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December 12, 2009 Newsletter


Letter from the Executive Director

Thanks to all our members for what has been a productive and fruitful year for the SBCA and our industry. Some highlights for the SBCA over 2009 include the addition of new benefits to assist and aid your companies, defeat of discriminatory tax proposals in ten states, the successful launch of SkyFORUM (a virtual trade show event), and the start of our SkyFORUM Educational Webinar Series. 

In 2010 we plan to continue on the same path as we carry on the fight against discriminatory taxing and burdensome licensing restrictions, hold our second SkyFORUM online trade show, continue providing informative sessions through the SkyFORUM Educational Webinar Series, further develop our online certification course offerings and develop value added benefits to your membership package. Please find a comprehensive review of our recent activities below.

Of particular note in 2009 was the creation of the Satellite Industry Leadership Council, a group of key industry leaders that was first convened at our Las Vegas Board Meeting.  This group met throughout the year providing advice and serving as a sounding board for SBCA staff.  We appreciate their continued involvement and look forward to meeting with them as part of our industry luncheon on January 7th in Las Vegas.

We look forward to an exciting year ahead as we continue to work with you to make the satellite consumer industry the best in the game.

Happy Holidays from everyone at the SBCA!


Joe Widoff
Executive Director, SBCA

2009 Year in Review

Certification and Education

We started in March with the first of our on line certifications which focuses on DIRECTV’s MFH2 technology. In May we launched the MDU/SMATV on line course. These on line courses were developed in partnership with SatProf with the goal of providing detailed on line training in these complex technologies. By migrating these courses to an on line format, we were able to meet the needs of our members and students who are now able to take these courses in a self paced environment and eliminate the cost of travel. In the first 9 months of the program over 350 individuals have been certified via the on line process.

We have also been working closely with PDI-SAT who has been offering the MFH2 and MDU classes in the more traditional classroom setting which offers students the hands on experience many desire. PDI is also rolling out a course on the COMM1000 technology which has received strong reviews from the students who attended.

At the beginning of 2009, DISH Network had all of its DNS technicians certified.  Starting in November DISH Network rolled out it’s DISHU on line certification program. This comprehensive course offers 18 chapters of learning to provide students with the understanding and skills they need to successfully install and maintain DISH Network equipment. Upon completing this course students can take a DISH Network exam and receive SBCA certification along with their DISHU technician certification. This course is available for DISH Network retailers and their technicians.

Looking forward towards 2010 the SBCA is looking to work with its member companies to expand our education programs in order to provide technicians with the latest information on new technology and products they work with on a daily basis. These will involve both classroom and on line offerings.  

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Member Benefits

Quick Links

- Letter from the Executive Director

- 2009 Year in Review

    - Certification and Education

    - Member Benefits

    - Public Policy and Outreach

- Thanks to Our 2009 Corporate Members

In 2009 the SBCA launched an aggressive effort to expand its member benefits in order to leverage the size of the industry to achieve savings on numerous products and services. The satellite industry involves tens of thousands of companies and individuals. Through partnerships with 3rd party vendors we are now able to offer our members discounts on health insurance, fuel and vehicle maintenance, drug and background pre-employment screening along with discounts from some of our key distributors. Any SBCA member can participate in these benefit programs and potentially save thousands of dollars a year. We will continue to expand and improve our member benefits programs. We are currently working to add a partner to offer liability and workman’s compensation insurance along with identifying other firms who wish to offer discounts to our industry.

In addition to providing savings and networking opportunities all successful trade associations provide their members with information about the industry and its opportunities. The SBCA is committed to becoming the go to resource for information on the satellite industry. This will include on line certification programs, webinars and e-mail updates.

On November 18, 2009 the SBCA launched SkyFORUM, the first satellite industry virtual trade show. This event drew over 1550 registrants and 970 attendees, including through the on demand period, from all aspects of the satellite industry. Participants heard speakers from the FCC, DIRECTV and various other industries on the state and future of the satellite industry. There were 15 exhibitors and the response from them and the attendees was very positive. Since this was a virtual event there were no travel costs and attendees could work and attend the conference at the same time. SkyFORUM is not intended to take the place of the standard brick and mortar events such as Team Summit, DIRECTV Revolution or distributor events, instead this event will be another way for folks to get information about the industry. We are pleased to announce the 2010 event for November 17th.

In 2009 we conducted 2 webinars, one focusing on on-line training and education opportunities and the other on sales and marketing. Webinars offer a cost effective method of reaching a wide audience using the latest technology to exchange information. We will continue to offer webinars throughout 2010.

The SBCA is also pleased to announce that we are partnering with our corporate members to develop a series of blogs focusing on the needs of our industry. Experts from all aspects of the industry will be providing information, updates and helpful hints on key topics affecting field technicians. We are please to announce that Josh Blake, Director of Sales Administration at CASE-SRS, Kofi Ramsey, Director of Business Development at Pace International and Dan Webber, National Training manager at PDI-SAT will be founding contributors.

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Public Policy & Outreach

2009 has been an extremely busy year on the Public Policy front for SBCA and the industry.  SBCA worked with DISH Network and DIRECTV to fight onerous state taxes on satellite service in ten states (Arizona, Iowa, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Texas and Vermont and have just begun a tax fight in New JerseyWe were able to kill these new taxes in all but one state (Massachusetts).  With continued budget deficits in states across the country and cable’s continued coordinated fight against us, we are preparing to do battle in more states in 2010.

We were successful in killing proposed legislation in three states (North Dakota, South Dakota and Connecticut) that was looking to regulate the placement of satellite dishes on rental property.  We were successful in urging the Omaha, NE City Council not to pursue a satellite dish ordinance and we worked to get the City of Hazleton, PA to repeal their satellite dish ordinance.

In Minnesota we were successful in reducing the number of continuing education hours required for technicians in our industry and, although we were not able to get a proposed revision to the licensing law passed before the session ended, we were successful in educating the legislature on the issue and strengthened our relationship with the electrical board. In Wyoming, SBCA certification was approved as part of the state licensing program and we made headway on a bill that would exempt satellite installers from a licensure requirement in the state.  We will continue to work for the exemption 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.

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

We plan to launch our updated licensing database for members around the first of the year.

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SBCA would like to thank some of our 2009 corporate members:


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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:

7 Fold Technologies
Decatur, AL

Advanced Satellite and Sound
Colton, CA

America's Satellites
Hendersonville, NC

Art Installation Services
Compton, CA

Best Installers Inc.
Paramount, CA

McEwen, TN

Caco Vision Media Corp.
Bronx, NY

Channel Master
Tempe, AZ

Datalinx Comm.
Santa Clarita, CA

Elite Communications
Conyers, GA

E-TEX Services
Emory, TX

Evtek, LLC
Chicago, IL

Get Wireless, Inc.
Hendersonville, NC

Gustech Communication
Fort Mill, SC

J & J Satellite and Communications
Mountain View, AR

J.B. Provider Services
Paramount, CA

Kingston Sales
Indianapolis, IN

LAC Group
Beverly Hills, CA

Marvel Communications Inc.
Panorama City, CA

M3 Telecom, Inc.
South El Monte, CA

MDU Communications (USA) Inc.
Totowa, NJ

On-Time Installers
Carson, CA

Pakam 47 Inc.
Orlando, FL

Satellite & Cabling Solution
Garden Grove, CA

Shelby Telecom
Columbiana, AL

Sky & Earth Satellite
Los Angeles, CA

Southern California Comm. & Wiring
Torrance, CA

VSN & Associates
Hesperia, CA

Ultimate Online Installations
Tampa, FL

White Communications
Bloomfield, IA

Menands, NY

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