|Wireless News Aggregation|
|Friday — January 15, 2016 — Issue No. 690|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.
Emergency codes to become more plain spoken
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2016 10:00 pm
Hospitals in northeast Indiana plan to replace a color-code emergency alert system with a system based on keeping it real.
A new plain language practice will be adopted as a uniform standard for alerts at the area’s hospitals, the Northeast Indiana Patient Safety Safety Coalition said in a statement.
Instead of different hospitals using different colors to declare a code in the case of an emergency, such as severe weather for example, the hospitals will begin by specifying the nature of the alert and other pertinent information.
“Plain language within health care is a pillar of health literacy and has been adopted to demonstrate improved patient safety outcomes,” the statement said. “Employees who are now to the field of healthcare, or those who work at multiple hospitals, may not recall unique code nomenclature that could potentially result in an adverse action.”
Hospitals will maintain the practice of announcing alerts to patients and staff via hospital paging systems. [ source ]
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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.
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Microsoft Patch Tuesday kills off Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10
Support for Windows 8 is over, as is most support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. If you haven't done so already now is the time to upgrade.
Ian Paul | @ianpaul
You’ve heard of Christmas in July. Well how about spring cleaning in January? Microsoft is kicking off 2016 with arguably its most significant Patch Tuesday in months. As of today, Microsoft bids goodbye to all but one version of Internet Explorer and a Windows release it would rather forget.
The biggest item on the chopping block is Windows 8. Not Windows 8.1—that sweeping update is still supported—but the original, non-Start button version of Windows 8. After Tuesday’s updates, Microsoft will cease support for the 3 year, 2 month, and 17-day old operating system. That means Windows 8 is going the way of Windows XP ; no more security updates, no bug fixes, nothing.
Users still on Windows 8 will have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or make the jump to Windows 10 . Both are free upgrades for Windows 8 users at this writing. That may be problematic for some if you have an oddball PC that is no longer supported by a manufacturer and thus missing drivers for a smooth experience. Other than that small minority of users, everyone else should dump Windows 8 as soon as possible.
If you’re going from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, remember that the upgrade happens via the Windows Store and not Windows Update.
The story behind the story: Windows 8 was supposed to be a revolutionary OS that had two different interfaces, built to run on both PCs and tablets. The idea was inherently flawed and ultimately failed. Microsoft tried to improve the situation by adding features PC users wanted in Windows 8.1, but it really wasn’t until Windows 10 that Microsoft’s vision of a single OS running everywhere came to satisfying fruition.
IE goes to eleven
Windows 8 is going to have some company in the dustbin of history. Microsoft plans to discontinue almost all support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. This issue only affects Windows 7 users who haven’t upgraded to IE11, and Windows 8 users who must upgrade to Windows 8.1 or 10 to get the latest version of IE.
Everyone else—Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users—already have IE11 as it came built into their systems. In fact, Windows 10 users are barely affected since the built-in browser of choice for Microsoft’s latest OS is the new Edge browser.
If you’re a Windows 7 user with automatic updates enabled then you should have IE11 already. To check which version you’re running, open Internet Explorer click the Settings cog in the upper right corner, and select About Internet Explorer. A pop-up window will appear with all the details you need.
If you can’t be bothered to check don’t sweat it. A patch rolling out today for Windows 7 will detect the version of IE you have and then continue to bug you until you upgrade.
The only exception to the end of IE versions 8 through 10 will be Windows Vista, which will continue to get support for Internet Explorer 9. IE9 was the last version of the browser built for the OS. But that support won’t run for much longer. Microsoft will end support for Vista in April 2017, which means the OS will cease receiving security updates all together—just like Windows 8 and XP.
Microsoft’s latest round of security patches start rolling out Tuesday but may take a few days before they land on your system.
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BlackBerry’s “end-to-end security” didn’t do El Chapo any favors
Written by: Ana Campoy
That one of the world’s most elusive fugitives chose a BlackBerry could have been a huge endorsement for the battered Canadian cellphone company.
Except Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, once Mexico’s most-wanted criminal, was busted after his BlackBerry messages were obtained by the Mexican government. His BlackBerry conversations with Mexican actress Kate de Castillo, who helped organize an interview with US actor Sean Penn, were one of the many elements that led to his arrest (link in Spanish,) Mexico’s Secretario of the Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, told Radio Fórmula.
On Jan. 12, Mexican newspaper Milenio published a lengthy apparent exchange (Spanish) between Guzmán, his associates and del Castillo.
While still in hiding, Guzmán carefully deliberated what phone to get del Castillo, with whom he appears to have been infatuated, according to the string of alleged messages. His starting criteria for the purchase appears to have been popularity and looks.
“Which [phones] are the most fashionable right now?” he asks his associates.
“Which one is the prettiest to look at?” reads another message.
Among his options were the BlackBerry Leap, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge.
Del Castillo, who used the alias “Ermoza,” a misspelled version of “beautiful” in the messages, appeared to be pleased with the choice. “Thanks for sending me this gadget that is soooo modern!” she wrote.
It’s unclear how Mexican authorities got the BlackBerry communications published by Milenio. They could have been leaked by one of the participants. BlackBerry could have shared the messages with law enforcement agents investigating El Chapo. Still, it doesn’t look good for the company. BlackBerry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Each phone has a unique ID, or PIN, that is stored locally. The PINs work as encryption keys that provide an added layer of security to messages between BlackBerry users than what is available for regular texts, Ken Dulaney, a mobile analyst at Gartner, tells Quartz. BlackBerry calls it “ end-to-end security .”
But that reputation for security is eroding. Dutch police have learned how to crack encrypted BlackBerry messages , according to recent reports. In response, BlackBerry said in a statement that there are no “ backdoors ” to its devices.
The news that Blackberry messages could have played a part in El Chapo’s capture can’t be heartening for those who use the device to maximize privacy. These days there is simply no system that can entirely guarantee security for individuals like El Chapo, or anyone else, says Dulaney. “If I was a criminal I’d be nervous about all them,” he adds.
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New iPhone 7 concept gives Apple’s next flagship a stunning redesign
By Jacob Siegal on Jan 15, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Whether or not Apple launches a new phone this spring, we’re almost certainly going to have to wait until September before the true sequel to the iPhone 6s makes it to store shelves. For iPhone users who weren’t able or willing to upgrade to the most recent version of the phone, the wait can be excruciating. But in the meantime, at least we have concept art.
Earlier this week, artist Arthur Reis published images of a thinner, stronger, faster iPhone 7 concept that seems to pick and choose from the latest rumors in order to cobble together an ideal smartphone.
On his Behance page , Reis says that his iPhone 7 has a scratch-resistant, stainless steel body, a thinner front bezel and decreased width and height to allow for a better grip. After all, iPhones are notoriously slippery.
As for the specifications, this conceptual iPhone 7 would feature an AMOLED display, an improved f/2.0 camera, Force Touch technology from the MacBook on the Home button, 16 hours of battery life while browsing on LTE, enhanced speakers for louder and better quality sound and a water-resistant body.
Also notable is the inclusion of a headphone jack, which many reports have indicated will not appear on the next flagship device from Apple. Yes, there are plenty of reasonable explanations for why Apple might remove the jack from future phones, but until we know for sure that our old headphones are useless, we can dream about concepts like these.
Watch a video of the iPhone 7 concept below:
The NSA releases its first transparency report under the US Freedom Act
Unsurprisingly, the NSA says it's doing a great job at protecting privacy.
Back in June, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act into law. The bill finally put limitations on the NSA's ability to bulk collect telephone data under the controversial section 215 of the Patriot Act. As part of the new bill, the NSA was compelled to release a transparency report detailing if it was meeting the privacy standards enacted by the Freedom Act. Today, the agency has published its first report, conducted by the NSA's Civil Liberties and Privacy Office (CLPO).
If you don't know the inside details of how exactly the NSA conducts its phone surveillance programs, it's worth a read, as it goes into a lot of detail on just how and what it collects and what privacy safeguards are now in place. And, somewhat unsurprisingly, the agency says that it's meeting all of the privacy measures that are now required of it.
The report details how the agency faired across a total of eight different categories referred to as "fair information practice principles." Those principles include transparency, individual participation, purpose specification, data minimization, use limitation, data quality and integrity, security, and accountability and auditing. According to the report, the NSA "satisfies" six of those eight principles, which two others are a little less clear.
