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So far James Mardis has created 12 blog entries.

JSI Webinar: Prepping for 2022’s Hot Numbering & Porting Requirements

2021-12-07T17:03:29-05:00October 7, 2021|Webinar Recordings|

Not only will carriers likely feel the heat of increased competition in their service areas in 2022, but they’ll also be reporting to a new robocall database and taking steps to help with the launch of 988 as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Join us on Thursday, October 7th at 2 p.m. EDT for a 90-minute webinar where we’ll dive into all the hot issues we see on the horizon. Bridget Alexander White will be discussing:

  • Competition: More interconnected VoIP providers (iVoIPs) have direct access to numbering and new CLECs are entering ILEC territories. Are you ready for this influx of porting competitors?
  • Reassigned Numbers Database (RND): The FCC’s commitment to combatting unwanted and illegal calls has led to the creation of a new industry database. Do you understand your new reporting obligations?
  • Nationwide 988 deployment is driving 10DD in over 80 NPAs! The FCC requires all service providers to prepare their networks to route calls to 988 without delay or error. Is your company prepared for 988?

These industry requirements will impact ALL voice service providers. For more information about anything numbering, porting or robocall related, please contact Bridget Alexander White in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

Purchase Recording

Sorry, you missed this webinar! But, a recording of this webinar is available for $249. If you would like to purchase the recording, please contact Jessica Wick or Brenda Cordwell in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program is now Available!

2021-11-02T12:57:27-04:00September 29, 2021|News|

The goal of the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program is to award grants that exclusively extend broadband service into unserved areas. The competitive grant process is technologically neutral and should result in awards based on objective and efficient procedures.

  • Ohio has dedicated $270M
  • Application deadline is November 8th, 2021
  • The comprehensive application includes engineering, financials and a detailed narrative.
  • “Broadband service floor” is defined as a retail terrestrial service capable of delivering high-speed internet access at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
  • “Unserved Threshold” is defined as less that 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.

JSI has the experience and proven track record to maximize your points and for you to be awarded funding above the industry average. We’re ready to help your company with all aspects of qualifying for and winning competitive funding options including:

  • Determining available loans and grants
  • Mapping of funding areas
  • Financial analysis and preparation
  • Broadband network assessment and planning
  • Guidance through the full process

Please fill out the following form to be connected to a JSI funding expert.



Connecting Michigan Communities 3.0 Grant Application is now open!

2021-11-02T12:57:34-04:00September 29, 2021|News|

The goal of the Connecting Michigan Communities 3.0 Grant is to award grants that exclusively extend broadband service into unserved areas. The competitive grant process is technologically neutral and should result in awards based on objective and efficient procedures.

  • Michigan has dedicated $2.9M
  • Application deadline is November 15, 2021
  • The comprehensive application includes environmental, engineering, financials and a detailed narrative.
  • “Broadband service” means a retail terrestrial service capable of delivering high-speed internet access at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
  • “Unserved area” means either a census block lacking access to broadband service from at least one ISP, an area lacking access to broadband service from at least one ISP according to the most accurate and granular data on the broadband map created by the FCC, or an area delineated through the process established in the enabling legislation without at least one provider providing broadband service.
  • Priority shall be given to projects that demonstrate collaboration to achieve community investment and economic development goals of the area impacted, that are able to demonstrate they have the managerial, financial, and technical ability to build, operate, and manage a broadband network, the likelihood the area would not be served without state grant funding, and that the project will serve a larger unserved area or greater number of locations than other proposals.
  • Initial award recommendations published in February 2022 with Grant Awards Announced in May 2022
  • All grant project work must be completed by September 30, 2025.

JSI has the experience and proven track record to maximize your points and for you to be awarded funding above the industry average. We’re ready to help your company with all aspects of qualifying for and winning competitive funding options including:

  • Determining available loans and grants
  • Mapping of funding areas
  • Financial analysis and preparation
  • Broadband network assessment and planning
  • Guidance through the full process

Please fill out the following form to be connected to a JSI funding expert.



Need Assistance Managing Copyright Infringement Notices?

2021-11-02T13:06:07-04:00September 23, 2021|e-Lerts|

JSI knows some companies no longer manage copyright infringement notifications. Don’t be left without protection. If your current provider is withdrawing support or you have not already protected yourself from this copyright liability, JSI can help. ISPs receiving copyright infringement notices can obtain protection from liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”). The DMCA provides safe harbor protection and limits liability in the event of copyright infringement committed by one or more of your subscribers. To realize safe harbor protection, the ISP must:

  1. adopt and reasonably implement a Copyright Infringement Policy to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers; and
  2. register a Designated Agent with the Copyright Office.

