Iowa Communicator - May 20, 2016

Iowa Communicator - May 20, 2016


This Week's Headlines:
IUB Proposes Overhaul of Telephone Rules; VoIP Deregulation

Education & Events News:
Great things are happening in Rural America Webcast
Wanna go Dutch in the Czech Village?
Leadership Conference is less than 3 weeks away-Register Today!
3rd ANNUAL Golf & Grill Classic – DEADLINE is June 3rd!
September 15th EnVision Conference for Video Providers

Industry News:
ETCs Required to Respond to E-Rate Requests for Service
Regulatory Committee Identifies Topics of Interest

Compliance News:
FCC Compliance Filings due at IUB by June 1st




Member News:
Alliance Board Meeting Open to Members
Alliance Presents 2016 Scholarship
New Openings in Career Center

State House News:
June 7th Primary Nearly 2 Weeks Away!

IUB News:
IUB Discusses Remainder Assessments and Other Topics

Washington News:
Dandekar Confirmed for Ambassadorship

Video Provider News:
FCC Expands Online Public Inspection File Database


Registration Deadline is June 3rd!

This Week's Headlines

IUB Proposes Overhaul of Telephone Rules; VoIP Deregulation


During its Open Meeting this week, the IUB approved the commencement of yet another round of rulemaking to address the telephone service rules.  This is the fourth round of rule changes in the past several years as the IUB continues to move toward “modernization” and “deregulation” and “technological neutrality” of the rules. 

The good news is that the IUB adopted almost all of the comments and suggestions that the Alliance has proposed in prior discussions.  The Alliance has a working group that has been analyzing IUB proposals and crafting our own rule changes, and early input from that group to the IUB’s latest proposal is favorable.

The IUB proposes to delete a number of rules relating to outdated definitions and services.  It also proposes to delete most or all rules relating to:

·         22.3 General service requirements, including directories, pay telephone service, extension plans, and assignment of numbers

·         22.5 Telephone utility service standards

·         22.6 Standards of quality of service (deleting or revising most rules relating to service connections, held orders, service interruption, missed appointments, emergency operation, and business offices).

·         22.7 Safety programs

·         22.8 Extended area service

·         22.9 Terminal equipment

·         22.10 Unfair practices

·         22.11 Inside wiring standards

·         22.21 Toll dialing patterns

Now the bad news -- while the |IUB reduces but does not eliminate regulation for TDM voice service, it reverses multiple earlier Board Orders and proposes to “deregulate VoIP”.   During this week’s Open meeting, all three Board Members suggested that full deregulation of VoIP would not be appropriate and that VoIP providers should have to continue to pay into the dual party fund and E911 fund, and the Board may want to retain jurisdiction over some customer complaints and intercarrier disputes.   The proposed rules contemplate full VoIP deregulation and the Board is soliciting comment from all parties. 

The Alliance working group will meet in the near future to begin crafting our response, and we will provide an update soon. 

Click here to read the Board’s Order Commencing Rulemaking.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

 Education & Events News    
  Great things are happening in Rural America
May 24th at 10:00 AM
Presented by Bill Menner, State Director Iowa USDA Rural Development

Join USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner for a one-hour webcast highlighting how “Great things are happening in Rural America.” Learn more about USDA rural and economic development loan and grant programs that are available in your community for

·Job creation & economic development

·Community improvement projects-health care, public safety, education, community facilities

·Housing programs

·Water & environmental programs

·And much more.


Click here to register. 

Please note:  Cyberpass registrants are already signed up.  


Special Thanks to our All Star Sponsors:


Wanna go Dutch in the Czech Village?


If you’re in the area plan to join us on Tuesday, June 7th drinks and dinner. 

ICA Leadership Conference Networking Social

June 7, 2016

Kirkwood Hotel Lobby & Popoli Ristorante

Meet your friends and colleagues at the Kirkwood Hotel Lobby at 6:30 PM for a few complimentary refreshments and appetizers. About 7:15 take the shuttle thru the Czech Village to the Newbo Market area for dinner at Popoli Ristorante. 

Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar offers contemporary homemade Italian-inspired cuisine made from local ingredients.  Popoli is located in the historic Louis Sullivan Bank building formerly known as People’s Bank. 

Relax, visit with old and new friends and enjoy a delectable meal.  The hotel shuttle will get you back safe and sound at the end of the night.  All ICA members are invited to attend even if you’re unable to attend the Leadership Conference.  Please RSVP your plans to attend to Jolene by June 3rd  so we can reserve enough tables.  Dinner is dutch treat.  


Leadership Conference is less than 3 weeks away-Register Today!


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.    

Industry News      
  ETCs Required to Respond to E-Rate Requests for Service    

During this week’s Regulatory Relations Committee Meeting, Committee member Dave Gibson reported that the December 19, 2014 E-Rate Modernization Order part II requires high-cost recipients to offer high speed broadband to schools and libraries located in geographic areas served by the carrier at “rates reasonably comparable to similar services in urban areas.”  He reported that means high cost recipients must bid on category one telecommunications and internet access services in response to the posting of an FCC Form 470 requesting such services for schools and libraries in the carrier’s service area. 

If the high-cost recipient has facilities in place, it must bid in the funding year the request is made.  The request must be “reasonable” and the carrier must offer prices within the national benchmarks that the FCC will determine.  Carriers who refuse to bid or offer reasonably comparable bids to an eligible school or library may be referred to the Enforcement Bureau. 

The Regulatory Committee urged all members to go to USAC’s E-Rate Productivity Center to register to receive updates on requests filed by schools and libraries.  Click here for login instructions and click here for a video tutorial.  Click here for links to a number of Schools and Libraries News Briefs that include EPC topics.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information


Regulatory Committee Identifies Topics of Interest


The Alliance Regulatory Committee met this week to discuss the impact of various recent state and federal regulatory developments on Alliance members.  In addition to discussing the IUB’s Chapter 22 rulemaking (see story above), it discussed the following items of interest to members:

  • USF Reform.  The Committee discussed the USF Reform Order and the comments filed in response to the FCC’s proposed list of impermissible expenses and the loss of a LEC’s tariff’s “deemed lawful” status if impermissible expenses are made. 
  • Lifeline Reform Order.  The Committee discussed the ramifications of the Lifeline Reform Order that will allow eligible customers to receive support for standalone fixed and mobile broadband services.  These include:
  • LIHEAP will no longer be an eligible factor for Lifeline eligibility. 
  • The creation of a third party national eligibility verifier that will be implemented sometime in the future. 
  • ETCs must use a snapshot date of the first of the month to identify eligible customers, effective August 2016. 
  • Voice-based lifeline service will be phased out over time
  • ETCs will not be able to claim both broadband and voice service customers.  
  • ICN Invitation to Qualify.  The Committee discussed the recent ITTC “Invitation to Qualify” for upcoming Intrastate Ethernet transport bids due June 15.  Chair Hansen reported that the ITQs request substantial information, and she reported that Aureon has offered to make a filing for many members.  Committee member Burnie Snoddy reported that many of the details of the ITQ are necessary for the RFP process, and the ICN is making potential bidders aware of all the requirements. 
  • Business Data Services/Special Access OrderThe Committee discussed the FCC’s 288-page Tariff Investigation Order regarding special access for price cap LECs, now referred to as Business Data Services (BDS).  It discussed how the FCC proposed to deregulate BDS where competition exists and impose price-cap type regulation of TDM services in all non-competitive markets.  It also discussed that the FCC also invalidated three forms of special access tariff provisions (“all or nothing” contracts, excessively high shortfall fees, and excessively high early termination fees) filed by AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier.  The Committee discussed that this Order is likely to have no immediate impact on RLEC BDS, but is likely to impact smaller companies in the future. 
  • NENA Identification NumberThe Committee discussed the recent letters to numerous Alliance members stating that all LECs connected to the CenturyLink access tandem must have a NENA ID.  The Committee noted that the NENA ID is an annual subscription service of $250, and that the process to register and obtain a code is relatively simple.  It also noted that the NENA ID is embedded in the call record and the 911 Center immediately references the online NENA CID Database to find a 24/7 phone number to contact a person responsible for the phone system and hopefully trace the actual source of the call so emergency help can be dispatched in time. The Committee noted that companies may wish to register for the July 2016-2017 subscription.  If you have any questions for obtaining a NENA ID, go to the NENA website for more information

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

Compliance News   

FCC Compliance Filings due at IUB by June 1st


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.  

