Greetings from Southern Illinois. We are having a beautiful Spring time. You can almost see the grass and the tomato plants growing. The goal around here, is to have ripe tomatoes by the fourth of July, so stay tuned.
BRAD ON THE SOAPBOX
A local man, who I know, was at the sporting goods store this week to buy some fishing worms. When it came time to pay, he started emptying the contents of his pocket out on the counter. In addition to his money, he took out a marijuana smoking pipe. Standing next to him was a County Sheriff-Detective who promptly arrested him. This is nothing new for this person.
His mom and I were in the same class in grade school, so I have known her for over 60 years. The son is 47 years old, unmarried, and has no drivers license. He lives at home with “momma” and likes to play video games all day and night in his bedroom. This may sound like a typical teenager, but I repeat — he is 47 years old!
He “hurt his back” last week and talked the ER doctor into giving him several very strong medications, even though he is a well-known drug addict. This is what happens when you combine a tranquilizer, pain medicine, marijuana, and alcohol. Does that make him a bad person, or a sick person? I am not going to judge him.
It might be easy for some to say, “lock him up, and throw away the key" but when you know the family it is just a very sad story. I love them both, and have tried to help, but “when there is no will, there is no way.” You have to be willing. The problem is complex. It is physical, mental, and spiritual.
USA—ATTACK FROM WITHIN
I don't know why the enemies of the USA are trying so hard to take over or destroy our country. If they would just wait for a little while, we will crumble and fall from within. We will “self destruct.”
A COUNTRY TOWN But Not Mayberry
When I moved back to my hometown after traveling all over the world (to over 50 countries), I had this idea that it would be a safe and peaceful little country town where friendly people would say, “hello neighbor, how are you today?” There are still lots of people like that here, but there are also many drug addicts, and alcoholics — some of whom break into their neighbors homes and steal things to fund their addictions.
Half of this community attends the churches on Sunday, and the other half frequent the local taverns. Some do both. The largest funeral ever held in this town was that of Carl Shelton, the infamous gangster of the 1940's. He taught Sunday School and played the piano in a country church as a young man. As an adult, he didn't swear or drink, but he and his gang ran gambling, bootlegging, and prostitution throughout half of Illinois. They murdered the politicians who wouldn't accept bribes. Go figure.
A principal part of homemade crystal meth is anhydrous ammonia, which is used extensively by farmers to fertilize their crops. The addicts sneak around at night and steal the anhydrous ammonia. They cook up a “witches brew" containing anhydrous ammonia, some kind of cold medicine, and lithium batteries. Surely no sane person would think of putting these things in their body—but they do.
Historians cite decadence and corruption as two of the primary causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire. Take heed America!
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. This one is mine.
Now on to more news and views.
Wireless Messaging News
Emergency Radio Communications
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If you are reading this, your potential customers are probably reading it as well.
Emergency Managers Hope Few Opt Out of New Wireless Alerts
By Steve Newton Story Created: May 8, 2012 at 6:49 PM MDT Story Updated: May 8, 2012 at 6:49 PM MDT KFBB.com ABC 5
The technology behind IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, aims to get the most important information to people quickly while informing cell phone owners where more information can be obtained.
The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) are rolling out across the country, and new cell phones will be able to receive the alerts.
The WEA will have a different sound and vibration when it arrives on your phone, and only delivers the most important information.
"It will only be up to 90 characters long so it will be incredibly basic,” said Gina Loss with the National Weather Service’s Great Falls office. “It will tell you what is happening and what you should do."
"If you're home sleeping at night and there's a tornado coming at you, you'll know about it," said Vince Kolar with Cascade County Disaster & Emergency Services.
The system will send out Presidential, Imminent Threat, and AMBER Alerts. Cell phone users can opt out of the Imminent Threat and AMBER Alerts, but it’s hoped most choose to receive them.
"I would hope that people would consider keeping the service on their phones so that they could see those warnings and not opt out of the messages," said Kolar.
Cascade County Disaster & Emergency Services welcomes the new change, as it will get important information out faster.
"This new system will benefit us by allowing us to get those emergency alert messages out in a more timely manner," said Kolar.
These alerts can be issued at a national, state, or county level. County-level alerts should not affect residents in neighboring counties.
"Only those cell phones that are under the coverage of where the event takes place are going to get the message," said Loss.
Loss described a sample situation of how messages are sent. If an alert is issued in Hill County, only people currently within Hill County will get a WEA. A person from Havre who is in Fort Benton, Chester, or Chinook will not receive the message until that person re-enters Hill County during the time the WEA is active.
“The more information we can get out to the people in the event of an emergency, the better off we are,” said Kolar. “It's for their benefit as well as for the emergency services' benefit."
