality. She previously served as an aide to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who established the agency’s net neutrality rules in 2015. Those rules were later overturned by the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai.
If Sohn isn’t confirmed before the summer recess, Democrats may lose their chance to fill the position should Republicans gain control of Congress in November. And pulling Sohn’s nomination at this stage would put the administration in the tough position of having to get a new nominee through hearings and confirmed on a very short timeline.
President Biden nominated Sohn to serve as a Democratic member of the FCC in October of 2021, at the same time he nominated Jessica Rosenworcel to serve as FCC chair. But while Rosenworcel’s confirmation last December went smoothly, Sohn’s nomination quickly ran into partisan problems. In addition to her progressive telecom policy positions, Republicans have criticized Sohn for social media posts that they say show hostility toward Fox News, and for liking posts that suggested support for the “defund” police movement. The latter development led the Fraternal Order of Police to oppose her nomination.
Sohn has said that the tweets expressed her views as a private citizen, and won’t bear on how she would carry out her duties at the FCC.
Despite the controversy, the White House says it “continues to strongly back” Sohn, according to reporting from Axios. It’s worth noting that Sohn has also won support from a variety of telecom and NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association.
“I urge Congress to move forward with the nomination of Sohn as the fifth commissioner to the FCC,” wrote NTCA’s CEO Shirley Bloomfield in an online op-ed last January. "Her confirmation is critical to ensuring all hands will be on deck as the FCC considers the future of universal service and builds upon its efforts to get and keep every American connected."
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) recently announced a six-figure digital advertising campaign aimed securing Sohn’s confirmation.
The Senate Commerce Committee voted in early March to advance the nomination of Sohn to the full Senate, and that’s where things remain at a standstill. Democrats currently hold a slim majority in that chamber, but Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) are still undecided, according to Axios. And with the war in Ukraine and other matters requiring Senate time and having higher priority, a quick end to the partisan deadlock at the FCC appears increasingly unlikely.
[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 1: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the FCC an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the FCC, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the FCC’s rules.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast 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 (this year, July 31). 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.
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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