Iowa Communicator - July 15, 2016

Iowa Communicator - July 15, 2016

 


This Week's Headlines:
Lawmakers Question VoIP Dereg

Member News:
Marne Elk Horn and Walnut to Merge

FCC News:
FCC Adopts Network Technology Transition Rules

Education & Events News:
Registration is Open for the Sept. 14th EnVision Conference
2017 Annual Meeting & Expo Call for Speakers
Impact 2016 Call for Speakers & Sponsors

IUB Filings:
IUB Dockets WideVoice Certificate App. for Further Investigation
IUB Approves Windstream Number Waiver

 

 

 

Compliance News:
CIC Code Reports due July 29th
FCC Form 499-Q due August 1st
FCC Form 507 due August 1st

Washington News:

Ernst Latest to Add Support to Call Completion Bill

Industry News:
E911 & ISICSB Meetings Take Place in West Des Moines

Broadband News:
FCC Adopts 5G Rules
Cable ONE Launches Gigabit in Sioux City

 



 
This Week's Headlines
 
 

Lawmakers Question VoIP Dereg

   
 

On Tuesday, Representatives of the IUB made a short presentation to the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee to support the proposed Chapter 22 Rulemaking.  Nearly all of the meeting focused on the proposed VoIP deregulation and the disparity that would leave the traditional service providers. 

None of the Board members were present, and the speaking was handled by IUB attorney Jennifer Johnson and Chief Operating Officer Cecil Wright.  Ms. Johnson stated in her opening comments that the IUB was trying to modernize its rules, eliminate unnecessary rules and to promote technologically neutral standards. 

State Senator Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) said that if there will be nominal regulation for all ISPs then Board should eliminate roadblocks for traditional providers too.  He also expressed concern about the negative impact of giving VoIP providers but not other providers regulatory relief.  Later, he reiterated that “I strongly encourage the same regulatory relief for local companies.”

Consumer Advocate Mark Schuling reviewed the OCA’s involvement in this multi-stage, years long rulemaking process.  He objected to the VoIP deregulation based on the fact that the Legislature decided not to do this, and based on Iowa Code section 4761D which says the Board can deregulate only after a finding of effective competition and this was not done.  Schuling also commented that in its proposed rules eliminating the requirement to produce printed directories, the IUB should have oversight over the telco plans to transition those customers without internet.  Schuling also said that the Board should retain some of its metrics standards over quality of service, such as the 72-hour service restoration standard.

Alliance Director of Public Affairs Kevin Condon spoke out against uneven treatment of VoIP services and traditional phone service. He urged that all deregulation activities be applied equally amongst all landline services and providers. 

After hearing these objections, State Representative Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn) told the IUB representatives:  “I encourage you to listen to this feedback,” and   “I hope this rulemaking looks different when we get it back.” She also noted that the VoIP dereg legislative bills died in the legislature, but are now being turned into a proposed rule, implicitly referring to other recent instances that have upset legislators where agencies appear to act contrary to legislative intent. 

In a brief response to Pettengill, the IUB’s Wright stated that while this rulemaking by the Board was “aggressive”, it was Wright’s belief that the Board put this proposal out in order to spur the kind of comments that the Alliance, the OCA, and others had submitted.

The next step in this process is the IUB’s public hearing on August 9th at 9:00am.  The Alliance issues a “call to action” to invite members to attend this meeting and show support for “equal regulation” and to oppose giving favorable regulatory treatment to those pushing VoIP deregulation (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint). 


(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
Member News    
 

 

Marne Elk Horn and Walnut to Merge

   
 

Marne and Elk Horn Telephone Company and Walnut Communications, longtime partners during their 100 years in business, announced they would merge later this year. The merger was recommended for approval by the Board of Directors of each company, and officially approved by the shareholders of both companies earlier this week. The Iowa Utilities Board and the Federal Communications Commission still need to approve the merger before it is final, according to company staff.  Janell Hansen will manage the merged company.  

(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
FCC News    
 

FCC Adopts Network Technology Transition Rules

   
 

The FCC adopted rules yesterday to facilitate the transition from TDM to IP technologies.  Under the new rules, a company’s application to discontinue legacy TDM-based voice service in a technology transition can be automatically granted in 30 days if the applicant meets a clear, objective, three-pronged test.  The test expedites transitions in which:

·         Network performance, reliability and coverage is substantially unchanged for customers

·         Access to 911, cybersecurity and access for people with disabilities meets current rules and standards

·         Compatibility with a defined list of legacy services still popular with consumers and small businesses, including home security systems, medical monitoring devices, credit card readers and fax machines, subject to sunset in 2025, is assured.

The FCC also granted USTelecom’s Petition, ruling that traditional voice providers are no longer dominant in the switched access market for connecting local callers to toll networks.  The rules are not yet published; click here to read the Press Release. 

(for more information, please contact Dave Duncan)

   
 Education & Events News    
   Registration is Open for the September 14th EnVision Conference    
 

 

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Video Conference: EnVision. The conference will feature great speakers and topics that will provide ideas for enhancing your telco’s video products and services.

New this year: Pre-Conference User Group Meetings.

Join us on Wednesday, September 14th for updates and info on Skitter TV & Innovative Systems Products. The user group meetings are included in your registration.

Click HERE for session details and to register today.

Thank you to our Sponsors: 

   
  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. 

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

Click here to fill out the call for speakers submission form by August 3rd 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)

   
IUB Filings  
 

 

IUB Dockets WideVoice Certificate Application for Further Investigation

   
 

After objections were filed by CenturyLink to Wide Voice LLC’s application for a certificate to provide local exchange service, the IUB has decided to open a docket to investigate further.  CenturyLink claims that Wide Voice is affiliated with a free conference calling company and intends to engage in traffic pumping. CenturyLink states that Wide Voice fails to provide its proposed local terms of service, indicating it has no intention to serve end user customers.  Wide Voice failed to rebut CenturyLink’s objections.  The Board agreed that further investigation is necessary so it opened a docket before approving or denying the request for certificate.  Click here for more.

