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News & Alerts

MTA Supports Vets with BattleDawgs Donation

BattleDawgs Support

Our country relies on military service members to protect our freedom and ways of life, with more than 26,000 military members currently serving in Alaska.

Yet veterans are too often left without adequate resources to cope with the life-altering experiences they endured during service. People who serve in the military often experience mental and physical burdens that make adjusting to civilian life difficult.

Despite the incredible leadership and technical skillset that many veterans have, service members are not always considered to be “competitive” in the civilian job market due to their work experience not being directly transferable to typical civilian jobs.

At MTA, we reject that concept and instead embrace our military members.

We’re proud to employ over 25 veterans. They bring an irreplaceable set of skills and unique perspectives to our team that adds diversity, allowing us to find more creative solutions for our community. To veterans at MTA, we are honored to be your workplace of choice, and each day we thank you for your service.

In addition to employability, a large percentage of veterans struggle with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and other disorders that require support and care. This Veterans Day, we are proud to announce our 2022 Employee Giving Campaign will benefit BattleDawgs, a Talkeetna-based nonprofit that encourages veterans struggling with combat-related injuries to experience the great outdoors.

We believe in giving back to veterans who have dedicated their lives and careers to our nation while asking for so little in return. We hope experiencing all our beautiful state has to offer will create a sense of healing.

Our employees’ generous pledges during 2023 will support these ongoing programs, in which veterans are able to build comradery through mentorship and leadership activities. And MTA will continue to draw attention to veteran issues and organizations that are working to make life better for them and our communities.

If you are interested in being part of this special project, please contact Corporate Communications Manager Jess Gilbert (jgilbert@mtasolutions.com) to learn more.

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Cybersecurity News & Alerts

5 Ways to Minimize Your Risks After a Data Breach Alert


Prevent your data from being used against you

Data breaches happen constantly. Unfortunately, no matter how effective your personal online security is, you cannot prevent attackers from stealing your private information from a service you’ve used.

Some breaches only include passwords, but often criminals find ways to steal bank card information, social security numbers, and other crucial pieces of personally identifiable information. These compromises and the leaks that follow can expose your private data to online criminals, who can use that information to fuel phishing attacks, fraud and even identity theft.

F-Secure Labs also notes that a data breach doesn’t just put your information at risk, because following an account takeover your personal details may then be used by criminals to commit further online crimes against other individuals.

“We have seen, for example, cryptocurrency scams promoted by stolen Youtube or Twitter accounts,” says Maria Dacuno, Senior Researcher at F-Secure Labs.

But you shouldn’t feel singled out if your details are included in a breach, because just about everyone who uses the internet will eventually get a data breach alert. And in this post you’ll find out the five steps you should take as soon as you get one, which will help prevent your data from being used against you.

1. Change that password—and any similar password

In the aftermath of a breach, publicity will often lead to websites of the affected services or companies being overloaded with worried individuals, all trying to check their data. In addition, the security team of a breached company may restrict your account access while they assess the damage.

After a few days, though, the breached service will likely be accessible. That’s when you should login and change your password to a new, longer, unique password.

And you should change your password for any service that has been breached, regardless of whether a company told you that your information was affected by the cyber attack. If you have used the same password, or any variation of this password–for example, adding a number or symbol to the end of the password for use on another service–you should also change those passwords.

And it is worth noting here that password tricks, like adding a number or slightly varying the ending of a password for use on multiple logins, add absolutely no additional security to your recycled passwords. And whilst your password may be breached, there are steps you can take to ensure that your account remains secure. According to F-Secure Labs one of the best ways to do this is to make sure that you turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA) for this and every account where it’s available.

“Multi-factor authentication in general adds a layer of protection for your accounts,” says Dacuno. “However, enforcing an MFA through a more secure method like an authenticator app is highly recommended.”

2. Check your cards

Following a breach alert you should check your account on the compromised service and immediately delete any stored bank or credit cards.

In general, it is good practice to avoid storing card details with any online services. So, this is a good time to remove any stored financial account information for any of your online services, unless absolutely necessary.

Even the most careful companies can be breached. And you do not want your cards to be part of any eventual breach.