Messages are delivered by a type of Short Message System (SMS) called SMS Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB). Data in this system only goes one way.
"There is no gathering of information as to who is receiving the message, who is reading the message, who happens to be in the county based on cell phone numbers,” said Loss. “None of that information is going to be gathered, it's just going to be a delivery system only."
Experts know the system may need some tweaking early on, but recognize its potential.
"With anything new there's always those "ifs" you that you don't know how everything's going to work,” said Kolar. “Time will tell, I guess. It looks promising."
Although people cannot opt out of Presidential Alerts, a Presidential Emergency Alert System Alert has never been issued, even with the EAS’ predecessor dating back to the 1960s.
Frequently Asked Questions about WEA:
1. Why is this important to me?
Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.
2. What are WEA messages?
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.
3. What types of alerts will I receive?
Extreme weather and other threatening emergencies in your area
Presidential Alerts during a national emergency
4. What does a WEA message look like?
WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.
5. How will I know the difference between WEA and a regular text message?
WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.
6. What types of WEA messages will the National Weather Service send?
Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings
Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings
7. What should I do when I receive a WEA message?
Follow any action advised by the emergency message. Seek more details from local media or authorities.
8. Will I receive a WEA message if I’m visiting an area where I don’t live, or outside the area where my phone is registered?
Yes, if you have a WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable and carrier participation, please visit http://www.ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.
9. What if I travel into a threat area after a WEA message is already sent?
If you travel into a threat area after an alert is first sent, your WEA-capable device will receive the message when you enter the area.
10. When will I start receiving WEA messages?
It depends. WEA use begins in the spring of 2012, but many mobile devices, especially older ones, are not WEA-capable. When you buy a new mobile device, it probably will be able to receive WEA messages. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable, please visit http://www.ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.
11. Is this the same service public safety agencies have asked the public to register for?
No, but they are complementary. Local agencies may have asked you to sign up to receive telephone calls, text messages, or e-mails. Those messages often include specific details about a critical event. WEA are very short messages designed to get your attention in an emergency situation. They may not give all the details you receive from other notification services.
12. Will I be charged for receiving WEA messages?
No. This service is offered for free by wireless carriers. WEA messages will not count towards texting limits on your wireless plan.
13. Does WEA know where I am? Is it tracking me?
No. Just like emergency weather alerts you see on local TV, WEA are broadcast from area cell towers to mobile devices in the area. Every WEA-capable phone within range receives the message, just like every TV shows the emergency weather alert if it is turned on. TV stations, like WEA, don’t know exactly who is tuned in.
14. Will a WEA message interrupt my phone conversations?
No, the alert will be delayed until you finish your call.
15. How often will I receive WEA messages?
You may receive frequent WEA messages during an emergency. Message frequency depends on the number of imminent threats to life or property in your area.
16. If, during an emergency, I can’t make or receive calls or text messages due to network congestion, will I still be able to receive a WEA message?
Yes, WEA messages are not affected by network congestion.
17. What if I don’t want to receive WEA messages?
You can opt-out of receiving WEA messages for imminent threats and AMBER alerts, but not for Presidential messages. To opt out, please refer to instructions from your wireless carrier or visit http://www.ctia.org/wea for more information.
18. How will I receive alerts if I don’t have a WEA-capable device?
WEA is one of many ways you can receive emergency notifications. Other sources include NOAA Weather Radio, news media coverage, the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV broadcasts, social media, and other alerting methods offered by local and state public safety agencies. Your best use of WEA is to immediately seek additional information about the imminent threat impacting your area.
If you are reading this, your potential customers are probably reading it as well.
RIM Empire Didn't Strike Back At BlackBerry World
(May 6 2012)
Research In Motion has a plan to turn itself around, but it is quickly running out of time. Its next-gen platform may be on track to arrive later this year, but the mobile industry's blistering pace of innovation won't slow down to wait for RIM to catch up.
RIM provided a first look at BlackBerry 10 during BlackBerry World 2012's opening keynote. RIM has pinned its future on BB10. This platform combines the best of BlackBerry 7 and PlayBook OS 2.0 and will serve as RIM's mobile computing platform in the years to come.
The problem is that RIM barely showed anything about the new OS . It revealed a great software keyboard, a high-level view of the cascading user interface, and a very brief look at the contact and messaging component of the UI. That's it. The message from RIM on BB10 is clear: It's not nearly ready. The company showed so little of the new platform, it's hard to believe there's really a platform at all. The presentations were slick, but RIM didn't show even an early build of BB10 working on a prototype handset. For all intents and purposes, we don't know anything about BB10.
