MTA News Bytes

May 26, 2017

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> Register Now for MTA’s Annual Golf Day!

>> Hands-On Authorized Tower Climber Certification Course

Informational items

>> FCC Adopts Order/NPRM Freezing Local Service Rate Floor

>>FCC Announces Membership of Two BDAC Working Groups

>>EAS Participant Survey

Peer Group Bulletin

>> Don't Miss These 2017 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities!

Safety Corner

>> Keeping Safe this Summer at Work and Home

People and Companies

>> Industry Veteran Sam Harlan Announces Retirement

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

July 10, 2017: MTA Golf Day
Crow River Golf Club, Hutchinson

July 12, 2017: Hands-On Authorized Tower Climber Certification Course
Runestone Telephone Association, Hoffman

October 5-6, 2017: MTA Fall Conference
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest

March 26-28, 2018: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

March 18-20, 2019: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

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MTA Updates


TA 2017 Golf Day

Register Now for MTA’s Annual Golf Day!

Monday, July 10, 2017
Crow River Golf Course | Hutchinson, MN

Sign up today for MTA’s Annual Golf Day! This year’s event will again be held at the Crow River Golf Course in Hutchinson, Minnesota, on July 10.

Registration is $150 per player or $45 for the reception only. Don’t forget to bring extra cash for the chance board fundraiser!

>> Sign up your team or register as an individual online.

Interested in sponsoring Golf Day?

Now accepting golf sponsors! Visit the MTA Golf Day Sponsor Page for complete details and registration.

Current Golf Sponsors

Scoreboard Sponsor
Power & Tel

Cart Sponsors
Eagle Marketing
Pinnacle Marketing Group
Power Product Services

Brat Sponsors
Cable Connection & Supply
Ewald Consulting
MP Nexlevel, LLC

Beer Sponsors
Comlink Midwest, LLC
Olsen Thielen CPAs
TelCom Construction, Inc.

Beverage Sponsor
Innovative Systems
National Information Solutions Cooperative

Breakfast Sponsor
Bernstein Global Wealth Management

Field Sponsors
MP Nexlevel, LLC
Tel Rep Marketing

Hole-In-One Sponsor
Finley Engineering Company

Putting Green Sponsor
TelCom Construction, Inc.

Hole Sponsors
Bernstein Global Wealth Management
Cable Connection & Supply
Comlink Midwest, LLC
Dakota Supply Group
Eagle Marketing
Ewald Consulting
Greenlee Communications
Innovative Systems
Interstate Telcom Consulting, Inc.
MP Nexlevel, LLC
Olsen Thielen CPAs
Pinnacle Marketing Group
Power & Tel
Power Product Services
Ramstad Technologies, LLC
TelCom Construction, Inc.
Tel Rep Marketing

Hands-On Authorized Tower Climber Certification Course

Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Runestone Telephone Association | 100 Runestone Dr | Hoffman, Minnesota  56339

This Hands-On Authorized Tower Climber Certification course is designed to prepare individuals with little or no experience to be able to safely climb and work on various types and size towers. This course combines the cognitive and the psychomotor domains of training, which assures that the student will develop the knowledge base necessary to safely climb and work on towers, as well as the practical skill sets necessary to be able to safely perform his or her duties.

This course will address a variety of subject areas including regulatory safety standards, equipment commonly used, engineering controls, work practice controls, and return demonstrations.

Upon completion of this course, the authorized climber should be able to demonstrate proper knowledge, understanding, and application of the equipment used, as well as safe practices to be employed at all times he or she is working on the tower.

Note: This course does not include Tower Rescue.

Cost: $600

This class is limited to 12 participants. Get the full details and register now!

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FCC Adopts Order/NPRM Freezing Local Service Rate Floor

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The FCC issued a News Release announcing at its May 18, 2017 Open Meeting, it adopted an NPRM and Order that freezes the current local service rate floor at $18 until the FCC reviews its rate floor policy, or no more than two years. It also proposes to eliminate the local service rate floor rule. The NPRM/Order is not yet released.

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FCC Announces Membership of Two BDAC Working Groups

The FCC issued a Public Notice on May 16, 2017, announcing Chairman Pai has appointed members to serve on two Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) working groups: Competitive Access to Broadband Infrastructure, and Removing State and Local Regulatory Barriers.

The FCC said the selection of members for the Streamlining Federal Siting working group is in progress, and final selections will be announced at a later date.

Minnesota and the independent telco industry are well represented on these two committees. The Removing State and Local Regulatory Barriers Working Group is being chaired by TDS’s Bob DeBroux. Danna MacKenzie, Executive Director of the MN Office of Broadband Development, and Bill Esbeck, Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, have also been appointed to this Working Group. Christine O’Connor, Executive Director of the Alaska Telephone Association, has been appointed to the competitive Access to Broadband Infrastructure Working Group. “I am glad to see so many of the appointees have rural telecom experience,” commented MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen. “Hopefully they will continue this direction as they appoint the other Working Groups.”

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EAS Participant Survey

The MN EAS/IPAWS Policy Workgroup has prepared a brief survey to be distributed to all EAS participants including broadcasters and system operators within the state as directed by the FCC.

The purpose of the survey is to determine readiness and obstacles participants may face in supporting second language alerts.

MTA members are encouraged to complete the survey by June 1. The Workgroup will compile survey results and forward to the FCC.

>> Click to take the Online Survey

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

Don't Miss These 2017 MTA Peer Group 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 2017.

