Iowa Communicator - July 20, 2018

 

July 20, 2018

In this Issue...

 

Headlines
Member Facilities Hit by Tornadoes
Webcast Informs Members on Terms and Conditions Template
Governor Reynolds Creates “Empower Rural Iowa” Initiative

Member News
TelePAC Tour de Iowa
Upcoming Meetings

IUB News
IUB Workshop Reviewing Required Filings Interrupted by Tornado Warning
IUB Cancels Registrations for Dozens of Providers

FCC News
FCC Changes Rules to Promote Nationwide Number Portability

Compliance News
USAC Opens Election Process for 2019 Recertification
RolkaLoube Notifies Members of TRS Portal

Legislative News
Pie Throwing Raincheck!
TelePAC Brew Tasting Tour

Education and Events
Registration Now Open for Sept. 11th & 12th Convergence TV Conference
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Webcast

Headlines

 

Member Facilities Hit by Tornadoes

Yesterday’s tornados in central Iowa impacted at least two facilities operated by ICA members, and our hearts go out to all of those impacted. 

Vermeer Iowa’s factory in Pella sustained heavy damage.  Reports indicate several people were treated and released from area hospitals, but damage to the business was “extensive.”  In fact, the Des Moines Register headline termed it as “catastrophic” – click here to read that story. 

Aureon’s call center in Marshalltown was also directly hit.  We understand that facility was damaged and they are still operating on backup generated power.  Luckily no injuries occurred at that facility.  Aureon’s emergency operations has re-routed calls so interruption to business was minimal. 

At this time, ICA has no specific “call to action” or requests by either Vermeer or Aureon for specific aid or assistance.  Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.  

Webcast Informs Members on Terms and Conditions Template

55 member companies joined Tuesday’s ICA webcast on the Model Services Catalog that we distributed to members last week.  The leaders of the webcast were ICA Workgroup members Bill VanderSluis (Olsen-Theilen), Burnie Snoddy (BKD, LLC), John Pietila (Davis Brown), and Roger Kregel (Dumont Telephone).

During the presentation, VanderSluis discussed several pointers on how to modify and use the ICA Model Services Catalog, where to personalize it, and where to insert additional information. 

Snoddy discussed that much of the former ITA Local Services Tariff (that became an online service catalog for most members) has been transitioned into Part 1 of the General Terms and Conditions or Part 2 Telephone Services module of the Catalog.

New portions include the broadband services module and the CATV module. 

Alliance General Counsel John Pietila advised that members be careful to make sure the terms and conditions match your business practices.  He also advised on the legal implications of using certain terms and conditions or modifying those terms.  He also answered questions on how to legally obtain customer “acceptance” of new or revised terms.  Pietila said that all members need network management and privacy policies online, and that all should have an acceptable use policy.

Kregel explained how part 4 informs the customer of the company’s terms and conditions of providing video service.

Attendees showed their interest in the subject by asking questions for more than 15 minutes.  The presenters gave advice on how to implement this new catalog and gave examples of how this document will undergo continual refinement based on member input and changing regulation.  

Click here to get a MS Word copy of the Catalog from ICA’s website.  Click here for a copy of the presentation given to members. 

This slide deck includes a checklist of items throughout the Model Services Catalog that each company can use to identify some of the T&Cs where specific company information will need to be inserted and/or customized.  

(Please contact Dave Duncan for more information

Governor Reynolds Creates “Empower Rural Iowa” Initiative

To better address the needs and desires of rural Iowans, Governor Kim Reynolds has created a new initiative called “Empower Rural Iowa.”  The initiative will be co-led by Lt. Governor Adam Gregg and the Iowa Rural Development Council, split into three task forces:

  1. Investing in Rural Iowa
  2. Growing Rural Iowa
  3. Connecting Rural Iowa

ICA CEO Dave Duncan serves on the Executive Committee of the Iowa Rural Development Council and expects to participate in the “Connecting Rural Iowa” task force that is charged with reviewing existing state policies and programs related to broadband connectivity and propose new policies and programs to encourage increased broadband connectivity throughout rural Iowa. 

Each of the three task forces will host Idea Summits in locations throughout rural Iowa in 2018, leading to the creation of recommendations to the Governor by December 31st

Click here to read the Governor’s Proclamation. 

