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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — February 20, 2015 — Issue No. 645

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back. I hope you enjoy this issue of The Wireless Messaging News.

Google mobile search highlights the freshest news stories

by Timothy J. Seppala
February 20, 2015

If you've performed a search with the Google box on your mobile device today, you might've noticed something a bit different in the results. When you make a query for a topic, now it'll populate results with a rotating carousel of the "freshest and most relevant content" from a single source according to Google's blog. In practice, it looks exactly like the GIF above. This'll even work for individual websites, too. For example, doing a search for "Engadget" brings up our recent stories, with a link to watch our JXE stream of Life is Strange in a YouTube section just below it. [Source: engadget]

This Brilliant Kid Has Life Totally Figured Out

Alex Fitzpatrick
Feb. 18, 2015

Holding your smartphone? Ain't nobody got time for that

Watching a movie on your smartphone can be pretty great, but who has the arm strength to keep your phone at face level for two hours? Not this kid, that’s for sure.

One day he’ll be our boss, but for now he’s just boss in general. (via Reddit)

Now on to more news and views.


The Weather in
Wayne County‚ Illinois

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Wireless Messaging News
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  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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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.

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Advertiser Index

American Messaging
Critical Alert Systems
Critical Response Systems
Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
STI Engineering
WaveWare Technologies

New BlackBerry 10 update brings access to Android apps on compatible handsets

Saurabh Singh New Delhi, February 20, 2015

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced the global roll out of a new BlackBerry 10 OS update for in-market BlackBerry 10 devices. The BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 update is now live for the entire suit of BlackBerry 10 devices, including the BlackBerry Passport, Z30, Z3, Z10, Q10, and Q5, as well as the Porsche Design P'9983 and P'9982 smartphones.

The new BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 update brings a host of improvements to the OS, and brings in features like the BlackBerry Blend, BlackBerry Assistant, and access to hundreds of thousands of apps.

Notably, the new update gives BlackBerry 10 compatible device users the ability to access both the BlackBerry World app store as well as the Amazon Appstore bringing access to a host of Android applications. The feature was previously unavailable on the BlackBerry platform.

The new update further brings the BlackBerry Blend feature to compatible devices. The feature essentially brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Moreover, the feature also allows users to respond to email, BBM and text messages right from computer and/or tablet. The feature works across multiple operating systems including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android.

The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry's first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. The BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 update brings this feature to compatible handsets.

In addition the update adds new icons and an instant action bar so that each user's most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen. It also brings improvements to the BlackBerry Hub, calendar, camera, multimedia and battery life.

Source:India Today

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo


Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

American Messaging


American Messaging


WaveWare Technologies

2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

Now stocking the full line of Daviscomms paging products

New Products

SPS-5v9E Paging System

  • 1 Serial Port Connection
  • 2 Ethernet Connections
  • Browser and Serial Port Configuration
  • TAP, COMP2, Scope, WaveWare SNPP, COMP2, & PET Protocols
  • 2W, 5W Option

DMG Protocol Converter

  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Up to 4 Serial Port Connections
  • Ethernet Connections
  • Browser Configuration
  • Protocol Conversion
  • Additional Protocols Available Soon

WaveWare Technologies


Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

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 e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Have the NSA and GCHQ got the secret key from YOUR phone sim-CARD? LIKELY

'Widest net possible' reaches far beyond UK and USA

19 Feb 2015 at 22:50, Iain Thomson

A joint unit of electronic spooks set up by America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ hacked the world's biggest SIM card manufacturer to harvest the encryption keys needed to silently and effortlessly eavesdrop on people without cooperation from mobile networks.

That's according to documents obtained by surveillance whistle-blower Edward Snowden and leaked to the web on Thursday.

"Wow. This is huge — it's one of the most significant findings of the Snowden files so far," computer security guru Bruce Schneier told The Register this afternoon.

"We always knew that they would occasionally steal SIM keys. But all of them? The odds that they just attacked this one firm are extraordinarily low and we know the NSA does like to steal keys where it can."

The damning slides, published by Snowden's chums at The Intercept, detail the activities of the as-yet unheard-of Mobile Handset Exploitation Team (MHET), run by the US and UK. The group targeted Gemalto, which churns out about two billion SIM cards each year for use around the world, and targeted it in an operation dubbed DAPINO GAMMA.

