|Wireless News Aggregation|
Wishing a safe and happy weekend for all readers of The Wireless Messaging News.
Samsung might actually be facing a second Galaxy Note 7 recall
By Chris Smith on Oct 7, 2016 at 7:45 AM
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall problems are far from over, as replacement units keep exploding. The first such incidents were reported in China a few weeks ago, just as the rest of the world was receiving safe Galaxy Note 7 handsets, the same type of devices that were commercialized in China. Then, earlier this week, a replacement Galaxy Note 7 blew up in an airplane just before takeoff. It’s not clear at this time what caused the explosion, but officials say that a second recall might be on the table.
Samsung said in a statement that it couldn’t confirm what device exploded until it can investigate the matter. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are investigating the event, Bloomberg reports.
“If it’s the fixed phone and it started to smoke in his pocket, I’m going to guess there’ll be another recall,” former executive director of the consumer agency Pamela Gilbert told Bloomberg. “That just doesn’t sound right.”
“Certainly they could do another recall if it appears this is something beyond an aberration,” former acting chairwoman of the safety commission Nancy Nord said. “They need to determine if this was a remediated phone, and if so why did this happen?”
Meanwhile, the Louisville Metro Arson Squad is conducting tests on the burned Galaxy Note 7 to determine what kind of device it was. “Due to the damage to the phone itself, we have not been able to physically confirm that yet,” Captain Kevin Fletcher said. “We’re in the process of trying to attempt that.”
The captain also said there was “extensive heat damage” to the phone and the plane’s carpet. The phone remains in possession of the arson unit, which is looking to schedule lab tests.
The Bloomberg report also reveals one other interesting detail about the cause of original Galaxy Note 7 explosions that may have gone largely unnoticed. The original batteries that Samsung used for the phone were “slightly too large for the phone’s compartment.” The battery components were sometimes pinched, which could cause a short circuit, the safety commission said when announcing the recall on September 15th. [source]
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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Statewide ARES Activation Declared in Florida for Hurricane Matthew
The entire State of Florida was placed under an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Level 1 — or full — activation on October 6, as Hurricane Matthew headed for landfall in the US. The category 4 storm has already caused more than 100 deaths, most of them in Haiti, as it moved northward through the Caribbean. The Northern Florida ARES Net was called up on 3950 or 7252 kHz — depending upon propagation — and will remain operational for the duration of the threat.
“This net is for life safety communications,” ARRL Northern Florida Section Manager Steve Szabo, WB4OMM, stressed. "This net is not for collecting weather data, idle conversations, or 'chit chat.'" The Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet) also has been activated for statewide use for life safety communications, continuing until terminated. SARnet is a network of linked UHF repeaters serving Florida.
“Hurricane Matthew relentlessly pounding the Bahamas . . . potentially disastrous impacts for Florida,” is how the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami characterized the storm, which, at 1800 UTC, was about 65 miles south-southeast of Nassau, the Bahamas, and 125 miles east-southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida. Matthew has maximum sustained winds of 140 MPH and is moving northwest at 14 MPH.
The NHC has predicted that Hurricane Matthew is expected to first reach hurricane warning areas in Florida by late today and will spread northward within the warning area through Friday. Tropical storm conditions are first expected in Florida within the next several hours. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area in northeast Georgia and South Carolina by early Saturday, with tropical storm conditions possible on Friday night.
More than 3,000 Florida residents already had evacuated to shelters by October 6, according to FEMA. Florida Gov Rick Scott said residents should prepare for a direct hit on the state. “This is serious,” he said. “Don't take a chance.”
OMNI Messaging Server
MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)
STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)
The Motorola Nucleus II Paging Base Station is a great paging transmitter. The Nucleus I, however, had some problems.
One of the best features of this product was its modular construction. Most of the Nucleus' component parts were in plug-in modules that were field replaceable making maintenance much easier.
One issue was (and still is) that two of the modules had to always be kept together. They are called the “matched pair.”
