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July 24, 2009 Newsletter

- Update from the Executive Director

- Liability Insurance Survey

- Company Profile - Clearwire

- MDU/SMATV Essentials Course Launched Online


Update from the Executive Director

Since the beginning of the year, starting with the Leadership Lunch and SBCA Board meeting at the CES in Las Vegas, SBCA management and staff have worked diligently to increase SBCA’s value to it members and to the industry through its certification and professional development activities, and by offering a wealth of new benefits for members which will help improve their businesses, increase profitability and encourage more people to enter the industry.

Certification and Professional Development

Since January 2009, over 20,000 certifications have been awarded, compared to 9,200 in 2008 and 6,500 in 2007 for the same period.

There are two major reasons for this major increase.  The first was the certification of all the existing DISH Network internal technicians at the beginning of this year.  The second was DIRECTV’s encouragement of its HSP network technicians to be SBCA certified.  These two groups accounted for about 90% of the test activity so far this year.

DISH has also announced it intention to launch on line SBCA certification through its DISHU retailer training site.  That is expected to start in Q3.

In addition to the activity, SBCA expanded its test offerings by launching an on line course for MFH2 certification, and an MDU/SMATV course.  We are also finalizing a on-line certification course for DIRECTV’s Comm 1000 technology.  SBCA also conducted an MFH2 demonstration course at Revolution and conducted five “train the trainer” classes.

Members Services and Marketing

To go with the new benefit offerings mentioned in our last issue we have also worked to expand our marketing and promotion—which remains a high priority for the remainder of this year and the future.  We have:
 

  • Designed a new trade booth

  • Designed and distributed new marketing and promotion  materials

  • Designed a new website which will be launched in Q3

  • Placed articles in distributor newsletter to promote new services

  • Attended DISH and DIRECTV national and regional events, and regional events sponsored by DSI.

  • To make joining easier, we have modified our website to accept on line applications.
     

We also created the Satellite Industry Leadership Council to help SBCA develop new products and services to support its members.  It has met twice this year.

Public Policy & Outreach

Since the arrival of Lisa McCabe as SBCA’s Director of Public Policy & Outreach in January, we have been running flat out to respond to legislative and regulatory activity at the state and local level.  In addition we are reaching out to national groups with an interest or involvement in our industry to create/improve relations and assure consumers have access to our services consistent with the law and applicable rules.

OTARD/Consumers’ Rights

  • We were successful in killing proposed legislation in threes states (ND, SD and CT) that was looking to regulate the placement of satellite dishes on rental property.

  • SBCA has been involved in issues regarding dish placement in about twelve municipalities through outreach to homeowners’ associations and local law makers. SBCA has had meetings with pertinent FCC officials regarding OTARD enforcement.

  • SBCA has retained outside council to assist in OTARD outreach issues as needed as well as to further develop MDU policy document.

  • SBCA has assisted in the fielding of a number on consumer complaints that have come through state legislators’ offices.


Licensing
 

  • Although we were not able to get a proposed revision to the licensing law in Minnesota passed before the session ended, we were successful in educating the legislature on the issue as well as developing a strong working relationship with the Electrical Board in the state. 

  • In Wyoming, we made headway on a bill that would exempt satellite installers from a licensure requirement in the state and will continue to lay try again in the next legislative session. 

  • We continue to work actively a licensing bill in Massachusetts that would establish a licensing board and regulations for telecommunications professionals in the commonwealth.

  • SBCA held successful meetings with DISH and DIRECTV licensing contacts and is working to update the state licensing database.  Project expected to be completed by the end of the summer and monitoring will continue to keep database updated.  It is available to members on the SBCA website.
     

Satellite Taxes

  • SBCA has worked with DISH Network and DIRECTV to fight onerous state taxes on satellite service in eight states (AZ, IA, IN, MA, NV, NY, TX and VTWe were able to kill these new taxes in all but one state (MA).

  • The issue of local channel carriage and providing statewide viewing of state legislative proceedings came up in two states (CT and MN).  We were able have the legislation killed and education and outreach continues with the legislature on the issue.


Outreach
 

  • SBCA will attend conferences of state legislatures to further outreach on industry issues this summer and fall.

  • SBCA staff attended member outreach meetings in PA and IN.

  • SBCA has made contact with Community Association Institute and the National Multi Housing Council to promote cooperation.  Follow up with CAI will be done to work on some co-branded policy papers regarding satellite dish placement and for home owners associations.


