Congratulations, Dick Tribou!

Dick Tribou 1After more than 15 years of working with the cooperative, Drafting Technician Dick Tribou has retired. Over the past several years, Tribou has been instrumental in helping to plan WK&T’s fiber project, which is bringing the fastest broadband available to the area.

“The people here have been super,” says Tribou. “It’s one big family here, and WK&T has always taken care of my needs. It’s been a tremendous opportunity to be part of this great company.”

WK&T would like to thank Dick for his years of dedicated service and wish him the best of luck in his retirement!

WK&T’s fiber project is nearing the finish line!

Stacey Brown, left, and Donnie Thacker install fiber in Wingo

Stacey Brown, left, and Donnie Thacker install fiber in Wingo

WK&T is approaching the final steps in building its fiber network throughout the cooperative’s entire service area. Fiber recently became available to members in the New Concord exchange, which was the last major area where crews completed construction.

Recently, WK&T finished construction on the Fairdealing exchange, and soon all members will have access to the blazing-fast speeds of fiber. The new service allows members to receive broadband Internet, high-definition television and crystal-clear telephone service through a fiber line that’s thinner than thickness of a human hair. WK&T designed the network with the ability to provide service to each and every resident, business and organization in its service area with an individual fiber line for each member.

For more information, or to set up fiber service, call 1-877-954-8748 and schedule an appointment today!

Rural Connections

You are part of a nationwide rural family

Shirley Bloomfield (right) commenting at the White House Rural Council meeting. Listening to her presentation is Doug McKalip, senior advisor for rural affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Shirley Bloomfield (right) commenting at the White House Rural Council meeting. Listening to her presentation is Doug McKalip, senior advisor for rural affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

By Shirley Bloomfield, CEO
NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association

In my role at NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, I work with your telecommunications provider and nearly 900 others like it all across the country. Every day I am reminded of their dedication to building connections that support strong communities. When basic telephone service was what everyone needed, they were there. As broadband has become a vitally important resource for economic development, education, health care and more, they have focused their energies on building the best networks available.

And they do not stand alone. These rural providers understand that to serve you best they must stay on top of what is taking place in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission. To do that, they stand together on issues of common concern, speaking with one voice to make sure our nation’s leaders understand the needs of rural America.

This publication is another great example of that spirit of collaboration. By working together, telcos across several states are sharing important information about their companies and keeping you updated on news that impacts rural America.

A few weeks ago I had the honor of being invited to the White House, along with several leaders of rural telecommunications companies. We met with the White House Rural Council to talk about what rural telcos just like yours are doing to support community development. It was another great example of us all working together to shine a spotlight on the good work being done by your provider and hundreds of others like it.

From success stories on health care, education and public safety to efficient energy management, rural telcos have shown time and time again that they are not only the brains behind the networks they deploy, but also proven solution providers with a track record for adapting to and embracing change, and most importantly, responding to the needs of their communities.

Because of that cooperation, you as a customer or member of your local telco are part of an even bigger family that stretches across every region of this country. In the months ahead, I look forward to sharing stories with you about what these telcos are doing at the national level to ensure rural America stays connected.

SecurePay helps keep your personal information safe!

Woman looking at her laptop while holding  her credit card in heWK&T is partnering with SecurePay, a company that specializes in automated payments, to better protect members’ personal information and help to eliminate the potential for fraud against WK&T’s customers. SecurePay offers a safe and secure automated payment system so members can pay their bills 24/7 over the phone or online using a credit card or check.

Call 1-855-385-9908 or visit www.wktelecom.coop to pay your bill. It’s one more easy and worry-free way that WK&T is working to make its members’ lives simpler and safer.

Congratulations, Sam!

SamStitcherAfter more than six years of working with the cooperative, Engineering Supervisor Sam Stitcher retired on Sept. 30. Over the past several years, Stitcher has been instrumental in coordinating WK&T’s fiber project, and helping to bring the fastest broadband available to the area. WK&T would like to thank Sam for his years of dedicated service and wish him the best of luck in his retirement!

