Company News

Meet Amy

Amy DeenAmy Reavis Deen is the newest addition to the NHTC family, joining as an Accounts Payable Representative. She is a lifelong resident of New Hope and graduated from New Hope High School in 2000. She is the mother of four, including Zac, 22; Christopher, 17; Carson, 11 and Will, 6. She joins the NHTC team with 12 years of prior customer service experience at Citizens Bank & Trust.

Visit to the VMAs

VMA Nicole ReedNHTC congratulates New Hope resident Nicole Reed – winner of tickets for two to MTV’s Video Music Awards back in August. Nicole was selected from thousands of entrants nationwide. The tickets were courtesy of MTV and the National Cable Television
Cooperative.

Meet the 2016 NHTC Board members

The New Hope Telephone Cooperative’s Board of Directors following the annual meeting on May 19. (Front row, from left) Jeffrey Cantrell, secretary; Jim Duncan, president; Garland Elders, vice president; and Mike Whitaker, treasurer. (Back row, from left) Andrew Sieja, NHTC attorney; Jim Cook, general manager; Jeff Cooper; Barry Jones; Greg Glover; Randy Morrison; Calvin Bearden; and Mac Martinson, NHTC attorney.

The New Hope Telephone Cooperative’s Board of Directors following the annual meeting on May 19. (Front row, from left) Jeffrey Cantrell, secretary; Jim Duncan, president; Garland Elders, vice president; and Mike Whitaker, treasurer. (Back row, from left) Andrew Sieja, NHTC attorney; Jim Cook, general manager; Jeff Cooper; Barry Jones; Greg Glover; Randy Morrison; Calvin Bearden; and Mac Martinson, NHTC attorney.

Calvin Bearden has served on the Board since May and is a 49-year resident of Grant. Bearden graduated from Guntersville High School and has worked as a Tech 3 at Huntsville Hospital for six years. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married 28 years and have three daughters: Victoria, Lindsey and Chloe.

Jeffrey Cantrell is in his fifth year on the Board and is a 38-year resident of Grant, where he graduated from DAR High School. He’s the facilities manager at Digium and has been there eight years. He has an associate degree from Snead State Community College, a bachelor’s from Athens State University and a Facility Management Professional credential. He and his wife, Christen, have been married 11 years. They have two children: Collin and Olivia.

Jeff Cooper has been on the Board for 26 years and is a 60-year resident of New Hope. He owns Cooper’s Small Engine, which has been in business for 42 years. He and his wife, Tammy, have been married 24 years, and they have four children: Kelli, Jenni, Morgan and Troup.

Jim Duncan has served on the Board for 15 years. He’s a lifetime resident of New Hope and owns D & D Greenhouse, established in 1977. He graduated from New Hope High School, served four years in the Alabama National Guard and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of West Alabama. He and his wife, Gina, have been married 15 years. He has four children: Clay, Lisa, Laura and Cole.

Garland Elders is a nine-year Board member, a lifetime resident of Owens Cross Roads and a realtor. He earned his associate degree in business. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married nine years. Garland has two stepdaughters, Sydney and Brooke.

Greg Glover has served on the Board since 1998 and is a lifetime resident of Owens Cross Roads. Glover is a landscaper and turf farmer and raises cattle and quarter horses. He attended New Hope High School, Hiwassee College and Alabama A&M. He and his wife, Harriet, have been married 32 years and have one son, Shane.

Barry Jones has served on the Board for 11 years. He’s a 53-year resident of New Hope, graduating from New Hope High School. Jones served in the Army Reserve for six years, retired from the Madison County Water Department after 30 years and co-owns a lawn service. He and his wife, Sandy, have been married 27 years and have two daughters: Brittney and Megan.

Randy Morrison is in his second year on the Board. He grew up on Merrill Mountain and has resided in the Grassy Mountain community on Gunter Mountain for 28 years. He is an alumnus of KDS DAR and Snead State Community College. Randy serves as an elder for the Church of Christ at Owens Cross Roads. He and his wife, Penny, have two children, Dana and Todd, and three grandchildren, Kate, Madi and Averi.

Mike Whitaker has served 11 years on the Board and is a lifetime resident of New Hope, graduating from New Hope High School. He is a plant manager at NHES, where he’s been for 28 years. He and his wife, Melody, have been married seven months. Whitaker has two sons, Josh and Jeremy, and two step-daughters, Audrey and Sarah.

Annual Meeting highlights a secure future

The New Hope Telephone Cooperative’s board of directors following the annual meeting on May 19. (Front row, from left) Jeffrey Cantrell, secretary; Jim Duncan, president; Garland Elders, vice president; and Mike Whitaker, treasurer. (Back row, from left) Andrew Sieja, NHTC attorney; Jim Cook, general manager; Jeff Cooper; Barry Jones; Greg Glover; Randy Morrison; Calvin Bearden; and Mac Martinson, NHTC attorney.

The New Hope Telephone Cooperative’s board of directors following the annual meeting on May 19. (Front row, from left) Jeffrey Cantrell, secretary; Jim Duncan, president; Garland Elders, vice president; and Mike Whitaker, treasurer. (Back row, from left) Andrew Sieja, NHTC attorney; Jim Cook, general manager; Jeff Cooper; Barry Jones; Greg Glover; Randy Morrison; Calvin Bearden; and Mac Martinson, NHTC attorney.

A record number of registered members — 603 in total — attended the New Hope Telephone Cooperative Annual Meeting on May 19. Neighbors and newcomers packed the hallways of New Hope Elementary and Middle School, as employees served popcorn and lemonade and gave away t-shirts and other items.

AnnualMeeting3480Families packed the auditorium as Nashville-based country singer Melissa Ramski sang classic hits and a few tunes of her own during a two-hour set. NHTC employees drew names for raffled gifts, handing out a number of electronic devices and vouchers for NHTC services. Three flat-screen TVs were also given as prizes, with the grand prize 50-inch HD Vizio won by James Sutphin.

During the business meeting portion of the evening, NHTC management gave a review for 2014. “During this past year, we have continued to add new programming, currently offering up to 260 channels, which includes 75 HD channels on our fiber network,” said General Manager Jim Cook. He also announced the addition of the SEC Network.

The fiber-to-the-home network is the largest project NHTC has ever undertaken, connecting more than 450 subscribers in 2014 with plans to add more than 700 others during 2015.
The financial news was also good. “Jim Cook and our employees negotiated bid prices and changed a few vendors, leading to a savings of $1.7 million dollars,” NHTC Board President Jim Duncan told the crowd. “Keep in mind that those cost adjustments will continue saving money annually for years to come.”

A video presentation by Cook highlighted a number of accomplishments

  • Total NHTC assets reached $38.3 million, including a $3.5 million increase with fiber-optic infraAnnualMeeting3558structure.
  • NHTC board of directors approved plans for completing the fiber project without additional debt.
  • Long-term debt was reduced by $1.3 million during 2014.
  • Operational revenue increased by 5.6 percent, or $646,000.
  • Operating expenses were reduced $266,000, creating a record high operating margin of $2.5 million.
  • FCC commitment to develop the Connect America Fund, partnering with NTCA, to provide support and sustainability to rural broadband networks.
  • NHTC has gained subscribers, adding 2.4 percent to the membership.
  • The broadband customer base also grew by 6.5 percent.
  • NHTC’s Security Solutions was unveiled, offering home security and home automation.
  • NHTC subscribers now have access to WatchTVeverywhere, enabling them to watch more than 30 networks on their electronic devices.
  • Programming rate hikes from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX have caused NHTC content costs to increase by more than $4 a month per subscriber.

CAPTION:
The New Hope Telephone Cooperative’s board of directors following the annual meeting on May 19. (Front row, from left) Jeffrey Cantrell, secretary; Jim Duncan, president; Garland Elders, vice president; and Mike Whitaker, treasurer. (Back row, from left) Andrew Sieja, NHTC attorney; Jim Cook, general manager; Jeff Cooper; Barry Jones; Greg Glover; Randy Morrison; Calvin Bearden; and Mac Martinson, NHTC attorney.

NHTC’s new service allows you to WatchTVEverywhere

Families once huddled around televisions the size of a refrigerator to watch the latest episode of “The Brady Bunch,” “M.A.S.H.” or “Seinfeld.” Those days are long gone and now, thanks to the Internet and a service called WatchTVEverywhere, New Hope Vision Subscribers can enjoy those classic shows or current prime-time hits from anywhere there is an Internet connection.

With WatchTVEverywhere, you could catch the ESPN pre-game show while tailgating in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Watching Captain Kirk match wits with Mr. Spock on a handheld device is no longer science fiction. It’s now a reality that you can enjoy the Syfy channel, and many others, once you sign up for NHTC’s WatchTVEverywhere plan.

How much does it cost?
Currently NHTC provides this feature at no extra cost to subscribers. This may change over time depending on new requirements made by TV networks. Cellular data rates apply.

Where can I WatchTVEverywhere?
You can watch these channels from anywhere your device can receive an Internet signal. Wired connections and in-home Wi-Fi will provide the best quality, and picture quality is determined by signal strength. For those using a tablet or smartphone, you will need to download the network’s app from your device’s app store.

What programs are available?
Each TV network makes their own decision about what to make available on WatchTVEverywhere, so it’s best to log in and check for your favorite programs.

Why aren’t all programs available?
Broadcasting rights are complicated. A TV network may have the right to transmit a show or movie, but only to TV sets and not on WatchTVEverywhere. Once again, it depends on the TV network.

Will other networks become available?
Yes. NHTC is working with many different program providers to expand the number of networks and programs available on WatchTVEverywhere.

How do I sign up for WatchTVEverywhere?
Visit www.watchtveverywhere.com and select New Hope Telephone as your provider from the drop down menu.
Click “Submit,” then “Register” and follow the prompts.
Your account number can be found on your most recent NHTC bill.
Once finished, check your email and you should find a message with a WatchTVEverywhere activation link. Click on the link to complete the registration process.

What networks will be available?*
A&E
ABC
Adult Swim
Bravo
Cartoon Network
CMT
CNBC
CNN
Comedy Central
TruTV
C-SPAN
Disney
DIY
Disney Jr.
E!
ESPN
ESPN 2
ESPN 3
ESPNews
ESPNU
ABC Family
Fox Business
Cooking Channel
Food Network
Fox News
Fox College Sports
Fox Sports South
FXX
FX Movie
FX
Stingray Music
Hallmark Channel
HGTV
History
Headline News
Lifetime
MSNBC
MTV 2
MTV
NBC Entertainment
NBC News
NFL
National Geographic
Nat Geo Wild
Nickelodeon
Nick Jr
NBC Sports Network
Oxygen
NFL Redzone
Syfy
SEC Network
Spike
Sprout
SportSouth
Esquire
Fox Sports 1
TBS
Turner Classic Movies
The Golf Channel
TNT
Disney XD
Travel Channel
USA
VH1

To begin enjoying WatchTVEverywhere…
Visit www.WatchTVEverywhere.com.
Click on “Log In.”
Enter your username and password.
Select the TV Network you want to watch. Click on the network and you will see a list of the available programs.

Need some help with those college expenses?

New Hope Telephone Cooperative is offering two $500 scholarships — one to a graduating senior from DAR and the second to a graduating senior from NHHS — to help with college expenses. Applications are available from your school’s guidance counselor, online at www.nhtc.coop or at NHTC’s business office at 5415 Main Drive, New Hope. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! All applications must be received no later than March 31.

New service offers peace of mind

By Matt Ledger

NHTC’s Security Solutions team can help protect your home or business with state-of-the-art security services.

NHTC’s Security Solutions team can help protect your home or business with state-of-the-art security services.

Another day begins in a flurry. Peaceful sleep interrupted by the alarm. Bright lights making eyes cringe as you wander through the morning maintenance routine that seems to run on autopilot. Most mornings it works well, but every now and then a step is skipped. How many times have you been miles from the driveway, only to question, “Did I really lock the front door? Is the garage door shut?”

Technology can play a role in that peace of mind as a safety net for faulty memories, establishing routines that are truly automatic.

Dave Tandy and his wife, Angie, moved to New Hope four years ago. He owns AG Optical, a business where he crafts high-end telescope systems for astrophotographers. While he monitors the

The Tandys were one of the first families to sign up with NHTC Security. Shown here (from left) Gabe, Angie, Ashley and Dave.

The Tandys were one of the first families to sign up with NHTC Security. Shown here (from left) Gabe, Angie, Ashley and Dave.

constellations and shooting stars above, his personal and business properties are kept under close watch by NHTC Security, New Hope Telephone Cooperative’s brand-new, state-of-the-art security service. The Tandys became one of NHTC Security’s first customers last year.

“While I feel like we live in a safe area, and we really like New Hope, it’s just nice to have that extra sense of security that comes from having an alarm system,” Tandy says. “Having the ability to monitor and control the system through our smartphones is just super convenient.”

For home or business

NHTCSecurityTeam0271Upon moving to the area in 2010, the Tandys started Rooster Run Farm. Aside from his telescope business, Tandy operates AG Composites, which creates carbon fiber components for the outdoor sporting industry. In addition to securing their home, the Tandys found it beneficial to add protective measures around their businesses.

“I find them very responsive, and the installation went smoothly,” Tandy says of NHTC’s security team. “It’s one of the advantages of being in a small town and belonging to a telephone cooperative.” NHTC sent technicians to consult with Tandy as he had very specific requirements for their properties.

“Within two or three days, they were out here installing it,” Tandy says. “The system is very easy to use, and we picked up how to do it really quick.”

The family accidentally caused a false alarm, which inadvertently gave them reassurance in the new product. “The response time was very fast,” he says. “I was pleased in that it tested the system. We’ve had other systems in the past at our previous homes and had the alarm go off. It seemed like a long time before they called. So this system is very reassuring now.”

New technology for NHTC

The touch screen can conveniently display the five-day forecast.

The touch screen can conveniently display the five-day forecast.

Last year, NHTC’s security installers received their level-two security system certifications from state officials.

Ever since the first phone line was installed in 1948, locals have turned to NHTC as a reliable partner for telecommunications and cable TV services. The new service features a two-tiered security system to help safeguard families. Homeowners can start with the traditional basic landline security system, consisting of a motion sensor and window contacts that interact wirelessly with a touch screen terminal. A glass breakage sensor can lessen the number of security devices in any room with numerous windows. The siren will alert owners in the event of an intruder, and the 24/7 monitoring will inform the proper authorities.

NHTC installer Bart Hopkins checks the security system’s touch screen display.

NHTC installer Bart Hopkins checks the security system’s touch screen display.

NHTC installers can customize the system to fit your home and future needs — including those of your four-legged family members.. The Tandys’ dog, Kodiak, a Treeing Tennessee brindle, was the original security for the family. NHTC Security added a pet-immune motion detector that allows Kodiak to freely roam inside the home without causing any false alarms.

For those who have bought new systems with national security providers, NHTC can usually take over the monitoring of qualified equipment, at a lower monthly cost, once that contract has expired. All of the installed equipment can be covered under a lifetime warranty for a small fee and will belong to the homeowner upon completion of the three-year contract.

Expanding the Possibilities

NHTC Security customers can be upgraded to the TotalConnect package, which the Tandys selected, adding cellular and Wi-Fi communicators to the system and giving them the mobility to use a smartphone as a keypad access to the system.

Customer Service Supervisor Kanita Medlen (back) with Billing Coordinator Nikki Dudley can help you decide which security features are right for you.

Customer Service Supervisor Kanita Medlen (back) with Billing Coordinator Nikki Dudley can help you decide which security features are right for you.

When it becomes available later this year, the Tandys, and all other customers, will be able to add Wi-Fi surveillance cameras to remotely monitor their property and keep track of their kids’ activities.

Another convenience to the NHTC system is the weather display from the control panel. A quick tap of the control panel will display a five-day forecast. “One other thing that is very convenient with us being in such a tornado-prone area is that our alarm system will automatically alert us of the warnings that come out,” says Tandy. Within the first month of having the system, the Tandys experienced a late-night alarm that alerted them of a tornado warning. “That’s a real nice feature that we’ve never had in the past,” Tandy says.

NHTC Security can help customize a solution that is just right for your home and budget. Homeowners can save as much as 15 percent on their homeowners insurance rates with qualified security systems, making home security more affordable than you might think. Call 256-723-4211 and schedule a free consultation today!

NHTC does not control what networks choose to air

As your local provider of television service, we strive to bring the best value to our members. However, NHTC has no control over what programmers choose to air or not to air on their network. If your favorite show has been pulled or moved to a new time slot and you want to let someone know, it’s best to contact the network directly.

 

 

Cable rates increase

Subscribers to NHTC’s television service New Hope Vision were notified last month of a rate increase that will take effect with the Nov. 1 statement.

As your cooperative, NHTC strives to provide its members with the highest quality service possible at a fair price. While we never like implementing rate increases, rate hikes from content providers have left us little choice — either we meet their new increased fees or we no longer air their networks. Neither is a good choice, since many of the big conglomerates have multiple networks. Giants like Disney also own ESPN, ABC and the SEC Network. Viacom owns MTV, CMT, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. If we want to air one of those networks, the conglomerates force us to carry all of their channels — and pay the associated fees. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

When we take a look at what’s been happening across the nation, NHTC isn’t the only company affected by rising rates from the channel providers. Most of us watched the fight play out between Viacom and DirecTV. Viacom tried to increase their per-subscriber rate by a whopping 60 percent. DirecTV initially refused to pay and dropped their channels, but consumer demand forced them back to the bargaining table. On top of dramatic increases every few years as contracts are renegotiated, annual rate increases are being built into the contracts making it even more difficult to control costs.

To help manage all of this, NHTC is a member of the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC). Alone, small providers like NHTC have dramatically less leverage at the bargaining table than big providers like DirecTV and Comcast, and therefore would be charged even higher rates by the networks. By banding together with other cooperatives through NCTC, we are able to get better rates as part of a larger cooperative than we could on our own.

“We have worked hard to avoid raising the rate we charge our members,” says Jim Cook, NHTC’s general manager. “Unfortunately, we have reached the point where we can no longer absorb these increases and must pass part of the increase on to our TV subscribers. However, you can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to control all fixed costs to keep rates as low as possible.”