February 7, 2014

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> Register Now for the MTA Annual Convention!

>> MTA Day on the Hill Looking for Sponsors

>> FCC Announces Five Petitions for Reconsideration of Rural Call Completion Order

>> Changes in 2014 Day on the Hill; Start Planning Now

>> Chairman Wheeler Reiterates Plan to Eliminate the QRA

>> FCC Makes Changes to Form 477

>> MTA Peer Group 2014 Investment Opportunities Are Now Available!

>> Carbon Monoxide Answers

People and Companies

>> CTC Promotes Roach and Westbrock

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Durant
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Chris Swanson
Janey Duntley

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

February 19-21, 2014: 2014 Telco Marketing Peer Group Winter Meeting

February 26-27, 2014: 2014 Administrative Assistant Peer Group Winter Conference

March 24-26, 2014: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show

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MTA Updates


Register Now for the MTA Annual Convention!

March 24-26, 2014
Hyatt Regency and Millennium Hotel, Minneapolis

The 2014 MTA Convention is fast approaching and it's time to get registered!

The 2014 MTA Convention and Trade Show is the "can’t miss” telecom event of the year. The breakout sessions cover a wide range of topics regardless of your role is in the telecom industry. The MTA Convention has something for you! You spoke and we listened. New this year, we are having breakout sessions on Monday afternoon instead of Wednesday afternoon. Be sure to sign up for the Issues Update Luncheon on Tuesday, where we will hear from nationally known speaker Russell Frisby. Mr. Frisby will talk to us about the new USF, Intercarrier Compensation and the future of telecom. Award winning former Gopher football and Denver Bronco player Karl Mecklenburg will close out the convention at 11am on Wednesday, inspiring long-term positive change.

Again this year, you can register by going to www.mnta.org and completing the online form. Don’t miss getting your early bird registration discount by signing up before February 28, 2014.

Don’t miss the action. REGISTER NOW!


MTA Day on the Hill Looking for Sponsors

With the new changes in Minnesota’s campaign contribution law, the MTA is pulling out all of the stops for a reception for legislators. MTA could use your help. Even if you have never participated in Day on the Hill, but believe telecom advocacy is important, you can help. Gold Sponsorships are $1,000 and Silver Sponsorships are $500. All sponsors will have their company’s logo on signage at the Issues briefing and Legislative reception. Gold sponsors will also receive special recognition at the event. For more information, and to sign up for sponsorship, please contact MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen at bchristensen@mnta.org or 651-288-3723.


FCC Announces Five Petitions for Reconsideration of Rural Call Completion Order

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The FCC issued a Public Notice on February 4, 2014, announcing Petitions for Reconsideration have been filed on the Rural Call Completion Order by Transcom Enhanced Services, COMPTEL, Carolina West Wireless, Sprint, and USTelecom and ITTA. Oppositions to these Petitions are due 15 days after publication in the Federal Register; Replies due 10 days after the date for filing oppositions.

Changes in 2014 Day on the Hill; Start Planning Now

Because of the late start to the 2014 Legislative session, MTA’s Day on the Hill (DOTH) has been moved from February to March 11-12. Registration is now open and can be made by clicking here. In addition to the new dates, the venue has changed. Last year the law changed, which will now allow the MTA to hold a reception and invite legislators. To better accommodate an event of this size, the Day on the Hill issues briefing and reception will be held at the Crowne Plaza St. Paul-Riverfront. Unfortunately, this hotel is in the middle of renovating its sleeping rooms and cannot accommodate our sleeping room requirements. The MTA has secured a block of rooms at the nearby St. Paul Hotel. The hotels are only a short three blocks apart and are connected by the St. Paul skyway system.

MTA’s Day on the Hill is open to ALL Active and Associate Member companies. This year our advocacy is focused on eliminating the sales tax on capital equipment and the MTA’s State/Federal Alignment bill. Whether you attend DOTH every year or considering it for the first time, we need YOU!

