|Wireless News Aggregation|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.
Friends and readers have been asking what's going on with me. The rest of the story is that one of my daughters is sick. I just returned from a quick trip to the east coast to visit her and her sister. I can't think of anything in life that is more upsetting than having a child with a serious illness, even if that “child” is an adult. A photo of us follows in the PHOTO OF THE WEEK section below.
Microsoft backs off sneaky Windows 10 upgrade tricks with simple new pop-up
Microsoft is going legit with its Windows 10 upgrade notifications, and it did it just in time to still matter.
After months of embracing malware-like tricks so nasty that some fearful Windows 7 users felt forced to disable updates completely , Microsoft is backing off its sneaky Windows 10 upgrade tactics and reverting to an interface that is far clearer and doesn’t violate user trust.
The company plans to update the Windows 10 upgrade notification window that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users see on their PCs, as first reported by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley late Monday.
The new interface will feature three buttons with clear options, including Upgrade now , Choose time (in other words, schedule the upgrade time), or Decline free offer . Microsoft also plans to restore proper behavior to the “x” in the upper right hand corner. Instead of being treated as consent for an upgrade, clicking the “x” will simply dismiss the window, as it should be.
On top of that, Microsoft says it will provide free tech support for anyone who needs help upgrading, or rolling back from Windows 10 to their previous operating system.
“Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we’ve received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing ... and this week, we’ll roll out a new upgrade experience with clear options.” Microsoft’s Windows chief Terry Myerson said in a written statement to ZDNet. “We recommend people upgrade to Windows 10 ... and take advantage of the free upgrade offer before it ends on July 29.”
The story behind the story: It’s great to see Microsoft responding to user complaints, but given the timing of this reversal it seems a bit hollow.
Microsoft recently lost a lawsuit over its Windows 10 upgrade practices. The monetary loss from that suit was insignificant for the company, but the price it’s paying in negative publicity and user frustration is substantial. Plus, there’s only a month left in the free upgrade window anyway, and Microsoft's already pushed Windows 10 on people who use Windows 7 and 8's default automatic update settings—a highly questionable practice that's given the company a significant boost in Windows 10 adoption rate . All things considered, cleaning up its act a month before free upgrades end probably won’t cost Microsoft that much in potential user adoption, but it could go a long way to reducing user anger and frustration towards the company.
Now on to more news and views.
Wayne County, Illinois
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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World’s cheapest smartphone, costing under £3, begins shipping next week
By David Millward
T he first batch of the world’s cheapest smart phone, costing less than £3 begins shipping next week, the manufacturers said on Thursday.
Ringing Bells Freedom 251 smartphone, which is based on the Android system, is aimed to bring mobile phone ownership to the Indian mass market.
Costing 251 Rupees (£2.79), the manufacturers believe it could transform the Indian market where only one person in 10 has a mobile phone.
The company's chief executive Mohit Goel said the first shipment of about 200,000 handsets was due next week. "Our vision is to make mobile phones more affordable to the millions of poor Indians who do not own one," he added.
Demand for mobile phones is growing rapidly in India with 103 million handsets being sold in 2015, representing a 29 per cent rise on the previous year.
A number of other manufacturers have also entered the market for cheap phones, with devices costing around around £19.
Mr Goel disputed allegations that pressure to keep the phone as cheap as possible was driving wages down, insisting that the company’s staff were fairly paid.
The Indian Cellular Association contacted the Indian minister for telecoms, Ravi Shankar Prasad, to say that it doesn't believe a smartphone could cost less than 2,700 rupees (£27).
|Source:||The Telegraph (UK)|
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Best thing about Google’s 2016 Nexus phones: They’ll finally copy the iPhone properly
By Chris Smith on Jul 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM
For the first time in its history, Google launched two new Nexus handsets last year including the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, copying Apple’s new iPhone launch strategy. But Google didn’t get it right on the first try. Thankfully, it looks like things are about to change thanks to a big new update — assuming the latest Nexus leaks are accurate, that is.
When Google launched the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P last year, it quickly became apparent that Google thought the Nexus 6P should be the flagship device when it comes to hardware. It got a better processor, more RAM, more generous storage, a better cameras setup and a higher screen resolution.
