MTA News Bytes

May 11, 2018

In This Issue

Meetings and Events

MTA Updates

Informational Items

>> Wireline Bureau Announces 217 Revised A-CAM Support Offers

>> Senator’s Legislation Would Establish and Improve upon the Department of Agriculture Community Connect Grant Program

Peer Group Bulletin

>> 2018 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities!

>> Upcoming Peer Group Event

Safety Corner

>> Playground Safety

People and Companies

>> Arvig Purchases Palmer Wireless

MTA Staff

MTA President/CEO:
Brent J. Christensen
Event Planners:
Ashley Crunstedt
Amanda Beneke
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

May 23-24, 2018: Administrative Assistants Peer Group 2018 Spring Conference
Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes

July 9, 2018: 2018 MTA Associate Member Golf Day
Crow River Golf Club, Hutchinson

October 10-11, 2018: 2018 MTA Fall Conference  
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

March 18-20, 2019: MTA Annual Convention & Trade Show
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

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MTA Updates


Wireline Bureau Announces 217 Revised A-CAM Support Offers

From NECA’s Washington Watch

The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a public notice on May 7, 2018, announcing 217 revised offers of A-CAM support, consistent with the March 23, 2018 Rate-of-Return Reform Order. In the Order, the FCC directed the Bureau to offer additional support up to $146.10 per location to all carriers that accepted the first revised offers of A-CAM support. Under this second revised offer, all locations with costs above $52.50 will be funded up to a per-location funding cap of $146.10, with deployment obligations adjusted accordingly. The accompanying report shows the revised state-level offers of model-based support and revised deployment obligations for each carrier that has already been authorized to receive A-CAM and is eligible to elect a second revised offer. These carriers have until June 21, 2018, to notify the Bureau, on a state-by state basis, whether they elect to receive the revised amount of model-based support. If a carrier fails to submit any final election letter by the June 21, 2018 deadline, it will be deemed to have declined the second revised offer.

Senator’s Legislation Would Establish and Improve Upon the Department of Agriculture Community Connect Grant Program

On April 12, U.S. Senator Tina Smith introduced legislation—the Community Connect Grant Program Act—to establish the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program under law and make improvements to the grant program that makes funding available for broadband projects in tribal, low-income, and remote rural areas.

The USDA Community Connect program through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities. In addition to authorizing the program and targeting areas that lack access across the nation, Sen. Smith’s bill would increase internet speed service under the program because she hears time and time again that this is a real concern for Minnesotans.

“Broadband is the infrastructure of the 21st Century—it isn’t just nice, it’s necessary if we’re going to build an economy that works for everyone,” said Sen. Smith. “It is absolutely necessary whether you’re a student working on homework, a business owner selling products, a farmer using modern equipment, or a person who is trying to access health care. My bill is a step forward and one of the many things we have to do in order to connect more Minnesotans and people across the nation with affordable, reliable internet service.”

The Community Connect Grant Program Act would:

  • Provide grants to construct, acquire, or lease facilities—including spectrum, land, or buildings—to deploy broadband service.
  • Modernize minimum speed service to coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission and keep pace with 21st Century needs.
  • Provide essential community facilities—like fire stations and public schools—with service for up to two years.
  • A portion of the grant funding may also be used to improve, expand, construct, or acquire a community center within the proposed service area to provide community access.
  • Avoid duplicating deployment efforts by not building over existing broadband networks, responsibly investing federal funding and taxpayer money.
  • Authorize funding for Community Connect grants at $50 million per fiscal year.

You can learn more about the Community Grant Program Act here.

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

2018 MTA Peer Group Investment Opportunities Are Available!

Get tons of visibility and have engaging conversations with members, build relationships with small but highly-focused groups, and support our core cause.

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 2018!

>> Sign Up Online Today! or

>> Download the 2018 Peer Group Investment Opportunities as a PDF.

Upcoming Peer Group Events

Administrative Assistants Peer Group 2018 Spring Conference

May 23-24, 2018 | Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter

>> Full Details and Registration

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Safety Corner

Playground Safety

It’s already the middle of May, which means school will soon be out for summer vacation.  With that will come more frequent trips to local playgrounds for fresh air and exercise.

playgroundForty years ago, playgrounds were downright scary. Everything was made of metal. The slides were so hot they'd burn the skin right off your thighs. Kids would go flying off of those spinning machines, or perch precariously 10 feet in the air on monkey bars with rock-hard earth or concrete underneath. 

Luckily they don’t make things like they used to!
playgroundBut even with today’s modern up-to-date equipment, more than 200,000 kids are treated in hospital ERs for playground-related injuries, with 80 percent of the injuries from falls. The top injury-producing equipment includes swings, overhead ladders, climbers, and slides. As a parent or guardian, you can help prevent many of these accidents. Here are a few things to look for when taking kids to the park:

  • Improper protective surfaces: Fall surfaces should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires or rubber mats and should be at least 12 inches deep. Also, the area under and around play equipment where a child might fall should be a minimum of 6 feet in all directions.
  • Protrusion hazards: Beware of hardware that is capable of piercing or cutting a child (bolts, hooks, rungs, etc.), or catching strings or items of clothing. Children should never wear drawstring hoodies at the playground.
  • Head entrapment hazards: There should be no openings that measure between 3-½ and 9 inches.
  • Overcrowded play area: Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment that children won't be hit by a moving swing.
  • Trip hazards, like rocks or tree stumps.
  • Lack of supervision: Children under age 4 shouldn't play on climbing equipment or horizontal ladders.
  • Lack of maintenance: Metal or wooden swing seats should be replaced with soft seats, and equipment should not be split or splintered.
  • Platforms with no guardrails.
  • Equipment not recommended for public playgrounds: One example is monkey bars. The number of injuries caused by monkey bars is so significant that many experts recommend they be removed from all playgrounds.

Most of the playgrounds in your community are probably city owned. If your playground is unsafe or in need of repairs, report the problem to city hall or the park district. And remember, there is no substitute for parental supervision, especially for young children

Have a great summer and stay safe!

Jeff Ulmen
Senior Safety Consultant

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People Companies

Arvig Purchases Palmer Wireless

PERHAM, MINN., MAY 1, 2018—Arvig Enterprises, Inc. (dba Arvig), announced the purchase of Palmer Wireless, a local wireless company serving the St. Cloud metro area. The all-asset purchase includes 24 miles of fiber around the St. Cloud to Big Lake area.

David Arvig, Vice President/COO at Arvig, said, “This acquisition plays a large part in helping us expand our service footprint, by filling in an important piece between our legacy network and our growing network in the Twin Cities area.”

Arvig will assume the service contracts for approximately 1,500 residential fixed-wireless internet customers along with a handful of voice customers. The company will continue to expand its network by utilizing the existing Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grants awarded to Palmer Wireless in 2017—including a last-mile project near Duelm in southern Benton County; and last-mile fiber-to-the-premise project in Sherburne County near the St. Cloud airport.

Palmer Wireless previously provided cell phone service to its customers, who were notified that the service would be discontinued effective March 30, 2018.

Some members of the current staff have chosen to remain in place, including former owners Albert and Laura Kangas.

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