3. Monitor and cancel

If you have been notified that your bank or credit card details have been leaked, you need to take immediate action. Call your bank and cancel your card.

This is a huge inconvenience, but necessary, especially if you do not have an alternative card to use, or have automatic payments set up with this card. You will have to wait for a new card to arrive, which can take days, or even weeks. But This is exactly why it is good practice to never save your cards with online services.

You should monitor the transactions on any card connected to a breached service, whether you were informed that card data was breached or not. Check for suspicious activity on a weekly basis–at least–and be ready to contact your provider to cancel the card.

4. Consider temporary credit cards (US only)

Services like privacy.com allow you to generate a unique, limited, temporary credit card number. These temp cards reduce the risk of credit card compromise. However, such services, sadly, do not seem to be available outside the United States.

Temporary credit cards require extra effort. Yet they are worth your time–as they limit the damage of any individual service being breached. This strategy is like using unique passwords for every service: the uniqueness helps avoid a domino effect of one breach impacting your whole digital life.

5. Use a password manager

The best time to start using a password manager is before your data is breached. The second-best time is right now.

Not only is using a password manager the single best thing most people can do to improve their cyber security, it’s also much easier than most methods of storing and using secure data.

A password manager makes creating, saving, and using strong unique passwords for all your accounts easy. By simply using this tool many cyber security experts trust for their password and refusing to store your card numbers with any online services, your risks of data breach will be quite minimal. Especially if you do a good job of monitoring your online identity in general.

MTA Shield + ID Protection secures your passwords and your online identity

If your passwords and private data are breached, criminals can take over your accounts and steal your identity. ID theft is expensive and painful to fix. Preventing identity theft can save you money and time.

MTA has partnered with F-Secure, a global leader in cybersecurity, to build a solution so our members have the tools to stay safe online. Avoid data breaches and identity theft with 24/7 risk detection, secure browsing, and password management with MTA Shield.

Keep your data protected around the clock, with MTA Shield – designed to work specifically with our totalWiFi gateway.


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Cybersecurity News & Alerts

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Avoid ID Theft


Identity theft has gone online

Identity theft happens when criminals use a victim’s identity to, for example, buying things and paying in installments. But to do this, criminals first need to steal your personal information, such as your name, phone number, birthday, social security number, address, and credit card number.

And the internet is a perfect place to find these details; social media, shopping accounts and other profiles are full of them. Of course, they can’t be accessed by just anyone. But cyber criminals have multiple ways of stealing information, and with identity data available in huge quantities online, it makes it far easier to use for fraud, with a small risk of getting caught. That’s why ID theft nowadays mostly happens online.

The damage can be severe and long-lasting

Repairing the damages of identity theft takes a lot of time and effort, with some victims only realizing that their identity has been stolen when they get bills or contacts from debtors. And as well as all the financial costs, becoming a victim can cause emotional distress, too. So, while the criminals walk away with the profits, the victim is left with all the consequences.

Anyone can become a victim of identity theft

When it comes to our personal information online, many people think they don’t have anything worth stealing. Or that nobody would bother trying to steal their identity. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Online criminals are ruthless. They often prey on easy targets. And the victim’s wealth or lack of it doesn’t prevent identity theft. Because credit cards, payday loans and installment agreements can be acquired in anyone’s name.

But to do that, criminals first need to steal personal information.

Thankfully, though, there are a number of ways that you can make identity theft less likely, and by following the simple steps below you can protect your personal information.

1. Set your email address under 24/7 breach monitoring

Most online accounts are created with an email address and a password. When criminals breach an online service, they aim to steal the personal information within. Like passwords and email addresses. And if criminals manage to get their hands on this information, they have access to all the information in your account.

But if you don’t know about a data breach , you can’t really protect yourself from the damage. So set your email address for data breach monitoring. Once you’ve done this, when a service with an account created with it gets breached, you will get an alert. And if you change your password immediately, criminals will be left with your old password, and they can’t steal your data with that.

2. Use unique passwords

Passwords are keys to personal information in online accounts. Almost every online service uses them to restrict unauthorized access. Criminals steal passwords through data breaches, phishing  scams, malware, and intercepting web traffic.

