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News Bytes - September 2, 2016
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A Message from MTA

MTA News Bytes

September 2, 2016

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Action Items

>> 2016 MTA Fall Conference Online Registration Now Available!

>> MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

>> Don't Forget about the EAS Test

>> FCC Announces New Rules for Public Inspection Files

Peer Group Bulletin

>> Upcoming MTA Peer Group Events

>> MTA Peer Group 2016 Investment Opportunities

Safety Corner

>> Safety Bytes

People and Companies

>> Tri-Co Technologies Acquires Crosslake Communications

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent Christensen
Team Leader:

Jacquie Durant
Event Planners:
Julie Cygan
Carissa Wolf
Member Services:
Jeanne DeMartino
Anna Wrisky
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

September 21-23, 2016: 2016 Telco Marketing Peer Group Conference

September 21-23, 2016: MTA Office Managers & Human Resources Fall Conference

October 13-14, 2016: MTA Fall Conference

October 19-20, 2016: MTA Fall 2016 Customer Service Group Conference

November 2-3, 2016: Administrative Assistant Peer Group 2016 Fall Conference

March 27-29, 2017: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show

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MTA Updates


Register Now for the 2016 MTA Fall Conference!

October 13-14, 2016 | Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park, MN
>> View Details and Register Online

September is here! It's time to start thinking about fall. Kids are going back to school, the Vikings have started pre-season play, cooler temperatures are starting to arrive, leaves are turning color, and most importantly... the MTA FALL CONFERENCE is coming soon!

This year’s event will open with an exciting lineup on Thursday. The afternoon kicks off with a presentation from MNIT Commissioner Jim Johnson (invited). MNIT controls the telecom contracts with state agencies throughout the state and this is a great opportunity to meet Jim and for him to meet MTA members. Jim’s presentation will be followed up with updates from the Office of Broadband Development and E911 Director Dana Wahlberg. We will also have presentations on CAF/A-CAM for RoR companies and a Federal update from NTCA’s Mike Romano. Thursday’s session will conclude with a political panel discussion from journalists who can give us the inside scoop on state elections.

Again this year, the MTA Event Planning Committee and staff have been working with the Video and IT Peer Groups for more opportunities to learn. Friday morning continues with separate tracks giving attendees the most current, up-to-date, information on Video and IT. Know you want to attend, but don’t know which sessions you want to attend? It doesn’t matter — you can mix and match sessions to meet your individual needs. Don’t wait! The event will conclude with keynote speaker FBI Special Agent Michael Krause. Special Agent Krause investigates cybercrimes and has a unique perspective on cyber security that you haven’t heard before.

>> Register for the conference today!

Fall Conference Lodging Information

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Dr N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

$142.00 single/double per night
Reservation cut off is September 21, 2016
Book your reservation by calling 1-877-303-1681 or 763-536-8300.

MTA Fall Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

Maximize your company's exposure to the MTA membership at the 2016 Fall Conference.

The conference will be held on Thursday, October 13 and Friday, October 14 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

MTA members will come to Minneapolis from all over the state to learn more about the important issues facing our industry — and this is your opportunity to get your company’s message in front of them.

>> View complete Sponsorship details and register online.


If you have any questions about the sponsorship information, please contact Julie Cygan at

Don't Forget about the EAS Test

From the American Cable Association

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 28, 2016. If the test needs to be rescheduled or repeated for any reason, a secondary test date is scheduled for October 5, 2016. The EAS Nationwide test is mandatory for all EAS Participants, and Participants must provide preliminary and final reports on the results of their test using the FCC's EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).

FCC Announces New Rules for Public Inspection Files

On January 28, 2016, the FCC adopted a Report and Order expanding to cable operators, DBS providers, and broadcast radio and satellite radio licensees the requirement that public inspection files be posted to the FCC’s online database. The database was initially established in 2012 for use by television broadcasters. Here are the new requirements that went into effect on June 24, 2016:

a. Cable systems with 1,000 or more subscribers, DBS providers, SDARS licensees, and commercial radio stations in the top 50 Nielsen Audio radio markets with five or more full-time employees must place their new public inspection file documents in the Commission-hosted online public file database. In addition, these entities must place their existing public file documents into the online public file within six months after the effective date, or by December 24, 2016. Entities will not be required to place in the online public file existing political file material.

b. Cable systems with 1,000 or more subscribers but fewer than 5,000 subscribers will not be required to place new political file material in the Commission’s online file until March 1, 2018.

c. Cable systems with fewer than 1,000 subscribers are exempt from all online filing requirements.

The FCC’s helpdesk is available to answer any questions regarding the OPIF database. Contact information for the helpdesk is available at 1-877-480-3201 or 1-717-338-2824 (TTY) or you may submit requests online via

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Peer Group Bulletin
All MTA members are welcome to join a Peer Group

Upoming Peer Group Events

2016 Telco Marketing Peer Group Conference

Date: September 21-23, 2016

Location: Cambria Suites
825 E Beaton Dr
West Fargo, North Dakota

MTA Office Managers & Human Resources Fall Conference

Date: September 21-23, 2016

Location: Holiday Inn
8511 Hudson Blvd
Lake Elmo, Minnesota

MTA Fall 2016 Customer Service Group Conference

Date: October 19-20, 2016

Location: Embassy Suites in Brooklyn Park
6300 Earle Brown Dr
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Administrative Assistant Peer Group 2016 Fall Conference

Date: November 2-3, 2016

Location: Garden Valley Telephone Company
201 Ross Avenue
Erskine, Minnesota

MTA Peer Group 2016 Investment Opportunities Open!

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 2016.

Download the 2016 Peer Group Investment Opportunities for full details

Sponsor a Peer Group: Sign Up Online!

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Safety Corner

Safety Bytes

Inspection Results

As summer comes to a close, we have finished up another round of facility inspections. Following, you will see a list of the top violations we found and how many times we have written up each item. Far too many accidents happen in the workplace because we become careless or complacent with simple day-to-day items or tasks. Many of these items are things we talk about in class all the time — and in some cases are repeat findings. These are all easy things to fix at a very small cost, and will prevent a potentially serious accident or injury that could cost your company much more in the long run. Please take a look at the list; see if you have any of these issues and take the steps to get them corrected. Our goal as your Safety Team is help you identify these items and get them corrected before that accident happens. 





Items stored in front of electrical panel


Missing/broken outlet covers


Daisy chaining extension cords or power strips


Breaker boxes and junction boxes properly labeled


Non-GFCI outlet near water source


Exposed wires/wiring


Electrical cords running through a doorway, wall or window


Electrical cords damaged




Emergency Preparedness


Eyewash station not inspected monthly/expired/missing/blocked access


Fire extinguishers not checked monthly


Emergency lights not tested/out


Exits blocked


Evacuation maps not posted throughout the facility






Aisles and walkways not clear/tripping hazards


Tripping hazards protruding from floor


Stairs w/o hand rail or no guard rails where over 4'


Loose floor mats/slip hazard


Broken table/desk/chair






Plastic gas cans/non-approved gas cans


General housekeeping/garbage/trash






Mezzanine not marked w/weight limit/missing hand rail or toe board


Haz waste (used oil) not properly stored or labeled


Racks or shelving not secure/tipping hazard


Items stored on shelving are a hazard


New Consultant, Aaron Wilfahrt

Aaron Wilfahrt

Due to your commitment to the Safety Program, our Safety Team continues to grow — as Aaron Wilfahrt joined our team on July 25. He is in the process of retiring from the military and comes to us with a wealth of safety knowledge and training experience and has already been a great addition. During August, he shadowed Dan and Jeff — getting familiar with some of the companies and our procedures. For those of you who have not met Aaron, he will begin teaching classes in September, so give him a big welcome when he visits your company.  

Please feel free to contact any of us if you have questions or need assistance.

Jeff Ulmen
Safety Consultant  

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People Companies

Tri-Co Technologies Acquires Crosslake Communications

8/31/16 - Crosslake, MN — Tri-Co Technologies, the partnership comprised of Emily Cooperative Telephone Company, West Central Telephone Association and BEVCOMM, is pleased to announce they have closed on the purchase of Crosslake Communications as of the end of the day August 31.

The partnership will continue to operate using the name Crosslake Communications and the local office will stay open. The existing employees of Crosslake Communications will be hired by Emily Cooperative Telephone Company, which will provide management services.

Josh Netland, Emily Cooperative Telephone Company General Manager and President of Tri-Co Technologies, said, “We are honored to be given the chance to become part of the Crosslake community. We look forward to working with the city and our new customers to bring more advanced telecommunications services to Crosslake. The partners have a long history of putting the customer first and we look forward to continuing this tradition in Crosslake.”

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