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Friday — March 20, 2015 — Issue No. 649

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

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

St. Patrick's Day Solar Storm

I sent out a bulletin on the day before yesterday about the strong solar storm that took place because of the possibility that it could disrupt satellites and therefore GPS, Paging, and Cellular operations—just to name a few of the possibilities.

Sun Spots

In researching this phenomenon several other salient issues have surfaced, so there is a lot going on in outer space, and in our ionosphere today. As an amateur radio operator, I have long been familiar with sun spot cycles and their effect on HF radio propagation.

People frequently ask me “how far can you talk on your radio?” That's a little like asking, “how long is a piece of string?” To simplify matters a little, when you are talking about “how far” it largely depends on the amount of radiation coming from the sun and how dense the ionized layers surrounding the earth are. (Yes, I know—lots of other factors too—like frequency, power output, antenna, etc., but let's keep it simple.) You may remember from science class that these layers are called “Van Allen belts.”

The Van Allen belts are a collection of charged particles, gathered in place by Earth's magnetic field. They can wax and wane in response to incoming energy from the sun, sometimes swelling up enough to expose satellites in low-Earth orbit to damaging radiation.

The ionosphere is an area surrounding the earth where “spheres” or circular belts have been “ionized” by radiation from the sun. (Ions+Spheres=Ionosphere)

When there are massive explosions on the sun, they can be seen (Using safe techniques of course—never, ever, look directly at the sun as permanent eye damage can occur.) Here is an example of a Sun Spot (Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections):

So—depending on many factors—high frequency radio waves can get reflected back to the earth to areas beyond the horizon and much farther away than they could go in a straight line. This makes possible what is commonly called “short wave radio” where it is possible to listen to radio broadcasts from countries all over the world, and this is how ham radio operators can communicate with each other over very long distances.

Today is the First Day of Spring

The March equinox happens at the same moment across the world but is converted to local time. In 2015, it falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT, for example.

Today is the Equinox

An equinox occurs twice a year, around 20 March and 22 September. The word itself has several related definitions. The oldest meaning is the day when daytime and night are of approximately equal duration. The word equinox comes from this definition, derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). [source]

Today's Solar Eclipse

Freaky Friday: Solar Eclipse, Supermoon, Spring Equinox

12:13 p.m. EDT March 19, 2015
Doyle Rice

(Photo: Greg Wood, AFP/Getty Images)

Some people will have the chance to experience a solar eclipse, supermoon and spring equinox all in one day.

First the aurora borealis and now a solar eclipse — what a week for skywatchers! Plus it occurs Friday (the first day of spring) and the same day as a Supermoon.

One caveat: The total eclipse will not be visible anywhere in the USA and will be seen only by folks on some rather remote islands in far northern Europe Friday morning. Residents of the Danish-owned Faroe Islands and the sparsely inhabited Norwegian island group of Svalbard will be the only lucky ones to see the full spectacle.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible across all of Europe, northern Africa and much of northern Asia, according to A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon obscures only part of the sun from Earth's view.

“Depending on where you are in Europe, you will see anywhere from roughly 50 to nearly 99% of the sun's diameter eclipsed by the moon,” according to's Joe Rao.

Those of us in the USA can watch the eclipse online starting at 4:30 a.m. ET Friday on

This is the Earth's first — and only — total solar eclipse of the year and the first one since November 2013, NASA reports. The next total solar eclipse in the USA will be in August 2017.

There will be two lunar eclipses in the USA this year: April 4 and Sept. 28.

Two other astronomical events will take place Friday: the spring (or vernal) equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and a so-called Supermoon.

The Supermoon is a full or new moon that occurs during the moon's closest approach to Earth on its elliptical orbit, according to AccuWeather.

What makes it super? It's when a full or new moon coincides with perigee — the moon's closest point to Earth in its orbit. Basically, the Supermoon, when full, appears a bit bigger and brighter than usual in the night sky.

Since this Supermoon is during a new moon, it will not be visible, but it will block out the sun during the solar eclipse.

The spring equinox, when the sun shines directly on the equator, occurs at 6:45 p.m. ET Friday.

A supermoon rises through the trees in Spencer, N.Y., Aug. 10, 2014. (Photo: Tom Pennington, Getty Images)

Also last Saturday was Pi Day

In the year 2015, Pi Day had special significance on 3/14/15 (mm/dd/yy date format) at 9:26:53 a.m. and also at p.m., with the date and time representing the first 10 digits of π. [e.g. 3.141592653]

That same second also contained a precise instant corresponding to all of the digits of π.

Coincidentally March 14 is also Albert Einstein's birthday.

CVC Paging has an opening for a Glenayre Switch Technician in their Vermont location.

For details please contact Stephan Suker at 802-775-6726 or

Now on to more news and views.

The Weather in
Wayne County‚ Illinois

Find more about Weather in Fairfield, IL
Click for weather forecast

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
UltraTek Security Cameras
WaveWare Technologies

Europe Goes Dark

How Germany is preparing its extensive solar power network for a total solar eclipse.

By Tim McDonnell
MARCH 19 2015 9:45 AM

Don't worry, it's safe to look at this photograph: a total solar eclipse in 2008.

Photo by Milloslav Druckmuller/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

On Friday, Europe will experience a total solar eclipse for a few hours in the morning. The last time an eclipse of this scale happened in Europe was in 1999. Back then Germany got less than 1 percent of its power from solar energy. Today Germany is the world’s most solar-dependent country, drawing nearly 7 percent of its electricity from the sun. So when the passing moon blots out the sun, will the country’s lights go out, too?

Over the last couple of months, that question has gotten plenty of attention in the German media. In September, Der Spiegel reported that some power companies were afraid the eclipse would leave the power grid “dangerously unstable.” In February the business weekly Wirtschafts Woche warned that factories could suddenly lose power if electric supply doesn’t keep pace with demand.

“This is the most dramatic intersection ever between a solar eclipse and solar energy.”

—Opower analyst Barry Fischer

Still, the view among most energy experts is that the eclipse will come and go with no noticeable effect for consumers. That’s because the country’s utility companies have spent months preparing for what is essentially an unprecedented test of the futuristic German grid, which is a model for clean-energy advocates in the United States.

“Some of the hype ahead of the eclipse served to focus minds,” said Andreas Kramer, a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam. Power companies “relish the upcoming opportunity to show how they can handle that challenge professionally.”

So what’s the big deal, exactly? The sun goes down every night, of course, and Germany is quite accustomed to cloudy days. (It gets about as much sunshine as Alaska.) The difference with a solar eclipse is the speed at which sunlight will disappear from, and then return to, the power system. All electric grids operate on the fundamental principle that supply and demand must always be in perfect equilibrium, second by second. That dynamic becomes complicated when so much of your power comes from a source like solar, over which grid operators have zero control. And it’s especially tricky when the fluctuation is so rapid and extreme.

Photovoltaic systems are installed on a roof in Amerdingen, Germany, on April 25, 2012.

Photo by Ute Grabowsky/Photothek via Getty Images

Typically, Germans can rely on coal-fired power plants to pick up the slack at night, when power demand is relatively low anyway. But those can take many hours to fire up, and the eclipse is expected to make solar output dip nearly three times faster than normal, according to a recent analysis by energy software company Opower.

“It’s fair to say that this is the most dramatic intersection ever between a solar eclipse and solar energy,” Opower analyst Barry Fischer said.

Generally speaking, a byproduct of the clean energy revolution is an increasing need to replace the old grid model—which relied almost exclusively on a small number of big, inflexible power plants—with a highly flexible suite of interconnected options. So the eclipse is a chance to test just how responsive and adaptive Germany’s new grid can be. The outcome will be a valuable lesson for U.S. grid managers who are looking to a much more solar-heavy future.

Take a look at the bite the eclipse will take out of Germany’s solar production, according to Opower:

The exact change will depend the weather that day; if it’s already cloudy, the drop will be less drastic. (The current forecast for Munich—which is in Bavaria, the province with the most solar—is for a sunny day.)

The temporary hole left by the eclipse will be filled by natural gas plants, which fire up relatively quickly, and possibly by the release of extra hydro power. And utilities have the option of communicating directly with heavy power users—big manufacturing facilities, for instance—and asking them to slow down production for an hour to ease the burden. It’s a bit like an orchestra conductor calling on an array of instruments in real time to keep up a steady flow of music.

Moreover, Kramer pointed out that the eclipse won’t happen all at once; it’s not like flipping a switch. As the moon’s shadow moves across the country, the impact on solar will be phased in and out geographically.

A final option is energy storage, where solar power from the previous day could be kept in giant batteries and released during the eclipse. Utility-scale storage is still in its infancy, and it won’t be on the table next week. But a representative for Germany’s solar energy trade association said that solution could be up and running in time for the next major eclipse . . . in 2048.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

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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

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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
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  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
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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

March Equinox — Equal Day and Night, Nearly

There are two equinoxes every year — in March and September — when the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of night and day are nearly equal.

On the equinox the Earth's axis is perpendicular to the Sun's rays. (Not to scale)

March Equinox in Universal Coordinated Time is on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 22:45 UTC

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator — the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator — from south to north. This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

Spring in the North, Fall in the South

Equinoxes and solstices are opposite on either side of the equator (Ill. not to scale)

Equinoxes and solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, and the March equinox is also known as the "spring (vernal) equinox" in the northern hemisphere and as the "autumnal (fall) equinox" in the southern hemisphere.

Why is it Called “Equinox”?

On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it's called an “equinox”, derived from Latin, meaning "equal night". However, in reality equinoxes don't have exactly 12 hours of daylight

What Happens on the Equinox?

The Earth's axis is always tilted at an angle of about 23.5° in relation to the ecliptic, the imaginary plane created by the Earth's path around the Sun. On any other day of the year, the Earth's axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes, the tilt of the Earth's is neither away from nor towards the Sun. In fact, it is perpendicular to the Sun's rays, like the illustration shows.

Celebrating new Beginnings

The March equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere. Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox, like Easter and Passover.

The Snake of Sunlight

“The snake of sunlight” at Chichen Itza, Mexico ©

One of the most famous ancient Spring equinox celebrations was the Mayan sacrificial ritual by the main pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico.

The main pyramid — also known as El Castillo — has four staircases running from the top to the bottom of the pyramid's faces, notorious for the bloody human sacrifices that used to take place here.

The staircases are built at a carefully calculated angle which makes it look like an enormous snake of sunlight slithers down the stairs on the day of the equinox.

The Mayan Calendar was very precise in this respect, but today the Mayan calendar is most famous for ending exactly at 11:11 UTC on the 2012 December Solstice.

Knowledge of the equinoxes and solstices is also crucial in developing dependable calendars, another thing the Mayans clearly had got the hang of.

Source:Time and Date

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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.


Solar eclipse of March 20, 2015

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A total solar eclipse will occur on Friday March 20, 2015. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide.

It will have a magnitude of 1.045. The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 47 seconds off the coast of the Faroe Islands. It is the last total solar eclipse visible in Europe until the eclipse of August 12, 2026.

At the end of its path, the shadow of the Moon rises from Earth's surface to space at the north pole. As March 20 is the Northward equinox, the eclipse occurs as the Sun rises at the North Pole after six months.

The only populated places reachable by public travel, where the totality can be seen, are the Faroe Islands and Svalbard.


The European Union has about 90 Gigawatts of solar power and production may temporarily decrease by up to 34 GW of that if the sky is clear. This is the first time that an eclipse has a significant impact on the power system, and the electricity sector is taking measures to mitigate the impact. The power gradient (change in power) may be −400 MW/minute and +700 MW/minute. Places in Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark may be 80% obscured. Temperature may decrease by 3°C, and wind power may decrease as winds are reduced by 0.7 m/s.

The maximum phase of over 100% will occur over the Arctic Ocean with 102% over Barentsburg.

Solar eclipse of March 20, 2015



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

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.

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Phil Leavitt

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7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

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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

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Terminals & Controllers:
1ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares  
3CNET Platinum Controllers 
2GL3100 RF Director 
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
40SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
16Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
Link Transmitters:
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
19 Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
12Motorola Nucleus 350W Advanced Control
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16Glenayre 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







CVC Paging

Switch Tech

CVC Paging has an opening for a Glenayre Switch Technician in our Vermont location.

For details please contact Stephan Suker at 802-775-6726 or

CVC Paging


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. 12March 18, 2015

FCC Releases Open Internet Order and Order Granting TN and NC Preemption Requests

On March 12, the FCC released its now-infamous Open Internet Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling and Order. While BloostonLaw attorneys are still reviewing the 400 page document (with dissenting statements), the Order makes clear that broadband providers always must disclose promotional rates, all fees and/or surcharges, and all data caps or data allowances; adding packet loss as a measure of network performance that must be disclosed; and requiring specific notification to consumers that a “network practice” is likely to significantly affect their use of the service (with a temporary exemption for providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers).

That same day, the FCC also released the Memorandum Opinion and Order granting petitions seeking FCC preemption of state statutes filed by the Electric Power Board in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the City of Wilson, North Carolina that prevent these cities from providing broadband service outside the municipal utility service areas. The important takeaway from this Order is that while it technically only applies to the specific laws in Tennessee and North Carolina for which preemption was sought, the FCC said that it will not hesitate to preempt similar statutory provisions in factual situations where it finds they function as barriers to broadband investment and competition.


Reply Comments Filed on LEC Petition on IntraMTA Charges

Reply comments were filed on March 9, 2015, on the Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by Bright House Networks, CenturyLink LECs, et al., asking the FCC to confirm that the intraMTA rule does not apply to LEC charges billed to an IXC when the IXC terminates traffic to or receives traffic from a LEC via tariffed switched access services. The Petitioners also asked the Commission to declare that IXC attempts to avoid paying access charges and to claim retroactive refunds are inconsistent with the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("the Act") and the Commission's rules and policies. In addition to the Rural Associations and a number of groups of rural carriers, the Blooston Rural Carriers added their voice to the debate and filed in support the Petitioners' request. The Blooston Rural Carriers, however, also argued that grant of the Petition is consistent with and necessary to promote the Act's and the Commission's preference for negotiated compensation between carriers and to promote the rule established by the Commission in the Transformation Order to limit the liability of rural, rate-of-return carriers for transport costs in connection with LEC-CMRS traffic. Specifically, in the Transformation Order, although the Commission concluded that bill-and-keep should be the default compensation applicable to LEC-CMRS intraMTA traffic, the Commission established an interim default rule whereby the rural, rate-of-return LEC is “responsible for transport to the CMRS provider's chosen interconnection point when it is located within the LEC's service area” and when the CMRS provider's chosen interconnection point is located outside the LEC's service area, “the LEC's transport and provisioning obligation stops at its meet point and the CMRS provider is responsible for the remaining transport to its interconnection point.” The Blooston Rural Carriers argued that adoption of the IXC's arguments would gut this protection for rural LECs and leave rural LECs "holding the bag" for transport costs far outside their service area.

Reminder: WCB Extends Date for Study Area Boundary Changes Until March 23; Recertifications due May 26

As reported in a special edition of the BloostonLaw Update last week, the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) has extended the date for filing revised study area boundary data for incumbent LECs (ILECs) to reflect changes made during 2014, until March 23, 2015. The FCC extended the original deadline of March 16, 2015, because of technical difficulties with the Study Area Boundary Data Collection interface, which have been resolved. According to the WCB, filers can now submit and certify shapefiles using the interface. Some examples of events that would cause study area boundaries to change include a transaction involving the addition or sale of exchanges; new deployment into previously-unserved areas, such as a new housing subdivision; or an ILEC relinquishing its ETC designation and no longer being obligated to serve an area as a carrier of last resort. Under the WCB's procedures, either the ILEC or the state commission submitted the original study area boundary data for an ILEC. Where the state commission originally submitted the data, the state commission should file the revised study area boundary data by March 23, 2015. In cases where the state commission did not submit data for the ILEC and the ILEC submitted the data, then the ILEC should file the revised study area boundary data by March 23, 2015.

