MTA News Bytes

August 4, 2017

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> Now Available! MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

Peer Group Bulletin

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

Safety Corner

>> Locator Safety Awareness

People and Companies

>> First Network Group, Inc. Proudly Completes One Million Support Calls


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

September 13-15, 2017: 2017 TMG Peer Group Conference

October 3-5, 2017: 2017 CSR Fall Conference
The Inn on Lake Superior, Duluth

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

Back to top

MTA Updates


Now Available!
MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

October 5-6, 2017 | Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

Attendee registration will open this month, stay tuned!

Maximize your company's exposure to the MTA membership at the 2017 Fall Conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, October 5 and Friday, October 6 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 online.

Lodging Information

Book your room by September 14!

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Dr. N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

$144.00 single/double per night
Reservation cut off is September 14, 2017
Book your reservation online or call 1-877-303-1681 or 763-536-8300.


If you have any questions about the sponsorship information, please contact Meghan Tompkins at

Back to top

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!

Mark Your Calendar

2017 TMG Peer Group Conference

September 13-15, 2017
More details to come!

2017 CSR Fall Conference

Tuesday, October 3-5, 2017
The Inn on Lake Superior | 350 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN 55802

Back to top

Safety Corner

Locator Safety Awareness

811The Fourth Annual Locator Safety Awareness Week (yes, there really is such a thing) was held June 18-24, 2017.  The purpose is to create awareness for our locators and for companies to recognize that certain hazards and precautions need to be addressed in order to protect the workers who play a key role in utility damage prevention. We also need to recognize their efforts as they often spend long hours exposed to many different working environments.

During the hot summer months, utility line locators are usually swamped with calls and work can be a little hectic. Summer is when most of the major construction projects happen and it is important to know where the utilities are buried so no digging damages occur. Locators can be found working on city streets, state highways, residential neighborhoods, business districts, across farmland and even near lakes and rivers. In fact, they are found in just about every urban and rural setting imaginable. 

Utlilty locating

Because locators are working everywhere, they are therefore exposed to many different hazards on a daily basis, many that most of us don’t even think about. They include:

1. Inattentive drivers, as well as the technicians' own distraction with the job, may create a dangerous situation along any road. Additionally, as they drive from site to site they risk getting into a vehicle accident.

2. Uneven surfaces, curbs, roots, snow and ice have all caused a locator to fall to the ground — sometimes with serious consequences.

3. Although walking, lifting, bending, and squatting are natural activities they can cause blisters, shin splints, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and general muscle aches.

4. Bites and stings from bees, wasps, mosquitoes, spiders and ticks can be painful, irritating and sometimes fatal.

5. Working outdoors can also put a tech at risk for skin injuries including cuts and scrapes, as well as exposure to poisonous or noxious plants.

6. Construction sites are full of nails, staples, and other debris that can puncture a shoe or cause painful wounds.

7. Locators are often required to work on private property and thus may enter a dog’s space; this can be dangerous (as some have found out).

8. Working outside in the summer can expose the locator to the threat of heat stroke, heat exhaustion and sunburn. In the winter, frostbite and other weather related injuries can occur.

9. Branches and other eye hazards are often found on the paths locators walk, as well as around access points like pedestals and cabinets. Blowing dust and other debris can also irritate or injure an eye.

10. Underground utility vaults often contain a hazardous atmosphere and should never be entered without proper training or equipment.

Utility Locator

Not only is locating one of the most important tasks within a telco, as it helps prevent damage to our equipment, but with all these hazards it is also one of the most dangerous things our employees can do. By both enforcing and making good safety practices a priority, we can ensure all of our locators can return home to their families.

Thank your locators for being out there in all kinds of weather conditions and spread the word to help keep them safe!

Jeff Ulmen
Senior Safety Consultant

Back to top

People Companies

First Network Group, Inc. Proudly Completes One Million Support Calls

Handling their first support call over 20 years ago, First Network Group, Inc. reaches another major milestone by making their One Millionth support call!

Wapakoneta, OH (July 2017)
First Network Group, Inc. is proud to announce a major milestone in the history of the company — the one millionth call produced by their Technical Support and Customer Care Call Center.

Small businesses are judged by longevity and First Network Group has already proven
their mettle in that area by surpassing 20 years in business in July 2016. However very few companies can claim the benchmark of one million support calls. If you think you’re on the phone a lot, making one million calls adds up to nearly 400 days of non-stop talk time!

The past one million calls have been made been made at First Network Group’s home office, in the small town of Wapakoneta, Ohio. Each of these calls has focused on providing the special type of warmth and neighborly approach that can only be found in a small Midwestern town.

First Network Group has always maintained a customer-first attitude, which explains why they’ve been so successful. “We’ve always said, we could support Internet, TV, telephone or whatever, but at the heart of it all was the desire to help make someone’s life easier and more enjoyable through the use of technology,” states Cory Lykins, Vice President of Tech Services.

Small town values, a customer-friendly and focused approach and dedication to bringing technology in reach of everyone — it's clear to see why First Network Group has enjoyed so much success through the years.

Back to top

Connect with MTA

Is there someone in your organization who you would like to add to the distribution list? Send their name, company and email address to and we'll add them to the list.

News Bytes is intended for MTA members. Redistribution is limited to internal audiences only. If you wish to be removed from the MTA email list, you may unsubscribe here: @@unsubscribe_url@@.

© Copyright 2017
Minnesota Telecom Alliance: Minnesota's Broadband Voice
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252 | St. Paul, MN 55114-8679 | Tel: 651-291-7311 | Fax: 651-290-2266 | Email: