MTA Fall Conference: Extended Early Rates End Today
October 1–2, 2015
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
Brooklyn Park, MN
The early rate deadline for this year's Fall Conference is today! Be sure to register by September 18 to secure the lowest rates for this year's event.
View Details and Register to Attend Online
Become a Sponsor of the 2015 MTA Fall Conference!
Maximize your company's exposure to the MTA membership at the 2015 Fall Conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. 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 to sponsor online
If you have any questions about the sponsorship information, please contact Carissa Wolf at email@example.com.
Thank You, Sponsors
Cooperative Network Services, LLC
Interstate Telcom Consulting, Inc.
Power and Tel
BEC Technologies, Inc.
Corero Network Security
National Information Solutions Cooperative
Olsen Thielen CPAs
Customer Service Peer Group Fall Conference
October 28–29, 2015
Jackpot Junction Casino
MTA is excited for the upcoming Fall Customer Service Peer Group Conference. It will be held October 28 & 29 at Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel. This event is for any and all individuals who deal with customers in the telecommunication industry. This is a great opportunity to attend (or send your staff) for very little cost.
We will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening with an icebreaker. We will serve appetizers in the Players Sports Bar & Grill, 6:30–8:30 pm. We will also have some Jackpot Casino Cash as a complimentary part of the Ice Breaker. Attendees will be able to try their luck in the Casino! The morning of learning will include a message from our own MTA President, Brent Christensen; and Cecilia Ray, attorney with Moss & Barnett Law Firm, will give us a refresher on CPNI rules.
Before lunch, Catherine Rasmussen, Extension Professor, Leadership & Civic Engagement at the U of M, will begin speaking on "Navigating Conflict More Successfully,” and return again after lunch on the same topic.
In the afternoon, we will break out into groups and do the ever-so-popular Peer to Peer Breakout Sessions.
We invite you to meet old and new friends and share your customer service experiences in the telecommunications business. Register now to attend this educational conference. The MTA registration fee is only $125. Rooms will be held until October 15.
You and your staff won’t want to miss this conference! Find the full agenda and registration form on the MTA calendar. You will register with MTA and then make your own hotel reservation. We look forward to seeing you on October 28 & 29.
P.S. Please consider joining the planning committee. Our committee consists of 4 people with 1 leaving each year. You would help plan four conferences. We communicate with each other through email and conference calls. It is a great way to get involved. If interested, please let one of the committee members know. We would like to have someone onboard before the end of this conference.
View Details and Register Online
Administrative Assistants Peer Group Fall Conference
November 4–5, 2015
Otter Tail Telcom
Fergus Falls, MN
View complete details and register online
We are excited to announce the upcoming MTA Administrative Assistant Peer Group Fall Conference scheduled for November 4–5, 2015 in Fergus Falls! This is a great opportunity to attend a very informative meeting (for a very minimal cost) and take advantage of the knowledge and resources that our Administrative Assistant peers have.
Best Western Fergus Falls
925 Western Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN
$98.99 plus tax for Double non-smoking. King non-smoking $103.49.
Call (218) 739-2211 for reservations. Mention MTA to get discounted rate.
Deadline for discounted rates: October 3, 2015.
NTCA Supports Halstad Request for Reinstatement as Provisional Winner for Rural Broadband Experiments
From NECA’s Washington Watch
NTCA filed reply comments on September 1, 2015, on Halstad Telephone’s Petition for Reconsideration of the Wireline Competition Bureau’s June 15, 2015 Order, which removed Halstad from further consideration as a provisionally selected winning bidder in the Rural Broadband Experiments program. NTCA said no party opposed Halstad’s request, and Halstad has taken reasonable steps to comport with the LoC requirement. NTCA said small firms like Halstad combine the best of all attributes for program success, combining local proximity to the communities to be served, decades of experience and a proven track record of success in delivering rural broadband, and familiarity with operating in accordance with federal telecommunications programs generally and universal service oversight in particular.
