Born as a Cooperative in February, 1951, Hill Country Telephone Cooperative has grown and evolved into HCTC, the company you see today. On February 13, 1951, a group of five men formed the Cooperative for the purpose of furnishing telephone service in rural areas of the Texas Hill Country. Larger telecom companies had deemed the areas as unprofitable and had passed them by on the way to larger cities.
Operating under the cooperative principles and governed by a Board of Directors, Hill Country Telephone Cooperative grew and expanded by offering state-of-the art technologies to rural subscribers. When changes in regulation permitted the delivery of telephone service in competitive markets, Hill Country Telecommunications was established as a subsidiary of the company to capitalize on those changes and diversify the services offered. Hill Country Telephone Cooperative and Hill Country Telecommunications provided a plethora of telecommunications related products and services, including long distance, Internet, security systems and more to a combined 14 exchanges in 15 counties across the Texas Hill Country (including competitive markets in Mason, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Junction, and Sonora) spanning almost 3000 square miles.
Recently, both the parent Cooperative and its subsidiary have combined their branding and customer communication efforts under the moniker of HCTC. Realizing the importance of broadband availability for rural economic development, HCTC has embarked on a mission to make broadband available throughout its service area. As the future of communications is unfolding and revealing broadband as the preferred technology, HCTC is strategically positioning itself to meet the ever-changing needs of its members, today and into the future.
2018 CEO Report
It is hard to believe that a full year has passed since the last time I’ve had the privilege to communicate with you at the Annual Meeting. It is appropriate to pause and reflect on our ongoing mission and the efforts that contribute to fulfilling it.
Some things seem to never change like our continued dependency on the uncertain and fluid regulatory environment and declining High Cost Support, particularly at the Federal level. As I reminded us last year, normal business economics neither incent nor reward the magnitude of the investments we continue to make in our member territory. We just do not have the density of subscriber base to justify such capital deployment except within a non-profit Cooperative business model.
We are seeing some improved understanding of rural issues at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) due to the current administration’s personnel changes involving the FCC Chair and Commissioners. There seems to be an evolving realization that in a near-term scenario, wireless expansion will not negate the need for fiber-based landline telephony and broadband throughout the rural United States. Remember, the Wireless Carriers are incented by profit, not universal service.
However, the current FCC position remains short-sighted because it codifies that a minimum landline broadband service speed of 10Mbps/1Mbps with a desired performance benchmark of 25Mbps/3Mbps is adequate for Rural America. Sounds like both Political and Engineer speak but the problem is that these lower benchmarks, while limiting short term costs, drive critical funding assumptions that constrain the pace of investment and accomplishment. It appears policymakers are just defining the “solution” to match what they want to spend versus building critical and enabling Rural Infrastructure for both now and the future.
We do not accept this at HCTC.
To counter the ongoing inevitable march of Universal Service Support funding decreases, your Cooperative has continued the successful strategy of expanding into portions of adjacent areas such as Kerrville, Mason, Fredericksburg, Junction, and now, during 2018, Sonora, where we see it economically feasible (profitable) to serve nearby underserved markets with lower deployment costs and denser populations. These operations can and do yield positive, non-Member cash flow that we can “bring home” to the Cooperative to fund both Construction and Operations requirements. These initiatives are a “WIN” for everyone.
So, our lead product is Broadband. Capital spending is increasing. Fiber optic service is available to more homes and businesses. Higher speeds are now available at better rates. We’ve eliminated Term Agreements. We’ve improved to 86% availability for 10Mbps or higher services. Hundreds of locations can now be provided Gigabit speeds.
But, much is left to do. Your Board directs and enables us to more forward as aggressively as possible.
On behalf of your cooperative’s entire employee team, we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.
Board of Directors
District 1A Ingram
District 1B Ingram
District 2 Hunt
District 3 Mountain Home/ Garven Store
District 4 Doss
District 5 Fredonia, Katemcy, Pontotoc and Streeter
District 6A Comfort/ Sisterdale
District 6B Comfort/ Sisterdale
District 7 Center Point
District 8 Medina/ Tarpley
District 9 Frio Canyon (includes Concan, Leakey, Reagan Wells and Rio Frio)
|Director Name||Director Address||District/Exchange||Term Expiration|
|Kari A. Potter President||428 China St Center Point, TX 78010||District #7 Center Point||October 2020|
|Randy MacNaughton Vice President||14087 State Hwy 16N Medina, TX 78055||District #8 Medina & Tarpley||October 2021|
|Kathy Bohn Secretary-Treasurer||PO Box 574 Comfort, TX 78013||District #6A Comfort & Sisterdale||October 2020|
|Randy Bass||PO Box 226 Hunt, TX 78024||District #2 Hunt||October 2021|
|Ed Bastian||PO Box 644 Ingram, TX 78025||District #1B Ingram||October 2021|
|James E. Haynie||136 Aermotor Ln Mt. Home, TX 78058-0404||District #3 Mt. Home & Garven Store||October 2020|
|Charles Loeffler||PO Box 820 Mason, TX 76856||District #5 Fredonia, Katemcy, Pontotoc & Streeter||October 2019|
|Linda Reagor||PO Box 505 Leakey, TX 78873||District #9 Frio Canyon||October 2020|
|Burt Seidensticker||444-A Old Hwy 9 Comfort, TX 78013||District #6B Comfort & Sisterdale||October 2019|
|Steve Stengel||PO Box 9 Doss, TX 78618||District #4 Doss||October 2021|
|Robert Trees||PO Box 1064 Ingram, TX 78025||District #1A Ingram||October 2019|
Download HCTC Board of Director Photos By District
As a member-owned cooperative with an elected Board of Directors, HCTC is governed by a set of organizational bylaws. Download the HCTC Bylaws.
On February 13, 1951, a group of five men met and formed Hill Country Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Hill Country) for the purpose of furnishing area-wide telephone service in rural areas to the widest practical number of users. Being based on the Cooperative plan at the lowest cost, consistent with sound economy and good management, today Hill Country Telephone Cooperative provides telecommunication services in 15 exchanges located in 14 counties spread over 2900 square miles in rugged Hill Country terrain. The Cooperative is governed by a Board of Directors, with the 11 members representing nine districts.
The Cooperative’s objectives are to continue to enhance, improve and maintain telecommunications services at its highest level at the least possible cost to its members. As the Texas Hill Country continues to grow and the needs and demographics of its subscriber base evolve, Hill Country Telephone Cooperative, realizing the importance of broadband availability for rural economic development, has embarked on a mission to make broadband available throughout its service area. As the future of telecommunications is unfolding and broadband is the direction, Hill Country is strategically positioning itself to meet the ever-changing needs of its members, today and into the future.
Any person, firm, association, corporation, or body politic or subdivision thereof, may become a member of Hill Country Telephone Cooperative, Inc. by agreeing to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws of the Cooperative and any rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Directors that are consistent with local, state and federal law.
Meet Our Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operations Officer