In addition to the obligation to submit updated information when study area boundaries change, all ILECs are required to recertify their study area boundary data every two years. The recertification is due this year by May 26, 2015. Again, where the state commission filed the study area boundary data for an ILEC, the state commission should submit the recertification. However, where the state commission did not submit data for the ILEC and the ILEC submitted the study area boundary data, then the ILEC should submit the recertification by May 26, 2015. The WCB currently is working to upgrade the data collection interface to allow for the recertification of data and it will provide additional information once the upgrade is completed.

Law & Regulation

FCC Pauses 180-Day Clock in Comcast-Time Warner and AT&T-DirecTV Transactions

On March 13, the FCC issued a Public Notice pausing the 180-day clock on both the Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter and AT&T-DirecTV transactions pending the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on a Petition for Review and request for stay filed on November 13, 2014. The Petition for Review deals with the ability of outside counsel and outside experts employed by the various participants to review, solely in connection with their participation, certain confidential information that has been filed in the respective records for these proceedings. Specifically, the Petition for Review deals with a class of confidential information called Video Programming Confidential Information. On November 21, 2014, the court granted the request for stay and heard oral argument on the merits of the Petition for Review on February 20, 2015. However, it has not yet issued its decision.

Since the FCC believes it would be advantaged by knowing the resolution of the Petition for Review before the transaction clocks reach the 180-day mark, it has elected to pause the clock for both proceedings. The 180-day clock is an informal timeline for consideration of applications for transfer or assignment of licenses in complex mergers, not a statutory requirement. As such, the FCC points out, it retains the discretion to determine whether, in any particular review proceeding, events beyond the agency’s control, the need to obtain additional information, or the interests of sound analysis constitute sufficient grounds to stop the clock.

Montgomery County Challenges FCC’s Tower Siting Order

Montgomery County, Maryland has challenged the FCC’s October 21, 2014 Report and Order which imposed new rules on tower siting pursuant to Section 6409(a) of the Middle Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Montgomery County stated that the rules adopted in the Report and Order were “inconsistent with the United States Constitution; an unlawful interpretation of Section 6409(a) and other statutory provisions; arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion; and otherwise contrary to law”. The initial filing by Montgomery County did not provide any details concerning the substance of its claims, although conventional wisdom suggests that the 60-day shot-clock for local jurisdictions to act on tower siting requests is likely to be one of the main issues. The County did request that the Court find the FCC’s action to be unlawful and that the Report and Order be vacated and that the FCC be enjoined from enforcing the rules.

Because other appeals may have been filed in this proceeding, the Court that takes jurisdiction over the case will issue a briefing schedule. At that point, Montgomery County and others will be required to make their arguments in detail. The Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA) has raised concerns about the Montgomery County challenge in a press release, stating: "PCIA is working closely with cities, counties, and municipalities to make the implementation of the FCC’s new wireless facility siting regulations smooth and efficient. The wireless infrastructure industry wants to reduce or eliminate, whenever possible, obstacles to realizing the extraordinary economic and technological potential of wireless broadband. We hope that this lawsuit will not detract from that goal, since PCIA supports the FCC’s rationale behind its Infrastructure Order and its guidelines for implementation."

Verizon Agrees to $3.4 Million Settlement Over California 911 Outage

The FCC announced today that MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services (Verizon) has agreed to enter into a consent decree in order to resolve an FCC investigation into its failure to “meet its emergency call obligations during a multi-state 911 service outage last year” as a result of a six-hour outage in April 2014 that affected wireless customers in nine-county area of California. This outage occurred during a trial to test a new method for routing wireless 911 calls to the proper Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The FCC stated that this outage was part of a much broader 911 outage that affected over 11 million people and 83 call centers in seven states. During this outage, 62 wireless 911 calls were not able to reach 13 public safety dispatch centers. The FCC indicates that Verizon’s contractor, Intrado, allegedly did not inform Verizon of the outage until after it resolved the outage. Upon learning of the scope of the 911 outage, Verizon notified the State of California Office of Emergency Communications.