These SIMs are used by "AT&T, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers" globally, The Intercept notes. "For millions or even billions of users around the world, global cellular communications are about as secure from GCHQ and NSA as an FM radio broadcast," the EFF reckons.


Intelligence agents targeted Gemalto staff globally, and used the NSA's spying programs to infiltrate their email and Facebook accounts. Once key individuals were identified and weaknesses found in their systems, the team moved in to compromise their computers, boasting in one slide that they "believe we have their entire network."

The target for the team was the unique Ki encryption keys baked into each of Gemalto's SIM cards. These 128-bit values are hidden away inside the SIM electronics, and are supposed to be kept secret. Every SIM has one regardless of its manufacturer.

Mobile networks keep a copy of a SIM's Ki key before the card is given to a subscriber. This is so that the carrier can identify and authenticate the device containing the SIM when it joins a network.

The Ki keys are also used to generate session keys that encrypt and decrypt voice calls; due to a lack of forward secrecy, obtaining the Ki for a phone means session keys can be recovered and intercepted calls can be decrypted effortlessly — without the need to crack the actual math behind the encryption algorithm, say experts.

Rather than cryptanalysis, it's easier for spies to use kleptanalysis.

Your taxes at work

This affects 2G and GSM calls, and the AKA system used by 4G and 3G, according to an analysis by assistant research professor Matt Green of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US. Calls intercepted years ago, and kept on file, can be decrypted once the keys are stolen.

"Both the GSM and AKA protocols lack an important property known as forward secrecy. What this means is that if I can record an encrypted call, and later obtain the long-term key K for that phone, then I can still reliably decrypt the whole communication — even months or years later," he wrote.

"Worse, for cellular conversations I can do it even if I only have one half (the tower side) of the communication channel."

106,000 keys harvested — at least?

The MHET team was highly successful at grabbing these keys and matching them to SIM card deliveries. The group expanded their operations to attack Gemalto offices worldwide to gather more keys as they were sent out: included on the target list were workers at cellphone networks receiving the SIMs.

But all that takes time, so the team set up automated systems to do the job for them. These scanned the communications of people the agencies thought would have access to the keys for data that looked useful.

Source:The Register 

Ivy Corp



Please click the Learn More button.



Critical Response Systems

More than Paging.
First Responder Solutions.

Our patented technology notifies clinical personnel immediately, while tracking who receives and responds to each alarm. Users confirm or defer each event with a single button press, and analytic dashboards display response statistics in real time, as well as historically broken down by time, unit, room, and individual.

Our systems not only notify your personnel quickly and reliably, but also provide actionable feedback to fine-tune your procedures, reduce unnecessary alarms, and improve patient outcomes.


Puerto Rico quiere que el 70% de los hogares acceda a banda ancha de 1Gbps en 2020


El Gobernador de Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, anunció la puesta en marcha del plan Isla Gigabit, con el objetivo de incrementar la velocidad de acceso de los servicios de Internet de banda ancha en el país. La meta es que en cinco años, el 99 por ciento de los hogares de Puerto Rico tengan la posibilidad de acceder a conexiones con velocidades de descarga de 10 Mbps y que el 70 por ciento de los domicilios accedan a conexiones de 1 Gbps. Cabe recordar que recientemente, la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones (FCC) de los Estados Unidos dispuso una velocidad mínima de 25 Mbps para los servicios de banda ancha.

El programa es el resultado de la labor de Puerto Rico Broadband Taskforce (PRBT), un grupo de trabajo público-privado creado para apoyar el desarrollo de la banda ancha en la isla. La iniciativa busca continuar el trabajo realizado en el Plan Estratégico de Banda Ancha, lanzado en 2012.

Plan Isla Gigabit recomienda una serie de acciones para impulsar el desarrollo de la banda ancha en Puerto Rico: continuar con la expansión territorial del servicio; iniciar los trabajos de monitoreo, medición y evaluación del impacto de la banda ancha en la economía; disminuir los costos de la construcción de sistemas de banda ancha; asegurar el acceso a postes, ductos y otros sitios públicos y privados para el despliegue de infraestructura y promover las asociaciones público-privadas para estimular la demanda local, entre otros.

