Iowa Communicator - June 15, 2018

 

June 15, 2018

In this Issue...

 

Headlines
Members Urged to Take Action on June 8th FCC Order
DRUM ROLL PLEASE.... Golf Pairings have been Posted!
Warm Up Your Throwing Arm!

FCC News
USAC Invoices Must be Paid Via E-File
“Restoring Internet Freedom” Takes Effect

IUB News
Hold the Phone – Form 481 Filings
IUB’s Nick Wagner Selected as Next President of NARUC

Broadband News
Tell Us Your Story

Industry News
Members Urged to Check TRS Invoice Emails

Legislative News
TelePAC Appreciates Legislators Who Listen
Iowa Needs Broadband... and Beer

Education and Events
Mark Your Calendars for Sept. 11th & 12th - Convergence TV Conference

Headlines

 

Members Urged to Take Action on June 8th FCC Order
(reprint from our Special Report on Monday)

As we reported in Friday’s Iowa Communicator, the FCC granted NTCA’s Petition for Forbearance, which means that rural LECs will no longer be required to submit USF contributions for broadband Internet access transmission services (BIAS).  The FCC approved the Order last Thursday, and released the text of the Order on Friday. 

The FCC Order contains guidance of importance to Alliance members, and we urge all members to review paragraph 18 of the Order.  It says: 

Forbearance will be effective for the third quarter of 2018, beginning July 3, 2018 to coincide with the effective date of the 2018 annual access charge tariff filings.   We also extend the June 15, 2018 Form 499-Q revision deadline only for carriers affected by the forbearance granted in this Order.   Such carriers may file revised Forms 499-Q for the third quarter until July 2, 2018, and we direct USAC to accept any late-filed Forms until that date, pursuant to the terms of this Order.  Finally, we delegate authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to waive any rules or administrative requirements as necessary to effectuate the forbearance adopted in this Order.

NTCA’s policy leaders suggest that companies looking to avail themselves of this relief should act ASAP to make sure they: (1) do whatever it is they need to do in the next several days to reflect the effects of this change as they finalize their annual tariff filings to take effect on July 3; and (2) file revised Form 499-Qs for the 3rd quarter by July 2.  It appears that if these deadlines are missed, a company’s ability to take advantage of the forbearance relief granted here may be delayed materially.

We urge members to contact their advisors and consultants for specific advice on how this applies to your situation. 

Click here to read the FCC’s Order. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information

 DRUM ROLL PLEASE.... Golf Pairings have been posted!!

If you may have missed my e-mail on Wednesday I will recap it here. Golf pairings have been posted on our website here: http://www.iacommunicationsall.org/golf-and-grill-classic. These are subject to change. Below are a few items to make note of prior to the event:

Monday, June 18th Golfers:

  • Check-in: Golfers may arrive anytime between 9:00 am and 10:30 to check-in. Shotgun begins at 11:00 am.
  • Please stop by the registration table outside the clubhouse entrance to pick up your registration materials and gift bag.
  • Drink Tickets: your 3 complimentary tickets may be used for beer or mixed drinks.  Sodas and water are provided all day free of charge.
  • Lunch: lunch will be on the course from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm between Holes #1 and #10.

BBQ, Monday, June 18th:
The grill out is at the Shelter by the beach west of the course at Lake Panorama. The social hour will begin at 4:30 pm, and the grill out will begin at 5:30 pm (weather permitting). All door prizes and Monday’s Golf Awards will be displayed and distributed starting at 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, June 19th Golfers:

  • Check-in: Golfers may arrive anytime between 7:00 – 8:00 am to check-in. Shotgun begins at 8:30 am. 
  • Breakfast will be available to purchase in the clubhouse from 7:00 – 8:00 am.
  • Drink Tickets: your 3 complimentary tickets may be used for beer or mixed drinks.  Sodas and water are provided all day free of charge.
  • Lunch: lunch will be on the course from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm between Holes #1 and #10. 

Please extend a BIG THANK you to all our sponsors if you see them out on the course. We deeply appreciate their support to make this an outstanding event year after year!

We look forward to seeing you at our 5th Annual ICA Golf & Grill Classic! 

Warm Up Your Throwing Arm!

T – 4 days until you will have an opportunity to throw a pie at Mark Thoma, Tom Conry, and Dave Duncan! 

 

The TelePAC will sell raffle tickets (1 ticket/$5 or 5 tickets/$20) and 15 lucky winners will have a chance to throw two pies at these gentlemen during the BBQ at the Alliance Annual Golf and Grill Classic THIS MONDAY! 

But – fret not!  The fate of whether you will have an opportunity to throw a pie at these guys is not limited to sheer chance.  For $100 you will be guaranteed two pies to throw! 

So, while you are golfing, keep an eye out for the Pie Squad – Emilie, Caitlin, and Mary (Caitlin’s mother) will be biking around the course selling raffle tickets!  

(Contact Caitlin Jarzen for additional information.)

FCC News

 

USAC Invoices Must be Paid Via E-File

USAC has notified ETCs that as of May 2018, USAC will accept payments to and distribute funds from the US Treasury as a result of recent FCC policy change to transfer funds from USAC to the US Treasury.

Beginning with the May invoice (due June 15th) entities are required to pay their USF contributions using USAC’s e-file system.  USAC will no longer accept checks or wire transfers, but it will accept ACH payments or credit/debit cards.  Click here for more information from USAC.  