Use unique passwords and you can protect your personal details online. By using unique passwords if your password gets compromised, the damage is limited to only one account. Whereas if you use the same password everywhere, all your accounts across the web are compromised. Use a password manager so you can store your unique passwords and have them at hand always when you need them. And use a strong password generator to make it as secure as possible.

3. Use antivirus software

Computer viruses and malware steal personal information. Some record your keystrokes when you type in passwords. Others go through your cookies, or the passwords saved on your browser. Stop them from stealing your data with an antivirus software. It’s easier and safer to prevent infection than to deal with a virus that’s already on your device.

4. Be careful when opening links and attachments

Phishing means tricking you into giving your personal information to criminals. Phishing sites, emails and messages often resemble a real and famous brand. They can look very convincing. URLs (aka the www. address of the page) on phishing sites may have just a one-character difference with that of an actual site. Same goes with email sender addresses.

So be careful. Don’t click any suspicious links or open attachments, especially in emails. They can lead to phishing sites and also include malware. And if you feed in your credentials, the site owner can then use them for ID theft. To avoid this, make sure to check the sender and the URL of the page before feeding in your info.

5. Use a VPN on public WiFi networks

Setting up a public WiFi hotspot is really easy. And nothing prevents naming it “Free airport WiFi”, “Hotel Guest”, etc. That’s why you can never know if a public WiFi network is safe. The network owner can intercept your usernames, passwords, messages, and bank information, if your connection is not secure.

But with a VPN , you can use any WiFi network without having to worry about criminals stealing your data. VPN encrypts your web traffic so outsiders can’t steal your passwords and other information from it.

MTA Shield+ ID Protection helps you avoid identity theft

If criminals steal your personal details, they can steal your identity. ID theft is costly, and fixing things takes long. Preventing identity theft can save you money and time.

MTA has partnered with F-Secure, a global leader in cybersecurity, to build a solution so our members have the tools to stay safe online. Avoid data breaches and identity theft with 24/7 risk detection, secure browsing, and password management with MTA Shield.

Keep your data protected around the clock, with MTA Shield – designed to work specifically with our totalWiFi gateway.


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Cybersecurity News & Alerts

4 Steps to Take if Your Email has Been Pwned


What does being pwned mean?

Being pwned means that someone has taken control of your email address, or a user profile that has been created with it. And hacking an account is possibly the first step of identity theft, with online accounts often containing sensitive personal information, such as your credit card number, phone number, home address, and full name.

Identity theft can cause financial damage, intense personal stress, and a plethora of legal problems. And if your email account and password end up in the wrong hands, criminals can access your personal details and purchase goods in your name. Things can get even worse, though. Because if you have reused the same password and email on other accounts, criminals can access these profiles as well, increasing the risk of identity theft exponentially.

How does your email get pwned?

Your login credentials can be stolen in a data breach  – and there’s a significant data breach almost every week. So, it’s a good idea to regularly check if your information has been stolen in a data breach with F-Secure’s free Identity Theft Checker. But it doesn’t stop at data breaches. As your accounts can also be hacked through malware attacks, or through phishing  scams.

But there’s no need to panic. If your account has been pwned, here are four things you can do to mitigate the risk:

1. Make sure your antivirus and operating system are up to date

Viruses and spyware can steal personal information and login credentials. Having up-to-date antivirus and operating systems on your devices is important in protecting your accounts from being pwned. The majority of core software that we use is regularly updated by vendors to prevent hackers from utilizing flaws and vulnerabilities. So turn on automatic updates, which can save you from a lot of trouble if you do not yet have them enabled.

2. Scan your device for malware

If there is malware on your device, changing your account password isn’t enough. That’s because the attacker can steal your newly created password using malware. So, before you change any passwords, run a virus scan. If the scan detects an infection, deal with it first. If you already changed passwords, change them again. Because they might have already been compromised.

3. Now, change your passwords

Changing your password is the most important thing to do if your account has been pwned. If you have reused your password on other accounts, you should change passwords for those accounts as well.

Criminals will try to access accounts with payment details and other valuable data. But if the attacker has already changed your password to in a hacked account, don’t panic. You may still be able to restore your account through the “forgot your password” function.

4. Check your email settings

If your email account has been pwned, criminals can set it to automatically forward your messages to the attacker and to send malware, phishing scams, or spam. So check your settings and see if you find anything alarming.

