The 2013 MTA Convention has something for everyone in the telecom Industry. The breakout sessions cover a wide range of topics regardless of your role in the telecom industry. The MTA Convention has something for you! You won’t want to miss our Wednesday General Session. This year we are fortunate to have NTCA’s Shirley Bloomfield on stage talking about the national issues of the day with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Be sure to sign up for the Issues Luncheon on Tuesday. This will be your opportunity to learn what is going on at the State level and how it will affect the way you do business.
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 March 1, 2013.
Don’t miss the action. REGISTER NOW!
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Very soon, information about the 2013 MTA Scholarships will be sent to MTA Active member companies. The MTA Foundation will award five scholarships of $2,000 to high school seniors in MTA Member serving areas. Here is a link for more information. MTA Member companies are encouraged to review the material and pass it along to high schools in your service areas. The MTA Foundation will evaluate the applications received and winners will be notified in April.
The MTA is looking for nominees for the 2013 Excellence in Service Awards. The MTA has four individual categories and one company award. The individual categories are: Humanitarian, Public Service, Industry Leadership and Associate Member. The company award is for Economic Development. More information can be found online here. The deadline for nomination submissions is March 1, 2013.
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The MTA Video Peer Group reminds all members that are Video/CATV operators to verify that they have met or intend to meet the obligations set forth by the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act".
Information pertaining to this can be found at:
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has said that new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rules will help strengthen rural phone service in Minnesota. The proposed rules come after Klobuchar fought to crack down on carriers that refuse to connect calls to customers served by small rural carriers, hurting local businesses and consumers. The rules would require carriers to collect and retain data allowing the FCC to determine if providers discriminate against rural customers.
"Call completion problems hurt small businesses trying to be competitive and families trying to stay connected, and these issues have continued for far too long,” Klobuchar said. "The FCC’s proposed rules are an important step in the right direction, and I will continue to work to ensure the rural communities have the reliable phone service they deserve.”
Under the new proposed rules, voice service providers and their intermediaries would be forced to collect and retain call completion data to help better improve service, as well as work to eliminate instances of "false ring-back”, where consumers hear a false ringing sound despite not being connected. Currently, many rural areas suffer from inadequate and unreliable phone service and an increasing number of consumers experience calls that fail to complete, are delayed, have poor voice quality, lack caller ID information, or are never connected because some originating providers refuse to connect calls to customers served by small rural carriers.
A study conducted by the National Exchange Carrier Association in April concluded that call failure rates and instances of poor voice quality were significantly higher in rural areas compared to their non-rural counterparts across all call originating platforms.
Sen. Klobuchar is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, which has oversight of the Federal Communications Commission; she is a leader in the Senate advocating for the deployment of advanced communications networks to rural America. Last year Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of 35 senators urged FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to take swift action to restore quality service in rural areas suffering from call completion problems and work to preserve the basic integrity of the nation’s communications network.
Just when we begin to realize that the daylight hours are getting longer and the sun is feeling warmer, we’re told that some of us, depending on where we live, may get dumped on by a winter storm. The forecast for later this weekend shows anything from rain to freezing rain to a wintery mix to all snow, again depending on where we live.
We know it happens every year in the Midwest: Piles of snow are left where we do not necessarily want them, so out the door we go to clear the sidewalks and driveway. But before grabbing that shovel consider the following:
The good news is that 15 minutes of snow shoveling counts as moderate physical activity, according to the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health (1996). We all should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity of some kind on most days of the week. A 170-pound person shoveling for 30 minutes will burn about 250 calories.
The bad news is that researchers have reported an increase in the number of fatal heart attacks among snow shovelers after heavy snowfalls. This rise may be due to the sudden demand that shoveling places on an individual’s heart. Snow shoveling may cause a quick increase in heart rate and blood pressure. One study determined that after only two minutes of shoveling, the heart rates of sedentary men rose to levels higher than those normally recommended during aerobic exercise. The weather can make shoveling more difficult. Cold air makes working and breathing hard, which adds some extra strain on the body.
Should we rush out and buy a snow blower? Not necessarily. Not everyone who shovels snow will have a heart attack. Snow shoveling can be good exercise when performed correctly and with safety in mind.
Be heart-healthy and back-friendly while shoveling this winter with these tips:
- If you are inactive and have a history of heart trouble, consider hiring it out.
- Avoid caffeine or nicotine before beginning the job. These stimulants may increase your heart rate and cause your blood vessels to constrict, which places extra stress on the heart.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as big an issue in cold winter months as it is in the summer.
- Dress in several layers so you can remove a layer as needed. Synthetic fibers help wick away perspiration better than natural fibers.
- Warm your muscles before shoveling by walking for a few minutes. Stretch the muscles in your arms and legs; warm muscles will work more efficiently and are less likely to be injured.
- Pick the right shovel for you. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body.
- Begin shoveling slowly to avoid placing a sudden demand on your heart. Pace yourself and take breaks as needed.
- Protect your back from injury by lifting correctly. Stand with your feet about hip width for balance and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees (not the back) and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Avoid twisting movements.
- Most importantly, listen to your body. Stop if you feel pain.
While shoveling snow can be good exercise, it can also be dangerous for optimistic shovelers who take on more than they can handle, so please take the above into consideration.
Hope you get the weather you’re wishing for this weekend, but if you don’t, just remember we live in the Midwest and as always, we get what we get.
Dan Berg, M.S.
Lead Safety Consultant
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