Piedmont Telephone Membership Corporation (PTMC) was chartered on May 5, 1965 by The Secretary of State and became the ninth in the state with territory assigned as “those rural areas of the county of Davidson, State of North Carolina, which are not now served or which are inadequately served.”
It was formed by the consolidation of the territories of the Reeds Mutual Telephone Company (chartered in 1950), and the Churchland Mutual Telephone Company (chartered in 1951). Immediately following the May 5, 1965 chartering of the Piedmont Telephone Membership Corporation the Board set out to meet the full requirements necessary before a loan could be secured.
In November 1967 the Piedmont Telephone Membership Corporation moved into its newly constructed office building. On November 11, 1968 a disastrous ice storm completely destroyed the outside plant of Churchland Mutual, but the Reeds exchange had only four subscribers out of service.
In mid 1969 the Churchland stockholders voted to join Piedmont Telephone Membership Corporation and in October 1969 financing was approved for a completely new Churchland system.
Additional loans were provided in 1973 and 1977 for Piedmont Telephone Membership Corporation which provided needed additional central office equipment, subscriber carrier system, and expanded outside plant.
In 1974 touch dialing was offered to subscribers, being the first in the county to offer this service.
In the mid “80’s” a new Nortel switch was installed providing the latest features in technology.
In January of 1989 a subsidiary company was formed, Piedmont Cable Services Inc. that was later changed to Piedmont Communications Services, Inc. to provide cable TV service to Reeds, Tyro and Churchland communities.
In April of 2005, Piedmont TMC took advantage of economies of scale by joining forces with Surry Telephone allowing Surry to act as general management for the company. The agreement provided for accounting, engineering, monthly CABS and purchasing services in addition to management. In 2007, the two companies conducted studies to assess an arrangement that would reduce the redundancy occurring within the two companies and increase efficiencies.
2008 signaled a year of change as the Boards of Directors for both Piedmont Telephone and Surry Telephone agreed to pursue plans to merge the two companies. During September of 2008, board meetings of Piedmont and Surry the proposed Position for Merger and Articles of Merger were considered and approved by each board separately. The proposal included a January 1, 2009 merger date with the surviving name of the merged companies to be Surry Telephone Membership Cooperation.
The resolutions called for a Special Meeting of the Memberships of both companies to be held for the voting of the proposed merger. Prior to the Special Meeting of the Memberships, informational meetings were held to allow members to ask questions and learn more about the proposed merger. On Thursday, October 30, 2008 the memberships of both cooperatives voted to merge the two companies.
During the years of 2007 and 2008, demand for high speed Internet continued to increase growing 26.3% in 2007 and 22.9% in 2008. Prior to the growth, Piedmont reduced their DSL rates to $39.95 to match the cable modem rates and maintain the competitive status of their DSL product.
Simultaneously, the companies focused on video services and improving service through repair of coaxial cable, amplifiers realigned, fiber optic nodes activated, and return paths established to accommodate cable modems. As content providers continued to increase rates, a minimal $2 to $3 average rate increase was implemented to sustain financial stability. Piedmont successfully met the FCC’s requirements to receive all digital video signals for distribution on February 17, 2009. High Definition (HD) TV and other enhanced video services will become available with system upgrades to meet FCC requirements for future digital TV service.
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