June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> Register Now for the 2014 Golf Day

>> FCC Chairman Wheeler Responds to Senator Klobuchar's Support Letter

>> Is Your FCC Form 498 Up to Date?

>> Matrix to Pay $875K, Implement Compliance Plan to Resolve Call Completion Investigation

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

>> Vacation Planning Starts At Home

People and Companies

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:
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

July 14, 2014: MTA Golf Day

August 11, 2014: Pinnacle Golf Day

October 9-10, 2014: MTA Fall Conference

March 23-25, 2015: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show

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MTA Updates


Register Now for the 2014 Golf Day

Remember to register today for MTA’s Annual Golf Day! This year’s event will again be held at the Crow River Golf Course in Hutchinson, MN, on July 14.

The registration fee is $145 per player or $40 for the reception only. Don’t forget to bring extra cash for the chance board fundraiser!

Sign up your team or register as an individual online here.

Interested in a hole sponsorship? Sign up here.

Thank you to the following sponsors:

Scoreboard Sponsor:
TE Connectivity

Golf Cart Sponsors:
Eagle Marketing
Power Products Services

Driving Range and Putting Green Sponsor:

Brat Sponsors:
7Sigma Systems, Inc
Ewald Consulting
MP Nexlevel, LLC

Beer Sponsors:
Metcalf Fredrickson Group/UBS Financial Services
Olsen Thielen & Co., Ltd.

Beverage Sponsors:
Innovative Systems
SourceOne Solutions

Breakfast Sponsor:
Bernstein Global Wealth Management

Hole-in-One Sponsor:
Finley Engineering Company, Inc

Snack Sponsor:
SourceOne Solutions

Hole Sponsors:
7Sigma Systems, Inc.
Action Battery Wholesalers, Inc.
Badger Communications
Bernstein Global Wealth Management
Clearfield, Inc.
Compass Consultants, Inc.
Cooperative Network Services, LLC
Dakota Supply Group
Eagle Marketing
Ewald Consulting
Farmers Union Insurance
Great River Energy
Innovative Systems
Interstate Telecom Consulting, Inc.
Metcalf Fredrickson Group/UBS Financial Services
MP Nexlevel, LLC
Olsen Thielen & Co. Ltd
Power & Tel
Power Products Services
Ramstad Technologies, LLC
SourceOne Solutions
TE Connectivity
Tel Rep Midwest
Vantage Point Solutions


FCC Chairman Wheeler Responds to Senator Klobuchar's Support Letter

As reported in the last issue of NewsBytes, Senator Amy Klobuchar sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging support for the expressions of interest submitted by providers in Minnesota. In his response, Chairman Wheeler said: “The proposals reflect the understanding that high bandwidth services are becoming increasingly important to the future of economic development, education, health care, government services, entertainment, information, communication and creativity.” MTA President/CEO commented, “This is yet another example of Senator Klobuchar’s support of the providers who actually get broadband to the hardest to serve areas. We deeply appreciate her support and ensuring Minnesota is heard during this process.” The full text of the letter can be viewed by clicking here.

Is Your FCC Form 498 Up to Date?

The July 1 deadline is fast approaching to file your FCC Form 481. Before you can file this form, the contact information on your FCC Form 498 (Service Provider Identification Number and General Contact Information Form) and your FCC Form 481 entitlements set in E-File must be up to date. Please make necessary updates to your contact information on FCC Form 498 as soon as possible; processing this form can take up to 10 days.

Checklist for FCC Form 498 Company Officers/General Contacts

If you are your company's FCC Form 498 Company Officer or General Contact, log in to E-File and check the following (for each of your SPINs, if you have multiple SPINs):

  • Are all of your Study Area Codes (SACs) listed on your FCC Form 498?
  • Is the contact information for your General Contact up to date? Your Company Officer? (Remember, only they can establish 481 authorized users.)
  • Click "FCC Form 481." Are your user entitlements up to date? Have you established your authorized users - 481 User, 481 Agent, 481 Officer? Is their contact information up to date?
  • Make any updates needed. They will be saved automatically in E-File.

Checklist for 481 Users, 481 Agents, and 481 Officers

  • Can you log in to E-File?
  • Once you're logged in, click "FCC Form 481." Can you view your 481 entitlement? Is it correct?

If you cannot access your company's FCC Form 481 in E-File, you must contact your company's FCC Form 498 Company Officer or General Contact to grant you access. For additional help, contact Customer Support. About FCC Form 481 Carriers receiving High Cost Program support, Lifeline Program support, or both, must submit FCC Form 481, the Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form, by July 1. More Information For questions about FCC Form 481, contact HCLI Questions. For more information about filing FCC Form 481, watch the FCC Form 481 Webinar recording available in the Online Learning Library. For help filing the FCC Form 481 online, check out the FCC Form 481 Online User Guide, available on the High Cost Program Forms page. For help with E-File, call USAC Customer Support at (888) 641-8722 then select Option 3, "498 Support," then Option 1, "logging into E-File," or email USAC.

Matrix to Pay $875K, Implement Compliance Plan to Resolve Call Completion Investigation

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The Enforcement Bureau issued an Order and Consent Decree on June 4, 2014, resolving allegations that Matrix Telecom failed to complete long-distance calls to rural areas on a just, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis. The Consent Decree includes a settlement requiring Matrix to pay $875,000 to the U.S. Treasury and to implement a three-year compliance plan. The Bureau noted after Matrix received notice of the investigation, Matrix significantly reduced the number of intermediate providers it used to deliver long-distance calls to rural areas and made investments to upgrade its network and related operations to improve rural call completion performance. As a result, Matrix’s call completion performance to rural areas substantially improved. Read the news release.

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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

Vacation Planning Starts At Home

Having recently celebrated Memorial Day summer has officially started!  Summer also means we are now fully engaged in the summer vacation season when many families will be hitting the road for a well-deserved relaxation and WARM weather fun.  However, even with fun activities there are risks to be considered, especially when taking a long road trip.  Therefore the process of planning a vacation can sometimes seem similar to planning a task at work.  And just like planning that work task, you need to sit down in advance and develop a checklist to help your vacation go smoothly and safely.

First, organize your plans and complete an assessment. Most vehicle accidents happen because people are in a hurry to get to their destination and don’t take breaks when traveling.  Your plans should include departure times, where you’ll stay and how far you plan to travel daily. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips to make your drive safe and enjoyable.

Vehicle safety checklist. Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations go a long way toward preventing breakdowns before they happen. If your vehicle has been serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it should be in good shape and nearly ready to travel. If not, or you don’t know the service history of the vehicle you plan to drive, schedule a maintenance checkup with your mechanic before you go.

What to take.  Be sure to pack some items to make your trip more pleasant, such as favorite CDs or snacks to tide you over until the next rest stop. Age-appropriate reading material, coloring books and portable DVD players can keep passengers occupied as you tick off the miles to your destination.

Child safety seats.  If you’re traveling with children, you’ll need to make room in the backseat for appropriate child safety and/or booster seats. NHTSA guidelines for proper child safety and booster seat use can be found at www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats.htm.  Additionally, never leave children unattended in parked vehicles, especially during warmer weather. Temperatures inside a vehicle can soar even on relatively cool summer days with the windows partially open, rapidly causing occupants to suffer from heat illness or die from heat stroke.

Emergency roadside kit.  Even a well-maintained vehicle can break down, so it’s advisable to put together an emergency roadside kit to carry with you. A cellphone tops the list of suggested emergency kit contents since it allows you to call for help when and where you need it. Other suggested emergency roadside items include:

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares and white flag
  • Jumper cables
  • Jack and ground mat for tire changing
  • Work gloves and change of clothes
  • Basic repair tools and duct tape
  • Jug of water and paper towels
  • Nonperishable food, drinking water and medicines
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Maps and/or a GPS device

Summer is a great time of the year, especially after a long, brutal winter.  It only takes a few seconds to buckle your seat belt or put on a helmet and by taking a few simple precautions you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation and tell about your memories.

Have a great summer!

Jeff Ulmen
MTA Safety Consultant

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People Companies

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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