Mark Twain Rural Telephone Company’s 63rd Annual Meeting was held on April 5th at the Knox County R1 High School with over 150 people in attendance.
Reports presented to the Members by President Joe Delaney and General Manager Jim Lyon indicated that the year 2016 was another successful year financially. During 2016, the cooperative paid out over $213,000 to its’ Members in capital credits.
At the end of 2016, we provided basic telecommunication services in 17 exchanges to 3,655 lines. We continue to establish ourselves as the dominant provider of data and Internet access services in Northeast Missouri. We also continue to expand our ability to provide high speed Internet services using both existing telephone cables to provide DSL services and by using wireless services where cables do not exist. At year end we were providing DSL services to 2,476 subscribers.
Mark Twain now transmits wireless services from 40 locations and provides service to or around the following communities: Kahoka, Edina, Canton, Kirksville, West Quincy, Queen City, Taylor, Monroe City, Hannibal, Palmyra, Glenwood, Shelbyville, Lancaster, Shelbina, Downing, Clarence, Gorin, Millard, Elmer, La Plata, Monticello, Lewistown, Lentner, La Grange, La Belle and Ewing. At the end of 2016, we had 1,774 wireless customers. This is an increase of 11.3% over year end 2015.
We continued to invest in assets and technology to ensure we can meet your needs, both now and in the future. In 2016, we started plans to upgrade our fiber optics and associated electronics in all 17 towns and to upgrade our electronics in the 118 cabinets in the rural areas. We started in the central offices first and then moved to the cabinets located in the rural areas. The estimated cost for this project is over $1.8 million. These upgrades will benefit both voice and data customers. Our ongoing plan is to restructure our Internet service during 2017 to offer faster Internet speeds to our customers.