Ballard Telephone Cooperative selects new General Manager
La Center – Randy Grogan has been selected as the new CEO/General Manager of Ballard Telephone Cooperative (BTC). Grogan has been at BTC for around 32 years. His first position was as an accountant. Over the years he has moved up within BTC to be in the position he holds today.
Grogan attended Murray State University (MSU) where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with accounting as his area of expertise. While at MSU, Grogan participated in a cooperative program. Grogan went to Tennessee where he worked for a year and a half for a cooperative. He believes that helped him get his first job after graduating from college. When asked about major influences in his life, Grogan says that a former board member from years ago, Mr. Juett, and Harlon Parker have helped Grogan get where he is today.
More and more people are dropping their land lines in favor of cell phones. Grogan stated that if land lines are dropped, BTC will lose the Universal Service funding it receives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Grogan continued by saying that years ago the larger phone and cable companies deemed rural areas as high cost and did not want to provide services. This is why BTC receives the Universal Service funding.
For BTC to stay competitive with other service providers such as Dish and Comcast, BTC needs to provide services that are changing with new technology. One way BTC is doing this is by converting to fiber optics and pursuing broad band. During the beginning of June 2014, fiber optic lines will be laid in Wickliffe. Starting in July 2014, fiber optic lines will be laid in Barlow. According to Grogan, the National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA) is working to get the FTC to change the Universal Service funding from land lines to broadband. Another emerging technology is TV Everywhere. TV Everywhere allows people to watch programs on their iPods, smart phones and tablets to name a few. BTC is pursuing this technology for its clients. BTC is also partnering with Verizon Wireless with a 1/3 partnership in the Jackson Purchase Area.