2016 Convention Schedule
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Monday, March 21

Noon – 5:00 p.m.

Exhibitor Move-In

Noon – 6:30 p.m.


1:00 – 2:45 p.m.

User Group Meetings

3:00 – 3:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Time-Shifted TV Viewing Is the New Default by Jerry Weber, Innovative Systems
    Consumer binge watching is at an all-time high! Time shifted viewing options like OTT, DVR, Restart TV and VOD are crucial! Learn how these time shifted viewing options can impact your business model.

  • How Electric Utilities Are Attracting Data Centers to Minnesota by Mark Loftus, Dakota Electric Association, and Tom Lambrecht, Great River Energy
    Great River Energy and its cooperative members are identifying the best greenfield sites for data centers across Minnesota. The session will explain the process and its value to telecommunications companies.

  • A New Approach to FTTH: Fiber Indexing Architecture by Jeff Blatnik, CommScope, Inc.
    Fiber Indexing is a new FTTH architecture that uses optical terminals and multi-fiber connectors in a cookie-cutter approach. Fiber can be deployed from the FDH to the home using identical components without the need for cable, closures or splicing.

4:00 – 4:50 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • What’s Happening at MN DPS/ECN for 9-1-1 by Dana Walberg and Jackie Mines, Department of Public Safety / Emergency Communication Networks
    As part of Minnesota’s next generation 9-1-1 deployment, the Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks Division is in the process of making a number of modifications to processes to improve efficiency in working with MN carriers for the provisioning of 9-1-1. In this break out session, learn about each of these initiatives and the current status of each.

  • Ethernet for Everybody: The “New” Way to Move Data by Shaun Carlson, Arvig
    This session will break down ethernet services: what they are, how they work and some of the common terminology in the industry. With the shift to ethernet transport as the new norm, this session will focus on giving the tools to 'talk-the-talk" in a very usable form.

  • A Superior Broadband Experience Begins With Wi-Fi by Juan Vela, Calix
    Industry players often point to fiber optic networks, Gigabit services, extensive video content and other characteristics to identify steps to take in building a superior broadband experience. However, most consumers gauge their experience based on their interaction with devices and services within the home. Increasingly, the primary method for service connectivity is Wi-Fi. Recent product introductions from companies like Google and Amazon aim to optimize the Wi-Fi experience and ultimately drive deeper relationships with consumers.

    A superior broadband experience begins with Wi-Fi. This session will examine considerations for designing, building and maintaining a Carrier Class Wi-Fi network that consistently delivers a superior broadband experience helping you capture or maintain broadband market share. Topics of discussion include:

    • Technology considerations (802.11ac, DFS, MU-MIMO)
    • Subscriber self-help and remote management (Wi-Fi diagnostics, SSID, whole-home coverage)
    • Subscriber / home network visibility and control
    • Security and subscriber analytics

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Opening Reception (Name badge required)

Tuesday, March 22

7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Annual Meeting

9:30 – 10:20 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • INS & Skitter Partnering for Profit: Incentive Is Key by Kristy McDermott and Chad Raymond, Iowa Network Services
    INS discusses the keys to successful partnerships. Matchmaking can be a challenge. INS and Skitter are upsetting the apple cart in the world of TV subscription services. Who does what and how does everyone benefit? Which partners will you choose?

  • Network Management: Monitoring for Problems, Security, and Marketing by Mike Ockenga, Finley Engineering Company, Inc.
    Overview of management and how monitoring the network gives you more information than just devices on your network. This will include doing management as intended and ways to use it for targeted marketing, security, and baselining. Target marketing to pinpoint where the high bandwidth users are and promote your top tier of service. Find anomalous behavior and locate the source and isolate the traffic so it can't proliferate on the network. Define where the bottlenecks are and make sure high priority traffic like voice won't be impacted. Once you have your network figured out you can control and scale it to fit your needs and ensure it's operating effectively.

  • You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Drink! by Carissa Swenson, Consortia Consulting
    Are you struggling to get customers to take advantage of the high-speed Internet you are providing them? Carissa will provide you with strategies to sell more connections and higher speeds!

10:30 – 11:20 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Panel Discussion with Olsen Thielen Regulatory Staff by Tom Campbell, Tom Farm, Tom Burns, and Bill VanderSluis, Olsen Thielen CPAs
    Member's of the Olsen Thielen Staff will address key topics currently facing organizations keying in on the regulatory reporting issues, providing service outside existing exchange boundaries, status of models and costs studies, concluding with a panel Q&A.

  • Evaluating and Deploying Mobile devices across the enterprise by Tony Zappetillo, NISC
    Learn about how Telecoms are evaluating and deploying mobile devices across the enterprise, not just outside plant. We will take a look at device roles and functions, durability, and mobile device management. We will also look at case studies on how other Telco's have scheduled and accomplished mobile device rollouts to staff.

  • How to Impact Your 2016 Marketing Goals by Aaron Hautula, Red House Media, LLC
    SEO+PPC = ROI. Learn how to exceed your marketing goals and improve your telecom's sales strategy by using analytics, Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click marketing. All with ROI that's proven.

11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Ch-Ch-Changes: Classic rock and its incredible power to predict FCC action by Dusty Johnson, Vantage Point Solutions
    Rock and roll is the greatest music of all time, but it also holds the key to predicting upcoming FCC action. Regulatory Disk Jockey Dusty Johnson will turn up both the volume and the insight in this session.

  • Future of Fraud: Evolving Credit Card Fraud and the Explosion of Ransomware in the Midwest by Weston Hecker, Highpoint Networks
    Audience will be taken on a tour of the dark-side of the internet as we go over methods used to steal and sell data and how to protect yourself.

  • Retooling Technical Staff with Self Certification by Andrew Walding, CellStream, Inc.
    As your network is being re-tooled to support Internet services and it's high bandwidth demands, so too must the re-tooling apply to the technical staff and support teams.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Issues Update Lunch (Fee Required) by John Tuma, MN Public Utilities Commissioner

1:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Exhibits Open

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Vendor Demos

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Associate Members Reception

Wednesday, March 23

7:30 a.m. – Noon


8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Associate Member/Convention Exhibitors Meeting

8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Exhibits & Breakfast

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Peer Group Meeting

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Legislative Update

11:00 a.m – Noon

Keynote: The Upside of Down by Joe Malarkey

Joe Malarkey’s “The Upside of Down” is an energy-packed, fast-paced, laugh-out-loud program that takes a chainsaw to the tried and proven motivational classics. Through his unique philosophy, Joe turns our view of Success vs. Failure inside out.  Joe’s viewpoint of overcoming obstacles and developing resilience will be retained long after the program is over. While Joe makes no assurances that his approach will bring you success, he guarantees he will change your view of failure.

Joe Malarkey

About Joe
Joe Malarkey® is a member of the National Speakers Association “Speakers Hall of Fame.” His “Choose to Lose” philosophy propelled him to television appearances ranging from the prestigious 60 Minutes to the embarrassing To Tell the Truth. Successful Meetings Magazine listed Joe as one of its Top Ten Speakers in America.  Amazingly, all this recognition came in spite of his notoriously poor work ethic and perpetually bad attitude.

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Midwest Internet Cooperative Exchange (MICE) “Informational and Quarterly Meeting”

Member Directory

Active Members

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