Iowa Communicator - July 29, 2016

Iowa Communicator - July 29, 2016


This Week's Headlines:
In Case You Missed it..

Broadband News:
Iowa Leads US in Gig-Capable Providers
Why Data Centers Love Coming to Iowa
NTCA Releases Annual Broadband Survey Report

Education & Events News:
Register Today for Envision
2017 Annual Meeting & Expo Call for Speakers
Impact 2016

Member News:
Harvey Wedding Officiated by Former Alliance President
CORE Telecom Tech Days August 23-24th in Council Bluffs
New Opening on Career Center




FCC News:
FCC Publishes Updated Maps

Legislative News:
Congressman King the Remaining Hold Out on Call Completion
E911 & ISICSB Meetings Summaries Released

IUB Filings:
ALJ Issues 120 Page Decision in Call Completion Case

OCA Files Investigation Reports
Windstream Files Number Utilization Waiver


This Week's Headlines


In Case You Missed it...


The FCC has released its final data and guidelines regarding the broadband coverage data that will be incorporated into the final version of the model for purposes of voluntary election of model-based support. 

This Order resolves all initial challenges and comments that were made this spring, including a number of challenges by Iowa companies. 

The FCC groups the challenges into three categories: (1) competitors seeking to correct their own data (both to increase and to decrease broadband coverage); (2) incumbents seeking to correct their own data for their incumbent service territory; and (3) incumbents seeking to challenge certified FCC Form 477 data filed by another provider that reported coverage in a particular census block within the incumbent’s service territory. 

Table A starting on page 20 of the Order lists the resolution of all challenges by indicating “grant,” “deny” or “dismiss.”  Table B on 36 lists the resolution of data correction requests. 

The FCC is also making adjustments to the final calculations of support and when it releases those, it will trigger the 90-day deadline for carriers to indicate their intention to elect model-based support.   Click here to read the Order.  

(for more information, please contact Dave Duncan)

Broadband News    

Iowa Leads US in Gig-Capable Providers


NTCA has announced that the state of Iowa has the largest number of Certified Gig-Capable Providers of any state in the country with 16 certified companies, followed by North Dakota (9), and Kansas (7).  NTCA’s Certified Gig-Capable Providers program has recognized 77 carriers across 24 states.  NTCA has an interactive map that highlights the companies that have received certification. To achieve certification, companies must show that gigabit technology is currently commercially available within 95% of one or more exchanges, and that such service can be provided without new trenching or stringing new aerial facilities. 

More information about the NTCA Gig-Capable Provider Certification Program is available here

(for more information, please contact Dave Duncan)


Why Data Centers Love Coming to Iowa


The Des Moines Register has an article and video that explains some of the reasons behind the recent announcement by Microsoft to build yet another large data center in central Iowa. Iowa is a great place for technology, according to Principal Financial Group CIO Gary Scholten.  Click here to see it. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)


NTCA Releases Annual Broadband Survey Report


Yesterday, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association released its 15th annual broadband survey report. The survey found 100 percent of the 2015 survey respondents offer broadband to some part of their customer bases, compared with the 58 percent of the 2000 survey respondents. Also, 49 percent of respondents’ broadband customers are served via FTTH; 29 percent via copper loops; 15 percent via cable modem; 6 percent via FTTN; 1 percent via licensed and unlicensed fixed wireless; and 0.1 percent via satellite. Also, 85 percent of respondents’ customers have access to service in excess of 10 Mbps, and 71 percent can subscribe to service of 25 Mbps or greater.

It also appears that the most popular subscription package selected by customers fall in the 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps range. Another interesting result was that 31 percent of survey respondents currently offer voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service to their customers, unchanged from one year ago. 38 percent of those respondents not currently offering VoIP have plans to do so in the foreseeable future, down from 48% last year.

To read the report please click here.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

 Education & Events News    
   Register Today for the September 14th EnVision Conference    


Don’t miss The Age of Television Fades to Black presented by Martin Laney of Calix at the 3rd Annual EnVision Conference. 