“Restoring Internet Freedom” Takes Effect

The much-publicized “Net Neutrality” rules from 2015 were replaced by the “Restoring Internet Freedom” order on June 11th.  One impact of this change was to reverse the ruling that subjected broadband internet access service to Title II regulation.  Another was to restore some of the privacy rules that existed prior to 2015. 

Click here for a one-pager from the FCC outlining the Order’s impact on consumer protection, transparency and removing unnecessary regulations to promote broadband investment.  Click here to read the full text of the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling issued on January 4, 2018.  

Broadband News

 

Tell Us Your Story

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Publicity Network contacted the Alliance seeking anecdotes of how access to high speed broadband internet is benefiting existing Iowa businesses, creating new career opportunities for talent in rural communities, and/or spurring new economic development efforts.

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Iowa #1 in the country for access to internet and high speed broadband internet. To capitalize on this ranking and garner more national media attention for our state, IEDA is seeking success stories.

This is a great opportunity for Alliance members to tell our story because we know that Iowa didn’t become the leader in gigabit broadband availability overnight, or in just one year. The road to Iowa earning the recognition as the leader in gigabit broadband availability started years ago, with independent telcos in rural Iowa.

Topic: As the #1 state in the country for access to internet and high-speed broadband, how is access to high speed internet positively impacting Iowa businesses and empowering rural communities.

(Please contact Caitlin Jarzen to share your success story.)

IUB News

 

Hold the Phone – Form 481 Filings

Presently, ETCs that receive high cost USF support or Lifeline support must file form 481 reports with the FCC and USAC on July 1st of each year as well as with the IUB.  However, staff from the IUB informed the Alliance that because the report is available to the IUB through USAC, it is no longer necessary to file the report with both USAC and the IUB.  Accordingly, the Alliance filed a request for waiver of 199 IAC 39.7(3)(a) with the IUB.  The Office of Consumer Advocate filed an objection to the Alliance’s request for waiver.  Due to communications with IUB staff, however, the Alliance anticipates that the request for waiver will be approved.  So, hold the phone, don’t prepare your form 481 report for the IUB just yet.  

IUB’s Nick Wagner Selected as Next President of NARUC

Iowa Utilities Board Member Nick Wagner was recently selected to serve as the next President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, a national organization representing state public service commissions who regulate essential utility services.

In this role, Wagner will focus on ensuring NARUC is meeting the needs of its members and is providing the leadership necessary in an evolving utility industry. Wagner will be officially elected as the President of NARUC at their annual meeting held in November.

Wagner was also elected to serve as president of MARC, the regional organization of utility commissions representing 14 states of which Iowa is a member.  He has served on the IUB since 2013.

Industry News

 

Members Urged to Check TRS Invoice Emails

Bryan Dilks of BKD, LLP reports that some members may not be receiving all the emails from RLSA the TRS Administrator.  RLSA is also known as Rolka Loube, click here to go to their website

Those who do not receive monthly TRS invoices from RLSA might get placed on “Red Light status” which then stops support from being paid until the Red-Light status is removed. 

Some suggest that the problem may rest with the RLSA email server which may not be providing a fully qualified host name which then is causing the emails to be blocked as SPAM on some servers and therefore not being delivered to the recipients.  If you have not been receiving emails from RLSA, we recommend you contact them.  

Legislative News

 

TelePAC Appreciates Legislators Who Listen

Chuck Deisbeck and Dan Swick of South Slope presented TelePAC contributions to Sen. Kevin Kinney (D – Oxford) and Rep. Dave Jacoby (D – Coralville).  The TelePAC supports legislators who listen.  Legislators are better equipped to vote for fair and balanced policies when they understand the communications industry.  Sen. Kinney and Rep. Jacoby listened, and they understand the importance of reforming the regulatory framework and property tax mechanism for telcos.  

 

 

When a senator arrives to a meeting directly from helping his neighbor round up 80 escaped steer – you know you’re in Iowa! 

Pictured: Chuck Diesbeck, Sen. Kevin Kinney, and Dan Swick.  

Iowa Needs Broadband..... and Beer.

 

Stay tuned for more details on this event, which will be held in conjunction with our Convergence TV (Video) Conference, September 11 - 12. 

Education and Events

 

Mark Your Calendars for Sept. 11th & 12th – Convergence TV Conference 

Mark your calendars for September 11th & 12th for our Convergence TV Conference. We will host sponsored User Group meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 11th, and the main conference will be held on Wednesday, September 12th at the West Des Moines Marriott.

If you’re needing a hotel room, there is a block of rooms reserved at the West Des Moines Marriott. Please call (515) 267-1500 and mention the ICA Conference when booking your hotel room.

At this conference you will be educated on the following topics:

  • Legal and Regulatory Developments Impacting Video Providers
  • A technical session describing the impact of OTT (i.e., YouTube TV) on our networks through the use of caching servers, peering points, and managed wi-fi
  • Marketing aspects of managed Wi-Fi services – best practices of what to do and what not to do
  • Best practices on reducing costs of video operations when content costs keep increasing
  • Best practices on transitioning the network to becoming a broadband pipe for services provided by others (i.e., operators considering no longer providing video service)
  • Tips for companies seeking to introduce video for the first time
  • An example of an operator from another state to describe how products are used
  • Steps by linear providers to address OTT
  • Other current topics of interest to providers of video services

Think you know someone who’d be a fantastic speaker for one or multiple topics? AWESOME! We’d love to hear more about them. Click here if you have a speaker suggestion and our advisory committee will review. 

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