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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — April 29, 2016 — Issue No. 705

Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.

Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates a/k/a IWA Technical Services

Every time I see Ira Wiesenfeld's name pop up on my iPhone my mouth starts watering like “Pavlov's dog” because I know he will probably be driving through this part of the country, and will be inviting me to have lunch or dinner with him.

Ira—in case you didn't know—is a Field Engineer, par excellence, who travels all over the country working on various kinds of radio communications systems. I always recommend him when someone contacts me needing help with a paging system.

So we did meet for lunch, and I had the privilege of meeting his new V.P. of Marketing, Joe Delio. Joe is a very knowledgeable veteran of technical training.

They are doing a lot of cool stuff, including: System Design, Installation, Maintenance, and Technical Training.

Check out their new company logo, and contact information.

Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

Technical Services Inc.

Texas Registered Engineering Firm #F16945

“It's more than Push-To-Talk”

7711 Scotia Drive
Dallas, TX 75248-3112

Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

President • Principal Engineer

Cell: 214-707-7711
Toll Free: 844-IWA-TECH (844-492-8324)

Design  •  Installation  •  Maintenance  •  Training

Anti Paging

I read another of those sad anti-paging articles this week. This one goes on and on about the results of a “research study” that followed approximately 11,500 patients at 2 hospitals showing that patients whose providers used mobile secure text messaging instead of pagers — reduced their average length of stay from 6.0 to 5.4 days, and 0.77 days over a one-year period.

Wow . . . I can't claim to have expertise in this kind of “research” but I seriously doubt that all the people involved in collecting this data were always accurate, and I wonder who got paid, and how much they got paid to do this “study.”

I think you can give a grant to an academic to do a research study and “prove” your foregone conclusion* about nearly anything.

* A conclusion formed in advance of proper consideration of evidence, arguments, etc.

You gotta be kidding, 0.6 to 0.77 days? Gimme me a break!

Now on to more news and views.

Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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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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If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter just fill in the blanks in the form above, and then click on the “Subscribe” button.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

Back To Paging

Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!




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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.

Advertiser Index

Critical Alert
Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates a/k/a IWA Technical Services
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
RF Demand Solutions
UltraTek Security Cameras
WaveWare Technologies











Be sure your infrastructure is up and running with the ProTek Flex Site Monitor from PageTek.

ProTek Flex—reliable, adaptable, expandable, affordable—and no surprises.




WaveWare Technologies

Enhancing Mobile Alert Response
2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

New Products

OMNI Messaging Server

  • Combines Nurse Call Monitoring and Browser Based Messaging
  • Combines Radio Paging with Smartphone and E-mail Integration
  • Embedded System with 2 RS-232 Ports and Ethernet
  • Browser Based Messaging and Configuration
  • Smartphone Alert Notification Using Low-Latency Communication Protocols
  • TAP, COMP2, Scope, WaveWare, SNPP, PET and SIP Input Protocols
  • PIN Based Routing to Multiple Remote Paging Systems
  • 2W, 5W Radio Paging

MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)

  • Combines Paging Protocol Monitoring and Wireless Sensor Monitoring (Inovonics and Bluetooth LE)
  • Improves Mobile Response Team Productivity using Smartphone App
  • Low-Latency Alerts using Pagers, Smartphones, Corridor Lights, Digital Displays and Annunciation Panels
  • Automated E-mail Based Alert Response and System Status Reports
  • Linux Based Embedded System with Ethernet and USB Ports
  • Browser Based Configuration

STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)

  • Monitors SIP protocol (engineered for Rauland Responder V nurse call)
  • Outputs TAP protocol to Ethernet and Serial Port Paging Systems
  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Browser Based Configuration

WaveWare Technologies


protect yourself !

Combination, Body, Desk or Dash Camera

Model EH-15 EYE-CAM

Standard Features Include:

  • 2 inch viewing screen
  • IR Night viewing up to 50 feet
  • Super HD Viewing Wide Field of View (140 degrees, 6G lens)
  • Waterproof per IP65 Specification
  • GPS Tracking (standard feature)
  • 64 GB Data Storage (standard feature)
  • 2800 mAh battery for up to 11 hours recording
  • External mini camera
  • Accessory Kit for all normal needs
  • $349.00 each

Call: 662-284-6724 (Jim Tucker)

Email address:
Web site:



Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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

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

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Industry Insights: What’s Up With WhatsApp for Emergency Communications?

EMS World

Editor's note: Industry Insights are sponsored blogs submitted by manufacturers and suppliers serving the EMS industry.

When terror struck Brussels on March 22, 2016, one thing that quickly became evident was how much more needs to be done to ensure effective and efficient communications for first responders worldwide.

In its aftermath, various media sources reported that Brussels police were forced to use WhatsApp Messenger to communicate with one another in the aftermath of the attacks and that widespread communication problems hampered emergency services.

Commercial mobile networks in the area were overwhelmed by increased traffic and Brussels’ emergency services network, ASTRID, likewise failed, leaving law enforcement unable to connect and collaborate in the chaos.

As an instant messaging client for smartphones, WhatsApp may be wonderful for personal communications, but it is hardly sufficient to meet the demands for real time communications in the midst of a life-critical crisis.

Unfortunately, a lack of reliable emergency communications systems is not unique to Brussels. If a large-scale terrorist attack were to happen on U.S. soil tomorrow, there is a significant risk that similar failures would occur. In fact, in countless cases since 9/11, communications failures coupled with the continuing inability to inter-operate with partner responder agencies during major emergencies have been reported as a serious issue in after action reports.

The range includes failures in communications and interoperability during Hurricane Katrina, the Deep Horizon Spill, the Aurora Theater shooting, the Washington Navy Yard shooting and L’Enfant Train Station Fire, among others. Fortunately, there are simple, quick, cost-effective and uncontroversial steps that can literally be taken today that would greatly enhance our ability to respond more effectively to terror attacks.

When terror strikes, an effective emergency response requires massive cooperation and information sharing among law enforcement agencies and federal, state and local agencies to eliminate the threat and minimize causalities. First responders must be able to communicate in real time with relevant parties for ongoing assessment and rapid decision-making during unfolding situations.

In these scenarios, information is at a premium and every moment of uncertainty, confusion, delay or indecision can inevitably lead to an increased number of injuries and deaths. With real-time situational awareness and coordination being perhaps the most critical components of a first-response effort, there is no greater truism than “time saved is lives saved.”

One of our biggest obstacles is a surprisingly simple one—public safety officials and government entities cannot effectively communicate with each other (inter-operate) in real time during an emergency. Sadly, this crucial functional deficit was identified long ago in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. In the intervening 15years, tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on new radio digital radio communications systems based on the premise of improving interoperability, but in reality these new systems never delivered on their primary mission, at least not in any meaningful way.

In the United States, initiatives such as FirstNet and the DHS Interoperable Communications Act represent earnest attempts to remedy this persistent problem and are positive steps in the right direction. With FirstNet, congested commercial mobile networks, like those experienced in Brussels, would no longer be needed. Instead, a dedicated private public safety broadband network similar to commercial mobile networks will be available exclusively to first responders. With FirstNet, a broad range of new applications and interactive services will furnish first responders with cutting edge capabilities in the field that vastly exceed the limited voice communications now provided by legacy radio communications systems. Still, more must be done—and can be done now without much heavy lifting or cost.

Proven, commercially available solutions for communications interoperability are at our disposal. DHS maintains a list of Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies (QUATTs) that have already undergone a rigorous review and testing process under the SAFETY Act (Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology). Furthermore, DHS certifies a list of “Approved Products for Homeland Security” that are ready to be deployed in defense of our homeland, but remain inexplicably underutilized. These technologies enable secure bridging of public safety agency communication systems with partners and critical infrastructure entities on demand, providing instant, on-demand collaboration using existing systems. In fact, these technologies are used extensively in select parts of the country by hundreds of state and local agencies, but still far too few.

Increased deployment of these technologies would result in secure communications among police, fire and EMS, as well as with thousands of local partner agencies that sit on the front line of terror in America—such as hospitals, transit authorities and utilities. We would all do well to remind ourselves that our mission is to protect Main Street, U.S.A. with an urgency commensurate with the serious threats confronting our communities and our citizens. There is no greater imperative. It is simply unacceptable for police and other emergency responders to rely on consumer-grade smartphone apps for emergency communications when life-saving technology advancements are available today.

Joseph Mazzarella serves as Mutualink’s senior vice president and chief legal counsel. In addition to being responsible for the management of Mutualink’s legal and governmental affairs, he serves in key operations management and business development roles. He has over 20 years of corporate, finance, M&A, licensing and IP law experience and has in-depth knowledge and experience in the high tech sector, ranging from consumer and enterprise based software development, advanced wireless network and location technologies, and communications. He also serves as a member of Mutualink’s Board of Directors.

Source: EMS World  

RF Demand Solutions

Codan Paging Transmitters

  • The smart choice for Critical Messaging
  • Proven performance in extreme conditions
  • Trusted by the World's largest mission critical security, military, & humanitarian agencies

Flexible Modern Design:

  • Analog & Digital
  • VHF, UHF & 900 MHz
  • WB, NB, & Splinter Operation
  • Multiple Frequencies & Protocols
  • High Power Output Configuration available
  • Integrates with Motorola & Glenayre Simulcast
  • Compatible with most popular Controllers

 Thousands In Use...

  • Utility Load Demand
  • Healthcare
  • Enterprise

Your US Distributor for Codan Radio Paging Equipment
847-829-4730 / /

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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

pssi logo


Product Support Services, Inc.

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

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

Iowa Legislature patches 'holes' in emergency communications network

Move will allow law enforcement agencies statewide to communicate with each other

Dispatcher Ana Amaro answers a call at her station at the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Apr 27, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Print View
By James Q Lynch
The Gazette

DES MOINES — Iowa lawmakers have agreed to a $68 million patch for “holes” in a statewide communications network so law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency responders will be able to talk to one another.

The House, Senate and Gov. Terry Branstad’s office have reached an agreement on the $68 million, 10-year lease-to-own package that is expected to take three years to build out, according to Rep. Gary Worthan, R-Storm Lake. The price tag may be less, he said, because State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald believes he can get a better interest rate than originally estimated.

There long have been problems with agencies not being able to communicate because of incompatible radios and networks, said Sen. Kevin Kinney, D-Oxford, a retired Johnson County deputy sheriff. In Johnson County, for example, the sheriff’s deputies and Iowa City police were on different frequencies.

“You could be right outside a bank being robbed and wouldn’t know it unless you happened to be listening to your scanner,” he said.

That problem has been resolved, and now Senate File 2326 should eliminate similar problems around the state. The plan includes building additional towers in places like northeast Iowa, where radio communication is limited by the topography, Worthan said.

“There are spots in Iowa where radios don’t work because of holes in the system,” Kinney said. In those cases, he added, not only are emergency response agencies unable to communicate with one another, “but no one can hear an officer if he needs help.”

The plan also includes hardware — radios, for example — and the software to run the Statewide Interoperable Communications System.

Local agencies — fire departments and emergency medical services — will be able to use the statewide system without charge, but will have to buy their own radio equipment, Worthan said.

The system will be financed by a $1-a-month surcharge paid by cellphone users.

SF 2326, which was approved by the Senate 49-1, was approved 98-0 by the House and sent to the governor.

Source: The Gazette  

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


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:

Paging Network

  • It’s much faster to send individual and stacked pages digitally than with analog voice.
  • If you want better indoor coverage, you put sites closer together at lower heights.
  • A self-healing system that also remains reliable in various disaster situations.
  • Place base station where you need them, without the usage of an expensive backhaul network.
  • Protect victim confidentiality and prevent unauthorized use of public safety communications, with integrated encryption service.


  • Reliable message reception, thanks to the best sensitivity in the industry.
  • Ruggedized and waterproof, IP67 and 6 1/2-feet drop test-certified products.
  • Battery autonomy of up to three months, with a standard AA battery.
  • Bluetooth enables the new s.QUAD pager to respond back to the dispatch center or fire chief.


  • Two-way CAD interfaces will make dispatching much easier.
  • The new s.ONE solution enables the dispatcher or fire chiefs to view the availability of relief forces.
  • A graphical screen shows how many of the dispatched team members have responded to the call.

Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
Visit: or call 800-596-1914.

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 Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
4ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares
3CNET Platinum Controllers
2GL3100 RF Director
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis — Configurable
1GL3000 L — 2 Cabinets, complete working, w/spares
35SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
10Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers
15Glenayre Complete GPS Kits
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
Link Transmitters:
6Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
1Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters:
19Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
11Motorola Nucleus 350W NAC
14Motorola Nucleus 125W NAC
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
3Glenayre QT-100C
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
4Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
 Nucleus Power Supplies
 Nucleus NIU, Matched Pairs
 Nucleus GPS Reference Modules
 Nucleus GPS Receivers
 Nucleus Chassis
 Glenayre 8500, PAs, PSs, DSP Exciters
 Glenayre VHF DSP Exciters


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
Telephone: 888-429-4171
(If you are calling from outside of the USA, please use: 314-575-8425) left arrow

Preferred Wireless


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

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


Paging Solutions

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. 19, No. 17April 27, 2016

Portions of Rate-of-Return Reform Order Effective May 25; Others Pending OMB Approval

On April 25, the FCC published its Rate-of-Return Reform Order in the Federal Register, establishing an effective date of May 25 for several of the rules adopted therein. However, some rules still require separate approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and will not go into effect until that approval has been obtained.

The Federal Register publication also starts the 30-day clock for the filing of any petitions for reconsideration of the Order. Any clients that are interested in participating in such petition should contact us ASAP.

See the full article below for more information.


Portions of Rate-of-Return Reform Order Effective May 25; Others Pending OMB Approval

On April 25, the FCC published its Rate-of-Return Reform Order in the Federal Register, establishing an effective date of May 25 for several of the rules adopted therein. This includes the first step reduction of the authorized rate of return (from 11.25% to 11% on July 1, 2016). However, some rules still require separate approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and will not go into effect until that approval has been obtained. This includes certain key provisions, such as the ability to elect to receive A-CAM support (54.311(a)), and the disaggregation of support for census blocks with unsubsidized competition (54.319(e)). Even for those sections that do go into effect on May 25, it is expected that they will take time to implement.

Specifically, the rules not effective May 25 include:

  • §51.917(f)(4) – Revenue recovery for Rate-of-Return Carriers;
  • §54.303(b) – Loop plant investment allowances;
  • § 54.311(a) – Voluntary election of model-based support for rate-of-return carriers;
  • §54.313(a)(10), (e)(1), (e)(2) and (f)(1) – Annual certifications regarding urban rate average for voice service and taking reasonable steps to provide, upon reasonable request, broadband service meeting the FCC’s requirements;
  • §54.316(a) and (b) - broadband deployment reporting requirements and certifications regarding the offering of broadband service that meets the FCC’s requirements;
  • §54.319(e) – disaggregation of support for census blocks served by an unsubsidized competitor;
  • §54.903(a) – filing requirements for rate-of-return carriers to be eligible for Broadband Loop Support;
  • §69.4(k) – allowing non-price cap ILECs to file Consumer Broadband-Only charges;
  • §69.132 - end user Consumer Broadband-Only Loop charge for non-price cap ILECs;
  • §69.311 – treatment of Consumer Broadband-Only Loop investment under accounting rules; and
  • §69.416 – treatment of Consumer Broadband-Only Loop expenses under accounting rules.

FCC Announces New Requirements for FCC Registration Numbers – Effective Date is Sept. 1, 2016

In an effort to ensure security of FCC registration numbers, the FCC is changing the Commission’s Registration System (“CORES”) in order to implement several user-specific identification requirements. In addition to enhancing security, the FCC believes that these changes will also make the FCC’s CORES system more user friendly.

These changes will:

  • Implement a requirement for existing and new users to designate user-specific IDs (user names) for access to FCC Registration Numbers (FRNs) and related records.
  • Allow registrants to establish multiple user names for each FRN with different levels of access. In this regard, the first user establishing access to an FRN will have administrator privileges with the capability to limit the level of access to all other users.
  • Require users to provide a valid e-mail address for online access to the system.
  • Establish password-recovery security questions specific to each user.

Some of the changes being implemented by the FCC were proposed almost five and a half years ago in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in MD Docket No. 10-234. Nonetheless, the FCC is making certain changes from the NPRM and others without notice and comment rulemaking since the changes are considered administrative in nature and not subject to the rulemaking process. The FCC believes that the changes are necessary to strengthen the security of its records (including social security numbers and federal Employer Identification Numbers) and make CORES more user friendly as well as strengthen the FCC’s ability to comply with various statutes and regulations governing debt collection activities and the collection of personal information.

The Commission will be implementing a pilot launch on April 29, 2016 for a four month period ending on August 31, 2016 in order to test its proposed system and obtain feedback from users of the CORES system. The pilot program will initially be targeted to users of the Commission’s Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) as well as business and governmental entities that have a significant number of registered FRNs associated with a single EIN as well as the top 100 Regulatory Fee payers by FRN. While the pilot program initially will not be available for most of our clients’ participation, we anticipate that the FCC will expand the scope to include other user or stakeholder groups.

Law & Regulation

FCC Publishes Agenda for April 28 Meeting

Last week, the FCC issued the official agenda for its Open Meeting on Thursday, April 28. At the meeting, the FCC will consider:

  • a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on proposals to support real-time text communications over Internet Protocol communications networks, to improve the accessibility of these networks for consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and speech disabled;
  • a Tariff Investigation Order and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing a new regulatory framework for the provision of business data services; and
  • an Order on Reconsideration and a Second Report and Order that will finalize rules for the innovative spectrum sharing regime it created for making 150 megahertz available in the 3.5 GHz band.

Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live web page at .

Lifeline Modernization Order Finally Released

On April 27, the FCC finally released the full text of its Third Report and Order on Lifeline Modernization, which was originally adopted on March 31. As readers will recall, this is the Order that made broadband part of the Lifeline program.

Specifically, the Order allows for Lifeline support for standalone fixed and mobile broadband services, as well as establishes minimum service standards for broadband and mobile voice services offered through the program. The changes will occur over a five and one-half year transition, during which the FCC will gradually increase mobile voice and data requirements and gradually decrease voice support levels. The Order also establishes the National Verifier, which is intended to transfer the responsibility of eligibility determination away from Lifeline providers, thereby lowering costs of conducting verification and reducing the risks of facing a verification-related enforcement action.

The Order also creates a streamlined federal Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) designation process as an alternative to the traditional ETC designation process, establishes an annual budget of $2.25 billion, and adopts other reforms to the recertification process.

Senate Holds Executive Session on FCC Reauthorization Bill, Process Reform

On April 27, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation held an executive session to consider S. 2644, The FCC Reauthorization Act of 2016, sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and S. 421, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2015, sponsored by Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.)

The FCC Reauthorization Act:

  • reauthorizes the FCC for Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018;
  • places a cap on the amount of proceeds from the FCC's spectrum license competitive bidding system that the FCC may retain for the development and implementation of such system instead of being deposited in the Treasury, and requires the FCC to deposit any funds required for the qualifications of bidders in the Treasury;
  • allows a person chosen to fill a commissioner's vacancy on the FCC to continue to serve after the expiration of the fixed term of the commissioner that the person succeeds until a successor has taken office;
  • requires the FCC to submit to Congress a copy of any budget estimates, requests, or legislative recommendations that it submits to the President or the Office of Management and Budget and prohibits any U.S. officer or agency from requiring the FCC to obtain that officer's or agency's approval before the FCC submits legislative recommendations to Congress; and
  • prohibits the FCC from changing its regulations for universal service support payments to implement the February 27, 2004, recommendations of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service regarding single connection or primary line restrictions on universal service support payments.

The FCC Process Reform Act:

  • Amends the Communications Act to require the FCC to establish procedural rules concerning:
    • public notices for rulemakings, petitions, and applications;
    • minimum periods for comments and replies;
    • FCC Commissioners' deliberations; and
    • the FCC reports, decisions, budgets, and other agency documents to be made publicly available in the Federal Register or on the FCC's website.
  • Requires the specific language of proposed rules or amendments to be:
    • included in proposed rulemaking notices, and
    • published for at least 21 days before a vote.
  • Directs the FCC to adopt rules requiring:
    • performance measures to be included in new rulemaking notices that create or propose, or notices regarding substantial change to, a program activity listed in the program and financing schedules of the U.S. annual budget, including any annual collections or distributions of $100 million or more; and
    • a cost-benefit justification to be included in notices concerning rules that may have an effect on the economy of at least $100 million annually or a material adverse effect on the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities.
  • Directs the FCC to establish procedures authorizing a Commissioner to require the entire Commission to vote on whether to review a particular FCC office's actions.
  • Directs the FCC to seek public comment regarding whether the FCC should:
    • establish deadlines for the disposition of certain license applications;
    • assess fees from applicants to enhance the FCC's resources to meet those deadlines; and
    • publish orders, decisions, reports, and actions within 30 days after adoption.
  • Requires the FCC to initiate a new rulemaking proceeding every five years to continue its consideration of procedural rule changes.
  • Authorizes a bipartisan majority of Commissioners to hold a nonpublic meeting under specified conditions.
  • Prohibits the FCC, in its quarterly report regarding informal consumer inquiries and complaints, from categorizing inquiries or complaints under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act as wireline or wireless inquiries or complaints unless a wireline or wireless carrier was the subject of the inquiry or complaint.

