Best year ever for CVT financials membership learns
Annual meeting showcases technology consumers demand in rural market
Copper Valley Telecom had its best financial year ever.
That was the biggest news coming out of the cooperative's annual membership meeting in Valdez last week, which also featured news of emerging technologies and ever faster internet speeds that are coming.
"We had an outstanding year financially," CEO Dave Dingel told the Valdez crowd at last Wednesday's gathering at the civic center.
Dingel's assessment was echoed by CVTs CFO, Pam Murphy.
"2015 was absolutely stellar year," she said, noting the cooperative has $28.6 in cash it is using to offset uncertainty in the future telephone market and to self-finance expansions such as the coming project to run fiber optics right up to homes in Valdez.
CVT also paid off millions of dollars of debts it incurred to expand its digital network and other support facilities.
"It is interesting to note the significant progress Copper Valley has made over the last several years towards reducing its long-term debt," Murphy noted in her prepared statement to the membership. "The total debt at the end of 2015 was $12.1 million compared to $19.9 million in 2014 and over $35 million just five years ago."
The fiber optics project is just one of many network upgrades the cooperative has in the works to improve internet speeds and bring state of the art services to its membership.
"Speed is the big thing nowadays," outgoing CVT president Rob Chaffin said during his address to the membership.
Dengel said the fiber optic project is good for CVT and its customers.
"This fiver optic cable connection will provide redundancy in CTV's network which will ensure continued reliability of telecommunication services in the region," Dengel's prepared statement said. "It will also provide revenue opportunities for CVT."
In support of the project, CVT will be holding a community meeting next Tuesday night to answer specific questions about the project, which will begin that day in the Mineral Creek Heights subdivision.
"We invest that money right back in the community," Chaffin said.
Dengel noted that the cost of fiber optics has gone down dramatically in the past few years, which makes it an opportune time to bring fiber optics right up to the customer's door.
Copper Valley Telecom has produced a number of videos on YouTube touting its new services.
Last year, CVT expanded its 4G LTE services in its service areas to accommodate the ever-expanding needs of the membership.
In an era where even the most mundane items - such as toothbrushes and children's toys - may come with a wireless internet capability- a large and fast bandwidth is necessary for many consumers.
As part of its ongoing efforts to keep an eye on the future, CVT said it is experimenting with the new Amazon dash buttons and other emerging technologies on the horizon.
In addition to door prizes given away in a drawing at the end of the meeting, attendees were treated to a dinner and dessert catered by Gilpatrick's Hotel Chitina, and a goodie bag of gadgets.
In Valdez, 103 members attended the Wednesday meeting; 50 members constitute a quorum.