Puerto Rico tiene en su historia numerosos casos de éxito de asociaciones públicos privadas, y todo indica que el nuevo plan continuará trabajando sobre este modelo. El documento rescata las iniciativas realizadas en los últimos cinco años para potenciar el desarrollo de la banda ancha en la isla, muchas de las cuales tienen como base un modelo público-privado — este es el caso del acuerdo entre la telefónica Claro y la FCC para expandir los servicios de banda ancha en las áreas rurales o la creación del Corredor Digital, una asociación pública-privada que utiliza la banda ancha para revitalizar y transformar el exdistrito San Juan Theater hacia un nuevo modelo de desarrollo económico sustentable. La iniciativa también remarca los planes de fibra óptica al hogar como Vía Digital — una asociación público-privada que tiene por objetivo aprovechar las luminarias instaladas en las calles para el despliegue de fibra óptica — y las iniciativas ZUM Fiber y Optico Fiber.

Entre 2010 y 2014, Puerto Rico logró incrementar la penetración de banda ancha desde el 31 por ciento al 46 por ciento de los hogares. No obstante, la adopción de este servicio está todavía muy por debajo de los niveles de los Estados Unidos, dónde cerca del 70 por ciento de los hogares tienen contratado un servicio de banda ancha — a pesar de ser un Estado Libre Asociado a los Estados Unidos, Puerto Rico tiene un comportamiento más similar al mercado Latinoamericano.

El informe revela que la adopción del servicio es exponencialmente menor entre los grupos de bajo poder adquisitivo, la población mayor de edad, los discapacitados y las personas con escasa educación. Las principales barreras son el costo del servicio y de los dispositivos, la relevancia de los contenidos y la falta de habilidades digitales.

Por este motivo, el plan es continuar expandiendo la alfabetización digital e impulsar el sector privado a generar programas — en conjunto con las agencias públicas — para ofrecer servicios de banda ancha a precios económicos para las poblaciones más vulnerables de Puerto Rico.

De acuerdo con el resumen ejecutivo del Plan Isla Gigabit, a junio de 2014 el 77,8 por ciento de los hogares tenían posibilidades de acceder a banda ancha con velocidades de al menos 10 Mbps de descarga 1,5 Mbps de subida, mientras que cerca del 52,9 por ciento de los hogares tenían posibilidades de acceder a conexiones de hasta 100 Mbps. Adicionalmente, el 99,9 por ciento de los domicilios del país tenían cobertura de banda ancha móvil con velocidades de hasta tres Mbps de bajada y 768 Kbps de subida.


Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATIONbendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COMmotorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone:847-494-0000
Skype ID:pcleavitt

STI Engineering

sti header

250W VHF Paging Transmitter

STI Engineering’s RFI-148 250 high performance paging transmitter features true DDS frequency generation that enables precise control and flexibility for a wide range of data transmission applications.

The transmitter is particularly suitable for large simulcast POCSAG and FLEX paging networks and can be used as drop-in replacement of older and obsolete transmitters. The unit has a proven track record in large scale critical messaging systems.

sti tx
  • High power output
    (selectable from 20 W - 250 W)
  • SNMP Diagnostics and alarms
  • Full VHF Band coverage
    (138-174 MHz)
  • DSP precision modulation
  • Integrated isolator
  • Sniffer port for in-rack receiver
  • Remote firmware upgrade capability
  • Software selectable frequency offset
  • Adjustable absolute delay correction
  • Front panel diagnostics
  • Hardware alarm outputs
  • High frequency stability
  • External reference option
  • FCC and ACMA approved
  • CE compliant version in development
22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
Facsimile:  +61 8 9248 2833

Council accepts new fire radio communications agreement

By Kristine Jean, Mitchell Advocate
Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:58:36 EST AM

At a recent West Perth council meeting, Christel Ivanyshyn, Emergency Management Coordinator for Perth County, presented an update on the fire radio communications and paging system agreement, and asked council to approve a bylaw to authorize the implementation of the amended agreement.

First introduced in late 2010, it aimed to enhance the quality of emergency and fire service radios throughout the county. Since then several things have come to light that the agreement at the time did not address, she explained, including a separate paging system, unexpected repairs, and life cycle budgeting for the fire radio communications system.

Ivanyshyn noted that 2014 was a difficult year, as there were extra maintenance costs and needed repairs.

“2014 seemed to be a bit of an odd year to have such high maintenance costs, but it’s something that we need to include year to year in case there is maintenance and repairs that we have to take care of,” she said.