RIM's hardware strategy is also a mystery. The company didn't introduce any new phones. It wasn't expected to. But the firm didn't provide any direction on what the RIM faithful can expect from its hardware division once BlackBerry 10 arrives. Will the phones be thinner, more attractive, more media-capable, will they have 4G? RIM didn't say. Though RIM's smartphones have historically been solid messaging machines, RIM needs to face the touch screen designs from Apple and Google head on if it wants to win back market share.
What of RIM's planned "enterprise focus"? The company didn't say anything about its BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES). Instead, it talked up Mobile Fusion, which gives BlackBerry admins the ability to manage Android smartphones and iPhones. The company didn't say if new versions of BES or BlackBerry Internet Services are on the way, nor how the existing products will work with BB10 once it launches.
RIM did offer developers a handset during the conference, and offered a $10,000 bounty for BB10 apps . The BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha is a tool app writers can use to test their applications. Unfortunately, this device was the subject of some pre-show hype. People expected to see a handset running an early build of BB10. The Dev Alpha doesn't. Instead, it runs a stripped-down version of PlayBook OS 2.0. The device really is a developer's tool, not an early look at RIM's new platform. It is simply a testbed and nothing more. For whatever reason, this device didn't impress Wall Street, and RIM's stock sank further after it was unveiled.
Amplifying all these problems, RIM cancelled its analyst briefings, which typically take place during BBW. It said it doesn't want to update analysts and investors until BB10 is ready to launch. That means investors are going to remain in the dark for a while.
Since no one can really say what "perfect" means, I'd settle for "competitive." RIM has to address the features and usability offered by Android, iOS, and to a lesser extend Windows Phone. It has to be as elegant, as powerful, and as user friendly as the platforms offered by the market leaders.
Based on what little we know, it is impossible to say whether or not RIM can make up lost ground before time runs out.
Based in Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, and located just five minutes north of the DFW Airport, PSSI receives, repairs and ships approximately 4,000 discrete units each day.
PSSI is ISO certified and has comprehensively integrated robust lean manufacturing processes and systems that enable us to deliver timely and benchmark quality results.
PSSI is certified for Levels III and IV repair by a wide variety of OEMs including, for example, Motorola, Nokia, Sony/Ericsson, Samsung, Stanley and LG.
PSSI ’s service center is a state-of-the-art facility, complete with multiple wireless test environments and board-level repair capabilities.
PSSI ’s state-of-the-art and proprietary Work-In-Process (WIP) systems, and its Material Planning and Warehouse Management systems, enable PSSI to track discrete units by employee, work center, lot, model, work order, location and process through the entire reverse logistics process. Access to this information can be provided to our customers so that they can track the real-time movement of their products.
County spokesman Carl Lindquist said the changes will address problems with the backup paging system.
By ED MAHON Daily Record/Sunday News Updated: 05/09/2012 09:52:58 PM EDT
York, PA - York County Commissioners approved an $8,100 contract Wednesday with a company to evaluate and reconfigure the paging system that notifies first responders of emergencies.
County spokesman Carl Lindquist said there are not problems when York County's 911 system transfers paging duties from the main system to a backup one.
But he said there are problems when the county needs to transfer paging duties from the backup system to the main terminal, which he said happens rarely. Lindquist said paging will shut down for 30 to 60 seconds in such a case.
"It's brief, but it's something that should not be happening," Lindquist said after Wednesday's meeting, where commissioners approved the contract with Advanced RF Communications. "We want to make sure that we can go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth — without any downtime whatsoever."
Lindquist said the offsite backup system exists as a safety measure, in case a disaster disrupts the main system or if the county has to do maintenance on the main system.
York County's 911 system has had technical problems since it went digital in 2008 and 2009. Many of those issues dealt with radio communication between firefighters, and battery and software issues.
"We've had issues with paging, on again and off again. ... It's not the most user friendly system for volunteer firefighters and volunteer responders," said David Nichols, the fire chief for West Manchester Township.
According to previous reports, a computer failure led to the pager system going down for about an hour in mid-October. In January, the county said that fire company pagers were quiet for about 90 minutes because of a computer problem.
But Lindquist said the issues that caused those two outages were resolved. And he said the contract that commissioners approved Wednesday deals with a separate issue.
"The system operates every minute of every day, so it was functioning over 99.9 percent of the time," Lindquist said in an e-mail.
By Sean Cooper Engadget posted May 10th 2012 3:10PM
CTIA 2012 is wrapping up and we thought we'd spend a few minutes reminiscing about some of the more interesting devices we had a chance to see for the first time or that were launched here. Unfortunately for us — and thereby for you, too — the show lacked the bite we've seen at previous events, in fact it barely registered a nibble. We did catch up with five products we'd like to highlight so follow on after the break for our recap.