JSI provides a subscription service to act as the DMCA Designated Agent. As your DMCA Agent, we manage the copyright infringement piracy notifications you receive because of infringement committed by your subscribers on your network. Copyright trolls can be unduly aggressive in their attempt to enforce copyrights by threatening a lawsuit or forcing a settlement. As your DMCA Agent, JSI will:

  1. conduct enforcement of your copyright policy by sending notifications to subscribers and
  2. manage the caseload.

JSI can also provide language for a Copyright Infringement Enforcement Policy. Under the policy, customers are warned that multiple infringement notices will cause their broadband service to route to a copyright tutorial which JSI can provide upon request.

To learn more about the service, to obtain assistance with registering a DMCA agent, or to obtain the Copyright Tutorial, please email Terri Parrilla in JSI’s Maryland office or call her at 301.459.7590.

FCC Regulatory Fees Due September 24

2021-11-02T13:06:25-04:00September 8, 2021|e-Lerts|

The FCC announced that FY 2021 regulatory fees must be filed and paid by 11:59 p.m., EDT, on September 24, 2021. Payments received after that time will be assessed a 25% late payment fee, will immediately result in Red Light status and companies could face additional administrative and interest fees as a result of the late payment.

The FCC does not send regulatory fee bills or notices. All companies must begin the payment process by accessing the FCC’s Fee Filer system with their FCC registration number (FRN) and password, or with FCC CORES username and password.  All payments must be made online  by credit card (limited to payments $24,999.99 or less), ACH payment, wire transfer, or debit card. Be sure to arrange well in advance for any ACH or wire transfer payments to ensure the payment is credited by the September 24th deadline. Checks will not be accepted.

Some fee data is pre-populated in the Fee Filer system, but carriers are responsible for payment of all regulatory fees owed, regardless of whether data is displayed in the system. Among the FY 2021 fees are the following:

  • Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSPs) will be assessed a fee of $.004 per revenue dollar based on the April 1, 2021, Form 499-A.
    • Important Change this Year: NECA will no longer process ITSP regulatory fees on behalf of its members.  You must initiate payment via the Fee Filer system for all ILEC ITSP assessments, as well as for any other assessments that may be due for revenues of a separate entity CLEC, long distance or VoIP interstate ITSP.
  • Cable TV operators (including IPTV) will be assessed a fee of $0.98 per subscriber based on the company’s total basic cable TV subscribers as of December 31, 2020.

The de minimis exemption is $1,000. If the total FY 2021 annual regulatory fee liability for all categories of annual fees due for the same entity is $1,000 or less, that entity is exempt from payment of FY 2021 regulatory fees.

More information on regulatory fees and payment procedures can be found on the FCC’s Regulatory Fees webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Waldvogel  in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

FCC Form 477 Deadline Extended

2021-11-02T13:06:33-04:00September 3, 2021|e-Lerts|

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the FCC announced that the September 1st deadline to submit the FCC Form 477, Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Reporting, filing for data as of June 30, 2021 has been extended to Wednesday, September 15.

For filers affected by Hurricane Ida, specifically in areas of Louisiana and Mississippi where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated eligible for Individual or Public Assistance for federal disaster relief as of September 3rd, the FCC announced the new deadline is October 1, 2021. Those entities that operate facilities or rely on personnel, records, or financial institutions essential to their business operations which are located in the FEMA designated parishes of Louisiana or the counties of Mississippi, are eligible for the October 1st deadline.

You must file this report if you provide:

  • Fixed Voice Service – This applies to all ILEC and CLEC local exchange, VoIP, and fixed wireless with end users in service.
  • Facilities-Based Fixed Broadband Service -This applies to providers who own last-mile facilities (or the rights to those facilities) with end users in service.
  • Facilities-Based Mobile Wireless Voice and Broadband Service – This applies to providers who own the wireless license (or the rights to the license) with end users in service.

