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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — June 3, 2016 — Issue No. 710

Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.

Apple App Store and iCloud back online after outage

Apple's status page says that all its online offerings are now back up and running.

Apple is yet to respond to a request for comment on what caused the issues with its services.

[ source ]

Local Emergency Communications Director Honored Nationally


Springfield-Greene County Emergency 911 Communications Director Zim Schwartze

Springfield-Greene County’s 9-1-1 Emergency Communications director has received a national award. Zim Schwartze was named Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International Director of the Year. She’ll be recognized during the opening general session of the 2016 APCO Annual Conference & Expo in August in Orlando, Florida.

Schwartze joined Springfield-Greene County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications in 2013 after retiring as a captain from the Columbia Police Department.
Springfield city manager, Greg Burris, says the city is “fortunate to have Zim’s wealth of experience in law enforcement, emergency management and emergency communications.”

APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association.

[ source ]

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)
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

Microsoft denies forcing Windows 10 upgrades by killing the reschedule option

The dialog box that Microsoft presents to users during the upgrade to Windows 10. Credit: Mark Hachman

Stand down, everybody, at least for now.

By Mark Hachman Follow
PCWORLD | JUN 2, 2016 3:52 PM PT

Has Microsoft taken the final step in its Windows 10 upgrade strategy and removed all opt-out options from its Windows 10 upgrade? Apparently not.

The Register reported Thursday that once a Windows 10 upgrade is agreed to, Microsoft only allows you to confirm a time to schedule the upgrade, and not reschedule it afterward. The publication published a screenshot of the operation, with no option to click an “X” and opt out—in other words, the upgrade was locked in.

PCWorld was unable to reproduce its results with an up-to-date Windows 8.1 machine on Thursday. (The Register took its screenshot from a Windows 7 machine.) Microsoft, for its part, denied the story was true.

“The Register report is inaccurate,” Microsoft said in an emailed statement. “The Windows 10 upgrade is a choice—designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows. People receive multiple notifications to accept the upgrade, and can reschedule or cancel the upgrade if they wish.”

Currently, the de-facto behavior for the Windows 10 upgrade goes something like this: Users click the “Get Windows 10” (GWX) icon in the taskbar and a dialog box appears, asking users to upgrade to Windows 10 and offering to schedule a time. Clicking the red close button in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box used to opt out of the upgrade, but it now confirms it —a change that’s easy to miss (and arguably deceptive) because it goes against most default UI behavior.

However, once agreed-upon, a second pop-up soon appears, near the taskbar. Its cheery “You’re set!” message doesn’t mean the upgrade is locked in, however; you’ll have the option to escape the Windows 10 upgrade by cancelling it . I shot a quick video from home of the process I saw:

Note that I didn’t confirm the upgrade, then try to reschedule it. If that’s the scenario that The Register reported, it’s possible the paper’s source had already clicked past the EULA and accepted the upgrade (and bypassed the opt-out option) in the first place.

From my own testing, Microsoft is still giving users the choice of opting out from the Windows 10 upgrade. If that changes, we’ll report our new results.

Why this matters: Adopting the latest upgrades and security patches is generally the best course of action to minimize malware and other vulnerabilities, and we’ve generally been in favor of Windows 10 regardless. What crosses the line is Microsoft’s contravention of established behavior: Closing a dialog box is generally considered to mean “No, I don’t want this.” If Microsoft eliminated that opt-out—and provided no other means of doing so—that would really be dirty pool. However, it simply isn’t true.

This story, "Microsoft denies forcing Windows 10 upgrades by killing the reschedule option" was originally published by PCWorld .


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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.

No, Microsoft hasn't backtracked from zealous Windows 10 upgrade tactics

Secondary notice of pending upgrade was not added recently, but harks back to early May

By Gregg Keizer Follow

Contrary to scattered reports, Microsoft has not backpedaled from its latest aggressive tactic to boost Windows 10 adoption.

Accounts claiming that Microsoft has only now introduced a new warning dialog are incorrect: That secondary notice has been part of Microsoft's campaign since at least the first week of May -- before word spread about the company's unusual interpretation of a click on the red "X" in the upper-right corner of a notification that a pre-scheduled upgrade to Windows 10 was imminent.

Since at least March 23, and probably as far back as February, Microsoft has been defining a click-the-X as approving the scheduled upgrade, rather than the expected behavior of ignoring the notice and closing the window. Microsoft's interpretation of clicking the X runs counter to its own design rules .

Some reports, including one in Forbes last week , claimed that Microsoft had "buckled under public and media pressure" and added a new notice to the pre-upgrade process. That notice, according to a Microsoft support document , was "based on customer feedback," confirms the time of the scheduled upgrade, and "provides you an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade."

But Microsoft has not bent to criticism: The additional dialog has been part of the campaign since early May, when Computerworld first examined the support document. That was approximately two weeks before reports of the click-the-X trick multiplied.

Forbes quoted a Microsoft statement that said, "Based on customer feedback, we've also added another notification that confirms the time of the scheduled upgrade and provides the customer an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade." That was virtually the same wording as that used by the support document, including the phrase "based on customer feedback."

So while the Redmond, Wash. company may have revised the campaign to give users one last opportunity to reject the upgrade, it did so long before the negative news stories and blog posts appeared last week.

Anecdotal accounts of users affected by the new upgrade campaign have been widespread.

After Computerworld's May 16 story on the click-the-X dilemma , reader Brad File reported that he had been victimized by the tactic. "I clicked on the red X to get rid of the Windows upgrade notice and went to the kitchen for a snack," File wrote in an email. "When I returned, the upgrade had forcibly started. The real problem is that the installation failed, and my computer is [now] unable to boot."

But organized criticism has not appeared., a popular online petition website, shows no recent activity on the subject of Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade strategy.

One petition demanding that the company stop pushing Windows 10 launched six months ago, but has collected fewer than 60 signatures, a puny number when compared to others that have targeted the new operating system. For example, a petition begun in October 2015 that asked Microsoft to let customers delay or ignore feature and functionality updates has collected nearly 6,400 signatures.

The free Windows 10 upgrade offer will expire July 29, after which Microsoft may disable the "Get Windows 10" (GWX) app that it planted on millions of Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs last year. GWX was responsible for the scheduled upgrade notifications users have encountered.