Liability Insurance Survey
 
Liability insurance premiums are one of the largest expenses facing small business today. The SBCA is investigating the opportunity to use the collective buying power of the satellite industry to receive discounted Property and Casualty Insurance to retailers and contractors. In order to develop the best program possible please complete and submit the following survey. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=wOKVUrRUJsNKDNd4z1mf7w_3d_3d
 
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Company Profile - Clearwire

Making CLEAR’s Mobile WiMAX Your Business:

The Difference is CLEAR

Getting online should be easy. Powered by WiMAX, CLEAR™ affords you the ability to connect as easily on-the-go as you do at home. With successful launches in Portland, Baltimore, Atlanta, and now Las Vegas – and an aggressive goal to expand mobile WiMAX coverage to 120 million people across 80 markets by the end of 2010 – communities across the U.S. will soon have an unprecedented combination of broadband connection and mobility.

Giving customers more internet in more places, CLEAR’s 4G WiMAX service provides super fast mobile internet with download speeds of 3 to 6 mbps per second – and bursts up to 10 – all for affordable daily or monthly service plans. And, making it even simpler, set-up requires no appointment and no installation – just plug in the CLEAR USB modem and surf, often in 60 seconds or less.

CLEAR lets customers take advantage of a wide range of mobile WiMAX devices, including:

  •  Notebooks with embedded WiMAX:  Over 35 notebook models from six PC manufacturers have been WiMAX certified already, with more than 15 models available now with embedded Intel® Wireless WiMAX/Wi-Fi Link 5050 series modules – and more on the way.
  • Clear USB Modem: Fits into any standard USB port on your laptop computer for the ultimate in high-speed, 4G mobility.
  •  Clear Modem: Connects your home computer or Wi-Fi router to the internet with the power of the CLEAR 4G network.  Just plug it in and get online.
  • Clear 4G+ Mobile USB: Beginning August 1, 2009, customers will be able to purchase this dual-mode (4G/3G) modem, allowing them to take advantage of CLEAR’s super fast mobile internet in CLEAR coverage areas, as well as Sprint’s nationwide 3G network when outside of those areas.  
  •  Clear Spot Personal Hotspot:  Instantly creates a portable, secure Wi-Fi hot spot that users can use with up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices.  Put all of your Wi-Fi connected devices on the CLEAR Mobile Network in an instant.  
  • ClearVoice™ Adapter:  Connect your CLEAR modem to a landline phone and talk all you want to anywhere in the US, Canada & Puerto Rico for one low monthly rate.
  • Mobile Devices: In March 2009, Samsung announced the handheld Samsung Mondi™ for use with CLEAR mobile WiMAX service.  With a 4.3” touch screen, GPS for location-based services and instant access to social networking website, it gives new meaning to mobile entertainment.  

Mobile broadband, made simple.

Become a CLEAR Authorized Retailer, and you’ll have everything you need to succeed – aggressive commission structure, consigned inventory, comprehensive advertising campaign, co-op dollars and residual income for everything you sell – and an opportunity to become part of the first nationwide, 4G mobile broadband network.

Experience the CLEAR difference for yourself.

For more information on becoming an Authorized Retailer, please e-mail retailerservices@clear.com

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MDU/SMATV Essentials Course Launched Online
 

SBCA has launched an on-line version of the MDU/SMATV certification course.  The course was prepared by SBCA’s on-line curriculum development partner SatProf, Inc.   

The course provides the detailed knowledge required for installation and maintenance of MDU and SMATV systems.  The curriculum was designed by a team of industry partners including DIRECTV, DISH Network, PACE International, PDI-Sat, DOW Electronics, Mastec Advanced Technologies, and SatProf.  To take a short guided tour and to register, visit http://sbca.coursehost.com

 
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New Members

Listed below are SBCA's newest members that have joined over the past month that we would like to welcome to the Association:

American Background Info Services
Winchester, VA

Benefit Alternative
Waterville, OH

Everlucent, LLC
Dallas, TX

G.T. Express Computers
Bulverde, TX

High Tech Solutions
Knoxville, TN

Independent Installations
Tacoma, WA

Mike Musso & Associates
Oceanside, CA

My Satellite Company
Norcross, GA

National Dish Installers
Joplin, MO

Professional Satellite Services
Fort Worth, TX

PSAV Presentation Services Design
Tempe, AZ

Quinstar Satellite
Espanola, NM

RELCO
Scottsburg, IN

Satellite Shop
Burnsville, MS

Speedway SuperAmerica
Enon, OH

Star Route LLC
Camarillo, CA

Sterling Infosystems
New York, NY

USI Affinity
Philadelphia, PA


Coming Soon

New Website

Industry Calendar of Events

SBCA Master Technician Program


Position Opening
 

Director Sales Administration – Steren Electronics

Position Summary:

Manage sales development and support, maintains and improves relationships in the satellite and structured wiring industries. Provide a leadership role in increasing overall Company sales and ensure that key sales quotas and goals are achieved. Influence new product development and supervise new product introductions. Lead and motivate sales staff to meet quotas through acquisition of new business and/or retention and increased penetrate of existing accounts.

For further details contact Angie Donerson at adonerson@steren.com

 
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