December 28, 2012


December 28, 2012

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> 2013 MTA Convention Sponsor & Exhibiting Opportunities

>> MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities

>> Lifeline Notifications to Customers

>> Other Things to Consider When Increasing Local Rates to Meet FCC Benchmarks

>> ITA Offers Webinar Opportunities to MTA Members

>>Simple Tips for Preventing Winter Driving Accidents

People and Companies

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Jaskowiak
Meeting Planner:
Julie Cygan
Member Services:
Chris Swanson
Janey Duntley
Administrative Assistant:
Lindsey Clancy

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!




February 19-20, 2013: MTA Day on the HillRegistration Now Open

March 25-27, 2013: 2013 MTA Annual Convention & Trade ShowRegistration Opening Mid-January

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2013 MTA Convention Sponsor & Exhibiting Opportunities

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet and network with more than 1,500 professionals from throughout the Upper Midwest.

The MTA Annual Convention continues to be the largest state telecommunications association Convention in the nation. The Convention is a great way to get your message out to the telecom industry in Minnesota and neighboring states.

The Minnesota Telecom Alliance is a trade association that advocates and represents the interests of more than 80 small, medium and large telecommunications providers 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), making the organization even stronger and our Convention an even more significant event. It is a "do-not-miss" opportunity to showcase your company, products and services.

Please note that all vendors will need to login to the MTA website to register for exhibits/sponsorship. If you are in the MTA database as a member or non-member company and this is your first time to login with the MTA website, your user name will be your email address and your initial password will be MTA (all caps). If you are not a member, you may login as a guest. Click here to watch a short webinar about how to log in.

If you have any questions about the exhibitor or sponsorship information, please contact Carissa Broderick  ( at the MTA Office (651) 265-7849.

>> Download the Prospectus

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 2013.

Lifeline Notifications to Customers

All ETCs are required to provide annual notice to customers about the Lifeline program. The MTA recommends that members insert the following verbage in their January bills:

You may qualify for discounted telephone service if your income level falls below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if you are currently receiving benefits under one or more of the following programs: Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. For more information about the FCC Lifeline Program, call [INSERT COMPANY NAME] at [INSERT COMPANY PHONE NUMBER].

Please contact MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen if you have any questions at or 651-288-3723.

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Other Things to Consider When Increasing Local Rates to Meet FCC Benchmarks

Does your company provide telephone service on Federally recognized Tribal land? Does your company provide a Federal Tribal Lifeline Credit to any of those customers? If you answered yes to these questions, then you will probably need to evaluate to see if any changes to the credit will be required as your transition your local service benchmark rate for 2013 to $14.00. Tribal lifeline credit language is such that eligible tribal customers are to receive a monthly credit not more than $34.25 or a credit leaving them with a $1.00 monthly charge for basic phone service.

The Federal Tribal Lifeline Credit would equal
- or -
Local line Charge + SLC - State Tap
Whichever is less

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ITA Offers Webinar Opportunities to MTA Members

As part of a continuing effort to collaborate and provide shared opportunities for members of both associations, the Iowa Telecommunications Association is providing MTA members access to ITA informational webinars at ITA member rates. MTA members may sign up for the Cyberpass until 1/21/13 and receive the ITA member rate by using the promo code MTA13Web. After that date, MTA members may register for individual webcasts at the ITA member rate using the same promo code of MTA13Web. Click here to learn more about the ITA Cyberpass.

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Simple Tips for Preventing Winter Driving Accidents

Every winter, car accidents occur in part because of the challenging driving conditions that the winter presents. The sad thing is that most, if not all, of these winter driving accidents could be avoided if drivers would abide by a few simple winter driving best practices. A change in the conditions of the roads, whether from ice, snow, or rain, warrants a change in how drivers operate their vehicles on those roads. Here are some of the simple things drivers can do to avoid getting into a needless winter driving accident.

Winter driving accidents and black ice
Black ice is the scourge of the Midwest winter driver. Black ice is dangerous for two reasons; the first is that it causes most any vehicle, even with snow tires, to lose its grip on the road. The second, and far more impactful reason why black ice is so dangerous and causes so many winter driving accidents and injuries is that black ice is almost impossible for a driver to see, especially against the black background of the road. While it may seem impossible to defend yourself against this challenging driving condition, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll be involved in an accident as a result of black ice, snow, or sleet covered roads.

Tips for avoiding winter-weather caused car accidents
First and foremost…

Slow Down!!
No matter whether your vehicle is 4-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or has snow tires, if the roads are icy, it will take longer for you to stop. You may think you can control your vehicle, but remember, there are other vehicles on the road and if they have a problem you could be brought into their accident very quickly. And the faster you’re going, the more time you’ll need to come to a stop. Leaving early for your destination will give you plenty of time and eliminate the need to drive too fast.

Keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
This point ties in directly with the one above; in snowy and icy conditions, your car requires more time to slow and come to a stop. Leaving plenty of space in between you and the car ahead will ensure that you have plenty of time to react to changes in traffic. Slowing down will also eliminate the need for you to slam on the brakes, causing you to lose control of your vehicle.

Maintain your vehicle
Be sure that your tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Keep your windows clear of ice and snow and have good quality window washer fluid and wiper blades. Drive with your lights on low beam during snowy conditions and you will see a huge difference in your ability to see what lies ahead. Also be sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle at all times, just in case.

Take care,
Dan Berg, M.S.
Lead Safet
y Consultant

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Minnesota Telecom Alliance
1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252 | St. Paul, MN 55114-8679 | Tel: 651-291-7311 | Fax: 651-290-2266 | Email: