Iowa Communicator - June 10, 2016

Iowa Communicator - June 10, 2016


This Week's Headlines:
Alliance Board Meeting Highlights
Board Strategy Discussion Seeks More Member Input & Involvement
Leadership Conference Focuses on "Company Culture"

Broadband News:
Cable Now Has 60% of Broadband Market Share

IUB Filings:
IUB Clarifies VOIP DeReg Language
IUB Withdraws Great Lakes Tariff

Education & Events News:
3rd ANNUAL Golf & Grill Classic–Limited Spots Available!
Impact 2016 Call for Speakers & Sponsors
Annual Meeting & Expo Seeks Topic Recommendations
September 15th EnVision Conference for Video Providers




Industry News:
Mediacom Notches Last Place in Customer Satisfaction

Member News:
Kiesling Accounting Seminar August 11-12

State News:
Webcasts will Review Iowa E911 Updates
Tom Sands Announces Retirement from Statehouse

Congressional News:
House Subcmte to Hold Hearing on FCC BB Privacy Proposals
Grassley Pens Letter on Set Top Boxes to FCC’s Wheeler


This Week's Headlines

Alliance Board Meeting Highlights


This week the Alliance Board of Directors hosted its meeting at the Dysart Public Library.  The meeting was open for members to attend, and they watched the Board take the following actions and conduct the following discussions:    

·         Revised the Core Purpose and Committee Expectations.  The Board approved amendments to clarify that while the Alliance allows and encourages non-ILEC providers to join and participate in Alliance activities, all policymaking committees will be led by ILEC members and will focus on the interests of ILEC members.

·         IUB Chapter 22 Rulemaking Team.  The Board received a report detailing the first draft of the Alliance Task Force’s Comments in response to the IUB’s proposed deletion of significant numbers of service quality and utility standard rules.  The Board asked the Alliance staff to notify members to attend the August 9th hearing at the IUB to provide a strong showing of support. 

·         Member Input.  Each member of the Board will encourage members to discuss their concerns and ideas on the direction of the Alliance.  Each Board agenda will now include reports summarizing the member input and suggestions.

·         Financial Policies.  The Board reviewed, revised and approved updated some financial policies while instructing staff to amend other policies for further discussion.  

·         Rural Development.  Duncan reported on his efforts to pursue rural development initiatives, including our legislative agenda, the recent USDA RD webcast and the upcoming rural development summit.  


Board Strategy Discussion Seeks More Member Input & Involvement


The Alliance Board of Directors met for its annual planning session on Tuesday morning.  During that meeting, Vice President Mark Peterson led a presentation based on concepts and discussion from the book “Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action” by John Spence.  This presentation focused on establishing a strong culture of success in relationships among the board, between the board and the CEO and amongst Alliance staff.  The presentation and discussion were designed to be consistent with the theme of this week’s Leadership Conference (see story below). 

During the meeting, the Board created the following action items:

1.      The Board initiated a plan to increase the amount of input and comment they receive from members, and directors agreed be sure to solicit additional member input on “how are we doing” and “what can we do for you” at industry meetings, and include a standing agenda item at each board meeting to discuss what directors are hearing from members.

2.      The Board discussed plans to recruit future directors, increase board diversity, and encourage more participation by members in Alliance activities and governance

3.      The Board created an initiative to increase member participation at legislative and regulatory events including IUB hearings and Washington DC visits.  

4.      The Board is monitoring innovations in the industry to help it be strategic in addressing and staying on top of the technological changes impacting our members

Most importantly, each member of the Board is interested in hearing from you on how to best serve your interests in these times of changing economic, technological and regulatory forces.  Click here for a list of our directors and their contact information.  