You might also want to send an email to your contacts or post on social media that your email has been pwned, to warn against opening any attachments sent by you. This can save your contacts from being infected by malware.

How can you protect your email from being pwned?

Dealing with a compromised email address is possible, but the best course of action is to never let it happen in the first place. And you can cut that risk significantly by following these simple steps:

  1. Pay attention to the sender addresses of emails and SMS messages; don’t fall for phishing or smishing
  2. Be cautious when you open files, links, or install programs. Your bank or authorities don’t ask you to authenticate information online. Most likely you didn’t win a lottery prize either, and the “hot singles in your area” would probably use other methods to contact you
  3. Enabling two-factor authentication is essential in protecting your online accounts. That’s why many banks and service providers use it. Follow their example when possible
  4. Set your email address under 24/7 breach monitoring, and you’ll get alerts when a data breach including your personal information has occurred. This gives you time to change the password before anyone can get into your account
  5. And finally, always use unique passwords.

You can create unique passwords for free with F-Secure Strong Password Generator. Get a password manager, and you can then save all these passwords securely. This way they are always with you, and you can copy paste or autofill them when needed. It’s easier, safer, and faster.

MTA Shield + ID Protection – Full Online Protection

MTA has partnered with F-Secure, a global leader in cybersecurity, to build a solution so our members have the tools to stay safe online. Avoid data breaches and identity theft with 24/7 risk detection, secure browsing, and password management with MTA Shield.

Keep your data protected around the clock, with MTA Shield – designed to work specifically with our totalWiFi gateway.


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News & Alerts

Matanuska Telecom Association (MTA) Completes New Leg of Historic Terrestrial Fiber Connection from Alaska to Canada and Chicago

Large businesses and government entities that work between Alaska and the Lower 48 will have new options for operations, access to cloud providers

Palmer, Alaska – September 13, 2022 – Matanuska Telecom Association (MTA), Alaska’s best choice for technology and communications, has completed the first and only all-terrestrial fiber route between Alaska and Chicago. The project, an extension of the historic AlCan ONE line, brings an additional secure, geographically diverse, high-speed connection between Anchorage, Wasilla and Fairbanks to Calgary and Chicago, as well as to Seattle and Portland. 

“MTA is proud to be facilitating the vibrant enterprise, education and government industries to be even stronger and more capable with our new Alaska to Chicago connection,” said Michael Burke, CEO of MTA. “Communications needs are changing every year, so this secure and reliable option is critical to the growth of businesses in Alaska and across the country.”

In 2020, MTA completed its AlCan ONE (Alaska Canada Overland Network), a 300-mile, all-terrestrial fiber network connecting North Pole, Alaska to the Canadian border – and ultimately providing MTA’s members, as well as Alaska as a whole, with a robust internet transport connection for decades to come. Since then, the co-operative has worked with Canadian partners to extend the network and establish POPs in Calgary and Chicago. 

“In the past, we’ve been vulnerable to the possibility that a disaster or crisis could render Alaska cut off from the rest of the world,” said Francis LaChapelle, Vice President of Business Development for MTA. “MTA knew Alaska needed an alternative to relying on undersea fiber cable communications that pass through the Pacific Northwest, and now we have it.  Expanding our terrestrial network to Chicago allows MTA to meet the need for fast and survivable telecommunications to the Midwest and East Coast.”

MTA’s new system gives Alaska a faster connection to the Midwest and East Coast, with a 20-25% reduction in round-trip latency between Alaska and Chicago. It also provides a direct connection to diverse cloud regions— Microsoft Azure Government cloud in Chicago and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud coming to Calgary in 2023.

For more information, visit www.mtasolutions.com/Chicago.

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News & Alerts

Employees are at the heart of it all

By: Jess Gilbert, Public Relations Manager

As the world around us continues to shift in unknown ways, one constant is MTA’s commitment to our employees and the community around us. Last year, Brandi Burchett, Mat-Su Senior Services CEO, came to me with a true problem; seniors in our community desperate for connectivity.  In order to help this vulnerable population, we decided to implement our first-ever employee giving campaign.