Unsurprisingly, the two outlying categories are transparency and individual participation. The transparency principle calls for organizations to notify individuals regarding collection and usage of their personally identifiable information (PII), while the individual participation principle calls for organizations to involve the individuals and seek consent with possible for the collection and use of PII. In the former case, the CLPO found that "the robust public debate of the USA Freedom Act, as well as the Government's release of detailed information about NSA's implementation of the statute" was enough to "adequately address" the transparency principle.
As for the individual participation principle, the idea of giving someone a head's up that you're tracking their phone calls is a pretty massive tip-off, so the NSA hasn't really been doing it. The NSA writes in its report:
Due to this conflict, the CLPO concluded that the NSA's behavior regarding this principle was “appropriate under the circumstances.”
If you want to learn more about how the NSA is supposedly treating our personal data with more care and respect now that the Freedom Act has gone into effect, the whole report can be found here.
The wonderful, unexpected return of the luxury coupe
By Tamara Warren on January 15, 2016 11:57 am
If you want to win the hearts of cynical car journalists at an auto show, dazzle them with the unveiling of an unexpected luxury coupe concept. Buick, the GM brand that's struggled with its old-guy image over the past few decades, opted to use the stage of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this week to make a powerful statement about its identity. Last Sunday, Buick unveiled its vision for a luxury concept coupe — the Buick Avista, a classic two-door looker.
The “coupe,” a term with French origins, refers to a two-door body style and dates back to the turn of the 20th century. It is typically smaller and more svelte in proportion compared to a four-door sedan. In recent years, automakers have started to bend the definition of the word to include sporty four-doors, but the Avista is a true coupe in every sense of the word. “[The Avista] was purely a design exploration exercise,” says Liz Wetzel, director of interior design for Buick. “We used this project to take sculptural beauty and think about Buick and where it’s been in the past. The Buick Y-Job was the very first automotive show car. Buick used to use technology and beautiful sculpture together.” (GM's first car design chief Harley Earl created the Y-Job , the first concept car at an auto show in 1938.)
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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.
FCC Grants BloostonLaw Request for Extension of Comment Deadline on HAC Rules
In response to a request filed last Friday by the Blooston Law Firm, the FCC has extended by two weeks the deadline for comments on proposed amendments to the Commission’s wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility (“HAC”) rules, since the original deadline fell at the same time that this year’s HAC reports are due. The proposals are set forth in in the Fourth Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Dockets No. 15-285 and 07-250 (“ HAC NPRM ”). The revised comment deadline is January 28, 2016 with replies due by February 12, 2016.
We expect to circulate draft comments on the Commission’s HAC proposals to interested clients toward the end of January. See the full article below for more information.
Chairman Releases Draft Broadband Progress Report Fact Sheet
On January 7, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a fact sheet providing some details on the upcoming 2016 Broadband Progress Report, which the FCC files with Congress pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act. Under Section 706, each year the FCC is required to determine whether “advanced telecommunications capability” — broadband — is being deployed to all Americans in a “reasonable and timely fashion.” If the answer is negative, the Act requires the FCC to “take immediate action” to speed deployment.
According to the Fact Sheet, Chairman Wheeler proposes finding that advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion to all Americans. Factors contributing to his conclusion include:
The report also proposes finding that fixed and mobile service offer distinct functions meeting both complementary and distinct needs. According to the Fact Sheet, fixed broadband offers high-speed, high-capacity connections capable of supporting bandwidth-intensive uses, such as streaming video, by multiple users in a household, but can’t provide consumers with the mobile Internet access required to support myriad needs outside the home and while working remotely. Conversely, mobile devices provide access to the web while on the go, and are especially useful for real-time two-way interactions, mapping applications, and social media, but consumers who rely solely on mobile broadband tend to perform a more limited range of tasks and are significantly more likely to incur additional usage fees or forgo use of the Internet.
The report also notes improving percentages of access to fixed broadband at 25/3 since 2012:
FCC Seeks Comment on Collection and Distribution 911/E-911 Fees and Charges
On January 8, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on its Seventh Annual Report to Congress on State Collection and Distribution of 911 and Enhanced 911 Fees and Charges (also released on the 8th). Comments are due February 8, 2016, and Reply Comments are due March 9, 2016.