Committee Leaders Seek Briefings on Vulnerabilities of SS7

On April 26, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier, Sprint, and T-Mobile requesting a briefing on the vulnerabilities of the Signaling System 7 (SS7).

The concern appears to have risen from a recent report on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, titled "Hacking Your Phone," that apparently alleges that there is at least one security flaw in SS7. To each of the major carriers the representatives wrote, "Given the role of SS7 in our global communications networks, these vulnerabilities expose anyone using a phone to a possible security breach. In order for the Committee to gain a better understanding of any security flaws in the SS7 protocol and the risks they represents, we request that the Chief Technology Officer of your company be available to brief the Committee."


DOJ, FCC Sign Off on Charter Merger

On April 25, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing its would allow Charter Communications Inc. to complete its $78 billion proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) and its related $10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks LLC. The new company, referred to as “New Charter,” forms the second-largest Internet provider (Comcast is ahead) and the third-largest video provider (Comcast and post-merger DirecTV are ahead), with an estimated 21 million broadband subscribers and 17.4 million video subscribers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler also issued a statement recommending the merger, and will be circulating an order approving the merger, with conditions.

New Charter will not be allowed to implement data caps or data usage-based charges, and will be required to build out its broadband access to two million homes, in an effort to build competition in certain markets. New Charter will also be prohibited from entering into or enforcing any agreement with a programmer that forbids, limits or creates incentives to limit the programmer’s provision of content to one or more online video distributors, such as Netflix, and will not be able to avail itself of other distributors’ “most favored nation” provisions if they are inconsistent with this prohibition. New Charter is also prohibited from retaliating against programmers for licensing to online video distributors.

Chairman Wheeler Tempers Incentive Auction Expectations

At the NAB Show in Las Vegas, an annual conference and expo for professionals who create, manage, and distribute entertainment, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler gave a 40-minute Q&A session in which he said, among other things, not to expect the incentive auction to be a "one-and-done kind of activity." Rather, the Chairman noted, the bidding process could involve going back and forth between the reverse auction and the forward until a balance is struck. Wheeler also noted that FCC's auction team is focusing on what happens after the auction ends and the remaining TV broadcasters have to be moved to new channels.

The incentive auction rules require that certain financial benchmarks be met before the auction can be closed, in order to ensure that the public is fairly compensated for the spectrum and the FCC recovers enough money to carry out certain reimbursement obligations created by Congress; and if these benchmarks are not met, the FCC will press the “reset button” by reducing the number of spectrum blocks being sold until there is enough demand to reach the financial prerequisites.

The Chairman also spoke at length about the status of the joint petition filed by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), America's Public Television Stations (APTS) and the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance, asking the FCC to approve voluntary, market-based rollout of a new TV transmission standard, ATSC 3.0. “ATSC 3.0 is significant,” Wheeler said. “We need to move with dispatch to get that into the public debate. I intend to put that out for public notice before the end of the month.”

The entire Q&A session can be viewed online here .


MAY 2: 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.

MAY 31: 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. 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 May 31. 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 29: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 29). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). Because July 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due August 1. This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2013. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2014); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, 2015 , for lines served as of September 30, 2014)

Calendar At-A-Glance

Apr. 28 – Comments to challenge coverage data for competitive carriers are due.
Apr. 28 – Reply comments are due on Refreshing the Record in Sandwich Isles Reconsideration Proceeding.

