Who We Are
The North Carolina Telephone Cooperative Coalition, Inc. (known as CarolinaLink) is an advocacy group for the eight Telephone Membership Corporations (TMCs) in North Carolina. We seek to bring more public awareness of the need to provide state-of-the-art voice, video and Internet.
CarolinaLink also assists member companies in advocating public policy goals that will help assure that rural areas continue to have the same state-of-the-art communications services available in urban areas at reasonably comparable prices. Located in Raleigh, CarolinaLink’s staff members are:
Dwight Allen (Dwight@carolinalink.org),
Britton Allen (Britton@carolinalink.org) and
Brady Allen (Brady@carolinalink.org).
CarolinaLink’s Board of Directors includes the Chief Executive Officer of each of the eight member companies.
What is a TMC?
In 1949, Congress extended the benefits of the Rural Electrification Act to telephone service. After World World II, about 40 % of the United States, including about 40% of North Carolina, did not have telephone service. Veterans returning to their rural homes following the War had been exposed to the telephone and realized that telephone service was essential for their communities, much like high speed Internet is today. The areas were extremely rural and very sparsely populated. Investor owned companies were unwilling to make the investments needed to provide telephone service to these areas. Fortunately, public-spirited citizens joined the effort and gathered support from other citizens and through both federal and state enabling legislation; they formed telephone companies, which are member owned. These corporations are known as Telephone Membership Corporations and are often referred to as TMCs or coops.
All of the State's eight TMCs are members of CarolinaLink. They provide voice, video, high speed Internet, security and other state-of-the-art communications services in all or part of 26 counties in North Carolina. The areas served are very rural with an average customer density of only 8 customers per route mile. They provide good jobs to hundreds of citizens in these rural areas and have an economic impact of more than $65 million annually. Despite serving very rural areas, 100% of customers are served with digital technology and high speed Internet service is universally available to all TMC customers. TMCs are also actively involved in bringing fiber optics directly to the customer’s home and business.
Although TMCs in North Carolina were originally organized in the early to mid-1950s, the need for TMCs as never been more critical to rural areas than it is today. Competition has eroded the customer base of TMCs, particularly in the less rural parts of TMC areas. This makes the areas served by TMCs even more rural. As the telecommunications market has become more competitive, traditional subsidies provided to rural areas through federal and state universal service policies have been reduced or eliminated. At the same time, however, significant capital investments must be made in high speed Internet services if rural citizens are to benefit from the educational and economic development opportunities that depend on high speed Internet. It is uneconomic for investor owned companies to make these needed investments in rural infrastructure. Non-profit, member owned cooperatives are critical to these efforts just as they have been since the early 1950s.
Local TMC's (our Member Companies)
All 8 of the Telephone Membership Corporations in North Carolina are active members of CarolinaLink. Although the service territories are rural, the services provided are comparable to services provided in more urban areas of the North Carolina. These member companies have truly bridged the digital divide and delivered on the promise of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by providing services to rural areas that are comparable in quality and price to those available in rural areas. Collectively, companies employ several hundred rural North Carolinians and have a financial impact on their communities of more than $65,000,000 annually. TOP
Located on North Carolina’s picturesque southern coast, ATMC has served the people of Brunswick County since 1957. As a cooperative, ATMC is dedicated to providing an unparalleled customer experience to its over 38,500 members. ATMC is a technology driven company providing high speed Internet with speeds topping 100 Meg, high definition digital cable TV to over 27,000 homes, reliable telephone service and a wide array of business voice, networking and data solutions. Through its subsidiary, ATMC, LLC, the company is aggressively expanding its services through targeted deployments both in and around its traditional service area.
In the early 1950’s it became evident there was a need for telephone in the rural communities in central North Carolina. On May 13, 1954, Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation was formed. Beginning with 97 telephones in Farmer, N.C. in 1957, Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation currently serves over 10,000 customers in eight communities. The company, along with its subsidiaries, provides a full array of state of the art services including local, long distance, internet, cable television, wireless, business systems, camera surveillance and computer services. Randolph prides itself on its commitment to its local communities and maintains full service local offices in Asheboro and Liberty, N.C.
Established in 1951, SkyLine Membership Corporation provides telecommunication services to approximately 30,000 customers in the North Carolina counties of Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, and Watauga, plus Johnson County, Tennessee. SkyLine, and its affiliates provide phone, long distance, Internet, IPTV, security, home automation, and wireless cellular services. SkyLine is continuing its rapid build out of a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network, which will allow the company to remain at the cutting edge of offering new technologies and innovative services in the years to come.
In 1959, two rural telephone companies combined to form Star Telephone Membership Corporation. The company, along with its subsidiaries, provides service to approximately 14,000 customers in a service area with only 3.2 customers per route mile in portions of Sampson, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland and Duplin Counties. The company provides a full array of modern services including local, long distance, DSL high speed InterNet access, wireless and internet-protocol television.
Founded in 1951, Surry TMC serves a customer base of more than 16,000 customers in the communities of Beulah, Churchland, Level Cross, Red Brush, Reeds, Shoals, Westfield and Zephyr. The company and its affiliates provide Phone, Internet, TV, Home Security, and Wireless. All customers are served with digital switching technology and 100% of those customers have access to High Speed Internet. Those using Surry Telephone's service will continue to benefit from a telecommunications provider that understands living in a rural area does not mean that residents have to compromise on the services they receive but in reality are consumers of the latest technology available in the marketplace.
In 1955, vision, hard work and determination paid off when telephone service became a reality to remote areas of Beaufort, Hyde and Washington Counties in eastern North Carolina. TriCounty TMC and its subsidiary has grown to provide phone, long distance, Internet, TV, wireless cellular, and web hosting and design services. TriCounty Telecom is nearing completion of a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network that will deliver affordable, reliable high-speed Internet and video services, bringing countless benefits to the residents and businesses in the three-county area. TriCounty Telecom continues to be a growing business that seeks to seamlessly serve its customers and adapt to rapidly changing technology.
Dedicated to providing the latest in communications services, Wilkes TMC offers a full line of state-of-the-art services including High Speed Internet, Digital Television, Business Solutions including Hosted VoIP, SIP Trunking and IP PBX, Monitored Security and Fire Systems, Surveillance Systems and Personal Emergency Response Systems. The Company’s 10,100 customers are all served with digital switching technology with an IP Core Backbone Network. The Company is completing an entire network overbuild, providing Fiber To The Premise for all of its facilities based customers allowing for internet speeds of up to 1Gb.
Yadkin Valley TMC
Yadtel, headquartered in Yadkin County, NC, began operations in 1951 and traces its beginning back to a state charter issued in 1950.
Since then, the company has grown to serve 24,000 customers spread over parts of six northwest North Carolina counties, with its primary service area consisting of Yadkin, Davie and northern Iredell counties. The company offers a wide variety of telecommunications services including landline phone service, Internet, TV, and AT&T wireless service. New products and services are being added regularly such as the company’s initial home security systems that are currently being installed.
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