Supertooth's Disco2 was a surprise at the show and with the recent semi-demise of our own Jambox — after it bzzz, bzzz, bzzzed itself off a counter — was a great chance to sound test a replacement. The Disco2 impressed in the crazily noisy environment we auditioned it in, and the fact that two can be paired together for even bigger sound for about the same price as the Jambox, definitely impressed. Other notables include 60 days standby — hint, hint Jawbone — a plethora of color choices and the Disco2's ability to discern left and right audio channels when two are paired together. Sure, it's not going to replace your home stereo, but for its practicality as a portable sound system for your mobile devices we think it could be a winner.
HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
CTIA lacked a significant number of handset launches this year; in fact they can easily be counted on the fingers of one hand. Notable amongst them is of course the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE for Verizon — which we've already had a chance to review --, a fairly slick device despite its unwieldy name. Running Ice Cream Sandwich overlaid with HTC's Sense 4.0, a 4-inch Super LCD qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, and an 8-megapixel camera, it definitely is a worthy successor. If you've had a run in with either of its siblings you'll feel immediately at home as this iteration carries the same design esthetic, the weight, the raised lump on the back side but with a notable speed bump in CPU's number crunching ability.
Huawei MediaPad 10
Huawei's MediaPad 10 came as a surprise to nobody, as the company had previously teased its wares at Mobile World Congress. Nonetheless, our time in New Orleans afforded us an opportunity to get our paws on this elusive creation for the very first time. Most notable about Huawei's new tablet is its 10-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS display, which is really quite gorgeous when viewed in person. While the screen of the MediaPad 10 can't go toe-to-toe with the latest iPad, it's quite possibly the best that we've seen in the world of Android tablets. The slate also houses a quad-core 1.5GHz K3 Balong CPU, which Huawei developed in-house. Naturally, we had to take this for a spin, but our benchmark results were nothing beyond average. As a saving grace, Huawei is still finalizing the tablet's software, which leaves room for further improvement.
Samsung Focus 2
AT&T welcomed a new addition to its Windows Phone lineup here at CTIA, which is designed to fill a bit of a void between the $100 Lumia 900 and the nearly-free Focus Flash. Known as the Focus 2, it'll retail for just $50 on-contract and offer connectivity to AT&T's LTE network. As a sequel to the original focus, the phone features a 1.4GHz CPU, a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and a 5MP camera that captures 720p video. We were a bit perplexed by the Focus 2's chunky design, as the phone packs only a 1,700mAh battery and yet weighs in at a mere 4.3 ounces. That said, it'll likely serve as a fine choice for AT&T customers who desire LTE connectivity in their Windows Phone handset, yet don't wish to splurge $100 on the Lumia 900.
The iCache Geode is easily our favorite find at the show. The idea behind the device is you can trade in all your credit, debit, and loyalty cards with one by using the Geode's almost magical system. The device is comprised of a housing for the iPhone coupled with an app, an E Ink display on the rear, a fingerprint scanner, a credit card, and a magnetic stripe reader that is capable of quickly reading in your card details and saving them. Swipe your credit card through the device and it is added to the system, using it is then just a matter of clicking a button in the UI and the Geode card is instantly programmed. Take the card out of the back of the handset, tap it on a solid surface and it is activated for your purchase. Using your loyalty cards is as easy; select your card in the app and the barcode is displayed on the Geode's E Ink display for scanning. Of course iCache has considered the security implications and has addressed them a few different ways. The iPhone doesn't store any of your card details as they're kept in the housing itself, on startup the app does a hardware check to be sure nothing's been tampered with, asks for a fingerprint scan, and the card programming only lasts for a user-defined period of time after you've tapped it on the table.
Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, and Vic Jackson 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. They collaborate on consulting assignments, and share the work according to their individual expertise and their schedules.
Federal Communications Commission 445 12th St., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20554
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500 Internet: http://www.fcc.gov TTY: 1-888-835-5322
DA 12-731 May 9, 2012
THE WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU PROVIDES GUIDANCE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL NOTIFICATION PROCESS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ANTENNA STRUCTURES
Public Demonstration To Be Held May 21
By this Public Notice, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) provides guidance on the implementation of the environmental notification process for the registration of antenna structures. This Public Notice includes guidance on changes in the process for applicants to file FCC Form 854, Antenna Structure Registration (Form 854) and on the new process for members of the public to file requests for environmental review.