Member News      
   Alliance Board Meeting Open to Members    

All telco members are invited to attend and watch the June 7th Alliance Board meeting.  Alliance Board President Mark Harvey will host the meeting at the Dysart Library from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.  Every year the Alliance hosts one or more “open” board meetings at offsite locations and invites members to attend.  If interested in attending, and for more information, please RSVP to Christine Mounts.  

  Alliance Presents 2016 Scholarship     

 On Monday, Alliance CEO Dave Duncan  and CMTel General Manager Joe Snyder presented Sara Lawson of Bloomfield, IA with the 2016 Alliance Scholarship. “A record number of applications were received this year but Sara was quickly identified as a leading candidate based on her academic achievements and community involvement. We are pleased we can offer her assistance in fulfilling her goals,” said Duncan. 

The Alliance Scholarship is open to high school seniors and those currently enrolled in higher education who receive service from an Alliance Member Company. The 2017 Scholarship Application will be available in January. 

LToR: Joe Snyder, Sara Lawson, Dave Duncan

   New Openings in Career Center    

There are new openings  in the career center:

Accountant--Bloomfield, Iowa
Combination Technician--Eldridge, Iowa
General Manager--Arcadia, Iowa
Senior Technician--Wilton, Iowa

Statehouse News     

June 7th Primary Nearly 2 Weeks Away!


While Iowa had it’s 15 minutes in the spotlight for the “First in the Nation” Caucuses in February, a somewhat quieter primary is before us to help sort out the candidate field for the General Election on November 8th. While the Alliance and TelePAC typically do not get involved in the political party primary races, the PAC Committee Chaired by Tom Lovell (CL Tel) has hit the ground running this campaign season and are reviewing races that are important to our industry.

The requests for contributions from Statewide and Legislative Candidates are starting to come in and it will be important for TelePAC to have the resources it needs to continue to have a voice in the political landscape in Iowa. If you have already made your 2016 TelePAC contribution…THANK YOU! If you have been waiting for the right time, that time is NOW! Please consider a contribution today so that the PAC Committee can begin to budget for this election cycle and support those candidates who understand the issues the rural communications industry faces.

To see a preliminary list of Legislative Candidates running for election to the House please click here and to the Senate please click here.

To contribute to the TelePAC and for more information please click here.  

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

IUB News    
  IUB Discusses Remainder Assessments and Other Topics    

In addition to taking action on the Chapter 22 rulemaking, the IUB discussed a number of other topics at its monthly Open Board Meeting this week.  Board Chair Geri Huser reported that it has come to her attention that not all dockets were being properly charged for staff time and instead were being placed into the “remainder assessment” category assessed to all utilities.  Huser has instructed staff to look back at some dockets and make proper allocations. 

IUB’s recently-appointed Chief Operating Officer Cecil Wright reported on the Board’s comprehensive initiative to review all IUB rules and that “phase 2” of the rulemaking will begin this summer and will include a review of Board Rules relating to filing of complaints (Chapter 6), access to affiliate records (Chapter 31), utility reorganization (Chapter 32) and Railroad Right-of-Way (Chapter 42).

In addition, the Board heard an update on the Open Data Website Plan that mandates all agencies to comply with a uniform way of presenting information to the public.  Upon discussion, IUB staff has suggested that it will add the following information to this new state of Iowa Open Data Website:  (1) Utility Annual Reports; (2) information on the number of Lifeline subscribers; and (3) information on the generation of energy in Iowa by fuel type.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information).  

Washington News    

Dandekar Confirmed for Ambassadorship 


Former IUB Board Member and former Iowa legislator Swati Dandekar has been confirmed by the US Senate as US executive director for the Asian Development Bank.  She will be ranked as an ambassador.  The Asian Development Bank provides loans, grants and other assistance to people in Asia and the Pacific.  She served on the IUB from 2011-2013 after 10 years of service in the Iowa House and Senate.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information

Video Provider News    
  FCC Expands Online Public Inspection File Database    

Cable providers with more than 1,000 subscribers and others that have been added to the list of those required to begin posting their public inspection files to the FCC’s expanded online public inspection file database must commence using the database on June 24, 2016.  By December 24, 2016, those entities must also place their existing public file documents into the online public file.  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.  Cable systems with fewer than 1,000 subscribers are exempt from all online filing requirements.  Click here to read the FCC’s Public Notice that lists all the convoluted details.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)


2016 Committee Volunteers –March Open Enrollment

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