The Telecom Digest for January 06, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 6 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
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Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 20:22:44 -0500
From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Q.: T-Mobile handset-based Account Access shenanigans
On Mon, 03 Jan 2011 14:29:18 -0500, GlowingBlueMist <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On 1/2/2011 9:25 PM, tlvp wrote:
>> I've asked this on alt.cellular.t-mobile, but allow me to tap the T-Mobile
>> expertise here as well, please.
>> Back on Dec. 29 my Nokia 6610 handset spit out the "File format
>> unknown" error when trying to access t-zones. The tech CC rep who
>> wrote up a ticket on that issue never did get back to me with any
>> status, as he'd promised.
>> But this evening about 90 minutes ago t-zones was working again,
>> seemingly, offering access to, among other things, My Account, and
>> from there also Bill Summary, Current Activity, Plan and Services,
>> Trouble is, the My Account data is for someone else's T-Mobile
>> account, not mine! What's more, it changes from one access to the
>> next. First, it showed 1181 minutes remaining, with New Minute Start
>> of 01-11-11; the next time it showed 1013 minutes remaining, with
>> New Minute Start of 01-20-11. The Plan and Services descriptions
>> also had nothing to do either with each other or with my actual T-Mo
>> A call to T-Mo CC to resolve that question resulted in an agent
>> finally coming on line after I'd been on hold for 58.5 minutes;
>> after getting "the picture," said agent in turn put me on hold while
>> consulting someone/something and, 10 minutes later, my music on hold
>> went dead -- no, the PBX hadn't quite dropped the connection to a
>> fresh dial tone -- and 10 minutes after that I gave up on the
>> possibility that my call was still in a live T-Mo queue and just
>> hung up.
>> Known T-Mo New Year's issue? other? advice?
>> TIA; and cheers, -- tlvp
> If it were me, I'd be contacting a local investigative reporter at
> either a major TV station or Newspaper. Show them what your phone is
> doing and then turn them loose on T-MO's total lack of customer
> account confidentiality. I'm sure your problem will soon be a thing
> of the past.
> The lawyers and publicity departments really hate for negative things
> like this to go "public" and will do just about anything to "fix"
> them, especially if federal charges might turn up due to their
> seemingly total lack of control over which customer accounts you are
> given access to with out the permission of the account holder.
> Don't wait too long in case they actually do fix this and get around
> to hiding the evidence...
Seems like a case of the T-Mo web engineers having forgotten how a Nokia 6610
responds to whatever queries they're sniffing handsets with for user ID data.
For after swapping my SIM out of that old Nokia into a newer LG cu400 (liberated
from the clutches of Cingular through an at&t/ws-provided SIM-unlock code, and
with freshly added NAP wap.voicestream.com set as new default), the My Account
page(s) correctly ID-ed my account and gave info only about it, and no other(s).
Cheers, -- tlvp
Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 13:23:36 +1100
From: David Clayton <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: The heart of Stuxnet
On Tue, 04 Jan 2011 16:08:14 -0500, Bill Horne wrote:
> Here's an article from Wired: "A Four-Day Dive Into Stuxnet's Heart"
> Those in the know says that the Stuxnet worm is a game-changer in
> cyber-security. Althought apparently aimed at Iran's nuclear processing
> efforts, the same principles and practices could be use to compromise the
> ever-more-computer-dependent telecommunications networks.
If a road vehicle had the same ongoing quantity of potentially disastrous
flaws as is inherent in all versions of Microsoft Windows, I would
contend that it would be immediately banned from the public roads.
This sort of thing could be used to compromise virtually any utility -
power, telecommunications, water etc. - that are silly enough to use these
inherently unsafe platforms.
For all the inefficiencies and expense of the older telecoms equipment
with their individual operating systems, they at least were not vulnerable
to widespread attacks now available because of the "convenience" of using
a common platform.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a
measure of how many questions you have.
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:18:17 -0800
From: AES <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: The heart of Stuxnet
In article <email@example.com>,
David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> If a road vehicle had the same ongoing quantity of potentially disastrous
> flaws as is inherent in all versions of Microsoft Windows, I would
> contend that it would be immediately banned from the public roads.
> This sort of thing could be used to compromise virtually any utility -
> power, telecommunications, water etc. - that are silly enough to use these
> inherently unsafe platforms.
In the commercial or business or military leadership communities -- not
just in the IT parts of those organizations, but in their senior
leadership and administrative circles (corporate presidents, CEOs, CFOs,
Generals, Admirals) -- is it explicitly considered to be professionally
unacceptable and unethical to use Windows software in any
mission-critical aspects of their organizations?
Should it be?
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 19:48:14 -0800 (PST)
From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <email@example.com>
Subject: Latest on Pending CenturyLink/Qwest Merger
Here is the latest info on the pending merger of CenturyLink and
Qwest. CenturyLink itself is a recent merger of CenturyTel and Embarq.
Embarq was the 2006 spinoff of Sprint's ILEC operations which was
mostly legacy United Tel and Centel.
The pending CenturyLink/Qwest merger was announced on 22-April-2010.
On that same date, there was a joint filing with the Securities and
Exchange commission, but I don't have an "approval" date. I don't know
if the SEC actually has to "approve" of this merger.
On 15-July-2010, the FTC/DOJ closed the waiting period of the
Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which also has something to do with the IRS.
On 24-August-2010, the majority of shareholders of both companies each
approved of the pending merger.
And here chronologically is the state-by-state (including required
approval of the Washington DC regulatory agency) approval. Not all
states where Qwest and/or CenturyLink operates in are required to
approve of the pending merger though. Some states don't seem to have
it under their legislative jurisdiction to require approval of such
mergers, sell-offs, transactions, etc. Each state regulatory agency
14-June-2010 California PUC
15-June-2010 Hawaii PUC
29-June-2010 Ohio PUC
06-July-2010 Nevada PUC
07-July-2010 Maryland PSC
16-July-2010 Regulatory Commission of Alaska
28-July-2010 Georgia PSC
03-August-2010 West Virginia PSC
24-August-2010 New York State PSC
30-August-2010 District of Columbia PSC
14-September-2010 Mississippi PSC
17-September-2010 Louisiana PSC
24-September-2010 Virginia State (Commonwealth?) Corporation Commission
14-October-2010 Pennsylvania PUC
03-November-2010 Iowa Utilities Board
14-December-2010 Montana PSC
15-December-2010 Colorado PUC
16-December-2010 New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
04-January-2011 Nebraska PSC
05-January-2011 Utah PSC
The following four states still need to approve. In each of them, and
all are states where Qwest is the legacy Regional Bell Company (which
was known as US-West from 1984 divestiture until 2000 when US-West and
LCI/Qwest merged), the commission STAFF has approved recommendation of
the pending merger, but the board itself still needs to vote for
Arizona State Corporation Commission
Washington (State) Utilities and Transportation Commission
It is possible that an announcement on each of these states' boards
themselves might come in January or February 2011.
And THEN, the FCC still needs to approve.
If all approvals are reached, the actual official merger could come
sometime during the 2nd Quarter of 2011.
I have heard nothing about any possible name change. It might happen
that the Qwest name will remain within its legacy "US-West" states for
a year or two (or even up to five years), as "Qwest, a CenturyLink
Company", and then the CenturyLink name/logo could eventually replace
Qwest? OR, the CenturyLink name/logo could replace Qwest within months
of the official effective date of the merger? Maybe a new "joint" name
could be chosen, such as "CenturyQwest"? But so far, nothing has been
announced from what I can tell, as to any possible name changes.
Mark J. Cuccia
markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 12:51:01 -0500
From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Zip codes (Was:Re: Telstra loses directory copyright appeal)
In article <email@example.com>,
> --- On Tue, 12/21/10, Free Lunch <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > The USPS's concern is for their electronic program. They want
> > complete accuracy if they are going to give junk mail and bills a
> > discount. Even though the software that verifies Zip+4 or Carrier
> > Route presort is not sold by the USPS, they want to make sure that
> > it is accurate.
> The Zip code system has been extended, first with the +4, which mainly
> identifies usually a block of house numbrs, or a specific post office
> box, with another three digits which are the last two digits of your
> house number, plus a check digit. This uniquely identifies any
> address in the United States. The discounts are offerred to any
> larger mailer, increasing as the number of pieces mailed at one time,
> not just bills and junk mail. When it comes from the post office
> sorting equipment to a letter carrier at your local station or branch,
> it is already sorted in the delivery order for that carrier's route.
> Wes Leatherock
Probably a farily simple check like that used for UPC symbols. You just
sum up the digits, do a modulo with the next tens unit and that's your
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 16:50:21 -0500
From: T <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: No Signal: Homes Often Baffle Wi-Fi From Routers
> On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 11:35 PM, Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > No Signal: Homes Often Baffle Wi-Fi From Routers
> I'm glad it's not just me.
> While my house is large by global standards, it's hardly a McMansion.
> I have mine set to a channel with no other devices nearby. Yet I
> still have hard to explain dead spots in my house, some even in the
> same room as my wireless router. I have tried every tweak I can find
> and nothing really helps.
> And this brings me to another issue. I keep my wireless router hidden
> because I simply cannot tolerate the nonstop blinking LEDs. The first
> vendor to create a router that allows users to turn off the LEDs will
> forever have my business. I assume they don't because it's an added
> expense and something else a user could complain about (e.g. user
> turns off the LEDs, doesn't realize it, and thinks the device is
> dead). Perhaps it's something they could bury that only a power user
> like myself would ever find.
The other thing you can do, particularly with Linksys WRT54G's is load
them with DD-WRT or OpenWRT. You can tweak power levels, etc. Warning
though, extra heat is involved so you might want to add some cooling on
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 16:13:28 -0800 (PST)
From: Tas Dienes <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: CNAM for toll-free numbers
I found a solution: listing the number with AT&T directory services
white pages. It just took a few days for the change to kick in. I
have not done extensive testing, but it works with at least a couple
of carriers. The AT&T number to call to do this is 800-496-4430 (just
finding that took a while).
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 14:08:46 -0800 (PST)
From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Update on Dutch Sint Maarten in the Caribbean and the NANP
On Sunday 10-October-2010 (which, BTW, was "10-10-10") the Netherlands
Antilles in the Caribbean formally ceased to exist as a single
political unit. The five at-the-time existing member islands now are
independent from each other, although each still maintains some kind
of relationship with the Dutch Kingdom in Europe. These five islands
include: Bonaire, Curacao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, Saba.
(NOTE that Sint Maarten refers to the southern part of the island. The
northern part is French, Saint-Martin, and is NOT part of the same
telephone numbering plan as the Dutch southern part of the
island. Calls between the two sides are "international toll" although
rather inexpensive, probably no more than some measured rate calls in
many US metro areas, but they are also dialed internationally, as
"00+CC+number". There doesn't appear to be any kind of "short-cut"
dialing, although many businesses on each side of the island have
"local" numbers assigned from BOTH telephone and political
About 25 years ago, the same thing happened with Aruba, in that they
withdrew from the Netherlands Antilles. Aruba also got their own ITu
assigned telephone country code +297, breaking off from the Netherland
Antilles' +599 country code.
In the meantime, as the complete 10/10/10 breakup of the Netherlands
Antilles was approaching, (Dutch) Sint Maarten had applied to become a
NANP-member country. In October 2009, NANPA announced the assignment
of +1-721 as the future area code for Sint Maarten. Permissive dialing
of either/both legacy +599-(5xx-xxxx) as well as the new/NANP method
+1-721-(5xx-xxxx) for calls to Sint Maarten was to begin on
30-May-2010. Mandatory use of NANP +1-721-(5xx-xxxx) was to begin on
30-November-2010, with the legacy use of +599-(5xx-xxxx) to
cease. NANPA also issued a Planning Letter regarding this. The
test-number was not yet known at the time of the first NANPA-PL, to be
determined at a later date. The Planning Letter also was lacking (and
even erroneous) on other information -- it seemed to indicate that
there is local "dialing" between Dutch Sint Maarten and French
Saint-Martin, which is NOT true. And the original PL didn't include
all of the +599-5xx / +1-721-5xx office codes for Dutch Sint Maarten
-- the wireless and the landline CLEC office codes were omitted in
that list. And there were other misc. inconsistencies/errors/omissions
In early March 2010, after no further information regarding the
announcement of a test-number or a more detailed/corrected Planning
Letter, NANPA did issue a second PL re: Sint Maarten, indicating that
the permissive date of 30-May-2010 and mandatory date of
30-November-2010 were canceled, and that new implementation dates
would be announced at a later date, when new plans were finalized.
That's about where things have stood for now.
In October 2010, the daily newspaper for Sint Maarten, the Daily
Herald, had an article on Sint Maarten and the NANP, and it stated
that Sint Maarten does still intend on joining the NANP, but that
there are still further political and technical issues that still
needed to be addressed and resolved before any new firm dates could be
announced. This article is still available online at:
"Country code 721 being worked out", dated Saturday 31-October-2010.
In December 2010, the NANC (North American Numbering Council) had one
of their quarterly meetings. The NANC is a joint FCC and Industry
organization which has meetings to resolve any numbering
issues. NeuStar-NANPA is one of the major bodies in the NANC.
In the December 2010 "NANPA Report to the NANC",
there is the following announcement:
"St. Maarten Update - NANPA received notice that St. Maarten achieved
autonomous country status effective October 10, 2010. As such, they
are moving forward with the implementation of the 721 NPA
code. Specifically, the plan is to implement permissive dialing of the
721 NPA on September 30, 2011, with mandatory dialing on March 31,
2012. NANPA will publish a Planning Letter with further details in
January 2011." Today, Wednesday 05-January-2010, NeuStar-NANPA issued
a new Planning Letter regarding +1-721 Sint Maarten, PL #418, which
can be downloaded from NANPA's website at:
http://www.nanpa.com/pdf/PL_418.pdf The new/revised implementation
dates are mentioned, and are the same ones as mentioned in the
NANPA/NANC document from the December 2010 NANC meeting. The PL also
mentions that 31-March-2013, a year AFTER mandatory dialing, is the
date when carriers can begin removing any mandatory dialing recorded
announcements for calls still dialed as +599 for legacy 5xx-xxxx Sint
There are still errors and omissions in the current/revised PL-418. It
still mentions that "local international calls" to French Saint-
Martin are dialable as "seven-digits". That can't be true, since there
are no "local" calls between the French and Dutch sides, although the
rates/charges are not really expensive for such a distance. Calls must
be dialed as 00+, with apparently (hopefully) NANP dialing procedures
(011+) introduced for calling to the French Saint-Marin side with the
official integration of Dutch Sint Maarten in late 2011/early 2012.
MAYBE... this reference to "local international calls" to the French
side refers to French-side businesses which have requested and been
assigned FX lines with Dutch-side-based +599-5xx-xxxx (to become
+1-721-5xx-xxxx) numbers, which would be dialed locally from the Dutch
side as 5xx-xxxx?
Also, while MOST of the wireless providers' c.o.codes are now listed
in this new Planning Letter, there are still a few missing.
The incumbent landline provider is "Telem", and most of their office
codes (54x range) are listed. There MIGHT be an additional code for
Telem, in the 52x range which is NOT shown.
If Dutch Sint Maarten does indeed have landline CLEC providers, which
I think they do, their office codes are NOT shown in the new NANPA PL.