This year, however, Google isn’t going to make the same mistake again. The HTC Sailfish (Nexus 5X successor) and HTC Marlin (Nexus 6P successor) will apparently have the same specs. That’s what Apple does with its iPhones, which are virtually similar — though the bigger iPhone model does have better resolution, a larger screen and battery, and optical image stabilization.
After finding the specs for Sailfish a few days ago, Android Police dug up hardware details for Marlin, with the site having offered consistent leaks about previous Nexus devices. And from the looks of it, the phone will be a copy of the Sailfish. The device would still offer better resolution, but that’s just because this is the larger of the two new Nexus phones.
According to the Android blog, the phone features a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display, quad-core Qualcomm processor, 4GB of RAM, 32/128GB storage, 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, rear fingerprint sensor, bottom speakers, Bluetooth 4.2 and a 3,450 mAh battery.
Pricing details and launch dates are still a mystery and we have no pictures for either phone. Even so, HTC might be on the verge of launching two of the hottest Android phones of all time this year, so start saving your money now.
Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety
Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!
Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide.
Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.
DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.
Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.
Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.
Swissphone sets new standards in paging:
Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
Texting 911 to Osage Beach Emergency Communications Center now possible
Starting today, July 1, residents and people visiting Osage Beach will now have the capability to send a text message (SMS) from a mobile device to 911 instead of having to place a phone call for emergency help.
By CODY MROCZKA
Starting today, July 1, residents and people visiting Osage Beach will now have the capability to send a text message (SMS) from a mobile device to 911 instead of having to place a phone call for emergency help.
The City of Osage Beach announced the service in a press release on Thursday, June 30th. It is the first and only lake area jurisdiction using text to 911, according to the release.
To text 911, a user enters the numbers “911” in the “To” or “Recipient” field, and should include a brief, but detailed message that contains the location and type of emergency. The City says to make sure only the numbers “911” and no other punctuation when addressing the message.
If the service is not available where you are located, you will receive a message from the wireless carrier stating that the service is unavailable and to please place a voice call.
The text messages will be received by the Osage Beach 911 Emergency Communications Center, but public safety officials encourage the public to think of texting 911 as a last resort and not the normal process for contacting 911 during an emergency.
Calls to 911 are preferred because they are typically more efficient during an emergency, the City said in the press release and reminded citizens to only contact 911 in a fire, medical or police emergency.
The City is encouraging using the motto, “Call if you can. Text if you can’t,” and listed four occasions when to text:
1. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.
2. If you cannot speak due to an injury or medical condition.
3. If you are in a threatening situation and a voice call could increase that threat.
4. If you cannot make a call because your mobile phone reception is poor.
Once received, a person who sends a text to 911 will receive a response from the 911 call center, the press release states. The City reminds, that as with all text messages, 911 text messages can take longer to receive, may be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.
|Source:||Lake News Online||.|
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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 Releases Fact Sheet on 5G Millimeter Wave Spectrum Proposal
On June 24, the FCC released a fact sheet outlining a set of proposed rules currently circulating among the full Commission that is aimed at opening up almost 11 GHz in the millimeter wave spectrum from flexible use wireless broadband — 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum. This spectrum is designed to augment 5G capabilities that will be coming on line in the near future.
Specifically, the proposal will:
The item also includes a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to make an additional 17.7 GHz of spectrum available. It proposes to apply the same licensing, service, and technical rule framework set in the Report & Order, modified to meet the characteristics of a specific band. Specifically, it proposes additional bands for consideration: 24-25 GHz (24.25-24.45/25.05-25.25 GHz), 32 GHz (31.8-33.4 GHz), 42 GHz (42-42.5 GHz), 48 GHz (47.2-50.2 GHz), 51 GHz (50.4-52.6 GHz), 70 GHz (71-76 GHz), and 80 GHz (81-86 GHz).