Additional guidance materials relating to the environmental notification process will become available on or about May 14, 2012, on the FCC’s website at: www.fcc.gov/help/antenna-structure-registration-asr-help . This content will be updated as needed over time. In addition, the Bureau will host a live and webcast demonstration of the changes to the filing system on May 21, 2012, at 11:00 AM EDT.
The environmental notification process and the corresponding rule changes will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register of their approval by the Office of Management and Budget.
On December 9, 2011, the Commission released an Order on Remand 1 hat includes procedural measures to ensure, consistent with the Commission’s obligations under federal environmental statutes, that environmental effects of proposed communications towers, including their effects on migratory birds, are fully considered prior to construction. The Order on Remand states that technical details about the environmental notification process would be provided in a Public Notice prior to the rules taking effect. 2
The Filing Process for Applicants The environmental notification process applies to new tower registrations and to certain modifications of registered towers that may have a significant environmental effect. The process for submitting an Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) application that is subject to environmental notification involves two parts.
Part 1: Part 1 requires the applicant to submit a partially completed Form 854 in the ASR system. The partially completed Form 854 includes information that was previously required on Form 854, as well as information regarding the proposed lighting of the tower and the date the applicant requests that the proposed tower registration be posted on the FCC’s website for comment. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clearance can be obtained prior to or after submitting the partially completed Form 854. Once the partially completed Form 854 is submitted, an ASR File Number will be assigned.
After submitting the partially completed Form 854, the applicant is required to provide local notice of the proposed tower registration by publication in a local newspaper or by other means. The applicant must provide this local notice on or before the date it has selected for posting its proposed registration on the FCC website. Beginning on the date the applicant has requested, the FCC will post the proposed tower registration on its website for a 30-day comment period. Members of the public will have an opportunity to file a request for further environmental review. After approximately 40 days, if the appropriate Bureau has determined that the application does not require additional environmental processing, the applicant will be able to complete Part 2. Part 2 may not be completed until the Bureau has determined that no further environmental processing is required (or, in cases where an Environmental Assessment (EA) is required, has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact). Applicants will be able to determine which of their pending applications are ready for completion of Part 2 by logging into the ASR system, where these applications will be listed as Ready for Certification.
Part 2: Part 2 requires the applicant to amend the Form 854 to provide the FAA Study Number and Issue Date (if not provided in Part 1), provide the local notice date, and certify that the tower will have no significant environmental impact. At this point, if all required information has been provided, the Form 854 will be deemed complete and can be processed accordingly.
Filings To Which the Environmental Notification Process Applies The environmental notification process applies to the following types of filings that are submitted in the ASR system.
1. All new tower registrations unless:
Another federal agency has taken responsibility for the environmental review; or
An emergency waiver is granted.
2. Modifications to existing tower registrations if:
An antenna is being placed on an existing tower or non-tower structure and the placement of the antenna would increase the existing height of the structure by more than 10% or 20 feet, whichever is greater; or
Lighting is being added to a previously unlit tower; or
Existing lighting is being modified from a more preferred lighting configuration to a less preferred lighting configuration. 3
3. Amendments to pending applications outlined in 1 and 2 above if:
There is any change in the type of structure; or
There is any change in the coordinates of the tower location; or
There is an increase in the overall height of the structure; or
There is a change from a more preferred lighting configuration to a less preferred lighting configuration; or
An Environmental Assessment is added.
Service-Specific Applications and Environmental Assessments When an antenna structure requires registration in the ASR system and the same antenna structure is referenced on a service-specific application, any Environmental Assessment (EA) that is required for that antenna structure must be filed in the ASR system. A broadcast applicant or earth station applicant must also file a copy of the EA with its service-specific application.
Additional information on the filing processes for broadcast and earth station applicants is set forth in Appendix E of the Order on Remand.
Service-Specific Applications Filed in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) Previously, service-specific license applications filed on the FCC Form 601 (Form 601) in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) were required to include the ASR Registration Number when the antenna structure included on the Form 601 required registration in the ASR system. This meant that a Form 601 could not be filed until the Form 854 application was granted. As part of the environmental notification process, applicants that file service-specific license applications on Form 601 now have two options when the antenna structure requires registration in the ASR system:
1. Applicants can continue to provide the ASR Registration Number on the Form 601, if the Form 854 application has already been granted; or
2. If the Form 854 application has not yet been granted, applicants can provide the ASR File Number on the Form 601 if the following conditions are met:
The applicant has obtained an FAA No Hazard Determination and included the FAA Study Number on the Form 854;
The applicant has provided local notice of the proposed antenna structure; and
The proposed tower has been posted on the FCC's website pursuant to the environmental notice process.
