Member Pioneer Telephone Cooperative

Document Sample
Member Pioneer Telephone Cooperative Powered By Docstoc
                                                                                                                         2nd Quarter 2012

                                                                                       Committed To Meeting Our Members’ Needs

Changes from Washington
D.C. Are Here
In the last edition of our InsideLine newsletter we talked about
changes being made in Washington D.C. that could have an
impact on your telecommunication services. While much of the
new orders from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
are still being sorted out, some changes are beginning to take
effect. Today we want to let you know about changes to the
Link Up America program and the new Access Recovery Charge
which will begin appearing on your bill in July.
                                                                        years and there are many who would argue that it is still working
Link Up America has been a companion program to another                 and it should not be changed. However, our leaders in Washing-
federal assistance program, Lifeline. These programs were               ton see this differently and, as they have appropriated monies
designed to assist low income consumers with their telecommu-           from the universal service fund to support other services, there
nication services by affording discounts to qualifying individuals.     has been a strong desire for USF and Intercarrier Compensation
Link Up provided a one-time $5.00 reimbursement to telecom-             (ICC) reform. Intercarrier compensation (ICC) refers to the charg-
munication providers to help offset the cost of setting up a            es that one carrier pays to another carrier to originate, transport,
qualified Lifeline subscriber’s service for the first time. Lifeline    and/or terminate telecommunication traffic.
provides a monthly credit for the subscriber to the telecommu-
nication provider. A recent FCC order discontinued the one-time         As part of the FCC’s desire to implement ICC reform, they are
$5.00 Link Up reimbursement and it also reduced the monthly             essentially capping the amount of recovery a telecommunica-
Lifeline discount from $10 to $9.25. The discontinuation of the         tion provider can receive by establishing arbitrary benchmark
one-time $5.00 Link Up reimbursement was immediate and the              pricing. This poses a problem, as the local charges of many
new Lifeline rate will take effect on August 1st.                       companies are below the benchmark pricing established by the
                                                                        FCC. This has created a gap between what a telephone com-
Now to the Access Recovery Charge. It’s important to understand         pany receives from local revenue and the amount they will be
that we have been an industry that supports itself, by and large,       able to recover from USF. To address this revenue disparity, the
through local rates, access charges from other telecommunica-           FCC has established that an Access Recovery Charge (ARC) may be
tion companies, and through the Universal Service Fund (USF)            implemented at a rate of $0.50 per year for residential customers
(which generally, all users of telecommunication services pay           and $1.00 for multiline business customers to cover the revenue
into). Additionally, companies such as ourselves pool some of           shortfall. While Pioneer rates are close to the established bench-
our revenues with other companies, so that, as an industry, we          mark, there is still a revenue gap for the cooperative, as well. Due
can provide local service at reasonable rates similar to those          to this, we will begin applying the new ARC at $.50 per month for
being charged in the “big cities.” This system has worked well for      the first year beginning July 1st 2012.
                    In 1987, the Oregon Legislature passed into law a bill as              enrolled in the program keep OTAP staff informed of any phone
                    part of the state´s public policy that provides that adequate          number or address changes to insure that their benefits con-
                    and affordable residential telephone service be available              tinue. Lifeline is available on one telephone line per household.
                    to all Oregonians. Based on that legislation, the Oregon               Toll Blocking and/or toll control is available for free to Lifeline
w w

                    Public Utility Commission (PUC) implemented three spe-                 subscribers. Lifeline discount only available with basic service.
                    cial assistance programs: the Telecommunications Devices               Telephone packages do not qualify. All information is treated as
                    Access Program (TDAP), the Oregon Telecommunications                   strictly confidential by OTAP staff and the local phone compa-
                    Relay Service (OTRS), and the Oregon Telephone Assistance              nies.
                    Program (OTAP). These programs are funded by a surcharge
                    applied to the monthly bill of each retail subscriber who has          ELIGIBILITY: Proof of eligibility required. Individuals who meet
                    telecommunications services with access to the OTRS.                   the income guidelines and currently have an open file with any
                                                                                           one of the following low-income, public assistance programs
                    TELECOMMUNICATION DEVICES ACCESS PROGRAM                               also qualify for the OTAP Program or Link-Up America:
                    (TDAP)                                                                  • Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
                    The Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP)                    (SNAP)
                    purchases and loans (at no cost to eligible recipients) special         • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
                    telecommunication devices to Oregonians who are deaf,                   • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
                    hearing- and/or speech-impaired, or who have other physical             • Certain State Medical Programs or Certain Medicaid Programs
                    disabilities that would prevent them from using a telephone.           at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level
                    Special telecommunication devices such as a TTY (text tele-
                    phone), visual signal, large visual display, telebraille, remote-
                    controlled speaker phone and voice-activated cellular               HOW TO APPLY: To apply for equipment, to obtain an application
                    phones are examples of the telecommunications equipment             for OTAP/Lifeline, or for more information about the Residential
                    distributed under the program. It enables these Oregonians          Service Protection Fund (RSPF) Programs, please contact the RSPF
                    to communicate more fully with family and friends, as well as       staff TOLL FREE at 1-800-848-4442 or (503) 373-7171 in Salem; TTY
                    businesses, and to play a more active role in society.              users can call 1-800-648-3458; or write to:

                    THE OREGON TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY                                              Public Utility Commission of Oregon • RSPF
                                                                                                        PO Box 2148 • Salem OR 97308-2148
                    SERVICE (OTRS)
                    The Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service (OTRS) was
                    implemented to allow those utilizing the Telecommunication                    Information taken from the Oregon Public Utility Board’s website:
                    Devices Access Program to communicate with the hearing                 
                    public and vice versa.