FCC Releases Fact Sheet on Media Ownership Rule Update
On June 27, the FCC released a fact sheet outlining a set of proposed rules currently circulating among the full Commission that is aimed at updating its media ownership rules. According to the fact sheet, the rules are designed to:
Specifically, the Order, if adopted, finds that the current media ownership rules remain necessary in the public interest but require minor updates to reflect current industry trends and marketplace realities. These updates include:
Additionally, the proposal re-adopts a revenue-based eligible entity standard and the programs to which the standard applies, to promote small businesses and new entrants in the broadcast marketplace. It also defines shared services agreements (SSA) as any agreement in which (1) a station provides another station, not commonly owned, with any station-related services, including administrative, technical, sales, and/or programming support; or (2) stations not commonly owned collaborate to provide station-related services, including administrative, technical, sales, and/or programming support, but does not adopt an SSA attribution rule, at this time.
PSHSB Launches EAS Test Reporting System, Seeks Comment on Handbook Recommendations
On June 27, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau provided notice to all Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants that the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) is operational and ready to accept filings. It also seeks comment on the recommendations adopted by the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) on June 22, 2016, for updating the EAS Operating Handbook. EAS Participants must complete Form One of ETRS on or before August 26, and have until September 26 to update or correct any errors in their initial Form One filings. ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available on ETRS at the time of initiation of the nationwide test.
Under the FCC’s rules, EAS participation is required by analog radio and television stations, wired and wireless cable television systems, digital broadcast systems, digital television broadcast stations, Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, digital cable and digital audio broadcasting systems, and wireline video systems. On June 3, 2015 the Commission released the Sixth Report and Order, in which it adopted rules establishing the ETRS, a mandatory version of the voluntary electronic test reporting system employed for the 2011 nationwide EAS test. The Commission retained the three-form structure of the 2011 version, and adopted new features and data fields responsive to stakeholder comments. Form One prompts EAS Participants to supply identifying and background information. EAS participants must submit a completed Form One in the ETRS within sixty days of the Commission’s official launch of the ETRS. EAS Participants must update their Form One filings concurrent with any changes in identifying and background information. To register for ETRS and access the Form One, EAS Participants must visit the ETRS page of the Commission’s website ( https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system ) and click on the ETRS Registration Page link.
The Bureau also seeks comment on the EAS Operating Handbook (Handbook), an informational document that aids EAS Participant personnel in handling EAS messages by outlining operational procedures reflective of the requirements found in the Part 11 rules. A copy may be obtained here, at Appendix A.
FCC Proposes to Streamline Executive Branch Review of Certain Foreign Ownership Applications, and Adopt a 90-day Shot Clock
On June 24, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to its rules and procedures to improve the timeliness and transparency of the review process for certain applications and petitions for declaratory ruling with reportable foreign ownership. Currently, the Commission routinely refers certain applications with reportable foreign ownership to relevant Executive Branch agencies for coordination and expertise on national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy matters. The NPRM makes the following proposals:
The Notice proposes to adopt rules that apply these requirements to applications for international section 214 authorizations and submarine cable landing licenses, applications to assign or transfer such authorizations and licenses, and petitions for section 310(b) foreign ownership rulings (common carrier wireless, common carrier satellite earth stations, or broadcast). The Notice seeks comment on whether there are some categories of applications that should not be referred to Executive Branch for review. Finally, the Notice recommends other proposals to further streamline Commission review of the applications.
Law & Regulation
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for July Open Meeting
On June 23, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the July Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 2016:
The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m., and will be webcast live at that time at www.fcc.gov/live .
REMINDER: Deadline for Broadband Privacy Reply Comments Extended
On June 22, the FCC issued a Public Notice in which it extended the deadline for filing reply comments in response to the Broadband Privacy Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Reply comments are now due July 6.
By way of reminder, the FCC is seeking comment on the following proposals:
The FCC is also considering adopting rules that harmonize the privacy requirements for cable and satellite providers with the rules for telecommunications providers, and on what barriers may exist to the ability of consumers to resolve disputes and it recognizes the right to access and correct the customer information their broadband provider maintains about them.
Puerto Rico Tel. & America Movil to Pay $1.1 Million for Exceeding Foreign Ownership Limits
On June 28, the FCC issued a press release announcing that Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC), and its parent company, América Móvil of Mexico (América Móvil), will pay $1.1 million to resolve an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Stock purchases of América Móvil by its owner Carlos Slim Helú and his family repeatedly exceeded the foreign ownership levels approved by the Commission.