Form 601 applications that include an ASR File Number cannot be granted until the Form 854 application has been granted and the applicant has amended the Form 601 to replace the ASR File Number with the ASR Registration Number. During the pendency of the Form 854 application, the applicant must amend the Form 601 at least every 60 days from the date the Form 601 was filed and provide an exhibit that includes the reason(s) why the Form 601 remains pending. The exhibit must be uploaded to the Form 601 by using a new Attachment Type called “Status of Environmental Review.” Failure to provide the status update may result in dismissal of the Form 601 application. This requirement does not apply while action on the environmental notification submission is pending at the Commission.
If the Form 854 File Number is provided on a Form 601 and the Form 854 includes an EA, the environmental question 4 on the Form 601 must be answered yes. If an EA is added to the Form 854 after the initial submission of the Form 601, the Form 601 must be amended to change the response to the environmental question from no to yes.
Overview of Changes to Implement the Environmental Notification Process The following changes were made to implement the environmental notification process.
1. The FCC Form 854 was updated to add:
An Environmental Compliance section;
A new filing purpose for replacement towers; 5
A proposed marking and/or lighting question; and
Administrative changes, including the county and zip code of the antenna structure.
2. The Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system was updated to:
Incorporate the changes from the FCC Form 854; and
Redesign the filing interface for all new tower, modified tower, and replacement tower registrations.
3. A website was developed to:
Display proposed tower registrations on Environmental Notice for a 30-day period.
4. The existing online Pleadings system was updated to:
Allow requests for further environmental review of proposed tower registrations to be filed online.
5. The FCC Form 601 was updated to:
Allow an ASR File Number to be provided in lieu of the ASR Registration Number when a Form 854 application is pending.
The Filing Process for Members of the Public On or before the end of the 30-day posting period on the FCC website, members of the public may submit requests for further environmental review if they believe that a proposed tower or tower modification may have a significant impact on the environment. Instructions for viewing applications that are on notice and for submitting Environmental Requests will be available on the FCC’s website at www.fcc.gov/help/antenna-structure-registration-asr-help . These requests can be filed online using the Pleadings system.
The Environmental Request must state the specific reasons that the proposed construction may have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment, as required under the Commission’s rules. If the Commission agrees that the proposed construction may have a significant environmental impact, the applicant will be required to file an Environmental Assessment (EA). If the applicant submitted an EA with the application, the Environmental Request must describe why the EA does not adequately evaluate potentially significant environmental impacts. Pleadings that do not meet these standards may be subject to dismissal.
Demonstration of the Changes to the ASR System On May 21, 2012, the Bureau will host a presentation demonstrating the changes to the ASR system at 11:00 am in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC. Interested members of the public are invited to attend, and the event also will be webcast. Both persons attending the presentation and viewers of the webcast are encouraged but not required to pre-register by e-mail to email@example.com.
To view the webcast, go to www.fcc.gov/live on the day of the event and click on the link for this event. Viewers may submit questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Information For further information, you can contact the Licensing Support Hotline at (877) 480-3201 option 2, (717) 338-2888, or (717) 338-2824 (TTY). The Hotline is available to assist with questions Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. In order to provide better service to the public, all calls to the Hotline are recorded.
1 In the Matter of National Environmental Policy Act Compliance for Proposed Tower Registrations, In the Matter Effects of Communications Towers on Migratory Birds, WT Docket Nos. 08-61, 03-187, Order on Remand, 26 FCC Rcd 16700 (2011) (Order on Remand).
2 Id. at 17650, Appendix E.
3 “[L]ighting styles are ranked as follows (with the most preferred lighting style listed first and the least preferred listed last): (1) no lights; (2) FAA Lighting Styles that do not involve use of red steady lights; and (3) FAA Lighting Styles that involve use of red steady lights.” 47 C.F.R. § 17.4(c)(1)(C).
4 The environmental question on the Form 601 is question 26 on Schedule D, question 22 on Schedule I, and question 48 on Schedule M.
5 A replacement tower does not need to go through the environmental notification process if it would be constructed at the same location as an existing tower, would not involve a change in lighting, and would not involve a substantial increase in size (as defined in the rules) or construction or excavation more than 30 feet beyond the tower property. See Order on Remand, 26 FCC Rcd at 16721, para. 53.
R.H. (Ron) Mercer Consultant 217 First Street South East Northport, NY 11731
Wireless Network Planners
Dirk Stemerman: Email privacy in workplace
Dirk Stemerman On the Job Posted: 05/10/2012 10:48:42 AM PDT Updated: 05/10/2012 10:48:43 AM PDT
With personal computer sales continuing to slide as more Americans access the internet via smartphones or other mobile devices, e-mail still reigns at the workplace. And although many workers use Facebook and other social media to communicate, traditional e-mail is an industrial constant.