This confirmation notice of a pending upgrade to Windows 10 — and a last chance to cancel the process — was not new, but harked back to early May.

This story, "No, Microsoft hasn't backtracked from zealous Windows 10 upgrade tactics" was originally published by Computerworld .


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.

Don't be scared . Photographer: Justin Chin.

Cell Phones and the Anatomy of a Cancer Scare

JUNE 2, 2016 9:00 AM EDT
By Faye Flam

The latest study supposedly linking cell-phone radiation to cancer was meant to serve the public good. But its effect on the public has been bad. The $25 million government-funded experiment produced confusion and scary headlines , but little in the way of useful information -- beyond perhaps an indication of where the science publicity machine is broken.

This wasn’t necessarily a case of bad science. The researchers, from the National Toxicology Program, subjected one group of rats to high doses of radiation of a frequency similar to that emitted by cell phones. Following accepted protocol, they compared the radiation-exposed rats to a control group. The pathologists looking for cancer didn't know which animals came from which group.

But last week, the scientists released partial, unpublished results in a rush, suggesting some public health urgency. They claimed to have identified a link between the radiation and a type of brain cancer called a glioma as well as a non-malignant growth called a schwannoma. Adding fuel to their health scare, they offered up sound bites such as “breakthrough” and “game changer.”

Only after the first round of scary headlines did critics get a chance to explain why the result was statistically weak, riddled with unanswered questions and somewhat implausible.

It’s not clear why scientists are carrying out these studies in the first place. There’s no compelling theoretical or empirical reason to suspect that cell-phone use has anything to do with cancer. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said investigations of possible links are done because people are interested in the question. That interest, he said goes back to 1990, when Republican political strategist Lee Atwater was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor at the age of 39. He was dead the next year.

At the time, Brawley said, some people noted that Atwater had been an early adopter of cell phones, though the reality is that brain cancer occasionally strikes all kinds of people with no apparent risk factors. Adding to the shock over Atwater’s fate was confusion about the term radiation, which scientists use to describe everything from radio waves to what comes out of a light bulb to the deadly emanations from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. X-rays and gamma rays do cause cancer by damaging DNA, and ultraviolet light can damage DNA in skin, but lower-energy radiation such as microwaves and radio waves would have to cause cancer some other way.

Brawley said dozens of studies have been done to test the safety of cell phones. The bulk of evidence to date suggests they are safe to use except for their role in car, bike and pedestrian accidents. Despite the explosion of cell-phone use over the last decades, the overall rate of brain cancer has remained flat, he said.

There’s some disagreement over whether it’s even physically or biologically possible for cell-phone radiation to cause cancer. Chris Adami, a professor of physics and microbiology at Michigan State University, said it’s remotely possible that cell-phone radiation could have some biological effect by heating fat and protein molecules, just as a microwave oven uses low-frequency waves to cook food. But there’s no known mechanism by which heating would lead to cancer in rats or people, he said, so the researchers should have set a very high bar of evidence before they announced a threat to public health.

Rats tend to get cancer without any help from scientists, he said, so if cell-phone radiation caused these types of cancer, what they’d expect to see is the normal number of cases in the control group and an excess in the one subject to the radiation.

Instead, they got no cases of either cancer in the controls and the normal number of gliomas and schwannomas in the exposed group. The researchers couldn’t explain this nor could they explain the curious fact that the control mice died younger than the exposed ones. “If there is an effect you don’t understand, then you don’t understand the whole system,” Adami said.

The study was done by toxicologists. Had it been done by cancer researchers, they would have looked for signs that the radiation was having some relevant biological influence. If there’s any effect, it would be on material that surrounds the DNA and influences which genes are activated. There are ways to detect such so-called epigenetic changes, Adami said, but the authors of this study didn’t appear to employ them.

He said pressure to produce sexy or scary results can motivate scientists to hype marginal findings. He also blames the media for the tendency to assume that every second counts in disseminating health news even when it’s of dubious accuracy.

Brawley, of the American Cancer Society, was the one who introduced the term “game changer” to the description of the study. He said that if the claims are backed up, it would be the first time that this kind of low-energy radiation was shown to have any effect on cancer. However, he said, that’s a big if, and even in that case it would not necessarily mean that cell phones cause cancer in people.

He suggested that if people are worried, they can use an earpiece. “But I’m talking to you on a cell phone,” he said. “And it’s pressed against my ear.”

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Source: BloombergView Thanks to Paul Lauttamus for the tip.

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. 22June 1, 2016

REMINDER: New Requirements in Effect for 2016 Form 481 Filing

Eligible Telecommunications Carriers are reminded that new requirements have gone into effect for this year’s annual Form 481 filing, due July 1, 2016. For 2016, ETCs do not have to file pursuant to Section 54.313(a)(11) (reporting results of network performance tests). However, ETCs must now file for Section 54.313(a)(12) (broadband reasonable comparability rate certification) and Section 54.313(e) (Recipients of Connect America Phase II), where applicable. In addition, Rural Broadband Experiment participants must now file.

BloostonLaw is experienced in preparing and filing Form 481, as well as meeting the FCC’s requirements to obtain confidentiality for the filings. Carriers interested in obtaining assistance should contact the firm.


FCC Adopts Phase II CAF Bidding Rules

On May 26, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it adopts rules to implement a competitive bidding process for Phase II of the Connect America Fund, and seeks comment on several specific procedures that will apply in the Phase II auction.

Specifically, in the Report and Order, the FCC:

  • Adopted tiered public interest obligations which bidders may propose to meet when bidding in the auction:
    • a “minimum” performance tier requires that bidders commit to provide broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream (10/1 Mbps) and offer at least 150 gigabytes (GB) of monthly usage.
    • a “baseline” performance tier requires that bidders commit to provide at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream (25/3 Mbps) and offer a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month, or that reflects the average usage of a majority of fixed broadband customers, using Measuring Broadband America data or a similar data source, whichever is higher.
    • An “above-baseline” performance tier requires that bidders commit to provide at least 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream (100/20 Mbps) and offer an unlimited monthly usage allowance.
    • a “Gigabit” performance tier requires that bidders commit to provide at least 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) downstream and 500 Mbps upstream and offer an unlimited monthly usage allowance.