PRTC, a telecommunications carrier operating in the United States territory of Puerto Rico, and América Móvil have exceeded their approved foreign ownership three times in five years. Most recently, in June 2014, the Slim family increased its ownership in and control of América Móvil through a purchase of stock from AT&T International. This also increased the family’s ownership in FCC licensee PRTC beyond the voting and equity interests then approved by the agency’s International Bureau in accordance with the FCC’s foreign ownership rules and policies.
As part of the settlement, PRTC and América Móvil have each agreed to adopt compliance plans to prevent future stock purchases by the Slim family that would exceed foreign ownership limits without first receiving the International Bureau’s review and approval. The plans require both companies to develop and implement monitoring of compliance with the Commission’s rules governing foreign ownership. The plans include designating Compliance Officers, developing a comprehensive compliance plan, and reporting regularly on compliance.
Comment Deadline Established for Proposed Changes to Broadcast and Cable Public Inspection File Rules
On June 27, the FCC issued a Public Notice establishing the comment deadline for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to eliminate two public inspection file requirements: (i) the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public, and (ii) the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system’s principal headend. Comments are due July 22 and reply comments are due August 22.
Petitions for Reconsideration of Third Lifeline Report and Order Filed
On June 23, a number of parties filed individual petitions for reconsideration of various aspects of the FCC’s Lifeline Third Report an Order. Specifically:
NTCA and WTA asked the FCC to reconsider (i) the exception to the fixed broadband minimum speed standard, because it represents “a failure to properly leverage the High cost universal service program”; (ii) the phasing out of support for voice-only service, as it would force low-income rural customers to purchase broadband service they may not want or need; (iii) the 150 GB minimum usage allowance standard, which unfairly punishes providers that must rely on satellite backhaul; the “rolling recertification” requirement, which will be too burdensome on small rural carriers with limited staff and resources; and (iv) the “port freeze” provisions, which provides no discernable benefit to low income customers. The Associations also asked the FCC to clarify the rule allowing non-Lifeline-only ETCs to provide voice but not broadband.
CTIA asked the FCC to reconsider its decision to set long-term minimum capacity standards for mobile broadband at 70 percent of the average mobile data usage per household, arguing that it did so without any consideration of whether it was consistent with the statutory universal service principle of affordability.
Other petitioners included a group called the Joint Lifeline ETC Petitioners, NASUCA, the Pennsylvania PUC, and TracFone.
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 FCC 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 FCC, 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 FCC’s rules.
JULY 29: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 29). 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.
AUGUST 1: 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). Because July 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due August 1. This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2013. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2014); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, 2015, for lines served as of September 30, 2014).
SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Three types of entities must file this form. (1) Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections — which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction — must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, MMDS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services ( e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.) (2) Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs). (3) Providers of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service: Interconnected VoIP service is a service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications; requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; requires Internet-protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network. Interconnected VoIP providers must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide interconnected VoIP service to one or more subscribers, with the state determined for reporting purposes by the location of the subscriber’s broadband connection or the subscriber’s “Registered Location” as of the data-collection date. “Registered Location” is the most recent information obtained by an interconnected VoIP service provider that identifies the physical location of an end user. (4) Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the Commission an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
FCC Cracks Down on Violation of Environmental Rules
Recently, the FCC sent out a number of violation citations pertaining to failures to comply with Commission’s regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and other federal environmental statutes and related licensing rules. The letters were sent to larger entities such as US Cellular and the Canadian National Railroad, as well as smaller licensees. Thus, the FCC is engaging in a focused enforcement crack down concerning tower violations, and may continue this effort. Therefore, our clients owning or mounting on antenna structures will want to make sure the structure is compliant, before any inspection or complaint focuses FCC attention on it.
Of note, at least one of the violations pertained to the installation of 3.65 GHz facilities without environmental compliance review. While the FCC has instituted a streamlined registration process for 3.65 GHz facilities in lieu of more formal licensing, the actual facilities must comply with the FCC’s environmental protection and historic preservation rules.
Under the Commission’s rules, an applicant must consider, prior to initiating construction or deployment, whether the facility it proposes to build or use may have a significant effect on the environment. As part of this review, applicants must consider whether their proposed facilities would affect properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This consideration involves a specific set of prescribed procedures set forth in the rules of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Advisory Council), as modified by the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for the Collocation of Wireless Antennas (Collocation Agreement) and the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement Regarding the Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act Review Process (NPA). These agreements tailor and streamline the review and consultation procedures routinely required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) and the implementing regulations issued by the Advisory Council.
Specific violations included:
The letters did not specify any penalty for the violations, but noted that future violations may result in additional action, including the imposition of monetary penalties, and that similar conduct may provide grounds for an upward adjustment in the amount of a penalty. This may well be a harbinger of things to come since the FCC may elect not to issue warning letters in the future.
FCC Grants Kathrein Automotive Waiver of Consumer Labeling Rule
Kathrein Automotive GmbH & Co KG (Kathrein) sought a limited waiver of the FCC’s rules in order to permit it to offer its Kathrein compensator — a type of consumer signal booster — to manufacturers of motor vehicles. Like other electronic equipment, the Kathrein compensator would be installed by the OEM and become part of the vehicle. Kathrein contended that the product falls outside the goals of the consumer labeling rules for consumer signal boosters due to the unique placement of the compensator within the vehicle and that application of the labeling rules would not advance the public interest.
The FCC’s rules require that manufacturers, distributors and retailers of Consumer Signal Boosters ensure that these devices include specific advisories on the outside of the packaging for the device as well as a label on the device itself.
It is important to note that the waiver request received substantial opposition for a variety of reasons. In particular, other equipment manufacturers and wireless carriers raised concerns which included:
BMW Group supported the waiver request, stating that in-vehicle installation would eliminate the need for oscillation safeguards and labeling.
Kathrein countered that compliance oscillation labeling requirements would provide no public benefit and that opponents to the waiver request had misconstrued the features of the compensator and the “efficacy” of the barriers to oscillation inherent in its design. Further, Kathrein stated that labeling was not reasonable since (a) all devices would be sold to OEM vehicle manufacturers and not to aftermarket installers and (b) consumers could not view the device. And, Kathrein noted that Audi had received a similar waiver in the past. While Kathrein pressed for the labeling waiver, it dropped the anti-oscillation waiver.
In granting the limited waiver, the FCC noted that Kathrein plans to provide advisory notices to vehicle manufacturers for inclusion in online, point of sale marketing materials and in print or online owner’s manuals. Kathrein plans to ensure that end-users are aware of these notices by contractually binding the vehicle manufacturers to ensure that their dealer networks provide this information to car purchasers. The FCC concluded further that the purpose of its rules would not be satisfied in this instance where the labeling requirement was designed to provide the “best method to inform consumers about which devices are appropriate for their use and how to comply with [FCC] rules, as well as decrease interference to wireless networks.” Inasmuch as consumers would lack access to the packaging as well as the device itself, the FCC found that the alternative proposal would be sufficient to meet the FCC’s intent.
New Electronic Filing System Launched on June 20
The FCC recently issued a Public Notice announcing that it would transition to its new Electronic Comment Filing System (“ECFS”) system on the morning of Monday, June 20, 2016. This was a “hard launch,” meaning that the legacy system is no longer be available. All documents in the legacy system have been moved over and are accessible in the new system. Likewise, any saved links (bookmarks or favorites) to documents and proceedings should have been preserved and therefore should not need to be adjusted.
Telecom Carriers Reminded of Obligation to Protect Against Identity Theft
Telecommunications carriers are reminded that they are subject to various federal and possibly state requirements to prevent and report unauthorized attempts to gain access to customer information and to protect customers from identity theft. The FCC's CPNI rules and possibly unauthorized conversion rules may apply in cases of unauthorized access to customer information.
