November 27, 2013

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

>> Important Notice: Modification to NLAD Schedule

>> Connect Minnesota Releases New Broadband Availability Data

>> MacKenzie Named to Head State Broadband Office

People and Companies

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Jaskowiak
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

November 28-29, 2013: MTA office closed for Thanksgiving

December 4-5, 2013: 2013 Plant Manager Peer Group Winter Meeting

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 – Exhibitor and Sponsor Registration is Now Open!

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MTA Updates


Important Notice: Modification to NLAD Schedule

USAC is revising the NLAD schedule. Carriers in the first five states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Washington) now must submit their subscriber data on December 16, 2013. Please note that modifications have been made to the dates for data submission, pre-production environment testing, and final list submission for all groups (1-6).

Please see the modified migration timeline posted on USAC’s website for a revised schedule.

USAC strongly encourages all carriers to use this time to fully develop their interfaces and prepare for NLAD implementation.

If you have any questions, please submit them to NLAD Support.



Connect Minnesota Releases New Broadband Availability Data

Connect Minnesota is announced the release of its new broadband availability data to emphasize the value of broadband mapping. The research shows increases among key speed tiers, including 74.5% of Minnesota households now having access to broadband at a minimum of 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload. Last April, the data showed that 69.19% of households had access across the state at these speeds (including mobile wireless, but excluding satellite services).

GIS Day celebrates the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze diverse topics in local, state, federal, and international applications. GIS is used daily as an essential part of Connect Minnesota’s mission to inform and advance the understanding and utilization of broadband services. Connect Minnesota collects and processes broadband coverage information from Internet service providers and then aggregates that coverage to create a comprehensive display of where broadband is and is not available. The resulting analyses of maximum download speed, density of unserved households, and others are created using GIS to enable decision makers.

"Minnesota continues to make progress toward expanding broadband availability and achieving our state speed goals. We are also beginning to see the impact of mobile broadband on availability at higher speeds,” said William Hoffman, state program manager for Connect Minnesota. "Providers, the state, and stakeholders are working to expand broadband access, adoption, and use in Minnesota and we will continue to see the economic and social benefits across our state in the years ahead.”

Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:

  • 74.5% of Minnesota households can access fixed and mobile broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload – the minimum speed threshold for Minnesota’s goal of ubiquitous broadband availability*. This represents a nearly 5% increase from April 2013, and for the first time in Connect Minnesota’s work, shows the impact of mobile broadband in meeting state speed goals in areas previously not served by those speeds (excluding satellite services).
  • Since Connect Minnesota began measuring availability at the 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload speed tier in April 2011, there has been an increase of nearly 20% in fixed and mobile broadband availability from 56.4% to 74.5%.
  • Nearly 96% of Minnesotans have fixed broadband available at speeds of 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload, the tier the Federal Communications Commission uses to determine eligibility for the Connect American Fund; when mobile broadband is included, 99.80% of Minnesota households have access at this speed tier (both excluding satellite services).
  • Minnesota has seen a dramatic increase in availability at higher speed tiers over the past two years (since October 2011), including:
  • 76% of households now have access to broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, an increase of 31% (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
  • 84% of households now have access to broadband service at speeds of at least 25 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, an increase of 15% (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
  • 89% of households now have access to broadband service at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, an increase of 15% (including mobile wireless, but excluding satellite services).

The public can explore the new data charts, along with county-by-county tables/analysis including county connectivity scores, on Connect Minnesota’s website.

Nonprofit Connect Minnesota has been working to ensure that Minnesota residents have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use. Part of that work includes mapping Minnesota’s broadband availability and providing analysis to the Broadband Task Force, broadband providers, policymakers, and community planners. This is the eighth comprehensive broadband availability data release from Connect Minnesota under the State Broadband Initiative.

MacKenzie Named to Head State Broadband Office

Gov. Mark Dayton named Danna MacKenzie executive director of the Office of Broadband Development, a new state entity that was created during the 2013 legislative session to direct broadband planning and policy statewide.

MacKenzie, who has 18 years of experience with broadband issues in rural Minnesota, has been the director of information systems for Cook County in Grand Marais since 1998. She has been an administrator on the Cook County Broadband Commission since 2009 and a member of the Blandin Broadband Strategy Board since 2005. She also is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband, which was created in 2011 to increase broadband access in Minnesota.

"Danna is an outstanding choice, with the leadership skills and experience to direct broadband growth in the state,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which will oversee the office. "She is highly regarded in the broadband community and has a unique ability to balance community development and business interests.”

Broadband – or high-speed Internet access – is considered a key economic development tool, with a number of national studies finding that communities with access to broadband have a competitive advantage over areas that don’t have broadband.

Increasingly, corporate site selectors expect broadband services to be available in communities where they are considering expansion projects. In many communities, broadband is considered an important piece of the local infrastructure – like gas, water, electricity, wastewater and telecommunications.

Specifically, the Legislature wants the office to collaborate on the development of broadband infrastructure, plan strategy, find federal funding for expansion, recommend policies to improve access, and regularly report on its progress.

MacKenzie, who grew up in the Twin Cities, has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul. She was a public policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 2011.

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Peer Group Bulletin
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