Bids in all tiers will be compared directly, such that one bidder could propose to offer “baseline” service at a certain price, and would compete directly with another bidder proposing “Gigabit” service at another price. The FCC has not, however, determined exactly how service tier offering will be weighted when comparing bids. A similar tier system has also been adopted for latency.

  • Adopted the same interim service milestones for winning bidders in the Phase II auction as was adopted for price cap carriers that accepted Phase II model-based support.
  • Finalized decisions regarding areas eligible for the Phase II competitive bidding process.
  • Established a budget for the Phase II competitive bidding process of $215 million in annual support.
  • Provided general guidance on auction design, with the specific details to be determined by the Commission at a future date in the Auction Procedures Public Notice, after further opportunity for comment. Specifically, the FCC intends to use weights to account for the different characteristics of service offerings that bidders propose to offer when ranking bids.
  • Adopted a two-step application process, similar to Commission spectrum auctions and the Mobility Fund Phase I and Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I auctions. Letters of Credit will still be required.
  • Established a baseline forfeiture for bidders that default before funding authorization.
  • Adopted rules to establish the framework for the Remote Areas Fund, which will award support through a competitive bidding process to occur expeditiously after conclusion of the Phase II auction.

In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC seeks comment on several specific procedures that will apply in the Phase II auction, including:

  • how to apply weights to the different levels of performance adopted in the Order,
  • measures to achieve the public interest objective of ensuring appropriate support for all of the states, and
  • measures to achieve the public interest objective of expanding broadband on Tribal lands.

A subsequent Auction Comment PN will seek comment on other auction procedures that must be resolved in order to conduct the auction, such as the number of rounds during which bids may be submitted, package bidding, and what information will be disclosed to participants during the bidding process.

Broadcast Incentive “Reverse Auction” Bidding Has Begun

After more than four years since Congress granted the FCC authority to conduct spectrum auctions to reclaim parts of the TV band for wireless users, the FCC has initiated bidding in the “reverse auction” portion of the Broadcast Incentive Auction. The first round of bidding started at 10:00 am May 31 and ran until 4:00 pm. The schedule going forward will be as follows:

June 1, 2016:

Bidding Round …….10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

June 2, 2016, and continuing until further notice:

Bidding Round …….10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Bidding Round ………3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

The reverse auction is a process where full power and Class A TV broadcasters have the opportunity to relinquish all or a portion of their broadcast spectrum licenses in exchange for a cash buyout. The FCC has set an opening price (which may be as high as $900 million) for broadcasters to either (1) go off the air, (2) move to another portion of the TV Band, or (3) enter into a channel sharing arrangement with another broadcaster in their area. The price for these options will then gradually decrease in successive reverse auction rounds and broadcasters have the option to either accept the lower offer (and continue bidding) or to reject the offer and stay on the air. The FCC’s goal is to acquire as much spectrum as possible for the lowest price.

Earlier this spring, the FCC set an initial clearing target of 126 megahertz of spectrum nationwide which, if successful, will result in freeing up 100 megahertz of licensed spectrum for new wireless services. FCC staff have projected that reverse auction bidding could last four to six weeks.

Once the FCC acquires its targeted amount of spectrum, it will then repackage the 600 MHz Band spectrum into paired geographic area license blocks that it will sell to the highest bidders in a traditional “forward auction” (i.e., where the highest bidders win) that is expected to begin this summer and which may run into the fall. Analysts have forecast that forward auction bidding could generate $15 billion to $45 billion in revenues. A portion of these proceeds will be used to pay the broadcasters who have chosen to sell their licenses, with the balance going to the US Treasury.

Last month, the FCC announced that 99 of the 104 applications it received for the forward auction were complete. The identity of bidders in the forward auction is not secret, but bidders are subject to strict prohibitions on auction-related communications. A forward auction upfront payment deadline has not yet been set, but is expected to be announced soon. The payment deadline will be at least 15 business days following the release of an upfront payment Public Notice.

After the auctions finish, the FCC will rearrange and consolidate television station channels so that they occupy a smaller portion of spectrum in order to free up space for mobile companies. This process will take thirty-nine months, a period which some broadcasters believe will not be long enough. Executives from T-Mobile have said they believe the carrier will be able to deploy some 600 MHz spectrum that they hope to win in the forward auction by the end of 2017. T-Mobile’s executive VP of corporate strategy told investors that he expects the company’s first deployments on any new 600 MHz spectrum could happen in rural areas, where network transitions might be simpler to execute. Both infrastructure vendors and handset manufacturers are reportedly working on 600 MHz equipment development.

During the incentive auction, publicly available bidding information and the schedule of bidding rounds will be accessible through the Incentive Auction Public Reporting System (or “PRS”). Reverse auction bidding is confidential to encourage broadcaster participation. Bid amounts will be available as usual in the forward auction, but the identity of forward auction bidders will not be disclosed until after the auction is completed. Because the PRS will chronicle the course of both the reverse and forward auctions, the amount and nature of the information displayed will increase and evolve as the auctions progress. Additional details about the PRS and information to be reported during each phase of the incentive auction is provided in Public Notice DA 16-587.

FCC Revises Part 4 Outage Reporting Rules

On May 26, the FCC issued a Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order on Reconsideration in which it adopts various proposals made in a prior NPRM, seeks comment on whether and how to update Part 4 outage reporting requirements to address broadband, and limits outage reporting for events affecting airports. The revisions affect both wireline and wireless carriers, and the NPRM considers how to best to include internet access service providers. Affected carriers should review the specifics of the new rules adopted in the Report and Order portion of the May 26 document, which can be found HERE.

Specifically, in the Report and Order, the FCC:

  • updates the reporting metric and threshold for communication disruptions impacting major transport facilities from a DS3-based to an OC3-based standard, and reduces the reporting window for simplex events ( e.g., when a DS3 circuit, designed with multiple paths to provide circuit resiliency, experiences a failure on one working path) from five days to four days;
  • updates the reporting of wireless outages by adopting a standardized method to calculate the number of users “potentially affected” in an outage, and clarify that, when an outage affects only some 911 calling centers, or public safety answering points (PSAPs), served by a mobile switching center, wireless providers may utilize their own identifiable scheme to allocate the number of potentially affected users so long as the allocation reflects the relative size of the affected PSAP(s);
  • finds that a “loss of communications” to a PSAP occurs when there is a network malfunction or higher-level issue that significantly degrades or prevents 911 calls from being completed to PSAPs, including when 80 percent or more of a provider’s trunks serving a PSAP become disabled;
  • updates the rules regarding reporting of outages affecting “special offices and facilities” by
    1. extending the reporting obligation to high-level enrollees in the Telecommunications Service Priority program,
    2. eliminating outdated and non-applicable rules,
    3. narrowing the types of airports that are considered “special offices and facilities,” and
    4. limiting outage reporting from airports to critical communications only; and
    5. concludes that direct access to the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) by state and federal partners is in the public interest, and directs the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to develop recommendations for successful information-sharing proposals.

In the FNPRM, the FCC:

  • proposes to update the Part 4 rules to address broadband network disruptions, including packet-based disruptions based on network performance degradation;
  • proposes changes to the rules governing interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) outage reporting to
    1. include disruptions based on network performance degradation,
    2. update outage definition to address incidents involving specified network components; and
    3. modify the VoIP outage reporting process to make it consistent with other services;
    4. proposes reporting of call failures in the radio access network and local access network, and geography-based reporting of wireless outages in rural areas; and
    5. proposes refining the covered critical communications at airports subject to Part 4 reporting.

And finally, in the Order on Reconsideration the FCC limits outage reporting for events affecting airports to outages that impact airport critical communications, and exempts satellite and terrestrial wireless carriers from reporting outages affecting all “special offices and facilities,” extending the exemption previously limited to airports.

Law & Regulation

Comment Deadlines Established for RTT Communication; Proposal to Cover Wireline IP Services

On May 25, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the comment and reply comment deadlines for the hearing impaired “real-time” (RTT) communication NPRM originally released on April 29. Comments are due July 11 and reply comments are due July 25.

Specifically, in order to facilitate the transition from text telephony (TTY) to RTT technology, the FCC proposes the following amendments:

  • Replace rules governing the obligations of wireless service providers and equipment manufacturers to support TTY technology with rules defining the obligations of these entities to support RTT over IP-based wireless voice services.
  • In order for wireless service providers’ and equipment manufacturers’ support of RTT to be deemed sufficient for compliance with the rules:
    • RTT communications must be interoperable across networks and devices, and this may achieved through adherence to the RFC 4103 protocol, as a “safe harbor” standard for RTT; RFC 4103 is defined as the standard Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comments (RFC) 4103, Real-time Transport Protocol Payload for Text Conversation (2005) and its successor protocol as determined by a telecommunications industry setting body, such as IETF or the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions. A copy of RFC 4103 is available at: .
    • RTT communications must be backward compatible with TTY technology, until the Commission determines that such compatibility is no longer necessary; and
    • Wireless services and equipment capable of sending, receiving and displaying text must support specific RTT functions, features, and capabilities necessary to ensure that people with disabilities have accessible and effective text-based communications service.
  • An implementation timeline:
  • For Tier I wireless service providers, and manufacturers that provide devices for such services, implementation of RTT would be required by December 31, 2017.
  • For non-Tier I wireless providers, and manufacturers of equipment used with such services, the FCC is seeking comment on an appropriate timeline for implementation of RTT. Our small and rural service providers should submit comments urging a timeframe that will be reasonable based on the availability and cost of equipment.

Finally, the FCC seeks comment on whether to amend the rules to place comparable responsibilities to support RTT on providers and manufacturers of wireline IP services and equipment that enable consumers to initiate and receive communications by voice.

FCC Issues Cell Jamming Fines to Chinese Company, Florida Driver

On May 25, the FCC issued a couple of separate Forfeiture Orders assessing penalties against a manufacturer of cell jamming devices and a single user of a cell jamming device. Specifically, the FCC imposed a penalty of $34,912,500 against C.T.S. Technology Co., Limited, (CTS), a Chinese company, for marketing 285 models of signal jamming devices to U.S. consumers, and a penalty of $48,000 against Mr. Jason R. Humphreys, a Florida resident, for using a cell phone jamming device in his car during his daily commute between Seffner and Tampa, Florida.

According to the CTS Forfeiture Order, the Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) proposing a $34,912,500 forfeiture against CTS in English and Simplified Chinese, transmitted to the Chinese government for service on C.T.S. Technology, at its last known address, in accordance with methods prescribed by international law. While CTS neither responded to the NAL nor paid the proposed fine, the FCC noted that press reported that CTS’ CEO acknowledged the issuance of the NAL and the company subsequently took steps to remedy the issue. Nevertheless, the penalty stands because CTS never responded to the NAL.

According to a News Release on Mr. Humphreys’ Forfeiture Order, Mr. Humphreys jammed cellular communications, including public safety communications, for up to two years. FCC Enforcement Bureau agents opened the investigation after receiving an interference complaint from a local wireless service provider. Using FCC equipment designed to detect the source of the interference, the agents identified Mr. Humphreys while he was using the jammer during his commute. Enforcement Bureau agents worked closely with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, whose officers stopped Mr. Humphreys’ vehicle while he was operating the jammer. In April 2014, the Commission proposed to fine Mr. Humphreys $48,000 for illegal signal jamming and, in light of his failure to respond, issued the instant Order fully affirming and imposing the $48,000 fine.

FCC Extends National Deaf-Blind Equipment Program

On May 27, the FCC released an Order officially extending the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), as a pilot program, for one additional year, until June 30, 2017. The NDBEDP provides up to $10 million annually to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.

The NDBEDP has operated as a pilot program since July 2012. It was originally established by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) ) to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. To implement the program, the FCC certified 53 entities to participate in the NDBEDP – one entity to distribute communications equipment in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – and selected a national outreach coordinator to support the outreach and distribution efforts of these state programs.

On August 1, 2014, the Bureau released a Public Notice inviting comment on the extent to which rules governing the NDBEDP pilot program should be retained, modified or replaced to make the permanent NDBEDP more effective and more efficient. The purpose of the instant extension is to keep the program going until that decision has been made.


NIH Study Finds Link Between Cell Phone Radiation and Cancer in Rats

On May 26, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), issued partial findings from an ongoing carcinogenesis study that appears to have found a link between cell phone radiation and cancer in rats. Specifically, the study found “low incidences of malignant [tumors] in the brain and in the heart of male rats exposed to RFR of the two types [Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)] currently used in U.S. wireless networks.”

The study consisted of exposing the rats to 18 hour periods of cycling radiation — 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off — for seven days a week beginning in utero [unborn] after only 5 days gestation for two years. As explained by Scientific American, “[t]he researchers found that as the thousands of rats in the new study were exposed to greater intensities of RF radiation, more of them developed rare forms of brain and heart cancer that could not be easily explained away, exhibiting a direct dose–response relationship. Overall, the incidence of these rare tumors was still relatively low, which would be expected with rare tumors in general, but the incidence grew with greater levels of exposure to the radiation.”

In a statement to Consumer Reports, a spokesman for the NIH said, “This study in mice and rats is under review by additional experts. It is important to note that previous human, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cell phone use.”

An article published by Consumer Reports provides some additional context for the study and its results: previous studies had “a number of limitations,” whereas the instant study “was a controlled clinical trial; it was specifically designed to simulate the exposures of cell phone users, and all of the important parameters were tightly controlled and carefully monitored.” CTIA issued a statement that the report must be viewed in the context of previous research that found “there are no established health effects from radio frequency signals used in cellphones.”

An advance copy of the partial results can be found here .

Fourth Circuit Holds Cell Site Location Information Not Protected Under Fourth Amendment

On May 31, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion holding that the government does not violate the Fourth Amendment when it obtains historical cell-site location data (CSLI) without a warrant, under the so-called “third party doctrine” exception, because the data was voluntarily turned over to a third party.

The question originally rose in the context of the convictions of Aaron Graham and Eric Jordan for a series of armed robberies. Those convictions hinged at least in part on the Government’s obtaining historical CSLI from the defendants’ cell phone providers, which it used to place the defendants in the vicinity of the armed robberies at the time they occurred. Originally, a panel of judges for the Fourth Circuit held that, although the Government acted in good faith in doing so, it had violated Defendants’ Fourth Amendment rights when it obtained the CSLI without warrant. The panel then directed that the Government must secure a warrant supported by probable cause before obtaining these records from cell phone providers. The Government moved for rehearing en banc, which was granted (vacating the panel opinion).

On rehearing, the Fourth Circuit held that “an individual enjoys no Fourth Amendment protection ‘in information he voluntarily turns over to [a] third part[y].’” This is true even when “the information is revealed” to a third party “on the assumption that it will be used only for a limited purpose and the confidence placed in the third party will not be betrayed.” According to the court, “A cell phone user voluntarily enters an arrangement with his service provider in which he knows that he must maintain proximity to the provider’s cell towers in order for his phone to function.” The court continued, “Whenever he expects his phone to work, he is permitting — indeed, requesting — his service provider to establish a connection between his phone and a nearby cell tower. A cell phone user thus voluntarily conveys the information necessary for his service provider to identify the CSLI for his calls and texts.”


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

Jun. 1 – Deadline to increase local residential rates above $18 to avoid reductions in support.
Jun. 1 – Comments are due on Dormant Proceeding Termination.
Jun. 8 – Comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
Jun. 13 – Reply comments are due on Rate-of-Return FNPRM.
Jun. 13 – Comments are due on Accessibility Biannual Report.
Jun. 15 – Reply comments are due on Mobile Competition.
Jun. 16 – Reply comments are due on Dormant Proceeding Termination.
Jun. 20 – Comments are due on FY2016 Regulatory Fee NPRM.
Jun. 27 – Reply comments are due on Internet Privacy NPRM.
Jun. 28 – Comments are due on New Special Access Regulation.

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. 8 – Reply comments are due in Emergency Alert System NPRM Proceeding.
Jul. 11 – Comments are due on RTT Transition 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.

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

BloostonLaw Private Users UpdateVol. 17, No. 5May 2016

FCC Enforcement Advisory — Ensure Proper Use of FCC Authorized Equipment

The FCC has just recently issued an enforcement advisory in order to remind end-users that equipment must be used consistent with its FCC equipment authorization. A failure to properly use equipment — including smartphones, LED bulbs and Wi-Fi enabled devices — could lead to the imposition of fines against the end-user.

The FCC issues authorizations for a variety of equipment — some of which may require licensing such as two-way mobile radios, base stations, ship stations and microwave stations. Other devices may not require end-user licensing — including: smart phones, cell phones and Part 15 devices such as remote controls, Wi-Fi transmitters, etc. Before a piece of equipment can be marketed, imported or sold in the United States, it must receive an equipment authorization from the FCC in order to ensure that it will operate in accordance with FCC requirements and will not cause harmful interference to other operations. In this regard, it is important to note that even if a particular device has been approved by the FCC, it may only be used in the manner approved by the FCC since indiscriminate use may result in interference to licensed operations. Examples of improper operation include:

  1. Use of authorized Wi-Fi equipment to intentionally disrupt the lawful operation of neighboring Wi-Fi networks
  2. Use of authorized broadcast transmitters to operate unlicensed or “pirate” radio stations
  3. Use of authorized Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices on unauthorized frequencies or, on certain frequencies, without Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS)
  4. Use of authorized Wi-Fi routers on unauthorized channels at unauthorized power levels
  5. Programming and use of Part 90 Private Land Mobile radios on unauthorized channels

The FCC has made clear that improper operation of equipment will result in the imposition of fines — which depending upon the circumstances — could be very significant, amounting to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. As part of its campaign, the FCC is encouraging the filing of complaints in cases where improper use of radio equipment is suspected. In order to avoid being caught up in this Dragnet, we encourage our clients to verify that their equipment is being operated in accordance with the FCC’s Rules.

Ensure your License Purchase Agreement is Reviewed for FCC Issues

Those clients buying or selling spectrum should make sure that the resulting license purchase agreement is reviewed by us for FCC issues BEFORE it is signed. Each such agreement includes potential issues such as buildout showing status, microwave relocation responsibility, liens on the license, FCC approval of the sale, and other matters that must be reviewed for compliance with FCC rules and policies. Such agreements usually require a warranty by the seller that there are no FCC rule violations, and often require an opinion letter by FCC counsel concerning FCC compliance.

If there is an issue (such as a missed filing several years ago), we can identify the problem, carve out an exception for it, and take any necessary steps to bring you into compliance. But if these problems are not identified and addressed before you sign the agreement, you will be in breach of the agreement and the buyer will have an opportunity to walk away from the deal and/or seek damages. It is also necessary to ensure that the negotiations will not violate any of the strict FCC restrictions on communications during a spectrum auction, which can result in a hefty FCC fine and other sanctions. While the other party may present you with what it calls a “complete” agreement, such document has been drafted to protect the other party, not your company.

