Connecting a rural community such as ours to the world has never been easy. Decades ago, crews strung telephone lines across a landscape that large national companies chose to ignore, deeming the places we call home too rural and unworthy of the effort.

Naturally, we never felt that way. After all, no one understands the importance of our home and places like it better than we do. The countless hours of work to create that first telephone system proved invaluable, opening new doors of opportunity for businesses and individuals. All of that effort gave us a foundation for the future.

As new technologies appeared, we continued that original commitment to serving you by bringing you those innovations. Today, our internet services rival — and often greatly exceed — those found in metropolitan areas. Just as those first crews did when they engineered a telephone system, we’ve built and maintained a robust internet network.

The depth of my appreciation for our employees who make these essential services possible only increases from year to year. No matter the challenge, they adapt and overcome. I’d like to humbly suggest that you benefit daily from those efforts. Can you imagine not having an option to link a computer or mobile device to the internet? Work, entertainment, medical care, education and more rely on rock-solid service. In just a few decades, we’ve gone from marveling at the idea of being able to speak one-on-one to someone miles away via phone to having a world of information at our fingertips. We’ve never been so connected. In fact, internet services are as essential for many of us as water and electricity.

Despite our best efforts, though, no communications and technology company such as ours avoids adversity. It’s how you overcome adversity that matters most. After all, no one escapes the power of nature. Across the nation, we’ve seen tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and more leave communities without the utilities many of us take for granted. Locally, the recent winter vortex wreaked havoc on the communities we serve, and we appreciate the trust you placed in us during this unprecedented event to restore telephone and internet services as quickly as possible. Every season of the calendar brings the possibility of an event capable of disrupting our systems. But our team maintains detailed plans to both avoid disruptions and to respond quickly if they do occur. Often, long hours of work are required to restore services after an outage. The environment in the field after an event like a severe storm can be dangerous. Yet, our crews always answer the call. Our office staff willingly puts in long hours to support the efforts. Everyone helps. And they do it gladly, because we understand how much you rely on the services we provide. They’re essential, as is our commitment to you.

Our investment and commitment in not only expanding our services but also in maintaining existing infrastructure is significant and ongoing. The mission that began with construction of the first telephone lines continues. We believe in you, and our community. We prosper together. Regardless of the challenges, we embrace our commitment to serving you. Everyone at HCTC is proud of our heritage, a sentiment we wish to carry over to future generations that will continue to provide you the communication tools needed to thrive. Thank you for letting us be part of this community.

– Craig Cook, CEO