MTA: The Voice Of Minnesota's Telecommunications Industry
The Minnesota Telecom Alliance is a trade association that advocates and represents the interests of more than 70 small, medium and large companies that provide advanced telecommunications services like voice, data, wireless video, and high-speed Internet access to Minnesota’s metropolitan and rural communities. In 2008, the MTA merged with the Minnesota Association of Rural Telecommunications (MART) to become the premiere telecom organization in the state.
MTA members are full service, high-tech telecommunications companies that connect Minnesota to the world – and many have been doing so for more than a century.
Organized in 1909, the MTA serves as the industry’s voice on regulatory and legislative issues that affect the operation of our member companies and the delivery of telecommunications services to consumers. Our goals are to educate and inform local, state and federal decision-makers about telecommunications issues as well as keep our membership informed of events that impact the industry.
The telephone industry of Minnesota is a blend of many small businesses and large, multi-state corporations. The majority of telephone companies in the state are small, local telephone companies that have served the same community for generations. However, new companies continue to form and prepare to provide local telephone service to areas already served by at least one provider. Even in this competitive environment, we find that in most cases, our diverse membership has many common concerns.
This is why the Minnesota Telecom Alliance continues to champion the causes of the local telephone industry, helping guide the industry from being highly-regulated and monopolistic, to being deregulated and competitive.
The MTA works with legislative and regulatory leaders on laws and rules that affect our members. We continue to work with policymakers on rewriting current, outdated laws that direct how our members conduct their businesses.
Meanwhile, we look for new opportunities to communicate the many consumer issues that arise from the rapid changes taking place in our industry. MTA members are being forced to respond to regulatory and legislative mandates, as well as increased consumer demands for new services.
The companies that belong to the MTA hold themselves up to strict industry standards of providing high-quality telecommunications services – distinguishing themselves as reliable, dedicated and steadfast telecommunications providers.
A Network That Keeps Growing
Minnesota’s fully digital telecommunications network serves as a national model of excellence. Over the past decade, our members have built a statewide fiber optic network that now spans over 21,000 miles – delivering advanced services from Grand Marais to Luverne, from Hallock to Caledonia and every county in between. This 100 percent digital network reaches to within five miles or closer of nearly every household in Minnesota.
The benefits from a network like this are easy to see. Communities across the state are beginning to use the new technology to provide services in a faster and more efficient manner. But there’s so much more that can be done with telecommunications to improve our schools, libraries, health care facilities, businesses and communities.
MTA member companies are deploying high-speed broadband networks like Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology to a majority of their service areas so business and residential consumers can quickly download and upload large digital files to their customers, friends and family members.
Economic Contributions in their Communities
Minnesota’s member telephone companies invest over $152 million annually in new and upgraded capital equipment and contribute $6.7 million to local economic development activities each year. The industry pays over $426 million in local payroll annually to its employees in Minnesota and $219 million in annual taxes.
Access to the Internet is readily available across the state. Over 57 percent of the households in the state subscribe to high-speed Internet service, according to a report by the Center for Rural Policy and Development. A growing number of MTA members are offering not only voice and data but also video to their customers.
Meeting the Industry’s Needs
Minnesota’s telephone industry has a tradition of working together for the common good. MTA members have organized themselves cooperatively to offer a full menu of advanced services to nearly all Minnesota counties, including wireless services, cable TV and high-speed broadband service.
The telecommunications industry comes together under the MTA.