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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — July 1, 2016 — Issue No. 713

Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.

Friends and readers have been asking what's going on with me. The rest of the story is that one of my daughters is sick. I just returned from a quick trip to the east coast to visit her and her sister. I can't think of anything in life that is more upsetting than having a child with a serious illness, even if that “child” is an adult. A photo of us follows in the PHOTO OF THE WEEK section below.

Microsoft backs off sneaky Windows 10 upgrade tricks with simple new pop-up

Microsoft is going legit with its Windows 10 upgrade notifications, and it did it just in time to still matter.

Credit: Rob Schultz

Ian Paul
Contributor, PCWorld Jun 28, 2016 6:43 AM

After months of embracing malware-like tricks  so nasty that some fearful Windows 7 users felt forced to disable updates completely , Microsoft is backing off its sneaky Windows 10 upgrade tactics and reverting to an interface that is far clearer and doesn’t violate user trust.

The company plans to update the Windows 10 upgrade notification window that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users see on their PCs, as first reported by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley late Monday.

The new interface will feature three buttons with clear options, including Upgrade now , Choose time (in other words, schedule the upgrade time), or Decline free offer . Microsoft also plans to restore proper behavior to the “x” in the upper right hand corner. Instead of being treated as consent for an upgrade, clicking the “x” will simply dismiss the window, as it should be.

On top of that, Microsoft says it will provide free tech support for anyone who needs help upgrading, or rolling back from Windows 10 to their previous operating system.

“Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we’ve received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing ... and this week, we’ll roll out a new upgrade experience with clear options.” Microsoft’s Windows chief Terry Myerson said in a written statement to ZDNet. “We recommend people upgrade to Windows 10 ... and take advantage of the free upgrade offer before it ends on July 29.”

The story behind the story: It’s great to see Microsoft responding to user complaints, but given the timing of this reversal it seems a bit hollow.

Microsoft recently lost a lawsuit over its Windows 10 upgrade practices. The monetary loss from that suit was insignificant for the company, but the price it’s paying in negative publicity and user frustration is substantial. Plus, there’s only a month left in the free upgrade window anyway, and Microsoft's already pushed Windows 10 on people who use Windows 7 and 8's default automatic update settings—a highly questionable practice that's given the company a significant boost in Windows 10 adoption rate . All things considered, cleaning up its act a month before free upgrades end probably won’t cost Microsoft that much in potential user adoption, but it could go a long way to reducing user anger and frustration towards the company.

Now on to more news and views.

Wayne County, Illinois

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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.

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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)
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


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

World’s cheapest smartphone, costing under £3, begins shipping next week

Ringing Bells Freedom 251 CREDIT: RAJAT GUPTA/EPA

By David Millward
1 JULY 2016 • 2:48AM

T he first batch of the world’s cheapest smart phone, costing less than £3 begins shipping next week, the manufacturers said on Thursday.

Ringing Bells Freedom 251 smartphone, which is based on the Android system, is aimed to bring mobile phone ownership to the Indian mass market.

Costing 251 Rupees (£2.79), the manufacturers believe it could transform the Indian market where only one person in 10 has a mobile phone.

The company's chief executive Mohit Goel said the first shipment of about 200,000 handsets was due next week. "Our vision is to make mobile phones more affordable to the millions of poor Indians who do not own one," he added.

Demand for mobile phones is growing rapidly in India with 103 million handsets being sold in 2015, representing a 29 per cent rise on the previous year.

A number of other manufacturers have also entered the market for cheap phones, with devices costing around around £19.

Mr Goel disputed allegations that pressure to keep the phone as cheap as possible was driving wages down, insisting that the company’s staff were fairly paid.

Rival companies have disputed whether the phone, which packs in a surprising amount of sophisticated technology including a built-in camera, can be manufactured at such a low price .

The Indian Cellular Association contacted the Indian minister for telecoms, Ravi Shankar Prasad, to say that it doesn't believe a smartphone could cost less than 2,700 rupees (£27).

Source: The Telegraph (UK) 

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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.

Best thing about Google’s 2016 Nexus phones: They’ll finally copy the iPhone properly

By Chris Smith on Jul 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

For the first time in its history, Google launched two new Nexus handsets last year including the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, copying Apple’s new iPhone launch strategy. But Google didn’t get it right on the first try. Thankfully, it looks like things are about to change thanks to a big new update — assuming the latest Nexus leaks are accurate, that is.

When Google launched the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P last year, it quickly became apparent that Google thought the Nexus 6P should be the flagship device when it comes to hardware. It got a better processor, more RAM, more generous storage, a better cameras setup and a higher screen resolution.