At the Jan. 26 meeting, council asked a number of questions to Ivanyshyn including financial implications of the new agreement, backup generator repair costs and whether or not the tower and equipment could be moved from its current location in St. Marys to Mitchell.

Each municipality pays their share for ongoing operational costs associated with the fire radio communications and paging system based on the number of fire stations that are operated by each municipality. West Perth pays 12.5 per cent annually because it has one fire station — St. Marys, also with one station has their share waived (12.5 per cent) in lieu of rent for the use of their tower.

Councillors Mike Tam and Nicholas Vink asked why this was the case and Ivanyshyn explained that she recommends St. Marys charge for their tower rental and the county charge them back what their portion would be.

St. Marys deemed the situation a wash — or costs and expenses would equal out. St. Marys won’t charge the county for the tower rental and Perth County in turn won’t charge for their use of the fire radio communications and paging system.

“Is it a wash though?” asked Coun. Vink. “If the tower rental is $5,000 and now St. Marys is getting waived $6,500 and costs are going up, up and up — it isn’t a wash anymore.”

Operating costs for the county and each member municipality in 2014 increased 13.5 per cent and includes, among other things, an additional $5,000 for miscellaneous repairs and $6,000 for a 24/7 remote monitoring system, put in place to ensure effective operation of all towers in the county. The 13.5 per cent increase is the proposed 2015 budget increase — the dollar amount between 2014 actual and 2015 budget totals $780 for West Perth (13.57 per cent).

Interim clerk Susan Duke pointed out that the 2014 budget did not make allowances for the incurred equipment repairs and because of this the budget-to-budget increase is $2,183 over and above the 2014 budget.

Council did not adopt the implementing By-law 15-2015 at the Jan. 26 meeting, and chose to defer consideration until additional information and clarification could be obtained. It was presented at the council meeting on Feb. 9, after Duke contacted Perth County CAO Bill Arthur and discussed the situation.

“There is no political will on the part of St. Marys to negotiate their share any differently than they have,” said Duke. “He [Arthur] feels that the other municipalities are a little bit over a barrel on this one because there is no alternative site. He has indicated the reason for this increase, which winds up being $780 to the Municipality of West Perth is because of the repair situation they experienced last year and that there was no budget provided for repairs.”

The other issue discussed was whether or not the tower could be moved to West Perth.

“They’re certainly willing to look at that provided that the engineering has been provided and there has been some work along those lines,” she said.

If the new water tower to be built this year is an appropriate site and the negotiations can be resolved with Perth Communications Ltd., then all of the costs of relocating the tower would be at the expense of the municipality making the request — in this case, West Perth, but that would be subject to future negotiations.

“It’s suggested we go forward with the arrangement that we have in place for 2015 and be ready the minute that Perth Communications and St. Marys decide that their facility is not functioning properly or that there is something that needs to be upgraded,” said Duke. “It could then be transferred at that time, somewhat seamlessly to our location if it’s appropriate and cost effective.”

Mayor Walter McKenzie noted the importance of timing in this situation.

“Right now it’s maybe not as big an issue because it pretty well is a wash — but down the road it may not be,” said McKenzie. “I think we just have to keep our eye on it.”

West Perth council voted to adopt By-law 15 — 2015 pertaining to the Fire Radio Communications Systems Agreement.

Source:Mitchell Advocate

Leavitt Communications

its stil here

It’s still here — the tried and true Motorola Alphamate 250. Now owned, supported, and available from Leavitt Communications. Call us for new or reconditioned units, parts, manuals, and repairs.

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

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

black line

Phil Leavitt

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

  • Single channel up to eight zones
  • Connects to Linux computer via USB
  • Programmable timeouts and batch sizes
  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
  • Other mounting options available
  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
  • USB or RS-232 interface
  • Two contact closures
  • End-user programmable w/o requiring special hardware
  • 16 capcodes
  • Eight contact closure version also available
  • Product customization available

Other products

Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

hark David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

Hark Technologies


Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
1ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares  
3Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
3CNET Platinum Controllers 
2GL3100 RF Director 
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
40SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
1Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
16Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
Link Transmitters:
1QT-5701, 35W, UHF, Link Transmitter
4Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2Eagle 900 MHz Link Transmitters, 60 & 80W
2Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
1Nucleus VHF, 125W, Advanced Control
UHF Paging Transmitters:
20Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
3Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
10658 St. Charles Rock Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63074
888-429-4171 or 314-429-3000 left arrow

Preferred Wireless


critical alert CA Partner’s Program

Providing better communications solutions to hospitals across the country — together!