   Leadership Conference Focuses on "Company Culture"    

Many thanks to the ICA Managers Training Committee for putting together the 2016 Leadership Conference that was held this Wednesday at the Kirkwood Hotel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

The committee members are:

  • Mark Peterson, WTC Communications
  • Jaimie Daubendiek, Jefferson Telephone Company
  • Donald Jennings, Partner Communications Cooperative
  • Janell Hansen, Marne Elk Horn Telephone Company
  • Chris Hopp, Alpine Communications
  • Roger Kregel, Dumont Telephone
  • Kyle Manders, Bernard Telephone Company
  • Andy Randol, Panora Communications Cooperative
  • Larry Springer, Colo Telephone Company
  • Joe Snyder, Citizens Mutual Telephone Company
  • Todd Thorson, Kiesling Associates



Congratulations to Todd Thorson of Kiesling Associates for receiving the Committee Member of the Year Award from Mark Peterson. 



Over 60 general managers and key employees attended the conference.  Keynote Dr. Bill Withers, opened the day with his Organizational Culture, Keeping It Simple address.  Each attendee received a copy of Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage.   Dr. Wither’s addressed topics in the book as well.   Here’s what the attendees had to say about his presentation:

·         I want more and will need to finish the book.

·         It was excellent!

·         I would come to any event that Bill would be speaking at. It was one of the most motivating speakers I have been blessed to hear.

Attendees shared best practices and ideas during the roundtable sessions.  Afternoon sessions included Company Culture Data, Manager Sharing Best Practices and Reviews are Easy, Said No One.  More comments from attendees: 

·         Great meeting - so glad I came! Topics were very relevant to what I'm facing today. Well worth it.

·         I was very excited to attend and was not disappointed once I was there. The day flew by and you were able to cover most aspects of leadership within a company. I already look forward to next year.

·         You can learn more from listening to your peers than any other way so keep offering roundtables.

We would also like to thank our sponsors:
Kiesling Associates, Finley Engineering, ITCA, Oak Hill Consulting, Davis Brown Law & GVNW.   

Dates for next year’s conference will be available soon.  If you would like to help plan this event and additional training for managers, committee volunteers are welcome.  Email Jolene if you would like to volunteer. 

Broadband News    
  Cable Now Has 60% of Broadband Market Share    

An article from Telecompetitor reviews the latest data on broadband subscriptions and finds that cable providers’ share of nationwide broadband subscriptions rose to more than 62 percent while fiber broadband connections to homes were at 23 percent of the total and DSL’s market share dropped to 15 percent.  The data, from Strategy Analytics Service Provider Strategies service report, says that total fixed broadband household penetration approached 80 percent.  Click here to read more from Telecompetitor.

IUB Filings    

IUB Clarifies VOIP DeReg Language


As part of its proposed rule changes to Chapter 22, the IUB is seeking comment on whether to deregulate VoIP service.  IUB issued an Order this week clarifying its proposed language to be more of partial “dereg” – by inserting the following new rule:

22.1(6)(a)(15) Telecommunications retail services provided by Voice over Internet Protocol technology. The deregulation of these services is not intended to affect the Board’s authority over customer complaints and intercarrier disputes, nor is it intended to relieve providers of Voice over Internet Protocol services from their Dual Party Relay assessment obligations or their reporting obligations to the Board.

The Alliance has a large group of members reviewing all the proposed changes and we will file comments by the July 1st deadline.  We intend to advise the Board to resist any “imbalanced” deregulation based on technology and instead argue that VoIP and TDM services must be treated the same because they are functionally similar services. 

  IUB Withdraws Great Lakes Tariff     

Great Lakes Communications filed a proposed intrastate access tariff for HVAS traffic in March.  Objections were received from CenturyLink, Sprint and OCA.  IUB opened a docket for investigation.  Later, Great Lakes asked the Board for permission to withdraw its tariff and close the docket.  This week, the IUB granted the request to withdraw the tariff, and it closed the docket.  Click here for more.

 Education & Events News    

Golf & Grill Classic-Pairings List Available


The Golf & Grill Classic is less than 2 weeks away and the golf committee is busy finalizing plans. There are lots of sponsored giveaways in your registration gift bag, 10 hole sponsors with fun things in store and some skilled events.  Skilled is loosely defined for some of the events!  Nonetheless, great prizes are available.

Click here to view the initial pairings list. Please take a look at the list and if you’re not on it email Jolene at ICA to get registered! Or you can register online.   We have a few openings remaining on Monday.  There’s still plenty of room for golfers on Tuesday. 

Don’t miss it!

The Golf & Grill Classic is sponsored by:  

  Annual Meeting & Expo Committee Seeks Topic Recommendations    
  The Annual Meeting & Expo Committee wants to hear from you! We are planning the 2017 meeting and want to know what topics you want to hear about! Please send any ideas to Jolene Davis.    

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      
  Mediacom Notches Last Place in Customer Satisfaction     

According to a recent customer satisfaction survey reported by the Des Moines Register, Mediacom Communications came in dead last out of the nation's largest telecommunications companies.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index released its latest survey results this week, scoring companies on a 100-point scale. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Mediacom scored the lowest amongst all cable providers at 54, and for its internet service, Mediacom came in second-to-last, with a score of 57.  Interestingly, the highest rated fixed telephone service provider is Vonage.   Click here for the survey and click here for more from the Des Moines Register.  

(contact Dave Duncan for more information

Member News  

Kiesling Accounting Seminar August 11-13


Kiesling's 2016 Telecom Accounting Seminar will be held August 11-12 at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, Iowa. For more information, please click here for the brochure. 

State News     
   Webcasts Will Review Iowa E911 Updates    

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management has scheduled two webinars in advance of the upcoming fiscal year to address the changes to Iowa Code 34A which governs E911 in Iowa.  The webinars will cover those changes and how they will impact PSAPs and local 911 service boards. The webinar will also cover changes to the grant process, provide instructions on the grant form, and address all changes to procedures from previous years. There will be time for questions and answers at the end of the webinar.  Attendance is free, but you must register for the webinars in advance.  Vendors, wireless providers, and other interested industry partners are also invited to participate, but the webinars will be focused on changes to PSAP/service board procedures and questions.

(contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   Tom Sands Announces Retirement from Statehouse    

With the June 7th primaries now behind us, most political watchers will turn their attention to November as a great majority of the General Election races are set. In a surprise, and somewhat sad announcement, Representative Tom Sands (R-Wapello) threw a curveball at those who are politically engaged by announcing his retirement at the end of his current term. Sands will be withdrawing his name from the November ballot, closing a 14-year career in the Iowa House. Sands has been a champion for the Alliance and the rural independent providers throughout his time at the Capitol and he will be missed not only in his interest in rural telecom issues but also in his capacity as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and his presence as a true statesman in the Iowa Legislature. The Alliance joins the legislative world in thanking Tom for his many years of dedicated service to the people of House District 88 and wish he and his wife, Catherine, and their family the very best as Tom said it in his announcement, his decision “permits a new chapter to be written and begun”.


To read an article about Sands retirement please click here.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

 Congressional News    

House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on FCC Broadband Privacy Proposals


The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on June 14, 2016 entitled FCC Overreach: Examining the Proposed Privacy Rules.  Congressman Loebsack is on that panel and the Alliance will work with him in advance of the hearing to let him know of concerns that small providers have with these proposed rules.  The hearing will be live webcast at

   Grassley Pens Letter on Set Top Boxes to FCC's Wheeler    

Iowa’s Senior U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-New Hartford) has joined the chorus of lawmakers cautioning the FCC and Chairman Tom Wheeler on their approach to open up the market for how Americans watch television. In February of this year, the FCC issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that detailed changes to what is referred to as set-top boxes. According to the FCC the goal of the rule change is to ensure a “competitive market” that will benefit consumers. Grassley, along with several other lawmakers, are questioning the move as government interference at a time when the industry is achieving technological advances at a rapid rate and government intervention may prove harmful in the long run for the industry.

To read Grassley’s letter to Chairman Wheeler, please click here.

To read an article briefly discussing Grassley’s letter, please click here.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)


2016 Committee Volunteers –March Open Enrollment

Share this post:

Comments on "Iowa Communicator - June 10, 2016"

Comments 0-20 of 0

Please login to comment