This year, however, Google isn’t going to make the same mistake again. The HTC Sailfish (Nexus 5X successor) and HTC Marlin (Nexus 6P successor) will apparently have the same specs. That’s what Apple does with its iPhones, which are virtually similar — though the bigger iPhone model does have better resolution, a larger screen and battery, and optical image stabilization.

After finding the specs for Sailfish a few days ago, Android Police dug up hardware details for Marlin, with the site having offered consistent leaks about previous Nexus devices. And from the looks of it, the phone will be a copy of the Sailfish. The device would still offer better resolution, but that’s just because this is the larger of the two new Nexus phones.

According to the Android blog, the phone features a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display, quad-core Qualcomm processor, 4GB of RAM, 32/128GB storage, 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, rear fingerprint sensor, bottom speakers, Bluetooth 4.2 and a 3,450 mAh battery.

Pricing details and launch dates are still a mystery and we have no pictures for either phone. Even so, HTC might be on the verge of launching two of the hottest Android phones of all time this year, so start saving your money now.


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.

Texting 911 to Osage Beach Emergency Communications Center now possible

Starting today, July 1, residents and people visiting Osage Beach will now have the capability to send a text message (SMS) from a mobile device to 911 instead of having to place a phone call for emergency help.

Posted Jul. 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm
Updated at 12:04 PM

Starting today, July 1, residents and people visiting Osage Beach will now have the capability to send a text message (SMS) from a mobile device to 911 instead of having to place a phone call for emergency help.

The City of Osage Beach announced the service in a press release on Thursday, June 30th. It is the first and only lake area jurisdiction using text to 911, according to the release.

To text 911, a user enters the numbers “911” in the “To” or “Recipient” field, and should include a brief, but detailed message that contains the location and type of emergency. The City says to make sure only the numbers “911” and no other punctuation when addressing the message.

If the service is not available where you are located, you will receive a message from the wireless carrier stating that the service is unavailable and to please place a voice call.

The text messages will be received by the Osage Beach 911 Emergency Communications Center, but public safety officials encourage the public to think of texting 911 as a last resort and not the normal process for contacting 911 during an emergency.

Calls to 911 are preferred because they are typically more efficient during an emergency, the City said in the press release and reminded citizens to only contact 911 in a fire, medical or police emergency.

The City is encouraging using the motto, “Call if you can. Text if you can’t,” and listed four occasions when to text:

1. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.

2. If you cannot speak due to an injury or medical condition.

3. If you are in a threatening situation and a voice call could increase that threat.

4. If you cannot make a call because your mobile phone reception is poor.

Once received, a person who sends a text to 911 will receive a response from the 911 call center, the press release states. The City reminds, that as with all text messages, 911 text messages can take longer to receive, may be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.

Source: Lake News Online .

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.

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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. 26June 29, 2016


FCC Releases Fact Sheet on 5G Millimeter Wave Spectrum Proposal

On June 24, the FCC released a fact sheet outlining a set of proposed rules currently circulating among the full Commission that is aimed at opening up almost 11 GHz in the millimeter wave spectrum from flexible use wireless broadband — 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum. This spectrum is designed to augment 5G capabilities that will be coming on line in the near future.

Specifically, the proposal will:

  • create a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use service in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz), 37 GHz (37-38.6 GHz), and 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz) bands, and an unlicensed band at 64-71 GHz.
  • adopt sharing schemes that create a dedicated sub-band for federal and non-federal entities to share equally in the 37-37.6 GHz segment, and a path for continued and expanded satellite operations in the 28 GHz, 37 GHz, and 39 GHz bands.
  • adopt an ex ante spectrum holdings limit of 1250 MHz applied to auctioned spectrum in these bands, and a spectrum threshold of 1250 MHz for case-by-case review of secondary market transactions, to encourage competition.
  • require licensees to file a statement before deployment that includes certain security-related information, such as a description of participation in standards body security work, their intended approach to security, and the implications their security by design will have for other parts of the 5G ecosystem.

The item also includes a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to make an additional 17.7 GHz of spectrum available. It proposes to apply the same licensing, service, and technical rule framework set in the Report & Order, modified to meet the characteristics of a specific band. Specifically, it proposes additional bands for consideration: 24-25 GHz (24.25-24.45/25.05-25.25 GHz), 32 GHz (31.8-33.4 GHz), 42 GHz (42-42.5 GHz), 48 GHz (47.2-50.2 GHz), 51 GHz (50.4-52.6 GHz), 70 GHz (71-76 GHz), and 80 GHz (81-86 GHz).