FCC Proposes FY2016 Regulatory Fees

The FCC has issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order proposing regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2016. Comments on the FCC’s proposals will be due June 20, 2016 and Reply Comments will be due July 5, 2016.

This year, the FCC has proposed to collect $384,012,497 in regulatory fees. Of this amount, the FCC will collect $81.9 million, or 21.3 percent, from Wireless Telecommunications Bureau regulates; $146.8 million, or 38.19 percent, from Wireline Competition Bureau regulates; $21.4 million, or 5.56 percent, from International Bureau regulates; and $133.97 million, or 34.95 percent, from Media Bureau regulatees.

De Minimis Exemption

Last year, the FCC increased the threshold for the de minimis from $10.00 for all fees owed by a regulatee to $500.00. Because this exemption can be changed from time-to-time, it is important that regulates review their regulatory fee obligation annually in order to determine if the fee due for that year will exceed the threshold. We also recommend that those clients claiming an exemption under the de minimis rule affirmatively file a letter with the Commission in order to avoid being red-lighted for non-payment of the regulatory fee. Our for-profit Part 90 licensees may have to be concerned with asserting the de minimis exemption; but most private users simply pay ten years’ worth of regulatory fees as part of the renewal application process once every ten years.

Proposed Regulatory Fee Schedule for FY2016

For FY2016, the FCC is proposing to increase regulatory fees for most fee categories. A list of relevant fee categories is listed below:

Category FY2016 FY2015
PLMRS (Part 90 Exclusive Use)25.0030.00
PLMRS (Part 90 Shared Use)10.0010.00
Microwave (Part 101)25.0020.00
Marine Ship (Part 80)15.0015.00
Marine Coast (Part 80)40.0035.00
Aviation (Ground/Aircraft – Part 80)10.0010.00
CMRS Messaging (Paging/IMTS)0.080.08
CMRS Mobile/Cellular (Per Unit)0.200.17
Rural Radio Service (Part 22)10.0010.00
CARS (Part 78)775.00660.00
Cable TV Systems (per subscriber)1.000.96
IPTV (per subscriber)1.000.96
Interstate Telecommunications (per revenue dollar).00370.00331
Toll Free (per toll free subscriber)0.130.12
Earth Stations (Part 25)345.00310.00

In most cases, the regulatory fee has either remained the same. However, in the case of Part 90 exclusive use channels, the fee has been reduced by $5.00 per year while for Microwave and Marine Coast, the fee has increased by $5.00 per year. For services that the regulatory fee is collected in conjunction with an application for a new station or license renewal, the fee is bundled with the application processing fee. As a result, it is critically important that you provide credit card information for the payment of the FCC filing/regulatory fees that are associated with these application types. The FCC no longer accepts checks and will dismiss the application for non-payment of the required filing/regulatory fee.

Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)

Last year, the FCC adopted its proposal to establish a regulatory fee for Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) as a subcategory in the CATV and IPTV categories. Based upon the FCC’s experience it has proposed a fee increase for this subcategory from $.12 to $.27 per subscriber per year. This proposed fee includes a base amount of $.24 and a proportional adjustment of $.03 per subscriber.

International Bearer Circuits

The FCC requires facilities based common carriers to pay regulatory fees for terrestrial and satellite International Bearer Circuits (IBCs) that are active as of December 31 of the prior year for the provision of service to an end-user or resale carrier. In FY2015, the FCC asked all facilities based common carriers to review their reporting processes in order to ensure that all common carrier IBCs used by the facilities based carrier or their affiliates were properly accounted for. As part of this process, the FCC is now reviewing the processes for reporting IBCs in order to ensure that all carriers report IBCs in a consistent manner. The FCC is seeking comment on how it can ensure that reporting is consistent from carrier to carrier as well as the criterial providers use to distinguish common carrier circuits from non-common carrier circuits. Additionally, the FCC is asking what the least burdensome methodology for calculating the fee would be if it decides to require the payment of a regulatory fee for non-common carrier IBCs. In this regard, the FCC is asking whether it should require carriers to report total international revenue rather than the number of circuits. If so, how should carriers identify their international revenues and how does the FCC ensure that carriers are accurately reporting both common carrier and non-common carrier international revenues.

ITTA Proposal

Last year, the FCC sought comment on ITTA’s proposals to combine wireless voice and wireline services into the ITSP category (or in the alternative, reassign certain Wireline Competition Bureau FTEs to other fee categories) for purposes of determining the appropriate annual regulatory fee. At this time, the FCC has come to the tentative conclusion that ITTA’s proposals are not consistent with the Commission’s prior orders that implemented the regulatory fee program under Section 9 of the Communications Act. The FCC is seeking public comment on its conclusion.

Payment of Regulatory Fees via Credit Card

We remind our clients that effective June 1, 2015, the US Treasury adopted new rules concerning credit card payments. Under these new rules, the maximum amount that can be charged on a credit card for a particular debt is $24,999.99 (which is reduced from $49,999.99). As a result of this change, charges of more than $24,999.99 will be rejected. It is important to note that this limit applies to both single payments and bundled payments of more than one invoice. Additionally, multiple transactions to a single agency in one day will be added together and treated as a single transaction for purposes of this rule. US Treasury has also indicated that debtors may not split payments into more than one payment by using the same or multiple credit card accounts or by spreading the payments over multiple days.

Clients wishing to make payments that exceed $24,999.99 have several options, such as: Visa or MasterCard debit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits from a bank account, and wire transfers. Payment by check is no longer an option .

Kelsey Smith Act Delayed

On May 23, news sources reported that the U.S. House of Representatives voted down the Kelsey Smith Act, primarily due to Democratic opposition. The vote was 229 in favor and 158 against the bill, with Democrats comprising 108 of the opposing votes. In voting down the legislation, concerns over privacy protections were cited. Unsuccessful amendments had been proposed to address the issue, such as a process to evaluate location information requests after the fact. “Democrats strong support the intention behind this bill, but we cannot support it as currently drafted,” Rep. John Sarbanes reportedly said in a floor speech.