Our goal with this campaign was to help give back to the seniors in our community and get our employees engaged with and aware of new fundraising programs for the MTA Foundation, which has long demonstrated its commitment to pioneering technological growth within our serving area. Thanks to the generous effort from MTA employees, we raised a total of $30,000 in donations for Mat-Su Senior Services.

These funds have allowed us to gift the senior services provider with a high powered tech hub to stimulate technology literacy within Alaska’s senior citizen population. Our employees’ generous gift will also fund 3 years of unlimited connectivity to the tech hub. We know that our commitment goes beyond broadband, so we will also be offering regular digital literacy and cyber security classes exclusively for the members at Mat-Su Senior Services. We couldn’t complete this project without working with Brandi to design a senior-friendly gaming area in the hub, providing seniors a new way to engage.

It’s been so fun and rewarding to watch this project progress and work with Brandi and the Mat-Su Senior Services team, and we can’t wait to see the finished product.  I spoke with Brandi about our partnership and this project, and you can read our thoughts below:

Jess Gilbert (JG): MTA has prioritized technology education for years now, particularly to our more senior members. Why was it important from your point-of-view to have this space in the Mat-Su Senior Service Center?

Brandi Burchett (BB): For many seniors, not just here, but around the world, they tend to feel disconnected and out of touch with their grandchildren or families. By creating a space for connection and learning, this computer center will allow the exposure of technology and kick start new passions and hobbies within the seniors – something I’m really looking forward to seeing. 

JG: It’s inspiring to see the difference the Foundation is able to make for the greater Mat-Su area and this project is just one of many examples of that. What does this initiative by MTA mean to you?

BB: This project and donation from MTA really showcases the love and support of the community around us. By being able to gift the Mat-Su Senior Service Center with a computer lab, internet connectivity and tech literacy sessions, it means the seniors will feel more loved and connected. I hope that by seeing this project, people may feel motivated to give back to the community they are located in.

JG: Our hope is that this will be a relationship that continues to evolve over the years. How do you see the tech hub being used in years to come?

BB: I think the seniors will love this new space. It gives them the chance to learn, connect and play – something many of them haven’t been able to experience much of in recent years. I see this space becoming a hub for community in the center and a place where seniors get together to try new things and help each other. 

JG: Why is closing digital divide important to this community and demographic?

BB: For too many in Alaska and throughout the country, the digital divide has never been deeper than it is today. The gap between those with and without reliable broadband has only continued to widen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, especially within the senior community in long-term care facilities. Being able to provide them with computers, tablets and learning sessions means they will be able to connect with their families and feel a sense of community.

 Big or small donations, alike, let’s work together to continue to close the digital divide. You can get involved today at mtafoundation.org

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News & Alerts

MTA Wins Three NTCA eXcellence Awards

The highest recognition of individual achievement by NTCA is the eXcellence Awards Program, which honors individuals in eight categories.

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association recognized nine rural telecom leaders who have shown exceptional commitment to their communities and the broadband industry during the 2022 Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and EXPO (RTIME). 

The NTCA Excellence Awards recognize broadband providers who have gone above and beyond to support their customers and community members and to advance communications services in rural America. Winners are selected by the association’s Awards Committee comprising NTCA members. The 2021 NTCA Excellence Awards are sponsored by JSI and NECA.

View full press release.

Management Innovation Award

Wanda Tankersley
Chief Operating Officer

Wanda became Chief Operating Officer in 2017 and since then played an instrumental role in leading the company through major milestones and remarkable levels of growth, to create a more connected world for MTA members, employees, and all Alaskans. Throughout her tenure as COO, Wanda overhauled MTA’s product management paradigm, oversaw the restructuring and unification of sales teams to be better aligned and more responsive to market demand, and created a new Commercial Solutions team focused on creating bespoke products for MTA’s Wholesale and Enterprise markets. She led the charge in unveiling a myriad of innovative tech solutions, including Managed Wi-Fi, migration out of end-of-life products, and the suite of three cybersecurity and privacy apps called MTA Shield. Wanda recognized that a company’s success is largely contingent upon the well-being of its employees and urged a series of facilities renovations at MTA to ensure employees have ergonomic environments, mother’s rooms, and collaborative workspaces. She’s also cultivated a culture of impact for the MTA Foundation, pioneering a series of diverse initiatives, and created an internship program for the next generation of telecom leaders.