The Commission submits the Report to Congress annually pursuant to the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act), which requires that the Commission report whether 911 fees and charges collected by the states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Indian territories (states and other reporting entities) are being used for any purpose other than to support 911 and Enhanced 911 (E911) services.
Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on:
A copy of the Report can be found on the Commission’s website at https://www.fcc.gov/general/911-fee-reports .
FCC Grants BloostonLaw Request for Extension of Comment Deadline on HAC Rules
In response to a request filed last Friday by the Blooston Law Firm, the FCC has extended by two weeks the deadline for comments on proposed amendments to the Commission’s wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility (“HAC”) rules. The proposals are set forth in in the Fourth Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Dockets No. 15-285 and 07-250 (“ HAC NPRM ”). The revised comment deadline is January 28, 2016 with replies due by February 12, 2016.
The Commission had previously set Thursday, January 14, 2016 as the deadline for initial comments on the HAC NPRM, however this is just one day before wireless carriers (and many BloostonLaw clients) are required to submit their annual HAC reports for the 2015 reporting period.
“The proximity of these deadlines means that attorneys and service provider staff who are the most knowledgeable about intricacies of the Commission’s HAC reporting and regulatory compliance procedures (and therefore best positioned to draft informative comments) will be immersed in preparing and filing service provider HAC reports when the HAC NPRM comments are due,” wrote BloostonLaw.
We expect to circulate draft comments on the Commission’s HAC proposals to interested clients toward the end of January. Among other things, the HAC NPRM seeks comment on a proposal to eliminate the fractional HAC-enabled handset deployment benchmarks and replace it with the staged adoption of a system under which all covered wireless handsets will be hearing aid-compatible. While a system that encourages handset manufacturers to incorporate HAC features in all devices is clearly in the public interest, we want the FCC to specify that waivers will be readily available to small wireless service providers that make a good faith effort but are unable to obtain a sufficient supply of HAC-enabled devices to meet the increased benchmarks. Client input on their experiences obtaining compliant handsets will be useful.
LPTV Licensees Ask DC Circuit to Vacate Incentive Auction Rules
A coalition of LPTV licensees who are aggrieved by the lack of protection offered to LPTV stations and TV translators by the FCC’s Incentive Auction “repack” procedures on Monday filed a 125-page brief with the DC Circuit in their case challenging the FCC’s Incentive Auction Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration in GN Docket No. 12-268.
The licensees, Free Access & Broadcast Telemedia LLC (“Free Access”) and Word of God Fellowship, Inc. (“WOG”), companies which own or have substantial investments in more than 80 LPTV stations, argued in an October Petition for Reconsideration that the FCC “should not consider spectrum occupied by LPTV stations as vacant and available for sale in the forward auction.” However, the FCC has declared that Congress did not mandate protections for LPTV stations, and the agency rejected arguments that it should “further analyze the potential impact of the incentive auction on the LPTV service before conducting the repacking process.”
LPTV stations and TV translators have “secondary spectrum priority” to full-service stations. This means LPTV stations must not cause interference to the reception of existing or future full-service television stations, must accept interference from full-service stations, and must yield to new full-service stations where interference occurs. The FCC authorized LPTV service more than 30 years ago as a key element of satisfying the Communications Act of 1934’s longstanding broadcasting goals of diversity, localism and minority ownership.
Free Access and WOG argue that the FCC’s incentive auction Orders “single out LPTV broadcasters for the unprecedented penalty of being summarily extinguished – losing their channels and thus being forced to cease operations, perhaps permanently.” The LPTV licensees point to language in the incentive auction legislation which says the Commission must not “alter the spectrum usage rights of low-power television stations.” The LPTV petitioners interpret this language as saying that the FCC must afford some protection to LPTV operations and they are asking that the Court force the FCC to include LPTV in the auction, to quantify the adverse economic impact of the incentive auction on LPTV owners, and to take concrete steps to minimize the impact of the auction on LPTV service.
Several other petitioners or groups have sought to overturn the FCC’s Incentive Auction procedures but none has yet been successful. On December 22, 2015, three companies filed an emergency petition for writ of mandamus asking the DC Circuit to require the FCC to act on the companies’ petition for reconsideration of the FCC’s Second Order on Reconsideration. In an order issued December 30, 2015, the Court denied that relief, based on its expectation that the Commission would “rule on the pending reconsideration petition promptly, so as to allow petitioners to seek judicial review with an opportunity for meaningful relief before the incentive auction commences on March 29, 2016.” The DC Circuit last fall rejected a petition for review of other aspects of the Incentive Auction Report and Order in National Association of Broadcasters v. FCC .