A "Save the Date” has been delivered to all legislators. We are asking MTA members to personally invite their Senators and Representatives. Your personal outreach will help make this event truly successful. Visit assignments will be going out soon. If you have any questions, please contact MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen at bchristensen@mnta.org or 651-288-3723.

Chairman Wheeler Reiterates Plan to Eliminate the QRA

Chairman Wheeler responded to letters from Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa),(response), Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (D-Minn.),(response), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) et al., (response) on January 24, 2014, which expressed concern with the effects of the FCC’s Quantile Regression Analysis-based USF support caps on rural carriers. Chairman Wheeler indicated he has directed the Wireline Competition Bureau to prepare an Order for the Commission's consideration that would eliminate the QRA, as he had stated during the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on FCC Oversight.

FCC Makes Changes to Form 477

The MTA’s Regulatory Tariffs and Services Committee wants MTA member companies to be aware of changes to the FCC’s Form 477 for 2014. More information about the changes can be found HERE.

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

MTA Peer Group 2014 Investment Opportunities Are Now Available!

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 2014.

Sponsor a Peer Group:Download the PDF or Sign Up Online!

Would you like to be added to a Peer Group listserv?
Email Jacquie at jacquied@mnta.org to be added – please specify which listserv(s) you would like to join:

Administrative Assistant (AA)
Customer Service (CSR)
Office Managers (OM)
Human Resource (HR)
Plant Superintendents (PM)
Telco Marketing (TMG)

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Safety Corner

Carbon Monoxide Answers

The CDC has the answers to Carbon Monoxide Questions and with the recent news of a number of incidences of CO poisoning including the Springfield Public School , we are going to look at a few of these questions.

What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death.

Where is CO found?
CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by vehicles, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms. Symptoms can also go away when a person leaves the source to go to work or school, only to return when exposed to the source again.

How does CO poisoning work?
Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death. CO can also combine with proteins in tissues, destroying the tissues and causing injury and death.

Who is at risk from CO poisoning?
All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning. Certain groups — unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems — are more susceptible to its effects. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. Fatality is highest among Americans 65 and older.

How can I prevent CO poisoning from my home appliances?

  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) indoors. Although these heaters don't have a flame, they burn gas and can cause CO to build up inside your home, cabin, or camper.
  • When purchasing gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency and have it installed by a qualified serviceman.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Minnesota Law requires that all single family and multi-family dwellings install an approved carbon monoxide alarm within ten feet of each bedroom.
  • If the alarm sounds and anyone is feeling symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, your home may have a potentially dangerous level. Leave the house immediately. Call 911 from you cell phone outside or from a neighbor's home. If the alarm sounds and no one is feeling any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the home by opening windows and doors and turning on fans. Turn off any combustion appliances immediately. Then call an appliance repair technician to find the cause of the alarm.
  • Also pay particular attention to ice fishing house heaters and use a carbon monoxide/smoke detector.

Take Care,

Dan Berg, M.S.
MTA Lead Safety Consultant

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People Companies

CTC Promotes Roach and Westbrock

Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) recently announced the promotions of Mark Roach and Kristi Westbrock.

Mark Roach has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Roach is a certified public accountant and has been with CTC since March 2005. He has 33 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. In Mark’s CFO position, he will oversee the financial operation along with serving as the organizational expert in financial management.

Kristi Westbrock has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). Kristi has been with CTC since 2007 as the Director of Operations, Sales and Marketing, and Human Resources. She has 16 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. In the COO position, Kristi will oversee designated operating areas while evaluating new technologies and service offerings.

Roach and Westbrock will both work under the direction of Kevin T. Larson, Chief Executive Officer/General Manager.

CTC is a full service telecommunications company based in Brainerd, MN. Formed in 1952, CTC has grown into a complete communications provider, offering telephone, high speed Internet, long distance, and digital video services to businesses and individuals throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area, Crosby, Nisswa and Little Falls. In addition, the company also offers business IP phone solutions and business computer networking.

Do you have an announcement for People & Companies? Send an e-mail to MTA at info@mnta.org or fax to 651-290-2266.

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Minnesota Telecom Alliance
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