Macon County Chronicle

North Central Telephone..60 Years of Service

From it’s humble beginnings six decades ago, North Central Telephone Cooperative is celebrating its’ 60thAnniversary this year, and Mrs. Nancy White, NCTC President/CEO, is proud to be a part of this honorably milestone.

Sixty years ago seems like a long time, however, for those who remember the events that shaped the lives of the people and changed the world in a most dramatic way, the time melts into a few yesterdays. Thanks to Will Hall Sullivan and Brother Calvin Gregory, the founding fathers, North Central was incorporated in 1951, and the old switchboard of the Lafayette Exchange Telephone system was replaced by modern equipment when service began in 1953.

“When several of us got together to improve the communications of this area,” said Bill Green, who is the only living member of the original telephone board, “we never dreamed of what we have today. As a matter of fact, we only dreamed of being able to stay in touch with our loved ones and friends. On this 60th anniversary of North Central Telephone Cooperative, I think it is only fitting that we pause and honor the founding members who came before us, particularly Will Hall Sullivan and especially your grandfather, Bro. Calvin Gregory, whose energetic approach to all problems concerning civic improvement led to his election as the first president of North Central. I am proud to be a part of the early years, honorably serving beside your grandfather as the first Vice President.”

NCTC is a cooperative esteemed in the hall of leadership of our country, and it is recognized as one of the most dynamic, enterprising, value-driven, customer-owned networks. Every service provided is performance-based on the needs of the individuals, not divided and influenced by high profit tactics. Always one step ahead in progress, Broadband technology is changing the world and the new fiber optics network will bring unbelievable changes to our area.

“The future holds great things for the customers of NCTC,” said White, “but it is also likely to bring very big changes that are not so easy to swallow. For example, right now the telecommunications industry is in the midst of great and potentially devastating change…the Federal Communications Commission is studying rates that phone companies pay each other and ATT, Verizon, Sprint, Comcast, and other big carriers are asking the TN Legislature to vote against Tennessee Cooperatives on this issue. Competition is everywhere; it is profitable for the big companies to provide service or “cherry pick” the most profitable customers.

“The short term future is very visible,” White noted, “if you drive around and see the orange pipes being put in place to pull fiber optics or drive down Locust Street and see how fast the CO Annex to house the new electronics is rising from the ground. In time, this infrastructure will allow people who live here to have virtually unlimited Internet capacity, access to the best in Telemedicine, Educational access, more people can work from their homes instead of driving several miles, and maybe most importantly…the potential for current and new businesses to grow and create more jobs.

“We’ll be celebrating our anniversary by continuing to break ground and turn on fiber optics to many homes and businesses this year and next. Also be on the lookout for some fun things we’ll be doing throughout the next twelve months to celebrate our 60th Anniversary and to start the next 60 years! Debbie, I believe your Grandfather would be proud.”