Motorola used some tricks to keep people in the field from trying to match unmatched pairs, and force them to send SCM and Exciter modules back to the factory for calibrating them with precision laboratory equipment.
The serial numbers have to match in the Nucleus programing software or you can't transmit. Specifically the 4-level alignment ID parameter contained in the SCM has to match the Exciter ID parameter.
Even if someone could modify the programing software to “fudge” these parameters, that would not let them use unmatched modules effectively without recalibrating them to exact factory specifications.
So now that there is no longer a Motorola factory laboratory to send them to, what do we do?
I hope someone can help us resolve this serious problem for users of the Nucleus paging transmitter.
Please let me know if you can help. [ click here ]
BlackBerry Ltd sales exec tells BBC: There will be a new keyboard model within 6 months
The Canadian Press | October 6, 2016 12:09 PM ET
TORONTO — One of BlackBerry’s top sales executives says the company will release a new smartphone with its distinctive physical keyboard within six months.
The comment was made in a BBC video interview published Wednesday, a week after the Canadian smartphone pioneer announced it would stop doing hardware development in-house.
Instead, it said it would rely on partners to produce BlackBerry devices.
It’s been an open secret that BlackBerry has at least one more smartphone with a keyboard that hasn’t been released.
But chairman and CEO John Chen said last week that he hadn’t decided whether it would be brought to market.
The company’s senior vice-president for global device sales, Alex Thurber, was less vague in his interview with BBC.
“There will still be a keyboard-based BlackBerry device, designed and distributed within the next six months,” he said.
Thurber said that the keyboards set BlackBerrys apart from market-leading Apple and Samsung smartphones that feature touch screens.
“I think there’s a demand for keyboard phones. As we’ve been showing mockups of what we’ve been working on, to our carrier and distributor partners, they are very excited about this,” Thurber said in the three-minute video.
He addressed confusion about whether BlackBerry smartphones will disappear or continue to be available after in-house design and development ceases by the end of the company’s 2017 financial year on Feb. 28.
“We’ll now be working with partners to take our software onto their hardware. So there will continue to be BlackBerry-branded devices for sale all over the world,” Thurber said.
The only such partnership announced is with a joint venture company that will primarily make BlackBerrys for the Indonesian market.
The keyboard phone is expected to be a DTEK model. The first DTEK — a touch-screen device using a BlackBerry version of the Android operating system — began shipping in August.
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Missouri School Boards' Association and CrisisGo Offer No Cost Emergency Mobile Communications To Every School in Missouri
CrisisGo Communications App Will Help School Staff and School Parents Report Emergencies and Stay Connected During Crisis Incidents
SUNNYVALE, CA (PRWEB) OCTOBER 04, 2016
Recognizing the increased threats and safety needs facing public schools, the Missouri School Boards' Association and CrisisGo, Inc., have teamed up to offer all Missouri schools, teachers, staff and parent communities an easy-to-use mobile emergency communications technology that can make schools safer. Beginning on October 1st, Missouri schools can now offer their employees, teachers and parent community the CrisisGo mobile app with the Panic Button feature and emergency notification platform activated for free for a three-year period.
With the CrisisGo mobile communications app on their smartphones, teachers and school staff will be able to use the CrisisGo panic button feature to report emergency incidents immediately to school administration and the school safety team. That feature combined with the CrisisGo notification feature, will give school communities powerful real time communications to keep school communities informed in an emergency, when every second counts.
"Missouri schools, like the rest of our society, are not exempt from threats and emergencies," said Melissa Randol, MSBA Executive Director. “With this no cost program, schools in our state can add another layer of protection for our students by putting a real-time emergency notification tool in the hands of every teacher, staff member and school parent.”
To be eligible for this free program, Missouri School Districts must register with CrisisGo at http://www.crisisgo.com/free-teacher-panic before December 15, 2016. Each participating school will have access to a district and school site(s) account that includes the CrisisGo mobile app with the Panic Button and group notification features activated for a three-year period at no cost for all school site employees and their parent communities. Parents can learn about how they can participate at their children's schools at: http://crisisgo.com/schoolsafety.
