MTA News Bytes

September 30, 2016

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> Register for the MTA 2016 Fall Conference Today!

>> Thank You, MTA Fall Conference Sponsors

>> 2017 MTA Annual Convention Call for Proposals!

Peer Group Bulletin

>> Upcoming MTA Peer Group Events

>> MTA Peer Group 2016 Investment Opportunities

Informational items

>> Rate-of-Return Order Q & A with the FCC

>> Eleven RLECs Concerned Bureau May Change Eligibility for A-CAM

Safety Corner

>> Safety Bytes

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Durant
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Jeanne DeMartino
Anna Wrisky
Administrative Assistant:
Anne Christensen

Stay up-to-date on daily happenings at the MTA offices by following us on Facebook. From peer group meetings to annual conferences and everything in between, get the scoop on what’s happening at our offices!




Meetings and Events

October 13-14, 2016: MTA Fall Conference

October 19-20, 2016: MTA Fall 2016 Customer Service Group Conference

November 2-3, 2016: Administrative Assistant Peer Group 2016 Fall Conference

March 27-29, 2017: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show

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MTA Updates


MTA 2016 Fall Conference

Register for 2016 MTA Fall Conference Today!

>> View Details and Register Online

Featuring Keynote Speaker Michael Krause, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI, presenting "Cyber Security, Why You Should Be Concerned"

The MTA FALL CONFERENCE is coming soon!

This year’s event will open with an exciting lineup on Thursday. The afternoon kicks off with a presentation from MNIT Commissioner Jim Johnson (invited). MNIT controls the telecom contracts with state agencies throughout the state and this is a great opportunity to meet Jim and for him to meet MTA members. Jim’s presentation will be followed up with updates from the Office of Broadband Development and E911 Director Dana Wahlberg. We will also have presentations on CAF/A-CAM for RoR companies and a Federal update from NTCA’s Mike Romano. Thursday’s session will conclude with a political panel discussion from journalists who can give us the inside scoop on state elections.

Again this year, the MTA Event Planning Committee and staff have been working with the Video and IT Peer Groups for more opportunities to learn. Friday morning continues with separate tracks giving attendees the most current, up-to-date information on Video and IT.

Know you want to attend, but don’t know which sessions you want to attend? It doesn’t matter — you can mix and match sessions to meet your individual needs.

Don’t wait! The event will conclude with keynote speaker FBI Special Agent Michael Krause. Special Agent Krause investigates cybercrimes and has a unique perspective on cyber security that you haven’t heard before.

>> Register for the conference today!

Thank You, MTA Fall Conference Sponsors


Bader Comunications

Olsen Thielen



Dakota Supply Group

Finley Engineering

National Information Solutions Cooperative

Telcom Construction


Innovative Systems LLC
Interstate Telcom Consulting, Inc.

Advanced Media Technologies
Badger Communications
Dascom Systems Group
High Point Networks
Innovative Systems LLC
MACC (Mid America Computer Corp.)
Mega Hertz
National Information Solutions Cooperative
Olsen Thielen CPAs
Power & Tel

Become a Sponsor

Maximize your company's exposure to the MTA membership at the 2016 Fall Conference.

MTA members will come to Minneapolis from all over the state to learn more about the important issues facing our industry — and this is your opportunity to get your company’s message in front of them.

>> View complete Sponsorship details and register online.


If you have any questions about the sponsorship information, please contact Julie Cygan at

2017 MTA Annual Convention Call for Proposals!

We are planning for the MTA Annual Convention and Trade Show, March 27-29, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. Our convention offers you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to an estimated 1,100 MTA attendees face-to-face. We are now requesting submissions of speakers and presenters for our breakout sessions and luncheons. Topic ideas for presentations identified by the MTA Event Planning Committee are listed in the Call for Proposals.

>> Submit a Proposal

The deadline to submit a proposal is October 28, 2016.

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Peer Group Bulletin
All MTA members are welcome to join a Peer Group

Upcoming Peer Group Events

MTA Fall 2016 Customer Service Group Conference

Date: October 19-20, 2016

Location: Embassy Suites in Brooklyn Park
6300 Earle Brown Dr
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Administrative Assistant Peer Group 2016 Fall Conference

Date: November 2-3, 2016

Location: Garden Valley Telephone Company
201 Ross Avenue
Erskine, Minnesota

Last Chance for MTA Peer Group 2016 Investment Opportunities!

MTA’s core purpose is to enhance the success and viability of its telecommunications industry members. You are an important part of helping us fulfill this mission. Here is your opportunity to maximize the impact of your event sponsorships for 2016.

Download the 2016 Peer Group Investment Opportunities for full details

Sponsor a Peer Group: Sign Up Online!

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Rate-of-Return Order Q & A with the FCC

FCC Staff and USAC are hosting a joint webinar on October 6 to discuss the status of implementation of the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order.

Rate-of-Return Reform Order Q&A
The session will begin with a short presentation, but most of the time will be dedicated to Q&A with the FCC. The agenda includes:

  • Status of the implementation of the Rate-of-Return Reform Order (released March 30, 2016)
  • Questions submitted in advance (submit yours using the "Questions and Comments" section of the registration form)
  • Open Q&A

>> Webinar Registration

Eleven RLECs Concerned Bureau May Change Eligibility for A-CAM

From NECA’s Washington Watch

New Ulm Telecom, BEVCOMM, and nine other Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa rural LECs met with Legal Advisors to Commissioners Pai, Clyburn and O’Rielly and Wireline Competition Bureau staff on September 23, 2016, to discuss their interest in participating in the A-CAM mechanism and their concerns that the present A-CAM eligibility criteria may be changed in some manner at some future date to exclude currently eligible entities. They expressed concern with the language in the Bureau’s August 3, 2016 Public Notice indicating it might prioritize among electing carriers on the basis of one or more of three different potential criteria, and said they interpreted this language as an indication the Bureau may be contemplating changing the A-CAM eligibility standard in some currently unknown manner that might significantly decrease the number of entities eligible to participate. The MN-WI-IA companies strenuously oppose any prioritization or other changes in A-CAM eligibility criteria that would bar substantial numbers of entities making the November 1 election for A-CAM participation, and said they would view that as an arbitrary and unfair change of the A-CAM eligibility rules in the middle of the process.

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Safety Corner

Safety Bytes

Fire Prevention

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 fire that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

“Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” is the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2016. A small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced. NFPA requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes likely have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk in the event of a home fire. The age of a smoke alarm can be determined by looking for the date of manufacture on the back or side of the alarm, and to replace the units 10 years from that date. People tend to assume that simply having smoke alarms in their home ensures adequate protection from fires, but it takes regular testing and maintenance to ensure that that’s the case.

In one-fifth (20 percent) of all U.S. homes with smoke alarms, the smoke alarms aren’t working; three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without smoke alarms (38 percent) or with no working smoke alarms (21 percent).

Many fires are caused by misuse or poor maintenance of electrical devices, careless use of candles, smoking in bed, and children playing with matches and lighters. Most potential hazards can be prevented by ensuring flammable items like bedding, clothes and curtains are at least three feet away from portable heaters or lit candles — and never smoking in bed. Also, items like appliances or electric blankets should not be operated if they have frayed power cords, and electrical outlets should never be overloaded.

Fire Safety Checklist:

  • Install and maintain a working smoke alarm outside of every sleep area and remember to change the battery at least once a year.
  • Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and practice them regularly. 
  • Teach everyone the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" technique in case clothing catches on fire. 
  • Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage.
  • Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys. If you suspect that a child is playing with fire, check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.

Knowing your smoke detectors work and are not at the end of life (over 10 years old) will give you a better sense of security that you will be warned of a fire and able to get out alive. Good rule of thumb is to replace your smoke detector batteries every time you change your clocks for daylight saving time.

Be safe,
Aaron Wilfahrt
Safety Consultant

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