(Please contact Dave Duncan for more information) 

Member News

 

TelePAC Tour de Iowa

WCTA hosted Representative Jane Bloomingdale (R – Northwood) and delivered a campaign contribution to Bloomingdale on behalf of the TelePAC.  Mark Thoma provided a tour of the Lake Mills facilities.  Thoma and Bloomingdale also discussed local government, the legislature, and industry issues including property tax, deregulation of local exchange carriers, and broadband buildout.  

   

Jane Bloomingdale was elected in 2016 as the representative for House District 51, which includes mostly rural areas of Worth, Mitchell, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties.  Bloomingdale is a lifelong resident of Northwood.  Prior to being elected as representative, she served in city government for 20 years, including as Mayor of Northwood. 

Bloomingdale serves on the following standing committees: Commerce, Economic Growth, Local Government, and Ways and Means.  Bloomingdale is the Vice Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.  Bloomingdale will be on the ballot for re-election in November.  

Upcoming Meetings

Here are some meetings and industry events of interest to members next week:

  • Monday, July 23rd - 1 pm - Scholarship Presentation at South Slope Cooperative Communications Company 
  • Tuesday, July 24th – 10am – ICA Impact Committee Meeting
  • IUB hearing on Chapter 6 (Complaints) Rulemaking, Tuesday, July 24th at 1:00 pm at the IUB

IUB News

 

IUB Workshop Reviewing Required Filings Interrupted by Tornado Warning

Several ICA members attended a workshop hosted by all three IUB board members and eleven IUB employees yesterday.  Board Chair Geri Huser opened the meeting by reviewing a list of nearly 70 different docket types that the IUB processes, about 30 of which apply to telecom.  She and Board Member Nick Wagner announced their intention to reduce, consolidate and eliminate as many filings by industry as possible while still complying with state and federal regulations and law.  The Board indicated its goal was to determine what filings were required by state or federal law, and then eliminate all those filings that are simply optional or not explicitly required by law. 

Highlights include the Board’s stated desire to:

  1. combine the annual report, registration, and dual-party relay reporting into one filed document (active by early 2019);
  2. create a web portal where each company would be able to upload certain documents that would not be reviewed (or assessed for costs) by the IUB staff. 
  3. Make certain information from that web portal open to public viewing so others can access information such as registration information, contact info and interconnection agreements.
  4. making eliminate as much Board jurisdiction as legally possible

Thanks to ICA Regulatory Relations Committee members Tom Steinolfson (IAMO), Bill VanderSluis (Olsen Theilen) and Chris Davis (Aureon), John Pietila (Davis Brown) for attending.  Daryl Carlson (Webster Calhoun) and ICA’s Dave Duncan and Caitlin Jarzen also attended.  CenturyLink had two representatives, and Consumer Advocate Mark Schuling, former IUB attorney/current OCA attorney Jennifer Johnson also participated. 

The meeting was cut short when a tornado warning forced all attendees to either go to the storm shelter in the IUB basement or leave the building.  Board Chair Huser dismissed all attendees and announced the meeting will continue in the future.  She also stated that the IUB would issue a further guidance on its efforts to overhaul the filing regime.  Though we all escaped any threat of the storm, our hearts go out to those just east of Des Moines who suffered from the tornados that did touch down.

Several important issues remain to be discussed or clarified: 

  • IUB will compile a list identifying which dockets will be eliminated and/or combined
  • clarification of DPR assessments in enterprise situations;
  • the extent to which the IUB intended to and/or did remove requirements in Chapter 22 requiring telecom providers to keep and/or file certain records;
  • whether IUB has already removed all jurisdiction over consumer complaints except in those cases where the consumer alleges there are no competitive providers.  

(Please contact Dave Duncan for more information) 

IUB Cancels Registrations for Dozens of Providers

In its continuing efforts to increase transparency and identify companies that fail to respond to Board orders, the IUB issued an Order canceling the Registrations of 27telecommunications service providers that failed to file their annual reports as of December 31, 2017.  Cancellation of registration cancels the utility’s authorization to conduct business as a telecommunications service provider in Iowa. 

If any of these providers wishes to provide telecommunications service going forward, they must file a new Registration.  None of the canceled registrations are held by ICA members.  Click here to read the Order. 

(Please contact Dave Duncan for more information) 

FCC News

 

FCC Changes Rules to Promote Nationwide Number Portability

During its meeting on July 12th, the FCC approved a Report and Order that takes further steps toward facilitating nationwide number portability.

The FCC points out that currently. consumers are not able to fully port a number to any wireless or wireline provider.  Therefore, it is modifying rules that were designed “for an older market structure of separate local and long-distance calling.” 

The FCC adopted the following changes:

  • Elimination of the last vestiges of the “dialing parity” rule for competitive providers, and for stand-alone services grandfathered in 2015 that was intended to ensure that consumers could choose and access a stand-alone long-distance provider without dialing extra digits.
  • Providing flexibility in call routing by easing the “N-1” rule that currently requires the next-to-last carrier in a call – typically the long-distance provider – to query the number portability database. The modification allows other carriers in the chain to query the database and the FCC says this will open new opportunities for call routing as the industry prepares for nationwide number portability.

To read the Order, click here.  

(Please contact Dave Duncan for more information) 

Compliance News

 

USAC Opens Election Process for 2019 Recertification

Service providers may elect USAC to conduct the rolling recertification process on their behalf for 2019 from July 16, 2018 to August 31, 2018To elect USAC to conduct your Lifeline recertifications for 2019, use the USAC online election form.  There is no fee for this service.  USAC reminds that for 2019 USAC-elected recertification, elections will not automatically renew. If your company has currently elected USAC, you will need to submit an election for 2019.  For additional information, please visit  USAC’s-elected recertification page.

RolkaLoube Notifies Members of TRS Portal

During yesterday’s ICA Regulatory Relations Committee meeting, BKD’s Bryan Dilks advised that members have received a spam-looking email from RolkaLoube and have questioned its authenticity.  Dilks reported that he has researched and verified these emails are from the new interstate TRS fund administrator and they announce a new contributor account portal.  The email urges companies to access the RolkaLoube web portal to obtain a link to set up a new password.  Questions may be directed to at [email protected] or by phone at 717.585-6605

Legislative News

 

Pie Throwing Raincheck!

Cash in your rainchecks for the TelePAC Pie Throwing Fundraiser at the Aureon Golf BBQ!

Those of you who purchased raffle tickets for an opportunity to throw pies at these guys, will get your chance your chance!  Hang around for a bit after the BBQ to throw pies – or witness the “Pie-ing” – the fundraiser will take place immediately following Aureon’s program.

You do not need to keep your ticket stub for the chance to throw pies.  We have a record of all contributor names and contribution amounts and will create a name drawing based on that data.

WE WILL PIE THESE GUYS! 

(Contact Caitlin Jarzen for additional information)

 TelePAC Brew Tasting Tour

Education and Events

 

Registration Now Open for Sept. 11 & 12th Convergence TV Conference

The Alliance is hosting its annual Video Seminar, which has been renamed as Convergence TV.  We will host sponsored User Group meetings on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 11th, and the main conference will be held on Wednesday, September 12th at the West Des Moines Marriott.  Convergence TV is dedicated to video operations and the transition toward broadband-supplied video for small providers.

Why should you attend?
Because you will be educated and trained on the following topics (subject to change): 

  • 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
  • Sponsored Breakfast Update from a member on current products
  • Marketing aspects of managed Wi-Fi services – best practices of what to do and what not to do
  • Thinking about dropping TV? What is TV? We’ll have a panel dive into the pondering questions around this topic
  • Consumer electronics show
  • Other current topics of interest to providers of video services

Schedule of Events: 

Tuesday, September 11th: 

2:00 PM - Registration
2:30 - 4:30 PM - 
Pre-Conference User Group Sessions 
4:30 PM - 
Networking Reception 
5:30 PM - 
TelePac Beer Tasting Bus Tour 

Wednesday, September 12th: 

7:00 AM - Registration 
7:30 AM - 4:30 PM - Conference 

This conference is packed with useful information and training for our video providers. Sign up today for a low cost of $199! Click here for registration

Please contact Brittany Bonnicksen if you have further questions!

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Webcast
Wednesday, August 29th at 2:00 pm.

The conversations around sexual harassment seemed to have spread like wildfire in the last year with increasing discussions happening every day. Last year TIME magazine released the ME TOO “silence breakers” as the 2017 Person of the Year which raised a lot of attention to this matter. This is a topic that has now been at the forefront for HR professionals discussing best practices, how to handle these situations, and how to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately, the ugly truth is sexual harassment happens in the workplace. Is your company prepared to handle the situation appropriately if/when this happens?

Join us on August 29th at 2:00 pm to hear from Christy Smith, an HR expert to discuss the different types of sexual harassment, how you can prevent this, and best practices if/when this arises. Members who are not CyberPass holders should contact Brittany Bonnicksen to get signed up or register below.  

Register Here

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