                    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) mandates
                    that the 26 million persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing,
                    and speech-impaired shall have access to the nation´s tele-
                    phone system through a relay service that is functionally
                    equivalent in cost and quality to the service afforded an
                    individual without a hearing or speech impairment. With the
                    passage of the ADA, Oregon was required to provide relay
                    services to meet the new federal requirements. Compliance
                    with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations
                    occurred in 1992, and the relay service is currently operating
                    very effectively.

                       Oregonians whose income is at or below the current
                       federal poverty level and are on a state public assistance
                       program may receive a reduction in their monthly bill
                       for local residential telephone service. Eligible custom-
                       ers receive a reduction in their monthly phone bill for as
                       long as they qualify. Half of the amount is funded through
                       the legislatively-approved telecommunications service
                       surcharge, and the other half is the waived portion of the
                       FCC´s subscriber line charge. It is important that those

    2012 Scholarship Recipients
    Pioneer is proud to contribute to the youth in the communities we serve by supporting those students who wish to further
    their education. Our annual scholarship program awards financial aid to several applicants each year based on academic
    performance and community involvement. Congratulations to the following recipients:

    Paul Atkinson: Currently attending OSU – graduated from Philomath High School in 2011

    Neve Baker: Currently attending Whitman College – graduated from Newport High School in 2011

    Nolan Bartlow: Currently attending OSU – graduated from Philomath High School in 2011

    Marisa Browning – Kamins: Philomath High School – will attend Bowdin College

    Lauren Dimock: Currently attending Willamette University – graduated from Alsea High School in 2009

    Ruth Hale: Dual enrolled at Waldport High School and Oregon Coast Community College – will attend Lewis & Clark College

    Reina Morgan: Currently attending Western Oregon University – graduated from Waldport High School in 2011

    Breanne Schnell: Corvallis High School – will attend U of O

    Dylan McDowell: Currently attending OSU – graduated from Waldport High in 2010

    Hannah Seagren: Attending Corban University – graduated from home-schooled

    Bailey Smith: Alsea High – will attend Linfield College

    Jocob Thiessen: Triangle Lake Charter – will attend New Hope Christian College

    Kayla Thorsness: Currently attending OSU – graduated from Philomath High in 2011

    Emma Westlind: Alsea High School – will attend U of O

Mark Your Calendar
Member Appreciation Evening
Join us August 14th in Waldport and August 15th in Philomath.
We will be serving hotdogs, sodas, and cake to thank you, our
members, for your loyal patronage.

Come by whichever business office is most convenient to you
between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. We want to say thank you…
See You There!
                                                                  2012 Youth Tour
                                                                  Each year, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative sends a local
                                                                  high school junior to represent Pioneer at the Foundation
                                                                  for Rural Service Youth Tour in Washington D.C. This year’s
                                                                  Youth Tour winner was Bradi McGuire from Eddyville
                                                                  Charter School.

                                                                  Bradi is currently a junior at Eddyville Charter School. She
                                                                  participates in volleyball, track, softball, basketball, div-
                                                                  ing , 4-H and takes singing lessons. Bradi is also involved
                                                                  in the Junior Booster Club and organizes fundraisers for
                                                                  breast cancer.

     Eckman Lake Fun                                              She wanted to represent Pioneer Telephone for this year’s
                                                                  Youth Tour because “it’s a business that gives back to
Pioneer provided parents with free safety IDs of their kids on
                                                                  our community. Pioneer is a leader in Oregon’s telecom-
May 19th at the Eckman Lake Annual Kid’s Fishing Derby. Over
                                                                  munication industry and is continuously improving their
60 children were weighed, measured, fingerprinted, and pho-
                                                                  services to meet the needs of their members. I think it’s
tographed by Pioneer employees. This vital information was
                                                                  important that not only community members, but also
recorded in a Safety ID Kit and presented to parents. Thank you
                                                                  businesses, support their communities.”
for stopping by. See you next year!
                                                                  After high school, Bradi plans to attend Oregon State
                                                                  University in their pre-medical program. She is still trying
                                                                  to decide between becoming a pharmacist or veterinar-

                                                                  June 2nd, Bradi went to Washington D.C. and got a
                                                                  firsthand look into the government processes and what’s
                                                                  happening in the telecommunications industry. She also
                                                                  visited famous historic sites and monuments.

                                                                  Congratulations Bradi and we hope you enjoyed repre-
                                                                  senting Pioneer in Washington D.C.!
                                Eckman Lake, Waldport

                                                 Advertising Your

                                                     Business Can

                                                  Sometimes Feel

                                                     Like A Puzzle

    Let Pioneer’s Yellow Pages Help You Solve It!
                  Call A Directory Representative Today!
                    541-929-3135 or 1-800-929-1014

Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Honoring Our Military Men & Women

                                                 Once again, Pioneer Telephone is proud to
                                                 sponsor Military Appreciation Night on Sunday,
                                                 July 1st .

                                                 In tribute to our military , Active Duty and
                                                 Veteran Military members will be admitted for
                                                 free. The Corvallis Knights will be sporting their
                                                 new red, white and blue camo game jerseys to
                                                 take on the Kitsap Bluejackets. Bring the family
                                                 down for a fun-filled evening, for a FREE buzz
                                                 cut courtesy of Epic Day Spa and $1 ice cream.
                                                 Come join us, the Corvallis Knights and KRKT for
                                                 a fun family evening at Goss Stadium!

Shared By: