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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — May 1, 2015 — Issue No. 655

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

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


The THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK and THE PHOTOS OF THE WEEK are a little different in this issue. I watched a YouTube video last night, of a talk that Bill Gates recently gave about what he believes is the greatest risk of global catastrophe. I think it is vitally important. Check it out near the end of this issue, and let me know what you think.

Lawmakers Question Effect on Public Safety of Closing 16 FCC Field Offices (4/24/15)

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders requested information about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to close 16 of the commission's 24 field offices across the country.

“The commission has represented to Congress and the American people that it will ‘preserve the integrity of public-safety communications infrastructure by taking action on 99 percent of complaints of interference to public-safety communications within one day,’ yet your proposal to reduce the geographic footprint of the commission appears to ignore the impact this might have on the commission’s public interest goal,” said a letter from full committee Chairman Fred Upton, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy and Rep. Mike Pompeo.

The lawmakers said their concerns are heightened by the FCC’s failure to provide all the information requested by the committee. During testimony before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, both FCC Managing Director Jon Wilkins and Wheeler pledged to provide the committee with the outside consultant’s final report detailing the rationale and analytical support for the proposal. However, the FCC has provided a two-page memo and a 35-page slide presentation in response to the committee.

The letter requested all internal and external FCC documents about the decision. The committee set a deadline of May 7 for the FCC to comply.

The full letter is available here . [ source here ]

CMA-Europe Conference

There is another great report (following) on the April 24, 2015 annual conference of the CMA-Europe in Berlin. It is a rough translation from a German article, and very informative.

Now on to more news and views

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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
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

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.

CMA-E Spring 2015 Meeting in Berlin


On April 24, 2015, the annual conference of the CMA-Europe (Critical Mobile Messaging Association Europe) took place in Berlin Grand Hotel.

After being greeted by Derek Banner, President CMA Europe, the spring conference focused quickly on current issues: Jim Nelson, President of the US organization of CMA gave an insight into the different activities related to encryption algorithms in order to further optimize the safety standards of paging. A global standardization of encryption in paging seemed less useful to his statements. There are (as well as of for example from long-standing pioneer e*Message) very reliable and proven solutions.

Jim Nelson on encryption and privacy

Dietmar Gollnick, CEO of the host Berlin e*Message, presented on the diverse German market related to energy production and supply, and informed about the possibilities to successfully establish themselves in it with proven — and at the same time — state of the art technology. He gave way but a bit of it, and did not repeat his comments from the CMA-A Conference in Miami (for the lecture see blog post from 12/4/2014 in German), but informed about new developments and opportunities for NP2M with the Key Issues Paper of BMWiE (German Ministry of Economics and Energy) from February 2015:

Cornerstones of the regulation package smart grids (in German but leading to a presentation in English.)

Especially popular was this Bosch video on the topic:

“Current pager” — Energy Management with the click of a mouse

Published on Mar 2, 2015

A joint project of Bosch Software Innovations, Stromnetz Berlin and e*Message.

The electricity grid in Berlin has a lot to cope with: it serves 3.6 million people, has 2.3 million connections, comprises 37,000 kilometers of power lines, and works 24 hours a day. A piece of software from Bosch Software Innovations now ensures that the city’s inhabitants are never left unexpectedly in the dark. When the grid is unstable or overloaded, facilities can not only easily be switched on and off but also single devices or groups can be operated ad-hoc or scheduled with the click of a mouse. The metropolis on the Spree river is the first city in Germany to use this new technology. Watch the video [above] to find out how it works.

Kevin Delaney from the UK regulator Ofcom about the successful from his point of view and increasing support of the British officials for alternative (PMR and paging) technologies.

Before ending an outlook was cast to the CMA World Conference in Prague in September, and again the subject of cyber blackout was in focus. Once again it was unmistakably clear: cyber risks are everywhere they threaten our lifelines — our electricity and energy supplies — our food supply — our communication — and so our security! Digital is not a panacea — we need to know the reliable ways that provide effective protection. The presentation of the Swissphone chief technical officer from Samstagern to beat, among others, in this niche.

Something completely different from Chris Jones of PageOne: He reported on his new sole as a shareholder in Capita:


Capita acquires PageOne

Capita, a UK leader in business process management and outsourcing solutions, has today acquired PageOne Communications Ltd.

“In Capita, we have found a FTSE100 company, highly respected in the UK and with a strong private and public sector customer base that is a natural fit for our portfolio of critical messaging services from secure business messaging and lone worker support, through to business continuity communications”.

“This is a positive development that allows us to increase in scale and continue to grow in the future. It will also allow us, through investment, to build new capabilities and innovative solutions that meet our clients’ future business needs.”

Chris Jones,
CEO, PageOne

[ source ]

Among other participants from Switzerland and from the new NP2M* Wonderland in the Netherlands. (In Belgium and the Netherlands new nationwide paging networks are being built — in addition to countrywide two-way public safety systems.)

An intense day for all involved. And a reinforcement of all worldwide CMA activities to strengthen alternative and reliable communications infrastructure and expand!

* NP2M = Narrowband Point-to-Multipoint system. CEPT, the umbrella organization of the European regulatory authorities, has adopted NP2M technology, paving the way for the qualitative and quantitative development of paging and NP2M in Europe. 150 kHz (2 times 3 x 25 kHz) One Way, 430 MHz-470 MHz.
Source:e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH

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


Windows forever: Windows 10 builds will continue even after Microsoft ships it

Mark Hachman | @markhachman
Senior Editor, PCWorld
Apr 30, 2015 4:44 PM

Oh, you thought those Windows 10 preview builds would end when Microsoft shipped the operating systems? Nope. At a press event during Microsoft's Build 2015 conference in San Francisco, Joe Belfiore, the corporate vice president of the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, said users will still have the option of continuing to test new features as Microsoft rolls them out.

It’s all part of what Microsoft is now referring to as “Windows as a service”—the notion that Windows is an ongoing product, constantly updated, with both patches and new features added on over time. And it will depend upon the feedback of users like you and me, via the Windows Insider program.

Microsoft hasn’t said officially when Windows 10 will launch, save that it will happen sometime this summer. AMD CEO Lisa Su suggested it will happen in late July , but Belfiore said that Microsoft wasn’t prepared to release the final date quite yet.

Why this matters: This is an an entirely new way for Microsoft to develop and release software, more like Google's ongoing Chrome builds than anything else. Microsoft has already established this model for Office, but the same questions hold: What happens if you don't subscribe to Windows? Does something break? Will businesses sign on? And will we end up in a world where virtually every user is up-to-date, or a massively fragmented computing environment with incompatibilities all over the place?

An ongoing process of development

Internally, some Microsoft employees refer to Windows 10 as “the last Windows.” Based on the company’s strategy of perpetual Windows builds, the concept of a single, fixed “release date” seems less and less important. According to Belfiore, Microsoft’s goal with Windows is to keep evolving: “adjust dynamically to the real world and to real people, and sometimes that’s subjective feedback, and sometimes it’s quantitative analysis, on how we build Windows, how we deploy it.”

“Think of a wave of benefits that starts in the summer, and increases through the fall,” Belfiore said.

Some Windows 10 features are, in fact, scheduled to ship after Windows 10 is officially released to the public. For example, the extensions support for the Edge browser won’t be available on the launch date, just “a little later,” Belfiore said. The Win32 apps that Microsoft will sell in the store (and will make available in a virtualized, sandboxed mode to prevent compatibility issues) will arrive a little later, too.

Gabe Aul, who oversees the Windows 10 Insider program, said that Microsoft has several directions—none of which have been finalized—in which the company could go as it continues developing Windows.

Windows 10 is basically following the example of Office, which has since morphed into the ongoing Office 365 subscription service and has an ongoing public roadmap of features that are being evaluated, tested, and deployed. Microsoft’s Windows 10 rollout has not been nearly as systematized: Aul simply communicates new features from various channels, including the Insider Feedback app, Microsoft’s user forums, Twitter, and elsewhere.

What seems clear, however, is that Microsoft is prepared to increase the pace of the builds on the so-called Fast Ring: once every two weeks, maybe even weekly. There could eventually even be daily Windows 10 builds, though that's more theoretical than likely.

An endless series of builds also brings up the issue of cost structure. At Build, executives said on stage that Windows will be a free upgrade “for the first year” for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, which implies you’ll be paying for these features at some point. But Microsoft hasn’t said how much, nor whether you’ll receive some sort of credit for helping the company essentially test out its software. According to Belfiore, 3.7 million people are now registered as Insiders, testing out the builds.

But as Microsoft continues to roll out new Windows builds, it looks increasingly clear that it’s not just “universal” Windows we’re talking about. It’s Windows forever.

Source: PCWorld

Ivy Corp UltraTek Security Cameras



Please click the Learn More button.

security camera


Monitor your home, or business, “Day or Night.” True motion detection “turn-on and record” for “current” or “future viewing.” May be set up via Wi-Fi using the Wi-Fi capable unit.

All information is on the site: left arrow

or call, Jim, 1-662-284-6724

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.


Source:Dietmar Gollnick's family holidays in Saxony. . . With a view of the Elbe River south to Bad Schandau and the Czech Republic. Photo shot from Lilienstein mountain.


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

FCC Proposes to Permit Amateur Access to 2200 and 630 Meters

ARRL Letter Issue 2015-04-30

Amateur Radio is poised to gain access to two new bands! The FCC has allocated a new LF band, 135.7 to 137.8 kHz, to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis. Allocation of the 2.1 kHz segment, known as 2200 meters, was in accordance with the Final Acts of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07). The Commission also has proposed a new secondary 630 meter MF allocation at 472 to 479 kHz to Amateur Radio, implementing decisions made at WRC-12. No Amateur Radio operation will be permitted in either band until the FCC determines, on the basis of comments, the specific Part 97 rules it must frame to permit operation in the new bands. Amateur Radio would share both allocations with unlicensed Part 15 power line carrier (PLC) systems operated by utilities to control the power grid, as well as with other users. In addition, the FCC has raised the secondary Amateur Service allocation at 1900 to 2000 kHz to primary, while providing for continued use by currently unlicensed commercial fishing vessels of radio buoys on the “open sea.”

The allocation changes, associated proposed rules, and suggested topics for comment are contained in a 257-page FCC Report and Order, Order, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing three dockets — ET-12-338, ET-15-99, and IB-06-123 — which affect various radio services in addition to the Amateur Service. The FCC released the document on April 27.

With respect to the new LF sliver band at 135.7-137.8 kHz, the FCC concluded that Amateur Radio and PLC systems can coexist there. “Since the Commission last considered this issue, amateurs have successfully operated in the band under experimental licenses without reported PLC interference,” the FCC said. In 2003, the FCC turned down an ARRL proposal to create a 135.7-137.8 kHz Amateur Radio allocation, after utilities raised fears of a clash between Amateur Radio and PLC systems operating below the AM broadcast band. This time, the FCC said, “It is clear that we will have to establish appropriate requirements for amateur use of the band, if we are to ensure compatibility with PLC systems.” WRC-07 set a maximum effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) limit of 1 W, which is what the FCC is proposing.

The FCC said it "explicitly" rejects the suggestion that it choose one use of the spectrum over the other. “Our objective is to allocate spectrum on a secondary basis to amateur stations in a manner . . . compatible with existing PLC systems,” the FCC said. “However, we also expect to permit amateur operators to make use of the allocation in a manner that is less burdensome and more productive than they are currently afforded under the experimental authorization process.”

The Commission said that if it concludes, after considering the record, that Amateur Radio and PLC systems cannot coexist, it would “defer the adoption of service rules, and amateur users will have to continue to use the experimental licensing process to operate in the band.”

With respect to the proposed 630 meter allocation, the FCC has proposed limiting amateur stations in the US to a maximum 5 W EIRP. The ARRL submitted a Petition for Rule Making in 2012, asking the FCC to allocate 472-479 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis and to amend the Part 97 rules to provide for its use. Several countries, including Canada, already have access to the band. The ARRL has pointed out that during its extensive course of experimentation in the spectrum around 500 kHz, no interference reports have been received.

The FCC said that the “cornerstone” of the technical rules it's proposing for both bands is “physical separation between amateur stations and the transmission lines” carrying PLC signals. “Such a separation, in conjunction with limits on the amateur stations' transmitted EIRP and antenna heights, will enable PLC systems and amateur stations to coexist in these bands,” the FCC asserted. “In addition, we propose to limit amateur stations to operations at fixed locations only, to ensure that this separation distance can be maintained reliably.”

The FCC said it wants to hear from both PLC system users and radio amateurs regarding technical requirements it would have to put into place to permit both users to operate comfortably and without compromising the PLC systems. The Commission suggested that other requirements might include limits on antenna heights, transmitter power limits, and operating privilege limits based on license class or mode. The ARRL will file comments in the proceeding.

The FCC will accept comments for 60 days following publication of the Report and Order, Order, and Notice of Proposed Rule Making in the Federal Register. Reply comments would be due 30 days after the comment deadline.

Source: ARRL Letter

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  
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

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

Formed in 2010, CAS brought together the resources and capabilities of two leading critical messaging solutions providers, UCOM™ and Teletouch™ Paging, along with lntego Systems™, a pioneer in next-generation nurse call systems. The result was an organization that represented more than 40 years of combined experience serving hospitals and healthcare providers.

CAS was created to be a single-source provider for hospitals and healthcare facilities in need of advanced nurse call and communications technologies.

Unlike our competitors, our product development process embraced the power of software from its inception. This enables us to design hardware-agnostic solutions focused on built-in integration, flexibility and advanced performance.


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovation in Nurse Call

Innovative, software-based nurse call solutions for acute and long-term care organizations.


Paging Solutions

The Most Reliable Paging Network

To this day, for critical messaging, nothing beats paging. It’s simply the best way to deliver a critical message.



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

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. 18April 29, 2015

Form 481 Filings On the Horizon

The FCC’s Form 481 is due annually on July 1 of each year, and requires eligible telecommunications carriers to report, among other things, outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable.

Clients are encouraged to begin gathering and sorting the data required well in advance of the deadline in order to ensure a smooth and timely filing.


BOC Seeks Comment on Role of Federal Government in Broadband Deployment

On April 29, the Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC) issued a Notice and Request for Comment in the Federal Register, inviting parties to “share their perspectives and recommend actions the federal government can take to promote broadband deployment adoption, and competition, including by identifying and removing regulatory barriers unduly impeding investments in broadband technology.” Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10. We are available to help our clients make their views known.

The Notice seeks comment on thirty questions relating to a variety of broadband deployment-related topics, such as addressing regulatory barriers to deployment and competition; promoting public and private investment; promoting adoption; issues relating to state, local, and tribal governments; issues related to “vulnerable communities” (such as veterans, seniors, minorities, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, or low-income individuals and families); and measuring broadband availability, adoption, and speeds.

The Notice specifically seeks comment on these questions regarding issues specific to rural areas:

  • What federal regulatory barriers can Executive Branch agencies alter to improve broadband access and adoption in rural areas?
  • Would spurring competition to offer broadband service in rural areas expand availability and, if so, what specific actions could Executive Branch agencies take in furtherance of this goal?
  • Because the predominant areas with limited or no broadband service tend to be rural, what specific provisions should Executive Branch agencies consider to facilitate broadband deployment and adoption in such rural areas?

As we reported in the March 25 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the BOC was established in a Presidential Memorandum signed March 23, with the purpose of carrying out the Federal policy of identifying and addressing regulatory barriers that may unduly impede either wired broadband deployment or the infrastructure to augment wireless broadband deployment; encouraging further public and private investment in broadband networks and services; promoting the adoption and meaningful use of broadband technology; and otherwise encouraging or supporting broadband deployment, competition, and adoption in ways that promote the public interest.

Ex Partes Filed on IntraMTA Traffic Issues; Court Prepares to Receive Motions to Dismiss

On April 20, NTCA, NECA, WTA and ERTA met with staff members of the Wireline Competition and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus to discuss the intraMTA wireless traffic issues currently at the center of approximately seventy lawsuits brought by Sprint and Verizon against local exchange carriers and consolidated in the Northern District of Texas. The associations expressed their continuing support for the Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by the LEC Coalition on the issues, and further reiterated that (a) the intraMTA rule was adopted to address traffic exchange arrangements between CMRS providers and LECs, and has focused upon such CMRS-LEC relationships without ever previously being extended or interpreted to include inter-exchange carriers (IXCs), and (b) even if they had been eligible to invoke the rule, Sprint and Verizon would not be entitled to its benefits because they failed to provide timely notices and information — an obligation known as the cooperation requirement. The associations also asked the FCC to declare that retroactive refunds or damages are not appropriate, given the absence of any prior indication that the intraMTA rule was intended or permitted to be invoked by IXCs.

The same day, the Coalition of LECs that originally filed the Petition for Declaratory Ruling also met with Wireline Competition Bureau staff to discuss the proceeding. According to the notice of ex parte, the Coalition noted that the record “overwhelmingly supports its position and confirms that granting the Petition, and the relief sought therein, would be consistent with longstanding industry practice, Commission and judicial precedent, and the public interest.” They also asserted that the only IXCs that have opposed the Petition (Sprint, Verizon, and Level 3) are those whose conduct and lawsuits necessitated the filing of the Petition in the first place, and that even those IXCs (i) do not dispute the core facts alleged in the Petition, (ii) cannot explain why they voluntarily paid access charges for years for purported intraMTA traffic in spite of their (newfound) contention that such charges are unlawful, (iii) fail to address the plain language and intent of the intraMTA rule, and (iv) mischaracterize the relevant Commission precedent and case law. As such, the Coalition argued, the FCC should promptly grant the Petition.

The outcome of the Petition will no doubt impact the proceeding in the Northern District of Texas. Initial Motions to Dismiss are due in that proceeding this Friday, May 1.

USTelecom Files Statement of Issues to Be Raised in Open Internet Appeal

On April 23, USTelecom, first out of the gate to file notice of petition for review of the FCC’s Open Internet Order, filed a Statement of Issues to be raised with the D.C. Circuit Court. The short filing presented four issues:

  • Whether the FCC’s reclassification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II violates the terms of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; or is based on an unreasonable interpretation of the statute, is arbitrary and capricious, or is otherwise contrary to law.
  • Whether the FCC’s assertion of authority over the terms on which broadband Internet access providers interconnect with other IP networks, and its classification of that interconnection as a common carrier telecommunications service under Title II violates the terms of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; or is based on an unreasonable interpretation of the statute, is arbitrary and capricious, or is otherwise contrary to law.
  • Whether the specific rules the FCC adopted, including but not limited to its Internet conduct standard, exceed the agency’s authority, are arbitrary and capricious, or otherwise contrary to law.
  • Whether the FCC, in classifying both broadband Internet access service and IP interconnection as telecommunications services subject to common carrier regulation under Title II, and in adopting specific rules pursuant to its assertions of authority over broadband Internet access service providers, violated the notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

We expect Statements of Issues will be filed by the other six petitioners in the coming days, and will raise much the same issues.

FCC Scrutinizes DISH Bid Credits; Verizon Presents “Extensive Evidence of Collusion”

An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, April 28 at B2 – online subscription required) speculates that the FCC may be looking to reject DISH Network’s plan to benefit from $3.3 billion in small business bidding credits in the recently-concluded AWS-3 auction (Auction 97). This raises a cloud of uncertainty about the status of post-auction long-form applications filed by small business Designated Entities (DEs) Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless, which are each owned 85% by DISH Network.

After more than two months of review, the FCC still has not yet accepted the Northstar and SNR long-form applications. “Acceptance for filing” of the long-form applications is significant because it triggers the requirement for applicants to submit 20% down payments on their winning bids. It also starts the clock for filing of petitions to deny the long-form applications. We expect that AT&T and Verizon, as DISH’s largest competitors, have a strong incentive to file challenges against the DISH DEs. Winning bidders are required to pay the balance of their winning bids (80%) two weeks after the initial down payment deadline. In recent weeks, the FCC has completed its processing of long-form applications and granted AWS-3 licenses to companies whose applications did not involve DE eligibility and that did not otherwise raise any legal issues. We expect that most of the remaining AWS-3 long form applications could also be granted in the coming weeks.

But rather than taking aim at the alleged “passive” role of DISH in ownership structure of Northstar and SNR Wireless, a charge that could potentially draw into question DE structures that Verizon and AT&T have each used in the past, a recent ex parte filing by Verizon presents the FCC with findings from a former FCC Chief Economist who concludes that “the auction data reveal extensive evidence of collusion by DISH, Northstar and SNR,” in violation of antitrust law and the Commission’s policies and rules. Among Verizon’s specific accusations against DISH are “suppression of rivalry” (because frequent bidding by DISH and its DEs for the same licenses created the false impression that multiple other bidders were interested in those licenses), “distortion of information available to other bidders,” “allocation of markets,” “acceptance of random assignments” (Northstar and SNR “accepting” the FCC’s random assignment of a winning bidder when there were identical bids without further competition against one another), and “DISH’s handoff of licenses to its DEs” which allowed DISH to withdraw from the auction early, without any risk of withdrawn bids and without penalty.

As our clients may recall, Northstar and SNR together had $13.3 billion in gross high bids and helped to push total proceeds for the AWS-3 auction, which ended on January 29th, to a record $44.9 billion. The DISH DEs together won 324 unpaired and 378 paired licenses. By comparison, AT&T paid $18.2 billion for 251 paired licenses and Verizon paid $10 billion for 181 paired licenses.

According to analysts at Jefferies and New Street Research, the paired spectrum in the auction (1755-1780 MHz for uplink operations and 2155-2180 MHz for downlink) sold for an average of $2.71 per MHz-POP, well above what analysts had expected before the auction began Nov. 13. The uplink spectrum, the 1695-1710 MHz band, on average sold for much less at an average of 52 cents per MHz-POP.

Following the auction, the FCC boasted that the funds raised from auctioning the 65 MHz of spectrum would be used for the following:

  • $7 billion to fund the Nation’s first nationwide broadband public safety network;
  • $300 million for public safety communications research;
  • $115 million in grants for 911, E911, and NextGen 911 implementation;
  • More than $20 billion for deficit reduction; and
  • Funding for relocating Federal systems.

However, within days of the auction closing, allegations of misconduct by DISH and its DEs became the order of the day. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a strongly worded statement condemning DISH’s “abuse” of the DE program, and calling for an investigation into DISH’s “multi-billion dollar subsidiaries.” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler then instructed the Commission’s closely scrutinize the ownership structure of Northstar and SNR, and the alleged coordinated bidding by the companies in conjunction with DISH.

DISH has consistently disagreed with these allegations and issued a statement asserting confidence in the Company’s compliance with the DE rules.

“The DE program has been successful in providing much smaller entities the ability to access stronger capital structures, which has facilitated their meaningful participation in an auction process from which they would otherwise be precluded,” wrote DISH. “Our approach — publicly disclosed ahead of the auction — was based on DE investment structures that have been approved by the FCC in past wireless spectrum auctions, including structures used by AT&T and Verizon.”

Despite these serious questions and allegations, we believe the FCC is unlikely to deny Northstar and SNR’s applications outright, since this would require the Commission to reject billions of dollars from the DISH DEs that the Commission and Congress have already “spent.” This could also throw into question the results of bidding for the other AWS-3 licenses that have already been granted. The FCC may also conclude that DISH and its DEs have violated anti-collusion rules and/or anti-trust law. While this could reflect on whether the DISH-backed DEs possess the minimum character required to hold the AWS-3 licenses, the more likely outcome may be for the Commission to issue fines and/or strip the DISH DEs of their $3.3 billion in bid credits( perhaps on the basis that DISH’s “control” over bidding by Northstar and SNR was in excess of what the rules allow for a passive investor in a DE). This would effectively “penalize” DISH for its alleged misconduct, while allowing the US Treasury to hold onto its record haul. We expect to see the FCC use the current DE rulemaking to “fix” the DISH problem going forward.

FirstNet Seeks Comment on Draft RFP for Participation in Public Safety Network

FirstNet has issued a Special Notice seeking public comment on “draft” portions of the Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be issued later this year, seeking private sector partners in the construction, operation and use of the National Public Safety Broadband Network. Comments on the draft RFP are due by Noon on July 27, 2015 . Any questions about the terms of the RFP must be submitted by May 27 . The draft RFP should be of interest to many of our clients: Telecommunications carriers that wish to partner by providing infrastructure or services to FirstNet as a way to help it complete the network; Public safety agencies and private sector entities wishing to have access to the National Public Safety Broadband Network; and other contractors that may be able to furnish equipment and/or services useful to FirstNet.

Clients must be careful to closely follow the RFP comment procedures, as strict government procurement law restrictions apply to certain aspects of the RFP process. We will be glad to help clients formulate and submit comments or questions.

Of importance to our rural telco clients, FirstNet proposes critical tenets of an approach that will provide for either: (1) a single entity responsible for providing all functions on a nationwide level, or (2) a regional entity providing radio access network (RAN), and Covered Leasing Agreement (CLA) applicable functions for a state or region. Unfortunately, FirstNet proposes that the region size may be no smaller than a single state or territory, and may span more than one state or territory. This would make it difficult for RLECs to participate in FirstNet, since they generally do not have a statewide service area. The current comment cycle would appear to represent the only remaining chance for RLECs to persuade FirstNet to re-think this approach.

The Special Notice provides extensive information, including proposals relating to the following “high level functions”:

  • Core
  • Applications ecosystem
  • RAN
  • Covered Leasing Agreement (CLA)
  • Deployables
  • Satellite
  • Devices
  • Subscriber adoption
  • Customer lifecycle management
  • Proposed pricing arrangements
  • Performance obligations and deadlines
  • Quality assurance monitoring

In addition to comments and/or questions, interested parties may submit a “capabilities statement” to the FirstNet Contracting Officer, based on the nationwide and statewide approaches described in the Special Notice. The capabilities statement should provide information pertaining to coverage, capacity, network “hardening”, as well as potential methods to leverage existing and new third-party roaming, infrastructure and other arrangements. Such statements are likewise due July 27.

Partnering on a smaller scale: As a “courtesy”, FirstNet will compile a list of those entities that are interested in subcontracting and partnering opportunities with other potential bidders ( i.e., nationwide or statewide entities). Interested parties must submit the business name and size, point of contact (name, e-mail address, phone number, etc.) to the Contracting Officer via email as instructed in the Special Notice. This information will be made available to all potential bidders via posting through the FirstNet website at . It is not required to be listed on the source list in order to submit a proposal to any resultant RFP. This is optional and solely intended to be an avenue to facilitate potential subcontracting and partnering opportunities and FirstNet accepts no liability for any resulting outcomes. This partnering “clearinghouse” may help some of our smaller clients make contacts that could lead to some form of scaled down participation in FirstNet. However, this approach will be dependent on finding willing nationwide or statewide partners.

Law & Regulation

Price Cap Carriers Offered $1.675 Billion Annually for Phase II Connect America Support

As announced in a Public Notice, the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) has adopted the Connect America Cost Model (CAM v4.3) as its final model for purposes of making an offer of support to price cap carriers for the deployment of voice and broadband-capable networks in their service territories and it has offered $1.675 billion annually, for six calendar years (2015-2020) in Phase II support to price cap carriers. CAM v4.3 incorporates the results of the Phase II challenge process and other FCC decisions (such as removing census blocks with provisionally selected bids in the rural broadband experiments and census blocks served by subsidized providers offering service at speeds of 4 Mbps downstream/1Mbps upstream or above).

The Phase II support offered to price cap carriers will provide ongoing support for networks that can deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. Phase II support is targeted to census blocks where the cost of providing service as determined by the model exceeds $52.50 a month and that are not served by unsubsidized competitors offering service at speeds of at least 4 Mbps downloads/1Mbps uploads. The WCB's Public Notice provides information regarding the amount of support offered to each price cap carrier. The final model results are available at . A list of eligible census blocks is available at . WCB states that a map showing the areas eligible for the offer of support will be available on the Commission’s web page soon.

Carriers have until August 27, 2015 (120 days) to decide whether to accept the offers on a state-by-state basis. Carriers electing Phase II support will receive the full amount of Phase II support for 2015. Carriers receiving support must build out broadband to 40% of funded locations by the end of 2017, 60% by the end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020. In those states where the price cap carrier declines the offer of support, support recipients will be determined in the Phase II competitive bidding process. Once it has reviewed the acceptance letters from price cap carriers, the WCB will issue a Public Notice authorizing the Universal Service Administrative Company to disburse funds.

According to the FCC the funding offered to price cap carriers today “represents a 71% increase from the current funding for these areas, but is accomplished without increasing the size of the Universal Service Fund or increasing ratepayer fees.”

GAO Recommends FCC Conduct Lifeline Program Evaluation, Commissioner O’Rielly Agrees

On April 23, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled the FCC Should Evaluate the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Lifeline Program . In the report, the GAO found that although the FCC has made progress in implementing Lifeline Reforms, it has not evaluated the program’s effectiveness. According to the report, the FCC attributes improvements in the level of low-income households’ subscribing to telephone service over the past years to Lifeline, but other factors, such as lower prices, may play a role. The GAO recognized that FCC officials believe Lifeline’s structure makes evaluation difficult, but also noted that academic studies suggest that many low-income households would subscribe to telephone service without Lifeline. The GAO noted that it has found program evaluation can help agencies understand whether a program is actually addressing an intended problem, and therefore recommended such an evaluation for Lifeline.

The GAO also found that the usefulness of information FCC gathered through its Lifeline broadband pilot program may be limited due to the lack of an evaluation plan and other challenges. Noting the lower-than-expected enrollment statistics, the GAO noted that the FCC did not survey consumers and does not know why eligible households did not enroll.

Commissioner O’Rielly released a statement on the report on April 23, 2015, saying the report raises significant and fundamental concerns regarding the Lifeline program, and asserted the current program is “inefficient, costly, and in serious need of review.”

Updated PSAP Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry Now Available

The FCC has announced availability of an update to its “Text-to-911 Registry” listing those PSAPs nationwide that are ready to receive text-to-911 messages, and providing notice to CMRS providers and other providers of interconnected text messaging services of the notice date of PSAP readiness. The Registry is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet and is available via the FCC’s web site at: .

The Text-to-911 Registry lists each PSAP by FCC PSAP ID and name, the county of operation, the primary point of contact for coordinating text-to-911 service, the method by which the PSAP will accept texts, and the state or local governing entity authorizing the PSAP to accept texts.

Under the FCC’s text-to-911 rules, covered text providers must begin routing 911 text messages to requesting PSAPs by June 30, 2015, or within six months of a valid PSAP request, whichever is later. To constitute a “valid PSAP request,” (1) the PSAP must certify that it is technically ready to receive 911 text messages in the format requested; (2) the appropriate local or State 911 service governing authority must have authorized the PSAP to accept and, by extension, the covered text provider to provide, text-to-911 service; and (3) the requesting PSAP must notify the covered text provider that it is both technically ready to receive 911 text messages and has been authorized to accept such messages.

We would normally expect that PSAPs will contact and work with CMRS and covered text providers on a proactive basis as they implement text-to-911 capability. However, since the Commission has held that registration in the database is one way that PSAPs may trigger text-to-911 obligations, our clients who are covered text providers should periodically review the registry to learn about text-readiness of PSAPs in their service areas and reach out to these PSAPs as necessary to coordinate implementation of text-to-911 service. The Commission issues regular updates to the Text-to-911 Registry, so our clients may want to bookmark the registry web page and check back on a regular ( e.g., monthly) basis for any changes.


Verizon to Pursue Software Defined Architecture

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Verizon has announced that it planned to transform all of its networks — both wireless and wireline — to a software-defined network (SDN) architecture. SDN is a new approach to designing, building and managing communications networks by leveraging a centralized controller and orchestrator to program network flows.

“This SDN-based architecture is designed to introduce new operational efficiencies and allow for the enablement of rapid and flexible service delivery to Verizon's customers,” wrote Verizon.

AT&T made a similar announcement regarding its implementation of SDN and Network Function Visualization (NFV) back in February of 2014.

To enable its network vision, Verizon and its technology vendors (including Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia Networks) have co-authored a comprehensive SDN network architecture document, which includes all interface specifications and reference architectures plus requirements for both the control layer and forwarding box functions. This network architecture document will enable Verizon’s key technology partners to develop solutions to achieve the business and technical benefits of an SDN-enabled network.

We are not aware of any timetables announced by Verizon, but a web site Q&A explains what SDN is, and what it means for the company’s enterprise clients. AT&T also has a web site that describes its vision for a next-generation software-centric network.

Comcast Officially Withdraws from Time Warner Cable Merger

Late last week, Comcast officially announced that it has withdrawn from its long-pending merger with Timer Warner Cable — a $45 billion deal — in the face of government opposition.

“Today, we move on,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away.”

Following the announcement, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — who had expressed serious concerns that the merger risks outweighed the benefits to the public interest — said, “Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s decision to end Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is in the best interests of consumers. The proposed transaction would have created a company with the most broadband and video subscribers in the nation alongside the ownership of significant programming interests.”

The Department of Justice had also concluded that there was no cure to the anti-competitive risks presented by the merger, according to a department official speaking to CNN , and as evidenced by the fact that attorney general Eric Holder had given the go-ahead earlier this month to file suit to block the merger.

CNN further reported that Charter Communications, which previously pursued Time Warner, is said to be interested once again, though the company has declined to comment.

Google Announces “Google Fi” Wireless Phone Service

As last week’s edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update went to press, internet search giant Google announced Project Fi, an innovative new service that relies on MVNO for LTE using Sprint and T-Mobile coverage and seamless roaming to open Wi-Fi networks. Data will be routed through a Google VPN to keep it secure.

Routing via Wi-Fi is nothing new — Republic Wireless has been doing this for years — but using two commercial wireless networks for LTE connectivity (choosing the network based on whose network is stronger) is Google's way of turning Sprint and T-Mobile into “dumb pipe.”

Pricing is a flat $10 per GB for data. $10 for 1GB, $20 for 2GB, $30 for 3GB and so on, with no annual contract required. Sign up for 3GB and only use 2GB? You are credited $10 on your next bill. Tethering is permitted, and all Wi-Fi data is free.

The service isn't for everyone, and heavy data users who rely on the LTE network for coverage may find it cheaper to go with a traditional unlimited plan. It's really more of a “proof of concept” than an aggressive move into the wireless space by Google. We anticipate that the service could eventually morph over to use TV whitespace spectrum and rely even less on nationwide carriers to provide the underlying coverage. It will be interesting to see how major wireless carriers respond.

Google is accepting signups now, but the catch is that early-stage customers can only use one device — a Google Nexus 6 — because Google's own device is currently the only one that has the right radios and that has been tested for use with the special Fi SIM card.


MAY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its recent decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual form (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.

JUNE 1: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. However, because May 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due on June 1. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on June 1. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.

JULY 1: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired.

JULY 1: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the Commission an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the Commission’s rules.

JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2014. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2015); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2015), and March 31, 2016, for lines served as of September 30, 2015).

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

Calendar At A Glance

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 11 – Deadline to submit revisions to Alternative Connect America Cost Model map.
May 18 – Short Form Tariff Review Plan is due.
May 27 – Questions on terms in the FirstNet RFP are due.
May 29 – Comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.

Jun. 1 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.
Jun. 5 – Reply comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.
Jun. 10 – Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern on the Broadband Opportunity Council Notice and Request.
Jun. 16 – Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice due by noon Eastern Time.

Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 27 – Comments are due on FirstNet Draft RFP.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

BloostonLaw Private Users UpdateVol. 16, No. 4April 2015

FCC Creates Citizens Broadband Radio Service, Folds Existing 3.65 to 3.7 GHz Band into Rules

The FCC has released its Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which adopted rules for a newly created Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). As part of this action, the FCC folded the existing commercial 3.65-3.7 GHz band into the CBRS to create 150 MHz of contiguous spectrum, from 3.55 through 3.7 GHz, for the provision of mobile broadband and other commercial services. The FCC believes that its action will be a significant step to meeting its ultimate nationwide goal for 500 MHz of broadband spectrum.

The FCC has created a federal/non-federal three tiered sharing framework for CBRS. Incumbent users will be located in a protected tier that will provide interference protection from other users in the CBRS. These protected users will include Department of Defense radar installations operating in the 3.55-3.65 GHz band, Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) facilities and, as discussed below, grandfathered terrestrial wireless operations in the 3.65-3.7 GHz band. The CBRS itself will consist of two tiers – Priority Access and General Authorized Access. Users in these tiers may be authorized at any given location and on any frequency within the 3.55-3.7 GHz band by a Spectrum Access System (SAS). It is important to note users in the Priority Access Tier will be entitled to protection from operations in the General Authorized Access Tier, while users in the General Authorized Access Tier will not be entitled to protection from interference from other CBRS users. Priority Access Licensees (“PALs”) will be authorized to operate a 10 MHz channel in a single census tract for three years and will be assigned up to 70 MHz of the 3.55-3.65 GHz band, while General Authorized Access use will be permitted throughout the entire 150 MHz of the 3.55-3.7 GHz band (subject to protecting PALs from interference). Additionally, the General Authorized Access (GAA) Tier will allow any user with an FCC certified device to operate without any further FCC approval, while the Priority Access Tier will make spectrum available on a geographic basis through the auction process to the extent that there are mutually exclusive applications.

Grandfathering of Existing 3.65-3.7 GHz Licensees

Numerous licensees, including many of our clients, already operate in the 3.65-3.7 GHz band pursuant to the registration system created by the FCC. To accommodate these licensees, the FCC has created a two tiered grandfathering schedule, depending upon when the underlying 3.65-3.7 GHz service license was issued. For those licenses issued prior to January 8, 2013 (the date that the FCC published its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register), licensees will have the longer of the remaining license term or until April 17, 2020 ( i.e., 5 years from the Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was adopted). For those licenses issued after January 8, 2013, the grandfathering period will be limited to 5 years or until April 17, 2020. This is because the FCC has concluded that these licensees were on notice that the 3.65 – 3.7 GHz band could be folded into the CBRS. In order to protect incumbent 3.65 – 3.7 GHz licensees, the FCC has taken the following steps:

  1. Restrict Priority Access use from the 3.65-3.7 GHz band so that this portion of the band will still be available on a non-exclusive basis to the former Part 90 incumbents;
  2. The technical rules will accommodate existing 3.65-3.7 GHz deployments, and increase technical flexibility in rural areas;
  3. Exempt equipment deployed pursuant to Part 90 of the FCC’s rules from the FCC’s band-wide operability rule, in order to prevent the need for retrofitting or abandonment of legacy equipment; and
  4. Defining a Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD) in a flexible manner in order to encompass a “network” of base stations, so that legacy equipment can interact with the SAS at a relatively low cost (since most licensees are utilizing WiMAX technology).

The FCC concluded that there are a few highly technical areas where additional record development would provide beneficial clarity or consensus to shape some specific parts of the rules. In the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission offers focused proposals for further comment. The FCC is encouraging commenters to “work with other stakeholders to narrow points of difference.” Among the topics on which further comment is sought:

  • When Priority Access rights have not been issued ( e.g., due to lack of demand) or the spectrum is not actually in use by a Priority Access licensee, the SAS will automatically make that spectrum available for GAA use on a local and granular basis. The FCC wants input on how to implement this “use-it-or-share-it” rule. In particular, when is spectrum being “used” by a PAL and therefore protected?
    • Some have advocated an engineering approach, in essence defining a protected contour or power on the part of the PAL, and requiring any general users to honor that. The FCC is concerned that this approach can be gamed by deploying low cost license saver transmitters to prevent GAA use.
    • An alternative approach presented in the record is to define “use” from an economic perspective for the purposes of determining GAA access to PAL spectrum. This includes a proposal by MIT economist William Lehr to allow PALs to make a down payment on their exclusive license, and pay the balance only when they go to force general users off of the spectrum. This would allow auction winners to delay payment of part of their purchase price, giving them an incentive to work with GAAs for some period of time. The FCC seeks comment on this or other ideas, and how spectrum hoarding can be avoided.
    • The Commission also seeks comment on any hybrid proposals that combine aspects of the engineering and economic approaches. For example, Federated Wireless suggests that PALs should pay a “nominal usage fee for those periods that the spectrum [is] actively needed.” Federated maintains that such a usage fee would incentivize Priority Access licensees to only reserve spectrum that they intend to use.
  • The FCC also seeks further comment regarding partitioning and disaggregation of priority access licenses. The Commission’s initial view is to prohibit such further segmentation of PALs given their relatively small size (census tracts) and limited duration (three years) as well as the availability of significant GAA spectrum in all license areas. Some commenters, however, urge the Commission to allow full partitioning and disaggregation of PALs, just as is allowed for other auction licenses.
    • The FCC also seeks comment on the application of spectrum aggregation limits to PAL licensees. Should the FCC use the attribution standard applied in its existing rules to transactions involving mobile wireless licenses for commercial use? How should spectrum aggregation limits be applied in the context of the initial licensing of PALs?
  • The FCC asks for comments on how to implement standards for protecting existing FSS operations.

Comments in connection with the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be due 30 days following publication in the Federal Register while Reply Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. To the extent that clients may be dissatisfied with the FCC’s action, Petitions for Reconsideration will be due 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.

FCC Issues Reminder that Certain Fishing Vessels and Small Passenger Vessels Must Upgrade to VHF Digital Selective Calling by January 20, 2016

The FCC has released a Public Notice reminder that owners and operators of certain vessels will be required to upgrade to VHF radiotelephone equipment that includes digital selective calling (DSC) capability by January 20, 2016. Currently, fishing and small passenger vessels must be equipped with VHF radiotelephone installations — which must be DSC capable on year following notification from the US Coast Card that shore-based Sea Area A1 Coverage has been established.

On January 15, 2015, the US Coast Guard notified the FCC that it had published a notice in the Federal Register which declared a Sea Area 1 within 20 nautical miles seaward of the territorial baseline along the East, West, and Gulf coasts of the United States (excluding Alaska, but including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States and the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota). As a result of this notice, fishing vessels and small passenger vessels operating in those waters must upgrade their radio installations in include VHF — DSC equipment no later than January 20, 2016.

FCC Enforcement Bureau Signals Intent to Crack Down Even as It Reduces Force

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has indicated that it will be undergoing a significant streamlining — including a substantial reduction in field office personnel — in an effort to reduce the enforcement budget by millions of dollars. However, even as this scaling back of resources is being implemented, the Bureau has promised that enforcement efforts will be vigorous; and that it will still be able to respond to interference and other problems in 80% of the country within “a matter of hours”. Bill Davenport, Deputy Bureau Chief, indicated on Monday that the FCC will target interference, continuous operation on channels and 911 violations as a starting point. For our private user clients operating on shared channels ( i.e., the vast majority of Part 90 private land mobile licensees), you must monitor before communicating, and take steps to keep communications to the minimum time necessary.

While regulated entities may think that any reduction in enforcement resources will make compliance with FCC rules less important, the unfortunate outcome of this cut back is pressure on the FCC to deal very harshly with any violations coming to its attention. And small carriers and licensees are the easiest targets when looking to make an example that will hopefully scare larger regulatees into compliance.

FCC Extends 700 MHz Public Safety Regional Planning Committee Deadline to October 30, 2015

Last year, the FCC directed the 700 MHz Regional Planning Committees to amend their regional plans in order to conform those plans to rules that had been adopted in its October, 24, 2014 Report and Order. The FCC provided that these planning committees would have six months following the date that the Report and Order had been published in the Federal Register (or until June 2,2015).

The National Regional Planning Council filed a request for extension of time in which it concluded that the six-month period was insufficient — especially since the FCC did not release its Public Notice seeking comment on recommended nationwide channels for deployable trunked systems in the narrowband policy segment of the 700 MHz band. The National Regional Planning Council stated that absent the information in the Public Notice, the 700 MHz Regional Planning Committees would not be able to “begin to determine whether they will modify their plans accordingly and how they not only will plan to utilize the 700 MHz Nationwide Deployable Channels but also the remaining former Reserve channels that have been converted to General Use and the use of which is required to be reflected in the proposed 700 MHz plan modification.”

While the purpose of the six month deadline was to facilitate the licensing of the former 700 MHz reserve spectrum in order to meet a various regional, state and local public safety needs, the FCC’s October Report and Or der also provided that in the event that any of the Regional Planning Committees failed to amend its respective regional plan within the six month period to include channels for deployable trunked systems, the channels would automatically revert to General Use without further action by the FCC. Because some of the Regional Planning Committees might not be able to meet the deadline for filing their amended regional plans, the FCC concluded that the National Regional Planning Council had justified its request — but only through October 30, 2015.

Congress Looks to Expand Amount of 5 GHz Spectrum Available for Unlicensed Use

In an effort to increase the amount of unlicensed spectrum that is available for consumers, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders this week announced that they would initiate meetings with the FCC, NTIA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to discuss the feasibility of making additional spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band ( i.e., 5850-5925 MHz) available for unlicensed use. This follows legislation introduced last February – bills S.424 in the Senate and H.R.821 in the House — directing the FCC and NTIA to evaluate technologies that will facilitate sharing of the 5.9 GHz band.

“Whether for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or the countless uses we have not yet dreamed of, unlicensed spectrum has been a source of tremendous innovation that drives our Internet economy,” said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA).

The planned discussions will examine the FCC and administration’s efforts to safely increase unlicensed access to the 5.9 GHz band without harming the existing work being done on the use of Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) as a way to improve auto safety through Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). By way of background, in 2003, the FCC allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band to be used by ITS vehicle safety and mobility applications. The DOT believes that DSRC vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications will require access to dedicated wireless spectrum to ensure reliable communications with minimal interference in all types of weather conditions. Allowing the 5.9 GHz band to be used by consumers (an idea which has long been championed by the cable industry) is therefore likely to be opposed by DSRC and ITS proponents.

A statement from FCC Commissioners Mike O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel praised the Committee’s efforts to expand access to the 5.9 MHz band and suggests that at least two FCC Commissioners believe that ITS and consumer use of the band can coexist.

“More than a decade and a half after this spectrum was set aside for vehicle and roadside systems, we agree it is time to take a modern look at the possibilities for wireless services in these airwaves, to allow a broader range of uses,” said the Commissioners in a joint statement. “We believe by taking steps right now, we can support automobile safety, increase spectrum for Wi-Fi, and grow our wireless economy.”

FCC Proposes to Keep Archived Amateur Radio Address Data Confidential

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Docket 15-81 to keep historical amateur radio license address information confidential and not available for routine public inspection. Comments in this proceeding will be due June 16, 2015 and Reply Comments will be due July 16, 2015.

Up and until now, the FCC has treated amateur radio service license data similar to that of other radio services which has resulted in licensee name and address data being preserved in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) after a license has either expired or been cancelled or otherwise terminated.
Over the years, the FCC has periodically received requests from amateur radio licensees to remove their address information from public view in ULS. Even though these requests have been based upon a concern to protect personal safety, protect privacy or prevent identify theft, the FCC has not been in a position to grant these requests due to the nature of its rules. In this regard, the FCC has noted that its rules do not require amateur radio service licensees and applicants to provide home mailing addresses. Rather, amateur radio service application applicants and licensees may use P.O. Boxes, business addresses, as well as an address of a friend or relative if there is a concern about listing a home mailing address.

The FCC is seeking comment on its tentative conclusion whether historical address information in the amateur radio service would undermine the public’s right to be informed about who is licensed or who is seeking to be licensed. Additionally, the FCC is also questioning whether current address information should be removed from public view in ULS. In this regard, the FCC notes that there could be circumstances where one licensee in the amateur radio service could have a need to contact another licensee – and therefore would need the full mailing address as opposed to a partial address that might include only a street name but not a city, state and zip code or only include a city, state and zip code — much like the public side of the Virginia Courts database.

Unlike other wireless services, the amateur service is restricted to individuals for non-commercial uses. As a result, the FCC is also seeking comment as to whether or not individual licensed in the General Mobile Radio Service, the Part 80 ship station service or the Part 87 aircraft station service should be treated in a similar manner. In seeking comment, the FCC notes that while individual licensees could have similar privacy concerns, many of these licenses are used for commercial purposes.

Interested clients should contact our office as soon as possible. Comments in this proceeding are due June 16, 2015 while Reply Comments are due July 16, 2015.

FCC Denies Alligator Communications Request for Extension of Time to Construct 14 MAS Stations

The FCC has denied a request for rule waiver and extension filed by Alligator Communications, Inc. of the first build-out requirement for 14 Multiple Address System (MAS) licenses. As a result of this denial, Alligator’s authorization to construct and operate 14 MAS geographic licenses is deemed to have automatically cancelled as of October 12, 2010 — which was the original construction deadline.

In Auction 59, Alligator won 34 MAS licenses — which were granted on October 12, 2005. Under the FCC’s Rules, Alligator had five years (or until October 12, 2010) to either provide service to at least one-fifth of the population within its licensed service area or demonstrate that it was providing “substantial service.” While Alligator was able to demonstrate compliance with the FCC’s construction requirements for the majority of its licenses, it filed requests for waiver and applications for a two-year extension of time with respect to 14 of the licenses. In justifying its rule waiver and extension request, Alligator argued that the extensions would allow it to continue development and implementation of Shared Use Repeater Stations (SURS), which it said would allow a more efficient use of the MAS spectrum. Additionally, Alligator also stated that there was a “lack of a developed market for MAS” and a general economic downturn at the time that contributed to the lack of a buildout for these stations.

Based upon Alligator’s claims, the FCC concluded that it had neither justified a rule waiver or an extension of time within which to complete construction. This is because Alligator’s inability to complete construction was due to reasons that were solely within Alligator’s control as opposed to an involuntary loss of a transmitter site or other causes beyond its control. The FCC’s rules prohibit the granting of an extension that is based solely on a failure to obtain financing for the project, a failure to secure a transmitter site, a failure to order equipment in a timely manner or as the result of a planned or completed transfer of the license.

While Alligator argued that there were three factors which justified its extension request, the FCC has consistently held that business decisions are not circumstances beyond the licensees control — and therefore do not provide an adequate justification for an extension of a construction period.

It is critically important that office clients treat all construction deadlines seriously and take steps to meet construction deadlines, even if it means using alternative technologies on an interim basis to provide service over the system. We recommend that you call us as soon as possible should you find yourself in a situation where it appears that you may not be able to meet a construction deadline so that we can evaluate alternate courses of action.

FCC Grants Waiver to Accept Late-Filed Construction Notification for Washington, DC

The District of Columbia’s Office of Unified Communications (the District or OUC) requested a waiver of the FCC’s Rules to permit the acceptance of its late-filed interim “substantial service” build out notification with respect to its state-wide 700 MHz license. Under the FCC’s Rules, District was required to certify that it was either providing or prepared to provide substantial service to at least one-third of the population or territory by June 13, 2014, the five-year interim benchmark.

On January 15, 2015, the District filed its interim substantial service certification. In its request for waiver, the District stated that it missed the filing deadline because an employee who was “transitioning” from the Office of Unified Communications failed to alert management of the impending filing deadline. Nonetheless, the OUC states that the District met the substantial service bench mark several months prior to the June 13, 2014 deadline. According to the OUC, the District installed a Project 25 radio system that used 24 state frequencies in the 700 MHz band and which provide coverage to 100 percent of the District’s population. Additionally, OUC stated that it had programmed these frequencies in over 4,800 radios that are used by the Metropolitan Police Department.

In granting the District’s waiver request, the FCC noted that the “underlying purpose of the substantial service requirement is to ensure efficient use of state channels including service to ‘rural, remote and insular areas.’” Additionally, Rule Section 90.529(c) states that a licensee will be deemed to be prepared to provide substantial service if it certifies that the radio system has been approved and funded by the deadline — which in this case, was June 13, 2014. As a result, the FCC found that the District met its substantial service obligation because it had programmed the 24 channels into the Metropolitan Police Department radios which covered 100 percent of the District’s population.

In taking its action on the District’s waiver request, the FCC emphasized that the purpose of the construction notification process is to verify construction and not to terminate authorizations where licensed facilities have been properly constructed on a timely basis.

FCC Fines Pirate Station Operations – Issues Warnings

Over the past month, the FCC has fined two individuals and issued warnings to others for unlicensed operation as a result of what is known as pirate station operations — which essentially, are unlicensed station operations. Typically, pirate station operators operate in the FM broadcast band and broadcast music and other programming. However, it is important to note that any unlicensed operation can be considered a pirate operation because of the potential for harmful interference to other licensed radio operations.

Jose Alejandro Aguilar

In the first case, the FCC imposed substantial fine in the amount of $15,000 against Mr. Aguilar for continuing to operate a pirate station in Louisville, Kentucky after being warned by the FCC that pirate operations were illegal. Because Mr. Aguilar failed to respond to the Notice of Apparent Liability, the FCC affirmed the proposed fine.

Luis Angel Ayora

In the case of Mr. Ayora, the FCC has proposed a fine in the amount of $20,000 for operation of a pirate FM radio station in Queens, New York. Like the Aguilar case above, Mr. Ayora continued his illegal unlicensed radio operations despite being warned several times by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. As a result, the FCC has proposed a significant financial penalty against Mr. Ayora due to his deliberate disregard for the FCC rules and authority.

Over the course of a year, the FCC investigated two instances where Mr. Ayora was apparently operating an FM broadcast transmitter on the frequency 91.9 MHz at various apartment buildings. In each instant, Mr. Ayora operated at a power greater than what would be allowed for unlicensed operation, and in each case, Mr. Ayora was warned that continued operation would subject him to substantial fines. Despite these warnings, Mr. Ayora continued his illegal operations in violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act and failed to respond to the FCC’s correspondence.

In proposing the $20,000 fine, the FCC noted that it had the statutory authority to assess a fine of up to $16,000 for each day that Mr. Ayora operated his pirate station — up to a maximum of $122,500. While the FCC could have imposed a far greater fine in this case, it is required to take various factors into consideration — including: the nature, extent and gravity of the violation, and with respect to the violator — the degree of culpability, history of prior violations and ability to pay.

In Mr. Ayora’s case, the FCC stated that the base amount of the fine for operation of a radio station without a license is $10,000. Nonetheless, the FCC doubled the fine because, despite being warned several times, Mr. Ayora’s continued his illegal pirate station operations.

Other Investigations and Warnings

The FCC’s Field Offices continue to investigate interference complaints — whether It interference against broadcast operations, public safety communications, industrial licensees or even federal government users. These sorts of complaints are taken very seriously by the FCC. It is important to note that unlicensed operations can be the result of malicious acts as well as inadvertent oversights such as failing to renew your license in a timely manner or operating on an incorrect frequency. We recommend that you evaluate your radio operations on a periodic basis in order to ensure that your operations are consistent with your license.

Even though the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has indicated that it will be undergoing a significant reorganization, the Bureau’s Deputy Chief has made it clear that its enforcement capabilities will not be curtailed. As a result, office clients should still assume that they could be the subject of an inspection at any time by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau — especially if there is an unresolved interference complaint. Should you find yourself subject to scrutiny by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, please contact us as soon as possible. Additionally, if you are directed to take action with respect to your radio operations, e.g., shutting down a transmitter or participating in a test, please cooperate with the FCC’s field agents and contact our office as soon as possible. In our experience, the FCC’s field agents have been more understanding with licensees who cooperate and work to resolve interference issues.

Updated PSAP Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry Now Available

The FCC has announced availability of an update to its “Text-to-911 Registry” listing those PSAPs nationwide that are ready to receive text-to-911 messages, and providing notice to CMRS providers and other providers of interconnected text messaging services of the notice date of PSAP readiness. The Registry is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet and is available via the FCC’s web site at: .

The Text-to-911 Registry lists each PSAP by FCC PSAP ID and name, the county of operation, the primary point of contact for coordinating text-to-911 service, the method by which the PSAP will accept texts, and the state or local governing entity authorizing the PSAP to accept texts.

Under the FCC’s text-to-911 rules, covered text providers must begin routing 911 text messages to requesting PSAPs by June 30, 2015, or within six months of a valid PSAP request, whichever is later. To constitute a “valid PSAP request,” (1) the PSAP must certify that it is technically ready to receive 911 text messages in the format requested; (2) the appropriate local or State 911 service governing authority must have authorized the PSAP to accept and, by extension, the covered text provider to provide, text-to-911 service; and (3) the requesting PSAP must notify the covered text provider that it is both technically ready to receive 911 text messages and has been authorized to accept such messages.

We would normally expect that PSAPs will contact and work with CMRS and covered text providers on a proactive basis as they implement text-to-911 capability. However, since the Commission has held that registration in the database is one way that PSAPs may trigger text-to-911 obligations, our clients who are covered text providers should periodically review the registry to learn about text-readiness of PSAPs in their service areas and reach out to these PSAPs as necessary to coordinate implementation of text-to-911 service. The Commission issues regular updates to the Text-to-911 Registry, so our clients may want to bookmark the registry web page and check back on a regular ( e.g., monthly) basis for any changes.

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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Consulting Alliance

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

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

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

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Screen Room For Sale

They have a Lindgren Faraday cage in Tyler, Texas that they need to move. It has to be moved by the end of May. It measures about 6ft by 6ft and has the AC power filter. The walls and ceiling are double copper lined. This is for testing and servicing pagers.

Price is one million dollars, or best offer!

But—no kidding—come and get it before someone else does, and name your own price.


Copper-Screen Shielded Rooms are designed to provide a radio-silent environments to perform electronic product trouble-shooting, and testing electronics devices such as pagers, personal communications devices, two-way radios, computer equipment, medical devices, automotive components, and military equipment.

It is very important to keep interfering radio signals away from devices during testing or alignment.

For more information, please contact:

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Tel: 501-492-3752

Prism Paging

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From:Jerry Griffith
Subject: Moore's Law with AMCOR Core memory
Date:April 26, 2015 at 12:43:24 PM CDT
To:Brad Dye


The attached photo might show  Moore's Law in action.

Computer memory has come a long way since 1972. The photo is of a Magnetic Core memory board I framed and own (AMCOR 2003A paging terminal) of 80,000 bits with a modern “thumb-drive” memory laying on top. The Core is 14" x 9", the thumb drive is 2.5" x .75". Correcting for the sizes, the thumb drive packs 6.7 million times more bits than the 1972 AMCOR memory. Isn't science wonderful?



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Bill Gates: The next outbreak? We’re not ready

Published on Apr 3, 2015
In 2014, the world avoided a horrific global outbreak of Ebola, thanks to thousands of selfless health workers — plus, frankly, thanks to some very good luck. In hindsight, we know what we should have done better. So, now's the time, Bill Gates suggests, to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he says, “There's no need to panic . . . but we need to get going.”


“Today the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn't look like this.”

“Instead, it looks like this.”

Atomic Bomb

Influenza Virus

These photos and quotations are from the video of the Bill Gates presentation above.

“If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now, part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. But we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic.” —Bill Gates

Source: YouTube

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