“We are encouraging every school in our state to sign up for this safe schools program,” said Jim Spicuzza, CrisisGo Founder. “The free panic button and emergency notification features, now available to all Missouri schools, are just two key elements of the CrisisGo Emergency Management Platform to help schools and other organizations prepare for and effectively manage crisis situations.”
CrisisGo will offer implementation services to participating Missouri school districts to get schools up and running with the emergency communications app as soon as possible. After a district signs up for the program at http://www.crisisgo.com/free-teacher-panic, CrisisGo will set up individual district and school accounts and provide training resources with information for districts to give to staff and parents about how to download the CrisisGo app and secure login instructions.
About CrisisGo, Inc.
|Product Support Services, Inc.|
Repair and Refurbishment Services
Product Support Services, Inc.
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.
|RF Demand Solutions|
Motorola Solutions Buys Florida Channel Partner
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Motorola Solutions acquired Wireless Technology Equipment Co. (WTEC), a privately held provider of communications system support and two-way radios. WTEC now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Solutions.
As a Motorola Solutions channel partner and service specialist, WTEC provides engineering, installation and programming services, as well as system management and repair services throughout Florida, including Orange County, Lee County and Polk County. WTEC was founded in 1996. It is headquartered in Orlando and has locations in Fort Myers, Lakeland, Sarasota and Tampa.
Motorola Solutions also expanded the number of experienced technicians in its Plantation facility to provide support capabilities to South Florida customers. They will serve Broward, Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Customers also will be able to come into the Plantation facility for mission-critical service needs, including equipment servicing and repairs.
“For more than 85 years, Motorola Solutions has supported first responders in Florida, and we continue to do so with the acquisition of WTEC and by expanding the number of technicians we have serving South Florida,” said Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown. “This bolsters our presence across the state, which already includes dozens of Motorola Solutions service partners as well as a world-class innovation and design center in Plantation.”
“It’s exciting to see global companies like Motorola Solutions continue choosing to invest in Florida,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “Motorola currently employs more than 1,000 Floridians, and we will keep working to help job creators succeed in our state.”
|Source:||Mission Control Communications|
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?
Cell phone providers: Limit your social media use during storm for better service
BY CBS12 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6TH 2016
As Hurricane Matthew makes its way to Florida, cell phone providers are reminding customers to charge up, be ready for busy signals, and limit social media activity.
AT&T said it staged emergency response equipment in strategic locations to help with outages, but people can expect a high volume of calls coming in and out of the area.
“Be prepared for high call volume,” a press release stated.
"During an emergency, many people are trying to use their phones at the same time. This may congest the network, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again."
Limiting social media activity will help limit network congestion and help keep lines open for emergency situations.
Other tips include:
Track the storm live here.
When Motorola was closing down their paging operations, ISC Technologies purchased several “matched pairs” of the SCM and Exciter modules that are used in the Nucleus Paging Base Station.
These modules are essential for transmitting FLEX or ReFLEX in simulcast, and as far as I know, are the only “new” ones available.
Anyone interested in purchasing these modules should contact ISC direct:
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have any wireless equipment that you would like to buy or sell, please let me know. I don't charge for an individual listing. If a sale is made through this newsletter, I ask the seller to send me a 10% commission (on the honor system) much the same as the voluntary payments that are requested on the Internet for shareware. There is no cost to the buyer.
Negotiations are directly between the buyer and the seller.
Wireless Communication Solutions
USB Paging Encoder
Paging Data Receiver (PDR)
Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.
SEE WEB FOR COMPLETE LIST:
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.
Reminder: 911 Reliability Certification Due October 15
Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements:
Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal, which can be found here.
FCC Announces Effective Date for Lifeline Revisions; ETC Forbearance Election for Voice-Only Services due December 2.