For CAS, strong partnerships remain key to providing our software-based communications solutions to our customers. These solutions include:

ca dr and nurse
nurse call systemscritical messaging solutionsmobile health applications

We provide the communication, training and resources required to become a CA partner. In turn, our partners provide customers with the highest levels of local service & support. CA Partners may come from any number of business sectors, including:

  • Service Providers
  • System Integrators
  • Value Added Resellers and Distributors
  • Expert Contractors
If you would like to hear more about our CA Partners program, we’d love to hear from you.

Selected portions 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 with the firm’s permission.

BloostonLaw Telecom UpdateVol. 18, No. 7February 18, 2015

Special Access Data Collection Responses for Small Entities Due February 27

Small businesses with 1,500 or fewer employees that are required to provide data and information in response to the FCC’s Special Access Data Collection must do so by February 27. As a reminder, all providers and purchasers of special access services (including, but not limited to, ILECs, CLECs, inter-exchange carriers, cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including WISPs), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, electric utilities, local government entities, interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP providers, certain providers of information services and third party network providers) and certain entities that provide “best efforts” business broadband Internet access services in areas where the ILEC is subject to price cap regulation must respond. We are available to help our clients with the preparation of the required report.


Net Neutrality Ex Parte Filings Pile Up as Commission Vote Draws Near

With just eight days until the FCC votes on the new Net Neutrality order, ex parte filings for and against Title II regulation of retail broadband Internet access continue to pile up at the FCC.

On February 9, USTelecom met with Commissioners Clyburn, Pai, and Rosenworcel to assert that the
substantive goals of the administration can be met without resorting to Title II reclassification, and that Title II reclassification would “reverse a longstanding bi-partisan consensus that broadband providers have relied on to invest over a trillion dollars in building the Internet and under which edge and content providers have met unprecedented growth and success.” USTelecom also argued that Title II reclassification is likely to prevent innovations in broadband service that would offer lower cost/lower usage options to customers. Finally, USTelecom argued that the FCC did not have authority to pre-empt state laws governing municipal broadband provision.

On February 10, Cox met with staffers of Commissioners O’Rielly, Clyburn and Pai’s offices to discuss the company’s “deep concerns” about Title II reclassification, foremost among them being the potential for rate regulation. Cox also argued that the NPRM leading up to the Order did not provide any notice of the prospective for any regime governing the exchange of Internet traffic, and in any event such regulation would introduce “significant competitive distortions, arbitrage opportunities, and other harms.” Finally, Cox expressed concern about the possibility of increased pole attachment fees or other regulatory taxes or charges.

The same day, COMPTEL, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Free Press, the Computer and
Communications Industry Association, the Internet Freedom Business Alliance, Ad Hoc Telecommunications Users Committee, Level 3, Cogent, and Netflix met with staff for Commissioner Clyburn’s office to express support for classification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II The parties also reiterated support for the Commission to assert jurisdiction over Internet interconnection, and asked the FCC to affirm that it would be unjust and unreasonable for broadband Internet access service providers to engage in practices at the interconnection point that have the purpose or effect of circumventing or undermining the effectiveness or goals of open Internet rules.

Also on the 10th, Comcast met with staff for Commissioner Pai’s office to argue that applying the entirety of Section 201(b) to broadband would be “plainly inconsistent” with statements by President Obama and Chairman Wheeler that broadband providers will not be subject to rate regulation. Comcast also argued that any assertion of jurisdiction over Internet traffic exchange arrangements should clearly apply to all parties to said arrangements, such as transit delivery providers and content delivery networks, and not just retail broadband providers. Finally, Comcast argued that any new transparency requirements should not obligate broadband providers to disclose information they do not possess.

On February 11, AT&T met with staff from Commissioners O’Rielly and Pai’s offices to argue that the FCC does not have the authority to reclassify Internet access as a common carrier service under Title II, calling the FCC’s interpretation of how the service works “imaginary.” AT&T further argued that the FCC does not have the authority to apply Net Neutrality rules to mobile broadband services.

