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December 3, 2008 Newsletter

- SBCA: A Friend in Difficult Times
- Member Spotlight - Case-SRS


SBCA: A Friend in Difficult Times

These are difficult times for all of us as Americans and as people working in the consumer based satellite industry.  Even treading water requires hard work, and in these tough times all segments of the industry need to do everything they can to make subscribing to exceptional video, audio and data service a pleasant experience for the consumer and as profitable as possible.

Luckily, the industry has a good friend and hard worker in its trade association, the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (its official name).  As your trade association, SBCA is committed to ensuring that unfair obstacles to being successful in your business are either eliminated or made less harmful.  We do this primarily by advocating at the state level on the two issues that most directly affect your livelihood:  licensing requirements and state taxation of satellite services.

Currently seventeen states require some form of licensing.  As is true in many areas of state involvement, there is considerable variation in licensing requirements. Currently, seven states require just the company (contractor or subcontractor) to be licensed.  Another four states require just the technician to be licensed. Six states require a combination of contractor and technician to be licensed. An additional three states have pending legislation. Adding to the complexity, some states allow their local jurisdictions to regulate in this area.

Of equal importance, all these state apply licensing requirements differently.  For example, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have adopted the SBCA’s National Standards and Testing Program as the testing criteria for their state’s licensing examination.  Minnesota, on the other hand, requires a three year apprenticeship, and a large testing fee and passage of an examination that covers many areas not relevant to the work of a satellite installer.  SBCA is currently working in Minnesota to change the licensing procedures and will pursue this issue in other states as well where warranted.

SBCA also maintains a licensing database on its website to assist members in determining the requirements in their state.

The other area of SBCA’s focus is fighting discriminatory satellite taxes at the state level. Currently six states apply such a tax, and DISH Network and DIRECTV are challenging five in court. These are taxes imposed on satellite services and not other multichannel services like cable.  The cable industry has been vocal in advocating that they are the ones being discriminated against since they pay franchise fees and the satellite industry does not.  SBCA’s job is to challenge that assertion because a franchise fee is not a tax but a lease payment that gives the cable industry access to public rights of way and a virtual monopoly to provide cable services in the authorizing jurisdiction. We maintain a website www.stopsatellitetax.com.  Check it out.

The most effective way to confront these licensing and tax issues is by mobilizing local groups and individuals in our industry who are directly affected by these laws and regulations and who represent real voters.  That’s where you come in.  We need you to help us by calling legislators, write letters to the local newspaper and visit legislators.  If you are willing to help, contact us at info@sbca.org.


Member Spotlight - Case-SRS

For many years, CASE-SRS has been a committed partner and major distributor of a wide range of high-quality installation solutions to the satellite, commercial and structured wiring industries.

CASE-SRS has a long, outstanding record in working directly with customers for their product needs. With close business relationships with key purchasing and other personnel in the industry, CASE-SRS has an unsurpassed record of service and support in providing superior quality products at competitive prices. As the satellite industry grows, CASE-SRS remains committed to providing the best value in the industry.

Product lines include HDMI/DVI cables, connectors, and drop and installation materials, as well as a full line of home automation and structured wiring products.

To serve customers nationwide, CASE-SRS has sales offices in Englewood, Colorado, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl and San Diego, California, and distribution centers in San Diego, California; Denver Colorado; and Memphis, Tennessee.

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CONTRACTOR BOARD

A beta version of the Contractor Board can be found on the SBCA website. Log into the Online Membership Manager (OMM) and members, under the 'My Profile' page will have the option to be listed as part of our contractor locator service. If you wish to make your services available to other organizations you will be able to do so via the OMM. The company profile will allow you to list the number of technicians you have, geographic location and skill sets of your organization. This will make it easier for companies to contact you to discuss contractor opportunities.


JOB BOARD

SBCA has recently launched our new full service Careers Job Board to service our industry. The Job Board is now live on our websites. Be sure to check it out and enter in all your company openings and needs. If you need assistance contact Martin Esteves at 202-349-3630 or mesteves@sbca.org.


NEW MEMBERS
Listed below are SBCA's newest members that have joined over the past month:

Campus Televideo
Bear, DE

Litteer Enterprises
Lakeville, NY

Winn Telecom
Mt. Pleasant, MI

Todd Lincoln

Christopher A. Menigoz


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