On October 3, the FCC announced that it has published in the Federal Register the Office of Management and Budget’s approval of its 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order. As a result, the following rules are coming into effect:
It is important to note that, as a part of the Lifeline Modernization proceeding, support for voice-only service will be phased out of the coming years, unless the FCC’s forbearance grant applies. The FCC concluded that it is in the public interest to forbear, pursuant to section 10 of the Act, "from requiring existing ETCs that are not Lifeline-only to offer Lifeline-supported BIAS in areas where they do not commercially offer such service or do not receive high-cost support." ETCs that seek to avail themselves of this forbearance must file a notification with the FCC that they are availing themselves of this relief and identify those areas by Census block where they intend to avail themselves of forbearance relief by December 2, 2016. Thus, ETCs that are not Lifeline-only will be able to continue to offer voice-only service, and will remain eligible for Lifeline broadband support to the extent that they elect to provide that service, if they file notice of their intent to take advantage of forbearance. Forbearance, however, does not extend to areas where existing ETCs commercially offer BIAS pursuant to their high-cost USF obligations and such service meets the Lifeline program's minimum service requirements, in which case ETCs remain subject to the Lifeline broadband service obligation. ETCs that do not provide such notices will be required to offer Lifeline-supported BIAS in the designated service areas pursuant to their existing ETC designations effective December 1, 2016.
Stage 2 Bidding in Forward Auction Expected to Commence Soon
Reverse auction bidding by broadcasters is apparently drawing to a close, which means that Stage 2 bidding in the forward auction will begin soon, and could commence as early as Tuesday, October 11. We urge authorized bidders to plan accordingly. Because the conclusion of bidding in the reverse auction depends on the bids submitted, the FCC cannot yet set a specific date for the start of Stage 2 of the forward auction. However, the FCC today sent forward auction authorized bidders a notice via email explaining its timetable, as follows:
On the next business day after Stage 2 of the reverse auction concludes, the FCC will announce the initial bidding schedule for Stage 2 of the forward auction via the Public Reporting System (PRS). This announcement will specify the date and time of the first round of bidding, which will be three business days later. In addition, the countdown timer in the forward auction bidding system will begin that day to count down to the start of round 1 of Stage 2. Thus, Stage 2 forward auction bidding will begin four business days after the close of Stage 2 reverse auction bidding and three business days after the announcement of the specific bidding start date in the PRS.
This is a slight relaxation from the indication in the auction procedures notice that forward auction bidding would proceed one business day after the reverse auction concluded. We will keep you apprised of any firm dates when they are announced. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions.
FCC Streamlines Foreign Ownership Rules
On September 29, the FCC adopted rules to extend the streamlined foreign ownership approval process to include broadcast licensees, with certain broadcast-specific modifications. It also adopts revisions to the 310(b) compliance assessment process.
With regard to the extension of streamlined Common Carrier Foreign Ownership Procedures to Broadcast Licensees, the FCC:
With regard to the reforms adopted for assessing compliance with §310(b), the FCC:
FCC Updates Wireless Emergency Alert System
On September 29, the FCC adopted a series of updates to improve the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), a system that delivers critical warnings and information via wireless phones. According to a press release on the Report and Order, the updated rules will:
The FCC also proposed and sought comment on additional improvements to WEA, including how to provide emergency managers with the ability to send multilingual alert content (in addition to Spanish) and measures to improve consumer education about WEA.
Comment deadlines have not yet been established.
FCC Issues NPRM on Pay-TV Programming Contracts
On September 29, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to prohibit the use of certain clauses in pay TV programming distribution contracts that, according to the FCC, “impede carriage of independent and diverse programming.” Specifically, the proposed rules would prevent pay TV providers from including so-called “unconditional” most favored nation (MFN) and “unreasonable” alternative distribution method (ADM) clauses in their contracts with independent programmers. Comment deadlines have not yet been established.
An “unconditional” MFN clause entitles a pay TV provider to receive favorable contract terms that a programmer has given to another programming distributor, without requiring the pay TV provider to assume any corresponding obligations from the other distribution agreement. An ADM clause generally prohibits or limits a programmer from putting its programming on alternative video distribution platforms, such as online platforms. According to the FCC, these clauses “limit the incentives and ability of independent programmers to experiment with innovative carriage terms and to license their content on alternative, innovative platforms, restrictive contract provisions deprive consumers of the benefits that otherwise would flow from enhanced competition in the video programming and distribution marketplace.”