The FCC's CPNI rules require telecommunications carriers to take reasonable measures to discover and protect against attempts to gain unauthorized access to CPNI and require telecommunications carriers to authenticate a customer prior to disclosing CPNI based on customer-initiated telephone contact, online account access, or an in-store visit. In addition, a telecommunications carrier must notify law enforcement of a breach of its customers' CPNI. The FCC's unauthorized conversion or "slamming" rules address the practice of switching a consumer's traditional wireline telephone company for local, local toll, or long distance service without permission. The FCC's rules establish procedures and penalties for carriers in the event of an unauthorized conversion.
Telecommunications carriers also may be subject to the FTC's Red Flag rules. The Red Flag rules apply to any business that:
If you have detected attempts by unauthorized individuals to gain access to your customer information or if you have questions about the rules, please contact the firm.
FCC Seeks to Refresh Record on 5 GHz Band Proceeding
The FCC recently issued a Public Notice inviting interested parties to update and refresh the record on the status of potential sharing solutions between proposed Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) operations in the 5.850-5.925 GHz (U-NII-4) band. Comments will be due July 7, 2016 and Reply Comments are due July 22, 2016.
Primary among the considerations in establishing rules for U-NII was to make broadband technologies available in the 5 GHz bands, while protecting authorized Federal and non-Federal users of the bands from harmful interference. Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on:
By way of background, U-NII devices provide short-range, high-speed unlicensed wireless connections in the 5 GHz band for, among other applications, Wi-Fi-enabled radio local networks, cordless telephones, and fixed outdoor broadband transceivers used by wireless internet providers. DSRC uses short-range wireless communication links to facilitate information transfer between appropriately-equipped vehicles and appropriately-equipped roadside systems (“vehicle to infrastructure” or “V2I”) and between appropriately-equipped vehicles (“vehicle to vehicle” or “V2V”).
Comments will be due July 7, 2016 and Reply Comments are due July 22, 2016.
Consortium Provides Details on FirstNet Bid
WirelessWEEK, among others, is reporting that the “Rivada Mercury” team has provided some details on the bid it submitted to be FirstNet’s primary contractor to build the public safety network for first responders.
Headed by former Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer, Rivada Mercury is comprised of Ericsson, Nokia, Intel Security, Rivada Networks, Harris Corporation, Fujitsu Network Communications, and telecom construction firm Black & Veatch. “Our team’s approach to FirstNet offers many benefits for America’s public safety community, namely we will provide public safety with a purpose-built Band 14 network and immediate turnkey access to the largest non-Band 14 coverage footprint in the U.S.,” Euteneuer said. The team plans to use “Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage” technology which allows for 4G mobile network capacity to be bought and sold in real time and in response to market demand. “As a pioneer in dynamic spectrum arbitrage, Rivada Mercury’s innovative technology will both fund the FirstNet build out and sustained operation and maintenance by selling excess capacity to commercial users,” said Euteneuer.
Other notable members of the company include former Governors Jeb Bush (R-Florida) and Martin O'Malley (D-Maryland) as board directors.
According to an article in Fortune, a source close to Rivada believes that there are two other bids, including one led by AT&T and Motorola, and another by another new entity.
FCC Denies Petition for Reconsideration of License Renewal Grant
Mobile Relay Associates (MRA) sought reconsideration of the FCC’s grant of a license renewal application filed by Alliance Communications Group (ACG) for UHF Trunked Industrial facilities in Los Angeles County, California.
The basis for MRA’s petition was the claim that Hector Mosquera, the individual signing the application, was a principal of ACG and a convicted felon and that ACG had never disclosed the felony conviction in any of its applications. The basis for the assertion is that Mr. Mosquera had signed numerous applications on behalf of ACG.
In denying the initial petition for reconsideration, the FCC concluded that the signing of FCC applications and documents on behalf of a corporate entity does not, in and of itself, make one a principal. Rather, the FCC properly noted that its rules permit duly authorized employees to sign on behalf of corporate entities. In order to be considered a principal, there must be an element of ownership or control – which in this case MRA did not prove.
