January 24, 2014

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> How Do You Describe Your Company?

>> Online Convention Registration Now Available!

>> MTA Event Planning Committee Looking for an Associate Member

>> OMB Approves Information Collection Requirements for Lifeline Forms

>> Associations File Comments on Call Completion FNPRM

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

>> FCC Makes Changes to Form 477

>> FCC Grants AT&T, TWC, Windstream Extension to File Urban Rate Surveys

>> MTA Website Your Source for Regulatory Filing Information

>> MTA Peer Group 2014 Investment Opportunities Are Now Available

>> Telco Marketing Group Winter Meeting

>> Be Alert to Slips, Trips and Falls

People and Companies

>> HM Cragg on the Move

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Durant
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Chris Swanson
Janey Duntley
Administrative Assistant:
Marsha Truskolaski

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


How Do You Describe Your Company?

Recently Dave Bickett from Park Region/Otter Tail Telcom testified before the FCC. As part of his testimony he presented a one-page fact sheet about his company. It was suggested that all MTA members may want to have similar fact sheets on their companies. CLICK HERE to see Park Region’s example. Fact sheets like this are extremely valuable when talking to legislators, regulators, and the general public. The MTA would be very interested in collecting your company’s fact sheet if you would like to share. Please send them to Marsha Truskolaski at mtruskolaski@mnta.org.

Online Convention Registration Now Available!

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 Event Planning Committee Looking for an Associate Member

The MTA’s Event Planning Committee has an opening for an Associate Member. The Committee is composed of Active Members and Associate Members. The Committee is responsible for planning the Annual Convention/Trade Show and the Fall Conference.

Any employee of an MTA Associate Member Company is eligible to participate on the Committee. Committee members are expected to:

  1. Assist in planning the Annual Convention/Trade Show.
  2. Participate in Committee meetings, the majority of which need to be conducted in person.
  3. Attend both the Annual Convention/Trade Show and the Fall Conference.
  4. Assist, where needed, with both events.

For questions, or to submit your name for consideration, please contact MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen at bchristensen@mnta.org or 651-288-3723. Submissions are due no later than February 1, 2014, not March 1 as previously announced.


OMB Approves Information Collection Requirements for Lifeline Forms

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The FCC issued a Notice in the Federal Register on January 16, 2014, announcing it received approval from the Office of Management and Budget for information collection requirements for FCC Forms 481, 497, 550, 555 and 560, which are used in the Lifeline program, until December 13, 2016.

Associations File Comments on Call Completion FNPRM

from NECA’s Washington Watch

NECA, NTCA, ERTA and WTA filed joint comments on the Rural Call Completion FNPRM on January 16, 2014, saying the Commission should first implement its Rural Call Completion Order as quickly as possible and avoid taking any actions that might jeopardize successful implementation of current data collection and reporting requirements. NECA and the Rural associations: oppose requiring covered providers to separately identify autodialer traffic; support imposition of reasonable registration and certification requirements on intermediate providers; oppose reducing any of the data retention and reporting requirements imposed by the Order and oppose modifying the existing safe harbor or adding new safe harbor provisions; and oppose requiring rural ILECs to report incoming call answer rate data. The associations also said rather than codifying existing prohibitions against call blocking, choking and other unreasonable call completion practices, the Commission should focus its full attention on targeted enforcement actions against providers who unreasonably interfere with the ability of rural consumers to make and receive calls.

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.

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.

FCC Grants AT&T, TWC, Windstream Extension to File Urban Rate Surveys

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order on January 17, 2014, granting the separate requests of Time Warner Cable and AT&T for an extension of 7 days, until January 24, 2014, to complete and submit urban rate surveys. The Bureau also granted a similar request filed by Windstream. The Bureau said given the importance of obtaining accurate data, it finds a brief extension is warranted.

MTA Website Your Source for Regulatory Filing Information

The MTA’s Regulatory, Tariffs, and Services Committee has established and maintains a listing of most, if not all, regulatory filings required for Minnesota LEC’s. More information can be found at: http://www.mnta.org/?page=Regulatory_Reports.

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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!

Telco Marketing Group Winter Meeting

Full registration details are now available for the TMG Peer Group Winter Meeting (Feb. 19-21). Click here for details.

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

Be Alert to Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace continue to be a major cause of workplace injuries. With the winter weather we are having, creating more possibilities for slips and falls, we need to keep in mind what we can do to help prevent injuries.

Slips happen because of a lack of friction or traction between the footwear we are wearing and the walking surface. Some common causes of slips are:

  • Hazards created by weather, ice, ice and more ice
  • Loose rugs or mats
  • Trips

Trips occur when your foot strikes or hits an object that causes you to lose your balance. Common causes of tripping are:

  • Clutter on the floor (cords, boxes)
  • Poor lighting
  • Uneven walking surfaces (rugs, runners, steps)

Falls can occur from a height or on surfaces that are on the same level. A fall can be the result of a slip or a trip where your center of gravity is shifted, causing you to lose your balance. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid slips and trips.

Following are some basic tips for helping to prevent slips, trips, and falls at work:

  • Good housekeeping. Remove slip, trip, and fall hazards from the work area, especially in high-trafficked areas. Predictable surfaces with good traction help prevent slips, trips and falls.
  • Control Behavior. Though staff may need to work at a quick pace, making sure that workers do not run can prevent injuries.
  • Make sure to wear proper footwear with good traction.
  • Cleaning procedures for floors are essential to good slip resistance. Make sure that all walking surfaces are kept free of spills, water, oil, and any other substances.
  • Reduce wet and slippery surfaces. Report any spills and provide adequate signage regarding hazards such as spills, uneven surfaces, debris, icy sidewalks, smooth concrete, and other hazards.
  • Make sure that staff members have the resources to clean up spills.
  • Make sure all areas have adequate lighting to illuminate any potential hazards.
  • Be aware of the floor types in your company to help determine the degree of hazards.

There is one more thing that we can all do, and it is just as important (if not more) than all of the above, "pay attention to what we are doing.” This is among the most common causes of injuries, and is the easiest to correct. The best of walking surfaces and ideal weather conditions won’t be of any help if you are not watching where you are going.

Take Care,

Dan Berg, M.S.
MTA Lead Safety Consultant

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People Companies

HM Cragg on the Move

In order to better serve our customers, we have expanded our warehouse space from 11,000sq-ft to 26,500sq-ft.

Our new address is:
HM Cragg
7490 Bush Lake Road
Edina, MN 55439

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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www.mnta.org | Tel: 651-291-7311 | Fax: 651-290-2266 | Email: info@mnta.org