Cooperatives are exceptional

Shayne IsonBy Shayne Ison
General Manager

While statistics may back up that idea in some parts of the country, I’m proud to say our area is the exception thanks to this cooperative.

In some of the recent numbers I’ve seen from the FCC, there is a stark contrast between broadband access in rural America and in big cities, if taken as a whole.
Based on industry thresholds, 94 percent of urban residents have broadband access, compared to only 55 percent of people in rural America.

Sitting in an office in New York or Los Angeles, it would be easy to see those numbers and think rural America has been left behind in today’s technology-driven, connected world.

But that’s not the case here in our part of East Kentucky.

We’re happy to offer speeds well above those industry standards and we’re working hard to continue expanding those services.

We are proud to be the exception to those numbers because it means we’re serving our customers. But we’re also proud to be exceptional because it means our founders were right about banding together to create Mountain Telephone.

Cooperatives like ours were founded by local residents who knew a reliable communications network was important and were willing to join together to bring such a network to our area.

The statistics clearly show that corporate America is not meeting the needs of rural communities like ours. Companies focused on pleasing stockholders don’t see enough profit in our region to invest in building a network.

That’s where cooperatives like Mountain Telephone come in. We answer to our customers, who are member-owners of the cooperative.

October is National Cooperative Month, which is a great time to think about our business model and how it benefits families and businesses in our area.

In a news release from the USDA published in July, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said “Broadband is fundamental to expanding economic opportunity and job creation in rural areas, and it is as vital to rural America’s future today as electricity was when USDA began bringing power to rural America 80 years ago.”

Sec. Vilsack is correct. Without access to broadband, our community would be at a disadvantage. And without Mountain Telephone our area wouldn’t have such access.

Please join us in October (and throughout the year) in celebrating what our founders created and all the advantages we enjoy today because of their vision and dedication to their communities.

“Thank You!” from your rural cooperative

PrintPlease join Mountain Telephone for our annual Customer Appreciation Days

We are coming to you with four convenient events. Expect food, prizes and special promotions.

Join the fun! Stop by from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Friday, September 18
Morgan County
Mountain Telephone Parking Area

Friday, October 16
Menifee County
Farmers Market Shelter

Tuesday, October 20
Elliott County
Sandy Hook Methodist Church Parking Lot

Tuesday, October 27
Wolfe County
Campton City Park

We look forward to seeing you!

Mountain Telephone’s Back to School Celebration!

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Study better with fast Internet speeds!
Sign up for any Internet plan and get one month of Internet service FREE!
(This special runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.)

Back-to-school giveaway!
All Internet customers — not just new customers — are eligible for a drawing for a backpack full of school-related prizes. The drawing is Sept. 30.

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Bill Pay Savings
Anyone who signs up for Automatic Bill Pay (ACH) during September and October will receive a one-time $10 credit on their bill.