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Optic Wins Telco Branding Award

Columbus Telephone Company subsidiary Optic Communications is now an award-winning brand. The company was recently recognized by NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association for the Optic brand and image. Launched in 2014, Optic Communications is the consumer-facing brand that is expanding CTC’s fiber network regionally.

“A lot of work by many people has gone into making the Optic brand successful and meaningful. This sort of recognition validates the work,” stated Optic Communications Marketing Manager Nick Saporito.

Optic has taken a “clean slate” approach to marketing CTC’s services with the goal of bringing a start-up like brand to an organization that’s over a century old. CTC recognizes that in order to evolve as an organization, so too must its marketing efforts. Optic’s creative has been developed by Neosho, MO based Hobart Design Group. CTC has a long-standing, successful relationship with the firm.

The NTCA is an industry association for small, rural telecommunications companies such as CTC. Representing over 900 companies, the organization serves as a leading voice for telecommunications.

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More Ways To Pay

Optic Communications is pleased to announce American Bank in Columbus, KS and Galena, KS will begin are now accepting payments for your phone, cable TV and internet services provided by Optic.

Please note when making your payments at American Bank locations you must have your bill stub or account number with you. Cash, check, or money orders will be accepted. Payments made before 2:00 PM will be posted on the same day, while payments made after 2:00 PM will fall on the next business day.

American Bank’s drive thru hours are as follows:

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday – Thursday)

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Friday)

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Saturday)

Payments are accepted at the Columbus branch (810 E Maple) and the Galena branch (901 E. 7th).

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

CTC Expands Network to Pittsburg, KS

COLUMBUS, KS – Columbus Telephone Company (CTC) is announcing further expansion of the company’s 100-percent buried fiber-optic network to Pittsburg, Kansas. The announcement is part of an ongoing transformation the 110 year old company is undertaking that includes significant expansion of its fiber-optic services. Pittsburg area businesses will benefit by having more connectivity options and competitive pricing through CTC’s core network.

For over 20 years CTC has had mainline fiber running from Columbus to Fontenac, Kansas just west of Pittsburg. The company is expanding this route on the east side of Pittsburg, essentially ringing the city. CTC will also be placing a network operations building in Pittsburg. The new fiber-optic network will enable CTC’s Optic Communications subsidiary to provide a host of enterprise services to Pittsburg businesses; many of which are not currently offered by other providers in the area.

“Many businesses today need far more than just fast Internet. Enterprise grade connectivity has really become one of our specialties as an organization. Our network excels at providing custom solutions for large enterprise – we’re essentially a custom shop when it comes to connectivity,” said Optic Communications Marketing Manager Nick Saporito.

Optic Communications was granted a franchise agreement by the Pittsburg City Commission on July 28, 2015. The company plans to begin mainline construction of the Pittsburg immediately, with a projected 120 day construction period. Today’s announcement does not impact CTC’s existing expansion plans.

“We truly look forward to becoming part of the Pittsburg community and are eager to see what it can accomplish with world-class fiber connectivity,” stated Optic Communications General Manager Trish Carroll.

Today’s announcement marks the company’s first expansion to provide services outside of Cherokee County. In the last 12 months, CTC has expanded its core fiber-optic network to Baxter Springs, Galena, and Riverton, Kansas. Additionally the company launched its first-ever retail division with Parcom, LLC, which is a Verizon Wireless® retailer and NEC phone system with stores in Columbus and Parsons, Kansas and Miami, Oklahoma.

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CTC Announces Further Network Expansion

COLUMBUS, KS – Today Columbus Telephone Company (“CTC”) announced plans for further fiber-optic network expansion in Cherokee County. The announcement includes the construction of a fiber-optic “ring” that will link all three major cities in the county together on one world-class communications network.

The announcement comes just months after CTC announced the company’s first-ever expansion to the Galena and Riverton, Kansas communities through its subsidiary Fiber Communications of Columbus, LLC (“Optic”). Through Optic, CTC will now be constructing a fiber-optic backbone that links Baxter Springs, Columbus and Galena. Known as a fiber “ring” the network expansion will increase service reliability for all CTC and Optic customers as well as position the company to provide services in all three communities.

“A fiber ring is the ultimate in terms of network reliability, which is critical in a world where connectivity is driving everything,” stated CTC Plant Manager Gene Hamilton.

Optic already provides services in Columbus, Galena and Riverton. The ring will enable the company to provide service in Baxter Springs on or after June 30, 2015, making Cherokee County one of the few rural areas in the United States to have all major cities connected on one fiber network.

“We truly recognize the need for new connectivity options in Baxter Springs. The ring gets us one step closer to helping fill that need. Baxter Springs deserves access to world-class services just like Columbus and Galena,” said CTC Marketing Manager Nick Saporito.

Construction of the new backbone network will begin as soon as weather permits. The construction of the ring is not expected to impact network construction already in progress in the Galena and Riverton areas, where new customers are being turned up daily.

“This announcement further solidifies that 2014 has been a banner year for our company. We began our first-ever expansion early in the year, we acquired Parcom, LLC in October and today we’re announcing a backbone network that will be the envy of counties all across the U.S.,” stated CTC General Manager Trish Carroll.