Over the past 30 years, 911 has become the ubiquitous number to dial in the event of an emergency. The FCC takes very seriously the obligation of telephone service providers to ensure that emergency telephone service is available to the public. As part of the settlement, Verizon agreed to a “robust” compliance plan that requires Verizon to: (a) identify risks that could result in disruptions to 911 service and protect against those risks; (b) detect future 911 outages; (c) respond with remedial actions, including notification to all affected emergency call centers; and (d) recover from the outages in a timely manner. In addition to this Compliance Plan, Verizon will also be required to improve its oversight over its Next Generation 911 subcontractors, maintain up-to-date contact information for all emergency call centers and coordinate with the emergency call centers that it serves on a periodic basis in order to review Verizon’s outage notifications. This case illustrates the importance of ensuring that reliable 911 communications are provided, and notifying emergency officials as soon as problems are detected. The FCC’s rules require wireline telephone service providers to notify by telephone or other electronic means, the designated official for each and every affected 911 special facility that experiences an outage of at least 30 minutes. This notification must include “all available information that may be useful” to the management of the affected 911 call center in mitigating the effects of the outage on the public.


Verizon Calls Out DISH for Inflating Spectrum Prices

As the Blooston Rural Carriers were meeting with the FCC about the harmful impact of “special purpose designated entities” in dominating bidding and bid credits in the AWS-3 auction, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo publicly noted another harmful effect of bidding efforts of entities backed by DISH. As reported by Wireless Week, Shammo said at a recent conference that in the past spectrum cost less than it did to add capacity using technology. “This auction flipped that balance. We can build capacity for a third of what this spectrum is going to cost,” Shammo said, noting that the FCC’s bidding rules need to be revised to account for companies like DISH, which took home huge amounts of spectrum at a discount while driving up prices for others.

Shammo said that until the cost of spectrum comes down there is “no reason for us to go into the secondary market and buy spectrum at this price. It just doesn't make sense.” Unfortunately, unlike nationwide carriers, small and rural carriers may not have the ability to overcome one-sided bidding tactics by simply adding more and more infrastructure to manufacture capacity, especially where terrain and low population density would make this workaround cost prohibitive.

Calendar At A Glance

Mar. 23 – Comments are due on 911 Policy NPRM.
Mar. 30 – Comments are due on Letter of Credit Requirements.
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.
Apr. 13 – Reply comments are due on Letter of Credit Requirements.
Apr. 14 – Deadline for reply comments on Online Public File Expansion NPRM.
Apr. 21 – Reply Comments are due on 911 Policy NPRM.

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

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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From:Frank Hackett
Subject: Dick Tracy
Date:March 13, 2015 8:36 PM
To:Brad Dye

Late Good Evening Brad,

I really enjoyed your article about Dick Tracy tonight. I grew up on Dick Track and was consumed with his two-way radio wrist watch, anti-gravity bucket, etc. All was so real to me as a youngster. My dad was a Ham Radio Operator but never took any time with me to learn the difference between reality and fiction. He did read Dick Tracy to me when I was very young.

Anyway, I digress. I certainly knew who Chester Gould was, but never heard of Al Gross before tonight. Shame on me!! What a great read. He was certainly ahead of his time. I’m concerned his history will not be attributed correctly as it is well deserved.

Thanks for highlighting the article in your newsletter today. Very, Very good read.


[There is a good article about Al Gross in Wikipedia.]

From:Marc A. Gineris
Subject: Special Bulletin
Date:March 18, 2015 11:55 AM
To:Brad Dye


Thanks for the solar alert! It is real! As an amateur astronomer and former Board member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, much appreciated! People have no idea how powerful these events in space can be.



Marc A. GinerisPartner, Incyte Capital2911 Turtle Creek Blvd, Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75219


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