June 27, 2014

June 27, 2014

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> MN Office of Broadband Development Update on Funding

>> Register Now for the 2014 Golf Day

>> MTA Testifies on Call Completion at MN PUC Meeting

>> Chairman Wheeler Responds to Senator Klobuchar Letter

>> FCC Announces OMB Approval of Form 477 Information Collection

>> New Laws Effective July 1

>> Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Internet TV Dispute

>> New Grant Program Rolling Out

>> FCC Will Consider E-rate, Rural Broadband Experiments at July Open Meeting

>> USAC Issues Process for NLAD Duplicate Resolution

>> MTA Peer Group 2014 Investment Opportunities Are Now Available

>> West Nile Virus

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


MN Office of Broadband Development Update on Funding

July 10 from 9-10am

During the 2014 legislative un-session, legislators dedicated $20 million in grants to promote better broadband in unserved and underserved areas in Minnesota. The funding is open to nonprofits, communities and businesses. It requires a 1-to-1 match. In a recent tour of rural areas, one of the fund's greatest promoters, Sen. Matt Schmit, indicated that legislators are looking for projects that get people connected, are wise investments and are innovative enough to make the case for future funds.

Danna MacKenzie, Director of the Office of Broadband Development, is leading the effort to distribute and manage the funds through the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). During the webinar, she will update participants on what is happening with the funds and what communities might do to prepare to apply for grants.


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.
Leonard, Street & Deinard
Metcalf Fredrickson Group/UBS Financial
Mid-State Consultants, Inc.
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


MTA Testifies on Call Completion at MN PUC Meeting

Yesterday, MTA President/CEO Brent Christensen testified before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Call completion, docket no. 12-1329. Testimony was led off by Greg and Roger Brazier from Mattracks in Karlstad, Minnesota. They talked about the problems they have had for the past several years with not receiving calls. Next, industry representatives of the MN Cable Communications Association, Frontier, CenturyLink, Verizon, Integra, MN Department of Commerce, and Sprint testified. All acknowledged that Call Completion is an issue for rural Minnesota. The MTA spoke from the perspective of the terminating carrier and the frustrations involved with getting the problems solved. The Commission is expected to issue an order that will monitor the FCC’s actions, require originating IXCs to report call completion complaints they receive to the Commission on a quarterly basis for one year, and require rural incumbent carriers to make test lines available so that IXCs can test the effectiveness of their call routing.

Chairman Wheeler Responds to Senator Klobuchar Letter

On June 24, Senator Klobuchar received a response to her letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. In his response, Chairman Wheeler talked about the FCC’s April Order that moves forward Phase II of the Connect America Fund (CAF) for price-cap carriers and eliminated Quantile Regression Analysis. The letter also addressed stand-alone broadband support for Rate of Return carriers. CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

FCC Announces OMB Approval of Form 477 Information Collection

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The FCC published a Notice in the Federal Register on June 26, 2014, announcing that on June 4, 2014, the OMB approved Form 477 (the Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Report) information collection requirements contained in sections 1.7001, 1.7002, 43.01 and 43.11 from the June 2013 Report and Order, which are effective June 26, 2014. On June 11, 2014, the Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing it delayed the filing window for Form 477 data to July 31, 2014, with submissions due by October 1, 2014.

New Laws Effective July 1

from Ewald at the Capitol

July 1 is an important date circled on many calendars across the state. In some years it might be the first time you get to jump in the lake after a long winter; it is also a date when many of the state’s new laws go into effect. When bills are passed and signed into law, there are usually three key dates dealing with enactment: Effective immediately, effective July 1 and effective August 1.

Here is a summary of some of the higher-profile new laws taking effect. You will also find a link to review all of the July 1 laws below.

  • Require smartphone “kill switch”: Minnesota phone dealers — those who buy or sell used cell phones — must keep a written record of each acquisition that includes information about the device, the transaction, the seller of the device (including driver’s license number), and a statement signed by the seller attesting that the cell phone is not stolen and is free of any liens or encumbrances.
  • Definition of “teacher” expanded in labor law: Art therapists, music therapists and audiologists are added to the definition of a “teacher” as applied to a teaching bargaining unit under the Public Employment Labor Relations Act.
  • Women’s Economic Security Act: A number of provisions from WESA take effect on July 1 that expand parental leave, protect victims of domestic violence, and decrease the gender pay gap.
  • “Bee-friendly” labeling regulated: The law relates to the sale of plants, plant material and nursery stock. Items can’t be advertised or labeled as beneficial to pollinators if they have “a detectable level of systemic insecticide” that either has a pollinator protection box on the label or has a certain precautionary statement in the environmental hazards section of the insecticide product label.

Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Internet TV Dispute

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an Opinion on June 25, 2014, reversing a Second Circuit Court’s decision that ruled Aereo does not perform publicly within the meaning of the Transmit Clause because it does not transmit to the public. The Second Circuit had said each time Aereo streams a program to a subscriber, it sends a private transmission that is avail­able only to that subscriber. The Supreme Court ruled Aereo perform[s] petitioners’ copyrighted works publicly, as those terms are defined by the Transmit Clause, and remanded the case back to the Second Circuit. Television producers, marketers, distributors, and broadcasters, who own the copyrights on many of the programs, sued Aereo for copyright infringement. Aereo sells a service that allows its subscribers to watch television programs over the Internet at about the same time as the programs are broadcast over the air.

