Iowa Communicator - May 13, 2016

Iowa Communicator - May 13, 2016

 


This Week's Headlines:
In case you Missed It….IUB Order Requires Tariff Filings
IXC to Pay $100K for Rural Call Failures

Education & Events News:
Look to the future with IPv6V
Register Today for the 2016 Leadership Conference
GOLF REGISTRATION DEADLINE is June 3rd!
Impact 2016 Call for Speakers & Sponsors
September 15th EnVision Conference for Video Providers
DMACC to Offer Data Networks Online Training

Industry News:
ICN Issues Q&A Document for ITQ
FTC Seeks Cyber Info from Carriers and Device Makers

Member News:
Aureon's Keller Interviewed

 

 

 

Statehouse News:
Broadband Tax Exemption Update
ICYMI: Alliance End-of-Session Report
Iowa Primary Less than a Month Away, Support the TelePAC!!!

IUB Filings:
IUB Approves Corporate Name Changes
Windstream and Verizon File Interconnection Agreement
IUB Approves MagicJack Certificate

Washington News:
Ernst Bill Increases Scrutiny of Federal Rulemaking
Grassley Notes Challenges Facing Iowa Carriers


Wireless News:
FCC Releases List of 99 Qualified Applicants in Spectrum Auction

 



 
This Week's Headlines
 
 

In case you Missed It….IUB Order Requires Tariff Filings

   
 

On Monday, the Alliance distributed a Special Report summarizing the IUB’s Order on Access Tariff Filings.  All members are required to make a filing by June 1st to show compliance with the FCC’s intercarrier compensation rate step downs.  Those step downs require a reduction in terminating access rates to $0.005 per minute as of July 1, 2015. Click here to read the IUB’s Order.  Click here to read our Special Report and to see a template that members may consider using for their filing. 

A number of members have already completed this simple filing, and all public filings are available on the IUB’s Summary of Orders and Filing search page. 

Today, the IUB issued an Order Approving the ITA Access Tariff Filing.  Click here to see it. 

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
 

IXC to Pay $100K for Rural Call Failures

   
 

The FCC Enforcement Bureau issued an Order adopting a consent decree with inContact which agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty to settle a call completion investigation.  A consumer in Minnesota complained that over a period of many months in 2015, inContact failed to ensure that its calls were reliably delivered and the problems in receiving work calls caused lost income.  inContact is a Utah-based long distance carrier and provider of call center-related services. 

The FCC’s press release says that this is the fifth resolution of a rural call completion investigation and the first arising out of an informal consumer complaint. The others include Verizon ($5 million), Matrix Telecom ($875K), Windstream ($25 million) and Level 3Click here for more on the inContact case or click here to go the FCC’s rural call completion page.  

 

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
 Education & Events News    
  Look to the future with IPv6
May 17th at 10:00 AM
Presented by Jon Brown & Gaven Davis of Vantage Point Solutions
   
   

Like it or not, IPv6 is here to stay. In this webinar, learn about what IPv6 is and what steps you and your company can do to prepare for it. Live examples will be shown as well as discussions on migration strategies and IPv6 best practices.

Click here to register. 

Please note:  Cyberpass registrants are already signed up.  We will email you the details of the webcast on May 13th.  

 

Special Thanks to our All Star Sponsors:


   
 

Register Today for the 2016 Leadership Conference
June 8 at the Kirkwood Hotel, Cedar Rapids, IA

   
 

Join ICA members at this one-day conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   The conference agenda provides a unique blend of speakers and topics from our opening Keynote Speaker Dr. Bill Withers, industry experts from South Slope Communications & Kiesling Associates and attendees sharing best practices in our most-requested open forum discussions.  Click here for the full conference brochure. 

Dr. Wither’s; Keynote Address will be
Organizational Culture—Keeping it Simple.  He will reference Patrick Lencioni’s,  book
The Advantage at the conference.  Each attendee will receive a copy of the book with their registration. 

Advance copies are available if you would like to read the book prior to the conference.  Register today and we’ll ship your copy today!

(Contact Jolene Davis with questions)

   
  3rd ANNUAL Golf & Grill Classic –REGISTRATION DEADLINE is June 3rd!     
   Plan to join us for the Iowa Communications Alliance 3rd Annual Golf & Grill Classic on June 20th & 21st at Lake Panorama National Golf Course. 


Several registration options are available for the golf outing:

  • Golf on Monday & attend the grill out Monday evening,
  • Attend the grill out Monday evening & golf on Tuesday
  • you may golf both days  (double session) and attend the grill out
  • Not a golfer?  You can register to attend the grill out and socialize with your industry friends. 

