Iowa Communicator - June 17, 2016

Iowa Communicator - June 17, 2016

 


This Week's Headlines:
3rd Annual Golf & Grill Classic Next Monday & Tuesday
Huser Visits South Slope
FCC Clarifies Implementation of USF Reform Order
Appeals Court Upholds FCC Net Neutrality Rules
Regulatory Relations Committee Meets

Legislative Committee Adopts Broadband Tax Exemption Rules

FCC News:
Radcliffe Asks FCC to Re-examine CAF Data
USF Factor to Remain 17.9%

Education & Events News:
2017 Annual Meeting & Expo Call for Speakers
Impact 2016 Call for Speakers & Sponsors
September 15th EnVision Conference for Video Providers

Member News:
Onvoy Purchases ANPI
Kniff Named Woman of Influence
Calix User Group Conference

 

 

 

Statehouse News:
Alliance Begins Summer Meetings with Legislators and Candidates

Compliance News:
FCC Reminds of July International Traffic & Revenue Data Filing


Tariff News:
NECA Makes Annual Access Tariff Filing

IUB Filings:
LECS Make CAF-ICC Certifications
IUB Issues RFP for Relay Services

 



Onsite Registration
Monday, June 20th--9:00 AM
Tuesday, June 21st-- 7:00 AM

 
This Week's Headlines
 
  3rd Annual Golf & Grill Classic Next Monday & Tuesday    
 

Over 260 ICA members and friends will be gathering at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora Iowa next week for a round of golf and bbq at the 3rd Annual ICA Golf & Grill Classic.  

You’re welcome to join us.  If you haven’t already registered, on-site registration begins at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 20th and at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21st.  Registration will be on the patio by the Lake Panorama Pro Shop.     

For the full pairings list click here.  Please note the pairings list is subject to change.  The final pairings list will be available at registration. 

The forecast is favorable, why not get out of the office and join your industry friends for the day?  Email Jolene at ICA if you have questions.  

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: 


   
 

Huser Visits South Slope

   
 

On Thursday, Justyn Miller, Dan Swick and the rest of the South Slope team hosted Iowa Utilities Board Chair Geri Huser at their central office in North Liberty. The meeting and tour of the facility had been in the works for some time and the folks at South Slope didn’t disappoint as they helped lend perspective to the challenges Alliance members face in doing business every day. The meeting was also attended by Senator Kevin Kinney (D-Oxford) and Representatives Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) and Sally Stutsman (D-Hills).

The group discussed the growth of the communications business in the Johnson County region and the demands for service that are experienced by many Alliance member companies. Going beyond the board room, the South Slope team were able to show Huser the inner workings of the operation by taking a tour of the switch room facility and data center.


(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
 

FCC Clarifies Implementation of USF Reform Order

   
 

The FCC issued a nine-page clarification of the recent Rate-of-Return USF Reform Order that addresses a number of questions that industry representatives have asked, including: transfer of exchanges; monthly per-line limit on universal service support; timing of operating expense limitation and reductions in the authorized rate of return; operating expense limitations; timing and implementation of the Capital Investment Allowance; average schedule carrier participation in the NECA traffic sensitive pool; determining the Consumer Broadband-Only Loop investment and expenses; calculation of the Budget Control “haircut”; and the USF contributions treatment of non-tariffed services.  Click here to read the Clarification Order. 

Some of these clarifications may cause significant impact on business practices, and industry groups are analyzing the impact of these clarification points.  During yesterday’s Regulatory Relations Committee meeting, the Committee noted that in implementing the budget control mechanism, the FCC appears to be ready to proceed with a 3.5% overall reduction without USAC data having been publicly released and before any other reductions will take place.  It also discussed other provisions of the clarification Order relating to ETCs remitting FUSC contributions, and the impact on that carrier’s USF recovery. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
  Appeals Court Upholds FCC Net Neutrality Rules    
 

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit has voted 2-1 to uphold the FCC’s net neutrality or open internet rules released in March 2015.  The court ruled that the FCC did have authority to re-classify broadband as a telecom service and implement Title II regulation on broadband services.  Among other things, the net neutrality rules require internet access providers to give equal treatment to all content on their networks. 

Industry observers indicate that this ruling could encourage the FCC to expand the scope of its regulatory authority in other matters related to broadband oversight, such as privacy and outage reporting.  President Obama and FCC Commissioners Wheeler, Clyburn and Rosenworcel supported the decision; Commissioners Pai and O’Reilly opposed it.  AT&T says it will appeal the ruling. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
  Regulatory Relations Committee Meets    
 

During its meeting this week, the Alliance Regulatory Relations Committee discussed a number of topics of interest to members.  Committee Chair Janell Hansen (Marne & Elk Horn) led the discussion of the following: 

  • ACAM.  Board representative Ryan Boone (Premier Communications) reported that the NTCA Industry Policy Committee met last week with FCC’s Carol Mattey and she reported that the FCC is working on the ACAM challenge process.  Boone also reported that the NTCA team urged the FCC to begin working on the competitive overlap process.  Boone reported that the FCC indicated it is looking at the buildout requirements from the perspective of having ETCs build out to the full number of eligible locations, with less regard to the number of locations identified in each specific census blocks.  The Committee discussed company strategies relating to taking action based on potentially inaccurate FCC data or assumptions. 
  • Contributions Reform.  CEO Dave Duncan reported that the Alliance Board is seeking input from this committee on how to promote federal action on contributions reform.  The Committee suggested the recent net neutrality ruling may spur more contribution reform discussions.
  • Special Access Order and NPRM.  The Committee continued its discussion of the FCC’s 288-page Tariff Investigation Order regarding special access for price cap LECs, now referred to as Business Data Services (BDS).”  Dave Gibson (Cascade Communications) reported that members may wish to be aware of the Mandatory Periodic Data Collection every three years.  He also reported on efforts to seek a small company exemption from some of these requirements and suggested anything we can do to encourage that may be a real benefit to many of the members.
  • CenturyLink Wins Access Dispute with Sprint.  Chris Davis (Aureon) reported that the US District Court for the Northern District of Louisiana ruled that Sprint owes CenturyLink more than $8.7 million in access charges plus $3.8 million in late payment fees and attorneys’ fees under federal and state tariffed rates for the termination of VoIP traffic to CenturyLink’s LEC customers during the 2009-2011 timeframe.  He noted that Sprint had resorted to self-help to recoup amounts paid to CenturyLink, but the judge rejected Sprint’s claims that it didn’t have to pay tariffed rates for the traffic.

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
   Legislative Committee Adopts Broadband Tax Exemption Rules    
 

As previously reported in earlier editions of the Communicator, the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) allowed the rulemaking document proposed by the Department of Revenue (DOR) to go in force at the end of June. Nine of 10 legislators that make up the committee heard from the Alliance’s Kevin Condon about the rural industry’s disappointment with the outcome of the process that has taken nearly a full year to complete. What is of concern to the Alliance isn’t what the rules say, but rather, what they don’t say. The DOR chose to draft the rules in a way that while not necessarily harmful to rural ILECs, the language doesn’t instill a level of confidence in members that the DOR will indeed grant companies a true 100% property tax exemption on new plant installed after July 1, 2015 as stated in the legislation.

The Alliance staff participated in stakeholder meetings and met with the DOR on two separate “one-on-one” occasions to discuss ways that the rulemaking document could include details necessary for rural carriers include an exemption in their network expansion plans. Unfortunately, the DOR chose to reject those comments and not make any changes to their final rulemaking proposal. Because the rules adopted and taking effect later this month are too broadly written, Alliance members may not know how much of a property tax exemption they will receive for new infrastructure until preliminary assessments are handed down from DOR in October.

The Alliance will continue to work with the DOR and other key players to ensure that the administration of the exemption results in the maximum benefit for rural broadband providers.

To see the final rules that will take effect June 29th please
click here.

To see the Alliance comments offered to improve the rulemaking, please click here.    

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
FCC News    
  Radcliffe Asks FCC to Re-examine CAF Data    
 

Radcliffe Telephone filed a letter with the FCC this week pointing out that the model-based figures prepared by the FCC appear to include FIPS codes from 14 Iowa counties in which Radcliffe does not offer service.  Radcliffe says its service is concentrated in two Iowa counties, that the model-based support calculations are inaccurate and it asks the FCC to review the data.  Click here for more. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
  USF Factor to Remain 17.9%    
 

The FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the third quarter of 2016 will be 17.9 percent, unchanged from last quarter.

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
 Education & Events News    
  2017 Annual Meeting & Expo Call for Speakers    
 

The ICA Annual Meeting & Expo Committee is developing the content and agenda for the 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo:  Spring Training-Back to Basics that will be in Des Moines, Iowa on March 7-8, 2017.  Associate members of the Alliance are encouraged to offer training to the membership.  This is a unique opportunity to meet and network with the Iowa Communications Alliance members. 

Below are suggested topics of interest identified by the speakers subcommittee for 2017.  We encourage you to submit additional topics as well. 

·         Sales & Marketing

·         Cyber Security – Banking, Employee Training, etc.

·         Human Resources—Benchmarks, Best Practices, Etc.

·         Employee Discipline/Terminations

·         How To Deal With Negative Attitudes/Unacceptable Behavior

·         Records Retention, Retrieval & Destruction

·         New Revenue Opportunities

·         USF Reform Update

·         New Board Member Training

·         Effective Board Retreats

·         Do You Know Where the Revenue Comes From?

·         Future Network:  What does it look like?

·         Home Wifi

·         Review of Top 10 CES Items

·         Other topics you feel are relevant to ICA members

Click here to fill out the call for speakers submission form by July 13th for committee review.    

   
 

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.    

   
Member News  
  Onvoy Purchases ANPI    
 

Minnesota-based Onvoy announced the purchase of ANPI for an undisclosed sum.  The combined product portfolio of the newly merged company will include Long Distance, Tandem, SS7, Voice Application Peering (VAP) and Hosted End Office via Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), among others.

   
  Kniff Named Woman of Influence    
 

The Des Moines Business Record has recognized KLK Construction, Inc.’s Barb Kniff-McCulla as one of its “Women of Influence” in central Iowa.  According to the Business Record, the Women of Influence awards celebrate the work of women who have made a difference and who have devoted their lives to doing things most wouldn't. They've spent countless hours on various boards and they've blazed a trail either personally or professionally for other women to follow.  Congratulations to Barb! 

   
 

Calix User Group Conference

   
 

Have you registered for the Calix User Group Conference, October 22-25 in Las Vegas?  Join the hundreds of service providers, consulting engineers, sponsors, and Calix experts for the industry’s leading educational event with four days filled with keynotes, training and breakout sessions, and fun!  Find more information here: www.calix.com/usergroup

   
Statehouse News    
  Alliance Begins Summer Meetings with Legislators and Candidates    
 

With the June 7th primaries now behind us, most political watchers including the Alliance and TelePAC will turn their attention to November as most of the General Election races are set. With this turning of the page comes an opportunity for the Alliance to begin to meet with lawmakers that have proven themselves as champions of the rural broadband industry and those candidates that are interested in knowing more about our business operations.

This week, Kevin Condon, Director of Public Affairs for the Alliance held conversations with:

Representative Guy Vander Linden (R-Oskaloosa)

Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake)

House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights)

Senator Liz Mathis (D-Cedar Rapids)

Representative Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City)

Retiring Representative Tom Sands (R-Wapello)

Representative Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines)

Representative Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford)

Representative Dave Jacoby (D-Coralville)

House District 77 Candidate Amy Nielsen (D-North Liberty)

House District 29 Candidate Wes Breckenridge (D-Newton)

Please consider reaching out to your local legislators and candidates for office to host a meeting to introduce yourself, your business and discuss the strength of the rural communications industry in Iowa. The TelePAC Committee takes seriously their charge to direct financial support to candidates for office that understand the challenges of the rural carriers.

If you would like to recommend a contribution for a specific candidate please contact Kevin, Dave or TelePAC Chair Tom Lovell.

To make an online contribution to the TelePAC please click here.

To see the results from the June 7th primaries please click here.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
Compliance News    
  FCC Reminds of July 31st International Traffic and Revenue Data Filing    
 

The FCC issued a public notice reminding carriers that that data for the annual International Traffic and Revenue Reports are due by July 31, 2016. Section 43.62(b) requires each person or entity that holds an authorization pursuant to Section 214 to provide international telecommunications service and each person or entity engaged in the provision of Voice over Internet Protocol service connected to the public switched telephone network between the United States and any foreign point to submit traffic and revenue data for the preceding calendar year by July 31 of each year, with revisions, if needed, to be filed by October 31st

Filing Entities must submit their International Traffic and Revenue Reports for data as of December 31, 2015 through the Commission’s Section 43.62 online filing system from July 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016.  The FCC has published the International Bureau’s Filing Manual for Section 43.62 Annual Reports for instructions on how to file the reports, who must file, which of the reports to file, the information that each report must contain, and the filing procedures – that is available by clicking here

Click here to read the FCC’s Public Notice. 

   
Tariff News     
  NECA Makes Annual Access Tariff Filing    
 

On June 16th, NECA made its annual revisions to its FCC No. 5 interstate access tariff to take effect on July 1, 2016.  NECA made changes to FUSC rate banding, traffic sensitive rates, and the ARC charge.  The ITA Intrastate Access Tariff #1 was modified several years ago to “mirror” the NECA No. 5 so that all changes to NECA flow automatically to the ITA Tariff.  Copies of the NECA tariff filings along with other supporting information are on the NECA Tariff No. 5 web page.

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
 IUB Filings    
 

LECS Make CAF-ICC Certifications

   
 

Scores of Alliance members have made their annual filings pursuant to 47 C.F.R. §51.917 (d) (vii) certifying to the FCC and the IUB that the carrier is not seeking duplicate recovery of CAF ICC.  The FCC also requires RoR carriers seeking CAF ICC support to file data establishing the amount of the rate of return carrier’s eligible CAF ICC funding per 47 C.F.R. §54.304(d)(1).  The filing to the IUB is to be named “Connect America Fund -- Intercarrier Compensation Recovery and Certification 2016.”  Many LECs are seeking confidential treatment of certain information being filed. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

   
  IUB Issues RFP for Relay Services    
 

The IUB has issued a Request for Proposals to solicit qualified service providers interested in delivering the statewide telecommunications relay service, captioned telephone relay service, and associated outreach services. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. on June 30, 2016.  Click here to read the RFP and notice to vendors.  

   
     
   
   
   
   




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