FCC Releases Fact Sheet on Media Ownership Rule Update

On June 27, the FCC released a fact sheet outlining a set of proposed rules currently circulating among the full Commission that is aimed at updating its media ownership rules. According to the fact sheet, the rules are designed to:

  • Preserve the existing ownership restrictions, with targeted modifications.
  • Carry out the Third Circuit’s remand of diversity issues, re-adopt the small business revenue-based eligible entity standard, address proposals submitted by MMTC, and decline to adopt race- or gender-based measures.
  • Readopt the TV JSA attribution rule consistent with the court’s guidance in Prometheus III and Congress’s guidance on grandfathering.
  • Adopt a definition of shared services agreements; require that these agreements be filed with the Commission and made publicly available; and do not attribute any such agreements, other than JSAs, at this time.

Specifically, the Order, if adopted, finds that the current media ownership rules remain necessary in the public interest but require minor updates to reflect current industry trends and marketplace realities. These updates include:

  • Local Television Ownership Rule: Adds a minor technical modification to address the transition to digital broadcasting and extends the current ban on co-ownership of two top-four television stations in a market to network affiliation swaps.
  • Local Radio Ownership Rule: Adds minor clarifications to assist the Media Bureau in processing license assignment/transfer applications.
  • Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule: Adds a modification to address the transition to digital television broadcasting.
  • Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule: Relaxes the rule by providing an exception for failed or failing entities and states that the Commission will consider waivers.

Additionally, the proposal re-adopts a revenue-based eligible entity standard and the programs to which the standard applies, to promote small businesses and new entrants in the broadcast marketplace. It also defines shared services agreements (SSA) as any agreement in which (1) a station provides another station, not commonly owned, with any station-related services, including administrative, technical, sales, and/or programming support; or (2) stations not commonly owned collaborate to provide station-related services, including administrative, technical, sales, and/or programming support, but does not adopt an SSA attribution rule, at this time.

PSHSB Launches EAS Test Reporting System, Seeks Comment on Handbook Recommendations

On June 27, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau provided notice to all Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants that the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) is operational and ready to accept filings. It also seeks comment on the recommendations adopted by the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) on June 22, 2016, for updating the EAS Operating Handbook. EAS Participants must complete Form One of ETRS on or before August 26, and have until September 26 to update or correct any errors in their initial Form One filings. ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available on ETRS at the time of initiation of the nationwide test.

Under the FCC’s rules, EAS participation is required by analog radio and television stations, wired and wireless cable television systems, digital broadcast systems, digital television broadcast stations, Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, digital cable and digital audio broadcasting systems, and wireline video systems. On June 3, 2015 the Commission released the Sixth Report and Order, in which it adopted rules establishing the ETRS, a mandatory version of the voluntary electronic test reporting system employed for the 2011 nationwide EAS test. The Commission retained the three-form structure of the 2011 version, and adopted new features and data fields responsive to stakeholder comments. Form One prompts EAS Participants to supply identifying and background information. EAS participants must submit a completed Form One in the ETRS within sixty days of the Commission’s official launch of the ETRS. EAS Participants must update their Form One filings concurrent with any changes in identifying and background information. To register for ETRS and access the Form One, EAS Participants must visit the ETRS page of the Commission’s website ( ) and click on the ETRS Registration Page link.

The Bureau also seeks comment on the EAS Operating Handbook (Handbook), an informational document that aids EAS Participant personnel in handling EAS messages by outlining operational procedures reflective of the requirements found in the Part 11 rules. A copy may be obtained here, at Appendix A.

FCC Proposes to Streamline Executive Branch Review of Certain Foreign Ownership Applications, and Adopt a 90-day Shot Clock

On June 24, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to its rules and procedures to improve the timeliness and transparency of the review process for certain applications and petitions for declaratory ruling with reportable foreign ownership. Currently, the Commission routinely refers certain applications with reportable foreign ownership to relevant Executive Branch agencies for coordination and expertise on national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy matters. The NPRM makes the following proposals:

  • Threshold Information. As requested by the Executive Branch, the Notice proposes to require applicants with reportable foreign ownership to provide information on ownership, network operations, and related matters at the time they file their applications. The process would replace the current practice of the Executive Branch seeking such threshold information directly from the applicants after the Commission refers the applications.
  • Certifications. The Notice proposes to add a certification requirement to the rules. It seeks comment on NTIA’s proposal that all applicants, with or without foreign ownership, certify to certain mitigation provisions when they file their applications, which the Executive Branch says will expedite its review.
  • Shot Clock. Although NTIA did not propose time frames for review, the Notice proposes to adopt a 90-day time frame for Executive Branch review, with an additional one-time 90-day extension in rare circumstances provided the Executive Branch provides a status update every 30 days.

