Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter

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Up Coming Events

June 5-7 2016 - Oregon Telecommunications Association (OTA) and Washington Independent Telephone Association (WITA) Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, Washington

June 5-8 2016 - Oklahoma Telephone & Arkansas Telecommunications Association Annual Conference Marriott Downtown, Little Rock, Arkansas

June 6-8 2016 - Tennessee Telecommunications Association (TTA) Annual Meeting and Conventions Cool Springs Marriott, Franklin, Tennessee

June 6-8 2016 - New York State Telephone Association (NYSTA) Annual Convention Lake Placid, New York

June 12-14 2016 - Illinois Telecommunications Association (ITA) Annual Convention Wyndham Springfield City Centre, Springfield, Illinois

June 16-18 2016 - Carolinas-Virginias Telephone Membership Asssociation (CVTMA) Annual Conference Myrtle Beach Marriott, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

June 25-28 2016 - Georgia Telecommunications Association (GTA) 94th Annual Meeting Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

June 26-28 2016 - Tri-State TCI (SC, NC, VA) Technology Conference hosted by VTIA Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Virginia

July 11-13 2016 - North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives (NDATC) Summer Conference(2) Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo, North Dakota

July 11-13 2016 - Pennsylvania Telephone Association (PTA) Annual Convention The Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania

July 20-21 2016 - Colorado Telecommunications Association (CTA) Summer Meeting(1) Hotel Elegante, Colorado Springs, Colorado

July 24-27 2016 - Missouri Telecommunications Industry Association (MTIA) Summer Conference(1) Hilton Branson Convention Center, Branson, Missouri

July 26-28 2016 - Tri-State Telecommunications Conference (ID, WY, UT) Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho

August 14-17 2016 - Texas Telephone Association (TTA) Product Showcase and Convention Hyatt Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, Texas

August 16-18 2016 - Kentucky Telecom Association (KTA) Summer Managers Meeting Jamestown Resort & Marina, Jamestown, Kentucky

August 16-17 2016 - Nevada Telecommunications Association (NTA) Annual Convention Harvey's Resort, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada

August 21-23 2016 - South Dakota Telecommunications Association Annual Meeting & Conference Swiftel Center, Brookings, South Dakota

August 29-31 2016 - Montana Telecommunications Association (MTA) Annual Meeting Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula, Montana

August 31- September 1 2016 - Oklahoma Telephone Association (OTA) Technical Conference Sheraton Reed Center, Midwest City, Oklahoma


June 2016, Volume 164           Serving the Industry for over 58 Years           Editor: Mike Eifert

Association News

Industry News

FCC News

Federal Legislation


     As part of our Annual Conference the NTA is planning a presentation on the FCC Broadband Privacy proposal. I'm sure most of you are aware the NPRM has been released and has broad implications to all carriers/ISPs. Although this discussion is only beginning I thought it would be instructional to peruse some of the early concerns.

     NTCA believes the FCC should reject proposals to create new sets of so-called customer proprietary information that are not contemplated by the relevant statute. [Source: Washington Watch, 05/31/2016]

     WTA comments emphasis the FCC should not impose any requirements regarding customer disclosure and solicitation of customer approvals on carriers with 100,000 or fewer customers and providers that do not engage in the use of CPNI for marketing purposes or for sale to third parties. WTA also said the FCC must refrain from adopting one-size-fits-all policies or micromanaging the practices of telecommunications providers. [Source: Washington Watch, 05/31/2016]

     ITTA states the FCC should not adopt the proposed rules, but instead craft fair, focused, and technology-neutral rules and policies that are consistent with the longstanding FTC privacy policies and framework that have been successfully applied to all other American businesses. [Source: Washington Watch, 05/31/2016]

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GVNW is this month's NTA Associate of the Month!

Learn more about GVNW and what they do by clicking the NTA Associate of the Month photo, top right of any NTA website page.

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Education SuperHighway Cost Comparison Tool

     In May I was fortunate to attend the National Council of State Telecom Association Executives (NCSTAE) annual conference. This annual event always provides a wealth of information on a wide variety of topics affecting our industry. Evan Marwell, Education Superhighway CEO and Founder, was one of the guest speakers this year. Education Superhighway's goal is to assure all schools and libraries in America have access to adequate broadband and they work closely with federal agencies, especially the FCC E-Rate program. Although I am a little concerned as to the level of participation access for rural providers the goal itself is praiseworthy.

     As such, early this year, Education Superhighway released a cost comparison tool for use in assessing and comparing the telecommunications services and associated costs paid by school and library across the country. Here is a link to the tool:

     The NTA highly encourages each member to use the tool to assess the accuracy of the results. This becomes increasingly more important as existing contacts come up for renewal and our competitors access the information during negotiations with schools and libraries. If discrepancies are found the NTA is here to work with our members, and Education Superhighway, to assure the information is creditable. Please contact me ( if you feel there is a discrepancy.