(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
 

IUB Approves Windstream Number Waiver

   
 

The IUB has granted a request by Windstream Iowa Communications for a waiver of the number utilization threshold requirements in order to obtain blocks of 10,000 telephone numbers (NXX) in the Iowa rate centers of Armstrong, Belle Plain, Emmetsburg, Forest City, Harlan, Madrid, and Tipton.  Windstream states it needs the numbers because of its work on CAF Phase II where new broadband-compatible packet switches will be deployed and where it will establish an LRN to create a unique identity for each of the new packet switches and only an NXX code holder can obtain an LRN.  Click here to read it. 

(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
Compliance News    
 

CIC Code Reports due July 29th

   
 

All carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA must file their Carrier Identification Code (CIC) reports by July 29th (the last business day of July).  The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. According to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it.

(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
 

FCC Form 499-Q due August 1st

   
 

All USF contributors except those who qualify for the de minimis exemption must file their quarterly 499-Q form online via the USAC e-file website.  The form and the instructions are available on the USAC website by clicking here. 

(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
 

FCC Form 507 due August 1st

   
 

FCC Form 507, the Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update is due July 31st of each year, but since that is a Sunday the deadline is Monday, August 1st.   All rate-of-return incumbent carriers must file the report with USAC to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). If a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area the report is due on a quarterly basis. 

(Contact Dave Duncan for more info)

   
Washington News     
 

Ernst Latest to Add Support to Call Completion Bill

   
 

As seen in this publication over the past several weeks, the Alliance has been advocating on behalf of member companies on the Senate version of the rural call completion legislation, S.827.  Recently, the Senate Commerce Committee chaired by Senator John Thune (R-SD) passed the Senate bill by a voice vote making the bill ready for consideration by the full chamber. Shortly thereafter, the Alliance learned that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-New Hartford) added his name to the list of co-sponsors. The advocacy by Alliance members continues to pay off as Iowa’s Junior Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) jumped on board as a co-sponsor early this week.

The House version of the bill, H.R. 2566, was introduced by Iowa 3rd District Congressman David Young (R-Van Meter) and is currently co-sponsored by Iowa 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa City). Unfortunately, while the legislation in both chambers has bipartisan support, the remaining two members of the Iowa Congressional Delegation have yet to indicate their support for the bill. The Alliance, in coordination with NTCA outreach efforts, has contacted Congressmen Blum and King to encourage co-sponsorship of the House version of the bill.

Please consider joining the effort by sending letters/emails of support to the following contacts:

Blum – Kyle Thompson, [email protected] or 202-225-2911

King – Jared Culver, [email protected] or 202-225-4426

For additional background and talking points on S.827/H.R. 2566 please click here.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

 
   
Industry News    
 

E911 & ISICSB Meetings Take Place in West Des Moines

   
 

Yesterday at the monthly meeting of the E911 Council and the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communications Systems Board (ISICSB) much was discussed and at times, tempers flared amongst the first responder community. Without question, Iowa’s law enforcement and emergency management officials have difficult jobs and it is clear all are passionate about their jobs, their responsibilities, and their service. Alliance members do all they are capable of to make sure that the rural providers work hand-in-glove with our local PSAPs to ensure reliable communications.

At the E911 Council meeting much of the time was spent discussing the Legislature’s interest in consolidation of the 115 PSAPs covering the state. Mike Bryant, the representative for the Iowa Association for Professional Firefighters, again raised the issue of the need to increase the E911 surcharge from $1 to $1.25. It is very likely that if the issue continues to surface at these meetings that lobbyists representing the various first responder associations may push legislation to hike the fee in 2017. In addition to remaining vigilant and engaged on the surcharge issue, the Alliance learned that emergency rulemakings are being contemplated by the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department which will be closely scrutinized to make sure nothing slips through the cracks that would be harmful to rural providers.

Following the E911 meeting comes the gathering of the ISICSB. The body is responsible for setting policy and standards that will serve as a roadmap to interoperable communications for first responders in Iowa. The group is also tasked with making a recommendation to the Governor as to whether or not the State of Iowa should “opt in” or “opt out” of the Federal FirstNet system being developed. Because the RFP process in Washington, DC is so tight-lipped, “even the rumors are no good” according to the ICN’s Ric Lumbard. So, as the process continues to unfold at the Federal level, the Iowa group will continue moving forward in anticipation of the state-specific plan that will be developed by whichever company wins the Federal RFP.  

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

   
Broadband News    

FCC Adopts 5G Rules

   
 

Yesterday, the FCC The FCC adopted new rules for wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz for use with next generation high-speed, low latency 5G networks.  The FCC notes that while 5G technologies are still under development, its rules will open up nearly 11 GHz of high-frequency spectrum for flexible, mobile and fixed use wireless broadband.  Click here to read the 278-page rules and requests for comment on further proposed rules.

(for more information, please contact Dave Duncan)

   
 

Cable ONE Launches Gigabit in Sioux City

   
 

Cable ONE Inc. announced that it has introduced gigabit broadband speed service to customers in Sioux City.  Cable ONE says it plans to make gigabit service available to the majority of its markets in 19 states by the end of the year.  The cable company says the launch is one result of the more than half billion dollars it's invested in network upgrades over the last five years.

(for more information, please contact Dave Duncan)

   
     
   
   
   
   





2016 Committee Volunteers –March Open Enrollment

Share this post:

Comments on "Iowa Communicator - July 15, 2016"

Comments 0-20 of 0

Please login to comment