TelCell is the largest wireless provider, and is associated with the
landline incumbent telco Telem. There is currently a +599-555 code for
TelCell! If that isn't changed to something else when +599-5xx Sint
Maarten migrates to +1-721-(5xx), then there is going to be a conflict
with US/Canadian service providers who treat all NPA+555 as Directory
Assistance/Information! Calls intended for TelCell phones on 555-xxxx
might either be blocked, or be routed to Telem incumbent Directory, or
might be routed to "AT&T, What Island Please?" Caribbean directory
"intercept". Even though all of the NANP-Caribbean has been broken
into their own distinct NPA codes during the 1995-99 time-frame (and
some have since been overlaid as well), AT&T (and other carriers) have
been known to STILL route Caribbean NPA+555-1212 (except for calls to
the two US Caribbean locations -- 787/939 Puerto Rico and 340 for the
US Virgin Islands) to an AT&T OSPS operator who's pre-recorded
auto-voice answers: "AT&T, What Island, Please?". This is supposed to
be a fraud preventative measure. The AT&T operator will connect the
call to that Caribbean inward directory operator and MONITOR the
connection just in case the Caribbean inward directory asks the
US/Canadian calling customer if they would like to be connected to
that desired number. And thus a "directory call" at a fixed rate might
be used for a longer conversation to a (non-US) NANP-Caribbean point!
The AT&T operator would disconnect the call to the directory operator
and instruct the caller to re-dial to the desired number.
There's no mention in the current NANPA PL for Sint Maarten
specifically on whether or not 011+/01+ will be used for Sint Maarten
to non-NANP points after they officially become part of the
NANP. Currently, 00+ is used to place calls to points outside of +599.
There's no mention on whether or not N11 codes for services or '0' for
the local (Telem) operator will be used. Presently, Sint Maarten and
other +599 islands (former Netherlands Antilles) use their own locally
assigned three-digit 91X and four-digit 92XX codes for special
services and the operator. And these are NOT referenced at all in the
NANPA PL. Many NANP-Caribbean as well as non-NANP countries have been
known to use 91X service codes. And since it in the 91X range, 911 is
used for Fire/Police Emergencies (but 912 is for Ambulance services)
in Dutch Sint Maarten.
There are probably more things that SHOULD be addressed in the NANPA
Planning Letter, but aren't right now. Hopefully, these will be in a
future PL, especially the test-number, and correcting any errors and
other omissions. (There's nothing mentioned about "equal access" for
toll calls, whether currently or in their NANP migration, nor what
codes are dialed for "vertical services". Are they going to use
101-XXXX codes? 11(X)XX / *(X)XX codes when they join the NANP?)
Also, the ITU's "National Numbering Plans" webpage,
http://www.itu.int/oth/T0202.aspx?parent=T0202 has recently created
line-entry links for the former member islands of the Netherlands
Antilles. The original line-entry link for the Netherlands Antilles
itself is still on the page, with a link to a page of downloadable
numbering-plan documents for the Netherlands Antilles, dated
Nov.2009. (Nothing is mentioned about Sint Maarten's pending change
from +599 to the NANP as +1-721 in that document though).
The new line-entry links at the ITU NNP webpage are:
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (+599)
- Curacao (+599)
- Sint Maarten (Dutch part) (+599)
When clicking on the links for these three specific entries, all one
currently gets to is a page that states:
Available languages and formats:
No Document currently available
The available languages and formats refers to MOST countires'
numbering documents from the ITU, which could be doc and/or pdf files,
in English and also usually also available in French and
Spanish. Sometimes the link points to the URL for the numbering plan
administrator for that jurisdiction (the US link points to NANPA's
website, Canada's link points to the CNA's website, the UK's link
points to Ofcom's website, etc), or it could point to a downloadable
.xls spreadsheet of numbering plan information for that country.
As for the future numbering of Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and
Saba, that is still unclear. I assume that Curacao (where the capital
city for the old Netherlands Antilles was located), will retain
+599. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, could POSSIBLY become
city-codes within +33 Holland! That's only a guess, but it is a
possibility. OR... they some or all might want to become a part of the
NANP as well, but they would still need to APPLY for admission, on
their own, and probably can't "just simply piggyback" on Sint
Maarten's (pending) NANP-status.
More details as they become available.
Mark J. Cuccia
markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
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