The same day, NARUC met with Wireline Competition Bureau staff to state that it will support whatever legal rationale the Commission adopts to support imposition of net neutrality principles, and asked the Commission to clarify that the change from TDM to IP does not change the functional characteristics or the classification (as telecommunications) of a service. NARUC also provided proposed language for the forbearance portion of the Order if the Commission does use Title II in combination with forbearance.

Also on the 11th, WISPA met with staff at Chairman Wheeler’s office to reiterate its support for the light touch regulatory approach adopted in 2010 and for exemptions for small broadband Internet access providers from the new rules. WISPA’s primary concern was the increase in disclosure and reporting obligations, which harm small providers by requiring them to increase staff and divert time away from focusing on deployment.

On February 12, Verizon met separately with the staffs of Commissioner O’Rielly and Commissioner Pai staff, asserting that the Commission should follow the D.C. Circuit’s “roadmap” for open Internet rules based on Section 706, and that “any attempt to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a Title II
telecommunications service would be a radical and risky change to communications policy.” According to
Verizon, any such reclassification would “cause significant, harmful consequences” and would be “unlikely to withstand judicial review.” Verizon also argued that Internet interconnection should not be subject to Net Neutrality rules, and that any new rules should not apply to “specialized services.”

FCC Issues List of Census Blocks Removed From Price Cap Offer of Model Based Support

On February 13, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the list of census blocks that will be removed from the offer of model-based support for CAF Phase II due to the fact that these blocks were included in a non-winning Rural Broadband Experiment application. The full list of excluded census blocks can be accessed here.

Back in December, the FCC invited applicants for Rural Broadband Experiment support who were not selected as provisionally winning bidders to submit certain financial and technical information to keep their application in consideration for funding made available by defaulting provisionally winning bidders. At the time the FCC implemented this process, it also decided that it would remove from the offer of CAF Phase II model-based support those census blocks funding category one applications that were preserved for consideration in this way. However, the FCC further concluded that no census blocks would be excluded from the offer of support for price cap carriers “where the rural broadband experiment applicant is seeking a waiver of one of more requirements established for rural broadband experiments, including the submission of the requisite financial and technical information.” In the same Public Notice, the FCC also announced that it has posted updated answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the rural broadband experiments on the Commission’s website. The FAQs are available at

Law & Regulation

Comment Sought on New FRN Type for Broadcasters that Would Avoid Social Security Numbers

On February 12, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a proposal to create a new mechanism for obtaining a “restricted use” FRN (“RUFRN”) through CORES for use with the Form 323 Broadcast Ownership Report. The RUFRN, which would not require a Social Security number, would be limited to the reporting of individual attributable interest holders in commercial and noncommercial broadcast stations on ownership reports. Comment and reply comment deadlines have not yet been established.

According to the FNPRM, this proposal is intended to address some of the privacy and data security concerns that commenters raised with respect to prior proposals while still enabling the Commission to uniquely identify reported individuals, obtain data reflecting a more useful, accurate, and thorough assessment of minority and female broadcast station ownership in the United States and reduce certain filing burdens. It is intended to replace Special Use FRNs, the FCC’s first attempt to develop an alternative to the FRN that did not require a Social Security number.

Enforcement Bureau Dismisses Verizon Complaint on Pole Attachment Rates

On February 11, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released an Order dismissing a complaint in which Verizon alleged that it is paying unjust and unreasonable pole attachment rates to the Florida Power and Light Company. Specifically, the FCC found that Verizon had failed to demonstrate that the rates in question were unjust and unreasonable because it merely compared the rate it pays under the agreement to the rate bands developed by the FCC in the 2011 Pole Attachment Order, without demonstrating the other requirements associated with those rates also applied. The Bureau was careful to emphasize, however, that it did not find that the rates in the agreement between Verizon and Florida Power were just and reasonable; but rather that Verizon failed to demonstrate they were unjust and unreasonable. As such, Verizon may refile its complaint and attempt to fill the evidentiary gaps.

The dispute arose from an agreement between Florida Power and a predecessor to Verizon that has been in effect since 1975. When the FCC issued its Pole Attachment Order in 2011 in which it established a New Telecom Rate and an Old Telecom Rate for incumbent LECs (both of which were well below the contract rate Verizon was paying to Florida Power), Verizon sought to renegotiate its rate. According to Verizon, Florida Power refused, and instead relied on a clause in the contract that kept the current rate in effect until a new rate could be agreed upon.

To show that the rates in the agreement were unjust and unreasonable, Verizon simply compared them to the rates established in the Pole Attachment Order and suggested that they were so much higher as to be per se unreasonable. However, in establishing the New Telecom Rate and the Old Telecom Rate, the FCC expressly stated that the New Telecom Rate only served as a point of reference if the incumbent was similarly situated with competitive LECs, and that the Old Telecom Rate was the appropriate point of reference where the agreement provided the incumbent with substantial benefits over other attachers. The Enforcement Bureau found that because Verizon received significant benefits under the agreement which are not available to competitive LECs, and made no effort to quantify the value of these benefits, the Enforcement Bureau could not find that the rates were per se unjust and unreasonable.

FCC Clarifies Rural Call Completion Order Recording Requirements

On February 13, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling in which it clarified and provided additional guidance regarding how providers must record, retain, and report certain information. Specifically, the FCC found that covered providers may not count unanswered call attempts as answered calls regardless of the Integrated Service Digital Network User Part (ISUP) Case Code returned.

In Appendix C of the FCC’s Order, the FCC stated that calls signaled back with ISUP 16 should be reported as answered. However, Verizon and Level 3 raised concerns that cause code 16 is also used to indicate that the calling party hung up before the called party answered. Allowing such calls to be counted as “answered”, they argued, would lead to artificially high answer rates. In response, the FCC sought comment and some parties argued that providers should count call attempts as “answered” as long as the network generates SIP cause code 16, even if the calling party hangs up before the call is answered. The FCC disagreed, stating that this interpretation clearly contradicted the plain meaning of the definition of “answered call” in the Order.


The Price of Privacy? $30 Per Month, According to AT&T

The Wall Street Journal’s technology blog is reporting that AT&T’s relatively recent 1 Gbps internet service called GigaPower (debuted in Austin, Texas in 2013 and just this past Tuesday in Kansas City, Missouri) comes with a unique twist: AT&T uses GigaPower customers’ search terms, Web pages visited, and links clicked to help advertisers target ads on Web pages, e-mail messages or direct mail. According to WSJ, the tracking remains in effect “even if you clear cookies, use an ad block program, or switch on a browser’s do-not-track settings.”

According to the company’s FAQ, some examples of how the data will be used include:

  • If you search for concert tickets, you may receive offers and ads related to restaurants near the concert venue.
  • After you browse hotels in Miami, you may be offered discounts for rental cars there.
  • If you are exploring a new home appliance at one retailer, you may be presented with similar appliance options from other retailers.

Customers can opt out of the usage tracking for a price — $30 per month (on top of the $70 per month service fee). WSJ reported that a spokeswoman for GigaPower contends that the privacy option not as an added fee, but as a discount for customers that allow the company to use their information. “We can offer a lower price to customers participating in AT&T Internet Preferences because advertisers will pay us for the opportunity to deliver relevant advertising and offers tailored to our customer’s interests,” she said.

Calendar At A Glance

Feb. 20 – Comments are due on Part 1 Competitive Bidding NPRM.
Feb. 25 – Reply comments are due on Unlicensed Use of TV Band and 600 MHz Band Spectrum.
Feb. 27 – Deadline for Special Access Data Collection for small businesses with less than 1,500 employees.
Feb. 27 – Reply comments are due on the FCC’s Incentive Auction Procedures.

Mar. 2 – Copyright Statement of Account Form for cable companies is due.
Mar. 2 – Annual CPNI Certification is due.
Mar. 2 – FCC Form 477 (Local Competition & Broadband Reporting) is due.
Mar. 6 – Reply comments are due on Part 1 Competitive Bidding NPRM.
Mar. 9 – Reply comments are due on Technology Transitions NPRM.
Mar. 9 – Reply comments are due on Windstream Petition for Declaratory Ruling on DS1/DS3 Access.
Mar. 9 – Comments are due on 911 Outage NPRM.
Mar. 11 – Reply comments are due on the IntraMTA Petition for Declaratory Ruling.
Mar. 16 – Deadline to notify AT&T of Service Provided in CAF Phase I Deployment Census Blocks.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 525 (Delayed Phasedown CETC Line Counts) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 508 (ICLS Projected Annual Common Line Requirement) is due.
Mar. 31 – International Circuit Capacity Report is due.