The video and television landscape is undergoing fundamental and accelerating transition, from both consumer and programming perspectives. The implications for communications service providers are significant and far reaching, even though the final outcome is anything but certain. Every segment of the multimedia entertainment marketplace and ecosystem is in the process of being fundamentally disintermediated by innovations in technology, consumer behavior, and content delivery. This presentation focuses on current developments in the video arena, and reflects on the impact they’re having on service providers and their subscribers, in terms of both challenge and opportunity, as this ongoing disruption in media and entertainment unfolds before us.

There are a lot of great sessions on the agenda click HERE for more and to  register today. 

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 more 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


The 2016 ICA Impact Conference agenda is filling up with track training for technicians, marketing and customer service reps.  Some of the speakers and topics this year include:

· What’s the Big Deal About Big Data?:  Justin Huebner, Kiesling Associates

· Project Management:   Mark Mrla, Finely Engineering
Marketing Analytics & Creative Content:  Gabe Petersen, Calix

· HPBX– Laying the Marketing & CSR Groundwork:  Steve Fravel & Joann Horhman, Vantage Point Solutions

· Developing a Security Mindset:  Ryan Pieken, Oxen Technologies

· Selling the Benefits Not the Service—Doug Pals, ReSourceful Communications & Kim Robinson, D2D Cable

Stay tuned for the full conference agenda. 


Thursday’s Keynote Session: 

 Taking Care Of Our Clients Begins With Taking Care Of You

Brian Udermann

Ask the average person nowadays how they are doing and they will usually say “I’m just so busy!” Our work environments are often fast-paced and hectic, we are continually being asked to do more with less. Our home environments can, at times, be overwhelming as well with running children to numerous practices and events, to taking care of the yard or completing house related projects. When was the last time you really felt at peace or felt centered and full of joy? How are you at controlling stress in your life? Would you like to laugh more, eat healthier and sleep better? Would you like to have a better relationship with your partner, spouse, children or your friends? This presentation will explore a number of practical strategies you can use to regain a healthy balance in your life!


For more details and to register online click here. 

(Contact Jolene Davis with questions)

Member News    

Harvey Wedding Officiated by Former Alliance President


Congratulations to Alliance Board President Mark Harvey (FCTC) for his marriage to Tara Schau last Saturday.  The wedding was officiated by Alliance past President David Byers (Northeast Iowa Telephone) before a packed church in Wheatland.  The Best Man was Kirby Underberg (formerly with Palo Cooperative).  The Alliance wished the Harveys a happy honeymoon!


CORE Telecom Tech Days August 23-24th in Council Bluffs


CORE Telecom will be hosting a Tech Days user group August 23rd and 24th at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs. For more information, please click here.

  New Opening on the Career Center    

There is a new opening on the career center.

Network Technician- Elkader, Iowa

To view all available openings, please click here.

FCC News    
   FCC Publishes Updated Maps    

The FCC has a webpage that contains nineteen maps for all types of communications services.  The Study Area Boundaries map was updated on June 8th, and is current as of May 5, 2016.  It also has the “latest” broadband maps with various speeds and technologies (using data from 12/30/14).  Click here to go to the FCC maps webpage. 

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)

 Legislative News    

Congressman King the Remaining Hold Out on 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.  In late June, 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 followed by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) who jumped on board as a co-sponsor as well. 

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) and now most recently, 1st District Congressman Rod Blum (R-Dubuque). Unfortunately, while the legislation in both chambers has bipartisan support, the remaining member of the Iowa Congressional Delegation has yet to indicate his support for the bill. The Alliance, in coordination with NTCA outreach efforts, has contacted Congressmen King to encourage co-sponsorship of the House version of the bill in order for our Federal delegation to show a united front in this effort.


