The Trenton Telephone Company has a rich history. It was established in the early 1900s, before there were paved roads in Dade County. Telephone service was provided over bare wires strung on locust poles. In 1950, when the current owners bought it, the company only had sixty subscribers. It was housed in a gas station and the attendant connected calls between fill-ups.
Today, still locally owned and operated, it’s very a different picture. Now also operating as TVN (Tennessee Valley Net), the company provides telephone, television, and Internet services for 4,000 customers.
The technology has changed even more dramatically. The automatic telephone switching equipment once occupied a whole room in the 1960s. Now a couple of small boxes of electronics serve four times the subscribers. TVN has installed over 250 miles of fiber optics, which can carry thousands of times more information than copper wires, without financing or using contract labor.
Over a third of TVN’s subscribers get services over fiber optics, and the company is continually expanding its fiber network. TVN keeps a list of where to build next based on customer demand. Surprisingly, rural customers take up fiber-based services at a higher rate than in-town customers. If you’re in TVN’s service area and want high-speed services, let them know! They’ll work with you to make it happen.
Collaboration is important to Trenton Telephone Company, says Chief Financial Officer Lionel Austin. The company built redundant routes for internet traffic by collaborating with Farmers Telephone Company, Chickamauga Telephone Company and Ringgold Telephone Company. And, it worked with the city, county, utilities, and others to get the coordinates of driveways and structures for emergency services and infrastructure planning.