The Kelsey Smith Act requires wireless carriers to provide call location information upon request of an investigative or law enforcement officer. It amends the Communications Act to require providers of commercial mobile service or IP-enabled voice service to provide, upon request, the call location information (or best available location information) of a telecommunications device that is “used to place a 9–1–1 call requesting emergency assistance” or “reasonably believed to be in the possession of an individual that the law enforcement officer reasonably believes is in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm to the individual.”

The Kelsey Smith Act was proposed when the eponymous victim was abducted in June of 2007 and Verizon Wireless allegedly took four days to turn over the location data for her cellphone which reportedly lead to the location of her body in less than an hour.

Modernizing Wireless Licensing at the FCC

WTB Chief Jon Wilkins last Friday posted an item on the FCC Blog announcing an initiative to modernize ULS to “a new, integrated, cloud-based platform that will enable FCC staff, licensees, and other stakeholders to conduct electronic licensing activities with more consistent performance, easier access to information, and enhanced functionality, such as the use of APIs to improve the ability of licensees to utilize information from ULS.”

With ULS being modernized and moved to the cloud, this will hopefully lead to fewer ULS outages and more consistent performance. As part of this effort, the FCC says it wants to look at other ways to improve users’ experience over time, such as integrating greater mapping (GIS) functionality and integrating ULS with other FCC databases – like the National Outage Reporting System (NORS) and Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) – with a goal of reducing data entry burdens and improving correlation of data.

The initiative is a multi-year project and it will be complicated. According to Wilkins, ULS holds at least two million active licenses and it handles approximately 250,000 monthly interactions such as application filing.

The project will begin by transitioning three services to the new platform – General Mobile Radio Services, the 3650-3700 MHz Service and Point-to-Point Microwave (PPMRS). Of these services, the PPMRS is probably the one that will have most day-to-day relevance for our firm’s clients and their operations. GMRS is a land mobile service that uses channels around 462 MHz and 467 MHz for short-distance two-way communications (similar to walkie-talkies). The 3650-3700 MHz (3.65 GHz) Band is a Wireless Broadband Service regulated under FCC Part 90 Rules that allows users to obtain nationwide non-exclusive licenses and then gain a modicum of protection rights through registration of individual base stations. This “last-mile access” band is in the process of being merged into the larger Citizens Broadband Service in the 3550-3700 MHz (3.5 GHz) band that will offer tiered access and grandfathered 3.65 GHz operations will be protected.

Improving the GIS integration capabilities of ULS is becoming more important as the FCC is requiring certain 700 MHz band licensees to meet geographic-based coverage and service requirements, and Preferred Access Licensees (PALs) in the new Citizens Broadband Service will soon be able to bid for census tract-sized licenses they can aggregate over larger areas.

Automakers Urge White House to Reject Open Spectrum Plan

Last week, Reuters reported that a letter signed by more than fifty automakers, state transportation agencies, and other groups urged the White House and other federal policymakers not to open wireless spectrum currently reserved for connected vehicles. Signatories include Toyota Motor Corp, Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, and Honda Motor Co.; the Michigan, California and Arizona state transportation departments; and the National Safety Council and National Sheriffs Association.

In 1999, the FCC allocated to a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum for vehicle-to-vehicle communications. In 2013, it launched a proceeding to explore ways to make more spectrum available in the 5 GHz spectrum for Wi-Fi (FCC Docket 13-49). A recent spate of congressional inquiries is putting pressure on the FCC to free up more spectrum, including the portion allocated to vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

"One of the most — if not the most — significant advances in vehicle safety is now coming into existence. We urge you to stay the course and complete the action your administration has undertaken to improve the safety of drivers and passengers on America’s roadways," said the letter, which reportedly comes as a response to recent calls from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and other groups to act quickly to open up more spectrum, as connected device usage “skyrockets.”

FCC Finalizes Rules Governing 3.5 GHz Band

On May 2, the FCC issued a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second Order) finalizing the rules governing the “Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3700 MHz band (3.5 GHz Band)”. In this Second Order, the FCC finalizes the regulatory scheme first created in 2015 in the 3.5 GHz R&O. In that Order, the FCC adopted specific licensing, technical, and service rules to enable dynamic sharing between three tiers of users in the 3.5 GHz Band.

In this Second Order, the FCC resolves the three outstanding issues raised in the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding. First, it adopts an engineering-based approach for determining when a Priority Access License (PAL) area is in use. Second, it adopts a flexible secondary market regime for Priority Access Licenses, allowing a single PAL to be issued in License Areas located in Rural Areas in the absence of mutually exclusive applications. Finally, it expands access for wireless broadband operators with the need to protect fixed satellite service operations, and adopts protections that will be tailored to the characteristics of each grandfathered earth station; by making clear that Spectrum Access Systems must be capable of receiving and responding to interference complaints from Fixed Satellite Service earth station licensees.

Antenna Tower Construction Guidance Provided for Protection of Bats

The FCC recently issued a Public Notice announcing the release of a final rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) which requires protective measures related to the threatened status of the northern long-eared bat, which affects the environmental review of tower projects in the bat’s range. Specifically, all tower construction projects within the bat’s range must follow the USFWS process for federal actions. Similarly, if a project requires consultation with USFWS, the party will be consulting pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a “designated non-Federal entity.”

According to the Public Notice, the bat’s range includes much of the eastern and north central United States, Canadian provinces from the Atlantic Ocean west to the southern Yukon Territory, and eastern British Columbia. This includes the following 37 States and the District of Columbia: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Carriers with tower projects in the bat’s range should contact the firm for more information.

FCC Imposes $35 million Fines for Jamming Violations — $48K to an Individual

Last week, the FCC announced the aggregate fines of $35 million for violations of its rules which prohibit the marketing, sale and use of equipment that is designed to block cellular and other licensed radio signals — including public safety signals. While $34.9 million was levied against a Chinese retailer for marketing these illegal jammers, the FCC also imposed a $48,000 fine against an individual who had used a cellphone jamming device in order to jam cellular and public safety signals along his daily commute in the Tampa, Florida area over a two-year period.

In imposing the fine against the Florida driver for use of jamming equipment, the FCC noted that danger to public safety by a single jamming device over a two year period. Through the use of this device, the driver was able jam cellular traffic and disrupt police communications along Interstate 4. The $34.9 million fine was imposed against C.T.S. Technology (CTS) — a Chinese electronics manufacturer and online retailer – for selling and marketing jamming equipment to end-users in the United States. The FCC noted that CTS marketed jamming equipment to US customers through its website and third party platforms. In particular, CTS marketed over 280 different jammer models — some of which were very short range and others which were high power and could affect service over several city blocks. This equipment could be used to intentionally block, jam or interfere with wireless communications, including: cellular, GPS systems, Wi-Fi networks and public safety/first-responder communications.

In response to the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture that the FCC issued in 2014, the FCC noted that CTS had updated its marketing activities in order to bring them into compliance with federal requirements. However, CTS did not respond to the NALF itself nor provide any evidence or justifications for reduction in the then proposed fine.

As we have discussed before, the marketing, sale and use of jamming equipment is illegal and can subject violators to severe fines and other enforcement actions — including the potential for criminal prosecution in those circumstances where Government is able to demonstrate that the use of jamming equipment adversely affected the safety of life.

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 .

Preparation tips for hurricane season

The Inquirer and Mirror

(June 2, 2016) The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has released the following statement:

Yesterday marked the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season which runs through Nov. 30. While historically the vast majority of tropical storms and hurricanes that have impacted the New England region occurred during the months of August and September, it remains important to begin preparing yourself, your family, your home and assets, and your business now. Over the next few months the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will be disseminating important preparedness information to increase awareness of the possible impacts of a hurricane or tropical storm and ensure the continued safety of our citizens and property.

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seasonal outlook predicts a normal number of hurricanes this season, it is important to remember that it only takes one storm to severely impact an area. Additionally, it is important to note that hurricanes and tropical storms can impact the entire commonwealth, not just coastal regions. For example, Tropical Storm Irene produced devastating flooding in Central and Western Massachusetts. Therefore, all Massachusetts residents need to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane impacting Massachusetts this season. To learn more about the hazards associated with hurricanes and tropical storms, visit the MEMA’s hurricane webpage: .

“The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is offering personal hurricane preparedness tips to all citizens of the commonwealth,” MEMA director Kurt Schwartz said. “The three most important steps you can take to prepare for a hurricane, as well as other disasters, are to build an emergency kit, create a plan and stay informed.”

Build an Emergency Kit

Building an emergency kit is an important component of personal preparedness. It is particularly important during hurricane season, as there is the threat of extended power outages, flooding, and impassable debris-covered roads. Emergency kits should include items that will sustain you and your family in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power or unable to go to a store. While some items, such as bottled water, food, flashlight, radio and extra batteries, first aid kit, sanitation items and clothing should be in everyone’s kit, it is important to customize the kit to meet your needs and the needs of your family. Consider adding medications, extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries for hearing aids or wheelchairs, and other medical information and supplies such as an oxygen tank, lists of allergies, medications and dosages, medical insurance information, and medical records. Additionally, your emergency kit should include supplies for your pet, such as food, pet carriers and other supplies, medications, and vaccination and medical records. For a complete emergency kit checklist, visit: .

You should also consider making a mobile “go-bag” version of your emergency kit in case you need to evacuate to a shelter or other location. At least annually, check your kit for any food, water, batteries, or other items that may need to be replaced or have expired.

Create a Family Emergency Communications Plan

Families should develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during a hurricane or other emergencies. The plan should address how you will communicate with one another and how your family plans to reunite after the immediate crisis passes. A Family Communications Plan helps ensure everyone’s safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies: .

Plans should include the name of a relative or friend who has agreed to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person. Ideally, this person should reside out-of-state to increase the likelihood that they are not impacted by the same event. As part of a Communication Plan, you should create a personal support network and a list of contacts that include caregivers, friends, neighbors, service/care providers, and others who might be able to assist during an emergency. Keep the list of contacts in a safe, accessible place (particularly if your cell phone is lost or dead) and make sure everyone within your family knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Communications Plan contact person. It is important to remember that text messages are often a viable means of communication when telephone service is disrupted during and after a disaster.

To ensure you will be able to reunite after a disaster, it can be helpful to designate two meeting areas for family members – one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). An emergency may impact your neighborhood or small section of your community, so a second location outside of your community may be more accessible to all family members.

Stay Informed

It is important to identify ways to obtain information before, during and after a hurricane. MEMA encourages people who live or work in a coastal community to “Know Your Zone”. Go to to use the interactive map on MEMA’s website to find out if your home or place of work is in a hurricane evacuation zone. Prior to a tropical storm or hurricane making landfall, local or state officials may call for people who live or work in designated evacuation zones, which are areas at risk of storm surge flooding, to evacuate.

It is also important to closely monitor media reports and promptly follow instructions from public safety officials as a storm approaches. Information on severe weather watches and warnings will be available from media sources, the National Weather Service, a NOAA all-hazards radio, and on your cell phone. These warnings can provide valuable and timely information. It is important to learn whether local authorities will use other communication and alerting tools to warn you of a pending or current disaster situation and how they will provide information to you before, during and after a disaster. Some communities have local tools to alert residents.

Additionally, MEMA utilizes Massachusetts Alerts to disseminate critical information to smartphones. Massachusetts Alerts is powered by a free downloadable application that is available for Android and iPhone devices. Learn more about Massachusetts Alerts at .

Before and during a major storm, call Mass 2-1-1 if you have questions or need information on emergency resources. Mass 2-1-1 is the Commonwealth’s primary non-emergency telephone call center during times of disasters and emergencies. 2-1-1 is free to the public, available 24 hours a day/seven days a week, confidential, multilingual, and TTY compatible.

There are multiple ways to obtain information before, during and after a hurricane. You should consider all the ways you might get information during an incident (radio, TV, social media, Internet, cell phone, landline, etc.) in case one or more of those systems stops working.

MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector — individuals, families, non-profits and businesses — MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover.

For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to . Continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at ; Facebook at ; and YouTube at .

Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: .

For up-to-the-minute information on Nantucket's breaking news, boat and plane cancellations, weather alerts, sports and entertainment news, deals and promotions at island businesses and more, Sign up for Inquirer and Mirror text alerts . Click Here.

Source: The Inquirer and Mirror  

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Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

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Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

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“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”

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Ana De Armas

Cuban actress Ana De Armas sits on the lap of Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez among photographers on May 16, 2016, during a photo-call for the film Hands of Stone at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France.

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