The Notice proposes to adopt rules that apply these requirements to applications for international section 214 authorizations and submarine cable landing licenses, applications to assign or transfer such authorizations and licenses, and petitions for section 310(b) foreign ownership rulings (common carrier wireless, common carrier satellite earth stations, or broadcast). The Notice seeks comment on whether there are some categories of applications that should not be referred to Executive Branch for review. Finally, the Notice recommends other proposals to further streamline Commission review of the applications.

Law & Regulation

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for July Open Meeting

On June 23, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the July Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 14, 2016:

  • A Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would make spectrum in bands above 24 GHz available for flexible use wireless services, including for next-generation, or 5G, networks and technologies. (GN Docket No. 14-177; IB Docket No. 15-256; RM-11664; WT Docket No. 10-112; IB Docket No. 97-95). This order will apparently address the impact on LMDS spectrum of the Commission’s 5G plan.
  • A Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration that adopts a framework to guide transitions to next-generation communications technologies while protecting the interests of consumers and competition. (WC Docket No. 13-5; WC Docket No. 13-3; RM-11358).

The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m., and will be webcast live at that time at .

REMINDER: Deadline for Broadband Privacy Reply Comments Extended

On June 22, the FCC issued a Public Notice in which it extended the deadline for filing reply comments in response to the Broadband Privacy Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Reply comments are now due July 6.

By way of reminder, the FCC is seeking comment on the following proposals:

  • define the information that would be protected as “customer proprietary information” (customer PI) to include both CPNI as established by Section 222(h) of the Act and personally identifiable information (PII) collected by the broadband providers through their provision of BIAS.
  • enhance the ability of consumers to make informed choices through effective disclosure of broadband providers’ privacy policies
  • adopt a three-tiered approach to choice with respect to use of customer PI obtained by virtue of providing the broadband
  • whether additional protection, above and beyond Section 705 of the Communications Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (including those provisions known as the Wiretap Act), is needed.
  • whether, and how, Section 222 should be applied to provide additional protection to some or all forms of content or to otherwise complement the effectiveness of existing federal laws.
  • whether there are any small-provider-specific exemptions that are appropriate, such as for small providers who have already obtained customer approval, or who collect data from fewer than 5,000 customers a year (provided they do not share customer data with third parties).
  • whether there are particular types of information, for example, Social Security numbers, financial account information, or geo-location information that, although included within the definition of customer PI, are so sensitive that they deserve special treatment.
  • that consumers should be able to rely on their broadband provider to take reasonable steps to safeguard customer information from unauthorized use, disclosure, or access, and seeks comment on whether there are other data security requirements that the Commission should adopt, such as data minimization requirements.

The FCC is also considering adopting rules that harmonize the privacy requirements for cable and satellite providers with the rules for telecommunications providers, and on what barriers may exist to the ability of consumers to resolve disputes and it recognizes the right to access and correct the customer information their broadband provider maintains about them.

Puerto Rico Tel. & America Movil to Pay $1.1 Million for Exceeding Foreign Ownership Limits

On June 28, the FCC issued a press release announcing that Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC), and its parent company, América Móvil of Mexico (América Móvil), will pay $1.1 million to resolve an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Stock purchases of América Móvil by its owner Carlos Slim Helú and his family repeatedly exceeded the foreign ownership levels approved by the Commission.

PRTC, a telecommunications carrier operating in the United States territory of Puerto Rico, and América Móvil have exceeded their approved foreign ownership three times in five years. Most recently, in June 2014, the Slim family increased its ownership in and control of América Móvil through a purchase of stock from AT&T International. This also increased the family’s ownership in FCC licensee PRTC beyond the voting and equity interests then approved by the agency’s International Bureau in accordance with the FCC’s foreign ownership rules and policies.

As part of the settlement, PRTC and América Móvil have each agreed to adopt compliance plans to prevent future stock purchases by the Slim family that would exceed foreign ownership limits without first receiving the International Bureau’s review and approval. The plans require both companies to develop and implement monitoring of compliance with the Commission’s rules governing foreign ownership. The plans include designating Compliance Officers, developing a comprehensive compliance plan, and reporting regularly on compliance.

Comment Deadline Established for Proposed Changes to Broadcast and Cable Public Inspection File Rules

On June 27, the FCC issued a Public Notice establishing the comment deadline for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to eliminate two public inspection file requirements: (i) the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public, and (ii) the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system’s principal headend. Comments are due July 22 and reply comments are due August 22.


Petitions for Reconsideration of Third Lifeline Report and Order Filed

On June 23, a number of parties filed individual petitions for reconsideration of various aspects of the FCC’s Lifeline Third Report an Order. Specifically:

NTCA and WTA asked the FCC to reconsider (i) the exception to the fixed broadband minimum speed standard, because it represents “a failure to properly leverage the High cost universal service program”; (ii) the phasing out of support for voice-only service, as it would force low-income rural customers to purchase broadband service they may not want or need; (iii) the 150 GB minimum usage allowance standard, which unfairly punishes providers that must rely on satellite backhaul; the “rolling recertification” requirement, which will be too burdensome on small rural carriers with limited staff and resources; and (iv) the “port freeze” provisions, which provides no discernable benefit to low income customers. The Associations also asked the FCC to clarify the rule allowing non-Lifeline-only ETCs to provide voice but not broadband.

CTIA asked the FCC to reconsider its decision to set long-term minimum capacity standards for mobile broadband at 70 percent of the average mobile data usage per household, arguing that it did so without any consideration of whether it was consistent with the statutory universal service principle of affordability.

Other petitioners included a group called the Joint Lifeline ETC Petitioners, NASUCA, the Pennsylvania PUC, and TracFone.


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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Three types of entities must file this form. (1) Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections — which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction — must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, MMDS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services ( e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.) (2) Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs). (3) Providers of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service: Interconnected VoIP service is a service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications; requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; requires Internet-protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network. Interconnected VoIP providers must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide interconnected VoIP service to one or more subscribers, with the state determined for reporting purposes by the location of the subscriber’s broadband connection or the subscriber’s “Registered Location” as of the data-collection date. “Registered Location” is the most recent information obtained by an interconnected VoIP service provider that identifies the physical location of an end user. (4) Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the Commission an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.

Calendar At-A-Glance

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. 5 – Reply comments are due on FY2016 Regulatory Fee NPRM.
Jul. 5 – Comments are due on Proposed Eligible Services List for E-Rate.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on the Internet Privacy NPRM.
Jul. 8 – Reply comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
Jul. 11 – Comments are due on RTT Transition NPRM.
Jul. 20 – Reply comments are due on Proposed Eligible Services List for E-Rate.
Jul. 21 – Comments are due on CAF Phase II FNPRM.
Jul. 22 – Comments are due on Public Inspection File NPRM.
Jul. 25 – Reply Comments are due on RTT Transition NPRM.
Jul. 26 – Reply comments are due on New Special Access Regulation.
Jul. 29 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.
Jul. 31 – Annual International Traffic and Revenue Data are due.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Aug. 1 – International Traffic Data Report is due.
Aug. 5 – Reply comments are due on CAF Phase II FNPRM.
Aug. 22 - Reply comments are due on Public Inspection File NPRM.
Aug. 26 – EAS Participants must file Form One of the ETRS.

Sep. 1 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
Sep. 26 – EAS Participants must have all updates or corrections to Form One of the ETRS filed.
Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

BloostonLaw Private Users UpdateVol. 17, No. 6June 2016

FCC Cracks Down on Violation of Environmental Rules

Recently, the FCC sent out a number of violation citations pertaining to failures to comply with Commission’s regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and other federal environmental statutes and related licensing rules. The letters were sent to larger entities such as US Cellular and the Canadian National Railroad, as well as smaller licensees. Thus, the FCC is engaging in a focused enforcement crack down concerning tower violations, and may continue this effort. Therefore, our clients owning or mounting on antenna structures will want to make sure the structure is compliant, before any inspection or complaint focuses FCC attention on it.

Of note, at least one of the violations pertained to the installation of 3.65 GHz facilities without environmental compliance review. While the FCC has instituted a streamlined registration process for 3.65 GHz facilities in lieu of more formal licensing, the actual facilities must comply with the FCC’s environmental protection and historic preservation rules.

Under the Commission’s rules, an applicant must consider, prior to initiating construction or deployment, whether the facility it proposes to build or use may have a significant effect on the environment. As part of this review, applicants must consider whether their proposed facilities would affect properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This consideration involves a specific set of prescribed procedures set forth in the rules of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Advisory Council), as modified by the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for the Collocation of Wireless Antennas (Collocation Agreement) and the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement Regarding the Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act Review Process (NPA). These agreements tailor and streamline the review and consultation procedures routinely required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) and the implementing regulations issued by the Advisory Council.

Specific violations included:

  • failure to conduct the appropriate environmental tests before constructing towers;
  • failure to file requisite environmental assessments (EAs) and license applications and awaiting the Commission’s ruling on such submissions;
  • improperly certifying that facilities would have no significant effect on the environment when a State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) had in fact objected; and
  • failing to submit EAs for the Commission to process before registering towers.

The letters did not specify any penalty for the violations, but noted that future violations may result in additional action, including the imposition of monetary penalties, and that similar conduct may provide grounds for an upward adjustment in the amount of a penalty. This may well be a harbinger of things to come since the FCC may elect not to issue warning letters in the future.

FCC Grants Kathrein Automotive Waiver of Consumer Labeling Rule

Kathrein Automotive GmbH & Co KG (Kathrein) sought a limited waiver of the FCC’s rules in order to permit it to offer its Kathrein compensator — a type of consumer signal booster — to manufacturers of motor vehicles. Like other electronic equipment, the Kathrein compensator would be installed by the OEM and become part of the vehicle. Kathrein contended that the product falls outside the goals of the consumer labeling rules for consumer signal boosters due to the unique placement of the compensator within the vehicle and that application of the labeling rules would not advance the public interest.

The FCC’s rules require that manufacturers, distributors and retailers of Consumer Signal Boosters ensure that these devices include specific advisories on the outside of the packaging for the device as well as a label on the device itself.

It is important to note that the waiver request received substantial opposition for a variety of reasons. In particular, other equipment manufacturers and wireless carriers raised concerns which included:

  • Kathrein had not met its burden for showing why it did not meet the anti-oscillation requirements and that its analysis was based upon erroneous data;
  • The labeling requirements were “important and necessary information for consumers” and that product labeling would not pose a significant financial burden;
  • AT&T asserted that a waiver would undermine the compromise reached in creating the consumer signal booster rules but that it could support the waiver if a separate page was provided to end-user consumers at the time of delivery and if device shutdown procedures were “prominently explain[ed] to the car buyer;
  • Verizon expressed concern that the device would oscillate and that labeling could be made in a reasonable manner — including on the cradle.

BMW Group supported the waiver request, stating that in-vehicle installation would eliminate the need for oscillation safeguards and labeling.

Kathrein countered that compliance oscillation labeling requirements would provide no public benefit and that opponents to the waiver request had misconstrued the features of the compensator and the “efficacy” of the barriers to oscillation inherent in its design. Further, Kathrein stated that labeling was not reasonable since (a) all devices would be sold to OEM vehicle manufacturers and not to aftermarket installers and (b) consumers could not view the device. And, Kathrein noted that Audi had received a similar waiver in the past. While Kathrein pressed for the labeling waiver, it dropped the anti-oscillation waiver.

In granting the limited waiver, the FCC noted that Kathrein plans to provide advisory notices to vehicle manufacturers for inclusion in online, point of sale marketing materials and in print or online owner’s manuals. Kathrein plans to ensure that end-users are aware of these notices by contractually binding the vehicle manufacturers to ensure that their dealer networks provide this information to car purchasers. The FCC concluded further that the purpose of its rules would not be satisfied in this instance where the labeling requirement was designed to provide the “best method to inform consumers about which devices are appropriate for their use and how to comply with [FCC] rules, as well as decrease interference to wireless networks.” Inasmuch as consumers would lack access to the packaging as well as the device itself, the FCC found that the alternative proposal would be sufficient to meet the FCC’s intent.

New Electronic Filing System Launched on June 20

The FCC recently issued a Public Notice announcing that it would transition to its new Electronic Comment Filing System (“ECFS”) system on the morning of Monday, June 20, 2016. This was a “hard launch,” meaning that the legacy system is no longer be available. All documents in the legacy system have been moved over and are accessible in the new system. Likewise, any saved links (bookmarks or favorites) to documents and proceedings should have been preserved and therefore should not need to be adjusted.
The new system was available and fully operational as of 8 a.m. ET on Monday, June 20, 2016 and the old ECFS system was no longer available.

Telecom Carriers Reminded of Obligation to Protect Against Identity Theft

Telecommunications carriers are reminded that they are subject to various federal and possibly state requirements to prevent and report unauthorized attempts to gain access to customer information and to protect customers from identity theft. The FCC's CPNI rules and possibly unauthorized conversion rules may apply in cases of unauthorized access to customer information.

The FCC's CPNI rules require telecommunications carriers to take reasonable measures to discover and protect against attempts to gain unauthorized access to CPNI and require telecommunications carriers to authenticate a customer prior to disclosing CPNI based on customer-initiated telephone contact, online account access, or an in-store visit. In addition, a telecommunications carrier must notify law enforcement of a breach of its customers' CPNI. The FCC's unauthorized conversion or "slamming" rules address the practice of switching a consumer's traditional wireline telephone company for local, local toll, or long distance service without permission. The FCC's rules establish procedures and penalties for carriers in the event of an unauthorized conversion.

Telecommunications carriers also may be subject to the FTC's Red Flag rules. The Red Flag rules apply to any business that:

  • defers payment for goods and services or bills customers,
  • grants or arranges credit, OR
  • participates in the decision to extend, renew, or set the terms of credit
  • gets or uses consumer reports in connection with a credit transaction,
  • gives information to credit reporting companies in connection with a credit transaction, OR
  • advances funds to — or for — someone who must repay them, either with funds or pledged property.

If you have detected attempts by unauthorized individuals to gain access to your customer information or if you have questions about the rules, please contact the firm.

FCC Seeks to Refresh Record on 5 GHz Band Proceeding

The FCC recently issued a Public Notice inviting interested parties to update and refresh the record on the status of potential sharing solutions between proposed Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) operations in the 5.850-5.925 GHz (U-NII-4) band. Comments will be due July 7, 2016 and Reply Comments are due July 22, 2016.

Primary among the considerations in establishing rules for U-NII was to make broadband technologies available in the 5 GHz bands, while protecting authorized Federal and non-Federal users of the bands from harmful interference. Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on:

  • A detect-and-avoid sharing proposal, under which unlicensed devices would monitor the existing 10 megahertz-wide DSRC channels established in the DSRC Report and Order. If an unlicensed device detects any transmitted DSRC signal, it would avoid using the entire DSRC band to assure no interference occurs to DSRC communications. After waiting a certain amount of time the unlicensed device would again sense the DSRC spectrum to determine if any DSRC channels are in use or whether it could safely transmit.
  • A re-channelization sharing proposal, under which the DSRC spectrum would be split into two contiguous blocks: one for safety-related communications and one for non-safety-related communications. This would be accomplished by moving the control channel and the two public safety channels to the top portion of the band. Additionally, the remaining four DSRC service channels would be reconfigured at the lower end of the band as two 20 megahertz channels rather than maintaining four 10 megahertz channels.
  • What DSRC-related use cases should be expected and permitted in this band.
  • Any other approaches that would facilitate unlicensed use of the 5.850-5.925 GHz band without causing harmful interference to DSRC operations, such as a hybrid approach taking elements from both the “detect and avoid” and the “re-channelization” proposals.

By way of background, U-NII devices provide short-range, high-speed unlicensed wireless connections in the 5 GHz band for, among other applications, Wi-Fi-enabled radio local networks, cordless telephones, and fixed outdoor broadband transceivers used by wireless internet providers. DSRC uses short-range wireless communication links to facilitate information transfer between appropriately-equipped vehicles and appropriately-equipped roadside systems (“vehicle to infrastructure” or “V2I”) and between appropriately-equipped vehicles (“vehicle to vehicle” or “V2V”).

Comments will be due July 7, 2016 and Reply Comments are due July 22, 2016.

Consortium Provides Details on FirstNet Bid

WirelessWEEK, among others, is reporting that the “Rivada Mercury” team has provided some details on the bid it submitted to be FirstNet’s primary contractor to build the public safety network for first responders.

Headed by former Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer, Rivada Mercury is comprised of Ericsson, Nokia, Intel Security, Rivada Networks, Harris Corporation, Fujitsu Network Communications, and telecom construction firm Black & Veatch. “Our team’s approach to FirstNet offers many benefits for America’s public safety community, namely we will provide public safety with a purpose-built Band 14 network and immediate turnkey access to the largest non-Band 14 coverage footprint in the U.S.,” Euteneuer said. The team plans to use “Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage” technology which allows for 4G mobile network capacity to be bought and sold in real time and in response to market demand. “As a pioneer in dynamic spectrum arbitrage, Rivada Mercury’s innovative technology will both fund the FirstNet build out and sustained operation and maintenance by selling excess capacity to commercial users,” said Euteneuer.

Other notable members of the company include former Governors Jeb Bush (R-Florida) and Martin O'Malley (D-Maryland) as board directors.

According to an article in Fortune, a source close to Rivada believes that there are two other bids, including one led by AT&T and Motorola, and another by another new entity.

FCC Denies Petition for Reconsideration of License Renewal Grant

Mobile Relay Associates (MRA) sought reconsideration of the FCC’s grant of a license renewal application filed by Alliance Communications Group (ACG) for UHF Trunked Industrial facilities in Los Angeles County, California.

The basis for MRA’s petition was the claim that Hector Mosquera, the individual signing the application, was a principal of ACG and a convicted felon and that ACG had never disclosed the felony conviction in any of its applications. The basis for the assertion is that Mr. Mosquera had signed numerous applications on behalf of ACG.

