September 17, 2023
By: Dwayne Page
Three incumbent directors of DeKalb Telephone Cooperative (DTC Communication) were re-elected without opposition Saturday during the annual membership meeting.
Jim Vinson of the Milton exchange received 97 votes, Terry McPeak of the Norene exchange garnered 97 votes, and Brian Alexander of the Woodbury exchange tallied 100 votes.
Each of the three re-elected directors thanked the members for their support in the election.
In addition to Vinson, McPeak, and Alexander, members of the DTC Board of Directors are Bennie Curtis of Alexandria-President, James Dillard, Jr. of Gordonsville-Vice President, Randy Campbell of Liberty-Treasurer, Kathy Pugh of Auburntown, Ronnie Garrison of Smithville, Kurt Bass of Temperance Hall, and David Parker of Woodland. McPeak is the board secretary.
In his address to the members, DTC CEO Chris Townson reflected on the cooperatives recent progress and achievements in the improvement of services.
The text of his remarks follows:
“DTC Communications’ 2022 was shaped by innovation, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to our community. The story of our cooperative continues to unfold, and it’s driven by the core mission of improving the quality of life for our members and the communities we serve”.
Operational Highlights and Successes of 2022
“Reflecting on our 2022 operations, I’m proud to share that our cooperative has seen significant progress and achievements:
• Fiber Network Expansion: We extended our mainline fiber network in excess of 450 miles and provided access to more than 4,700 new locations. The continued build-out project is on target to be completed by 2024, more than three years ahead of our original schedule.
• Increased Connectivity: Our commitment to world-class broadband solutions was evident as we connected more members than ever, ensuring that our community remains ahead in a rapidly advancing technological landscape.
• Economic and Community Development: Our efforts went beyond connecting households to advancing work on several strategic grants. DTC completed work on a USDA Reconnect-2 Grant covering portions of Smith, Trousdale and Wilson Counties. Additionally, with the award of a TNECD Emergency Broadband Fund – American Rescue Plan Grant, and grants from Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, and Wilson Counties, we’ve cemented our joint role in economic development and community betterment.
• Investment in Education: We continue to empower the next generation, upgrading primary broadband access to 10 Gig for our local schools, by investing in local classrooms, and also by promoting student advancement in various fields such as video production”.
Resilience in a Changing World
“In our more than 70-year history, we have witnessed the technological transformations that have redefined human connectivity. We’ve grown from being a provider of telephones to a facilitator of an interconnected world where video calls, streaming, social media, and internet-connected devices are essential parts of daily life”.
“As we navigated the complexities of the global landscape in 2022, we’ve been agile and proactive. We’ve met the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth and contained costs while also minimizing the impacts of global supply chain issues”.
Continuing Our Human-Centric Mission
“Amid the technological advancements, our human-centric mission remains unchanged. From our early days of putting the first telephone lines on poles to our current cutting-edge fiber optic network, we have been, and will always be, about making meaningful connections”.
“We understand that reliable communication is essential for individuals, businesses, schools, and governments, especially in our rural community. The terrain may be challenging, and the equipment expensive, but we are committed to excellence, fairness, and dependability”.
“Our Gig-capable broadband service provides high-speed internet and unlocks possibilities for economic development, e-commerce, e-healthcare, and entertainment. As we are on the cusp of introducing multi-gig services, we will maintain affordability and reliability”.
Looking Towards the Future
“As we look towards the future, our focus remains steadfast on our collective community in beautiful Middle Tennessee. We will continue to work with local, state, and federal leaders to open doors for growth and opportunity”.
“Our strength lies in the active participation and engagement of our members. We’re not just providing services; we’re shaping futures. The power of our cooperative is in the diverse, personal ways our members utilize the platform and services we supply”.
“Every day at DTC Communications, we work to bring you critical resources, and our efforts in 2022 are a testament to our dedication. Your Board of Directors continues to put members first as they direct the cooperative to financial and operational health, while DTC’s employees work diligently to deliver world-class services and products that improve the quality of life in our communities. Still, none of this would be possible without you”.
“I extend heartfelt thanks from our board of directors, company management, and employees to our members. Together, we’re making meaningful connections”.
“Here’s to another year of innovation, growth, and community. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey,” said Townson.