Key Employee Award

Tyler Aklestad
OSP Network Planner

Tyler excelled in several roles at MTA, progressing through the ranks since his start as a Plant Laborer at age 18. He completed a four-year apprenticeship in the Telecommunications program as a Journeyman Splicer, became an Outside Plant Engineer through cross-training opportunities, and recently became MTA’s OSP Network Planner. Along his journey at MTA, Tyler has fostered a strong connection with the state of Alaska and its traditions by competing in the Iron Dog race, the world’s longest snowmobile race at nearly 2,600 miles. Tyler started his Iron Dog career the same year he began working at MTA, leveraging both experiences over the years to connect with the community around him. He has become an advocate for safety and gives talks at local elementary schools and local businesses about his work in telecommunications and his racing career, fostering pride in the unique challenges and benefits of working and living in Alaska.


Outstanding Marketing Achievement Award

Kerry Youngren
Consumer Markets Manager

Kerry and her team took on a brand modernization initiative in early 2020 in pursuit of a simple goal—to revamp and unify MTA’s brand to reflect its recent evolution and commitment to innovation. Using analytics and survey data, Kerry developed supporting objectives and identified benchmarks to track the project’s success, including growing brand awareness, creating a communications strategy across all channels, producing high-quality content reflective of MTA’s position as the local technology leader, and improving online communication tools. Since the brand modernization campaign launched, MTA has experienced incredible results. They received five “Best of Alaska” awards in 2021. MTA’s net promoter score spiked by more than 10 points and remains the highest it has been and new visitors to MTA’s website increased by nearly 10%.

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News & Alerts

MTA Wins CETS 2022 Best in Class Award

The Customer Experience & Telco Sales Association (CETS) recently announced the winners of the CETS 2022 Best in Class Awards.

“Each year, CETS (http://www.cets.org) recognizes teams and companies that demonstrate innovation and excellence related to customer experience and telco sales,’’ said Ellis Hill, President of ResearchFirst, Inc., CETS’s management firm. This year’s awards went to two service providers, MTA and Bell Canada, and one vendor company, Calix, each of which executed best in class practices over the last year

MTA has historically prioritized maintaining a physical presence within their community in order to meet members where they are. During the pandemic, they made the difficult decision to close all physical locations, which left them to conduct business solely over the phone. The customer experience has always been at the forefront of their minds, so they sought to re-establish a physical presence for our members while abiding by local, state, and federal safety regulations. They began planning their retail approach in Q2 2021 and fully implemented the plan by Q3. When they first opened their retail location to the public, they did not initially see a large response. With each passing month, they saw an increase in customers who preferred to come into their retail location instead of interacting over the phone. Currently, their retail location is still successfully operating under this plan.

“CETS is more than an organization of telco professionals. It is a collective think tank of connoisseurs of the industry who gather in a safe space to share ideas and best practices. Together we analyze what is working and what is not to aid in our collective success in our home territories. Our team at MTA is extremely honored to win the CETS Best in Class award for 2022,” said William Spear, Sales Manager at MTA.

About CETS

The Customer Experience & Telco Sales Association (CETS) brings together professionals from the service provider and vendor communities within the Telecom industry responsible for direct and indirect sales channels, customer care, and the customer experience. Members share channel best practices and industry trends in these areas with respect to all products and services sold by Telco providers.

View  http://www.CETS.org for more information.

Executive Director: ResearchFirst, Inc. (http://www.researchfirst.com)

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News & Alerts

BMMA Announces Winners of 2022 Best in Class Marketing Awards

Kody Nash, Kerry Youngren, Jonathan Babbitt

The Broadband Multimedia Marketing Association (BMMA) recently announced the winners of the 2022 Best in Class Marketing awards.

“Each year, the BMMA recognizes teams and companies that demonstrate innovation and excellence in marketing broadband services,’’ said Ellis Hill, President of ResearchFirst, Inc., the BMMA’s management firm. This year’s awards went to two service providers, MTA and Kinetic by Windstream, and two vendor companies, Calix and Scout Alarm, each of which executed best in class marketing practices related to broadband products and services.”