Law & Regulation
FCC Clarifies Robocall Blocking
On September 30, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) issued a Public Notice clarifying that if a subscriber to a telephone number requests call blocking in order to prevent its telephone number from being spoofed, a voice service provider (whether providing such service through TDM, VoIP or CMRS) may block such calls so they do not reach the recipient consumer. According to the Public Notice, the purpose of this clarification is to “spur pro-consumer initiatives, such as a “Do-Not-Originate” database, that will further protect consumers from robocallers who pretend to be trusted callers in an attempt to annoy and defraud consumers.”
The Public Notice goes on to specify that voice service providers may block such calls when requested by the spoofed number’s subscriber, e.g., a government agency such as the IRS. “Such calls are presumptively spoofed and thus likely to violate the Commission’s anti-spoofing rules. Moreover, the spoofed number’s subscriber has a legitimate interest in stopping the spoofed calls — in light of the significant reputational damage and other harms they cause.”
USAC Posts Capital Investment Allowance Worksheet
On October 4, the Universal Service Administrative Company announced that availability of resources to aid rate-of-return carriers in determining their capital investment allowance (CIA) under the new Rate-of-Return Reform Order requirements. The CIA sets a maximum for capital investment expenses that a rate-of-return carrier may include for purposes of calculating High Cost Loop Support (HCLS) and Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS). As adopted in the Rate-of-Return Reform Order, the CIA will first apply to investment made in 2017.
According to USAC’s announcement, the CIA Resources provide illustrative results showing a carrier’s allowance, had CIA had been applied to its 2015 investment, and a worksheet that allows carriers to calculate the CIA based on their own inputs. In addition, documentation of the CIA methodology is available to accompany the illustrative results and template.
WCB Releases Guidance on A-CAM Election
On September 30, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) issued a Public Notice announcing the release of a spreadsheet that provides the following information for each incumbent telephone company rate-of-return study area: census blocks where an unsubsidized competitor reports the deployment of voice service and broadband Internet access service of 10 Mbps upstream/1 Mbps downstream; the name of the unsubsidized competitor(s) reporting deployment in that block; the technology used by each competitor; the percent of the census block covered by the incumbent rate-of-return carrier; and the land area within the census block in the carrier’s study area. This file can be found at: https://transition.fcc.gov/wcb/OverlapBlocks2016ForPub.xlsx.
The WCB also released an updated version of the study area deployment figure for each individual rate-of-return carrier, which was originally made available on September 19, 2016. The updated version corrects study area deployment figures for a small number of carriers. The updated information can be found at: https://transition.fcc.gov/wcb/Revised coverage data.xlsx.
According to the Public Notice, the census blocks identified are those in which competitor has certified that it is able to serve at least one customer. The WCB actually anticipates that the actual number of blocks deemed served by qualified unsubsidized competitors after the challenge process will be substantially lower than the numbers provided today. This information is provided solely as a tool for rate-of-return carriers wishing to analyze the possible competitors that may participate in the challenge process in the future. This Public Notice does not commence the challenge process.
RFID Registration Requirement Submitted for Renewal; PRA Comments Due December 5
On October 4, the FCC published notice in the Federal Register that it has asked OMB to renew the location reporting requirement associated with RFID devices operating in the 433 MHz band. Specifically, Section 15.240 of the FCC’s rules requires each grantee of certification for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Equipment to register the location of the equipment/devices its markets with the FCC. RFIC devices use radio frequency energy to identify the contents of commercial shipping containers. Operations must be limited to commercial and industrial areas such as ports, rail terminals and warehouses. The information that the grantee must supply to the FCC when registering the device(s) must include the name, address and other pertinent contact information of users, the geographic coordinates of the operating location, and the FCC identification number(s) of the equipment. This information is relayed by the FCC to other Federal government users (such as Air Force bases) so that interference issues can be avoided.
