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Bulloch Telephone reports solid growth in 2007
Cooperative adds 645 cable TV and 836 broadband customers
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A capacity crowd of more than 400 attended Bulloch Telephone Cooperative’s annual meeting last month at the Russell Union Theater on the campus of Georgia Southern University. There were 307 members who received a $10 credit on next month’s telephone bill by attending the meeting.

            The meeting was called to order by Chairman Richard E. Bird and the invocation was given by Elder Randy Waters, pastor of Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church.

            The financial report was presented by Cal Brantley of Nichols, Cauley & Associates CPA of Dublin. He reported assets of more than $38 million and a net margin of $3.4 million for 2007.

            General Manager Dennis Lewis noted a small decline in total telephone lines served by the Cooperative and attributed the loss to the continued growth of wireless services, the widespread availability of high-speed Broadband Internet service displacing second lines and a slower economy.

            “On a bright note, our high speed broadband Internet service currently has 3,701 customers, a net gain of 836 Broadband Internet lines during the past year and our Video offering currently has 1,202 subscribers, a gain of 645 during the past year,” Lewis said. “As a result, Bulloch experienced a net growth in services for 2007.”

            He also reported Bulloch’s long distance service has just completed its sixth year and has 5,373 access lines subscribed to the service. This represents a 5 percent growth rate during the past year,” Lewis reported. “We are offering the service at a flat $0.10 per minute charge regardless of the time of day or place called with no monthly fee or minimum charge, Lewis said.”

            Also in his report, Lewis said in 2007 Bulloch installed an additional five miles of copper telephone cables and 158 miles of fiber optic cable in 2007 to better serve members. For the past three years, the Cooperative has been replacing copper facilities with fiber optic facilities.

            Lewis went on to say that approximately 47 percent or 4,200 of Bulloch Telephone’s subscriber households are now served by fiber optic. These members are primarily in the Brooklet, Portal, Lakeview, Hwy 24, Harville Road and Cypress Lake areas. At the current conversion rate, Lewis said Bulloch Telephone expects to have the project completed no later than the end of 2010.

            “As with our deployment of all services, it is our Cooperative’s goal to provide fiber optic service, including video, to all our members, regardless of where they live,” said Lewis.

            Three directors were re-elected to serve three-year terms. They were Buddy Anderson, representing the Nevils Exchange; Lehman Brannen, representing the Anderson Exchange; and Chuck Lee, representing the Stilson Exchange.