629 area code numbers coming in March

By now, you’ve likely read or heard about the north central portion of Tennessee adding the new 629 area code to its existing 615, and how this will affect the way you dial some phone numbers. On July 26, these changes went into effect.

The new area code, which is being implemented to meet the demand for more telephone numbers in the region, will require all north central Tennessee telephone users to dial either 615 or 629 before every regional phone call. This is known as 10-digit dialing.

After Feb. 28, 2015, seven-digit calls without the area code will not be connected. All existing numbers will continue using the 615 code. Beginning March 28, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be issued numbers using the 629 area code.

AreaCodeMap

All major fiber construction is complete!

Ricky Dale Walker, left, and Donnie Thacker recently upgraded a Wingo apartment building to fiber.

Ricky Dale Walker, left, and Donnie Thacker recently upgraded a Wingo apartment building to fiber.

WK&T recently finished construction on 2,190 miles of its new fiber service throughout the entire WK&T service area. Construction was most recently completed in the Cypress, Tennessee, area, as well as the Fairdealing and New Concord exchanges. With the completion of construction, this means that all WK&T members will soon have access to the fastest Internet speeds available — often faster than customers can find in large urban areas.

Also, while main line construction on the fiber project wrapped up, WK&T made the decision to extend fiber service to all members. The cooperative will continue to convert members to fiber in preparation for the project completion date of June 30, 2015. Although the copper system may not be fully removed by the end of the fiber project, WK&T will continue to remove the copper, allowing the cooperative to eliminate the expense of maintaining two systems.

WK&T adds five new HD channels, including the SEC Network HD

The SEC Network HD and WK&T are teaming up to provide unmatched, in-depth coverage of the NCAA’s premier athletic conference. Now available on WK&T’s television lineup, the SEC Network HD delivers 24/7 programming covering all of your favorite college sports. In addition to its wide-ranging current channel lineup, WK&T has also added FOX News HD, Nickelodeon HD, FX HD and FXX HD.

To order SEC Network HD, or any WK&T television service, please call 1-877-954-8748.

Fiber project nearing completion

WK&T workers prepare to install large spools of fiber in the New Concord area.

WK&T workers prepare to install large spools of fiber in the New Concord area.

WK&T is entering the final stages of offering its world-class fiber network to all its members. Fiber construction in New Concord will soon be completed. New Concord is the largest exchange of the entire project. Prior to New Concord, WK&T recently completed construction in the Cypress and Fairdealing areas.

During the design stage of the fiber project, WK&T made it a point to plan for the future. When the project is complete, every resident and business will have the ability to use WK&T’s fiber service. Even with projected population growth, WK&T has the ability to supply fiber service to all.

“In the future, no matter what technological changes occur at our end or at the customer’s end, the fiber will be able to handle it,” says Sam Stitcher, WK&T’s engineering department supervisor. “And unlike some competitors, our members do not share the fiber line with their neighbors, each member has their own unique fiber.”

Local student receives scholarship from TMS

College is off to a good start for Lindsey Thompson. The Mayfield resident and Graves County High School graduate was awarded a $1,500 scholarship from the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) and Telecom Management Services (TMS) to help her attend Western Kentucky University.

Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey is the daughter of Eric and Lori Thompson. In high school, she was on the varsity cheer squad for three years and a manager for the boys’ soccer team. She was also involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Agape Club, Young Democrats, Beta Club and the 2013 Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program. She plans to study biology at WKU and return to a rural area like Mayfield to work as an optometrist.

“This scholarship means a lot to me because I do want to own a business in a rural community and come back around here and be close to family,” says Thompson. “I’m really grateful.”

FRS was established in 1994 and seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues. FRS has awarded a total of $98,000 in college scholarships to 36 high school seniors in rural communities served by members of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association.