While e-mail and the perpetual "inbox" screen is a fixture on workers' computer screens, employees should resist the temptation to use the convenience of company servers to conduct private affairs.
In short, the employer owns the e-mail system and equipment and is allowed to review its contents. Messages sent within the company as well as those sent from an employee to someplace outside the company can be subject to employer monitoring.
Case law on electronic privacy in the workplace is evolving more slowly than e-mail messages are being erased. Email messages remain in company backup servers long after they are supposedly deleted.
In the absence of clearly defined rules and regulations, many employers have crafted their own electronic media policies. These policies often permit employers to monitor e-mail, including personal e-mail and internet surfing.
Even the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege did not persuade a California court of appeals, which held that e-mails between a client and attorney are no longer considered privileged and confidential if the client writes the messages from a work e-mail account.
The 3-0 decision by the Sacramento Third Appellate District means that if workers intend to sue their employer, they ought not discuss the suit with their attorney using company e-mail.
If they do, it's akin to giving their playbook to the opposing team's coach as the company has a right to access it and use it against the employee in court.
Employees would be better off sending personal communications via a mobile device to avoid the company servers and potential watchful eyes. But if their smartphone is company-issued, the same rules apply.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that an Ontario police department's search of an officer's personal messages on a government-owned pager did not violate the officer's constitutional rights.
But if workers can get into trouble for sending personal e-mails at work, what happens when employees answer work e-mails on personal time? In the U.S. and California, nothing happens. But that may change if recent developments overseas are any indication.
New legislation signed into law by the Brazilian President Rousseff authorizes workers to request overtime for answering e-mail outside of work hours. And in Germany, Volkswagen avoids the whole issue by shutting down BlackBerry servers such that many workers can only receive e-mails on their company smartphones for 30 minutes before and after their shift.
Back stateside, for now, employees will just have to keep on "working off the clock" by answering company e-mails during their personal time. But should they opt to use their company's computer to send a personal note, they place their job at risk. At the very least, employees should assume that they have no e-mail or internet privacy at work.
Dirk Stemerman is a lawyer with Rucka, O'Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna in Monterey. This column is intended to answer questions of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice. Mail queries to "On the Job," c/o The Monterey County Herald, Box 271, Monterey, CA 93942.
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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, a newsletter from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm's permission.
Senate Confirms Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel To Fill FCC’s Vacant Seats
The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai to the FCC. The vote comes after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently lifted his “hold” on the nominations because of concerns about the FCC releasing documents relevant to the waiver it initially granted to LightSquared (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, May 2). Rosenworcel and Pai were nominated October 31, 2011 (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, November 2, 2011). With the Senate confirmation vote, the FCC will now have its full complement of five Commissioners.
At our deadline, it was not clear exactly when the new nominees would take their seats, but various reports indicate that they will be sworn in soon.
Rosenworcel recently was an adviser to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). She will take the seat held by former Commissioner Michael Copps, who left the FCC earlier this year. Rosenworcel previously worked for Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) from 2007-2008, and was Copps’ legal adviser from 2003-2007.
Pai recently was a partner in the law firm of Jenner and Block. He will fill the seat vacated by Meredith Atwell Baker earlier this year. Pau previously served as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on civil rights, and as senior counsel for the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department. He has also served as general counsel for Verizon.
FCC Proposes To Collect $339.8 Million in Reg Fees
The FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposing to collect $339,844,000 in regulatory fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012—an approximately $4 million increase over last year. The annual regulatory fee amount to be collected is established each year in the Commission’s Annual Appropriations Act which is adopted by Congress and signed by the President and which funds the Commission. In this annual regulatory fee proceeding, the FCC said it will retain many of the established methods, policies, and procedures for collecting regulatory fees adopted by the Commission in prior years. The FCC intends to collect these regulatory fees during a September 2012 filing window in order to collect the required amount by the end of the current fiscal year.
The FY 2012 NPRM is one of three NPRMs on regulatory fees that the Commission expects to release on or before FY 2013. Because of the complexity of the regulatory fee issues involved, the Commission said it will seek comment in phases.
In Phase I, the FCC said it will primarily consider the allocation percentages of core bureaus involved in regulatory fee activity and how it calculates these percentages, and in Phase II, it will address other outstanding substantive and procedural issues. Given the breadth and complexity of the issues involved, the FCC said, the issuance of two separate NPRMs will permit more orderly and consistent analysis of the issues and facilitate their timely resolution. The FCC said it will issue a Report and Order finalizing its decision on all the issues raised in the Reform Proceedings, including new cost allocations and revised regulatory fees in sufficient time to allow for their implementation in FY 2013.
