Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter

Announcements
AFL Showcases New Test Equipment at BICSI Fall Conference

AFL announces it is releasing a host of new test and inspection equipment at this year’s BICSI Fall Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, Sept. 21-23. Visit AFL in booth #143 to see demonstrations of new products including aeRos™, a cloud-based management system, Rogue™, a modular test platform, and FlexScan OTDR.


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Up Coming Events

October 1-2, 2015 - Minnesota Telecom Alliance (MTA) Fall Conference Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

October 5-7, 2015 - Wisconsin Statewide Telephone Association (WSTA) Fall Conference Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

October 7-8, 2015 - Wisconsin Statewide Telephone Cooperative Association (WSTCA) Fall Conference Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

October 14-16, 2015 - Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc Annual Membership Meeting Westin Riverwalk, San Antionio, Texas

October 18-20, 2015 - Telecommunications Association of the Southeast Annual Convention (10.18.15) Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Alabama

October 19-21, 2015 - Mid-America Telecommunications Seminar & Showcase (MATSS) Sheraton Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri

October 21-22, 2015 - Alaska Telephone Association (ATA) Member Showcase Hilton Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska

October 21-23, 2015 - Carolinas-Virginias Telephone Membership Asssociation (CVTMA) Fall Conference Grove Park Inn, Ashville, North Carolina

October 26-29, 2015 - Arizona-New Mexico Telecommunications Association (ANMTA) Fall 2015 Conference Omni Tucson National Resort & Golf, Tucson, Arizona

October 27-30, 2015 - Kentucky Telephone and Tennessee Telecommunications Association (KTA-TTA) 21st Fall Conference and Supplier Showcase Holiday Inn University Plaza, Bowling Green, Kentucky

November 2-4, 2015 - California Communications Association Annual ConferenceTenaya Lodge, Yosemite, California

November 4-5, 2015 - Iowa Communications Alliance (ICA) Impact Conference (11.4.2016)Ames, Iowa

November 8-12, 2015 - NECA EXPO 2015Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

November 19, 2015 - Pennsylvania Telephone Association Small Company Meeting State College, Pennsylvania

November 30 - December 2, 2015 - North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives Annual Meeting (11.30.15)Ramkota Hotel, Bismarck, North Dakota

December 2-3, 2015 - Montana Telecommunications Association (MTA) 34th Annual ShowcaseHoliday Inn Grand Montana, Billings, Montana

December 8-9, 2015 - Indiana Broadband and Technology Association (IBTA) ConferenceIndianapolis Marriottt North, Indianapolis, Indiana

Seminar Series for 2015

NTCA Live Learning Center
NECA Training Courses and Conferences
Moss Adams Telecom Accounting and Business
USTelecom On-demand Educational Webinars

Newsletter Archives

September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013


NEWS
HEADLINES

October 2015, Volume 157           Serving the Industry for over 57 Years           Editor: Mike Eifert

Association News

Industry News

FCC News

Federal Legislation


ASSOCIATION NEWS

Niels Fugal Sons Company is this month's NTA Associate of the Month
Learn more about Niels Fugal Sons Company by clicking the NTA Associate of the Month photo, top right of any NTA website page.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

WCB Releases ACAM Version 1.1 and Illustrative Results

     The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice on August 31, 2015, announcing the release of the Alternative Connect America Cost Model v1.1 for potential use in rate-of-return areas, which reflects FCC Form 477 broadband deployment data as of December 31, 2014. Version 1.1 of A-CAM updates the broadband coverage table that can be used in the support module to filter the cost data to exclude from support calculations the particular census blocks where an unsubsidized competitor offers voice and broadband services that meet the FCC’s service obligations. The Bureau also released illustrative results produced using A-CAM v1.1 under three scenarios, which illustrate how different per-location funding caps impact the potential support calculated for each rate-of-return study area. The three scenarios all use a funding benchmark of $52.50, exclude census blocks that are served by unsubsidized cable or fixed wireless providers, and use per-location funding caps of $200, $215 and $230 for reports 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, respectively. [Source: Washington Watch, 09/01/2015]

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Report: End users account for 45% of rural telecom revenues

     This is a very informative report that doesn’t paint the rosiest picture, but is well worth a read. A typical small rural telco gets less than half of its revenue from end users, according to financial data collected by the Telergee Alliance – a group of accounting firms that specialize in rural telecom. On average, small rural telcos get about 45.2% of revenues from end users, with the remainder coming from state and federal Universal Service programs (25.7%), interexchange carriers (18.4%) and other sources (7.2%). The report highlights the growing need for diversification and the limited traditional options small carrier can use to stay solvent.

