The Middleburgh Telephone Company Today
In 1984, the Bell System was broken up into seven regional holding companies, changing the telecommunications industry forever. The Bell companies divorced from AT&T, under the terms of a consent decree, resulting from an anti-trust suit filed by the US Justice Department. The local Bell operating companies would continue to provide local service to their customers, but long distance service and equipment would be obtained from AT&T or another competing carrier.
The Middleburgh Telephone Company's headquarters
at 103 Cliff Street
Independent telephone customers were largely unaffected. At Middleburgh Telephone, it was business as usual, except that there would eventually be some changes in long distance calling procedures since customers could choose which company, including AT&T, would provide their long distance service.
The Switch to Digital
Between 1986 and 1990, The Middleburgh Telephone Company started a system-wide improvement program to bring full-digital switching service to all customers. The new technology enabled Middleburgh Telephone to provide new and improved services including call waiting, call forwarding, speed calling and three-way calling.
The Bramanville Exchange
The Old Stone Fort, Schoharie
Today, The Middleburgh Telephone Company serves about 330 square miles of scenic Schoharie County, along with parts of the equally scenic Albany County.
The Blenheim Bridge
The company continues to serve the ever-changing needs of its customers. Today's technology has provided opportunities for a great deal of growth in the future. Enhanced services and second lines for fax and computer services have become the norm. With all-digital offices, it is now possible for the company to offer enhanced services such as CLASS, voice mail, call forwarding and other consumer-oriented service enhancements.
Middleburgh Telephone has been expanding existing services by placing 70 miles of fiber optic cables between its Digital Central Office in Middleburgh and ten remote line switches in the rural areas. The wire inside these cables--individual fiber optic glass wires sheathed inside the cable--are not much larger than individual human hair. Unlike wire cable, fiber optic cable is not affected by moisture from snow and rain, electricity, magnetic fields or lightning.
A crew places fiber optic cables on poles along Sawyer Hollow Road in the Spring of 1992.
The Middleburgh Telephone Company installed a new hut and digital switch in West Fulton in 1992 to provide its customers with improved service.
In 1994, The Middleburgh Telephone Company diversified by forming
MIDTEL CABLE TV
, a cable television subsidiary that provides state-of-the-art broadband cable television service to the area. MIDTEL CABLE TV serves rural areas that previously did not have access to cable television. Through the use of fiber and coaxial cable, MIDTEL CABLE TV provides over
and FM stereo reception to these areas.
In 1996, MIDTEL CABLE TV doubled its service area size and added eight channels, bringing service to more areas and providing customers more choices.
Also in the early part of 1996, Middleburgh Telephone added local Internet access for most of Schoharie County and parts of Albany County through its
subsidiary. By connecting through a local telephone number, Internet subscribers have direct access to the entire world. MIDTEL NET has also continued to improve its products and services. In 1999, MIDTEL NET added V.90 56K modem capability to allow customers to connect to the Internet at higher rates, and, in the Summer of 2000, MIDTEL NET rolled out its high-speed
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
service to provide its customers with the capability to make Internet connections tens of times faster than 56K dialup modems, all without sacrificing the voice capability of the customer's phone line.
In 1997, Middleburgh Tel further diversified itself by forming its own long distance company,
, short for Middleburgh Telephone Long Distance. MTLD was founded and built on the same principles the telephone company and its subsidiaries live by: customer service.
MTLD offers quality long distance, cellular, paging, toll free numbers, calling cards, tele-conferencing, and communications consulting throughout New York State. The MTLD staff works closely with its customers, both business and residential, to ensure they have the best services possible.
Since the beginning, The Middleburgh Telephone Company has been dedicated not only to customer service, but to community involvement as well. Like many independent telephone companies, the company gives a great deal back to the communities it serves.
Company President Randall Becker worked to set an example for his employees by serving the area community in many different ways over the years. He served on the Town of Middleburgh Town Council for nearly 20 years, the Board of Trustees of the Middleburgh Methodist Church for 20 years, and was active with the Otschodela Boy Scout Council for over ten years, receiving the prestigious Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to youth.
He was also past president of the Middleburgh Rotary Club, past master of the Masonic Lodge, a 20-year veteran of the Middleburgh Volunteer Fire Department and a strong supporter of the Schoharie County DARE program.
In recent years, Middleburgh Tel has been involved in significant community improvement projects, such as, the Imagination Celebration Playground at the Middleburgh Elementary School, the Middleburgh Community Baseball Field, the Forever Lasting Nature Trail and the County DARE Program. The company not only contributed financially to these community projects, but Middleburgh Tel personnel pitched in and volunteered the physical labor to build many of these projects.
Middleburgh Telephone Company employees helped with the Little League's field renovation in 1990.
Employees from MTC helped construct the Forever Lasting Nature Trail behind the elementary school.
The day-to-day support is very important to the company. Through the years the company has supported many community organizations such as churches, fire and police departments, scouting, volunteer ambulance companies, Little League, youth groups, charitable events and community activities. Employees also devote much of their personal time to community organizations and events.
Celebrating its first 100 years of business, The Middleburgh Telephone Company management and employees will continue to enhance the value of the company and provide its customers with the latest technologies and services. As a four-generation, family-owned, independent telephone company, Middleburgh Tel remains committed to serving customers in a personalized manner and welcomes the challenges and opportunities for growth in the future.
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