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Wireline Competition Bureau Announces E-rate Funding Cap for 2016

     The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice on May 6, 2016, announcing that the E-rate program funding cap for funding year 2016 is $3.939 billion. The Bureau said the new cap represents a 1 percent inflation-adjusted increase in the $3.9 billion cap from funding year 2015. [Source: Washington Watch, 05/09/2016]

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FCC Commissioners Testify on Internet Privacy Proceeding

     On May 11, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai testified before the Before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law of the United States Senate at a hearing entitled "Examining the Proposed FCC Privacy Rules."

     At the hearing, Chairman Wheeler testified that "Section 222 of the Communications Act expressly grants the Commission the authority it has used to protect the privacy of customer information that phone companies collect." He cited to concerns that unlike specific websites or social media services, customers cannot easily or quickly switch ISPs, and since ISPs handle all of a customer's unencrypted online activity, the Commission's recently adopted NPRM would give all consumers the tools we need to make informed decisions about how our ISPs use and share our data, and confidence that ISPs are keeping their customers' data secure. "And this proposal does not prohibit ISPs from using and sharing customer data-it simply proposes that the ISP first obtain customers' express permission before doing so," said the Chairman.

     Commissioner Pai painted a very different picture in his testimony. "[T]he FCC in March 2016 decided to target ISPs, and only ISPs, for stringent regulation-regulation far more invasive and prescriptive than the case-specific approach of the FTC. For several reasons, this approach makes little, if any, sense." He largely focused on the fact that the FCC's regulation does not cover edge providers in the same way as ISPs. "Search engines log every query you enter. Social networks track every person you've met. Online video distributors know every show you've ever streamed. Online shopping sites record every book, every piece of furniture, and every medical device you browse, let alone purchase ... [a]nd yet the FCC targets only one comer of the marketplace." He also noted that the proposal singles out new upstarts in the concentrated market for online advertising; may actively confuse consumers who do not know which entities are ISPs and which are not; and "may signal the end for ad-based discounts on online services." [Source: BloostonLaw Telecom Update, 05/18/2016]

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Lifeline Modernization Order Effective June 2

     The FCC published the Lifeline Modernization Third Report and Order, Further Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration in the Federal Register on May 24, 2016. The Order is effective June 23, 2016, except for sections 54.101, 54.202(a)(6), (d), and (e); 54.205(c); 54.401(a)(2), (b), (c), and (f); 54.403(a); 54.405(e)(1) and (e)(3) through (5); 54.407(a), (c)(2), and (d); 54.408; 54.409(a)(2); 54.410(b) through (h); 54.411; 54.416(a)(3); 54.420(b); and 54.422(b)(3), which contain information collection requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget. [Source: Washington Watch, 05/24/2016]

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Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Broadband Privacy Rules

     The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on May 11, 2016, entitled Examining the Proposed FCC Privacy Rules. Witnesses included Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Pai, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, and FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen. Chairman Wheeler said the FCC's NPRM does not seek to regulate the edge, and explained the proposal is narrowly focused on the personal information collected by broadband providers as a function of providing broadband connectivity, not the privacy practices of the websites and other online services that consumers choose to visit. Commissioner Pai said that the FCC's approach singles out new upstarts in the concentrated market for online advertising, may actively confuse consumers, and may signal the end for ad-based discounts on online services. He also said given this highly elastic approach, the FCC could easily regulate the privacy practices of edge providers without a vote of Congress. [Source: Washington Watch, 05/12/2016]

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Nevada Senator Sponsors FCC Process Reform

     Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller's sponsored FCC reform bill passed the Senate Commerce Committee on a party-line vote. The bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish procedural rules concerning: (1) public notices for rulemakings, petitions, and applications; (2) minimum periods for comments and replies; (3) FCC Commissioners' deliberations; and (4) the FCC reports, decisions, budgets, and other agency documents to be made publicly available in the Federal Register or on the FCC's website. Supporters of the bills say their intent is to promote FCC transparency and accountability while opponents are concerned the bill is too onerous and would hamstring the FCC and actually hinder its ability to protect consumers.

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House Energy and Commerce Committee Launches Lifeline Fraud Investigation

     House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced on May 26, 2016, that he is launching an investigation into waste, fraud and abuse in the Universal Service Lifeline program. Chairman Upton said in light of the FCC's recent Notice of Apparent Liability issued to Total Call Mobile for enrolling duplicate and ineligible consumers in the Lifeline program and a letter from Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to Chairman Upton urging an investigation, he instructed Committee staff to begin an investigation of the Lifeline program. Press release [Source: Washington Watch, 05/27/2016]

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