Please consider joining the effort by sending letters/emails of support to King’s office: 

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)


E911 & ISICSB Meetings Summaries Released


Earlier at this month’s meeting of the E911 Council and the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communications Systems Board (ISICSB) much was discussed as both entities had full agenda’s to go over. The Alliance was in attendance at this meetings (as usual) and from time-to-time, staff members representing the political caucuses at the Statehouse attend as do representative from the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency. The LSA has released summary documents in regards to the issues discussed during the separate meetings. Additionally, the LSA’s Fiscal Services Division released an the lease purchase notification with regard to the Integrated Statewide Public Safety Wireless Communications System.

To see the E911 summary please
click here, for the ISICSB summary please click here, for the Fiscal Update please click here.

(Contact Kevin Condon with questions)

IUB Filings  

ALJ Issues 120 Page Decision in Call Completion Case


On Thursday, Administrative Law Judge Amy Christensen issued a proposed decision making and order making recommendation to the IUB. In the 120 page decision, ALJ Christensen offers recommendations to the board stemming from the call completion issues that began back in 2012 when the IUB first started to receive complaints from the Administrator of the Rehabilitation Center of Allison about failed calls and faxes. While Alliance staff and legal counsel continue to digest the proposed decision, the following summarizes from of the ALJ’s recommendations:

  • No further individualized workup of the existing call completion dockets;
  • Recommending the commencement of a Notice of Inquiry proceeding seeking comment from a broad range of participants regarding call completion issues including whether the Board should (1) maintain only a monitoring role of call completion issues; (2) adopt rules for addressing call completion problems; or (3) take other action and if so, what action that would involve;
  • Within 30 days, requiring originating and intermediate carriers in the docketed proceedings (originating carriers CenturyLink, Windstream and Frontier; intermediate carriers: InterMetro Communications, Bluetone Communications, Comcast Phone of Iowa, Level 3 Communications, Impact Telecom and Airus) to file at the Board contact information for individuals the Board can reach out to address call completion and call routing issues, and provide annual updates of this information;
  • Within 30 days, requiring CenturyLink, Windstream and Frontier to file information at the Board describing how the companies inform their customers and LECs how to recognize and report call completion issues, and provide the Board with copies of those informational materials;
  • Within 45 days, the IUB will post information on its website informing consumers about call completion problems and what to do if such problems occur;
  • Requiring covered providers in the docketed proceedings (CenturyLink, Windstream and Frontier) to make quarterly filings of the Iowa data reported to the FCC as part of the FCC call completion rules;
  • Within 1 year, requiring carriers in the docketed proceedings (CenturyLink, Windstream, Airus, Frontier, Impact, Comcast, Intermetro, Bluetone) to inform and certify to the IUB their progress in addressing call completion problems and any complaints received, including how those complaints were addressed, as well as compliance with any proposed solutions that the carrier made in the docketed proceeding and/or decrees previously entered with the FCC. Such filings are required to be within 1 year of the decision and for 2 additional years.
  • Recommending no imposition of financial penalties at this time but indicating civil penalties may be appropriate in the future if significant call completion problems occur, and noting that topic as appropriate for consideration in an industry wide proceeding.

Any party has 15 days from the date of issue (7/28/16) to seek an appeal or review of the ALJ’s Proposed Decision. To read the 120 page document please click here.

(please contact Dave Duncan for more information)


OCA Files Investigation Reports


The Consumer Advocate has filed status reports summarizing the progress of five of the call completion/call blocking investigations pending before the IUB.  Each report includes a summary of the data reviewed (with confidential portions redacted). 

(for more information, please contact Dave Duncan)


Windstream Files Number Utilization Waiver


Windstream has filed an application for waiver of the number utilization threshold with the Iowa Utilities Board and also asked the IUB to reverse a recent decision by their pooling administrator (PA), Neustar. As the acting PA, Neustar has denied Windstream’s request for location routing number assignments in Dyersville and Slater. Windstream is seeking intervention from the IUB because the two cities are part of their Connect America Fund Phase 2 (CAF2) projects already underway. Neustar claimed the request didn’t meet FCC utilization requirements and as a result, Windstream is unable to obtain the Location Routing Number assignments and the one-thousand number block they say they need.

To see the Windstream filing please click here.


2016 Committee Volunteers –March Open Enrollment

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