ASHEBORO — Randolph Telephone Membership Corp. (RTMC) is working to improve service for its 11,219 residential and business customers.
For many people living in rural areas of North Carolina, getting online is a challenge. In North Carolina, the U.S. Census reports there are 544,199 households with no Internet access. So, for the past few years, Randolph Telephone Membership Corp. (RTMC) has been expanding broadband Internet services into parts of Alamance, Chatham, Davidson, Guilford, Lee, Montgomery, Moore and Randolph counties.
As a result, RTMC announced earlier this year that it would be discontinuing its Internet protocol television (IPTV) service, MyTV. Letters sent to customers explained that the cost of television programming has become so expensive that only the largest cable television providers can afford to offer them. The letter went on to say that the national trend for video customers is to increase their broadband package to stream video. The result is a cost savings, one that is very important to RTMC, as it is member-owned.
“We are proud of the great strides we’ve made to cover our co-op area with fiber,” Stephanie Gee, RTMC marketing director, said. “It’s a $64 million project and we are 81 percent complete.
“Our non-member areas, like Silk Hope, Sanford, Spies and others, remain important to our future fiber deployment. These non-member revenues supply the capital for the fiber build-out in the Co-op.”
To help customers with the transition, RTMC is offering “All About Streaming” classes. They are free to their customers and will be held from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. on Thursday, June 11, Thursday, June 25, Thursday, July 2, and Thursday, July 23.
Classes will be held at the RTMC Distribution Center, located at 6463 U.S. 220 South, in Asheboro.
To register, call 336-879-7960 or email [email protected] Additional classes will be added if needed.
Instead of TV, RTMC is focusing on deploying fiber optics. That means customers will not only receive better high-speed Internet access, but it will be available for more people and businesses to use.
RTMC’s current coverage area spans 606.48 square miles.
And, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, RTMC has announced it is offering seven rural hot spots for persons needing Internet access.
You can drive your car and park to access the Internet on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. at these locations:
SEAGROVE — Seagrove Town Hall, 798 N.C. 705.
SEAGROVE — Westmoore Family Restaurant, 272 South N.C. 705.
LIBERTY — Liberty Town Hall, 239 S. Fayetteville St.
ROBBINS — Carolina Fried Chicken, 281 N. Middleton St.
ROBBINS — Tina’s Country Store, 2697 Spies Road.
SILER CITY — Silk Hope Ruritan Club, 4221 Silk Hope Road.
NEW LONDON — Chandler’s Grove UMC, 2535 Blaine Road.
Hot spots are beneficial to people who live in rural areas and who do not have Internet access. These hot spots are also available to students who are required to use the Internet for their classroom studies. The hot spots will be available until school is back in session.
“This pandemic has affected our daily lives in dramatic ways, and has identified how critical it is for education, telehealth and agriculture to have reliable internet connectivity,” Gee said. “There are people in areas where our services may not be available yet and who do not have Internet access, or their connection is not sufficient for their current needs. These Wi-Fi hot spots will help fill those gaps and provide a reliable connection to those who need it.
“Randolph Communications is honored to be part of this community, and we are always looking for opportunities to serve our neighbors. The current health crisis has disrupted everyone’s lives, but we hope these Wi-Fi hot spots will help ease the burden by providing people with a critical connection.”
Randolph Telephone Membership Corporation has 64 years of experience operating in rural areas. Founded in May 1954, RTMC’s mission is to bring services to unserved and sparsely populated areas. RTMC is a cooperative, owned by its members and is headquartered in Asheboro.
In 2015, RTMC began operating as Randolph Communications. It is a full-service communications provider offering local and long-distance, high-speed internet with speeds up to 1 gigabyte, voice services, wireless, business networking solutions, business key systems, home security, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services, website design and hosting, calling features, camera surveillance and computer services.
All services are available to both members and non-members.
RTMC offers service in some areas of local municipalities. To see if your residence or businesses is in an area served by RTMC, call 336-879-5684.
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