|PC Telcom reports busy and eventful year|
|Written by Chris Lee|
A busy 2009 was remembered and 2010 was looked at during the annual PCTelcom meeting held Thursday, April 8 at HHS.
A bylaw amendment was passed. It allows board directors to sit for four consecutive three-year terms instead of three consecutive three-year terms.
Company CEO/General Manager Vince Kropp reviewed projects and activities from 2009 and explained what members could look forward to in the coming year.
One of the biggest activities was the completion of the replacement of outdated copper cable with fiber optics. The Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) upgrade began in 2008 when the west side was done. The east side was finished up in 2009. Additionally the area approximately two miles around town also underwent the replacement.
With the completion of the project, members will now have access to higher bandwidth, faster internet speeds and have access to ethernet services. It was also noted the fiber optics are cheaper than the copper.
Installation of terminals on the outside of homes or businesses will continue in 2010 as well as the installation of power sources at each premise because the fiber optic cable is not capable of delivering power.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds have been applied for to complete additional upgrades for the conversion to fiber optics.
Kropp said the telecommunications landscape is evolving with an emphasis toward broadband. He noted PCTelcom usually goes through a strategic planning process each year to allow for time to prepare for the shift between voice services to broadband services.
With the sale of the Platte River Cellular shares, PCTelcom is currently working to allocate the gain of the sale to its members. The allocation will distribute 75 percent of the gain to those who were members from 1991 up to and including 2008.
Kropp reported the board of directors authorized payment of the remainder of 1991’s capital credit allocation of approximately $101,000 at their January meeting.
Customer service representatives were relocated to 240 S. Interocean in September with Radio Shack moving in shortly after. Administrative and technical personnel were relocated to 520 S. Interocean in mid summer 2009 after the renovation was completed.
Kropp noted financial results were presented on a consolidated basis. PC Telcom consists of the parent company Phillips County Telephone Company and its subsidiaries Phillips County Communication, LLC and PC Telcorp, Inc.
Something Kropp wanted to point out were access or telephone lines. In 1999 they had approximately 2,136 lines and 1,770 in 2009 for a loss of about 17 percent. Kropp said PCTelcom is fortunate for branching out and offering other services such as internet and television.
Kropp said they have completed major upgrades to cable television systems and are continuing with additional programming.
2010 will see many things happening with the company. It will review and adjust the rate structure, continue with FTTP, connect with Colorado Communications Transport Network, continue process of rolling out PCTelcom mobile service and allocate gains from sale of Platte River Cellular to the membership.
Financial report given
Growth is something that was stressed and emphasized during the financial report given by board president Dennis Herman.
Substantial changes could be seen throughout the balance sheet. Those changes come from sale of Platte River Cellular shares in January 2009.
Total current assets increased from $1,107,760 in 2008 to $3,171,780 in 2009. Non-current assets saw a decline from $1,702,460 in 2008 to $107,356 in 2009. Both numbers are reflective of the sale of the Platte River Cellular shares.
Net property plant and equipment numbers jumped from $8,306,081 in 2008 to $11,064,320 in 2009. The substantial increase is reflective of the close of work orders from the fiber to the home project, according to Herman.
Schneider, Sperber elected to board
John Schneider and Gary Sperber emerged to fill two seats on the board of directors. Schneider will fill the urban seat while Sperber fills the rural seat.
Joe Hall, trombone and vocals and Bill Applegate, guitar provided the evening’s entertainment. Prior to the business meeting, members enjoyed a catered meal. Members also had the chance to win a variety of door prizes given away in a drawing at the conclusion of the meeting.