CEO's Report – New Lisbon Telephone Company
Hot! That’s the best way to describe the summer of 2018. From the farmer’s perspective, it has been a good year, as the corn and soybean crops have done well, with the right amount of rain and sun. It has also been good for construction, with lots of dry days to get fiber cable buried. But it has been hot!
This summer, most of our focus has been completing fiber projects in our regulated area. Specifically, we are working in the areas around Straughn, New Lisbon, and Millville. We hope to have the majority of this construction work completed in the summer, with cutovers occurring in the fall. Our fall construction focus will be in Wayne and Randolph Counties, where we have started several projects. We also continue to upgrade our wireless network, as the weather permits. These upgrades will allow us to offer our wireless customers more bandwidth and a more reliable connection, which will improve their Internet and streaming video experience.
If you remember my last newsletter, the plan was to have NLBC TV ready for trials in late May. Unfortunately, we have hit roadblock after roadblock, mostly with the content providers, but also some technical issues. All our contracts are now in place and as I write this, our technicians are working feverishly to complete testing of the product with the hope of trialing it later in July. But this process seems to be loaded with delays, so I am not making any promises. In the meantime, we will continue to sell our existing video product, with the intent to move customers over to the new product when it is available. Consequently, the delays in our new linear video product have also delayed our OTT video product; our hope for that rollout is now by the end of 2018.
Along with network upgrades and a new video product, the entire NLTC/NLBC management team is working on upgrading our service offerings and revisiting our pricing for these services. The goal is to offer a better product to all our customers at a price more in line with our current costs. New pricing for all our products should be in place by January 1, 2019. As with most companies, our prices have continued to increase over the years, especially with what we pay for video content.
We have not had any significant price increases in many years and there will be changes. Once we have determined the new pricing tiers for all our services, we will begin notifying every customer; with reminders in their monthly bills, as well as in my next newsletter. No one likes to hear that prices are going up, but the hope is that the lengthy lead time will enable everyone to be prepared.
Finally, I want to welcome our newest employee, Jason Wyatt. Jason is our new Sales Associate and will be working with Chad Niccum on sales throughout our service area. Jason is a long time New Castle resident and brings with him a lengthy background in sales, as well as a love for rural America. So please join me in welcoming Jason to the New Lisbon family; whether you meet him on the streets of our service area selling our products or in the New Lisbon office.
John E. Greene, Jr.
CEO and General Manager
New Lisbon Telephone Company and
New Lisbon Broadband and Communications, LLC