SRT Communications

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SRT Communications
Type Cooperative
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1951
Headquarters Minot, North Dakota
Products Telephone; wireless; cable TV; personal, home, & business security; internet
Total assets $107M USD (2008)
Employees 220+ (2010)
Website srt.com

SRT Communications (formerly Souris River Telecommunications) is the largest telecommunications cooperative in North Dakota, serving over 50,000 people with telephone, wireless phone, broadband Internet, security systems, and cable tv services.

The company is governed by a twelve member Board of Directors covering four districts. As a cooperative, patronage capital credits are awarded to member customers.[1] In June 2009 SRT Communications distributed over $1.2 million in capital credit checks to members with local telephone service.[2]

History and milestones[edit]

In 1951, the Verendrye Electric Cooperative board of directors established the Souris River Telephone Mutal Aid Corporation to bring telephone service to those living in the rural areas of McHenry and Ward Counties. The first telephone exchange, the town of Martin, was purchased for $500 and had 82 telephone customers. In 1960, Minot Air Force Base became SRT's largest phone exchange, and by 1970 rotary dial telephones were replaced with touch pad style phones. In 1980, SRT began to sell cable television service, first available in the town of Westhope.

Although telephone cooperatives usually operate within set boundaries, in 1990 SRT reached outside their traditional territory to install telephone wire throughout the 17 floors of the North Dakota State Capitol building. Again expanding their offerings, in 1990 SRT became an agent to CommNet 2000, handling a new cellular phone system in Minot, and in 1992 opened their own long distance company. In 1994 SRT acquired Minot Telephone Company (formerly Northern States Power Telephone), the states largest independent phone company serving approximately 25,000 lines in Minot, Burlington and Surrey.

In the late 1990s SRT added DSL Internet and Wireless PCS to their services, and in 2007 purchased the Velva telephone exchange from North Dakota Telephone Company in Devils Lake.

SRT Communications joined the State of North Dakota in suing telemarketing company WebSmart Interactive in 2003. The company owed SRT over $140,000 in unpaid bills.[3]

In 2004, SRT employees James Newman and Dennis Schott were recognized by the Excellence in Leadership Award Program of the National Telecommunication Cooperative Association for their contributions to rural telecommunications in North Dakota.[4]

According to general manager Steve Lysne, SRT Communications has built much of the infrastructure for rural broadband in North Dakota and would not need funds from the 2009 Stimulus Package.[5] SRT has worked to expand the number of 9-1-1 towers in Ward County and was awarded a Community Public Safety Award from the Ward County Emergency Management Department in 2008.[6]

Today, as North Dakota's largest telephone cooperative, SRT Communications, Inc. employs over 200 people and serves approximately 50,000 telephone customers in north central North Dakota.[7]

Products and services[edit]

Telephone SRT offers landline telephone, long distance, and calling features such as voice mail and caller ID.

Broadband Internet SRT provides Internet service to rural and city homes through DSL and MMDS technology.

Wireless Phones SRT offers Wireless Personal Communication Service phone technology similar to cellular phone service.

Cable Television Digital television, high-definition television, and DVR services are available, but limited to 18 area communities.

Security Systems Home and business security systems are monitored 24 hours by a UL approved monitoring station.

Personal Emergency Response Systems SRT offers PERS systems in which a person can push a button to alert the 24 hour monitoring station to contact family or authorities in case of a fall, break in, or other emergency.

Business Services SRT provides advanced voice, data and wireless communications systems to businesses of all sizes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Souris River Telephone Pays Out $401,000 To Subscribers. Mouse River Farmers Press. 29 April 1976.
  2. ^ Financial Report - 2009. SRT Communications website.
  3. ^ Minot joins others in suing WebSmart Interactive. Associated Press. 7 October 2003.
  4. ^ Boyles, Mary. NTCA members worldwide make commitment to excellence. The Exchange. 1 February 2004.
  5. ^ Schramm, Jill. Discussing local impact: Businesses see good uses for federal stimulus money. Minot Daily News. 21 February 2009.
  6. ^ SRT Award. KXMCTV Minot. 17 September 2008.
  7. ^ SRT gets Active with Zhone deployment. Fierce Telecom. 28 March 2008.

External links[edit]