May 2 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 2 – Deadline to designate USAC Lifeline Recertification preference.
May 2 – Comments are due on TCPA Home Office Line Classification proceeding.
May 9 – Comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
May 12 – Comments are due on Rate-of-Return FNPRM.
May 17 – Reply comments are due on TCPA Home Office Line Classification proceeding.
May 27 – Comments are due on Internet Privacy NPRM.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

Jun. 1 – Deadline to increase local residential rates above $18 to avoid reductions in support.
Jun. 7 – Reply comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
Jun. 13 – Reply comments are due on Rate-of-Return FNPRM.
Jun. 27 – Reply comments are due on Internet Privacy NPRM.

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. 29 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Aug. 1 – International Traffic Data 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 .

Mobile phone disaster warning system completed

By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter
Taipei Times
Thu, Apr 28, 2016

The nation’s 4G telecoms have finished building and testing a public warning system (PWS) for natural disasters, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

People can start receiving disaster-warning messages from the PWS on July 1 after the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) finishes its part of the testing, by the end of June, it added.

The system was proposed in 2011, when Japan was severely hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and a subsequent quake-induced tsunami.

NCC spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng said the commission is to upload a list of mobile phones that are able to receive the disaster-related messages on its Web site, which would be available for the public to view on Sunday.

Yu said the telecoms had been able to deliver disaster-warning messages, but they were only able to send a maximum of 2,000 messages per minute.

He said the PWS utilizes cell broadcast technology, which can simultaneously send more than 100,000 messages in targeted regions within seconds.

Yu said the service, which would be offered free of charge to mobile phone users, is only possible via a 4G service. As such, people with mobile phones that can only process 2G service would not be able to receive the messages from the PWS, he said.

Subscribers of 2G services can still receive the disaster-warning messages through the previous method, he said.

Yu said the NCDR first receives messages from the devices detecting natural disasters or from agencies monitoring the occurrences of these disasters, which are then processed at the cell broadcast entity.

He said these messages are then converted into readable formats and sent to the telecoms, which subsequently send them to their service subscribers that might be affected by a certain natural disaster through their base stations installed nationwide.

Yu said that telecoms have finished the tests of PWS from their ends to their subscribers, with the test results showing that the time needed to send the message could take from two seconds to more than 10 seconds.

“The goal is that the NCDR would complete building and testing their part of the PWS by June 30,” Yu said. “The total time needed to transmit the message from the NCDR to the mobile phone users would have to be determined based on how fast the NCDR can process information from disaster-monitoring agencies or devices.”

The NCC said mobile phones certified by the commission after March 1 are supposed to be able to receive the messages disseminated through cell broadcast technology.

For mobile phones certified before March 1, manufacturers are asked to upgrade their systems so that users can receive the message from the PWS as well.

A telecom service expert said the nation’s telecoms have established public warning systems for 2G, 3G and 4G service users. While 4G users can receive messages from the PWS while they are on the phone or the Internet, 3G users cannot receive messages if they are sent when they are talking on the phone or are online. However, 2G users can only receive text messages through the mobile phone network.

[Editor's note: Only a few cellular telephone systems have implemented cell broadcast technology, so that they can transmit a common alert text message to (many) multiple subscribers, which — of course — paging has always been able to do.]

Source: Taipei Times  

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Sicily packs an impressive seven UNESCO World Heritage sites into an area roughly the size of Vermont. The newest entry: the Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale inscribed in July 2015. Spring—before the summer crowds and hot summer weather arrives—is a good time to visit any of the sites. And May is one of the best months of the year to see Val di Noto (Noto Valley), eight late baroque towns in southeastern Sicily. During Noto’s annual l’infiorata (flower festival), the town’s picturesque Via Corrado Nicolaci is carpeted with elaborate flower-petal mosaics. See the floral mini-masterpieces and tour the impressive cathedrals open during the festival. From Noto, Sicily native Rossella Beaugié, a founding director of The Thinking Traveller villa rental company, recommends heading toward Sicily’s southernmost tip to take in one of the island’s less visited beaches. “The Vendicari Nature Reserve , a very short drive away, is then the perfect escape for a swim and some bird-watching,” she says.

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is located off the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula. The two main airports are Palermo on the northern coast and Catania on the east-central coast.


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