In calculating the FY 2012 fee rates, however, the Commission proposes to:
1) incorporate the results of the 2010 Census data into its broadcast population data, 2) assess a regulatory fee for each facility operating either in an analog or digital mode (but not both) for Low Power, Class A, and TV Translators/Boosters, 3) maintain the FY 2012 Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) fee rate at the same level as in FY 2011, 4) require regulatees filing a request for a refund, waiver, fee reduction, or deferment of payment of an application or regulatory fee to use an online filing system rather than submitting their requests in hardcopy format, and 5) seek general comment on improving the collection procedures and processes.
Under the NPRM, the FCC proposed to continue to hold the line on regulatory fees for paging at $0.08 and commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) mobile/cellular at $.17 per unit. However, the fee for broadband radio service (BRS) and local multipoint distribution service (LMDS) is proposed to increase from $310 per licensed call sign to $475.00 per licensed call sign.
For private radio services, the fee for both exclusive use and shared use would decrease by $5 per year if the proposal is adopted. This would decrease fees for new stations and renewals by $50, since ten years’ worth of fees are collected with each such application. There would be no change to applications for license modification. Marine Coast and ship and Aviation aircraft and ground would remain unchanged. Microwave fees would decrease by $5 per year, or a total of $50, for new stations and renewals. There would be no change to applications for license modification.
Comments in this MD Docket No. 12-116 proceeding are due May 31, and replies are due June 7.
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. New this year is that reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). 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.
VITAL MEETINGS & DEADLINES
May 14 – Deadline for comments on Level 3 request for limited waiver of call signaling rules (CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45; GN Docket No. 09-51; WC Docket Nos. 03-109, 05-337, 07-135, 10-90; and WT Docket No. 10-208).
May 14 – Deadline for reply comments on NextG Networks’ request for interpreting “CMRS” regarding distributed antenna systems and other “small cell” solutions (WT Docket No. 12-37). Extended from May 2.
May 14 – Deadline for comments on definition of “MVPD” per Sky Angel complaint against Discovery Communications (MB Docket No. 12-83). Extended from April 30.
May 15 – Deadline for comments on NPRM to streamline cellular service (WT Docket No. 12-40).
May 15 – Deadline for CMS carriers not participating in Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) to comply with customer notification requirements (PS Docket No. 07-287).
May 15 – Deadline for reply comments on SoundBite Communications’ request for declaratory ruling regarding one-time text message confirmation requests (CG Docket No. 02-278).
May 15 – Deadline for reply comments on recon petitions of Lifeline Reform Order (WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 03-109, 12-23, and CC Docket No. 96-45).
May 15 – Deadline for comments on California PUC’s request for Lifeline Reform Order waivers (WC Docket Nos. 12-23, 11-42, 03-109; and CC Docket No. 96-45).
May 16 – Deadline for comments on SI Wireless, T-Mobile petitions for ETC designation (WC Docket No. 09-197; WT Docket No. 10-208; and AU Docket No. 12-25).
May 15 – Deadline for comments on FNPRM regarding foreign ownership of common carrier radio station licenses (IB Docket No. 11-133).
May 17 – Deadline for price cap ILECs to file the short-form Tariff Review Plan (TRP) regarding annual access tariffs (WCB/Pricing File No. 12-07).
May 17 – Deadline for reply comments on FairPoint’s request for limited waiver of call signaling rules (WC Docket No. 12-71).
May 21 – Deadline for reply comments on Alaska Rural Coalition, FairPoint petitions for limited waivers of call signaling rules (CC Docket Nos. 01-92, 96-45; GN Dock-et No. 09-51; WC Docket Nos. 03-109, 05-337, 07-135, 10-90; and WT Docket No. 10-208).
May 21 – Deadline for reply comments on FNPRM proposing amendments to Local Community Radio Act (MM Docket No. 99-25).
May 23 – Deadline for reply comments on SI Wireless, T-Mobile petitions for ETC designation (WC Docket No. 09-197; WT Docket No. 10-208; and AU Docket No. 12-25).
May 24 – FCC open meeting.
May 25 – Deadline for reply comments on FNPRM regarding foreign ownership of common carrier radio station licenses (IB Docket No. 11-133).
May 29 – Deadline for comments on short-form Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) regarding annual access tariffs (WCB/Pricing File No. 12-07).
BloostonLaw Telecom Update
Vol. 15, No. 18
May 9, 2012
This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or email@example.com
UNTIL NEXT WEEK
Brad Dye — Paraguay, South America — 1964
With best regards,
73 DE K9IQY
Wireless Messaging News Brad Dye, Editor P.O. Box 266 Fairfield, IL 62837 USA
“Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
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