Download the 2017 Peer Group Investment Opportunities for full details

Sponsor a Peer Group: Sign Up Online!

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Safety Corner

Keeping Safe This Summer at Work and Home

summer time It’s that time of year when we look forward to those warmer days of summer time. Here are some safety tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.
weather heat

Dress for (Summer) Success

During the particularly warm months of summer, respond to climate change by dressing to the occasion. Keep your cool by opting for lighter-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

Keep in mind that some environments may be much cooler inside than out due to air conditioning. Play it safe by choosing to layer. When it’s hot — not just uncomfortable — the heat can make you sick. Take special care with children and the elderly. Symptoms of heat-related illness may include cramps, nausea, and pale moist skin. Go to a cooler place, drink fluids, and put cool cloths on the skin. If you do not get better or if you have more serious symptoms such as high fever, fast heart rate, warm and dry skin, confusion, change in behavior, or convulsions, call 911.

Drink up More than the Sun

Are you struggling to quench your thirst? You’re not alone! Summer is also known as the season of dehydration. Make a valiant effort to consume cool, fresh water regularly throughout the day. Not all drinks are created equal; caffeinated and sugary drinks can speed up the dehydration process, so focus on drinking water and sports drinks to help stay hydrated.

Watch that Sun

We all love those warm summer days, but protect yourself and your loved ones from sunburn. Limit sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun is strongest. Seek out shade whenever possible. Remember the shadow rule: When in the sun, if your shadow is short, it’s time to abort and seek shade. Be sure to apply sunscreen with SPF 15+ at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and then reapply every couple of hours. Insect repellants reduce sunscreen’s SPR by up to 1/3 — so when used in combination use a sunscreen with higher SPF. Don’t forget sunglasses to help protect your eyes; look for sunglasses that provide 97%+ protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Are You Sure You Want to Eat that?

Everyone loves a good summer picnic, but no one wants food poisoning. FDA recommendations are to keep cold food at a temperature less than 40 F. Be sure to refrigerate all uneaten food after one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90° F or after two hours at any other time.

summer picnics

When at a picnic, carry food in a cooler with a cold pack. A full cooler stays cold longer than a half-empty one. Signs of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment involves fluids, rest, and a bland diet. Be sure to contact your medical provider for specific guidance.

Fun in the Water

Summer is the time for all things in the water. Taking a few minutes to play safe will keep your summer fun. Children and anyone who cannot swim should wear a lifejacket at all times when participating in any water-related activity. Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail, such as limits based on each person’s ability. "Buddy up!" That's what swimming instructors say. Always swim with a partner, every time — whether you're swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake. Never swim alone. Even if you’re an excellent swimmer, you can’t plan for every emergency; you may be stung, get a cramp, or somehow lose your senses or ability to swim.

YUCK it’s a Bug

We all love that wonderful summer walk out in the woods or prairie. Be aware: summer is also the time for increased bug populations — and those bugs can carry disease. Mosquitoes (the state bird, as some people call them) can carry West Nile virus, while ticks can transmit Lyme disease. When enjoying the outdoors, here are a few tips to decrease the impact of bugs.

  1. Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays.
  2. Wear long pants and long sleeves outside from dusk to dawn, weather permitting.
  3. The most effective bug repellents contain DEET. Products with a DEET concentration of less than 30 percent are safe for kids, but not for babies less than 2 months old.
  4. At home, get rid of standing water — it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  5. How to Treat:
    1. Topical antihistamine preparations can help relieve the itch of mosquito bites.
    2. Wash with soap and water, and apply ice if there is swelling.
    3. If you find an embedded tick:
      1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible;
      2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure;
      3. Once removed, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
    4. If you’re allergic, or notice growing swelling, pain, or redness, seek medical attention immediately.

Summertime is always the best of what can be — make it the best by being safe.

Chris Swanson
Safety Consultant

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People Companies

Industry Veteran Sam Harlan Announces Retirement

HOUSTON, TX — May 23, 2017 — CHR Solutions announced that Sam Harlan, Vice President, Engineering, has elected to retire from the company after 20 years of outstanding service effective May 8, 2017.

"Over the course of his career, Sam has made many significant contributions to our company and the industry. He has distinguished himself as hard worker, a proven leader and an all-around genuinely nice guy," said Arun Pasrija, CHR’s chief executive officer. "His engineering experience combined with his strong background in Telecommunications has made him an invaluable member of our company, and one of our most trusted advisors to our clients."

Sam is a native of Muleshoe, TX. He began his career in 1971 with Halliburton after graduating from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering and was registered by the State of Texas as a Professional Engineer. Sam then returned to Muleshoe where he ran the family farm and established Muleshoe Pea and Bean Company. Sam began working for Hicks and Ragland Engineering in 1997, which was acquired by CHR Solutions in 1998. He has been recognized for his career achievements and many contributions inside and outside CHR Solutions.

During his career at CHR, Sam held positions of increasing responsibility within the Engineering team, including Design Engineer, project management, planning and design, video services, engineering management and sales. As a key leader in the company, Sam was central in the design and implementation of CHR's engineering portfolio that elevated the company's approach to design, build and installing fiber networks across North America. He also advanced CHR’s approach to industry relations; evolved its stance on issues related to the FCC, such as Broadband plans; expanded CHR’s investment in building fiber networks; and represented the company on a range of regulatory issues, including CHR’s substantial support of Broadband for everyone.

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