The Ellijay Telephone Company goes by “ETC,” which is appropriate because the company does much more than phone service. ETC provides a wide range of communications and technology services to Gilmer, Fannin, and Pickens counties in Georgia, and to communities in North Carolina and Tennessee.
ETC has a long history of leadership in its communities and industry. Founded in 1903, ETC started with plain-old telephone service, established one of Georgia’s first cable systems in 1966, and introduced Internet access in 1996.
Community and innovation have been important to ETC since Albert Harrison purchased the company in 1958. His commitment to community and service continue today with his children, Doug, John, and Marianne. They have extended his vision into the 21st century with new technologies and products while keeping the same core values.
Today, ETC has 2,663 miles of copper cable, 1,939 miles of coaxial cable, and 594 miles of fiber optic cable. The company now provides access control, data backup, home automation, information technology, security and surveillance, space for customers’ equipment, and web hosting, and it operates a community access television studio.
ETC’s Internet has grown quickly in the last few years, and its number of internet subscribers recently surpassed the number of telephone subscribers. With residential internet service as fast as 100 megabits per second and business internet up 1 gigabit per second, ETC wants to be the fastest internet service with the best customer service.
Of course, telephone services are still important. The company has reinvested in its core telephone technology many times over the years, from manual switching, to mechanical, to digital, and, most recently to voice over internet protocol (VoIP) that gives business customers a great deal of flexibility. ETC has extended its reach by providing voice services to neighboring electric member coops for their customers. It has partnered with regional fiber optic network operators and has interconnect agreements with AT&T, Windstream, and other telephone companies.
At the heart of ETC are 145 employees dedicated to the company’s customers. ETC’s very experienced and well-trained field technicians’ goals are tied to quality rather than quantity. Its professional services technicians do information technology consulting, implementation, networking (a lot of wireless), support, and training. Network technicians keep customers connected.
With mountainous terrain and severe weather, outages are inevitable. ETC has worked hard on processes to restore services as soon as it’s safe. Any business call that comes in before 4, and anything before noon for residential, is worked the same day.
The company has a local call center for customer service, a UL listed 24/7 security monitoring station with the highest level industry certification, and secure computer facilities with multiple sources of backup power. Not only are ETC’s services all local, all of the companies decisions are made locally, too, so the company can respond to what it’s employees are seeing out in the field.
ETC employees are encouraged to always be looking for new ways to help customers. The company is always looking at what’s coming next with technology because it doesn’t want to be surprised. If ETC doesn’t help its customers change, someone else will. So, even though ETC is a diversified communications and technology company, it is always looking at how it can do more for its customers.
For more information about ETC, visit the company’s website, http://etcnow.com/, or give them a call at 800-660-6826.