MTA has been running upgrade marketing campaigns for a few years, using monthly network improvement reports to send mailers to customers eligible for upgrades as well as newly serviceable addresses. After a pause during the pandemic in 2020, MTA revamped the upgrade campaign in 2021 with new branding and improved copy. The new campaign ran throughout 2021 and was targeted to current customers eligible for upgrades due to network improvements, as well as newly serviceable households and non-customer households in areas where MTA had recently upgraded their network. With the shift to a remote lifestyle of school and work from home, the market was seeking improved bandwidth options. This campaign alerted customers that improved speeds were available so they could upgrade and notified unserved households that they had an alternate provider to consider. Using Alaskan elements in the graphics was a strategic move to stand out from the generic imagery competitors were using and offering a free month for non-customers provided an opportunity for them to test out the service before disconnecting their current connection.

“MTA is proud of our team’s outreach efforts to ensure our network investments are resulting in an improved experience for our members. Receiving recognition from organizations like BMMA affirms that we have the right people doing the right activities. Thank you BMMA and thank you to our member solutions team at MTA,” said Michael Burke, CEO of MTA.

Overall, the 2021 campaign provided a significant sustained revenue boost and was an improved experience for both customers and staff. The updated message is easier to understand and multiple touchpoints with the same message improve retention. The streamlined request process improved both efficiency and tracking, providing a definitive answer to the campaign’s value.

About the BMMA

The BMMA is an international organization dedicated to helping Telco internet service providers and their vendors advance the adoption and use of broadband services.

Our membership includes many of the key Telco and broadband vendor organizations in North America and is open to any broadband industry Telco service provider, vendor, CPE manufacturer, government agency, consultant, analyst, or other party with a demonstrated interest in promoting the mission of the BMMA.

Our goal is to advance the adoption and use of broadband services by identifying key industry success factors and sharing best practice marketing initiatives, new product and customer trends and other relevant industry information.

Please see our website at http://www.BMMA.org for more information or to apply for membership in the BMMA.

Executive Director: ResearchFirst, Inc. (http://www.researchfirst.com)

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Empowering Future Generations of Women Tech Leaders

By Wanda Tankersley, COO

The U.S. Census estimates that computer and engineering occupations hold 80% of the science, tech, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce; but of these positions, only about 15% are filled by women. Narrowing this gender gap in tech is the driving force behind the national non-profit organization Girls Who Code.

Partnering with like-minded organizations to advance future generations in the communities we serve is at the heart of our mission here at MTA, and we were thrilled to serve as the official tech partner of Girls Who Code Camp for Mat-Su Borough students. On June 1, we kicked off the first day of camp, where I had the honor of delivering a keynote presentation on my experience as a woman in tech. The final day of camp was held in our new location at the Shoppes at Sun Mountain. The day was spent exploring the high-tech workspace we’ve created there, hearing from a women-led panel of MTA employees, and collaborating as teams. The panel, featuring women of various career paths within MTA, had a strong focus on how each department uses tech.

Heading into this women-powered week, I reflected on a time when I was in these young women’s shoes. Today, I’m the COO of a tech powerhouse that generates over $100 million annually, though this hasn’t always been the case. I was a solidly average student in middle and high school, and I didn’t come from a particularly fruitful background.

When I think about how I transitioned from where I started to where I am today, I think about the wonderful teachers I had that encouraged me every step of the way. For me, education was the key for me to change the life I had been born into, and I grabbed onto that like a lifeline. By the time I finished college, I had become a strong student – not because I was the smartest in the room, but because I was curious, persistent and hard-working.

Even in my professional life, though, tech has not always been at the center of what I do. I started off in accounting, working for one of the Big Four accounting firms, but soon realized that what I love doing most is solving problems to help make a community the best it can be – and working in both tech and telecom allows me to do just that.

It was awe-inspiring to be able to share my story and experiences with the young women of the Mat-Su Borough, and to help serve as the beacon of light that once guided me to where I am now. I, like MTA as a whole, remain dedicated to fostering and empowering the next generation of women tech leaders and setting them up to pioneer our community’s ever-bright future.

We thank Girls Who Code for allowing MTA to be a part of this journey and look forward to future partnerships that can help get young women excited about all the possibilities that the tech field can offer them.