Iowa Communicator - June 3, 2016

Iowa Communicator - June 3, 2016


This Week's Headlines:
Join Us Next Week for Alliance Events
Loebsack Visits Kalona Cooperative

Tariff News:
NECA Files Access Tariff Revisions

Compliance News:
FCC Form 481 due July 1st

Education & Events News:
3rd ANNUAL Golf & Grill Classic –DEADLINE TODAY
Impact 2016 Call for Speakers & Sponsors
September 15th EnVision Conference for Video Providers

Broadband News:
NTIA Releases Community Broadband Map 
Mediacom Loses Bid for Injunction against ImOn
Loebsack’s “Rural Health Care Connectivity Act” Passes U.S. House




Member News:
Frontier Discusses Challenges of Competing with Cable

IUB News:
IUB Needs More Info on Consolidated/Premier Transaction
ITCI Files Access Tariff
tw telecom Changes Name to Level 3 Telecom of Iowa

Statehouse News:
Governor’s Action Brings Official Close of Leg. Business for 2016
Iowa Primary This Tuesday, Don’t Forget to Vote!!!


Registration Deadline is TODAY

This Week's Headlines

Join Us Next Week for Alliance Events! 


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

Following the Board meeting, members are invited to join staff and directors for a networking social on June 7th (the evening before the Leadership Conference) in Cedar Rapids.  Come and meet your friends and colleagues at the Kirkwood Hotel Lobby at 6:30 PM for a few complimentary refreshments and appetizers and then around 7:15 we will take the shuttle thru the Czech Village to the Newbo Market area for dinner at Popoli Ristorante.  Please RSVP your plans to attend to Jolene Davis by June 3rd  so we can reserve enough tables.  The cost of dinner is on your own.    

Then on Wednesday, June 8 please join us for the Leadership Conference at the Kirkwood Hotel. Click here for the full conference brochure and register today.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)


Loebsack Visits Kalona Cooperative


On Thursday, Iowa 2nd Congressional District Representative Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa City) stopped by Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company (KCTC) as he continues his outreach efforts to members of the independent communications industry. With more than a few Alliance members located in the 2nd District, Loebsack’s attention to our concerns is something that no one in the industry should take for granted. The Congressman sits on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House and also is active on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FCC.

KCTC General Manager Casey Peck and her team discussed various issues with the Congressman including the company’s new launch of broadband service in nearby Washington. Loebsack had the opportunity to meet most of the 16-person staff in Kalona and see firsthand the kind of business that goes on inside Iowa’s independent companies. 


Tariff News    
  NECA Files Access Tariff Revisions    

NECA announced it will file its annual revisions to NECA Interstate Access Tariff #5 on June 16, 2016 to go into effect July 1, 2016.  The ITA Intrastate Access Tariff #1 mirrors the NECA Tariff 5, and so any changes to NECA 5 will automatically be reflected in the ITA #1 and those concurring in the ITA Tariff need take no action on the interstate side. 

Below is NECA’s summary of the planned revisions:

  • Based upon the data submitted in this year’s CAF/ICC data collection, most companies will see increases in their residential and single line business ARC rates to the new maximum rate caps. Since the multiline business ARC rate for most companies is already at the $3.00 maximum permitted under the FCC’s rules, most companies will not see any rate change to this rate element.
  • Monthly and nonrecurring rates will be increasing for Switched Access (SWA) Service originating end office and all transport elements as a result of pool participation changes. The terminating end office rates will be decreasing as a result of the required ICC transition step-down. The number of rate bands and company specific rate band assignments for SWA will not be changing.
  • Monthly rates for most Special Access (SPA), Ethernet Transport Service (ETS) and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Access Service elements will be changing as a result of updated costs. While the number of rate bands for SPA, ETS, and DSL Access Services will not be changing this year, a significant number of company specific rate band assignments and virtually all SPA, ETS and DSL banded rates will be changing. Nonrecurring charges for SPA, ETS and DSL will not be changing.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

Compliance News    

FCC Form 481 due July 1st


All ETCs must file FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form)as required by FCCSection 54.313 by July 1st.  This form includes a wide variety of information on outages, unfulfilled service requests, complaint data, as well as corporate information, and other items. Form 481 must be filed with FCC, USAC and IUB.  New for this year, the Form 481 includes new CAF reporting requirements including for Section 54.313(a)(12) (broadband reasonable comparability rate certification) and Section 54.313(e) (Recipients of Connect America Phase II). 

Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission if confidential treatment is desired.  For more information and to see the revised FCC Form 481 go to on USAC’s High Cost webpage

 Education & Events News    
   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 TODAY, 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.    

Broadband News      
  NTIA Releases Community Broadband Map     

The US Department of Commerce and the NTIA’s BroadbandUSA program has released a booklet entitled, “Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap:  A toolkit for Local and Tribal Governments.”  The toolkit “presents the planning steps necessary to create a Community Broadband Roadmap, offers tips and advice from BTOP grantees and provides links to resources and tools.”  It says its goal is to “help communities expand broadband access locally to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, promote economic development, spur private investment and facilitate the delivery of essential social services to their citizens.  Click here to read it.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information


Mediacom Loses Bid for Injuction Against ImOn


Mediacom has sued the City of Iowa City, claiming it is giving favorable treatment to competitor ImOn via collaboration and not requiring a franchise to build the municipal broadband and cable network.  Mediacom sought an injunction to stop ImOn from starting construction, but US District Court Judge Charles Wolle denied the request.  Mediacom’s suit will continue on Mediacom’s claims that the collaboration between Iowa City and ImOn violates the Mediacom franchise agreement.  Click here to read more from FierceCable.

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)


Loebsack’s “Rural Health Care Connectivity Act” Passes U.S. House


In addition to visiting the communications companies that make broadband access possible, Loebsack also spent some time recently in his district discussing connectivity with rural healthcare providers, namely skilled nursing facilities. The Congressman visited facilities in Mt. Pleasant, Fairfield and Keosauqua recently to discuss his legislation that was included as part of a larger legislative proposal.

According to the Congressman press operation, “Specifically, Loebsack’s bill makes skilled nursing facilities eligible to receive funds through the Universal Service Fund’s Rural Healthcare Program. This is a $400 million program that provides discounts for telecommunications services so that rural healthcare providers pay comparable rates to their urban counterparts, and helps expand healthcare provider access to broadband services.” 

To read the Congressman’s press release on the legislation please click here

Member News  

Frontier Discusses Challenges of Competing with Cable


An article in Telecompetitor includes discussion with Frontier CEO Dan McCarthy on the company’s plans to compete with cable companies. Among the strategies is implementation of technology to support broadband speeds up to 300Mbps over copper.   Click here to read it.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

IUB Filings      
   IUB Needs More Info on Consolidated/Premier Transaction    

The IUB has docketed for further investigation the request by Premier, Consolidated Communications and Winnebago Cooperative to consummate a multi-step transaction.  The IUB says the transfer of control part of the transaction requires no Board approval, but that the name change will require other regulatory approvals and the filing of a revised intrastate access tariff before it can be approved.  The IUB also said that it is premature to approve the third phase of the asset transfer or the request to amend ETC designation until other steps and regulatory approvals have been approved.  The Board directed the parties to make additional filings and will take additional steps when appropriate.  Click here for more.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

  ITCI Files Access Tariff    

Interstate Telcom Consulting, Inc. filed an Intrastate Access Tariff with the IUB.  Click here to see it.  Ace Telephone has also filed a concurrence into the ITCI tariff.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)


tw telecom Changes Name to Level 3 Telecom of Iowa


tw telecom of Iowa filed a notice to the Board announcing a name change to Level 3 Telecom of Iowa.  It says the name change is to better align with its corporate parent, and that it will continue to provide service to business customers only.  Click here for more.  

Statehouse News     

Governor’s Action Brings Official Close of Legislative Business for 2016


Even though the Legislature adjourned sine die on April 29th, the 2016 Legislative Session truly came to a close last Friday as the Governor carried out his final action on the remaining bills that had been sent to him by the legislative branch. After the Legislature adjourns for the year, the Governor has 30 days to act on the bills sent to him in the final days of the session. In Iowa, the Governor can “line item” veto portions of budget bills but he can only veto a policy bill in its entirety if it contains no use of state funds. This year, the Governor exercised his veto authority in limited fashion as compared to other years.  

To see the complete wrap up of the Governor’s final actions please click here.

To read the Alliance’s 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 This Tuesday, Don’t Forget to Vote!!!


With the June 7th primaries on the other side of the weekend, 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. As the dust settles following Tuesday’s results you can be assured that the successful campaigns won’t skip a beat as they set their sights on November 8th.

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 the TelePAC Committee, 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!

For more information about how and where to vote, please click here!

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)


2016 Committee Volunteers –March Open Enrollment

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