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Friday — May 22, 2015 — Issue No. 658

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

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

3 new iOS 9 features were just revealed in a huge new leak

Image Source: Jonathan S. Geller, BGR

By Brad Reed on May 22, 2015 at 11:58 AM

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has been all over iOS 9 leaks this week and he’s back with a new report today that outlines more features the new software will deliver. In the preface to his article, Gurman makes clear that this is not going to be the most exciting iOS release. In fact, he says that Apple is putting most of its work into adding stability improvements for the platform, which went through several less-than-stellar releases with iOS 7 and iOS 8. That said, he did highlight three features we can expect to see at WWDC this year.


The first feature is something called Rootless that Apple apparently thinks will be a “huge blow” to jailbreakers. This will be a kernel-level feature that will “prevent even administrative-level users from being able to access certain protected files on Apple devices,” which will help keep data on the device safe from malware and other intrusions.

The second major security feature has to do with iCloud, the cloud storage service whose security came under fire last year after hackers were able to swipe nude photos from celebrities’ iCloud accounts. With iCloud Drive, Apple will use a new syncing process that reportedly “offers better end-to-end encryption and faster syncing than traditional IMAP servers.”

And finally, Apple is working on a feature called Trusted Wi-Fi that would implement higher levels of encryption on wireless networks that aren’t listed as trusted.

Gurman’s whole report contains a lot more details about the upcoming iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 releases. Check it out by clicking here .

Now on to more news and views

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About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association.

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Look At What They Are Doing In Germany

Berlin's grid serves 3.6 million people, has 2.3 million connections, comprises 37,000 kilometers of power lines, and works 24 hours a day.

How one-way communication technologies promote IoT

Dietmar Gollnick — 24/04/2015 — Energy, Technology

“Just think how much we would save on security and system reliability — and get permanent coverage, too!”

The Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to become a reality, even if some sources claim otherwise. Here’s my top 6 list to explain how one-way communication technologies are helping to keep us grounded while still realizing IoT applications — today!


Stromnetz Berlin GmbH , a company in the Vattenfall Group and Germany’s largest citywide distribution grid operator, needed to find a reliable, inexpensive, and immediate solution for managing all of its many affiliated energy consumers, including small-scale producing facilities — in order to switch them as needed. The NP2M network from e*Message was in place, and in a very short time, Bosch Software Innovations and e*Message were able to immediately find a smart grid solution and put it in motion — it’s been in operation in Germany’s capital since September 2014.

Three months later, the solution received the Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award : it was the only innovation to be recognized in both the IT and energy categories. Stromnetz Berlin stressed that, instead of spending considerable sums just to upgrade the conventional technology in one section of Berlin’s Neukölln district, they were able to implement a solution throughout the entire city for just a fraction of the cost.

In this situation, a web-based control solution was ruled out for various reasons: the immediate availability required, the cost, and the burden placed on the system by a steep increase in the number of facilities to be controlled were all factors. However, a web-based control solution will gradually be made available for additional services.

NP2M solutions — already available. The telecommunications networks they need – rolled out nationwide. They supplement IoT solutions — starting now. Where they provide the most benefit.

Stromnetz Berlin's control room


Let’s look at Vattenfall Stromnetz and switches for the new energy grid (Berlin smart grid). If you miniaturize and scale it, the StromPager technology used there has a chance to become a real commodity, in the same way NP2M did. For instance, by using it in radio chips on IP boards. Maybe they won’t be used immediately or everywhere, but they’re ready to go for future applications. NP2M offers up at least one good example of how this might work: Back at the beginning of the 2010s, a new market for personal weather stations emerged, driven by good design and good sales management, and fantastic value for the money. Millions of units were used in interface boards. These weather stations delivered forecasts and warnings transmitted using national infrastructure. And all of these existing devices, found in millions of households across Europe, rely on an NP2M interface. Further refined, this interface is now part of the e*Nergy solution. To illustrate, here’s a list of such stations .

Provided the batch size is large enough, the additional protection offered by non-IP technology on an IP receiver board still costs (almost) nothing.

Diagram of Vattenfall (Stromnetz) chain of events – Bosch Software Innovations – e*Message device: e*Nergy system overview


A few years back, Siemens manufactured cell phones. Themselves. Well, not everything themselves, but under their brand name. Even in the final weeks of Siemens Mobile’s existence, no one saw any reason to even talk about this device’s available technologies, other than the usual GSM technology (and to some degree, WLAN). Today, every smartphone has GSM, GPRS, LTE, Bluetooth, and of course WiFi. And yet some people still cling to the idea that each device, each receiver, can be connected to only one infrastructure. Sure, some infrastructure providers would love that. But does it make sense?

One device, one receiver board, one chip set — everything can and should contain complementary technologies. It makes everything more secure. Think hybrid solutions.


The more connected things are, the more information they create. And of course the more everyday objects that get connected, the more important data protection becomes. The data produced make users more transparent, especially information gleaned from sensor data that has nothing to do with the device’s actual purpose. It’s out there in the world, and trying to control who has access to it today (or tomorrow) is often hard work.

The best thing would be if unnecessary data were never created in the first place. Comparing one-way technologies (such as good old radio or TV) and streaming offers makes it clear: the value to the user is the same, but in the second case, information is created about how the user reacts. Sometimes this is desirable, sometimes less so. Sometimes it becomes a problem for the data protection club.

When talking about special applications, complementary one-way technologies can provide added value. Still, it’s no secret that protection against unauthorized access could be easier to guarantee.


If a device is located somewhere outside, in some cases it makes sense for its default setting to be “asleep”. That is, it’s using virtually no electricity. It only “wakes up” when action is required. In the same way, in the case of a widespread power outage, StromPager could be used to activate smaller energy generators or sources. Or what about the smoke detector? We expect it to perch on the ceiling, ready to go at any point throughout its 10-year lifetime. And it should also sound the alarm in the case of a major catastrophe – even if there’s a power outage! Another example: a container locating system that is permanently installed, transmitting its coordinates in case of theft or loss. But until then, it should use as little energy as possible. Once again, a one-way technology can be woken up as needed.

For some applications, the device should be woken up only when needed. This wake-up effect can be delivered by NP2M using the StromPager network.


Everything’s IP — the same infrastructure everywhere, all parts connected with and dependent on each other. Sure, this is convenient. But it’s a bit dangerous, too. And if the worst case scenario does happen, it can even be deadly. See also the article Seven enterprise risks to consider . Ministries of the interior used to have fax machines, vehicles equipped with loudspeakers, and analog telecommunication cables. Not to mention index cards and buzzers. These days, one IP conversion project chases the next. And what about that familiar virtue of the good German engineer: better to be redundant, two is better than one? My thinking is that, if I’m in a critical situation where I have to have light, I don’t turn on first one light and then the other — I turn both on at the same time.

There aren’t that many things these days that, in the case of disaster, I can use as a secure backup other than the internet. Most of them are broadcast-based, like TV or radio. Or NP2M.

We should be glad that the infrastructure that complements IP networks is maintained, to some degree expanded, and used more often. Both because of the benefits of the internet and because then we can use IP networks more or less without reservation.

Low correlation of the components — high availability of the whole system

The top 6 show that you can’t equate “smart” with the exclusive use of internet technologies for communication. That’s good news, because complementing them with one-way communication technologies such as NP2M makes many things easier: NP2M solutions are cost-effective. They don’t use much in the way of resources. They offer additional security when it comes to availability, coverage, and even access security. In hybrid solutions, they are part of an ideal communication infrastructure for IoT applications.

Watch the StromPager video:

About The Author

Dietmar Gollnick
Dr. Dietmar Gollnick has been President of Management Board at e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH since 1999. He is also CEO of e*Message in Europe, which has locations in Germany and France, and President of the French company. Gollnick, who holds a doctorate in mathematics, oversaw the setup of Europe’s largest secure radio network, which supports e*Message, one of four mobile network operators in Germany. A native of Berlin, Gollnick is a highly sought-after expert on questions about mobile network security, paging, and trunked radio networks. He sits on the supervisory and advisory boards of companies in the security and professional mobile radio (PMR) sectors, and is a driving force on various working groups at ETSI (European Telecommunication Standards Institute) and CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations). Under his leadership, NP2M technology (narrowband point-to-multipoint) has developed into a recognized, independent transmission group. Mr. Gollnick is a guest author to the Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.
Source: Bosch blog

Prism Paging

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  • VoIP telephone access — eliminate interconnect expense
  • Call from anywhere — Prism SIP Gateway allows calls from PSTN and PBX
  • All the Features for Paging, Voice-mail, Text-to-Pager, Wireless and DECT phones
  • Prism Inet, the new IP interface for TAP, TNPP, SNPP, SMTP — Industry standard message input
  • Direct Connect to NurseCall, Assisted Living, Aged Care, Remote Monitoring, Access Control Systems

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

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Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

Emergency Preparedness Fair set for May 30

Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2015 11:00 am

The East 1488 Community Emergency Response Team in partnership with the East 1488 Community Association will sponsor the 6th annual East 1488 Emergency Preparedness Fair on Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Home Depot Parking lot located at 6119 FM 1488, off Egypt Lane, East of Hwy 2978.

The fair is held to help residents become better prepared for disasters or emergencies, whether widespread or personal. Drawings will be held for prizes throughout the day and attendees will take away items and information that will help them as they prepare their 72-hour emergency kits and develop their family emergency plans.

“When the word disaster is mentioned, most people immediately think of hurricanes,” Cindy Burks, president of the East 1488 CERT said. “However, risk factors for residents of Montgomery County include, but are not limited to, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, chemical leaks/spills and acts of terrorism.”

Burks said it is very important that residents, especially those who live in rural communities, prepare themselves to meet the challenges they will face following an emergency. At the fair, residents can listen to preparedness presentations on a variety of related topics throughout the day.

Booths will have information and displays provided by various emergency responders and organizations, including the East 1488 CERT (Community Emergency Response Team); Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department; Montgomery County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service); Montgomery County Search and Rescue; Medical Reserve Corps (Public Health District); Emergency Medical Service (Montgomery County Health District); Montgomery County Crime Stoppers; Montgomery County Sheriff's Department; Montgomery County 911; Help Our County; and Texas Forest Service.

At the fair, the E1488 CERT will also present a Disaster Simulation from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to demonstrate to the community learned in CERT training.

Information will also be available about the free CERT course conducted by the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and team members will answer questions about the CERT training they received. Residents are strongly encouraged to sign up and become CERT trained.

“HAM radio is an essential part of our East 1488 emergency communications plan and residents are also encouraged to sign up for a HAM radio class and get their HAM license,” Burks said. “Residents will be able to talk with members of Montgomery County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) at the fair and learn more about the training.”

Home Depot will provide free hot dogs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a kids workshop. They will also provide information on various topics such as generators; sheltering in place; waste disposal; fire extinguishers and other tools and equipment.

Residents are encouraged, and provided the information needed, to take the following four important steps to become better prepared to meet the challenges they will face during an emergency, whether is a personal one such as a house fire or an area-wide disaster.

BUILD A KIT - Include at least a three day (72 hour) supply of water, food and other essential supplies. Place in a covered container or backpack for convenience in case you must evacuate. Store in a convenient, cool location and replace or rotate items periodically as needed. Supplies in a basic kit might include food, water, medications, first aid items, bedding, clothing, flashlight, radio, extra batteries, wrenches to turn off utilities, and unique items for family members with special needs, etc.

MAKE A PLAN - Whether the emergency is a personal one such as a house fire or an area-wide disaster, an emergency plan is important to help you locate family members and communicate with them. Sit down with your family, make a plan, give each family member a copy and periodically review the plan with them.

STAY INFORMED - Stay informed both before and during the emergency. Our source for local emergency information is KSTAR radio 99.7 FM. Tune to KTRH, 740 AM, for the Emergency Alert System.

Residents are encouraged to register for CODE RED. Those who register will be notified by phone if emergency situations arise in their area. Call (936) 523-5900 or go to and click on Code Red. To pre-register a special needs person who would require assistance to evacuate, call 211.

GET INVOLVED - Find opportunities to support community preparedness. This might include getting trained and volunteering to support disaster efforts in your community, becoming part of the community planning process, joining or starting a preparedness project, or supporting major disaster by donating cash or goods to meet the needs of your community during a disaster.

For more information visit

Additional information about the Fair will be posted, as it becomes available, on , The East 1488 Community Emergency Response Team (E1488 CERT) website. Questions about the event or East 1488 CERT can be sent to .


American Messaging


American Messaging


WaveWare Technologies

2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

Now stocking the full line of Daviscomms paging products

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SPS-5v9E Paging System

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DMG Protocol Converter

  • Linux Based Embedded System
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WaveWare Technologies

Easy Solutions

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Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

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Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Berlin’s Grid is Smart

Stefanie Peitzker — 30/03/2015 — Energy, Projects

Making a grid smart does not necessarily mean that everything has to be connected via the internet. In fact, we are convinced that “ IoT implemented” means connecting things in the smartest way possible.

Stromnetz Berlin , the grid operator of Germany’s capital has proven that in this case the smartest way to ensure that the city’s inhabitants are never left in the dark unexpectedly is StromPager, a radio-based technology.

The key facts of this smart grid project

Berlin’s grid serves 3.6 million people, has 2.3 million connections, comprises 37,000 kilometers of power lines, and works 24 hours a day.

Now, with StromPager, a joint project of Stromnetz Berlin, Bosch Software Innovations, and e*Message , plants can not only easily be switched on and off when but also groups of facilities can be operated ad-hoc or scheduled with the click of a mouse.

Unstable or overloaded grid? Maybe a matter of yesterday. Surely not today!

By the way: Security and reliability are integral parts of this smart grid technology. When talking of IT security in the context of energy infrastructure in Germany, the high standards of BSI (Germany’s Federal Agency for Security in Information Technology) have to be fulfilled — which StromPager does naturally.

And of course, speaking of connectivity via Internet: this will soon play a growing role with Stromnetz Berlin implementing new use cases, e.g. by integrating weather forecast data to implement even smarter switching and emand response programs , or by integrating EV charging points into the smart city or other initiatives.

The metropolis on the Spree river is the first city in Germany to use this technology.

Stefanie Peitzker Xing
I have a graduate degree in management with a specialization in geography (University Augsburg, Germany). Since 2003, I work for Bosch Software Innovations: I have built up marketing for Visual Rules, our Business Rules Management System and contributed in winning customers around the globe. Since January 2009, I run the Marketing Solutions team at Bosch Software Innovations, an agile team of currently seven associates, all trying to permanently learn more about the customers´needs and market trends — focused on making software solutions a real experience. I have been writing for different technology magazines ( e.g. JavaMagazine). When I don't work, I love to spend time — leisure as well as action — with my kids and in my running shoes around the Lake of Constance.

The Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog is hosted by Bosch Software Innovations. Our bloggers are passionate customers, partners, analysts, guests and associates from the world of Bosch who share a common vision: to make the Internet of Things come true.

Source: Bosch blog

Ivy Corp  UltraTek Security Cameras



Please click the Learn More button.

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

All information is on the site: left arrow

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

Critical Response Systems

More than Paging.
First Responder Solutions.

Our patented technology notifies clinical personnel immediately, while tracking who receives and responds to each alarm. Users confirm or defer each event with a single button press, and analytic dashboards display response statistics in real time, as well as historically broken down by time, unit, room, and individual.

Our systems not only notify your personnel quickly and reliably, but also provide actionable feedback to fine-tune your procedures, reduce unnecessary alarms, and improve patient outcomes.


Bring On the New Emoji!


It's great to see Unicode tweaking emoji to make them even more useful.

Unicode emojis

Unicode is pushing 38 new emoji for inclusion into its image library. Not all of them will appeal to everyone, but some of them look pretty important: "shrug," "rolling on the floor laughing," "motor scooter" and "clinking glasses" are going to get pretty high usage, I'd imagine.

I'm probably more of a curmudgeon than the next guy, but I love emoji. Far from being newfangled geekery, they obey some very old priorities of the Internet. Emoji are brilliant because they have high information density, but they are low bandwidth, asynchronous, and interoperable.

It cracks me up how these priorities are the same as when I first got online in the 1980s. People want to communicate; that's what the Net is for. They want to communicate as much as they can, with maximum reliability, with the minimum number of keystrokes, to anyone else on the Net.

That's why emoji are so much better than, say, stickers or picture messaging, and often better than simple text. Emoji add tone and context to ASCII text, which famously has always lacked tone. That's why we've had emoticons for decades—to add tone. Emoji make it much easier to type and access what were once some pretty arcane and difficult-to-decipher emoticons . (I remember typing half of those on Usenet in the 1990s.) They're a popularization as much as an innovation, building on decades of Internet communication.

Unicode's participation is vital. I'm deeply concerned about the fragmentation of the Net into silos of incompatible proprietary messaging systems. Facebook's Pusheen and Line's stickers —basically, proprietary emoji—are just another form of lock-in, trying to get you to speak a language that's owned and operated by one for-profit company. Ew.

Picture messaging takes time and effort. It can be very high information density—it's worth 1,000 words after all—but it isn't quick, and it strains low-bandwidth networks. Plain text lacks some of the additional connotations and informational haloing we've attached to emoji and emoticons. The shruggie is much more evocative than just "shrug." The "100" emoji, with its dynamic form and evocations of both a teacher's red pen on an exam and corporate faux-enthusiasm, holds more shadows and reflections than just "100."

Interoperability is also just plain key for something to go truly viral. Emoji, Unicode reminds us, come in part from the emotion systems that MSN and Yahoo Messenger used. But just like with SMS text messaging, they only took off once they were standardized and universalized. As we watch mobile payments fail yet again in the U.S., it's good to remember the importance of standards.

Making Emoji Even Better
It's important to understand that emoji are not some sort of corruption or destruction of language. They are an addition to language. This is not Idiocracy, and for that matter, to say emoji lead to Idiocracy is to say that people aren't using them as multivalent ideograms or enhancements to ASCII text, which they are in fact doing.

Now that emoji are out in the wild, I'd really like to see as many removed as are added. With too many emoji, there's a discovery problem; you have to scroll too much to find the one you want. More categories could help, but for instance, I have trouble seeing how a lot of the "symbol" emoji are usable in the West, and that's a large category, accounting for 164 emoji. They could remain in the Unicode standard but not be surfaced on U.S. keyboards. Unicode's report on Emoji usage frequency is really helpful here.

The addition of the new croissant emoji (and previously, the addition of multiple skin colors on human emoji ) also show that Unicode is making the emoji set more culturally global, which is great. Emoji started out in Japan, so a lot of the food, especially, is Japanese. Unicode is being a good steward by managing its emoji stable. And if that means English is becoming partially an ideogrammatic language, well, I don't have a problem with that.

Note: PCMag's content management system does not permit me to type emoji, in case you were wondering.


Leavitt Communications


Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATIONbendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COMmotorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone:847-494-0000
Skype ID:pcleavitt

STI Engineering

sti header

250W VHF Paging Transmitter

STI Engineering’s RFI-148 250 high performance paging transmitter features true DDS frequency generation that enables precise control and flexibility for a wide range of data transmission applications.

The transmitter is particularly suitable for large simulcast POCSAG and FLEX paging networks and can be used as drop-in replacement of older and obsolete transmitters. The unit has a proven track record in large scale critical messaging systems.

sti tx
  • High power output
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  • DSP precision modulation
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  • Remote firmware upgrade capability
  • Software selectable frequency offset
  • Adjustable absolute delay correction
  • Front panel diagnostics
  • Hardware alarm outputs
  • High frequency stability
  • External reference option
  • FCC and ACMA approved
  • CE compliant version in development
22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
Facsimile:  +61 8 9248 2833

Emergency Communications, Public Alerts, Warnings Legislation Passed Out Of House HS Committee

By: Anthony Kimery, Editor-in-Chief
05/20/2015 ( 3:32pm)
Homeland Security Today

Legislation that would improve interoperable communications for first responders has been passed by the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Introduced by Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), the State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act , or SWIC Enhancement Act (HR 2206), would require states to have a Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) or to delegate activities related to achieving interoperability to other individuals.

The legislation was passed out of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications with unanimous bipartisan support last week, upon which it advanced to the full committee for consideration, where it had the backing of House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

“After the September 11, 2001 attacks, and again after Hurricane Katrina, the lack of interoperable communications was identified as one of the most significant challenges to an effective response,” Payne said in a statement.

“The derailment of Amtrak train 188 serves as an important reminder that equipping our first responders with the tools they need to do their jobs is not a Democratic or a Republican priority; it’s an American priority,” Payne said last week. “Responding quickly and effectively to emergencies requires robust and ongoing communication between emergency personnel across all levels of government.”

“This coordination is possible because of SWICs, who have the experience and strategic vision needed to educate, train and connect first responders with one another.”

The ranking member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, Payne said, “There is a clear need for coordinated communication between emergency personnel, especially during emergencies, and this bill is imperative to making sure first responders have the training, education, and communication capabilities they need to protect our communities.”

But, “Without a coordinating body responsible for guiding interoperability efforts, states undermine any gains they have made in emergency communications,” he stated.

SWICs work with emergency personnel across all levels of government, guiding the education and training of first responders and communications staff. They are also responsible for leading all coordination efforts, including statewide planning, and developing a strategic vision for interoperability.

The legislation would require certifications by governors that a statewide interoperability coordinator has been designated, including identification in such certification of the individual so designated, who shall be responsible for:

  • Overseeing the daily operations of the state’s interoperability efforts;
  • Coordinating state interoperability and communications projects and grant applications for such projects;
  • Establishing and maintaining working groups to develop and implement key interoperability initiatives; and
  • Implementing and updating, as necessary, a statewide Communications Interoperability Plan that specifies the current status of state efforts to enhance communications interoperability within the state, including progress or setbacks, and future goals for communications interoperability among emergency response agencies in the state.

“In recent years, states have been able to rely on the Department of Homeland Security’s Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program to support their communications governance structures and their Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWIC), who are charged with coordinating interoperability activities across all levels of government,” Payne said.

However, due to the elimination of the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program, and reduced funding for other state and local homeland security grant programs, some states are eliminating SWICs altogether, he noted, adding, “As a result, activities critical to maintaining and advancing interoperable emergency communications policies are not being effectively coordinated.”

The SWIC Act would ensure states maintain the progress that has been made toward achieving interoperability by requiring states to have a SWIC, or to delegate activities related to achieving interoperability to other individuals.

Homeland Security Today earlier reported that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) still hasn’t “fully assessed its risks or established standards of conduct,” or fully assessed risks which “could help FirstNet achieve its objectives and maximize use of its resources,” concluded a 72-page Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of FirstNet.

In addition, the nationwide public-safety broadband network also “faces difficult decisions determining how to fund the network's construction and ongoing operations. These estimates indicate the cost to construct and operate such a network could be from $12 to $47 billion over the first 10 years,” GAO said.

“Given that FirstNet faces numerous risks to achieve its complex objectives,” GAO said FirstNet needs to develop standards of conduct to address any performance issues in a timely manner.

Overall, GAO said FirstNet is making steady progress.

A FirstNet spokesperson told Homeland Security Today that "FirstNet is pleased with the GAO findings that we have made progress in establishing an organizational structure, planning the network and consulting with stakeholders. These findings represent the hard work and commitment of the FirstNet team. We also agree with the GAO’s recommendations for improvement in certain areas and will fully implement them. As a new organization, FirstNet plans to continue to focus on implementing best practices to supplement the strong progress made to date."

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Today reported, the FirstNet board approved the framework of FirstNet’s proposed acquisition approach to deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), and authorized the release of a special notice requesting feedback on draft Request for Proposals documents.

The FirstNet board also approved a third public notice seeking further comment on the definition and scope of the term “public safety entity” as used in FirstNet’s enabling legislation. FirstNet Board members underscored the importance of continuing to consult with the public safety community on these items.

“The decisions by the FirstNet Board continue the significant progress FirstNet is achieving toward our goal of implementing the nationwide public safety broadband network,” said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson. “We look forward to having a meaningful dialog on these two topics with the public safety community, state and local jurisdictions, territories and tribes, and potential offerors to move us along our strategic roadmap toward a final RFP and ultimately the deployment of a dedicated public safety broadband network.”

IPAWS modernization bill passed by House Homeland Security Committee

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Homeland Security also passed the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act (HR 1738), which would improve public alerts and warnings during an emergency and modernize the Integrated Public Alerts and Warning System (IPAWS).

“During an emergency, it is crucial that alerts and warnings are both reliable and effective. The public alert and warning systems have not been modernized in decades. My bill makes great strides in achieving that goal,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.).

The legislation would provide for congressional authorization and the framework needed to help provide timely public alerts and warnings in the events of emergencies and natural disasters, Bilirakis explained. The legislation would ensure that alerts and warnings are available to the largest number of people, including individuals with disabilities and those living in rural areas, while also placing an emphasis on protecting and ensuring individual privacy.

A separate bill, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015 (HR 1472), introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.) and reported to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, also would modernize IPAWS and establish a committee to develop and submit recommendations for improving the system would cost $37 million over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the bill.

The legislation would authorize the appropriation of $12.8 million per year from 2016 to 2018 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to modernize and implement IPAWS. The annual authorization level is roughly the same amount that has been allocated for this activity in recent years, CBO said.

IPAWS utilizes multiple technologies (for example, satellite radios, computers and cellular phones) in addition to traditional radio and television communications to provide information about an impending or ongoing emergency situation. The bill specifies several criteria for modernization that IPAWS would be required to meet.

DHS is currently pursuing several of those criteria under Executive Order 13407. Other goals not specified by that order, but which are contained in the bill, include training state and local governments and other stakeholders and ensuring that IPAWS can withstand terrorist attacks.

The bill also would establish an advisory committee to develop recommendations to continue improving IPAWS. Within one year of enactment, the committee would submit a report to Congress outlining those recommendations. However, because the committee would not terminate until after 2018 (the last year in which the bill specifies an authorization level), additional discretionary appropriations would be necessary to continue operations of the committee.

Based on historical expenditures for similar activities, CBO estimated that providing that funding would cost about $1 million over the 2019-2020 period. And, based on the rate of prior spending by DHS for IPAWS, CBO estimated implementation of HR 1472 would cost $37 million over the next five years, assuming appropriation of the specified amounts.

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on April 15, CBO estimated that implementing the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.

The bill would authorize appropriations totaling $38 million over the 2016-2018 period for the DHS, and contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), and would not affect the budgets of state, local or tribal governments.

CBO said its estimate “assumes that the legislation will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2015 and that amounts specified and estimated to be necessary will be appropriated for each year.

Source: Homeland Security Today

Leavitt Communications

its stil here

It’s still here — the tried and true Motorola Alphamate 250. Now owned, supported, and available from Leavitt Communications. Call us for new or reconditioned units, parts, manuals, and repairs.

We also offer refurbished Alphamate 250s, Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging!

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( ) for pricing and delivery information or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

black line

Phil Leavitt

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

  • Single channel up to eight zones
  • Connects to Linux computer via USB
  • Programmable timeouts and batch sizes
  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
  • Other mounting options available
  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
  • USB or RS-232 interface
  • Two contact closures
  • End-user programmable w/o requiring special hardware
  • 16 capcodes
  • Eight contact closure version also available
  • Product customization available

Other products

Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

hark David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
1ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares  
3CNET Platinum Controllers 
2GL3100 RF Director 
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
40SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
16Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
Link Transmitters:
4Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2Eagle 900 MHz Link Transmitters, 60 & 80W
2Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters
19 Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
12Motorola Nucleus 350W Advanced Control
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
3Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
888-429-4171 left arrow

Preferred Wireless




CVC Paging

Switch Tech

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

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

CVC Paging


Critical Alert

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

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

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

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


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovation in Nurse Call

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


Paging Solutions

The Most Reliable Paging Network

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



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm’s permission.

BloostonLaw Telecom UpdateVol. 18, No. 21May 20, 2015

REMINDER: FCC Form 395 Due June 1

Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by June 1. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report.


FCC Issues Broadband Privacy Enforcement Advisory

On May 20, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued an Enforcement Advisory stating that broadband providers “should take reasonable, good faith steps to protect consumer privacy” during the interim period after the Open Internet Order becomes effective on June 12 and the FCC ultimately adopts regulations applying Section 222 specifically to broadband.

As we have previously reported, the FCC’s Open Internet Order applies the core consumer privacy protections of Section 222 of the Communications Act to providers of broadband Internet access service, but not the existing telephone-centric CPNI Rules implementing Section 222. Although the FCC indicated that in the future it may adopt rules pertaining specifically to broadband service, the statutory provisions of Section 222 themselves nevertheless apply when the Order goes into effect on June 12.

According to the Advisory, the Enforcement Bureau intends to focus on “whether broadband providers are taking reasonable, good-faith steps to comply with Section 222, rather than focusing on technical details” during this interim period. “By examining whether a broadband provider’s acts or practices are reasonable and whether such a provider is acting in good faith to comply with Section 222, the Enforcement Bureau intends that broadband providers should employ effective privacy protections in line with their privacy policies and core tenets of basic privacy protections.” The Bureau also indicated that it will provide informal as well as formal guidance to broadband providers as they consider how best to comply with Section 222.

The FCC’s CPNI Rules require all providers of telecommunications to have CPNI policies in place to protect their customers, and BloostonLaw has a manual available to assist providers in meeting those requirements. Although the CPNI Rules do not apply to broadband, BloostonLaw is available to assist clients in reviewing their existing privacy practices, including CPNI policies, and updating and applying them to broadband service, as well as request advisory opinions and other assistance from the Bureau.

Comments Sought on Declaratory Ruling Regarding BOC UNE Requirements

Granite Telecommunications, LLC (Granite) filed a petition for declaratory ruling asking the FCC to declare that Section 271, 201(b) and 202(a) of the Act require Bell Operating Companies (BOCs): (1) to continue to provide combined Section 271 unbundled network elements (UNEs), including local loops, local transport, and local switching, unless the CLEC has requested that they are separated; (2) to combine Section 271 UNEs upon request from the CLEC; and (3) to commingle or to allow CLECs to commingle a Section 271 UNE or combination of such UNEs with wholesale services obtained from an ILEC. (WC Docket No. 15-114). Granite states that it must be able to purchase "combinations of unbundled DS0 loops, shared transport, and local switching from the BOCs," to be able to reach its business customer locations in suburban and rural areas where it is uneconomic for competitive LECs or cable companies to deploy fiber facilities.

Granite argues that a declaratory ruling is required because in a 2005 Order on Section 251 unbundling obligations, the FCC held that incumbent LECs have no obligation to provide local switching or shared transport as Section 251 UNEs and, in the absence of Section 251 unbundling obligations, the Section 271 competitive checklist "provides the only regulatory compulsion for BOCs to provide these network elements on an unbundled basis today." Granite further argues that a declaratory ruling is needed because USTelecom has recently argued that a footnote in the FCC's 2003 Order on Section 251 unbundling obligations "supports the conclusion that BOCs have no legal obligation to combine Section 271 UNEs." According to Granite, the uncertainty governing the BOCs' obligations not to separate Section 271 UNEs and their obligations to combine and commingle Section 271 UNEs "threatens competitors' ability to obtain viable wholesale agreements with the BOCs and to serve their customers in the future."

Carriers that use Section 271 UNEs should consider the impact of USTelecom's position on their ability to continue to serve their customers and file comments in this proceeding, as necessary. Comments on the Petition are due June 15, 2015 and reply comments are due on June 30, 2015.

Paperwork Reduction Act Comments Sought on Open Internet Order

On May 20, the FCC published a notice for request and comment regarding the information collections associated with its Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet Order. Comments are due on or before July 20.

As we reported in the April 15 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, these collections are associated with the heightened transparency rules, and include:

  • Disclosure of commercial terms, including price, other fees, and data caps or allowances;
  • Disclosure of the packet loss network performance characteristic;
  • Disclosure of whether certain services rely on particular network practices and whether similar functionality is available to applications and services offered over broadband Internet access service;
  • Disclosure of network practices that are applied to traffic associated with a particular user or user group, including any application-agnostic degradation of service to a particular end user, and the purposes of those network practices.

Unlike traditional FCC comments, PRA comments must focus on : (i) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (ii) the accuracy of the Commission’s burden estimate; (iii) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (iv) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (v) ways to further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

We are able to assist carriers in preparing and filing PRA comments. Interested parties should feel free to contact the firm for more information.

AT&T Seeks to Discontinue Corporate Calling Card Service

AT&T Corp. (AT&T) filed an application requesting authority, under section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended to grandfather and eventually discontinue its Corporate Calling Card Service in all 50 states including the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories of American Samoa; Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan; Guam; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Service Areas). (WC Docket No. 15-89; Comp. Pol. File No. 1213) Comments objecting to the application are due May 27, 2015.

AT&T Corporate Calling Card Service is a long distance travel card that allows users to place intrastate, interstate and/or international calls by dialing a company-provided toll-free access code or number. According to the FCC, AT&T seeks to discontinue the service because “calling card usage has been declining for several years as a result of the market growth of other communication methods, including mobile phones, email, social media streams and voice over IP.” AT&T states that it will grandfather the Affected Service and no longer offer it to new customers in the Service Areas on or after May 15, 2015, subject to Commission authorization. Also effective May 15, 2015, AT&T plans to no longer renew Calling Card Service to current customers within their Virtual Telecommunications Network Service (VTNS) agreements, however, AT&T will provide the Affected Service on a month-to-month basis until the service is eventually discontinued. On or after June 1, 2016, AT&T plans to no longer accept moves, additions and change orders from existing customers. AT&T states that it eventually plans to discontinue the Affected Service to existing customers in the Service Areas on or after December 31, 2016, subject to Commission authorization. AT&T contends that the public convenience and necessity will not be impaired by this proposed discontinuance due to the significant and continuing decline of the service and the availability of many alternative options.

In accordance with section 63.71(c) of the Commission’s rules, AT&T’s application will be deemed to be granted automatically, unless the Commission notifies AT&T otherwise. The Commission normally will authorize proposed discontinuances of service unless it is shown that customers or other end users would be unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute from another carrier, or that the public convenience and necessity would be otherwise adversely affected.

Accordingly, absent further Commission action, AT&T may cease offering the Affected Service to new customers and may apply restrictions on service to existing customers in the Service Areas on or after June 12, 2015 and AT&T may discontinue the Affected Service to existing customers in the Service Areas on or after December 31, 2016.

FCC Reminds TV Licensees of Procedures Prior to Spectrum Incentive Auction

Full-power and Class-A TV licensees that plan to participate in the TV spectrum auction have been reminded by the FCC of the need to either be licensed or to submit FCC Form 2100, Schedules B and F, by May 29, 2015.

In the incentive auction, participating TV licensees who wish to sell a portion of their spectrum in the reverse auction portion will be eligible for certain protections only if they meet the May 29 deadline. While certain Class A TV licensees may wait until another upcoming deadline, on September 1, 2015, to complete their transition from analog to digital (pursuant to extensions previously granted by the FCC), those that do not have their digital facilities licensed by the May 29 deadline will be afforded protection based only on the coverage area and population served by their licensed analog facilities.

After May 29, 2015, modifications filed to fix errors made by a licensee, even if granted and ultimately licensed, will not be considered for purposes of determining certain protections in the reverse auction. The FCC said that concluding otherwise would undermine its ability to ensure a stable database and prepare for the reverse auction.

Following the May 29 deadline, the FCC will issue a Public Notice listing the facilities eligible for protection in the auction process based on the technical information on file in the database. TV licensees with then have 30 days to file the new FCC Form 2100, Schedule 381, certifying that they have reviewed the license for each eligible facility and indicating whether the technical information is correct. This will assure that any necessary corrections are made prior to the auction.

Law & Regulation

Congress Asks FCC to Modernize Support for Rural Broadband

On May 11, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and 60 other senators sent a letter to Chairman Wheeler calling on the FCC to modernize USF to better support rural broadband services. According to the letter, the signatories are, “troubled that the FCC has yet to take meaningful steps to address one of the most problematic aspects of existing USF rules in areas served by smaller carriers,” referring to the fact that USF cost recovery for small rural carriers is tied to a consumer's actual purchase of voice service, even if the consumer no longer wants that service and only wants broadband. “No new models or sweeping changes are needed to adopt and implement a targeted update to fix the issue ...” they continue. A copy of the full letter can be found here .

The same day, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and 114 other House members sent a bi-partisan letter to Chairman Wheeler making the same argument: “outdated rules tie USF support for small rate-of-return regulated carriers to the provision of ‘plain old telephone service’ (POTS), meaning their rural customers must purchase voice in order to receive affordable broadband.” Like the letter from the Senate group, the House signatories likewise highlight the need for “a much simpler and straightforward plan that similarly empowers rate-of-return carriers [to offer broadband without voice]…”. A copy of that letter can be found here .

A list of the signatories for each letter can be found here and here . We are able to provide language for clients wishing to contact their members of Congress to urge them to support this initiative (or to show appreciation for their support, if they participated).

FCC Issues Agenda for May 21 Open Meeting

On May 14, the FCC issued the official agenda for its May 21, 2015 Open Meeting. At the meeting the FCC will consider:

  • an Order to extend the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to permanently extend the program, which provides up to $10 million annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind, and
  • a Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to extend accessibility rules for emergency alerts to "second screens," including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices. The proposal would take additional steps to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The meeting will be webcast live at 10:30 a.m. EDT at .

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
OP ED: Our Take on Commissioner O’Rielly’s Concerns regarding Enforcement Penalties and Fines
In a recent Blog post, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly takes the Commission to task because it has no mechanism for ensuring that fines for rules violations are paid. In this regard, Commissioner O’Rielly asked the Enforcement Bureau to provide detailed information on the most recent Notices of Apparent Liability and Forfeiture Orders. However, the Enforcement Bureau advised Commissioner O’Rielly that it did not routinely track the collections of monetary forfeitures (fines). Commissioner O’Rielly concluded that without this collections information, the Commission is ill equipped to determine the effectiveness of its enforcement actions.

Depending upon your perspective, Commissioner O’Rielly may be on the right track in taking the position that the Commission’s staff should have some sort of a mechanism for tracking enforcement actions from cradle to grave — even after responsibility for the enforcement action has been transferred to the U.S. Treasury or the Department of Justice for collection. It seems counterintuitive, from an internal controls aspect, that the Commission would not have this process in place — especially in light of the Commission’s Redlight Rule, which permits the FCC to block action on a pending matter once the forfeiture matures to an unpaid debt, following the issuance of a final court order and the subsequent failure to pay.

Section 504 of the Communications Act provides a very clear process for the collection of FCC fines. In those circumstances where a fine pursuant to a Forfeiture Order or a subsequent Commission order on reconsideration is not paid, Section 504 allows the federal government to bring a civil suit in the United States district court where the person or carrier has its principal place of business or where the person or carrier operates. The federal government is not entitled to any presumption that the Commission’s conclusions were correct. Rather, the government will be required to prove its case anew since the case must be brought as a trial de novo — meaning that the parties will be entitled to relitigate the underlying facts and appropriateness of the fine. This is a critical safeguard in order to ensure that there is sufficient evidence of a violation and that an appropriate penalty is assessed for a violation that was not subject to the political whims of the Commission or Congress.

Open Internet Petition for Review Proceeding Update

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of activity in the District Court proceedings petitioning to review the FCC’s Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet Order, in which it reclassified Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to Title II regulation, among other things.

On May 8, the FCC filed a motion to dismiss the first of the Petitions for Review, filed by Alamo Broadband and US Telecom almost immediately after the Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet Order was released on March 12. According to the FCC’s filing, the court should dismiss these particular petitions because they were filed prior to the Order’s publication in the Federal Register, rendering them premature. The motion notes that both petitioners have filed second, timely Petitions for Review after the Order was published.

Also on May 8, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order consolidating all of the Petitions for Review of the Order: Alamo Broadband, US Telecom, NCTA, CTIA, AT&T, American Cable Association, CenturyLink, WISPA, and Daniel Berninger (founder of the Voice Exchange Communication Committee).

On May 12 NARUC, Etsy, Kickstarter, Meetup, Tumblr, Vimeo, Union Square Ventures, DISH Network, COMPTEL, Level 3 Communications, Netflix, and Cogent filed motions to intervene in support of the FCC. ITTA seeks to intervene in support of CenturyLink; on May 13, Credo Mobile, Fight For The Future, Demand Progress, Free Press, New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Center for Democracy and Technology filed motions to intervene; on May 14, Vonage, Akamai Technologies, and Ad Hoc Telecommunications Users Committee filed motions to intervene; and on May 15, filed a motion to intervene.


GAO Releases Report on Broadband Performance, Recommends Further Research

On May 15, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled Broadband Performance: Additional Actions Could Help FCC Evaluate Its Efforts to Inform Consumers, in which it found that current methods available to consumers to obtain broadband performance information, including the FCC’s own speed test, suffer from a number of limitations. As a result, the GAO recommended that the FCC should take additional steps to evaluate its efforts to provide consumers with broadband performance information. Specifically, the GAO noted, this should include: (1) conducting or commissioning research on the effectiveness of its efforts and making the results publicly available, and (2) establishing performance goals and measures that allow FCC to monitor and report on these efforts. According to the report, the FCC concurred with these recommendations.

A copy of the full report can be found here .

AT&T to Offer Exclusive Content for Connected Cars

This week multiple news sources are reporting that AT&T Inc. has signed up a number of automakers, including General Motors Co, Audi AG, and Ford Motor Co, to provide in-vehicle Internet access service and provide free or paid content exclusively to connected cards.

According to Reuters , “AT&T is talking to its auto industry partners and content companies to bring new content like "special" shows or gaming levels on phones and tablets in connected cars, Penrose said. This would be in addition to subscription services such as Hulu and Netflix that users can already stream on mobile devices.”

According to FierceWireless , AT&T “activated 800,000 connected cars on its network in the fourth quarter of 2014 and another 684,000 in the first quarter of 2015. The carrier expects to have at least 50 percent market share of new connected cars in 2015.” The article also notes that in an interview, AT&T senior vice president of emerging devices, Chris Penrose, said that AT&T is exploring revenue sharing models for data consumption, content, and advertising with automakers, content companies, and retail partners.


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

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

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

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

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

Calendar At A Glance

May 21 – Deadline for reply comments on Further Issues on Competitive Bidding Proceeding.
May 18 – Short Form Tariff Review Plan is due.
May 27 – Questions on terms in the FirstNet RFP are due.
May 29 – Comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.

Jun. 1 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.
Jun. 5 – Reply comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.
Jun. 5 – Comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM
Jun. 10 – Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern on the Broadband Opportunity Council Notice and Request.
Jun. 16 – Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice due by noon Eastern Time.

Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM.
Jul. 20 – PRA comments are due on the Open Internet Order.
Jul. 27 – Comments are due on FirstNet Draft RFP.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or .

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FCC Proposes Extending Emergency Alerts to Second Screens

Applies Only to MVPDs, Not OTT Services

5/21/2015 1:00 PM Eastern
By: John Eggerton

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed to make TV Everywhere emergency information “accessible everywhere” as well.

At its May open meeting Thursday, the FCC voted unanimously (with some partial dissents from the Republicans) to require cable operators and other MPVDS to make emergency alert information accessible to the sight-impaired when their traditional programming lineups are accessed on second screens like tablets and phones.

Cable ops had been lobbying to confine that second-screen requirement to second screens in the home, but the FCC chose not to limit it. “The new rules apply when MVPDs permit consumers to access linear programming on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices over the MVPD’s network as part of their MVPD services,” said an FCC spokesperson. “This more clearly delineates the services subject to the rule than a formulation that focuses on whether the services are provided 'in the home.'”

The tablet and smart phone emergency alert accessibility requirement does not extend to video that originates over-the-top, only to second-screen access to traditional cable service.

MVPDs will have two years to make sure that any application or plug-in cable ops provide to their customers to access traditional linear cable channels via second screens can pass through "audible emergency information provided in a secondary audio stream."

Cable operators had also asked that the FCC make the mandate of operator-supplied apps proscriptive, which the FCC agreed to do, which means it will not require retrofitting apps in use prior to the implementation date.

The FCC vote was another step in its ongoing implementation of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).

Also approved was a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) teeing up other issues, including whether to require school closing information to be audibly rendered and whether MVPDs should be responsible for ensuring those second screens can easily access the information.

Republican commissioners took issue with the NPRM's suggestion that MPVDs need to make sure second-screen devices can easily access that information, saying the idea was laudable, but that the mandate exceeded the commission's authority, as did a mandate on manufacturers.

They also said the FCC did not have the authority to mandate that manufacturers make the accessibility feature reasonably comparable to a button, key or icon, citing the same lack of authority issue.

Commissioner Michael O’Reilly said that cable operators were already innovating on the accessibility front.  He cited new products he had seen at INTX. He said they highlighted “an industry putting a lot of time, talent and investment into making the benefits of its products accessible to all and pushing the edge with technological innovations far outside the limits of the commission’s mandates.”

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that while it might not be headline-grabbing, his FCC would continue to take the steps necessary to make communications accessible to all Americans. He said that extending the emergency alert accessibility to second screens, it would provide “a few extra seconds of warning at a time when seconds count.”

Also at the meeting, the commission voted unanimously, and without dissents, to temporarily extend the iCanConnect National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, which was created by CVAA and was set to expire June 30—and to propose making it permanent. The program subsidizes equipment to make advanced telecommunications accessible to those with both sight and hearing loss.

A trainer and user of the equipment, Eddie Martinez Jr. appeared as a witness and demonstrated it by e-mailing Chairman Wheeler, who promptly e-mailed back.

Source: Multichannel News


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