Bringing People Together When We Have to be Apart

CRAIG COOK Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer

The original founders of our cooperative knew technology could help them keep in touch with others near and far. For decades, technology has allowed this cooperative to create and maintain essential human connections.

Because of the telephone lines we strung across our part of the Texas Hill Country, parents could talk with children and grandchildren who had moved away. With that technology, sons and daughters serving their country at military bases from coast to coast and across the globe had a lifeline back home. If bad weather rolled through, we could call and check on friends and family, and if trouble did strike, we could reach help by calling first responders. Building our phone network connected the people of our communities like never before. Today, I think those founding members would be amazed at the ways we use the technology highlighted in this issue to stay connected.

Thanks to the broadband network HCTC provides, we upload photos of our gardens, craft projects or baking creations to share with friends and families within our community or around the country.

We share videos of first steps, birthdays and graduations through social media platforms. Streaming video has allowed us to virtually attend classes or church. Video calls allow us to catch up with friends and families, hold meetings for work or participate in virtual Sunday school.

Even when we use wireless networks to make video calls, it’s often the fiber optic backbone we’ve built that connects the cell towers.

The pandemic has significantly sped up our willingness to adopt such technology. I’ve seen experts suggest that in the last three to five months Americans have used virtual meetings, video chat and applications at levels we weren’t projected to reach for another three to five years.

Perhaps, you’ve embraced new technology during this unusual year. Even if it’s not virtual meetings, many members have, for the first time, tried online shopping or paying bills over the web.

At HCTC, we appreciate you placing your trust in our broadband services to connect you to your neighbors and the world like never before. I know I’m ready for things to get back to normal, but I’m proud to see the difference our cooperative makes in keeping our community connected — no matter how you choose to do that today or in the future.