FCC Reminds CMRS Providers Using Network-Based Technology of Outdoor 911 Location Deadline
On January 13, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice reminding Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers subject to the Commission’s Phase II E911 location accuracy rules, and other interested parties, of the January 18, 2016 Phase II deadline applicable to CMRS providers that deploy network-based E911 location accuracy technologies.
Specifically, as of January 18, 2016, CMRS providers deploying network-based technologies must meet the following location accuracy standard for 911 calls:
CMRS providers using network-based technologies must meet these standards either at the county or at the PSAP level, based on outdoor measurements. This benchmark is separate from and in addition to the subsequent indoor-focused location accuracy requirements that the FCC adopted in the Fourth Report and Order in PS Docket 07-114 in January 2015.
The Bureau also reminds all CMRS providers that the requirements for filing notice of Phase II geographic exclusions, and the requirements for timely filing of updates, remain in effect.
New Website for Incentive Auction Announced
On January 8, the FCC announced through its blog that a new informational website for the upcoming incentive auction has been published at https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/incentive-auctions . The website includes a range of materials that explain why the Commission is conducting the auction, how the auction can benefit the public, how the process works, and what consumers will need to do to continue enjoying over-the-air television stations once the auction concludes.
According to the blog post, the new site also features a “Frequently Asked Questions” section for consumers, a calendar of key dates and events, a “Resources” page where the public can easily find key incentive auction decisions and documents, and detailed primers on the reverse and forward auctions. For potential participants, there is also a link to the FCC’s official incentive auction (Auction 1000) page from which they can access the application form, tutorials, and related information.
The Task Force will update the site as new information becomes available. The site will also serve as a key component of the Commission’s post-auction consumer education efforts to ensure a smooth transition for over-the-air TV viewers.
Law & Regulation
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for January Open Meeting
On January 7, the FCC announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the January 28 Open Meeting:
As always, the Open Meeting will be webcast live at www.fcc.gov/live at 10:30am on the date of the meeting.
Radio Station Owner Pays $540,000 Penalty to Settle Sponsorship Identification Investigation
On January 7, the FCC issued a press release announcing that its Enforcement Bureau reached a $540,000 settlement with broadcaster Cumulus Media regarding sponsorship identification in radio advertising promoting a proposed energy project.
The settlement resolved an investigation into whether radio station WOKQ (97.5 FM) in Dover, New Hampshire violated the Commission’s sponsorship identification rules. Specifically, the station had broadcast 178 announcements in support of a hydro-electric energy project without identifying the sponsor of those announcements, in this case a company with a financial interest in the project. According to the press release, this is the largest payment in FCC history for a single-station violation of the Commission’s sponsorship identification laws.
The Enforcement Bureau began its investigation after receiving a consumer complaint alleging that WOKQ had broadcast an announcement for the project in September 2011 without identifying who sponsored the announcement. Under the terms of the settlement, Cumulus Media will pay a penalty of $540,000 and will enter into a compliance plan governing 195 stations across the country, which includes appointing a Compliance Officer, enhanced operating procedures, employee training on sponsorship identification laws, and a hotline for reporting violations of the compliance plan.
Commissioners File “Open Letter” on Enhanced Transparency Exemption with Congress
On January 11, FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Ajit Pai filed a letter in response to Congress’ letter of November 19, 2015 regarding the FCC’s extension of the temporary small business exemption from the Net Neutrality Order's "enhanced transparency requirements". As we reported at the time, the Congressional letter expressed displeasure with the FCC’s decision not to make the exemption permanent, but rather extend it until December 15, 2016. According to the Commissioners’ letter, “the record in the FCC proceeding made clear that small providers have fewer resources to devote to enhanced transparency requirements” and, therefore, “the rules would have a disproportionate impact on small businesses if they ultimately go into effect.”