In denying the initial petition for reconsideration, the FCC concluded that the signing of FCC applications and documents on behalf of a corporate entity does not, in and of itself, make one a principal. Rather, the FCC properly noted that its rules permit duly authorized employees to sign on behalf of corporate entities. In order to be considered a principal, there must be an element of ownership or control – which in this case MRA did not prove.

While in this case the Commission found that Mr. Mosquera’s position did not require the disclosure of a felony conviction, this would not necessarily be true in all cases. In particular, the FCC’s wireless applications (FCC Form 601 or 603) as whether the applicant (or assignee/transferee in the case of a transactional application) or any party to the application or any party directly or indirectly controlling the applicant have ever been convicted of a felony by any state or federal court. Essentially, the FCC is looking to determine whether any individual or entity with either direct or indirect control or a 10 percent or greater ownership interest has been convicted of a felony. If the answer is “Yes”, then the felony must be reported to the FCC irrespective of the amount of time that has elapsed between the felony conviction and the date the application was filed. When considering to whom this question would apply, it is important to note that entities as well as individuals can be convicted of a felony. If there are any questions, please contact our office.

FCC Fines Pirate Stations in New Jersey

The FCC has once again fined operators of “pirate” radio stations. Pirate stations are any stations that are operated without a license issued by the FCC. In this case there were three pirate stations operating in Paterson and Passaic, New Jersey. In each case, the operator of the pirate radio station was warned by the FCC that its operations were illegal. Nonetheless, in all three cases, the operators ignored the FCC. As a result, the FCC imposed a fine of $10,000 against one operator and a fine of $15,000 against the other two pirate operators. The FCC noted that if the fines are not paid within 30 days, it may refer the matter to the US Justice Department for enforcement.

FCC Adjusts Fine Amounts for Inflation

As required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Penalties Act), the FCC has adjusted its monetary forfeiture schedule in order to take inflation into account when setting fines. Congress adopted this legislation in order to improve the effectiveness of civil penalties issued by federal agencies as well as maintain their deterrent effect so that a civil penalty does not become a minor cost of doing business. Under the Penalties Act, federal agencies must issue an interim final rule making and publish interim final rules no later than July 1, 2016 so that those rules can take effect no later than August 1, 2016. Under the Penalties Act, agencies will be required to make adjustments to the schedule of fines and monetary forfeitures annually.

The maximum daily amount for private radio licensees which use their stations for private internal communications is now going to be $18,936 per day of violation. It is important to note that while this fine amount may seem relatively small for certain of our clients, the FCC has the power to impose fines for each day of violation. This is because the FCC treats a violation that stretches over several days, weeks, or months as being a separate violation for each day. Thus, in theory, the FCC could take the base amount and multiply it by the number of days of violation and impose that amount up to the statutory maximum of $383,038 for noncommercial private radio licensees.

Please contact our office with any questions.

Williams Sound Obtains 6-Month Waiver to Bring Auditory Assistance Device into Compliance

Williams Sound requested a waiver of Rule Section 15.37(g) through January 11, 2017 so that it can (a) bring an existing auditory assistance device into compliance with the FCC’s updated unwanted emissions limit requirements and (b) file the required Class II permissive change application to amend the equipment authorization for the device.

Rule Section 15.37(g) bans the manufacture or importation of auditory assistant devices that do not comply with the revised emission limits set out in Rule Section 15.237(c) after July 1, 2016. In justifying its rule waiver request, Williams Sound stated that additional time was necessary to bring the device into compliance with the revised limits since the device in question incorporates complex design elements that have required additional efforts to bring the device into compliance. Williams Sound pointed out that the public would be served by the waiver since its device is used by the public to provide simultaneous language interpretation to individuals with hearing impairments.

In requesting the waiver until January 11, 2017, Williams Sound noted that it does not expect its device to cause interference and, in fact, has received no interference complaints. Based upon the information provided by Williams Sound, the FCC determined that a rule waiver, until January 11, 2017 was warranted for both the unwanted emission limitation and the deadline for filing permissive change applications.

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

Danbury approves funding for volunteer firefighter pager system

Posted About A Week Ago

Fire Chief TJ Wiedl requested additional funding from the city for a volunteer firefighters pager system. He says the pagers are necessary due to infrastructure changes to the City's radio system. The $40,000 will come from the City's Contingency Account. After this allocation, the fund is left with about $184,000. Wiedl told the City Council that the pagers have a five year service contract. He was asked if the radios are damaged due to negligence, who is responsible. Wiedl said the individual companies are going to assign the pagers, and they will be handled like any other equipment.

Source: 103.7 FM Rock  

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