September 19, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
Let’s celebrate 70 years of service!
DTC Communications celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Founded in 1951 as DeKalb Telephone Cooperative, DTC began with a mission to keep people connected with basic telephone service. As technology has evolved and changed over time, the services provided by DTC have evolved and today, seven decades later, the local cooperative continues to make meaningful connections.
In his remarks at Saturday’s annual meeting, Chris Townson, CEO of DTC Communications, spoke about the foresight of DTC’s founding fathers as well as today’s board of directors and how their vision has paved the way for the cooperative’s transformation from a basic phone-based business into a world-class fiber-optic broadband provider that continues to grow.
“The people who started our cooperative 70 years ago have understood the importance of technology and how it improves our lives. Over the next 7 decades, DTC Communications maintained this same philosophy. We have evolved with technology and continue to provide cutting edge services to the people of our region. We have grown from a basic telephone company to a world-class fiber broadband provider leading our communities into the future, ”said Townson
“When I think of this proud story and where we are today, one phrase comes to mind: we are making meaningful connections.”
“Like the phone before it, broadband allows us to stay connected to each other – at work, at school and with the people we love. But broadband does more than keep us connected. He opens up a world that we wouldn’t have without him. This creates opportunities to expand our education through distance learning and online courses. It provides health care opportunities through telemedicine. And that creates opportunities for economic development by providing the Internet speeds that nearly every industry now needs, ”Townson continued.
“Broadband is a necessary part of modern life. This is something that we have known for years. State and federal leaders also realize how important broadband is to rural America. That’s why Congress recently passed a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $ 65 billion for broadband expansion. The state of Tennessee has also allocated $ 500 million to expand broadband to unserved and underserved areas. As you will probably recall from previous reports, the DTC is already using state and federal grants to help our fiber expansion in parts of Smith, Wilson and Trousdale counties. These subsidized versions provide a return on investment which also helps keep our members’ costs low. It really is a victory for all involved, ”said Townson.
“Fiber optic technology is the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere, and it is hailed as a technology of the future that will continue to shape our world and improve our way of life. Knowing this, DTC set out 5 years ago to ensure that every member would be logged into it. This technology is changing the lives of our members, and the following statistics prove it:
• Since 2016, DTC has seen a 60% increase in broadband subscriptions.
• Since 2016, Internet use has increased by over 1000%.
• Since 2016, DTC has built over 1,400 miles of main fiber and will build another 700 miles over the next two years.
• In 2016, the DTC had around 400 fiber-eligible sites and will have around 27,000 fiber-eligible sites by 2024.
• In 2020, DTC connected approximately 4,000 customers to our fiber optic network and that number will likely exceed 6,000 in 2021.
• DTC’s revenues in 2021 are expected to exceed $ 30 million, and our spending is directly in line with approved budgets, putting us in a strong financial position to continue to build and meet the needs of our members for decades to come. to come “.
“We understand how important this technology is to you, and we’re proud of the difference we’re making to keep our communities connected. Our board of directors and employees are committed to bringing you this cutting edge technology, ”said Townson.
“In his remarks, Mr. (Bennie) Curtis mentioned the continued progress we are making in providing fiber to all DTC members. This only happens because of the leadership of this Board of Directors, the hard work of this group of employees and you – our members – for your continued loyalty and commitment to DTC and the communities we serve ”.
“Thanks everyone. Here’s to making meaningful connections for another 70 years.”