While in this case the Commission found that Mr. Mosquera’s position did not require the disclosure of a felony conviction, this would not necessarily be true in all cases. In particular, the FCC’s wireless applications (FCC Form 601 or 603) as whether the applicant (or assignee/transferee in the case of a transactional application) or any party to the application or any party directly or indirectly controlling the applicant have ever been convicted of a felony by any state or federal court. Essentially, the FCC is looking to determine whether any individual or entity with either direct or indirect control or a 10 percent or greater ownership interest has been convicted of a felony. If the answer is “Yes”, then the felony must be reported to the FCC irrespective of the amount of time that has elapsed between the felony conviction and the date the application was filed. When considering to whom this question would apply, it is important to note that entities as well as individuals can be convicted of a felony. If there are any questions, please contact our office.
FCC Fines Pirate Stations in New Jersey
The FCC has once again fined operators of “pirate” radio stations. Pirate stations are any stations that are operated without a license issued by the FCC. In this case there were three pirate stations operating in Paterson and Passaic, New Jersey. In each case, the operator of the pirate radio station was warned by the FCC that its operations were illegal. Nonetheless, in all three cases, the operators ignored the FCC. As a result, the FCC imposed a fine of $10,000 against one operator and a fine of $15,000 against the other two pirate operators. The FCC noted that if the fines are not paid within 30 days, it may refer the matter to the US Justice Department for enforcement.
FCC Adjusts Fine Amounts for Inflation
As required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Penalties Act), the FCC has adjusted its monetary forfeiture schedule in order to take inflation into account when setting fines. Congress adopted this legislation in order to improve the effectiveness of civil penalties issued by federal agencies as well as maintain their deterrent effect so that a civil penalty does not become a minor cost of doing business. Under the Penalties Act, federal agencies must issue an interim final rule making and publish interim final rules no later than July 1, 2016 so that those rules can take effect no later than August 1, 2016. Under the Penalties Act, agencies will be required to make adjustments to the schedule of fines and monetary forfeitures annually.
The maximum daily amount for private radio licensees which use their stations for private internal communications is now going to be $18,936 per day of violation. It is important to note that while this fine amount may seem relatively small for certain of our clients, the FCC has the power to impose fines for each day of violation. This is because the FCC treats a violation that stretches over several days, weeks, or months as being a separate violation for each day. Thus, in theory, the FCC could take the base amount and multiply it by the number of days of violation and impose that amount up to the statutory maximum of $383,038 for noncommercial private radio licensees.
Please contact our office with any questions.
Williams Sound Obtains 6-Month Waiver to Bring Auditory Assistance Device into Compliance
Williams Sound requested a waiver of Rule Section 15.37(g) through January 11, 2017 so that it can (a) bring an existing auditory assistance device into compliance with the FCC’s updated unwanted emissions limit requirements and (b) file the required Class II permissive change application to amend the equipment authorization for the device.
Rule Section 15.37(g) bans the manufacture or importation of auditory assistant devices that do not comply with the revised emission limits set out in Rule Section 15.237(c) after July 1, 2016. In justifying its rule waiver request, Williams Sound stated that additional time was necessary to bring the device into compliance with the revised limits since the device in question incorporates complex design elements that have required additional efforts to bring the device into compliance. Williams Sound pointed out that the public would be served by the waiver since its device is used by the public to provide simultaneous language interpretation to individuals with hearing impairments.
In requesting the waiver until January 11, 2017, Williams Sound noted that it does not expect its device to cause interference and, in fact, has received no interference complaints. Based upon the information provided by Williams Sound, the FCC determined that a rule waiver, until January 11, 2017 was warranted for both the unwanted emission limitation and the deadline for filing permissive change applications.
|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 .|
Danbury approves funding for volunteer firefighter pager system
Posted About A Week Ago
Fire Chief TJ Wiedl requested additional funding from the city for a volunteer firefighters pager system. He says the pagers are necessary due to infrastructure changes to the City's radio system. The $40,000 will come from the City's Contingency Account. After this allocation, the fund is left with about $184,000. Wiedl told the City Council that the pagers have a five year service contract. He was asked if the radios are damaged due to negligence, who is responsible. Wiedl said the individual companies are going to assign the pagers, and they will be handled like any other equipment.
|Source:||103.7 FM Rock|
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“America, please stop referring to members of the Senate or House as our 'leaders.'
We do NOT answer to them.
They are our representatives and should constantly be reminded of that fact.”
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