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ACAM Model Update
From ITCI’s Industry Watch
The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) recently released revised illustrative results of the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM). These new results are based on an update to the Form 477 deployment information reported for December 31, 2014. (ITCI sent out client results individually.) The release does not include the recent filings of plant mix changes nor is it the final version of the ACAM results. When the final version is released it will include the plant mix revisions, an update to the June 30, 2015 Form 477 reporting, and an update of the most recent certified study area boundaries. The final version, when released to the public, will not likely be the exact amount a company is to receive, but rather a best estimate. The final totals will depend on how many companies choose the ACAM model and how many choose to stay on legacy support. The newest results are based on a $52.50 benchmark, meaning it is assumed that the LEC will collect at least $52.50 from the customer per line per month. The results also have a funding cap of $200, $215, and $230 per
location. The $52.50 benchmark and the $230 cap are the same results as scenario 1.3 from the first set of ACAM illustrative results. This reinforces the idea that the FCC is definitely looking at benchmarks and caps rather than utilizing some of the other scenarios which did not include these elements. The newest results also reflect the unsubsidized competitor locations as a basis for not allowing support funds for locations covered with competitor broadband and voice.
Discussion continues with the FCC on codifying a rule that model based support (if accepted) will be available for a 10-year period for all companies adopting ACAM. This is similar to the 6-year commitment that price cap carriers received. The FCC has not made a final decision on this stipulation yet. It is assumed that final version of ACAM will be made available by the end of the year with possible implementation dates of July 1, 2016 or January 1, 2017.
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From ITCI’s Industry Watch
In mid-June, the FCC released (15-71) a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, and Memorandum Opinion and Order regarding Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization. Since the release of that order and the printing of the rules in the Federal Register on July 14, there has been a lot of confusion regarding effective dates of each of the rules, and which are up for comment and which have been finalized. The major reforms listed in the order were regarding a “snapshot date” for reporting on the reimbursement Form 497, document retention for a three year period, and subscriber eligibility document retention. Because each of these reforms require changes to Form 497 and/or Form 555 instructions as well as the codification of the rules themselves in the Federal Register, none of these rules are currently in place. Once the Office of Management (OMB) approves the changes and that approval is printed in the Federal Register, it will start the clock toward an effective date for implementation of the rules. Comments on these and other Lifeline reforms contained in Order 15-71 were due on August 13, 2015 and reply comments are due September 13.
On August 31, the FCC issued a Notice seeking Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments to these new rules, comments on the PRA portion are due October 31, 2015.
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All MTA members are welcome to join a Peer Group
MTA Peer Group 2015 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 2015.
Download the 2015 Peer Group Investment Opportunities for full details
Sponsor a Peer Group: Sign Up Online!
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Oh Deer, Autumn’s Almost Here
A driver in the United States has a 1 in 169 chance of striking a deer in the coming year, says State Farm, the nation's largest car insurance company. In 11 states, the odds are better than 1 in 100. A Minnesota driver has a 1 in 88 chance of colliding with a deer, making it 8th in the nation. Wisconsin is 7th with a 1 in 85 chance, South Dakota is 5th at 1 in 82 — and Iowa leads the area, coming in 4th nationally with a 1 in 77 chance. With odds like these, we need all the help we can get to prevent a collision with a deer.
Most deer-vehicle collisions occur in the months of October, November, and December. Peak times for collisions are the last week of October and the first two weeks of November. Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
When driving at night, use high-beam headlights when there is no opposing traffic. The high-beams will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway. Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. High-beam headlights will not necessarily frighten a deer, so do not rely on the high-beams to deter deer, but rather rely on them to better illuminate them.
Deer frequently travel in groups and in single file. If you see one deer on or near the road, expect that others may follow.
Don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer. If a collision with a deer is imminent, then hit it while maintaining full control of your vehicle. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
Deer are often unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, honking horns, and fast moving vehicles. Sometimes they stop in the middle of the road when crossing. Sometimes they cross quickly and come back. Sometimes they move toward an approaching vehicle. Assume nothing, slow down.
As the days continue to get shorter, we find ourselves driving in low light conditions more, which will increase our chances of seeing deer on the roadways.
Dan Berg, MS
Senior Safety Consultant
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