Egyptian Telephone Cooperative Association’s 62nd annual meeting was held Friday, April 1, at the American Legion in Steeleville.
Treasurer Sue Wennemann of St. Libory reported the cooperative returned over $317,826 worth of services in the form of long distance minutes, call feature discounts and bill credits. Due to regulatory reforms implemented by the Federal Communications Commission, total revenue was down in 2015, but so were expenses.
The cooperative paid off all of its Rural Utility Services (RUS) debt in 2014 and has a strong cash position, bolstering an overall strong balance sheet that will enable to Cooperative to continue investing in its network.
Board Chairman Rudy Eggemeyer of Chester said, “As your local provider, it is our goal to provide you with high quality connections all with a personal local touch. We want to make it possible for you to reach today’s global economy from the convenience of your own home. Our goal is to continue to provide you with a global reach all at affordable rates.”
Egyptian’s General Manager, Kevin Jacobsen, said, “The FCC and government seem to think there are too many small telcos like us. But small telcos can do a darn good job. We were here to meet your needs when others wouldn’t meet your needs. We’ll be here to see it through and meet your needs in the future.”
Jacobsen said much has changed since Egyptian Telephone Cooperative’s inception in 1954 and the cooperative has become more of a data company with declining landline telephone service and large increases in broadband service.
He said, “In order to keep providing the latest services to our members, we continue to urge our congressional representatives to support regulatory action to ensure equal and affordable access to broadband for all Americans. Our continued involvement in the Grow Illinois Alliance (GIA) reinforces the necessity that small, independent telephone companies need to band together and stress their value and dedication to provide advanced services to rural communities.”
Egyptian Telephone Cooperative Association serves 2,336 members in Jackson, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. For more information visit www.egyptian.net.