New Grant Program Rolling Out

from MNDEED’s Communications

The Office of Broadband Development (OBD) is busy putting together the Border-to-Border Broadband Infrastructure Incentive Grant program. Details will be released as they become available. Regional information meetings will be held around the state in July and August. Potential applicants are encouraged to start organizing and assembling information now, including establishing partnerships, confirming financial matching funds, developing detailed plans, and gathering community support. To help generate ideas and backing, don’t forget to invite your local elected officials to meetings (state senators and representatives; county commissioners; and city council, township and school board members—if not already part of your team.) Now is also the time to review the maps for the areas you are considering for inclusion in your application. DEED will put up a link on its website showing areas the data currently indicate are eligible as unserved or underserved—watch our Broadband Grant Program link for this information. Potential applicants are also encouraged to subscribe to the OBD email list which will be used to distribute more information on the grant.

FCC Will Consider E-rate, Rural Broadband Experiments at July Open Meeting

from NECA’s Washington Watch

The FCC issued the tentative agenda on June 20, 2014, for its July 11, 2014 Open Meeting. The Commission will consider a Report and Order to modernize the E-rate program and expand support for WiFi connectivity for schools and libraries. The Commission will also consider a Report and Order establishing a budget and a methodology for selecting winning applications for the Connect America rural broadband experiments adopted in the Technology Transitions Order, and will consider a Second Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM that revisits the Commission’s determinations regarding the captioning of video clips when delivered using IP.

USAC Issues Process for NLAD Duplicate Resolution

Recently USAC issued notice of the process that must be followed to de-enroll a customer in the lifeline program. Last February, Minnesota Lifeline providers were required to upload their Lifeline subscriber information in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Now, before a customer can be added to the Lifeline program they must first be submitted to the NLAD. This is to ensure they are eligible and are not currently participating in the program with another provider. USAC is in the process of identifying and contacting subscribers who are enrolled in the program with multiple providers. The subscriber will be given the option of which Lifeline service they want to keep. Providers will be contacted by USAC and directed to remove subscribers who are no longer eligible for service. More information on the process can be found here: NLAD duplicate resolution process.

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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

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) infection is an illness transmitted to humans primarily by mosquitoes. The pathogen that causes WNV infection is a virus that is known to infect birds and other animals as well as humans. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.

What are the signs and symptoms of West Nile Virus?
In most cases, persons infected with WNV either show no symptoms or have very mild flu-like symptoms, called West Nile fever. These mild cases of West Nile fever normally last only a few days and are not believed to cause any long-term effects. The typical time from infection to the onset of signs and symptoms is 3 to 14 days. Signs and symptoms of the milder illness, West Nile fever, include tiredness, headache, fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a skin rash.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), severe illness is reported to occur in about 1 of every 150 persons infected with WNV. Symptoms of severe disease may last several weeks and may have permanent neurological effects. The signs and symptoms of more severe infection (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis) include nausea/vomiting, headache, high fever, stiffness in the neck, disorientation (in very severe cases, coma), tremors and convulsions, and muscle weakness (in very severe cases, paralysis). Severe WNV infection is a medical emergency and persons who develop symptoms should seek immediate medical assistance.

What can workers do to protect themselves?
It may not always be possible to eliminate all potential mosquito breeding grounds. Knowing the key steps to take to minimize the risk of mosquito bites is important in reducing the risk of WNV infection. Those who work outdoors should be aware that the use of personal protective equipment and techniques is essential to preventing mosquito bites.

Workers should:

  • Cover as much of the skin as possible by wearing shirts with long sleeves, long pants and socks whenever possible. Use lightweight clothing to minimize the potential for heat-induced illnesses.
  • Use insect repellent containing an EPA registered active ingredient (e.g., DEET, Picaridin) on exposed skin according to instructions on packaging. All of the EPA registered active ingredients have demonstrated repellency; however, some provide more long-lasting protection than others.
  • Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors/in areas of concern. The more DEET a repellent contains, the longer it can protect one from mosquito bites, with protection times ranging from 1 hour (4.75% DEET) to 5 hours (23.8% DEET).
  • Spray insect repellent on the outside of one’s clothing, as it is possible for mosquitoes to bite through thin clothing. Do NOT spray insect repellent on skin that is under clothing.
  • Never apply insect repellents over open wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do NOT spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas or directly on one’s face. First spray on hands and carefully rub on face (do not allow insect repellent to contact one’s eyes and mouth).
  • After working in areas where mosquitoes are a concern, use soap and water to wash skin that has been treated with insect repellent.
  • Be extra vigilant at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

Additional Resources:
CDC West Nile Virus Home Page at: /www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

Take Care,

Dan Berg, M.S.
Senior Safety Consultant

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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