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The Telecom Digest for July 22, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 197 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
Is Broadcast TV about to be killed?(Neal McLain
PA-PUC Approves Overlay to 570 Area Code(Mark J. Cuccia
Additional NPA Overlay to Toronto ON 416/647 ??(Mark J. Cuccia
Apple: iPut a rubber band on it(Monty Solomon
Re: outdoor phone booth - photo(Richard

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Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 00:20:40 -0500 From: Neal McLain <nmclain@annsgarden.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Is Broadcast TV about to be killed? Message-ID: <4C4683A8.6090606@annsgarden.com> The following letter was written by James Edwin Whedbee, M.Ed., owner of KZJW-LD (low-power digital), a broadcast station licensed to Bledsoe, Texas. KZJW-LD originates some programming, but for most if its broadcast day, it retransmits KENW, the PBS affiliate of Eastern New Mexico University. I received this message because I am member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 105, Houston. The message was forwarded to all chapter members by the Chief Engineer of the Houston Univision Radio station. Perhaps Bill Horne's predictions about the death of broadcast television will come true after all, notwithstanding my assertions to the contrary. Nevertheless, the NAB still holds enormous power over Congress, and its power will be even greater if the Republicans take the House this fall. Anyway, here's the letter: ============================================================= Dear Friends and Family: This will be the first time I publicly discuss the amounts of money I frequently donate to the Democratic Party or its candidates. For a man of modest means, it is considerable. It is the first time I discuss it because I want those Democrats here on Facebook who count themselves as my friends to consider what my support or continuing support means to them. Many of us have friends in Washington, D.C. whom apparently don't realize when the wool is being pulled over their eyes or don't care, and that's what I feel requires discussion. Right now pending before the Federal Communications Commission (445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554) in GN Docket No. 09-51 is the current Chairman's so-called National Broadband Plan. The Chairman of the FCC, the Hon. Julius Genachowski, is a Democrat. He was brought into the FCC as an attorney for a previous Chairman, Mr. Reed Hundt. He also was a 'protege' of sorts under Vice President Al Gore. Finally, before being appointed Chairman of the FCC himself, he worked as a staffer of Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY. His pedigree in the party notwithstanding, Chairman Genachowski seems to support a clearly anti-democratic approach to managing the electromagnetic spectrum. Before 2009, you watched your televisions on analog TV sets. For those of you with converter boxes, you still do but the converter box takes the digital signal and changes it to an analog picture for you to view. Here in the Central Plains, our over-the-air television stations are our lifelines during inclement weather-particularly if you've ever had your satellite television or cable TV go out during a storm. Over-the-air TV broadcasters were made some promises that you may not know about. Let's begin with this one: if you 'give back' your analog channel, you may 'keep' your digital channel. Sounds like a fair exchange of things of value, yes? So, we did. Rightfully, each TV station owner in the USA has a right to the digital TV channel on which those lifeline weather signals are broadcast. That promise was made to us in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, whose principal proponent is rumored to be no other than Vice President Al Gore. After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission Report recommended establishing a Public Safety Band in the vicinity of 700 MHz to protect our nation by providing better communications interoperability for firefighters, police, and other first-responders and national security stakeholders. Just one thing: 700 MHz belonged to TV Broadcasters before 9/11. Nevertheless, because we're a patriotic bunch, TV Broadcasters relocated TV stations - at considerable expense mind you - so that our nation's first response teams could have TV Channels 52-69. In exchange, our relocated TV stations were 'given' TV Channels 14-51 with assurances that we were done at June 2009. Two promises made: we'd get to 'keep' our digital channels and our allocation between TV Channel 14 (470 MHz) and TV Channel 51 (698 MHz) would be unmolested. For all intents and purposes, the United States Government under Democrats and Republicans promised us spectrum between 470-698 MHz in exchange for our cooperation. We gave the cooperation. Now comes the a new FCC Chairman and his National Broadband Plan wherein he envisions taking TV Channels 31-51 and auctioning those channels to wireless telecommunications firms like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Google Inc., et al. It is suggested somehow that in these auctions, the new licensees would 'own' and be able to 'lease' their spectrum for wireless broadband. Mind you, TV stations can ALREADY lease unused digital spectrum to these same companies under our regulatory authority (47 CFR 73.624 and 74.790). We MIGHT get to share in the proceeds of any auction of OUR spectrum that the FCC Chairman's plan envisions taking from us. Now, here's the rub. International Treaty and specifically the ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences from 1978 to 2007, as adopted by the USA and ratified in the Senate, allocates 470-698 MHz to broadcasters. Combine that with the promises TV broadcasters would get to 'keep' digital licenses after converting away from analog signals, and I think it is reasonable to suggest we OWN that spectrum. However, just like the United States Government's past history of vitiating treaties with Native American Tribal Governments and taking what they owned in the way of land and rights, with one stroke of the pen, FCC Chairman Genachowski intends to take analogous action against TV Broadcasters and remove them from the 'reservation' of TV Channels 31-51, 'repack' TV broadcasters, and cram us into TV Channels 14-30 ("Spectrum Analysis: Options for Broadcasting OBI Technical Paper No. 3." FCC, 2010). Mind you, every credible broadcast engineer in existence has told the FCC that is not even technically feasible to do! (Society of Broadcast Engineers, June 25, 2010; Doug Lung: "FCC Spectrum Analysis Doesn't Add Up," TV Technology Magazine-June 18, 2010.) For their part, the wireless broadband telcos - and particularly those giants aforementioned - have promised the FCC huge returns on spectrum auctions if the FCC takes our spectrum (June 2010: T-Mobile in ex parte disclosure to FCC Secretary in 09-51) with the 'threat' that the FCC won't make as much in these auctions if the predetermined spectrum in question isn't reallocated to them. While I won't go so far as to suggest that this amounts to extortion, it gets right up there next to it! Mind you, the FCC says it will 'share' some undisclosed proportion of those auction fees generated with 'voluntarily' displaced broadcasters...isn't that like sharing a bribe to convince someone to look the other way? That's the carrot; here's the stick: those broadcasters unwilling to 'give up' spectrum in exchange for sharing some minority interest in auction proceeds will be hit with 'spectrum utilization fees' so they wind up paying to use the spectrum that might otherwise have been auctioned. No doubt, some arbitrary amount up to and including the amount some unknown economist at the FCC assigns as the amount it should have received at auction will be the spectrum fee! Now, for anyone who has been to an auction, either in person or on E-Bay will tell you that you can't 'assign' a value to what an item will bring at auction! Don't believe me? Senators Kerry and Snowe just yesterday (July 19, 2010) introduced into the U.S. Senate, a draft bill (styled,``Spectrum Measurement and Policy Reform Act'') proposing to authorize the FCC to do precisely that in conjunction with this "National Broadband Plan." Now, we get to the crux of my position as a TV Broadcaster and as a Democrat. The U.S. Constitution, and particularly the First Amendment of the same, says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The freedom of speech or press is intended to be encumbered by Congress with 'spectrum fees.' The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says, in pertinent part: "...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." I can't think that the liberty and property being promised that we'd get to 'keep' a digital license in exchange for an analog license can be squared with snatching that spectrum away. I certainly feel we have a great case under this same amendment for suing the federal government for condemnation by regulation if the National Broadband Plan and accompanying Senate Bill are adopted. Democrats, I am a donor. I am also a TV Broadcaster. These should NOT hold me in special regard, but reality is that donors tend to be heard, so please also hear this: I am a teacher and a veteran. I have contributed my entire adult life to service of this nation. I am the voice, in small part, of this nation. You cannot - in good faith - promise something can be kept and then proceed after two election cycles to give it to somebody else...that's not just a lie, it's a fraud. You cannot take a bribe and give us a share in it and think we can, with a clear conscience, look aside for you to commit a lie or a fraud. Democrats, as a donor I have the right to grant or refrain from granting my further goodwill to our party as I see fit. A fellow Democrat, Mr. Genachowski at the FCC, needs to be set straight. I would ask that you join my voice in expressing to him and those misguided Senators he has misled the error of his ways. We must also point out to the remaining Democratic Senators that TV Broadcasters can ALREADY DO everything that National Broadband Plan wants to do without violating any International Treaties, any of the U.S. Constitution, and without stealing anybody's spectrum rights. Democrats, I will hold my party accountable if Mr. Genachowski is permitted to continue in his misguided efforts. He has been told the many alternatives he has which would be legally and technically valid, and this party - we - must convince him to act in those alternatives. Best wishes, James Edwin Whedbee, M.Ed. Commissioner of Deeds to the State of Missouri for the State of New Hampshire Owner: Digital TV-23, KZJW-LD July 20, 2010 ___ ***** Moderator's Note ***** ObTelecom: The price of implementing {4|5|n}G mobile service is affected by the amount and "quality" of radio spectrum carriers must obtain. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 23:15:32 -0700 (PDT) From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <markjcuccia@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: PA-PUC Approves Overlay to 570 Area Code Message-ID: <129716.38527.qm@web31104.mail.mud.yahoo.com> The Pennsylvania-PUC has unanimously approved (5-0) an OVERLAY for the 570 area code region in north-central and north-eastern Pennsylvania. The PA-PUC had actually approved the overlay last week, on Thursday 15-July-2010. There is a Press Release at the PA-PUC's website: http://www.puc.state.pa.us/General/press_releases/Press_Releases.aspx?ShowPR=2563 and there are media reports at various local area radio/TV/newspaper websites. The PA-PUC's press release indicates that the new overlay area code will be needed by 3-Q/2011, and hopes that the telco industry will have the overlay implemented by 01-March-2011. At present, 7-digit dialing is still possible for local intra-570 calls, so there will have to be what is probably going to be an expedited transition to mandatory ten-digit intra-570 local dialing. It is also possible that further or stricter number/NXX-code conservation measures could postpone the implementation of the new area code overlay. This will be determined by the telco industry and regulatory, probably when the next "NRUF" Survey is released by NeuStar-NANPA in late October or early November 2010. The new area code digits are NOT indicated at this current PA-PUC press release of Thursday 15-July-2010, but my GUESS is that 272 will be the new overlay area code. 570 split from 717 (retained by eastern south-central Pennsylvania) back in 1998/99. There are already overlays in Pennsylvania. Southeastern PA (Philadelphia Metro) is the 215/267/(future-445) "core" part, and 610/484/(future-835) is the "outer ring" (suburbs) part, 610 first split from 215 in 1994/95. The initial 215/267 and 610/484 overlays took place in 1999. Southwestern PA including Pittsburgh Metro was originally intended to be overlaid, the original 412 area code overlaid with 724 back in 1997, but that was canceled, a split implemented instead in 1998. Pittsburgh PA Metro kept 412, the other areas of southwestern PA split to 724 in 1998. ALL of the 412 and 724 area was "officially overlaid" in Summer 2001, but only ten-digit mandatory dialing was implemented so far. Even to this day, there are still not any 878-NXX c.o.codes from the 878 overlay NPA. However, 724 is almost out of available NXX c.o.codes, so it is likely that there will finally be some 878-NXX codes assigned/activated by late this year (2010) or early next year (2011). The other two area codes in Pennsylvania (both dating back to the official "origins" of the NANP/Area Code Format of October 1947), have also had area code "relief" planning by the telco industry and regulatory. 814 for northwestern PA and western south-central PA, and also 717 which is still retained by eastern south-central PA following the 717/570 split of 1998/99 -- both have relief petitions pending before the PA-PUC, overlays area requested in both cases by the telcos. No indication of when the PA-PUC will make any kind of announcements as to split vs. overlay (overlays are likely), and obviously not the codes themselves, but my GUESS is for: 582 as the relief code for 814, and 223 to overlay 717. VeriZon/Bell-Atlantic/Bell-of-Pennsylvania is the dominant ILEC (BOC) for Pennsylvania, but VZ/GTE-and-Contel is also dominant throughout most of Pennsylvania. The legacy GTE including Contel in PA has been retained by VZ and has been "integrated" into the day-to-day operations of legacy BOC BA/B-PA, just as it has been in BA/C&P-Virginia. I doubt that VeriZon will sell-off legacy GTE/Contel in PA or VA, unless they also sell-off all of their legacy landline operations (BOC as well) in either state. But I tend to think that PA and VA are rather profitable when compared to West Virginia. Other ILECs in PA which also operate in other states include: - Windstream (from Alltel and also the local "Denver & Ephrata Tel") - CenturyLink (from Embarq/Sprint/United) - Frontier (from Citizens and others; but apparently NOT from any GTE nor Contel within Pennsylvania which seems to all still be VeriZon) - TDS Telecom - Armstrong (which is also an ILEC in parts of NY, WV, MD) and of course, there are other small locally owned independent rural ILECs as well throughout the state. I expect that NeuStar-NANPA and/or the PA-PUC will announce the actual code digits for the overlay to 570, within another several weeks, and as mentioned above, my GUESS is that 272 will be the overlay. Also, I tend to think that the PA-PUC will be making their split vs. overlay decisions and subsequent announcements on 814 and 717 later this year, in Fall 2010. Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 23:19:28 -0700 (PDT) From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <markjcuccia@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Additional NPA Overlay to Toronto ON 416/647 ?? Message-ID: <971580.73896.qm@web31102.mail.mud.yahoo.com> On Tuesday 20 July 2010, the CRTC announced that Toronto ON will likely need an additional area code to its already existing 416/647 overlay, by or during 2015. http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2010/r100720.htm for the CRTC press release and http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2010/2010-490.htm (HTML) http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2010/2010-490.pdf (Adobe-Acrobat) for the Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-490 It doesn't actually specify that the new area code "must" be an additional overlay, but that the telco industry in Ontario (through the Canadian Numbering Administration) is to come up with one (or more) area code relief options submitted to the CRTC. However, considering that the last area code split in Canada was the Alberta 403/780 split of early 1999, that