     While broadband internet offerings still provide a good source of revenue customer growth is nearing a saturation point. The movement toward higher speeds will continue to result in increased revenues, however, there are capital requirements in order to grow the network. The other traditional options, video and wireless simple do not have large enough margins to significantly alter the bottom line. The report discusses CLEC offerings which appear to have an upside potential worth looking into.

     As I say, all-in-all a very informative report that underscores the need for rural carriers to keep fighting for change both in state and federal universal service as well as inter-carrier compensation. Neither of which are currently trending favorably for rural carriers. Here is a link to the Telecompetitor.com article which has links to the report and other information.

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USAC Files 4Q2015 Federal USF Quarterly Contribution Base

     USAC filed its Federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms Quarterly Contribution Base for the Fourth Quarter 2015 on September 1, 2015. The total projected collected interstate and international end-user revenue base to be used in determining the contribution factor for the USF Support Mechanism for 4Q2015 is $15,000,900,629, which represents a decrease of $46 million from 3Q2015. [Source: Washington Watch, 09/10/2015]

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Broadband investment threatened by Title II

     Last week, in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai said that the agency's decision to impose utility-style regulation on broadband has slowed infrastructure investment and deployment, referencing recent capex research that showed a 12% decline in capital expenditures by major wireless companies during the first half of 2015. According to USTelecom analysis for wireline, wireless and cable broadband providers, U.S. broadband providers invested $78 billion in network infrastructure in 2014, which was $14 billion, or 22%, greater than the $64 billion invested just five years ago in 2009. However, these surging investment levels have taken place during a period of light regulation. Now, with the FCC order to require broadband providers to follow Title II rules, numerous economic analyses forecast negative long-term consequences on investment, innovation and other long-term economic benefits. Read more. [Source: Washington Watch, 09/17/2015]

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FCC NEWS

FCC Announces Proposed Fourth Quarter 2015 USF Contribution Factor

     The FCC Managing Director issued a Public Notice on September 14, 2015, announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter of 2015 will be 16.7 percent, down from the current 17.1 percent. [Source: Washington Watch, 09/14/2015]

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Commissioner Pai Urges Action on Expanding Rural Broadband Development

     Commissioner Pai released a statement on September 15, 2015, on expanding rural broadband development. He discussed meeting with entrepreneurs working to deploy broadband in rural areas of Colorado, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota, and what they have done to deploy broadband. He also said he heard repeated concerns that outdated USF rules are holding back investment in next-generation networks, specifically that rate-of-return carriers are currently ineligible to receive support for providing stand-alone broadband service. He also mentioned his plan for stand-alone broadband and said action needs to be taken so individuals in rural areas can have online opportunities comparable to those enjoyed by their urban counterparts. [Source: Washington Watch, 09/16/2015]

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USTelecom, NTCA, ITTA, WTA Update Concepts on FCC Bifurcated Approach for USF Reform

     This is an interesting twist that has not been vetted within the industry yet but has some interesting possibilities.

     USTelecom, NTCA, ITTA and WTA filed a letter on September 25, 2015, revising and updating concepts outlined in their August 10, 2015 ex parte on the FCC’s potential use of a bifurcated approach to cost recovery as part of universal service reforms. They said to accommodate differing levels of cost for each company in the old and new mechanisms, the benchmarks between the old and new mechanisms would need to be adjusted by the ratio of costs in each category (old and new) for that company. They also said under this approach support for existing stand-alone broadband would be on a per-line basis using the average combined HCLS and ICLS received in any given year, and new support would be applied first against interstate costs so that no interstate costs are left unrecoverable. Also, no association yet endorses a bifurcated approach or the specific approach they have now suggested. They also provided an Excel file on estimating potential support available under the bifurcated approach. [Source: Washington Watch, 09/28/2015]

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FEDERAL LEGISLATION

Rep. Walden Issues Statement on Proposed CAF for Rate-of-Return Carriers

     House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) issued a statement on September 22, 2015, relating to Chairman Wheeler’s announcement that the Connect America Fund will focus its resources for broadband deployment on areas where private investment is not occurring. Rep. Walden said Chairman Wheeler’s decision “will help bring millions of Americans online, including many in Oregon.” [Source: Washington Watch, 09/23/2015]

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