Service inquiries from Baxter Springs, Galena, Riverton, or anywhere else should visit Optic Communications website at www.optic-communications.com

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CTC Staff Find Issues Fast

 

October 30, 2014

Columbus Telephone Company employees have a new goal: find network issues before the customer. Thanks to technology advancement and the diligence of the technical team, CTC now finds network issues before the customer even realizes a problem – reducing customer frustration and minimizing time wasted from both the customer and our team.

Thanks to the technology that powers CTC’s equipment, staff are notified immediately when a problem exists with the services at any particular premise. For example, the an APC battery is low, CTC’s technical team is notified that the battery is low and needs changed. This is why many customers have been called by CTC to schedule an appointment to change out their battery free of charge.

Additionally when an ONT (box on the outside of the home) shows a fault that impacts services, our team is dispatching themselves automatically to address the issue. In many cases, the customer has not even noticed the problem when our technical team arrives on-site. The team fixes the issue, leaves and the customer is left with minimal to no hassle.

“Part of the reason CTC has existed for 109 years is because of customer service. Technology is changing how we do customer service, including the ability to fix issues before they even impact the customer,” stated CTC Marketing Manager Nick Saporito.

CTC does caution customers that the company and staff cannot see every possible issue that can arise. Customers are always encouraged to report service issues as soon as possible so that they can be addressed swiftly. In the meantime, CTC staff does their best to reduce network issues and address the few that pop up before the customer even notices.

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CTC Ventures Into Cellular Service With New Division

COLUMBUS, KS – Today Columbus Telephone Company, Inc. announced it has acquired a majority interest in Parcom Telephone Company in Parsons, Kansas. The acquisition will allow CTC to expand into new business lines, including cellular service and increase its product line for corporate customers.

With the investment, a new ParCom, LLC has been formed that is a joint venture between CTC and Vincent Schibi. The company will be headquartered in Columbus with CTC’s other operations.

“ParCom is the perfect complement to our business. We’re truly excited to make ParCom part of the Columbus Telephone family,” stated Columbus Telephone General Manager Trish Carroll.

ParCom has been in business over 30 years, serving business phone systems and Verizon Wireless out of their retail location in Parsons. Their legacy of personal service and top-tier customer support matches that of Columbus Telephone and makes the two companies a perfect fit for each other.

“Our customers have asked us to venture into cellular service for years. We’ve finally found the best avenue for us to do just that and it is with a partner who operates with the same customer-focused principles that CTC encompasses,” added Carroll.

The new ParCom, LLC will open an all-new retail store in Columbus in the coming months, with further expansion plans beyond the Columbus location. Details of the Columbus store will be announced at a later date.

“We’re excited to be part of the CTC family and look forward to serving the Columbus community soon,” said Parcom, LLC General Manager Vincent Schibi.

With today’s announcement the Columbus Telephone Company enterprise now has 21 employees, with plans to add more as the ParCom, LLC operation expands.

“CTC is no longer just a telephone company – we’re a technology company. Between our expanding fiber network and now ParCom, LLC, we’re well on our way to becoming a regional technology leader,” added Carroll.

CTC Announces First-Ever Expansion, New Division

GALENA, KS – Today Columbus Telephone Company is announcing a new division that will launch the company’s first-ever network expansion. Under the brand name Optic Communications, CTC and its subsidiaries will be deploying world-class connectivity to the Galena, Kan. community.

“For the last 12 months we’ve been conducting market research within Cherokee County. We were overwhelmed by the response from all areas, but Galena’s need for bandwidth was most obvious. Additionally, the Galena community has been incredibly welcoming to our company – we look forward to being partners as their city grows and develops” stated Optic Communications General Manager Trish Carroll.

Today’s news marks the first-ever expansion embarked upon by an affiliate of Columbus Telephone Company. Founded in 1905 by a group of Cherokee County farmers, CTC was originally part of the Cherokee County Mutual Telephone Company, an association that included the Home Telephone Company of Galena and Baxter Springs Telephone Company. CTC is the only founding member of the association to remain in business, now over 109 years.

“Cherokee County has a rich legacy in telecommunications. It is quite remarkable that over 100 years later we’re coming full circle by connecting our communities—yet again—with world-class connectivity,” said CTC Marketing Manager Nick Saporito.

In recent months the company has been deploying fiber-optic lines in the Galena area, including a new Central Office to serve the community. With mainline construction complete, Optic plans to begin turning up fiber-optic services to select business customers in Galena later this month.

Optic plans to eventually provide phone, Internet and cable TV service to Galena residents as well, with the ability to offer Internet speeds up to 1 GBps over a completely buried fiber-optic network. Neighborhoods with the highest demand will be the first to get turned up on the new network. Businesses and residents in Galena that are interested in Optic services should go to the company’s website at www.optic-communications.com and fill out the appropriate survey.

The expansion of fiber-to-the-home services in Cherokee County will benefit all residents in the region by providing world-class Internet to more people and businesses and creating new jobs.

CTC recently added two full-time employees to assist in the expansion, increasing the company’s employee count to the highest in its history. As Optic expands the company anticipates creating more new jobs in the county.

“We’re officially a 109 year old company that is growing and innovating. It is truly an exciting time to be at CTC,” added Carroll.

About Optic: Fiber Communications of Columbus, LLC d/b/a Optic Communications is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbus Telephone Company, Inc.