We give back!

WK&T is proud to support our community

WK&T is more than a utility provider. We’re a cooperative — meaning we’re owned and operated by member-owners. And beyond being a local small business, we’re proud to be a member of the community, working to make our area a better place.

As part of WK&T’s commitment to improving our community, the cooperative donates to dozens of different causes, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year as well.

WK&T helps support local Kentucky and Tennessee schools, providing both academic- and athletic-based help. WK&T also supports many local organizations, such as Kentucky Special Olympics, the Kentucky State Police “Shop with a Trooper” Christmas program and the local food pantry.

WK&T employees are also personally involved in the community, donating time and money to charities like the March of Dimes, Relay For Life and Operation Christmas Child. They contribute to church-based ministries and missions that do good all over the world, too.

At WK&T we’re incredibly proud to not only be a provider of local Internet, television and telephone services, but also to support local jobs, local charities and the goal of making our community a better place to live, work and play.

WKT_GivesBack

As a member of the community, WK&T is proud to support dozens of local causes and charities, including the Kentucky State Police “Shop with a Trooper” program each year during the Christmas season.

WK&T has been endorsed as a “Gig-Capable Provider” by NTCA

GIG Seal final WK&T is receiving national recognition for the quality of services the cooperative provides to local residents. WK&T was awarded the designation of being a “Gig-Capable Provider” by NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. Being “Gig Certified” denotes that speeds of up to 1 Gbps, or 1,000 Mbps, are available from WK&T.

NTCA is an organization representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies and their interests in national government affairs. WK&T is one of only 23 cooperatives to be initially “Gig-Certified” by NTCA.
“I’m incredibly proud of our employees for all the hard work they’ve done to improve our community and equip our entire service area with a 100 percent, fiber-to-the-home network,” says WK&T CEO Trevor Bonnstetter. “For WK&T to be recognized as a ‘Gig-Capable Provider’ by NTCA is a huge accomplishment, and it helps validate the world-class network that’s available to our members.”

WK&T sees no lost time for accidents in 2014

bigstock-Horizontal-red-banners-7300419-2

WK&T celebrated the completion of 2014 with no lost time for on-the-job accidents. WK&T has an average of 70 employees, who worked nearly 140,000 hours safely in 2014. In addition to WK&T’s office and sales personnel working safely, linemen frequently work in hazardous conditions, and this reflects the cooperative’s commitment to making sure every employee of WK&T makes it home safely each day. Thank you and congratulations to WK&T’s employees for this great accomplishment!

Happy retirement, Tim!

TimHolloway
WK&T would like to wish Tim Holloway a happy retirement! After more than 37 years working for the cooperative, Holloway retired from his position as the inspector of plant and safety in June. During his time with WK&T, Holloway was instrumental in helping to complete the fiber project, providing high-speed Internet as well as crystal-clear television and phone service to the area. From everyone at WK&T, thank you for all your work, Tim, and enjoy your retirement!

Advancing the community, one connection at a time

WK&T’s fiber project will be complete by the end of June

By Patrick Smith

Michael Allen, left, goes over the details of his WK&T bundle with sales representative Tim Allred.

Michael Allen, left, goes over the details of his WK&T bundle with sales representative Tim Allred.

When West Kentucky Rural Telephone Cooperative started in 1951, locals banded together to bring telephone service to rural communities that were not profitable enough for large corporations trying to make big earnings for stockholders. Passionate locals went door to door, explaining the benefits of a telephone network and recruiting new members.
One after another, poles were erected and telephone lines were strung throughout the community. Soon, more and more members joined, and over the course of time, a vast telecommunications network was built.

But as time goes on, technology and consumer demands change.

WK&T saw the future potential of bringing fiber to the area, and in 2009, the cooperative was awarded a $123.8 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While the new network would transform the community, it also meant the old network, which had previously taken decades to create, would have to be completely rebuilt in just six short years.
WK&T accepted the challenge.

“It’s been a massive undertaking to build the stimulus portion of the new broadband network in such a short amount of time,” says Trevor Bonnstetter, WK&T CEO. “But it’s been incredibly fulfilling to see the changes that broadband has already created for our community.”

The new network is being constructed using fiber optic technology. It works by sending pulses of light along strands of glass the thickness of a human hair. The network is delivering blazing-fast Internet speeds throughout the area, in addition to crystal-clear television and phone service.

In June, when WK&T will complete the project, each customer’s service will be operating on fiber, allowing the cooperative to discontinue its maintenance of the copper system.
Many companies integrate fiber as part of their network. Some use it alongside copper, and others use one strand for multiple members who share the bandwidth.

WK&T’s fiber-to-the-home network is different, giving members a true fiber connection from the switch at the central office all the way to a member’s home or business.
And, there’s no sharing. Each home or business has its own dedicated line of fiber so they can experience all the connected world has to offer — now, and years into the future.

“I feel like fiber gives WK&T members a product that is truly future-proof,” says Stacey Riley, operations manager for WK&T. “There’s been a lot of work involved in this project by our employees and the community. It’s a big accomplishment for us to have the new network built in just a few years.”

Since the work began, thousands of local businesses and residents have seen the impact of fiber — a technology that’s not yet available in many larger cities like Nashville and St. Louis.

The efforts of the cooperative’s first patrons have paid off time and again. Over the past 64 years, people have depended on WK&T to bring first-class service to the area. WK&T’s services have helped recruit businesses, big and small, and the cooperative has helped locals live and work in their hometown. Today, broadband is continuing the tradition and helping to bring new innovations to the area.

“The infrastructure WK&T is building will continue to change the whole community,” says Bonnstetter. “It’s exciting to think about how fiber will change these communities and the advancements we’ll see in 10 or 15 years.”

 

Happy retirement, Craig!

CraigSullivan1

After more than 35 years of working for WK&T, Craig Sullivan retired from his position as operations manager. Sullivan was among the dozens of employees who played a vital role in the creation of WK&T’s new fiber network. Sullivan waited to retire until the project was only four months away from completion and the main line fiber portion of the project was completed. “I’m very proud of the network and the work WK&T has done to build it,” says Sullivan. “When you look at the rural areas that we serve, it’s wonderful to know that these residents have access to this incredible technology.” WK&T would like to wish him the best of luck in his retirement!

WK&T celebrates its 10,000th fiber customer!

WK&T recently celebrated a major milestone in its fiber buildout. After starting the project in 2011, WK&T welcomed Fairdealing resident Kris Lovett as the 10,000th member to be connected to fiber. Lovett was awarded a $100 Visa gift card and a $50 gift card to the WK&T Technology Store.

10K customerWK&T is entering the final phase of its fiber rollout, with more than 90 percent of the project complete. The fiber network gives members access to blazing-fast Internet speeds, faster than what is currently offered in larger cities like Paducah and Nashville. Fiber also provides high-definition television and crystal-clear telephone service.

Fiber work is ongoing in New Concord, the largest exchange, and will be complete by June 30.

“We don’t know what tomorrow will bring,” says Craig Sullivan, WK&T operations manager. “But we’ve learned that fiber is what needs to be in the ground to prepare for the future. We’re proud to provide fiber to our communities and prepare our members for the new opportunities that will happen because of this network.”

If your home or business is located within WK&T’s service territory and your service has not been converted to the fiber network — even if you only have WK&T phone service — please call 877-954-8748 and schedule an appointment today!

Hello, New Concord!

Good news: Your community is fiber ready!

What will YOU do with Internet speeds of 50 Mbps or more?

  • Work from home
  • Discover new music, books, movies & games
  • Learn a new skill
  • Earn a degree online
  • Connect with your doctor
  • Share family photos and video

Get connected to the possibilities of fiber!

Call to find out about special pricing!

877-954-8748 | wktelecom.coop

Tech Tips: Watch the Big Dance on a new HDTV!

Matt_3969Hi, I’m Matt Garrett. I work at the WK&T Technology Store in Mayfield. In this column, in each issue, you’ll learn about technology and read simple tips to get the most out of your electronics. For more tips or help with your devices, please come see me at the store. I’m always happy to help!

Each spring in Kentucky, you know where to find basketball fans — in front of their TVs watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Whether you’re cheering on the Wildcats, Cardinals, Racers or Vols, there’s no better way to watch March Madness than on a new, high-definition television.

When it comes to choosing a new television, buying the right one can seem like a daunting task. The choices for new HDTVs are practically limitless: There are LED and plasma screens, smart TVs, 4K resolution and curved televisions — just to name a few. Then you’ll have to choose the right size and the brand you like best while keeping the choice within your budget. But don’t worry if you already feel like it’s too much to handle. Just look at it like this: You’re going to spend countless hours with your new TV, so you want to make sure it’s the right one.

LED (light emitting diode) televisions offer bright screens with brilliant colors that are especially good for movies and gaming. Plasma screens are an older technology, which means they’ll be less expensive, and they offer a more cinematic-type picture. 4K TVs are the new kids on the block. They offer an incredibly high-quality picture — nearly four times better than a standard 1080p HDTV. However, most television and movie studios haven’t started filming in 4K yet, so you’ll be ready even if you have to wait a little while before it gets here.

Remember how 3D TVs were going to be the next big thing a few years ago? Curved TVs are the other latest television technology to cause a big buzz. Curved TVs allow you to experience a wider field of view and a greater picture quality. But, much like the 4K TVs, there are drawbacks to curved TVs. Curved TVs generally require the viewer to buy a larger-than-normal model to fully appreciate the new look, and curved TVs are already some of the most expensive currently available.

Whatever size and type of TV you get, consider making it a Smart TV. Smart TVs allow users to connect to their favorite streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify.

When it comes to the size of your new TV, measure the space you have available and keep in mind that the larger the television, the further you’ll need to sit from the screen to get the best view.

When deciding how much you want to spend, remind yourself that discounted, off-brand TVs are cheap for a reason and may not last as long or have the features you want. Cheaper TVs can also be considered HD even if they only offer 720p resolution. To get the best picture, make sure the TV has 1080p resolution.

If you stick to a name you know and trust, you’ll likely be a lot happier with your choice. In order to stay on budget, remember that a TV with the latest technology will have a higher price, but a proven technology that’s a little older may be the best option to stick within your budget.

The WK&T Technology Store has HD televisions available from 22 inches to 70 inches — whichever one you choose will be the perfect model for you to watch your team make it all the way to the NCAA Championship.

Bright lights, big city … slow Internet?

WK&T’s fiber service produces faster broadband than what’s available in many larger cities

Billy “Buck” Viniard has faster Internet from WK&T’s fiber service in Cunningham than what he’s able to get at his job in downtown Paducah.

Billy “Buck” Viniard has faster Internet from WK&T’s fiber service in Cunningham than what he’s able to get at his job in downtown Paducah.

WK&T members live where they do for a reason. Though cities offer some advantages like convenient shopping and more restaurant options, rural residents have chosen the open spaces, quality of life and small-town culture of local communities.

But, as many WK&T members have discovered, living in a rural area doesn’t mean you’ll be getting slower, second-rate Internet service like residents in larger cities, such as Paducah, St. Louis or Memphis sometimes experience.

WK&T’s fiber service provides faster broadband speeds than most people can find in large cities — and WK&T’s service is often available for less money.

For instance, would you believe that residents in Cunningham can get faster Internet than workers and students in downtown Paducah?

Billy “Buck” Viniard, a Cunningham resident and WK&T member, says his home Internet speed is faster and cheaper than what is available to him at work in Paducah.

“I’ve been very, very satisfied with my fiber service, and I’ve recommended it to several people who are on something else,” says Viniard.

Viniard’s home fiber regularly supports his family’s home phone and television services, two game consoles, two Internet video streaming services and Wi-Fi for smartphones and computers. “It’s amazing that our fiber service keeps up with all that,” says Viniard. “There’s no delay; it’s wonderful.”

And as many members quickly realize, as a cooperative, WK&T has the community’s best interest in mind. That community commitment has helped build nearly 25 years of loyalty with Viniard. “I’ve had the same telephone number ever since I’ve lived in Cunningham,” says Viniard. “I love the local relationship that I have with WK&T. If I have a problem, they’re going to be there and they’re going to solve it. That’s worth the money right there.”

Throughout WK&T’s service territory, fiber is doing more than just building member loyalty and speeding up Internet downloads. Fiber is transforming the entire community. It’s furnishing teachers with the ability to teach with the Internet in their classroom. It’s providing new Internet-based jobs. And it’s increasing the speed and effectiveness of local emergency services. The possibilities fiber provides are only beginning.

Today, it’s hard to comprehend all the changes fiber will contribute to the community. So until then, perhaps the best support is given by current users, like Viniard. “I had a neighbor call and ask if I like my fiber service,” he says. “I just smiled and said, ‘I love it.’”

To see the difference fiber can make for your home or business, call WK&T at 1-877-954-8748 or visit www.wktelecom.coop.