The letter specifically attacks the FCC’s use of the Paperwork Reduction Act process to delay a final decision on the exemption. Readers will recall, in the order extending the exemption, the FCC asserted that the PRA process will help the FCC better estimate the burden of complying with the enhanced transparency rules on small providers. According to Commissioners O’Rielly and Pai, “that type of approach — where an agency adopts rules and "right-sizes" them afterwards — is completely backwards. An agency is supposed to seek comment on proposed rules and the associated costs and benefits during the rulemaking proceeding so that the final rules and the estimated burdens submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (0MB) for review reflect a reasoned cost-benefit analysis.”
The Commissioners’ letter closes by inviting Congressional input on the matter going forward.
Six New Members Appointed to USAC Board
On January 8, the FCC’s Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a Public Notice appointing the following persons to the Universal Service Administrative Company’s Board of Directors:
The USAC Board will hold its next meeting on January 26, 2016, at USAC’s Washington, DC office (2000 L Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036), which meeting is open to the public.
JANUARY 15: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. The next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is Friday, January 15, 2016. Non-Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2015. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. Following the T-Mobile USA Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 12-39), the Commission’s enforcement policy calls for multiplying the $15,000 per-handset fine by the number of months of the deficiency, creating the potential for very steep fines. It is therefore crucial that our clients pay close attention to their HAC regulatory compliance, and monthly checks are strongly recommended. In this regard, we have prepared a HAC reporting template to assist our clients in keeping track of their HAC handset offerings, and other regulatory compliance efforts. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE COMMISSION’S HAC RULES — INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION — MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING. To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the Commission’s revised rules.
FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 555, ANNUAL LIFELINE ELIGIBLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER CERTIFICATION FORM. All Eligible Telecommunications Carriers must certify that they verify consumer eligibility prior to enrolling a consumer in Lifeline by A) reviewing income and program-based eligibility documentation and/or B) confirming the consumer’s eligibility by relying on access to a state database and/or notice of eligibility from the Lifeline administrator.
FEBRUARY 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 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 499-A that is due April 1.
FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks--including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks--from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.
MARCH 1: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM FOR CABLE COMPANIES. This form, plus royalty payment for the second half of calendar year 2015, is due March 1. The form covers the period July 1 to December 31, 2015, and is due to be mailed directly to cable TV operators by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office. If you do not receive the form, please contact Gerry Duffy.
MARCH 1: CPNI ANNUAL CERTIFICATION. Carriers should modify (as necessary) and complete their “Annual Certification of CPNI Compliance” for 2016. The certification must be filed with the FCC by March 1. Note that the annual certification should include the following three required Exhibits: (a) a detailed Statement Explaining How the Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance with the FCC’S CPNI Rules to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion. Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact Gerry Duffy (202-828-5528) or Mary Sisak (202-828-5554). Note: If you file the CPNI certification, you must also file the FCC Form 499-A Telecom Reporting Worksheet by April 1.
MARCH 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION & BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This annual form is due March 1 and September 1 annually. The FCC requires facilities-based wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service providers to report on FCC Form 477 the number of broadband subscribers they have in each census tract they serve. The Census Bureau changed the boundaries of some census tracts as part of the 2010 Census.
Specifically, three types of entities must file this form:
MARCH 31: INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT CAPACITY REPORT. No later than March 31, all U.S. international carriers that owned or leased bare capacity on a submarine cable between the United States and any foreign point on December 31, 2015 and any person or entity that held a submarine cable landing license on December 31, 2015 must file a Circuit Capacity Report to provide information about the submarine cable capacity it holds. Additionally, cable landing licensees must file information on the Circuit Capacity Report about the amount of available and planned capacity on the submarine cable for which they have a license. Any U.S. International Carrier that owned or leased bare capacity on a terrestrial or satellite facility as of December 31, 2015 must file a Circuit Capacity Report showing its active common carrier circuits for the provision of service to an end-user or resale carrier, including active circuits used by itself or its affiliates. Any satellite licensee that is not a U.S. International Carrier and that owns circuits between the United States and any foreign point as of December 31, 2015 of the reporting period must file a Circuit Capacity Report showing its active circuits sold or leased to any customer, including itself or its affiliates, other than a carrier authorized by the Commission to provide U.S. international common carrier services.
|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 email@example.com .|
|Friends & Colleagues|
Wireless Network Planners
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|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don't much care where —”
“Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
|PHOTO OF THE WEEK|
Ice Climbing in Chamonix, France
Photograph by Alexandre Buisse
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