In the meantime, JSI can assist with your Form 477 reporting including preparation of the upload files and developing good broadband deployment data.  If you have any questions about the Form 477 requirements or need assistance with your filing, please contact Kim Waldvogel in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

Premier Engineering Firm Mid-State Consultants Acquired by JSI

2021-11-02T13:06:42-04:00September 1, 2021|News|

Move Builds on Efforts to Provide Complete Solutions for Rural Broadband Clients

September 1, 2021, Greenbelt, MD: JSI is pleased to announce that it has acquired Mid-State Consultants, Inc., a premier engineering firm headquartered in Nephi, Utah. The move further enhances JSI’s ability to help clients as they take advantage of unprecedented funding resources available on the federal and state levels to expand and maintain broadband networks across the country. The acquisition of Mid-State Consultants significantly grows the engineering capabilities that JSI began building last year.

“We are pleased to add Mid-State to the JSI family. Our clients now have access to more services and solutions and a talented team with the broadband technology, regulatory and business know-how,” said Tasos Tsolakis, CEO of JSI. “The broadband industry’s future is bright and JSI is well positioned to support our clients every step of the way.”

Mid-State Consultants is well known in the rural telecommunications industry and has worked jointly with JSI on several client projects in the past. The company was established in 1963 and specializes in providing comprehensive communication systems engineering, including network planning and design, outside and inside plant, field services, virtual drafting, project development, grant and loan applications, and regulatory compliance consulting. JSI and Mid-State share many common clients across the country. This acquisition expands JSI’s complete solutions into the western United States, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

“It is an honor to join forces with JSI. Our clients and the industry at large now have the benefit of an unprecedented suite of solutions from a single company,” said Steve Kidd, president of Mid-State Consultants.

Under Tsolakis’ leadership, Steve Kidd will remain president of Mid-State. JSI President Steve Meltzer and N-com President Dennis Wisdom will remain in their respective roles.

About JSI
JSI is a full-service consulting firm, providing financial, engineering, management, operational, regulatory, and strategic assistance to independent community-based communications providers. JSI’s business knowledge, experience and proven success help its clients plan and realize long-term success and profitability. JSI has relationships with approximately 750 communications entities in 46 states and several US territories. Headquartered in Greenbelt, MD, JSI also has offices in MN, TX, GA and UT. JSI can be found at https://jsitel.com/.

About Mid-State Consultants
Mid-State Consultants provides nationwide telecommunications engineering services with a focus on rural broadband access issues, including backhaul, rural, and urban projects. Mid-State’s engineering and outside plant experience will be key as broadband providers across the country strive to meet the requirements for the upcoming broadband infrastructure grants and the subsequent implementation processes and procedures. The firm’s headquarters is in Nephi, Utah, and operates seven regional offices in AK, HI, LA, MI, NC, and two in WI. Mid-State Consultants can be found at https://www.mscon.com/.

JSI Webinar: Preparing for the 2022 Broadband Measurement Pre-Testing

2021-12-07T17:04:19-05:00August 30, 2021|Webinar Recordings|

Beginning January 1, 2022, the next group of rate-of-return (RoR) companies are required to start their year of pre-testing of broadband speed and latency measurements. The 2022 pre-testing group includes A-CAM II and Legacy RoR companies, CAF Phase II Auction winners, and any remaining Alaska Plan carriers. If your company falls into one of those groups, it is important for your staff to attend our webinar on Thursday, September 23, 2021, at 2 p.m. EDT. Don’t risk your company’s USF support by failing to comply with these new rules.

During this webinar, we will review who must start testing, how to test, and what equipment to use. We will also talk about how the pre-testing is going for the first group of companies, which included those companies that receive A-CAM I support. Our webinar will include:

  • An overview of the rules and exactly what is required;
  • How to use USAC’s Performance Measures Module (PMM), including how it will generate random subscribers to test;
  • Which testing equipment is available and is best suited to different technologies;
  • How to select the right vendor for your company;
  • Technical considerations, such as the testing end point and other important factors; and
  • Penalties you could face for failed tests and how to avoid them.

This webinar will be good for both technical and management/regulatory staff who will be involved in your company’s broadband testing process. And even though this webinar is geared toward those companies that begin pre-testing in 2022, other companies may benefit from a review of the rules and how year one of pre-testing went.

Purchase Recording

Sorry, you missed this webinar! But, a recording of this webinar is available for $249. If you would like to purchase the recording, please contact Jessica Wick or Brenda Cordwell in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

JSI Webinar: 911 Round Up – Implementing Location Accuracy & Next Gen Requirements

2021-12-07T17:05:14-05:00August 30, 2021|Webinar Recordings|

The nation’s 911 system continues to evolve in an effort to improve emergency service responses. In January 2022, all voice calls delivered to 911 PSAPs must include the caller’s detailed location information, including for those callers on mobile and nomadic networks. As well, states have begun implementing Next Generation 911 (NG911) which would allow callers to send even more detailed data—such as videos, images and texts—to 911 call centers.

Voice service providers must stay abreast of these changes and comply with any related requirements in their switches and networks. JSI invites you to a webinar on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 2 p.m. EDT where our experts will go over requirements, including a review of fixed location rules, and what you can expect in the coming months, including:

  • Your responsibilities as a voice provider to help with these 911 improvements;
  • Location information that must be shared and how to get the additional location information from the customer;
  • Steps you can take if you’ve run into problems delivering location information;
  • What to expect as NG911 is implemented and what additional costs you might incur;
  • Technical requirements for NG911 and what will be asked of you; and
  • How to respond to AT&T Wireless’ request for interconnection agreements related to ESInet.

As you’re aware, not complying and implementing these 911 enhancements can be a matter of life and death for someone in need of emergency services. Don’t risk a tragic outcome or even an enforcement action and PR nightmare. Stay informed and take the necessary actions to make your local 911 service the best it can be.

Purchase Recording

Sorry, you missed this webinar! But, a recording of this webinar is available for $249. If you would like to purchase the recording, please contact Jessica Wick or Brenda Cordwell in the Maryland office at 301-459-7590.

JSI Acquires N-Com Engineering

2020-11-05T12:28:52-05:00September 30, 2020|News|

Combination Will Provide Complete Consulting Solutions for Rural Broadband Clients

September 30, 2020, Greenbelt, MD: JSI is pleased to announce the acquisition of N-Com, a premier engineering firm headquartered in Lubbock, TX, to enhance our suite of resources that support clients in expanding and maintaining broadband networks.

“Bringing N-Com into the JSI family is a natural fit to meet our clients’ needs for robust broadband deployments. The acquisition also continues the nearly 60-year Staurulakis tradition of expanding value to JSI clients and the industry,” said Tasos Tsolakis, CEO of JSI. “Broadband is critical for rural America to thrive. By adding N-Com’s complete network service solutions and talented team of engineers to JSI’s already comprehensive business, financial and regulatory solutions, we will provide unmatched benefits to clients and the industry at large.”

N-Com is a full-service engineering firm serving rural communications, utilities and government agencies. Established in 2004, N-Com’s team of professionals has decades of industry experience and a wealth of expertise in the planning, implementation, and optimization of broadband networks, IP solutions, and traditional telecom technologies. The acquisition also includes Network Lubbock (NLI). Network Lubbock provides hardware, software, MSP and DDoS mitigation solutions to the telecom industry.

“We are truly excited to join forces with JSI. Their stellar reputation of service to our industry is well known. By augmenting JSI’s broad and varied expertise with N-Com’s engineering savvy, clients will have access to a suite of services that spans the full lifecycle of delivering rural broadband,” said Dennis Wisdom, president of N-Com.

Under Tsolakis’ leadership, Dennis Wisdom will remain president of N-Com and NLI. Steve Meltzer remains president of JSI’s core financial, regulatory and business services.

Manny and Leo Staurulakis, co-chairmen of JSI, added “Both firms have always predicated their corporate success on the success of their clients, one of the many principles that align JSI and N-Com so well. We are excited for the N-Com team to join us in ensuring a vibrant broadband future for rural America.”

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About JSI
JSI is a full-service consulting firm, providing operational, financial, management, regulatory and strategic assistance to independent community-based communications providers. JSI’s business knowledge, experience and proven success help its clients plan and realize long-term success and profitability. JSI has relationships with approximately 750 communications entities in 46 states and several US territories. Headquartered in Greenbelt, MD, JSI also has offices in MN, TX, GA and UT.

About N-Com
Established in 2004, N-Com engineers have a strong background in communications engineering that reaches back as far as the 1970s. Their participation in the industry evolution over the past several decades has yielded a unique perspective in planning a migration path to the future. From day one at N-Com, it was recognized that the future of telecommunications was broadband data. N-Com intentionally combined traditional telecom engineering services with IP technology expertise to assist rural telecom companies with their migration to carrier-class IP-based broadband networks. Today, N-Com is a strategic partner, working alongside those same providers as well as those who are new to and entering the broadband delivery market to help engineer, maintain and secure the complete communications network. N-Com can be found at https://ncom.co/.

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