every new area code introduced in Canada in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, and planned so far for 2011-forward is going to be an overlay, especially since 416/647 is already in an overlay, and that adjacent 905/289 for the Toronto ON suburbs/"outer ring" is to be overlaid with 365 in March 2013, it is very likely that the existing 416/647 area code region for Toronto ON "itself" is going to be further overlaid, NOT split. The "likely" new area code could be 437, but this is not yet a "given". A few days ago, SAIC-CNA (Canadian Numbering Administrator) set up the beginnings of a page at its website for documents and announcements regarding additional relief (early 20-teens) for the 416/647 region, http://www.cnac.ca/npa_codes/relief/416-647/relief_416-647.htm Right now, it is only a "skeleton" page, with no additional documents nor announcements (other than some June 2010 "NRUF-related" documents regarding 416/647), it does not yet even have the CRTC's announcements of Tuesday 20-July-2010. But those CRTC documents and other documents going forward regarding 416/647/ (future 437 ??), will be posted here. The existing 905/289/forthcoming-365 area code region for the Toronto ON suburbs (outer ring) split from the 416/647 Toronto ON "City" area code as the 416/905 area code split, back in 1993/94. This was the first completely "brand new" geographic/POTS area code introduced in Canada since 1962 when there was the 705/807 split in western Ontario, and when 709 was introduced for Newfoundland/Labrador splitting from having to share from New Brunswick's 506 (although the use of 506 to identify or "reach" any exchanges in Newfoundland/Labrador (NL) would have only been used by Operators prior to 1962 since customer DDD "to" NL didn't start until 1962 when 709 was "split" from sharing from NB's 506). There were further splits in Canada in the later 1990s, but starting in 2001, every new area code in Canada was an overlay. In 2001, Toronto's 416 was overlaid with 647, and the Toronto Metro suburbs and "outer ring" 905 was overlaid with 289. Other southern/southeastern Ontario area codes which border 905/etc, or are at least close by to 416/etc, have since been overlaid: 519 overlaid with 226 in 2006, 613 overlaid with 343 this year 2010, and 705 to be overlaid with 249 next year 2011. And then the 905/289 Toronto ON Metro's "outer ring" is to be overlaid with 365 in March 2013. And now it is announced by the CRTC that the 416/647 area code overlay pair for Toronto ON "itself", will need further area code relief by 2015, and although not specified as a "given" by the CRTC, it is very likely that this will be a further overlay, and it is also quite likely that 437 could be the additional new area code. More details to come as they are known. Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 08:52:46 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Apple: iPut a rubber band on it Message-ID: <p06240834c86c50471056@[]> http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2010/07/20/apple_iput_a_rubber_band_on_it/ The Boston Globe GLOBE EDITORIAL Apple: iPut a rubber band on it July 20, 2010 Soon after Apple released the latest iPhone last month, consumers found that holding the phone in the usual manner - palm against the back, fingers along the sides - can reduce the device's signal strength to nil. This, to say the least, is a major flaw: One should be able to walk and talk on a cellphone without gripping it in some exotic way. To fix the glitch, Apple is now issuing free plastic-and-rubber bumpers that go around the phones and limit interference with the external antenna. Who would have guessed a glorified rubber band could save one of the decade's most-hailed devices? Apple's responses to complaints have been mostly tone deaf. Before issuing the bumpers, the company told unhappy customers to simply hold their phones a different way. And in a press conference last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs blamed the media for the negative publicity. After releasing a mobile phone that wasn't entirely mobile when used as, well, a phone, it's hard to imagine what kind of press coverage Jobs had expected. It didn't help that Apple admitted that all past iPhones have displayed inflated signal strengths. This is a cautionary tale for early adopters, who might be slower to line up the next time Apple releases a flashy new product. Rubber bands may restore the iPhone's signal strength, but the hurt feelings among the company's usually awestruck fans might prove harder to fix. (C) Copyright The New York Times Company
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 16:25:06 -0700 From: Richard <rng@richbonnie.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: outdoor phone booth - photo Message-ID: <u40f469a4fmdbd4ckjm859jlvh0j317ing@4ax.com> On Mon, 19 Jul 2010 13:53:57 -0700 (PDT), Lisa or Jeff <hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote: > Today, finding pay phones is hard enough, but finding a phone booth > is extremely rare. In one of the more recent Superman movies, there is an emergency. Clark Kent runs to a payphone, only to discover that it's free-standing, not a booth. He has a disappointed look on his face, and runs somewhere else to change his costume.
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=subscribe telecom Unsubscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=unsubscribe telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: http://telecom-digest.org Copyright (C) 2009 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization.
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