Apr. 1 – FCC Form 499-A (Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Apr. 1 – Annual Accessibility Certification is due.
Apr. 7 – Reply comments are due on 911 Outage NPRM.

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or .

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White House: Apple Pay will support debit cards for Social Security and veterans benefits

Susie Ochs
@sfsooz Feb 13, 2015 2:03 PM

Tim Cook was one of the only Silicon Valley execs to speak at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, held on Friday in Palo Alto. Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt were invited, but all declined to attend.

And President Barack Obama did Apple a solid in return: The White House announced that Apple Pay will soon support federal-payment cards, such as debit cards issued for Social Security and veterans benefits.

Why this matters: This is a big deal for Apple. Its rollout of Apple Pay has been a success, and this is tacit to an endorsement from the federal government, which is a mighty big customer. The two payment networks involved in the deal, Direct Express and GSA SmartPay, handle upwards of 87.4 million transactions per year, worth $26.4 billion, according to the General Services Administration, as reported by Bloomberg.

Security is one of Apple Pay’s selling points. Cook remarked at the Goldman Sachs Internet Conference earlier this week that his own debit card has been breached three times already. Apple Pay lets users make secure transactions with a single-use token, without exposing the user’s real account number or other personally identifying details. That way, if a store’s database is breached, the hackers won’t get any information they can use to open new accounts or make new transactions.

That privacy even extends to Apple. The company doesn’t store records of where Apple Pay users shop, what they buy, or how much they spend. “It’s none of my business,” Cook told the Goldman Sachs conference.

In Cook’s remarks at the White House cybersecurity summit on Friday, he also mentioned that starting in September, Apple Pay would support many transactions with the federal government, such as reserving campsites at national parks.


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State of The Art patient Pagers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

By PR Rocket on February 13, 2015

UK — 13 Feb, 2015 — State-of-the-art patient pagers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, allowing patients more freedom and independence as they wait for their appointments.

The QuietCall IQ patient pagers have been introduced to the chemotherapy and haematology day unit at the hospital, to allow patients to move away from waiting rooms if clinics are late or doctors are called to an emergency.

The QE is one of the first hospitals in Britain to begin using the state-of-the-art QuietCall IQ patient paging system in a bid to help reduce the stress of waiting times.

Patient pagers are handed out by reception staff and buzz five minutes before the patients are needed for their appointment, giving them time to get back.

Patrick Moore, GP Services Manager at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, said: “We worked with the supplier Pager Call Systems to ensure that we provided coverage of all areas that patients may go to whilst waiting.

“The system reaches from the sixth floor right down to the lobby area and even outside. The pagers are a great addition to the department and we’re delighted to be able to offer patients a better waiting experience.

“It’s important to us that patients get a good balance between excellent medical care and providing a good overall experience at our hospital. Sometimes waiting times are unavoidable so being able to free patients from waiting rooms to relax over a tea or coffee improves their experience during their visit.

“We’re very grateful to QEHB Charity for funding these extra innovative pieces of equipment, which really make a big difference to patients, and we plan to implement the system in other departments later this year.”

Mike Hammond, Chief Executive of QEHB Charity, said: “These patient pagers are an excellent idea. They really make a difference for patients as it can be frustrating being restricted to a waiting area if there is a delay.

“This way they can go to the cafe or shop or just step outside for some fresh air and feel their time is being better spent than just sitting in a waiting area.”

For further information contact Pager Call Systems Ltd on 0845 6444109

Media Contact
Company Name: Pager Call Systems Ltd
Contact Person: Terrie Reynolds
Phone: 0845 6444109
Address:Unit 2 Redbourne Park, Brackmills Industrial Estate
City: Northampton
Country: United Kingdom

Source:Press Release Rocket

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Happy Lunar New Year

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Fireworks bring in the Year of the Sheep

Edgar Su / Reuters

People rush to plant the first joss stick of the Lunar New Year at the stroke of midnight at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho temple in Singapore on Feb. 19, 2015. Each year, at the stroke of midnight, hundreds of people vie to be the first to place joss sticks in an urn at the temple to mark an auspicious start to their year. The Chinese Lunar New Year on February 19 welcomed the Year of the Sheep (also known as the Year of the Goat or Ram).

Source:NBC News

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