Interested parties may submit Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments by December 5. Unlike traditional FCC comments, PRA comments must focus on :
BloostonLaw routinely prepares PRA comments and is available for assistance.
Verizon Threatens to Fire Field Technicians Who Repair Copper Lines
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has reported that Verizon has issued a memo to its workers instructing them that they can be disciplined for repairing copper lines in certain cases. Instead of fixing these lines, an internal Verizon memo instructs workers in Pennsylvania that absent special circumstances, they must attempt to replace broken copper lines with a device that will connect the customer’s land-line telephone to Verizon’s wireless network. The September 20 internal memo states in part that “[f]ailure to follow this directive may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.” As a result, the CWA has requested that the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission order Verizon to cease forcing its customers with damaged copper lines to move to a wireless hookup.
In making this complaint, CWA stated that its field technician members are required to have the VoiceLink (the wireless home telephone service) units in their trucks and are required to refuse repairs to copper lines serving voice only customers. The CWA pointed out that VoiceLink and copper are not one-in-the-same — especially since VoiceLink will not support security alarms, fax machines, medical devices that require telephone monitoring. Nonetheless, Verizon claimed in its internal memo that the migration of customers to VoiceLink from copper in non-FiOS areas would provide customers with “the best possible network performance.”
The union noted that Verizon’s push towards VoiceLink is part of a larger Verizon strategy to transition customers from the copper-based public switched telephone network (“PSTN”) to IP-based voice services that rely on fiber optic cable and wireless transmissions. Following Superstorm Sandy, Verizon sought permission to replace its wireline plant in Western Fire Island with VoiceLink service. Verizon agreed to install fiber instead of relying on the VoiceLink system because of push-back from residents, advocacy groups and government officials.
FCC Solicits Nominations for Intergovernmental Advisory Committee
On September 29, the FCC announced the reauthorization of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (“IAC” or “Committee”) and solicits nominations for membership on the IAC. The current term of the IAC expired on July 14, 2016. The term of operations for the reauthorized IAC will be limited to two years, with an option for reauthorization at the end of the two-year period, and will commence with its first meeting. Nominations for membership are due by December 5, 2016.
The IAC is composed of fifteen members (or their designated employees) as follows:
Nominees for IAC membership must submit their applications:
Applications must be received by 5 pm no later than December 5, 2016. Applications submitted via email must be sent to email@example.com. Hardcopy applications submitted via mail must be addressed to: Attn: Carmen Scanlon, Attorney Advisor, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.
OCTOBER 15: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. The Commission’s rules require Covered 911 Service Providers to take “reasonable measures” to provide reliable service with respect to 911 circuit diversity, central office backup power, and diverse network monitoring, as evidenced by an annual certification of compliance with specified best practices or reasonable alternative measures. The Reliability Certification requires covered providers to demonstrate meeting the requirements of the Annual Reliability Certification, which for 100% percent of the Covered 911 Service Provider’s critical 911 circuits, central offices that directly serve public safety answering points (PSAPs), and independently monitored 911 service areas.
NOVEMBER 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.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org .|
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|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
Ask Her to Stop Paging Me
One guy who works in the customer service call center of a national pager company. He deals with the usual complaints regarding poor pager operation, as well as the occasional crank caller demanding to be paged less often, more often, or by more interesting people.
The best call came from a man who repeatedly complained that he keeps being paged by "Lucille." He was instructed that he would have to call her and tell her to stop paging him.
“She don't never leave no number, so I can't call her back,” he said.
After three such calls, someone thought to ask how he knew it was Lucille if she didn't leave a number.
“She leaves her name,” was the reply.
After establishing that the customer had a numeric-only pager, the light bulb came on.
“How does she spell her name?” the service rep asked.
|PHOTO OF THE WEEK|
|National Geographic||PHOTOGRAPH BY MIHAI GAGIU, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC YOUR SHOT|
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