Click here to register online.  Or you can fill out registration form and return it to Jolene at the Iowa Communications Alliance.  All reservations must be received by June 3rd  ICA will not refund fees for cancellations received after June 3rd

 

The Golf & Grill Classic is sponsored by:  


   
 

Impact 2016 Call for Speakers & Sponsors

   
 

The Iowa Communications Alliance Technicians, Marketing & Front Office Training Committee is planning the agenda for the 2016 Combined ConferenceNovember 9 & 10 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The conference will include general sessions and tracks for each personnel type:  Marketing professionals, front office/customer service reps and technicians.  There may also be a few ITC managers in attendance. 

We are asking for your input as a member of this association to help provide high quality information to its members.   The committee will begin selecting topics/speakers program at their next meeting. Click here to download the Impact 2016 Call for Speakers.  

(Contact Jolene Davis with questions)

   
  Save the Date: September 15th EnVision Conference for Video Providers    
 

The EnVision Conference is September 15th in West Des Moines and will feature great speakers and topics that will provide ideas for enhancing your telco’s video products and services.

We are currently accepting speaker submissions and sponsorships.  Click here for the 2016 EnVision Call for Speakers & Sponsors.    

   
  DMACC to Offer Data Networks Online Training     
 

DMACC WEST is excited to offer a ten week continuing education course (TELE505) to those interested in gaining knowledge on the fundamentals of how ‘Data Networks’ operate.  This course can be of benefit not just to technicians, but also CSR’s that want more ‘technical’ information on how the network runs.  The training covers both LAN and WAN technology.

This course will allow you to work towards the industry recognized Network Pro (Network+) certification online in a simulated lab experience.  Working at your own pace, you will be introduced to networking basics, cables and connectors, Ethernet, network implementation, wireless networking, wide area networks, network security, network management, and troubleshooting practices. There are several sections included with the Labsim software available through DMACC that will be yours to access for the next several months---even beyond the official end of the training!  

The training is delivered with use of videos, hands-on simulated labs, printable terms and informational pages from each section, and short quizzes at the end of each module to test your retention. After completion you will be ready to take the test to get certified and never have to leave the home or office!   It can all be done online for the ‘NetworkPRO’ certification.  This is a great opportunity to learn new or refresh old skills for anybody working in the IT / Telecommunications field and wanting to do more with TCP/IP and the big ‘DATA’ world!

Contact DMACC for more information or register at our new online site for continuing education.  The online class starts May_23rd .  Cost, including the access code to the training- $499

Contact Amy Hill, DMACC WEST IT Instructor if you have content questions----and once you do enroll, please send Amy Hill an email to let her know you are starting training!  [email protected]

To take a look at the online resource/software, please go to www.testout.com

To enroll in the course, please go to….  https://ce.dmacctraining.com/dmacc2/public/store/search.do?navigator=retrieveItem&item=_cSNgAUwpVIMLjwnu47RyQ**&coursetype=CE9D

   
Industry News      
  ICN Issues Q&A Document for ITQ    
 

ICN has issued answers to fifteen questions that it has received in response to the Invitation to pre-qualify vendors for intrastate Ethernet circuits issued as part of ITQ 15-143.  For example, the answer to question 4 defines the scope of Intrastate Ethernet Transport Service as “a point to point, or Point to Multipoint Ethernet circuit that does not cross State boundaries and is classified under NECA classification as intrastate traffic.  If you are a company that does not use NECA rate structure, then category would not apply to you.”  ICN also clarifies that an interconnection point “could be any ICN site; ICN shall determine which site to use as an interconnection point.”  Click here to read all fifteen Q and A’s. 

(contact Dave Duncan for more information

   
 

FTC Seeks Cyber Info from Carriers and Device Makers

   
 

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Apple, Google, Blackberry and five other device makers to provide data on past security vulnerabilities, how the companies patch security holes, and what factors they consider when deciding when to issue an update.  The FTC has also asked carries such as Verizon and AT&T questions about what role they play in issuing device updates.  Click here to read more from The Hill.

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
Member News   
   Aureon’s Keller Interviewed    
 

The Des Moines Business Record featured an interview with Aureon CEO Ron Keller in its column “A Closer Look:  A local leader you should know.”  The two-page story includes Keller’s prior employment history, the challenges facing the telecom industry, and his vision for Aureon.  Click here to read it.  

   
Statehouse News     
 

Broadband Tax Exemption Update

   
 

According to communication from the Department of Revenue (DOR), the agency filed the adopted rules last Friday, May 6th. That means that the DOR has submitted the rulemaking document that the agency would like the Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) to adopt or approve which will carry out the administration of the broadband tax exemption created in the 2015 legislative session. HF 655, among other things, created a 100% property tax exemption on new plant in census blocks that currently don’t have access to 25/3 from at least one internet service provider. The proposed rules are meant to carry out that function from the perspective of the DOR. Additional rulemaking will be required from the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).

In March, the DOR submitted their draft proposal to the ARRC for initial consideration. A public hearing was then held in early April where the Alliance offered comments to improve the DOR’s process and strengthen the benefit of the exemption for rural carriers. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the DOR took the suggestions offered in the Alliance comments at this time to help clarify the exemptions purpose. How this impacts rural ILEC’s considering expansion projects is partly unclear but wholly frustrating.   

The Alliance, in coordination with Kiesling & Associates, has been engaged in conversations with DOR staff about how the rural carriers will have an exemption applied to projects using the “3-prong approach” methodology. There is not a consensus currently about appropriate application of the methodology that would provide rural carriers with a true 100% exemption in the final assessment. If the rulemaking document submitted by DOR for adoption is perceived as broad, it is because of the above mentioned lack of consensus. DOR has indicated that they will need the flexibility of a broad rulemaking to continue to work on the methodology in order to get the exemption right before the October property tax assessments are handed down.

From these conversations over the new tax exemption, the Alliance has learned that the DOR claims the agency has not and will not assess revenues generated from broadband income but only income from telephony services. The Alliance is working on guidance to member companies about how this might impact reporting on future TR1-3 statements. Please continue to monitor your inbox for additional details regarding both the income stream reporting and the broadband tax exemption rulemaking process.

The DOR’s rule proposal will be published in the May 25th ARRC bulletin and considered for adoption or delay by the committee on June 14th. If adopted, the rules would be “effective” on June 29th.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
 

Alliance End-of-Session Report

   
 

As reported in last week’s Communicator, the 2016 Legislative Session came to a close just as the calendar flipped to the month of May. To read the 2016 End-of-Session Report please click here.

To offer up policy ideas to the Alliance Legislative Committee for consideration on next session’s agenda, please contact Kevin Condon.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
 

Iowa Primary Season Less Than a Month Away, Support the TelePAC!

   
 

With the adjournment of the Legislature and the June 7th primaries just around the corner, campaign season is in full swing for candidates of the 2017 Statehouse. 25 of the 50 seats in the Senate are on the ballot as well as all 100 House seats. To date, there has been 12 House retirements and 1 Senate retirement announced. While several races are “uncontested” at this point there is sure to be plenty to keep political observers busy over the summer.

The Alliance, in coordination with Aureon, will be an active participant in this year’s political process through contributions made from the TelePAC. On behalf of outgoing TelePAC Committee Chair Bryan Amundson and incoming Chair Tom Lovell, we hope you will be an active participant in helping fill the TelePAC fund so that we may ensure candidates who support the rural communications industry make it to Des Moines this January.

Please click here to consider a contribution today!

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
IUB Filings    
  IUB Approves Corporate Name Changes    
 

·  Aureon.  The IUB has issued an order recognizing the corporate name of Alliance Connect, LLC changing to Aureon Communications, LLC, and it will issue an amended certificate reflecting the corporate name change.  Click here for more.

·  Consolidated.  The IUB has issued an order recognizing the corporate name of Heartland Telecommunications changing to Consolidated Communications, and it will issue an amended certificate reflecting the corporate name change.  Click here for more.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information).  

   
 

 Windstream and Verizon File Interconnection Agreement

   
 

Windstream Iowa Communications and Windstream Montezuma and MCIMetro Access d/b/a Verizon Access Transmission Services have filed a revised interconnection agreement with the IUB.  Click here to see it.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
  IUB Approves MagicJack Certificate    
 

IUB has approved an application by MagicJack SMB for a certificate to provide local exchange service throughout the state of Iowa.  MagicJack intends to provide service via resold local exchange service and via VoIP to small business customers.  Click here for more. 

(contact Dave Duncan for more information).  

   
Washington News    
 

Ernst Bill Increases Scrutiny of Federal Rulemaking

   
 

Legislation sponsored by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, The Prove It Act of 2016, would designate a third party to review the facts if there is a disagreement between agencies on the fiscal impact of a rule on small businesses, and issue a publicly available objective assessment. If it is determined that the proposed rule would have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the bill requires the federal agency to go back and complete additional regulatory analyses. The bill was approved by the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee this week.  It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information

   
   Grassley Notes Challenges Facing Iowa Carriers    
 

Senator Charles Grassley made reference to USF reform and call completion during the subcommittee meeting on Privacy, Technology and the Law hearing on Examining Proposed FCC Privacy Laws this week.  Senator Grassley noted the high cost and the challenges facing Iowa’s rural areas and urged the FCC to “keep these realities in mind as it continues to adjust the Universal Service Fund.”  He also reported on the continuing call completion problems suffered by rural Iowans, and urged the FCC to address the problem of least cost routers.  It is apparent that his remarks were a result of recent communications between his staff and a group of Alliance members, including NTCA Board President Doug Boone of Premier Communications.   Click here to read Senator Grassley’s statement. 

(Contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
Wireless News    
  FCC Releases List of 99 Qualified Applicants in Spectrum Auction    
 

The FCC has released a list of 99 qualified applicants, including some doing business in Iowa, for participation in the Forward Auction (Auction 1002) of the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction.  Five applications were denied or deemed to be incomplete.   Click here to see the list of approved applications.  

   
   
   
   
   

2016 Committee Volunteers –March Open Enrollment

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